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The New Noir

This month we’ve been discussing our favorite noir films etc., and I thought I’d be the only one left on the sidelines looking on, unable to contribute. See, I’m not really a big movie fan, and I haven’t read a true noir book since I found a box of old hardboiled detective books when I was in my early teens… and that was a loooong time ago, so I’d have a hard time remembering which was my favorite.

Then, on Friday, I decided to make a Jamaican candy that involves breaking two dried coconuts, prying the meat out of the shells and cutting it up into very small pieces. Definitely one of those tasks that keeps your hands busy but doesn’t really involve lots of thinking, so I was browsing through the TV channels looking for something to watch, and came across a marathon of Longmire. Oh, yeah…

00-longmire-looking-officially-cool

And, as I watched this dark, gritty show, I realized I had found the topic of this blog post. Maybe it wouldn’t be considered traditional film noir, but when I looked for a definition of the term, I came across this, on good ol’ Wikipedia: Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations.

Yep, Longmire fits the definition, in my estimation anyway, if you don’t get too picky about what they mean by ‘stylish’. If you haven’t seen it, the story centers on Sheriff Walt Longmire, sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, who has returned to work after his wife’s death. Not only does he have to contend with crime in his county, an ambitious deputy who wants his job and racial issues between the Anglo and Native populations but also the fallout from his wife’s murder, which hasn’t been solved.

I haven’t watched the entire series but one of the things I really like is that I can watch an episode I haven’t seen before and I don’t feel as though nothing makes sense. I find it enthralling—just the kind of atmospheric show I think falls squarely into the Noir genre. If you’ve never seen it, and enjoy crime dramas, I’d recommend this one. It’s one of those shows where even the best character has a dark side, where you’re left asking who can be trusted—and realize you’d be a fool to put your trust in the complete goodness of any of them. Even the hero. Kind of like in real life…

I love it, to the depths of its (and my) dark soul!

Anya
Journeys Through Seduction

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

Internet Time Suck – Luv my Pinterest!

I don’t know how I survived without my Pinterest. Does anyone else have this problem? LOL

My pinterest name is janspringer1 and I am a pinterestaholic. There, my deep dark secret is out!

pinterest logo

I love pinning pictures onto boards. My favorite is collecting photos with similar color themes. Black Beauty, Sapphire, Emerald, Shades of Chiffon, Gold, Silver, Tiffany Blue and Copper Love, to name just a few of my color boards. My boards include themes such as birdhouses, autumn, leather & latex, man candy, christmas, the walking dead, kiss kiss and bondage, again, to name a few. At last count, if I counted right, I have more than 250 themed boards and I have the pleasure of following 2,700 pinners and am being followed by 1,800 pinners.

For my writing, I find the pictures are an inspiration. They inspire me to get ideas of where a story is going. My heroes and heroines are retrieved from my Man Candy and Heroine boards as well as from whomever is pinning hot looking hunks or interesting women at the time. I use pictures to decorate my heroes and heroines’ rooms in their houses, the cars they drive, bedrooms they make love in and even lovemaking positions.

If I see something I like, I will like it and/or pin it and I am thrilled when someone “likes” one of my pins too.

Pinterest can be found here: http://www.pinterest.com

pinterest 10 tips

For tips on how to use Pinterest:

http://www.themomcreative.com/2012/03/10-tips-for-using-pinterest-well.html

If you’d like to follow one, several or all of my boards, my pinterest name is janspringer1

http://pinterest.com/janspringer1/

Hope to see you there.

Happy Pinning!

jan

I Like Them Beastly

The theme this time around is our favorite fairy tales.

I’m’ a writer, but first and foremost, I’m a reader. I’ve always enjoyed a good story and even better, I loved happy endings. My absolute favorite fairy tale is one that still appeals to me as much now as it did when I was a kid. Beauty and the Beast is one of those stories that works in so many ways.

You have the heroine, who while beautiful is also loyal and intrepid. I mean, I like to think I’d sacrifice my own happiness and freedom for the ones I love, but I’ve never had it put to the test. She doesn’t even really think twice, does she? She just does it. That’s true love, the kind that most people would love to have directed at them.

Then we have our beast. *Sigh* I’m a sucker for a tortured hero. I really am. He brought it on himself with his vanity and selfishness and he’s suffering for it. Ugly, disfigured and lonely, he’s the opposite of our Beauty. And the bargain he strikes with her is one guaranteed to make her miserable, which I believe is his intention. Misery loves company and all that, right?

But like with any great love story, a metamorphosis takes place. I’m going to use Disney’s version because I found I actually liked it. But basically, Beauty’s love and light penetrates Beast’s darkness and self-hatred. They begin to balance each other. I used to play a text-based RPC as a druid, a neutral guild. I guess that suited my personality the best because I strongly believe you can’t have all goodness and light, or all evil and darkness. You need both, because without one you’d never be able to appreciate the other.

To me, that’s what Beauty and the Beast represents. It’s the balancing of Beauty’s goodness and Beast’s darkness because no matter that they break the spell, that they fall in love, that darkness will remain with him. Or at least that’s what I like to think. His lesson is learned, but the scars are still there to remind him not to take the light and beauty for granted.

Pretty heavy, huh?

Who are some of your favorite “beastly” heroes from books or movies? My personal favorites are Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Lothaire from Immortals After Dark and nearly any of the heroes from Elizabeth Hoyt’s historical romances.

My Moment in Darkness

We’ve already discussed dark heroes and I have to say my fellow Darker Temptations bloggers know their dark heroes. This time around we’re discussing dark heroines.

To be honest, I’m not as into heroines as I am heroes. I wonder why? But there are a few that come to mind when I really sit back to think about it. One would be Samantha Caine/Charly Baltimore from The Long Kiss Goodnight. Yeah, you remember this movie, right? It was back in the 90s when Geena Davis was kick ass. She still is kick ass by the way.

It was kind of like a paranormal. Okay, not really, but you have to admit, you spent the entire movie thinking, “What the fuck is going on?”

But she’s not really a dark heroine because we know she’s going to prevail over her darker, deadlier side. Or maybe that was just the optimist in me.

The other dark heroine that came to mind was one I’d written. It still kind of shocks me when I think about Noelani because she’s completely unlike my other heroines. I tend to write light and funny with some darker moments thrown in for shits and giggles. Yet the minute Noelani appeared in my mind, I knew she was going to be trouble.

Yes, I wrote a darker paranormal called Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous. Let me rephrase that. It’s a darker paranormal than most people are used to reading from me. Noelani is a shadow fairy assassin. Oh, you know it’s going to be bad when the heroine’s an assassin. Kind of like The Long Kiss Goodnight. Except in this case, Noelani or Shade, knows exactly what kind of monster she is.

Tortured for centuries by a former lover, beaten into submission and betrayed by the people who were supposed to care for her, Noelani is dark and tragic. I wanted so badly to redeem her, to give her a happy ending. She didn’t make it easy though. Sure, she had a hero worth defying orders for. Sure, she was infatuated and in love with him, but her mission only had one outcome. Death for her regardless of which way she went.

Kind of sucks, you know? But in the end, it was worth it to bring her into the light. There was a sense of accomplishment on my part, as though I’d managed something awesome. I wrote Lifestyles two years ago, using it as a therapeutic story I never really intended to see published. Looking back on the growth of Noelani from assassin to heroine…I have to admit that it’s one of my favorite stories and she’s one of my favorite heroines.

If you’re a writer, have you used your books as cheap therapy? If you’re a reader, what are some books you’ve read to remind yourself there’s hope and happiness up for grabs?

Dark Hero – Billy Burke of Revolution and Twilight Saga

I LOVE dark heroes, especially Billy Burke of new tv series Revolution and movies Twilight Saga. Isn’t he absolutely sexy???

Recently I’ve come to love this fellow on the tv series “Revolution”. The series is a post-catastrophe drama scenario about what happens to our civilization when the electricity is suddenly shut off all over the world. Very scary!!

“A group of revolutionaries must battle a governing dictatorial militia 15 years after an instantaneous global shutdown of all electronic devices known as the Blackout.” – IMBD

After the lights went out, our dark hero, Miles (Billy Burke of Twilight Saga) became a militia soldier, working for the bad guys, following orders, kidnapping and training new soldiers as well as killing people. When his teenage niece, Charlie comes looking for him to help her rescue her brother who has been kidnapped by some really bad guys, her uncle Miles, at first plays the dark hero to the hilt by refusing to help her. But then his hero side shines through and he’s off on excellent adventures along with his niece, his ex-flame and other bedraggled companions while they search for his 19 year old nephew.

As the series Revolution progresses we get a deeper look at Miles; at his guilt of killing people and his need to make amends. On several occasions he puts himself in danger, almost sacrificing his life to save others. He really is a cool dark hero. If you get a chance to watch the series, Revolution, you’ll get some good action. Give it a try, especially so you can watch my sexy Miles…yep he’s all mine, so hands off ladies!

If post-catastrophes are your thing – give my post-catastrophe erotic romance menage (m/f/mm) series “the Desperadoes” a try. It follows along similar lines of Revolution of what happens when the lights go out…The Pleasure Girl (Book1), In Her Bed (Book2), Be My Dream Tonight (Book3) at Siren Bookstrand.

Hope you enjoyed my post and thanks for stopping by!!

Hugs!

jan

Dark Heroes: The Doctor

As a child of the Seventy’s, I grew up watching Doctor Who. I loved it; this story of a man with two hearts, who stole a time ship and ran away, who could regenerate into a new body, who chose human companions and showed them the universe. It was a television show that defied the boundaries of time and space and possibility. It was also a show that could be (and still is) very dark at times.

My earliest memory, aside from hiding from Cyberman, is the episode Genesis of the Daleks. Daleks were once humans but adapted for war by Davros, becoming a xenophobic race that wanted to exterminate every other species in existence in a purge of “impurity” that would put Hitler to shame.

When the Doctor finds himself back at the point of their creation, he’s faced with a moral dilemma – allow the most destructive race in the history of the universe to come into being, or become the very thing he wants to stop.

Eventually he decides to walk away, but it was interesting as a child to be presented with that decision and think, for a moment, that the Doctor would kill hundreds to save thousands more. That was the episode that I realised that for all the wonder of the universe, there were still evil things and hard decisions.

When Russell T Davies brought Doctor Who back in 2005, he recreated the Doctor as the survivor of a long and bitter battle – the Time War – which had seen the rest of the Time Lords die. Now the last of his kind, the new Doctor was a harder, angrier hero and his scars ran deep. In episode The End of the World, he brings back the murderous Cassandra and issues his own form of justice – allowing her to dry out and die. This is the regeneration who would, quite possibly, have put those two wires together and wiped out the Daleks.

Things got no better with his next regeneration.

In The Christmas Invasion, the Tenth Doctor’s very first appearance, he battles the Sycorax and, when the leader tries to stab him in the back, he dispatches him with “No second chances. I’m that sort of a man.” Gone is the Doctor with infinite patience, though companion Rose manages to mellow him a little. But when Rose is trapped in an alternative universe, the Doctor – aware that his time is growing short – becomes something else entirely. Breaking the rules for which he’s always stood, he interferes in a “fixed point in time” and saves the first manned mission to Mars (The Waters of Mars), recreating himself as The Time Lord Victorious. After saving three and returning them to Earth, he faces leader Adelaide Brooke and boasts at how good he is, which leads to this exchange

Adelaide: Is there nothing you can’t do?
the Doctor: Not any more.

This defiance only lasts as long as it takes for Adelaide to take control, killing herself and restoring the time line, after which the Doctor realises that he’s gone too far. But Mars is his darkest hour, when he becomes more than a hero. He is the Lonely God, capable of tweaking time itself as he sees fit. When Adelaide shoots herself, he lets go of that terrifying persona, but that darker side is already revealed.

The Tenth Doctor has regenerated again, but the Eleventh, while initially seeming a lighter Doctor, has already suffered a loss. In the recently aired Children In Need special he claims to have “retired” and point blank refuses to help. And in the promotional photos of upcoming Christmas episode, The Snowmen, he appears very much as a Scrooge-like character, lonely and bitter. It’ll be interesting to see if he can be redeemed once more.


Misa Buckley is a sci fi geek who escapes the crazy of raising five children by creating imaginary characters who experience adventure, romance and really hot sex on their way to a happily-ever-after. You can keep up to date with Misa’s latest news by following her on Twitter or at her website.

Dark Heroes: Zuko, Dexter, Guy of Gisborne, and Lex Luthor

Everyone loves a dark hero and we are no exception. Keira and I invite you to explore the man-pain, angst, and darkly sexy goodness of the following four dark heroes! If you’re a fan of Zuko, Dexter, Guy, or Lex we’d love to hear about what you love the most about them. If you’re not a fan yet, consider becoming a fan! You can catch up on all of these shows either via Netflix, DVD, or other legal streaming options, like Hulu Plus.

Spoiler warning for all seasons of all shows in the vids below.

1. Zuko from Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender.

2. Dexter from Showtime’s Dexter.

3. Guy of Gisborne from Robin Hood BBC.

4. Lex Luthor from Smallville. (Psst, Leta made this fanvideo. It’s probably her favorite fanvid she ever made. JSYK.)

Leta Blake and Keira Andrews write fairy tale inspired m/m erotica and romantica with Ellora’s Cave. Check out Earthly Desires, the first book in the series, available for purchase at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave.

Amy Ruttan’s favorite Dark Hero

Today I’m handing over to my awesome friend and critique partner Amy Ruttan, who’s talking about one of her favorite dark heroes. Take it away, Amy!

I want to thank Anya Richards, my awesome CP, for having me here. I was invited, I was told. You have to do a blog post on Darker Temptations about a dark hero; it doesn’t have to be a hero from a book either.

Being the *good* little girl I am I said “Okay” just like Guido from that movie Cars.

I love dark heroes. There’s just something about them that excites me. They’re not that stereotypical bad guy, which I don’t like. There’s a certain mystery about dark heroes. What made them so dark?

When I was going through some of my favourite dark heroes *Zsadist* I knew I had to do the first dark hero I ever fell in love with.

The Phantom of the Opera.

I’ve heard a lot of naysaying about him, like “He’s a crazy sadistic, stalker, murderer dude.”

Okay, sure, but he’s a broken soul. Scarred and unloved. All he loves is Christine Daae.

The moment the Phantom walked out onto the stage back in 1992 when I first saw it, in Toronto at the Pantages theatre with Colm Wilkinson I fell head over heels in love. I hate Raoul. Still hate that pretty boy to be honest.

And at the end of the opera, when she leaves him for Raoul, but come back one final time to kiss him *fans self* swoon. My husband knows if he wants to get me in the mood fast he just has to put on the Phantom with Gerard Butler.

*ahem* Sorry I know, TMI.

Gerard didn’t have the voice range that Colm did, but DAYUM, even with half his face horrifically scarred he is mighty fine. That scene from Past the Point of No Return gets me hot under the collar all the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=xeNnSm4uzGA&NR=1

I wanted to know more about the Phantom. Where did he come from? What happened to his face? This is why I’m so fascinated and attracted to him. What made him the way he is and how can I heal him? 😉

Not much is known about the Phantom at all, other than his name is Erik and a few snippets from this song:

This face, which earned a mother’s fear and loathing…

A mask, my first unfeeling scrap of clothing…

 Even though Christine left the Phantom, his love for her remained true. He left her alone, but watched from afar. True to her, even though rich annoying pretty boy got her, he remained faithful even placing the rose on her grave years later.

The musical made such an impression on me, I was 14 at the time, I wrote copious amounts of fan fiction and would act out the musical in my room, alone, singing to the tape I bought from the souvenir stand.

It also helped fan the flames of my burgeoning romance writing career. No I don’t write about stalker/murders with half melted faces …but I’ve been tempted! >:)

It’s safe to say that The Phantom is my first ever dark romance hero.

Who’s yours?

Eternal Passion, Timeless Romance

Amy Ruttan books available from Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, All Romance E-Books, and other venues where quality e-books are sold.

Procrastination and Free Stuff

Okay, I admit. I’m a little bit of a procrastinator sometimes.

So on the day I’m supposed to blog, I remember it at about 7 am.

Crap.

Dark heroes? What’s a dark hero? At this point in the day, no coffee, no other form of caffeinated wonder, it’s amazing that I’m even upright. What are heroes again? What makes them dark?

Damned if I know. *stares longingly at coffeepot*

So instead of doing what I’m supposed to do, how about we do a giveaway instead? You guys like free stuff? Of COURSE you do!

So here’s what I want you to do. Make me feel better about forgetting my responsibilities. Tell me something you’ve left until the last minute recently. Did you run out of dog food and have to feed your pups fish flakes? Did you not do laundry and have to borrow your husband’s skivvies? Did you show up to work unshowered with some story about a nuclear war blowing out the power on your block?

Entertain me, and ease my guilt!

Comment below, and tonight at 10:00pm EST I’ll run you guys through random.org and then give to you your choice of an ebook copy of any of my EC releases!

Go spread the word, lovies. I’ll be here running to the day job!

What time is it? OH CRAP!

*runs*

 

Dark and Golden: Jaime Lannister

I love my blog sisters, but the dark heroes topic threw me for  a loop.  Done well, dark heros are twisted, tortured creatures—not quite villain, nor really quite hero either. I find it hard to get my head and heart around them.  My pick really exemplifies that challenge—Jaime Lanister, from George R.R. Martin the Songs of Fire and Ice series. If you haven’t read it, or only read parts (I don’t have HBO so I haven’t seen the series and don’t know how it compares), spoilers coming. After finding this pic, I wish I did have HBO, he’s lovely.

Jaime starts out evil. E.V.I.L.  Big time.  Let’s face it, when we first meet him, he killed the former king (he’s called Kingslayer) whom  he was responsible for guarding, is  cuckolding the current king by sleeping with his own sister, Cersei, with whom he has three children in line for the throne and he tries to kill a child who overhears he and Cersei plotting, by pushing him off a tower.  Yep, you really have to hate him…at first.

And then one of the greatest soldiers in all of Westeros loses his fighting arm and Jaime Lannister can no longer even pretend to claim to be a hero.  Aware finally that he is missing an integral part of himself (ain’t imagery grand), he reluctantly befriends Brienne of Tarth, a female fighter with integrity and honor to spare, and we are brought inside his head to see the humanity he’d been hiding under a rock somewhere. Its still a little dusty and a lot out of practice.  His wounds open, his love of and betrayal by his sister a palpable painful thing that’s almost physical in nature.  And voila, Jaime moves from villain to dark hero.  It’s George Martin’s handling of the complexity of characters that shows how near the edge dark heroes really are. And why they are so fascinating–because they can go either way.  No HEA guarantee here.  They are not heroes, they don’t always choose good even after we hesitantly start to open our mind to the possibility of liking them.

What makes a good dark hero is how well he handles that edge.  Jaime has been on both sides, which makes him hard to love, like we love a hero. But  as we get to know him, see the hero he might have truly been had things been different, we can ask ourselves if he may be a hero yet (Dance of Dragons is sitting on my bedside table. If he falls either way, don’t tell me!).


Sabrina Garie is on a journey to create the most kick-ass heroine in romance fiction. You can meet the first heroine in Fires of Justice at Elloras Cave, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

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