30 September 2012

So close ...

I had another blog post set, but then something completely and utterly random happened to me and it involved something from one of my favourite movies of all time ...Ghostbusters.

I LOVE Ghostbusters. Love it. I remember seeing the first one when I was a kid in the Drive-in theatre in my home town. It terrified me, as I was under 10 at the time, but it was also so funny and I had a major crush on Peter Venkman (Bill Murray).

My brother recently moved in with us for a short while, while he relocated to a new job. He decided to do his Christmas shopping for his niece and nephews (my kids) on Friday. He works such long and random shifts, he never knows when he'll be working.

So we went to Toys R Us and did some shopping.

On our way out we noticed this HUGE line around the LCBO (Liquor Store here in Canada).

"What's going on there?" My brother asked.

"I think Dan Aykroyd is there signing his Crystal Head Vodka. I heard he's on some kind of tour to promote buying Canadian products."

Now, Dan is Ray Stanz from Ghostbusters and he's also Canadian.

"Wouldn't it be funny if Ecto 1 was there. I'd stop if Ecto 1 was there," My brother said.

We drove by and there she was. Ecto 1.

Totally random.

Of course we stopped. We said we would and this is what resulted:

Yep. Me and Ecto 1.

So absolutely cool!

How about you? Anything random like this happen to you before?

27 September 2012

Guilty Pleasures: My Secret Love Affair with Gibbs

"Should I call you Leroy?  Or Jethro?"

Pause.

"Gibbs it is, then."


What amazes me about this show is that the season premier this week had me on the edge of my couch cushions and it's the tenth season!  A crime drama centering around the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, it got its start as a spinoff of JAG, or Judge Advocate General, a military courtroom drama.

What sets NCIS apart, for me, is the strength of the writing and the rapport between the characters.  The shows from week to week aren't the same-old, same-old.  Each time we get a little glimpse into the lives of each of the people we've come to love and, unlike some other cop shows that I've enjoyed but then found to grow dull, we are kept interested by the development of those characters.  Tony Denozzo, for example, started out as a cad and has become a well-rounded man with a yearning for a real relationship but a fear of being hurt.  Each of the characters has matured and changed, evolved, if you will.

I find it useful to watch these kinds of shows because a) they have to tell a tight story in a specific time frame, which is good discipline for a storyteller and b) because they have to keep the audience engaged over time, even with the same characters.  That isn't easy to do and I think those of us who write in series can learn a lot from these shows.

And besides, am I the only one that has a crush on Gibbs?  Come on, ladies, 'fess up.  Who's your favorite?

21 September 2012

My name is Anya, and I'm a TV addict...


I try really hard not to get addicted to TV shows, but unfortunately I have an addictive personality and when something tweaks my curiosity, engages my soul or just flat out entertains me, I can’t resist. Not to mention if it has anything to do with one of my many other addictions, like history, real estate, policing, decorating, crafting, animals, travel, the supernatural etc. etc. etc.

With three jobs and a family to look after (now including a five-month-old puppy, which is like having a two-year-old toddler) you can see where I could have some issues. Even though I try to restrain myself, when unable to fight the allure I write during the commercials, flipping between true-crime, design/renovation/real estate, travel and nature shows. Oh, and at this time of year I don’t miss a NFL game if I can help it!

Strange, maybe, for a girl who grew up in a country that at the time had one television channel and was under embargo by the US, so saw mostly very old British shows and truly ancient B movies. But perhaps that’s the very reason television became so important to me once the offerings widened. I was amazed so much of what I read in books could be translated to this visual medium. Even better, as a dedicated multi-tasker, television left my hands free, fulfilling my need to be doing at least two things at once. BONUS!

My first real addiction was Star Trek TNG. Back in Jamaica, post embargo, it was one of the few US shows the local channel could afford. By the time we got a season it was at least a couple years old, and they would bump it for things like Cricket World Cup, much to my annoyance. Then the world changed…we got one of those flying-saucer sized satellite dishes, and I found a feed out of Colorado that showed TNG EVERY NIGHT! BRWHAHAHA. I was sewing for a living at the time, and at eleven p.m. I could be found in front of the TV with a cup of tea and my handwork, ready to get my Star Trek fix. Even to this day I can’t resist it, although I think I’ve seen all the syndicated episodes at least three times…many more if Worf is featured. (Mmmm, Michael Dorn…)

I don’t think I’ve ever found another show that totally sucked me in that way, but I guess it’s like your first love…no matter how it ends or whether you move on, there’s a special place in your heart for your first. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t shows I find almost irresistible, because, believe me, there are.

Case in point—last night.

I’ve been sick since last weekend with one of those viruses you think is “just a cold” until it morphs into laryngitis, an upset stomach and an elephant that sits on your chest. Every last ounce of energy was sucked away, and I missed two days of work. Determined to get back out today, I decided to go to bed early last night…

But oh, there’s a re-play of The Voice, and I’d missed the first part of that particular episode, so I thought I’d watch it. Despite having seen the second half, I ended up watching it too. At that point, the smart thing would have simply been to turn off the TV and go in to bed.

Yeah, right.

Couldn’t resist flipping on the TV guide, and saw CSI was coming on. If it were an episode I’d already seen (I mean, at this time of year why wouldn’t it be?) I would have gone to bed, but it wasn’t, and it looked really interesting, and I just HAD to know whether Doc Robbins’ wife was cheating on him or not…

Ummm…you see my problem?

And now I’m fretting about one particular new show starting at the end of this month, already afraid I won’t be able to resist…

Anyone else looking forward to Elementary, the reimagining of Sherlock Holmes with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu? It looks so good, I’m terrified there may be another addiction in my future…

Anya Richards

20 September 2012

My Favorite and Sometimes Hopeless Television 'Ships


We've all done it. We've all watched our favorite show and decided "hey, these characters would be good together."

Nowadays, 'shipping is practically required in fandom. I tend to keep the ideas to myself as I like unusual pairings. Such as my conviction that Mulder was terrible for Scully and I'd rather see her with Robert Patrick. *ducks tomatoes*

But sometimes, I'm with the rest of the world in wanting to see two people together. So here are a few of my favorites:

1. Alphas--Lee Rosen and Nina Theroux
Yes, this is all kinds of messed up. First, it's a May-December pairing. Second, he was her psychiatrist/counselor. Third, she can literally push people into doing whatever she wants.
And yet....
The pair have always had a different relationship than Rosen and the rest of the Alphas team. Nina has always called him Lee, rather than by his last name. He's obviously the one person she trusts implicitly, as she changed her life around when he came calling about the Alphas team the first time. And after the events of this season, it's clear he will never, ever give up on her.

For Lee's part, there's a connection. He confides in her unlike anyone else. When he was struggling over a horrific personal decision, he went to Nina. Even more, he listened to her advice.

When I had a chance to talk to Alphas show-runner Bruce Miller last week, I mentioned this hopeless ship and he pointed out the actors (David Strathairn and Laura Menell) have great chemistry together. I'm sure that's part of it.

These are two lonely people. I'd love to see them find some comfort in each other, thought it would be incredibly complicated and I doubt the rest of the team would like it. Yum.....crunchy emotional conflict.

2. Remington Steele--Laura Holt and Remington Steele.
This was the show that did the slow romantic burn before the more famous Moonlighting. It started with the great premise and only got better. Laura opens a detective agency, no one hires her because she's a girl. (It was the early 1980s.)
So she creates a fictional male boss.


In comes one very handsome master thief played by Pierce Brosnan, and soon he's taken on the fictional identity of Remington Steele. Cue lots of snark, cases to solve between two people who don't know each other well, and an evolving romance as they came to realize they're in love with each other.

The show got canceled, then un-canceled but this one had somewhat of a resolution as Laura & Mr. Steele got together at the very end of their last scene together. If you missed this one back in the 1980s and love banter, check it out. It doesn't hurt that young Pierce is so pretty.

3. Castle and Beckett--Castle
Yes, these two got together at the end of the last season but the way they got together is emblematic of my mixed feelings about the show.
When Castle is light banter with a smattering of mystery, it's terrific. The two leads are so appealing and they're clearly having fun on screen together. But when they go for angst and darkness, it becomes all messed up.

All last season, Castle kept this big secret from Beckett to "protect her," which is one of my least favorite actions by people ever in stories. Then when she ran headlong into danger, he confessed what he'd done and insisted she stop so she'd live.

And he never apologized for being an over-protective ass rather than a partner treating her like an adult. So, naturally, she dumped him and ran off headlong into danger. And he decided to let her go instead of realizing that maybe his secret had something to do with her rejection. If maybe he'd apologized and said how he cared and she said she was angry but, of course, she loved him...the break-up would have been heartrending. Instead, it made me want to chuck things at the television.

Ah, but then Beckett realized she needed this guy in her life because she screwed everything up, gave up everything else that mattered to her, and showed up from being soaked in the rain (another cliche) at Castle's doorstop.

ARGH.

I was hoping for real partnership to go along with kisses and protestations of love. At this point, I'm only praying they'll settle the angst in like, two seconds, next season and get back to bantering and solving crimes. Only this time, can Castle not solve every single one?

Castle keeps teasing me and then not delivering satisfaction. Give me some proper climax, show!

4. Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher--Star Trek: The Next Generation
Yes, they got together at some point, given they're divorced in the final episode but that was a nasty tease by the writers. Beverly saw through Jean-Luc's gruff dignity and Jean-Luc had been in love with her since she married his best friend. (Oops!)

The relationship never progresses past Beverly forgiving Jean-Luc for his part in her husband's death but maybe that's because Wesley was always around, mucking up things for his mom.

Wesley had much to answer for. :) (Though he did give the geek world Wil Wheaton, so it might have been worth it.)

4. The West Wing--C.J. and Danny
She's the press secretary for the President of the United States. He's a reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper. They shouldn't be together. But outfitted with a lot of snappy Aaron Sorkin dialogue, they're perfect.

And though Danny eventually gave up on his pursuit when C.J. couldn't get past the conflict of interest, he came back in the last season and...presto!

A happy ending.  I have that episode permanently saved on my DVR.

Corrina Lawson can be found at www.corrina-lawson.com, also talking about The Big Valley and her love of Spartacus.




Thursday Thirteen: Thirteen Photos from Dragon*Con


I tried to write to topic this month. I really did, but I had all these great pictures of this year's Dragon*Con, and you know you'd rather see them than read my babble. So here they are, all wrapped up in a Thursday Thirteen:

I just love this Darth Maul's color sense, and talk about dedication. This shot is from Thursday, August 30, before the con even started.
 
Something tells me I should know who this guy is. I know I've seen him in an anime.
 
Not the best photo quality, but certainly a definitive Dragon*Con After Dark shot. And people thought Teri Smith and I were kidding when we wrote about fur condoms and chainsaws in With Nine You Get Vanyr.
 

This Conan was movie-grade. Even FX artist Jonathan Thornton thought so.
 
My ninth floor hotel room overlooked the Dragon*Con parade route. Unfortunately, Parade Grand Marshall Stan Lee was looking the other way when the shutter clicked.
 
The 501st Stormtrooper Legion, aka Vadar's Fist, brought the parade to a fitting close.
 
Two clockwork dolls in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.
 
There were fairies in the food court.
 
And Cruxshadows fairies everywhere. But these are official Cruxshadows dancers. Holding the reins is long-time lead dancer and back-up vocalist Jessica Lackey. This year's Cruxshadows concert was especially emotional, since it marked Jessica's retirement from active performing.
 
A lamia to dream about.
 
The Crossgender Avengers, featuring author Janine Spendlove as Thor. Have I mentioned she's a Marine?
 
Where else but Dragon*Con could you find yourself squeezed into an elevator with a functional nuclear reactor. Erp!
 
And finally, the kilt shot I promised Carolan. This is Emerald Rose in concert at the Gather Square in the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey track.
 
Of course, this is just the tip of my Dragon*Con iceberg. If you'd like to see more, you'll find 187 additional photos on my Flickr page. There might have been more, too, but Flickr drew the line at two hundred.  Spoilsports!
 
'Til next year!
 
Jean Marie Ward

19 September 2012

A video blog about my series.

Hey gang!

Yanno, I just can't remember what the theme for this month is, and so I decided to copy over a video blog I did recently. I love doing these things, they really are fun. So here is me, rambling on for twelve minutes about my series. Forgive my voice, the allergies are attacking! Ugh!


17 September 2012

My TV Must-Sees

I admit to be a tad-bit addicted to American Idol and X Factor.

What draws me to these shows? The judges? The chance for someone to win multi-million dollar contracts? The melt-downs, arguments and crazy drama?

Nope.

I love these shows because I connect with the contestants. 


I feel their pain when the nerves close their throats.
I feel their joy when they sing better than they believed they could.
I love it when their hearts and emotions, raw and deep, float out with the notes through the camera all the way to the me sitting at home on the couch.

In a small way, I am them and they are me.
Authors, singers, performers are all artists struggling, growing, learning, improving our craft in the public eye. We stand on that stage before the world doing our very best to get people to love us. Oh, that sounds a little overly dramatic, but it's true isn't it?

It's all about giving love-- the desire to reach out and touch someone, anyone, with our gifts.
And receiving love--the viewer, or reader, experiencing the gifts in a way that touches their hearts.

Can't wait.

Kimberley Troutte
www.kimberleytroutte

.



16 September 2012

Guilty little pleasures - Mine is Reality TV

When I think of guilty little pleasures I think of things people would find werid that I watch.  And something you might feel a wee bit guilty over.

I'm not a hard core Reality Fan but there are some I really enjoy and one that I become a raving leunatic if I miss it.

So here's my reverese order of favorite Reality Shows.

10.  Survivor - This makes the list mostly because I watch it when its on and DH is a DIE HARD FAN.

9.  National Geographic's "Doomsday Preppers" - I'm not as much fascinated by how people prepare for the end of days as much as their theory's.  I'm still holding out for the Doomsday Prepper

8.  House Hunters & House Hunters international - Anyone who has had to room with me in a hotel knows my passion for this holds no bounds.  I'm truly obsessed.

7.  I Hate my Kitchen - I love home renovating shows and this one has all the stuff I find cool, gadgets, decorating, trends, and the big reveal.

6.  Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition - I like this particular weight loss show because it shows transition of people over a year.  Some of the people don't make it, some get close but no cigar.  There's no prize at the end so the individual is motivated "usually" by their own personal reasons. 

5.  Ax Men - One name - Shelby Stanga.  I find him a true delight.  A blend of optimism in the wake of a very difficult life.  Wow.

4. Swamp People - I watch this enough now that I understand Cajun and don't have to read the subtitles anymore.  My favorite hunters are RJ and Jay Paul the Native American duo.

3.  My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (both UK &  USA versions)  - I stumbled upon the American version but the British one is so much more fascinating.  I begin speaking like an Irish traveler if I've watched alot...like six hours. :)

2. Bachlor Pad - I don't watch the Bachelor or Bachelorette shows but I love the train wreck known as the Bachelor Pad.  Putting 8 men and women in a house to do whatever and compete is very dramatic.  I'm sure that's why it's come back for it's third season.

1.  Amazing Race -  Thank goodness for CBS.com.  otherwise I'd be unbearable to miss this.  My husband can attest that I threw things during an episode I missed years ago due to a power black out.  There's someting about taking a relationship and throwing the dynamics of competition and travelling to foreign lands  hard to look away from.

I find most reality shows that I like must have compelling people in dynamic situations.  Any area where I can learn more about people I find that interesting to watch. 

Tina
www.tinaholland.com


12 September 2012

Story Addict

Guilty Pleasures on TV or streaming?

I don't...really have to out myself here, do I? ::sob::

Oh, I'm guilty of the expected ones:

DOCTOR WHO! Warehouse 13, Haven, Supernatural (though I'm woefully behind and watching on DVD)...

I've also loved some lesser-known paranormals:
Painkiller Jane - based on a comic book by the same name, Jane could get hurt, but she heals. Fast. It was an amazing show, and it didn't stay on the air long enough.
Continuum - is a new, Canadian, time-travel show. The effects are decent, the acting isn't bad, and there just enough hints that the writers have ideas on where to take the story line as early as the second episode. *love*!

Anything police procedural gets my attention, even though I know it's total fiction:
CSI, Law and Order, The Glades, Life, Leverage (not really a police procedural, but oh so good)

There's a new one that looks like a police procedural set in 1863 called Copper that I'm fascinated by.

Gritty shows:
I loved the first season of Dexter, but I couldn't handle more than that.
Ditto Saving Grace

 But I bought and watched all five seasons of a show about life in prison called OZ 

My girlier addictions:

  Drop Dead Diva - a supermodel dies and winds up in plus-sized lawyer Jane's body. I can't even tell you what I love about it, but I do.
  SMASH - which I've mentioned before.

 And when I'm having a really bad day, and nothing else works? I'll plunk down and watch an episode of Arthur, the cartoon (particularly the ones with Taj Mahal or Neil Gaiman as guests)

 In short, though? I'll pretty much watch anything if it's on.

I search out shows to stream, and I glom them like candy. I share my finds with one of my friends, and we moan about how all the good stuff gets cancelled too soon (Jericho! ::sob::)

07 September 2012

New Sentinels novel

I'm thrilled to announce the release of my newest paranormal romance:

Broken

a Sentinel's novel 
(c)2012 Meg Allison


Even the strongest spirits can break.



Weary of his solitary life, Gabriel BonĂ©t sets out one night in search of peace. Instead he finds a reason to live. When he rescues Beth Murphy and heals her wounds, he unlocks the mental gateway she’s erected to stifle her strong empathic abilities. Her gift puts her on the same wavelength with the victims of a brutal killer who stalks their quiet mountain town.
Being thrown into the arms of the sexiest man in town, Beth believes her lifetime of bad luck is about to change. But she gets much more than she bargained for: The man she’s been lusting after is a man with secrets. Will she be able to accept the unbelievable before it’s too late?

*Warning: This title contains an unlucky heroine; a hero with a failed God-complex; murder; mayhem; and plenty of sultry lovin'.



Prologue

975 AD
Western Europe

Flat on his back in the damp, rotting leaves, he stared into the dark eyes of his savior. The man had pulled him from the jaws of death, but Gabriel knew the rescue came too late. He could feel it.
His body grew heavy and cold as life’s blood poured from the gaping wound in his chest where the beast had torn into him. The stench of the monster still permeated the air, heavy and sickly-sweet despite the fact the animal lay dead a few yards away. If possible, it smelled even worse now than it had with its putrid breath flush against his throat.
The chill of death burrowed deep beneath Gabriel’s skin until it filled every inch of his body. He had seen frail mortality end many times and knew it would not be long until he met his own demise. He smelled it. The whiff of congealed blood hung over him like a shroud.
“Do you wish to live?”
The unfamiliar voice sounded thick and foreign in his ears. Gabriel wondered why the man would torment him so during his last moments of life. But he knew in that instant he wanted to live. He didn’t want to die alone and forgotten. He couldn’t bear the thought of animals feasting upon his decaying flesh. Or worse still, to be buried in a shallow grave without a marker, without even one person to mourn his passing.
“Yes,” Gabriel whispered. His throat burned with the effort. “I want to live.”
“Good,” the stranger replied, eyes alight as if Gabriel had given the answer he longed to hear. “Live you shall.”
The man kneeled on the ground and placed a large hand on the gaping wound across Gabriel’s chest. He winced then gasped at the searing pain of contact. A cry of agony sucked deep into his lungs. Heat radiated from the man’s fingertips. Tears sprang to Gabriel’s eyes at the sensation.
A soft yellow light poured from the hand covering his breast. It brightened and grew until a brilliant white light enveloped them both, obscuring the forest around them. Sound ceased but for the ragged hitch of his own breath fighting to enter his body.
The heat increased, pressing deeply into his chest until he knew the bone must soon crack and crush the heart beneath. Would this so-called savior send him to his doom instead? He had no strength left to fight and no breath to cry out. All he knew was the pain—pain he could bear no longer.
Gabriel stared up into the light, his last lucid thoughts for the gray striped cat he’d rescued from a pack of dogs only days ago. The poor thing would likely die alone in his cottage without food or attention. He had failed even the most simple of creatures. He had failed them all since the day of his birth.
“Sleep now, boy,” the man commanded, his voice a long distance off. “When you rouse, your life will begin anew.”
Gabriel felt his broken body relax as his breathing slowed. The cadence of his pulse slackened until it no longer throbbed in his ears. His mind grew sluggish, disconnected, but instead of peace, he knew only a tremor of fear. He didn’t want to die.

* * * * *

Buy For Kindle                                     Buy for Nook  


Indulge your senses...
http://www.megallisonauthor.com


 

06 September 2012

13 SF/F TV Shows

It's a good time to be a fan of paranormal, fantasy and SF TV! Or a bad time, depending on how much you appreciate being glued to the tube. Back in the days before the ubiquitous 3000 channels of cable, you were lucky to get two or three stations clearly. Options were limited. Now, television watching is splintered into many channels, many methods, many preferences. You can watch it live on the aforementioned 3000 channels; you can tape it and watch later; you can stream it online; you can Hulu it; you can Netflix it; and so on and so forth.

What this means for fans of speculative stories -- like we all are here at Beyond the Veil! -- is that you actually have choices! Just ten years ago, I'd make lists of the (US-aring) shows that included speculative (SF/F/paranormal) content in a newsletter I used to edit. I could actually come up with a relatively complete list every year, with measurements of that show's sf/f and romantic content. Today, my own arsenal of shows on my TiVo plus ten minutes of web surfing provided me a list of names probably four times as long as what I used to report on...and it was just the tip of the iceberg.

So I thought, since today is Thursday, I'd list thirteen shows with a brief explanation of their premise and then a relatively neutral measurement (1-10) of their sf/f content and their romance content.

1) Lost Girl: The world is inhabited by a race of Fae who feed on or otherwise utilize humans while not letting humans know the Fae exist. Light Fae don't kill humans; Dark Fae are happy to kill anyone. Heroine Bo is an unaligned succubus torn between Light and Dark. SF/F content: 8. Very urban fantasy-style worldbuilding with Fae powers usually being crucial to each episode. The world of the Fae is the main world explored. ROMANCE content: 8. Bo as a succubus has a lot of sex and there are a number of romances on the show, both with Bo and her Fae or human friends. The romance is always there, simmering.

2) Warehouse 13: A secret branch of the government collects supernatural "artifacts" and stores them in a hidden warehouse to keep them from ruining the world and stuff. Main characters are the warehouse agents and others involved in the operation. SF/F content: 7. Steampunky/science fantasy. The agents are sent after various artifacts each week that could usually destroy the world if not controlled. ROMANCE content: 4. Not the main focus of the show, although the plots do sometimes touch on romancey relationships.

3) Alphas: Superpowered humans live amongst us, and a secret group involved with the government is trying to keep a lid on the ones who are destructive. SF/F content: 6. While the alphas' abilities get used every week, there is a huge dollop of human drama and interaction as well. ROMANCE content: 5-7. Some of the characters have romances, and judging by Season 2, which just started, these threads may become more influential. Season 1, I'd have said the romance was more like a 3-4 influence on the show.

4) Haven: A spooky Maine town (are there other kinds?) is inhabited by people with dire abilities and/or curses (the troubles), usually not in control of them; the police, who have abilities/curses of their own, realize that it's getting worse. SF/F content: 5. This show is mythology-heavy, with the characters' and towns' backstories influencing many episodes, and the backstories are troubles-laden. ROMANCE content: 7. The first two seasons, the characters dabbled in romances, but a swing at at the end of the last season showed that romance may be taking center-stage in the new season.

5) Being Human: Paranormal roomies live together and try to pass as human, or at least not kill people. SF/F content: 8. Like Lost Girl, this show has an urban fantasy vibe, but darker and angstier. The characters' non-humanness and other nonhumans frequently influence episode structure. ROMANCE content: 8. Finding love can be hard when you are tempted to eat people. This doesn't feel like the kind of show that will have a lot of HEA love stories, though!

6) Supernatural: 2 extremely good-looking demon-hunting brothers repeatedly go to Hell and back as they strive to save the world and each other. SF/F content: 7. Human foibles and personalities are not given short shrift, although the Winchesters do spend a majority of their time fighting supernatural evil, each other, etc. ROMANCE content: 5. The important relationships in the show are more familial, although legions of fangirls squee (with good reason) anytime the brothers engage in romantic escapades. Note: I haven't watched the show since Season 4 and may be off on this proportion.

7) Grimm: In a world where paranormals try to exist in secret amonst humans (anyone sense a theme yet??), special "Grimms" can see who's paranormal and have made it their purpose in life to take them out...until our hero, a Grimm, comes along. SF/F content: 7. Our hero confronts various realities of this hidden paranormal world in every episode as well as his heritage, which comes with a healthy dose of mythology and bigger story arcs. ROMANCE content: 4. Hero begins the show in a healthy relationship for the most part, but that relationship is tested by his secret knowledge.

8) True Blood: In a world where paranormals have started outing themselves to humans, a batch of characters in Louisiana continually find themselves in the middle of blood, sex and chaos. SF/F content: 9. This show, based on the Charlaine Harris books, is about what it's like to exist as a supernatural with a few humans thrown in for balance. ROMANCE content: 10. That's sort of what the show revolves around. Sookie's nookie. That and vampires biting people.

9) Game of Thrones: Fantasy-medieval setting and large cast of characters, all striving to coexist, or rule, the smallish kingdom where the majority of the cast lives or wants to live. SF/F content: 4. Much of the setting is medieval/historical, but more threads of the supernatural have begun filtering in. ROMANCE content: 4. While people, mostly females, get naked constantly on the show, all the romances feel doomed, and the main emphasis seems to be on the political struggles, with sexxoring mixed in to screw, haha, stuff up.

10) The Walking Dead: Post-zombie apocalyptic world where the survivors have to avoid or kill the zombies and keep from killing each other as well. SF/F content: 4. I gather the zombies are the only supernatural element. ROMANCE content: unknown. I don't watch the show, but I haven't heard that the romance is a draw.

11) Falling Skies: Post-alien apocalyptic world where the survivors have to avoid or kill aliens and keep from killing each other as well! SF/F content: 5. The fact that aliens took over Earth and kidnapped and harnessed kids and continue to kill humans has a huge influence on the plots, although the other aspects are more survivalist. ROMANCE content: 3. The relationships and human dramas do not revolve around romances, although there are romantic aspects I wouldn't want to spoil.

12) Doctor Who: Time-traveling beings who can reincarnate as different actors as needed take on human companions in their quest to protect the timeline and Earth and stuff. SF/F content: 8. ROMANCE content: 4. I do not watch Doctor Who, so if you want to fill in these blanks, please do!

13) Vampire Diaries: Angsty teens, old vampires who look like teens and other supernaturals mix it up in a small town, complete with lots of mythology arcs. SF/F content: 7. ROMANCE content: 8. I do not watch Vampire Diaries, so if you want to fill in these blanks, please do!

NEW SHOWS FOR 2012:
Arrow - new
666 Park Avenue - new
Beauty and the Beast - new
Defiance - new
Revolution - new

So what glues you to the tube? Anything? Nothing? Want to do a brief rundown on any shows I missed?

Jody Wallace
When is an alpha not an alph-ass?
Pack and Coven: http://www.jodywallace.com

03 September 2012

Dragon Knights New Arrivals!

 

Great news! All of the novels in my award-winning Dragon Knights series are being reissued, one per month, with new covers and new (minimal) edits. They started with the first book, Maiden Flight, in August.
 
The second book, Border Lair, will be released later this month, on September 25th. The new editions have seriously sexy new covers, all done by the amazing artist, Angela Waters. She also did the amazing cover for my last book, Wolf Hills, and all the Brotherhood of Blood series.
 
So this month, from me, you're going to get a bit of a "commercial" - sorry. I'm just so excited about having these books reissued with new covers and, as I said, new edits. For those of you who might have already read this series, the edits aren't anything major, so you're still good, I think, with the original versions.
The big thing we're building up to is the release of the new Dragon Knights novel, Keeper of the Flame, scheduled for next February.
 
Here's a little bit about Maiden Flight, which is availalbe now, for your delectation...
 
War is coming for the dragon knights…but love may find them first.

Dragon Knights, Book 1

A chance meeting with a young male dragon seals the fate of one adventurous female poacher. The dragon’s partner, a ruggedly handsome knight named Gareth, takes one look at the shapely woman and decides to do a little poaching of his own.

Sir Gareth both seduces and falls deeply in love with the girl who is not only unafraid of dragons but also possesses a rare gift—she can hear the beasts’ silent speech. He wants her for his mate, but mating with a knight is no simple thing. To accept a knight, a woman must also accept the dragon, the dragon’s mate…and her knight, Lars, too.

She is at first shocked, then intrigued by the lusty life in the Lair. But war is in the making and only the knights and dragons have a chance at ending it before it destroys their land and their lives.

Warning: Contains dragons, their sexy knights and a damsel who is not quite in distress. Sizzling hot m/f/m scenes may leave you breathing fire.

You can buy Maiden Flight now from: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain, and other fine ebook sellers. This book will be reissued in print next year. In the meantime, you can still find this story in the print volume called Ladies of the Lair, which contains the original editions of both Maiden Flight and Border Lair.

Bianca D'Arc
Come over to The D'Arc Side... www.biancadarc.com

02 September 2012

Ooooh I hates them, precious!


By that I mean O’Brian and Thomas on Downton Abbey.

I recently became hooked and hooked hard on Downton Abbey this past weekend and as each show progressed I hated, hated, HATED O’Brian (Lady Grantham’s ladies maid) and Thomas (Footman, aspiring to be valet).

They conspired. They had nothing pleasant to say. They were sneaky and down-right mean, but damn were they ever fascinating.

They are characters I love to hate. They’re also characters I want to know more about.

Especially now Season 2 is over.

Season 2 had me pitying Thomas. He was stuck in the trenches of WWI as a medic, trembling in fear because he was at the mouth of Hell. I didn’t envy him and his fear made him all the more real. His desperate action to get out of the war was cowardly, but again I don’t blame him for his moment of cowardice that got him discharged (I don’t want to say because I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but I was cringing when it happened). World War 1 was horrific and sad as any war is.

It gave another layer to Thomas and as much as he was still a bastard as Season 2 went on there were moments where I loved him as well. I found him more interesting than the “hero” of the servants Mr. Bates.

O’Brian was the same for Season 2. She did something horrible in Season 1 and she was so pinched faced and nasty I really, really loathed her. From the author stand point I couldn’t help but wonder what made her tick.

She never has anything nice to say about any one. Nor is she particularly loyal, maybe loyalish to Thomas, but that’s about it.

Until a certain Mr. Lang came to Downton suffering from PTSD. She was the only one who had any feeling for him. The only one who comforted him because her brother suffered from it and he was sent back before he should’ve been and was killed.

O’Brian’s past had been a bit of mystery up until that point.

As for her dreadful deed in Season 1, when her ladyship was on her deathbed she tearfully apologized, which surprised me. Again emotion so different from the cold fish, deadpan we received in Season 1.

I want to know more and more about them and I hope we see learn more about them as Season 3 progresses.

They’re truly fascinating and interesting villains. I think if they left, it wouldn’t be as interesting. These two have moved up the list on villains I love to hate.