Friday, August 18, 2017

An American story

I can be critical of Boston, and especially critical of Boston politicians (you might have noticed that in The Golden Boy Returns). But when we're good, we're very good, and we are good this week.

You can head to this link to see what Massachusetts' Republican Governor and Boston's Democratic Mayor have to say about what happened last weekend in Charlottesville, but it's exactly what you'd expect: we are saddened, we stand in solidarity with another municipality that was thrown into chaos, and we're disappointed by the lack of moral leadership we've seen at the federal level.

Why am I putting this here? Because I write about a multi-ethnic group of friends and lovers who manage to be imperfect people without being racist. I titled my series The New Pioneers because they are young Americans trying to make it through the 21st century: new immigrants, old blue bloods, and many variations in between. They suffer through unique challenges, but the one thing that's true is that they are always better when they work together. That is the American story.

The Boston Common: it's been there and done that

Why else am I putting this here? Because saying you're disgusted by neo-Nazis and white supremacists should be the least controversial thing anyone can say.

Boston is not Shangri-La. The day after this is published, we're going to have a rally on the Boston Common that will feature some of the "luminaries" that came to speak in Charlottesville last week. Those speakers disgust me, but I'm glad they can speak: let the ugliness come out in a bright light so we don't have to worry about it festering in the dark. And because we watched what happened last weekend, we're taking precautions to make sure the same violence doesn't happen here. (Spoiler alert: you have the right to say horrible things without fear of being imprisoned, but you don't have the right to bring weapons with you when you do.)

It's not perfect, but it's the best we can do. And that's part of the American story too.
Devil's Run  Scandalous Miss Brightwell series
By Beverley Oakley


A rigged horse race and a marriage offer riding on the outcome. When Miss Eliza Montrose unexpectedly becomes legal owner of the horse tipped to win the East Anglia Cup, her future is finally in her hands – but at what cost?


George Bramley, nephew to the Earl of Quamby, will wager anything. Even his future bride.

Miss Eliza Montrose will accept any wager to be reunited with the child she was forced to relinquish after an indiscretion — even if it means marrying a man she does not love.

But when the handsome and charming Rufus Patmore buys a horse from her betrothed, George Bramley, whose household her son visits from the foundling home, her heart is captured and the outcome of the wager is suddenly fraught with peril.

**This is book 3 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwell series, though it can be read as a stand-alone.
~*~*~*~*~*~
Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here 

Excerpt: 
This excerpt begins after Eliza has just plunged into the lake to rescue three drowning children and their nanny. Having dragged them – and herself – to shore, she makes a shocking discovery.
Chapter Two
Eliza had forgotten what it felt like to enjoy a man’s attention. He’d started to dry her in a vigorous attempt to warm her but then his touch gentled and he simply stared down at her.
The wonder in his eye as he murmured words of praise was a rare sensation. Embarrassed, she turned away. Yes, turned away because she could not afford to be so obviously disquieted by another man when she was affianced to George Bramley who stood a few feet away from her. He was also staring but there was no softness in his countenance.
Hoping to avoid any more gestures of admiration or kindness from Mr Patmore, Eliza politely extricated herself and put out her hand to arrest the progress of the Foundling Home lad whom Nanny Brown was pursuing with a piece of dry linen.
 His impish grin reminded her of young Miss Katherine’s, Lady Fenton’s daughter. Clearly the two had had a great adventure unlike Young George who was lying on his stomach upon the grass, shaking with sobs.
“Did you drink a lot of water, Young George?” Eliza asked, looking down at the crying boy but he ignored her. “I said we shouldn’t go out! I said!” He pounded his fists. “No one ever listens to what I say!”
 Eliza shared a wry smile with the rather lovely Mr Patmore whom she found still staring at her but, as he looked about to approach her again, she turned her back on him and instead brought the Foundling Home boy to stand in front of her now that she’d succeeded in catching him. Eliza would not have Mr Bramley – or anyone else – accuse her of encouraging the attentions of a man not her betrothed.
 “Jack – that’s your name, isn’t it? Well, you’ll have something to tell them back at the Foundling Home.” She’d seen him only from a distance and now, mud bespattered and with his hair matted over his forehead it was difficult to make out his features though she knew from various anecdotes that young Jack distinguished himself for keeping Miss Katherine’s wilfulness in check and peace between Katherine and her cousin, Young George.
Jack stood obediently before her as he started to wring out his threadbare shirt. “Nah, I’m fine, m’lady,” he said, glancing up to reveal a pair of small white teeth in a freckled face. “But thanks for savin’ me, an’ all.”
Eliza was about to let him go. Releasing her grip a second later might have changed the course of her life, she thought later that evening, and perhaps it would have been better if she had. Why repeat the trauma she’d already experienced?
But for now she was acting on instinct and instead of letting him go when it would have seemed natural, her grip on his wrist tightened while the air in her lungs disappeared, and she had to open and close her eyes three times before she was ready to believe what she saw.
“Gideon?” There seemed still no air to say his name. A great pressure was building in her head. Finally she was able to gasp in a breath, forcing herself to resist the urge to draw him into her embrace and wail her joy.
And pain.
How many other boys of seven years sported a tiny extra claw on their left hand? Or had been thrust into the cold, unloving world of the Foundling Home, she thought bitterly.
He stopped what he was doing to look at her uncomprehendingly and she added faintly, “Though that’s not what they call you, of course.”
An amused look crossed his face, making him look older and wiser than his seven years. Nearby, the weeping and wailing George was a puling infant. Smiling at her was a little man.
He pushed out his chest and said in a tone that was neither boastful nor self pitying, “There’s some ‘at call me Devil’s Cub, or bastard, but at the manor here they call me Jack.”
Devil’s Cub? The sixth finger accounted for the nickname, of course.
“Miss Montrose?” In the distance, Lady Fenton was calling her. Eliza was suddenly shaking like one suffering the ague. “Jack,” she repeated in a whisper, still staring at him as she clenched her own fists. Was the child tormented by his deformity? It looked as if not much troubled him though Eliza couldn’t remember how many times Eliza had been told the sixth finger was God’s punishment upon her bastard babe.
“Miss Montrose! Come away! Susan is waiting in the house with a warm bath and blankets. You must be chilled to the bone!”
Vaguely, she could hear the sounds of concern all around her but all Eliza could focus on was the impish face before her: that of her lost child.

~*~*~*~*~*~ 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.
Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.
Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.
Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

You can get in touch with Beverley at:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Bringing Back That Lovin’ Feelin’ Blog Hop

Earlier this year, a couple of friends and I talked about old loves we needed to walk away from. As much as I'm a strong believer in moving on, I also love a good reunion story, so we're taking a stab at things we ultimately couldn't keep away from later in August.



Some things get better with age...after they get, you know, worse

Here's the schedule below. Watch this space for details, visit these guys and say hi, and let us know what you loved, lost, and then regained.

Morgan: 8/26
Kerrie: 8/27
Caroline: 8/28
Deb: 8/29
Jami: 8/30

Beyond the Shadows: Second Edition (The Shadow Series Book 1) by Anna Hub (Paranormal thriller/urban fantasy)


What if your shadow was the gateway to a sinister new world?

Selena Parker’s journey into the unknown begins in her dreams, but the consequences are carried back into her conscious life and she soon realises paranormal forces are at work. 

Her shadow has become more than just an image, it is a gateway to a sinister new world where mysterious creatures roam and she is confronted by danger that challenges her will to survive. 

She finds the man whose fate is linked inexplicably to her own but she knows nothing of him and doubts his true nature. Her only option is to place her life in his hands while they search for a way to stop the shadows claiming them forever.

Buy it today for 99 cents!



Anna Hub is a USA Today bestselling paranormal/thriller author from Perth, Western Australia. She qualified as a nurse in her early twenties but in 2007, decided to chase her childhood dream of becoming an author instead. Since then, she’s surrendered her heart and soul to writing.
Although terrified of horror movies, Anna loves to write on the dark side and explore uncharted mythologies. She believes the imagination is infinite and inside the pages of a book, there is no limit, no exact destination and our minds are free to exist in many worlds.

Connect with Anna
Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Website  





Thursday, August 10, 2017

Little Grey Dress by Aimee Brown (Chick Lit/Romantic Comedy) Giveaway and Guest Post


Title: Little Gray Dress 
Author: Aimee Brown 
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017 
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books 
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit GoodReads: add Little Gray Dress to your to be read list  

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak. From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress. When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack! Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another when she least expects it?


AmazonUS: eBook – $2.99 | print – $9.99 AmazonUK: eBook – £1.99| print – £6.99
Barnes & Noble: print – $9.99

The unspoken truth from me…
I’m going to get really personal here. Which is something I don’t do often. This is a subject I don’t talk much about because it’s one of those things that is really hard to put on display. As a woman it’s already hard enough to fit into the world  if you have a visible imperfection, such as a handicap or even bad skin. But, when your problem is weight, it’s sometimes devastating to hear the things that come out of people’s mouths.

I have have been overweight since I was pregnant with my first son. I gained 60 pounds with that pregnancy, and 20 more pounds with each of my other two pregnancies. 20 years later, I’ve only just lost part of it. I’ve worked my ass off since January and have lost 60 pounds thus far. I still have 50 to go.  But, I’m getting there. And I’m so pleased with how far I’ve come. It’s a life change. It’s harder than anyone who’s never dealt with it can imagine and it’s an adjustment that is worth every single moment. I’m proud of me.

In Little Gray Dress I created main character Emi as a thicker woman. I didn’t want her to be picture perfect. I wanted to her be real and have the real struggles that so many normal women have.

Emi is a size 12. Which to me, doesn’t seem like a ‘larger’ girl. But, to America, it’s a plus size woman. When did this happen?

I’m always hearing about this ‘positive body image’ movement but yet, the same companies that are spouting this are the same ones that are putting our women who wear smaller double digit sizes and labeling them as ‘plus size’. How is that positive? When can we ever just be ‘women’ without being labeled for our appearance?

One of my favorite book titles is by Meg Cabot ‘Size 12 is not fat.’ I realize it’s not a size 2 but it’s also NOT fat. Sweet Jesus, America, come to your senses. Are we looking at our health or the superficial surface of woman around the country?

Did you know that despite the ‘positive body image’ movement than a woman size 12 and up is often looked at as lazy, fat, and unhealthy? None of those words are positive. When you see a woman on the street who might be over a size 8 and you automatically assume they are lazy, you’re probably not considering that she’s possibly just finally left her house for the first time after pushing a tiny human through the most sensitive part of her body. You might be overlooking the fact that she’s so busy with three toddlers that the only meal she gets at night, besides picking at the uneaten mac & cheese left over from her kids’ plate, is cold. You might not realize that the man who’s trying to hide his double chin with his beard, has been on prednisone for an unseen disease for months. You might not realize that when you judge my now size 16 figure that I’ve worked my ass off to lose 60 pounds.
Who are we to judge someone else by their appearance? Who are we to decide who’s healthy, lazy, or sick, by the size of their pants? Whether you are a size 0 or a size 28, you’re a human and I respect you the way you deserve to be respected. I will support you in anyway you need support. Your size doesn’t mean you’re a failure or less than anyone else.

My only advice is this – we can all overcome our obstacles in life with determination. We can help each other by supporting without judging. Nobody is perfect, even those with perfect exteriors have issues in life. Some of the most beautiful people on the planet are the ugliest people on the inside and visa verse.

Be the change in helping America’s self-esteem problem. Young, old, black, purple, white, thin, thick, male or female, we are all human and we all deserve support from our peers.
If you’ve something judgemental or negative to say to me (or anyone else for that matter) go and tell it to yourself in the mirror first and think about how that would make you feel coming from someone else. Think about how that statement would make you feel if someone said it to your parent, spouse, partner or child and think twice before you put that on someone else. Words matter, use yours wisely.



Aimee has the cutest Giveaway for the tour - pictured here <-- & opened worldwide.
Included is a 'create' coffee cup, some dark & handsome K-cup pods, a cute Life is Short, Eat Cake wall art, some tiny macaroons, a Little Gray Dress bookmark & postcard!
Enter here:


Aimee Brown – author bio: Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published novel. My second novel is in the works now. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal. Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets. She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you’d like to chat with her she’s very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello!

   

 
  Weds – August 2nd Blog on the Run – Book Review/Author Guest Post after 2nd Books and Photographs – Book Review Judging More Than Just the Cover – Book Review/Author Interview Nicole Evelina – Book Review/Guest Post The Novel Girl Reads – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A 
  Thurs – August 3rd Chick Lit Central – Author Interview NovelGossip – Book Review Hey Said Renee – Author Guest Post Romantic Reads and Such – Book Excerpt Steamy Book Mama – Book Review 
  Fri – August 4th BrizzleLass Books – Book Review O.D. Book Reviews – Book Excerpt He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post Corinne Desjardins – Book Spotlight Where Dragons Recide – Book Review/Author Q&A 
  Sat – August 5th JenaBooks – Book Review Sylv.net – Spotlight Post Got Books, Babe? – Author Guest Post The Writing Garnet – Book Review 
  Sun – August 6th I Read Novels – Book Review It's my Life – Book Excerpt RaeReads – Book Review Keelee Morris – Author Guest Post GrassMonster – Book Review 
  Mon – August 7th Living Life with Joy – Book Review/Giveaway/Author Q&A The Belgian Reviewer – Author Guest Post Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt Haddie’s Heaven – Spotlight Post Books in my Opinion – Book Review Literature Goals – Book Review/Excerpt/Author Q&A 
  Tue – August 8th Reading to Unwind – Book Review Kristin's Novel Café – Book Excerpt & Giveaway/Book Review Key of Dee – Author Guest Post FrankyBrown – Book Excerpt Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog – Book Reviews (3) 
  Weds – August 9th Ink, Maps and Macarons – Giveaway/Author Q&A Heartalefix – Book Review Tea Party Princess – Author Guest Post/(possible) Review One Book at a Time – Book Excerpt/Spotlight/Book Review 
  Thurs – August 10th ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt Rosa Temple Writes – Author Guest Post Life at 17 – Spotlight Post Daily Waffle – Book Excerpt/Author Q&A 
  Fri – August 11th Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review Sparkly Word – Book Review Books and Readers – Book Review/Excerpt/Giveaway/Guest Post Ali the Dragon Slayer – Book Review Katie Lady Reads – Book Review Rambling Lisa's Book Reviews – Book Review/Book Excerpt 
  Sat – August 12th Life of a Simple Reader – Book Review/Excerpt Karlita – Goodreads/Social Media – Book Review KD Reads – Book Review/Giveaway/Guest Post D.K. Hamilton – Book Review/Author Q&A 20CC Reviews – Book Review TrashyBibloBlog – Book Review/Excerpt

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Catching Fire: Educating Ellie (Billionaire Romance Series Book 1) by T.N. King (New Release)


Ellie White is impulsive and hard working. She knows life could be better, but she feels stuck in the situation that she's in. When billionaire businessman, Morgan Hunt rescues her from a burning diner, her life changes. He impresses her with how genuine and caring he seems to be. Then Ellie realizes that she might be falling for him. When she learns that he can't stop thinking about her, the decision to sleep with him is all too easily made and she surprises herself with her own deep desires. He breaks her heart and she blames herself for being so naive. Can she ever trust him again?


Morgan Hunt is a billionaire and CEO. He has perfected the art of sealing the deal. But when he rescues Ellie White from a burning building, he's not prepared for the feelings that keep him from concentrating on business. In an attempt to clear his mind so he can focus on work, he seals the deal with Ellie in a night of hot, steamy sex, that awakens his passionate side, but he didn't count on his feelings deepening. When he's finally free to go back to conducting business, he can't because Ellie is still in his head. After breaking her heart, can he win her back?

Love, life, and a possible career hang in the balance as Ellie and Morgan discover their true selves in a hot, passionate romance that promises to seal the deal.




T.N King grew up in the heart of Texas, and now resides in the sunny beach of San Diego, California. He's a football fan, a Netflix binge-watcher, and loves barbecue. A writer of romance, he's the author of the Catching Fire Series, Chasing Dr.Bedell, The Seduction of Amy, and many more. T.N King plans to write many more sexy, suspenseful stories for his raving fans.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Me Fat You Skinny: The Inner Beauty Project (Book 1 of 2) by L.A. Leidy

Avery Michaels is very pretty and attractive, but she is also a curvy girl—a size twelve on a good day, but most of her clothes are a comfortable size fourteen. When she is offered a creative director job at a modeling agency, she had to think about it for like a whole day. I mean she’s clumsy, a little insecure and self-deprecating—she accepts.


Within a week, Avery is flying to Paris to help with the agency’s largest campaign called Inner Beauty. The photographer had been struggling to portray the concept on film--that was until he met Avery. Getting caught in the middle of his past was not part of the job but neither was falling for him. 

Avery has to navigate through a world of smoke and mirrors to find that who she is on the inside matters more than she realized. She never knew what her inner beauty was until someone showed her in the grandest of ways. 

Me Fat You Skinny, the Inner Beauty Project is book one of a two part series.


L.A. Leidy creates stories that are light-hearted, fun and relatable. She often finds herself falling for the characters she creates. The complexity of life mixed with raw emotions. She enjoys twisting their lives around for the greater good. Now add a little bit of drama, suspense and of course a love story and you have the perfect recipe for a compelling story.

L.A. Leidy is a northern girl transplanted to the south. She feels unconditional love from her husband, young son and a fat cat that snores under her feet while she writes.

Me Fat You Skinny and One Last Game are the debut series for L.A. Leidy.

If you would like to know more about L.A. Leidy, please check out her official website at www.laleidyauthor.com  

You can also find L.A. Leidy on several social media sites:
Twitter: @laleidy_author
Instagram: l.a.leidy_author
Facebook @laleidyauthor




Monday, July 24, 2017

July Romance Book Sale at The Indie Academy

july-
romance-graphic-22

Welcome to The Indie Academy's July Romance Book Sale


Over 50 amazing romance books priced at 99c or free and a variety of sub-genres!

VISIT THE INDIE ACADEMY'S JULY ROMANCE BOOK SALE


(Don't forget to enter the Amazon gift card giveaway at the bottom of the page
before you go!)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Seeing Sam by Kelly Moore: Book 3 of the Next August Series (Pre-order)

Blind faith sent Sam’s world spiraling. He trusted the wrong person that almost cost August and Nashville their lives. His guilt sends him on a journey to figure out who he is and what type of man he wants to be.

A once innocent, sweet young man, now faces life alone by his own choice. He rebuilds himself to be a good, strong man. An old injury threatens the use of his legs, just as he meets a beautiful brunette that will change his world again. He falls in love for the very first time with sweet, innocent Emma Flinn.

Emma has had her own tragedies in life to deal with, but she hasn’t let anything stop her from being an independent, successful woman. She’s lived in the same town her entire life and has quit hoping for prince charming to come along. Until out of the blue, Sam comes crashing into her life. They fall in love fast and hard.

Everything seems perfect to Emma, but Sam has something that he’s been hiding from her. He’s faced with a decision to either help Emma, or lose something that will cost him dearly. Sam chooses love and it rips their lives apart, leaving Emma to start over again.

Emma learns of Sam’s secret and is willing to forgive him, but will Sam let her?

Ninety-nine cents, now until July 11th




Excerpt 

Hesitantly, I let him lead me through the house.  He quietly opens the front door and the sound of the rain brings a shiver to my body.  “It’s okay, Emma.”  I try to wrap my arms around myself, but he won’t let me.  The rain pelts down in front of us, terrifying me.  He takes one of my hands in his and the other he places on his shoulder.  “Dance with me,” he says.
“You brought me out here to dance in the rain?”
“I brought you out here to hold you in the rain so you wouldn’t be scared any more.  The dancing part is a bonus.” 
I think I can hear his facial muscles pull his lips up in a grin.  I relax and sway in his arms.  “You know this means I’m only not scared with you in the rain.”
“The rain won’t hurt you, baby.  I know it was raining the night your parents died, but it wasn’t the rain that hurt them.”
My hair is dripping wet and the t-shirt is clinging to every part of my body.  I don’t care, all I care about is the man in my arms.  He swings me around and I hear the sloshing of the puddle beneath me.  I raise my face to the rain and start laughing, a deep, cathartic laugh.  I have no fear at this moment in time.  He stops dancing and places his hands on my face. 
“I love you, Emma,” he says and consumes my mouth.

---

Kelly Moore was raised in Mt. Dora, Florida, a true southern girl with a sarcastic wit. Gypsy traveling nurse by day and romantic author by night. Loves all things romantic with a little spice and humor. Loves two characters who over comes their pasts to fall in love and have a happy ending. Wife, mother, grandmother and dog lover. Travels the US in a fifth wheel making memories and making friends.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Prophecy of Solstice's End by Diantha Jones (Oracle of Delphi #3) -- Cover Reveal

Readers of this blog know that I love Diantha Jones' work, so I'm pleased to help reveal her new cover for Prophecy of Solstice's End. This new cover gives a taste of how fierce Chloe is as she comes into her own, but to get a better taste, go pick up the book! 

Prophecy of Solstice's End

Oracle of Delphi #3

By Diantha Jones 
BLURB:  Summer Solstice is here. Let the games begin. Nothing but lies (some of them her own) and deceit have brought Chloe to Olympus for the Solstice Olympic Games. As the Oracle and the special guest of the King of Myth, Chloe becomes immersed in a life of unfathomable luxury, taunting history, and overwhelming excitement. Though scheming and untrustworthy, the gods remain on their best behavior as the tension and anticipation builds around the outcome of the Quest of the Twelve Labors, the deadliest competition of the Games. All seems well on the celestial front...until athletes start turning up dead and a philosopher missing for months returns with a most terrifying story... But that’s not all. As Strafford confronts his troubled past and more is learned about the Great Unknown Prophecy, Chloe grows close to another, setting off a chain of events that will bring her face-to-face with a truth that will rock both of her worlds to their core. And it’ll all happen before Solstice’s end...
  Book Links: Amazon  | B&N | Goodreads
Author Bio: Diantha Jones loves writing fantasy books filled with adventure, romance, and magic. She's the author of the Oracle of Delphi series, the Mythos series, and the Djinn Order series (as A. Star). When she isn’t writing or working, she is reading or being hypnotized by Netflix. She is a serious night-owl and while everyone else is grinning in the warmth and sunlight, she’s hoping for gloominess and rain. Yeah, she’s weird like that.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Don't worry, I still love some things

I can be a snarky critic, but when something impresses, I'm a natural enthusiast. I can't have you read my last post and leave you with the impression that I'm looking at everything skeptically. Here's a list of what's currently knocking my socks off on TV. (Check my Amazon profile if you want to see what I'm loving in books.)

Legion Oh my god, this show. We're five episodes into an eight episode season, I can't tell you exactly what's going on, but I can't stop watching. How much do I love this? I actually stay up to watch this at 10 PM because I might not be able to sleep anyway if I have to miss it. Dan Stevens, who's almost unrecognizable from Downton Abbey, is David Haller, a super powerful mutant whose power (consciousness? brain? reality?) has been food for some kind of creature (another mutant?) since he was a young boy, and it's screwing with his mental health. Is he imagining everything we've seen since the first episode? Or is reality this disconcerting to someone with so much power? I can't tell you yet--hell, I can't even tell you when this is taking place--but I can't wait to find out. 

The Americans Another series on FX that's taking a much slower pace of storytelling, but it's just as engrossing. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are "Elizabeth and Philip Jennings" in the early 1980s, but they're really Soviet spies who have been here for decades and have gone full-on into their covers, including raising a family together. It's 1984 now, and the Cold War tensions are escalating. Elizabeth is a true believer and is willing to do anything to serve her homeland, while Philip has always tormented himself with questions before he does the same things. Giving them pause are their children, particularly daughter Paige (Holly Taylor), who knew something was off and had her worst theories confirmed. Elizabeth thinks they can be both good parents and patriots, but Philip knows that something is going to have to give. And that's just for starters. 

"Knock, knock"
The Young Pope I was as skeptical as everyone else about this series, and I was just as wrong. It's absurdist in part because nothing stays sub rosa for long, but part of its brilliance is its acknowledgement that everything changes eventually, even the Catholic Church, no matter how much the young, energetic pope can force his possible supernatural will over his minions. Jude Law is amazing--I need to be reminded that he's in fact British--as the man who's neither good nor bad but pure in it's most ruthless sense. 

Westworld Another example of someone taking a piece of Seventies schlock and turning it into an artistic masterpiece. How much consciousness does something have to have before it becomes immoral to treat it like a tool? And what does it say about someone who needs to play at inflicting pain in order to feel alive? Rachel Evan Wood, Thandie Netwon, Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins are mesmerizing as the people (and androids) both grappling with those questions and living out those consequences. 

Finally, while I don't get to movie theaters that much, I did get to see The Lego Batman Movie, and I was legitimately impressed. The whole movie is one big wink at superhero storytelling period, but it's brilliant in addition to being hilarious. And can we give a big shout out to the casting department, if only for casting Kate Micucci as Clayface?