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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Author Spotlight: Deatri King-Bey

           Happy Hump Day, Imaginarians! We got good things cooking up around here and I couldn't be more excited.  Today I have the amazing author Deatri King-Bey in the house. Whoo Hoo! A developmental editor turned author, Deatri is the author of several novels and short stories that span many genres. You can find out more about her work by clicking here.

 Tell us a little about your latest, The Other Realm. What inspired its creation?

My inspiration for The Other Realm was a Canadian goose. One morning I was sitting in the courtyard outside of my office building when a Canadian goose decided he wanted to visit with me. It scared the heck out of me at first because these are not small birds and if they are nesting nearby, they will attack. I guess the goose decided I wasn’t a threat so hopped himself up on the opposite end of the bench. I jokingly said, “You’d better keep your feathered butt on that end of the bench or there will be a problem.”
That’s when the concept for a plot came to me. What if the goose answered? Next thing you know, I was writing The Other Realm.

You've written historical, contemporary and fantasy. Is there a genre that remains your favorite?

My favorite genre is the same as my favorite color and novel, it depends on the mood I’m in at the time I’m asked. The hardest to write is romance, because there are so many genre rules, but that is also what makes it fun. Making an original story out of a cookie cutter is a challenge.

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

Before I was published, I worked in the industry as a developmental editor, so I was lucky. I of knew what was out there on the traditional publishing side by the time I was published, but I was also more protected. I didn’t realize how many crooks are out there posing as professionals (editors, publishers, graphics artists…) it’s a shame. It’s truly sad.

Who or what inspired you to begin this writer’s journey?

Unlike many authors who have been writing since they were children, I didn’t write. But we are story tellers in my family. While neighborhood children would be watching television or playing ball, we’d be up in my grandmother’s tree making up stories. By the time I grew up, I was also a reader, but never thought of writing a book until I was in the bookstore with my sister, complaining about the numerous bad books I’d purchased lately. My sister said something like, “If you don’t like what’s out there, write what you want to read.” A month or so later, I had written my first novel—Deeper—which was a great story, but horrible writing. Don’t worry, I’ve gotten better.

If you could take one of your main characters out on the town, who would it be and what would you do?

I would take Tahlan, the hero from The Other Realm, out because he doesn’t understand this realm. I could take him just about anywhere and be guaranteed a good time watching him discover this new world (to him).

If we looked at you e-reader or book shelf, what titles would we find?

A few years ago, I went through a print book purge. I gave away over a thousand books (I can’t throw a book away. Even one I don’t like). I own a Kindle and Nook that have way too many books on them, but my physical book shelves hold books I want if the universe goes crazy and we no longer have electricity for my eReaders. Isaac Asimov, Sharon Shinn, Beverly Jenkins, Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb, Mercedes Lackey and several other authors’ titles occupy my limited shelf space.

Do you have a routine when you write such as music, a favorite beverage at your desk?

I write in complete silence. My original draft, I write by hand. I used to type directly into my word processor, but I’m more creative when I write it out first.

What was the best piece of writing advice that you received?

Continue learning the craft and business. The moment you believe there is no room for improvement, you’ve lost your edge.

How do you keep your creative juices flowing?

I often tell people I have multiple personalities, and if I don’t write their stories, they’ll take over. I’m just a conduit to express their stories. Seriously though, just about everything sparks a plot idea for me.

What's next for you?

Mid-July the forth book in my romance series (The Write Brothers) is due for release. I’m so excited. I’ve never written a series before, and I love this family. I’m thankful to all of the readers who have supported me throughout the years.

I also have a sci-fi I’m still bouncing around in my mind before I start writing.
Currently, The Other Realm is available in Kindle format from Amazon and will be coming out in print next month.

Melissa, thank you so much for having me. This was great.
Deatri King-Bey

Friday, June 22, 2012

This One's For The Girls: Happy Birthday, Title IX!

This Saturday, June 23rd, marks a special place in Women's history and my own personal one for that matter. It is the 40th anniversary of the passing of Title IX, which states:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity

This original statute made no specific mention of high school and collegiate athletics, but its impact in this realm has been incalculable. Without it, hundreds of thousands of young female athletes would have had no chance. Before Title IX, women's sports programs were almost non-existent. Only 1 in 27 girls played any kind of varsity sport. Today that ratio is 1 in 2. As of 2008 there are 9,101 women's collegiate athletic teams and more than a million dollars awarded in athletic scholarship money in Division I schools.

It was authored by Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana as an amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965. He stated "While the impact of this amendment would be far-reaching, it is not a panacea. It is, however, an important first step in the effort to provide for the women of America something that is rightfully theirs—an equal chance to attend the schools of their choice, to develop the skills they want, and to apply those skills with the knowledge that they will have a fair chance to secure the jobs of their choice with equal pay for equal work."

Though athletics is where it is best known, Title IX has had a far-reaching impact on education as a whole. Prior to 1972, women earned 7% of the law degrees, 9% of medical degrees and around 13% of all doctorates. Today that stands at 47% of all law degrees and 43% of all medical degrees. Not to mention that half of all doctoral degrees at US colleges and universities are now awarded to women.

In forty years, my sisters have made tremendous strides. Here's to us. Pomegrante martinis all around!

Now, about that personal history I mentioned...

When I was born, Title IX did not exist, but thanks to its passage, I was able to join a softball league formed in my neighborhood. It was one of the first of its kind in Chicago, the East Side Girls Athletic Association. Below is a picture of my first team, the Debs. I was a catcher, a pitcher, right fielder and second baseman.We spawned three softball All Americans and four Illinois First Team High School All Stars. I wasn't one of them, but that's okay. Speaking of...There's yours truly down on the far right, second one in, hand over her face. So for my teammates Michelle, Sharon, Karen, Joy Ann, Nicole, Ginger, Tina, Lisa, Peggy, Chris, Darcy, Debbie and the three whose names escape me, Happy Birthday Title IX!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quick Hits

Yikes! I can't believe its Thursday already. Where has the week gone? I have been up to my eyeballs in work every day so far and I've been going crazy. But, it's far better than no work at all. Anyway, I just wanted make a quick post  and tell you all a few things before I head into the office.

First, my short article on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is live over at Static Multimedia. You can check it out here. You'll note my name isn't there, but that's because there is a formatting glitch so they have added a page for each contributor, which is awesome. They hope to get it fixed soon.  My page is here with all the rest of my articles for them. Anyway, I loved the ALVH novel and can't wait to see the film.

If you love the movie Black Rain, my good friend Brent over at Criminal Movies as written an excellent essay breaking down the film. You can check it out here. He gets some spectacular discussions going over there.

Did anybody catch the "teaser" trailer for Breaking Dawn, Part Who The Hell Cares? Neither did I. You know, I wonder if Marvel is going for the Twilight crowd since Andrew Garfield, the new Spiderman, looks remarkably like R Patts. Maybe it's the hair...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Monday News, Views And Other Things

Greetings Imaginarians, how was your weekend? Mine was good, but too hot and certainly too short, LOL. It seems like I just went to bed and it was Friday night. And now it's Monday morning. Yikes!

On Saturday, I did a Men in Black movie marathon with my oldest nephew. Since there were just the two, we threw in some Resident Evil and visited with Alice for a bit as well. I loved sharing MIB films as my faithful sidekick had never seen any of them before. It was like passing on a beloved treasure. It was awesome seeing him laugh his little butt off at Agents J and K as they took on aliens and saved our planet. Twice.  And when we were done with MIB, he went right to Alice for some Extinction and After Life. Needless to say we are anticipating the newest Resident Evil installment, Retribution.

Thank you all for commenting on my post on Friday. It seems, however, that my selection of Meryl for the actors list was in violation of the rules for the Ten Best Actors blog relay. Busted! I apologize to my friend Matt at FilmMattic, who  kept Meryl on the list. Sorry, Matt. Didn't mean to get you into trouble, too.

So, in compliance I changed my choice to Meryl's one time love, John Cazale, an actor I love, whose stellar career was cut short by cancer. He is best known as Fredo Corleone, but he did five feature films that were all nominated for Best Picture. You can read my update here.

You know someday, there will be no more separate, but equal terms differentiating the sexes. I can't wait to say so long to ridiculous, gender constraining words like actress, waitress, huntress. Screw the esses! Why aren't we simply actors, waiters, hunters? Why the add on? I never understood that and drove my English teachers nuts. Why are there so-called male and female words? Do these words have girls parts and boy  parts I don't know about? Okay, enough with the rant. I'm raising my blood pressure and haven't had my dose of caffeine, yet.

I'm giving a big shout and congrats to Christine Rains, whose story, Red, has been accepted for inclusion in Pill Hill Press' Daily Flash 2013: 365 Days of Flash Fiction. Rock on Christine! Make sure you also check author Gail M. Baugniet's blog. She has a very intriguing interview series called Fast Five in which she talks to some phenomenal writers.

In my own writing news, I should have my Battleship review up later today or tomorrow. I am also putting the finishing touches on  an article about the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opening this Friday. 

Enjoy your Monday, my friends.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

WTF, Mel, You Disappeared Again And A Blog Relay

I said I was back, then I went and left you all again. Jeez, Mel some friend you are. I hope you all haven't checked me off of your buddy lists just yet.

Anyway, my good friend Russell at 1:37 Exactly has passed along the baton to me (I don't have a pass to choice just yet) in a blog relay about the Ten Best Actors. I'm late with this post so I hope he forgives me. But, hey, I am short and chubby so the words relay and race are concepts my brain does not process very well. It's like I'm allergic.

I digress.

So I am to check out the current list of Best All Time Actors chosen by the various participants, then agree to either leave the names as is or elect to remove someone, then add my own choice. Here's the list so far...

My Film Views (created the original list: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Daniel Day-Lewis, Samuel L. Jackson, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall)
The Focused Filmographer (Removed Hopkins, added Christian Bale)
Front Room Cinema (Removed Pacino, added Paul Giammati)
I Love That Film (Removed Jackson, added Edward Norton)
Flixchatter (Removed Giammati, added Gregory Peck)
All Eyes on Screen (Removed Norton, added Tom Hanks)
Time Well Spent (Removed Hoffman, added Leonardo DiCaprio)
The Warning Sign (Removed Hanks, added Paul Newman)
Movies and Songs 365 (Removed Duvall, re-added Anthony Hopkins)
And So It Begins (Removed DiCaprio, added Max von Sydow)
Cinematic Corner (Removed Bale, added Ralph Fiennes)
The Film Emporium (Re-removed Hopkins, added Jack Nicholson)
Duke & the Movies (Removed Oldman, added Humphrey Bogart)
Southern Vision (Removed Fiennes, added Harry Dean Stanton)
Defiant Success (Removed Stanton, added Jack Lemmon)
Cinematic Paradox (Removed von Sydow, re-added Ralph Fiennes)
Encore’s World of TV & Film (Removed Peck, added Richard Burton)
Okinawa Assault (Removed Lemmon, added Bruce Greenwood)
Amiresque (Removed Greenwood, added Peter Sellers)
Flickers (Removed Chaplin, added Jeff Bridges)
Aziza’s Picks (Removed Sellers, re-added Gary Oldman)
…let’s be splendid about this… (Removed Burton, added James Stewart)
Being Norma Jeane (Removed Bridges, added Johnny Depp)
U, Me, and Films (Re-removed Fiennes, re-added Tom Hanks)
Eternity of Dream (Re-removed Hanks, re-added Leonardo DiCaprio)
Lime Reviews and Strawberry Confessions (Re-removed Oldman, added Amitabh Bachchan)
Surrender to the Void (Removed Bachchan, added Gene Hackman)
Taste of Cinema (Removed Depp, added Marcello Mastroianni)
1001 Plus (Removed Brando, added Cary Grant)
Public Transportation Snob (Removed DiCaprio, re-added Charlie Chaplin)
1:37 Exactly (Removed Peter O'Toole and added Kevin Spacey

I passed the baton to Matt at FilmMattic, who removed Kevin Spacey and added Montgomery Clift. Go read his post, it is incredible.

So who am I removing from this list? Well, there are lots of great choices on here, but I'm going to have to take down Marcello Mastroianni as I am not too familiar with many of his performances and therefore cannot judge.

*UPDATE Apparently choosing Meryl Streep was in violation of the list rules so she had to go and I have to make another choice. So here HE is...

 I'm adding John Cazale, the actor whom Pacino has said "All I ever wanted to do for the rest of my life was act with John." Meryl Streep, my original choice, said she learned "a great deal from John." He only made five films, but all five were nominated for Best Picture by the Academy. He even appeared in archival footage in The Godfather, Part III, which also was nominated for Best Picture, which technically makes a sixth film. Best known as Fredo in The Godfather films, John had a knack for finding the pain of each character and bringing it out, layer by layer, through humor, anger, resignation and a multitude of other emotions. He played the loser, the down and out guy trying to prove himself. I can't imagine anyone else playing Fredo, no one would understand Fredo to the degree that John did. I did a post last August in honor of what would have been John's 76th birthday. You can read it here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Monday Morning And Good News

Since I am feeling inspired and happy at the moment, I'm sharing a pic of Mt. Rainier, one of my favorite places on the Earth.

What is happening my Imaginarians? Sorry I was absent for much of last week. I appreciate all the wonderful comments that you left and I am slowly, but surely making my way through them and onto all of your amazing blogs. It was a tough week as I had some doctor appointments to keep, but so far good news. My diabetes is back under control. My sugar has been holding at 112-118 and my A1C level is at 7.  Yay! And I am down 8 more pounds. Can I get a Hell Yeah?

And if my good news isn't enough, there's more from my good friends around the blogosphere. Vics Caswell over at Hairnets and Hopes has just launched her amazing new venture, Sketcher Girl Studios. Yay!!She does truly astounding artwork and will be designing book covers as well as other illustrative work like iTunes album covers, tattoo designs and children's book art. Julia Phillips Smith, author of the brilliant Saint Saguinus, is being interviewed over at Simply Infatuated. Author Rick R. Reed just received a stupendous review for his latest, Caregiver, over at Seductive Musings. I also want to say that my friend M Hufstader over at The Smoking Pen has an incredible clip of Joss Whedon and a little speech he gave to Equality Now about strong female characters in film. Like I said on M's blog, I am forever grateful that girls are growing up with this man as a cultural influence.

How was everyone's weekend? I got see my nephew play baseball. His team lost 8 to 2, but they played well considering only three of them have prior baseball experience. I also finally saw Battleship. I'll be posting a review shortly. What a rush that was.  Have a great Monday, my friends.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

IWSG: Organization Or WTF Is That?

Today is the first Wednesday of the month and it time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, an amazing group started by the superhero to writers and bloggers everywhere, Alex J. Cavanaugh. Here we air our fears, insecurities, doubts, etc. while offering encouragement and a friendly ear to our fellow writers.

This time I am talking about getting organized, which I am clearly not. Say the word to me and I'm like WTF? The truth is organization is a process my brain just can't seem to grasp unless I am at my day job. I can't think without a mess around me outside the office. I have clutter everywhere. The only thing remotely organized about me are my research notes.  I said research, not plot notes. Did I mention I am a total pantser who wouldn't know how to do a plot outline to save my life? I try and try, yet I end up a dismal failure. It must be the Sagittarius in me, contrary to the core. I start an outline, then go in precisely the opposite direction. Methinks I should write an outline in full just so that I can do the opposite of what I wrote.

How do you all organize your writing? I start thinking scene cards and I get the chills. And I have to get organized somehow because what happens is I write only when I am inspired to, so there are days that go by with nothing. Then I pull all nighters when my deadlines get closer. Can't do business like that. My plotter friends all say that keeping story/plot notes, scene cards, etc. all keep them thinking about their stories and they write every day. Is it the same for you? I sure would love to be able to write more than I do. My muse is such an elusive bitch sometimes I can't always pin her down. I should hog tie her, but she whacks me on the head, then disappears.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Rock! Blog Love Monday And Movies

Thank you Captain Ninja Alex, who stunned me with his You Rock Award. Just wow. Holy Guacamole this is incredible!

After Maynard's award and now Alex's, plus all of the awesome comments you leave here every day, I am just blown away and profoundly grateful to be a part of this community.

Alex included me in some very cool company, bloggers that I just love and admire. Go check out these magnificent people who make this blogging community a great place to be:

Ella at Ella's Edge Her poetry and art are incredibly beautiful. She's also celebrating a three year blogoversary. Yay!

Roland at Writing in the Crosshairs His writing is just phenomenal and he is a great community supporter.

MPax at Wistful Nebulae Her writing is sheer brilliance, her knowledge of all things astronomy is vast and her photos are gorgeous.

Matthew at The QQQE He does wonders to help his fellow authors and bloggers. I love his query critiques. He offers a lot of great advice and so do the people who leave comments.

Old Kitty at Ten Lives and Second Chances She is just the best. So funny and so warm. She gives a lot of blog love to everyone she can out there. A pillar of this community.

Jeremy at Retro Zombie Zombies, art and whatever else comes to his wildly imaginative and brilliant mind. Jeremy's site is eclectic and cool. Not to mention his awesome books.

And now, if Captain Ninja Alex doesn't mind, I'm going to pass along this You Rock Award to a very special little girl. Alani is 7 years and plays little league baseball on my nephew's team. She not only plays with the boys, but she does so with a hearing impairment. Alani has to step up to bat without her hearing aids because they interfere with the protective helmet and that means when that umpire calls balls and strikes, she can't hear him. Nor can she hear  when she's out on base. Those coaches sign to her the count and what to do next. I think she is just incredible, her spirit so bright and strong. You Rock, Alani! Keep it up Little Sister!

I can't believe it is June. I'm looking forward to some great movies this month. Snow White and the Huntsman, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and of course, the epic Prometheus. I'm actually leading a cool discussion about Ridley Scott's epic Alien over at 1:37 Exactly in honor of the release of Prometheus.

I'll be doing salacious and nefarious things for movie dough at this rate because I still have Dark Knight Rises to look forward to and don't get me started on December, yet. LOL What movies are you looking forward to?