Posts Tagged With: anthology

My Favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies

a winter holiday 2017-001Anyone that’s been following my blog lately knows I had a codename for ROCKING CHRISTMAS WISHES while it was in progress.  (The codename thing standard practice for me, for various reasons.)  In this case, the codename was HALLMARK.  What did that mean?  Well it referenced not only my addiction, but also my inspiration while writing.  That would be those holiday movies Hallmark Channel airs (on both channels… or is it three now?  I don’t get Hallmark Drama, sadly so I don’t know).

#1- The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Can I start by admitting I love Henry Winkler?  That right there made this movie a must watch for me when I first ran across it.  But as I watched the story unfold, it was just so fun.  One problem after another presents itself.  And yes, they fall in love too fast.  Yes, they solve everything nicely, quickly, and neatly.  But, there’s no unnecessary drama and no characters that are the ones making themselves miserable.  There are so many warm fuzzies and funny moments.  It has so many plot elements we see in the holiday movies all rolled up into one, in a super enjoyable package.  This one is on my DVR for repeated viewing.

So what’s this one about?  A single mom is stressed out and wants Christmas over.  On the bright side, her favorite uncle is coming to spend it with her, her adorable son, and her super stuffy boyfriend.  On his way to her, the uncle meets a world traveler that ends up stranded as snow cancels his connecting flight.

#2- Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle
I love my holiday magic and stranger in town changes everything stories.  And I know people say that sequels are never as good as originals, but this one (and the second in the Brendan Fraser THE MUMMY series) beats the original!  How many are in this series?  Depends.  This is the second one with Doris Roberts as the star.  But there is a third movie with Robert Morrow, where he’s “Mr. Miracle.”

The low down on this movie is simple.  He’s trying to have a real Christmas while his father/boss/owner of the department store is trying to avoid it at all costs.  She’s looking after her enlisted brother’s son (because he’s off fighting in the war) and trying to have a career.  Mrs. Miracle shows up and mixes them all together for a happy ending, eventually.

#3- A Princess for Christmas
I wanted to put Christmas in Connecticut on the list here, but it seems Hallmark has stopped showing the Barbara Stanwick classic.  So I picked the movie that is terrible (scripting is stilted and sudden jumps in character development), but somehow it worms its sappy, sweet way into your heart.  Unless I watch this, it isn’t Hallmark Christmas movie season.  Plus, the actress of Lena Luthor of Supergirl is the main character!

The plot is simple.  The Jules takes her niece and nephew, who are under her care because her sister and brother-in-law died, to her brother-in-law’s family’s castle.  Her brother-in-law had been cut off for marrying a commoner and, now that he and his wife are dead, his father wants to connect with the grandkids.  Dreary castle gets new life and holiday spirit from the Americans!

Honorable Mention: Help for the Holidays
To be honest, this isn’t one of my favorites.  But I felt it bared mentioning because the plot is definitely the closest to my story ROCKING CHRISTMAS WISHES.  This movie stars Summer Glau (I know her from being in that too-soon-canceled, awesome sci-fi show FIREFLY).  She’s an elf sent to help a family find their Christmas spirit once more.

I do have other favorites from other channels and there are also my DVD standbys too.  However, if I started listing those, we’d be here all day!

So, please tell me.  What’s your favorite holiday movie?
What’s your favorite Hallmark holiday movie?
What’s your favorite holiday story?

Interested in WINTER ANTHOLOGY 2017?
Print $18.99 * Ebook $4.99
Please Note:
“Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.

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Categories: Inspiration, Release | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Rocking Christmas Wishes” Soundtrack

  When I chose to write a story based on a rock band I decided there had to be some music involved!  Here are the real songs, in the order they appear in and why I picked them.

Track 1- Ozzy Osbourne “Crazy Train”

Ok, I know this isn’t very Christmas like.  But this is the first song officially played in the story.  I chose it after doing some research and finding out this is a hard song to play and something that would be impressive.

Track 2- Trans-Siberian Orchestra “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo”

When I think of rock and roll Christmas music, this is the gold standard for me.  Man, to this day I remember holiday shopping at the mall and passing by the Warner Brothers Store and this playing on the multi-monitor display in the center of the store.  Heck, I have the DVD and the CD, so I kind of couldn’t avoid putting it in here.  

Track 3- Radiohead “Creep”

Okay, not so Christmasy once again.  This time, I wanted a song that could explain La’s and Kris’ relationship. While often categorized as a song about stalking, I felt it reflected his “specialness” (being Santa) in contrast to her generally feeling like an outsider.  

Track 4- “Silent Night”

She plays this song twice in the story.  The first time is by herself after everything has gone wrong.  The second time, isn’t as sad (not spoilering).  I just wanted a traditional holiday staple, which was slow to reflect these moments where things got quiet.

So there you have it!  The four songs of “Rocking Christmas Wishes,” one of the stories is A Winter Holiday 2017.

a winter holiday 2017-001

Print $18.99
Ebook $4.99

Which was your favorite song on my list?
What’s your favorite Christmas carol?
How about favorite rock song?

***Please Note: That “Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.***

Categories: Inspiration, Release | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

New Release: WINTER ANTHOLOGY 2017

a winter holiday 2017-001.jpgText messages send Halia on a quest.

Can he capture wondrous enchantment?

An unusual stranger captivates Gina’s heart.

Time travel via Victorian mistletoe.

Will Sara Anne find a daddy by Christmas?

A rip-roaring ride through a Hawaiian Christmas.

Never Was Mrs. Claus Rocks!

What happened on your best New Year’s Eve?

Follow your heart, trust your instincts.

How does Emlyn Goode celebrate Christmas? Food, friends… and murder.

The incredible talents of Eddie Edwards, Leigh Podgorski, E.B. Sullivan, Debbie De Louise, Jeannie Sharpe, Justin Herzog, Gloria Weber, A.F. Weeks, A.A. Schenna, and Susan Lynn Solomon combine in this holiday anthology. Be prepared to experience the winter holidays as you never have before, with tales that will make you laugh, cry, and remember what the spirit of these holidays is all about.

Print $18.99
Ebook $4.99

***Please Note: That “Rocking Christmas Wishes” will be released as a stand-alone ebook at a later date, for less than the above.  If you want to buy a copy to just support my writing, that might be the one you should wait for.***

Categories: Look, Reading, Release, Yay! | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Went Wrong?: 15 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Tales

Today I’m super excited to share with you not only the details of this awesome anthology, but some excerpts!  I hope you end up as excited about WHAT WENT WRONG? as I am. 

We've all had that day...(1).jpg

A Caring Company
By Matthew Harrison

The two HR ladies slowly backed away. Danny, still ‘reading’, kept one eye on them all the time. What did Sandra have in that handbag? “Platform infrastructure obsolescence…” Eventually, the HR ladies disappeared. Danny put down his ‘report,’ and went to the corner to check that they had gone.

On his return, he found Vicky collapsed in her seat, breathing in great gasps. Danny stood awkwardly, wondering what to do. Then Angelina, from a neighboring department, came over and comforted Vicky.

When she had recovered somewhat, Vicky looked up at Danny gratefully. “Thank you so much!” she whispered. “You faced them down.” Angelina glanced at him admiringly, and then returned to her cubicle.

“We should stick together, they won’t dare take us on then,” Danny whispered to Vicky urgently. “Here, take this.” And he handed her his own sheath knife which he had smuggled in. He would have to get another, but they surely wouldn’t come for him that day.

Vicky took the weapon in her small hand. “I’m not sure, I—”

“Just take it,” Danny insisted. “You just have to show it; that will already put them off.”

Vicky nodded, and put the weapon in her handbag. Danny made her promise to call him at once if she saw anything threatening, and then made to go. Glancing back, he saw how frail she looked. He was going to have to find stronger allies to have any chance of surviving in Prospect.

This conviction strengthened as he rounded the corner and found the large HR gentleman standing over his own cubicle.

2008
By Holly Riordan

“I want to test it first, to see if it’s safe,” my aunt said, unfolding the place mats and flipping through them. “Which one wouldn’t you want?”

“We never really did much for Easter. Try using that one.”

“Sounds good to me.” She plucked it from the pile and a smiling bunny face stared up at us. Its fur and little pink nose filled the entire mat, except for a black box in the lower left-hand corner, which held a signature line.

I nudged the knife with my knuckles, hoping she’d pick it up and slice without wasting precious minutes trying to prepare herself for the pain.

That’s exactly what she did. She swept the knife across her skin, like she’d done it hundreds of times before. Like she was as used to seeing blood as the man in the booth.   

“I guess this is my temporary goodbye,” she said as she dipped a pinky into the blood and wrote out the year she wanted. She chose 2008, the same year I was planning on picking. The year before it had happened.

As soon as she finished drawing out the last number, her hands fell to her side. Her eyes rolled up. Her back arched. Then her body froze. I would’ve called an ambulance if I’d had a more innocent childhood, but I’d seen death before. This wasn’t it.

This was magic.

Balancing Act
By N.O.A. Rawle

“Gentlemen! Just starting out on the rocky road to marriage? Want the kinks in your future smoothed out before you start?” the spindly gentleman tugged on his fine moustache for dramatic effect, “Ladies! Want to know that you and your partner will share equal footing in the house? Or know that your spouse will pull his weight?” he allowed himself a smile, but not long enough to arouse suspicion, “We all know that balance is the key to a good relationship but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it… Or is there?”

“My secret is right here!” He gesticulated to the large oblong box draped in purple silk. “It’s simple! Here, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the key to your Happy Ever After! Here, is what no matchmaker or priest can guarantee! But do you dare to try it?”

The crowd was now so silent that his patent leather boots could be heard as he clicked back across the wooden platform.

“I speak now only to the brave among you. Those of a sound heart! Let me introduce you to the Equilibrator! Modern science, my friends, mixed with a just the right sprinkling of magic of course, has the answer! But are you sure you want what I have to offer?”

The audience nodded, some already murmuring consent.

“The Equilibrator will iron out all your differences before you even know what they might be! Lifelong attraction assured! No arguments! No Discussions! No risk! And I mean no risk, because if you are not satisfied that balance has been brought to your relationship after the first week, I personally, will refund every last penny of your hard earned cash! Yes, that’s right, you heard me correctly! If you can show me that your circumstances are not balanced, I will give you your money back.”

Descends Olympus
T.R. North

Kruse threw open the glass doors with a theatrical flourish. “Look upon my works, ye mighty!”

That part wasn’t an act. I was willing to entertain the possibility of a Guild scientist who didn’t have a few screws loose, but I’d certainly never met one. The walls were lined with wicked-looking weapons, portable orbs and platforms of dubious purpose, and stacks of canisters with brightly-colored biohazard symbols all over them. Kruse handed me what looked like a bottle of perfume from a particularly well-organized section of the counter. I took it gingerly and waited for him to explain before I did anything with it. There was still a stain on the ceiling from some apprentice shaking a bottle of what had turned out to be a new explosive.

“I’m not going to get Victoria-Charlied, am I?” I asked.

“No, may she rest in pieces. I’ve been more careful with labels since then,” Kruse said quickly. “Perfectly harmless, that one. It’s a lovely little cocktail for my new conflict-avoidance line.”

I turned the bottle over in my hands and watched the oily, pink-tinged liquid shift around the dip tube. It was perfectly emulsified, glittered in the overhead fluorescents, and looked more like a body spray marketed at tween girls than a diabolical superweapon.

“I’m calling it Love Potion Number Ten,” he continued. “One spritz and the opposite sex will be putty in your hands! Security guards will hold open doors for you as you make off with everything in the store. Policemen will help you load stolen merchandise into the back of your truck. Armored car drivers will hand over the keys and security codes with a smile.”

Lab Rat
By Jonathan Shipley

Clare reached for her phone, pausing as she felt the sudden increase of increase of air pressure around her.  “No, don’t,” she called, but already she saw the blue glow of the implant in Feodor’s temple.  And McHenry was gone.  Disappeared into thin air.

“Your heart,” she reminded Feodor as the blue faded.  “You know it strains your heart every time you do that.”  But he seemed all right for the moment — no shortness of breath or discoloration of the lips.  She picked up the phone and dialed.  “Where did you send him anyway?”

Feodor started to shrug, then winced at the pain in his arm.  “About a half-mile down the beach,” he rasped.  “He can be thankful that’s the limit of my range.”

Clare nodded absently and finished the call.  A half-mile hike would be nothing to McHenry once he got over the shock of the jump.  As angry as Feodor was, it could have been a lot worse.  A half-mile out to sea, for instance.  Or straight up.

They had a word for it–translocation–because teleportation sounded too sci-fi.  Feodor’s newly developing talent for relocating objects, his heart flutters–both directly connected to his ground-breaking research into trans-dimensional portals.  He should never have used himself as a test subject for the control implant of the machine in the attic.  Now it was to the point where this new translocation talent might be the death of him.

Literally.

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Categories: Look, May 2016 | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

A New Release From Cassie Donoghue and Verity James

BrotherlyLove-Small.jpgBrotherly Love: Stepbrother Romance
By: Cassie Donoghue and Verity James

Two tales of undeniable attraction and forbidden love…

In Cassie Donoghue’s BURNING DESIRE, a family tragedy brings Lyndsie and and her stepbrother, Kyle, back into each other’s lives. Will the untameable passion between them be enough to overcome the personal challenges standing in the way of their mutual happiness?

All Neka has wanted for years was to be out of the shadow of her perfect stepbrother, Josh. Two months before her dream becomes a reality, Josh seems determined to prove that he’s not the bad guy she’s always thought him to be in Verity James’s UNDER MY SKIN.

More information/buy links
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B8G8PJW
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/611239
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28932725-brotherly-love

Author site/blog linkhttp://www.dirtydameserotica.com/

 

Categories: 2016 6a, Look, Yay! | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment