The Obscured Vixen

Book addict, blogger and designer living in a paranormal world.

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Archive for August, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 27, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Review by The Crimson Cougar

The amazing film and performance that was The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger respectively left it quite difficult to put out a more superior film. I’ve heard The Dark Knight referred as “Godfather II for comic movies” which is a statement I could agree with. However, spoiler alert- Godfather III didn’t really come close to its predecessor.

Right off the bat in The Dark Knight Rises, we are introduced to/and are witness to just who Bane is and what he is capable of. To be honest, I really felt the distinct separation of the two main villains right away. Heath Ledger’s joker was a chaotic man who got off on bringing darkness out of anybody and hopefully (in his case) everybody he tried to get involved in his game. The Joker was a loud, chaotic firecracker. Within the first 10 minutes, we experience just what and who Bane is: Menacing. “Oh, the Joker is going to load two boats with people and give them the choice to kill each other? – Well, I’m just going to shred this airplane like a can of Lysol and eliminate everybody inside… myself.”

The movie is dripping with undertones of the political state of things in this country, which I will leave alone. Well, it may be overt actually.

The movie then carries out with the biggest and best fight scene we’ve seen our caped crusader involved in, followed by the biggest set of circumstances to overcome. Christopher Nolan has done an amazing job making his movies seem less “mainstream” – in film school they teach you about color and how it plays into storytelling, etc. Nolan doesn’t use those “kindergarten” storytelling tricks like everyone else. If somebody is angry in a scene in a Nolan film, they don’t have to be wearing red. If the characters are in a dream world, the image doesn’t get toyed with at all. Christopher Nolan has his own way. The Dark Knight Rises fits into all that, but somehow feels a bit blended with “mainstream” moviemaking. It’s almost as if Nolan had 80% of what he wanted to do, then phoned in the other 20% with Hollywood cliche type action movie stuff. Which isn’t bad, it just felt a bit “other movies.” Nolan is the smart man’s filmmaker, and he kinda lowered the output and story of the movie for all the people who were like “Wait, I don’t understand, wah!” for ‘Inception.’

The movie will have one question constantly asked of it: What about the bad guy? Did he do better than Heath Ledger?

Ledger’s Joker was a loud, chaotic firecracker.

Hardy’s Bane is a focused and astute steamroller.

Ledger had an Oscar worthy performance. It really becomes hard to even TRY to bring any talk like that up this time around, but in all honesty Tom Hardy more than holds his own with his performance. I find it really great in fact. It’s hard to project lines and expressions when your mouth cannot be seen, nor most of your face from being covered by a mask. Again, menacing was the word that came to my head when Hardy was on screen.

There’s one scene in particular where Bane really does nothing to bring your attention to him during the scene, until he rests his left hand (open and unclenched, mind you) on this gentleman’s shoulder. It is there that you get the power of Hardy’s character. His voice does not raise, his actions do not get accelerated at all, yet you just KNOW that he is in utter control. He didn’t set the room on fire, he didn’t bang a drum. He rests his open palm on a man’s shoulder, and it just as well could’ve been an atomic bomb to the room.

Is Tom Hardy better than Heath Ledger in this movie? Well, how about this: why can’t he just be “great” as well? I have quite a sweet tooth and love ice cream. My favorite type of ice cream is vanilla, but that certainly doesn’t mean that if there is only chocolate that my dessert from that point on is ruined. Not at all. It’s unfortunate that I don’t have my vanilla ice cream, but I still am lucky enough to enjoy some chocolate. It’s not my first choice, but at least there’s ice cream. We should stop worrying about ‘the best’ and try and enjoy what’s going on in front of us. Yes, Heath Ledger was amazing. But Tom Hardy was truly great.

The Dark Knight Rises is great. It does a great job of tying things up for all introduced story lines and characters, and all while not being Lord of the Rings: Return of the King about it. It completes the trilogy quite well, while leaving some things around should Warner just want to piggyback this series. Much like The Dark Knight was Godfather II for comic movies, The Dark Knight Rises does not quite live up to the predecessor, but in no way can it be compared to the Godfather III analogy.

How about The Dark Knight Rises is the Lord of the Rings: Return of The King of comic movies? It’s not the best, but why can’t great just be good enough for your Saturday movie night?


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Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 22, 2012

August 11, 2012

Had a late start this day due to the Masquerade Ball the night before   : )

I woke up just in time for lunch in the grand ballroom. I sat with Jeaniene Frost and Pamela Palmer. After we ate, I got Jeaniene Frost to sign my badass Chapter 32 shirt! It was so awesome  : )

That afternoon was the author signing, with all authors in attendance. I brought around an autograph sheet and got it signed by all the authors! It was definitely a hard feat tracking all of the authors down, but I finally did it and it was so worth it. I’m going to laminate it and hang it in my office  : )

It was awesome to meet authors that I’ve interviewed on my blog or spoke to on Twitter, but never had the pleasure of meeting in person. All of the authors were so friendly, and unbelievably down to earth.

After the author signing was the Samhain Reception where the Samhain authors were in attendance also giving away copies of their books. It was the first time I got a physical copy of one of Melissa Schroeder‘s Harmless series (I have them on my kindle), and I totally “squee-ed” in the middle of the ballroom!

Later that night, was the badass Author Pub Crawl! To view all my photos from the pub crawl, view my AADNOLA Pinterest Board.

Our first stop was the Bourbon Cowboy where authors Cat Johnson and Tilly Greene were hanging out. Cat Johnson was giving away awesome shot glasses with “Let’s Buck!” on them, as well as drink menus with cowboy style drinks.

The next stop was The Old Absinthe House with Sasha White and Cat Grant. It was awesome to see the inside of the bar, and all of the different memorabilia hanging on the walls. Sasha White was a riot and making people do crazy things for swag. The amazing Alisha, a blogger from My Need To Read, played air guitar to Heart. My friend Jewels got on a bar stool and sang her heart out to Michael Jackson. It was a blast!

Next we went to Voodoo Vibe where Jess Haines was passing out beads to throw off the second story balcony. Can’t get much more NOLA than that!

The last stop on our pub crawl was Pat O’Brien’s. It was an absolute blast hanging out with authors Kristen Painter, Stacey Kennedy, and Amanda Carlson. There were also a lot of bloggers hanging out as well: Julie from Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks, Marcela from The Bookaholic Cat, and Pam from Midnyte Reader.

The pub crawl was the best way to end AADNOLA. The event was absolutely incredible, and I had such a blast. I honestly could not have asked for more!

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Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 20, 2012

August 10, 2012

To view all images from AADNOLA, view my AADNOLA Pinterest Board.

After the morning and afternoon panels, it was time for a quick costume change! This was the night all the attendees were looking for: the Masquerade Ball.

As a pre-party to the ball, Melissa Schroeder and Kris Cook sponsored an open bar which was awesome! Authors, bloggers, readers, and everyone was mingling over yummy drinks.

There were costumes of all kinds: characters from books, gowns, vampire fangs, bustles, hoop skirts, corsets, and lots of fish nets.

When the amazing open bar ended, the Grand Ballroom opened and everyone filed in to find a table to sit. I sat at a table with Jade Lee and Alexandra Ivy who was definitely the best company in the room! Jade Lee bought a pitcher of hard lemonade for our entire table, so we were all having an even better time.

After dinner and drinks, the dance floor opened and we all got our groove on. The entire event was so awesome, and an overall amazing night!

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AADNOLA Day 4: Menage Panel

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 19, 2012

AADNOLA Day 4: Menage Panel
August 10, 2012

Authors on panel: Joey W Hill, Samantha Kane, Cat Johnson, Stephanie Julian, BA Tortuga

This panel was filled with authors that write menage stories, and their writing process. It was extremely entertaining  ; )

The authors opened the floor right up to questions from the crowd. The first question was if the author could play out the story of any one of their books, which would it be.

Cat Johnson would want to be in A Cowboy for Christmas. She mentioned how she cried the entire time while writing it. Impressively, she wrote the entire story, 53K words, in only three weeks!
BA Tortuga would want to be in one of her novels (unfortunately I didn’t catch the name!) that was “real shit.” It’s not a story with fantasized characters or story lines. She wanted something real and as true to life as possible.
Joey W Hill would want to be in both Ice Queen and Mirror of My Soul. She just loves those stories.
Samantha Kane would want to be in Cherry Pie.

I then got to ask a question (squee!), and asked how much of their stories come from their own real lives, or if it is research. BA Tortuga mentioned that she was in a threesome for over ten years! And that is where she pulls her stories from. She admitted that it is not nearly as romantic or glamorous as authors write in the books. “It’s a lot of hard work, and lots of laundry,” she said.
Joey W Hill raised her hand nice and proud, and admitted that she was a sub. She’s gone to BDSM clubs for more research to learn more about the lifestyle. Besides what she saw in clubs, she wanted to know what went on inside the participants minds. That was more integral for her while writing her books.

Another question was how authors come up with the names of their characters. Joey W Hill admits that she uses baby name websites. After so many books, no more names are jumping out at her and it’s so hard to come up with new names. All her male characters end up being “Thomas” for some reason.
BA Tortuga has a family of over 200 people, and that chooses her names from her family. She gets phone calls when certain books come out with family members commenting on their characters.
Samantha Kane uses a regency name generator for her characters. She mentioned it’s too hard to do the research, and found an awesome website that will randomize regency names for you.
Cat Johnson combines names of real rodeo riders for her characters. She’ll take the first name of one rider, and the last name of another. And done; character name!

The next question was how authors come up with their book titles. Most of the authors groaned admitting they hate coming up with book titles. Joey W Hill comes up with her own book titles, but it doesn’t matter because the publisher always changes them. Cat Johnson likes to have her titles first before writing the book, and they are usually based on terms from the rodeo world. Samantha Kane also said that she needs a title first before working on a story.

The last question was if there was anything “too taboo” for the authors to write about. All of the authors were pretty agreeable that nothing is really taboo for them, but others have different ideas.
Cat Johnson wrote a story about a threesome with two brothers, and admitted she will never do that again. She got flack from the public about how it was incest, and “how could you do something like that,” and how wrong certain individuals thought it was. Cat Johnson admitted that she didn’t see anything wrong with it since the two brothers were sharing a woman and not having sex with each other, but other people thought differently.
Joey W Hill had a similar situation when writing about Lady Lissa, and brothers Jacob and Gideon. There was no issue with the three of them having sex, but afterwards Joey W Hill had Jacob kissing Gideon on the forehead. Her editor said there was no way that could happen, and it had to be taken out. It wasn’t a sexual kiss, just a comforting brotherly kiss. Unfortunately her editor saw it otherwise.

This was such an awesome panel, and definitely the most interesting one that I attended. Good times!

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Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 16, 2012

August 9, 2012

To view all the photos from this day, view my AADNOLA Pinterest Board.

After the morning panels, it was time for lunch and the Bookie Awards.

This was both exciting, and completely nerve wrecking. I was excited to see which authors would win the awards, but I was so nervous because I was a presenter!

All of the presenters showed up early so that we could get our list of categories and nominees. We also received our award envelopes (“The envelope please…”) with the winners in them. Thankfully I did not screw up any names, and did not trip over my own two feet. And I even got to say, “And the Bookie goes to…” It was awesome!

After lunch, I ventured downstairs to “the dungeon” where there were two tattoo artists (I wanted another one SO bad), make up artists, raffle gift baskets, and the amazing Jessica from Ties That Bynde.

I tried on a corset that I liked, but turns out was too short for me (yes, I know, I’m tall). Jessica fitted me in another one that was SO perfect I bought it on the spot. I wore it the rest of the night!

I already have four corsets, but I’ve never had an underbust before. I must admit, I love it even more than my others! It provides a lot more movement, and gives my bust a better lift! (Hint to all you other tiny cups out there!)

That night, Melissa Schrorder held a Cursed and Blood Affair. We got an awesome goodie bag, and mingled while drinking and eating snacks. I’ve talked to Melissa on Twitter for a while, and was SO excited to actually meet her. I’m addicted to her Harmless series!

After that, I went to a late night sweets party with Jeaniene Frost and Pamela Palmer.

There were chocolates, gourmet cupcakes and other yummies. Jeaniene and Pamela were also giving out autographed books. Both authors were so awesome, and so unbelievably sweet. I couldn’t believe I was simply hanging out with them!

After the sweets party, I hit Bourbon Street I met up with CJ Ellisson and Boone Brux at Bourbon Street Blues. We went to the second floor balcony and were throwing beads at guys that would shake their asses at us. It was so much fun, and one of the best nights I’d had while in New Orleans.

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AADNOLA Day 3: Contemporary Panel

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 15, 2012

AADNOLA Day 3: Contemporary Panel
August 9, 2012

Authors on panel: Joey W Hill, Tilly Greene, Lissa Matthews, Cat Grant, Sophie Oak, LA Witt

This panel was a discussion about authors writing contemporary novels. It was very interesting to hear the hardships and fun times these authors have. All of these women were so awesome, and were literally willing to answer any question that we asked of them.

In contemporary novels, reference to pop culture gets out dated before the book is usually published. Brands that are usually ‘hot’ at the time are also usually avoided as well. A lot of authors will deliberately not write any references so that the book is never ‘dated.’

Another topic that gets outdated very quickly is technology. Everything from cellphones to cars, iPod’s and computers date the story of the book. Usually authors will only use these references when trying to designate a certain time period.

Some contemporary authors are jealous of paranormal authors because in a paranormal world all world rules are thrown out the window. An author can do and make up whatever they’d like! With contemporary, every detail has to be relate-able. It’s harder for the reader to suspend belief. Also in a paranormal world, the world itself becomes a character taking on it’s own role. In contemporary, it’s just a backdrop.

However, some authors that write contemporary novels also write paranormal or other genres. They explained that just like readers, authors also like to change genres. If they write on one topic for too long, sometime it gets boring or hard to come up with new material.

Most of these authors agreed that it is very hard to read books in the genre that they are currently writing in. It is impossible to turn their internal editor off, and they keep thinking what they would do or how they would have changed the story. All these authors agreed that when they need a good book, they go back to their “comfort reads”; usually books they fell in love with before becoming published.

And the best part of the panel? When writing sex scenes with more than three people, some authors draw diagram or pose dolls to make sure they get all the details correct. Or “all the limbs in the right places.” ; )

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Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 13, 2012

August 8, 2012

To view all these images and more, view my AADNOLA Pinterest Board.

After walking around the French Quarter all morning, it was time for some lunch. But first, I couldn’t wait to register for the Authors After Dark Convention!

I’m at the registration desk to check in and get my badge, when I turn around and see Joy from Joyfully Reviewed, and authors Joey W Hill and Kris Cook! Had a total fangirl moment and walked right up to them to say hello. They were all super nice and talked to us about how excited they were too about the event.

Joey had to leave, but the rest of us went to lunch at Desire Oyster Bar. Kris and Joy were so awesome, and it was a blast having lunch with them.

While we were eating lunch, Shayla Black and Sohpie Oak joined us as well. Talk about crazy, insane author overload! Shayla and Sohpie were hilarious, and so much fun to sit and talk to.

The convention hadn’t even kicked off yet, and already I was totally enjoying myself!

After lunch, I went back to my room to get ready for the AAD Welcome Event. All the attendees gathered in the foyer to mingle before sitting down for dinner. I met lots of bloggers and authors such as Jen from The Book Nympho, Sylvia Day, Carolyn Crane, Jade Lee, and Lia Habel.

We were moved into the grand ballroom for dinner, and Stella gave a wonderful welcome speech. Joey W Hill also gave a welcome speech, which was also amazing. I couldn’t believe that I was standing in the same room as her, let alone listening to her speak!

I would like to thank all of the amazing authors and publishers that provided books and swag in the welcome bags that we were given. It was all amazing!

After dinner, we were let loose on Burbon Street! A few of us went to the Cat’s Meow and got another hurricane. Love them! We then strolled up and down

Burbon Street before going back to our rooms for the night.

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AADNOLA Day 2 Part I

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 13, 2012

AADNOLA Day 2 Part I
August 8, 2012

As much as I love New Orleans, it is more humid than anywhere I’ve ever been before. I figured I would walk around early and see the sights before it got too hot out.

I’m a total tourist and love to see all the sights of new places that I’ve never been to. I ventured out at 10am and it was already 89 degrees, feeling like 99 degrees. Um, yeah.

I ventured down to the Riverwalk and saw the beautiful Natchez and Creole Queen paddle boats parked at the dock.

After walking the Riverwalk, I needed a break from the humidity. I stopped in Harrah’s Casino to get some relief from the heat, and also to collected a $1 chip (my husband and I collect them from wherever we go that has a casino). Just as I walked in, I noticed a Van Helsing slot machine! It was so awesome that I just had to play. And won : )  Who doesn’t love vampires? And in New Orleans no less?!

All of the buildings and architecture were absolutely beautiful. I loved the older buildings that had wrought iron balconies and railings. There were plants growing from the balconies hanging down over the first floor. It was timeless!

I walked past the House of Blues, Lafayette Square, St. Patrick’s Church, and the Old Absinthe House. It was amazing!

I’ve always seen New Orleans cemeteries in movies and have always been intrigued by the above ground graves. I went to St Louis Cemetery #1 and was so intrigued by how old some of the graves were.

It was a shame to see the condition of some of the graves: some were falling apart due to age, some seemed to be vandalized, and some weren’t even legible. It was absolutely beautiful to see.

After a full day of sightseeing, it was time to grab some lunch and head back to the hotel to get ready for AAD registration!

A few interesting things that I noticed about New Orleans today walking around:
1) I had no idea that there were palm trees. They lined some of the streets!
2) There are no barriers that come down for the train tracks. You have to look both ways before crossing the tracks. Although they are slow moving streetcars, coming from NYC I found this so bizarre.
3) The sidewalks and buildings are a lot tighter than I expected. Not much room to walk around.
4) Humidity and I do not get along. At all.
5) The weather reminded me of Florida: sunny in the morning, thunderstorm in the afternoon, then sunny again in the late afternoon.

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Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 8, 2012


Not really the official first day of AADNOLA, but I’ll count it as Day 1 since I arrived a day early. I had a very uneventful flight, and the plane was only half full. So I got the entire row to myself!

Once I landed and got my luggage, I hopped on a shuttle that would take me from the airport to the Royal Sonesta Hotel. During the ride I checked my Twitter, and noticed that Cat Johnson tweeted that she was on a shuttle to her hotel. I thought to myself, “What are the odds?”

Sure enough, I look around and against the other window I see a cute little brunette with a cowboy hat!

After my fangirl moment and probably embarrassing the hell out of Cat Johnson, I checked into my hotel room and began to unpack. Once I was settled, I wanted to see the sights.

So I met up with Katiebabs and we went wandering around the French Quarter.

We might as well have had “TOURIST” stamped onto our foreheads  LOL  Kate had a New Orleans Tourist Guide and I had my huge camera around my neck. We ended up at an erotica shop called “Second Skin,” which was awesome. They sold everything you could imagine, and the woman that worked there was awesome. While we were talking to her, she got a call from someone asking where the good glory holes were in the city! She said they get calls like that all the time.

After our (very humid) outing, we walked back to the hotel to meet up with Jen from Red Hot Books, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About with Twimom227, author Teresa D’Amario, and author Carolyn Crane.

We walked to Cafe Maspero for dinner, and had excellent po-boys. We then walked to Jackson Square and took fun pictures in front of the St. Louis Cathedral. I also got to see the Mississippi River for the first time!

The next stop on our trip was to Cafe du Monde for beignets. Total yumminess, and reminded me of zeppoles. We then decided it was time to get our drink on, and went to Pat O’Briens for some famous New Orleans hurricanes. And yes, they were utterly delicious!

Day 1 was so awesome, I cannot wait for the actual convention to start tomorrow. So excited!

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Leaving for Authors After Dark!

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 5, 2012

Tomorrow I’m leaving to New Orleans for the Authors After Dark Convention!

I probably won’t be able to post about anything until I get back next week. But I promise you I will have tons of pictures and posts to share for those of you that can’t make it! But I will definitely be tweeting nonstop with everything going on.

I’ll miss all of you that won’t be there! For those of you that will, hit me up and let me know where you are!

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