It’s Christmas night in Hellesgate, Kansas and all the world is bright. Former New York real estate mogul Matthew Archer and injured war hero Cane Summerfield are enjoying their first holiday season together with their adopted daughter, Sahara. While th Read more…
|Come Visit Lexi Ryan on UNBOUND!|
Twice a month Ravenous will be taking over UNBOUND to talk about writing, romance, erotica, life, pets, zombies...whatever the author of the day feels like sharing! Our first post is up, with Lexi Ryan talking about paranormal characters!
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|When Bad Plots Attack|
I am watching ZOMBIE NATION (yes, yes, I know I have a fixation with zombie movies and books - but I find zombie movies an oddly conducive background for working on my romances...should I be worried?), it's a half hour into the film, and there have been so many idiotic plot points and incongruous settings, a few shambling zombies can only add some realism to the goings on here.
In a nutshell, a cop is arresting women on idiotic pretenses, such as jaywalking, applying lipstick while driving (which is stupid, but not necessarily arrest-worthy), and for no apparent reason at all; kidnaps them; takes them to a warehouse; looks into their mouths with a doctor's light, injects them with something, then stuffs them in a duffel bag and buries them. We won't even go into the lame reasons behind his behavior, shown in an abuse of the time honored gimmick of flashbacks. It's just too stupid.
Okay, his mom used to work at an insane asylum, where she'd chain the inmates and make them spank one another while he watched. Happy?! I'm not either.
His partner, an honest yet stupid rookie, suspects there is something amiss after he sees his partner lugging said duffel bag into the trunk of their squad car...oh...about a dozen times? Only then does he finally talk to his police captain. The result is a round of fisticuffs between the good yet wussy cop and his psycho partner, suddenly surrounded by a passel of men and women who bear no resemblance to the cops we saw in the previous scene. They're not even wearing uniforms, fer crissake! After the fight (bad cop wins by knocking good wuss into a pile of conveniently placed cardboard boxes - this police station has something for everyone ), the police chief promptly tells one of his officers to find a fall guy before 'the public' hears about this cop in a uniform kidnapping women. The police station, btw, is in a warehouse with a roll up door, a huge pipe running past the police chief's desk into cavernous darkness behind him, and, for some incomprehensible reason, there is a huge gong hanging up behind him as well.
I mean, really, people. I understand low budget films and the need to make due with what you have. But making due is different than ignoring things that make the scenes so obviously wrong and fake that you've lost credibility after ten minutes. It's not that difficult to angle the camera to hide the pipe. You don't SHOW the rolltop door in your supposed police station. If that's the only set your budget will afford, you disguise the fact instead of lovingly filming a scene set with the rolltop door as a backdrop. And...a gong? I shakes my head.
Ah well. 45 minutes into the film and still no zombies. I feel cheated.
No...wait, the zombies have appeared. Why? Well, one of the cop's victims is a young gal from Slovakia who conveniently went to see some voodoo priestesses before being kidnapped (we know this because a: we saw it and b: her brother tells reporters this fact when asked if he's worried about her disappearance) and after her death, they wiggle their fingers over a white snake and bring the dead girls back to undead life as zombies. You know they're zombies 'cause they stagger a bit, have black make-up around their eyes and...well, that's about it. Oh, and they do eat the flesh of the living. But for women stuffed into the ground for several weeks/months, they're in remarkably good shape other than that nasty case of raccoon eye. I've seen shabbier clothes at my local Goodwill. And I'd love to know what brand of lipstick these zombie babes are using 'cause it has some awesome lasting power. We will assume they're gonna eat the cop at some point. I wish they'd eat the writer and director.
What does this have to with writing, you might ask? Yes, I'm talking about a movie in this specific instance. But I firmly believe the mistakes, stupidity and just plain sloppy plotting that are making me want to drive spikes into my eyes...no, into the screenwriter's eyes... and bang someone's head against a wall can translate just as easily into writing, whether it be romance, mystery, horror or, in this, case, unintentional comedy.
What about you? Have you ever read a book or seen a movie where you felt slapped in the face by stupidity and lost all good will towards the author or filmmakers? Share your horror stories! I need company about now...
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|When I'm Not Writing or working on the Ravenous Blog Tour...|
I'm making driftwood art from things found on Ocean Beach near my house. This one is an exception in that I used some bits and pieces from my step-grandma's shell collection, which I inherited. I needed a few eldritch items to make sure Cthulhu had the proper stygian, elder god aura. This was for a friend's birthday present. She collects Cthulhu beanie babies.
This is Vino. Dave wouldn't let me give it away 'cause he likes the shell on the left side. It's hanging in our kitchen!
This was made for Maureen's birthday. If you've read MURDER FOR HIRE, think Daphne. She's my best friend, lives in a cottage in La Jolla and this is now the name of that cottage.
And this was made for my friend and writing partner, T. Chris Martindale. I asked him what his favorite word was and this was his response. ;-)
Is this not the coolest picture? I would love to know if this artist suffered (or still suffers) from migraines, because it's a pretty accurate depiction of how I've felt for the last eight days, even with the modern miracle of Zomig. Hence the lack of posting, not even cute kitty pictures! Now if someone would kindly get this thing off of my head, I'd sure appreciate it...
|Just when I was starting to get sulky...|
...about lack of time to do online promotions for my books, I got an email from Teagan at Bookwenches.com that they'd reviewed Ripping the Bodice. Just the pick-me-up I needed for the day! Here's a brief excerpt:
"If you’re looking for a big dose of fun to go along with your romance, look no farther than Inara Lavey’s novel Ripping the Bodice. This story positively sparkles with wit and humor that will keep the reader laughing all the way through and wondering what on earth could possibly happen next."
Click here to read the rest, and join me in my happy dance! :-)
You can take the girl out of the Sci-Fi convention circuit, but you can't take the inner geek out of the girl..
|Two New Positive Reviews for Ripping the Bodice|
And Dana/Inara do (does?) a happy dance!
First, an excerpt from Nixy Valentine:
"The book is peppered with dreams and daydreams in which our romance-loving protagonist perpetually indulges. Each one more silly than the last, and they get downright funny when Cassandra’s “real life” begins to intrude upon her fantasies. The story is one of personal growth and the conflict between fantasy and reality, and is cleverly written with wit."
Click here for the full review.
And from Moira with The Girls on Books:
"As my first introduction to Ms Lavey’s writing, I am impressed. The story was lighthearted and fun, full of witty comments and charm. "
Click here for the full review.
Please leave comments at these blogs. I really appreciate the time and thought that went into both interviews and want to send traffic their way.
And now back to work on Champagne...
|My First Review for Ripping the Bodice!|
Our own Ryan Field (he of the amazing link sausage) very kindly notified me that he'd found a really nice review for Ripping the Bodice on Amazon.com. I had to share 'cause it's my first official review for the book. What a great way to start my weekend! Thank you, Ryan, and thank you, Ruth, for your kind words!
The Title Caught My Eye,
I haven't read anything else by this author, but the title caught my eye and I decided to take a chance. I'm glad I did. The writing is excellent, the story kept me interested at all times, and I was not disappointed at all. It was perfect entertainment for a snowy weekend in the end of February, and it was a great way to escape from all of life's little problems.
In other news, I just bought myself a gift certificate from Ravenous to take advantage of the 'buy one, get the same amount free' deal. Now I can start to make my way through all the luscious titles I've been drooling over by my fellow Ravenous authors. There's a certain food related anthology I've been eyeing, just to start...
|New Cover for Succubusted!|
How do I feel about this?
Picture me as the cat. Then imagine the toy as Time. MY time. My increasingly decreasing FREE time. Is it any wonder I clutch it to me with teeth and claws much as Bug Bear hordes his favorite stuffed mouse?
Oh, I know what you're thinking. "This is just another excuse to show a cute cat picture, isn't it, Inara?"
Maybe just a little bit.
But after taking the last week off of writing and now getting back into my schedule with a new book deadline of May 1st, I really do feel like Gollum with his Preciousss when it comes to free time. I guard it jealously. And unlike Bug Bear and his toy, I don't play fetch with it.
My muse, Zin, and I are celebrating because Cythnia Gentry and I finished our non-fiction project and sent it off to the publisher. Zin also helped me with my taxes (refunds, yay!). In return, we now are back to our next Ravenous book, titled CHAMPAGNE. So much more fun! Here's a brief synopsis:
Jeanette Wilson is an American girl on the trip of a lifetime to the wine regions of
But things change for Jeanette once they come to the zenith of their
French road-trip, the Champagne house of Chateau Roux-Dubois. Their
hosts, Amaury and Marie-Elise Roux-Dubois, turn out to be both charming and attractive, and go out of their way to extend a warm welcome to her. And they make it very clear that it is she, not Daryl, who is their special guest, particularly when the striking Marie-Elise takes Jeanette down to the wine cellar for a very personal tour, followed by an unusual French lesson from Amaury.
Soon Jeanette finds herself caught up in a menage a trios with the Roux-Dubois, both intent on teaching her many things...
And after Champagne? It's time for a little fantastical paranormal romance. Zin and I are enjoying stretching our sub-genre wings.
Three days running I've been trying to post a picture and story about the origins of Ripping the Bodice, to no avail. I keep getting a Forbidden Access message when I hist save. Perhaps this is just the story not meant to be told...unless you go here, where it posted with no problem. I'm going to try another experiment and see if the picture will post here without sending me into the Forbidden Zone again.
This is me and my best friend and ex-writing partner, Maureen, back in the days of our murder mystery troupe and other creative hijinks. From those days came the idea for Ripping the Bodice. I'll say no more lest it curse my chances of seeing this post successfully!
It's a lovely rainy and windy day here in San Francisco, the pefect weather to stay inside and write. That being said, I went for an invigorating walk on the beach this morning and got soaked without realizing it. The wind was blowing the rain against my back; no water was hitting my face or front at all...and suddenly I noticed my pants were plastered against my legs and butt. When it came time to turn around, my front got the same treatment.
I do some of my best writing out on the beach when I don't have my computer staring me in the face. The tricky part is getting home in time to write it all down before it dissolves in the wind and rain.
|This is a Test. This is ONLY a Test.|
If this were a real post, it would be a lot more interesting.
I wrote a post about the background of Ripping the Bodice (it all started years ago...), but every time I've hit the SAVE button, I get an error message reading 'Forbidden Access.' Now I've re-read the post several times and can find nothing objectionable that would set off some sort of hitherto unknown Ravenous Big Brother censorship alert. So...I'm trying a new post without any pictorial attachments to see if this makes a difference. If not...no one will know and someday they'll find my cyber skeleton lying in on the ground somewhere...
In the meantime, for a preview of the post I'm TRYING to post on Ravenous, please go here.
|What a Nice Surprise!|
|Ripping the Bodice|
My sister likes to remind me of back in the days when I used to read nothing but horror novels and bodice rippers. And yes, this was when it was not considered politically incorrect/heresy to refer to historical romances as 'bodice rippers.' The days of Rosemary Rogers (Ah, Sweet, Savage Love and Wicked Loving Lies...how you warped my idea of romance at an early age...) and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (The Flame and the Flower, The Wolf and the Dove), et al.
I was a bathroom reader (I like baths, what can I say?) and always had at least one, sometimes two, books waiting for me on the top of the toilet tank. Stephen King's The Shining and Woodiwiss's Shanna, for instance, was a typical combo. Lisa (and our mom) would try to read some of romances, but generally didn't much further than 'his throbbing WHAT?' before stopping. Although Mom did read all of Shanna amidst much giggling over the hero's perpetually bare chest and cut-off breeches.
'Squee,' btw, is sister to 'Woot!' Both are expressions indicating extreme happiness, usually generated by something really good happening. Well, I got the cover for my new book RIPPING THE BODICE today...and the marvelous Michelle has put it up on the Ravenous site for me so now, instead of my pink SUCCUBUSTED cover (not that I wasn't fond of it, mind you!), I have my RtB cover, which should be right next to this post.
Yup. There it is. Note the cover of the book the heroine is reading. Anyone recognize it? I hope Keta does... :-)
I am doing a happy dance about now...I am, however, doing it at work, so I'd better make this post brief. More on Ripping the Bodice this evening! I promised you sordid details and I will keep that promise! I will just mention that it's up on RR tomorrow!
|Inspiration When I need it|
I was going to post something about my upcoming book, Ripping the Bodice, and the sordid history behind it, but after an evening of working on a non-fiction project and feeling distinctly cranky about it (Zin, my notorious Muse, is NOT happy about being pulled away from the fiction erotica AT all, crabby creature), I thought I'd share another part of my life that's always added inspiration when I've needed it the most!
I love all animals (even the ugly ones), but I’ve always had a special affinity for felines. Like many other kids, I used to fantasize about having a pet tiger or lion. The heck with owning a horse; I wanted a black leopard named Sheba as my companion. I knew on some level this was an impractical dream, but not until I hit my mid-thirties and started volunteering at the Exotic Feline Breeding Facility/Feline Conservation Center (otherwise known as The Cathouse) did I fully understand just why exotic felines do not make good pets.
This is me and Paco, a jaguar cub born at EFBC/FCC. While it isn't the sort of cathouse where women sell sexual favors, there is a lot of sex going on at EFBC! Rough, wild, and very brief bouts of feline love-making. A satisfied female leopard rolls on the ground...the males just look kind of smug.
Volunteering at EFBC-FCC has been a life-changing experience (click here to read about my experiences) and I would urge anyone in the L.A. area (or willing to put in a bit of a commute) to check out the site.
And next post will be about Ripping the Bodice and writing! I just have to get Zin to cooperate.
What if? I used to dread those words. I used to work with Jerry, an executive producer at a small (okay, minuscule) production company and those of us who did any writing for him knew that no good would come of any of this man's ideas, especially those prefaced with 'What if....' Of course, most of his 'what ifs' were along the lines of "What if...the galactic warriors have to pretend to be strippers on this alien planet?" Or "What if...these women end up in a bar in the middle of a wet t-shirt contest and have to pretend to be contestants?" or "What if the only way these vampires can be killed is by a werewolf with a magic sword? and the werewolf is a stripper?" Jerry was obsessed with strippers, big boobs (the kind that stood at attention even when their owner lay down), and bizarre plot devices that had no place in a movie not destined for straight-to-video release and a good shot at winning a Golden Turkey Award. You learned to pick your battles and include at least one scene shot in a strip club, even if it was the medieval equivalent of a titty bar. It was the way of things.
|What Not to Watch While Writing Erotica|
Netflix is a mixed blessing. True, it's an inexpensive way to watch the latest movies if you don't mind giving up the big screen experience. Since I tend to go Medieval on people who talk during movies, it's probably a good choice for me if I want to avoid altercations and possible incarceration for bitch-slapping some gormless teenage boys who don't know when to shut up...or the inevitable person (usually female) who feels it necessary to talk back to the characters on the screen. We hates them, we do, my precioussssss... and all of the good manners instilled in me by a mother raised in Ohio in the '50s fly out the window when confronted with movie theater trolls.
But I digress.
Netflix has many wonderful and eclectic movies and shows available for your viewing pleasure, including some truly horrendous vintage erotica. Of course, my boyfriend and I didn't know it was horrible when we put it on our queue. And (true confession here) I like bad movies, so even when movies suck, there is still a definite enjoyment factor. HOWever... The Joys of Jezebel may stand as one of the worst erotic movies ever made. Not just bad as in 'acting so horrible it burns ones eyeballs' bad – although the acting was indeed that bad and my eyeballs are indeed burning. No. The Joys of Jezebel, while laughably and enjoyably horrendous in places, had sex scenes that went on for long, painful minutes, discordant '60s psychedelic music pumping (along with innumerable orgy extras) in the background. Satan (don't ask) spends the movie roaming the halls of Hell looking for his virgin soul to boink, hollering her name (Rachel) like a poor man's Marlon Brando from Streetcar Named Desire. Jezebel, in the meantime, having been released from Hell after providing Satan with aforementioned virgin soul, is disguised in the body of a vapid porn actress, wreaking vengeance on the unattractive and bad actors responsible for her death earlier in the movie.
Confused? It's okay. I suspect The Joys of Jezebel was meant to be watched while heavily dosed on hallucinogens. Mankind was not meant to view it while sober. And writers of erotic romance were certainly never meant to watch it at all. At least not if they want to get anything vaguely sexy written any time soon.
It just goes to show not all erotica is created equal. Now excuse me while I go watch the kiss between Daniel Day Lewis and Madeleine Stowe in Last of the Mohicans over...and over...and over until I feel something in my nether regions again.