Dyson, Dyson, Dyson…Staying Satisfied Over the Holidays

If it's not Dyson on the screen...then why am I watching?
If it’s not Dyson on the screen…then why am I watching?

Ladies, these days staying sane means daydreaming about Dyson and the TV show LOST GIRL.  I mean, what are you going to do during that long span of time when there’s only football on TV and re-runs? Lost Girl is a great TV show to watch around the fall holidays.  Those fae folk are just naturally festive and there’s a ye olde harvest-solstice-spirit-y vibe that just emanates from the show.

I first saw a glimpse of LOST GIRL on Hulu.com–but they only had clips, not a full episode.  Then I was on holiday batting around the remote control and came across a scene where Dyson was “healing” Bo the succubus by having sex with her.  Yes, yes, and more yes! Yet it seemed that was just a kind of one time-y thing.  I frowned and moved on to other channels. Until Kiersten Hallie Krum joined Lady Smut, and she had this post about wolves.

Beach glass
Okay, maybe her eyes are really blue? I don’t know, but it’s a really cool look.

So I just had to take another look. I started watching the show and I was bitten–bitten hard.  Yes, there’s a lot about Lost Girl that people love in terms of world building.  And yes, Kenzie, the side kick is so fascinating and fun to watch with her eyes that look like green beach glass.  But really, the alpha and omega of that show for me is Dyson.

There is Bo’s character arc, (yawn) and the arc of what’s going on in Fae land (meh), and then there is Dyson’s feelings for/being there for Bo (!).

healingHe’s got a voice that’s like a black bear licking honey.  He’s got a body that does not stop, despite being forced to wear dorky fae vests.  He’s a long cool glass of water, and he makes me thirsty.  His character and how the actor embodies the character is like the relaxing sensations of a vibrating…foot massager.

Why doesn't Bo go for Kenzi? I don't get it.  Why doesn't Dyson go for her either? Really don't get it.
Why doesn’t Bo go for Kenzi? I don’t get it. Why doesn’t Dyson go for her either? Really don’t get it.

However, if you haven’t watched the show yet, you should brace yourself.  At one point they pull the rug out from under you.  I’m squinting with one hand in front of me while looking ahead for Season Two.  Part of Lost Girl’s unique niche is that Bo is bi.  I’m thinking season number two is all about giving her a lot more girl time…which is okay…I guess…It’s just that for me the only reason I’m watching the show is Dyson, so I’m hoping that whatever he’s doing while kicking his heels as Bo gets it on in Lady Land is as good as the stuff in Season One.

HardMeanwhile, here’s something for your Xmas wish list.  I’ve been reading HARD AS IT GETS a romantic suspense book that’s coming out by Lauren Kaye.  Sounds like an erotic romance with that title–but it’s a little more trad romance.  Loving it — even if you’re not so into tattoos (and I’m not), Kaye will keep you zooming through the pages with her taut hero and his gritty world.  It’s available for pre-order here.

I’m also squealing over the fact that I just got ONYX by Jennifer Armentrout in the mail — this is the follow up to OBSIDIAN — the first book in her Lux series.  While the books are ostensibly Y.A.-ish, they are hawt.

OnyxThey really sit on that line between Y.A. and New Adult. I whiffled through Obsidian.  Now I am drooling over the amethyst cover and can’t wait until I can start reading it later tonight.  In the meanwhile, back to some new chapters for me!

So go over-indulge with a big glop of romance on top of your pecan pie next week. I’ll see ya around the time we start to deck the halls.

Just say no to Xmas creep! — and follow my blog, plz.

Screaming For More: Mary Burton’s Dying Scream

screamI’m ready to scream this morning after tangling myself up in Facebook for over an hour. Does anyone really understand how those wacky author pages work?  I’m taking a breather to do something fun — like chatting with you about Mary Burton’s, DYING SCREAM.

Now, this isn’t Burton’s latest book.  Her latest book is THE SEVENTH VICTIM.  DYING SCREAM came out in 2009, but I picked it up last year and plunked it on my TBR pile (Which is so toweringly high I give one of those silent Edward Munch screams every time I peek at it.)

screamyDYING SCREAM is my favorite Burton novel to date.  This book reminds me of an early Mary Higgins Clark. There’s a hard working heroine named Adrianna who’s pretty perfect.  Normally, I’d not be very sympathetic to Adrianna as a character, but life has handed her a heavy load to bear for the last few years and you’d need to be pretty perfect to keep chipping away at all the problems in it, as Adrianna has. As she’s working through a massive heap of both emotional and work-a-day world woes, you wonder if they will ever end–and that’s just when the spooky-creepy factor starts to build.  Adrianna gets a loving note, but it’s from her dead husband.

What I like about Burton’s skill in this book is that once that fear of a crazy stalker sets in for Adrianna, she starts thinking back.  She’s perhaps been too busy to notice, but maybe he’s actually been around for awhile.  The ripples spread far and wide in her mind as uneasiness spreads to all areas of her life.  Being an extremely busy woman, she’s not exactly surrounded with people to support and protect her.  It’s more like she’s alone in an empty dark building at night, counting out cash and paying bills. I certainly can relate to this workaholic scenario of tired isolation. I really enjoyed the way Burton started cranking the tension from there.  She also does that really good Higgins-Clark move of providing a wide array of male suspects who are both appealing and likeable, yet they all have a little kink in them that could potentially reveal something nasty.

SeventhThe cherry on top for me in this book was Gage Hudson, detective as well as Adrianna’s former love interest.  The writing Mary Burton does around these two in their moments of sexual intensity were SO DAMN GOOD.

That’s all I’m going to say.  It’s a romantic suspense thriller after all.  I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.  Meanwhile, you can see Mary Burton in person this year at The Virginia Festival of the Book in March.  On Saturday, March 23rd, she’s appearing over at Crime Wave but she’s also on a panel at 4pm called KISS KISS BANG BANG.  Writers on this panel will talk about romantic suspense and how to injecting that romantic intensity into works of mystery.  I’m definitely going to ask Mary about how she makes her wound up readers melt.  There’s a book signing right after the panel, and you can find the details here.

A Bloody World & A Reluctant Seduction: BLOOD SEDUCTION by Pamela Palmer

Hello Kittens!

I owe you — shoulda posted yesterday.  Let me make it up to you: here is a review of Pamela Palmer’s A BLOOD SEDUCTION.

Pamela Palmer is an author who has interested me ever since she came to the Virginia Festival of the Book last year and spoke words of wisdom.  I noticed she had a die-hard core of fans in the audience who, from their hoots n hollers were there to see her, only her.

A BLOOD SEDUCTION is the first in her new VAMP CITY series.  For those of you who grok her Feral Warrior series, A LOVE UNTAMED is also coming out soon.

In A BLOOD SEDUCTION Our heroine Quinn starts off experiencing ever-increasing weirdness in her life, while hovering over her younger computer-geek bro and his would-be girlfriend Lily.  People are disappearing from D.C. and soon enough, Lily is one of them.  Searching for Lily with brother in tow, Quinn is sucked into Vamp City — an alternative dark  world to D.C. where cruel vampires rule, and humans are slaves.  (I mean, it’s literally dark — there is no sun) There are also werewolves lurking in the swamplands and other fey creatures treading about that are no help to Quinn at all.  Soon she’s fighting to find her brother, to save her brother, and along the way to escape rape, torture, and becoming immortal (and thus stuck) in Vamp City.

Along the way she slams into Arturo. As we see, Quinn adapts to her circumstances.  Part of that adaptation is the building connection between her and Arturo.  No matter how little either of them wants to get involved, it’s just happening between them.

In this new series, Pamela does several things that I really like.  She explores the kind of Urban Fantasy where old, new, and really old mix together.  We’ve got modern day yellow jeeps mixing with civil-war era frocks n decor.  Some gladiator style entertainment is tossed in as well.

Palmer creates a world so harsh that the hero is quite horribly flawed and yet still a nice guy by comparison.  No “oh at first he seemed so awful and dangerous, but really he’s not”.   [I am usually quite peeved by that kind of backsies move in romance novels.]  No, Arturo is a slippery character that Quinn most definitely shouldn’t trust.  But she doesn’t have a choice.

Pamela Palmer knows how to keep her readers turning the pages.  Brace yourself, though, this novel is definitely part of a series.  Nothing is really resolved by the end–probably because everyone is too busy scrambling around to simply stay alive. Palmer is remorseless in her willingness to let her characters almost succeed in finishing their goal or mission and then dragging them right back to the beginning again.  She creates an adaptable heroine, a very flawed yet understanding hero–and by trapping them in Vamp City she shows us that she is one very cruel author.  ;>



So Bad They’re Kinda Good: Best Villains Ever!

Hello, Mr. O.   Today I’m chatting about you to all the J.R. Ward fans out there.  Mr. O is the primary villain in Ward’s novel Lover Awakened.  I was into this villain–one of the best villain’s ever. Why? Because he’s not just a villain, he’s a lover.

This is from page 10 of LOVER AWAKENED:  O hesitated before leaving.  God, he wanted to hold her.  The thought of losing his woman, even in the hypothetical made him mental.  That female vampire…she was his reason for living now.  Not the society.  Not the killing.

“I’m going out, wife, so be good.” He waited.  “I’ll come back soon and then we’ll wash you.” When there was no answer, he said, “Wife?”

O swallowed compulsively.

Even though he told himself he should be a man, he couldn’t make himself leave without hearing her voice. “Don’t send me out with no good-bye.”


Pain seeped into his heart, making the love he felt for her soar.  He took a deep breath, the delicious weight of despair settling into his chest.  He thought he’d known love before he’d become a lesser.  He’d thought that Jennifer, the woman he’d fucked and fought with for years, had been special.  But he’d been such a naïve fool.  Now he knew what passion really was.  His captive female was a burning pain that made him feel like a man again.  She was the soul that replaced the one he’d given to the Omega.  Through her he lived, though he was undead.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can, wife.”

Creeeeepy!  He’s so passionate, so into her.  He’s just twenty degrees off kilter though.  So even though his love is true, and passionate, and he lives for her (well, sorta lives) to the point where he seems quite similar in feeling to the warrior-heroes of Ward’s books, yet he’s not headed in the same direction.  Like two diverging lines, O and the heroes may seem very close at first.  Especially in this book where messed-up Zsadist deliberately tries to hurt Bella.  Ward’s warriors always cross the boundaries of our modern rules about love.  So does Mr. O–or David, as he insists Bella call him.  But David O’s emotions take him far, far out into creepy-crawlie land, where Ward’s heroes simply do not go.  His love may be all about that jacked-up place of unthinking impulse (like them), and jealousy (like them), but it’s also about mutual, co-dependent destruction (doh).  The heroes in Ward’s books all find transcendence through love.  O’s ideal love is a violent death spiral downward.

The divergence between him and a hero takes the hero to a happy ending, while Mr. O goes plonk right into a big pile of icky perversity.

And if there’s one thing that I truly love, it’s perversity.

I have to confess, I have a thing for amazing villains.  Mr. O is a true villain in that you do want him stopped, you want him dead.  And he doesn’t quite lay down and die.

Meanwhile, there are those villains that you would never want to die. That you kinda feel a little uncomfortable and wiggly about, especially if you were to fantasize about having to be alone with them.  So though Mr. O is right at the top of my favorite villians list, here are three other favorites below. I hope you’ll leave a comment and tell me about some of your favorite villains as well.

Before Allan Rickman played Snape, he stole–just stole–the Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie.  Which is ironic because the movie was called Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  Rickman played a very sexy Sheriff of Nottingham.  I’ve never seen a sexy Sheriff of Nottingham before. I mention him first because it was watching him in this movie that I realized a villain could take you places that the hero couldn’t.

He got all the good lines, too.  He finds out what Robin Hood’s been up to and says: “Wait a minute. Robin Hood steals money from my pocket, forcing me to hurt the public, and they love him for it? That’s it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas.

When he tells Gisborne to cut out Robin Hood’s heart with a spoon, and Gisborne says: “Wait, why a spoon? Why not an axe?”  Rickman’s Sheriff replies, “Because it’s DULL you twit.  It will hurt more.”

He also exudes really awesome sexual chemistry like you wouldn’t believe.  This is mainly because he’s so in-your-face baaaaaaad.  He commands a hottie kitchen wench: You. My room. 10:30 tonight.

Which is like, you know, forced seduction.  She doesn’t have a say.  But then the wench looks so hot at the prospect that her shorter wench companion looks kinda wistful.  It all happens in a flash, but then Rickman’s Sheriff notices the second wench.  Looking her over he says: You. 10:45…And bring a friend. He’s supposed to be a bad guy and mistreating them, but the movie screen almost gets wavy lines from the heated charge coming from him.

This is the point at which all the women watching the movie start to rationalize about this very big bad boy. See, (the woman movie watcher says to herself) he’s not that bad.  He’s smart. He used to be compassionate, letting lepers have kitchen scraps, and the people have Christmas.  And like, he’ll even have sex with the less attractive wench.   I think that Rickman works about 3/4 of his magic with that amazing voice of his and the delivery of his lines. The rest is sheer charisma and confident mojo. (Drool.)

The final two villains that deserve a nomination for Good Bad Villains are Angelus from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Spike, ditto.  Angel when he was bad was sooooooo good!

Angelus: Spike, my boy, you really don’t get it, do you? You tried to kill her, but you couldn’t. Look at you. You’re a wreck! She’s stronger than any Slayer you’ve ever faced. Force won’t get it done. You gotta work from the inside. To kill this girl … you have to love her.

I mean, that line just slays me, no pun intended. Again, there’s a complicated mix of emotion there at the heart of him.  Yum! The best part was the way he’d always turned Buffy’s “we all die alone” tragedy-jane sensibility back on her to outwit her.  He fights with her and when it’s a draw, points out that because she’s gone after him so single-mindedly, that she’s left her friends unprotected.  She sprints away to save them as he calls out, “And again, you always think it’s about you.”

Of course, Spike was simply amazing. He, too, is every bit as much a lover as he is a hater.  He says, “I may be love’s bitch, but at least I’m man enough to admit it.”

Fantastic villains always cut through societal rules.  They don’t posture; they show who they are through action.  Maybe that’s why I love them so.

An excellent villain is smart, honest to the point where it hurts, and he is supremely confident.  He’s exciting because you never know what he’s going to do next.  He may know us better than we know ourselves.  He is that perverse flip-side of the hero.  He could have gone so right, and just didn’t quite make it.

The brilliance with Mr. O is that Ward created such a layered, textured villain whether she meant to or not.  He feels deeply, he hurts, and yet he doesn’t pity himself or live in the past.  He’s really sick–make no mistake–there’s no redeeming him.  But in that part of him that wants passion and wants love and to feel strong emotion there is a kernel of humanity that’s in all of us.  This is what makes him so compelling to read about.

Meanwhile, LOVER’S AWAKENING is really supposed to be about the love story between Zsadist and Bella.  Zsadist (sigh) has a lot of demons from the past to fight inside himself.  Bella–she rocks it out.  She knows she wants to ride the big bad boy, knows it’s perverse, and she really doesn’t care.  So you like watching her do a little bad boy taming.  She’s amazing.   Worthy of a villain like Mr. O.