Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Whatcha Watchin' Wednesday ~ Television A to Z - Awesome A's Part Four!

So this is my version of the A to Z Challenge Television Style. I am listing the shows having the biggest impact on me, not necessarily the best shows in each category. I thought they were the best when I was watching them. 

See the whole list of A's Here!

The Americans (2013-Present)

A pair of deep-cover Soviet spies masquerades as a typical DC couple whose children, neighbors, coworkers & friends are completely unaware of their activities. At home, they're the stereotypical parents of stereotypical kids; at work, they pose as travel agents; but at night, they weave a web of confidants, lovers, dupes, and historical figures from the Reagan-era Cold War. The startlingly realistic plot twists force the viewer to consider the real cost of an undeclared war, what it takes to protect one's beliefs -- if it's worth it-- and if it worked for either side. Written by Steve83

For me, this show works simply because of the chemistry of the cast. Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys are truly magnetic (proven by their off-screen marriage and child in 2016). Without the electricity of these two characters and actors, this show would never have worked. It is a great look at the politics of the Regan years, the cold war and the dirty deeds of both sides in a time when the words Top Secret held real value. 


APB (2016-2017)
 
After witnessing a violent crime, a tech billionaire purchases a troubled police precinct, rebooting it as a private police force. 

I have to admit I enjoyed this show. The mesh of crime fighting and new technology was really interesting to me. The show addressed issues of privacy, a police state, and protection while still wildly entertaining. A great cast of characters, and well-paced writing kept the show moving. According to the latest reports, FOX has canceled APB. If you can catch it on Netflix or Hulu do so, you will not be disappointed.

Stars: Justin Kirk, ,


Ally McBeal (1997-2002)

Ally McBeal and Billy Thomas were going steady throughout their childhoods. Ally even followed Billy to Harvard law school despite having no interest in law. But when Billy chose to pursue a career in law away from Ally, their relationship came to an end. In the present, an old classmate of Ally's named Richard Fish gives Ally a job at his law firm, where Billy and his new wife are also working. Ally finds herself in a predicament since she still has feelings for Billy which she's laboring to get over. At the office, Ally puts up with a nosy, gossiping secretary named Elaine, and an oddball lawyer named John Cage never seems to lose a case. At home, Ally's friend and house-mate Renée regularly advises her on her love life. The series follows Ally's trials and tribulations in life through her eyes and caricatures her personal thoughts and fantasies. Written by Ondre Lombard <olombard@lombard.cyberverse.com>

To be honest, I only have a few memories of this show. My Mom adored the program, and so I felt I needed to add it to the list for her. From what I remember this show reinvented the Dramedy. Ally McBeal Incorporated the drama of a soap opera, the realness of a heavy law drama, and the absurdity of comedy into one 47 minute show. Ally McBeal is one of those shows that is a must-watch in scripting, theater, acting and directing classes for its out-of-the-box style, thinking, and dialog. A few have attempted to duplicate, but Ally McBeal was a once in a lifetime phenomenon. An all-star cast who have all gone on to do bigger and better things, it is a show worth watching – experiencing at least once. 



Did I miss any? Please let me know, I would love to hear from you! On to the Badass B's! Get a sneak peek here!

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Monday, June 24, 2019

16 Movies I Will Watch With my Teenage Daughter & Son!

In no particular order, all of these are teen appropriate and a must see for the ultimate teen experience!


Sixteen CandlesA young girl's "sweet sixteenth" birthday becomes anything but special as she suffers from every embarrassment.I remember Jake Ryan as the perfect teen guy! The use of bo-hunk is hilarious, and don't forget about the church organist retaining water and the big (or littel) panty reveal! A classic for all teen girls!

Mean Girls - Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George. With Rachel McAdams as the 'mean girl' and Lindsey Lohan as the 'innocent' how can you resist this work of fate? A cult classic by far, Mean Girls is a life lesson.

Grease - Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. But when they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance? How else is your teen daughter gonna learn how to sing in high school. This classic pre-cursor to the Disney version has bad words and everything! Your teen will know all the words to Summer Lovin by the very end!

The Breakfast Club - Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought. A diary of the high school clique and teen angst, this is a roller-coaster ride that has real value. I great movie to break into that whole 'lets talk about drugs, safe, sex, crappy grades and well how high school sucks for everyone-- a must have date with your teen!

Freaky Friday - An overworked mother and her daughter do not get along. When they switch bodies, each is forced to adapt to the other's life for one freaky Friday.Sometimes I truly wish this could happen, that my daughter could walk a mile in my shoes. The Hollywood version will have to do!

Clueless - A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil's popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way. So Adorbs! A class act and totally meant for parent-daughter bonding. You may not have known this, but Clueless is a retelling of Jane Austin's classic, Emma.

Saved! - When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant,
she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her.Definitely a good one to watch together this down-to-earth film tackles religious bigotry, teens discovering their place in the world and how difficult the real world can be. Sounds like a downer but is a great film along the lines of Juno. 

Easy-A - A clean-cut high school student relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. Laugh out loud funny, with a great supporting cast the topics are worth watching together and the film does a good job of coming full circle.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the principal thinks of that. What can I say I am a child of the 80's and this is a must see!! What kid doesn't want the perfect day off and while certain parts may 'date' the film the concept is still solid great entertainment. 

Scream  Attempting to cope with her mother's murder, Sydney and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by a murderer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go. Teens are starting to get into horror films, and they are still great date movies. Scream is a funny break in to the real thing. Still fun to watch with popcorn even if it is corny.

10 Things I Hate About YouA new kid must find a guy to date the meanest girl in school, the older sister of the girl he has a crush on, who cannot date until her older sister does. This is a Hollywood adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew' and an instant classic. 

Bend it Like Beckham - The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism by
running off to Germany with a football team (soccer in America). This is a great film about family expectations, personal goals, friendship and finding your passion. A wonderful film I highly recommend!

Never Been Kissed - A journalist enrolls in her old high school as part of her research for a story. This is a sweet film about high school regrets and making the most of the years ahead. It is also about having confidence in yourself and that high school does end...really...it does.

Cry BabyIn 1950s Baltimore, a bad-boy with a heart of gold wins the love of a good-girl, whose boyfriend sets out for revenge. Another teen musical, but seriously a riot and loads of fun!

Bring It OnA champion high school cheerleading squad discovers its previous captain stole all their best routines from an inner-city school and must scramble to compete at this year's championships. Full of spunk, fun, dancing and team spirit this a great departure from the normal teen flick with all of the angst and drama included.

Hairspray Pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Turnblad teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show. The remake of the cult classic is a joy to watch. Great messages about what used to be and how change happened gradually. Watch for awesome fun and John Travolta as Tray's Mom!! 

So obviously this is NOT a definitive list, so tell me what I missed! I LOVE to hear from my readers, chime in and be heard!


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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Awesome Excerpt Thursday - Stricken by V.J. Allison


Stricken
Book 1 of The Feathered Tartan Series
Love deserves a second chance.
Ewan Campbell once thought he had it all – he was a rising star in the real estate field, popular with his peers, and engaged to his employer’s cousin, the shy and quiet little Marti Marlowe.
A heartbeat later, he was alone – shattered, confused and suicidal. Why had Marti walked away from him?

Years later, in another place, and a new chapter of Ewan’s life, fate brings them face to face again. 

They start building a friendship, but Ewan wants more. He wants Marti as his wife, and she seems to prefer their current status as friends.

Can he convince her that taking another chance at their failed future will be the start of the best part of their lives?

Excerpt from Chapter 3


The tan door was ajar, and he could see the blue and cream tile turned into a soft blue carpet at the threshold of the office. With a hope Kara was wrong, Ewan glanced around quickly, but a movement to his right drew his attention.
Marti’s back was to him as she rooted around in a file cabinet drawer and shook her head periodically. Her outfit was professional, from the roll of hair in a French twist at the back of her head, to the black skirt suit with brown pinstripes, and the suede two-inch heeled shoes on her feet.
As he tapped his fingers on the doorjamb, a vision of her wearing nothing but one of his t-shirts and a solitaire engagement ring flashed through his mind. 
“Yes?” Her voice was distant, cool and polite.
“Dr. Brown said you were in.”
Her back stiffened as he spoke to her without an audience for the first time in years. “I have no clue why you would want to see me,” she replied and dug a folder out of the drawer.
A soft sigh of exasperation came out of his throat as he entered the office and stopped halfway between the doorway and her desk. “I owe you an apology.”
“For what?”
“Saturday night. Shannon treated you like dirt, and—”
“I’ve dealt with people like her before and it hasn’t killed me yet.”
“That doesn’t excuse it – hell.” Ewan rubbed a hand down his face as he tried to find the right way to express himself.
“Maybe that will teach you not to take someone like her around your friends and coworkers.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It’s your life and your choice. If you want to go dumpster diving, that’s your business, but if I were you, I’d be careful on what I brought home.” She flipped a page in the file. “I have a meeting in less than an hour, and I’d like to be fully prepared for it, so if you don’t mind...”
“Look, I know this isn’t the ideal situation, but can’t we at least try to make an effort, for everyone’s best interest?”
So he wouldn’t look at her, he glanced around the room, and his gaze finally landed on a picture frame in her bookcase. An unwelcome, searing bolt of jealousy zoomed up his spine when he saw it was a photo of her and a man with their arms around each other.
His eyes moved to the large windows facing Citadel Hill, and locked with hers via the reflection. A sense of it being similar to the way they had stared at each other on their first date at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg rang in his mind.
Like that day, almost nine years ago, Marti was the one to break eye contact.
“How are we going to do that?” she asked.
“I don’t know, but unless we try, Kara and Dennis are going to chalk it up to something big, and from what I’ve heard, you’re not open about your past.”
“That’s my life and my choice, isn’t it?”
Ewan sighed and raked a hand through his hair as he took a step toward her. When she stiffened, he stopped and shoved his hands into his coat pockets.
“Dr. Lewis – Marti…” He let out a long breath. “I am sorry about invading your life. If I had known you were living here, I wouldn’t have taken the promotion, and told Miranda I was moving on.”
“Some things are beyond our control or knowledge. Halifax is a big place. I’m sure you and I can avoid being in the same area at the same time as much as possible.” With a shrug, Marti turned to face him.
As her cool and detached gaze met his, Ewan nodded, and his stomach dropped as the full impact of her calm and professional air hit him.
What was I thinking when I thought that maybe...?
Hell.
The girl he knew was gone, replaced by this cool, sophisticated, and distant woman.
“Okay,” he murmured, and wondered why he felt as if his heart had been ripped out again.
Marti’s expression softened as she held up the file. “I’m not chasing you out because – I really do have a meeting, and I’d better get moving if I want to be ready for it.”
Ewan nodded and moved his gaze to a spot on the carpet. “Yeah.” With a final nod, he turned and walked out of her office, not understanding the heavy feeling around him.
* * * *
Marti’s eyes lingered on the doorway long after Ewan left, an odd feeling in her stomach, and guilt nibbling at her spine.
Why did he apologize for Saturday? I know he had nothing to do with her nastiness, and I won’t hold it against him.
Was he apologizing for telling her to leave me alone?
That was nixed before it fully formed. Ewan always stuck up for someone being treated like dirt, even if it was someone he didn’t know.
At least he’s looking more like himself. Saturday was a disaster. Sure, it sounded like him, even if his accent has more South Shore qualities to it, but around her, he looked...
She sighed when the right description came to her.
Cheap.
Still, it’s no surprise that a spoiled brat like Shannon would demand to be on the arm of a man who looks like him.
Ewan’s dark good looks, from a heritage of First Nations mixed with a little Scots blood, combined with his easy smile, laid-back personality, and his own success made a dashing figure.
Years ago, all it had taken was one of his half grins and a joke about the shy ones being the most reckless to get her to fall in love with him.
Hearing him say her name had sent a sting of pain into her heart. There had been a soft plea behind it, just like the one he had tossed out the day before Cindy’s wedding, right after –
Marti’s eyes banged shut as the guilt over her actions that day and the year before it rose in her throat.
Aw, hell...
“Hey Marti, are you ready?”
Her feet lifted two inches off the carpet and her eyes flew open to see Lucy staring at her.
“Yeah, I am. Let’s do this.” With a soft smile, she turned back toward her present, and locked away any thoughts of Ewan.
* * * *
Stricken: Available at eXtasy Books and e-book retailers worldwide.
About V.J. Allison:
V.J. Allison was born and raised in southern Nova Scotia, Canada, and her work reflects her strong Maritime roots. She is a stay at home mother to a son on the autism spectrum, married to the love of her life, and “mama” to a rescued Maine Coon named Marnie.

She has been writing various stories of novel length and short stories since her school days, and sees writing as a vital component to her life. 

When she isn’t writing, she loves to read romance and science fiction novels (notably Star Wars); listen to music (heavy metal, rock, alternative); watch various crime and forensic dramas (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation); watch science fiction television shows and movies; and spend time with her large family and many friends.

Advocate:

This self-proclaimed geeky rocker chick is an advocate and a warrior for various chronic illnesses including Occipital Neuralgia, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Diabetes, Migraines, and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. She is also an advocate for the prevention of animal cruelty, and she is a voice for Autism Awareness.



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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Whatcha Watchin' Wednesday ~ Television A to Z - Awesome A's Part Three!


So this is my version of the A to Z Challenge Television Style. I am listing the shows having the biggest impact on me, not necessarily the best shows in each category. I thought they were the best when I was watching them. 

See the whole list of A's Here!


In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world.


So this is not an error, yes, this is a cartoon, animation. And if you question why it is on the list you have never seen the series (obviously). With the exception of a horrible attempt at a movie adaptation, this is pretty close to a perfect series. My whole family enjoys watching these repeatedly. The story is active, thought-provoking and timeless, the characters original, heartfelt and many times more human than live action actors. I simply cannot say enough about this groundbreaking series. It showed exclusively on Nickelodeon and can be watched by any age group. If you have not watched it, do it. Now. Seriously. Now.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013-Present)


After the Battle of New York, the world has changed. It now knows not only about the Avengers, but also the powerful menaces that require those superheroes and more to face them. In response, Phil Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division assembles an elite covert team to find and deal with these threats wherever found. With the world rapidly becoming more bizarre and dangerous than ever before as the supervillains arise, these agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are ready to take them on. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)


I have to give kudos to Marvel for the success of this show. While some of the characters annoy me, I will watch for the rest of them, especially Agent Coulson. Started off a little slow but has steadily picked up speed over the past two years. With exciting storylines and crossovers into the movies, (take note DC) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is good old-fashioned fun. (and yes I HAD to spell out S.H.I.E.L.D. correctly, or my son would have scolded me relentlessly!)

Agent Carter (2015-2016)

In 1946, Peggy Carter returned to secretarial duties in the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), despite her pivotal role if the fight against Hydra. Accused of treason, the famed Howard Stark secretly recruits Peggy to clear his name with the help of his butler, Edwin Jarvis.


I didn’t see the original Captain America movie until after I watched Peggy Carter. The attraction and hook of this show are simple – Hayley Atwell.  She is such a brilliant and talented actress. I enjoyed watching her muck it up and prove the big boys wrong week after week.  So sad when the series ended, but I had fun while it lasted!

 
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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Awesome Excerpt Thursday - Prince of Sin by Cass Ford


Prince of Sin – Book Blurb:

When savvy gossip vlogger Morgan Sidney gets assigned the breakup of porn’s most illustrious couple, she strikes a deal with her boss—if she scores an exclusive, she’ll get promoted. So when the famous and flirtatious Prince of Sin offers to fulfill her three wildest sex fantasies, Morgan must decide whether she’ll keep things professional or surrender and explore her sensual side.


As someone who despises the media, why is Chase Prince spending time with a reporter? Clearly, he’s intrigued. But can a scorched sinner—and the biggest smut star around—let a fierce civilian enter his domain?


Prince of Sin takes readers beyond Tinseltown’s glossy Hollywood Hills to Silicone Valley—for a behind-the-scenes look at a sometimes bleak, always risqué world.


Prince of Sin - Excerpt:

After watching young Martini McPie accept the Prince of Sin’s face shot a day prior, Morgan needed a reminder that she owned her own sexuality. She took a rejuvenating exercise class and hurried to work to finesse her exclusive. In the car, she held a country music sing-along dance party to celebrate choosing her next beat. Entering Slander just after 9 a.m., she strode keenly toward her desk.
“Morgan!” bellowed a too-familiar voice as Chase Prince emerged from behind a pillar. “Or is it Barbie now?” Stalking forward, he unfurled for a hug.
Startled, she nearly flung backward but quickly regained composure and swerved around him to her desk. On set she’d succumbed to his charms, but Slander was her turf.
Chase followed, hovering.
Omigod, Sean mouthed from his desk, faux fanning himself hysterically.
“I have one hundred things to do,” she told Chase assertively, perusing a file folder.
“Make me number one-oh-one?” he asked, smirking.
She glanced up as he winked. “I’d rather pass a kidney stone.” Her fierce dark eyes pierced the man who helmed the industry that plagued her. Standing upright, she glowered toughly.
“I’m kidding,” he insisted. “But joking aside, can we chat?”
Acknowledging the room, Morgan found numerous colleagues staring. Who could blame their intrigue as the Prince of Sin stood by her cubicle, attempting to flirt? To avoid a dramatic scene, Morgan clasped his bicep, which literally bulged, so she opted for his forearm and guided him toward the conference room.
“Who’s Barbie Blue?” he asked.
“My pseudonym,” she whispered. Barbie was her deceased paternal grandmother, the resilient single mother who’d raised her father. And blue was simply her favorite color. “I don’t need my respected family to learn I’m covering the seediest biz on earth.”
Chase furrowed his brow as Morgan pulled him inside and shut a solid wooden door. “Don’t you have someplace to be?” she asked. “Teenagers lined up to sit on your face?”
Her sass made his dick twinge. Attempting to ignore it, he skipped to the point. “Your fact checker called my agent. Could you not use that one Viola Emperor quote? The one I said off record?”
“Funny,” she stated. “I specified that everything was on record.”
Determined to negotiate, he attempted an adorable, pouty baby face. “Please. I beg, I plead.”
“Oh, all right!” Morgan agreed facetiously, eyes bright.
Reading her perky, exaggerated expression, he asked, “Really?”
“No,” she chortled.
His pout deepened.
“Ech. Do girls actually fall for that?” She pinched his cheek condescendingly. “Darling, you’re cute as a button. But we’re done here.”
As she grabbed the doorknob, he tried to stop her by placing a firm, strong hand over hers. Morgan paused with a shiver and gnawed her lower lip. Chase noticed her nibbling and grinned, delighting in her reaction to his touch. She blinked rapidly and whipped her hand free.
“I could lose my job,” Chase begged.
“Oh no! The Prince of Sin will lose his loyal following of horny adolescent girls,” Morgan mocked. “That quote makes you sound sharp.”
“Sounding sharp isn’t something I care about.”
“It’s not?”
“I care about remaining employed,” he explained. “And that quote puts my career at stake.”
“My career’s at stake too,” she said. “My boss is a dick. And I deserve a promotion.”
His dick twitched again. Her drive excited him, confusingly because he also couldn’t stand her.
“My idiot fact checker shouldn’t have mentioned that clip. Stupid interns.”
Chase clasped her shoulder. “That sounds stressful, Morgan.”
Inhaling deeply, she breathed in his refreshingly sudsy scent. Her name flowed from his mouth like honey dripping from a spoon, sugary and inviting, though not sweet enough to pull the best quote.
He massaged her neck from behind. “It must be stressful for a smart, sexy career woman to deal with idiot interns and a dickhead boss.”
“Yes, it is.” Morgan unwound as his sturdy thumb expertly loosened a shoulder blade knot. “I don’t understand how these morons get promoted and I—” She inhaled his spearmint toothpaste with a touch of whiskey and wondered if the booze was remnants from a fresh morning pick-me-up or a wild night out. Spotting his hand on her shoulder, she bit her lip. A tiny, curious part of her considered succumbing to his intoxicating spell and expert fingers. But her sensibilities prevailed. She harrumphed hotly and scowled.
Chase threw his arms back defensively but refused to step away. “I’m innocent,” he feigned.
“Until proven guilty,” she suggested.
He inched closer, backing her into the door. “I’ll make you a deal.”
“You have nothing I desire.”
“Not even sex in public?” he answered, planting his hands on either side of her head. “That seems like something you desperately desire.”
She bit her lip again.
“And your colleagues are right outside.” His face inched closer, like an erotically charged magnet. “I’d gladly explore your top three fantasies.”
“Top three?” Morgan hollered boisterously. “What are you, a genie?”
“Only if you’ll rub my magic lamp,” he said with a wink.
She wanted to huff and sneer with a bitchy side-eye while cackling in his face. But her treacherous clit craved attention. It took every ounce of willpower not to nibble his full lower lip just an inch away. Determined, she ducked under his arm and moved aside. To refrain from literally swooning, she leaned on the conference table.
His prying eyes scanned her trim figure. “You should probably get back to those hundred things,” he said, twisting the doorknob. “Here’s my personal number.” Chase handed over a business card. “Maybe we can continue this sometime. Depending on what you decide to post, of course.”

He exited, leaving her to catch a shaky breath.


Author Bio:

Smut writer Cass Ford began creating smoldering male protagonists when she was five years old and convinced her aunt that she had a hot and heavy kindergarten boyfriend. In grade school, she penned tales on her parents’ typewriter and by middle school sold her own love and gossip magazines to friends. As a preteen at sleepover camp, Cass often told playful, steamy bedtime stories to her bunkmates.
After earning her Bachelor of Journalism degree and several TV/film certificates, Cass continued to hone her passion for storytelling as a development producer for broadcast news and unscripted television. Born and raised in Canada, she now resides in California.


Author Website: www.imcassford.com


Social Media Accounts:


Prince of Sin - Buy Links:
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