Monthly Archives: March 2010

Movie Quiz #2

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m not a big follower of the holiday, but I wanted to honor it with yet another movie quiz. This time I’m going to keep it from being too difficult (I hope).

Before I start, let me just mention the reason for hard quotes. My younger brother is a movie quote freak. He’s the same person who can watch a movie with obscure actors and tell you what other movies they’ve been in as well as any commercials they’ve been in. Yes. He startled me one day by saying ‘See that guy in the crowd right there? He’s in (blah) as so and so.’ This usually leaves me staring at him with my lip curled. Hmph. My memory for faces just isn’t there. Give me bands and musicians and I’m a genius.

Anyway, on to the quiz!! Again, we’ll go with the person who answers the most correctly as the winner and they’ll get a $10 Amazon gift card.

1. “You’re a vampire! I knew it!”
    “I am not!”
    “So what are you? The Flying Nun?”

2. “Now let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself.” And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.”

3. “I know what you’re thinking, ’cause right now I’m thinking the same thing. Actually, I’ve been thinking it ever since I got here: Why oh why didn’t I take the BLUE pill?”

4. “Or are you here to tell me what a bad eugoogoolizer I am?” 
    “A what?” 
    “A eugoogoolizer… one who speaks at funerals…Or did you think I was too stupid to know what a eugoogooly was?”

5. “I love you, Pumpkin.”
    “I love you, Honey Bunny.”
    “All right, everybody be cool, this is a robbery!”

6. “Didn’t you see Fatal Attraction?” 
    “You wouldn’t let me!” 
    “Well I saw it and it scared the shit out of me. It scared the shit out of every man in America.”

7.  “I had to be up at that there crossroads last midnight, to sell my soul to the devil.”
     “Well, ain’t it a small world, spiritually speaking. Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved. I guess I’m the only one that remains unaffiliated.”

8. “Are we being too literal?”
    “No you fool, we’re following orders. We were told to comb the desert so we’re combing it.”

9. “And most recently of all, a “Roman Toga Party” was held from which we have received more than two dozen reports of individual acts of perversion SO profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here.”

10. “When I was growing up, I knew I was different. The other girls were blonde and delicate, and I was a swarthy six-year-old with sideburns.”

There you go, I hope they aren’t as hard as last time. Let’s see how you do! Remember, the winner will get a $10 Amazon gift card, so put your thinking caps on!

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Hero, Meet Heroine

I began my current WIP about three weeks ago. There I was, pleased as punch, just churning out words. I’d plotted and researched for a while before actually putting words to screen. Then, when I was 30k words into the story, I had a revelation: I was writing the story all wrong.

What had seemed like a good idea when I was plotting it out, felt wrong. I didn’t want my hero to be such an ass that readers wouldn’t like him. He still has to be an ass though. It’s part of the lesson he has to learn (you know, how not to be an ass). But the way I was writing the story, he was too hard, the heroine was too soft. Meh.

So I had to think about how to turn it around without straying too far from my planned plot. All I did was change the way the hero and heroine met. That one scene gave the story an entirely different feel and my heroine isn’t a wimp now while my hero is a dangerously sexy ass instead of just an ass. (It’s my word of the day folks, sorry.)

What did I do exactly? Well, here’s a look at what it was and what it is now:

Before
It was inevitable. When you have an outdoor table full of steaming food, some nasty animal was bound to come by and try to snatch it.
With a growl of possessive fury, Talon lunged at the cat trying to steal a piece of fish from one of his many plates.

After
A naked woman answered the door, her lips wet and swollen, eyes heavy with sated desire.
Valeria York took an instinctive step back.
“I hope you’re up for a hard ride,” the woman said in a drowsy voice. “He’s insatiable this afternoon.”

I think the second is much better. In the ‘before’ my idea was for the hero to be so insensitive, he wouldn’t help a starving animal, scaring it instead and causing the heroine to rescue it and immediately label him as an animal abuser. Yeah, I didn’t like that so much. The ‘after’ we see is just a man with too much staying power for one woman…ahem.

What do you think? And what to do you do when you realize your characters’ first meeting isn’t quite right?

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Have I Become Mommy Dearest?

Okay, so I don’t have children, I have pets. After this weekend, I’m thinking it’s better this way (for my own health).

Last week I noticed my 8-year-old miniature Schnauzer wasn’t acting like herself. She was sleeping more, not showing interest in her food, and had mucus coming out of her eyes. I was frantic after doing on-line research. Ever notice how helpful, yet paranoid inducing the internet is?

So I made my little girl an appointment with the vet on Saturday morning. We spent nearly 3 hours there because the vet feared Mia might have pancreatitis or an infected uterus. Yes, freak out was imminent. Especially since the vet wanted to get x-rays of my baby. When they took her in the back, the tears started to fall. I hate crying in public. It flat out bothers me, but there was no helping it.

As a result of my attempts to be strong and stoic, my mom decided she needed to come sit with me at the vet’s office. There were no more tears after my initial breakdown, but the news wasn’t the best. My Mia has a kidney infection, which the vet is hoping can be cleared up with antibiotics. They had to give her fluids and anti-nausea medication. And as for the mucus in her eyes, that’s from pink eye (I didn’t know dogs could get pink eye).

Now to the title of the post. Because of her weakness from not eating, the vet suggested we syringe food into her mouth if she wouldn’t eat on her own. That’s what I did this weekend: force fed my dog. She hates it, I hate it, but there’s no help for it. Not only do I have to force her to eat, but I also have to shove pills down her throat.

This makes me out to be the bad guy because every time I go near her to administer more medicine or try to tempt her to eat, she tries to wiggle away from me (very slowly). *sigh* I’m worried about her. So much so, that I was tempted to call in to work today, but if I don’t work, I won’t have money to pay for more vet bills.

So is this something all moms feel? Like even though their intentions are good, they’re the bad guy, or mommy dearest? I’m not sure I could have children if this is how I behave with my pets because knowing she’s scared and wary of me, breaks my heart.

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Fantasy Man Friday

Well, it’s been an interesting week. I’ve moved offices yet again. So far, out of the 4 yard our company owns, I have worked at 3. I’m almost feeling nomadic.

Tomorrow is the dreaded dress excursion. I’m shuddering, people. Shuddering! Maybe I can get out of going. I’ll plead the plague. No one would want me to go dress shopping then!

Anyway, I need to end this week on a positively gorgeous note. Yesterday, over at The Naked Hero they were discussing a show called Manhunter, but all I really brought away from that post, was how attractive cowboys are. Have I ever been near a horse? No. The closest I’ve ever come to a horse was at parades when they walked the streets at the end of the truck parade on Mardi Gras day. That doesn’t mean I can’t admire and drool over the men who handle those horses.

So today’s offering is a cowboy. Imagine him roaming the land on horseback, his Stetson shading his eyes, leaving nothing but a gorgeous mouth and a shadowed jaw visible…Or better yet, imagine this:

Okay, so there’s no horse in this picture…but who cares? I can think of so many ribald things to say right now but I’m not going to. Okay, just one. This is a man who looks like a horse isn’t required for riding. Ahem.

What do y’all think?

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Tales of a Groomswoman Part 1

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but my younger brother is getting married in June. It’s weird. I remember him as this little boy who followed me around and ruined my social life (as an 8-year-old, visiting my friend across the street was a social life).

So he’s getting married and really, this will be the first big wedding my family has seen in over 20 years. We’re not a big family, and the last few weddings were simple ceremonies in front of a Justice of the Peace, or a minister at someone’s home. My brother’s wedding, on the other hand, will be a true Catholic wedding.

My future sister-in-law has seven bridesmaids. We don’t have that many men in our family. Sadly enough, or not so sadly, the women outnumber the men. He came up with four groomsmen, borrowed one from his bride-to-be’s family, and still had two slots left. He was going to leave them open, which would’ve just looked funny. So what did he do? He asked me and my cousin, Jenny, to stand in as groomswomen.

Thankfully, we won’t have to walk with the bridesmaids because that would just be weird. We’re not wearing tuxes either. No, we have to find…dresses. I’m shuddering even while I type this. I’m not a dress type person. I never have been. I tried talking them into kilts. I can do a kilt, but no, my sister-in-law nipped that idea in the bud.

So this weekend, my cousin and I are braving New Orleans to find something appropriate to wear. Problem is, we’re so not the same size. What looks good on her won’t look good on me, and vice versa. We’ll have to compromise, which when it comes to two hard-headed females, might not work out.

I’m hoping that whatever we do find, I’ll be able to wear again, possibly for the RWA awards banquet. Then I can justify my spending money on a…ick, dress.

I’ll blog about this more and more, the closer the wedding gets, so I hope you’re all prepared for some fun!

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Quiz Winner

Obviously Liz was the winner of yesterday’s quiz. Liz, if you could e-mail me at danica.avet@gmail.com I can send you a list of books for you to choose from. Congrats!

So last night after work, I headed out to get a new cell phone. I’m wondering why I did this to myself. Now I have a new phone and weird things to learn. It isn’t that I’m opposed to learning something new, but that I feel like I’m making mistakes left and right. Oh well, it’ll be fun if I can get the phone to work!

It would’ve been much nicer if the sales rep had known how to use the phone but since it just came out, they hadn’t taken their class on it yet. Seems silly to me, to sell a phone before learning about it, but there you go. Now I’m like a toddler learning how to walk, but at least I’ll have taught myself which will make me an expert! (Because I’m an expert walker now…31 years of walking has done that.)

I really thought today was Thursday. I was hopeful it was Thursday. Mostly because we’d be that much closer to Friday. Other than that, I have nothing new to report. I will get this phone to work and then I’ll tweet all day, happy as a lark. Are larks happy? If so, why are they happy?

How are things in your world?

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Movie Quotes Quiz

I really don’t have anything to talk about today. I’m really just kind of…here. I hate it when I get like this. It’s like all the creative, interesting things I usually talk about have fled between the time I put my head on the pillow last night and woke up this morning.

So instead of boring you all with a lackluster post, I’m going to challenge you all to a movie quote quiz. I’ll give you a list of quotes and the person who answers the most correctly, will win a book from my personal stash of unreads.

Here goes:

1. “All we are is dust in the wind, dude.”

2. “Why do they call him the Bullet-Dodger?”
    “Cause he…dodges bullets, Avi.”

3. “Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, ‘Aaaaaaaah’?”

4. “We were in the nick of time. You were in great peril.” 
     “I don’t think I was.”
     “Yes, you were. You were in terrible peril.”
     “Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.”
     “No, it’s too perilous.”
     “Look, it’s my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can. ”

5. “Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!”

6. “My Guatemalan-ness, my natural heat. You’re afraid I’m too primitive to be on the stage with your little estrogen rockettes, right?”

7. “Then you got to get sent to a slam, where they tell you you’ll never see daylight again. You dig up a doctor, and you pay him 20 menthol Kools to do a surgical shine job on your eyeballs.”

8. “Ask that little Latin boy in drag why he’s crying.”
    “Little Latin boy in drag, why are you crying?”

9. “It’s stuck, yes?”
    “Back off! You don’t know the components!”
    “Components. American components, Russian Components, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!”

10. “‘Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…'”

I happen to love all 10 of these movies, if that gives you any hint! Good luck, and I hope some of these made you think!

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All Fun and Games

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned how much I used to love games. Not just video games, but board games, card games, on-line RPGs. Oh sure, it all started innocently enough. Candyland with my cousins, Skip-Bo with my aunt, Scrabble with my mom. Then the video games became easier to attain and Nintendo opened a whole new world for my family.

We were always a little behind the rest of the world when it came to the digital age. Computers were too expensive for everyone to have their very own, but once that happened, I found a whole new love: RPGs.

I was in my final year of college when my brother began borrowing my computer to play this really weird game while I was out partying. I had this strange application on my computer and out of curiosity the December of 1999, I opened it. Of course, I instantly shouted for my brother to tell me what it was.

It was called a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon). Yeah, I didn’t understand what that meant, but basically it’s a Dungeon and Dragons on-line game. It was entirely text based, so being able to absorb information and type quickly is paramount. I mean, how else are you supposed to survive a gnoll attack if you don’t quickly start typing out commands?

I was addicted. Immediately. It was a whole new world for me. In about six months, I’d passed my brother up and rose to the highest level in the game. Yes, there were a few (okay several) times I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning playing my character. That was 10 years ago. In that time, my character has killed, died, and then attained immortality. I loved this game so much, I wanted to be a part of its creation and became a “wizard”.

I’m not the most technically savvy person I know, but I have an imagination. Putting those skills to the test on-line in a community where my fellow gamers could see what I came up with, helped me become more confident in my creativity. I haven’t been on the MUD for at least a year, but I can’t forget it. Using what I learned from the “world”, I’ve created my own worlds in my books and my typing improved so much from trying not to die, that I’m pretty darn fast now. This helps me when my mind is clicking away at what feels like light-speed.

It’s strange how something that was merely entertainment became a basis for a writing career I can’t wait to achieve. What in your life has helped you in your writing? What, other than books and movies, has helped you in your world-building?

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Fantasy Man Friday

I suddenly have the urge to use that echo voice you hear on really bad radio commercials. Friday-Friday-Friday…yeah, okay. It doesn’t work as well in text.

Moving on. This has been a long week. Well, technically it’s the same length as every week, but these last five days have felt like weeks. The one thing I can say about it, however, is that it’s beautiful. The weather cleared up after Tuesday and the sun is shining. Gorgeous, gorgeous weather.

If you’ve followed my blog this week, you’ll remember that I attended a concert on Tuesday night. Now, I’m not going to go into the concert again, but that concert put me in mind of sexy musicians. I’m not going to show pictures of them. Instead, today’s Fantasy Man is a man I wish was a rock star. You know, so I could go to his shows and sit in the very first row…

Oh yes, he is wearing a KILT. Hubba, hubba, woo-woo. I mean, really. Would you pass up the chance to see this man on stage? Don’t lie. He could sing Macarena for all I care as long as he’s whipping that kilt left and right offering me a glimpse of his non-underwear wearing self. Yes, I’m perverted. I’m sorry. I can’t help it. I’m practicing for retirement. You heard me! I’m going to be that dirty old lady who tells all the good-looking orderlies to sit on her lap. *shrug* Everyone has to have a dream.

What do you think of today’s fantasy man? Does he make you wanna woot-woot?

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Book Review: Death’s Mistress

It took me a little longer to read Karen Chance’s Death’s Mistress, not because it was a slow read, but because of the concert I attended. To be honest, I was kind of put out that I had to stop reading, but I was appeased by finishing the book last night.

Death’s Mistress isn’t your run-of-the-mill romance, but neither is it quite fantasy. Her characters are complex, but her world building is downright staggering. The blending of fantasy and the mundane is so flawless, that you think anything in her books are possible.

Here’s the blurb:

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing.

Back home in Brooklyn after the demise of her insane uncle, Dracula, Dory’s hoping her life is about to calm down. But then she gets some visitors. A friend wants Dory’s help in finding a magical Fey relic, and the gorgeous vampire Louis-Cesare is desperate to find his mistress, Christine.

Dory and Lous-Cesare quickly discover that the same master vampire Christine is bound to is also rumored to be in possession of the relic. But when the master vampire turns up dead, they realize that there’s more at stake than a missing mistress. Someone is killing vampire Senate members, and if Dory and Louis-Cesare can’t stop the murderer, they might be next.

Okay, so let me start by saying that usually I don’t like to read first-person series. I think I might’ve mentioned this before. However, Karen Chance has such a way with words that I quickly forget that it’s in first person and get lost in the story.

Dory is a great character. She’s flawed, she’s snarky, and she’s bad-ass. She sets out to find her friend and finds a lot more trouble than she expected. Things go crazy right from the start and don’t stop until the book ends. Louis-Cesare is a great hero. I love him. He’s so…lethal and sexy and honorable. Gotta love those honorable men, er vampires. He and Dory have a serious attraction going on and it just sets the pages on fire. But there are so many obstacles in their path that a relationship appears impossible.

Once again, no spoilers, but I was happy with the ending. The action was non-stop and fast-paced. You spend the entire time thinking, “Jeez, I’d just give up!” but not Dory. She’s not made that way. Even better, she finally begins to resolve some of her issues with her father, the Senate vampire Mircea. I want so badly for them to work out their problems and have a good relationship.

I love how Karen Chance has taken one series and manipulated it into a spin-off. The Cassandra Palmer series is what first hooked me on Chance as a writer, and her Dorina Basarab series is definitely a winner. I give this latest addition two thumbs up, and a stake.

If you’re interested in reading Ms. Chance’s books, she has two series that intermingle. They are:

The Cassandra Palmer Series:
Touch the Dark
Claimed by Shadow
Embrace the Night
Curse the Dawn

The Dorina Basarab Series:
Midnight’s Daughter
Death’s Mistress 
 

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