Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Reading List & the End Approaches

I'm super excited about March, and not just because of all the exciting new book releases. The end of the month is my deadline to finish the first draft of my urban fantasy novel, and I'm (mostly) on track. Yes, the crazy whim of a story I started during NaNoWriMo is racing toward the finish line, and completing it on time will be my obsession for the month. However, I will be making time for some reading, and I wanted to share the titles I'm especially looking forward to.

As sad as I am to see the series end, I'm still pretty psyched about the final Alexia Tarabotti novel, Timeless by Gail Carriger (March 2nd).

Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson (March 27th) combines two of my favorite things: steampunk and paranormal.

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love? 

It looks like we have a fun first installment of a new series with Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (March 6th).

Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity-and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...

What are you all reading in March? Anyone finishing (or starting) a project this month you'd like to tell us about?


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Short Story Moving Pictures

I've only watched one episode, but I'm looking forward to seeing more of Science Channel's re-airing of Steven Hawking's Sci-Fi Masters.  I don't know how many of you watched it when it first aired. Or watched Rod Serling's Twilight Zone or Night Gallery.  The Outer Limits was another one.  These were television shows that featured short stories by the likes of Harlan Ellison and Serling himself.   Twilight Zone in particular featured stories that left you with something to think about. This is what I like best about science fiction.  Stories that raise questions, that expose the ideas behind the concepts we take for granted.

Watchbird, the first episode, took our anxieties about surveillance and the role of the government in keeping us safe, to a conclusion. What the conclusion is depends on what question you ask..  In the episode, the question is taken to the personal.  Who is ultimately responsible for what happens to what we create?  That's the question we ask about science often.  Who is responsible and how are we held accountable?

I don't know what the next episode asks.  Looking forward to it though. 

On the other hand, I was watching the Oscar-nominated shorts when the universe conspired with itself to line up Time Freak with my writing this blog post.  Love their answer to the question, "What do you think will really happen if someone masters time travel?"  Funny movie.

That's what I love about spec fic. The variety of the questions and the breadth of the answers.  Meanwhile, I have a new bunch of authors to get to know.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Darkest Seduction

I normally don’t count down the days until one of my favorite authors releases a book, but I have been anxiously awaiting the ninth installment of Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld, “The Darkest Seduction”. 

It isn’t the great writing or the exciting action-packed, cliff-hanging scenes that has made me excited to get my hands on the novel, but the main character, Paris, that readers have been following since the first book.

The stories take place in a remote fortress in Budapest, where immortal warriors are bound by an ancient curse. Hundreds of years ago, the Lords were slighted when the Gods gave Pandora the box to guard with her life. After seducing and killing Pandora, the box was opened and the contents of the box were released. As punishment, each of the Lords received one of the world’s evils intertwined to their souls. In each of the nine book and three short-stories, a warrior overcomes his evil with the help of his soulmate.

I’ve been studying Showalter’s series as each book has become darker and harder to put down as the characters have been changing. I have also been following Paris since the first book and his character arc has turned from a energetic, sarcastic Lord to a very dark, nearly suicidal tendencies. When he finds love in a human that had been hired to seduce and brought in for torture and investigation, Sienna Blackstone, she is killed accidentally as he is trying to protect her and readers follow his angst through the books. When she is raised from the dead and given one of the world’s evils, she is used to punish the Lords by the wicked Gods. 

Here is the excerpt from the book:

“Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive—but his potent allure comes at a terrible price.  Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die.  And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he’d thought was forever beyond his reach…until now.   
Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet, in Paris’s arms the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up.

Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally– or tear them apart?”

I have connected with this character from his witty comebacks to his internal torture. For writers, her series can be studied as her characterization is so skillful in my opinion as the Lords are once controlled by their evil and then give the ultimate sacrifice to rid themselves of it for true love. For readers, it is a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat read with a steamy romance, action-packed fight scenes and characters that you can connect and root for.

First thing tomorrow, I will be headed to my nearest Chapters to buy my copy of “The Darkest Seduction” and I’ve already warned my husband that I will be in reading mode and not to bother me until I reach the end or he will meet one of my evils. :)

R.J. :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Take the FREEway to Promotion

Guest – Kerri Nelson 

These days, I always find it refreshing to stumble upon a discount or a truly “good deal”.  With the price of just about everything zooming up to record numbers, I love to find something that is absolutely FREE.  But when it comes to being an author and looking for ways to promote your books, is this even an option?

I’m here today to tell you the answer…YES!

A little over two years ago, just before the birth of my third child, I was looking for affordable ways to get the word out about my books.  I tried everything from expensive promotion companies (which I really couldn’t afford) to cover ads to print ads to blog tours, and everything in between.  And while all of these methods brought in some traffic, I was never truly satisfied. 

So, I created a promotions website known as The Book Boost.  At first I tried to model it after some of the already successful promotion sites.  I sold promotion packages (at very inexpensive rates—because I was trying to be cost effective for authors).  But I really found that I only attracted authors to the site.  Was this the audience I was trying to reach?
I mean, other authors do make great readers but I wanted a way to reach the “regular” public.  So, a few months into my venture—I changed the site to a blog instead.  I still offered promotion packages in the form of cheap cover ads and free giveaway spots to current featured authors.  However, I really began to focus on blog topics that would attract both writers and READERS.

I developed topics of the month and invited authors from every genre to the blog.  I created a Book Boost Blogger of the Year award to attract bloggers to come up with creative topics.  I even invited editors, publishers, and hosted my own review month event.  Every month over the past two years, my number of daily traffic hits have started to climb.  Our numbers have grown and our bloggers have really come out of their shell to provide great advice and entertainment for our audience.

As we continue to grow, I enjoy watching new authors rise and new readers join our Book Boost family to read, laugh, cry, and WIN FREE stuff!

I love my blog and hope you’ll give it a chance, too.  If you’re a writer, come on by and blog for FREE!  Promote your book and yourself.  Tell the world a funny story, about your crazy day, or about how you became the person you are today. 

If you’re a reader, come on by and meet the next great author we have lined up.  We have a giveaway almost every day of the week—just for leaving a question or comment.  Last month, our guest bloggers gave away a diamond necklace, gift cards to your favorite stores, and BOOKS, BOOKS, and more BOOKS!

Hope to see you at the Book Boost in the days and weeks to come.  Tell me you heard about it here and you just might get a goodie or two.  ;-)

 Thanks for hosting me today, Elizabeth and other gracious bloggers of the Speculative Salon.
Your blog followers can find us at: The Book Boost
And find me here, the owner at: Kerri Nelson
Where you can check out my latest release, Courting Demons (“Paisley Barton was already having a bad day, before she turned her husband into a rat.”)  Now available!  Buy link.

Kerri Nelson discovered her love of writing at an early age and soon became a columnist for her local newspaper winning the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts.
After a fifteen year career in the legal field, Kerri fulfilled her lifelong dream of publication and is now an award winning multi-published author of nearly every genre under the sun (and moon) and also writes young adult fiction under the penname K.G. Summers. 

A true southern belle, she comes complete with a dashing, stately gentleman and three adorable children for whom she often bakes many homemade treats. 

Kerri is an active member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America as well as numerous chapters including Futuristic Fantasy & Paranormal Writers and the Kiss of Death Chapter for mystery/suspense authors.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Game of Thrones

How many have watched Game of Thrones on HBO?

I wonder if I’m one of the few who hadn’t seen or read the series yet. I don’t subscribe to HBO and decided to wait for the Blu-ray to see the series. And the books have been on my reading list for ages now. I’m not a fan of main characters dying, so I pushed off reading them but no longer.

I’m going to sit down and read the books after I watch the series. I know it’s terrible not to read the books first. I wish I had a little more time to read the first book before I receive the Blu-ray. But my library doesn’t have a copy available at this time. I’ll settle for watching the first season and then reading the book.

How do you feel about watching a series or a movie before you read the book?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Monarch Migration—The Magic of Nature

This week I watched a segment on Good Morning America: Monarch Migration in Jeopardy with Ginger Zee. I was awestruck by the amazing sight of hundreds of millions of monarchs gathered to winter in small areas of Central Mexico. It’s hard to comprehend how those insects reach that spot, having never been there before. Genetics? Magic? 

I taught Biology for seventeen years and regularly see magic in nature. Many times I do my most imaginative fantasy plotting while kayaking, hiking, or strolling along a beach. If I travel long enough, nature and magic fuse into one amazing collective.

Here is the video from that news segment, and another produced by National Geographic with some beautiful photography.

Do you see magic in nature? Please share your thoughts.

video platform video management video solutions video player
~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. She is the author of the Ciel's Legacy series, fantasy romance with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE. Look for her first of an epic fantasy romance series, SEEKING A SCRIBE: ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS ONE, to be available March, 2012. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fairy Tales Remade: Drunken Boy

I picked up a copy of The Encyclopedia of Vampires and Werewolves, 2nd Edition, from the library last week. I'm pretty sure there's a new version out, but I take what I can get for free, heh. I love these kinds of books because they are a goldmine for inspiring story premises, and this one doesn't disappoint. I could flip through for days and come up with 100 different ideas.

One entry jumped out at me that I wanted to share:

DRUNKEN BOY: In Japanese lore, an ogre demon who dresses in red and likes to gorge himself on blood. The Drunken Boy's favorite victims are women. He is attended by other ogre demons.
In lore the Drunken Boy is quelled by the medieval hero Raiko, who, in disguise, manages to enter the ogre's lair. The Drunken Boy and his ogre followers are drinking blood from their female victims. Raiko reveals himself and battles the ogres. He decapitates the drunken boy, but the ogre fights on for a time. Raiko eventually triumphs. He takes the trophy head back to Miyako, the imperial capital (Kyoto), as well as the female captives.
~ page 144, Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Remade fairy tales are such a big trend these days, and I couldn't help thinking this would make a great addition, especially for the YA fantasy category. You could keep the hero, Raiko, or go a step further and maybe let one of the young victims stand up against the monster. This might even work as an urban fantasy if you wanted a modern setting.

What do you think? Any other fairy tales you'd like to see from a fresh perspective?


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I should be writing, but....

The "Science Fiction" of the past has now simply become "Science". And the science of the future was strangely prophesied by a group of visionaries whose dreams once may have deemed them renegades and "mad scientists," have become reality!

I feel stuck, and when I feel stuck I watch TV. Most of the time I watch non-fiction television. Since I re-installed cable, I have a lot more and much better choices. My new favorite channel is the Science Channel. Where else can I get my Morgan Freeman fix and hear about the deeper questions in science? That's Through the Wormhole.

Then, there's Ridley Scott's Prophets of Science Fiction. I liked his Numbers for the most part and now, I get introduced to the interests of others influenced by the fathers (no mothers?) of our favorite genre. It was fun to see Harlan Ellison talking about Isaac Asimov, but it's more important than fun. I get reminded of how influential it can be to be a writer. What we think, matters, to someone. We have a responsibility to our readers to be honest, to look at the world honestly and report what we see.

Speculative fiction looks at the world we live in and imagines more, imagines deeply. S.G. Rogers talked about writing magic to express personal power. We may not read her stories that way but some part of us gets it. And, depending on how we feel about our own power to influence the world around us, we agree or disagree, we learn from or ignore whatever the lesson might be. When we write, we don't necessarily think about lessons. We just write.

The prophets of science fiction didn't necessarily intend to predict the future. Well, Arthur C. Clarke did, but generally, they just wrote sincerely. We reaped the benefit of their sincerity, though. Imagination, well attended to, rocks the universe.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide whether I like the new short story show on Science. I'll let you know next time.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I had to share this awesome short animation film. It's called "DreamGiver."  It’s by a student at BYU, but don’t let the word student stop you from watching this film. The production level is high and the storytelling is enchanting.   Tyler Carter does an amazing job of creating a 2D animation of the real world and a 3D animation of the dream world.   Watch it and be thrilled by the beauty of the film.

Here is his blurb: A regular night of dream delivering turns into a literal nightmare when a boy's book of ancient mythology comes alive.”

What did you think? 

Till next time,

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Memory of Light

Yesterday, Tor announced the final book of The Wheel of Time series will be released on January 8th, 2013. Finally after 10 plus years of reading the series, it is coming to an end. Even if I disliked the books in the middle, I can’t wait to sit down and read the final book.

Yet I’m afraid the book won’t live up to my expectations after all this time. I don’t think there has been a book series that has ended where I felt completely satisfied. It really isn’t something I can put into words at this time and it may take me a few days before I can.

As I think this over, are there any book series you are waiting to end? How did you feel when your favorite one ended?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest--S. G. Rogers--Confessions of a SpecFic Author

In The Magical Misperception of Meridian, a beautiful commoner and a stammering prince form a magical friendship that can survive almost anything
—except the queen’s disapproval.
I confess.  I usually like my main characters to use magic in my stories. In my mind, magic is a metaphor for personal power, and I enjoy writing stories where the heroes and heroines grapple with their magical abilities in much the same way we as human beings struggle to discover our own talents and how best to use them.  

In The Magical Misperception of Meridian, however, I break my own rule. Neither Jona nor Lee are magical at all. In fact, it’s a secondary (but important) character, the Wizard Farland, who performs the magic. In this particular tale, I wanted the focus to be on the feelings my main characters have for one another, and the challenges they face in order to stay together. Jona and Lee have a very special relationship that’s pure magic in itself—thus showing not all enchanting things need be the result of a spell.  ~ S.G. Rogers

Back cover:

Railing against convention in the kingdom of Meridian, Jona thinks a girl should be able to wear trousers, fight like a boy when necessary, and marry whomever she pleases.  She happens upon the queen’s nephew, Lee, who stammers and cannot speak to girls at all…that is, until he meets Jona.

When the queen hires Jona to help her nephew acquire proper social graces, Jona experiences a blissful summer of pure enchantment.  Jona and Lee learn to dance, perfect the art of polite conversation, and discover which fork to use at the dinner table.  Although they become best friends, Queen Gaia considers Jona a mere servant.  At summer’s end, Jona’s job in Meridian is done.

Lee and Jona keep in contact through a set of magical mailboxes given to Lee by the Wizard Farland. When the friends are finally reunited after ten years, their budding romance is torn asunder by an edict from the queen.   Against impossible odds, Jona and Lee will fight for an uncertain future.  But unspoken secrets and mysteries long in the making have yet to be revealed. 

Will true love be denied…or can the differences between commoners and royalty be shown to be just a matter of magical misperception?


“If Mr. Rapp tells The Dragon we aren’t learning to dance, I’ll be sent home,” Jona said.

“I don’t want you to go. We’ll just have to find a way to impress Mr. Rapp.”

That night, after everyone had retired, they sneaked into the ballroom to practice. Lee turned up some of the gas lamps so they wouldn’t trip over each other in the dark.

“I can hardly wait to see Mr. Rapp’s face when he sees us waltz perfectly tomorrow,” Lee said. “He’ll probably think it’s because he’s a brilliant teacher.”

“Mr. Rapp is an evil sorcerer, you know,” Jona said with a playful wink.

“Evil, you say? What’s the man done now?”

“He transformed a beautiful princess into one of those peach trees in the garden.”

“The black-hearted villain!” Lee exclaimed.

“Each time we perfect a dance, it weakens his wicked spell.”

“I’m all about rescuing damsels, as you know,” Lee said. “Let’s get to it.”

Jona frowned. “It would be easier if we had music.”

“Oh, but we do. The Wizard Farland enchanted the piano in the corner. It’ll play anything we want.”

Lee patted the instrument. “A waltz, if you please.”

When the instrument responded with a tune played in three-quarters time, Jona clapped her hands in delight. “I do so love magic!”

The Magical Misperception of Meridian will be released on February 17th from MuseItUp Publishing. To learn more about S.G. Rogers, visit her blog at

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Who Wants More Zombie Love?

Scary is sexy, and one of the reasons I love urban fantasy is that a lot of it is borderline horror. Back when the genre was new, I was among the many bookstore grunts debating the proper place to shelve Anne Rice and Laurel K. Hamilton. For those of us that still had a horror section in our store, it was the area of choice for what would now be considered urban fantasy. Not a surprise, considering those early books were filled almost exclusively with monsters from classic horror tales, just presented a little differently. But UF didn't just make scary more sexy, it also made it more romantic since the heroines stopped running from the night stalkers and started dating them instead.

Vampires, werewolves, witches, even demons have transformed from frightening creatures to heroes and romantic leads. The one monster that never seems to change much in speculative fiction is the zombie. There have been quite a few humorous versions like Shaun of the Dead, Fido, various zombie survival guide parodies, and my personal favorites, Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series and Peter Jackson's hilarious Dead Alive. But let's face it, when things start getting really gory, it naturally seems to lean towards the funny side anyway (at least for me). These stories have produced a new category known as the ZomCom, heh.

By and large, zombies come in one basic form: dumb, dead, flesh-eaters that are somewhat hard to kill. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to like about the standard zombie, as illustrated by Adriana Ryan in her blog post on Monday. However, it shouldn't be ignored that zombies are starting to come into their own with some really fun, charming, and dare I say lovable characters.

Randall Skeffington from the cartoon Ugly Americans "went zombie" to win the love of a girl who had a (brief) thing for the undead. Awww, now that's romantic. He's also a total ladies man, despite the fact that he tends to loose track of his, well, the important bits. Sidekick zombie Marcus Deckler from Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, played by Being Human's Sam Huntington, is downright adorable. The upcoming indie flick, A Little Bit Zombie, follows a couple on their way to the alter while the husband-to-be slowly (and disgustingly) falls apart after getting infected by a virus.

Then there's last year's hit Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, about a zombie called R who falls in love with the girlfriend of one of his victims. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but some of the reviews for the book are quite touching. Even though R is clearly a monster, people still find a way to root for him and his unorthodox romance with Julie. The movie version is scheduled for release in August, with director Jonathan Levine commenting that he tried to expand the zombie mythos by making them better looking than in other films.

Cute zombies? Maybe. Give them a winning personality and a ton of deodorant and they just might give all the other monsters a run for their money. Of course, there's still a very tongue-in-cheek quality to this new trend and I'm not sure I'm ready for a serious take on zombie love. I think it's the rotting flesh that's the issue. Still, they've come a long way for being one of the grossest creatures ever imagined, and deserve some credit for ushering in the next big genre, the ZomRomCom.

Happy Valentine's Day (after)!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lost and Found -- Lost Girl finds me happy

Ok, so I was disappointed with the first episode of Once Upon a Time. And maybe I wasn't expecting too much from a major mainstream network attempting to create something relevant to the speculative fiction crowd.

The opposite can be said of a network that specializes in fantasy and sci fi, attempting to create something relevant. I'm not saying that SYFY can always hit the mark in its specialist creations. However, I can say I was not disappointed with the first episode of Lost Girl.

Let me digress a little bit, here. I watched a bit of one episode of The Closer, and smelled too much J D Robb redressed. If you have never read J D Robb, I'm sure the show is wonderful and hits some really nice spots. If you have read her, the show squeaks and squawks and feels like a dollar-store Barbie knock-off. Lost Girl feels like someone mined Jim Butcher's world. Just one tiny corner of it. Now, it might not feel like that to anyone else. I don't read much urban fantasy and he is the only one I remember. Having said that, Lost Girl takes what I like about Butcher's fae--the courts, the mood, the setting--and turns it into something I want to see more of.

What I liked? No backstory. We start in the middle of something familiar and watch it get tweaked, over and over again, until by the end of the episode, we are as turned-around as the main characters are.

In a good way. In a OK, we're back to square one, now what? way.

Another thing about me--I don't go ga-ga over male leads. There are some whose characters I like. LOVE Tom Hanks' character. And, of course, Harrison Ford. But it's not the smokin' kind of attention they get from me. I can't say the same thing about Kris Holden-Ried, who plays Dyson. Just standing there, I'm ready. And there are women who swear their panties by Alan Rickman's voice. Nah. When Dyson appears on the screen, I wait for the first movement of body, letting me know he might, just might say something. Will someone tell me what he is doing so that I can make him stop? Eventually? (I'd probably prefer him more "mature", but--eh! I'll take what I can get)

Fortunately, the story, the action, the characters keep me cooled off. In a good way. Lost Girl is definitely a tough and quirky girl buddy movie. Bo played by Anna Silk is a succubus who refuses to choose which fae alignment she will make. In the opening episode, she doesn't even know she is fae. She just knows she is different and has to keep running. She gets caught by Kenzi, played by Ksenia Solo, carrying the ubiquitous cell phone with near-instant video.

If this were only an Urban Adventure with supernatural characters and hot guys, I wouldn't be so excited. I would even give up Dyson. However, Kenzi? Kenzi stitches it down for me. She is not into girls, so Bo is not of interest to her. She is normal human, so she is vulnerable. And, best of all, she is "connected", so she is resourceful. When we meet her she is picking pockets.

I've mentioned J D Robb. It occors to me that I need to mention one of her characters: Peabody! Kenzi reminds me of Delia Peabody, and if the folks at SYFY know what's good for them, they will do right by her. Otherwise, all they have is another sexy spec fic show.

(and that's a problem, how?)

Anybody watching this? Not like it? Rather have someone else playing Dyson?


Edited to Add: Watched another episode, last night. With the sound off. That was really, really bad of me. Felt like a voyeur! And YAY! Kenzi <3 )

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eve of Valentine's Day

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, I thought that I’d get myself into the mood for some romance by watching a few ‘chick flicks’.  I love romance movies, even cheesy romance movies, which is probably why I am so drawn to writing the romance in paranormal, fantasy and steampunk worlds.   

For the past two weeks on the Women’s Network, they have been showing romance movies every night.  And with my husband out of the house most nights at the rink, I curl up with the baby and a bag of 100-calorie popcorn and jump into a world of romance.  It’s a match made in heaven, minus the stinky diaper.

For Valentine’s Day, hubbie and I are getting out of the house (no baby) for a night of romance (well four hours anyway).  We will hit up Boston Pizza (his choice for the restaurant) and then head to the movie theatre to watch “The Vow” with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.   

“A newlywed couple recovers from a car accident that puts the wife in a coma. Waking up with severe memory loss, her husband endeavors to win her heart again.”

I got to thinking about my all-time favorite romance movies were, I've listed them below.  The ones with "*" are not happily-ever-after endings, in which one of the hero/heroines dies. 

1. The Notebook
2. Untamed Heart *
3. Time Traveler’s Wife *
4. Night in Rodanthe *
5. A Walk to Remember *
6. Sweet Home Alabama
7. Serendipity
8. Just Like Heaven
9. P.S. I Love You
10. Titanic *

What are your favorite mushy movies?  How are you celebrating "V" day? 

However or wherever you are celebrating it - Happy early Valentine's Day!  May your day be filled with love, flowers and chocolate (there are no calories in Valentine's chocolate).

R.J. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cybercat Takes Possesion or Is Possessed!

Do you have days when things just get in the way of your progress?
Of course, Steelyballs doesn’t think he’s in the way in the latest Adventures of Steelyballs and Porkchops.

 So, is Steelyballs possessed or just a normal cat? 
Till next time,

Friday, February 10, 2012

Aragorn & Arwen

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share this wonderful video I found on my favorite epic fantasy couple. Also, which couple is your favorite from books or fiction.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mermagic: The Powers in a Mermaid’s Song

Many people ask me about mermagic...probably since I’ve written two mermaid fantasy romance books and live in Tampa, an area rich with mermaid culture because the local coast was once dominated by their pirate mates. 

I’ll share a few mermaid secrets revealed to me by my heroine in the Ciel’s Legacy series. Her name is Ciel and in the first book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, she was surprised to find herself transformed into a mermaid, living among pirates and merfolk. Years later, in Tortuga Treasure, she finally meets the man of her dreams, a pirate named Alvaro, when he is moments away from dying with a knife lodged in his back—not the best timing. In order to save him, she moves fast and turns him into a merman using the magic “kiss of life.” Worse luck for Ciel, Alvaro thinks he wants to become human again. She’s told me many times mermen are no easier to understand than men. Like any woman, she tries her best to please him, hoping he’ll eventually see how nice she really is and drop his wild idea. Ciel knows the process is rarely done and requires great talents in mermagic. Although well-trained and talented, she’s uncertain whether she can perform what is required. In this pub scene, she uses her mermagic, attempting to locate an item needed to return Alvaro to human form.

Excerpt from Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy:

“Hey, yer quite a lovely. Come on in an’ join us,” a raspy, male voice spoke from behind. A large, rough hand touched my back.
I looked over my shoulder. The sight of oily hair on a scraggly seaman made me jump through the pub door held open ahead of me. Hidden in the shadows, a few male voices guffawed at my reaction. Their laughter came closer and I trembled. Were they drunk? What did they intend with me?
Swept inside, I quickly surveyed the room. I’d never been in this establishment, known to be frequented by rowdy deck hands. Only merfolk shunned for lying or cheating came here.
Save for employees and those taking their billiard shots, all men glanced our way. A few gave off such active lascivious vibrations I needed no touch to gain clear readings.
I leaned into my friend and whispered, “No Tom here.”
She placed a protective arm around me. “Don’t forget your song. We may need it.”
A chubby barmaid moved past, wearing a bodice cut low to display her large bosom. She snarled at us. “What’re ye two doin’ here, stealin’ all me tips?”
“No. Just looking for a certain person who’s not here, so we’ll be leaving,” I replied.
“I hear ye.” The wench rolled her eyes. “True or not, don’t matter. Ye’ll be stayin’.” She nodded to the closest group of seamen.
Protests came from all directions, as a dozen buccaneers surrounded us. “Leavin’. Nay. Why? Ye just got here.”
“Stay an’ play fer a while, darlin’.”
“Be glad to buy ye two lovelies a round o’ grog.”
When I turned toward the door, one grabbed my shoulder and another slid an arm around my waist.
Omarosa faired only a little better. Three encircled her, but at some distance; with her larger frame, she appeared a more difficult conquest.
The pirate wrapped at my waist pulled me hard into him. His breath reeked with whiskey and tobacco.
I grimaced, pushed against his chest, and squirmed backward a few inches. Another voice behind me indicated the arrival of another pirate. “She don’t like ye, Nate. Let me have a go, ye waster.”
“Nay. She jist needs a bit o’convincin’, that be all.” Nate chuckled and pulled me tight to his side. Lass, I know ye want to be me Jenny tonight, ain’t it so?”
Encouraged to respond, I took as deep a breath as possible, despite his hold on my ribcage.
His other hand squeezed my breast.
I gripped his wrist and yanked, but he dug his fingernails into my soft bare flesh. Tears welled in my eyes. I stifled the reflex to scream, instead, channeling my energy into a merspell. My song began as a soft trill. I kept it there, allowing the sweet sound to sneak up on the patrons, infusing a drug-like tranquility. If I forced a more sudden show of power, those unaffected would notice their friends falling under and attack me.
Thankfully, Nate’s hand dropped away from my breast, but he still clamped my waist, loosening slightly as I continued singing.
Omarosa spun around, checking my effectiveness, and soon added her own song. Hers possessed much less magic than mine, her song specialty being detailed communication. But, her tone harmonized and enhanced my spell.
Then, I paused to inhale and the enchantment wavered.
Nate regained awareness and thrust his fingers into my side. “Damned wench! Not lettin’ ye try more tricks,” he yelled into my face. He shoved me to the floor, pushed my head down with his foot, and yanked one of my arms behind me.
They flung my friend down and pinned her there with several large boots upon her back.
I began to sing, but lost my air as he jerked on my arm. “I’m gonna crack yer teacup right here fer me mates to enjoy the show. Then, ye’ll be me possession.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw him unzip his pants.

Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy—Blurb:

When Ciel first looks into Alvaro’s eyes she finds love. Bad timing. In the next instant he’s fatally stabbed in the back by one of his pirate mates. Her girlfriends warn her it will only bring on a heap of trouble to save him. Unable to resist, she gives him the gift of a new life as one of her kind—a merman.

Will their love encourage him to embrace life as a merman? Can love survive if he wishes to return to human form? Either way, her friends speak true. No matter how much mermagic and dark vodou Ciel and her friends cast, blood-thirsty buccaneers chase them across the Caribbean until Alvaro finally decides.

Warning: This book contains a magical cock-a-too, lecherous scurvy pirate dogs, hoodoo healers, the mark of the evil Black Spot, plenty of dark Haitian vodou, and passionate encounters on tropical beaches.

Purchase links:

~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. She is the author of the Ciel's Legacy series, fantasy romance with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE. Look for her first of an epic fantasy romance series, SEEKING A SCRIBE: ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS ONE, to be available March, 2012. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Artist's Way Toolkit - A Digital Creativity Journal

I really wanted to share this video, because I'm totally thrilled with the newly released  Artist's Way Toolkit. Most creative types have read, or at least heard of Julia Cameron's books, and now it's become interactive. You can customize your journal, upload pictures, and digitally share your process if you like. There's even an App (of course), so you can be inspired no matter where you are. Check it out:

Anyone else going to give it a try? If you have the Toolkit already, what do you think of it?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy UnBirthday to Me...

I missed a really cool birthday present. This is what I get for letting go my subscription to Neil's blog, or not following my twitter follows too closely. So what did I miss?

I am a real hound for audio books. I chalk it up to learning to read really, really early and being the oldest of five kids in four years. I did all my own reading for as long as I can remember. So, when I first found stories that I really liked, read by actors (Poirot read by David Suchet), or authors I really liked whose books were read by really good readers (Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently novels). Then came American Gods, read by George Guidall, and I was hooked.

Now, I find out that Neil Gaiman has hooked up with Audible to produce more audio books, books he's picked to be recorded. What a wonderful birthday present.

It's also wonderful that he doesn't just pick sci fi or fantasy to be recorded. He chooses books based on his own tastes, which, given the kind of stuff he writes, doesn't seem too off-putting. I work for a family of musicians who teach at home, so I'm looking forward to the collection of essays on being a musician traveling in Russia.

Audible has a free trial offer if you, or someone you know, might be interested.

Meanwhile here are a few links to Neil Gaiman reading, um, Neil Gaiman. Also, here's a link to Bebe Neuwirth reading Gaiman's Snow, Glass, Apples. This last link also includes one of my favorites, Murder Mysteries, by Gaiman.

Are there any audiobook fans out there? Who are your favorites? Any readers we should stay away from?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

They're Here! Graphic Novels

Who would have thought that comic books would grow into such an art form?  And get a new name to boot, graphic novels.  Plus, graphic novels are presented in an upscale package minus the staples down the center.  I would say that if you want tight storytelling with pictures, a graphic novel could be something you'd like.  I have to say I'm intrigued by them.  Graphic novels aren't new, just new to me.  So, excuse me while I lay back and let my eyes feast on Shakespeare in the graphic format.  Of course, that's after I've flipped through one of the never say die super hero stories.

The Young Adult Library Services Assocation (YALSA) comes out with a yearly top ten for graphic novels.  I guess the library likes them too.  Here's their latest list for teens:

Amir and Khalil.  "Zahra's Paradise."  First Second, 2011
Bendis, Brian Michael and Alex Maleev.  "Scarlet."  Marvel/Icon Comics, 2011.
Brosgal, Vera.  "Anya's Ghost."  First Second, 2011.
Gladstone, Brooke, Josh Neufeld, and others.  "the Influencing Machine:  Brooke Galdstone on the Media."  W. W. Norton and Company, 2011.
Langridge, Roger, Chris Samnee, and others.
"Thor:  The Mighty Avenger V.1." Marvel, 2010.
"Thor:  The Mighty Avenger V.2." Marvel, 2011.
McLeod, Kagan.  "Infinite Kung Fu."  Top Shelf, 2011.
Mori, Kaoru.  "A Bride's Story V.1."  Yen Press, 2011.
Nicolle, Malachai and Ethan Nicolle.  "Axe Cop V.1."  Dark Horse, 2011.
Ralph, Brian.  "Daybreak."  Drawn and Quarterly, 2011.
Shimura, Takako.  "Wandering Son V.1."  Fantagraphics Books, 2011.

So, last week I introduced my cartoon.  "The Adventures of Pork Chops and Steelyballs."  I thought having studied art, drawing cartoons would be easy.  Well, I haven't found that to be true.  But, it certainly has been fun.

With our attention span growing ever smaller, do you think graphic novels will eventually replace plain old books?  What do you think of graphic novels? 

Till next time,

Friday, February 3, 2012

Epic Fanfic Reading: Legolas by Laura

The stuff I find on YouTube. People are recording themselves reading fanfiction. They tend to pick out the bad ones and read them in a dramatic tone. Let's just say it can be hilarious at times. For example: Legolas by Laura. In this YouTube video, ITTMoses created an animation to manwithoutabody reading of this fanfic. I will add this fanfiction even has a spot on Tv Tropes. With that said, please enjoy the video. ^_^

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Urban Fantasy Could Use a Few Saints

In a genre as diverse as urban fantasy, I'm always on the lookout for new and original ideas to inspire my writing. When I found a copy of the Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints, & Sages by Judika Illes at my library, I was immediately intrigued and took it home. While the book is meant as a practical guide for those who wish to use these types of beings in their magical rituals, it contained plenty of material that can be utilized for crafting story ideas.

Saints have an interesting and controversial history, religious and otherwise. There were many incredible stories and abilities attributed to them in life: some could levitate, control the elements, were clairvoyant, had magical healing powers, or could withstand incredible pain without lasting effects. Some could supposedly even resurrect the dead, and that's just what they accomplished before they died and began performing miracles.

It got me wondering why we haven't seen saints among the scores of supernatural creatures populating UF stories these days. Writers have gone far beyond vampires and werewolves (although there are still great versions of these popping up now and then), in order to keep things fresh and give readers something unique. Fairies, angels, demons, druids, goblins, selkies, psychics, elementals, ghosts, witches, and more are all taking the stage to introduce urban fantasy fans to original personalities and conflicts. And we've only scratched the surface of mythical possibilities, so why not saints?

The book illuminates some prevailing assumptions about saints. They are not a strictly Christian/Catholic or occidental phenomenon, nor were they all necessarily exceptionally  good people while they were alive. The encyclopedia gives information on saints from all over the world, of many different time periods and ethnicities, listing their acts, benefits, and attributes. Several are considered unofficial saints (including Elvis, which makes me chuckle), but all have plenty of history and lore to work with. They can be young or old, of either gender, and express a wide variety of attitudes and values.

Of course, one of the immediate problems with being a saint, is that you have to be dead to earn the title. But that's just a tiny little snag that any good speculative storyteller can navigate. I was particularly struck by a fascinating statement Ms. Illes makes early in the text while comparing  saints to other types of spirits: that the natural enemy of the saint is the vampire. Her definition of a vampire is decidedly unlike the creature from modern novels, yet I still find it a compelling image: The saint as a charismatic being so full of life force as to be able to continue sharing it after death, set against the vampire who must consume the same vital energy to survive. Tell me that doesn't get your UF wheels turning.

So, what do you think about a saint as the next urban fantasy hero? Are there any other supernatural types you've been waiting to see in the genre?
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