Sunday, June 28, 2009

Transformers 2: A Movie Review

I've been hearing conflicting reports about Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, a movie I'd so wanted to see, so I thought I'd post my own review. I went to see this on Wednesdaynight, opening day, in a crowded theater. All I can say is, the movie lived up to my hopeful expectations.

Tranformers 2: A

This is an action-packed, CGI-filled movie with comedy and plenty of robot fights. I had a blast and was glued to the screen from start to finish. In this day and age, that normally qualifies a movie as A material for me. I didn't check my watch once and was able to enjoy the flick without popcorn. The main actors are terrific. Several cast members from the first movie make a reappearance in this one, and the parents are just hilarious. I loved the mom and the college scene. Trust me, you'll laugh.

The plot worked and flowed well from the first movie. Sometimes sequels forget about plot and go for special effects and the return of beloved characters. But this movie made sense, in a Transformers-universe kind of way. I've heard sci-fi enthusiasts bashing the movie on a scienctific "that's not conceiveable"basis, but come on, people. This is a movie based on a popular cartoon from the 80's. Turn off the geekiness for a few hours and enjoy the bright, loud robots beating the crap out of one another to save the universe.

NOTE: I don't know that I'd take my younger kids (ages 4 and 5) to this movie because it was so violent, but then again, most of the violence was between giant robots pounding on one another. We'll see when it comes out on DVD if it's too much for them.

If you want some cinetatic fun that'll take you away for a few hours (it's a 2.5 hour movie), check out Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm Sitting Next to Barack Obama!!













I try not to toot my own horn too much, as aggrandizing gets boring. But I was looking at Books On Board, a new-to-me online distributor, and saw that In Plain Sight is a bestseller... and it's sitting right next to The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (yeah, Mr. President.) It's also next to Lara Adrian's lastest Ashes of Midnight (LOVE her stuff) which I have yet to purchase because I'm on a deadline.

The sheer weirdness of seeing a book I wrote next to a book the president wrote just made me laugh out loud in sheer disbelief. I'm sure by the time you go to Books on Board the covers will be rearranged or the best seller list will have changed, but it's just too funny/odd not to share.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hitting that Hot Spot Today


Today I'm at Hitting the Hot Spot, blogging about the Double E....... Intrigued? No? Crap. Well, check it out anyway and add your two cents. You know you want to. Think of it this way. The spouse won't listen to you, the kids think you're invisible, and the boyfriend's a jerk. But I'll answer you. Ah, if I'm online, that is.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bad JUJU?

Painting and cluttering up my house has prevented me from blogging recently. At least, that's my excuse.
What's yours? Why aren't you doing what you should be doing? Procrastinating? Avoiding that job or chore because you just don't want to do it? Trust me, I'm with you. But I'm happy to say that after 3, count them, T H R E E coats of paint, my Symphony Blue kitchen is finally even. Took the whole dang can of Benjamin Moore paint. I mean, it's good stuff, but 3 coats? I'm not that big a moron I don't know how to paint.
Sigh
Oh, and on other annoying news, yesterday, the hottest day of the year down here in Georgia (100 degrees) my AC went on the fritz. Luckily it was just a fuse we quickly replaced, but I was stressing. Honestly. Hottest day of the year. No AC. I haven' broken a ladder, messed with a black cat, or stepped on a crack. Nor have I been rude or mean to anyone lately. So what's the deal? Bad juju somewhere around here....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And the Winner Is...?


Okay, this isn't a Junebug. But it is a bug, and it June 18th, which means it's time to announce the winner of my Junebug contest.

And the winner is...................Kim Sutton.

Thanks to all who participated, and good luck next time!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Tutorial for the Hopeless, er, Me

So I'm taking an online class about blogging. Heck, it took me six months to realize how very easy Blogger is to use. Then it took me nearly as long to blog regularly. Now I miss only one or two days a week, vice the weeks I used to go between posts.

And yet, does it really matter? Sometimes I think I'm talking to myself on this thing. I wanted to blog to use it as a tool to attract readers. But as I started posting, I also wanted to use it to share interesting tidbits, commentaries, and ideas with people in general.

I'm still ignorant of etiquette. Am I supposed to respond to every comment on my blog? Am I then supposed to visit other blogs and comment there? What if I don't have the time to search all over the Internet? I mean, right now, as I write, I should be doing a half dozen things around the house or typing my story. Instead I'm "blogging."

The mysteries of the blog-o-sphere captivate me, mostly because I still can't grasp what exactly blogging can do for me, or what people really want to read. I'd love to know. Really. And don't get me started on Facebook, of which I still beg no part.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Epublishing...Real Authors?

I have to redirect you to a terrific post by author and literary agent Deidre Knight at the ESPAN(Electronic and Small Press Author Network) site.

There's long been a division within the Romance Writers of America (RWA) about what constitutes a legitimate publisher, author, and "real" book. Read what Ms. Knight had to say. She said it beautifully and gives legitimacy (she's both electronically and print published, and has over 13 years in the industry) to the sensation of bias long perpetuated by many at RWA.

So click here and read the latest nonsense from the shortsighted folks at RWA and what Ms. Knight has to say about it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

SD2: Monsters Unleashed

On my twentieth viewing of Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, I have to admit I'm still fascinated. Maybe not as much as my young sons, who need to go to counseling for their Scooby Doo obsession. But you know, watching these movies, in addition to the cartoons, is a fun way to spend a few hours.

There's goofiness, only mild violence, no obscentities, mysteries, and monsters galore. The kids have watched the second Scooby Doo live action movie so many times it's a wonder the DVD is still holding together. And that's to say nothing of the first movie, which still gets watched and goes with us on vacation and during long car rides.

The Mean Machine gang is giving my muse a real kick, and a need to write something as clever, combining action, mystery, thrills, monsters and romance. And really, who can resist a town called Coolsville? Hmm, time to get back to work...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No More Drama

What is it about teenagers that invites so much angst? As the mother of a 16, almost 17-yr-old, and a 19-yr-old with the common sense of his first grade younger brother, I seem to be running in circles lately. Decisions made in the heat of pubescent turmoil never come out right. Not attending college classes? A no-no. Deciding to go a particular school to follow friends and for no other particular reason? Also not smart.

Recently, I'm dealing with my daughter. A new high school in our zone has recently opened. But instead of making the decision easy by telling kids they can only go where zoned, the district has so nicely left the option open for seniors to pick their school. The old one, or the new one? The old one barely meets state standards, has a high truancy rate, and has little (besides us) parental involvement. The new one looks pretty, but it's new, and apparently this is a bad thing. Some of her friends are going to the old, some to the new. Since it's a split, I say she should attend the new school. She's not worried about class standing or activities, and if she goes to the new school, she'll have a brand new band instructor from a great band program. Oh, and if a car breaks down or gas goes back up to five bucks a gallon, she can take the bus. Otherwise, we're out of luck. No county transportation to the old school.

Sigh. All of this turmoil seems ridiculous, but it's throwing my creative muse into a tizzy. I can't write. I need to have this matter settled, and my daughter needs to get her head on straight and prepare for the new year with an open mind. But being sixteen makes mountains out of molehills, so I know to expect massive drama. Hell, I've already dealt with it. I just want it to be over, and I want her to be happy.

(PS. Why did no one mention the teenage years when I said I wanted to have kids????????)

I'm already behind on where I wanted to be with my manuscript. And with birthdays and Father's Day looming near, I'm getting even more behind. sigh. I need more chocolate.

Hope your day is better than mine.

Marie

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

IN PLAIN SIGHT now available!

Not that this is news, considering yesterday's party and my website countdown, but guess what? In Plain Sight is now available from Samhain!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Winner Is...

Congrats to BethAnn Miller! BethAnn, send me an email at marie_harte@yahoo.com with the format you'd like for In Plain Sight and I'll email it to you.

Thank you all for the posts and kind words. And I hope you enjoy In Plain Sight as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)

Cheers! Marie

Pre-release Celebration for IN PLAIN SIGHT

Tomorrow at Samhain, In Plain Sight will be released. To celebrate, I'm holding a giveaway here. If you'd like the chance to win an a copy before it hits the electronic shelves, simply post a comment on today's thread. I'll randomly draw the winner tonight, at 10pm EST.

SHAPESHIFTERS

Why are shifters so intriguing? Part of it, to me, is that whole wildness encapsulated in man. We all have a crazy part of ourselves we normally hold in check. But were we to shift into an animal, we could let it out. Be as wild and free as the creatures that walk on four feet or fly through the air.

I've read a lot of books about shapeshifters. Some are monsters, some are mythic werewolves, while a few others have been about people who shift into unusual animal shapes. A beagle, a horse, a deer. Frankly, I had trouble with those books. When I think shapeshifter, I think animal of prey. Not animal considered prey. If my hero can suddenly transform into something, I think he's much sexier as a wolf, tiger, bear, or hawk. Who's going to take a deer shifter seriously (as an alpha hero)? I mean come on, they shy at the littlest sound, wary and with good reason. Or, can you imagine, a hero that turns into a rabbit? Too silly for me. I've occasionally read about a heroine transforming into such a harmless creature. But then all I can imagine in the hero transforming and eating, literally, the heroine. Ugh.

So in crafting my stories set in Cougar Falls, a magical town that only Shifters can see, I've created several clans of shapeshifters. Cats, wolves, bears, raptors (birds of prey), and silver foxes. There could be more out there, but only those clans live in Cougar Falls. And not one of them is an herbivore.

Here's a short blurb about In Plain Sight, followed by a short excerpt. Enjoy!
Shapeshifter Cullen Whitefeather has been in love with Sarah since he first laid eyes on her. But despite his brawn and sharp talons, Cullen gets tongue-tied around the beautiful woman. When circumstances throw them together to ride out a storm, the gruff man tries to show Sarah the truth – that she is his mate. He does his best not to scare her away. Then his dysfunctional family returns from a trip abroad, and the raptor clan tries to punish Sarah for his interference. But if there's one thing Cullen's good at, it's a fight. And he's not letting Sarah go without one.

EXCERPT

“Yeah?” he barked into the phone, wondering which idiot brother had gotten the short straw tonight. Thankfully, his family hadn’t called in a few days, which made him think their visit progressed as it should.

“Cullen?”


“Who the hell do you think it is?” he snarled at his youngest brother, Ian.


“Yeah, I miss you, too.”


Cullen sighed. “What’s up? I just talked to Micah a few days ago. How’s Canada treating you?”


“Ah, about that. Seems we’ll be heading home soon. Probably be back in a few days instead of a few weeks.”


“Oh?”


“Mom and Micah pissed off the wrong people. Golden Eagles are in high demand up here, and when Micah refused to marry the clan leader’s daughter, all hell broke loose.”


Cullen snorted. Trust Micah to piss off the wrong people. “Nice. What about Sean? He okay?”


“Actually, he kind of insulted a few members of a visiting bear clan. He’s winging his way home as we speak. Mom forced him to leave when he thought about taking on some grizzlies.”


Sean was a major pain the ass. Always up for a good fight, he did most of his thinking with his fists instead of his brain. “Great. Well, be glad you missed this last snowfall.” A snowfall that’s melting way too fast for comfort. Oh, and by the way, the raptors will probably want my head on a platter for injuring five of their predatory females.


“Missed this last snowfall? Genius, I’m up here in Canada. It’s not like I’m getting a tan.”


“Dick.”


“Ass.” Ian paused. “Sounds like everything’s good. See you later, then.” He hung up.


Great. His mother and brothers would be back soon. Not only did he have to protect Sarah from outraged raptors who would descend once the weather cleared, but he had to warn her about his odd family as well. They put the “D” in dysfunctional, but hey, they were family.


Letting out the breath he was unaware of holding, Cullen decided to worry about his family later. Right now, he had a movie to watch and a woman to love.


“Everything all right?” she asked as he rejoined her on the couch.


“Fine.” He paused. “I think Sean will be here in the next few days. Remember, he’s the family pain in the ass.”


Silence. Then she said, “I look forward to meeting him.”


He let out a breath. She hadn’t mentioned leaving. “Yeah. Well, just remember I warned you.” He forced his hand to graze hers while they fought for the popcorn in the bowl on her lap. “Feed me, woman.” He directed her hand to his mouth.


“Baby.” Sarah smiled as she said it and pushed a piece of popcorn between his lips.

Cullen sucked her fingertip before she eased it away, but not before he saw the flash of desire in her eyes. That burnt amber gaze drew him time and time again, like looking into golden rays of light as the sun set.


“Salty.” He shook his head and moved the popcorn off her lap. “But I’m in the mood for something sweet.”


“Cullen,” she warned, but her gaze was full of heat. “I haven’t had a chance to see the second movie. I was looking forward to—”


“Screw it. All bats are good for is eating bugs. With those spindly little arms, thin as hell wings and nasty attitudes, they might as well be part of the raptor clan. Now an eagle is something completely different.” He lifted her in his arms and headed for his bedroom. “An eagle kills bothersome pests, like rabbits and mice. We help keep the fish population under control.” He ignored her chuckle. “An eagle cares for his mate. He sees to her needs before his own.”


She grew silent and intent in his arms. His bird could almost feel the animal spirit in her reaching out to him on a higher level. Calling to the one man who would complete the void in her soul.


“His mate?” she asked on a high note.


“Let me show you,” he answered as they entered his room. He kicked the door shut behind him, placed her in the middle of his bed, and stripped. Then he moved forward and started on her clothing, until nothing stood between them.


To read more about In Plain Sight, click here.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Promising New Series: Time Raiders

This is a new Sihouette Nocturne series that looks promising. Written by fellow RomVets (women who write romance and were previously in the service) Cindy Dees, Lindsay McKenna, PC Cast, and Merline Lovelace, the first book in the series comes out in July as an ebook, a Nocturne bites.

The authors collaborated on the idea of different time periods and a quest to find pieces of an alien bronze disc scattered throughout the world in different places and times. For more info, check out the website, Time Raiders.

I look forward to reading them!

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Friend Google


Google is probably one of the best and worst Internet functions invented. The floodgates of information are there at your fingertips. You can spend hours wading through information that seems important but really isn't. Or you can learn things you never expected.

Did you know Marie Harte is not only an author, but a medical doctor, a young student (no, that's not me on Facebook and I'm not from Manchester), a female scientist, and an artist (Marie Hart without the "e")?

My mother laughingly brought this to my attention earlier today. I wanted to show her a picture of my new furniture--JOY! I finally got my dining set delivered late yesterday--and told her to go to my blog. God love her, my mother is clueless about computers. I've only had a Marie Harte website for four years, and she still asks me for the URL. After I reassured her that she didn't need a membership, password, or fee to see my blog (sigh) she tried to look for it. She Googled my name to find my blog and was astonished by how often my name appears.

Hello? Writing books, Mom. Still, she had a point. You can find a lot about someone or something by Googling it. I often Google book titles before I use them, to make sure no one else is using them. And I'll do the same with bizarre character names, to make sure my futuristic heroes' names don't translate to "impotent geek" in Romanian, or something equally worse. (Dont' get me started on Drekk.)

Ever Google yourself? You should try it. You'll be surprised at what you find.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fictionwise News and More

Following in the footsteps of the first two Circe's Recruits books, Circe's Recruits: Derrick has hit the Fictionwise bestseller list in erotic romance.

This series has been a fun journey for me about how to successfully write a series. I wrote all four books in order. No time off to write anything else--well, except for one short story that turned into a novella. I stayed true to the characters and really delved into the world they live in. And best of all, my publisher released the books in a timely fashion, ensuring some momentum for a new series.

So I'm glad to see others enjoying my Circs as much as I did. And I'm also happy to say that the four new Circs that get introduced in CR: Hale will also get their stories.

Jules, Hayashi, Fallon, and Tersch will start their own adventures later this year, after a few of my other projects are done. These Circs are very different from the originals. They have complications that make them more than a challenge. And of course, they have an evil archenemy desperately in need of his own comeuppance. Insert evil laughter here. Now I just have to write the books, hope Loose Id likes them enough to publish them, and not stop until the very last book is done.

Now back to my current work in progress...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Recommended Read: Don't Bargain With the Devil

I'm a Sabrina Jeffries fan. There, I said it. Having admitted the truth, I must say that even if you're not a Sabrina Jeffries fan, this is a stellar read.
A Regency romance that has thrills, romance, angst and humor. It's the fifth in her School for Heiresses series. But you don't have to have read any of the other books to enjoy Don't Bargain With the Devil.

Lucinda Seton is an outspoken young woman who meets the school's nefarious next door neighbor quite by accident. Diego Montalvo is much more than a magician, though he steals his way into Lucy's fantasies quickly enough. Passion flares, secrets are revealed, and real emotion flows through this terrifically drawn piece of love in all its guises.

A must read for anyone who likes historical romance. Or for anyone who likes books about love, happy endings, sexy heroes and smart heroines. An A+ for Don't Bargain With the Devil.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Furniture Pics



So okay. These are the two pieces I received last week I promised to share. Bought them one day, had them delivered the next. And you know what? I'm STILL waiting for six chair cushions, six sets of chair legs, and the hardware to complete the chairs and my dining room table. Yes, my shipping company, the abhorrent Transit Systems Inc., has apparently lost my dining room furniture. So if you live in the Northwest and plan on shipping anything, DO NOT use these idiots.

However, Mike's Furniture in Augusta, GA is kickin'. They delivered my stuff the day after, early, and without fuss. I picked up the hidden china cabinet above, and I have no idea how old it is, for a measely $170. It's got a lot of character. The buffet is smooth and crafted with detail that's hard to see from my photo, but it's beautiful.

And so my life has been filled with furniture woes and painting for the last few weeks. Now, however, I'm happy to say I'm writing again. Just finished chapter one of my new futuristic, follow on to Creation's Control with TEB. I'm going to try to finish the book in a month, with the kids home. During the summer. *sigh* Wish me luck.