June 19, 2013 § Leave a Comment
June 18, 2013
I stayed up until one in the morning reading Reflected in You because I got to the last quarter of the book and I just had to see what was going to happen next. Compared to the first book, Reflected was in some ways more romantic, in some ways a lot darker, and the sex scenes were even more intense.
Saturday morning, while I was making my coffee, I kept replaying the book in my head. It brought up a lot of issues. I really liked how this story played with the theme of trust. Next, I’m reading Entwined with You.
I finished the Dark Moment and, yes, it involved a lot of Vodka. I had promised myself a comedy run when I finished so I rewarded myself with a The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air marathon. That show is still hilarious, and the chemistry between the family, particularly Will and Uncle Phil, is gold. Now, I am on to the Return. It should be in pretty good shape because it is the section that I worked on extensively last year. It should be in pretty good shape. We’ll see.
I was super excited for the Man of Steel movie, but—and I hate to say it—I was disappointed. Henry Cavill did a great job of filling (and I do mean filling) the role of Superman/Clark Kent, but Amy Adams’ Lois Lane lacked the quirky spunk I’ve come to expect and love in that character.
There were so many cool ideas that would have been great for the character development and chemistry building if those ideas had actually played out. Like Clark Kent working under the radar as a laborer, saving a bunch of people from an industrial disaster, and then disappearing, while Lois Lane chases after this mysterious hero, this urban legend. They could have done more with that, and many other scenes that put Lois and Clark in fresh and interesting situations, but were cut short for, oh, let’s see, ANOTHER childhood flashback.
While it’s pretty much expected that Superman and Lois are going to kiss, because they’re supposed to kiss, I still need to see why they’re supposed to kiss. I need the chemistry, the build up, the “yes, kiss, dammit, you’re made for each other!” moment.
I guess I’m just going to have to keep watching my Smallville Blu-Rays for my Lois and Clark fix.
Man of Steel topped the box office this weekend. What did you think of it?
June 12, 2013 § 6 Comments
June 10, 2013
I am almost done reading Reflected in You by Sylvia Day, the second novel in the Crossfire series, and am enjoying it just as much as the first book. I am also staying up too late at night reading, but it’s worth it.
I am finalizing the rewrite that I will be taking to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference in Atlanta to pitch to an agent and editor. I am at the point in the novel of the Dark Moment. You’d think by the third rewrite, the dark moment wouldn’t be so hard to handle, but it is. All the layers and inner turmoil and character flaws are in full play. My own personal demons come screaming up from the depths. I hurt as my characters hurt. I want to cry. I am sloshing through the bottle of Vodka at an alarming pace. After this is over, I am watching nothing but comedies for awhile.
In anticipation of the upcoming Man of Steel movie, I have been re-watching my Smallville Blu-Rays. I love Tom Welling and Erica Durance as Clark and Lois. Their early sharp banter is classic playground flirtation:
Clark: “How did you get here?”
Lois: “Feminine charm.”
Lois: “I do have some.”
Clark: “Great job protecting your short supply of it.”
I am interested to see how the newest Kent/Lane chemistry a la Henry Cavill and Amy Adams will work. Their exchange at the end of the Man of Steel trailer at the bottom of this post looks promising.
Are you looking forward to the new Superman movie? Who are your favorite Clark Kent/Lois Lane portrayals?
June 2, 2013 § 4 Comments
Obsessive love: I can relate to that. And, “raw, primal, sheet-clawing” sex—hallelujah!
A lot of people compare Bared to You to Fifty Shades of Grey and there are some similarities, the most obvious being that the guy, Gideon Cross, is extremely rich and powerful. The girl, Eva Tramell, however, while considerably lower on the economic scale, is no babe in the woods. She is smart and takes care of herself, which I love.
The sex scenes are way hot, but do not involve contracts or bondage, which I also love. Both characters have dark pasts, so they are a good match for each other, but also have a lot of barriers and traumatic aftermath to work through. They have their jealousy and possessiveness issues, but it doesn’t get to the point of being threatening or suffocating or controlling, so I am totally okay with that.
Bared to You is tightly written and the characters are grounded in everyday life with real jobs and friends and families. Eva has a loyal yet self-destructive roommate, a stalwart yet lonely father, an anxious and overprotective mother, and an indulgent stepfather.
I read Bared a second time and just started the sequel, Reflected in You. I am so glad these characters and their story continue on.
4 out of 5 stars.
May 27, 2013 § Leave a Comment
On this Memorial Day, I’m taking a breather from my intensive writing schedule to post a long-overdue mini-review of the book Suspect by Robert Crais.
I was drawn to this book for two reasons:
- An LAPD cop survives a shooting that leaves his partner dead, and hunts for the killers while suffering from debilitating PTSD. That makes for some gripping, suspenseful drama.
- Said cop chooses a K-9 dog as his next partner, a military dog also suffering from PTSD, after watching her handler get blown up by an IED in Iraq. That makes for heart wrenching, gripping, suspenseful drama.
Officer Scott James is the tough, stoic, determined protagonist, haunted day and night by the final words uttered by his dying partner. His grief and need for justice propel him through the sleepless nights, the chronic pain, his state of disgrace within his organization, and the apparent lack of leads in the case.
USMC German Shepherd Maggie is a dog with “a problem” as one of the K-9 Platoon trainers points out. She reacts violently to sudden noises, is prone to aggression, and has a limp that Scott desperately tries to hide from the K-9 leader. Scott is instantly drawn to and rescues Maggie, knowing that she needs him, and even more importantly, he needs her.
Of the cast of fun supporting characters surrounding this compelling duo, the most colorful was Dominick Leland, the K-9 Platoon Chief Trainer. It was hard picking my favorite quote from this man, as so many of his rants made me laugh out loud, but here is one that I think really illustrates his particular way with words, his love for the dogs, and his training style when dealing with the problematic Officer James:
“Talk to her, goddamnit! She ain’t a stick of furniture. She is one of God’s creatures, and she will hear you. I see these goddamned people walkin’ dogs, yakking on their phones, makes me wanna kick their sissy asses. What they got a dog for, they want to talk on their phones?”
Reading Maggie’s journey made me remember my pit bull Piper, bless her heart, and really appreciate even more how our every move and every mood means the world to these dogs.
The plot is pretty straightforward and clips along at a nice pace, and then I got to the part where things are heating up I was like “Crap! What’s going on? What’s going to happen next?” I hit this point while I was on my lunch break, and ended up getting back to work late because I couldn’t stop reading.
There is a touch of romance in the book, too, as Officer James struggles with whether he can confide in and trust a female detective on the investigation. I love a little bit of romance in just about everything.
The main love story, however, is between Scott James and Maggie. A man and his dog. What’s not to love about that?
4 out of 5 stars
May 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It got steamy at the latest Hot Tub Reading Party, and not just because of the water. I am polishing the chapters in my novel where the heroine and her guy get a lot closer.
That’s right, I’m talking about explicit sex scenes.
I was nervous for two reasons.
1. Reading sex scenes, that I wrote, no less, out loud to my critique partners is a lot different than me reading them from my computer screen at night, while sipping a glass of wine and listening to After Hours Oasis jazz music.
2. If my critique partners found the scenes a total yawn, well, there goes my romance writing career.
A little more liquor than usual was called for. Especially since Dia said, “Now, we want you to put some emotion, some acting into these scenes. No deadpan reading here.”
Pass the bottle, please.
We got down to business. There was some giggling, some “Aww, yeah” and “slow down, boy!” commentating. My favorite: “Who cares about the shoes? Leave ‘em on! Just do it!”
I took a breath and kept on reciting. It helped that I had my back to my audience, since I was reading from my clipboard resting on the edge of the hot tub.
“You are in your groove.”
“I liked this section a LOT.”
I literally blew kisses to God.
I asked my critiquers if the sex scenes turned them on at all. They laughed and Dia said, “Not with you all sitting here.” Vic said, “Yeah, this is sitting-by-myself-in-a-dark-room material.” I knew what they meant. When I was alone at my kitchen table reviewing the scenes, I frequently had to stop and fan myself. But reading aloud—a little awkward.
One thing they agreed on: the hottest scene was the one where the two characters were “really connecting emotionally, and just let go.”
Which kind of describes what real romance is all about.
May 12, 2013 § 4 Comments
What can you say about mothers? Sometimes they drive you crazy, sometimes they are just plain crazy. Sometimes that craziness makes you laugh, and becomes a moment, or two or three, that you remember lovingly forever.
In honor of Mother’s Day, here are five such moments, courtesy of my mother.
1. I was lamenting to my mom about how four different guys at my job were interested in me, yet none of them were viable candidates. No. 1 was a seriously down-on-himself kind of guy, a guy with lower self esteem at twenty-something than I had had in high school. No. 2 was—to quote Max from Dark Angel— a “playa playa from the Himalayas.” No. 3 had some sort of police record. I don’t know what for, but he was on one of those ankle monitoring programs. And No. 4 was much younger than me, a skinhead looking guy who—and I never told Mom this part— used the term “gang bang” to flirt with me.
Mom said to me, with zero irony and zero sarcasm, “It sounds to me like your best bet is the one with the prior criminal record.”
2. Remember when JLo was dating Puff Daddy? I was talking to my mom on the phone and she said, “Oh, I don’t like that guy Jennifer Lopez is dating. What’s his name? Cream Puff? Pop Corn?”
3. My mom loves rock music, and she really liked Van Halen in their early days, but she hated their cover of Martha & the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street.” She said to me, “I hear their version of that song and it’s enough to make me think that white people have no rhythm.”
4. When my mom was in rehab after her hip surgery, her doctor told her that she was not really allergic to some of the foods that she thought she was, and told her to add those foods back into her diet. After she was home, she called me and said, “I’m taking my doctor’s advice. If I get sick, he’s going to have a very long hate letter coming his way.”
5. My mom and I were walking down the street and some guys in a car drove by yelling, “Hey, baby!” I was fourteen, and developing a little spunk, so I flipped them off.
My mom said, with sincere affection, “Oh, you remind me so much of your father.”
Love you too, Mom.
What are your favorite Mom moments?