Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nice is...Nice (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS)


I finally watched THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Yes, I'm a little behind on this, just as I was behind on reading a certain book that I shall not name except to say that it was a big seller and it infuriated me beyond reason. But I was so far behind on my reading that anything I wanted to tweet or say to anyone was irrelevant. It ticks me off that I'm dragging so far behind the Cool Train because, once I've consumed that once-popular movie or book, my passion to discuss them are passe.

Kind of like now.

(Just a sidenote: I've been watching the Cool Train go by for a few years now with this blog, pretty much ignoring its existence. I used to do a lot of movie reviews here and I used to blog extensively about Comic-Con, San Diego. In fact, I was going full steam ahead on the Nerd Express until... I don't know. I lost the enthusiasm, and I felt like *everyone* was blogging about the same things, so I stopped.)

But can I risk being passe? Because I'd just like to say a few words about THE FAULT IN OUR STARS...

Truthfully, I thought this movie was going to depress me. I mean, it's about people with cancer, and it can't possibly end well unless there's a total cop out. I hadn't read the book, either, even though I knew it was a bestseller. (Even *more* truthfully, a close family member was also terminally sick, and I just didn't want to face more sickness.)

But in spite of the cheesy post-"Afterschool Special" soundtrack and the movie's subject, I was completely and utterly charmed. Was I expecting jaded and kind of unlikable characters who glibbed their way through the dialogue? Yes. Was I expecting nihilistic behavior for the sake of driving home the message that DEATH DOESN'T SCARE ME? Oh, yeah (and part of that was there with Augustus's cigarette habit but, again--utterly charming, so it was all good).

What I got was a story about two very appealing people who love their parents, respect and take care of friends, and do all the things that are supposed to be so boring in a movie, like go on picnics and talk about art and send cute texts. Somehow not boring! What also surprised me was that the hero and heroine were never mean to each other just because the plot needed some conflict. They didn't have stupid fights for the sake of "pumping up" the tension. Death is the bad guy here, and it quietly stalks them during the entire film like a shadow in the background of an otherwise perfectly bright movie. It's refreshing to see such a simple concept done so touchingly well. Even when I could see the ending line of dialogue coming from a mile away, it still resonated.

So here's to simple and nice. Sometimes it really works.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Day in Need of a Soundtrack

James Horner is feared dead.

Some of you might not know who Mr. Horner was, but that seems about right. His job was to remain in the background of films, whispering musical notes into our ears as the screen flashed with drama and action and romance. His job was to grab our hearts and emotions in the most subtle ways possible--through movie scores.


He took us worlds away in STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN.


He gave GLORY to the brave and fallen.


He made action scenes more intense in ALIENS.

He made quiet moments of heartbreak sing in FIELD OF DREAMS.


He made millions of people fall in love in TITANIC.

He gave us all A BEAUTIFUL MIND just by letting mind and heart come together.


And so much more.


As you listen to each cut, you can imagine what's happening. That's why I used and still use some of Mr. Horner's music to inspire writers and students to brainstorm their stories. I know people who were so moved by the theme from A BEAUTIFUL MIND that entire books were born from those three minutes of haunting, flowing, ethereal notes.


If you listen to a movie without the soundtrack, it's a totally different experience. That's what today feels like--a movie without the music, silent and a little numbing. All I want to do is fill it up with Mr. Horner's music.

Monday, June 22, 2015

TERROR ISLAND: Some Trivia about Research

I'm guest posting over at the Author's Billboard blog today about research I did for TERROR ISLAND. Won't you join me for some pearls and terror?


Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Thriller and a Pre-Order for a Hot Romance!

It's a busy summer! I've got two books for you all: a mystery romantic thriller from Chris Marie Green, and a hot romance from Crystal Green--one author, a world of stories, LOL. (And a lot of pen names.)

Let's start with the thriller!



It all started with a good-time cruise at sea…

When diver Katsu Espinoza is invited on a shark-cage expedition by her billionaire mentor, she’s definitely up for some adventure, even if it means spending time with his greedy heirs. Then she sees who the captain is—Will Ashton, the betraying ex-boyfriend who’d once shattered her heart. And as if that isn’t unexpected enough, her mentor decides that she’s going to inherit the millions of dollars that were supposed to go to his family!

…and turned into hell on earth when they got to the island.


Suddenly, Kat is the girl who swept in to steal a frail old man’s inheritance. Then a storm hits, stranding all of them on a deserted island, forcing them to survive in a paradise gone deadly, because it seems that someone here hasn’t forgotten the money; they’re murdering victims with gruesome precision—and Will, with his secretive ways, is at the top of Kat’s growing list of suspects. And that list is getting horrifically whittled down one…by one…by one…

TERROR ISLAND has been called a white-knuckle thriller, a rollercoaster ride, a chilling murder mystery. And all of those descriptions definitely apply, just as they did when I first released this as BAITED under my Crystal Green name for an action adventure line called Bombshell. Since "Chris" is the one who writes thrillers nowadays, I decided to rebrand it under "her" name after I got the rights to the book back. I was ecstatic to have this under my control again--it's one of my favorite creations, and I think you'll see it has a lot in common with my urban fantasies (although TERROR ISLAND doesn't have paranormal elements)!


It's available at
Kindle
iBooks
Createspace for print
Kobo
Nook

Now we come to the hot romance that's on pre-order!


Everyone at the Rough & Tumble Saloon has a secret…

When Reece Marlow, the ex water polo Olympian athlete, hit Las Vegas, he hit it hard—gambling, carousing, and making it a point to have sex at every Sin City landmark. Some might say he’s trying to play away the emptiness he feels from leaving his superstar career behind, but Reece is fending off even bigger secrets—ones that could potentially ruin his high-flying, endorsement-filled life.

When he meets Talia McCarter at the Rough & Tumble, he doesn’t know that she’s fighting her own inner demons, but these two are bound to light the desert nights on fire with their hot romance—and maybe find love in the flames…

This one is written by "Crystal Green." (Didn't you guess?) It's a prequel to my already established Rough and Tumble series! I really wanted to write a shorter novel (50,000 words and without a subplot) so I could introduce that dusty saloon on the fringes of Vegas to more readers for a lower price. WET AND WILD has another sexy bad boy for you to fall for--a water polo player at that. (Have you ever seen those guys? Yow.)

Right now, WET AND WILD is on pre-order only at Kindle  and iBooks, but on July 20 when the book is officially released, it'll also be available at Nook and Kobo, so keep your eyes peeled here for more info!
Welcome to the latest Chris Marie Green/Crystal Green giveaway!

This time, you could win a Audible copy of NIGHT RISING, the first book in my Vampire Babylon series.


The entry form is below, but here's a link to Audible if you want to check it out, and if you want to peek at the other five books in this urban fantasy series. I love the narrator Khristine Leeto! If you're looking for some of the same action, adventure, mystery, and thrills that you'll get from TERROR ISLAND (plus lots of paranormal mayhem), then you might like Vampire Babylon!

The giveaway runs from June 22 - July 6, 2015.

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