Sunday, October 30, 2011

Once Upon a Time with Maleficent

Last week a new series debuted on Sunday night entitled Once Upon a Time.  It's a modern day fable that addresses what would happen to the fairy tale characters if they were cursed into our world and robbed of their identities.  There's something deliciously medieval and modern in the way the story was told through flashbacks to the land of fairy tales intercut with scenes from 'today's' Storybrooke and a bounty hunter named Emma who just might be the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming.

Yes, this is not our mother's fairy tale and tonight's episode features one of my favorite actresses in my favorite role: Maleficent.

Don't miss it!  Once Upon a Time airs on ABC at 8/7 C.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Ghost World

Jeremy and Elena make hard decisions
It's amazing how much The Vampire Diaries relies on the "Previously on The Vampire Diaries..." prologue of every episode to catch viewers up.  Third season has barely slowed down to catch its breath and Ghost World was no exception to that rule.  From the moment Jeremy saw Anna and Vicki at the end of season two's finale, the fans have been wondering what's going on.

Last week, in it Smells Like Teen Spirit Vicki's ulterior motives were revealed.  She was working for the original witch, the witch who cursed Klaus and apparently, not even death is enough to turn this witch's vengeance down.  She's working from the other side to face down the Original family and you know, The Vampire Diaries has proven time and again that vampires and witches just don't mix.

Ghost World

The ghosts are hopping in Mystic Falls and Alaric sums it up nicely when he warns Elena that with all the ungrateful dead they know, it might be a good plan to leave the ghosts alone.  But thanks to the Original Witch helping to push Vicki to the other side and Bonnie widening the door to shove her back, the door is now wedged open and the restless dead are on the prowl.  In short summary we have:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 Things I Love About...Cowboys

Cowboys are hot, rugged and sexy.  The image of the cowboy dates back to before our great-grandparents were born when nickel novels shared the mad adventures of cowboys like Wild 'Bill' Hickok and "Buffalo Bill" Cody and more.  These pulp fiction novels were wildly popular in the 'civilized' eastern states because it seemed difficult to imagine the rugged survivalists who lived off the back of their horses, wrangling cattle, wearing guns on their hips and meeting life on their terms.

That fascination has hardly changed today where the cowboy is as popular with readers as he is with writers. I grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Wild Wild West, The Rifleman, Big Valley and more.  These shows all featured good looking cowboys doing what needed to be done.

Is it any wonder that my most recent release relishes life with stetson wearing cowboys (and girls) in the 1850s Texas west?  The untamed land? The unforgiving weather? And a whole new world of possibilities are waiting for cowboys to explore.  So in no short order, here are my top ten things that I love about ... cowboys.  Feel free to post your own thoughts and reasons.  I'll draw one or two winners from the comments to get a free copy of Marshal of Hel Dorado.

It's X-Men meets Young Guns.

10 Things I Love About...Cowboys

  1. Cowboys aren't afraid to get down and dirty whether it's rescuing their woman or repairing a fence. 
  2. Cowboys don't need a lot of words to get their message across.
  3. Cowboys aren't afraid of a hard day's work or providing for their family no matter what the personal cost is.
  4. When a cowboy falls off a horse, he gets right back up again.
  5. Cowboys are less worried about looking good, and focus on being good at what they do.
  6. Cowboys love their horses and take the time to care for their animals.
  7. Cowboys respect their mamas, most of the time and even the worst of the worst will take his hat off in a church.
  8. Hard work builds hard bodies, most cowboys look great shirtless.
  9. When a cowboy grins, the crinkles at the corners of his eyes will tug at your heart.
  10. When meeting a lady, they touch the brim of their hat (or take it off), smile and say ma'am.  Politeness is ingrained in most cowboys. 
What do you love about cowboys?  I'll draw winners sometime next week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No Rest for the Wicked - Get Your Copy of Spirited Today

Order Today
Haunted houses. Haunted hearts.

And a past that refuses to die.

Leap Books summoned best-selling paranormal and dreadfully talented debut authors to conjure up Spirited, a haunting collection of 13 tales guaranteed to keep you up all night.

Get entombed in stories of Egyptian treasures, shudder at tales of malevolent spirits, and become enthralled with the adventures of witch-hunters, ghost seekers, and lost souls. From steampunk to cyberpunk, our collection spans past, present, and future hauntings. One story actually leaps off the page with 3-D augmented reality.

With this celebration of things that go bump in the night, Spirited authors hope to slay the specter of illiteracy that plague our youth. All proceeds from Spirited will be donated to 826 National, a non-profit organization that offers free after-school tutoring, workshops, and in-school programs because "strong writing skills are fundamental to future success."

Go ahead. Turn the page if you dare. We won’t tell if you sleep with the light on. Because after all, there’s no rest for the wicked.

Anthology edited by Kat O'Shea

Contributing authors include: Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Jill Williamson, Linda Joy Singleton, Heather Kenealy, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Dawn Dalton, Carmen Tudor, John W. Otte, Halli Dee Lilburn, and Mark Finnemore

Behind Spirited

Leap Books has summoned some big names in fiction to help put together 13 ghostly stories to support a good cause. Spirited arrives this October as an ebook, with all proceeds to be donated to 826 National.

The 13 authors featured in the anthology, from best-sellers to wickedly talented debuts, include Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Linda Joy Singleton, Jill Williamson, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Dawn Dalton, and others.

The print edition (via Leap Books only) is set for March 28, 2012.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Release Day Sandy Williams!

Get Yours Today
Happy release day to my friend and fellow chapter mate Sandy Williams.  I am so tickled for her and this book is one you shouldn't miss.  It has hot days, Texas cities, beautiful fae and kick ass action with a heroine to root for.  So check out her cover and her blurb and grab your copy today!

About Shadow Reader

A Houston college student, McKenzie Lewis can track fae by reading the shadows they leave behind. For years she has been working for the fae King, tracking rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn't her only secret. She's in love with Kyol, the King's sword-master-but human and fae relationships are forbidden. When McKenzie is captured by Aren, the fierce rebel leader, she learns that not everything is as she thought. And McKenzie must decide who to trust and where she stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

Keep up with author Sandy Williams via her website.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Smells Like Teen Spirit

Stefan won't leave her alone
Hard to believe that in story time it's just been a year since Elena met the Salvatores for the first time.  It's been a hell of a year with something like fifty episodes of danger, action, adventure, love, passion, loss and mayhem.

And vampires and witches and werewolves, oh my.  Smells Like Teen Spirit is hardly a departure for the series that takes the action and keeps ratcheting it up until sitting back in your seat is damn near impossible.

The episode opens at 5:15 in the morning with Elena turning off her alarm clock, then it's off for some Buffy the Vampire Slaying lessons with Alaric.  I love that she is not a natural.  Alaric tells her she has to build up her upper body strength to do it, but reminds her that she got out of bed this morning, she is putting one foot in front of the other and that makes her one of the strongest people he knows.

Meanwhile back at the Salvatore mansion, Damon has to step over the corpses to come down the stairs.  The boys also have a new houseguest as Rebecca moves herself in.  Seems like Klaus left his baby sister behind when he skedaddled.  Rebecca also enrolls in Mystic Falls High and has her sights set firmly on Tyler, much to Caroline's chagrin.  Seems like she wants her Stefan back, but she doesn't like the dark, emotionless Stefan either.

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The Reckoning


Vampire Diaries Post Mortem:  The Reckoning

You know, when you're just five episodes into a season and you get a title like this, you just know it's going to be a game changer.  In all fairness, The Vampire Diaries does very little that isn't game changing, even their 'slow' episodes are not slow.  But make no mistake, The Reckoning was anything BUT slow.

Senior Prank Night

Lest we forget against the backdrop of epic battles, hybrids, bloodsuckers and unrequited love, a good chunk of our main characters are in high school and it's time to head back for senior year.  Caroline's inner cheerleader is determined to make the best of it by having the best senior experiences ever, starting with Senior Prank Night.  

As a total aside, Caroline Forbes has to be one of the best characters ever.  Her control-freak narcissim from the first season may have been brittle and catty, but that deep control is a force of nature and serves her well as both vampire, friend and girlfriend. (Dear Tyler please don't screw this up).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Disturbing Behavior

Damon gets a bad rap

We're back in Mystic Falls and Damon is hovering around Elena.  It's actually rather cute, Elena's making chili from her family recipe and Damon is giving her crap that he's had the Gilbert family recipe.  It wasn't that good.  He's bored by the idea of a Founder's event because he knows it's just an excuse for the council to get together.  He's also concerned about Elena, he's waiting for her to break after Stefan's harsh words in the last episode. 

Alaric, Bonnie and Caroline are all concerned about the obvious affection building between the two.  After all, it used to just be Damon pursuing Elena, but Elena appears to be reciprocating and Caroline doesn't think she should.  To be fair, Caroline's experiences with Damon in first season were not good and she's definitely justified in her opinion.

The Big Bad Witch

Gloria is stymied without Rebecca's necklace, so she is casting spells to locate it. One spell causes the necklace to burn Elena badly.  Bonnie and Caroline are there to help.  Later Gloria grabs Stefan and tortures him, using his blood to find the answers.  She knows Stefan knows.

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The End of the Affair

Rebecca and Stefan circa 1920

Here we go, it's a mad race of recapping, dissecting and debating and we have a lot to talk about.  So hang in there with me, I've had all these thoughts in my head colliding while writing, while editing, while trying to go to sleep at night and I apologize for the delays.

Nobody Does It Better

The End of the Affair was all about the flashback and no one does it better than The Vampire Diaries.   While I admit to finding Klaus tiresome, Joseph Morgan does a great job of getting me engaged in the character during this episode.  We head back to the 1920s in Chicago where a dapper, tuxedoed Stefan and Klaus are living it up in a speak easy.  It seems that Klaus and Stefan had a history long before Klaus made an appearance in Mystic Falls and sixty years after his turn, Stefan's still a ripper.  A violent killer who enjoys documenting the names of all his kills, which thanks to Damon taking her to Stefan's old apartment, she gets a first hand look at the endless list of names written on the wall.

Oh, and note to the producers, why didn't Klaus 'hear' Elena in that closet? She was breathing pretty hard and I am sure her heartbeat was racing.  It was a great tense moment where Stefan had to get Klaus out of there without revealing Elena's presence, but I digress.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Once a Marine, Always a Model?

The lovely and brilliant Candace Havens has a new book releasing today and I can't wait to get my hands on it.  Just check out the cover and blurb below and then grab your copy.  The great thing about Candy's books is they are warm, sexy, sensuous and fun.  Talk about sweet candy filling in a hot marine wrapper. Oh, and did I mention the cover is amazing?

Order Now!
Head over to Candy's website to check out her latest news and releases!  I should take a moment to mention that I'll be adding an autographed copy of this beauty to our annual Daily Dose Holiday Giveaway which kicks off after Thanksgiving.

Don't forget to pet the picture, he's beautiful.

Monday, October 17, 2011

10 Things I Love About ... The Avengers

A week ago, I posted a copy of The Avengers trailer. The film opens May 4, 2012 and I am seriously pumped. The trailer offers up a hearty dish of all the things I am excited about, so I thought I would go ahead and share those here. Here's the down and dirty top ten things I love about The Avengers. Don't be shy, post your thoughts and one lucky commentator will be entered to win the Avengers film of their choice. See the bottom of the list for your choices.