My Sunday nights are busy. Usually, I watch The Last Ship, then Falling Skies. Finally, I switch to HBO and watch the last season of True Blood. I kept catching glimpses of The Strain, the new vampire show on FXX. The commercials drew me in, piqued my interests, but I am a loyal watcher of my favorite shows and don’t have time for anything else.
This weekend, with nothing else of TV, I made time for The Strain and boy am I glad I did. Within fifteen minutes of the first episode, I was hooked. Dracula on a plane with a captive audience, Holy Hell. Dracula—AKA The Master—doesn’t look like Luke Evans. He is the opposite of sexy. The dude is huge and Evil with a capital E.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, and there are many—but if you are looking for a real vampire story with characters that don’t sparkle or whine, The Strain is for you.
There is no comparison to Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Buffy, Angel, or True Blood. This is no angsty hormonal teen drama set in a suburban high school or the bayou of Louisiana. NYC is the setting. The grit and grim are as real as the tension and danger. And I loved every second of it.
The Strain executive by Guillermo Del Toro is a cut above the rest of the pack. Reality (the CDC and a runaway virus) and fantasy (Dracula and his minions) blend perfectly. I have to reorganize my Sunday night, because The Strain is my new must watch show.
HERE IS A SNIPPET FROM MY NEXT NOVEL, EVERMORE.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Avery said.
“What?” Emeline opened the water, ready to pass it to him.
He turned, finally giving her his fully attention from his crouched position. Flames danced across his skin, turning him into a molten god. “Serve me. You’re not working and I’m not a customer” he said with a scowl.
His words slapped her. “You asshole. I would feed anyone who came to my home. It’s call common courtesy. Having manners which you have none.”
It’s time to reveal the cover of EVERMORE! The newest Descendants of Ra novel.
There is no such thing as a chance meeting.
There’s no room in Avery Nicolis life for an obsession, yet why else does he stalk Emeline Gamble. Lurking in the shadows, he hungers for a woman he can’t have. Between the secrets he guards and anarchy roiling in his soul, his only solace are his glimpses of Emeline. He will resist her, protect her from himself, and deny his desire to claim her heart.
Emeline Gamble was a Watcher for the Order—a secret society of women charged with monitoring the offspring of the gods. For months, she observed Avery Nicolis, an elite mercenary, Descendant of Ra, and enemy of the Order. Never knowing he had her in his crosshairs.
Trapped in a lie, Emeline is forced to accept Avery as her bodyguard. Compelled to spend time with him, she learns to care for his tortured soul and see the hero lurking beneath the assassin’s façade.
But every word out of her mouth is a lie. Every action a betrayal. Because to save her family she is forced to accept a new assignment, deliver Avery Nicolis to the Goddess of Chaos, alive…
And do not fall in love with him.
The comparisons between the two series are numerous: The battles, blood, feuds, death, betrayal, and the politics. The subplots and subterfuge in Vikings were as riveting as what held my attention in Spartacus. Though what solidified the appeal of the show was Lagertha Lothbok, (actress Kathryn Winnick)
wife of Ragnar, a mighty Earl.
Lagertha is a shield maiden, a warrior. She can wield a sword, hoist a shield, and kill without mercy. She is as fierce as any man, and can bring to pain in any battle. She takes no shit from anyone, including her husband who she eventually leaves when he decides the one son they share isn’t enough. Ragnar decides to take a new wife. Lagertha packs up, leaves with her son, remarries, and becomes an Earl herself.
A fitting character arc for a smart, loyal woman who fears only losing her child, and will fight to keep what she has gained. Kathryn Winnick brings her martial arts talents, beauty, and vulnerability to her portrayal of the Lagertha that captures my imagination.
I want to imbue the many facets of Lagertha’s character to my heroines, the value she places on herself, her compassion for Ragnar’s new wife and their children, leadership of her clan, the respect she has earned by being who she is. Kathryn Winnick makes it look easy, hopefully I can do the same.
I anxiously await the third season of this riveting drama. 2015 is too far away.
Another snippet from Everlasting: Descendants of Ra Book 2
“When you leave, do you go back to Chemmis?” A cold wave hit her. His lips thinned into an angry line and his hands fisted. He nodded once. Hmm? He held no love for the place.
“I need to sleep.” She walked around him and his fingers brushed the back of her hand. A jolt of sorrow caused her entire body to seize. Then his fingers slipped into her palm. A dull ache welled in her center and spread to every cell, leaving a void in its wake. The pain wasn’t hers.
Alexis canted her head at Reign. To the world, he was a six foot eight inch warrior. Deadly to his enemies and her sense of self-preservation. Still, watching his bowed head, feeling the desolation seeping from his palm into her, she saw the truth.
Their gazes locked. Longing lay naked in the depths of his eyes. “Reign—”
He claimed her lips with a scorching kiss. Raw and hungry, her head reeled. A hand cupped her head. Another gripped her hip and gave a gentle tug. She didn’t fight him guiding her closer or the desire he ignited in her blood. His knee slipped between her thighs and he lifted her until she hooked a leg around his waist. Chest to breast, abs to abs, groin pressed against groin, she felt him lengthen. Her core blossomed. Alexis moaned and his tongue slid into her mouth. He tasted like Sunday dinner at grandma’s, Christmas morning, and Midnight on New Year’s Eve, while his body promised Disney World. His biceps flexed as his hand slid under her shirt and stroked up her back.
She moved her hand up his chest, feeling the cotton fabric, the tense muscles beneath, and the thud of his racing heartbeat. Then her fingertips brushed the bare skin of his neck.
A bundle of conflicting emotions slammed into her. Passion warred with frustration and a simmering rage. Terror and loneliness mixed with a profound hunger and a darkness no sun could penetrate. Betrayal had tainted his memories, leaving an anger that stretched centuries. All of this was woven together by bitter regret.
Questions cleared the lust from her mind. She tore her lips away, aching from pain belonging to Reign. Briefly, his hands tightened on her body. His head dropped into the crook of her neck before she could search his face for answers. Warm breath fanned her collar. She bit her lip to keep from protesting when his hands dropped to her hips and he set her on her feet.
This is a snippet from Everlasting, the second Descendants of Ra novel.
His lips stroked up the column of her neck. She turned her head, giving him complete access to the sensitive skin. He chuckled, a deep, sensual sound that reverberated through her and made her want to hear him laugh.
A velvety touch circled the shell of her ear. She giggled and twisted her head to get away, bringing their lips within centimeters of contact. Through the fall of his hair, she glimpsed his eyes. Deep ocean blue. She struggled for air as she drowned in their watery depths.
After four seasons, I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I stopped watching The Vampire Diaries. My teenage daughter first introduced me to it, and I admit the chemistry and magnetism of the male leading characters—Damon and Stefan—perked up my estrogen level and kept me glued for four seasons. But unfortunately the unimaginative and repetitive story line sapped the loyalty right out of me.
The biggest issue: ELENA. While the actress, Nina Dobrev is beautiful and talented etc. her character, Elena has spent too much being possessed by other characters. Elena is a doppelganger to the evil vampire Katerina Petrova aka Katherine Pierce. If that wasn’t hard enough to follow, Elena repeatedly pretends to be Katherine and vice versa. Katherine takes over Elena’s body, Elena takes over Katherine’s body. At the end of season four, the writers introduce a new character and guess who she is…another doppelganger of Elena, but wait! She’s the original and everyone else is a copy of her.
All of that on top of the bed hopping Elena goes through by first loving Stephan, then loving Damon, but lately she’s had sexual dreams about—wait for it—Stephan because that is who she is really meant to be with. Yet, she is determined to stick it out with Damon.
Stick a fork in me… I am done. I’ve erased my old episodes off my DVR and cancelled further recordings. I wish the world of Mystic Falls all my best. I’m watching The Originals, the first spin-off from Vampire Diaries…that is until a doppelganger appears.
I’ve spent the last few weeks watching STAR CROSSED, the new CW series. It’s the story of a romance between a human girl and an alien boy 10 years after they landed on Earth. The premise is not new; he and others of his kind are integrated into a suburban high school. Boy meets girl, gazes lock across a crowded room, an interest sparks, and then world conspires to keep them apart. Absolutely nothing new there. Even the alien theme isn’t new anymore! It has been done before in Smallville, Mark and Mindy, etc.
But, what first captured my interest was their initial meeting after Roman’s spacecraft crashed in Middle America. (Of course it’s Middle America!) Roman and Emery meet as children, one child aiding the other as soldiers kill the arriving aliens.
Their bond is rekindled after they meet again in high school. Because he’s an alien, Roman lives in an internment camp and is restricted from mingling with humans. Even as a new plan of integration and assimilation is implemented by the government.
After five episodes, you have the predictable storyline of a society torn between their traditions and the new world they are force to live in…and the standard a love triangle. There are political intrigues, both alien and human which gives the series a new and different dynamic. Racism and prejudice against the alien race is poignant, especially as I compare the real world we live in. This all plays out within the angst filled confines of high school, though a large percentage of the cast is in their late twenties and early thirties. I find this particularly funny as there is an abundance of available teenage actors who could have filled the roles.
Of course, Roman and Emery are beautiful Matt Lanter (Roman) has the most soulful eyes. Aimee Teegarden (Emery) is blond and ethereal. God forbid the producers cast an average Joe and Jane! Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at a hot guy as much as the next one… and there are certainly some stunning examples on Star Crossed. Greg Finley (Drake) is a fine example. He’s the one on the left.
I think I’m hooked on the series and l can’t wait for the rest of the season!
Open Letter to Indie Authors. click for original article.
I read this and completely agreed with everything the author/blogger stated. So I thought I would re-post and follow her blog.