The Wolf Pack is on the hunt…for good reads!

Wolf Pack Run

My alter ego, Elsa Jade, is running with the Wolf Pack to get these sexy shifter stories — all for only 99¢ March 2-4! Except for my HERO. He’s free!

There’s an awesome giveaway too, hosted by all these authors, so be sure to check that out on the Wolf Pack giveaway page.

Movie review: Edge of Tomorrow

TL;DR: Fun, fun! Go see it!

edge-of-tomorrow-international-poster-600x888Now for my more complete thoughts 🙂 This is spoiler free as long as you’ve seen the trailers.

I’ve said before a movie can pretty much win me over with good CG, high action, multi-stage explosions with lens flares, and some decent one-liners from watchable leads. I read books for character and story. Yes, I’ll whine about plot holes, but for the most part, a movie can satisfy me with popcorn spectacle and the entertaining illusion that I can deliver a round-house kick when I walk out of the theater.

But when I get character and story AND spectacle… well, how happy am I?

EDGE OF TOMORROW was all that. Maybe it’s because I’m writing a science fiction romance novella right now, but I really appreciated how this movie’s creators seemed to understand and honor both its inherent limitations (really, there’s only so much storytelling you can do in less than two hours) and its potential scope (visually and viscerally).


There really wasn’t a good time for a potty break in this movie. The action was continuous and the exposition was quick and tight. This movie wasn’t a reboot of an older storyline, so we didn’t get a lot of origin backstory. And it wasn’t a setup for a franchise, so we didn’t get a lot of foreshadowing. Our heroes focused on what they needed to do without a lot of unnecessary mooning about their bigger world. The movie told THIS story.

For my fellow writers out there, I was particularly impressed with how the script handled the repeating timeline aspect, giving us just enough repeat to establish the flow and change of the story and characters without getting boring. Really nicely done.


My fellow writers know all about the “rule” to Show Don’t Tell, and EDGE OF TOMORROW did a wonderful job with showing. The character growth and emotional arcs were beautifully presented in snippets of action and quick glances. Movies have an advantage over books in the SDT realm, and these movie makers made the absolute most of their medium.

Admittedly, sometimes I almost wanted more. But I wanted more because I enjoyed it so much, not because I was unsatisfied. Like a rich dark chocolate flourless cake — you can ALWAYS eat more, even when you don’t really NEED more 🙂


When a movie starts with the premise that the main character dies repeatedly, you’d think it’d be easy to stop caring cuz you know he’ll come back. But between the hero’s difficult arc and the established stakes for the storyworld, I totally cared. I was invested in his journey and wanted to see him win. And the movie delivered. Plus, explosions!


Aside from some minor quibbles with time travel conundrums (which are as pointless as complaining about FTL drives) my biggest peeve — as with almost all monster movies — was that the aliens were essentially unbeatable… until they were chasing our heroes, and then suddenly the monsters are running at half speed and bumbling over obstacles. I realize this is so common in monster movies it’s practically a trope, but they could’ve worked around it with better staging. But whatever.

I’m almost always going to support SF movies on principle alone (yes, I will see the PROMETHEUS sequel and whatever they give me for STAR WARS no matter how many times they burn me) but when a movie really comes through for me, I am so, so happy.

Go see it!

(Last thoughts. I saw EDGE OF TOMORROW in 3D and thought it was worth the extra expense because I am easily amused by ducking explosions and monsters coming at me.  YMMV and if you can’t/don’t see it in 3D, you will still enjoy the story. Also, I just found out my preferred theater — a Century 16 — is discounted on Tuesdays, by $4/ticket, and I had NO idea, so check and see is your fave theater is doing anything to lure people into seats. Also also, I said science fiction romance earlier, but I don’t want to imply this was a SFR movie. So if you are a guy somehow reading this, don’t get scared away.)


Nothing says sci fi like planetary flares

I’m working on a cover for a science fiction romance in my Sheerways series. Whaddaya think so far? I’m thinking J.J. Abrams might be interested. Just FYI I would TOTALLY help write anything Star Wars/Trekkie! (Spoiler alert: There will be waaaaaaay more kissing in mine!)

Lord of Lens Flares

Worldbuilding our real world

I followed a link courtesy of author friend Teri Brown to a thoughtful piece by Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station about the, er, interesting times we find ourselves living in at the moment. It’s about dogma, fanatics, and fear. It’s a clear and rather terrifying glimpse into a mindset I sometimes have trouble understanding, so if you’re like me and frequently find yourself thinking, “WTF, humans?” you might go check it out.

(I know the post risks a tl;dr dismissal, but it’s worth reading, and a lot of the comments too.)

As a writer, I know well that THE hardest thing I can make a character do is face his or her cherished, long-held, clutched-to-the-chest-like-Grandma’s-pearls worldview. To question characters’ worldviews (their identity, as author and story consultant Michael Hauge calls it) challenges the very heart and soul of who they have been and offers only an uncertain glimpse into the future of who they might become.

Those characters who can’t accept the challenge have three options:

  1. Be left behind.
  2. Die.
  3. Become villains.

Sucks to be them. No wonder they are so afraid.

Those characters who are willing to face the challenge should be even more afraid. Because they will be hurt. They will find themselves on the run, usually stumbling, probably barefoot, most likely over rocks. Rocks with nails sticking out. Nails coated in salt and lime juice. They will lose whatever they cherish most, including Grandma’s pearls.

Whatever they fear most will inevitably loom up before them. How do I know this? Because it’s in the Author’s Handbook of Torturing Characters, of course.

But in the end, the characters willing to challenge — and change — the flaws and weaknesses in their own beliefs become heroes.

As readers, we demand such fortitude from our fictional characters. I wish we could expect the same from our real-life leaders.


Alphas are trouble

So poor Monster Girl (who is definitely NOT an alpha) survived the fireworks last night. I had a plate of angel food cake on my desk and, rather than go hide in the basement, she decided it was worth risking a flaming phosphorescent demise if there was a chance she might get a piece of cake.

I think most of us feel that way, no?

Today, I’m at Books Make Me Happy, talking about how alpha males take control if you let them. Come leave a comment for a chance to win a pair of “Alpha’s Heart” Swarovski dangle earrings.