Sunday, April 27, 2014

I'm so tired...

Sorry I’ve been away for a while, but something exciting has happened in my personal life that’s taken precedence over everything.
About two weeks ago, I had another baby!

With my four-year-old and everything, I’ve been busy.  There have been many late night feedings. One lucky thing that’s coincided with the new addition to the family is that we’re getting free HBO for a couple months, so I’ve been catching up on a few films while I take care of my new daughter.

As I was struggling to feed my tiny infant, I thought, what does the internet need more of?  The answer seemed obvious: reviews of movies that are upwards of nine-years-old by someone who is barely watching them because of sleep deprivation. Hence, this post was born.
Spoilers abound, be forewarned.

Game of Thrones
I haven’t read the books and I’ve never seen any of the episodes, but I kind of know some stuff just from living in culture. I know winter is coming and Peter Dinklage is a guy on the show and Khaleesi is the mother of dragons.
I watched the episode with the Purple Wedding, where that dickish prince who looks like he’s about twelve is poisoned. My overall take-away is that Peter Dinklage is awesome. I would watch him do just about anything, but watching him be Tyrion Lannister is extra awesome.
There are other people on the show, and they did things. I don’t remember what those things were besides dying of poison.
I still want to watch all the episodes and read the books now.

Imagine You and Me
I watched this in two parts, the ending first then the beginning and middle. Anthony Stewart Head is in this and because of my love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I had to watch. He’s great. He plays the dad of a woman who’s getting married to Matthew Goode. He does a silly dance that’s quite enjoyable.
At the wedding, she sees the actress who plays Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones and begins to question her sexuality. This was sort of sweet and mostly sad. Then they played “Happy Together,” and all I could think about was that part in Adaptation where Nicholas Cage chases after his twin.
I’ve never questioned my sexuality, but if I were married to the character Matthew Goode plays in this movie, I find it difficult to believe I’d start. Even though his name is Heck, he still looks exactly like Matthew Goode and he’s incredibly sweet and funny. I was really attracted to him in Stoker, long after it became obvious I shouldn’t have been.  All in all I enjoyed this movie. Highly recommend if you like to see hot guys being devastated, Anthony Head dancing like a gibbon, or sweet, tentative love stories between two lovely women.

Ruby Sparks
This movie is like if that first world problems meme made a film. I can’t imagine that anyone was clambering for the weird faith healer kid who gets beaten to death at the end of There Will Be Blood to become the lead in a romantic comedy, but here he is. Eli Sunday is shirtless and ready for love, so watch out before he drinks YOUR milkshake, ladies! Skip this movie unless you like spending time with an incredibly privileged man who doesn't learn anything about himself.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
This movie is billed as a comedy, but it’s the grimmest sort of comedy there is, despite the presence of Steve Carell. You could watch this with the apocalyptic fare that came out last year, like The World’s End and This is the End, but see this one first so the other two can cheer you up before bed.
I had just gotten home from the hospital when I watched this one and was holding my infant in my arms, gazing into her trusting, perfect face, so maybe that’s why the premise punched me in the tear ducts so hard.
The movie is about the earth’s eminent destruction. Everyone knows they are going to die, but there’s nothing to do, so they carry on more or less. Steve Carell’s wife leaves him, he meets a careless young woman played by Kiera Knightly. They go on a road trip. They fall in love. Then the world ends.
And the lesson is that love helps to bring meaning to this strange, fleeting existence and that’s really the best we can hope for. That’s it.
My description sells all this short. There is an amazing performance by Steve Carell that anchors the movie. He’s so good in this that I found myself feeling kind of attracted to him, which is like going into a bar, checking out a cute guy and realizing too late that he’s your friend’s dad. It’s just wrong.  I’m used to thinking of him as Michael Scott and Brick Tambland. He loves lamp, guys. You shouldn’t want to make out with the I Love Lamp guy, but when he whispered in Kiera Knightly’s ear that she was the love of his life, I was sobbing and turned on all at the same time.
It was pretty gross.
The emotional journey of this movie made me feel so much. I highly recommend it.

Pacific Rim
I only caught the last half hour of this. Everyone seemed to be using Bill Paxton’s performance in Aliens as an inspiration. I feel like I should make a “Game over, man!” joke, but I’m still pretty shaken up from thinking about Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
From what little I saw, Pacific Rim was campier than a John Waters-themed slumber party. It was the good kind of campy, though, with ample doses of Ron Pearlman and that guy from Torchwood. Not Ianto. The slutty one that died the worst death of any character ever. I’ll look it up. 
Burn Gorman! 
How could I forget an actor with the first name “Burn?” I’m very tired, that’s how.
Yes, so despite the fact that Burn Gorman spent most of his life in Great Britain and he does a seamless British accent, he’s the most amazing English stereotype in this movie. I remember him having a monocle and a bowler hat, holding a cup of tea, but I don’t think that’s true. Idris Elba is also in it, which improves any movie by six-hundred percent.
Anyway, I need to see more of this movie to tell if it was actually good or bad, but I can tell you it was loud and brightly colored.

The Five-Year Engagement
Honestly, I didn’t catch much of this movie as I was breast-feeding and eating a ham sandwich at the same time as I was trying to watch it.
Here are some highlights: Jason Segal endures verbal abuse from many different characters. He drives a taco truck. Rhys Ifans plays a shady dude. Emily Blunt is the girl Jason Segal is engaged to. I always confuse her with Olivia Wilde and Olivia Munn. Of the three, one is married to Jim from the Office. Good for her (whichever she may be.)
The most exciting part was when Mindy Kaling was in it. I didn’t know she was going to be in the film and was so happy to see her. Yay, Mindy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Late Thaw Cover Reveal

This is a book my friend, Ana Blaze, wrote. She's had dramatic problems with the publisher who originally released the book, and is re-issuing it in a self-publishing format.

I have known Ana for years and we've been supportive of each other's writing. She came up with the concept for One Lucky Night, and invited me to participate. I also helped edit A Late Thaw and her novella for Love and Other Games.

Her work is a lot like going on vacation to a place where everyone is beautiful and their intentions are pure. It's like a cross between really clean Canada and how I'd imagine heaven, really. Anyway, if you've had a rough day, wrapping yourself in the universe of A Late Thaw for a few hours will make you feel better. Seriously, reading her stuff is like drinking wine and eating cupcakes, except you won't feel guilty afterwards.

Here's the info on A Late Thaw:

TITLE: A Late Thaw
AUTHOR: Ana Blaze
GENRE: Comedy, Contemporary, Romance (Adult)
RELEASE DATE: April 2014 (originally published October 27, 2013)

SYNOPSIS: Barrett, Vermont, home to nearly as many goats as people. It’s the perfect picturesque spot to stop for cocoa after a ski trip or to buy your Christmas tree from a hunky farmer wearing snug jeans and a pair of well-worn boots. Kiley St. Claire isn’t there for either. She’s come home for one reason and one reason only: make enough money waiting tables at the local tourist trap to survive her final semester of graduate school. Of course she is going to have to see that Christmas tree farmer eventually. That’s fine; Kiley isn’t the same nerdy little girl he palled around with. Nope, she’s done crushing on Cole Thomas. Totally done.
Cole thought he was ready, but seeing Kiley again is a punch to the gut. She rejected him and ran away without explanation. He still couldn’t imagine a future with another woman.  Now at least he’ll have a chance to say what he’s needed to say for years and then, just maybe, he’ll be ready to move on. He only wishes she didn’t look so damn good in her uniform.

The cover was created by one of our other collaborators on One Lucky Night, Aria Kane, and I think she did a beautiful job.

Here's a little more about Ana:

Ana lives just outside Washington DC with her very supportive husband and three rather demanding cats. She loves the ocean, Indian food, Ikea, and cooking. Ana admits to watching too much television and she swears that someday she’s going to learn how to play the guitar resting on the bookshelf in her office. Ana is a member of Romance Writers of America.


If you buy this book, you could enter to win a copy of Love and Other Games, which features stories by Ana, Aria, Kara Leigh Miller and another of our collaborators, Melinda Dozier.
: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Book Buzz Tours

Friday, April 4, 2014

Big, big, big Cover Reveal!

So today we're revealing the cover of the book. I waste no time because my child has arisen and will be wanting to watch clips of Yoshi's Island on Youtube if he sees the computer open.

We'll be releasing the book on May 7!

Here are some blurbs to pique your interest:

One night can change everything…

The crew at Boston’s Brazen Head Pub hasn’t been very lucky in love. Can a mysterious visitor inspire them to look past old hurts and misconceptions and give romance a chance? One Lucky Night is a collection of five sexy interwoven novelettes by Aria Kane, Grace Teague, Ana Blaze, Constance Phillips, and Melinda Dozier.

Individual Blurbs

Lucky Break by Aria Kane
Four years ago, chef Derek Chase walked out of Andrea Rivera’s life after a tragedy neither of them were prepared to deal with. When she’s called to the Brazen Head to repair a dishwasher, old sparks ignite buried feelings.

Lucky Star by Grace Teague
When her life is threatened by a mugger, Charlotte Price realizes she's in love with her best friend, Tommy Leung. The Brazen Head seems like the perfect neutral place to confess her feelings, but nothing goes according to plan.

A New Tune by Ana Blaze
When it comes to dating, Holly Hall has one unbreakable rule: no musicians. Not even gorgeous ones. Especially not gorgeous ones. Dating them only leads to heartbreak. So why did she let singer-songwriter Cian O’Neill kiss her? And why is she thinking about doing it again?

Lexi’s Chance by Constance Phillips
As a bartender, Sean Whalen meets all kinds of women every night, but none turn his head the way that Lexi has. She’s been playing cat and mouse with him for weeks. Tonight, Sean’s determined to get Lexi to quit teasing and take a real chance on him.

Drink or Dare by Melinda Dozier
A bachelorette party Drink or Dare game pairs paramedic students, Rachel Robertson and Killian Whelan, in a flirting match. Soon, the dares threaten to turn their academic rivalry into something much more.