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Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

I continue to do some promo for my latest releases, specifically for HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO. If that guilts you into buying a copy, then my evil plan is working. Click on the link and buy, like, 300 copies.

I survived my first Blog Talk Radio experience. Did have some added excitement when my hubby came home early and the dog started barking. Got to love live shows. If you missed it, you can listen here.

I’m working on my next Intrigue. It’s a bit of an ode to DIE HARD in that my fearless hero and heroine are tracked through an office building by bad guys. This one is called VIRGIN ON HIS DOORSTEP and will be out June 2010.

In trolling around the internet this morning I saw that Tess Gerritsen sold her Jane Rizzoli books as a series to TNT. Very cool.

Friday, July 3rd, 2009
Fiction On Top Of Fiction

Is anyone watching the show Castle? Someone besides me must be since it got renewed. For those who don’t, Richard Castle is a bestselling mystery writer who tags along with the police – a sexy female homicide detective, to be exact – on whom he is basing his next series. I admit I was skeptical at first, but Nathan Fillion won me over. He’s charming and the relationship with his daughter is one of those “awwww” things.

Now comes word of an interesting Castle tie-in novel. The fictional Castle’s book will be posted in weekly chapters on starting in August. The full book will hit the shelves in September. Sounds like a good marketing idea to me.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009
Some Entertainment

Even with a deadline looming I’ve been enjoying a bit of summer entertainment. Specifically, a few movies and books. Here are my thoughts:

-The movie UP – It’s fabulous. It’s one of those animated films that makes you all weepy. Damn those folks at Disney Pixar! The love story is bittersweet and so relatable it’s heartbreaking. The talking dogs are beyond adorable. And the message about moving on without losing the past is the sort that works no matter the setting.

-TERMINATOR SALVATION – I really tried to like this. I’m a fan of the Terminator series (by that I mostly mean #1 and 2 since I thought #3 was so-so). The casting didn’t make a lot of sense to me. The ages seemed all wrong. Kyle Reese is a teen? Didn’t get that. Liked the Worthington actor dude but his accent kept slipping. For some reason that always drives me apeshit. John Connor almost fades into the background and his character arc, well, it doesn’t exist. On that note, while I apprecaite Christian Bale and all, what is with that voice? For half of the film he sounded like Batman playing John Connor. Yeah, should have just seen STAR TREK (totally loved that one) again.

-The book CHILD 44 – This was a total win for me. It’s a thriller set in 1950s Soviet Union. The setting is rich to the point where it feels like another character. The protagonist is flawed and misguided and so well written. He works for the State Security Force. In case you’re not clear from the title, those were generally not the good guys. The love story is true to the times and in many ways not meant to be a love story at all. And did I mention the serial killer? A serial killer in a society that insisted crime didn’t exist? Totally loved this one.

Back to writing…

Sunday, April 5th, 2009
Movie Madness

This turned out to be a movie watching weekend. That sounds like a good thing. Yeah, not so much.

First, we watched the second X Files movie. To borrow (and slightly modify) a line from Galaxy Quest (a movie I adore), did they ever watch the show? The X Files movie was so disconnected from everything that’s gone before…and it sucked. The plot was like a bad episode of Law and Order. Gillian Anderson looked fabulous but, otherwise, the movie was just not good.

Second, we ventured to an actual movie theater and saw Duplicity. I wanted to love this. Really. The commercials reeled me in. Clive Owen is, well, Clive Owen and there’s just nothing wrong with him. But the chemistry between Clive and Julia Roberts was wasted here. The plot was convoluted but ultimately clever. But that didn’t take away anything from the mediocrity of the movie. And I would like to point out that I didn’t like Clive’s last movie, The International, either. the lack of sparks. So sad.

Third, we stopped at Blockbuster on the way home from the movie to drop off the X Files rental and pick up Role Models. Now, I didn’t expect much from this third movie other than juvenile toilet humor. But, really, it’s much better than that. In fact, it’s pretty funny. One of my favorite character actors, Jane Lynch, is in it. She’s always good. Paul Rudd is strangely adorable. The movie works.

Off to read the newspaper…

Monday, February 16th, 2009
Not So Worldly

We saw the movie THE INTERNATIONAL over the weekend. And while I can’t get those two hours of my life back, I can issue a warning to those who read this blog to think about seeing something else. First, let me just go ahead and say that Clive Owen is in it. Usually this would be enough for me. He’s adorable, inhabits every role he plays no matter how stupid, and did I mention he’s adorable. For those who just need to know Clive Owen is in a movie to be hooked, you can stop reading. For the rest of you…

The female lead is Naomi Watts. I try very hard to believe she’s a good actress but I’m just not sold. I don’t see it. Ignoring her for a second, the real problem here is the plot. It boils down to – and this is not a spoiler since the commercials say it – this big Bank is very bad. The main characters race all over the world to get proof of this. Now, I know that sounds fun. That’s where I got sucked in. But don’t buy it. It’s an illusion. See, while there are chases and bad guys this thing never goes anywhere. There’s zero character development The result is that you don’t care all that much for these poeple, except to the extent they are both pretty and you don’t want them disfigured. And, of course, out of a general love of Clive.

There is a great scene in the Guggenheim, but it goes on waaaaay too long.

I continue to believe Clive Owen is worth the cost of a movie ticket no matter what, but think about renting this one. Stick with the Bourne franchise.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
How To Waste Time

I continue to be sick. Apparently a sinus infection lasts three years…or it certainly feels that way. It also affects your television watching preferences because early this morning, before diving into a novella I’m writing for a January 1st deadline, I watched a movie. This movie had just started when I turned the television on. I didn’t actually put it on.**

It was one of those movies I started watching and couldn’t turn off. That is not a reflection on how good it is. Oh, hell no. The acting and plot were overdone. It was very pretty with this washed out sepia look but really not good otherwise.

The movie? A WALK IN THE CLOUDS. And Keanu needs to stick to ScFi. Just saying.

**That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Sunday, October 19th, 2008
A Nudge

For my romance writer friends who aren’t sure if they want to enter the RITAs this year, I give you this from agent Kristin Nelson via Romancing The Blog:

I just closed a major motion picture option deal for my author Kelly Parra because of the double RITA-nomination for her young adult novel GRAFFITI GIRL. Yep, you heard that right. My author didn’t even win this year’s 2008 RITA but she’s winning in a whole different way (although she was very sad not to take home that beautiful statue).

This past July, several movie producers decided to check out Romance Writers Of America’s National Conference. Obviously, they gave special attention to any work nominated for the prestigious RITA award. Several weeks later, this producer got in touch with us. One call to my film co-agent and a week later, we had spanking new film option. This in turn is generating new excitement by foreign publishers in Frankfurt (as I write this).

There you go…

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Off To RWA

I’m leaving for San Francisco this afternoon.* I’ll be at the RWA conference all week and, depending on the internet access, will blog from there. In the meantime, here’s the photo of me in front of Iron Man at Comic-Con last weekend. Forgive the quality. It’s from a cellphone.

*Someone is staying at my house. I have a dog, an alarm system and a nasty whip-your-ass Neighborhood Watch group. So don’t even think about it…

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008
Some Thoughts On Movies

‘Tis the season for movie viewing. Last year’s summer movie choices kind of…well, they sucked. I think this year is far better. Here’s a list of what I’ve seen so far.

In the theater:

-National Treasure II – I have an almost unnatural love for the National Treasure movies. Scary, I know. I think it’s the mix of action and one-liners from Nicholas Cage. Also love the D.C. scenes. They remind me of what I miss about living there. And could Helen Mirren look better? I think not.

-Indiana Jones IV (Crystal Skull) – While I adore Harrison Ford, I didn’t love this. It just seemed like a mish mash of scenes and stunts from other action movies. I can’t even talk about the lameness of the dialogue. Wow.

-Sex and the City – I didn’t expect to love this but did. Still not sure I think the end was the right one for Carrie, but the fact I’m still thinking about the movie is a testament to it.

-Get Smart - Silly fun. I expected goofiness and it was that.

Rentals and on the Movie Channels:

-Juno – I know I’m, like, a year late on this. I chalk it up to what I call the Aaron Sorkin Complex. He’s the guy who wrote The West Wing and about a billion other things. Sorkin is a brilliant guy. In my view, he can also be a bit too clever. In Sorkin’s world, everyone is politically aware, smart and quick with a retort. It’s just too much. Well, I feared Juno would suffer from the same problem and, I would argue, it did for the first 10-15 minutes. Once the movie stopped trying to be cool, it was really good.

-Die Hard #37 - Okay, that’s not the title. I actually can’t remember the real title and I’m way too lazy to check it out. I like Bruce Willis. Like Justin Long. This worked for me on a sit-back-and-watch-and-don’t-dissect-it level.

-Transformers & Disturbia – Yeah, we had a little Shia LaBeouf festival. He’s charming. His movies hold my attention even though he does keep playing the same character over and over.

-The Orphanage - Hands down the best ghost story/suspense movie I’ve seen. It’s a foreign language film. I know subtitles can be annoying. Still, this was so well done. The acting and plot are superb. The ending is incredible because it doesn’y rely on silliness or CGI or anything else to explain what really happened. Rent this.

-Breach – I lived in the D.C. area when this spy case unraveled. We lived a few blocks from the private school Hanssen’s kids attended and saw the media circus. The movie was okay but failed to capture the confusion and outrage that ripped through town.

-Maxed Out - This is a documentary on the credit industry. I seriously considered cutting my American Express card in half after seeing this.

-Hard Times At Douglass High - This is an HBO special. I do not know how you could see this and not be affected. What passes for education in inner city Baltimore and what these students, teachers and administrators go through is just plain scary.

-Recount - This is the documentary about the Gore/Bush presidential battle and what happened in Florida. No matter how you feel about the election or which political party you belong to, you’ll see this and have to admit that James Baker is brilliant. You may hate him, but you can’t deny his brilliance in getting the outcome he wanted.

That’s it so far…

Thursday, June 19th, 2008
SATC Thoughts

I went to see the Sex And The City movie with a friend last night. Yeah, I know. Little late to that party. I actually held off because, well, the show’s finale summed up their lives so well for me that I didn’t see what a movie could add. But I have a weak spot for Mr. Big, so I went.

It’s good I did since the movie totally worked for me. The women, the clothes, the accessories, the storylines – all good. I can’t really explain why Mr. Big and Steve can do such crappy things to the women in their lives (Carrie and Miranda) and still I love them, but I do. I’m not one to gasp during movies, but I did it here. My one question was with Carrie’s movie ending. It had me wondering if it was the right one but, again, it worked.

I also enjoyed the scenes where Carrie, an author, moves her book around in a bookstore. Made me chuckle not because I would do that but because she’s so nonchalant about it. And was that an Adriana Trigiani book she moves? Not sure. Also a favorite was the use of a book that doesn’t actually exist. Yeah, that book Love Letters Of Great Men that plays such a big part in the Carrie/Mr. Big plot isn’t real. Apparently bookstores are getting requests for it. Kind of makes me wonder if a publisher is out there is rushing to get one on the shelves.