Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

News And A Short Hiatus

Remember ol' Gary Gnu from the Great Space Coaster Show? If you don't, that's okay, I'm just old and have obscure taste. LOL Anyway, his tag line was always "There's no gnews like good gnews and I have some good gnews to share. First, the awesomely cool iZombie Lover himself, Jeremy, has a wicked anthology of demented tales called Chatterbox. You should go and check it out immediately.

Second, Samantha Sotto, a really talented new author has her debut novel out entitled Before Ever After. This is a modern fairy tale about a woman who has lost her husband, yet through a stranger who claims to be his grandson, she finds that not everything is what it seems. There is a whole lot more to her husband than she had ever dreamed possible. An intriguing twist on second chances that is sure to keep you enthralled from first page to last. You can check out an exclusive interview with Samantha here at Hollywood Spy.

Finally, I am under deadline to complete a story and so I will not be posting for the next couple of weeks or so. I just don't have the time to devote to blogging right now with this story still unfinished. I will be around here and there, commenting when I can, but I really need the time to finish my baby. I'll have lots of cool things for you all when I get back. :) In the meantime, if you have something you want to share or that you'd like me to announce on here, you can always drop me a line at melbwrites@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for being the best supporters, cheerleaders and blog buddies in the world.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, John Cazale

Today I am taking some time to talk about one of my favorite character actors of all time, John Cazale, on what would have been his 76th birthday. Best known as Fredo, the weak link in the Corleone crime family, John is considered by his colleagues to be one of the greatest actors of his generation. If he had lived, he would be mentioned in the same breath as Pacino, De Niro, Duvall, Hoffman, Hackman and Streep. Pacino has said that "all I ever wanted to do for the rest of my life was act with John. He was my acting partner." High praise indeed.

He only made five films, yet all five were nominated for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Godfather, Part 2, Dog Day Afternoon, The Conversation and The Deer Hunter. John himself was never nominated, though he did receive a Golden Globe nod for his turn as Sal in Dog Day Afternoon. He was recognized for his amazing accomplishments on stage, though, receiving OBIE awards for his performances in The Indian Wants The Bronx and Line. How's this for awesome, he appears through archival footage in The Godfather, Part III and this, too was nominated for Best Picture.

John had the kind of intensity that gets into your bones, drawing you unerringly into his character. You hate the person he's playing, he's weak and broken. Who wants to be the clown, the loser, the guy who falls apart? But he had a way of seeing inside those people, of finding their pain and bringing it to the surface. You despise Fredo and yet, you understand him. He's not the man he imagined himself to be. He never planned on being third best. Or Sal, the guy in fucked up circumstances that just snowball. John was not afraid to tackle these kinds of roles, having a well of compassion for them that showed in his performances. He was so good, he made the actors around him better. Michael Corleone would not be the guy he is without Fredo.

That intensity and cool extended to his personal life as well. Known for being a bit of a Romeo, John always had the luck with the ladies. He met and fell madly in love with Meryl Streep when they worked together in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. He remarked to Pacino that he had "met the greatest actress in the history of the world." And considering her accomplishments, it's safe to say he was right. Meryl, herself, has said that John taught her about acting, to see other "possibilities" within the characters.

Tragically, John succumbed to lung cancer on March 12, 1978. He was just 42 years old. Meryl was by his side right through to the end. He made The Deer Hunter in the last stages of his disease, dying before its release. Because of his illness, he was not able to get the required insurance so Robert De Niro stepped in and paid for him. His star burned brilliantly for the briefest of times and it leaves one with a tremendous sense of what might have been.

Richard Shepherd directed and Brett Ratner produced this incredible documentary short, I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale which was featured at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO last year. It is an in-depth look at Cazale's brief career with lots of amazing interviews and commentary. In a rare moment of disclosure, Meryl opens up at length about John and their time together. It's a unique chance to see some of our greatest actors in another light as they talk about their friend and fellow thespian.

I have the film below in three short parts. If you have the time, please watch. It is well worth the effort. Parts 1 and 3 are here, but Part 2 is linked because for some reason the embed code has been disabled.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Badass Bitches Part Deux

For those of us dying for Haywire to hit the bigs, our appetite for badass bitches will be whetted on August 26 when Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana as an assassin hits theaters. It's going to be one hell of a ride. Check out this wild trailer.

Zoe plays a woman raised to be a contract killer after witnessing the brutal murder of her parents. A common theme, but it's with a chick so I am totally on board. Olivier Megaton directs this Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen co-written slice of late summer awesomeness. And you thought Zoe was badass in Avatar. She whips out the big guns this time. No bows, arrows and giant blue pigeons to get in the way.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's Chimp-sploitation!

This has to be one of my strangest posts yet, but I so could not resist. Since Rise of the Planet of the Apes drops this Friday, I thought I'd take a moment and draw you all back to the 70's for some good old fashioned chimp-sploitation.

Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp was a sort of Get Smart action adventure comedy series centered around a chimpanzee (Lancelot) and his female spy companion, Mata Hairi. They worked for A.P.E. the Agency to Prevent Evil and did constant battle with C.H.U.M.P. the Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan. It ran from 1970 to 1972, a bit before I knew what television was. However, I do remember having the coloring books and the dolls. Courtesy of a relative or my godmother, I can't be sure.

The other members of A.P.E. included Colonel Darwin (the leader) and Bruce (an official courier). Parnelli Smith was their go-to car chimp. Lance and Mata even had a rock band called the Evolution Revolution. Blackie was the drummer and SweetWater Gibbons was on piano. They performed on the Ed Simian Show and their music was intended to be coded messages for A.P.E. agents. Groovy! I've often wondered if one these senseless little pop tartlets is perhaps the CIA equivalent.

Now for the forces of darkness. C.H.U.M.P. consisted of seven evil masterminds Baron von Butcher, Dragon Lady, Creto, Wang Fu, the Duchess, Ali Assa Seen and Dr. Strangemind.

Some interesting factoids:

*Bernie Kopell, best remembered as the doctor from Love Boat voiced Baron and Wang Fu.

*The show was created by Stan Burns and Mike Marmer who wrote for The Carol Burnett Show.

*They released an Evolution Revolution album on ABC/Dunhill Records with the singles Sha La Love You, Day Dreams, Magic Feeling and Blind Date.

*There was also a mysterious orangutan that never had a name, but Lance referred to him as "the weirdo."

So, are you ready for some Chimp-sploitation? I knew you were. Without further ado, here is Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp as well as a performance of The Evolution Revolution. Dig those funky threads! It's no wonder the apes take over the planet.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Don't Be Stingy With The Syrup

One of my favorite foods on this planet is pancakes. To me there is nothing like those golden delicious disks coated in butter and syrup. I can't eat them very often, so when I do, they had better be good. No mediocre flapjacks for this woman or there will be consequences. However, if there is one thing I absolutely hate even above bad pancakes it's not having enough syrup. You see, I need to have what I call Perfect Syrup to Pancake ratio when I eat. Go ahead and laugh, my family has guffawed for years over this lunatic quirk of mine.

Anyway, in order to achieve said ratio, the amount of syrup should be proportionate to the size and thickness of the pancake as well as what the pancake is made of i.e. buttermilk, buckwheat...Are you all on the floor gasping with laughter, yet? Go ahead, I'll wait.

Done? Okay.

To continue, the syrup should coat the pancake generously, nearly drowning it, but not turning it into mush. This requires a lot of syrup and as I have discovered, there are a lot of places out there that hoard syrup and dole it out like food rations in these teeny tiny containers.

For example, the restaurant chain Cracker Barrel brings you the syrup in these heated little vials. Vials, hah, that's actually being generous. These little things are so small the syrup is measured in cc's like a drug. Come on, is it maple syrup or penicillin? I'm telling you, you need an eyedropper when you eat the pancakes there.

You would think that a restaurant calling itself a "house" of pancakes would know better. Wrong! At this place the syrup comes in little ceramic teaspoon-sized bowls. I was served three giant pancakes and naturally asked for more syrup. The waitress brought me one more mini-bowl. Really? I had to ask three times before she finally brought out an entire little tray of the thimbles. Damn, just bring me the whole bottle next time and save yourself the trouble.

I went to an All You Can Eat Pancake breakfast at a church. Let me tell you, these people were so stingy that they had a breakfast condiment table set up like we were refugees. Here one would hold out their plate of pancakes and receive precisely 1 pat of butter and 1 mini ladle-full of syrup. Excuse me? I asked for more and stood there waiting for the lady manning the station like Oliver the orphan. She kept giving me the Evil Eye like I was asking her to give me an extra Communion Host. Then give me the ladle, Sister Syrup Nazi and let me do it.

It's syrup people, not liquid gold. I met a guy for a breakfast date and we both ordered pancakes. Fortunately, this place put out mini pitchers of the stuff. Of course, I told him he had to get the waitress to bring him his own as I would be needing all of it. He was not amused and I never saw him again. I think I must be the only woman not to get a second date because of syrup.

I have finally been driven to smuggling in my own. I look like an ass, but I don't care. I have the syrup to myself and don't have to ask for any.

What about you all out there? Any crazy food things? Do you think I'm a big weirdo for this?