Saturday, February 10, 2018

Make a Movie!!




For my Saturday Seven I thought it would be cool to join in the book-to-movie memes that are out there. Somewhere along the way, I'm sure, like me, you've finished a book and said, "This should be made into a movie!" Whether it be a Whodunit, fantasy or romance, there's something that gave my imagination a definite buzz of excitement. The funny thing is that a couple of them actually made it to the big screen years after I read them. It was like rediscovering an old friend - except the books were always better. **grin**

1)   My very first major book that I was enamored with was read in high school, Dune by Frank Herbert. There was something grand about the whole plot, concept and cast of characters. No matter that it took place in deep space, the base nature that all humans have plays out in glorious weirdness. Starlog Magazine, a publication I devoured like candy as a kid , chronicled the ups and downs of bringing it to life. It was a long road and it finally happened. It think the movie focused on the creepy, sadistic weirdness that was House Harkonnen in too much detail for my liking. In that regard, the book was better. But the Sandworms? Ooooh, that was so COOL!!! I never saw the most recent remake - how can you improve on Kyle MacLachlan and Sting??














2)   Another book that made a great movie was The Day After Tomorrow. There were a few minor differences between book and movie but the tidal wave scene still is one of the best special effects done and I know my imagination could never have created that intense a visual as the movie version. Wow. In that, the movie was better than the book, so I'm glad someone recognized the potential.









3)  Then there was Krull. I'm not sure if the movie came first and then the book, or the book was written following the movie to capitalize on the association, but no matter, the book had details the movie couldn't grasp. The romance between a prince and princess is the ultimate romantic tale especially when it's against impossible odds, a race against time and a formidable foe. The movie is cheezy, sure, but I love it anyway.














4)  Now, I've heard rumors that finally, FINALY the Dragonriders of Pern will be made into a movie. Why did it take so long? That series influenced many a writer, and caused kids to dream big and imagine the possibilities of other worlds. I just hope Hollywood doesn't screw it up by slipping in earth society checklists and instead keeps true to Anne McCaffrey's vision. It's the best!














5)  A movie that SHOULD be made would be based on Sarah Morgan's Sleigh Bells in the Snow (O'Neil Brothers). It would be perfect as a Hallmark Movie. Heck, I'd BUY the movie if it was ever made, especially if it was true to Ms. Morgan's creative vision. That novel is the definition of romance and has been on my keeper shelf since 2013. Love, love, LOVE that book!!!














6)  A novel that was made into a movie recently that totally surprised me was The Wrong Bed: Naked Pursuit by Jill Monroe. I READ that Harlequin story years ago and when Jill announced that it was a movie on Lifetime, I was frantic. I didn't get that channel!!! Fortunately, Lifetime had different online outlets and I was able to watch it on my PC. BEST TIME EVER! Of course, the movie took a few liberties with the original story but still, a Jill Monroe book made it!!!! I was so thrilled!!!














7)  I know that the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris was made into an HBO miniseries and at first, I was so excited. But HBO totally screwed it up. The books were ten times better!! So, although it should be my number seven, I'm going to switch to another world that has been built up over a span of years starting in 1999. Next year will be TWENTY YEARS. A movie or series would have to tone down the sex of course, as the scenes are strongly erotic in nature, but the concept of Carpathians vs vampires, vampire hunters and mages, and very strong leading female characters with serious skills and talents could be an amazing onscreen sensation. The language, customs, romance, healing chants, music and mountainous vistas and forest scenes could be a visual feast of the senses. I believe Christine Feehan's Dark series should be made into movies or a miniseries- but they better let the author have control of her characters. The Dark series has survived 2 decades for a reason! And it's not what Hollywood thinks they know. They understand diddly.












At least with today's Saturday Seven, I'm not 100% paranormal. Sort of. **wink**

Please see today's Saturday Seven at LASR to see everyone else's great posts today!

Thanks for visiting. :)

Saturday, February 03, 2018

My Leading Men




Good morning!

Today's post is going to be a quick one. I was invited to go outlet shopping with a group of friends. When they took me to the new outlets at Foxwoods two months ago, it was my first time going to such a thing. They were aghast.  I was a 'shopping outlets virgin'. They have taken up the challenge to cure me. LOL

Anyway, I was thinking about heroes who take charge and I had no problem coming up with seven.  The dilemma was choosing which ones.  That's a nice puzzle to solve.  So, here are the men who lead me during my romantic getaways of imagination.

Lothaire (Immortals After Dark #12). He was a villain for many books in the series. A true anti-hero. There was something tantalizing about him.  Even though Darth Vader was redeemed in the end, Lothaire kept more true to his character so he never really turned into a goody-two-shoes.  Watching him fall in love was highly entertaining, yet Ms. Cole had a way of humanizing him enough to make him a great leading man. He grew on me. LOL

                         
Seth from Ms. Duvall's Immortal Guardians.  He doesn't have his own HEA yet.  I'm not-so-patiently waiting for it.  Seth is a very unusual hero as he leads and cares for a unique collection of humans.  Why he's so vastly different, what makes the humans he cares for so precious, and the lengths he'll go through to protect them blows my mind.  He seems lonely, he has this internal pain I want to heal, but Seth being Seth, puts everyone's needs before his own.  He's mysterious, powerful and capable of great compassion. 

                                                                   

Rogan from Ilona Andrews Hidden Legacy Series.  He's such a BAD bad boy, he's delicious.  He's powerful, stubborn, manipulative in amazing ways, and he has never loved or been loved, ever. Watching him find a happiness that is unique to the kind of being he is, was an awesome experience!

                                                                   
       

Lucien Argeneau by Lynsay Sands.  He's the big boss, the one all the Immortals fear. He's the perfect straight man. Yes, he shoulders a LOT of responsibility and he carries himself with a stoic, powerful demeanor - but his brethren love to poke him every chance they get - when they deem it safe to do so.  As much as I respect his character, I giggle too.

                                                   
Gregori, the Dark One from Christine Feehan's Dark series.  His HEA is in the 4th book of the series., Dark Magic.  He's a very powerful, scary and spooky Carpathian. He appears many times throughout the series as their most powerful healer and fighter.  He captures my imagination when Ms. Feehan describes him. So when he falls for Savannah, it's a beautiful thing.  Another thing I like about him, he never runs from a fight.
                                               
Vlad.  I' was introduced to  him in the first book, Once Burned, in the Night Prince series. Yes, he's basically Dracula BUT like nothing I'd ever read before.  I ADORED his character - dark though he was.  Ms. Frost created a very seductive hero and of course, the heroine is just as unique as he is.  It's a trilogy so there's plenty of twists and turns.  Vlad isn't a 'I love him" character - there were times I wanted to smack him because he is just SO his own man, arrogant, commanding and very possessive with the woman he eventually falls in love with.  Why he's so commanding, his back story, is explosive in how it touched my heart.  Life made him what he is, but Leila introduced the softer emotions. 

                                                                     

Ian MacKenzie in The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley. I read his story way back in 2012 and it's stayed with me all these years.  Ian has what we now know as Asperger's. His character made such a huge impact that any book in the series that Ms. Ashley writes is always better simply by the virtue of Ian being in it.  I adore, love, want to hug, Ian. His story brings to life the power of love.  He's a terrific, stellar and wonderful hero.
   
                                                           

So, those are my favorite leading men.  If I read Nora Roberts, chances are one of her men would make this list as so many people rave about a certain one.  But I don't so he's not here. ;)

Who is yours?

If you want to see the place that created the Saturday Seven, go here.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Appealing Oddness of Paranormal Romances




My past posts are amazingly bent towards paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy romances. So, I thought I'd share the 7 reasons I prefer them over others. Just so you know, I do read other genres, but none spark my imagination more than alternate realities and universes.
                                                 
 

1) Worldbuilding - whether it be Lynsay Sands, Kerrilynn Sparks, Terry Spear, Dianne Duvall, Jennifer Ashley, Robin D. Owens, Gena Showalter, Christine Feehan, Nina Bangs, Ilona Andrews, Erin M. Leaf, Sandra Hill, Alanea Alder, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, Jayne Castle, Alexandra Ivy, R.E. Butler and scores of others - their imaginations have created a different reality with its own rules, social structure, challenges, lifestyles, and unique methods to finding their mates/loves that lead to the coveted happy ever after. No matter if it's in outer space or a variation of our own Earth, or a combination of both, the possibilities are endless.

2) Being surprised. I enjoy the intrigue of the unknown, and the comfort of being able to relate to the hero and heroine no matter how odd their environment. I like seeing the 'human' side of things even among non-humans and the unexpected means of courtingship and claiming. That makes me think of the series by Cheryl Brooks. Those first few books in the series contained lots of surprises.

3) The claiming. Yes, I know it's been done to the point of overkill, that moment when the hero or heroine catches a whiff of a particular scent that can only mean one thing - mate. In reality, humans marry hoping that their union will be one for the record books - celebrating 50, 60 or 70 years together until death does them part. Alas, for many people, it's not to be. Yet, we never lose hope.

In paranormal romances there is that tantalizing idea of nature providing a spark which points them in a guaranteed direction. For them; it's more than hope, it's seeking what they intrinsically know for a fact, an assurance that there is someone special for them. They know without a doubt when they cross paths. Their hope is more along the lines of fate making them stumble upon each other at just the right time. In my most favorite romances, the hero is (steared or steered?) towards his mate but it's not a given. He has to work for it; woo her, impress her, convince her, romance her and maybe even protect or fight for her. I'm not a fan of whiff-grab-mark-have sex and call those steps 'romance'. No, I want the protagonist to EARN the privilege of their mate's love, devotion and trust. I need a meeting of the minds, a clash of circumstances, a plot to overcome and conflicts I can relate to, before they rumple/tear/burn up the sheets in physical expression of passion, lust and love. The claiming can be by bite, marking or some other mystical manifestation and it's always super steamy, exotic, erotic, and the best part - forever.

                                         

4) Meeting non-humans. This is where an author's creativity can shine. Can gargoyles, dragons, elves, fairies, were-wolves-cats-bears-rabbits find love? Yes. I've read about were-skunks, were-moose and were-beavers. I read about aliens that are truly reptiles-tails included, beings that have an extra arm, or two, and aliens that are essentially blobs that can take whatever form they wish. I've seen aliens turn into madmen because they've not found their mates in a certain time frame - and the heroine has a huge undertaking in saving him in time from permanent insanity with the power of her love. Like I said before, paranormal/sci-fantasy offers unique situations that will never be found in straight contemporary or historical romances. Those genres have set parameters and rules that must always be kept in mind. Non-humans have no such constraint except what the author chooses for them.

5) Sex. Yes, paranormal and sci-fi/fantasy romances offer varied levels of heat - spicy to erotic, and odd or unusual courtship practices. Aliens and paranormal beings do it better. They always seem to know what and how to touch, bite or lick. :) I don't like books where the only plot is how many sex scenes can be squeezed in between a thin vehicle that claims to be a story conflict. I need my emotions involved, I need to be invested in the characters. I need to care. When the criteria is met, the books have a solid chance of going on my keeper shelf. The bedroom door doesn't have to be blasted all the way open but I like being seduced the same time as the heroine. I like when the sensual buildup, tantalizing teases, and near misses culminate in the satisfaction of seeing the protagonists succumb to their passions. When done right, paranormal romance sex is fun.


6) Alien landscapes and cultures - This pertains more to sci-fi/fantasy stories. Obviously this is part of #1, Worldbuiding, but it's the descriptions that are the showcases here. If an author can describe to me what the protagonists are seeing, and I can clearly visualize the scene, then it's worth noting. One author who can illustrate that talent is Elsa Jade because there is this one story that takes place on a hostile planet. The flora and fauna described, as well as a specific predator, knocked my socks off. Of course, there are magically guarded pockets on Earth that are doorways to a supernatural culture that is hardly benign to its denizens. Leave your earthly humanity at the gate because a whole new world is described to take you away from normality.
                                                         
 

7) Pure romantic escapism - Those three words say it all. I don't need a book to educate me on heavy subjects that dog my steps in real life from television, news radio or newspapers. I want to escape the negatives, the stress, and my worries of dealing with every day drudgery and crisis. Take me to another world, another culture where their conflicts are removed from my own. Show me heroes and heroines who are falling in love despite their unusual circumstances. Show me a romance with a happy ending to lighten my day, a story that makes me feel good, and a book that takes me on an adventurous roller coaster of emotions that culminates it the good guys winning and the bad guys getting what they deserve. Romantic escapism is my mental vacation. Paranormal/Sci-Fi/Fantasy pulls me out of my world and sends me into uncharted destinies. The lure is impossible for me to resist.


Paranormal romances may take me to odd places with quirky characters, but they are always entertaining. Love is their end goal. The pursuit of love and a solid happy ever after are such appealing hooks, I'm a pushover.

Now I get to ask you. Of my 7, which one speaks the most to you? Do we have anything in common?

This post is due in large part to Long and Short Reviews - A site where I've discovered so many new authors while browsing their reviews, it's a favorite of mine. I'm happy to be a part of their Saturday Seven.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

So Addicting, I Binged Bought




Good moring! This Saturday I'm going to share books/series/authors who've inspired me to binge buy. Many people talk about what series they've binge watched on Netflix, but hardly anyone crows about doing the same with books.

The first one I want to share is:

1) Big Sky Alien Mail Order Brides By Elsa Jade

They were looking for love in all the wrong galaxies… -

With a teaser like that, my curiosity prompted me to buy the first story in the series. After Alpha Star, I immediately bought 6 books by Ms. Jade, then I bought a couple of others. And I read to my heart's content. They weren't all first-place winners but every single one entertained, engaged and provided wonderful escapism with an HEA.



2) Wolves of Angels Rest is another series by Elsa Jade

The mating moon is rising...
The wolf-shifters of Angels Rest are on the prowl.



I bought 10 of the books right off the bat and I devoured every single one. I think I read all the books in both series within a week and a half. They were so much fun!



3) The title grabbed me - Monster in My Closet (A Monster Haven Story, Book 1) but the book enchanted me. The concept was so different and original, how could I resist? My reading frenzie resulted in the immediate purchase of 7 more books in the series and I devoured them within a matter of days. Fascinating stuff!!




4) Alanea Alder is my next binge buying event - it started with My Commander and I was so hooked I promptly bought 5 more and enjoyed every single one.

In researching book covers for this, I noticed that there are 3 more books in the series I missed!!! Guess what I'm going to be doing today??? **grin**

5) I think I've lost count as to how many of Lynn Red's books I've bought and read. I stopped looking at titles after I hit 10, lol. If you like shifter romances be it bear or wolf, then she's got the goods.



6) Caris Roane is another author that I simply could not get enough of. I discovered her Blood Rose series when she was 6 books in - I bought them all and then as soon as the others came out... 3 more I believe, I bought them as well. How could I not? I loved her heroes! So yeah, I binged until I read them all.




6) Jennifer Ashley and her paranormal shifter series. I've bought books in binge style twice, both times it was 5 books in a row. She has so many to choose from! Her heroes and heroines are strong and compliment each other nicely. Her world building is certainly unique and I was always vested in her heroes finding their HEA. They didn't have it easy. Their falling in love is the greatest hook!






Actually, I went looking through my list and so far I have a OVER 20 books by Ms. Ashley. That's quite the investment in an author, eh? Worth every dollar. :)






7) Aileen Erin - Nook had her first book, Becoming Alpha, on sale at a price I couldn't pass up. The premise sounded interesting. At first I thought it was going to be a YA series, but instead I think it's a New Adult .. or whatever the term ... it's a paranormal with lots of drama, action, challenges and witches - both good and bad. It follows the journey of a young girl who was accidentally bit and turned into a werewolf. The set up might sound familiar to avid paranormal readers, but trust me, there's a lot that is wholly unique to Ms. Erin. I was blown away and had to, simply HAD TO find out if there were more and I found a total of 8 books. It was the PERFECT Binge Read experience!!!! The books have to be read in order because it's following Tessa's journey and I am so SO glad I discovered Ms. Erin's Alpha series. It rocks.





There you have it - my 7 most amazing binge reads. When I look back over my post I realize I'm REALLY into paranormal binge reading! I had no idea! That's funny.

The good thing is, I know more are waiting for me out there in bookland and I can't wait to find my next addiction. Do you have any to recommend? :) I adore discovering new authors.

Anyway,
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Authors Who Write with Bite




Happy Saturday! And, welcome to my fandom.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of paranormal romances. I've been giving a bit of thought as to what I'd want to contribute to this today's Saturday 7 and I thought I'd list the names of my go-to authors whose heroes love to nip, bite and claim.

To be chosen by using such a basic and visceral method appeals to that part of me that responds with an ancient female instinct similar to our furry counterparts in nature - to wait and watch while suitors joust, show physical prowess, strength and dominance so a female can mate with the strongest male, -.procreation with the strongest is an intense survival instinct in nature. Humans have a much more difficult time of it and muck it up a lot.  I think that's why I like stories about heroes who have a penchant to bite, mark and claim their chosen lady because nature gives those guys a bit of a push - usually a scent or other sign that she's 'the one'. Their assured exclusivity and monogamy to one woman, and all that focus of sexual drive, the need to protect and the treating of a woman like the sun rises and sets in her eyes, has a huge appeal to the romantic within me. These 7 authors have captured my imagination like no other and I'm thrilled to share them with you.

1) Christine Feehan




Ms. Feehan's Carpathians have been thrilling me for over 15 years. She's been entertaining readers since her first book, Dark Prince, exploded on the shelves in 1999.  In them, her heroes cannot see colors, have no feelings and within them lies a spreading darkness that will consume them and turn them into vampires unless they have the fortitude to recognize the end is near, can no longer hold out on hope and loyalty alone, and face the sun before they succumb to evil. Their one hope, as slim as it is due to a plot thread woven throughout many of the early books, is to find their lifemate; she's a woman who is their one - the other half of their soul who can save them from the darkness within. She gives them back their ability to feel and to see color.

What I enjoy is watching these merciless killers of the undead get knocked on their butts by the colors that blast their eyes, and the return of lost emotions that overwhelm their good sense. Their protective streak explodes and their about-to-be lifemate is faced with a man who is not only macho, alpha, dominant and arrogant - those protective instincts are in overdrive.  His woman must be protected at all costs and when she's not happy he considers it a personal failure. The guys are stymied by the fact that all the heroines are modern women who push right back and refuse to be the 'little woman at home'.  That's quite a learning curve for men who are usually a few hundred years old or older.

The reason Ms. Feehan's Carpathians are on my list is because of; HOW they claim their woman. It's sensual, sexy and there are fangs involved. The author makes it romantic because there are these ritual words that are said which encompass all what a woman can hope for in her man in real life. She is first in all things and her happiness is of major concern as well as her safety. Her hero can do no other than to love her above all others - she truly is the light of; his life. What's there not to like about that? There's a new Dark book coming out in 2018 and I can't wait!

My second choice is considered controversial by a lot of readers out there.

2) Laurell K. Hamilton





A lot of early fans think the first book, Guilty Pleasures published in 1993, through Obsidian Butterfly in 2000 were the best because they focused more on the drama, the dark side of paranormal crimes and Anita Blake's role as consultant to the paranormal police division. The macabre dance of romance between Anita, Jean Claude, (vampire) Master of the City, and Richard (Werewolf), really started to form from Lunatic Cafe on.

Once Narcissus in Chains was published in 2001 things took a dramatic turn. The elements for a complicated, convoluted and unconventional romance were introduced. It would take a while for the focus of the books to really turn from external plot conflicts to personal and in the process many early fans had a hard time adjusting to the new focus - Anita's love life. During the years after 2006 the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series turned to dark eroticism. Between vampires, werewolves, a select group of werecats (jaguar, tiger, panther) there's a lot of biting, claiming, marking and sexual dynamics that make up the strengthening romance between Anita and a few key characters.

Longstanding fans who've stuck with the series, and even fans of erotic romances, gobble up every novel Ms. Hamilton produces because we've been invested in Jean Claude's, Micah's and Nathan's love for Anita and her love for them for quite some time. Marking comes with some unusual side effects and I'm enjoying every chapter of their developing romance. Complication is Anita's middle name and I never know what Ms. Hamilton has in store for her intrepid heroine. I have to wait until August, 2018 to find out what's next.

3) Kerrelyn Sparks



Ms. Sparks is an author with a ginormous sense of humor who inserts her own fandom of certain genres into surprising moments within her novels. Since I share the same appreciation and sense of fun, her books have always entertained me on various levels. The heroes and heroines are usually always vampires so you know there is a lot of biting. There are Highland warriors, French fencing experts and other paranormal beings that kept the Love at Stake series fresh, funny and addicting. Well, Howard was a bit different but he was lovable, adorable and was one of my favorite heroes. The series completed with Crouching Tiger, Forbidden Vampire so new readers can binge-read to their hearts content. Ms. Sparks' books are and will continue to be, on my keeper shelf.

4) Lynsay Sands



Ms. Sands made my previous post of Saturday 7 as one author who made me laugh. Well, she makes me sigh and swoon with her Immortal heroes, descendants from Atlantis. Of course they feed like vampires but they eat food too. How Ms. Sands incorporates eating food in her romances is unique, clever and important. However, it's when the romantic protagonists bite their love-to-be that things get really hot, steamy and very, very sexy. Her 27th book in her Argeneau series is coming out in March and I can't wait. She's managed to keep the series fresh and surprising and lately she's discovered a whole new aspect to explore with a new kind of villain to defeat - readers are in for fun and exciting times ahead.

5) Lydia Dare & 6) Terry Spear

Both authors do what I affectionately refer to as "wolfie romances'. I adore them. When those hot sexy, hot heroes bite you, you're mated and it's forever. A guaranteed love is the stuff of dreams, wishes and fantasy but it's an idea that's successfully seductive and thrilling. It's all on how it comes about - the pursuit and the claiming. ::swoon::











What's really cool is that two of the books have a tagline on the front cover from Long and Short Reviews. How cool is that??? Where do you think I go to find book recommends? :)


Last but not least,
7) Dianne Duvall

This is an author that I've been avidly following for the past 5 years or so. Oh my gosh, this series is SO AMAZING! Yes, there is transformational biting within the novels of the Immortal Guardian series - 7 so far. Only heroines and heroes with a hidden element in their DNA can be turned. The why of it, the history, and the teasing possibilities, are still being slowly revealed.

Ms. Duvall has me completely captivated. She has yet to write a story that doesn't suck me in 100%. If you've never heard of her and you are a fan of paranormal romances, then take my word for it, you're in for a treat. Of course it's my opinion but I am such a fan that I want everyone to fall in love with them too. The more readers, the more likely the author's publisher will continue to be supportive in Ms. Duvall's writing. The oldest of the Immortals HAVE to get their HEAs!! The only drawback, not that I truly consider it as one, is that each consecutive story builds on one another. You won't care about Seth or Darnell unless you've read from the beginning. And I care - greatly.

There's drama, excitement, sword fights and an uber villain is just getting started causing major mayhem. When the heroes and heroines get together, their scenes are sexy, seductive and truly hot.

Love, love, love this series!!!



I hope you enjoyed my Saturday 7 with Bite. All these authors are on my keeper shelf, with good reason. Many I have as print or hardcover books but I'm also getting ebook backups. Also, they have the distinction of having a high re-readability factor. Many people have movies that they'll watch again and again. I have books.