Sunday, February 26, 2006

Movies Coming Soon

1 January 2006 -- limited
This one already came out in limited release, but it didn't play anywhere around me. But since it has Gerard Butler and Sarah Polley, I really want to see it. I've always like the Beowulf story, and most adaptations haven't really been very good. This one may disappoint as well, but I'm definitely going to check it out on DVD.

Something New
3 February 2006
This movie is already out, and one of these days I'm going to get around to seeing it. I like the idea -- addressing the fact that so many African-Americans don't get married, and addressing the issue of inter-racial relationships and marriage. And it looks really sweet.

Inside Man
24 March 2006
This movie has three incredible actors in it -- Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster -- and Foster is very choosy about the type of movies she picks, so I have very high hopes for this crime thriller. I like movies where it's not readily apparent what everyone wants or what they're willing to do for what they want, which is the impression I have of the movie.

The Wild
14 April 2006
It seems like Disney's annual animated movies are coming out earlier and earlier every year, but I suppose that is okay because it means they aren't competing so much with the slew of summer movies. Steve and I have no children, but we love to go see animated movies. Keeps the kid inside alive.

Silent Hill
21 April 2006
Silent Hill is a very good and scary video game series about a woman who searches for her daughter is a nightmare of a town. It was very atmospheric and menacing as a game and I hope that translates to the movie. And Sean Bean is in it.

X-Men 3: The Last Stand
26 May 2006
Steve and I absolutely loved X-Men 1 & 2 and we're really looking forward to this one. I hope they do a good job in their treatment of the Dark Phoenix storyline. And I'm excited to see Beast, one of my favorite X-Men characters, appear in this one.

The Break-Up
2 June 2006
I think it's interesting that there was so much speculation that the drama surrounding Mr. and Mrs Smith because of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would kill the movie and that maybe they were too distracted to act well in the movie. But I haven't seen any of that speculation about this movie, despite the fact that Aniston had her rebound relationship with Vaughn. I do think the movie looks good, and with Vince Vaughn in it, I'll probably be able to get Steve to see it with me.

23 June 2006
I admit freely to being a big fan of Adam Sandler. Yes, that means I have a juvenile sense of humor, but I find him hilarious. And his latest few movies have had a nice theme/point as well, so you feel like you're watching a movie that has something to say on top of being funny. And the amazing and equally hilarious Christopher Walken is in this one as well.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

A few mysteries I'm thinking about reading

What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris
NAL, 1 November 2005
I'm waiting for the paperback version of this one to come out, because I rarely by hardcovers, and never from debuts until I know more about them (I know that Harris is Candice Proctor, but a new genre counts as a debut for me). I've heard good things about this regency mystery so far.

The Delilah Complex by M. J. Rose
Mira, 1 January 2006
I really enjoyed The Halo Effect which was the first book I read by Rose. I thought that having a sex therapist as a protagonist might turn out to be just a tease or titillation, but Rose did a great job of making her well-rounded, and interesting person, and the sexuality that was included was an integral part of the story and of the character. This one has Dr. Snow consulting with a group of women who run a sex club where a man was murdered.

Driven to Murder by Judith Skillings
Avon, 1 February 2006
The main character is a woman in a racing pit crew, which sounds interesting to me. Also, the author is a automobile-restorer, which means she has some idea of what she's talking about with cars, which gives me some confidence in her handle on the subject. Definitely sounds enticing, despite the stereotypical "woman running" cover.

Deshi by John Donohue
Onyx, 7 February 2006
This is the follow-up to Donohue's book Sensei, where a martial arts student has help from his brother, an NYPD detective, to track down a "ronin," a masterless samurai who is killing people. Looks like they both have lots of details on Japanese culture and martial arts.

Deadman's Poker by James Swain
Fawcett, 25 April 2006
I've been watching a lot of the World Series of Poker on ESPN with Steve lately, so gambling and poker interest me a lot right now. Gambling was always a big no-no growing up, so I know very little about poker. I didn't even know the basics of Texas Hold'em before watching the WSOP. It looks like Swain has a whole series based around gambling, so I'm going to have to check one of these out.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Awesome Covers

These are all books I took notice of because they have beautiful covers. Some are by authors I'm already interested in, and some are by authors I've never read before. But for me at least, the marketing department struck a perfect note with these covers.

The Exiled by Posie Graeme-Evans
Atria, 14 June 2005
This looks like a straight historical cover, like Phillipa Gregory's, but I think Graeme-Evans writes historical/romance hybrids.

Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick
St. Martin's, 29 November 2005
Chadwick is a historical author, but I have enjoyed her books. She is usually very lucky and gets beautiful covers. The dress on this woman is just amazing.

Vanquished by Hope Tarr
Medallion, 1 February 2006
I loved Tempting by Tarr (which I also thought had a gorgeous cover), and am glad to see that she's going to be published again. This is one of the few nice covers I've seen from the new Medallion Press.

The Bride Ship by Deborah Hale
Harlequin Historicals, 1 February 2006
I think that Harlequin has really improved its covers over the last few years, and that is definitely evident in the Historical line. This one is just very classy. I love this image, the sunset, the ship approaching the shore, and the woman waiting with excitement? nervousness? anticipation? There is so much room for imagination in this cover.

Shadow Touch by Marjorie M. Liu
Leisure, 1 February 2006
The Red Heart of Jade by Marjorie M. Liu
LoveSpell, 4 July 2006
Liu has been especially lucky in her book covers. And considering that Dorchester is often a throwback with its covers, these are just stunning. The spiderweb and the onion-domed palace on the Shadow Touch cover are amazing and atmospheric.

Duchess of Fifth Avenue by Ruth Ryan Langan
Berkley Sensation, 7 March 2006
I have never read a book by Langan, but the covers all feature a soft-pastel-look. This one fits well with her branding. I like the Cinderella-like image.

Vertigo by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Delta, 26 September 2006
I saw this cover on the Knight Agency blog. The woman looks very vulnerable and sad set off against the hardness of the checkered background. Very cool.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Naked Male Chests

The Warrior by Judith E. French
Leisure, 29 November 2005
This cover is definitely an improvement on French's last two covers, which I thought had some weird-looking guys. This one looks a lot like Brad Pitt in Troy.

The Lion's Daughter by Loretta Chase
Berkley, 3 January 2006
I'm so glad that someone finally decided to reissue Loretta Chase's older books, which I really like and only have used copies of. The covers are all right, but I wish they had avoided the open-shirt look for this guy. It's the epitome of what people make fun of romance covers for.
From Steve: Looks like he's about to star in Riverdance.

Destiny by Helen Kirkman
HQN, 1 March 2006
Kirkman's books have all had bare-chested guys, which I guess is a form of branding for the author. HQN usually does a pretty decent job of making them look classy. I like the tattoo on this guy also.

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys by Lorraine Heath, Georgina Gentry, and Teresa Bodwell
Kensington, 1 March 2006
The bare-chested-guy-look seems to be one of the new standards for western romances (see Diane Whiteside's last couple of books). I guess they're trying to create a sexy-cowboy look. I like the black-and-white look for a historical.
From Steve: Totally speechless.

Deep, Dark and Dangerous by Jaid Black
Pocket, 7 March 2006
I find Black to be an enjoyable writer. She isn't the best at craft or characterization, but she is definitely an author/publisher who pushes the limits of erotic romance. I do find it interesting that she is the founder of Ellora's Cave, but is published by a mainstream romance house. That's fine for authors, but doesn't it seem weird for a publisher/executive?

Sword of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor
Avon, 28 March 2006
There's something about this cover that I don't like -- it may be the weird green wash, like the guy's been coated with ectoplasm or it may just be the guy, who looks a little too creepy for me.
From Steve: There can be only one.

Sighs Matter by Marianne Stillings
Avon, 1 April 2006
I've always thought Avon was weird with it's titles that are plays on movies or sayings. This one doesn't work too well. Obviously they're riffing on "size matters" but the title just doesn't work on its own. And I think this is one of the first times I've seen the naked-chest guy on an Avon. And this looks like he has a girl hand.
From Steve: When I think about you, I touch myself.

Captives of the Night by Loretta Chase
Berkley, 2 May 2006
Another reissue from Loretta Chase, once again with a guy with an open shirt.
From Steve: Stalker City.

Hell on Wheels by Karen Kelley
Kensington, 6 June 2006
I like this cover. Rather than rely on the overdone conventional romance covers, they went for something a little high-concept. The cover matches the title really well, and I like the slightly-blurred with sunglasses guy. It leaves room for imagination.

The Sea King by Jolie Mathis
Berkley, 6 June 2006
This is a pretty cool cover. It shows the guy nicely but doesn't try over-hard to be sexy. Looks like we can look forward to at least one new Viking romance. I'm pretty sure this is Mathis' first book.
From Steve: Bitch, where's my shirt? or *licks nipple* Which way is the wind blowing?

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Some Interesting Paranormal Romances

Though I love historicals and enjoy some contemporaries, I have found that my absolute favorite genre in romance is the paranormal/alternate reality genre. I like stories with vampires, vampire hunters, werewolves, shapeshifters, demons, succubi, witches, superheroes, legendary creatures, retellings of fairy tales or myths, monsters, aliens, spaceships, other worlds, or just about anything out-of-this-world.

Jewel of Atlantis by Gena Showalter
HQN, 1 February 2006
I like Gena Showalter's books because even though she's not the most amazing writer, she produces entertaining novels out of a variety of interesting ideas. Grayson James is supposed to retrieve a lengendary jewel from Atlantis, but is assaulted by monsters of all kinds in his quest. But it is the mysterious woman who speaks in his head that has him worried.

Flesh and Stone by Vickie Taylor
Berkley, 7 February 2006
I have had Carved in Stone sitting on my TBR pile for ages, even though it sounds great and people keep raving about it. I don't know why I keep putting it off. I guess I'm a little worried about being disappointed if the great idea doesn't turn out well.

The Waterlord by Dawn Thompson
LoveSpell, 28 February 2006
Becca is saved from death by a mysterious stranger who is a "Fossegrim: creatures driven to find ecstasy with human women and then vanish forever. From their world, humans never returned." This is her second book and sounds interesting, so I will probably read it, though I may wait to get it from the library.

The Saint by Melanie Jackson
LoveSpell, 28 February 2006
I absolutely love Jackson's paranormal books, so I am definitely on the list for this one.

Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow
Warner, 1 March 2006
Here's the first line of the blurb: "Tough-as-nails necromancer Dante Valentine has a problem: the devil wants her to catch a rogue demon and, for the duration of the task, she must be accompanied by a demon assassin named Japhrimel." Now that definitely sounds good to me. I am waiting anxiously for this one.

Parallel Attraction by Deidre Knight
Signet, 4 April 2006
Jared is an exiled alien king trying to retake his nation. They use time travel to travel to the past to find the one woman who can save them. I think this book looks interesting, but I can't help but be skeptical of the blurbs provided by other authors: how can you really expect an objective viewpoint for a book by the author's agent. I just don't see them saying no. But I still think this looks interesting.

Megan's Mark by Lora Leigh
Berkley, 2 May 2006
Megan works as a deputy sherriff in New Mexico, where she can hide from her ability to feel others' emotions. But she finds out that people? who are of the Feline Breed are dying. This is the first print book from the Ellora's Cave author that a lot of readers rave about.

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