Fundraising Auctions for Brenda Novak’s 2012 Cure for Diabetes!

I’m happy to say that I am a part of two excellent auction items donated to help Brenda Novak’s annual fund-raising for a cure for diabetes. The first is the Bandit Creek Books group, and we’ve donated a copy of every Bandit Creek novella published so far, plus a few extra goodies. Click here to check it out and bid.

And The Authors Red Room has put together a writer’s package, including a designed cover, bookmarks, a critique by Lisa Renee Jones, and editing from the staff editors (of which I am one). Click here to check it out and bid.

Bidding ends on May 31st!

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Wednesday Cat Blogging

Hard not to chuckle when it’s so easy to see what’s coming…

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I’m guest blogging again!

Yesterday I was guest blogging over at the fantastic blog “Guys Like Romance, Too!” as a part of their May, month-long, focus on F/F romance. Check it out here: http://guyslikeromancetoo.blogspot.ca/2012/05/let-roaring-20s-roar.html

The story is one of those that’s pretty close to my heart. Partly because it’s my first published work, but also because it’s something that hits close to home. Though I live in a city with a population over 1 million, there is still a very conservative vibe, and occurrences of gay bashing. The province was dragged kicking and screaming into having to make gay marriage legal, and sometimes it seems like there is still a lot of resistance. I like to think that writing f/f romance is one way of turning the tide.
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Book Review: Tiffany Reisz’s THE SIREN

Zach Easton knew that in the offices of Royal House Publishing, he was known as the London Fog,…

For me, THE SIREN has always been about Zach Easton. And re-reading the book on its release date is like settling into the embrace of an old flame, the one I never forgot. I’ve read so many variations of the book I can’t quite remember what scenes went through to the final draft. Phrases from the book flit across my mind at odd hours of the day, synonyms for thrust, literary fiction vs. literary friction, and I’ve never been able to fully remove it from my consciousness.

But Zach… oh, Zach. I’d have adored him even if he hadn’t happened to share his physical appearance with the gorgeous Jason Isaacs. Zach has depth, agonizing and painful depths. He’s the tortured hero, but put aside your ideas of the traditional romantic hero. Zach isn’t it. Will he rescue damsels? Not exactly. He’ll go through hell and back, and Nora Sutherlin, infamous dominatrix and writer, could be the one doing the rescuing.

This isn’t just a romance novel. It’s a book that will leave you gripping the pages and staying up until the wee hours of the morning just to find out what happens to Zach, and Nora, and Wes, and the rest.

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Calgary Comic Expo 2012

Early Saturday morning.

You’ll probably remember my giddy posts last year when I met Julian Sands. This year, I wanted very much to meet James Marsters. I’d watched Buffy (though not religiously), and I loved his turn as Captain John Hart on Torchwood. So it made sense to try to get his autograph.

I’m quite thankful that I managed to get into the Expo bright and early, as there were issues later in the day about capacity, and the fire marshals shut down access.

I also managed to see (but not get autographs from — I’m not made of money) Chris Heyerdahl, David Prowse, and a quick glimpse of LeVar Burton. I would have liked to see the Phelps twins from Harry Potter, but the line there was…. well, I can only describe it as insane.

There were lots of artists and vendors to see, and I picked up a dress, as well as a fun t-shirt:

And below the cut, a few more photos from the day….

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Election time.

It’s election time in Alberta, and today is election day.

I try to keep politics off the blog, but I will say that my attention has been distracted from my usual writing and blogging due to all the articles and coverage I’ve been keeping track of for the election.

Quite possibly today will be the first time in a long time that the Progressive Conservatives don’t win the election with a landslide majority. Whether or not the Wild Rose party becomes the Official Opposition, or the minority government, remains to be seen. How the Liberals do, perhaps well enough to be the decisive power of a minority government, or otherwise, and how the other parties do (NDP, Alberta Party, etc.) is hard to say.

So if you’ve wondered why I’ve been a bit light on the posts… that’s why. Regular blogging shall resume soon, if I’m not verklempt over the election results.

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Movie: In a Lonely Place

I’m a writer, and noir is my chosen genre. Hence, most of my favourite films have some relation to the genre, and In a Lonely Place, starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, is one that left a mark.

I hadn’t read the book before I saw the film, which is perhaps a good thing, as the book differs in some essential ways (of which I won’t get into here, as to not ruin it for the reader).

Bogart is Dixon Steele (and what a name it is), a screenwriter who is cynical and abrupt. He hasn’t had much success since the war, and his latest project is to adapt a book for the screen. Gloria Grahame is his neighbour, Laurel Grey, a sometime actress who takes an interest in Dix. When Dix takes a coat check girl home with him, as she’s read the book he’s to adapt and he doesn’t want to read it himself, Laurel notices him. After he sends the girl home, she is murdered, and Dix is a suspect. Laurel is brought into the police station and confirms that the girl left Dix’s place alone, and thus begins a rather intense yet dark relationship between the two.

One of my favourite quotes comes from this film, said by Dix to Laurel:

‘I was born when she kissed me, I died when she left me, I lived a few weeks while she loved me.’

The line so aptly mirrors the tempestuous relationship between Dix and Laurel, and the tone with which Bogart says the line enhances the bleakness of the film.

Dix is a strong, complex character, and the realism of Dixon Steele is one of the main reasons why I love the film so much. He’s not a typical alpha hero, as the main characters in so many films are. He’s a quick-tempered man, prone to violence, and to drink, but he’s loyal to his friends, even defending a washed-out actor from harassment.

As the murder investigation progresses, Laurel’s belief in his innocence is challenged, and his actions (side-swiping a car that cuts them off, beating up the driver) add to her worries, until she can’t continue their relationship. Her fear of Dix overwhelms her affection for him. It’s the gradual collapse of the relationship that is the strongest thread of the story in the film, in my opinion. At first, murder investigation aside, they are doing so well, but as events and doubts add up, it’s a slow-motion car crash.

Noir never ends with a happily ever after (nor usually with any sort of ‘happily for now’ ending), and In a Lonely Place is no exception. It isn’t the most pleasant and uplifting of films, but it’s incredibly compelling, and one I have re-watched multiple times in fascination. It’s one of Bogart’s best works.

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