The Obscured Vixen

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

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Book Review & Author Interview: The Good Fight by Andrew Grey

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 24, 2012

Book Review & Author Interview: The Good Fight, by Andrew Grey

Book Blurb
Jerry Lincoln has a problem: his Sioux Falls IT consulting business has more work than one man can handle. Luckily, that means he can hire some help.

Jerry just hopes his new employee, John Black Raven, ends up being more helpful than distracting—but John’s deep eyes and long hair are very distracting. John came to town for an education and a chance at a life he couldn’t have on the reservation, but what’s important to him now is getting a job and keeping it. Six months ago, his sister died, and now her children are in foster care. Despite having the law on his side, John can’t get custody—can’t even see his niece and nephew.

As Jerry and John grow closer, John discovers he doesn’t have to struggle alone. Jerry helps him win visitation rights and provides much-needed support. Yet their victories aren’t without setbacks. Child Services is tangled up with money, politics, and red tape, and Native American children are their bread and butter. But John and Jerry are determined to fight the good fight and to win—in more ways than one.

Book Review
If you enjoy m/m romance stories, I highly recommend this book. It is very realistic, and not a romance where both characters are living in the clouds. There is love, suspense, and a great end to this story.

Jerry Lincoln, who lived most of his life in San Francisco, moves to Sioux Falls when his grandfather falls ill. After his grandfather passes away, he stays in Sioux Falls and starts an IT consulting business. Jerry’s business is so successful that he needs to hire more employees to be able to finish all the work.

A friend gives Jerry resumes of possible candidates and he interviews all of them. However, his interview with John Black Raven has a lasting effect on him. Jerry cannot get John out of his mind.

Jerry hires two people to work for him, one of them being John. At first, Jerry thinks that it will be hard to concentrate working with a guy that he finds attractive and so intriguing. Jerry keeps stealing glances at John, and a few times catches John looking at him as well.

One day Jerry decides to put himself out there and try to get to know John a little better. John is a Native American that moved from the local reservation to go to college and get a job since there was limited opportunities for him there.

However after the typical get-to-know-you-questions, Jerry finds John a bit distracted. Jerry learns that John is fighting to get custody of his sisters children who were taken by social services when she died. John is now out of college, has a job, and a place to live… but they still won’t grant him custody of his niece and nephew. This is because their Native American children and are worth more in the foster care system.

Jerry offers to help John get custody of his niece and nephew anyway that he can. They are in for a long battle, but grow closer because of it.

You’ll have to read the story to see what happens with the children, and also just how close Jerry and John become ; )

At the Authors After Dark Convention in August 2012, I had the great pleasure of meeting Andrew. He is such an awesome guy and the biggest sweetheart. Andrew was so kind and extremely down to Earth. Andrew allowed me to ask him questions regarding his latest story, The Good

Fight.Learn more about Andrew Grey here:
Andrew Grey’s Website
Andrew Grey’s Blog: Making the World Sexier One Reader at a Time
Andrew Grey’s Facebook Page
Follow Andrew Grey on Twitter

Enjoy this interview with Andrew!

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The Obscured Vixen: Being in the IT field, did you draw on your background when writing about Jerry?
Andrew Grey:
Actually I drew on a lot on the people I work with rather than myself. I’m a project manager rather than a developer, so I drew on a number of the developers I work with and sort of melded them together in developing Jerry.

TOV: Did you do a lot of research on Native American culture when writing about John and his tribe?
AG:
Yes I did. I also have a friend who is Native American so he and his wife were both immensely helpful in providing background information. It also helped that when I was younger I visited one of these reservations while on a family vacation so I was able to develop a feel for the reservation.

TOV: What made you want to start writing erotica?
AG:
I really don’t consider what I write to be erotica. Yes there is sex in my stories but I only include it as a representation of the advancement of the relationship between my characters. And I never really set out to write what I do, it sort of happened organically. That being said I have to tell you this story. A number of years ago, I hosted a birthday party for my father and everyone kept telling me how much I looked like him. That was the inspiration to join a gym and lose weight and I quickly realized I needed something to help pass the time while I was on a treadmill. And nothing works better to make a half hour go faster that reading about sex. I discovered gay romance and then decided to try writing one. The rest is history.

TOV: Have you ever written a scene based on personal experience? Or is it all fantasy?
AG:
I have written scenes based on personal experience. When I started out, Dominic and I tried all my scenes together. Oh the joys of research. As time passed, the need for that kind of research passed, but we still do it anyway.

TOV: Have you ever read something you wrote and thought, “Wow! That was awesome!”
AG:
Yes. There have been times when during the editing process I get lost in what I’ve written. That happened with The Good Fight as well as unconditional Love. Recently I was editing a novella Shared Revelations and I actually had to remind myself that I’d written it because I got lost in my own story.

TOV: Which of your works are you most proud of?
AG:
Love Means… No Boundaries, Artistic Appeal, Love Comes Silently, and The Good Fight. And each for a different reason. In Love Means… No Boundaries, Robbie is blind and half the book is told from his perspective. It really made me feel the world from a different perspective. In Artistic Appeal, Nicolai is deaf and in Love Comes Silently Patrick is mute. Each of these stories helped me grow as a writer because it removed some of the tools we use and I had to develop new ones. In The Good Fight, I think it’s the first time I really purposely wrote the book with a cause in mind. Other times its just worked its way in, but with this story, it was there from day one.

Other Author Interviews

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Giveaway: Naughty or Nice Blog Hop

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 21, 2012

Naughty or Nice Giveaway Blog Hop

Reading Romance is hosting an amazing Naughty or Nice Giveaway blog hop! The winner of this giveaway will be able to choose if they are Naughty, and would like Audrey and the Maverick by Elaine Levine, or are Nice, and would like to Dracula in Love by Karen Essex.

Giveaway Details

  • This giveaway will end September 29, 2012 at midnight EST
  • United States entries only
  • Click here for full giveaway terms and conditions

This giveaway has ended.

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What 9/11 is like for a New Yorker

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 11, 2012

September 11, 2001 was, and continues to be, the most tragic day of my life. Could it have been worse? Of course. But every year on this day there’s a dark cloud that settles over the city and seems to follow people. It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. You can’t help but talk about it, but not sure if you should because you don’t know if someone that you’re with lost someone.

I know people that never came out of the buildings that day. My friends lost parents. Others lost brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles. My father was in the World Trade Center Tower 2 when the planes hit.

Thankfully he made it out alive, and is still kicking today. Here is my story of what happened on September 11, 2001:

When I heard the news about the planes, I froze and couldn’t move. There’s no way two planes could have crashed into the WTC. To this day I still get that feeling of frozen dread through my body.

I ran to a phone and called my mother, who thankfully had just heard from my father minutes before. He was on the 82nd floor of 2 WTC when the plane hit 1 WTC. The flames from the first building engulfed his, and he immediately headed for the elevators to get out. My father was also there for the bombing in 1993 (close call 1), and knew how dangerous things could be. He wasn’t taking any chances.

The elevators in the WTC did not go from the ground all the way to the top floor; the cables just wouldn’t be long enough. Instead you had to take an express elevator to the middle of the building, and then a local elevator to your floor. My father had taken an elevator down to the middle of the building when they made an announcement that a plane had hit the other tower, but their building was okay. They advised everyone to go back to their desks.

My father, being the extremely smart man that he is, decided he wasn’t taking any chances and was getting out of the building (close call 2). When he was waiting for an elevator to the ground floor, the second plane hit his building. If my father had been in that elevator, the cable would have been severed by the plane and would have crashed to the ground (close call 3).

My father worked on the 82nd floor of 2 WTC, and the plane cut right through his floor. If he hadn’t taken the elevator down, my life would have changed dramatically in that instant (close call 4).

My father and everyone else in the building at that point had to walk down the stairs to get out of the building. When he reached the ground floor, 50-something stories later, they were moving everyone through the mall that was under the WTC and to an exit about two blocks away.

There were no trains or subways running, and all bridges were closed to cars. In order to leave the city and get home, my father would have to walk across one of the bridges (my parents live on Long Island). As he was headed that way, he heard unbelievable noises behind him and was being covered by debris. There were people yelling, “They’re shooting! They’re shooting!” (They’re was no one shooting, but at the time people didn’t know that the buildings were collapsing.) My father ran into the a pizzeria and just watched as debris and dirt rolled past, covering the front windows. (close call 5)

Once I had heard that the buildings collapsed, I began to panic all over again. What if my father didn’t get out? What if he was right outside the building and it collapsed on him? I had been calling my mother at work because that was where my father was calling her. All cellphones and pagers at that time weren’t working. My father called my mom from that pizzeria and let her know that he was okay, and was going to try and cross a bridge ASAP.

I went to my parents house to wait for my father. My mother stayed at work to hear from my father to know where to pick him up once he was outside the city. My parents house phone was ringing off the hook with everyone wanting to know if my dad was alright.

Around 3 o’clock that afternoon, my father had walked across one of the bridges out of the city and to Jamaica, Queens where there were trains running to Long Island. He caught a train and my mom picked him up at the train station. When I saw my mothers car pull into the driveway, I ran out of the house and jumped on my father. I couldn’t stop crying knowing that he was alright.

My parents house is 17 miles outside of the city, and you could see smoke from the collapsing towers for days afterwards. The city was shut down for days. My father was working from home and had to call people from his company to see who made it out alive. It wasn’t until about 2 months later that his company found office space in Jersey City to continue business as usual again.

Every year on 9/11 I can’t help but think about what happened on that day eleven years ago. All of my feelings of dread and the “What If?” thoughts are constantly going through my head. There is a constant knot in my stomach all day. I was an elevator ride away from losing my father. Even if I hear a low flying plane over head that dread fills my body. It’s a reaction that I can’t help, and will probably always be there for the rest of my life.

I am so thankful that my father made it out of the city that day, and is still around for me to annoy today : )

To anyone who lost someone on September 11, 2001, you have my deepest sympathies for your loss.

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Etsy Shop Prices Slashed!

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 7, 2012

Slashed prices on The Obscured Vixen Etsy shop!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ObscuredVixen

I only have five items on there, but I’ve dropped all the prices for anyone interested!

Currently on the shop is personalized bookmarks, personalized trading cards, Black Dagger Brotherhood bookmarks, Just Breathe series bookmarks, and Black Dagger Brotherhood baby clothes.

If you are an author and would like a bookmark or character trading card based on your series, please contact me on Twitter ( @obscuredvixen ) or through my Etsy shop. I would love to work with you!


 

 

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Once Upon a Time -vs- Grimm

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 6, 2012

Once Upon a Time -vs- Grimm

I am proud to say that I am a huge fan of both of these shows. Both shows are based on Grimm fairy tales, however they both have a very different take on them.

Grimm reminds me of a paranormal Law & Order. The main character Nick Burkhardt (played by David Diuntoli) is a police detective usually solving ‘unusual’ crimes. Each episode is a different case dealing with different creatures. There is a running story line of Nick trying to come to turns with just learning that he is a Grimm and is supposed to be killing these creatures.

Only a few months ago, Nick found out from his dying aunt that he was in fact a Grimm. He had no idea what that meant, or what went along with it. Nick visited his aunt’s trailer, which was left to him, and found all kinds of texts and scrolls explaining the role of a Grimm. There were also pretty crazy weapons and potions too.

Nick has to hide the fact that he is a Grimm from his detective partner, Hank Griffin (played by Russell Hornsby). This is extremely hard when they come across a case where the criminal is from the creature world and realizes what Nick is.

Juliette (played by Bitsie Tulloch), Nick’s girlfriend, also does not know that he is a Grimm. He’ll come home from ‘work’ sometimes with scratches all over him and has to lie about how he got them.

Nick becomes friends with Monroe (played by Silas Weir Mitchell), who Nick is supposed to kill. Monroe is a blutbad, which is pretty much a wolf shifter. Nick doesn’t kill Monroe, and it’s the first time there is a mutual friendship with a Grimm and a member of the creature world.

While Grimm is more story based, Once Upon a Time is character driven. Emma Swan (played by Jennifer Morrison) gets an unexpected visit from her son that she gave up for adoption ten years earlier. She drives him back to his home in a small town in Maine, called Storybrooke.

Emma’s son Henry (played by Jared Gilmore) wants to live with Emma. He doesn’t like his stepmother Regina (played by Lana Parrilla), and sneaks out to spend time with Emma. After some time, Emma sees Regina’s true colors and doesn’t like her either. Emma decides she wants custody of Henry.

While Emma is in Storybrooke, strange things start to happen. Emma is the only one that has ever ventured into Storybrooke, and is the only one that can leave. The clock tower which hasn’t worked in years starts ticking. People begin acting strange, and some even disappear for extended periods of time.

Once Upon a Time is lighter and more upbeat than Grimm. I prefer the darker more mysterious side of Grimm; it’s just more my taste. However, the story to Once Upon a Time is different from anything I’ve ever seen.

All of the characters, except for Henry, are also Grimm storybook characters. Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. Regina is the Evil Queen from Snow White, and is often seen with red apples. The way the characters act in Storybrooke relate directly to how we see them act in the fairy tale world.

Comparing the cast of both shows, I would have to say that I prefer the cast of Once Upon a Time. The actors seem much more genuine, and not as stiff. I love to hate Lana Parrilla (Regina) and Robert Carlyle (Mr Gold). They just play the parts of evil characters so perfectly.

The touch chick attitude from Jennifer Morrison (Emma) is played perfectly and really makes you root for her. Jared Gillmore (Henry) also plays a great part for an actor his age (12).

Unfortunately, I think that my most favorite characters from Once Upon a Time are definitely underutilized: Eion Bailey (August W Booth) and Meghan Ory (Ruby). Eion’s character is so mysterious and seductive that you want more of him on screen. And Meghan Ory is such a fabulous Red Riding Hood that I always enjoy when she’s in an episode.

The actors on Grimm do not have as much of a personality. I actually prefer the supporting cast to some of the main characters. Sgt. Wu (played by Reggie Lee) is a uniformed officer with a great scence of humor. I really enjoyed Nick’s aunt in the first few episodes, but then she was killed off! They could have kept her around a lot longer, and I don’t think it really would have messed with the story line.

I will admit that Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) is my absolute character from both shows. He is so quirky and loveable I just want to give him a big hug : P I also loved him while he was on Prison Break, so I might be a bit biased.

In my opinion, both of these of great in their own way, and I will definitely be watching both this season!

Posted in TV Review | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Hump & Hunk Day No More

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 5, 2012

Attention fellow vixens:

Unfortunately there will be no more Hump & Hunk Day on my blog. There have been situations that I know of other bloggers that have gotten in trouble for illegally using images.

For example, let’s say you want to have a picture of a nice sexy piece of ass on your blog. You’re supposed to have rights granted to you by the photographer. Since I have never done this in the past, I removed all of my previous Hump & Hunk Day posts. It’s only fair to the photographer, and the model.

If you’d still like to see some sexy beefcakes, please feel free to follow my Sexy Beefcake Hunks Pinterest Board. I also update this more frequently than once a week, so you’ll be in for a treat.

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Busy, Busy, Busy

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 3, 2012

It’s already September! Where has this year gone?!

Now that the weather is cooling off, it’s time for hubs and I to get the rest of our new house in order. So needless to say I am crazy busy cleaning, painting, going through boxes, and more nonsense.

To make things harder for myself, I’m currently reading four books:
Dearly, Beloved, by Lia Habel
The Good Fight, by Andre Grey
A Vampire’s Claim, by Joey W Hill
The Vampire Lestat, by Anne Rice

I’m always reading at least two books, but for some reason I don’t know why I jumped to four. Crazier things have happened. I apologize for the lack of posts, but their will be some good stuff coming up shortly!

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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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AADNOLA Day 5

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 22, 2012

AADNOLA Day 5
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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AADNOLA Day 4

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 20, 2012

AADNOLA Day 4
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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