Blog Archive - April 2013

LHNB Cover Reveal!

Hello all! I wanted to share the cover for my Love Has No Boundaries story An Intrepid Trip to Love. Coming up with a cover for this one was tough, because there's a kiddie in the story, which I've not had before. I loved writing Robbie. He's just so adorable and too much like his dad. I think I managed to capture the feel of the story with the cover, and I just love all their sweet smiles, especially Boone's grin on the left there. The other challenge was whether or not to put in actually Huskies, and I did have a version where I did, but it just didn't feel right. Instead I decided to do things a little differently and have the fellas' shadows be their shifter halves. Well, hope you like it!

An Intrepid Trip to Love450


Charlie's Top 20 Musical Films

Growing up, there was always music playing in our home. My mom enjoyed listening to Spanish musicians while my dad loved pop and classic rock. Usually you could find the Spanish music in the kitchen, which was my mom's favorite room. It was bright, sunny, painted yellow and white, with flowered tablecloth and matching curtains. It was cozy and warm.

In the living room which was my dad's favorite room, consisting of all browns and wood, you could hear Abba, the Monkeys, Elvis, the Beatles, and countless other great bands. I grew up watching the Disney channel when it played nothing but cartoons and musicals, MTV when it played only music videos. When I got older, I worked for Virgin Megastores both in the US and then again in the UK. It's safe to say that movies and music have always been a part of my life. So it's no surprise I love musical movies. I've been to see several onstage in Miami and London. My hope it to one day catch a Broadway show in NYC, because although I've been to NYC a few times, I never got the chance.

I thought I'd share with you my favorite musical films. Some are classics, most you may have heard of, but these are my all time favorites. They're not in any kind of order because when it comes to movies there are too many different aspects to love from each one for me to narrow it down to just one. It's impossible for me. Still, hope you enjoy the list!

42nd street 193342nd Street (1933) Busby Berkeley, the king of musical choreography. I love everything about this movie, from the gorgeous dance numbers to the classic songs like "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me" to "Forty-Second Street".

My favorite quote from Director Julian Marsh to Peggy Sawyer:

"Sawyer, you listen to me, and you listen hard. Two hundred people, two hundred jobs, two hundred thousand dollars, five weeks of grind and blood and sweat depend upon you. It's the lives of all these people who've worked with you. You've got to go on, and you've got to give and give and give. They've got to like you. Got to. Do you understand? You can't fall down. You can't because your future's in it, my future and everything all of us have is staked on you. All right, now I'm through, but you keep your feet on the ground and your head on those shoulders of yours and go out, and Sawyer, you're going out a youngster but you've got to come back a star!"

Ugh, gets me every time. Hollywood passion, and drama, and need! I love it!

blues brothers 1980The Blues Brothers  (1980) This is one of those films I can watch over and over and never get tired of it. Aside Princess Leia playing a psycho ex-girlfriend trying to blow Jake up, the music is awesome, it's funny, and just a load of good old fashioned crazy fun. I admit that every time I go to Universal Studios, I have to watch the Blues Brothers show and you can bet I'm out there shaking my tail feathers.

It's directed by John Landis (Animal House, American Werewolf in London, Trading places, Coming to America) , so no surprise of its awesomeness there. And the music! Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles! Let's not forget the Bluesmobile, which is on my list of cars I would own if I were a millionaire, right after Dean Winchester's Impala and Doc Brown's DeLorean,

bugsy malone 1976Bugsy Malone (1976) This is one of those films I'm very nostalgic about because I saw it when I was a kid in the early 80s. Aside the fact that the music was fantastic, it was a 1920s gangster movie but with an all-kid cast. I highly doubt we'll see anything like this again. The singing was obviously done by adults. The music was arranged, synthesized, and sometimes sung by Paul Williams who I personally love. Custard shooting 'splurge guns' and amazing songs like, "So You Want to Be A Boxer", "Down and Out", and "You Give a Little Love".

 

cabaret 1972Cabaret (1972) Ah, Fosse, what's not to love? I know the film and the musical differ vastly, and I've had the pleasure of watching the stage version which was phenomenal. I can't get enough of this soundtrack, much like pretty much any Bob Fosse musical. And who can forget the Emcee? Sometimes in a musical there's one or two songs you aren't as keen on, but not in Cabaret. "Money, Money", "Mein Herr", "Cabaret". Heartbreaking and beautiful. Not to mention stellar acting, impressive costumes, and just a must have.

 

chicago 2002Chicago (2002) Come on now, are you really surprised? Any movie that's set during the 20s or 30s is going to draw my attention. Make it a musical and I'm all over it like teens at Beiber concert. This was just so much fun. I haven't had the chance to see this on stage (and believe me I've kicked myself over it a hundred times for missing it while I was in London). I love the costumes, and of course, the music. "All That Jazz", "Cell Block Tango" (one of my personal favorites), and "Mister Cellophane". The corruption, passion, bright shiny things. Gimme gimme!

 

chitty chitty bang bang 1968Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) A staple of Britain. I'm a sucker for anything with Dick Van Dyke in it. When I was a kid and saw him in Mary Poppins, I just wanted to hug him. Watching this at Christmas time has become a tradition for me. I love the songs and general adorableness of it. With characters like Caractacus Potts and Truly Scrumptious, how can you not fall in love? Then there's Chitty of course. "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" is an addictive song you can't help but sing along too (which this film is just perfect for). Then there's granpa and I know several Brit friends who were terrified of the Child Catcher when they were younger. I found him pretty terrifying too!

grease 1978Grease (1978) Of course this was going to be on here. I LOVE singing along to Grease. A lot of folks complain about the end and what Sandy had to become to get her man, but it's a realistic story about teenagers (just play along here) and I can put aside certain story elements because it's Grease and it's just frickin' amazing as a musical. Travolta was hot, the cars were cool, and the music, well, don't sit there and tell me you don't know the words to "Summer Nights", and if you don't, why not?? I might be a little biased, as Grease was one of the first soundtracks I ever owned as a youngster and I played that thing out. I'm not even sorry. hairspray 2007Hairspray (2007) Now, in my mind, John Waters' Hairspray with Ricki Lake will always be the best version, and I have never ever forgotten Tracy's dress with the bugs. The new film is sweet, funny, and I admit, I sighed over Zac Efron's baby blues, and James Marsden as Corny Collin, ooh, I just wanted to reach out and-- ehem, anyway, the musical numbers are catchy and so much fun. My parents loved this one.     mary poppins 1964Mary Poppins (1964) I've lost count how many times I watched this when I was a kid, and like so many others, wished I had my very own nanny like Mary Poppins. Julie Andrews was stunning, her voice beautiful, and the whole thing is touching and a great adventure. Of course, when I was kid I had no idea what the hell a tuppence was nor did I understand half of what Bert was saying, but as I grew older I learned to appreciate the film even more.    

moulin rouge 2001Moulin Rouge (2001) I'm a fan of Baz Luhrmann. Though Romeo & Juliet didn't really do it for me, visually, I really liked it. If it'd had a different soundtrack, it might have been a different story. I'm not a fan of No Doubt (I heard several of you gasp). I know, perish the thought, but during the 90s I was in high school, not my best years, so a lot of 90s music gives me sad puppy face. I won't listen to most of it. Anyway, I LOVE Moulin Rouge, it's right up there as one of my fave musicals. First of all, it looks gorgeous. The reds, the golds, the lighting, beautiful. I love the songs, and thought the remixes were grand. From David Bowie (a personal fave) to Queen. Despite the ending and all the angst, I love this film. The drama, the pain, the spectacular... well, spectacular!

my fair lady 1964My Fair Lady (1964) What list would be complete without Miss Eliza Doolittle? Personally, I thought Henry Higgins was a jerk. Poor Liza! That signature white dress she wore in the film? *sigh* All the songs were beautiful and wonderful and how can anyone not love this film? Audrey Hepburn was sweet and you wanted nothing more than to see her happy. "Wouldn't It Be Loverly", "With a Little Bit of Luck", and "I Could Have Danced All Night". A true classic.

 

phantom of the opera 2004The Phantom of the Opera (2004) When I first saw this film, I had no idea who Gerard Butler was. I thought he played a pretty damn fine Phantom. Later on when I saw him in other films, mostly action, I was like "say what?", and of course quickly went back to watch him again in this. I had the pleasure of watching the stage version, and just like in the film when the music booms at the beginning and the chandelier is getting raised, I get goosebumps. Without fail. The music is just so epic, so sweeping, and well, it's Webber. If I made a list of stage musicals, pretty much most of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals would be on there. My favorite song and scene has always been "Masquerade", though I love every song from The Phantom, it's just incredible.

Phantom of the paradise 1974Phantom of the Paradise (1974) This one, some folks may not be familiar with because it was considered a box office flop--except in Winnipeg, Canada, during the time of its release. When I first saw it, I was obsessed with the music. Phantom of the Paradise is a musical horror film, which is described to be a mix between The Phantom of the Opera, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Faust. What it is, in my humble opinion, a great big ball of awesomeness. It was directed and written by Brian De Palma ( a great--and at times underrated, film director, Carrie, The Untouchables, Carlito's Way) The music is by Paul Williams who also stars as the record producer of Death Records. I can't even describe what kind of musical this is. It's a little bleak, kind of gaudy, horrific, very much of its time, but sooo good. You can hear some of the music here.

rock of ages 2012Rock of Ages (2012) Don't roll your eyes at me. Yes, it has Tom Cruise playing a booze-guzzling, sex-addicted rocker, but it's filled with 80s songs! I grew up in the 80s and next to the movies, it was the next best thing to come out of that era. I openly admit, I love 80s music. Yep, Debbie Gibson, Queen, Michael Jackson, Eurythmics, Cindy Lauper... Hall & Oates. Anyway, Rock of Ages was fun and the clothes, well, they obviously avoided the most horrific wardrobe pieces thankfully. Alec Baldwin was funny and I really had no idea Tom could sing, but he pulled it off. Go on, you know you want to. singin in the rain 1952Singin' in the Rain (1952) Classic of the classics. There isn't one song on here that isn't fantastic, and Gene Kelly, oh yum. The man was just gorgeous from head to toe, and talented beyond belief. Sweet, funny, and wonderfully romantic. "All I Do Is Dream of You", "Make 'Em Laugh", and "Good Morning". You don't get more feel good than this, folks.       sweeney todd 2007Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) A Victorian horror musical? With Johnny Depp? What are we waiting for! I wasn't familiar with the story of Sweeney Todd before this film, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this version, the story, the costumes, the colors, and the music.      

sweet charity 1969Sweet Charity (1969) Another great Bob Fosse film, and like most of his musicals, it's pretty tragic and heart-breaking at its core, but the music. Well, the man's not a legend for nothing. "Big Spender" (a personal favorite) uh, that scene is just fantastic. "The Rhythm of Life", very much a 60s scene, but love it. The 60s is one of those eras I'm still trying to wrap my head around, and the musical numbers in this film fascinate me, along with the fashion.  Any one of you ever do any of these dances?

 

the rocky horror picture show 1975The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) One of my top favorites! The epitome of musicals, a cult classic, and just over all amazing! This is one of the musicals I am dying to catch on stage. Tim Curry is sexy, sassy, heart-breaking, and just the best thing ever in this film! I love each and every song. It's fun, you can't help but sing along, try and tell me you haven't done the Time Warp somewhere at some point. "Over at the Frankenstein Place", "Time Warp", "Sweet Transvestite", "I'm Going Home". Pure perfection.

 

west side story 1961West Side Story (1961) Do I really need to explain this one? One of the best if not the best Romeo & Juliet inspired piece. The whole film is just beautiful, the songs gorgeous. The music buries itself in your heart and makes a home, Maria and Tony break you heart. The Jets and the Sharks will forever be part of musical history. "Something's Coming", "Maria", "America".

   

wizard of oz 1939The Wizard of Oz (1939) When I was a kid, I loved this. Now I'm all grown up, and I still love this. When I was little, I thought Judy Garland was the prettiest girl I'd ever seen. The Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys scared the pants off me. When it goes from black & white to full technicolor, I'm still in awe. "Over the Rainbow", it tugs at your heartstrings, and of course I dressed up as Dorothy for Halloween! I'm pretty sure I was in my teens, and I'd do it again!

Well that's my list and believe me it was tough narrowing it down. I didn't include any Disney animated films because that's a whole other list. There are some classics that were left out like the Sound of Music and The King & I because I could only pick 20.

Do you have a favorite? What do you like most about musicals?


What's It All About, Alfie?

944284_spekulator puzzleI'm typing away at Hunter's story, thinking about deadlines and the many other things on my to-do list, one of which is my next blog post, and I sigh. The familiar question of what I should blog about enters my mind, and I sit back wondering why I have so much trouble coming up with posts, for my own blog no less. I'm a writer, right? I don't have trouble flapping my gums in person. When I'm with friends there's no concern over what I say because they know me. They won't be offended if I give my opinion, if I swear, or go into one of my caffeine-induced hyper freak-outs. (I seriously believe I must have been a cat in a former life because of my random hyper weirdouts).  Anyway, so I start to mull this over.

The thing is, I'm pretty laid back and when it comes to folks, I try real hard to remain patient. I care, and I do my best to help where I can. I was raised to be polite and respectful, to try and be understanding, to offer my opinions and not ram them down someone else's throat. Agreeing to disagree isn't the end of everything. I learned people are different. I learned the difference between an opinion and a personal attack. If I don't have something nice to say about someone, I've learned to keep it to myself, because I don't like making people feel bad. But that's me, and I don't expect someone else to be like me. I also don't expect someone else to tell me I'm wrong for being me. I believe myself to be a good person, but I  have faults like anyone else.

grrSince becoming a published author, I've been inundated with contradictions. Get involved, don't get involved. Folks want to know who you are, folks don't want to know about your life,  you should do this, you shouldn't do this, don't talk about this, behave this way, don't behave this way. The idea is that once you're in the public eye, you have a certain obligation to others, more so than to yourself. Others can express what they like about you and your work, but  you're not entitled a response, unless it's in agreement or you end up on someone's shit-list. For every person with a constructive or kind word, there are two who are nasty and petty. Make one wrong move and they'll make you pay. So where does that leave a newbie like me, aside cowering in the corner?

Screw cowering, and screw the corner. No one puts Baby in the corner. Yeah, I went there.

Should I be scared to express myself? Should I worry what I write on my own writing platform? That's pretty much what I concluded. In the time I've been published, I've seen a lot of wild stuff, enough to make me hesitant on what keys my fingers press. But you know what? I'm an adult. I know how to behave in public. I wouldn't say anything to someone online that I wouldn't say to their face, because on the other side of every screen is a real person with real emotions, problems, heartaches, fantasies, dreams, and everything else I have. Anonymity does not equal impunity from being a decent human being.  If someone wants to act like an ass, chances are they'll be called on it.

Dean hugzI might be writing into the vast wilderness of nothing, I might not. All I know, is I don't do well with being boxed in or being told what to do. I'm not the easiest person to get on with when I'm riled up, and when folks ask how much of me is in my characters, well, a little more than you think. I love what I do, I love meeting people, love talking to them, I write for myself and for others. If they love what I do, awesome, if they don't, sorry it's not your cup of tea. I'll try my hardest to be the best I can be. There's a balance that needs to be struck, but I sure as hell won't find it by trying to please everyone, because we all know that's a futile endeavor. And how boring would the world be if we all liked or disliked the same exact things?

So aside the usual author posts on writing, works in progress, updates, and promotions, you'll find posts on random thoughts and ideas, some personal some not, maybe some product reviews. I just got me a Nescafe Dolce Gusto Picolo machine but maybe that's a post for another day. You might want to get to know me better, you might run for the hills. You might agree, you might not. Feel free to join in and give your two cents or just lurk. Either way, welcome to my online home. There's a comfy couch and plenty of coffee.  Spambots get off my lawn! Everyone else is welcome.

x Charlie


Wrapping up my Love Has No Boundaries story and more!

workinprogressOkay, so last night, I finished my Love Has No Boundaries story and sent it off to my beta! It came in at 33,699 words. I knew it was going to be novella length, and figured it would be about the same size as my Love is Always Write story Roses in the Devil's Garden. Yeah, no. Trip is a mouthy little so-and-so, as you may have deduced from the little snippets I've been posting. I have to say though, I have had so much fun writing Trip and the Devil Dogs. Hopefully everyone else will love them as much as I do. This will be my first non-historical. Though technically, Mending Noel was my first non-historical, but it's a Christmas Story, and it's about elves. I've also been collecting fun little tid-bits from the story to share once the story is released by the MM Romance Group.

Trip's story is about Husky shifters in an urban fantasy setting. I don't know how much I can give away. Anyway, it has a title and that title may or may not have a Book #1 attached to it. *Le gasp!* Okay, I don't know why I gasped in French there, but yes, I am already working on the second story. I'm hoping against hope that I can finish it by the end of the month, so if the publisher contracts it, folks won't have to wait so long, like they've had to do with my other series. The second book should come in at around the same length. I'm also working on Johnnie's story (the boy has been getting impatient), and then Jack's story. Yep, Jack and Rudy are getting their own Christmas story. The moment I'd finished Mending Noel I knew I wanted to have a story with the grumpy, sexy, dangerous Jack Frost and his equally sexy pilot. So stay tuned for more on that.

After that, I've got a four book contemporary shifter series I'm working on. It's a little different from Trip's story because it's not fantasy. The shifters aren't related to mythical beings in any way, but I'm hoping the idea is original and the that folks will fall in love with the characters. I've been spending a lot of time on these folks and I really want this series to be pretty epic. I mean these guys will be getting their own sub-domain, that's how excited I am about them. I've already planned out all four books and know what's happening in them, I just need to write them. I'm hoping to get the first two started after Jack's story is done. Then it'll be a matter of getting all four scheduled and released next year, all full length novels. There will be merchandise and everything. I've been slowly working on these guys for about two years now, and that's just the characters, the timeline, and the backstory, so yeah, a lot is going into this.

There you have it. A run down of what's to come for the time being. Plus there's all those other stories waiting. Soon, my pretties, soon. Now back to writing!

x Charlie

   

Love Has No Boundaries - Teaser

Here's a little teaser from my LHNB story. Enjoy! ♥♥♥ “It went under the bed,” Robbie murmured, pointing at the bed across the room—which had yet to be made at six in the evening. Leaving that gripe for after he corralled their unwanted arachnid guest, Trip weaved through the valley of sharp, angular toys and made it to the bed unscathed. He got down on his knees and lifted the comforter hanging off the side. “For crying out loud, Robbie, there’s more stuff under your bed than out here. Did you leave anything in the closet? I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a nest under here.” Robbie let out a whimper and Trip rolled his eyes, glancing over at the pup and trying not to laugh at his little worried face.  “Relax, there’s no nest.” He shifted his gaze back under the bed and saw something move. “Aha! I’ve got you now you little sucker. I don’t know what you’re so scared of, Robbie, it’s not that big.” “It is so! It’s like one of those facehuggers from Aliens. What if I’m asleep and it jumps on my face and tries to lay eggs in my tummy and then it bursts from my chest all argh!” Robbie dramatically threw himself back against his desk’s chair, his tongue poking out one side of his mouth as he made gurgling noises, his body twitching. “That’s the last time I let you stay up to watch a Sci-fi marathon.” The movement stopped. Taking the cardboard, Trip slowly slipped it under the bed toward the black lump, only to poke it and realize it was a balled up sock. What the hell? Something shifted beside it—something much bigger. It turned and darted right for him. “Holy fudge!” Trip shot away from the bed, managing to curb the copious amounts of colorful swear words ready to roll off his tongue. Scrambling, he climbed onto the bed in a manner which could only be described as astoundingly undignified, losing one of his socks in the process. Getting to his feet, he wobbled on the bed a moment before finding his balance, his plastic container out in front of him like a shield and the piece of cardboard brandished in his right hand like a sword. He was ready for battle. “There it is, dad!” Robbie squealed and Trip gave a start. “Where?” Robbie frantically pointed at the huge hairy black spot in the middle of the blue carpet. “There!” “Oh my Gods,” Trip gagged. “What is that? That is the most revolting thing I have ever seen.” “What about when grandpa Hagan lost his swim trunks at the lake?” “You’re right. This is the second most revolting thing I have ever seen.” Robbie swiped a book off his desk, ready to hurl it. “Hey, don’t throw your math book.” Dropping his math book on the desk, Robbie swapped it for Trip’s tablet. “Throw the math book! Throw the math book!” Robbie obliged, picking up the hefty hardback and chucking it across the room. It landed like a tee-pee over the spider. They held their breaths. Pages ruffled and seconds later the spider leisurely crawled out. “It’s still alive, dad! What do we do?” “What is that thing made of? All right, that’s it. Ain’t no eight legged creep gonna get the best of Tristan Hagan.” “Go, dad!’ Robbie cheered him on. Trip inched closer to the foot of the bed when the beast turned toward him and leapt forward. “Holy shit, it jumps!” He scrambled back until his back hit the wall behind him. “You said a curse word,” Robbie admonished, wagging a finger at him. “Yeah, I know, I’m sorry. But, did you see that?” Trip’s smart phone rang in his pocket and he shuffled his weapons into his left hand to grab it, pressing it against his ear. “Brook?” “Trip? What’s wrong?” “Put her on speaker phone,” Robbie demanded. “Mom! Mom! There’s a huge spider in my room and it looks like one of the facehuggers from Aliens!” “What have we told you about watching those Sci-fi marathons?” “You sound like dad. Why are you fighting with me when you should be fighting the Aliens?” “It’s a spider,” Trip clarified. “A mutant spider that probably has mutant babies,” Robbie added. Brook sighed. “He gets that from you, you know.” “No, but seriously, Brook, the thing is fugly.” “No one says fugly anymore.” “I just did.” “Yeah, well, you’re a nerd.” “Aw, thanks, babe. I gotta go now. Got aliens to kill. Don’t worry, if I end up an incubator for mutant spider babies, I’ll remember the good times we had.” When Brook next spoke, he could hear the smile in her voice. “Do you want me to send Deacon over? He’ll be home in about fifteen minutes.” “Hm, do I want to emasculate myself further by having my ex-wife’s husband come kill a spider for me?” “Dad, it’s moving again!” “Fifteen minutes you say? That’ll work for me. He can let himself in. Tell him to bring his shovel. And a blowtorch.” ♥♥♥

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