Category Archives: Movies

I’m scared!

Ohlala I love being scared… and the Friday the 13th horror movies & The Walking Dead tv series does a fine job in keeping me jumping off my seat.

I saw the very first Friday the 13th (http://www.campcrystallake.com/)  when I was nineteen or twenty. The movie centered around a camp for kids in the wilderness and a slasher named Jason in a hockey mask who went around killing the teen councilors (if I remember right). Jason was rumored to be a kid who drowned in the camp lake due to neglect from the camp councilors and he’s come back from the grave to get even.

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That first movie in the series was especially impressive because on the lake where we used to have our cottage, there was a camp for kids nearby and lots of woods. It looked oddly similar to the camp in the movie, so after seeing Friday the 13th (and quite a few of the sequels – I think there are 12 or 13 at last count) I was always a bit uneasy when I would traipse out in the night and head to the old outhouse thinking that Jason was lurking around, ready to murder me. Okay…I even have the goose bumps thinking about it while I am writing this post.

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A current favorite horror tv show is leaving me with tons of goosebumps too. The Walking Dead is a zombie apocalypse and follows the trials and tribulations of a group of survivors who deal with zombies on a daily basis. Currently the group of ragtag survivors is holed up in a penitentiary. But last season was especially gut wrenching as a young teenage boy named Carl had to kill his mother because she died in childbirth (the baby survived) and when people die in this world they automatically turn into zombies. Poor Carl didn’t want that for his mom and so he shot her in the head – that’s how you kill zombies.

Does anyone watch the Walking Dead? Anyone love being scared by the Friday the 13th movies? LOL

Hope you all have a frightfully delightful HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Happy_Halloween

 

Fictional Horror ain’t my bag!

I like to think of myself as a practical, down-to-earth person. But, to be honest, horror movies, books, or even just concepts strip all that away, exposing my superstitious and vulnerable underbelly. Feeling that way isn’t something I enjoy, so I no longer indulge in that genre. As I’ve gotten older I’ve discovered reality is bad enough without terrifying myself with (hopefully) imaginary monsters or the kinds of horrors that might exist but (again, hopefully) will never touch my life.

jack-nicholson-the-shiningWhen I was younger though, I remember huddling under the covers, reading Stephen King’s Firestarter, The Shining, etc. I also saw the movie version of The Shining and was suitably horrified, although I still think the book was better.

And there is one incident with a horror movie I’ll never forget, because it was so funny, and also a favorite memory of my teen years and of my brother.

Langella

 

My parents often went off on vacation, leaving my brother and me at home to hold down the fort. This particular time, I think I was too young for my brother to go out and leave me at home alone, so we settled in to watch a movie my brother-in-law had copied to VHS for us. Turned out to be Dracula, the 1979 version, starring Frank Langella. Okay, so it isn’t the scariest version ever made, but there was something about the way Dracula’s eyes vibrated whenever he saw blood, and the sight of him climbing down a sheer stone wall, that terrified me. But I didn’t want my brother to know how scared I was, so I didn’t cover my eyes or anything…

Then the movie ended and, realizing I would have to turn off the lights and go upstairs by myself, in the dark, if I didn’t get out of the room first, I bolted.

So did my brother!

And the night ended with neither of us willing to go back and turn off the TV or the lights, all of which stayed on until morning. It was a mini case of mass hysteria, LOL!

Now, I’ll leave you all to your zombies, possessed souls and other assorted things that go bump in the night… while I watch my true crime shows about mass murderers, serial killers, etc.

Which one is more horrible? I don’t know…

Let Me Take You Apart…

I apologize for the lateness of this post. I’ve been pretty crazed recently…well, more crazed than usual :D…and this morning, having woke up late and I was desperately trying to get ready to go to the EDJ, the reminder about it being my day to post here popped up. Anyone who knows me will have a fairly good idea of what kinds of words were uttered, and I promised myself I’d post when I got home, so here I go!

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I think for me the attraction of cyborgs and androids and robots is finding out how they differ from and are the same as we mere humans. I’d love to sit down with the Terminator (as long as he’s not seeing me as a target, thank you very much!) or C-3PO and grill them unmercifully. C3PO_EP3What are the perimeters of your knowledge? How do you temper your strength when necessary? Do you think, or just react to what happens around you? Do you have forethought (I’d say yes, really) and how do you forecast future events? I guess, as a writer, I’m all about the hows and whys. It’s the equivalent, I suppose, of people watching–and yes, when given the chance I’ll grill people too…it’s just the way I am.

But if I’m gonna have to pick one robotic type character to come visit, hands down it’ll be Data.

250px-DataTNGI think everyone already knows I’m a big Trekker, and TNG is my favorite. Data is one of those characters whose arc just got better and better as the seasons progressed. We already knew from very early he was anatomically correct and programmed for sex, but as time went by we also began to see that he was, in every sense of the word, the thinking woman’s android. He paints, loves Sherlock Holmes and has a cat. He fights to be accepted the way all the other sentient beings on the ship are and wants to discover what it means to be human. And he’s looking for love. In short, while he’s male and an android, he was given the kind of arc a woman might have in a story set in a different time period.

I’d like to put that hypothesis to him, and hear what he has to say about it. He would be the kind of guest you stay up all night with, chatting and laughing (well, I’d be laughing. Data may just humor me) and trying to set the worlds to rights. Yes, worlds in the plural. After all, if I’m talking with Data, it means we’ve contacted all those other worlds out there…

I can hardly wait!

The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery

Greetings!

My Favorite Series

I would have to say my favorite all time series of books would be the selected  journals of Lucy Maud Montgomery. She’s the author of Anne of Green Gables and many other stories.

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L.M. Montgomery kept a handwritten diary detailing the picturesque island of Prince Edward Island where she was raised. She also kept track of many events through her life including her love of writing, being raised by strict grandparents, the publication of Anne of Green Gables, the first real love of her life, her marriage to a reverend, the birth of her sons, her husband’s mental illness, her depression and so much more.

Here are snippets from the publisher for this series of diaries:

Volume 1 – 1889-1910

vol 1

A bestseller in Canada, this book will fascinate the legions of devoted readers of Anne of Green Gables and Montgomery’s other Anne books.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) kept extensive journals for most of her life, beginning them in 1889 when she was fourteen and continuing them until shortly before her death. Spontaneous and frank, they are unusual for their narrative interest: Montgomery’s gifts as a storyteller are as much in evidence here as in her novels. This first volume takes her to 1910, the year before her marriage, and culminates with the publication of Anne of Green Gables.
The autobiographical content will intrigue every dedicated fan of the Anne books. But the Montgomery journals are especially interesting because they provide a unique social history and the privilege of viewing closely the life of a remarkable woman.

Volume 2 – 1910 – 1921

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An instant best-seller in Canada, the first volume of The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery recorded the growing power and imagination of one of the world’s best-loved writers, the author of the classic novel for children, Anne of Green Gables. The London Free Press hailed it as “pure gold, the deeply felt, finely evocative rendering of years both heartbreakingly sad and splendidly triumphant,” and The Montreal Gazette termed it “one of the most haunting documents in Canadian literary history.”
The second volume promises to be equally intriguing and powerful. Ranging from 1910 to 1921, Montgomery’s revealing journal documents a time of great upheaval, both in her life and in the world around her. Here she records her thoughts about the death of her rigid, intolerant grandmother, who had ruled her life so strickly…her troubled marriage to the Reverend Ewan Macdonald…the move from her beloved Prince Edward Island to a small Ontario town…her shocked reaction to the First World War…and the rewards and difficulties of being a noted writer.
Spontaneous and frank, these journals are unusual for their narrative interest: Montgomery’s gifts as a storyteller are as much in evidence here as in her novels. The autobiographical content will intrigue every dedicated fan of Anne of Green Gables and the other Anne books, but the Montgomery journals are also interesting because they provide a unique social history and the privilege of viewing closely the life of a remarkable woman.

Volume 3 – 1921 – 1929

vol 3

Ranging from 1921-1929, this revealing journal documents her efforts to juggle the demands of motherhood, parish obligations, indifferent household help, grief at the loss of older friends and family–everyday struggles to balance a woman’s social and domestic duties. Here she writes of the triumphs and trials of being a best-selling author: growing fame; the successful midwifery of her new heroines Emily and Marigold and a more adult novel, The Blue Castle; the struggle to allocate time for correspondence with publishers, fans, friends–and to actually write. We trace the happy conclusion of her lawsuits against an unscrupulous publisher and the disappointing outcome of a lawsuit arising in a minor automobile accident. And we learn of her personal worries: Ewan Macdonalds’s envy of his wife’s publishing and social success; the dark shadow cast by his attacks of melancholia; and her fear that her sons might evince similar tendencies.
In these years, Lucy Maud Montgomery turned more and more to her journals to record her insights, opinions, and epiphanies. These journals will not only intrigue every fan of Anne of Green Gables and the other Anne books, but will also provide an intimate look at life as portrayed by this remarkable writer.

Volume 4 –  1929-1935

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Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)-whose Anne of Green Gables and many other novels are loved by readers around the world-kept extensive journals for most of her life. The fourth volume of the immensely success Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery covers the years from 1929 to 1935, a tumultuous period in the writer’s life. The stock market crash, a drop in royalties from her many books, the need to provide her two sons with a university education, her husband’s modest church salary often in arrears, and the fact that many loans she had made to friends and family were not repaid, placed Montgomery in the position where she had to type her own manuscripts for the first time since 1910. She also had to face personal crises as her sons’ university results were extremely disappointing and her husband suffered a total nervous breakdown. Yet this was not a period without joy as well-the volume opens with travels to Prince Edward Island and western Canada and ends with her looking forward with great excitement to a new life in Toronto.

Volume 5 – 1935-1942

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The final volume of the immensely successful The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery covers the years 1935 to 1942, the year of Montgomery’s death. No longer dwelling in a farm community or a small rural village, Lucy Maud Montgomery explored life in downtown Toronto. Here she experienced the cultural riches the city had to offer while finding friendship and neighborliness in the suburb of Swansea. The journal chronicles her hopes and satisfaction with her new home and neighborhood, but also her struggles with her own and her husband’s recurring bouts of depression, her worries about her sons’ academic performance, and her thoughts on the world events during these years. The final volume in the series offers an intimate eyewitness account of life in a growing city, a friendly neighborhood, a changing world, and of a troubling family dynamic from 1935 to 1942, all recorded with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s sharp eye and characteristic wit.

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Above picture – Megan Follows acts as Anne of Green Gables in the television mini series “Anne of Green Gables”.

Note from me:

There is a lot to read in each of these journals. I picked them up in hardcover format on a visit to Prince Edward Island back in the early 1990’s. If you want to get your own copies they are available on Amazon etc…

Happy Reading!

jan

Heidi of the Swiss Alps + Vampire FREE READ

Free read opportunity of Sweet Heat Vampira 1 by Jan Springer is at the bottom of this post or click here to go straight through. Enjoy!

And now to Heidi.

One Christmas, when I was a kid, my parents gave me the book, HEIDI by Johanna Spyri. I loved it. Every kid, old and young, should give this literary classic a chance and watch the movies. There are more than one movie version of this story…one with Shirley Temple which I also liked. But the one made in 1968, remains my favorite.

heidi movie

In the movie version that I saw, Heidi is a young Swiss girl who, after the death of her parents, is brought to live with her elderly hermit-like grandfather who lives in a small cabin on the awesome Swiss Alps. At first her grandfather resents her for interrupting his serene mountain life, but Heidi soon breaks through his tough exterior. She lives happily there on the Alps, making friends with a goat herder, Peter and his blind grandmother.

Several years go by and then Heidi’s aunt comes for her, stating this is not the place for a young lady to live. Reluctantly her grandfather agrees and Heidi is sent to live in Frankfurt. She is to be the companion to Clara, a young invalid girl. Clara, is wheelchair bound and she teaches Heidi how to read and write.

But Heidi  misses her grandfather terribly as well as her friends and the picturesque Alps. She’s so homesick, that after awhile she is allowed to return to the Alps. Clara and Heidi stay in contact and it is agreed that Clara come to stay for awhile on the Alps with Heidi and her grandfather. The girls are happy and Heidi pushes Clara around in her wheelchair. But while living on mountain air and natural Swiss foods, Clara grows stronger and stronger…and then when Clara’s wheelchair becomes broken, Clara begins to learn how to walk!! A tearfully happy story ending ensues…

Johanna Spyri, Heidi

I highly recommend Heidi for everybody. The movies and the book are awesome.

ADDITIONAL NOTE:

FOR ADULTS & VAMPIRE LOVERS ONLY!

I’d like to announce a FREE READ PROMO for Two Weeks – from April 8 – 21 2013… SWEET HEAT – VAMPIRA 1 by Jan Springer and published by Ellora’s Cave! Click here for more details…ebook only and it is available in Kindle, Nook etc…  Don’t forget to check out Books 2 and 3, Dark Heat and Wet Heat. Book 4 Crimson Heat is coming soon!

HAPPY READING!!

Jan

Cinderella vs Sinderella

Sinderella is my favorite fairy tale! Ooops perhaps I should have said Cinderella?

Yes, *Jan eagerly nodding her head* when I was younger, it was Cinderella.

As a child I loved reading fairytales  Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and so many more. It was awesome to wrap my mind around those awesome fantasy worlds. When I was a wee kid, one night my dad dragged me out of bed and sat me down on the living room couch, tossed a blanket over me, turned on the black and white tv (we didn’t get color until the early 80’s) and he said, “Watch this one. You will like it.”

He was right. LOL. OMG! I loved it! It was the 1965 musical/fantasy/romance version “Cinderella” starring actors Leslie Ann Warren and Stuart Damon.

cinderella_1965 version

cinderella 1964

Music/songs are by Rodgers and Hammerstein. I sing the songs from that movie to this very day while I am hiking in the woods. So when you come across a strange lady in the wilderness singing “It’s Possible” –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtFhREtPdiE  (check out those glass slippers!),  “Ten Minutes Ago” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIe2Y5lgahQ , or “Do I Love you because you are Beautiful?” or many others…chances are it is me singing!

Soap opera fans of General Hospital will also be thrilled to see that Stuart Damon (Alan Quartermine) plays Prince Charming. He’s so cute! As you can see by reviews on the Amazon.com site the movie is well worth the purchase if you love a sweet romance and fairy tales.

As I got older, I wrote Sinderella, my own Cinderella version – an adult erotic romance. I love this cover!!

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Here’s a peek:

By day she’s a dedicated gynecologist. By night Dr. Ella Cinder escapes reality by secretly performing in her own erotic, adult version of Cinderella, aptly re-titled Sinderella.

When sexy colleague Dr. Roarke Stephenson shows up in the Sinderella audience on the same night her Prince Charming stands her up, Ella seizes the opportunity to make Roarke into her Prince Charming for one carnal night of hot, blazing sex.in front of an audience.

But at the strike of midnight, Ella knows she must face the harsh reality that Roarke must never learn her secret life and they can never be together again. Until then, she plans on making sure he’ll never forget their night of carnal play.

Dr. Roarke Stephenson is immediately captured by the lusciously curvy actress who hides behind a mask and is known only as Sinderella. For some insane reason she reminds him of his klutzy co-worker Ella. But that’s not possible. Ella would never have the nerve to do the wickedly delicious things Sinderella does to him…or would she?

More info on Sinderella – http://www.ellorascave.com/sinderella.html  Or at other online retailers.

Thanks for dropping by and for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it.

Hugs and Happy Fairytales!

Jan

“Rocky” 1976 Best Picture – “It ain’t over ’til it’s over!”

Ever since I saw the movie “Rocky” and heard about the story of how Sylvester Stallone wrote the script in 20 hours…I was inspired as a fledgling writer.

Picture this:

It’s 1976:

A 16 year old Jan Springer (writing professionally was already a dream on the horizon for me) sitting in her sunny bedroom listening to the radio.

They were talking about how a young up and coming actor, Sylvester Stallone who had written the story of “Rocky”.  Inspiration had hit him after he’d watched a Mohammed Ali fight. The young actor had gone home and wrote the basis for “Rocky” in 20 hours. He had offers for the script but he wouldn’t accept the offers unless he was allowed to act as the main character of Rocky. Finally they agreed to let him be Rocky!! And Sylvester Stallone became one of my all time favorite actors. (He still is).

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Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!

Blurb for Rocky: A small time boxer gets a once in a lifetime chance to fight the heavyweight champ in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Here’s a bit more on “Rocky” and a virtually unknown actor by the name of Sylvester Stallone…

http://scriptwrecked.com/2010/01/09/the-unconventional-brilliance-of-rocky/

And there’s a lovely romance going on in this movie too…

rocky romance (2)

1976 Oscar Winner for Best Picture

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If you haven’t seen this movie before – get yourself a copy and watch it with a friend. You won’t be disappointed.

BTW: Not only is Rocky a great movie but the book is a great read too!! And don’t forget there are several sequels to Rocky too.

Enjoy!

jan

Oh, how times have changed

Truth is, I’m not a huge movie person. I’m the one who says, “I want to see that!” but somehow never actually goes. I also learned a long time ago that, generally speaking, if the critics love a movie, I very likely won’t. Doesn’t leave a lot of room for a blog on my favorite Oscar winning movie, does it?

Anyway, in the spirit of the occasion, I put on one of my red-carpet outfits (sweats and slippers) and found myself a list of movies that had won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Honestly, I wasn’t very hopeful about actually finding one I’d seen and loved, but I did better than that…I found two. One I no longer love the way I used to but, once-upon-a-time, adored with all the girlish fervor of my teenage heart. The other I saw not that long ago and fell in love with—Gigi (Best Picture 1958) and The King’s Speech (Best Picture 2010).

Hmmm…I just realized both are period pieces and, while I didn’t see that before, it’s really no strange thing for a history fanatic like me.

So, Gigi, set in turn of the century (1800s-1900s) Paris is billed as a romantic comedy about the conquest of love over cynicism and is really a coming of age story. The title character is a young woman (played by Leslie Carron), born into a family of courtesans, being groomed to eventually join the “family business”. Along the way she is sent to her great-aunt to learn the tricks of the trade, including how to move in the best circles without embarrassing herself. In the end, the ‘hero’, a free-wheeling playboy and much older than her, who has known Gigi since she was a child, realizes he’s grown to love her, and offers her ‘carte blanche’. She in turn tells him basically to eat shit and die, because she doesn’t want her life to be a constant round of looking for the next protector when the one she has grows tired of her. Yeah, liberation!… except… she’s in love with him and changes her mind, deciding she’d rather be miserable with him than without him. Anyway, in the end, he realizes he’s in love with her too and asks for her hand in marriage.

It’s a beautifully lush movie, in the same vein as My Fair Lady, but from a Humanist point of view, there are so many things wrong with it, I can’t even begin to tell you. All I will say is, keep it away from your impressionable tweens and young teenage daughters, unless you’re giving them an object lesson in how life shouldn’t be lived. Why did I love it back then? Because for a young girl without an ounce of self-confidence or sense, it seemed like a fairy tale romance—the kind of thing I’d want to happen to me when I got older. I grew out of it and now, when I think of Gigi going from playing hopscotch in the street with her friends to being dressed up and paraded into Maxim’s as a tart, it makes my teeth clench. I know I shouldn’t judge a generation on the messages in one movie, but if that was acceptable in 1958, I’m glad I wasn’t around.

If you want a movie night with your daughters, rent The King’s Speech instead. Teach them about perseverance, dedication, the power of honor and standing up to your responsibilities, even when taking on the job is the last thing you want to do.

A much better choice.

Anya
Journeys Through Seduction

Anya Richards/Anya Delvay books available from Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Chapters Indigo.

Best Original Song

I’m not much of a movie-goer. I always seem to watch movies when they finally make it to television. In 2012, I think I went to the movies once and that was because there was no way I could miss watching a piece of my childhood brought to life again. When I realized this post was about the Oscars…I had to actually look up the movies I’ve seen recently to see if they were nominated. I figured they weren’t. 

The only film I could think of that won anything was The Black Swan which I finally saw over Thanksgiving…and that didn’t win an Oscar, right? *googles it* It won an Academy Award, not the Oscars. *shrug* I don’t watch the Oscarls, the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards, MTV Music Awards or anything like that because none of the people/groups I want to win ever do. *mutters*

But this time, oh this time something I really loved won. This goes back to my childhood coming back to entertain me.

My sister and I wrangled her youngest son (a 21-year-old) into watch The Muppets with us. For us, The Muppets couldn’t have been anything but wonderful. From the opening song to the credits we snorted, giggled and guffawed our way through the movie. Yes, children were turning to stare at us, but we didn’t care. Their parents and grandparents enjoyed the movie. And wasn’t that the way things were? The Muppets were hilarious whether it was on their show or in movies. And for me, for my sister, it was. My nephew, who probably never saw any of the Muppets movies, spent the entire film laughing at me and my sister.

Until this song came on:

 This song brought the three of us together in a giggling, snorting mess.

Even now, a year and a half later, I’ll get a random text message from my nephew saying “Am I man or a Muppet? Cause if I’m a Muppet, I’m a very manly Muppet.” Which only makes me giggle (and earns me weird looks from others).

Sooo yeah, this was the only movie I’d seen in 2011 that won an Oscar for anything. But I’m actually okay with that since it was a good movie.

Did you see The Muppets? And I have to ask: “Are you a (wo)Man or a Muppet?”

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts!

My Favorite Sex Symbols are Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.

darktempRichardGere2

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts! I have loved these two actors ever since seeing the movie Pretty Woman. Is my age showing? Richard Gere, hot and sexy, and oh such a yummy grin when he smiles. The man is absolutely to die for.  And Julia Roberts is so pretty and she has such a unique personality that she just draws me into whatever movie she is starring in.

dark tempPretty_woman_movie

I have loved Richard Gere in the movies, Nights in Rodanth and Unfaithful (both movies opposite Diane Lane) but my all-time most favorite movie starring Richard Gere has been “Shall We Dance”. He was soooo sexy in that movie. Sexy and vulnerable and so cute! He plays opposite Susan Sarandon and Jennifer Lopez. He’s a bored lawyer who decides to secretly learn ballroom dancing. His wife (played by Susan Sarandon) becomes suspicious after Richard Gere begins coming home with a smile on his face. He seems happier…so she hires a private eye to follow Richard Gere around. The private eye sees him with Jennifer Lopez who plays his ballroom dance instructor.  I won’t say more because I don’t want to give more away, but the story is fun!

Every Christmas my mom and I watch this movie and probably a couple of times through the year too.  Mainly because Richard Gere is so damned hot! If you haven’t seen the movie “Shall We Dance” – try it out.

darktempshallwedance

My favorite female sex symbol is Julia Roberts – she is just the sweetest, sexiest woman. I have used her as an inspiration for many of my heroines in my novels. (Same with Richard Gere)

I really enjoyed watching her in the movies Sleeping With the Enemy, Mona Lisa Smile and Eat Love Pray.  My favorite all time movie which I thought she was the sexiest was in “Sleeping with the Enemy”. She was so vulnerable as she played an abused woman who fakes her own death and moves to a small town where she befriends a good looking guy. But she’s still raw from the abuse and has a hard time allowing the man close to her.  Patrick Bergen plays her abusive husband and his performance as the villain is spectacular. This guy freaks me out and scares me!

darktempsleepingwith

Despite all the years that have passed, these two actors remain my all-time favorite sex symbols. I can’t see myself ever falling out of love with them.

Who are your favorite male and female sex symbols?

Hugs!

jan

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