movie: The Watch

watch

Description from IMDB: “Four men who form a neighborhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day family routines find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion.”

We found this movie on the cable on demand and didn’t know what it was, at first. The only reason we watched it was the badass cast listed in the description. Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill and Vince Vaughn. There was a fourth guy named Richard Ayoade, who I had never heard of, but he was awesome, as well.

In order to fully appreciate The Watch, you have to be into certain kinds of humor. First, there are some really crude parts, like excessively crude. Lots of dick jokes. Second, you have to be able to laugh at people behaving weirdly. The personalities of the main characters are quite colorful.

It also throws in a bit of action – alien fighting and such. The Watch is very funny and exciting. It gets an A.

Rowan’s Book

Today I have a visitor! My writing friend, Rowan, has a new book out. It’s quite an interesting and imaginative read. Below is a bit she’s written about the book.

I would like to think that Charlie, or Tales of Phallusy (as I have officially dubbed it) is a tongue-in-cheek homage, a sarcastic salute, to fantasy.

I’ve always been a fan of fantasy, and it’s pretty much the only genre I read. I love how anything goes, there are no boundaries, or, at least, there could be no boundaries, but there are, in most cases, and they’re the ones that are set out by a non communicative vote. Things like, everyone being impossible beautiful, or incredible fighters with little training, or really strong in magic. If done well, it’s great, but sometimes I just thought, “hmmm, really?”

My mother has said to me numerous times that writers write what they want to read. I’m not sure how valid this is for most of them, but for me, it’s true. I’ve found that I’m most comfortable writing comedy, dark stuff, and most of all, magical stuff. I grew up reading Terry Pratchett, Phillip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones and various others, so it makes sense.

Charlie came about as an idea, just a small one that I had in 2009 and wrote down. It only said something like “Girl, beautiful and smart, been kidnapped and is stuck in an inn, making sarcastic comments.”

Then she sat on my hard drive for a year, until I was reading through my work, and thought about putting her into this scenario I had bobbing about in my head. It worked and from then on I couldn’t stop writing. That scene was cataclysmic for the development of the story. I wrote about 240,000 words in ten months, and that’s with losing between 18,000 and 25,000 words when my hard drive broke (moral of the story, always back up).

Through various people, including my mother and the people at Warrington Wire Writers Group, I decided that it would be better if I split it in half. There was a natural break after about 100,000 words, and I’d thought to finish the book there when I was writing it, but had carried on. I’d always planned on writing two books, but now there might be three.

When writing I didn’t really think about themes or what I was trying to say with this book. I just wrote. Now, having time to analyse it, and look at other materials I’ve written, I suppose there is a consistent theme about domination, especially over women. But at the time of writing, I was mostly, and crudely, thinking, “hur hur, big penis”…I know, I’m very sophisticated.

I didn’t want this to fall into a typical fantasy book, because although I love them, I also hate them. I sort of wanted this book to acknowledge them, but put its own twist on things. It’s always pointed out to me that I’m contrary. I can’t help it.

———————

cover

Pure Phallusy is FREE for download at Smashwords!

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/359133

book shenanigans both written and recorded

flying books

I go through long spans of time during which nothing really seems to move. I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels, hoping to gain some traction. Then, all of a sudden, rapid fire events occur. This week is leaning toward rapid fire.

I have a review/interview about Pestilence Rising at over at Holly U’s blog, Part of that World.

Here is the link to that.

Another review at Hello-BookLover.tumblr.com

Also, I am equally excited to announce that an audiobook for What the Dead Fear is out. An audiobook! It was narrated by the talented Holly Jackson and is available AT THIS LINK.

I think that’s all for now. I have another announcement for an event in October, but I think I’ll hold off on that for now. No need to tack that business into this business.

movie: Oblivion

oblivion

Description from IMDB: “A veteran assigned to extract Earth’s remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.”

Hmmm…where to start.

I was really excited about seeing this movie. The trailer looked awesome. Tom Cruise and sci fi go together like chocolate and caramel. My dad saw it in the theater. He liked it, and he doesn’t like anything!

I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The special effects were really good. The futuristic stuff was freakishly slick and modern. Very nice. The acting was good. Extra points for the presence of Morgan Freeman and that guy who plays Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones.

The music was awful and annoying. Think cheesy 80s synthesizer music with a sci fi theme.

The story also felt strangely fragmented. It leaned heavily into one plot line. Then it would abandon that for a while for a shiny new thing over there. Maybe they tried to cram in too much story.

Oblivion was okay. It could’ve been better. It gets a C.

Book Release Day!

Pestilence Rising is out! Woo!

Pestilence Rising Cover jpg

Hunter lives alone. He eats and sleeps alone. The only people he can relate to are those he finds on the other side of an internet connection. Like him, they have extraordinary abilities, and like him, they want to keep anyone from finding out. His job is to manipulate them into revealing their deepest secrets to him, secrets that will maintain his freedom and surely end theirs.

His employer classifies him as a “ravager”. Unfortunately, his ability is more affliction than asset. If he loses control of his emotions, anyone nearby is stricken with a disease that could prove fatal. The Center for the Preservation of Natural Order allows him to remain free on the condition that he keep a low profile and he work for them.

The arrangement works for all parties involved until a girl claiming to be an angel appears in his living room. Celeste brings word that his estranged brother is missing. Only the two of them can save him.

When his supervisor comes looking for her, Hunter is faced with a choice. Should he trust a stranger and become a fugitive for a brother he barely knows or turn her in, go back to the lonely existence that’s kept him from being a danger to innocent people for so long? And who the hell is the strange, tattooed woman who keeps appearing to him in reflections and dreams?

Who he decides to become will be the catalyst for change. One way or another, the life he knows is over.

FUN FACTS

Genre: Urban Fantasy

The book available on Amazon. This is the link to the book.

You can enter the Goodreads giveaway and/or add the book to your shelf at this link.

Today is National Cheeseburger Day.

An Interview with the Hungry Monster

Good Monday, internets! I know Monday is usually movie post day but I have an interview over at the Hungry Monster Book Review Blog instead. Variety is the spice of life, yes? Click the monster to link to the interview and Hungry Monster’s blog, which has many wonderful reviews.

monster

Romancing the Books

rose

I’ve read a few blog posts lately by readers who have had enough of the formulaic romance books. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you probably know I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing in the romance genre for quite a while. I’ve been researching. I also started writing a project, which I put aside in an effort to get focused in the things I need to finish. But it’s there.

Anyway, I digress.

Romance readers (the ones who blog, anyway) seem to be put off by the same things that keep me from really getting into reading the genre. This is the impression I’ve gotten from the posts I’ve read – they don’t like recycled plots or the general cheesiness, the over-the-top “perfect” characters, the cringe-inducing bad dialog.

So what keeps them reading?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but what keeps me interested in the romance genre is the emotional connections characters make in the stories, the heat and the drama of it. Romance publishers seem to think this is accomplished by the application of a formulaic plot and bad writing.

Trashy romance novel.

That’s what I think of. It’s a cheap substitute for a more human experience. I don’t understand why the bar is so low in that particular genre. It has such great potential.

Does anyone have suggested reading? Who writes the BEST romance novels? Not necessarily the person with the biggest sales. I know who Danielle Steele is. I mean skill, like Anne Rice/Stephen King level writing skill, only without vampires and such. Well, maybe with vampires if they’re necessary. At this point, I’m not sure I care.