Welcome to my Blogger page, thank you for visiting. This is where I will share my reviews of books, movies and other things I enjoy. If you would like to see my ramblings, fanfiction and other general posts, please visit my Livejournal: beren_writes. Visit my pages to learn about me and my books.
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Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Fandom Writing Meme

This is a fandom writing meme I saw on an LJ friend's blog and so decided to have a go at it myself. If you've read my bio you know I am a big advocate of fanfic and fandom so this sounded like fun :). If you would like to see my fanfic it is all here: AO3 and here of my old archive.
  1. How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for?
    I was writing fanfic before I knew what fanfic was. I think my first real fanfic was for V the series although I had written lots in my head before, that was what I first wrote down. Before that it had mainly been hurt/comfort ideas in my head. Online the first fandom I wrote for was Highlander. I discovered the mailing lists when I was doing my PhD at Uni and never looked back. In those days I was a het writer :).
  2. Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.
    Um ... this may take a while :)

    Before the Internet (i.e. the notebook era) not current
    V - 4/5 unfinished stories in notebooks - I occasionally think about writing something, but no, it's not an active fandom
    Star Trek: TNG - 1 epic and several small fics
    Starcrossed (James Spader) - one epic never finished
    The Lost Boys - 2 stories
    Babylon 5 - 1 in a notebook, 1 short online
    Fandoms written for Challenges with 1 story, not currentJayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Being Human (UK), Tremors: The Series, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012),  Scooby Doo, Blake's 7, Star Wars Original Trilogy, Bagpuss, Fright Night 1985), Morph (BBC Shorts), Masters of the Universe (1987)

    Fandoms with 1 longer story, not current
    Doctor Who, The Invisible Man (TV 2000), Torchwood, The Lair (TV),
    CI5: The New Professionals (although I do have lots of bits I always meant to write), Charmed (1), Buffy - many unfinished, 1 posted online (I had totally forgotten this existed until I looked), SG-1 - 1 long gen fic, Kindred: the Embraced - 1 crossover with Highlander, I do have a couple of others I occasionally poke at, but nothing close to being finished.
    Non-Current Fandoms
    Highlander - 6 het, 4 slash and I occasionally dip my toe back in
    Friends - 1 Highlander xover (het)
    Poltergeist: The Legacy - 1 long het fic, 2 slash fics
    Gackt (Musician)/Hyde (Musician) (18),
    Tokio Hotel (101)
    Supernatural (31) (all season 1)
    Merlin (TV) (15)
    Weiß Kreuz (7)
    Killerpilze (5)
    Figure Skating RPF (18)
    Speed Skating RPF (4)
    Panik (10)
    Primeval (8)
    Cinema Bizarre (8)
    Sherlock (TV) (4)
    Blood Ties (TV) (4)
    Star Trek: Alternate Original Series (Movies) (3)
    Avatar (2009) (3)
    Adam Lambert (Musician) (3)
    Virus Buster Serge (3)
    Blade (Movie Series) (2)
    Eurovision Song Contest RPF (2)
    Moon Child (2003) (2)
    Mutant X (1)

    Current Fandoms
    Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling (63) (I will never not be in HP fandom :)).
    Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter - Laurell K. Hamilton (1) - crossover with HP
    Marvel Cinematic Universe (11)
    Teen Wolf (TV) (11)
    X-Men: First Class (2011) (4)
    Welcome to the Punch (2013) (2)
    Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) (1)
  3. For each of the fandoms from question two, what were your favorite characters to write?
    I think I'll just go with a few of the fandoms ;)
    Harry Potter: Harry, Draco
    New Professional: Sam
    Highlander: Richie, Methos
    Poltergeist: The Legacy: Philip, Nick
    Tokio Hotel: Bill
    Figure Skating: Johnny Weir
    Marvel: Loki, Tony Stark
    Teen Wolf: Stiles, Derek
    X-men: Charles, Erik
    Welcome to the Punch: Max
  4. Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?
    I tend to have a 'muse' character which is why I write in a fandom full stop. Even when I have an OTP is it usually because one character is apart of it so them forcing their way into other fics doesn't usually come into it. They're mostly always there anyway. My muse character is the first one listed in each above.
  5. If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?
    Never happened
  6. When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?
    In fandom I tend to prefer writing male characters because I'm a slash writer and I like pairing the pretty boys. I don't have anything against female characters, but I admit I'm shallow, I usually writer the characters I fancy. I write more female characters in original fiction.
  7. Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?
    Not that I can think of off the top of my head, other than I swore I would never write Harry/Draco and then one day I read a fic and that was it, I was gone! :)
  8. Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.
    I don't often write OCs, but I have a few from my het days. My biggest, hugest Mary Sue is luckily in a notebook and will never see the light of day :). As for why I don't tend to write them these days, it's usually because I'm writing to pair off existing characters and simply don't need them. I tend to read and write in fandom for the existing characters, although I have read some very good OCs over the years.
  9. Pairings - For each of the fandoms from question two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?
    I'm going to pick the same fandoms I used for Q3 or we'll be here all day :)
    Harry Potter: Harry/Draco
    New Professional: Sam/Dean
    Highlander: Richie/Methos
    Poltergeist: The Legacy: Philip/Nick
    Tokio Hotel: Bill/Tom, Bill/Georg, Bill/Gustav
    Figure Skating: Johnny Weir/Evan Lysacek, Johnny Weir/Stephane Lambiel
    Marvel: Loki/Tony Stark, Loki/Clint, Loki/Thor
    Teen Wolf: Stiles/Derek
    X-men: Charles/Erik
    Welcome to the Punch: Max/Jacob
  10. Pairings - Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?
    I've written dark fic outside my favourite pairings and enjoyed it, especially in the Harry Potter fandom. I enjoyed pairing Harry with Lucius in Blood and Surrender, I also had fun with Harry and Snape a couple of times. I usually find that I write more outside my comfort zone for challenges.
  11. Genre - do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?
    Vampires - I love vampires and creature fic. It is my mission in life to try and write vampires into every fandom I play in if they don't already have them and sometimes changing them up even when they do :).
    Crossovers - I love it when two fictional universes are brought together, either in a merge or with one set of characters stepping into the other world.
  12. Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?
    No, I love crossovers, but don't tend to try fusion adaptions.
  13. Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?
    I prefer canon as a starting point, but some fanon is so good that it's possible to forget it's not canon :). Writing in a fandom usually gives me much more insight into the canon because I can't write it unless I've researched it, and sometimes that makes me think a lot more about the subtexts and things like that. I'd say it tends to deepen my experience of the source material rather than completely change it.
  14. Ratings - how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?
    I write lots of adult fic at the high end and usually, yes, it's a bit of a shock when the fic turns out to be G rated :). I tend to go with whatever feels right, however. I know some people complain about fics that have a pairing, but they never get it on, but sometimes that's what a fic needs. 
  15. Warnings - What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?
    I find it most important to warn for rape and non-con. I would also warn for character death, but since I hate it I don't write it :). I think the strangest thing I've warned for is plant sex ::g::.
  16. Summaries - Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?
    Summaries are so important and I love to see them on a fic, however, they are a complete nightmare to write. Having to write blurb for books over the last couple of years I have come to realise quite how bad some of my fandom fic summaries actually are :). I would say the way to write them is to note down all the points that are important, then weed out any that are too spoilery and try and make it make sense. In the past I have mostly just guessed when writing summaries.
  17. Titles - Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?
    Titles are a nightmare! They are really really hard to come up with. Occasionally they just happen, but usually I throw my hands in the air and just pick words. In very long chaptered fics I often choose chapter titles, which, ironically are actually easier to come up with. I think the main title is harder because it has to encompass the whole fic, hence titling shorter fic is easier than long fics.
  18. Where do you get the most inspiration for your fics (aka "bunnies") from?
    Random ideas that come to me lying in bed at night. Often as a way to torture my favourite character at least a little bit ;). I used to enjoy taking part in prompt grabs as well, but haven't had much time for those since I started writing professionally :(.
  19. When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start writing right away, or do you write down the idea for further use?
    I like to let ideas percolate and only the ones that stick end up being written down. Of course starting to write them doesn't guarantee anything and I have literally hundred of unfinished fics on my hard drive. Occasionally they have notes to tell me where I had intended to go with them, but I don't write in a linear fashion so sometimes I have just written a couple of scenes which were stuck in my head.
  20. Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?
    Occasionally, but not often. If someone has written something and resolved it then I don't feel the need to come up with something myself, so it tends to be the source that is missing something I want or is not finished that gives me bunnies.
  21. Sequels - Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?
    Yes, several times :). I love a good sequel, but a sequel is not an excuse not to finish the previous fic properly. Everything does not have to be resolved, but there has to be some form of conclusion or you're writing chapters, not sequels, IMHO.
  22. Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?
    I love fest and Big Bangs, I wish I had time to write in them these days. I think my favourite experience was with the vampirebigbang where I wrote Ice Skating RPF with vampires (After Night Comes Dawn) and I was paired with beadslut for the artwork. I had a blast writing the fic and the artwork is utterly amazing. I still have one of the images as my backdrop for my netbook. 
  23. When you post, where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?
    I post to LJ and DW as well as AO3 and I used to post to my own archive, but AO3 is so good I prefer to use that now.
  24. Betaing - How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?
    I use one beta, my sister, mostly. It's simply a matter of convenience - she is always there on the end of an email and she's very good at grammar and punctuation. She also isn't afraid to tell me the whole truth - if part of it is crap, she will let me know.
    I did have one beta once that apparently totally hated my story and seemed to want me to rewrite the whole thing, so that didn't work out well.
  25. Music - Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" to write your fic? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?
    I love using music to write; it is fabulous for distracting part of my brain and letting the words flow. I don't really have any particular playlists, but there are some I just can use sometimes because all I want to do is sing along :).
  26. What is the oddest (or funnest) thing you've had to research for a fic?
    I once had to go and look up a request for a fic fest because I had no idea what it was and it turned out to be a term for water sports I had never seen before :). Had to decline that part of the request, but managed to get the other parts in. Recently I was researching the effects of and how long date rape drugs remain in a person's system.
  27. Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?
    Computer, always the computer, I can't hand write fast enough for my brain. It drives me batty. My fav place to write is at my desk on my PC because it's the most comfortable.
  28. Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?
    See Q22 about art work and yes, I have written with someone else, namely my sister, but not in fandom :)
  29. What is your current project or projects?
    I have several fics in Teen Wolf, MCU and The Listener on the go, but I don't know when I will have time to finish them.
  30. Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link!
    I love Gold Tinted Spectacles (Harry/Draco) because it's the fic that really launched me into LJ fandom land. It has some issues in places, but it was my first big Harry Potter fic and it has a very special place in my heart.
    I also really love Black Magic by Moonlight, my HP/Anita Blake xover - I'm quite proud of the way I managed to marry the two universe.
    After Night Comes Dawn (Johnny/Evan/Stephane - figure skating RPF) is another of my favs - turning Johnny Weir into an almost vampire seemed so right :).
    The Loco of Loki - (Loki/Tony/Pepper) vampires and Loki - too much fun :)
    Destiny Sucks (Stiles/Derek - Teen Wolf) - I'm pleased with the mythos I came up with for this one.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Kitties, or rather now just one kitty

Amber is quietly ecstatic because she has the whole house back to herself. I say quietly because she is still making sure this isn't some trick.

Yesterday evening Fi went back to her original owners. Her son and her mother are there and so, hopefully, she will settle back in quickly. There Karen can keep her until she finds the perfect home for her and if she can't, well she can just stay, whereas we just couldn't keep going forever.

I had a bit of a cry last night when we left her there, but I know it will be best for her. She and Amber were never, ever going to get on.

It's really weird, last night I kept thinking I could hear her while laying in bed and I can't get used to the fact that kittygate is gone and I can just walk from one side of the house to the other.

It's going to be really strange not having Fi around, but I still have Amber. She might be confused by all the random petting as I feel the need to make sure she is still there, but I'm sure she'll adjust. ;)

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Film Review: About Time (Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams)

Title: About Time
Rating: 12A
Cast:
Domhnall Gleeson ... Tim
Rachel McAdams ... Mary
Bill Nighy ... Dad
Lydia Wilson ... Kit Kat
Lindsay Duncan ... Mum
Richard Cordery ... Uncle D
Summary: Tim has a great life and at 21 it takes something of an unusual turn when his dad reveals that all the men in the family can travel in time. Some have used it to become rich, but Tim just really wants a girlfriend.

This is one of those films that I saw advertised when it first came out in the cinema and I kind of wanted to see it, but never got around to it. I wish I had, because I finally saw it last night on Sky Movies and it is brilliant. It is so good that as soon as it was over, Rob and I looked at each other and I scampered to the PC to order the blu-ray.

If you love films like Four Weddings and Love Actually you will adore this movie. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me cry; it is simply wonderful.

Yes it has a sci-fi element; Tim and his Dad can travel in time, but it's all about the people. They can only go back into their own timeline so they can't right historical wrongs or anything like that, just fix little issues with their own lives.

I love this film because it has a happy family finding more happiness, even if there is some strife along the way and the bit that will make you ball your eyes out. All the characters are wonderful. They're not perfect and in some ways most of them are a little batty, but that's what makes the film so wonderful.

Domhnall Gleeson as Tim is brilliant. He knows himself and he's kind and funny and keeps putting his foot in it. Sometimes he goes back and changes it and sometimes he doesn't which makes the film unpredictable as well as fun. Bill Nighy as Tim's dad is awesome and the only other person in the know. They have the most wonderful father son relationship as they grow closer and closer.

Mary, Kit-kat, Mum and Uncle D are also superb as are all the supporting cast. There's not one character in this movie I wanted to remove and, trust me, that's saying something. There's usually at least one.

It has gentle British humour, romance, love, angst and the way the story limits the time travel is brilliant and perfect. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this film. Everyone should watch it.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Guest Post: Patricia Lynne - Snapshots Relaunch Blitz

Today I welcome Patricia Lynne to my blog for her Snapshots Relaunch Blitz.

 photo SnapshotsRelaunchBlitz.jpg

Welcome to the SNAPSHOTS relaunch blitz!


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Add to your Goodreads shelf
Buy on Amazon | Smashwords
It's said the eyes are the windows to the soul, but that's a lie. They are snapshots of a time yet to come–the future of the person to which they belong.

Cyclop Blaine stands out in a crowd with his pale skin and mismatched eyes, but it’s his ability to see the future that really sets him apart. The unusual gift makes him an invaluable asset to Tyler, his adoptive father and leader of the Victory Street Gang. It also means Cyclop must hide what he can do from others. Once, a man he knew only as Master controlled him, using him for experiments. Cyclop has no desire to return to that life.

But he may have no choice. A man claiming ownership over him haunts his dreams and waking moments, leaving him no choice but to go back to the past he thought he had escaped. Cyclop must face this man, along with his past, if he wants to reveal his own future.

About the Author

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Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. But some stories are meant to be told and this one chose her. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Follow Patricia on Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Author Blog

Giveaway

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wittegen Press 48hr Discount Blitz - looking for folks to spread the word, please

We at Wittegen Press are in the middle of a revamp of our website, and in order to launch our New Look, we're planning a discount event where we're reducing all the books in the Wittegen Press Library to 99c.

This blitz is taking place on 5th and 6th August 2014, and we're currently looking for folks to help with publicising it both before and after the event.

So, if you're willing, firstly THANK YOU :), and secondly, there are two ways to help out:

WAY #1 (before the blitz): If you're willing to spread the word before the event here's button code for sharing anywhere you fancy.

Please copy the code to add our button to your blog/website, or share it in a post

This is what the button will look like and how it will function.
Wittegen Press 48hr Discount Blitz 5th and 6th August 2014


WAY #2 (during the blitz): if you'd be extra fantastic and put out a publicity post for us on 5th, or 6th, then please fill in the form below the cut and we'll be in contact when all the material is finished.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Review: On Being Ghosts (The Anonymous Chronicles Book 1) by Matt Rood

Title: On Being Ghosts (The Anonymous Chronicles Book 1)
Author: Matt Rood
Links: Amazon UK | US
Summary from Amazon: Anon is a ghost who has been voted as the Residential Assistant living in a decaying mansion filled with ghosts. His job is to check up on all the inhabitants of the home, as well as to handle any haunting when the living show up. However when the darkness of what lingers in the basement starts to take shape, Anon must choose between taking himself or the other ghosts to salvation.

This book is golden. I could not put it down, in fact I just spent two hours reading it when I should have been doing other things. I started it this morning when I was exercising and managed to put it down then, but when I sat down to have my lunch I made the mistake of picking it up again. After that I had no chance.

Firstly the book could do with some editing. There are occasional typos, missed words or duplicated words - all the signs that it needed one more going over, but, frankly, I didn't care. The protagonist is so engaging and the plot so enthralling that I just kept reading and reading and reading.

So few books can grab me and refuse to let go. I am a very picky reader and this one entertained me completely. It's sometimes light-hearted, sometimes heart-warming and other times almost perfunctory and it's all captivating.

Most of the characters are ghosts and they're not really good guys or bad guys they just are and they mostly like it that way. The book is a journey for Anon, or RA as he is known in the mansion and we see him develop over the story. We take the journey with him and it is a wonderful ride.

Nothing is over explained. Some questions are asked that aren't quite answered even, but, that's the whole point. Anon doesn't have the whole picture so neither do we. It's a story about people who happen to be ghosts and everything that means. Their boundaries and limitations, their sorrows and their joys and, in places, it is amazingly exciting too.

This is a great book; a little rough around the edges in places, but still, a great book. I so, so, so want to read the sequel (since it's book 1, I assume there is going to be another one). Since it only just came out I assume I'm going to have to be patient for the next one.

Monday, 14 July 2014

EYM - oh those childhood school days :)

The Express Yourself Meme (EYM) is a weekly blog hop run by Jackie at Bouquet of Books and Dani at Entertaining Interests. Each month they post a Gadget with a question/task for each week in the month. Participants then answer the question in a post during the correct week.

There is a list of the participants at the bottom of this post.

This week's question/task:
What is your favourite grade school memory (I'm assuming this is the equiv of primary school in the UK)?

Hmm ... wow, that's a while ago. I think my favourite memory has to be when our teacher read us The Hobbit and how it inspired me to want to write. We used to have this paper with wide ruled lines and I filled pages and pages of it writing about fantasy characters. Can't for the life of me remember what I wrote now, but I remember enjoying it so much.

It was the first time I discovered the joy of writing and I have never looked back. I have also never lost my joy of the fantasy genre. My reading and writing loves have expanded, but never have I ever stopped loving dragons and dwarves and elves and sword and sorcery.

 What are your favourite memories of school? Did you enjoy it, or was it a chore?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

I am sad today ...

It looks as if we are going to have to re-home Afia.

We've been implementing the separation technique and everything had settled down, but Fi clearly doesn't like staying in the new half of the house and yesterday she escaped into the old part. The first thing she did was chase Amber and they had a huge fight. Neither of them was hurt, thank heavens, but Amber did refuse to come out from under the sofa for an hour.

They seem to simply be incompatible at a fundamental level :(.

I love Fi, she's a beautiful lovely cat, but Amber was here first and Fi keeps terrorising her.

Amber is not a boisterous cat, Fi is very boisterous and they just don't seem to speak the same language.

I wish there was another way, but I can't see it. I think the separation technique might work for cats that aren't so completely at opposite ends of the spectrum, but not for our two. I am very sad, but I don't think it's fair on either of them to keep this up. :(

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Y'know how sometimes ideas sit in the back of your mind and fester?

Well I've had that for a while now and I've finally done something about it.

One of the novels I have written (almost my favourite) is Advent, but it doesn't sell. This has been bothering me and I finally decided that there were at least two things I could change to help with that (I've already tried changing the blurb at least twice :)):

  • the title
  • the cover

There were also a few parts of the text that had been bothering me and so I have also re-edited the whole thing. One of my male characters is now female, which is the big change. I feel it works better with him becoming a her and I wanted more female characters in the book. I also added in a couple of small things that enrich the background as well as changing the odd paragraph here or there that I thought needed to be reworded. It's nothing huge, but now, I have to admit, I like the book better.

These ideas have been niggling at me for months, so I sat down and kicked myself up the behind to make myself sort everything out. I've spent the last five days working on it.

It's actually a New Adult kind of title with my two main character being early 20s and 18 going on 19 respectively and other characters being older. It mentions sex and definitely has some bloody violence so it's not for the younger end of the readership, but I think it's something older teens will enjoy.

It is now called *drum roll* ...
The Avebury Legacy

It's still in the As, but I think the title now has more to do with the book than it did :). Advent was one of those titles that I was in love with when I chose it, but slowly realised it doesn't convey the right information. It's times like that when a huge publishing team like the big six have with an expert in titles would be really useful ::g::. As I understand it, books don't often reach market with the same title the author thought they were going to have, or at least that was the impression I got on the self-pub workshop I went to.

and here is the new cover:

When you’re a vampire hunter infected with vampirism your life expectancy is short. Nate’s a hunter and Lexie’s a witch and they have less than six months before Lexie’s magic can no longer delay the symptoms and keep them at least partially human. There are legends that the ancient Avebury ritual, originally designed to destroy a powerful vampire, may also hold the key to curing vampiris­m and Nate and Lexie must search across continents to find the four relics from the ceremony. In their way are vampire nuns, a crystal cave, shape changers, a labyrinthine catacomb, mummified monks and even librarians. If the cure is real it could be the advent of a new era in vampire hunting.
Once my editing has been checked I will be re-uploading it everywhere. I'm going to do it under the same entries that are already online so that people who have already purchased it will be able to download the updates where their supplier offers that service (I know Amazon and Smashwords do - no idea about others because I haven't used them). However I am going to make it clear in the blurb that it is a renamed book, not an entirely new one. Don't want anyone getting confused and buying it twice.

There's also a new cover for the prequel short story so that they match :).

Review: Blood Ties (1991)

Title: Blood Ties
Rating: 15
Cast:
Patrick Bauchau ... Eli Chelarin
Bo Hopkins ... Chief Hunter
Michelle Johnson ... Celia
Jason London ... Cody Puckett
Harley Venton ... Harry Martin / Harlevon Martinescu
Salvator Xuereb ... Butcherbird "Butch" Vlad
Kim Johnston Ulrich ... Amy Lorne
Summary: After his parents are killed Cody Puckett heads for the big city and Eli Chelarin, who he has been told to find if anything happens. What he doesn't know is that his parents were killed by vampire hunters and he and those he finds in the city are Carpathians. Harry, a reporter and Carpathian who is trying to integrate has to help Cody understand and find those who killed his parents.

This isn't a classic and it isn't utterly amazing, but it is a good early 90s vampire movie. It reminds me a little of Kindred: The Embraced, not least of which because Partick Bauchau is in it, but also because it has vampires hiding in plain sight in a hierarchical, family unit.

It is a classic story of vampires and vampire hunters. The vampires aren't good guys really, except Cody and Harry; they are a little bit grey. They don't kill, but some of them look on humans as sheep to be exploited. The human hunters are definitely the bad guys. They are introduced murdering an innocent couple and then using their son as bait to find more "Carpathian Americans".

The main underlying plot is the ancient conflict, and the character driven parts are about Cody coming to terms with what he is and Harry trying to balance his family commitments and his maybe new girlfriend Amy, who is the DA.

I think I like this movie because of the characters. The normal things I go for in vampire movies aren't there: no glowing eyes; no fangs; no immortality. However, I just really enjoy the characters and the plot. The vampires are stronger and faster than humans, they live slightly longer and they like to bite, but that's about where the vampire stuff ends. I think it was probably budget that caused this since there really are no big special effects. The writing is good, though, and the little bits of vampire lore are interesting and engaging.

My favourite character is Celia. She is a Carpathian and she is the femme fatale, but she isn't helpless. She gets captured, but she doesn't go down without a fight. I love her because she knows what she wants and she goes for it.

This isn't the greatest vampire movie I have ever seen, but I would recommend it for vampire fans if you enjoy the traditional 80s and 90s urban vampire movies.



Monday, 7 July 2014

EYM - Lines from my current WIP - make of them what you will :)

The Express Yourself Meme (EYM) is a weekly blog hop run by Jackie at Bouquet of Books and Dani at Entertaining Interests. Each month they post a Gadget with a question/task for each week in the month. Participants then answer the question in a post during the correct week. (Sorry I totally forgot about it last week).

There is a list of the participants at the bottom of this post.

This week's question/task:
In your WIP, what is the last line of pg10 and the first line of pg42?

Well my current big WIP is my asexual, cross-gender Indiana Jones in space (which I am going to have to come up with a title for pretty soon, because that's a mouthful) :).

So the last of page 10 is:
"I must apologise for Rex, sometimes he leaves out the details because he is afraid I might run in the other direction," she said. "He seems to think I become entirely uncivilised when I have back to back clients."
and the first line of page 42 is:
Brin stopped her falling on her arse even as the doors continued opening under what little momentum she had given them until they hit right angles and stopped with an audible click.
 Can you guess what my main character, Ellie is up to in both of the scenes? :)

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Review: Innocent Blood (1992, Anne Parillaud, Anthony LaPaglia)

Title: Innocent Blood (1992)
Rating: 18
Cast:
Anne Parillaud ... Marie
David Proval ... Lenny
Robert Loggia ... Sallie (The Shark) Macelli
Summary: Marie has two appetites, sex and blood. Her career as a vampire is going along fine until two problems come up, she is interrupted while feeding on Sal (the shark) Macelli and she begins to develop a relationship with the policeman who has been trying to put Sal away. Sal does not stay dead. (mostly taken from IMDB)

Let me tell you about all the reasons I love this film. There are a few films out there that get under your skin and this is one that grabbed me and never let go. I first saw it on pre-owned VHS that I bought from a video rental place and as soon as it came out on DVD I snapped it up. I have been patiently waiting for them to get round to bringing it out on blu-ray, but I suspect I will be waiting a long time.

The DVD is expensive, but the title is available for rent from Amazon Instant Video in both UK and US stores, so it's probably on things like Netflix etc as well.

So the number one reason I love this film is Marie. She is strong, independent and yet vulnerable at times. She goes for what she wants and yet she has principles even as she has needs. She can go from sweet, innocent smiling girl to seductress to snarling monster in a flash and Anne Parillaud has to be commended for that. The only other film of hers I've seen is Nikita and she was equally as intense, although Innocent Blood has a might lighter side.

Then there are the vampires. They don't have fangs, but I'll forgive them because they have the most wonderful eyes. I can only think the contacts must have been a royal pain because they cover the whole eye. I assume they worked the same way the ones in Forever Knight did where they reflect whatever light it shone on them. The way Marie is so sophisticated until she feeds and then there is blood everywhere is just the right balance. She's disgusted with herself at those times, but she's not angsting the entire film, just self-aware.

When Sallie comes back, his confusion and animalistic needs are brilliant and I won't describe him any further, but I love the evolution of the character.

This film is also funny in places. It's a very dry humour and I love it. The script is inspired. Even the love scene is gently funny before it become downright passionate. It's actually one of the best love scenes I can remember because it shows the evolution of characters and gives major character insight rather than just being two people jumping into bed with each other and bumping their bits.

All the actors are fantastic, the plot is great, the special effects are superb, the script is brilliant and I don't have a bad thing to say about it. I love it.

This is a cops and mobsters movie with vampires and I think it is done wonderfully.



Have you seen any mobster vampire movies? How about cops and vampires? Since I mentioned sex scenes, is there one that you remember (from any genre of film) that really added to the plot rather than just being about the sex?