Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Mid week...woo hoo!

Highlight of the day – Marlow’s Curse – sequel to Shades of Gray passed FLEs (final line edits) without tears. Many thanks to my editor banging me and it into shape - and I got steel capped boots in my job today for free. They are amazingly comfortable and they can inflict damage. Can life get any better? Okay, yes, it could…but go with me on this.

Quote of the day – from older, cranky man when he tried to cut in front of younger, cranky Amarinda

Older man: Well excuse me, missy. I see being born in the last century means nothing to the young ones.

Amarinda: Honey, the vast majority of us are born in the last century and manners are just as important now as they were in the last century and pushing in is never going to be acceptable whatever you age - so get over it and yourself.

When my brothers and I were kids, Mum used to pack us off to the movies to get us out of her hair for several hours – and it was several hours because in the 70’s the flicks were a cheap outing and one that could be squeezed into a tight family budget. At the Coronet Theatre in Orange (town in New South Wales) there were usually 2-3 movies on at the same time. We would have our saved up pocket money – 20 cents a week – remember those days and we had to work for it – and buy Wagon Wheels (chocolate biscuit and marshmallow) and sherbet bombs (liquorice and sherbet) – Aussies will know ‘em. Then we would settle down and watch some old black and white films. We saw “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the Rescue" seventeen times. Truly. It was the Coronet’s first feature film. It probably still is. It featured the Three Stooges in it and there was an ice skating scene. No, it
didn’t make sense to me then at 8 and it doesn’t now at 44. And if Mum had of know the Three Stooges were in it, we would never have got to watch it once as she believed they were violent and my older brother was one of those mongrel kids that like to punch.

Anyway, what the hell am I on about? Ms Dakota Rebel mentioned on yesterday’s blog that she loved Clark Gable movies. The tie in? Old movies. I love Gable movies as well, especially It Happened One Night and of course Gone with the Wind ( I nearly know all the lines off by heart - yes, tragic.) They seem to make some real men in those days. I’m not saying that men aren’t like that now but there’s something special about the likes Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Peter O’Toole. They were dashing and dare I say dapper. When was the last time you heard dapper? Have you seen Laurence Olivier in Pride and Prejudice with Greer Garson? No? Do it. It’s wonderful as is the quirky The Reluctant Widow (Georgette Heyer novel) that
was shot in the 50’s but it is as fresh today. An acquaintance of mine thinks old movies should remain old and why would someone living in this decade be interested in them? Because they are history. They reflect the times they were filmed in. They are also run the same gamut of emotions from love to despair to adventure as today's movies.

I love contemporary movies as well but I rarely go and see a movie because it’s been hyped up. Don’t you find those disappointing when the hype falls flat and you walk out thinking – huh? So, what do you look for in a movie? I want to believe in the romance, the danger or the adventure. Oh duh – really, you say? Yes, because how many times has the advertising been shoved down your throat telling you it’s fantastic and it’s not? It’s like books. Yes, I have had some really great reviews – I have another one below – and I appreciate them greatly and they are important

to a writer because reviewers have the experience to know what is hot in the market. Alternatively, if I get a terrible review that’s okay too. Am I mad? Generally yes – specifically in this case I would prefer an honest opinion than a cookie cutter one. I would rather know where I went wrong than keep repeating it. So reviews are good. But like any reader I want to make up my own mind. The review piques my interest but I want to decide if it’s really hot or sexy or funny or crap. Alternatively, when I get a fan letter in my email I know I have done the right thing. It means that for a couple of hours someone has been able to zone out and not think about whatever is going in their lives. We all need that and movies do that as well. So, those of you who have never seen an old movie, may I suggest you take some time out and have a look.
Shades of Gray review

Jones’ style of writing is very quirky and different—her plot is intrinsically exhilarating, and she hits the ground running, attacking the readers with a wonderful sense of speed to make the pages fly. Temperance Larkin is eccentric but relatable, a bold woman who matches fantastically with the vampire Asher Marriott. It is quite heart wrenching when peeking into Asher’s past, to imagine his battles and the strength it must take to emerge from the other side a changed man. As such, Temperance’s humorous attitude towards life is a nice complement to the darker aspects of the story. Though their relation is a bit of race, Asher and Temperance is too convincing in their compatibility for them to not be a matched pair.

Asher’s quest for vengeance is a very engaging, especially because the story easily becomes personal. The secondary characters dance nicely in the background, adding more intrigue to an already simmering story—each individual radiates with personality and spice, with a balanced mix between the suspense of the chase and the development of passion. This is one of the rare times that the existence of the villain is perfectly integrated into the plotline, such that it is a fluid read (and when the destruction comes, it is wonderfully cathartic). The dialogue itself is sharp and moves the plot along entertainingly. Simply, everything comes together to weave a very unusual and refreshing tale; it will be an electrifying wait until the next installment, Marlow’s Curse.

Remember to check out Anny’s pondering on and Kelly’s wonderings on
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


Kelly Kirch said...

I'm with your friend on this one. There are very few movies over 30 years old I will see. Gone with the Wind is an exception as is Sound of Music but for the most part ICK. However, if strapped, I would take an oldie over ANY MOVIE produced in the 70s because they suck. They are slow, boring, dragging on experiences I refuse to participate in. And yes, I watched many in order to come to this conclusion. Won't do it again.

Anny Cook said...

Wow, what a great review! Excellent!

Old movies... John Waynes, especially the funny ones, James Garner (support your local sheriff), the early Disneys (parent trap and the others from that era), any cary grant movie... yeah, I would rather watch any of them that the stuff nowdays.

Mona Risk said...

At fifteen I was in love with both Gregory Peck and Stewart Granger.

Read your review, AJ. Wonderful. Shades of Grey is going on my TBR list. Amazing, for someone who never read erotica books before, it's all I read these days. I call it reserach. My love scenes ought to improve tremendously.

Bronwyn's Blog said...

Awesome review! I betting you absolutely rock the steel toed boots!

Molly Daniels said...

Hahahaha...I'm with you, Mona! Since I met this bunch of authors, I've read more erotic romances than I ever believed possible, and my love scenes are kicking into high gear!

Great review,'re on a roll!

Anonymous said...

I can't say I'm one to watch the old movies, however, saying that I absolutely love The King and I. I guess you'd call that more a musical but hell, I love it. I also got the one with Jodi Foster in it, it's good but no-where near as entertaining as the original.

Loved Yule Brenner in it and I always loved the 'Shall We Dance' scene. They sure knew how to do Romance in those days. Hmm .. maybe I should watch a few more.

barbara huffert said...

Mm, Cary Grant movies, yeah.

Sandra Cox said...

I love the old movies too. There are so many classics about strong men and women who believed right was right and wrong was wrong. And love was special:)

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats on a great review. You're the bomb:)

Jacquéline_Roth said...

I agree with several comments. I love old movies. People who don't watch them, I think, miss a great deal of enjoyment.

I loved the "original" King and I, better known as Anna and the King of Siam. Rex Harrison as the King was wonderful.

And Cary Grant...that was a man.

Ashley Ladd said...

Movies sure aren't cheap anymore. I remember thinking in 1980 when I was first married, that movie prices had become outrageous when we were charged $5.00 each for evening movie tickets. It was in California which was a lot more expensive than Omaha where we lived. We were visiting California. Now, $5.00 is cheaper than the matinée prices.