Monday, October 26, 2015

Release Day Monday Muse - Leigh Alphin from Damage Control

Okay, so I know this is kind of cheating. For a start, I've never done a book character as a Monday Muse before. And second, you would think that since its my book and my character, writing a Monday Muse post (or any post for that matter) about him would be waaaay too easy. In reality, I think the opposite is true. I actually find it much harder to write about my own characters than those I see on TV and the movies, because I've got no perspective. Can't see the forest for the trees kind of thing. I believe the way I see my characters isn't the way other people see them.
But that's possibly a study in character and perception for another day. Today, we're here to celebrate the release of Damage Control and muse it up over Captain Leigh Alphin.
So, Leigh is the CAFF (Captain of the Fighter Force) on board the battleship Valiant Knox and his friends call him Alpha. He's somewhat of a legend, both for his skills as a fighter pilot, and the fact he's a total hard ass when it comes to his squadron and training the new recruits. He's locked down, straight-up, always calm and in control.
Leigh is pretty set in his ways and has been for a long time. But when Mia bursts into his life, he's not prepared for the things she makes him feel, especially considering he is her commanding officer and she's about fifteen years younger than him. Of course he fights it, tries to keep things locked down like he always has, but with a mole in his squadron and needing Mia's skills to find the traitor, Leigh's walls are slowly but surely worn down, until he can't resist the temptation of her any longer.
From a personal point of view, out of all the books I've written, Leigh has definitely earned himself a spot as one of my most favorite heroes. But in the same light, he wasn't always easy to work with... though, the best ones never are! It was intersting to see him battle what he knew was right and the standards he'd always lived by as they came into direct conflict with the things he felt for Mia. I love a forbidden relationship story, so I had a lot of fun writing Leigh and Mia's book in coming up with ways to throw them into each others path and overcome the factors keeping them apart so they could get their happily ever after.
Damage Control is out today, and so far the reviews on Goodreads are raving. If you like a military alpha male, action, suspense and a forbidden love affair, then check it out! Otherwise, muse it up over the eye-candy on the front cover.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Just Finished Reading... The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Many years ago I used to practically live on historical romances, I would read a couple a week. These days my reading time is sadly limited and it had been ages (I'm talking a year or two) since I've read any kind of historical romance. I actually got this e-book for free a few weeks ago, which is not unusual, I find myself either downloading free or less than $3.00 e-books every other week, except I hardly ever read them. I start a lot of them, but hardly ever finish. I just really don't like e-books. So I have no idea why I keep downloading them. Anyway, so if I do actually read an entire e-book, then that tells you right there that it must have been a pretty damn good book.
Maybe I think this book is good simply because it's been so long since I read a historical. Maybe this wasn't the most riveting, exciting or fantastic historical romance I've ever read, but there was something lovely and moving about it. Both Robert and Minnie had different kinds of emotional baggage that still affected their life. The way the past also impacted on their decisions and actions was really well done. And every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, the story went in a different direction. I would definitely like to get the rest of the books in this series, but I'll be buying and no doubt immensely enjoying the print copies

Friday, October 9, 2015

Just finished Watching... Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials


It was only a few months ago I got around to watching Maze Runner. Like when I wanted to see The Duff because I'm a Robbie Amell fan, I mostly wanted to watch Maze Runner because I'm a huge Dylan O'Brien fan. Seriously, that kid can act, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing him in some very awesome movies and TV shows for a long time to come. He reminds me a little of Heath Ledger (I mean in terms of that raw, natural, talent.) Needless to say, I hope he doesn't go down the same dark path that Heath Ledger did. I still get sad when I think of Heath Ledger, partly because he was my age, and a lot because of all the acting we'll never get to see him do.

Anyway, totally got off topic there! So I only saw Maze runner a few months ago, and while you think I might have gotten my fill of teenage dystopian movies from The Hunger Games and Divergent, Maze Runner looked different enough that I was excited to see it. I can now say that out of all the teenage dystopian franchises, Maze Runner is definitely my favorite. I don't want to say its because of the lack of angsty romance or love triangle, but that is one very distinct difference this movie has that sets its apart from the others.  However, the "love interest" concept is not totally missing. Thomas obviously cares for Teresa, and may have had feelings for her before his memory was wiped. But this isn't a major thread of the movie, and is hinted at very subtly, given just enough substance to intrigue, but not enough that it detracted from anything else going on.
Once I'd seen Maze Runner, I knew I had to see Scorch Trials at the cinema. And I'm not sorry I did!
Seeing it on the big screen made those action packed sequences and chair-gripping suspense scenes so much better. And damn it, but they left me perched on the edge of my seat, needing and wanting to know what happens so badly that I immediately went to my nearest bookstore and brought the entire series of books, prequel included. And that is not an exaggeration. I literally left the cinema and drove to the books store. My hubby was not overly impressed. Except after asking me if I REALLY needed to get ALL the books, he told me I have to tell him what happens after I'm finished... he's not much of a reader.
Anyway, because books tend to have slight (or sometimes huge) variations on the movie adaptations, I'm starting from the very beginning of the first book, instead of jumping in at the third book like I was tempted to do. But I'm also seriously craving a Maze Runner re-watch, so there's a very good chance I'll be off to a DVD or department store tomorrow to buy the Maze Runner DVD.
All in all, the Scorch Trials were an excellent follow on to an awesome movie, and it really hurts to know I'm going to have to wait another year before the Death Cure movie comes out.
The only bad thing I can say about this whole thing is that I wish it had been made into a TV series (starring Dylan O'Brien... except then I guess he wouldn't be on Teen Wold any more and that would be a HUGE problem) so that we could have enjoyed this world and these characters week after week for years to come.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Atrophy Cover Reveal!

Its not an exaggeration to say I have been waiting years for this moment. Ever since I wrote Atrophy way back in 2008, I could only dream (and be continually frustrated at the usual uphill climb of trying to get a book published) of seeing this book with an actual cover and the knowledge it would soon be in the hands of readers.
The release date of December 7th is still some months away, but this book will be available for pre-order in the next week or so. When the links go live, I'll post them on my Facebook page and website as usual, but for now I am going to bask in the fabulous reality of Atrophy having a cover, and getting that much closer to unleashing it on the world. I only hope people love Rian and the crew of the Imojenna as much as I do!
So, here it is, Atrophy's cover, the final piece to seven years worth of work...


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Just Finished Watching... The Duff


 

I wanted to see this movie when it was on at the cinemas, but as I find myself so short on time these days, going to the movies is definitely something that sadly doesn't happen very often any longer. And I'll admit, my desire to see this movie was partly fueled by being a fan of Robbie Amell. I loved the Tomorrow People and was totally depressed that it was cancelled. However, I've been hanging off rumor that his character, Firestorm, was going to get its own spin off from the uber-successful Arrow/The Flash franchise. In the meantime, I have to console myself with his occasional appearance on The Flash and watching The Duff... He's a good actor. Okay, okay, those dark good looks don't hurt either.

Anyway, I also have to admit that despite being a decade or so out of high school myself, I'm still a sucker for a good high school based movie if it's got a really good concept, which I  think The Duff did.
I really liked that the traditional roles/conventions of high school were somewhat different to other teen movies of the past. Though the entire movie was about a girl discovering that she was the "duff" out of her friends (designated ugly fat friend) it was interesting that the social zones of the teens weren't so classically cut out, or black and white. What I mean is that the pretty popular girls were friendly and not the "queen bees." There was one super pretty bitchy girl, destined to be a reality TV star according to herself, but instead of leading the school, mostly everyone kind of steered clear of her. Also, the school's football captain wasn't afraid to be seen talking to the "average" girl, though this might have been a slight exception to the rule as they were neighbors and grew up together.
I also liked that the entire movie wasn't building up to that perfect kiss at the end. The two main characters shared an unexpected kiss midway through the movie, which muddied the waters of their feelings very nicely. This was the ultimate teen friends-to-lovers and average-girl-gets-the-guy story, and it was done quite well. It pretty much had everything from the cringe moments when you're sinking in your seat and saying 'oh no, don't do that!" To laugh out loud quirky humor, and of course the moments that make you go "awwww!"
Maybe it's not the most brilliant or intellectual, or high-brow movie ever made, and those aren't the sorts of movies I like to watch anyway. This is the sort of movie I like to watch.
For its genre, it was pretty awesome, and will easily go down as one of my favorite high school teen movies, and no doubt it'll be one of those ones I can easily pull out and re-watch many times over.