Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Boys -- and Girls! -- of Summer

Entourage is back! What's going on, you ask? Well, Ari is racing around and taking and making calls and pulling strings. Vince is doing things to make sure he's not a pussy. E is playing kissy-face with Sloan and not powerful enough to take care of business so he's calling Ari. Drama is getting slighted, and Turtle is getting shit-kicked by a girl. Everyone is too rich. Same old, same old, with Nick Cassavettes tossed in for good measure. Nicely done. Douchebaggy, it may be, but I still enjoy it.

What I'm also enjoying is the summer premier of Hot in Cleveland. It's another spin on The Golden Girls, but this time around, Betty White is in the Sophia slot. The jokes aren't all that fresh, but the cast is so damn likable, with Jane Leeves, and Wendie Malick. I adore Malick. She can take a tired old bit and still make it work with a weird joie de vivre. And Betty White? It doesn't matter if they underuse her talents by getting a cheap laugh by making say something coarse, she's still adorable. And I think Jane Leeves is falling into the Johnny Drama slot of having bad shit happen to her and getting humiliated and then recovering. You just can't have enough Drama in comedy.

It Hurts Me To Say It, But...

Oh Shit. Maybe the glow is gone, or maybe I was just in a funky mood. But this week's True Blood had everything going for it. It was written by Alexander Woo, who's usually one of my faves, and it had blood, sex, and violence to spare. But the opening clunked for me, and then the closing took the camp barometer into "cheezy" territory.

Look, I know I have a bit of an usual love for Goodfellas. But it's possibly my favorite film of all time, and maybe that makes me a little too touchy. The opening scene this week picked up exactly where last week's left off, with Eric and a wolf lunging toward each other. A bit of mayhem ensued (all good) and then, naturally, Eric overpowered the werewolf and after exchanging a few unpleasantries in his best Bale-Batman growl, Eric ripped into his neck and pulled big chunks out. Again, all good! Then, as the werewolf bled out on Sookie's rug, he looked up at her and calmly said, "I got your rug all wet." No. Just, no. It was Joe Pesci as mega-psycho Tommy DeVito and he'd viciously beaten a man nearly to death when he was suddenly overcome with a remorseful look and he sincerely apologized to Henry, saying, "I didn't mean to get blood all over your floor." THAT was a chilling and perversely funny moment. The homage here just...No. No.

Of course, I don't blame a show for trying, and I certainly don't blame Skarsgard, who's looking finer than ever playing his changing part this year with all sorts of devilish charm and chagrined care.

But even better, finally, there's new competition for the fox of the season award. Oh, you know I'm talking about Joe Manganiello as Alcide. Talk about too good to be true! Though he was terribly overdressed for his entire first appearance, I didn't really care. He's THAT good-looking. He's this hot werewolf and I don't know, I think he acted okay, but I didn't really even listen to his lines because, well, look at him!

Naturally, we had Jason to fulfill the absurd naked scene this week, appearing pantsless instead of shirtless while he struggles yet again with feeling, I don't know, like he needs a calling or something, I don't really listen, not because I'm so distracted because he's so hot, but because I only laugh at his idiot lines and then tune out his crisis of conscience shit because I don't care.

Sam, of course, is sucking shit again after meeting his weirdo white-trashy family. Lafayette got a shiny new car! But there are strings attached, courtesy of Eric. And Terry is all happy about becoming a daddy, even though we suspect the baby is actually serial killer Renee's baby. Tara is getting wooed and then glamoured by creepy new vamp Franklin who seems to be stalking Bill. Bill! Poor Tara, the only times she's happy, she's under some sort of mind control. And oh yeah, Sookie is wearing white again. All good soapy shit that should keep things rolling along and right on track for Blood. Meanwhile, speaking of gorgeous things, let's talk for a minute about Pam. She was, as always, HOT getting her some Estonian skank. And she was hilarious with Jessica, who is getting so pretty she's almost show-stopping. I'm really not as down with the girl-love as Pam is, but something about Jessica and that red hair and those blue eyes and I just feel so bad for Hoyt.

What else? Oh yeah! Back at the king of Mississippi's crib, another rug got ruined, but this time it was hilarious the way Talbot threw a shit fit over it and then the king calls him on his tantrum is all, "It's like Armageddon around here when someone chips a dessert plate." I approve of the king and his court, most definitely! Of course, they, along with uber-bitch Lorena have screwed Bill over, but of course, we the audience loves when Bill is tortured so. He cries, he gnashes, but then he retracts his fangs and does as he must.

And then he cries and gnashes and tries to rape Lorena but she loves it too much so he twists her head all the way around and it looks just like a scene from "Death Becomes Her" and it's supposed to be this sick, dark, disgusting awful thing for Bill and we should be horrified and perversely amused maybe, I don't know, but it was just so fucking...cheezy. I don't know if it was the effects or the whole thing but when I'm supposed to be revolted by the action and instead I'm just appalled at the poor quality it's not a good sign. Truly, there's only one way to win me back now, and I think we all know what it is. Nudity, Manganiello, next episode. Something tells me I won't be disappointed.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

House Money -- New Review

Just got in another review for House Money. It's from Coffee Time Romance, and Danielle had this to say:
I have to say I found House Money to be quite an intriguing tale...The ending was beautifully done and left me stunned. Ms. DiPlacido writes with so many twists and turns that I could hardly catch my breath before I was being led down another tension filled adventure.

This book is still currently only available in e-book version, but that just makes it a great buy.

Mundania E-Book - $4.99

Amazon E-Book - $3.99

Richard Thomas -- Transubstantiate

Richard Thomas's debut novel, Transubstantiate, a neo-noir, speculative thriller will be out on 7.1.10. To get all of the information just visit There is a synopsis there, sample chapter, blurbs, a podcast, all kinds of stuff. He is also giving away five copies at GoodReads, and the contest ends on July 1st:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blue Blooded

Fuck. My beloved Azzurri have been knocked out of the group stage of the World Cup, the first time they've exited so early since 1974. It's considered a truly shocking (and humiliating) showing for the Italian team by the press and soccer fans. On the bright side, I won't have to sit and listen to fartface Ian Darke commentate and root against them any longer. On the downside, well, obviously, I'm sad because they're out of the World Cup.

But I'm also sad because there was a lot of hooha about how old this team was. Ultimately, I really don't blame age on their loss. Though, I guess it does say something when your world-class keeper is knocked out with a back injury. Sheesh. But if you ask me, and since you're reading this, I guess you might care what I think, Lippi just never got his shit together assembling a top flight squad on the pitch during this tournament. He had guys on the bench that he had no business keeping on the bench. Andrea Pirlo suffered an injured calf on the eve of the tournament, but when he was finally brought in the second half of today's game, it made a world of difference. He's just clever and classy and his footwork creates openings and opportunities to pierce opposing defenses. Why the hell Quagliarella didn't play until the end of ends was beyond me. He showed his craftiness by orchestrating a truly brilliant goal. Worse, Genarro Gattuso finally got on the field in the first half of the game, but was pulled before his teammate Pirlo entered, and every Azzurri fan knows that those two work incredibly well together. It's just...frustrating.

Slovakia deserved to advance, as they put forth a truly solid and at times punishing effort. And the Italians did look, characteristically, not too concerned about being down 1-nil during the first half and even first 20 minutes of the second half. However, once Pirlo and Quagliarella entered the game, all hell broke loose in the best way possible. As Ian Darke sat commenting about the potential lack of heart on the Italian team, once the Slovaks scored a second goal, you could almost see the blue course through Italy's veins and they started playing absolutely monster soccer. The final 20 minutes of the match was once of the most exciting I could've imagined, and if the final score didn't shake out how it did, it'd probably be legendary. First Di Natale struck, and then Quagliarella appeared to strike, but he was called offsides by about a fucking inch. And don't EVEN get me started on the goal that Quagliarella scored that wasn't called a goal, even though Slovakia's defender was inside the goal line when he kicked it out. Oh, it makes me so mad!

But, enough. It's done. In those final 20 minutes, the Azzurri made me proud. But it is an older squad, and captain Fabio Cannavaro and one of my faves, Rino Gattuso, have already announced their retirement from international play. And I fully expect that in four years, plenty of others will be gone. So it's the end of an era for this team. If only they'd had more than 20 minutes of attacking brilliance out of the 270 that they played in South Africa. Fuck.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fur Fetched

So, what'd we learn this week on True Blood?

1) If you're going to stash a corpse in Bon Temps, you better have fast access to a chainsaw lest some body snatcher come along and screw you over. Poor Jessica! Even with Pam's coaching, the girl can't catch a break. And I loved how once again we got the undercurrent that Bill was a shitty maker for not teaching Jessica how to drain someone. He is the worst maker, ever!

2) Hoyt gets hotter by the episode. He's right, his haircut is badass.

3) Jason is a disaster. Judging by the title of the ep, I think we're supposed to consider him a beautiful disaster, but he's just a disaster. And yet, even he can upstage Andy and catch a drug dealer. YAY Jason!

4) Tara is a mess. *sigh* But Lafayette remains the coolest cat ever! And his mom is Alfre Woodard! I can't wait to see more of her crazy ass. I totally hope she gets in a brawl with Tara's mom.

5) Eric was in the SS? Where he hunted down werewolves. With Godric. Best part? He's trying like hell to be all supportive and seductive toward Sookie, but he still can't help snapping when she brings up Bill in relation to Godric. "Bill Compton is no Godric!" But he did manage to butter up Sook and worm an invite into her house. As cliffhangers go, though, since we already saw Bill destroy a pack of wolves by himself, it's not too fear inducing to see Eric face off against one.

6) Those wolves? Awesome. Good on Alan Ball for not going for CGI on this one. Werewolves? They use a dog for Sam's shift, so it makes perfect sense to use real wolves. And they're so much cooler than a creature effect.

7) Bill dousing Lorena in flames! Awesome! He tolerated that blood wine, soup and sorbet like a trooper, not to mention the king's pointed queries, but a bitchy maker is just enough, already! Set her on fire in a royal's house!

8) By far, however, the biggest laugh of the episode was Sookie impersonating Bill saying, "Sook-ay!" Well done, Anna, well done!

Buona Dea - Another Draw!

Madone! I know there's been plenty of crying in beers all through New York and New Jersey as the Azzurri only managed to squeak out another draw, this time against New Zealand, and I assume Italians across the pond are ready to shove a vuvuzela up Coach Lippi's ass. I wouldn't say I'm that distraught (though I wouldn't mind destroying a truckload of those stupid horns), but I am now pissed that Alessandro Del Piero and Luca Toni were left off this squad. Yeah, they're older, and Toni didn't perform that well in the 2008 Euro Championships, which probably contributed to the firing of then-coach Donadoni. But Toni IS a great striker, as is Del Piero, and, well, we're really having trouble scoring. Worse, Andrea Pirlo is still out, and Gattuso isn't being played, and Camoranesi only comes in for the second half. Defending has always been the Italians' forte, and even with Buffon out, they're hanging in there. But they made the 78th ranked New Zealand look like a brick wall at the goal. Wave after wave of attack, and they just couldn't break through. New Zealand's keeper DID have a brilliant game, but Italy just couldn't get it done, either. Thursday morning, if they don't scratch out a win against Slovakia, they could kiss their World Cup chances goodbye.

Then again, at least they haven't self-destructed in spectacular and public fashion like France! What a circus they are!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

House Money Reviewed -- The Romance Studio

Also got in a great review for House Money. It's from The Romance Studio and Theresa Joseph had this to say:

"If you are looking for a fast and funny mystery, fuhgedaboudit, this is the one for you. Full of wiseguys, capos and made men this is an entertaining Las Vegas mob mystery. The characters in this story are what made it so enjoyable for me...The story itself was a roller coaster ride, I just didn't know what to expect next!..This is the first book I've read by this author but it definitely won't be the last...This is definitely one I'll find myself rereading and chuckling out loud at all the crazy antics again and again."

I'm telling you, if you want summer reading, I've got you triple covered this year.

Mundania Press -Paperback - $12.95

Mundania E-Book - $4.99

Amazon E-Book - $3.99

I know, I'm insufferable. But the Azzurri play again on Sunday morning, and then Sunday night is more True Blood (and I think the season premier of Entourage), so I'll have other stuff to jabber on about next week.

Shuffle Up - Midwest Book Review

Just got in a new review for Shuffle Up and Deal. This one is from Midwest Book Review, and they say: "Sexy, funny, and attention gripping from first page to last, "Shuffle Up And Deal" is a terrific read."


Bloodthirst -- Quenched

What a great week to be me. The World Cup with all the humming and the hot guys. And also the season premier of True Blood, back for its third season, and they really started off the season running.

First, and obviously most important, I must comment on Alexander Skarsgard. Apparently, the now multiple producers of Blood know what their fans like, and they've decided to give them plenty of it. Our first scene with Eric had him showcasing pretty much everything but his Swedish meatballs. Big props to all involved for keeping fans, uh, satisfied. It wasn't just a quick shot, but a long, full-length camera gaze upon his backside. But even funnier was how played the scene off with Sookie. Eric just kept standing in front of her, naked, obviously thrilled to be showcasing his Viking hardware while she stood there verklempt and flustered.

It was also great to have Jessica back, and the pickle the poor girl has herself in will certainly make Bill put her on an even tighter curfew once he gets himself straightened out. Speaking of Bill, I don't know when it happened, but I now have to admit that I love the lug. Poor bastard, getting kidnapped and drained and then feeding off an old lady but still having the Southern courtesy to erase her memories of it and slip her a few bucks. And he and Sam were high comedy in their hot-n-heavy blood induced dream sequence. That Alan Ball, I'm so glad he didn't pass up that opportunity after setting it up last year. It was possibly the best line of the episode, Bill seductively talking about the shower water was so...hard.

Coming a close second was Andy telling Jason that he had to turn his conscience off and his dick on. But Jason, unable to perform with his PTSD raging out of control. Good thing we had Eric to pick up the slack. Also? Pam! I've really missed Pam. And in one quick instant I even fell in love with Evan Rachel Wood's queen. When she screeched and threatened Eric and jacked him up against a wall with her enormous fangs protruding? Well, that's why it's HBO.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Azzurri Draw

The World Cup kicked off on June 11, but today was the debut for the reigning world champs, Italy's Azzurri. They aren't being given much of a chance by most in the know because for the most part, the team is four years older, and therefore slower. superstar Alessandro Del Piero didn't return, nor did striker Luca Toni. But most of the core team is in tact, including some of my favorites like Rino Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Fabio Cannavarro, Mauro Camorenesi, Danielle De Rossi, and, of course, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

It looked like disaster when freaking Paraguay scored on a set piece in the first half of the match after Italy had dominated possession but been unable to score. However, in the second half, they brought in Camorenesi and the Italians scored on a set piece of their own to bring the match to a draw, which is how it concluded.

I think they'll make it through their group and into the semis at least. I have to hope. I mean, this is what we're rooting for here, people!

However, on the truly depressing side, my beloved (and still the world's best) goalkeeper Gigi had to leave the game at halftime with a pulled hamstring. DISASTER! I don't know how bad it is yet, but this could be doom for a couple of reasons. Of course, the Azzurri need Gigi to win. But the thought of not even seeing him on the field? I mean, this what we're talking about here, people!

Forza Azzurri!