Tuesday, December 8, 2020

What If The School Janitor Was The Hero?

Did I get your attention with the headline? Bet you thought the janitor was a dude. Nah. DD Chance kicks off her fast-paced paranormal HFN romance series with a gal who doesn't take herself too seriously. While she doesn't feel the need to settle down Right Now, she isn't averse to sampling the guys-of-the-moment either. 

If you're up for a little paranormal mind-candy, give D.D. Chance's Tywst Academy series a try.

Book 1 of the Twyst Academy

Life at the academy just got… messy.

I’ve always dreamed of getting into a top college, but after a stint in juvie, my school prospects went sideways fast. Now I work at a magic academy…as a janitor. Ironic, right?

Okay, so maybe I get a kick out of secretly solving the arcane equations the professors leave on the board for the rich, entitled student wizards. I’m broke, not stupid.

Except then I get caught by the hottest mage on campus…who ropes me into helping him and his three equally gorgeous friends win a decidedly screwed-up magic competition.

Easy enough, I think—until I start setting things on fire and getting chased by smoke-faced monsters and fighting side by side with four of the sexiest, most powerful wizards ever…and find myself—just maybe—falling in love…

With all of them.


Note: This is a slow burn, New Adult paranormal academy romance, and book 1 of 4 in the completed Twyst Academy series.

BUY IT NOW:  Amazon

Monday, December 7, 2020

Christopher Golden's RED HANDS

 So this week we're supposed to promote ourselves or someone else, and I choose to promote Christopher Golden's latest, RED HANDS. This is the third in the Ben Walker series of books, but that doesn't matter. Each book is a standalone. The other books include ARARAT and THE PANDORA ROOM and all three are well worth the read!

You'll find the link in the name. 

HOWEVER, just in case you are undecided, you can also stop by Facebook tomorrow night and join Chris and Alma Katsu for a cyber-lunch party!

If you're looking for a very solid action adventure with a twist of the supernatural (and who isn't?) you should give RED HANDS a try, for yourself or as a Christmas/holiday gift!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Virtual Fantasy Romance Panel!

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is to promote our stuff or someone else's. I can bop two birdies gently on the head (because I'm not a vicious murderer of wildlife) and share this super fun event! 

Saturday, December 12th @ 2pm EST
Are you a Fantasy or Sci Fi Romance Fan? Do we have the program for you! We welcome authors Jennifer EstepAmanda BouchetGrace Draven, and Jeffe Kennedy to Cary Library to talk all about their books, characters, world building, and friendship. They published an anthology together, Seasons of Sorcery, and it makes us wonder how an anthology comes into being. Hmmmm. 

Visit any of the author's websites for more information on their books, appearances, and FAQs!
Virtual Book Sale and Signing
Signed (personalization is not possible as all books - while supplies last - will have bookplates) books will be provided by Bank Square Books. When you are ready for checkout, write in the comment section that you would like the book(s) signed. 
Buy as many books as you want - even if you don't make it to the event!
Please register for this meeting and you will receive the program link in the confirmation and reminder notices - please check your spam folder for the emails and scroll to the bottom for the link. This program will be recorded with permission and we will upload it to our YouTube channel. We will also be livestreaming on FB! 

Contact us at caryprograms@minlib.net with any questions.   

Sponsored by the Cary Library Foundation.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Movies I Watch at This Time of the Year


Our topic this week is “holiday adjacent” movies, which I take to mean what movies do I associate with this time of the year.

In our house we always watched “Holiday Inn” with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire on Thanksgiving Day, after the dinner and the dish washing. We loved the singing and the dancing. Of course it’s a 1942 movie so certain portions of the movie are wildly inappropriate nowadays, culturally speaking and painful. We skip those. Some lovely Irving Berlin tunes though…I’m not a huge fan of the 1950’s remake “White Christmas.” I’m not a Danny Kaye fan for one thing and the various subplots don’t do much for me. I do tear up though – SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER -  when all the former soldiers come marching in to save the old general’s inn. I recently streamed the 2017 Broadway production of “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” and enjoyed that quite a bit although the plot was so different and I didn’t care for the heroine. She seems a lot less plucky than our gal of 1942.

For some reason the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies always say “Christmas” to me. Probably because they came out at that time of the year? Or maybe because there’s all that snow in “Fellowship”? Or because Rivendell seems to be in permanent autumnal state with all those falling leaves? At any rate, I usually watch all three movies at least once during the holiday time frame. As an aside, I will always believe the scene with Aragorn and Arwen on that bridge is the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen.

I adore “Scrooged”. OMG that’s a wonderful movie. Bill Murray at his finest and the various ghosts are terrific.

“ALL I Want for Christmas” from 1991 is another favorite in our family. Thora Burch, Harley Jane Kozak, Lauren Bacall (who sings!) and Leslie Nielsen as Santa Claus…

I like to watch the Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular dvd at least once during this aeason. Their precision is astonishing…

My late husband and I enjoyed “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” It was quite funny, over the top somewhat of course! But overall enjoyable….

And of course there’s the original “Miracle on 34th Street,” from 1947 with Maureen O’Hara, a very young Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn as (is he? Is he not?) Santa. SPOILER: expect magic. Of course!

I have to say last year’s “Christmas Chronicles” with Kurt Russell playing Santa as he’s never been portrayed before was GREAT. I was kind of bored by most of the movie frankly but not when he was on the screen and having Goldie Hawn in a surprise appearance as Mrs. Claus was the perfect touch. I haven’t watched the sequel as yet this year but I plan to.

When my daughters were little we used to watch the 1964 version of Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer, with Burl Ives singing. I don’t think it’s aged very well, in concept or in visuals but every now and then I’ll watch a few minutes of it for old times sake.

So there’s my list and I’ve probably forgotten something completely. Wishing you a very peaceful and safe holiday season!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Variation on a Holiday Theme

Movies. For the longest time, I took great joy in slipping away to the theater to watch whatever happened to be screening. We lived on military bases, which were only so big. My sister and I learned early the math of leaving the house and walking to the single screen theater for a matinee. Most of the movies are dusty and forgotten, now. Mostly because they deserved to be. A few still gleam in imagination. Unfortunately, all of this was before the migraine disorder dissected my love affair with the thrill of a darkened movie theater. This is the long way of telling you I don't have any holiday-ish movies for you. Screens are problematic. Whether it's the flicker or refresh rates of modern panel TVs, we'll never know. 

TV and movies went away shortly after I graduated from college. I do still go to movie theaters - well. I *did* before all of this plague nonsense. But I only go after someone I trust rates a movie good enough for a migraine. Far too few movies rise to that level. The English Patient did. Pirates of the Caribbean, too. Iron Man as well. Oh. And Wonder Woman, though I had a few plot issues with it and that is another rant entirely. What it means is that you can plainly see I'm not at all movie-literate at this point.

I realize no one asked, but it's not the holidays until Buddy Hackett freezes solid beneath the streets of New York City and has Bill Murray yelling at his corpse. Scrooged. It's Scrooged I love.

So if you want to talk about holiday adjacent music, instead, I might have some of that, but that's because I'm pagan and my definition of holiday-ish tunes may be unacceptably odd to anyone else. Naturally, Loreena McKennitt tops the list. She has two holiday themed albums, but one of them is specifically Christmas and the other is more solstice oriented and it is that one that has my affection. Nox Arcana has a creeptastic holiday-inspired album. It's not going to be chirpy, whistle-tone singers belting tunes, that's for certain. There's something about the end of the year that seems to inspire desperation in far too many people. It's as if the arbitrary time marker of 'end of the year' turns deadlines everyone had 12 months to accomplish into monsters hungry for flesh and blood. Yes. I'm thinking of my day job. And maybe I'm busy tech writing what ought to have been tech written six months ago, but who's counting? Decorating and cooking - while fun - can pile stress even higher. So I look for music that sets me to dreaming of sparkling snow drifting through the evergreens, and the stag spirits breathing steam into the frigid night. (Lest you think I miss cold northern winters, I don't. I miss the *idea* of them, but actual snow? No. Thank you. I'll deck the halls with tropical plants and a couple of reptiles, thanks. I like not having to wear socks.)

Holidays are about dreams and memories and traditions. Movies can't be a big part of my life anymore. So I rely on music to tell me the stories I miss out on otherwise.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Holiday Season Movie Viewing


DVD of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy on the cover—sitting on dark wood table top with an old DVD remote beside it.

It's pretty convenient that my writing get-away spot this week has not one...but TWO copies of Planes, Trains and Automobiles! And I'm talking the classic Steve Martin and John Candy one.

It must be serendipity....which is my ultimate top pick for a holiday movie and is the first destination I'll visit if I ever get to New York, but since Jim already listed Serendipity—I'll move on. 

There's also The Long Kiss Goodnight...again, that gem was picked by Jeffe on Sunday. The knife throwing is so fun!! 

You've Got Mail is another top contender. Meg Ryan's Shop Around the Corner is incredibly adorable and looks great decorated for Christmas. Shoot! Jeffe listed that one too!

Ooo! I've got a new one to watch! KAK suggested I Am Dragon and it looks so perfect for me! Fantasy romance...and there's a dragon. Yep, as soon as I get home, handsome, this is coming on.

I suppose that's already five flicks. As far as Christmas-movies go, my list is longer than Kris Kringle's. Clearly, there's work to be done on the Christmas-adjacent ones. So if you have any to suggest, let me know!  

I hope you all have a movie-filled ramp-up to the holiday season! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Christmas Movies That Aren't Necessarily

This week at SFF Seven, we're listing off our favorite movies that aren't about Christmas but happen to feature a midwinter setting or themes or something related. Think Die Hard, right. And some folks have already mentioned a couple that pop up for me right away: Lethal Weapon and Iron Man 3. To all these I will add:

3. Gremlins. Hey, it's about finding that perfect gift and properly evokes all the anxiety of that fun process.

2. Trading Places. It's winter, the orange crop might have been frozen, and rich people are villains. Sounds like a Christmas to movie to me.

and most of all...

1. Edward Scissorhands. The ice sculpture scene where Edward makes snow. Oh, my heart! 

In related/adjacent news--you see what I did there?--we had our first almost-winter freeze last night, and I'm feeling particularly winter-wonderlandy and so have purchased a heated blanket and some German cherry wine-ish stuff that you're supposed to serve hot. Cheers to all, and stay cozy and warm!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Favorite Holiday-Adjacent Movie: I am Dragon

 Christmas (or similar holiday) adjacent movie that I love?

I Am Dragon

It's a charming YA Beauty and the Beast-ish Russian flick that has amazing costumes. It's not a blood, guts, and gore movie. Sure, there are villainous moments, but we're talking villain-lite. The scariest parts are in the trailer, so safe to use that as a guide for whether it's suitable for your kidlets.