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Dark Succession

Archive for March, 2012

My 2nd favorite performance of American Idol from this past week. Makes me cry

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Movie Review – Hunger Games

This week the movie Hunger Games released to rave reviews.  All reports were filled with the glow of pure joy about the release of this amazing story.  Let me first say, I have not read the book.    The associated Press’ Christy Lemire said “Rare film that never drags and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.”  Awesome!  I couldn’t wait to see it!

So I dragged hubby to a movie he felt had a poor premise.  I reminded him it was a YA book originally, so the premise would seem odd to us, but from what I hear, the author pulls the concept off.  Okay, we finally get there (long story, but we were supposed to be there for the 3:45 only to be delayed at our end, Then rushed to make the 4:45, only to arrive just too late for me to feel comfortable missing the first 5 minutes, then arrived just in time for the 5:45 at another theater).  We plopped into our seats, only watching two previews before opening credits began.

An hour later, my husband was snoring, and I was still waiting for this “amazing” movie.  Surely it’s going to get better.  It has awesome reviews, right?  An hour later, I’m simply just waiting for it to end so we could leave.

Let me first say that the acting was pretty good.  The young Jennifer Lawrence almost made me like her – which considering how I felt about the movie as a whole, that was a damned hard task.  When the supposed most important death occurs in the movie, I thought for sure I’d sit and bawl (I had heard about this death via twitter). A large portion of the movie was spent on the event, (I’m trying not to tell the entire story here and give spoilers, which is why I rarely write reviews), and while I’m sure in the book it was great, I barely felt the sting of a tear by the time the entire set of scenes were complete.   I had absolutely no emotional connection with the characters.  Instead of wiping tears from my eyes as expected, I could only wonder how chilly it would be on the trip home.  I don’t think it was the acting so much as the actual screen play that caused this.

The first hour of the movie was apparently designed to teach us about this world, and it did so in painstakingly boring style. The costume design was over the top, and though it was designed to show the major class distinction, it instead came across as just plain silly.  I swear, if I ever wear clothes like the women in that city, just shoot me, please.  I get that it’s futuristic, but there’s futuristic, and there’s silly.

I thought perhaps when the “Training” part of the film began, things would improve.  I’m afraid not.  We see very little of the heroine’s training and skills.  We don’t see what she learned that would help her in the coming trial beyond how to make a fire.  (Speaking of fire, the fire scenes are all probably the best of the movie).    We see even less about the skills of the competitors in general.  These young men and women are little more than cardboard characters filling in the “blanks” to give us the full 24 needed for the Games.  While a few have important roles, we get zero insight into their skills, emotions, or thoughts and when justice is served, in each case I had zero emotional response.

We kept hearing about sponsors saving the lives by providing “Gifts” for the competitors.  Okay.  They made this BIG deal about how it was important for our heroine to be “liked” by said sponsors, yet we don’t see others competing for these sponsors, so it leaves us wondering why that was so important.  Who has the best sponsor?  What did they receive for their trouble?  We never know.  For something that drives the entire first half of the movie, it certainly was handled in an almost anti-climactic style.

I kept waiting for there to be character arc.  I kept waiting for there to be something “Change” in society.  I kept looking for this supposed “Message” the book has.  I never saw it.  Instead, I saw what is probably nothing more than foreshadowing for the next movie.  The problem is, you have to enjoy the first one to want to see the second.  I was never so happy to see a movie end.

Scores on a sale of 1-5, 5 being the highest.

Visual Effects – 5

Cinematography – 3 (I hate this new artsy style of filming where the camera moves too fast to capture the action).

Costume Design – 2

Performance- 4.0

Overall Enjoyment factor:  1.0 (My husband rated it a -1).

So go ahead – beat me up.  I apparently have a different idea of true entertainment than most do.  I suppose it’s because I’ve been a movie “Fan” for all of my life.  My husband and I go to the movies a minimum of 2 times per month, often as many as 8 if there are good films out.  I go to the movies to be entertained, rather than educated.   I’m not much more dramas at the theater, which is probably why I thought the movie The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was terrible.  I watch mostly action movies, with the occasional comedy. Other movies are just “Rentals”.   In my opinion, this “amazing, Action packed” movie doesn’t even qualify as a rental.    Maybe, just maybe, The Wrath of the Titans will deliver where The Hunger Games has not.


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I’ve Been Tagged! Lucky 7 – #blogging #writers

So last week, while I was out of town (sneaky people that you are) I got tagged to participate in the Lucky 7!  And not once, but TWICE.  First was Candice Bundy and the second was TJMichaels, but oddly enough I can’t find that tag on TJ’s blog.  I saw her announcement fly by on facebook while I was rushing out to my cousin’s wedding!  (More on that to come later this week or next)   So does that mean I have to tag 14 people?  Wouldn’t that be scary? I think I’ll stick with 7, but I guess to prove I love all you folks, I’ll give you TWO excerpts from 2 different manuscripts.  Does that sound fair?  :borg:

The rules for this one are quite simple:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 other victims, …er, authors.


OK, So, since I get to share TWO manuscripts, I’m going to start with the one that published on the 27th, since, well, it was technically still a manuscript when I was Tagged. :D

So, for my first one – from Lone Wolf, I went to page 77, copied 7 lines.  I promise, I didn’t fudge this at all!

Two men. Two voices. Krystal held her eyes closed, studying her situation. She was in a sitting position, her hands above and held at either side of her head. She could feel the hard edge of steel cuffs about her wrists. Cold, hard cement was beneath her. The room smelled of dank animal scents and straw. The urge to cover her nose was overwhelming, but she didn’t want to let the bastards know she was awake.

“Good. The tiger experiment failed. This one will work.”

Can you GET a more intriguing 7 lines by pure luck?

The second one was harder, because my program doesn’t count the pages unless I set it up to print.  So, for the sake of this, I set it up to print. :)  Just for you guys.  The work?  It’s Cougar’s Fate, the 3rd in the Maxey Wizards series.  Again, talk about lucky on the 7th line of page 77!

Jared snarled when Conrad smirked at his pain and fury.  Jared dragged himself upright, wishing the bastard would step closer.  Just two feet nearer, so he could rip that damned electrical rod out of his hand. If he could get control of his magick, he could send a bout of his newly learned fire, burning the bastard’s clothes.  But with the obviously bespelled cuffs around his ankles and wrists, as well as the electricity still bouncing through the cells in his body, there was no way he could focus.

But he wasn’t above trying.  Jared reached for his magick, swallowing the pain and need to gasp for air.

Yes, that’s seven lines in my program.  Now maybe that’s why this is the lucky 7. I have some great lines on pages 77 and line 7. LOL.  Wooohoo!

Ok, now who to pick?  Letssseeeee.

  1.  Vivienne Westlake -Of whom I’m just terribly jealous of her beauty (and hair).
  2. Crista McHugh who is my husband’s FAVORITE author.  Yes, he said that.  Sad, isn’t it?  I’m not even his favorite!
  3. Alexia Reed – who had to tolerate me at a conference as I was dying from a cold (Yes, I always feel like a cold is killing me).  I’m such a whiner.
  4. Kristen Koster, of Impulsive Hearts -  I just LOVE her writing!!  You’ll have to check out all of her page to see it!
  5. Elise Logan or Emily Ryan Davis.  I’m putting them both here as one, because I know they share their blog and are always working on projects together.  You have to check out their books, folks!  Really!
  6. Jodi Henley – My roommate for two RWA conferences so far, and she hasn’t even killed me yet!  Is that awesome or what?  Course after this…. Ya never know.  But if you want to learn to write, Jodi is the gal for you! She’s got great ideas on the art of the craft!
  7. Stephanie Draven – last but definitely not least, the Rita Award Nominee, Stephanie Draven!  Course you may have to wait to see her post until she comes down from the clouds.  And also, let me offer my BIG TIME CONGRATS for her to be so honored!  Stephanie, we love you!  Sorry I can’t be there this year to see you win!

There you have it!  Now to catch these ladies’ attention and let them know they’ve been tagged!

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It’s a party! Release Party!

Hey folks!  It’s time!  Woohoo!  Lone Wolf is re-released now over on Amazon and soon will be other places!  So for today I’m going have a party!  If you can include a line from one of my other books – NOT a line from one of the excerpts – I’ll enter you in a new contest to win a copy of Lone Wolf!  You’re going to love this book if you haven’t read it.  It’s the 2nd in the Maxey Wizard series, and let me tell ya, Damon is AWESOME!!!  Hot, Sexy, and without a single memory before he was rescued from the GSA’s dungeon of cages!  Now he’s out on the streets, trying to figure out if he’s contagious, or if he’s always been this way!  Imagine his distress when he falls for a Wizard, the sister of Lance Maxey from Tigress by the Tail, and doesn’t know if he can accidentally turn her into a  shifter or not!  SCARY!

So let’s party and Enter your favorite line in the comments from any of my other books.  Now be careful – if someone else already has your line posted, you can’t re-enter it!  So dig out your kindles, your pdf readers and your Nooks and find that favorite line from any of my other books.  Don’t forget to tell us which book it’s from!  It’s your chance to win Lone Wolf. And if you read Lone Wolf before, feel free to go leave a review on Amazon.

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Today is a very special day

You know, I noticed recently I’ve been posting alot of “not exactly happy” posts.  It probably looks like I’m all depressed or something.  But really I’m not.  Actually I’ve just been ruminating over different things in life, and it brings up “Hmm that was kind of interesting”, but it sure looks like I’m not happy.  But today…. Today is very special.  You see, today is my 25th anniversary!  It’s hard to believe that 25 years ago I walked down the aisle to that handsome man at the other end of the Church.  I’d share a photo with you, but our wedding photos didn’t turn out very well.  Ok, let’s be honest.  They didn’t turn out at all.  For those of you who’ve always had digital cameras, there used to be this stuff called film.  And the film turned out to be defective and split down the middle during processing, meaning we have no pictures from our wedding.  I do have video, but we’ve never added it to cd, so I can’t share that either.  Alas, it was a beautiful, albeit small, wedding.

You see, we met in the Air Force, at a school.  We had to marry fast, or we’d have ended up assigned on opposite sides of the world.  So we married about 4 months after we met.  But we didn’t rush.  You see, the instant I laid eyes on him I knew he was the man for me.  We’ve stuck together through thick and thin, and he’s one of my biggest supporters in the writing side of the house.  We’ve lived in Nebraska, Germany and North Carolina since we married, and trust me, those are some pretty trying locations.  Okay, NC isn’t so bad, but Nebraska – he loved it, I hated it. LOL.  We’ve been through a war together (the 1st Persian Gulf war), we’ve been through deployments to places that are boring, and places that are exciting. I still say I got the best of that – since I got to go to Egypt, but hey, life is what we make it, right?

We are both older, both a little heavier, and both a little slower, but we’re still perfect for each other.  I’m pretty darned sure nobody else would put up with me.  :satansmoking:   We aren’t celebrating big today, because I have to work, but I’m making him his favorite dinner (Lasagna with garlic bread), and then we’re going to celebrate by visiting with a cousin for her wedding and do the real “sight seeing thing” later in the week.  Something we’ve not done at that particular place.  It should be very fun!

I told hubby the other day I didn’t think we’d both still be alive when we hit 25 years.  Now to see if we’ll be alive when we reach 25 more!

For those who look at their spouse and wonder how we did it, it’s easy.  Ok, it’s not easy.  But we understand that.  We remember that there’s a commitment there, and we respect that commitment in multiple ways.  But it also helps to love each other.  Really love and respect one another.  I could never be married to a man who #1, I didn’t respect, #2, didn’t make me laugh, and #3, didn’t love me.  3 ingredients make a relationship!  I respect him above all others, nobody makes me laugh half as much as he does, and I love him so much I’m sure I couldn’t be without him.

So, my darling husband, I love you!  Let’s go for another 25!

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You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry – the finale

Ok, so the real reason I wrote all those posts was so I could share this story.  This is the true story and happened in about 1995, I think it was.   But you wouldn’t have understood this story without the others to build up to it. I promise, it wouldn’t have held the same power, and you wouldn’t feel the danger.  When I want to write a story which has our heroine furious beyond measure, it’s these emotions I’m drawing on.

In the Air Force they have special leadership training programs where you are sent to attend classes on how to become a better leader.  In my case, for NCO Academy, I was sent to McGuire AFB NJ.  A nice little hole in the wall base with not all that much to offer, except a nice flight line, known for handling a lot of overseas flights.  The school housed the residents in “Billeting”, the military version of a hotel, complete with maid service.  Our particular building was an old dormitory with the communal showers and small rooms, but at least we didn’t have room mates.

Our class was there for the 4th of July holiday, and we voted to be in class on the 4th, which was Thursday, so we could have a three day weekend, and take Friday off.  I, for the life of me, can’t remember what we did that 4th of July night, but I remember I went to bed late. I think I’d visited with a long time friend and watched fireworks with her, and then drove back to the base.  Now as you can tell, I love to get a lot of sleep, and I hate mornings, so this Friday I planned to sleep until at least noon.  I dropped my jeans on the foot of the bed, and climbed into bed with a t-shirt and underwear on, and fell sound asleep.

About 8 am I heard a commotion in the hallway.  Women’s voices shouting and doors slamming.  It didn’t take me long to realize it was maid service.  Now I know I said this was a military version of a hotel, but there were no “clean the room now” tags or “Do not disturb” tags on the doorknobs for us to put out, so I figured when they got to me, I’d just shout out “I’m sleeping, go away”, and they’d leave me alone.  But of course, the ladies room called, so I rolled out of bed and into my jeans, stumbled to the bathroom, then came back, rolled back into bed, and threw the pillow back over my head. The noises continued, growing closer and louder, my fury climbing higher with every door slam and shout down the hall.  At last the knock came.

“I’m sleeping, go away” I shouted.

“But we want to change the sheets.”


The lady must have gotten the message as I heard her at the next room.  A few minutes later, Head Maid shouted down the hall “What about that room?” apparently pointing at mine.

The voice who’d wanted to change the sheets answered  “She says she’s sleeping.”

It was then Head Maid made her fatal mistake.

“She better get her butt out of that bed.”

Oh I did, all right. I rolled right out of that bed. My feet hit the floor just as she hit the door with her knuckles for the first knock.  She never hit it a second time.  I threw the door open and it bounced off the wall.  I stormed forward.  In true Italian fashion, I threw my hand into the air to accentuate every word.

“Who the hell do you think you are?  NOBODY tells me to get my butt out of bed without my permission!”  The woman steps back, her eyes wide.  I”m sure it’s those glowy eyes of mine that did it. You know, there’s a reason I write shifters. I wonder if I grew fangs at that moment too.  “You’re a freakin’ maid for God’s sake.  Maid service doesn’t tell hotel guests when to get out of bed under any circumstances.  I SAID I was sleeping!”  Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t putting her down for being a maid.  It was because she didn’t abide by proper hotel maid procedures.

At this point I notice all of the other tenants standing in the hall, all wearing their bathrobes or in some sad state of undress, as they too had been sleeping.  Momma bear poked her head out.  I wasn’t the only one disturbed.  What would have been a simple volatile second became a secondary explosion .

“I saw you go to the bathroom wearing jeans. I knew you were awake.”

“You know nothing.  It’s none of your business what I wear the to the bathroom, or to my bed.  You are maid service.  You are not my boss.  You are not my commanding officer.  You,” I shouted, again, gesturing wildly, “stormed into this hallway, woke up every single guest, shouted enough to wake every blasted one of them, and then try to order me out of my bed.  Just who do you think you are?”

Her mouth gaped like a fish.  I was on a roll!

“It’s Friday, you should be at work!”

“Right.  It’s Friday. It’s our day off. But you wouldn’t know that, would you?  Because that doesn’t matter. If someone says they are in bed, you don’t get them up!  You come back later. Do you think we’re stupid or something?  Didn’t it seem strange to you that every damned room had a woman asleep in it?  Do you think we’d be working in our bathrobes?”

“I”m just doing my job!”

“No.  You’re not.  Your waking people up, and THAT is not your job!”  I spun, stormed back into the room and slammed the door so hard, I’m sure it reverberated up to the third floor.  I grabbed my shoes, and my keys and stormed back out. I didn’t brush my hair or teeth.  One of the maids was standing there, still in shock.  Girls were at the other end of the hall gossiping.  A couple came up to try to calm me down.  By now, I was calm, but furious.  A dead cold glare stared at the Head Maid as they spoke to me.

“We were all sleeping too,” one  of the girls commiserated.  “And I’m your witness.” At the time I didn’t understand what she meant by that.

I turned to the cowering younger maid.  “Where’s the main office?  I need to file a complaint.”  She gave me the building number, and the girl at my side said “wait, I’ll go with you.”  That helped to calm me some, but the cold fury still sat there, waiting to explode again.  We went to the main office where I filed my complaint, stating my opinion that this woman should not ever work for them again.  Then they let me use their phone.

My poor husband.  He was planning to sleep in that day too.  Good thing he wakes up better than I do, because he got an earful.  But wonderful man that he is, he knows exactly how to handle me when the sleep disturbed fury arrives.  He let me spout off, and agreed with me, and then finally joked until I laughed.  God, I love that man.  He knows me so well!

Later, I heard the rumor was that when I opened the door, I hit her, thus the witness comment.  Then the rumor was I almost hit her, and that’s why they didn’t fire her, but instead moved her to another building, telling her not to step into our building so long as I was still there.  Funny.  I never even thought about hitting her. Dang.  I missed my chance, I guess, since everyone thought I did and I didn’t even get into trouble!

The funny thing about the entire thing was my class responded.  The men in my group suddenly looked at me totally different.  I wasn’t the sweet, quiet little girl they thought I was.  I was class leader because I outranked them.  Up until then I received cursory respect.  It’s not like class leader really does much.  But afterward, I was treated as though I were a Queen.  Funny how men respect a woman who stands up for herself, even if he nicknames her A Bitch. I even got invited to the “Let’s make homemade beer” party, which I graciously declined.  Hey, I like being respected, but I don’t like getting poisoned!  :beer:

But you know what? That bitchiness works really well in my books, don’t you think?  When my heroine charges after the villain, she’s allowed to do a little violence.  I like that.  I get all my anger out at Head Maid right then and there.  Maybe… Maybe one day I’ll write her into a book.  Wouldn’t that be fun?  :devil:

So now you know my deep, dark secret.  Yes, all of these stories are more than 15 years old.  I’ve got a little more “control” these days, thank heaven. :blink:  People now only see the slightly grump me.  Just remember, if you ever see my eyes glowing (Or glowering), it doesn’t mean I’m mad at you.  It means I”m half asleep.  Don’t take anything personal and we’ll get along fine. :devil:

The thing is, I really don’t get mad like this often.  It once took me three years to finally blow up at someone who was a thorn in my side every day.  Also, my husband, as I said earlier, has made it his mission to teach me control when I first get up.  He’s done a great job!  He calls me “Witchy” when I give him “The look”.  Or if I say things in “The tone” right after I get up.  He laughs as he says it, so I know he’s only making me aware of what I’m doing.  Funny thing is, when he says it, I’m usually not in a bad mood. I think it’s just that I’m tired and my tone or expression is still asleep.  Remember how I used to wake up slowly as a kid?  I still do that, just as an adult I can’t go sit over the heater and nap.  I now have a double alarm.  :tongue:

My shifters are like that deep part of me, the part so few people have seen.  They have no political correctness aspirations.  They say what they think.  They act as how they want.  If they are angry, you know it.  Their glowy eyes will always tell you.  :w00t:   They don’t have to have been interrupted in their sleep to show these tempers.  They let them free when they feel it’s necessary.  In true animalistic form they correct, and then forgive.

Often people ask me what is the appeal of the shifter?  They are natural.  They don’t hide behind niceties.  They are themselves and make no apologies for who and what they are.  For me, the only time I’m a natural is when you first wake me up.  Before that political correctness slides over me, before all my training about courtesy and caring wakes up.  So I guess that makes me wonder – would I be like this all the time had I not been taught by humans?  And would I make a more effective leader if I were more like my shifters all the time?  Things that make you go Hmmm.

Remember, when you read my books, you can almost hear my shifters saying “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

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You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry – Part 3

Hey folks!  You’re back?  I guess your curiosity is getting the best of you.  Can Teresa REALLY get that mad?  Sure I can.  Remember, I’m Irish and Italian as my biggest “chunks” of background.  I even use my hands like an Italian when I get mad!  (That story will be story #4).

One thing I was really good at when I was in the military was protecting the troops who worked with me.  Especially the younger ones.  I hated to see them treated with disrespect, or ignored because they didn’t have enough stripes on their shoulders.  In fact, once I had words with my flight commander for too much sex talk, not because it bothered me, but because when I walked in and overheard the conversation, the other woman there, a young airman, was sitting there with her face beat red.  She couldn’t wait to get off work and get out of there.  Things like that bother me, and I’ll stand up for them every time.  In fact, the only time sleep wasn’t an issue when I got really angry was because of the way someone treated people in our unit. I’m like a mother bear when it comes to these young airmen, ready to protect when necessary.  Luckily I only had to go off on two NCO’s in my time over that.  One shall remain secret.  The other I shall share here.

Today’s story is one of the few negative memories I have of being in Egypt.  Let me start from the beginning, because, well, that’s probably where this whole thing started.

My boss wanted me to play war games again.  And when I say again, I mean AGAIN.  As in for the 8th time in 3 years.  I’m all good and dandy about wartime training, but it really was someone else’s turn.  The on and off gas mask was enough to drive a sane woman to drink, but after 8 times I was about ready to say just “Gas me!  Please!”.  He says “You can go play games or you can go to Egypt.”  Now this just proves how little this man knew me.  I love Egypt!  I have always loved Egypt.  My fascination started when I was 8, and I received my great grandmother’s necklace, made probably about the time King Tut’s tomb was found.  It’s just a terrible piece of forged artwork, but hey, it was mine, and it was about Egypt, and I loved it.

I responded with enthusiasm!  “Send me to Egypt!  PLEASE!”  And so he did.

On the way there another TSgt and I hit it off, and we decided if they let us, we’d share a room when we got there.  See, we started off staying in a hotel (across from the pyramids!  How good does it get?)  This was a big mistake.  See, I worked nights and she worked days.  That wouldn’t seem bad, except she worked only 3 days a week.  So the other 4 she sat in our room, chatting on the phone, blasting the tv, or whatever.  Sleep was a foreign thing during this period, and I tried very hard to be a good girl and not get mad.  See, my husband by this time had made it his mission in life to teach me control when I was tired.  He’d bump the bed just to see how long it took me to snap.  With time and practice, I learned to hold my temper.  So, I did just that.  I held my temper.

After a month or so in the hotels, we got moved to “Tent city”.  Now if you’ve never seen a military encampment, think of those old camp movies, where everyone slept in beds lined up on each wall, except we were in a tent.  My cot was in the far corner, and my former roommates was in the other end.  (Halleluiah for small favors).  There were 16 of us in the tent, I think.  Maybe 14, I don’t remember for sure.

All of us were NCO’s except one girl.  An E-2 (Airman first class) was in the middle cot on the same side as me.  I dont’ remember what she did, but she’d come back to the tent totally exhausted.  She’d fall into bed and not move for the next 8 hours.  I felt sorry for her, while at the same time I admired her ability to survive.  This one particular evening she’d been so tired she’d gone to bed without dinner.

After dinner my former roommate came in, and turned on the overhead light.  Me, I’d been sitting in my little corner, with my own little light, reading a book.  This NCO then proceeded to make alot of noise, and then at last settled onto her cot, the bright overhead lights still on.  I went over and asked her if she needed the light anymore, she said no.  So I turned it off, went back to my cot and continued reading my book.

A few minutes later she storms over and says “I thought you were going to sleep.”

“No, But she is.”  I pointed to the illustrious airman.

“IF she wants the light off, she can tell me herself.”

I calmly exited my cot, and moved right up to her, face to face, and in Mother bear fashion, whispered so as not to wake our sleeping child.  “I already know you have no respect for those sleeping after sharing a room with you.  She is a young Airman.  Do you REALLY think she’s going to look you in the face and order you to turn off the damned light?  You are an NCO in the US Air Force.  Act like it.”  Her eyes grew wide and she stepped back.  I didn’t raise my voice.  I didn’t have to.  Again, there must be something about my eyes when I get angry.  Maybe they start to glow like my shifters or something.  Because when I get angry, and let it show, no matter how loud or soft, people back off.  FAST.  She stormed out, and never met my eyes again. Oh, and she never left the light on after dark if someone was sleeping either.

Funny though.  When I think back on Egypt, and even living in Tent city, I loved every other moment of it.  It’s the start of me wanting to write, because I ran out of books to read there.  We had this kewl little book swap table, and while most of the people there were male, I got alot of books to read.  I had brought a bunch of sci fi books, and so had someone else.  I also had brought some thrillers.  So had someone else.  I read a book a day in those 4 months.  Even the days I got to go to the pyramid, or to the National Museum (which to this day is my greatest memory of my military service).  But I had a standing joke that if I read one more murder mystery the twitch in my hand would grow a knife and I’d plunge it into someone myself.  Seriously, somebody there had someone at home sending a steady diet of murder mysteries, and whoever he/she was, we both enjoyed them.

So anyway, She didn’t like me when I was angry.  But you’ll see there was progress here!  I didn’t yell at her when she woke me up.  I only went after her when she woke someone ELSE up.  Wierd how we grow, isn’t it? Uh oh, Jen.  Better not let anyone wake you up at Authors After Dark. I might get really mad!  LOL.

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This time Warner Brothers has gone too far!

I interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you this rant.

Yep, this time Warner Brothers has gone too far.  I mean it.  I’ve watched some very special television programs of the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s  belittled to the masses when they turn them into comedies.  The primary purpose behind the shows are lost to slapstick and jokes.  The message of the creator is lost.

When Dukes of Hazzard came out, I wasn’t so worried cuz, well, Dukes WAS a comedy.  But it wasn’t stupid comedy, but hey, can’t have everything when they do the remake, right?  I refused to watch it, because they pushed the comedy over into stupid, but it didn’t bother me.

Then Charlie’s Angels came out as a movie.  Now Charlie’s Angels wasn’t a comedy.  It’s primary goal was to put women on the front lines of the battle against cop and villain.  It was great.  It brought women forward in a time when people were still shocked that women might want to have a career at all, much less be a cop.  Yes it was fun, but it wasn’t all fun.  It was also not a comedy.  Now I’ve seen the first one of this, and I found it downright stupid.  Stupid really does kinda bother me, especially when the show had a purpose initially. I found it distasteful.

Then, came 21 Jump Street, which initially starred Johnny Depp.  This was not a comedy either.  The purpose behind 21 Jump street was to focus on Youth Crime.  I loved 21 Jump street, and I hate to say it, it’s one of the few movies other than the Pirates of the Caribbean, where I LIKED Johnny Depp.  Yeah I know.  I’m in the minority, but I”m just not into skinny rail guys.

The Avengers – Another very serious television show made a parody.  I watched part of it, and got disgusted, so turned it off.

The A-Team was remade.  I wasn’t thrilled with it, but it wasn’t too bad.  At least that was already part comedy, so the parody part was only slightly over the top.

Dragnet was remade, taken from a totally serious television show to something resembling a blues brothers film.

Land of the Lost was a semi sweet kids movie turned into a more adult “Parody”.  I found it pretty ridiculous, and had I been alone, would have walked out of the theater.

It’s not so much that they are making comedies, and I’m not big into comedies, but I am.  In fact, I refused to go see One For the Money, because it looked like it was nothing more than a joke, and yes, I hear it was not very good.

So now they’ve just gone too far.  They now intend to turn Dark Shadows into a movie.  Now that’s been done multiple times as people try to capture the audience who grew up on this show, only they haven’t gotten it quite right yet.  They haven’t gotten the right atmosphere, the right actors, or the right script, but at least they have treated the original show with respect.  Kate Jackson not only started out with Dark Shadows but also played in Charlie’s Angels before moving into movies and such.  But the thing is, this new version of Dark Shadows is…. you guessed it, a comedy.

I’m sorry but I find this offensive.  It’s like movie makers are targeting the generation who grew up on these movies and is trying to prove we’re stupid, and incapable of making quality entertainment. “Oh, you haven’t heard of Dark Shadows?  Let me make a movie so you can see how stupid it was.”

Yeah, it was lousy acting.  It was lousy set design, and terrible filming.  After all, back then soaps were filmed in basements or garages. Even with the terrible production, this show has continued to keep it’s cult following for over 40 years.  Why?  Because of the writing.  Because of the story.  For it’s time it was tremendously fresh and exciting.  That was the case of most of these tv shows. They were on the cutting edge of society, starting something new (Ok, A Team didn’t, but hey, they can’t all be like that).

I guess I’m missing the gene that appreciates it when people make fun of how I was raised.  A time when people had morals, and crime was something you rarely saw.  A time when tv addressed issues and people talked about it the next day, and those issues were the advancement of women, stopping crime, and how sexy that vampire was.  OK, we all know he wasn’t really sexy.  And that wasn’t really an issue either. LOL.  But to this day, if I flip through channels and find the original Dark Shadows actors on, I stop and watch.  Years ago, I found the entire series on vhs, and I rented each and every one of them, watching the series from the beginning, to almost to the end.

Why can’t they make these remakes something serious?  Like they did with say, Mission Impossible, or The Fugitive?  Those are based on tv series that had the same intensity, and did extremely well as remakes.  Personally, I’d be happy if they completely deleted the attempt of making Barnabus Collins a slap fest, and remake shows like Charlie’s Angels seriously!

I guess I shouldn’t get frustrated by it, but I won’t be going to see the new Dark Shadows. I guess the true fans of the show aren’t the target audience. Dark Shadows, though, was the beginning of what we see in romance today. Paranormal Romance. It’s because of Dark Shadows we have authors like Christine Feehan, Lynsay Sands, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, and many more (myself included). Without Dark Shadows no one would think such characters could be broken heroes who we hope wins the day. There would be no “sexy” werewolves. There would be no “Sexy” vamps. I never found Barnabus “sexy”, but I did feel sorry for him, and I felt sorry for the werewolves too.

While those who never saw this original show will probably enjoy this lighthearted look at a classic, but for me, I’d be looking for Jonathan Frid, Joan Bennet, and even Kate Jackson.


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It’s not easy being green!

Happy Saint Paddy’s day everyone!  I hope you remembered to wear your green, cuz if not, I’m sending you a virtual pinch!  For those wearing green, I hope you find your gold at the end of the rainbow!


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You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry – Part 2.

Hi guys.  Hope you enjoyed yesterday’s little story of waking me from a deep sleep and what can happen.  I position this one here, not because it isn’t violent, but because, though it has affected my life for the last 25 years, I really think what happened here was a good thing.  Kinda.

When I married, I warned my husband that I can be quite irritable when disturbed from a dead sleep.  He nodded, and said he understood.  He seemed to, because in the mornings when he had to go to work before me, he was terribly quiet, tip toeing through the house, careful not to make a single sound.  We lived in Nebraska and had a couple dogs.  They were about six months old at the time, and anyone who knows me KNOWS how much I love my dogs.  They are my children, though their life cycle is a bit shorter.  I cuddle them and train them, and talk to them.  It’s where I get my knowledge for my shifter books from.  Their examples are often seen within my books.

So this one morning, I must have been off work, one of the dogs decided she wanted to go out.  She walked to my side of the bed, and gave me a huge lick, from chin to forehead.  Now let me first say – I hate getting licked in the face.  But Beauty was one of those dogs who refused to accept no when it came to “kisses”.  Anyway, when she did this I was in a dead sleep.  I struck out and apparently hit her.  I don’t know, I don’t remember. My husband later talked to me about it.

“I knew you said you were irritable if woken up, but I didn’t think that meant with the dogs too!”

I stared at him in shock and said “Do you really think I was aware of what I did?”

See, that comes with the territory too, conversations I don’t remember having, walking in my sleep, talking in my sleep.  Some day I’ll share those stories too.  They are even more hilarious!

So anyway, how did this change my life?  Well, it’s now 25 years later, and in that 25 years, not one single dog in our household has EVER woke me up by kissing me in the face again.  Seriously!  They do wake me up, but they find more subtle, gentle ways to awaken me. I don’t know how she did it, but she managed to impress upon other dogs, who impressed upon the next generation, and so on and so on, until I have gone 25 years without a dog kissing me when I was asleep!

Now don’t get me wrong.  They do wake me up.  But my dogs are quite ingenious on how they do it.  Most of them get on the bed with me and snuggle closer and closer and closer until it’s either fall off the bed or get up.  LOL.  But one was so danged original I feared for his life.

Ace is a mixed breed.  Mixed with Chow, Belgian Sheepdog, and perhaps some Siberian thrown in there.  He’s a beautiful dog, thin, dark coated, big beautiful belgian eyes, and a curious and innovative personality.  One day he came to awaken me.  He must have needed to go out, I don’t remember.  I was already awake when he came in, but he didn’t know that, though he may have suspected.  He jumped on the bed, which for such a large dog, he’s exceptionally lightfooted.  I was laying on my back, and he stepped up, placing his muzzle in direct contact with my eye!  He stayed there for a full minute, breathing on my eye!

I froze, trying desperately not to laugh or move.  I was so scared if he ever did that when I was REALLY Sleeping, I might do something to hurt him, so I didn’t let on that I was awake.  At last he gave up, and with a sigh of resignation, jumped down and left the room.  I can honestly tell you after he left the room, I laughed until the bed shook.  Imagine the ingenuity that took!

So yeah, poor Beauty took the brunt of my anger one day, but here we are 25 years later, with 2 dogs who never knew her, who still abide by her command:  Don’t you dare wake up momma!

But yes, this is why when I share a room with someone, I tell them if they need to wake me up, throw a towel or something at me, just in case I come up swinging.

But never fear, Jen, I promise, I haven’t hit anyone since 25 years ago.  Though if you continue to read on, you might rethink wanting to room with me at Authors After Dark.  But never fear, Jodi Henley has roomed with me twice at RWA Nationals, so I’m pretty sure we’re safe. I didn’t even throw a pillow at her when she snored!

BTW, Happy St. Paddy’s day everyone!  Yes, I’m part Irish, and have fun with this every year.  The Leprechauns are watching today, so make sure you wear your green!

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