a movie threefer

Hey there! I had a delightful 4-day weekend. I didn’t write anything, except for the notes for the next book. Why? What can I say? I have a short attention span. I’ll get to the book this week.

I have 3, yes count them 3 movies, so I’m keeping the “reviews” short and sweet. I have stuff to do and I don’t like to prattle on endlessly, anyway.

Taken 2


Description from IMB: ”In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter.”

I liked the first Taken. I did not love this movie. The dialog seemed unnatural. The acting wasn’t great, including Liam Neeson, who I usually think does an okay job. He wasn’t into it. Parts of the movie were laughably cheesy/unrealistic. If I had known what I know now, I would have skipped this movie altogether.

Taken 2 gets a D-.


Tower Heist


Description from IMDB: “When a group of hard working guys find out they’ve fallen victim to a wealthy business man’s Ponzi scheme, they conspire to rob his high-rise residence.”

Tower Heist is very funny. It features such comedic names as Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Matthew Broderick. The list goes on with many familiar faces. Téa Leoni is in this, too. I haven’t seen her in anything recently. I thought the pacing was a tad slow, but a great movie otherwise.

Tower Heist gets an A-.


One for the Money


Description from IMDB: “Unemployed and newly-divorced Stephanie Plum lands a job at her cousin’s bail-bond business, where her first assignment puts her on the trail of a wanted local cop from her romantic past.”

I read the Stephanie Plum books. Not all of them because who the hell could keep up? They come out faster than I read. One for the Money was the first, if I remember correctly. The movie was quite entertaining. The characters seemed somewhat diluted from what they were in the books but still interesting. This was good. I approve.

One for the Money gets an A-.


Getting published: what’s it worth to you?

Did you see my pretty book cover? It went up earlier this morning only to get buried by this post.

I recently stumbled on a small publisher who shall remain nameless. This is how their publishing deal works: if they decide to publish your book, they take care of formatting and some editing and some promo, although they do make it clear that the author is responsible for the majority of the promotion (not unusual) like setting up appearences and such.

The publisher offers no advance. In fact, they keep your royalties until they recoup the cost of getting the book together and published. Also, their distribution doesn’t seem much better than what I get on my own.

I understand why they operate that way with the money, but I’m not sure how beneficial it is to the author, other than the fact they get to say they’re published. I don’t think I could trust a small company who tells me they might eventually give me some money. Maybe. If they decide to be truthful about how many books you’ve actually sold.

Of course, that could be a concern with any size publisher. I might just be paranoid.

From here, this is what I see – authors possibly making less money (risk) but gaining whatever prestige comes with being a “published” writer. Am I just being cynical about a company who means well but has limited resources?

a book cover

Hey there! Happy cold ass second day of Spring! When does the warm weather start? I’m ready for it; that’s for sure.

I have a book cover for Pestilence Rising. I planned to post this yesterday but then proceeded to monkey around with it some more, because that’s how I roll.

This actually went pretty well. It’s the fastest cover I’ve made yet. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted. I also had only one reject design. Yay!

The title font is customized, as you can probably tell. It’s supposed to be bone-like, specifically wing bone-like. The original sketch was for a font completely from scratch. The end result after conversion into Fireworks was passable but not awesome, so I switched over to Century Gothic and narrowed it to 80% of its default width. I did end up using the “P” and the “R” that I made. Then I added the bone details to all of the letters and made some adjustments to compensate for the smaller spaces between.

Here’s the finished ebook cover.

Pestilence Rising png cover

The photos are from wikimedia and used on creative commons licenses. Full credits will be listed in the book once it’s published.

Total cover art completion time (including the fail), probably about 5 hours scattered over various days.

The current project is the book trailer. I’m trying not to make it too wordy, but it will still be somewhat wordy. It’s a book. It’s the nature of the thing, you know? Ideal completion time: by Friday, but I never know what issues I might encounter. Realistically, it will probably be 2 weeks or so. Will post as tasks are completed.

Party on.

movie: 21 Jump Street

The movie this weekend was 21 Jump Street.


Description from IMDB: “In high school, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) was a dork and Jenko (Channing Tatum) was the popular jock. After graduation, both of them joined the police force and ended up as partners riding bicycles in the city park. Since they are young and look like high school students, they are assigned to an undercover unit to infiltrate a drug ring that is supplying high school students synthetic drugs. Written by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)”

I think saying they look like high school students is a stretch. I did like that when they were sent back to high school, their roles were reversed. The jock is forced into the nerdy crowd, and the geekier guy gets in with the more popular kids.

I found this movie quite entertaining. From the general awkwardness of the inept undercover cops to the various effects of the drug they’re trying to find, there is much hilarity. I can’t think of any part of the movie that I didn’t like. I would love to see a sequel.

21 Jump Street gets an A.

some updates and a beta read offer

How are you today, fellow netizens? I am quite fine and dandy. I’ve scheduled myself a mini writing retreat during the last week of March. The kids are leaving on vacation without me (sigh), so the house will be quiet. I thought it would be a good time to get the next book going. I’m taking a four-day weekend.

Now, if I can just keep myself from getting distracted by video games and keep my husband from devouring my time like it’s some gourmet dish, I think all will go swimmingly.

I sometimes have this grand notion that I could barricade myself in a hotel room with no distractions and get a lot done that way, but honestly, I’d probably just drink a bunch of wine and sleep for like 15 hours. So yes, home is probably better for productivity. Plus I have my kitchen with my food in it and Maxwell (cat) is there. I am quite fond of his presence.

The project this weekend is the cover art for Pestilence Rising. I have a good idea of what I want, font and such. I’m quite confident it’s going to be my best cover yet. And it won’t be black! Crazy, right? I’ll give y’all a look when it’s finished.

That reminds me, I would like to find one or two beta readers for the final version. The book has been edited and beta-read, but I’m still paranoid about typos and such. I have trouble leaving things alone and am worried I’ve screwed part of it up somewhere along the line.

If anyone is interested in beta reading for me, shoot me an email at lea-ryan at hotmail dot com and let me know if you would like a doc or pdf or an epub file and I’ll send it. I would be happy to thank you by name in the acknowledgements.

Here’s the book description as it stands now.

“When Hunter’s emotions break free of his control, any person unfortunate enough to be standing nearby is stricken with a wasting sickness. His affliction has alienated him from his family and prevented him from making any real friends. His life is one of isolation imposed by both himself and his domineering employer, but all that is about to change.

The Center for the Preservation of Natural Order classifies his kind as “ravagers”, just another anomaly from which they must protect the rest of society. The Center allows Hunter to remain free on the condition that he work for them, identifying other people like him for capture. The arrangement works for all parties involved until a girl claiming to be an angel appears in his living room.

Celeste brings word that a cult has kidnapped his estranged brother, and Hunter is the only person who can save him. The two of them plunge into the rainy night with Center agents hot on their tail.

As if their journey weren’t perilous enough, they have to deal with rising floodwaters consuming the countryside and bizarre interference brought by a beautiful, tattooed woman appearing to Hunter as a reflection in glass and water. She seeks to lure him away from Celeste, toward a place in which he no longer has to fear what he is. He will be forced to decide where his loyalties lie.”