An Unforgettable Movie

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So who would I cast in a movie based on one of my books? Funny you should ask, because this question was posed to me recently by someone at Romantic Times Magazine who was writing an article about books they’d like to see made into movies. She said she thought Unforgettable Summer would make a great movie an guess what? I think I agree with her :).

RT Mag

I’m famous. You’ll have to trust me since you probably can’t read this.

I had a little trouble casting my hero from that book, Ty Butler. A world champ surfer with a casual air, a wicked sense of humour and a cheeky smile…it took me a while to find the right guy, but then I found him.

Eric Christian OlsenEric Christian Olsen plays Deeks in NCIS LA and I love his silly sense of humor and his scruffy face and hair and his casual athleticism. THIS guy could play Ty (if he could pull off the Aussie accent of course. Perhaps I’d have to help :)).

And as for Summer I picked Melanie Vallejo, and Australian actress of part fillipino descent who is perfect to play her.

SummerI think they’d go nicely together. What do you think?

Catching the one that got away could be the ultimate ride

Wild Crush, Book 1

Champion surfer Ty Butler is living the dream—a great career, a globe-trotting lifestyle, and his pick of women. Then a visit to his hometown forces him to face Summer Campbell.

A decade on, she still gives him an adrenaline rush to beat the biggest waves. She’s also as unavailable as ever, or so he thinks. When the truth comes out, Ty decides it’s time to lay old ghosts to rest—and lay Summer flat out in bed.

Ten years ago Summer committed the ultimate sin by falling for her sister’s boyfriend. She rejected Ty’s love out of duty, even marrying another man in an attempt to move on. An attempt that failed. She never forgot Ty—or the havoc loving him wreaked in her life.

Her body wants to finish what they started long ago. Her head tells her she can indulge in a wicked affair with no regrets. But when the pro-surfing tour inevitably calls him away, her heart could crumble like a sandcastle beneath his feet.

Warning: Book contains hot sex with a hot surfer. Might warm your heart and heat up a few other parts, as well. Might even inspire you to chuck it all in and chase the endless summer.



A Sad Day


Robin Williams has been on my screens, either TV or movie, for almost my whole life. When I was 5 years old Mork and Mindy was my favourite show. My mother used to call me in from outside so I could see it, because I would be devastated if I missed the beginning. I was going to grow up and move to Boulder Colorado so I could live with Mork, right or wrong.

Then with Robin moved on to movies he showed how versatile he was. The sensitivity he brought to his more serious roles was sublime. One of my favourite movie scenes of all time is the ‘It’s not your fault’ scene in Good Will Hunting. I cannot watch it without tearing up.

But then there are so many great moments. The Oh Captain my Captain scene from Dead Poet’s Society, the hilarious restaurant scene in Mrs. Doubtfire, his chilling performances in One Hour Photo and Insomnia, the DJing sequences in Good Morning Vietnam that I believe no body else in the world could have pulled off. the countless voice overs he provided for animated movies… the list could go on. Let’s just say it’s difficult for me to imagine a world where there will never be a new Robin Williams film, and I’m very very sad today.

Awakenings dead-poets-society robin-williams-13 6370_good-will-hunting-640 robin-williams Mrs-Doubtfire-525x324

Nanoo, nanoo Mork


Five Dodgy Lessons From Cinderella


We took the girls to the movies on the weekend. They’ve been playing all the classic Disney films at reduced prices. I’d never seen the original movie of Cinderella and the kids needed to get out of the house so off we set.

Well, I had a shock I tell you. I’d read the story as a kid of course, and always sensed there was something a little off about the whole glass slipper fits=true love scenario, but at a young age I couldn’t really put my finger on what was wrong with it. Seeing this story retold as an adult woman and a mother who’s trying to teach her kids to be independent, smart individuals, I was caught between hysterical laughter and concern over the messages this movie inflicts on young minds:

  1. If a handsome prince gets to be in his twenties and has shown so little interest in women that his father organises aball to push the women in the kingdom onto him, it’s because he hasn’t met the right girl. Not because he’s secretly gay or anything.
  2. If life – or an evil stepmother – beats you down, you must remain sweet and kind at all times, doing nothing to get yourself out of the bad situation. Just sit on your ass and believe that your fairy Godmother will show up and fix it all for you.
  3. When said FG shows up and proves to be capable of the most amazing magic, you should use it on a pretty dress, a carriage and a trip to a dance. Not to take you out of town and away from your bitch of a stepmother. That doesn’t make any sense.
  4. Magic powerful enough to turn a pumpkin into a carriage and mice into horses, is not powerful enough to last beyond the stroke of midnight. You must never question this.
  5. The only way out of a bad family situation is to marry the first guy who kisses you. Within 24 hours of meeting him. Even if the guy has so little memory of your face from the night before that he needs a shoe-fit comparison to know you’re the girl he’s looking for. Even if this knowledge and interest in shoes seems to be conclusive proof that he is secretly gay, after all.

Yeah, those are the messages I want my girls to takeaway from their moving going experience. Not.

I think the tale of Cinderella is in serious need of an overhaul. Surely we can build a better path to HEA than this.


Sex and Violence–Why Do We Love It?

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I’ve been a long time fan of the James Bond films. I’m not in the minority. The Bond franchise has been going for 50 years. The most recent film, Skyfall (which I saw last week and yehah wowza, it was good), looks set to be one of the highest grossing films of all time. Yet the movies at their core are about the most base of concepts. Violence. Sex. Winning. Killing bad guys without remorse.  Bond is the typical alpha male and the movies are designed to appeal to men.

So I understand why men like these movies. But why do women like them? Why do I?

It doesn’t hurt that the actors playing Bond have historically been pretty darn hot. I’ve been fairly vocal in the past about the fact that Daniel Craig floats my boat. The sex appeal is a factor, but ultimately I wouldn’t sit through a movie I didn’t like just to perve on someone’s body when I could just go to the internet and download pictures. I like the movies themselves, even though they are almost entirely devoid of strong female characters (damsels in distress anyone?) and there’s very little exploration of deep emotion in the movies, which is what I like in a book.

And maybe that’s the crux of it. I want different things out of a movie than I want out of a book. When reading I want complete immersion, I want to be taken into the lives of the protagonists and experience events vicariously through them. When I watch a movie, I want to be entertained. I want to switch my brain to the ‘off’ position and simply receive input. I don’t want to think about how sexist the movies are or how that kind of violence in real life would be distressing, let alone why I find that kind of stylised violence entertaining (there’s probably grounds for a therapy session in there somehwere). And I definitely don’t want to worry about how the new Bond is really a pre-Connery Bond who living in the new milenium because that’s just a head spin. Going to the movies is not an interaction the way reading a book can be. It is a chance to let somebody else do all the thinking for me while I sit there and say ‘gimme gimme gimmie!’.

Skyfall was wicked entertainment. Rumour has it Daniel Craig has been contracted to play Bond in two more films. All I can say is—

Gimme gimmie gimmie!

Anyone else seen the movie? Do you love or hate action films?



What Were You Doing?


Tomorrow is the official beginning of schoolies week on the Gold Coast here in Queensland. This is a week (actually three weeks) during which students who’ve now completed high school party like there’s no tomorrow, a teenage romp probably not dissimilar to what readers in the US might know of as Spring Break. This is a festival which always attracts much media attention, most of it negative, but all in all one where kids from several Australian states get together and have a great time celetrating their newfound freedom from the tyranny of high school–before they’re required to enter the workforce or plan for University or college.

If there was such a thing as schoolies week when I left school, I hadn’t heard about it. I lived in a relatively small beachside town, so our celebrations amounted to bonfires on the beach, parties at the cool kids houses (to which I was rarely if ever invited), and the school formal—something much like a prom. Now, I left school in 1988. Yes, that long ago. I thought it would be fun to think back on what was going on back then—the things that made up the soundtrack of my young life.

Fashion: By 1988 we’d moved on from fingerless gloves and glow in the dark GO GO Tshirts. We were somuch cooler. We’d discovered SHOULDERPADS

Song I remember dancing to most often: “I’ve had the time of my life” from the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack

Album that absolutely everyone owned: Kick by INXS (and yes it would have been on record or TAPE)

Band I locked myself in my room with most often: U2

Must watch weekly watch: Miami Vice, Dallas and Cheers

Guiltiest must watch pleasure: Days of Our Lives. I just loved Bo Brady!

Movie everyone saw at the cinema: Cocktail with Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Shue and Bryan Brown

Movie I wish I hadn’t seen in public: Beaches (cried like a baby at the cinema watching it with my best friend)

Movie I loved then but still love now: Die Hard the original

Movie I loved then but am embarrassed now to admit I loved: Twins with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Movie whose title didn’t seem inappropriate at the time but now does: Working Girl

Movie that was the best for ogling: Tequila Sunrise (Mel Gibson AND Kurt Russell, oh yum)

Books I was reading:

A Brief History of Time by Steven Hawking (okay so no I’ve never gotten past the first 3 pages but it was published in 1988)

What I was really reading: Books by Sydney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Leigh Nichols (who later turned out to be a pseudonym of Dean Koontz), LaVyrle Spencer and many and various category romance novels which I’d discovered only the year before.

So it seems a lot of my memories revolve around movies and books. That much hasn’t changed. So what were you reading/watching/listening to the year you left school?


Catching Up


I finished a book last week–or should I say I refinished it since I was doing rewrites. What I like to do to celebrate each little (or big) submisison I make is to catch up on all the reading and movie watching I put off while all my spare time is funnelled into creating a story. I take a day or two (sometimes it stretches to three or four :)) to veg out, not write at all, and I spend that time reading and watching the movies I haven’t yet gotten around to seeing.

So this last week I read Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter, which I loved, plus a host of ebooks from writers like Erin Nicholas and Maya Banks and Lexxie Couper (oops, how did she get in there?), and Shelli Stevens and Cat Johnson. Believe me when I say that’s a lot of reading for me. I hired out a bunch of movies; Up in the Air (liked), Easy A (loved), and Sherlock Holmes (fell asleep in). And I’ve rewatched several of my old fav episodes of the Gilmore Girls. Yes, that in particular is a dorky habit, but a pleasantly mind-numbing, smile inducing one.

I love to do these things because they help recharge my brain when it feels completely fried from the creative stress of seeing a big project like writing a novel through to the end. I have started another story, but for the first week I took it easy on myself and just got to know the characters. Next week I start in earnest with the early rising and daily goals and all that crap, which I welcome and dread at once.

So what do you do when you feel you need to restart your brain?


Celluloid Sex

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I came across an article today about a couple that embraced passionately during riots in Canada, and I thought, aww. That’d make a great romantic movie scene. It’ll probably turn out to be a publicity stunt meant to generate interest in a new men’s cologne or something. The photo looks suspiciously posed. Still, this got me thinking about the great romantic movie moments… which got me thinking about movie sex scenes. What can I say it’s how my mind operates. I compiled a top five, my a favorite movie love scenes.

  1. An Officer and a Gentleman – I must admit to having a serious thing for Richard Gere. I’ll have to do a post about Silver Foxes one of these days. This is probably my favourite of all his movies. The scenes between him and Debra Winger were so steamy it proves the only thing better than a man in uniform is a man out of one!
  2. The Big Easy – I love the mood of this movie. The sultry atmosphere, the southern accents… and Denis Quaid’s abs aren’t bad either. There’s a scene when he’s seducing Ellen Barkin and he tells her that things are done nice and slow in the big easy that makes me want to hop a plane and go there. And not just for the Gumbo. 
  3. BullDurham– Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon put some interesting visuals to the musical lyrics ‘Sixty Minute Man’. There’s actually no nudity, only very strong suggestion of what’s going on. Is there such a thing as explicit suggestiveness? Who can forget the bath water sloshing over the side of the tub, or Kevin tying Susan up to… paint her toenails. Now that’s a pedicure. 
  4. Unfaithful – When I first heard about this movie I didn’t get it. The character played by Diane Laneis married to a character played by Richard Gere. My Richard Gere thing raises it’s head again. How could anyone cheat on him? Then I saw the movie and I got it. The picture below pretty much says it all. 
  5. Titanic – no matter what else you or I might say about the movie, i.e. that it’s a tad long and a manipulative tear jerker, that scene in the car is damn memorable. Kate Winslet’s hand sliding down the window, all that panting. It’s pretty sexy and made the three hours I spent at the cinema worthwhile—if not the experience of that song. My poor, poor ears.


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Love your weekend, 


Five of the Best

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I rarely agree with any of those compilations of the ‘best of’ things, like best songs or best movies. My favorites never seem to be on the list. This is probably why I do the top fives. The writer in me editing someon else’s work. Today I thought I’d throw together five movie lines that never seem to appear on any of those best of lists.

1.         Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven, the scene at the end when he walks into the bar and shoots the place up to avenge his friend who was hanged.

Gene Hackman: “You just shot an unarmed man!”

Clint: “He should have armed himself”

Good point.

2.         Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. There are so many excellent ones. But the one that’s my personal favourite is a little less sophisticated. Rick is having an argument with a rather large gentleman played by Sydney Greenstreet, during which he states:

“You’re a fat hypocrite!”

That’s telling him.

3.         Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally. I know the I’ll have what she’s having line is the most famous of the movie, but I always laugh out loud at the scene at the beginning when Harry first says men and women can’t be friends because a man will always want to sleep with an attractive woman:

Sally: “So you’re saying a man can be friends with a woman he thinks is ugly.”

Harry: “No, he’ll pretty much want to nail her too.”

 That’s men for ya.

4.         Goldfinger the villain in the James Bond movie of the same name. He has just tied 007 to a table and a lazer beam is about to burn off a sensitive part of his anatomy. Bond yells:

“Do you expect me to talk?”

Goldfinger (laughing): “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

5.         This is extremely low brow, but I love the part in Happy Gilmore when Shooter McGavin is talking tough to Happy:

Shooter: “I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast.”

Happy: “You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?”

Oh, the wit!