Must Watch Wednesday: A Rockumentary directed by Dave Grohl

So I won't lie. I have a hard time resisting documentaries about music. I used to be slightly obsessed with Behind the Music on VH1. So when hubs clicked on Palladia the other night and saw that a rocumentary directed by Dave Grohl was starting, we were both in. And I'm so, so glad I watched this one. It was a fascinating peek into the music industry and the evolution of it told via the story of one famous recording studio. (And it also has a lot of relevance to the book industry regarding the huge shift digital caused, not just in putting out the music but in producing it.)

Plus, if for nothing else, I just love watching artists be passionate about what they do. 

SOUND CITY is currently playing on the Palladia channel and I believe it's also free on Amazon Prime Streaming, so go forth and watch. : )

Here's the trailer:


Has anyone else seen this one? Any rockumentary recommendations?

The Joe Manganiello Growl & Magic Mike to Brighten Your Day

This week I am in the middle of doing major edits on Grant's book, so I am in the writer's cave. However, to keep you occupied on Boyfriend of the Week day, I thought I'd give you a bit of Joe Manganiello growl and some Magic Mike loveliness.

And hottest thing about this video is not the growl. It's the the fact that he thanks Charlaine Harris, the WRITER, in the first part of his acceptance speech. It drives me crazy at movie/TV awards when someone wins with a movie that was based on a book and thanks everybody from casting to craft services, and the author is never mentioned. So annoying.



And Sunday, I finally got the chance to see Magic Mike. My self-sacrificing husband actually went along with me. He gets lots of brownie points for taking me. Good man. Here's a little snippet if you haven't seen it (or even if you have and want to watch again.)


Hope you enjoy your Tuesday! And send good editing thoughts my way, I'm in the need of an epiphany that is going to fix everything by next Monday.

Memorable Love Scenes: Titanic

Poster via IMDB.comWe've been talking about memorable love scenes this week. And today I'm taking one that uses the "glossed over" sex scene to perfection. There are times you don't have to show everything (in a movie or in a book) but the scene cna still be sensual and impactful.

This scene stands out in my mind because of the emotion (we know what's about to happen to that ship) and the conflict (Jack and Rose come from different worlds but can't stay away from each other.) In almost all circumstances, there needs to be overlying conflict within your love scenes--why is it so dangerous for these two to be together. (Unless it's the happily ever after scene or a setup scene like the one in Ghost yesterday.)




Here's the scene:


So what are your thoughts on this one? Is it the tension that's been set up (remember the painting scene)? Is it the emotion? Or is the stakes and conflict?

Memorable Love Scenes: Ghost

Poster via IMDB.comThis week we're analyzing memorable love scenes so that we can hopefully write books that have scenes just as memorable. We've talked about setting and having the scene change the character. Today, I'm featuring one that not only has uniqueness going for it with the pottery wheel AND Patrick Swayze (king of the memorable love scene), but is chock full of emotion. 

This scene is actually a bit of the movie's setup or "showing the ordinary world" before the inciting incident, but it also packs a lot of emotion because the moviegoer knows what's going to happen to Patrick. They've seen the preview, they know what the title of the movie is. So this scene taps into that deep emotion of being with the person you love most in the world.




Here's the scene:

So what do you think? Why does this one stand out in so many of our memories?

Memorable Love Scenes: Pretty Woman

Poster via IMDB.comIf you missed it yesterday, this week I'm featuring memorable love scenes so that we can a) enjoy and b) analyze what makes the scene so memorable so that we can translate it into our own writing. Yesterday, we looked at the unique setting factor.

Today, I wanted to feature a scene that has one of the most mundane settings of all--a hotel room--but it still a classic memorable moment. It focuses on the change in the characters. A love scene, whether it's a kiss or a full sex scene, should always change the characters in some way. Otherwise, why are you showing it?

So here's the kissing scene from Pretty Woman:

This scene is definitely smexy--I mean, it's Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, come on now. But the reason it has stuck with so many of us is because of what that kiss represented. Sex wasn't a big deal for Vivian, but a kiss...that was a whole different thing.

So what do you love most about this scene? Why do you think it's so memorable?

Memorable Love Scenes: Risky Business


Movie poster via

This week I'm taking a bit of a break from the normal blogging schedule. I've just wrapped up teaching an online class on writing love scenes. And one of the things I asked students to do was name love scenes from movies or books that stood out in their memory. The point of the exercise was to look at those scenes and see WHY they were memorable. What did the storyteller do to make them so impression-making?

So this week, I'm going to post some of the examples we used so that you can break them down too. (Or if you're not a writer, just sit back and enjoy the smexiness.)

First on the agenda is Risky Business and the smoking hot scene on the train. (This doesn't have nudity but isn't exactly safe for work either.) This is an example of using a unique setting to your advantage.






Hot, right? So why is this scene memorable? Is it simply the location, the chance of someone discovering them? Is it the tension built up before this? Or is it because the moment is tranformative for the characters? Or is it just because it's a young Tom Cruise and Rebecca DeMornay?

The Movie You Wish You Could've Seen on the Big Screen


Photo via Endless Inspiration

Hope everyone had a great weekend. And happy belated Father's Day to any of you dads out there. : )

So, if any of you have hung around here for a while, you probably know that my favorite movie of all time is Dirty Dancing. In fact, I credit that movie with planting the seed that would eventually grow me into a romance writer. But even though it's my most fave movie ever, I'd never seen it on the big screen. When it came out, I was pretty young (too young to even know what most of the stuff in the movie was except the dancing), so I only saw it on video probably a year after it came out.

Then last week, I found out that my local theater was showing Dirty Dancing on the big screen one night only and for only a dollar. How awesome is that? So of course, I emailed my friend Jamie Wesley, an equally die hard fan to go with me.

It was so much fun to see the movie in all its full screen glory. The theater was sold out and more than one of us were lipsyncing lines and the songs. And of course there was clapping for "I carried a watermelon" and "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." And I think my movie date (I'm looking at you, Jamie) may have recited the entire monologue of  Baby's "I did it for nothing?!" speech.

A good time was had by all. : ) I think the theater is doing Sixteen Candles like this soon too, so I'm going to try to go to that one as well. LOVE that movie. And it's another I've never seen on the big screen.

This weekend I also managed to finish one book and read another short novella (novelette?). And as always, when I enjoy something I want to pass it on. Here's what I read:


A friend’s duty. 

Tyler Murphy was an LAPD detective, single and happy—until a near-fatal tragedy crippled his friend, fellow detective Eric Catalano. While Tyler supported Eric, he also became a shoulder for Eric’s wife, Delaney, to lean on. But with one naughty suggestion from Eric, a drunken night with Delaney spilled into erotic abandon. Before it was over, Tyler saw his best friend’s wife as a woman and yearned for more. When Eric struggled to deal with the aftermath, Delaney begged Tyler to leave. Crushed, he fled to Louisiana, hoping to escape his longing for the one woman he could never have again…and unaware of what he’d left behind. 

A lover’s desire. 

After two years of living with regret, Tyler finds Delaney on his doorstep, her husband having abandoned her long ago. She’s protecting a shocking secret and desperately needs refuge from a stalker determined to see her dead. As they fight to stay alive and catch the killer, they struggle to resolve the guilt of their past pleasures. But they can’t deny that what was once a spark is now a flame burning out of control. To possess Delaney—body and soul—Tyler must heal her pain and thwart the evil that’s a mere breath behind her…

I always love Shayla's books. If you haven't read her Wicked Lovers series, definitely check them out. This one is far along in the series but can stand alone. If you want to start from the beginning, Wicked Ties is the first one.

And then I also read this short little novella--Restraint by Charlotte Stein. It was funny and awkward and sexy all at the same time. The cover is a little...retro, but don't let that scare you off. :)


Marnie Lewis is certain that one of her friends – handsome but awkward Brandon – hates her guts. The last thing she wants to do is go on a luscious weekend away with him and a few other buddies, to a cabin in the woods. But when she catches Brandon doing something very dirty after a night spent listening to her relate some of her sexcapades to everyone, she can’t resist pushing his buttons a little harder. He might seem like a prude, but Marnie suspects he likes a little dirty talk. And Marnie has no problems inciting his long dormant desires.

Good books and good movies. I'd say that was an all around awesome week. :)

So tell me, what movie do you wish you could see on the big screen?

Made of Win Monday and Last Chance to Enter My Contest

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Today I have a bit of a Made of Win Monday round up.

First, today is the LAST DAY you can enter my STILL INTO YOU contest where you can win a box of awesome, a gift card, or a 20 page critique from me. Contest ends at midnight central time.

A few guest posts...

I'm over at Tory Michael's blog with an interview where I answer questions such as how I balance writing and blogging with the rest of my life and why I like writing BDSM.

I'm also on Peanut Butter on the Keyboard talking On Milk Allergies and Trusting Your Mommy Gut.


Now a few things Made of Win...

  • I finished writing NOT UNTIL YOU over the weekend, which is Ian's story (yes, the Ian in STILL INTO YOU.) So I managed to write and revise a 40k novella in 6 weeks. Yay! Now I know that's probably nothing to you speed writers, but that's a much improved pace for me. Now it's on to Kelsey's story, CAUGHT UP IN YOU.



  • Saw Snow White and The Huntsman this weekend and was pleasantly surprised. I'm not usually a fairy tale person, but I really enjoyed the movie. Now, I would've loved to see a little more romance-y stuff wrapped up, but I have a feeling they left things a little open with hopes for a sequel. I'm all for more Chris Hemsworth regardless. :) Two thumbs up.



  • I've been in the mood for a good horror story lately and wanted to try an indie one. After a few failed attempts at finding one whose sample pages didn't make me cringe, I ended up with Alexandra Sokoloff's The Harrowing . (I realized afterwards that though this one is indie now, it's her backlist and was orginally published by St. Martins. So oh well on my attempt to find a truly self-pubbed one, lol. But hey, the effort was there.) And I really enjoyed the story. It was creepy and had me leaving lights on when I was alone in the house at night. You can definitely tell that the author is a screenwriter because I could easily picture this story like it was playing on a screen. Someone on Goodreads described it as Scream meets The Exorcist. I think that's a pretty good description, though there was no humor like in Scream. Anyway, I enjoyed it and if you have Amazon Prime, it's free in the lending library.

Here's the blurb:

Baird College's Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of the last home-bound students heading off for Thanksgiving break, and Robin Stone swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. Or perhaps it's only gathering itself for the coming weekend.

As a massive storm dumps rain on the isolated campus, four other lonely students reveal themselves: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulative tease; Cain, a brooding musician; and finally Martin, a scholarly eccentric. Each has forsaken a long weekend at home for their own secret reasons.

The five unlikely companions establish a tentative rapport, but they soon become aware of a sixth presence disturbing the ominous silence that pervades the building. Are they the victims of a simple college prank taken way too far, or is the unusual energy evidence of something genuine---and intent on using the five students for its own terrifying ends? It's only Thursday afternoon, and they have three long days and dark nights before the rest of the world returns to find out what's become of them. But for now it's just the darkness keeping company with five students nobody wants and no one will miss.


All right, that was my Made of Win weekend, how was yours? Anyone else see Snow White? Anybody have any good horror recommendations for me (prefer creepy/scary to all out gore)?


Made of Win Monday: Frozen Planet

Okay, so this probably comes as a huge shock to you all, but I'm a total dork. (I know, you're stunned, right? *snort*) And one of the things I can't resist is a fabulous documentary. Even if I don't *think* I'm interested in a topic, a great documentary can hook me every time. And right now Discovery is showing an amazing one on the Arctic and Antarctic called Frozen Planet. If you watched the Planet Earth series a few years ago, this is similar.

I watched the first installment last night and it was fascinating. Anytime I see something like this, I'm left in awe of how intricately put together our world is, how everything is connected. (*hums "The Circle of Life") There was even a caterpillar that literally freezes to death then comes back to life every Spring. Craziness.

But beyond the information, the stuff they've captured on camera is downright stunning. Look at this shot they got of a sea lion stalking some penguins. The view of the sea lion silhouette in the wave in the background is crazy. (You have to play the video to see the shot I'm referring to.)

I'm sure last night's episode will be replayed some time this week, so I highly suggest you check it out even if you think it's not something you'd be into. Who can resist learning about criminal penguins?

New episodes will air every Sunday night. Deets are here.

Did anyone else watch last night? Any other documentary nerds out there? :)

Boyfriend of the Week - Chris Pine

So yesterday I mentioned that I saw the movie This Means War and really enjoyed it because it made me laugh out loud. But what I didn't mention is that it also has two very delicious guys in it. Lucky, lucky Reese Witherspoon got to be in the middle, having the two fight over her. Of course, if she was in one of MY books, she could've just had both. :p

But anyway, I thought today I'd pick one of the members of the love triangle for Boyfriend of the Week. Hope you enjoy Mr. Chris Pine!



So what do you think? Any Chris Pine fans out there? Anyone else see the movie?

Made of Win Monday: Movies That TRULY Make You LOL

We throw around the slang "LOL" a lot these days. If we were using it true to form, half the world would be obnoxiously laughing at any given moment. But, of course, usually when we use it, we're exaggerating. It just means we found something funny, maybe it made us smile. Most of us aren't truly laughing out loud eighty times a day. They may lock us up if that were the case.

So it's always a treat when something really brings forth a good old-fashioned honest laugh. If you laugh so hard, you cry--even better. And one of the best places to get those kinds of real laughs is by going to the movies. Unfortunately, movies can be hit or miss, so finding one that really brings on the funny is always made of win.

This weekend hubs and I saw This Means War and, though I had to suspend disbelief dramatically for some parts, I really ended up enjoying the movie. AND I LOLed more than once. I actually had to use a napkin to blot my eyes because I started to tear up. And it reminded me how long it had been since I'd really laughed in a movie.

So when you find those movies, appreciate them. They're sometimes hard to come by.  Here are some other movies I can remember that made me laugh hard in the theatre.

Nine Months - The first time I saw this, the trip to the hospital and the birth scene sent me into one of those laughing fits where I started to gasp for breath.


40 Year Old Virgin - I still want to yell out "Kelly Clarkson!" at random times because of this movie.


Wayne's World - A classic. I mean, if you didn't laugh the first time you saw the Bohemian Rhapsody scene, you might be dead inside. : )


Bridesmaids - The scene in the bridal shop...come on. That's just pure comic genius there.

The Hangover - Too many scenes to pick just one.

Sixteen Candles - Admittedly, I didn't see this one in the theatre, but it never fails to make me laugh.

So I'm interested to hear, what movies have made you really, truly laugh? Which old ones do you go to when you need a pick-me-up?