Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Movie review - Magic Mike

It had to be done.  I held out for as long as I could, but on the constant push of one of my close friends, I broke down and went to see "Magic Mike."

The plot is simple: young aimless boy has friend who works as a stripper.  That stripper introduces him to a world filled with the things of a young man's dreams, if he dreams of : women, sex, and drugs without consequences.

But, eventually, there are consequences, and those consequences affect the young stripper and those who are around him.

At it's core, it's a fairly moving story about a sister's love for her brother, a young man's journey to self-discovery, and another man's introduction to the power of his manhood and sexuality.

If you discovered that you had the ability to capture the attention of anyone you wanted how would you use that power?  Would you abuse it?

I've seen a strip show or two :-), and I have to admit you always have that little fantasy lingering in the back of your mind.  Honestly, after watching  "Magic Mike" it erased those thoughts right from my mind.  The characters were sad and incomplete.  The fantasy on the stage was all they were--nothing more.  This is because of two reasons: one the writing only partially flushed out the secondary characters, and two there wasn't much more to the characters.

I love Channing Tatum!  He can dance.  He can act.  But, this definitely wasn't one of his best acting venues. Matthew McConaughey is one of my all time favorites, but he was a little too thin, too tanned, and too everything for me in this one.  I kept waiting for Alex Pettyfer to cut his beard, or at least shape it up.  Cody Horn, unfortunately, anyone who looks like her will conjure up images of Kristen Stewart and, fairly or not, they'll be compared.

For Magic Mike 2, can I make a few casting suggestions:

Boris Kodjoe

Jason Mamoa

Shemar Moore

This movie begins fast and fun, then becomes a little sad before ending on a soft hopeful note.  There are definitely a few scenes that make you wish you could add your dollar!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My guest this week begins her blog post...

"What does it take for someone to overcome such a deep hatred and low self-esteem to fight their death at their own hands and come out on the other side?"

In my life, I don't know if I've ever been in the place that she describes, but I have had some incredible trials.  Because there are still many emotions I haven't felt, I use a lot of what I find in my research.  Books. Movies. Interviews.  When I did research for one of my characters that lost her child and her husband, I read blogs of mothers who'd experienced that loss, and even now my fragmented memories of those articles make me want to cry.

Reading my guest's blog at Romancing the Pen made me want to know more about her and her books.  To be able to take such emotion and twist it into the a creative form of expression is amazing, and honestly what we do as authors.  We pull readers into our worlds be they real or imagined.

Please join me this week, as I again host Erika Lindsen at Romancing the Pen!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book review - Once Burned (Night Prince, Book 1)

First, I have to begin by saying that I read this book in two days!  Yes, two.  Also, let me say that I absolutely love all things Jeaniene Frost!  I literally gobbled up the Cat and Bones series, and I couldn't wait for this one to be released.

Now, that that is out of the way...

Talk, smoldering (literally,) and sexy!  Throughout the Cat and Bones series, we've been casually introduced to Vlad Tepesh, and personally, I've fallen a little in love with him every time, but I still love you Bones!  His hard and fast rules regarding loyalty both frighten and appeal to me.  Could anyone ever live up to it...who knows, but I definitely understand his want for loyalty, honesty, and love.

The book opens light and fun, and the action kicks in fast.  But, Jeaniene Frost doesn't spoon-feed you, she lets you discover the answers as the characters do.  Sometimes, maybe a step behind.  When I found myself asking the question of why, moments later the characters supplied an answer.  Although JF is writing in the world of paranormal, she doesn't front-load the story with unnecessary world-building, maybe because so much of it has already been introduced through Cat and Bones.

Vlad is one of JF's best Alpha males, and Leila is wonderful woman on a path of discovery.  The two of them together a very reminiscent of Cat and Bones, but still have their own identities.  But, JF, knows we love her other characters, and throws us a little cameo with a hint of mystery to keep us hungry for more.

Vlad and Leila's story is fast, fun, and a little heartbreaking, but every step of the way, I'm right there with them anxious to turn the page, but all the while dreading the last one.  Now that I've flipped that last page, I can't wait for that next one.  Spring is way to far away :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Character Inspiration

I don't know why I find myself scrolling through Netflix searching for movies with him, but dang...look at those arms!

Donnie Yen, actor

Loving me some Donnie!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

#GoddessFish Blog Tour - Shewanda Pugh

Join me on August 14th, as I host Shewanda Pugh at Romancing the Pen!

Shewanda Pugh

When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.

Don't forget to follow the tour and comment.  Shewanda will give away a $10 Amazon gift card! The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The dates of the tour can be found here.

Visit Romancing the Pen, now, for more about and to read an excerpt!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Do you need a dating coach?

Do you know how to date?

We've all seen romantic comedy after romantic comedy and, of course, we've read our fair share of romance novels.  But, if someone asked you how to date...what would you say or suggest?

I think the cliched movie based on the story-line of beautiful cultured person "fixing up" the nerdy geek is so overused that it's crazy. but, recently, I saw another version of this same cliche that made me wonder just how many people have used a dating coach.

I, personally, know people who've used: on-line dating sites, dating phone lines, and speed dating as a source of finding that perfect someone.  (I wrote a blog for From the Heart Romance Writers' Voices from the Heart Blog about soul mates

Just how hard is it to find a lover, a friend, and a companion all rolled into one?  And when you find that special someone, how do you know it's the right person, and not a temporary love :-)

What would you be willing to do to find the love of your life, or do you think you've already discovered that mysterious love?  Have you guys ever searched for dating coaches?  The tips on their websites are what we as romance writers filter into our books every time we tell a story.  We write stores about: intelligent, strong, people, especially those of use who write Alpha characters.  Although our characters might be thrown in the middle of some exciting adventure, or some critical moment in their lives, we still write about characters who know themselves and what they want, but for whatever reason we've created they haven't found that match.

If you were a dating coach, what would be your steps of advice for finding the love of your life?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Ian Rankin, author.

1 Read lots.

2 Write lots.

3 Learn to be self-critical.

4 Learn what criticism to accept.

5 Be persistent.

6 Have a story worth telling.

7 Don't give up.

8 Know the market.

9 Get lucky.

10 Stay lucky.