Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Hybrid

Damon wants Elena to cool it.
Unfortunately due to severe discomfort our Vampire Diaries Post Mortem for episode 3x02: Hybrid is very late.  So late in fact that I am posting it just hours before episode 3x03 airs.  For that, please accept my most humble apologies.

While we're on the subject.  This week's post mortem will be a down and dirty quick review for three reasons:

  • Time constraints
  • TSTL Moments
  • Epic Last Scenes

Klaus and Stefan's Not So Excellent Hybrid Adventure

So Klaus wants to make a Hybrid army and he's not confiding all in his new BFF Stefan.   As big of a nutball as I think Klaus is, that makes me laugh.  For once, the big evil villain isn't caring and sharing all his plans.  He doesn't trust Stefan yet (and he's right not too).  In other news, gotta love the graveyard humor of Klaus looking at all his dead pseudo-hybrids and sulking that it wasn't working.  He did the sacrifice, did everything he was supposed to do and he can't make any new 'comrades.'    They told him it would.

Who are they?

It's those tiny little throwaway lines that get me, every time.

Oh and I'm sure Elena being not so dead is why Klaus can't make hybrids and kudos to Damon for wanting Elena to stay off Klaus' radar.  Too bad Elena took a big ol' swallow of stupid this season.

Stefan saves Damon this time around and the brothers share a sweet little moment before Damon hares off to get Elena the hell out of there.

Jeremy and Matt's Two and a Half Sense

Hey Matt, Jeremy is seeing your dead sister.  Hey Jeremy, you died, but your girlfriend the witch brought you back and you're seeing your dead exes and you don't tell her because:

"We don't need a witch, okay there's examples all over the Internet."  - Jeremy Gilbert

Dear Jeremy,

Unless you are vetting your resources correctly, your Internet solutions are questionable at best.  If you plan to graduate before you die again, please work on your research skills.

Vicki wants to come back, Anna doesn't want Jeremy to help her.  Hey Jer,  Anna was never quite the self-involved narcisstic loser that Vicki was, so bets on Anna.

Alaric and Elena Walking in the Woods

"How do you feel about a little hike to the smokey mountains?" - Elena to Alaric
"You want to hunt down a pack of werewolves on a full moon?" - Alaric to Elena
"We'll be out of there before the moon is 'full'.  If you don't come with me, I'm going by myself." - Elena

Dear Elena,

You are human. You are fragile. You can die really easily. I know you think that going into houses loaded with vampires and mountains full of werewolves is heroic, but no…it's just stupid.   

P.S.  Guilting Alaric into going with you may have sounded like a great idea in your head, giving the man a 'cause' and all that…but really? 

Now, I'd give Alaric a TSTL this time around EXCEPT, he did the most awesome of clueing Damon into Elena's little Girl Scout romp through the woods which lead to my FAVORITE scene of the night. 

Okay, second favorite which was Damon tossing Elena's happy ass in the water and calling her on her crap.  I love that Alaric tipped Damon off and that he had no problem with Damon taking the hard line with Elena.  And later, in the woods, when Elena came face to face with the werewolf, Damon saved her ass.


At considerable risk to his own.   One must wonder how thick Elena has to be to realize that Damon has put his undead life on the line for her repeatedly.  But more on this in just a minute.

Tyler Lockwood Takes Mommy to School

Turns out Tyler has grown up, a lot since last season, particularly where his friends are concerned.  Matt and Tyler are looking for a way to bridge the gap and Tyler can taste vervaine.  It takes him all of thirty seconds to put one and two together to figure out that Mama Lockwood did something bad with Caroline.

He confronts his mother, drags her to the tomb, locks her in the cell and makes her spend the night watching him transform into a werewolf.  Nothing says Monster Loving like baying at the moon.  You go Tyler.  

Now, Mrs. Lockwood? Where is Caroline?

Welcome HRG to Mystic Falls

I was really excited when I heard that Jack Coleman was going to be guesting on The Vampire Diaries and I rather hoped he would be related to Caroline.  Well, not only is Coleman the "Bill,"  that Carol Lockwood turned her vampire problem over too, he's also Caroline's oft-mentioned, but never seen daddy.  Turns out Bill Forbes, like all his contemporaries, was brought up the vampire hating way and his little girl's fate is in his hands.

She Finally Chose Damon, First

And all of this brings us to the last few moments of the episode, the killer scene that brought all of it together and almost redeemed those TSTL moments.  The moment when Damon came into Elena's bedroom and demanded that she tell him why after months of insisting that they chase Stefan, throwing her own life on the line and taking fooling risks, why did she urge them out of the mountains?

Her answer:  Damon.   To keep him safe.

She almost lost him once to a werewolf bite and finally, finally she admits she is not willing to do so.  Damon smiled and told her to remember this when they did get Stefan back (and they will),  he wants her to remember every single one of these feelings.   

Then he walked out, leaving a bemused Alaric to ask Elena if she has any idea what she's doing.

She says no, but then we knew that.

Elena chose Damon over Stefan for the first time.

And it was about damn time too.

What was your favorite moment?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paperback Heroes: The Thinker

The scientist, the professor, the doctor; he is the cool and logical thinker who will find a rational solution to the problem. He's not necessarily a man of action, but don't for a moment think he can't act when he has to. The scientist relies on his logic, the facts and his problem solving skills to get him out of trouble. He's not an action hero and he probably doesn't carry a gun all the time, but don't count him out when trouble comes looking for him.

Romantic Hero: The Thinker

As a romantic hero, the scientist (think Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. rather than Indiana) is the thinker. He's the puzzle solver. In modern literature he is best represented by Dr. Robert Langdon in the Dan Brown books Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code and the upcoming The Lost Symbol. Brown's Langdon is not an action hero, he doesn't use guns, halo jump out of airplanes and he isn't a master of fighting in hand-to-hand combat.

Robert Langdon is a brilliant detective of symbology. He deduces meanings, sees patterns and solves mysteries. In the Tom Clancy novels, President Jack Ryan fits the mould of romantic hero as a thinker because of his skill in ferreting out intelligence, although his military background makes him ideal for the law-enforcement or soldier archetype.

In Lincoln Child's Utopia, the romantic hero is Dr. Andrew Warne, a brilliant engineer. In Kelley Armstrong's Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic, the romantic hero is Lucas Cortez, an attorney and research sorcerer. He is much more a thinker than an action hero, using his brains more than his brawn.

Gray Grantham from The Pelican Brief is a little cross-over, as a writer, but he's an investigative journalist who uses his mind rather than a gun and action to get to the bottom of a problem.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is the Devil in the Details or is it the Bath Water?

Courting Demons
Morning Daily Dosers, we have a bit of treat for you today!  Welcome guest blogger Kerri Nelson who is dropping by to chat up her new release Courting Demons and much more.  The Daily Dose is delighted to host Kerri on her blog tour and I hope you'll find her as enchanting as I do and don't miss the giveaway opportunities at the end of the blog!

Is the Devil in the Details?

This book came to me one day while I was lounging in the bathtub.  I stared up at the ceiling and thought “what if I there was a court that ruled over demons and what if I held just such a court in my attic?”  And that’s how the concept for my latest release, Courting Demons, was born.  A water birth right there in my bathtub on a pure whim. 

Then, of course, I just so happened to find this website online called TextNovel and they had a contest where you could post small excerpts of your book (easily digestible amounts that could be ‘texted’) and you could receive valuable feedback from subscribers.  Free and helpful feedback from both readers and your peers in the industry—plus a chance to win—how could I say no? 

This seemed like a great idea.  I’d just post some sample (first draft) snippets from my new idea and see what folks had to say about it.  A few months later, I was wrapped up in a nearly year-long contest.  I had to post a certain number of words by a certain date and the general public could follow my novel along and comment and vote on which novels they liked best (hopefully mine).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Save the Date: Author Moments

“Britain’s Kindest Kid”, Harry Moseley, is more than a nice kid with a big heart; he’s a real life hero. An eleven-year old hero with an inoperable brain tumor who has raised over £500,000.00 for Cancer Research UK.
Joining Harry in his quest for research funds, are an amazing group of 18 romance writers, along with a wonderful cover artist/graphic designer, who have come together to support Harry, and his charity: Cancer Research UK.
“Author Moments” is a collection of essays written by these talented writers. As a bonus, each author has included an excerpt from one of their current, or upcoming, releases.
From the New York Times bestselling lists to the writer who is just beginning their quest, you will find this anthology filled with generous writing advice and anecdotes. It won’t matter where you are on your road to publication or even in your life journey, Author Moments will fill you with love, laughter and a renewed hope that all things are possible when you care enough to come together and make a difference.  Like real life hero, Harry Moseley.
The Authors Helping Harry invite you to pitch in and help Harry find a cure simply by purchasing a copy of this wonderful anthology.
Scheduled to release Wednesday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The Birthday

It's back! It's back! It's back!  Along with cooler temperatures (thank you Mother Nature), Pumpkin Spice Latte (thank you Starbuck's),  The Vampire Diaries returned last night to kick off the fall season (thank you The CW, Kevin Williamson and more).

So where does one begin in an hour chock full of Easter eggs for the fans, bread crumbs for the season and two, count them two, smoking hot moments that had me backing up to watch them again and again?

It's a Cold, Cruel Morning

It's Elena's 18th birthday and as with every other major event in Mystic Falls that means it's time for a party.  Elena wants nothing to do with a big party, particularly because she is worried about Stefan, grieving for Jenna and coping with the idea that 'life goes on.'   Don't worry, Caroline Forbes, master planner, has already sunk her teeth into the planning of a shindig to blow the roof off the Salvatore house.   Gotta love that she talked Damon into letting the entire high school keg it up there. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

!0 Things I Love About You...Thor


Thor released on DVD yesterday and I downloaded the high definition copy from iTunes.  Thor is one of those rare movies that I can watch over and over and over again.  Likely it has something to do with the hot guy, the lickable abs, the epic storyline and the fact that it's an Avengers movie and I am crazy about the Avengers.

But for fun, I thought I would list my ten favorite things that I love about the movie Thor.  Feel free to mention your favorites too!

Lickable Abs

Yep, that's number ten.  The one scene in the film that we get to see Thor shirtless earned an unmitigated 'wow' from my pre-teen mini me and a fan wave from me.  Chris Hemsworth's workout program is to be applauded, he cut a fine figure without being over muscled.  So yes, definitely the lickable abs.

Thor's Smile

Going back to Chris Hemsworth again because the actor delivered a playful smile in several situations from the fight with the Frost Giants ('Run home little princess') to Darcy wanting to put him on Facebook and her telling him to smile.  It was adorable and sexy all rolled into one.

Thor's Journey

The hero's journey is never an easy one.  Kenneth Brannagh's film tackled the unattractive aspects of the thunder god, including his vainglorious battle lust and hot temper.  When he called his father a fool and an old man, I knew it wouldn't go well for him and nobody grounds a god like Odin, not only did he give Thor a time out from his powers, he drop kicked him to the mortal realm where...

Thor Gets a Beat Down

Jane hits Thor not once, but twice with her van.  He gets tasered by Darcy and later sedated at the hospital after pitching a fit and two of these events are preceded by 'How dare you...'  Zap.   Damn funny.  The fifth beat down, however, was the poignant one that Thor took in his magnificent abs...when he tried to lift his hammer and found that he, too, was still denied.

Jane and Thor Connect

Natalie Portman is a terrific actress and I truly believe she has no small roles, but her curiosity combined with her scientific mind made her the perfect leading lady for the thunder rolled down under.  Her wonder never seemed false nor did her healthy cynicism that would be blown away when...

Thor's Sacrifice

Yes, this takes us back to the initial concept of the hero's journey, but when Loki sends the Destroyer to Earth it is a far humbler Thor that faces it down, willing to take any consequence, even death, if it will protect the mortals and his companions.  Odin apparently thought so too, because as Thor lay dying in Jane's arms, the hammer restored him.  Speaking of his companions....

Thor's Companions

The Lady Sif (Jaime Alexander) and the Warriors Three could have been so damn cheesy, but they weren't.  One of the heart breaking things about Loki's (Tom Hiddleston)  betrayal is seeing how well the six of them did together in the fight on the Frost Giant's world. 

Brother versus Brother

The war between brothers is as old as the mythologies they represent.  But it was hard to hate Loki and it was easy to understand why Thor mourned the loss of his brother, not only for his death (although we know Loki isn't dead), but also the brother he loved to go into battle with.  Thor had to learn a lot of hard lessons, but he came out the other side a stronger god and man.

The Father Figures

The film actually relied on two very strong men as the central father figures,  Odin the All Father (Anthony Hopkins)  and Eric Selvig (Stellan Skaarsgard) with Heimdall (Idris Elba) providing a supporting father figure.  It is Odin who must instruct his sons and whose mistakes are reflected in the challenges his boys must face.  Eric, by contrast, looks after Jane because he was close with her father, but he too is trying to prevent her from making a mistake.  Heimdall, who sees and knows everything, provides tacit approval for both Thor's venture to the Frost Giants and later the companions search for Thor.

Mixing Mythologies

Marvel's Thor has always relied on the Norse pantheon for storytelling purposes and Kenneth Brannagh and the script writers developed a sumptuous film that married myth to the modern and left this viewer eager for more. 

I know Thor will be returning in The Avengers in 2012 and there is a proposed Thor 2 in 2013.   I for one cannot wait for the thunder god's return.

How about you?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And....we're back...

Mark your calendars! September 15!
After a very busy summer during which I had to take an unplanned and unexpected hiatus from writing the Daily Dose, it's September and we're back!  Keep an eye on that header up there, we will be doing a little redecorating as we go into the autumn.

Summer in Texas is never very pleasant and this summer with over 60+ days of 100+ weather, it was particularly unpleasant.  However, I did get to spend five great days in New York City in late June attending the Romance Writers of America National Conference with two of the greatest critique partners and friends, and so many other awesome writers that I managed to see and so many more that were near misses.  But New York was fabulous, from the city, to the weather to the great company and conference.

Scorching July

Back in Texas, I came home to dive into my daughter's frenetic dance schedule (she took six classes), two contract jobs and an intense desire to write.  I discovered that if I carried my laptop out early in the morning before the weather went to hell or at least descended further, I could get a lot done. I am proud to say I accomplished three full and complete works:

  • Romantic Suspense (55K) - Which will need to be expanded for the updated requirements at Harlequin Romantic Suspense
  • Superhero Novella (25K) - An unexpectedly dark tale with an alpha hero and that's off and submitted to Samhain so keep your fingers crossed
  • Paranormal/Supernatural Western (82K) - This labor of love was intended to be a novella (yes, novella!), but it took on a life of its own and carried me back to the 1850s in Texas, where the men were hot, the trails were long and you needed a horse to get from point A to point B most of the time.  This will release November 1 in eBook and in print for the spring, so keep your eyes peeled.

So that was my July and August. About mid-August I got laid off from the day jobs, which is a bit of a blessing in disguise. I am getting my writing reorganized and really focusing.  September has one novella already up and ready for me to write with the third and final Chance Monroe (Prime Evil and Seismic Evil) waiting in the wings. I hope to have Buried Evil finished and submitted for a spring release, as always, I'll keep you posted!

Make Way for Autumn

Back here at the Daily Dose, I've got lots to chat about, great guests and as always, never forget that as we close in on the winter months (please let us be closing in on them) we will be hosting our annual Daily Dose Giveaway with great books, giftcards and other presents for the people you love!  Oh and don't miss me over at every Wednesday as I discuss, debate and poke at paranormal television great and small.

In the meanwhile, I will leave you with these gorgeous The Vampire Diaries episode images as we begin the 14 day countdown to the return of season three.  Be sure to drop a comment and let me know how your summer was!  I've missed you all!

Why doesn't Elena unwrap Damon...

Really glad Alaric is sticking around
And in the romance I am so ready for category...