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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year And My Resolutions

It's the last day of the year and I am stunned at how quickly the time has gone. Can't believe we're at 2012, the Mayan apocalypse if you believe that stuff. I don't. After the craptacular way 2011 started and ended for me, I have to believe that 2012 is going rock. I've made some resolutions to help me get my act together this new year.

1. Get healthy I know I resolve to lose weight, etc, every year, but the way my health has been of late, I really need to get on track. I'm sufficiently scared to do this. Plus, I will be standing up in November to a wedding on the Maya Riviera and I want to look and feel my best.

2. New job. I really, really need some full time work. This hustling with freelance and no insurance is killing me.

3. Get my writing organized and get out those two novels that have been gathering serious dust in the back of my desk. I want them published and am determined to see this happened.

There are only three, but these are going to be tough and I feel that if I can accomplish them, then my 2012 will be epic.

I have gotten so much wonderful, amazing support and words of encouragement from all of you out there, it has really humbled and stunned me. I think you all are the best blog buddies anywhere and I hope that 2012 brings you all good things, huge success and dreams come true. I look forward to spending more time with you next year and hearing all about your joys, your successes and your troubles. You will always have a friend here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reviews And A Re-Cap

Happy Dec. 27th!! Well, are we sufficiently recovered from our food comas and hang-overs? Only 4 more days til the drinking and eating binges on New Year's Eve. Hard to believe there's only 4 more days and 2011 will be a bad memory. I don't know about you all out there, but 2011 was an odd year for me. Bookends with bad shit with lots of good stuff and good friends in between like the cream of an Oreo cookie. Can't wait for it to be over though as this month has sucked out loud.

I just finished two reviews, one for Fright Night 2011, which I liked. I thought Marti Noxon's script really respected the source material. Here's the link. I also saw Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. What an incredible movie! Check it out at The Movie 411

I had an awesome Christmas with my family. We shared lots of laughs, watched our Bulls pull off a HUGE upset of the Los Angeles Lakers AT the Staples Center. Hell to the yeah!! Suck it, Kobe! However, all was not right with my sports world. Our Bears were crushed by our hated rivals, the Green Bay Packers. Ugh! But, my Derrick Rose and my Joakim Noah made me feel better. I hate the Lakers as much as I loathe the Packers.

I got some really wonderful presents that truly were awesome. I got a digital camera from one of my dearest friends, which totally blew my mind. D rocks! He has had my back for nearly twenty years and I wouldn't know what to do without him or my sister from another mother, S, who also happens to be his fiancee. I scored some great DVD's thanks to my mom and my sisters. Sons of Anarchy, Burn Notice, Somewhere in Time, The Wolfman, oh and Fright Night 1985 from the coolest film geek I know, R. In the past he's gotten me titles like Alien from L.A., Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Night of the Lepus, Them!, Plan 9 From Outer Space and The Brain That Wouldn't Die. I worship at his feet, you know.

My puppy Vegas came through her first Christmas with lots of toys. I mean like a dump truck full. LOL Her spoiled? Never! She has this little monkey that she just has been tearing into and carrying it everywhere. It's hilarious.

My fave part was hanging out all day Christmas Eve with my youngest sister. We always have a great time, but this year we wrapped our gifts together and faced the last minute crowds at the store like troopers. We went to midnight mass at our church with my mom and the choir sounded terrific and the whole place looked amazing. They darken the church except for some candles, then process the Baby Jesus to the manger at the start of the service, lighting each section until the altar is lit up at the last. It's really gorgeous.

How was your holiday? I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and All Good Things

To all my Imaginarians out there, Happy Holidays!!! Hope you all are celebrating this season with family, friends and lots of good food and drink. I want to wish you joy, peace and many blessings in the coming year. I appreciate you all for sticking with me and being part of my little corner of the blogosphere. You are the BEST!!

To bring a little smile to your faces, I'm leaving you with the infamous squirrel scene from my favorite holiday movie ever, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I laugh til I cry every time I watch this thing. I know, gosh Mel, you are so juvenile. Well, it's the holidays and I am in high spirits. No, not that kind, either. That comes later, ;).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm So Sexy Yeah!!!

Wowzers!!! Imaginarians I cannot believe this, but yours truly has won Sexiest Female Author at the 2011 Movie 411 Awards. I feel like singing, but I promise not to make your ears bleed and dogs come running. To all of you out there who nominated, then voted for me, you have made my entire month and I cannot even begin to find the right words to express the depth of my gratitude. This has done wonders for my spirit, which has taken a beating these last weeks. I love you so much!!

Congrats to all the winners and nominees. You have made this year's awards just the best.

For the entire list please click here. Go on and congratulate these amazing people.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birthday Bash Winner And Mel's Salacious Adventure

Sorry I've been so quiet this weekend, but I was celebrating away and having a kick ass birthday weekend. Thank you all for sharing your birthday memories. I loved reading them all from the amazing to the not so great. You are brave for sharing them and I appreciate it very much. So all of your names went in to my Atomic Randomizer aka my Bears cap, and the nephew drew out the name of the lucky winner. Without further ado, congratulations to...

L.G. Smith

Yay!!!! L.G., email me at melbwrites@gmail.com and let me know which of my stories you would like. Congratulations!

Now on to my salacious adventure. I went to a very naughty Holiday party this weekend and we had to bring spicy gifts. In order to purchase such titillating items, I went to a rather perverted little store . This place is one block from Chicago's biggest Catholic church. In fact, I could see the cross high atop the steeple as I walked inside. A bit unnerving, if I do say so myself.

Inside, there was the usual assortment of gag gifts like blow job bibs, penis suckers, finger vibes and games like "Who's the Biggest Slut?" "What the Fuck?" bar cards, and Hump: The Game of Erotic Education. There was also bondage accoutrements, handcuffs, whips, riding crops and restraints. What got me as I was looking at the selections, the song "Have A Holly, Jolly Christmas" came on over the loud speaker. Followed by "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." I am never going to listen to these songs in the same way again. This place also had booths. You know the kind, back of the store through the beaded curtain and/or swinging door. A few men came in to partake of the visual aids when they noticed me standing mere feet from their afternoon solo flights. They immediately started shuffling around, trying to find something to do until I left. But, I stayed. They kept looking at me, looking at the swinging doors, looking at me, looking at...You get the picture. Finally I just stared right back at them and said "Go ahead, I'm not an undercover nun or anything." It was a stampede, I tell you. ;)

Oh and in case you were wondering, I bought a riding crop and a sexual positions coupon booklet and some flavored massage oil. It went over very well at the Naughty Holiday Party grab bag.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday !! It's Party Time

Sing it with me now..."Happy Birthday to..." Nah, I won't make you sing. Just come on in and join my party. Alex Cavanaugh kicked things off yesterday. Thank you Captain Ninja Alex! To kick this celebration into high gear today, I've got angels, demons, zombies and of course, werewolves all lurking around the premises so beware. LOL You gotta watch the wolves, they tend to bite and claw when the cake comes out. And what a cake it is. Red Velvet for my sexy self. Delicious, no?
Yes red velvet is my favorite cake and I intend to have a slice. I'm diabetic, but this will have sugar-free frosting, so I'm being partially good. I also intend to raise a pomegranate martini to you, my friends. You are the best! Of course, I'll be careful NOT to end up like this guy below. I did that one year and yeah, it was pretty ugly.
This is a rough birthday this year, but I'm reminded of one my best birthdays ever, which came a few days after the occasion. In 1997, I was spending my first b-day and Christmas without my grandmother and I was depressed as all get out. My birthday came and went and so did Christmas. Then out of the blue, my best friend called from North Carolina. She called me the day before New Years and told me to get my rear in gear and head to O'Hare airport on New Year's Eve. There was a ticket waiting for me. I flew down on New Year's, spent the holiday and the whole following week with her. It was the most incredible gift and we had such a terrific time. I remember that week so well. We hung out, went hiking and just laughed our asses off.

Do you have a favorite birthday memory? A birthday drink/cake? Talk to me. As a gift, I'll select one person to win a download copy of their choice of one of my stories. I'm going to head back into the party and hopefully hook up with a werewolf. ;)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Captain Ninja Alex: The Interview

I am so excited Imaginarians, today I am kicking off my 2 day birthday festivities and I have the coolest ninja ever, the captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh. (Cue the Kermit the Frog yays)He agreed to be interviewed by yours truly and I could not have been more pleased. Though he is our captain and friend, here's a little about Alex you may or may not know and of course I tried to dig out what I could in the interview.

Alex has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. (yay for literacy!)A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Currently he lives in the Carolinas with his wife. And now, the Interview.

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Who are some of your major influences?

I wrote some as a teen, although it was never my goal to be an author. I’ve always enjoyed Terry Brooks, Preston & Child, and Timothy Zahn. When I found the original version of CassaStar a few years ago, I realized that while the storyline sucked the characters were strong. I decided to go for it and rewrote the entire story.

Cassastar and its soon-to-be-released sequel, Cassafire, are space opera adventures. What was the inspiration behind them? Any plans to make them into a trilogy?

They were inspired by hours of TV and movie watching! I dug Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, and I envisioned my own space adventures. Everyone expects a trilogy, but I’m not sure it will happen. I never planned more than one book anyway!

Have you ever thought about writing more hard science based fiction?

My job involves a lot of technical work, and I write to escape. So I doubt I’ll ever dump a lot of hard tech or science into my writing.

What has surprised you most about the business side of writing?

The promotional aspect was more than I expected. And I guess I never really thought about the multitude of strangers who’d read my book. (Yes, when CassaStar shot onto Amazon’s Best Seller chart I rather freaked!)

I know you play guitar and are a film buff, what are some of your other passions and pursuits? Any that might surprise your Ninja Army?

Despite all of my geekness, I’m also a big sports fan. Football, hockey, basketball - I enjoy watching and attending sports games.

If you could take any character from Cassastar or Cassafire out to show off our little rock here, who would it be? Where would you go, what would you do?

No question I’d select Athee! (After all, she looks like Kate Beckinsale.) She has a fascination with fighter planes, so I imagine I’d be showing off some of our best military jets. Actually, Athee is really feisty and tends to get her way, so I’d probably take her wherever she wanted to go. (Did I mention she looks like Kate Beckinsale?)

Music or silence when you’re at your computer, steeped in the world of your creation?

Music! I write while rocking out to the likes of In Flames, Dream Theater, Rush, Shadows Fall, etc. Music sets the mood for me.

What was the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?

Don’t overthink it - just write!

Thanks so much, Melissa - you’re awesome!

Aww... thanks Alex. :) Now for more about Alex and his fantastic stories, you can go to his blog or follow him on Twitter.

CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
6x9 Trade paperback, 246 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9816210-6-7 $15.95
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-3-8 $2.99

CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Available February 28, 2012
6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5 $15.95
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9 $4.99

And for a treat, here is the book trailer for CassaFire, dropping February 28, 2012 from Dancing Lemur Press. I can't wait!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm A Zombie

Check this out...I could totally be in The Walking Dead

Jeremy at iZombie Lover turned me into a zombie. Don't I look grotesquely cool? What an amazing artist he is. Thank you, Jeremy! Now if I could find someone to turn me into a werewolf...;)

By the way, my birthday is Thursday and we will party here like it's the end of the world. LOL To kick things off, Captain Ninja, himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, will be here on Wednesday. Whoo Hoo!!

And let me say that in the midst of my ongoing mess, I am finding incredible inner strength and am seeing how truly super blessed I am in my friends. I could not ask for better people at my six. Now here's a bit of Pat Benatar to fire up your day. She's one of my fave rockers. Don't you just love the late 80's early 90's vibe of this vid? Why it's Attack of the Mullets. Movie script, perhaps? Seriously, though it's simple song with a very strong message. It perfectly describes my new found attitude toward all this crap. May we all have a kickass week!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Puppy Love And Someone To Know

Remember way back in September when I announced that we got a puppy? Well, I have been remiss in putting up some pics of her. So to kick off the week on a good note, here is my cutesy little gal with 'tude, Vegas. As you can see, she's all decked out for Christmas and she has a red and green eye because I can't figure out my camera. LOL Seriously, though, she has one blue eye and one brown. A crazy adorable combo.

And she really loved getting this get up on, too. As seen by her reaction in this pic. She hates getting dressed up as much as I do.

Vegas is a shi tzu and she's about 6 months old. This will be her first Christmas with us and of course, she will spoiled rotten, LOL.

Now, to make up for my lack of You Should Know Friday, I am going to spotlight someone I think you should know today. I want to share with you someone who is smart, cool and just a terrific blogger/friend. Kimberly at Meetings with My Muse is an awesome blogger who supports writers and is an amazing writer herself. She talks about things like how you go about plotting, the passion of writing, books she's reading and all manner of things in between. Her style is engaging and charming, there is no doubt in my mind that you will love her like I do.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Insecure Writers Support Group

It's time once again for a meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group founded by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh, friend to writers and movie geeks everywhere. Here we air our insecurities, fears and other garbage that is just messing with our minds and here is also where we encourage each other, give each other virtual hugs and revel in the craziness we have embarked upon as soon as we said we wanted to be writers.

Today I'm talking about staying true to yourself, writing your story the way you want no matter what is selling, what an agent or publisher thinks is the hot tamale. So many of us just starting out are told if we want to sell, then we must study the markets, see what's hot, read the bestsellers in the genre we write so we have an idea of where to place our stories, how to brand ourselves. That's all well and good, but we also need to remain true to our writer voice, the one that got us into this crazy profession in the first place.

I was told that a first person female werewolf story would never work. It was too niche and too unusual. Female readers would never identify with a monster and well, male readers just don't skew to liking female protagonists. Whatever. I wrote her story anyway. I know a lot of women out there who more than identify with Maxie and I have to say that the men out there who have read her story have no problem whatsoever "liking a female protagonist."

So I want to encourage all of you out there to keep right on with that story you've been told is unsellable or unmarketable for whatever reason. It does not matter one wit how unusual, obscure or different it is. Nor does it matter that the market is "flooded" with vampire stories. Keep going and do not give up. This is your story and it deserves to be told and I believe that it will find its audience.

Now, I encourage you all to click here and visit more of your fellow writers out there. Here's to a productive day and rest of the week for all of us.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Briefcase Encounters: A Review And Some Cool News For A Change

Yes, Imaginarians, I have had a time of it, but while things are still very dark, there is finally a little teeny tiny crack of light. Your continued support means the world to me. I just wanted to make to tell you that I'm not stopping blogging or anything, just have to drop out every now and again to ride the waves. It'll be like that for the foreseeable future, but I've got my head up and I should be okay.

Check this. Oh. My. God. I am Top at The Movie411 Awards for Sexiest Female Author. Nothing like being called sexiest when the world is off-kilter and careening out of control. You can vote here for moi, if you so choose, but most importantly just get your fine selves over there and vote for your fave cinegeeks, cinephiles and fellow wicked awesome bloggers. It's a hellagood party.

Now on to this review. I am very excited Imaginarians, because one of my favorite authors, Alexander Hammond, has just released a new collection of tales. Brief(case) Encounters is a witty, thought-provoking and self-effacing collection of travel stories that will have you howling with laughter and picking your jaw up off the floor all within the space a few paragraphs. Part erudite comedian, part no-holds-barred tour guide with a slice of philosopher and a dash of cultural anthropologist mixed in, Encounters offers a unique take on world travel.

Hammond has a way with language that just leaves me green with envy. His metaphors are true gems that paint an exact picture without ever straying into the realm of cliché or over use. For instance in Thai Tribulations, one of my favorites, he is on board a vomit comet of a boat in very rough seas, hiding up on deck to keep away from the seasick. He writes “Eventually my bladder asserted itself and I made my way to the conveniences, forgetting that I had to pass through the ‘sick room.’ I took one look. It was a Hogarth etching come to life, a vision Gustave Dore would have been proud to have created… People were lying around groaning on the floor beyond caring what they looked like. I regret to confess that natural compassion escaped me in that moment. I immediately forgot my own physical needs and returned to the deck, profoundly grateful I wasn’t one of them.” Oh God, what an image.

This book is chock full of these hilarious, nightmarish anecdotes that leave you with the dichotomy of wanting to never board a plane and yet, also having the unbearable desire to experience this stuff in person to see if it's real. In short, you have to read this book if you get the chance. For more info on Alex and to read about more of his travels, visit his blog. To purchase Brief(Case) Encounters please go here. You can also purchase his wildly brilliant, Tales From The Edge Of Forever here. Both are also available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thank you!!!

I need to really thank all of you for your comments and support over the last couple of days. Things have really come crashing down around here and it helped tremendously to have your wonderful words to read. It is so true when it rains, it pours. To add the cherry on top of my shit sundae, I now have to look for a new place to live. So this means my blogging and comments might get a little scarce. Nothing like unemployment, health scares and no place to live to just make the holidays a happy time. And right before my birthday, too. That's just WRONG. But, as my sister said, in the flood of life, sometimes you just have to decide to float. So, Imaginarians, that is what I am going to do. Float. Hopefully there will be good news to report.

In the mean time, let me finish on high note. The Lovely Blog Award given to me by the amazing Annalisa will be given to these great blogs I just love. They are all very cool people who are a joy to read.

Julie @ Gypsy in My Soul
Eve @ Clueless Eve
Melissa @ Have You Heard
Julie @Empty Nest Insider
Judy @ Judy Croome: Author on the Prowl

Kathy @ Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
Sangu @ Echoes of a Wayward Mind
Arlee Bird @ Wrote By Rote
L.G. @ Bards and Prophets

Go visit these blogs. They are awesome people you should know. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, my friends. Hugs!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When It Rains...Plus An Award to Brighten My Week

When it rains, it really freakin' pours. As if the cold and more dental woes aren't enough, now I'll be off to the doctor. Ugh! I just haven't been feeling well and now I can't put it off anymore. So next week, I'll be spending even more money to go to the doc's. I'm diabetic and should go more often than I do, but I am a big chicken and have no insurance and well, that's no excuse. I have to take better care of myself.

Well, enough on that downer note. Sheesh, I'm sounding like a regular fun sucker, aren't I? Let's get to some good stuff, shall we? Annalisa from the awesomely cool blog, Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep has tapped yours truly with the wonderful One Lovely Blog Award. Check it out...

Isn't it pretty? Her blog is completely amazing so you all should definitely get to know her. Plus, she's just celebrated an important milestone, 100 posts. Yay!! I am honored, Annalisa, thank you very much. You have brightened my week for sure. I will be passing this award on, but since I am about to leave for work, I will have to do that tomorrow or Saturday. Have a great day, everyone.