I have to start this review for 50 Shades of Grey with the following disclaimer: I only got 20 pages into the book before I couldn’t handle it and threw it across the room.
Sounds mean, doesn’t it? Lots of people loved the book. Lots. It’s funny because BDSM and that sort of play doesn’t bother me. I play. But I had lots of problems with the way the BDSM was portrayed in the book. The movie was no better. If possible, it was worse.
Jamie Dornan was the worst actor for the role of Grey. Or maybe he was the best. If he was supposed to be that wooden and hard to understand, then great. He nailed it. If he was supposed to have ANY sort of redeeming qualities and not come off as creepy and pervy, then they really missed the mark.
Dakota Johnson wasn’t any better. Her flip-flopping bothered me. The innocent factor should’ve been there, but wasn’t. This role seemed to be above her head. The dialogue was horrible. So flat. The scenes were almost too over the top. Let’s fight, then go for a flight in an experimental plane? Um…no.
Then there were the play scenes. I don’t know who decided they should be done the way they were, but I wasn’t turned on or even mildly titillated by them. I wanted to smack Grey and ask Anna what the hell she was thinking. Good example…when she says she needs to know how it feels to be broken like him. Broken? Okay, explain…maybe show her, but to fully, complete might whack her with the belt… A – she wouldn’t had serious welts after two whacks. B – you can be fucked up all you want, but a little verbal description would’ve been nice. C – I didn’t get the catharsis or the thrill of it. The scene turned me off. I didn’t see how someone who has no experience with sex (Anna) could get right into BDSM without much thought. Seriously. How did she know what she’d like/not like in the playroom without any real idea of what she liked/didn’t like in the bedroom? And him being a 26 yr old billionaire…it happens. Look at the celebutants. It can happen. But the way Grey conducted himself… Just no.
When I started watching this movie as a comedy, rather than a romance, I enjoyed it much more–and I still hated it. I’ll be honest. I didn’t like it. I thought the movie was foolish and ridiculous. Not romantic or fantastic or even having a kernel of fantasy to it. Simply dumb. Maybe you’ll think otherwise. I don’t know. Will I watch Darker? Um…that’s a big no.
This week, I thought I’d talk about a movie I’d long wanted to see, but hadn’t had the chance. Mannequin. There are certain movies that are revered as being an everyone’s seen this kind of movie. To me, Mannequin was one of those movies. I hadn’t seen it and I was missing out.
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Andrew McCarthy movies. I don’t know. I guess it’s his special mix of silliness and nerdiness, while still being handsome that does something for me. This one didn’t disappoint.
Andrew McCarthy plays an artist-slash-window dresser who happens to lose his job (one of a hundred so it seems) and by coincidence, ends up at the store where Emmy happens to be. I loved Estelle Getty in this flick. She’s not Sophia from the Golden Girls and it’s refreshing. She’s got great comic timing. James Spader plays the baddie, yet again, quite well. I almost have a hard time liking him as a character when he’s NOT playing the bad guy. He does smarmy so well. Meshach Taylor does a great star turn as McCarthy’s side-kick. He has the flair and was funny. A tad dated, but I could overlook it.
I’ll admit one must suspend their disbelief a lot for this movie. The premise is almost laughable, but I wanted escapism. I wanted a happy ending, too, and wasn’t in the mood for a Hallmark flick. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting when I started this film and I wasn’t disappointed. If you want something fluffy and a little ridiculous, but fun, then this might be the film for you.
I hadn’t given much thought to writing about sports until this weekend. I know that sounds crazy, being that I’ve written some sports romances. I’m partial to football, but I like a good racing story and one involving baseball, too. I know nothing about hockey and never tried to understand it. Hockey, forgive me, but it isn’t my thing. Oh, I do like a good cross country race, too. Grin.
But this past weekend, I went to a baseball game, then was able to take in a scrimmage for my football team. I was in heaven, let me tell you. There’s nothing, to me, like watching a great game and seeing fantastic athletes in action.
I’ve been neck deep in writing Christmas stories. I’m all about a good holiday tale, too. Almost as much as I like my sports. Seems sort of odd, writing Christmas in July, doesn’t it? Well, it’s as screwy as it seems. It’s not easy. I’m hot and it’s uncomfortable outside, and I’m trying to write snow, chill and carols. It’s hard to be in the thrill of the season when it’s over 90 degrees.
Writing sports is like writing holiday stories. It is for me at least. I have to be in the mood to write about home runs and tackles. I can’t just write football out of season. It’s hard to think of baseball in the middle of a blizzard. But it’s possible. Then there’s running. I know runners go out in all sorts of weather, but I’m not wild about writing cross country stories when it’s a thunderstorm or snowing.
I’d never thought about the parallel between Christmas and sports until this past weekend. I’m at the baseball game and characters for a story in my Cedarwood series showed up. They chatted through the rest of the game. I could only hope to jot down what they’d said by the time I got back to write it down. I had a notebook with me, but hey, I was there to watch the game, too. I wanted to pay attention. Grin.
But now I know. The game was the inspiration. Same with the scrimmage the next day and watching the binge of Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. All of them got me in the mood in one way or another to write the respective story. When I’m immersed, I want to write that sport or holiday. Not bad, really. I’ve always got the characters talking so a little inspiration never hurt.
Speaking of inspiration, I’ve got a goddess and a few faeries to talk to. In the mean time, enjoy this snippet from my football romance, Making the Play.
Making the Play by Megan Slayer
Out of Bounds Series
M/M, Anal Sex, Masturbation
Sometimes switching things up really does mean getting the guy.
Allan Clark thought his life as a wide receiver for the Wildcats was over the moment he was told he’d be the new punt returner. He’d thought he didn’t want to be a special teams player. He’d rather have the limelight. But once he starts returning punts, he realizes this was where he should’ve been all along. Speaking of perks, he now gets to spend time with the sexy kicker, Tyler Leigh. Maybe this switch is the best thing that could’ve happened to him.
Unlike Allan, Tyler isn’t planning on going into the draft or playing football for the rest of his life. He’s got other plans, though a side trip in the sheets with Allan isn’t off his radar. He’s wanted Allan since he joined the team. But Tyler’s got baggage and an overzealous ex-boyfriend hell-bent on making his life miserable. With Allan, he sees a bright spot.
Will these two seeming opposites leave their desires on the field, or will they find common ground together and score?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of masturbation, implied abuse as well as references to violence, physical assault and emotional abuse.
Available from Pride Publishing:
And from ebook retailers everywhere: https://books2read.com/u/mvYDRX
Copyright ©2017, Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved
“Ride with me to Lorne’s. My car’s right over here and in the morning, we’ll call Dad. Deal?” He pressed the fob on his keys. The headlights on his coupé flashed as the doors unlocked. “Perfect for a twosome.”
“Okay.” Tyler inched up to the car. “Just— I can’t walk in with you.”
“Because of Blake and Devan?” The pair of asshats were starting to get on Allan’s nerves and they weren’t even within earshot.
“He can suck my ass.” Allan opened the car door for Tyler. “Get in. The bugs are starting to swarm under the bright lights and I don’t want to be eaten alive.”
Tyler acquiesced and slid into the passenger seat. He held his bag in both hands and didn’t look at Allan. “It’s nice. The car. You’ve got a nice car.” He blew out a long breath. “Sorry. I’m babbling.”
“You’re fine.” He shut the door and rounded the hood. Excitement surged through his veins. He had Tyler Leigh in his car. So the guy didn’t think he was popular. He probably didn’t think he was handsome, either. He was wrong. Popularity wasn’t that important, but damn, the man was cute. Allan collapsed onto the driver’s seat and basked in the comfort of the faux leather. Sitting down was a good thing for his aching body. He’d taken one too many hits on the last punt return and needed a break.
“I’m indebted to you,” Tyler said. “What do you want other than help with punts? Blow jobs? My ass?” His voice cracked.
Allan closed his car door and gripped the steering wheel. He wanted to lash out at Tyler, but having an attitude wouldn’t help the matter. Blake was the problem. Blake’s treatment of Tyler, to be more specific. The man was using Tyler and for some reason, Tyler didn’t seem to see he wasn’t worthless. Christ. He wasn’t even sure Tyler knew better.
“Sorry,” Tyler mumbled.
“No. There’s nothing to be sorry for.” He had to be delicate. If he moved too quickly or without tact, he’d screw everything up. “Was Blake your first boyfriend?”
Seems like when there’s one passing, two more happen. The rule of three or the triangle effect—however you want to look at it. I’m not a fan of dying and death. I’d rather keep enjoying the music, movies, and books!! But I’m right there with the rest of the fans who buy the music, movies, books, etc. when someone passes away. Unfortunately, death happens. There isn’t a cure for death. Not yet. It just happens.
I was talking with someone older than me the other day. The person said they didn’t understand why Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell were considered icons and legends. To this person, people like Bob Dylan or Barbara Streisand are legends and icons. Are they? Sure they’ve done some awesome stuff. But should Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell be on the same list? I think they should.
This is my opinion and I stand by it. I’m guessing you have your own and I expect you to. Opinions are good.
Dylan and Streisand are legendary people. They’ve made strides in music and film. The songs are memorable. I can’t name a Streisand song, but she’s also not my cuppa. Dylan…yeah, I can name a few of his tunes, but his vocal style isn’t for everyone. That’s okay.
Then why are they counted above Bennington and Cornell?
Metal and rock music had their starts much later than many other popular genres of music. Some cite Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin as innovators in the rock and metal genres. Those weren’t big bands until the late 60s and early 70s. Pop started back in the 50s, so they’re going to have people with more longevity in those genres. But metal and rock are having their day. Sadly, they’re also starting to feel the sting of death.
If you are like me and grew up in the 90s and 00s, then bands like Cornell’s Soundgarden and Bennington’s Linkin Park were mainstays. A lot of my college and high school days were filled with hours listening to their CDs. Numb from the Meteora album holds a special place in my heart. It got me through a lot of heavy stuff. I wasn’t particularly in to Soundgarden, but you can’t miss the grungy, heavy sound of Black Hole Sun.
So why call these people legends? Because they’re dead? One person claimed the way they passed should keep them from the status of legend or icon. If that’s the case, then Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Hendrix, Brian Jones, plus Keith Moon should be kept off the list. The thing is, drugs, drink, depression…it hits us all in one way or another. Members of Alice in Chains, Drowning Pool and many others are gone too soon because of decisions made that maybe weren’t the best. Just because these people took one pill too many or decided to take their life doesn’t mean they weren’t great.
These guys were depressed. They had fame, fortune, and fans, but when you’re popular, it can be lonely. You can be in the middle of a crowded room and feel like you’re the only one there and it’s not good. It can be sad and yeah, depressing. There is pressure. What if the next record doesn’t score with the fans? What if it doesn’t sell? What if it’s deemed unworthy? What if it’s ‘not good enough’?
To some, the pressures of fame are self-inflicted. If you don’t want the stress, then don’t be famous. It’s not that simple. You generally want some fame and cash so you can keep living. But then, if you’re lucky, it gets bigger and harder to control. There is no such thing as kinda famous. There’s famous in a small town, but not kinda—that’s verging into the one-hit wonder status and that’s its own ball of pressure.
Look at Kurt Cobain. The guy wanted to play music and eat. Okay, he wanted to do drugs to numb the pain from his childhood and a stomach condition, too. Then people saw his skills with songs and lyrics…it blew up out of his control. Some didn’t understand the lyrics to the songs and others misrepresented what he meant. He felt like a sellout. For all we know, Bennington and Cornell felt the same way. I’m not saying I know they did or didn’t. I’m just saying you don’t know how these people were feeling, so it’s hard to condemn them.
It’s tough being an artist. You want to please yourself, plus make the art your soul expects you to create. It’s tiring. It’s hard. You don’t just sit down and create a masterpiece in music, art or literature. It takes time. There are many moments of self-doubt. Moments where you want to destroy what you’ve created in favor of starting over. It’s hard to know if the public will like your work and if they don’t, then that’s torture. You’ve worked so long and hard on the art only to have it rejected. You can get lost in the world of creation, trying to make your art perfect. It’s tough.
For me, the 90s and 00s will forever be the decades of NuMetal, experimentation in music and the resurgence of the massive concert experience – think Lollapalooza, Lilithfest and the Warped Tour. This music wasn’t made or listened to in a vacuum. A whole generation of people grew up on the tunes from these bands in these concerts and genres. Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington’s music represents times in our lives. To discredit these folks or to say one is more important than the other is foolish. What’s an icon to you might not be to me, but that doesn’t mean the contributions to art, whichever it is, wasn’t big.
Streisand is a great singer, but her belting out People didn’t make an impact in my life in the massive way Linkin Park’s Meteora album and Hybrid Theory did. “I know I may end up failing, too, but I know you were just like me with someone disappointed in you.” That’s a heavy lyric.
The music stands up. Soundsgarden and Linkin Park sound as fresh today as they did when the albums dropped.
We all have our legends and icons. #Legends and #rockstars never die because their #music always lives on. That’s what makes these guys #legends and #icons to me.
Odd title for a blog post, right? I know it is. Follow me here. It’ll make sense in a moment.
When I wrote the book, What’s His Passion? Wild Card, I knew I had two strong characters—Kris and Zayn. I knew they were the focus of the book, but side characters can be just as important.
I’m an animal lover. I really am. Having three cats and three dogs, you could say I live in a zoo. You’d be right. When the mailman knocks on the front door, it’s a five-alarm panic. But I love it and this love showed up in Wild Card. Kris is a wounded man. He needs more than a lover. He needs a few friends, too. My dogs are great companions. They don’t talk back—although I’m convinced some of the barking is sassing—not that I mind. They stay beside me when I’m blue and are great for exercise. So how does this match up to Kris? And why would I bring a dog into a story about a gay man in porn?
In Wild Card, Kris lives in a nice private development, but even in the nicest places, wicked people exist. His next-door neighbor has a dog. You’ve probably seen the type—the dog is constantly outside. There’s no grass under the dog house and the circle he runs. Rain, shine, heat, cold…the dog is there. Kris sees a bit of himself in the dog next door. They’re both wounded. The dog needs attention and love. So does Kris.
So Kris’s in porn. He believes he can reach a little higher in life. He believes the same thing for the dog. They’re kindred spirits. The dog is a pit bull, so people think he’s dangerous. He’s actually very sweet and goofy. But out on the chain, he comes across as scary. He really wants attention. Same thing for Kris. People see the porn actor and think he’s dirty or nasty. He’s so much more once someone unlocks his potential.
Here’s an Easter egg for you—the dog is named Nugent. According to the neighbor, he’s named after Ted Nugent. That’s not where I got the name. I’m a huge Cincinnati Bengals fan and the kicker for the team during the writing of Wild Card happened to be named Nugent. The dog is named after a professional athlete. Grin.
Now I have to admit I’m the kind of person who can’t stand to see the dog/cat/etc hurt in a book or movie. For the dog in Wild Card, the feeling was no different. Nugent is a sweet dog. He and Kris as well as Zayn have to have a happy ending. Want to know what the happy ending is? Then you’ll have to read What’s His Passion? Wild Card. I hope you enjoy the love and the dog.
Here’s a little bit about What’s His Passion? Wild Card:
Following his heart and passion will be his biggest role of all.
Kris Hunter wants out. He’s done pornographic films for the last six years. The pay’s been good, but his creativity is nearly dead. His passion is to act and to be a star on the big screen in mainstream films. When he auditions for famed casting director, Zayn Mason, he’s convinced he’s on the right path. He doesn’t want to take the casting couch route to success, but he certainly wants Zayn in his bed. Can he follow his dreams and the man he desires or will forces beyond his control derail his progress?
Zayn Mason sees the potential in Kris. As a casting director, he looks for the right actor to fill the roles in movies. He’s seen plenty of talent come and go, but no one stirs his soul both creatively and physically like Kris. But Zayn knows the pitfalls of the movie industry. Crossing over from porn isn’t easy and Hollywood isn’t always forgiving. Besides, he’s got demons of his own. Can these men get beyond their pasts and find a future together under the bright lights of the silver screen?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of voyeurism and intimacy with multiple partners.
Available From Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/wild-card
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzp86n
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01CGCVVL6/
Amazon JP: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B01CGCVVL6/
Amazon FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B01CGCVVL6/
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I love my writing utensils. Love them. I’ve got a pen collection that’s probably out of control. Why? Because when I go somewhere, I want a pen to commemorate being there. Also, they look pretty. I tend to use the ink up in them, too. With my luck, once I decided to display the pens, the one with the ink left in it would explode and I’d have a mess. But that’s my luck.
But this post isn’t about just my love of pens…although based on the photos I added, you’d think it might be. Grin.
I wanted to write today about something that may seem small and silly, but it’s pretty big for me.I’m a stress writer. Yep. I admit it. I am. I tend to know what I want to write and have deadlines, but for whatever reason, I seem to wait until I’m down to the wire before I get things done. That doesn’t mean I’m sitting around doing nothing. No…I’m usually finishing up whatever it was I put off before this project.
It’s not a good thing to do, stress writing. I tend to create these crazy schedules for myself, then stress when I don’t feel like I’m meeting my own deadlines. It’s worse during National Novel Writing Month (NaNo). I usually have a project to finish BEFORE I can start the NaNo one and then I try to get both done y the end of November (that’s the month NaNo takes place in).Right now, I’m currently trying to wrap up a short for Changeling involving Christmas Magic. I won’t get into the gritty nitty, but it’s short and it’s HAWT. Before that, I finished another Christmas tale for another publisher. Because I love Christmas? Because the stories were begging to be written. Oh, and I’ve got another short planned for once the Changeling book is done. Have I lost my mind? Sometimes it feels like it.
I enjoy Christmas, don’t get me wrong. I love the joy, the togetherness and the fun of the holiday. But it’s July. It’s not entirely hard to think about snow (it’s been well into the 90s for temps here of late), but I’m not really in the mindset to write Christmas. I won’t lie. When it’s Christmas time, then I’ve got all sorts of ideas for stories. It just happens to be too late or too early to turn them in (depending on who you ask). But the stories I just finished and am working on demanded to be written.
I don’t have big spreadsheets of what needs to be written and when. I might have a schedule that’s in my trusty notebook next to my laptop, but that’s got maybe a week or two out scheduling wise. I let the muse talk and pants my way through most of my stories. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t just write whatever pops into my head from the muse. That’s what ends up in the notebook where I can tweak it first. But it might be May and I’ll have the characters for a Christmas story show up. Or it might be Halloween and I want to write Valentines stories. Although, a mash-up of a Valentine Halloween might be fun.
So while I’m sure I rambled through this post, this is a clue into my writing world. There’s some order and some chaos, but it’s all mine and I own it. I might as well. 🙂