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.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Insecure Writers Support Group October Edition

Hello there! I know it's been too long since I've written anything here. I've been just harried with writing, working and other things right now. Real Life is being a bitch. Anyway, today is the October  edition of the IWSG. This awesome group is 2 years old already and I cannot believe it. I've gotten so much from this group, the support, encouragement and commiseration has been truly amazing. Thank you, Captain Alex and all the members of your team who have been there for all of us. And there is even a really cool website now for the IWSG. Whoo hoo!!

I wanted to talk today about stuttering. No, not the speech impediment, but stuttering in writing, you know when you get going, sputter out, get going a little more, run up against a block, get some more story done...And on and on. This stop start cycle is frustrating to me. I want to drive needles into my eyes and run screaming down the street. I've started writing outlines, but even they don't seem to help this. It's not a full blown writers block, because I do write, but it's like my Muse is teasing me. She sends the words, then she takes them away, sends a little more, yanks them back. I hate this!!

Please tell me I am not crazy and am not the only one who suffers from this. And if you are a fellow sufferer, how do you handle it?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

That Fatal Kiss...The Awesome Debut of Mina Lobo

Greetings Imaginarians!! I am pleased to bring you the amazing and sexy cool debut novel of my brilliant friend, Mina Lobo. You know her from the wicked blog Some Dark Romantic. Here she is...Take it away my sister. 

Surprises in the Sack by Mina Lobo 

Persephone wrapped her hands around him. “I seek to worship you.”

“Persephone, wait…”

But the goddess could not wait. Her entire body tingled, and the urgent need to taste him could not be denied. Persephone’s tongue gave the head of his shaft a long stroke and her own eyes closed from the rush of lust which overwhelmed her. His spiced, musky scent surrounded her and she inhaled deeply as she tongued her way down and back up. Then she took him in her mouth and rode her way down until he reached the very back of her throat. Her growl of pleasure joined his and she felt herself become slick with anticipation.

Persephone moved smoothly up and down, repeatedly swallowing him, feeling the fiery ache rise up in her womb. As deeply as she took him in, it wouldn’t be enough. The sudden groan emanating from somewhere above warned her that she wasn’t the only one not getting enough. Hades’ hands locked on her shoulders to ease her off. She cried out in protest as he slipped out from under her, and then gasped as he reached from behind her to pull her up against him.

Hades trapped her wrists behind her with one hand while the other tore the skirt of her narrow dress so it could slide into the dripping juncture between her legs. He said in her ear, “Do you know how some subjects worship their kings?”

His hard heat looming up behind her, Persephone thrilled in feeling so small, so controlled, reveled at being taken in hand by this dark lord. Her breathing jagged, she took the bait. “How?”

“On their hands and knees.”
The above excerpt comes from my fantasy romance*, That Fatal Kiss, set in a mythical Greece. In this segment, Persephone and Hades, Queen and King of the Underworld, have gotten over the rough beginning of their relationship and are enjoying a bit of "alone time." They're still getting to know one another, as individuals and as lovers, so they haven't settled into any relationship patterns or master/servant dynamics, or anything; they're simply exploring.

As regards exploration, I'm a "slow and steady wins the race" kinda gal. It takes me a good while to loosen up with a fella before I can even consider getting intimate, let alone trying out the stuff beyond vanilla. You've gotta feel you can trust your partner before you give out that golden ticket to your—ahem—private freak zone.

Or do you? Is it easier to traverse the slippery slope of kink with someone you barely know (and may never see again) than with your mate of many years? After all, a long-term lover knows things about you; can you bear to let him or her know that? What do you think? Tell us in the comments!

 *Though there are a few sexy scenes in my book, I wouldn't call it erotica. Just sayin'—wouldn't want to disappoint anybody! :-)
*     *     *
About the Book
In That Fatal Kiss, life-giving Persephone seeks a mate but the goddess' mother frustrates her plans. Then Hades, King of the Underworld, spirits Persephone away to rule with him below, as his bride. Yet, even as she awaits rescue, Persephone aches to be consumed by the fire in the dark lord's immortal soul.

About the Author
Mina Lobo writes dark and whimsical romances, dodges the slings and arrows of her outrageous college-aged son, and feels compelled to do things in threes. She digs comedic horror, alternative rock, and Belgian chocolates. (See?)

Visit Mina's Web site, Some Dark Romantic, from September 24 - 29, for your chance to win an e-book copy of That Fatal Kiss!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Storm On The Horizon

Happy Friday Imaginarians!! I know it has been a long ass time between posts, but I'm still working hard on my latest salacious tale of naughty goodness. Today, though, I want to talk about a storm, no not the ones that have been plaguing Chitown the last few days, but one created by our own Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh.

CassaStorm, the last of his Cassan trilogy is out. YAY!! Congratulations, Alex. I could not be any happier for you. Sales to the stars, my friend.

And with this release, I finally got Alex to answer one of my burning questions...What was the first album you listened to that made you want to play guitar? His answer:

Rush 2112! Everyone knows Neil Peart is the greatest drummer in the world, but Alex Lifeson is also an amazing guitarist.

Awesome. I am going to have to download that album, I think. 

Anyway, on with the big reveal...

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“I thought the revelation was going to be one thing and I was completely wrong … CassaStorm pushes the limits…”
- Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Reviews

“Cavanaugh has created wonderfully moving moments of great poignancy… CassaStorm could have been a dark story full of hardship and angst, but instead it's a cleverly balanced story about hope and triumph.” 
- Lynda R. Young, author of Make Believe

“One thing Alex does really well is 'sell' the reader on his world building. …an enjoyable, fast-paced read that not only delivered on the final climax, but also managed to pleasantly surprise me.” - Bob Milne, Beauty in Ruins

Find CassaStorm:
Amazon -

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Big Reveal...That Fatal Kiss By Mina Lobo

Hey Imaginarians I'm surfacing in for a minute to tell you about a great new novel coming out and to show off the absolutely stunning cover. Mina Lobo, my gorgeous friend from the brilliant Some Dark Romantic is getting ready to release her debut novel this September. Here's a bit about Mina and her awesome book...

Mina Lobo has long held a passion for Greek mythology. The story of the goddess Persephone's marriage-by-kidnap to Hades, Lord of the Underworld, has particularly fascinated her, and thus came about Mina's debut novel, That Fatal Kiss. Coming September 2013, the revisionist tale features a fiery and noble heroine, a handsome and broody hero, and some heated, earth-shakin' lovin'!

Given Mina's self-professed neurotic nature, it took her and cover artist Steven Novak a few go-arounds before settling on the cover design for That Fatal Kiss. It had to be curiously compelling, slightly spooky, and yet super sexy—and so it is!

The Book: Feared by mortals for his inexorable power, and loathed by his fellow Greek gods for the same, Hades rules the Underworld alone. A stark eternity looms before him until he discovers Persephone. Struck by the youthful goddess’ beauty, kindness, and spirit, he must have her. But Hades believes Persephone could never love him, and so he conspires with his powerful brother, Zeus, to take her by force. Persephone too seeks a mate but her possessive mother, the goddess Demeter, frustrates her husband hunting. Then Hades abducts Persephone, tearing her away from the Upperworld she loves to reign with him in the dank depths below. Though outraged, Persephone cannot deny the desire ignited within her by the dark lord’s touch. And even as she hopes that Demeter will unearth her, Persephone aches to surrender to the heat in Hades’ immortal soul. The Teaser:
“Enough,” Hades said, closing the distance between them. “I have taken you with your father’s consent, as custom allows. You are in my kingdom, under my rule, and if you have any care for your continued well-being, you will get into my bed. Now.” And with the removal of the pins that held together the black cloth about his waist, he stood naked before her. The anger warming Persephone clashed with another fire that roared to life within her. She choked on a breath and turned her face from him. “Be warned; I will resist you with the full force of my being, through violent means, if necessary.” His large, unyielding hands encircled the soft flesh of her upper arms as he said, “If you must. Though your surrender to me would prove more satisfying to us both.”
The Author:
Mina Lobo has a lot of Scorpio action going on in her natal chart, which makes for a rather sybaritic and lust-driven Sagittarian. She aims for a wildly successful future as a writer of dark and whimsical romance while dodging the slings and arrows of her outrageous teenaged son, who's buggered off to college (hence the "Lite" in her Twitter handle, below). She enjoys comedic horror and alt rock, goth, & new wave music, as well as quality Belgian chocolates. Mina invites you to keep abreast of updates regarding That Fatal Kiss, as well as the development of any new neuroses, by stalking her at her usual haunts: Her blog: Some Dark Romantic On Facebook: mina.lobo.1 On the Twitter: @GothMomLite And GothMomLite Will Tumblr For Ya as well

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insecure Writers Support Group

Hey Imaginarians, I know I've been sadly absent of late, but today is the IWSG and I just had to return for a bit because I love this group. Thank you, Captain Ninja Alex!

In light of my deadline ahead, I want to talk about emotion in writing. Not the emotion of the story, but your own emotional health. I've been going through a lot of late and my cynicism, bad attitude has been showing in all my writing. Which is not good when I am trying to craft hot scene between my characters or even when I am trying to leave a simple comment for someone.  My good friends have remarked on it, so I am trying to get in a good headspace. If you are under duress, stress , craziness, etc it will show in your writing. So take care of yourself before you sit back in front of that computer no matter what kind of deadline you are under.

Be well, my friends. And good luck with all your creative projects ahead.

Back to lurking about, writing and edits. See you soon!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ta Ta For Now

Tigger: TTFN (Ta-Ta for Now)It's that time Imaginarians.  I have to stop posting for now as I have deadlines to meet and other obligations. I know, I'm sad, too. I miss you guys when I'm gone. But, I know you all want the sequel to Nathan's Angel as well as Maxie Briscoe: Werewolf so I've got to get writing.

Before I go, please check out the cover reveal for the amazing  Siv Ottem's book The Secret of the Ash Tree illustrated by the brilliant Michael Di Gesu.

Now, lest you think I'm completely disappearing, I'll still be lurking about and commenting, I can't quit you all cold turkey. And I'll still send up a post for special occasions like the Insecure Writers Support Group, blogfests and author spotlights like Writers 4 Writers, etc. I don't know how long I will be, but I'll try to hurry back, my friends. So, to quote my favorite resident of the Hundred Acre Woods, Tigger, "TTFN Ta Ta For Now."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Good News Friday

It's Friday and Pay Day...Whoo Hoo!! Anyway, today I wanted to share some Big News. My wonderful friends Siv over at Been There, Done That and Michael Di Gesu at In Time are going to be revealing the cover for Siv's book, Secrets of the Ash Tree this coming Monday. Michael did the illustration for the cover and it's going to be gorgeous. Stop by and visit them.

I also will be having an upcoming visit from the brilliant Jeremy Hawkins from Being Retro. He'll be sharing his newest art books with us. I can't wait!

It's also Blog Blitz time. So if you get a chance, please head over to Courtney Barr at The Southern Princess. She's got brilliant wit and we want to encourage her to keep blogging.

So, this is the weekend and I am planning on doing a bunch of writing and hopefully watching some horror films, The Conjuring in particular. It looks terrific. Speaking of horror, I have a new rule to help you survive. "Don't call 911. You'll always be put on hold."

So what is going on this weekend? Any news to share? Talk to me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hump Day and Getting On Track

File:The Perks of Being a Wallflower Poster.jpgHappy Hump Day!! I know I'm posting very late, but...hey it's still Hump Day all day, right? So what's been going on with me? well, I've been sick, trying to work, trying meet deadlines and just generally been bogged down with Life. I did manage to watch a few flicks, but the only one worth mentioning is Perks of Being A Wallflower. What a terrific, poignant film with an outstanding cast. I loved it as well as the book. Ezra Miller is completely moving as Patrick, a gay student who engages in a forbidden first love affair with the high school quarterback who won't leave the closet. The best part of this for me was the fact that the author wrote his own screenplay as well as directed. Talk about a triple threat! Needless to say I am very impressed with Stephen Chbosky.

I've also been working on some scenes for a sequel to my first M/M story, Nathan's Angel. In this one Nathan must find a way to redeem himself for a bargain he made in the first story with a very bad angel.

So are you all excited about the royal birth? Convinced that Kate is a robot? Seriously, who looks that good after giving birth? Then again, when one has a team of people at the ready... Anyway, I think it's pretty cool, but not to the point where I think Kate is the first mom ever. Like when Kim and Beyonce gave birth and everyone started clamoring for mommy advice from those two. I don't even think so. LOL I wouldn't trust Kim to take care of a robot dog let alone anything alive.

Football training camp has opened for Bears and I could not be happier. I love, LOVE football and can't wait to park my rear in front of the couch this Fall. Here's hoping with our new coach we smash the Packers. They are the worst team to lose to for me. I go into apoplectic fits during the game and have been know to weep inconsolably after a loss to the hated Green and Gold. Notre Dame will also be starting back up, my Fighting Irish are looking pretty good so far, I must say. Ahh.. the preseason dreams of glory. ;)

So how was everyone's weekend? And how is your week so far? Oh and before I forget, I will be having a special announcement here on Friday so stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pacific Rim: An Adrenalized Tale of Giant Robots vs. Giant Monsters

File:Pacific Rim FilmPoster.jpegHappy Hump Day Imaginarians!! I've been remiss this week so far, but today I'm bringing you a review of my favorite summer movie of them all so far, Pacific Rim.

I was strapped in for this one from the first frame. Guillermo Del Toro delivers a powerful, high octane anime come to life with terrific characters, a wonderful, yet cheesy script and fx that some of the best I've seen on film.

A dimensional rift has opened in the Pacific Ocean allowing giant monsters known as Kaiju to come through to earth. They attack Pacific Rim cities like San Francisco, Tokyo and Manila. To combat these beings, Earth has banded together and created the Jaegers, giant robots that require two pilots who are completely in sync with one another mentally. As the war drags on, the Jaegers become obsolete as Earth pins its hopes on continental walls to hold back the Kaiju. When the wall fails (and you knew it would) there are only 4 Jaegers left. Raleigh Becket, a former pilot, is called back into service when the remaining Jaegers are sent to Hong Kong.

Charlie Hunnam steals the show as Raleigh. He's vulnerable, smart, strong and has enormous chemistry with his badass co-star Rinko Kikuchi who is Mako Mori. Mako is the assistant to and adopted daughter of, the director of the Jaeger program, Stacker Pentecost. Idris Elba plays Stacker and he does a good job being leader, hardass and father figure. Charlie Day and Born Gorman are terrific as the dork scientists, Geiszler and Gottlieb, who are trying to figure out how to understand the Kaiju. Day is funny, silly, providing a certain comic relief that was great, but got on my nerves after a while. I was hoping he'd get eaten or squashed. Ron Perlman shows his villainous side as Hannibal Chau, a black market dealer in Kaiju parts and other things who helps Geiszler get his geeky hands on a Kaiju brain. There is great chemistry between Perlman and Day.

The fx are huge. Beyond huge. They are definitely what a summer blockbuster is all about. I found myself gasping for breath as the monsters attacked, just like I did as kid and first saw Godzilla. The Jaegers were ultra impressive and I so wanted to try my hand at driving one.

Guillermo Del Toro has created an adrenalized tale of giant robots vs. giant monsters that is an epic summer film you'll want to see again and again.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Author Jeffrey Beesler Talks Optical Osmosis

Hey Imaginarians I'm very excited because the fantastically stellar Jeffrey Beesler is here on his whirlwind blog tour. Yay!! He's here to talk about the Secrets of the Universe... okay, I'm kidding, he's really here to share all the good stuff about his newest creation, Optical Osmosis.  Take it away, my friend...

Hi, Melissa! Thanks for hosting me today as part of the Optical Osmosis blog tour. I know outside of the occasional shout-outs on Facebook and Twitter, I haven’t been around as much. Spending most of my free time releasing a new book doesn’t leave me a lot of wriggle room when it comes to visiting good friends. But that’s hardly a good excuse for me not to say hi.

Saying hello is essentially where Optical Osmosis begins, right where the main character’s sister calls him. It is Christmas morning, and Greg Gnops is trying to sleep away the lingering effects of a December 24th party. His sister, Ashley, calls him under the guise of wanting to say hello and chat with him a bit. This is all well and good, except that it’s barely 7 A.M. when she calls. Greg immediately chalks this up to his sister being her usual self, like she’s the center of the world and all should bow before her. For a long time, he doesn’t suspect that maybe her early call might’ve been a cry for help.

Later in the story, Greg starts to think that Ashley’s partying lifestyle may have collapsed into a debilitating bout with alcoholism. Of course, he has a heck of a time trying to convince her to get the help she so clearly needs. It doesn’t help that Ashley’s new boyfriend, Flint Kyles, disagrees with Greg’s assertion that Ashley drinks too much. It’s only because of Ashley’s best friend, Dani Staras, that Greg doesn’t lose all hope in getting through to his sister. In fact, Dani’s the one who convinces him that Ashley has a problem to begin with.

Of course, the Greg/Ashley dynamic is just a piece of the puzzle that is Optical Osmosis. I think the reason why this dynamic came to be is because of my own relationship with family members. I’ve seen some of them choose the lifestyle Ashley chooses. It’s not one I would choose for myself, but rather than pass judgment I’ve focused more on the consequences of the choices we make. Hopefully, the consequences come across genuinely as you read my story.

Here's where you can find Jeff 

Twitter handle: @JeffBeesler

Bio: Born in May of 1978, Jeff Beesler has been writing since the 7th grade, although he likes to point out that his elementary teachers in 2nd to 6th grades kept sending him to Young Author’s Conferences throughout his school district. When not writing, he can be found chatting it up on social media, reading books, or playing computer games.

Book purchase links


Monday, July 8, 2013

Back From The Dead And So Much Missed News

I am so sorry I was gone the entire week. So much personal craziness and sickness, I can't even begin to discuss it all. Needless to say, I missed ALOT and I am going to make up for it today. I hope that my fellow American followers had an amazing Independence Day. I had a blast. Yours truly got to cruise the highway in 2013 white Dodge Challenger. A real beauty and I let the ponies run on those straightaways let me tell you. Check it out!

During my absenteeism here in the blogosphere, my awesome friend Tina over at Life Is Good tapped me for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award. How cool is that? Thank you so much, Tina. It has been a great joy to reconnect with you this year. You are incredible and inspirational.

Let me pass this great gift onto some wonderful sister bloggers:

Gwen Gardner, brilliant YA author
Robyn Engel at Life By Chocolate, my sister friend and amazing poet
Deniz Bevan at The Girdle of Melian, gifted fantasy and romance writer
PK Hrezo, wonderful writer and friend
Ella at Ella's Edge, friend and incredible positive energy force
KC Kendricks at Between the Keys magnificent writer, friend and fellow car lover
MJ Fifield at My Pet Blog epic writer, sports fan and fellow Whedonite
Susan Gourley Kelly at Susan Says super writer, friend and teacher
Mencara Mitchell, new friend and fierce writer

As if that were not incredible news enough, my amazing friend and cheerleader, Mina over at Some Dark Romantic also tapped me for an award, the Inspirational Liebster. Thank you so much Mina, sorry I am so late getting to this. Stop by her blog and say hello, she's a helluva woman and I adore her.  I'll have to do a proper post later as I want to do a proper acceptance.

Hanging my head in shame, I also missed the Insecure Writers Support Group. Sorry, Captain Ninja Alex and my fellow IWSG'ers. Here's an abbreviated post for that. Please check out my fellow members here.

As a writer, while it is important to kill our darlings, cut unnecessary words, scenes, dialogue, etc., it is also important to remain true to our stories and ourselves as authors. Never let anyone alter your voice or that of your characters. Edits should enhance a story, make it better, not change the course of your story, alter your characters to any great degree or change your voice as an author. It's important for first time published authors to know that a good editor makes your story better, he or she does not review your work or try to make huge changes. And never be afraid to ask for an explanation. It is your story.

Speaking of missing. I also missed the Blog Blitz for Brandon Ax at Writer's Storm. Go say hi.

If you love a horror, you should also check out the incredible super post by Craig Edwards of Let's Get Out of Here and Maynard Morrissey of Horror Movie Diary on  the horror classics I Know What You Did Last Summer and I Still Know Know What You Did Last Summer. These guys are terrific.

On the subject of terrific, the supercool Jeffrey Beesler drops by on Thursday to tell us all about Optical Osmosis, his incredible new story.

So what has been going on with everyone? I feel like I've been out a million years.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

World War Z

Happy Monday, Imaginarians! Hope you all had a great weekend. I took my nephew to see one of my most highly anticipated films this year, World War Z. I was looking forward to this one because I was hoping they would liven up the book, which to me is very dry, being a series of interviews about the zombie apocalypse. Zombies must be active for me and happening right now, memories of the apocalypse are just passive and rather boring. So I was all geared up for this and was not disappointed.

The story moves fast, Brad and family are getting ready for the day and there are subtle hints that Brad has a past of some import. The little things said in the dialogue between him and his wife, played perfectly by Mirielle Enos, and the daughter questioning why his job is just to make breakfast. And the TV news in the background that he watches. Terrific, if brief character development for our hero. Soon all hell breaks loose while they just sitting in traffic. I really dug that as I've sat in rush hour traffic fantasizing about alien invasions, zombies, etc. and this movie went there. Hell to the yeah. The melee that ensues is spot on reaction by people.

From there it  relentless pace with some slow down time here and there so we can catch our breath. The action is stunning, using shaky cam effects to wonderful effect as it gives you the feeling of being right there in the midst of it all. We are creeping down the dim halls with Brad, there as the  zombies rush at him. The scenes in the apartment building as they are headed to the roof are chaotic and cool as hell. I thought it was brilliant that they taped magazines to their arms to help avoid bites.

I loved the CGI here, it was somewhat natural looking and not too cartoony as CGI can be. The scene where the horde envelops an Israeli city is amazing. And I thought the creepiest zombie ever was the woman in the glass cage at the World Health Organization lab. Yikes! Those snapping teeth and the unholy hissing along with her disturbing eyes was just ewww... I really dug the speed of the zombies and how they were drawn by noise. Forster created some wonderfully tense moments that had the audience in my theater gasping at every small sound.

There were some bad product placement, which I did not like, but I've seen worse. There was no swearing and no gore whatsoever, which are kind of important when dealing with the end of the world and zombies in my opinion. I think this movie was epic fun and you will enjoy it. I can't wait to own it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Field Trip To The Wild Side

Hey there, Happy Tuesday!!! And I am in heaven because.... my beloved Blackhawks are Stanley Cup Champions!! Whoo Hoo!!!  Congrats to Toews, Campbell, Kaner, Sharp and the rest of the boys. I think I'll be floating in to work for the next few days.

And while I am on this high, I'm also taking a walk on the wild side and visiting with Mistress Snark over Laura Eno's fabulous place. While I'm in this mood, who knows what may happen to me as I indulge in the mysterious punch served up by Jezebel...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Man Of Steel

Hey there Imaginarians! Did you all have a great weekend? I did. I took my nephew to see Man of Steel and what an epic film. My nephew and I were clutching the arms of our seats for almost the whole film. Okay, before I go blathering off on a hundred different tangents, how about I just get into my review? LOL

We all know the story of Superman, he's been part of our group think for decades, but Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead) has given our favorite Kryptonian a slightly new polish and it works. There was lots of noise about this being too dark, too gritty, but in a word...Hell no. Superman is still the exact same square-jawed boy scout, however, he's been made a little more real and accessible. I never bought into this kid growing up with perfect acceptance of his powers, no feelings of isolation, no adjustments or anything. The comics have always glossed over that, at least the ones I remember reading. hell, even the Chris Reeve film, the standard bearer, whitewashed that part. This Superman is along the lines of the Smallville Clark Kent, an eminently more realistic and yes, believable, hero. I don't know about you, but I want to know that my hero has struggled, that he's had to overcome and still struggles. You can't have good without some bad, there is no perfection. Saints have their flaws and so should superheroes. Oh I can hear the protests now, "Mel, Superman's not human, he's from Krypton." Bull shit. He's humanoid and anything remotely human is flawed to the nth degree.

I digress.

Cavill brings this Superman to wondrous life. He struggles, he's isolated, hell, he's scruffy, something that Clark Kent never was before and I love it. Henry's turn is strong, quiet, yet there is a commanding air about him. He has humor, warmth and a deep love for those around him. He gets ticked off and there is one scene where he avoids a bar fight, but gets his own revenge and I pumped my fist. It was beautiful.

Amy Adams is terrific as Lois. Smart, strong and a take-no-prisoners attitude coupled with compassion and a huge heart. She risks herself for Clark because of who he is and what she finds out he has gone through. She's not awed by his looks. The chemistry between Adams and Cavill sizzles. They fairly smoked the screen. You could feel the depth of attraction and affection. I cannot wait for chapter 2 of this romance.

Now for the villain of the piece...Kneel before Zod, er Michael Shannon. Oh my God was he incredible. Zod is a warrior, sworn to protect Krypton and their way of life to the exclusion of all else and Shannon delivers that depth of duty and psychosis in a pure crazed, relentless performance. I could not take my eyes off of him when he was on screen. He even outshone Russell Crowe and the delicious Cavill in some cases.

The supporting cast was terrific as well. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner were so amazing as the Kents, a couple struggling to raise not only a child, but a being who will change our world. Their performances were honest and true. Laurence Fishburne did not get enough screen time as Perry White, but I hope he remained because he was not only a hard-nosed news man, but he had a softer side that made me love him. He and Amy had great rapport. Harry Lennix and Christopher Meloni struck a perfect balance between hard nosed soldier and decent fellow. They weren't flat, stock soldiers like Stephen Lang in Avatar.

I do have to make special mention of the badass bitch of the movie, Antje Traue as Zod's second, Faora Ul. She rocked it, kicking ass and taking names. Her fight scenes were hellagood and I hope she gets more action work ASAP.

The fx were bold, brilliant and just had my mouth agape almost the whole time. I could have caught Skittles in my trap. Zack Snyder knows how to do big action, yet keep human and real, unlike Michael Bay. Each fight, explosion, etc. has a purpose beyond "wouldn't that be cool."

There was really only one flaw for me and that was Krypton. I thought it was a little overdone, too much like Dune in some sort of medieval, opera style when it should have been more tech and smooth like Minority Report or Star Trek. For me people who have to fight with metal swords don't travel in space.

Overall this was one hellacious good time and I can't wait to strap in for another.

Any of you see this yet? What did you think? Talk to me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Overwhelming Appreciation, Films Etc. Etc.

I've been so sporadic in the blogosphere of late and I feel horrible.  My sincerest apologies to all of you out there. Depressed and just lacking any sort of creative vibes,  I'm pleased to say that I am finally starting to feel better and it is thanks to all of you. I am humbled and so blessed that you took the time to come over here and visit me, leaving such wonderful comments. It means the world. I am so happy that you have stuck with me and continue to stick with me. I love you!!

So much has been going on while I've been crying into my Diet Pepsi and I want to share the awesome news. Marta Szemik was featured on Writers 4 Writers. Yay!! Congrats Marta, I hope you garner huge successes.

My friend Maynard over at the brilliant and witty, Horror Movie Diary celebrated 4 years in the blogosphere. Happy Birthday, Maynard!! Here's to many more years of awesome reviews and other news.

Another incredible friend, Jeffrey Beesler has released the tense and absorbing book Optical Osmosis. He'll be doing a blog tour in July so be sure to check out his site for details. Congratulations, Jeffrey!!

I have also watched several films, catching up on ones I have missed in the theater. I saw Cloud Atlas and Oz: The Great and Powerful. Cloud Atlas was intriguing, long and somewhat muddled. It made me think and had me wanting to see it again just to figure out what I might have missed. Oz was a visual feast from start to finish and I loved James Franco's carnival huckster wizard. They stuck with the black and white to color just like the original film which I appreciated. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams were terrific as the witches.

In the theaters, I saw Iron Man 3 and Fast and Furious 6. Both exceeded my expectations and you should definitely check them out.

Fast 6 is high octane thrills from start to finish with an awesome story that amps up events from Fast 5. best of all is the return of Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, one of the most badass bitches ever. Hot men, hot cars and awesome fight scenes make this one of my favorites so far. Best girl fight ever between Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez. These two make most men look like wimps. LOL

Iron Man 3 is the return of one of my very favorite Avengers and heroes, Tony Stark aka Iron Man. This film picks up after the events of avengers and sees Tony rethinking his life. Loved Guy Pierce, he's so smarmy delicious and the Mandarin twist was pure awesome sauce. Okay as an aside to this film, I am going out on a limb. I know that there are purists out there who believe the comics should stick faithfully to the origins, etc, but let's not forget these characters were created 50 years ago and more. They need to change with the times and Mandarin was a horrifically racist, stereotype character ala Kato that has no place in today's world. Like Stan Lee's "heroines" who are all basically sex dolls with submissive personalities and no real powers...Sue Storm, I'm looking at you.

Anyway, that is what I have been doing of late. I've also been dipping my toe back into the writing and creative pool with some art dates, a picnic and some jewelry making.

So what has everyone been up to? Have you seen any of these films? What did you think? Should we change superheroes to keep them current?  Think I am out of my ever loving mind? Talk to me. :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Insecure Writers Support Group

I can't believe that June is here already. Before I get started, I want to thank everyone who commented on my fitness post. You really made my whole week and touched me more than I'll ever be able to say. Thank you very much.I'm still working through comments, but I promise I will get back to all of you.

Anyway, it is another installment of the IWSG or Insecure Writers Support Group founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We writers air our insecurities, triumphs and terrors and other things.

I'm afraid that today I don't have much to say because well, I have not been writing. At all. Not one syllable on any thing remotely resembling fiction. I have no desire to, don't know where it went. My crit partners are on my case, my awesome friend Michael Di Gesu has been kicking my butt, but to no avail. I used to write compulsively whenever the mood struck, which was quite frequently. Now, there's nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. I'd rather watch or read a good story. I haven't even done my other creative pursuits like jewelry making, coloring, painting and drawing. I try to laugh it off, say I'm being lazy or whatever, because the truth is awful.

It's like there is this giant black hole where my Muse used to reside. I am utterly empty, I have no words at all. I was burned out for a while, but I don't know if that is the case anymore. What if I never get my creative mojo back? I know that sounds stupid, but I honestly feel that way.

Sorry to be such a complete downer, but I am just completely drained and sad right now.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Healthy Blog Hop

Our health is the most important thing and for a voluptuous chica such as myself, who LOVES food period, getting healthy and overcoming the bulge is a constant struggle. Today the awesome and truly caring quartet of Michael Di GesuAlex J. Cavanaugh, L. Diane Wolfe and Stephen Tremp are hosting a Get Healthy Blog Hop encouraging all of us to post health tips, recipes, etc. to encourage all of us to get healthy. It's a wonderful way to inspire and I thank them profusely for putting this together.

Yours truly has been fighting weight since birth, really, and when I was at the lowest point in my life, I tipped the scales at 360 pounds. Wow, did I just write that out loud? I've admitted it to friends, but never completely in public before. 360 pounds is 3 people. Three. I used food as a crutch, a comfort. I had been bullied in school and ate alot. Those Twinkies sure made the insults feel better. So did the extra slices of pizza. And  when you spend your 20's and part of your 30's taking care of catastrophically ill family members until they pass, you also need a lot of comfort.

Anyway, over the last 2 and a half years or so, I've managed to lose 110 of that. I did that by forcing myself to move, to change eating habits. At 360 you can't exactly jog, so I would walk. Around my neighborhood, park the car in the back of the Walmart lot and walk, take stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Anything that made me move. I would eat carrot sticks, blueberries, grape tomatoes instead of chips, pretzels, etc. Small changes that netted some great results. If I can do this by making small diet changes, so can you. Going cold turkey only encourages failure, I think. Big pictures start off small.

Now I need to find something else, dig deeper, as I have hit a plateau. Getting healthy means keeping going and always staying alert. Michael Di Gesu pointed out that I need to push myself no matter how tired, bored, depressed, etc. I may be. And he is right.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness A Review

Hey there! Happy Monday and wow, did I have great weekend. I took my mom and fellow Trekkie to see J.J.'s newest installment in the Trek series, Star Trek: Into Darkness. Holy cow, there are no words for what an incredible experience it was. I loved this movie from opening frame to the last and each nanosecond in between. As did the first film, it paid homage to both the series and the films with a deft touch that only a devout Trekkie could have.

Like the original Star Trek II, this is the film that breaks Kirk. It smashes him down and forces him to dig deep, to find just what he is willing to sacrifice in order to prove that he deserves the chair. He takes on an enemy that is more cunning and powerful than he ever thought possible. There is no re-writing the Kobayashi Maru. The script is pure genius, taking elements from the first Trek II and reworking them to fit the altered time line. The dialogue is sensational, never straying into over-emoting or taking the cast out of character.

And speaking of the cast, the entire crew is back plus a cameo by the awesome Leonard Nimoy. The chemistry sparks between the characters, with Pine finding a deeper level with each actor. The scenes with Kirk and each of his fellow actors are alive with tension and amazing fluidity. Particularly with Quinto. The only weakness was the casting of Alice Eve as Carol Marcus. She was the only one who appeared to have no chemistry with Pine, she seemed distant, unsure, like the dialogue was troublesome and she could not project the right emotion.

The action sequences are mindblowingly huge, fast and furious. I was strapped into my seat on a wild rush. The fx overall were incredible and I did not need to see this in 3D to enjoy the brilliance. The other downer is I know that J.J. is going to be tied up doing Star Wars for the next few years, so Star Trek may go on the back burner, which is a shame as I am totally invested in this new crew.

So what did you all do this weekend? See Star Trek? Thoughts?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Best and Worst Remakes Blogfest

Happy Friday!! It's time for the awesome Best and Worst Remakes Blogfest. Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Livia Peterson, Dragon Father Al Diaz and Stephen Tremp, we are here to skewer the worst and praise the best.

I like to start off with bad stuff first. So here are my Worst Remakes Ever:

The Women

What were they thinking? The subject matter really isn't that timely anymore unless you're talking the Ladies Who Lunch Tennis Set. And really no chemistry with Annette Benning, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Meg Ryan and Eva Mendes. YAWWWNNN... Norma Shearer and crew were so much better and wittier.

All The Kings Men

Why take a brilliant actor like Sean Penn and stick him in a play by play remake? Completely unnecessary to remake an already amazing film.

King Kong

Peter Jackson, you dumbass! We did not need a lame silly remake of a perfectly good giant ape film. I don't care how great your fx were ,the story stunk to high heaven and so did the acting. Your cast was more boring than Hayden Christiansen's performance in the Star Wars prequels. Like James Cameron with Avatar, you sought to dazzle us with frosting and hoped we would ignore the lack of substance underneath.

The Karate Kid

Will Smith, I love you, but you really did an injustice by bringing us this cross cultural nightmare. Hello! You can't call the him the Karate Kid if he is learning kung fu.

The Ring

Holy hell! This American remake of a brilliant Japanese horror flick was just pure comedy. I spent the entire time laughing at the ridiculousness of it.  Naomi Watts completely sucked and that creepy kid of hers was the only horror-esque part of this movie.

And now for my Best Remakes

The Thing

Best. Remake. Ever. Now I loved the original The Thing From Another World, but Carpenter's flick was off the chain incredible. it is one of my all time favorite performances by Kurt Russell as well as one of my fave movies of all time.

The Wolfman

Go ahead roll your eyes, call me crazy, but I thought this was creepy, atmospheric, stylish, sexy and had some great wolf attack scenes. It did awesome justice to the old Lon Chaney film and the cast was just brilliant. I love the unrated version and watch it whenever I need a pick me up. :)


Second best remake ever. Gary Oldman and Francis Ford Coppola did an outstanding job bringing Stoker's novel to life. Far superior to the old Bela Lugosi film, which really could not delve into the sexuality of the Count. The cast was amazing and the script very well written.

3:10 To Yuma

James Mangold really delivered on this remake of the old Delmer Daves directed Glenn Ford vehicle. Intense from start to finish, this one was a worthy heir to the original. I loved all of the performances, especially Bale as Dan Evans.

Ocean's Eleven

George and Brad were just incredible. I loved this movie from start to finish. It was smart, sexy and oh so witty. I love me a great caper flick and this one delivered in spades.

Dawn of the Dead

Are you sensing a theme here? LOL Yes, I love my monster movies. I really dug George Romero's original, but this one made me love zombie movies forever. I watch it whenever I get a chance, even the spliced up versions on Syfy and AMC.

Go ahead and debate, call me insane, call me brilliant. (LOL well that last one is just a wee hope).

Have a super weekend my friends, my family!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hump Day Goings On

I know I was supposed to post on Monday and left you all hanging, I am really sorry. I had a wild weekend that just was surreal and I am still recovering. I partied like I was 25 and can't remember some of the things that happened. I crawled home as the sun was creeping over the horizon, then had to go to a Mother's Day cookout. All this after I was only going to drop off a birthday cake. Yeah, trouble will find me. LOL

My Bulls are stinking up the playoffs. I hate losing, but to the Heat makes it worse. They are part of the sports Trifecta of Evil for me. They are the loathed enemy and it is humiliating to get destroyed by them. LeBron James is more evil than the Emperor in Star Wars to me. Needless to say, I am not a happy camper.

I've hit a wall with my writing and am trying to get back on track. I've been trying to do some creative things to help stir my imagination. Minds out of the gutter! LOL

I've been popping round the blogsphere and finding some really intriguing news and posts. Maynard from Horror Movie Diary and Emma from Little Gothic Horrors did a great dual post on Beetlejuice, a classic film and a definite fave of  mine.

Mind of Mine is celebrating five years. Congrats, my friend!!

This Friday is the Best and Worst Movie remake blogfest hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh,  Oh my list is so long. There have been some really horrible, unnecessary remakes out there. Footloose, I'm looking at you. Don't worry Alex, I've still got plenty of ammunition for Friday.

Star Trek is this weekend!! I cannot wait. I'm taking my mom as she is a proud Trekkie, too. I'm also going to try and hit the Great Gatsby as I LOVE Baz  Luhrman and feel that there has not been a really terrific film of this novel. Redford lacked the fierceness  of Jay and played him like a cool courtier. So not Gatsby.

What is up? Let me know the scoop.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Friday & Reflections from A To Z

It's Friday and I am just happy to be alive. Yes, alive. Yours truly was not paying attention when she got off the bus on Monday night and stepped out into oncoming traffic. Thanks to the awesome quickness of my bus driver, Alex King, I am alive and well. He saw me cross in front of him just as he started pull away, but he braked and honked, startling me enough that I did not make it past the bus and out in front of the huge eighteen wheeler barreling along in the next lane. I think I spent the next hour or so with the shakes. I also had nightmares most of the night. So thank you, Alex and my Guardian Angel!

Today is also about reflections of another sort. Those of the Big A To Z last month. I know I'm late on this, but hey, better late than never. This year's hosts and their aides de camp did one absolutely breathtaking job. I admit that I am loath to use the word minion because it makes me think of Frankenstein's Igor. I think adjutant or aide de camp more appropriate because they helped our brilliant team of hosts keep everything organized and running smoothly. In the military there are special honors for these individuals.

As always, I loved meeting new people and finding new blogs. I am eager to continue on with the list and meet even more. I do have to organize myself better than I did this time. Once again, I did not get my posts done early, something I will be working to improve. I also regretted my commenting as I just could not keep up this time. For those of you who came here and I missed you, I am sorry. I appreciate you taking the time to visit  and it meant the world to me. I smiled as I read your comments and they got me through some rather hectic days.

In spite of all my missteps, I will definitely be back for next year. It is tiring, crazy and a heck of a lot of fun.

So what are you all up to this weekend? I want to see Gatsby. I am so excited for this movie. It is about time we had a great version of this story on film. Leonardo Di Caprio is just the actor to capture Jay Gatsby and I sure hope he gets an Oscar nod this time. He is way overdue for another one and yes, he deserves the gold statue. Anyway, shutting up now. Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Field Trip To A Ninja Hideaway

Happy Monday!  I know, quit being being so perky, but hey, I have reason to be in a great mood. I saw Iron Man 3 yesterday and it totally rocked. It was beyond cool. The story, the dialogue and of course, the awesome action. RDJ just has chemistry with everyone and everything, I swear. My Bulls finally put the Nets in their place, on the bench til next season, and were led by my fave player, Joakim Noah with 24 points. He's such a big, happy guy with the heart and intensity of a tiger.

However, these reasons are not the main reason why I am happy. I am on a field trip today over at Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog talking my fave topic, badass women in film. So come on over, I'll be waiting.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG Rant Style

I had another ISWG post all planned out, but I am mad as hell right now and need to rant.

I am an erotica writer, I am not a porn writer. I don't get all turned on writing my stuff, thinking about sex all the time. I do not create my stories with the hopes of getting someone off, I create my stories for entertainment and the exploration of the human condition. The same as any one else out there. And yes, they are complete stories, not a string of sex scenes. There's plot, character development and all the other things found in any other novel or short story. They just happen to continue through the bedroom door.

I cannot believe the utter disrespect my genre receives. When people find out I write erotica, I get asked the most offensive questions and I get comments like "Say, how do you do your research?" Wink, wink, insert double entendre. Or worst of all, "erotica is written by women who can't get any of their own."

I see commentary from fellow writers along the lines of, "oh I would never write erotica, you just can't be original." and "I could never write that stuff with a straight face." I have never done that, not ever. I have never trashed someone else's genre or poked fun at the people who do write in a particular genre, but I see that a lot as I visit other blogs. I read these narrow-minded statements and think, wow, I thought we were supposed to support one another as authors. Guess that only happens if you write in an acceptable genre like YA, or sci fi or mystery.

Now, I do have a sense of humor. I can and do laugh at the stuff I write because sex is funny. However, when I constantly see comments and posts like this, it makes me feel like I'm somehow offending everyone. It also makes me sad and angry.  I know people are uncomfortable with sex and that's fine. I'm not asking you to read my stories, just don't scoff and tear down my genre and my work. I don't do that to yours.

Monday, April 29, 2013

X, Y, Z... The 3 Point Play

Yeah I know, I was supposed to do one a day for each letter, but stuff happens. So you're getting a three for one to end on a high note like my Bulls in triple over time on Saturday. Hell to the Yeah!! Too bad they blew it last night. Ah well... I also want to thank all of you for coming by for E.J. Wesley's spotlight. He is truly an awesome writer and one of my favorite people. (Did I mention he's a Bears fan?)

So on with the show...
X Is For Zhou Xun

Xun is a superstar in her native China and throughout most of the world. She is an actress, a singer and model, one of the first Asian women to be named as an ambassador for the House of Chanel. This amazing young woman gained international fame in such films as Suzhou River, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, The Banquet, Perhaps Love, Ming Ming and Painted Skin. She made her Hollywood debut last year in the brilliant film, Cloud Atlas as the characters Yoona 939, Rose and Talbot.

Environmental advocacy is extremely important to her and she was named a laureate of the United Nations Environmental Program's Champions of the Earth. Xun also promotes green living through her involvement with the United Nations Development Program.

Y Is For Jessica Yu

Jessica is a director, writer and producer. In 1996 she won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject for her film Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien. O'Brien was recently the subject of another Oscar nominated film, The Sessions with Helen Hunt and John Hawkes. Aside from her documentary work, Jessica is an accomplished television director, helming episodes of series like ER, The West Wing, American Dreams and Grey's Anatomy.

Interestingly enough Jessica is an avid fencer. In the late 80's and early 90's she competed on the US National Team.

Z Is For Mai Zetterling

I'm going old school once more with my final lady. Mai Zetterling was a Swedish actress and director whose career spanned nearly six decades. She got her start in Ingmar Bergman's films Torment and Music in Darkness, then moved to England where she starred opposite many legendary leading men like Tyrone Power, Dirk Bogarde, Richard Widmark, Peter Sellers and Richard Attenborough.

Her directing career began in the 60's with political documentaries and a short film called The War Game. Her first feature length film, Loving Couples, was banned at Cannes for its frank sexuality and nudity. Guess they weren't ready for racy from a woman in 1964. She explored feminist themes in many of her films and raised a few eyebrows with The Girls, a look at women comparing their current lives to the female characters in the ancient Greek play Lysistrata and finding that not much had changed since ancient times. Too true, my sisters. Although I do know there many good-hearted, evolved men out there these days.

Interesting to note that Mai was indeed watched by British Intelligence as a possible Communist. You just could not have a liberal thought back then, could you?

Thank you so so much for sticking with me and reading all my posts. I loved and appreciated every comment and visit from the bottom of my heart. I hope that you enjoyed my theme this year and I am looking forward to next year. I will be spending time between job and writing, visiting my fellow challengers that I did not get see as well as catch up with ones I've missed. Be well my fellow challengers, we did it!