Star Wars: The Force Awakens – not my Star Wars, but that’s okay.

Note: Spoilers for Star Wars: TFA, obviously!

The hubby and I finally got out yesterday to see TFA after delaying it for weeks due to two things – first, the crowds were just too much for us and second, our dislike of all things super-commercialized. When I see Ford truck commercials using the Star Wars theme… yeah, I feel a bit manipulated.

A wee bit of history – I saw Star Wars the first night it opened in Toronto, Canada. My mother took me and my sister because she thought it would be cool. This is the same woman who watched the original Star Trek with me on her knee, BTW. So she’s cool as well. I went on to see all of the sequels, obviously.

This movie… it was good but I won’t be seeing it a second time. I liked it, I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t my Star Wars.

And you know what? That’s okay!

Because this movie isn’t for a 51 yr. old woman. This movie is for all the kids in the audience who stood there and cheered on Rey as she kicked butt and took names, who rooted for Finn as he chose to take charge of his life and applauded Poe as he flew that X-Wing in ways we’d only imagined with our toys before.

Me… I wept when I saw Han and Leia. Because in my world, at the end of SW: ANH they went off, got married and had their Happy-Ever-After, helping Luke rebuild the Jedi Order and making the Galaxy a Better Place with the New Republic.

This emo-whiny son of theirs…. I admit, I laughed when he took his mask off. And I wanted to pinch his cute widdle cheeks and tell him to grow up when he whined at his father. And yes, I cried when Han died. And more when I saw Leia’s reaction.

But Rey was too perfect a heroine and while I love her, I would have liked to see more flaws in her character. I expected more actual screen time from Poe and how the heck did he get off Jakku in the first place? And Finn… well, he seemed a little too keen to kill his fellow Stormtroopers. And don’t get me started on the science…

…but that’s okay. Because this movie wasn’t for me or my generation. It’s for the kids, the wide-eyed eager little ones in the audience who are now waving lightsabers around and laughing like I did back then, jousting with my sister with cardboard tubes.

Best of luck to you, SW:TFA. You’re like the old high school boyfriend at the 25 yr. reunion – great to see you again, but you can’t go back to those good old feelings.

And that’s… okay.

:)

My Holiday Thoughts…

my first selfieBack in 1999 I was, in technical terms, a mess. I’d decided to get my fiancee visa to move from Canada to the US to marry my sweet Wookie, the man I met through my X-Files fandom and fanfiction. To say there was a lot of paperwork was an understatement – including having to buy a house in Pennsylvania without actually seeing the house and making sure we had the receipt for wedding rings to show the U.S. Government that we were serious about being married.

Then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

A bad Pap smear turned into one treatment and then another and finally a cone biopsy scheduled…. soon. My doctor said maybe three, maybe six months to get an appointment to see not only if the cancer was still there but if it’d spread.

Yeah, I was a mess. And in the middle of it I’m packing up my life, dealing with my mother/roommate and working a full-time job as a security officer in a computer warehouse.

Needless to say every day was a series of trials and tribulations as I waited for the paperwork, waited for the doctor to call, waited for something, anything to happen.

A majority of the warehouse workers were Somali immigrants, hustling boxes in and out of tractor-trailers every day. We knew each other but not too much because I was supposed to keep a distance from them for security reasons. But it was no secret I was planning to leave and go to the US to get married.

And that I might have cancer.

One day I ran into Mohammed in the breakroom. He was reheating his meal and I was daring to get a cup of coffee – the industrial-strength type that peeled the paint off of cars. We exchanged pleasantries and I thought that was the end of the conversation.

It wasn’t.

“How are you doing?” he asked. “I know you’re not… well.”

I was used to this type of wording from the workers because many of them were intrigued at seeing a woman in uniform and working in security. Not to mention in her 30’s and still single!

“I’m fine. Thank you.”

Mohammed nodded. “I want you to know that we’re all praying for you.” He gestured at the window leading to the warehouse floor. “We’re all praying for you to be well.”

I was speechless. I knew the majority of workers were Muslim because I’d seen them on my security cameras stop working and go pray.

Mohammad had also asked me about the Pope’s recent visit, noting he was a “Very Holy Man”, to which I agreed.

But this was much more than that.

“Thank you.” It was all I could get out, not wanting to start crying there in the break room.

He smiled and took his food out of the microwave to go and sit with his friends.

A few weeks later my doctor called and said he’d managed to get me an earlier appointment for the cone biopsy. And my visa came through with only one speed bump as I raced overnight to Montreal and back to Toronto to get my passport visa stamped. In 2000 I came down to the US and got married.

Now, with all the bafflegab going around about Muslims, all I can think about is a group of men who barely knew me,  who knew I was definitely Christian and a woman and having medical issues.

And they prayed for me.

*****

On a professional note – 2015 has been good but 2016 is going to be crazy better!

In March the second book in the Hooded Pleasures series comes out from Samhain, Strictly Pleasure. And the third, Strictly Yours in May!

And… tentatively scheduled for June and October… TWO books with St. Martin’s Press/Swerve imprint, both books being sexy menages!

Game On PM

And… because that’s not enough… at some point I’ll be producing a three-book series with Entangled Publishing!

Delta PM

So keep on keeping on and looking forward to a great new year!

Looking for something different to read? Check out this article!

I just tripped across a fabulous article at Heroes and Heartbreakers about what to read if you’re interested in erotic romances – from the very light stuff to the stories that’ll curl your toes (in a good way!), here’s a great primer as to what you might want to add to your reading list!

I’ve read some of them but not all – but once again my TBR list is growing! No matter what heat level you’re into, there’s an author here or a book that’ll appeal to you – and maybe tease you into pushing your reading limits to the edge!

And, of course, don’t forget that my own book, Strictly Business, comes out on October 20th!

Strictly Business

StrictlyBusiness72lgYou can lead a Domme to love…but you can’t make her fall.

Hooded Pleasures, Book 1

Kate Dubois is a Domme-for-hire for the highly exclusive Hooded Pleasures, a service offering private BDSM sessions to those who can’t—or won’t—risk appearing in an actual club.

Lately, though, she wonders if professional burnout is causing her to have painful flashbacks to a past heartbreak. When her boss insists her next client will be a breath of fresh air, Kate reluctantly agrees to an interview.

Alex Hanson dominates the world of computer game programming, but secretly he suspects he might be a sub in the bedroom. There’s only one good way to find out—hire a professional to show him the ropes.

Their first meeting puts both of them to the test—Alex’s self-control, and Kate’s realization she might just like him a little too much. But there’s no denying their emotions are inextricably entangled…a dangerous step Kate’s not sure her heart is prepared to take.
Warning: Contains a hard-core computer geek with a tender side, and a Domme who can’t afford to expose her greatest weakness—him. Geekery combined with flogging. Enjoy!

Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N
Samhain
iBooks
Google Play
All Romance eBooks

October… my scariest month!

My husband loves October. He loves the horror movies; he loves the haunted houses and he adores the never-ending shows about ghost hunters.

I dislike October. I won’t say “hate”, because I think that’s a very strong word. And I really don’t hate the month.

Rather, I’m terrified.

It’s strange. I worked security for a time in a very busy hospital’s emergency room and saw my share of blood and gore. That doesn’t bother me and I helped a lot of people during those years.

However… one trailer for “The Walking Dead” and the hubby has to sleep with a cup because I’ll thrash myself awake out of a nightmare and probably clock him at least once.

Why? I don’t know… I’ve read “The Stand” by Stephen King—and all of his nonfiction books, which I recommend highly. “Dance Macabre” is a fascinating look into the horror genre and I liked reading it despite my avoidance of all things horror.

But October is when all the horror movies come out of the woodwork and fill the airwaves – especially the gory ones like “Hostel” and the Saw series.

Yeah… not a good month for me.

Strangely enough, there’s one movie that I can watch over and over – I just discovered it by chance, once again proving I tend to be a few years behind the times.

Cabin in the Woods” by Joss Whedon and starring our favorite Norse God, Chris Helmsworth, is a great take on the genre. Spoilers in the next paragraph, if you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen it and plan to…



Okay. Get this. *chuckles*

The movie starts off with a group of college students about to head out for a weekend in the woods at a friend’s cabin. Yeah, I know. *yawn*

But as they head out of town the familiar scenario gets a bit wonky – as they enter a tunnel to head over a deep chasm an eagle flies by… and into an invisible forcefield keeping one side of the pit secure from the other. Something’s up and you don’t know what’s going on until the shoe drops and you’re pulled inside a secret facility just below said cabin where the sacrifice is being prepared.

It seems that Old Ones are being held in check all over the earth by yearly sacrifices and the people in these underground facilities are the ones leading the kids to slaughter – other places are shown such as a smoking hole where the Madrid site used to be and Japan where a bunch of schoolkids are being terrorized by an evil spirit.

The employees, including a hysterical performance by Bradley Whitford, carry on as if they’re not actively assisting in the murder of five innocents – placing bets on the monster chosen to kill them and dealing with new interns learning the ropes.

Basically the sacrifices are allowed to choose the method of their own destruction and do so, aided by various nasty tricks such as temperature management and doping the air to allow them to make stupid decisions such as splitting up – really, who HASN’T screamed at the screen when you see the future victims do so? And, as usual, the murders start in a most gruesome method with each victim triggering a blood totem to placate the Old One underneath.

As the movie goes on you’re drawn into rooting for the students to survive despite that if they do live the earth dies – Japan, the one other facility still operating, has failed with the schoolgirls defeating the evil spirit and thus breaking one of the last seals on the Old Ones. Now it’s all or nothing for the Americans and failure is not considered an option, with the execution of almost all of the college students going well.

Except, of course, when it’s not.

I won’t totally spoil the movie for you but it does fill in the gaps of why so many horror tropes are exactly that and a bit of a swipe at a world where human sacrifice is not only demanded but also a normal way of life for some. The ending is perfect and I admit to watching it every time it comes on.

Why doesn’t this send me into nightmare city? I’m not sure – but I think part of it is that the horrors are manufactured and calculated with a wry sense of humor that only Joss Whedon can put in. If you haven’t seen it I do recommend it for a great night’s viewing.
As for the rest of October… I’ll be over here in the corner, cuddling with my Totoro doll and waiting for the calendar to roll over into November and the Christmas specials!

Have you entered my Goodread Giveaway?

Why not – only a few days left and I’ll ship a signed paperback copy of “Strictly Business” anywhere in the world!

Coming October 20th, 2016

Strictly Business

StrictlyBusiness72lgYou can lead a Domme to love…but you can’t make her fall.

Hooded Pleasures, Book 1

Kate Dubois is a Domme-for-hire for the highly exclusive Hooded Pleasures, a service offering private BDSM sessions to those who can’t—or won’t—risk appearing in an actual club.

Lately, though, she wonders if professional burnout is causing her to have painful flashbacks to a past heartbreak. When her boss insists her next client will be a breath of fresh air, Kate reluctantly agrees to an interview.

Alex Hanson dominates the world of computer game programming, but secretly he suspects he might be a sub in the bedroom. There’s only one good way to find out—hire a professional to show him the ropes.

Their first meeting puts both of them to the test—Alex’s self-control, and Kate’s realization she might just like him a little too much. But there’s no denying their emotions are inextricably entangled…a dangerous step Kate’s not sure her heart is prepared to take.
Warning: Contains a hard-core computer geek with a tender side, and a Domme who can’t afford to expose her greatest weakness—him. Geekery combined with flogging. Enjoy!

Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N
Samhain
iBooks
Google Play
All Romance eBooks

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Strictly Business by Sheryl Nantus

Strictly Business

by Sheryl Nantus

Giveaway ends October 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Do you.. haiku? And would you, could you?

I’ve always loved poetry, right back to when I had to memorize “Jabberwocky” and perform it for my Theater Arts class. And believe me, it’s a mouthful!

And getting poetry published is darned hard – I have managed to sell a few pieces here and there, but for the most part it’s been a rough go of it. But I do love haiku and if you’re looking for a wonderful way to get into poetry, may I suggest haiku?

Here’s one of the most famous ones, from Basho – translated from the original Japanese, so there is some difference between translations but you’ll get the idea..

The old pond;
A frog jumps in —
The sound of the water.

(Robert Aitken)

I think it’s an excellent example of what haiku is all about – you instantly imagine the pond, see the frog and create the sound in your mind – and it’s done!

Often I try to apply the same technique to my writing – I don’t have to describe every aspect of a room to fill the reader’s imagination – sometimes a few words, carefully placed, can deliver more than line upon line of description!

I sold this one to Scifaikufest Magazine in 2009:
History Lesson

painted faces glare
stabbing at empty spacesuits
our descendants scream.
And this one to NiteBlade Magazine the same year:

Spacewalk

Raindrops
run
across
the inside
of my helmet
I dream of dry land.

If you’ve never read or consider writing poetry, why not take a look at haiku and see if it’s for you? It doesn’t take a long time to compose and can really clear your mind for a few minutes – I find it a great break from writing!

And don’t forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway – I’m handing out FIVE paperback copies of “Strictly Business” and I’ll ship them anywhere in the world! Come on and click the link below and get into the drawing!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Strictly Business by Sheryl Nantus

Strictly Business

by Sheryl Nantus

Giveaway ends October 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

A wise man once said… (reblogged post from Chuck Wendig that has all the words!)

I’ve always loved Chuck W’s work – from his fiction to his writing craft books but just had to reblog and point people at this fabulous post on Star Wars and Canon… unfortunately he’s not on WP but we can, through the magic of technology, get to his post this way.

A little bit to whet your appetite! Then go, feast, and think!

(Me, I’ve got to get back to editing Game On – coming from SMP Swerve in 2016! )

See, Star Wars has always been more Tolkien than Marvel or DC. What I mean is this: the continuity of Star Wars has mostly remained a single, unbroken chain. Tolkien’s narrative storyworld is unified in the same way — whereas with the two major comic book houses, you get a massively fractured narrative. You get hundreds of chains, some broken, others soldered together, others still just random links floating in the void. The storyworlds of Star Wars and Middle-earth are histories beholden to isolated timelines; the storyworlds of DC and Marvel are shattered mirrors representing a variety of alternate dimensions or single-shot universes. Middle-earth has little variance in its historical thrust — no alternate histories. And, up until recently, that was somewhat true of Star Wars, too. (I say “somewhat” because how exactly do you classify the video games? The comics? The “Droids” cartoon? LUMPY AND ITCHY AND LIFE DAY?

Sound Mind, Sound… what?

If you’ve read my blog more than once you might have noticed my love of board games. I’ll admit it, it wasn’t until I got married and discovered the Origins Game Fair that I really fell in love with them; my hubby a willing accomplice in the deal.

100_0182But why board games, you might ask? Why not video games?

Well… I do play those as well. I’ve run in the shadows in the recent release of Shadowrun: Hong Kong and I was a wild member of Team Banzai back in the days of MechWarrior 4 and 5 online, charging around in my wee light mech and blowing up my enemies with a scream and a curse.

But now I tend to enjoy board games with the hubby and thrill to go to Columbus every year where I not only get to get my gamer side on but also participate as a member of the Library – the Origins group of authors that produce a yearly anthology and have a table in the Dealers’ Room as well as participate on various panels about writing.

As a writer I think it’s vitally important for me to rest my mind – my body gets enough rest sitting on the sofa, believe me. And while I still enjoy some online gaming and am, as far as I know, the only clockwork dragon in Second Life toddling around, the appeal of board games call me away most evenings.

It’s also a fabulous way to turn my creativity upside down and backwards. A night trying to capture Jack the Ripper (Letters from WhiteChapel) or to beat one of the Old Ones before he (it?) takes over the world (Elder Sign) or maybe trying to build an empire (7 Wonders, Five Tribes, Kingdom Builder) can really recharge the old mental batteries.

SL05

So if you’re looking for a way to swing your mind around like a roller coaster ride, why not check out board games? There’s a lot more out there than just Monopoly and Risk, although those are great places to start!

(And… you won’t get frustrated by your computer freaking out over the graphics or spend time searching for cheat codes/hating those who do!)

Coming October 20th, 2016

Strictly Business

StrictlyBusiness72lgYou can lead a Domme to love…but you can’t make her fall.

Hooded Pleasures, Book 1

Kate Dubois is a Domme-for-hire for the highly exclusive Hooded Pleasures, a service offering private BDSM sessions to those who can’t—or won’t—risk appearing in an actual club.

Lately, though, she wonders if professional burnout is causing her to have painful flashbacks to a past heartbreak. When her boss insists her next client will be a breath of fresh air, Kate reluctantly agrees to an interview.

Alex Hanson dominates the world of computer game programming, but secretly he suspects he might be a sub in the bedroom. There’s only one good way to find out—hire a professional to show him the ropes.

Their first meeting puts both of them to the test—Alex’s self-control, and Kate’s realization she might just like him a little too much. But there’s no denying their emotions are inextricably entangled…a dangerous step Kate’s not sure her heart is prepared to take.
Warning: Contains a hard-core computer geek with a tender side, and a Domme who can’t afford to expose her greatest weakness—him. Geekery combined with flogging. Enjoy!

Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N
Samhain
iBooks
Google Play
All Romance eBooks

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Strictly Business by Sheryl Nantus

Strictly Business

by Sheryl Nantus

Giveaway ends October 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Shippers, Unite!

One of the hottest relationships right now, in my opinion, is the Olicity – the Oliver/Felicity ship that draws me to Arrow every week. All I need is a touch, a wink or a hot look and I’m soaring – and, to be fair, Stephen Amell on the salmon ladder doesn’t hurt the old eyes that much either!
;)
But Olicity is just the most recent of my shippy obsessions… as I look back there’s been pairings that drove me mad either with the wanting and not having, or the actual having and the problems therein.
So here, without further ado, are my shippy addictions – do you agree/disagree/swoon with any of them as much as I do?

Picture-Jack-SamSam/Jack from Stargate SG-1: From the first time I saw this show I knew these two had to be together. Yes, I wrote the fanfics and I shipped da ship for these two to break free of the darned rules and become a couple. I swooned over the sexual tension and about fainted when Jack confessed his love for her under duress (he was being accused of being a spy because the truth machine was saying he wasn’t telling all…) and Sam caught between the man her rebel alien mental partner loves (rather complicated, I know) and her want for Jack, the old grizzled sexy man. Who couldn’t be rooting for them to have a happy ending? In my world, after the series ended they both retired and moved to a nice house in the country for plenty of shippy moments!

THE X FILES: David Duchovny (L) as Agent Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson (R) as Agent Dana Scully. ©1998 FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY. CR: Mark Seliger/FOX

Mulder/Scully from X-Files: Possibly the most obsessive of all my shippydoms – and I can’t say otherwise because it brought me my sweet husband! Who couldn’t feel the sexual tension in the air between Moose and Squirrel when they dashed into paranormal danger? I wrote over two hundred fanfics (yes, that’s 200) where either they got together or came darned close… and thanks to some sweet fan mail from an eager reader, I met and married my hubby! I’m excited for the new episodes next year but… I’m worried that they won’t continue the relationship. Moose and Squirrel together forever!

Oliver-and-Felicity-arrow-37655284-1920-1080And, of course – Oliver/Felicity from Arrow: This is the sort of success story I love to hear about – an actress gets a bit part playing an IT on an action/adventure show and the producers realize there’s something here, some chemistry between her and the male star that works a LOT better than the canon relationship between Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance. Suddenly Emily Bett Rickards jumps from being in the background to being one of the major character and SO MUCH LOVE with Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen. The writers did a faboo job of building the relationship over two seasons until we got a hot, HOT love scene last year, affirmation by the two characters of their twu luv and it’s continuing into this year… how can this go wrong?
DON’T TELL ME! DON’T YOU DARE TELL ME!

;)

So what couples have you swooned over in the past? Spike/Buffy? Angel/Buffy? Willow/Tara? Everyone on the Vampire Diaries? Moose/Squirrel/Castiel from Supernatural? What’s sending your pulse in triple digits in fanfiction and on the screen?

Coming October 20th, 2016

Strictly Business

StrictlyBusiness72lgYou can lead a Domme to love…but you can’t make her fall.

Hooded Pleasures, Book 1

Kate Dubois is a Domme-for-hire for the highly exclusive Hooded Pleasures, a service offering private BDSM sessions to those who can’t—or won’t—risk appearing in an actual club.

Lately, though, she wonders if professional burnout is causing her to have painful flashbacks to a past heartbreak. When her boss insists her next client will be a breath of fresh air, Kate reluctantly agrees to an interview.

Alex Hanson dominates the world of computer game programming, but secretly he suspects he might be a sub in the bedroom. There’s only one good way to find out—hire a professional to show him the ropes.

Their first meeting puts both of them to the test—Alex’s self-control, and Kate’s realization she might just like him a little too much. But there’s no denying their emotions are inextricably entangled…a dangerous step Kate’s not sure her heart is prepared to take.
Warning: Contains a hard-core computer geek with a tender side, and a Domme who can’t afford to expose her greatest weakness—him. Geekery combined with flogging. Enjoy!

Buy Links:
Amazon
B&N
Samhain
iBooks
Google Play
All Romance eBooks

Book Giveaway! Win a copy of Strictly Business!

I’m giving away five paperback copies of “Strictly Business”, book one of the Hooded Pleasures series – check below and enter on Goodreads!

StrictlyBusiness72lg

You can lead a Domme to love…but you can’t make her fall.

Kate Dubois is a Domme-for-hire for the highly exclusive Hooded Pleasures, a service offering private BDSM sessions to those who can’t—or won’t—risk appearing in an actual club.

Lately, though, she wonders if professional burnout is causing her to have painful flashbacks to a past heartbreak. When her boss insists her next client will be a breath of fresh air, Kate reluctantly agrees to an interview.

Alex Hanson dominates the world of computer game programming, but secretly he suspects he might be a sub in the bedroom. There’s only one good way to find out—hire a professional to show him the ropes.

Their first meeting puts both of them to the test—Alex’s self-control, and Kate’s realization she might just like him a little too much. But there’s no denying their emotions are inextricably entangled…a dangerous step Kate’s not sure her heart is prepared to take.

Warning: Contains a hard-core computer geek with a tender side, and a Domme who can’t afford to expose her greatest weakness—him. Geekery combined with flogging. Enjoy!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Strictly Business by Sheryl Nantus

Strictly Business

by Sheryl Nantus

Giveaway ends October 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway