Monday, August 30, 2010

BACK TO SCHOOL - Checklist

Oh yeah, I remember going back to school. Here’s a list of things most teens consider when getting ready to go back to the grind of school again.

That summer crush you had, yep, him….so yesterday. Since you’ll be going to school, it’s time to put on your eagle eye in search of a more permanent day to day boyfriend.

With the end of summer, many summer loves end simply due to the location and temptation to try out a new flavor with the upcoming school year. So if you are the dumpee, don’t worry, get involved in school activities to meet new people.

Okay, this is what drives me crazy about school shopping. Everyone and their mothers are out shopping for the new hot fashions for the school year. Heck, when I was a kid I’d get at least fifteen new outfits or more. Would I wear them all? Uh, ye-ah! The first few weeks of school was spent showing off new clothes.

Now though, I’ve gotten smarter. Since the weather is still nice outside, we recycle our stylish summer outfits to mix in with versatile pieces for the first few months of school. It saves us money and we get to shop for new fall outfits with the extra cash.

This is what ticks me off the most. You get this long supply list of stuff your teachers tell you to buy, and guess what? You don’t use over half the stuff until the 3rd quarter.
So you know what? Only purchase the minimum during the pre-school month. Just what you need to get started, and when the supplies go on sale – then buy the rest of the stuff you need.


Last thing to check off is your attitude. Don’t let know one steal your positive attitude. Speak up for yourself, even with teachers. Keep a smile on your face and avoid confrontation with bullies.

Don't forget to drop into my PARTY BLOG, to find out more about my books and the freebie of the month!

Friday, August 27, 2010


This dystopian series pulls the reader into a sixteen year old, Tally’s world just as she’s about to be transformed from an ugly to a pretty. Sound familiar? Almost scary the way it closely aligns itself with our current society of the plastic surgery quick fix for teenagers and adults alike.

Her world is divided with those that don’t want the operation that will make them acceptable. And what do you think happens to Tally? She finds a friend name Shay who doesn’t want to change. Who likes himself, just the way he is. On Tally’s journey to be Pretty, she also finds out about the others – Specials that are enhanced way beyond the Pretties and the series delves into the meaning and purpose of each.

I’d definitely recommend this series to any teen girl or boy. It’s got enough intrigue, action and suspense to keep you interested. The series is wonderful and I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars and the entire series also. It’s not over the top scifi and will appeal to scifi lovers as well as YA lovers alike.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

EXPOS, BOOKFEST and More - Oh My!

This month I had my first book signing at a Book Expo. The African American Book Expo had tons of authors, and vendors selling their products. Since this is my first full year of book promotions, I added this to my experimental list of things to do.

I researched the trade shows I would attend by searching other authors that had similar work as I did. However, I did the African American Book Expo in MD simply because it was the first time they’d had one and I could share a table with another author, Maggie Mei Lewis, that I respected. I also signed up for the Capital Bookfest, because it was close to my hometown and I liked some of the other authors that were attending. The Baltimore Book Festival, I’m attending because it’s free to Maryland Writer’s Association members.

The reason I go to these events (Book Expos) is truly not to sell books, it’s for networking. If you go to these events hoping to sell a ton a books – you will be disappointed.

When you are seeking out the promotional opportunities for your writing career (you can also do this when you are even unpublished) set your goals, research the venue and what other’s have gotten out of the endeavor and plan in opportunities that will get you the exposure you desire. I did this by doing a Google alert on authors that were new, and doing things that I wanted to do with my career. Then I fashioned the events that fit within my budget and goals for my own career.

Always reinvent yourself and your promotional goals. Some events I’ve participated in were the wrong venue, didn’t meet my ‘realistic’ expectations or were too costly compared to the benefits. So I revamped my plans for the next year to fit my budget, highlight the things that worked, and I always add something new for discovery of better ways to promote myself and my books.

Be realistic when pursuing promotion of your books. It takes 3 years for any business to confirm growth, so set a 3-year plan/investment in yourself and your promotional goals. Gage your growth each year with a chart and if you see improvement, pat yourself on the back and research ways to further improve.

Don't forget to drop into my PARTY BLOG, to find out more about my books and the freebie of the month!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BANDITS - Teaser

The cover is still being worked on and the book is now in editing. However, I want you to check out the teaser of the back cover and the preliminary placing of the cover.

BANDITS – Back Cover Blurb

Daniel’s father has gotten himself killed. A thief and a mercenary, Daniel is now determined to find the treasure his father snatched. Being a Zukar is all he knows and wants for his future. Up until his father’s murder, his father’s faltering loyalties to the Zukar hung heavy as a rift between them. But now, with his father's blood on his hands, his time is running out to find his father’s killer, the missing treasure… and to save his world.

He wants to go alone to retrieve his father’s stolen treasure, but he is accompanied by his flight school dropout cousin Faulk, his best friend’s stubborn little sister Jade, and his own younger brother Nickel. Jade is off limits since her brother is his best friend, but unfortunately, Jade’s set on changing his mind. Daniel just can’t decide if she’s worth the beating he’ll get from his friend in order to have her.

They’re on the run from the king’s officials and an unknown killer. The king desires to kill any Zukar child who is unprotected and will stop at nothing to get them. Who’s more dangerous, Daniel doesn’t know. All he knows is someone is bent on killing him and taking the treasure he thinks his father died foolishly to protect.

Through the islands of Merwin to an unknown planet, they seek to find the treasure that changed his father’s life – all for a price that is too high. To claim the treasure, Daniel will have to test everything he knows and everything he is or will ever be in order to earn the right to save their lives and the home of those he loves.

To keep up with tidbits on BANDITS, THE PACK, and EXPLORER X, check out my PARTY BLOG for monthly freebies and tidbits.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I’M A SURVIVOR and I bet you are too! Sing with me :-D

I was watching one of my favorite young artist tear up the stage this weekend. BEYONCE’ that girl is every bit a star. One of my favorite girl groups was Destiny’s Child and my favorite song is, “SURVIVOR”.


Here’s the chorus and link to the entire song. I pointed out my favorite parts ('s%20Child%20Lyrics/Survivor.%20Lyrics.html)

I'm a survivor
I'm not gonna give up
I'm not gon' stop
I'm gonna work harder
I'm a survivor
I'm gonna make it
I will survive
Keep on survivin'
Now that you are out of my life,
I'm so much better,
You thought that I'd be weak without ya,
But I'm stronger,
You thought that I'd be broke without ya,
But I'm richer,
You thought that I'd be sad without ya,
I laugh harder,
You thought I wouldn't grow without ya,
Now I'm wiser,
You thought that I'd be helpless without ya,
But I'm smarter,
You thought that I'd be stressed without ya,
But I'm chillin'
You thought I wouldn't sell without ya,
Sold nine million.


This song hit a cord because I know I’m a survivor. I’ve jumped, stumbled, fallen and was crushed over many obstacles. You know what I realized, I’m strong…really strong. Why? Well because of those things I’ve survived. You know what else – I bet you too are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. Look back over your life and think over all the things you’ve survived.

The more I was told what I couldn’t or wouldn’t do…I worked even harder to do it. With each success and struggle there will always be those that tell you that ‘You ain’t going to make it.” But when I feel like that, I sing this song in my head, “I’M A SURVIVOR, I’M NOT GONNA GIVE UP, I’M GONNA WORK HARDER, I’M GONNA MAKE IT…I’LL KEEP ON SURVIVING!”

You know what else? I love writing about SURVIVORs, check them out and win a party favor at my BOOK PARTY BLOG

Friday, August 20, 2010

OTHER by Karen Kincy – Review by Nyia

Please welcome Nyia, our teen book reviewer.

I liked the character right away. The author started off the book with the excitement of Gwen changing. She described it so well that I felt like I was in the room with Gwen. The main character seemed out of place with her parents and had a friend that was like her, a changeling. I also liked the way the author put all magical creatures in the same book. Like vampires, werewolves, changelings, leprechauns and others were talked about and it seemed to all fit together. She showed the reality of teen sex relationships and that they don’t always last. I was so sad for Gwen when her boyfriend disappointed her. I can’t wait for Ms. Kincy’s next book. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars only because I didn’t expect her boyfriend to be such a jerk.

LM Preston’s comments:

This was another gem I found at ALA. Yeah, I was supposed to be selling my own book, but as a writer I love to read. The author signed this beauty for my daughter. I read it with my daughter and we both enjoyed it. There was a mature interaction between two characters in which I had to talk over with my daughter, but it was well done.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Who would have thunk it? One of the largest retail bookstores going up for sale is a shock. I admit to reading stories of doom and gloom. The end of the retail bookstore chains as we know it. Ebooks and internet buying take over. You know what? It’s not all hype. It’s becoming a reality.


There are lots of reasons why I believe one of the big dogs is bailing out. Okay, the facts as reported states sinking shares, internet sales increase for their competitor, and the economy.

My personal thoughts, they are a victim of a sunk economy, changing business practices in which they failed to hop on the band wagon when the opportunity was available. For instance, they could have set up free-overnight delivery of books ordered from their store with the purchase of another book. They could have seamlessly merged their brick and mortar bookstore with the internet. They tried in some ways, but just wasn’t able to cut the mustard or the pricing competiveness that Amazon had. Let’s face it, most of my friends purchase from Amazon. Why? Because Amazon is cheaper and they love the free shipping perks, not to mention – most every book they want is available.


This could mean a bit of restructuring. Maybe an open door for small presses who’ve been trying to get a relationship with this bookseller in order to get some of that coveted shelf space. It could also mean a total shut out by the new owner of the stores who may only see value in promoting authors or publishers that are a ‘sure thing’.

At this point, I’m sure many publishers large and small are watching this event unfold closely. It could mean focusing sales completely on the internet, indie bookstores or the bookstores remaining. It also could impact the remaining large retail bookstores ways of doing business. Alas, at the end of the day, it’s all about sales strategy. Every publisher will have to stay one step ahead of the game and be willing to forge new paths in order to stay competitive. From my experience though, Indie publishers and Small presses will do just fine – they’ve been thinking outside of the box, staying one step ahead of the game to survive from their very beginning.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"Was I dropped off to the wrong house by the stork?" This is a phrase I use to yell in my head when I as a kid. I truly felt as though God created me and put me with the wrong set of parents. I know many of my friends at the time felt the same way. Now that I’m older, I believe the differences I had with my parents at the time were good differences. Those were the things that allowed me to learn from them.


My parents were both teen parents. They had a great support system that allowed me to be raised by my great-grandmother (whom I felt was a better fit as a mother figure in my life than my own mother at the time) and my aunts (my mother’s older sisters).

I used to compare similarities in my parents actions to how I would have responded to the same scenarios. You know what? I didn’t realize that it wasn’t an exact science. That I had the ability to make the same mistakes as they had if I hadn’t had examples of the consequences of their actions. Of course it was easy for me to judge them, even when I was a kid. The term, “Walk a mile in your shoes,” is a strong statement. When I became a mother myself, I realized how much my young mother sacrificed to give me a better life. How the mistakes she made hurt her, but I was stronger because of them.

How did I benefit from observing these parents that I felt was a completely wrong fit? I did it by not wanting to make the same mistakes they made. I wanted to be better, stronger and wiser. Thanks to being their kid, I am.


Keep a positive outlook. Realize that there are no perfect parents. None at all. We are all prone to mistakes, some revealed and others hidden. But learn from the mistakes of others, even your parents mistakes. Also, learn to love them were they are at. Parents have to grow up sometimes too.


At the end of the struggle to find yourself throughout your teen years. When you grow up, have your own family, made your own mistakes, and get stronger look back and see your parents through different eyes.

When I did, I realized that although they were teen parents who made huge mistakes, they weren’t that different from me in the end. That because of them, I became who I am. I also realized that they sacrificed specifically to give me a better life and I can’t say that I could have kept it all together like that had I had my kid at such a young age.

Even today as a parent I make huge mistakes that I have to apologize to my kids for. But the wonderful thing about children is their willingness to love their nonfitting parents deeply, ever thirsting for some semblance of a bond.

HOP OVER TO PARTY BLOG FOR TEASER for BANDITs coming out Spring of 2011

Saturday, August 14, 2010

THE FALL by Guillermo Del Toro

I picked up this gem at the ALA conference. (I couldn't resist, they said it was a Vampire Horror book!)

THE FALL was a good second installment to the Strain series (which I read after I engulfed this one). It was gruesome, raw, scary and action packed. There were a lot of different point of views in this book and at first I got frustrated being shuffled from one character to another, but it had a movie feel. After about 70 pages I got used to it and couldn't stop reading it. The vampires portrayed here are ugly and are fixated on finding and killing their dear ones or close family relatives for more than just food - they want to turn them into white skinned, vampires that are filled with bloodworms - eek! These vamps whip out their tongues to suck you dry - yuck! Yet, *shiver* I can't stop myself from reading more.

The females in this gruesome tale took a back burner in this second book, but there was just so much going on, I truthfully didn't notice. This book reads like a scary, suspenseful movie. So don't go expecting deep plot explanations and delving into the thoughts of the characters. This read is for the sheer purpose of scaring you and kicking up your adrenaline.

Now I'd have to be honest and say that I hated the ending (because it made me sad), but it was a great ride getting there and made me really want to read the 3rd book.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Whew, the release date of my second book has come and shortly gone. I’m not such a newbie now when it comes to writing and publishing. I can honestly say, I’m stronger, better and have a totally different view of being an author and one of an Indie or Small Press publishing company. Over a year ago, my husband had the idea of starting Phenomenal One Press. A small press or indie publishing company to publish not just my books but books of other YA authors that fit in his vision for the press. I was to be his test subject. Let me tell you, this journey has been rewarding for us both and have taught us the value of a thick skin and a positive attitude of learning.

My husband researched and researched before he came up with his business plan. He’d always had a business of some sort and went to school for marketing so he was excited to have a new endeavor. He set up the publishing company, got his LLC and started searching out organizations with resources that would help him. He set up an account with Bookmasters that supports small presses in sales and distribution as well as printing. He just didn’t want to spend too much time on the semantics as much as on the selling aspects of the business.

While he was diligently working on finding a support system, an editor, a proof reader and learning the publishing business, I set out to finish my books. He and I worked on a book marketing plan, then whittled it down to what we could afford to accomplish. I was his first guinea pig author.

With the business plan done, the support of bookmasters, IBPA and MWA secured we started to network. I pursued getting book reviews, he pursued getting the books into the stores. He was having great success simply because he was a sales person that didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer but found creative ways to get a ‘yes’ out of venues and bookstores.

The hard lessons came mostly from book reviewers, book review sources and authors who had prejudices against small press/self-published or indie authors/publishers. He’d get frustrated with some of the email responses we received concerning this and would respond that we were like any small business trying to get off the ground. He the publisher worked to provide a quality product which would be edited then packaged, promote and sell it. My job was as a writer who would write the best tale I could write. Would everyone like what we had to offer ? No, but that was okay as long as they gave us a chance to present our product.

Now with the release of book 3 in the making, the persistence and re-inventing the way we did things in the past have helped greatly. Now we’ve learned the correct way our print runs should go. We’ve improved our editing process which has improved the quality of our product. Previously we only had one editor do one pass, now we have an editor, a proofreader, and a second editor to review the work. We now know how much of a budget to set aside and how to pre-sell most of our initial runs the first time around. We also know what’s worked, what doesn’t work for us and have garnered the support of naysayers that were first prejudice against our small status.

Additionally, we try something new with each release. We’ve hired interns that have a background in writing, business and marketing to teach them what we’ve learned and to benefit from their fresh perspective.

If you are a writer and decide on this path without the support of others, separate the writer from the business. The publishing part of the equation has to be sales oriented, thick-skinned, and tenacious. Getting the product beta read, edited (edit it well because this is the first thing that is assumed is a problem with small press or indie pubbed books), create a marketing plan for each book, a reasonable price point for each book, and pace yourself.

At the end of the day, this journey has been the most rewarding of my life. It’s given me an avenue to teach my kids that they too can start a business. To share my stories with others and it’s allowed me to mentor young people by giving them a basis to build their dreams their own way. Also, it’s been a catalyst of discovery that through each stumble I make I turn it into a learning opportunity to better myself and to be proud of what I’ve done. Why? Because like I always say, “You only ever get one life.” Why wait for someone else to give you your dream, create the pathway for it yourself. Worse case? You tried and failed, but have learned from the experience of it all. Best case? You succeed beyond your imagination and enjoy the dips and turns along the way.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BLACK MIRROR by Nancy Werlin

I picked this YA/Mystery novel at the ALA conference from the publisher. I was excited by the excerpt (see below)

Convinced her brother's death was murder rather than suicide, sixteen-year-old Frances begins her own investigation into suspicious student activities at her boarding school.

I really enjoyed this read. The character's voice is what truly kept me engaged the most. I loved this shy, quiet, lonely girl who unknowingly started to pursue her brother's killer and found herself in the process. She and her brother had a strained relationship since he started the school and she was a bit jealous of his friendship and relationship with his bright and airy girlfriend. His friends in this secret society were creepy and deceptive. She stumbled upon her discovery of the murderer and I couldn’t help cheering for her.

The villain was someone I didn't expect and it kept me guessing during several tense moments. This is a good read for someone that loves an even paced mystery with thrilling suspenseful moments and surprises.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


~Tisha Berg, owner of Biz Mommy

I was on Biz Mommy Radio with Tisha Berg this Monday, August 9th at 1:30pm. Click the link to hear my interview with Tisha Berg, owner of Biz Mommy, (

Biz Mommy is an Internet Radio and blog devoted to Busy Mommies who also own businesses. As an author many of us start of writing because we love it. However, with the growth from writing, to pitching to agents and publisher and ending with publishing promotion it becomes obvious that we are running a business. Most writers don’t start writing with the realization that they are in the business of selling their books. It doesn’t start with the agent, it starts with us.

Tisha Berg is a wonderful inspiration to all that want to pursue their dreams of building a business that fits in with their lives.

Here’s an excerpt from her website:

“Well, first and foremost it’s a support community for women who are seeking change. You will find advice, events and resources to help you create a life you LOVE and make every day the joyous celebration you want it to be! In talking to many women who want to start their own businesses, I have found that there are a lot of negative and self-defeating ideas that need to be overcome before I can even begin to help them make the transition from being an employee to an entrepreneur. It all starts with mindset.” By Tisha Berg

BizMommy contact:
Blog Talk Radio Show: Find Your Spark,

Monday, August 9, 2010

SILVER PHOENIX - Book Review by Nyia


Hello all, please welcome our Teen Book Reviewer, Nyia. She couldn't wait to give her review of Silver Phoenix


When I first picked up the book I really liked the cover. The colors and the girl were so pretty I couldn’t wait to read it. I loved this story because it felt like I was in a different place. Where Ai lived was full of surprises and dangers. Her friend Chen seemed loyal and a good friend. Ai’s quest to find her dad made her stronger, more sure of herself and I liked her character a lot. The dialogue with the characters also helped to give me a feeling I was in another place, and her adventures kept me interested. It was like I couldn’t wait to see what the next test for Ai would be. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars only because I would have liked to see more happen with Ai’s and Chen’s relationship.

LM Preston's THOUGHTS about cover change:

After hopping around in the blogsphere, I've read about the drastic cover change to the Silver Phoenix. I'm saddened that a publishing company would have to go to such lengths to sell a book. I asked Nyia what she thought of the cover change and she was extremely disappointed. She'd been drawn to Silver Phoenix by the beautiful cover. Considering the publishers felt the book would be better marketed if they changed the cover, I wonder what they are going to do with the previous copies of the old covers. Hopefully, readers will be given a choice on which cover they'd like to purchase and I wish Cindy Pon all the best and much success on the sequel.

Here's the Fury of the Phoenix: Book 2 in the series. They are changing the next edition covers from the Silver Phoenix to look like this. The eyes, a truly Asian distinctive feature will be covered.

What do you think? Regardless of whether you like the cover or not, pick this one up. It's a keeper :-D

Saturday, August 7, 2010


My senior year ended with a bang. Several things went wrong and quite a few went right. I was supposed to go to Penn State University. But, crap happens. My plans for packing up and going to live on miles away from home were cut short due to a family catastrophe.

With that catastrophe I had to grow up pretty fast. Let’s face it, as a product of a teen mom – I was used to it. I’d always thought about life by planning a plan A, B and C. At that point I had to do the below. Most high school graduates find themselves having to make similar choices.


Luckily at the time, Washington DC had a program for graduating seniors where they spent 4 weeks training you in job skills – and guess what else? They gave you a job afterward and they paid you while you went. During that time I went to resume writing workshops, learned clerical job skills and took on my first student ‘stay in school job’. I was able to work 20hrs a week with pay at the end of the program. In addition I worked at a local drugstore in order to save money for Community College and pay rent in the room I was renting from a friend.


At the time, since I had limited funds and didn’t know how to apply for scholarships or financial aid, I just applied to Community College. I took 5 classes while working my two part-time jobs. My other friends were at four-year colleges, partying it up and wasting their parents money. But for me, this was serious business. School, a degree, was a way for me to survive in the future and get out of the rooming house I lived in.

By chance I met another college student who asked me why I didn’t have a scholarship (my grades were a 4.0) and I told her I didn’t know how to apply or find them. She sat me down and taught me. She didn’t realize that she was my angel. After that, it was on to a 4-year university where I lived on campus and of course – still worked 2 part-time jobs. Why? Because I needed money to survive and I didn’t have a mom or dad to give it to me. I didn't stop there, I pursued my Master's degree and made sure it was a specialty that I would be able to make enough to take care of myself.


Yeah, post High School was a struggle for me – but, I wouldn’t change it for a moment. Why? Because I grew up, learned to take care of myself, realized that partying, drinking, and drugging was a waste of my time. I, unlike my peers in college, had no where to go when break time came. I had no parents homes I packed up and went to. I learned through the school of hardnocks – to sink or swim, and I was determined to swim. You can too!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

V.J. CHAMBERS Spotlight Party Guest

Well my party is winding down, but why does it have to? No reason, let's party on! V.J. Chambers has stopped by the party and I can't wait for you to hear about her books that garnered some great reviews. Please give a warm welcome to V.J. Chambers.

How you diggin the party?

Cheers! I'm diggin' it. :P

Tell me about yourself?

I'm an indie author, and I make a living teaching high school. I'm also fond of snakes, cheesecake, my boyfriend Aaron, Stephen King books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and corduroy pants (although not exactly in that order).

Are you in the book business? What do you do?

I've written and published six books on my website and in ebook form. Four of those books are also available in print. My store:

I like to write books about people in unbelievably difficult (often supernatural) situations and their struggle to free themselves, find love, and make their way in the world. Four of my books are for an older young adult audience (I'd say 16 and over) and two are aimed at adult audiences.

Have you read any of LM Preston’s books? Say something smashingly great about LM Preston or her books.

LM Preston is without a doubt driven. I admire her desire to work with young writers in a workshop atmosphere. As a teacher myself, I think interacting with youth is tremendously important. Furthermore, she's worked in IT, which is awesome. I think everyone reading this should be buying at least four of five copies of all of her books, because this lady has got it going on!

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I'm working on the revisions for the first book in a sequel trilogy to my trilogy about Jason and Azazel, who are my most popular characters.

I also have a work in progress about a group of kids in their late teens/early twenties who are possessed by the spirits of Arthurian legend.

Big things in your future?

The final chapters of Death Girl are being serialized currently. For more on Death Girl, a young adult horror-suspense novel, you can check this out: I have a book trailer here:

And as soon as my revisions are complete, I'll have The Stillness in the Air, book one of the Jason and Azazel: Apocalypse Trilogy, available for sale, and it will begin serializing on my site. I don't have specific dates yet, but it will be sometime in the fall.

How to Find Valerie:

WANT TO GO TO THE PARTY? Go to the PARTY BLOG click here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SALT Movie Review

This weekend I tiptoed to the movies to see SALT. I have to admit, I’m a Angelina Jolie fan. She fits the profile of most of my characters. Sexy, powerful and loves to kick butt then take names. This is a spy thriller in which she is wrongly accused of being a Russian agent sent to kill the president.

Action packed from the beginning. Now I will admit, it’s a little unbelievable that a woman as tiny as she is (and trust me, she is thin) could pull off beating up man after man in order to find her husband. But in this movie as with others that she stars in, she pulled it off, making it sort of believable.

The twist and turns in the plot kept both my husband and I interested, but the story lines and believability of the plot was why it didn’t earn a 5 star rating. I give it a 3. It’s entertaining, fast paced with great shoot up and fight scenes. So if you can’t go see Inception, then check this one out.