Friday, September 30, 2011

Classic Aracade

Image Source
When this Book Hunter was just a kid - hard to believe, right? - my older brother, Jay, and I would head to the Gold Nugget, a small convenient store located a a block away from home. The store was known for two things: Five-cent candy and the mini-arcade at the back of the store, where we whiled away our Saturdays playing classic games like Pacman, Donkey Kong and Galaxian. 

Sadly, however, the Gold Nugget went out of business, taking with it some of my most treasured memories. Enter Arcade Classics. Specializing on customizable arcade machines - more convenient than original arcade games - Arcade Classics can help build your personal arcade game room, allowing your family to relish in some good ol' fashion fun. With several classic games to choose from, you won't be disappointed. Best part is, you can design the look of your game table, even personalizing it. So while I can never go back to the Gold Nugget, this site can help me relive my the experiences I had there.

Crazy Emma by Brandie Buckwine

In college, I overheard a conversation two co-eds were having about a mutual "gay" friend. I say "gay" and not gay because of his bad habit of approaching unsuspecting ladies and grabbing their - well - butts. He'd then mock surprise, "Oops. I thought you were my friend. Sorry." I imagined he'd say this in some stereotypical gay fashion. 

Not sure what that anecdote has to do with Brandie Buckwine's short story, "Crazy Emma," but it did remind me of it. The "gay" never took home any of these women to make him un-gay, so you can draw the line anywhere you want.

Is it wrong to call an erotic story cute? Because that's what it is. Cute. Adorable, even. Emma - a waitress covering for a co-worker by doing the dishes - happens upon Derrick. When their eyes meet, Emma does something out of her character. She walks up to him and creates a history right on the spot. Derrick has to play catch up. Yada yada yada, she's looking for a new job. 

It's probably not the best erotic fiction I've read, but it sure as hell blows the pants off the last few short stories I've read - the disappointing ones, anyway. It's available on Amazon and Smashwords for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. That's right, folks. Free. Something worth reading that's also fun, for free. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

UR by Stephen King

After last night's post about the new members of the Kindle family, I figured what better way to follow up than a story that would scare the bejesus out of me? Of course Stephen King stories rarely scare me - nor do the movies, for that matter. Most times, I'm not even sure if I like his writing.

In UR, Wesley Smith decides to buy a Kindle after breaking up with his girlfriend - or rather, her walking out of his life. He purchases a couple of titles before exploring the Experimental option on the Main Menu. The usual stuff appears, but it's the UR Functions that catch his attention. Soon after, Wesley discovers several novels from writers like Hemingway that were never published and some that came to being after his death. Soon, realization sets in - this e-reader taps into alternate realities, providing its owner with archive newspapers from other URs and ultimately, future newspaper editions of the Wesley's UR.

The story's a great read, using a popular science fiction device with a hint of stories like The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper and stories like it - which is the one about the reader gets future obituaries only to die of a heart attack when he receives his? It's clear, though, that Stephen King has a some beef against technology. Which is cool, considering a man who keeps writing about all the messed up ways things can kill us. For another Stephen King hates technology read, pick up Cell, which deals with cell phones turning their users into - you guess it - zombies. Cell is also available for Kindle, go figure. Or check out the Kindle Single, Mile 81. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Stephen King on Kindle

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon to release Kindle Fire & Kindle Touch come November

Kindle Fire

"I hate technology," I muttered on summer afternoon. I was sitting in the Edinburg Roadrunners administration office, attempting to figure out what broke the front desk computer. In front of me, my netbook was open. Several tabs were open on Google Chrome, each of them with their reason. I stopped dead when I read the press release stating Amazon was releasing their own tablet.

"No, you don't," Alex said from her office. 

"Well, yeah. I don't. But it does piss me off when I dish out money for something when something better is due to release."

For quite a long time, I was against the idea of owning an e-reader of any kind. Then one day, I feel in love with the Amazon Kindle. It was a gradual think, I'm sure. I didn't just wake up one morning and said, "I love you, Kindle. I must have you. Now!"

The new Amazon Kindle & the Kindle Touch
I purchased my Kindle in January and used it for most of my reading list. Now as the dawn of the Kindle Fire - the Amazon answer to the atrociously expensive iPad - my e-reader world has been turned on its side. Not only has Amazon given Apple a run for their money - or more accurately, a run for our money - but they have also have avid readers - because bibliophiles and book hunters don't much care for e-readers - anticipating the next generation of the Kindle. Barnes & Noble Nook, beware! Amazon is out to get you, as well. 

The Kindle Fire features include apps, games, movies, reading, and TV shows, amongst other things, costing only $199. While the new generation of  Kindle runs around $79 w/special offers and $109 w/o special offers. It's faster than the Kindle Keyboard - what we're apparently calling the last generations - it's also faster, lighter, and smaller - pocket-size! Built in WiFi for quick e-book purchasing and library borrowing - that's right! If your local libraries have e-book rentals, Amazon Kindle can now be a part of it. Meanwhile, the Kindle Touch comes in WiFi ($99 w/special offers, $139 w/o) and 3G ($149 w/special offers, $189 w/o) models. The Kindle Touch has similar features as the new Kindle, with the obvious addition of a touch screen.

I'll be lying if I said I didn't want to get my hands on a Kindle Fire. With my luck, however, Amazon will come up with something new and improve - perhaps a Kindle Fire that can also clean my house.

The new Kindle is out now, while the Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch will be released on November 15 and November 21, respectively. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Death Clock

Andrea Lee Vibert has a problem. On her way to work one morning, she realizes she is now living inside a Nickelback music video. Numbers - counting down - are perched on people's heads. She notices how she doesn't have any numbers ticking backward. Of course she wouldn't - where's the fun in that?

Just how did those numbers get there you ask? Well, during the whole hubbub of her morning rituals - drinking coffee, reading her book, and riding the bus to work - she remembers that someone died saving her life the night before. Funny. If anyone else had witnessed a death - especially the death of someone who saved their lives - I doubt that normality would set in so quickly.

Of course plot devices are used to push the story. This is something we all know. But don't you think it's odd that before she gets on the bus, she doesn't notice red numbers floating over people's heads? Do you think she'll be calm enough to read on a bus after the previous night's event? And why in hell sake would you assume that the coffee is to blame for it?

The story is unimaginative - did I mention already how it was a blatant rip-off of a Nickelback music video? - and is not worth the money spent - did I already mention it was free? How it managed to rank such a high rating on Amazon and Smashwords is beyond me.

It's Erotica, but Not as We Know It

Ever have a fantasy that you thought was wild and sexy? One so downright naughty that you'd blow the pants anyone you told? It's so damn juicy that you're convince that it should be published so the whole world can bath in your...okay, this is getting a tad gross even for me. Anyway, continuing on: And once you get it published - preferably though some independent press or self-publishing venue - you sit back and wait until everyone's spasming from your sexual bravado. Only, sometimes what you expect isn't what you get. 

Outside her blog, I've never read anything by Rachel Boleyn, so I have nothing to compare Daddy's Lil Devil to. I feel I'm repeating myself whenever I review erotic fiction from writers I've never heard of before. Let's face it, not everyone can be Alison Tyler.

Perhaps cashing out on the moral loophole of Amazon's ban of incest erotica, writers like Boleyn tread the brim by writing about daughters lusting after their step-fathers. However, the idea is tired. In Daddy's Lil Girl, Camille masturbates to the fantasy of her step-father, Ted. She realizes that all those years of his punishment - a belting whenever she steps on his Baptist minister's wrath - are leading up to her fulfilling her deepest fantasy - having sex with the stern Baptist minister. She even toys with the idea of turning the table and belting him. Then one day, the vixen makes her move to seduce him. Once again, Ted enters her room, belt in hand - we have to remember that Camille's already 18, as per Amazon's guidelines, and have to accept that Ted is still spanking her - and starts off with his usual spanks, but succumbs to the devil's delights.

But where's the hook? Are we so desperate for new literary smut that we're willing to bastardize the erotic genre and turn into sheer pornography? "Less poetry," the collector told Anaïs Nin. "Be specific." But specifics have a downside when they're, well, too specific. Especially when it's told half passively. 

"Daddy's Lil Girl" is available for Kindle and Nook. And for a limited time, it's free on Smashwords. Until next time, keep on hunting.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Planes, Brains & Flying Automobiles

In a flash of light, the world changes. People are whisked away. The ones that aren't, try to pick up the pieces - attempt to make sense of the nonsense. It's something out of an science fiction show - like Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. The streets are littered with car accidents - presumably the drivers were taken with the light. Shopping centers are empty. Life has left the earth. Taken away. But to where? And why were some people left behind?

It's hard to tell whether the ones that were taken are the lucky ones in Peter Crowther's Darkness Falling - out Tuesday, September 27, 2011. It's definitely not the ones who weren't. When the light returns, bringing back some of the taken, things don't resume to normal. In fact, the people - now donning wrap-around sunglasses and thick work gloves - are alien to the world around them. Nearly zombified. It's a good concept, I tell you. However, can the storyteller keep the readers' attention?

Not sure what bothers me more. The fact that this book is riddled with punctuation mistakes - which are easily missed - c'mon, mine's not perfect. Or the fact that it's splattered with inconsistencies. The beginning of the book, the time is said to be five in the morning on the plane. Meanwhile, in later chapters, the time shift to two in the morning. When the plane makes a crash landing, they head for a Barnes and Noble that transforms into a Borders that changes back into a Barnes and Noble only to transform back into a Borders later on. On the ground, Rick, Johnny and Melanie see that the bus is being driven by Karl. Meanwhile, inside the bus, Karl is being attacked by one of the creatures and it is Ronnie who drives the bus when the three people on the street see it veering towards them. Small things like this, splattered over the pages, make me wonder how on earth the editors over at Angry Robot Books missed them. Peter Crowther states - in his acknowledgments - that the book was originally three separate volumes. This might excuse the inconsistencies if they weren't so close together. It also might excuse the repetition of earlier events; however, it would seem that Crowther simple cut & paste the passages as filler - make the book longer and the reader will think it's epic. 

I'm not bashing Peter Crowther's ability to captivate the reader, however. Inconsistencies aside, the story and the characters are remarkable. Repetition aside, the story flows. Grammatical errors aside, the book is genius. Not since The Tommyknockers - the movie, as I've never read the book - have I been captivated by alien beings taking over human bodies. The novel borders on zombie domination - only these creatures are far from brain dead, even though the simplest tasks befuddle them at first. However, now that Darkness Falling marks the first book in a - what? a trilogy? a series? - I'm wondering how far I'm willing to travel this road. 

I like to thank Angry Robot Books for allowing me to read this novel before it hit shelves. I also encourage the readers of sci-fi, urban fantasy and horror to join the Angry Robot Army in order to garner the same opportunities. You may even download free books for your e-readers - including this title, it would seem.

Pick up your copy of Darkness Falling, part one of the Forever Twilight series at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, on Kindle, or your Nook. And until next time, keep on huntin'.

The Book Hunter Watches a Movie

I took a break from reading Darkness Falling to watch a couple of movies with Jyg and Izzy this weekend. Because Halloween is just around the corner, we decided on something a little scary.

Kevin Smith has hung up his comedic gloves - setting aside the dick and fart jokes of his View Askew films - and created something politically driven. Not quite a horror movie, but not your conventional film in any sense. He's managed to take a very real thing and shined a light upon it, highlighting the darker parts. 

In Red State, Smith introduces us to the Five Points Church - perhaps an allusion to the pentagram? - a twisted version of the Westboro Baptists - if they could possibly get any more twisted, that is. Like Westboro, Five Points Church makes it a habit of protesting at the funeral of gay men. They feel they're driven by the hand of god. They preach hate and brainwash their children. Unlike the Westboro Baptists, however, the Five Points Church takes the next step. They kill in the name of god, to cull the earth of its sinfulness. When the ATF gets involved, all hell breaks loose. The only thing that can end this stand off is the hand of god itself.

There are no good guys in Red State. From the victims to the sheriff to the ATF team lead by none other than John Goodman, the line between right and wrong is blurred. And that's the point of Red State, I feel. How far do our freedoms run? How far is the government willing to go to shut down something it doesn't agree with? And how long until the hand of god reach down and the trumpets of Armageddon blare? The answers are all revealed in Red State, which you can watch now on Amazon Instant Video.

Ghost hunter shows are a dime a dozen these days. We have a romantic affair with the paranormal. And several TV producers know that we're willing to eat it up, so more and more shows are created. The whole way through, the cast, crew and network heads are laughing and counting the money. The shows are obviously fake, their crew obviously actors paid to play a role. None more notably than Ghost Adventures, which states the lead was a nonbeliever who had an encounter and - yup, that's right! - decided to cash out on it.

That's what Grave Encounters begins with. Actors putting on a show, paying "witnesses" for their testimonies about the things that paranormal occurrences that plague a mental institute. Much like their "real" counterparts of Ghost Adventures - scam artists, by the way - the ghost hunters of Grave Encounters also have a penchant of locking themselves inside. They have static cameras set up. They have a paid "psychic." They have everything a good ghost show needs. Except they never have a real ghost - look, another reference to Ghost Adventures. That is, until something strange starts happening. And things only get worse.

Now a lot of first person films get labeled scary as hell - think Blair Witch Project, think Paranormal Activity and it's lame sequel - but Grave Encounters really takes that cake in that department. Where the Paranormal Activity films lack in actual horror, Grave Encounter lacks in boring moments.

If there is one movie you watch this Halloween to scare the bejesus out of you and your loved ones, make it Grave Encounters. You won't be disappointed.

Until next time, keep on hunting.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Boardwalk Empire

Guest post of the week by Val Flores

I logged onto to upgrade our television package. I wanted to get HBO because I watched a great new show at a friend’s house. The new HBO series is called “Boardwalk Empire”. It is a period serious that is set in the 1920’s. It follows the politics, social scene, and bootleggers of Atlantic City at its prime. Immediately, I was hooked. Each episode that I have seen has a great story line and keeps you wanting more. The costuming is fabulous. I have always been a fan of the 1920’s style. The women’s dresses are great examples of era. The set is also really well done. Everything is period. The show actually takes you back in time and makes you feel like you are walking the boardwalk in Atlantic City. The show is a drama but there is also some comedic relief. Now that I have upgraded my package and have HBO, I cannot wait until the Spring when the new season comes out. I am thinking about throwing a “Boardwalk Empire” themed new year’s party. What could be more fun than dressing up like a flapper?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some Minor Updates

My News

The mail carrier waved me hello this morning as he drove passed my house after leaving some items in my box. I waved back because I'm a nice guy like that. When I opened the box, I pulled out an advert for a one-day workshop on Mistake-free Grammar & Proofreading, a letter from Hope Andrade that explains the propositions up for election this year and a large, cardboard envelope. At first, I'm puzzled. Could the Kindle cover really come in that fast? I just ordered about two days ago. When I got in and opened it, I pulled out a book. Darkness Falling by Peter Crowther. Okay, I know I didn't order this. Did I? Did I stay up all night again, surfing the online bookstores for something that would make me smile? No. Wait, there's a letter inside the book. Great scotts, man! I won a book from a GoodReads giveaway! Wait, no. That's not right. Angry Robot Books. Where do I know that from? Oh yeah, their tiny banner's only on the left side of my blog. Shit. It's that reviewer's copy I requested. Damnit, I gotta start writing these sort of things down.

The book's description suggest alien abduction. In the "file under" tag, it suggest Zombiepocalypse, Body Snatchers, Eternal Darkness, They're Back. I don't get much off that. Anyway, it should be an interesting read. I hope I can keep from distractions to get it done before the 27th - the book's release date.

Artful Covers

Over at Flavorwire, Nicole Rallis presents us with 20 Reimagined Book Covers, which stretch from lame to great, though are not place in such an order. In fact, it's up to the reader to decide which takes the cake and which artist rendering should be tossed into the fires of Mordor. 

Covers range from The Hobbit to James Joyce's Dubliners (see left). Personal favorites of mine go to Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, Nabokov's Lolita and Salinger's Franny and Zooey

Netflix for Books

I shudder to about it. Apparently, the ball is rolling. Last week, GoodReads presented a Netflix-like personalized recommendation page that allows readers to share their reading lists and thoughts on books. Which is strange, because I thought GoodReads already did that latter. Also making headway last week was news about Amazon working on a Netflix-like ebook rental program. That's disturbing. As much as I love my Kindle, I cannot help but to think the printed word is in more danger than ever. Besides, don't we have something similar with books already? And the program's free, people. It's call your local library. No? Oh well, moving on.

The Death of the Printed Word

The other day, some spaz on Tumblr decided to stand on his/her soapbox and state that s/he will never buy an e-reader. The reason? Because countless bookstores are shutting down. And I'm talking about independently owned bookstores, though Borders did close its doors - tear. The blog post is made up of pictures, photographs taken by avid book lovers saying goodbye to their favorite haunts, I'm assuming. 

Now e-readers have taken a bad rap for the death of the printed word. It's not fair. A 2007 study showed that people were reading less than they used to. And I'm sure the numbers haven't changed much with the popularity of e-readers. I figure that people are more inclined on spending their money on whatever is making waves in the cinema than on a good book.

Perhaps the death of independently owned bookstores can be accredited to online shopping, rather than e-readers. I do find myself browsing Amazon, Better World Books and the like for better deals, better prices and at my convenience. I'm rarely disappointed, whereas, I run the risk of not finding what I want if I went to my local Barnes & Noble or one of the thrift shops I venture into. It's just a thought.

Oh well, until next time. Keep on huntin'.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dirty Desires

We're all filthy minded, some of us more than we'd like to admit. Given some freedom, our kinks might know no limits. I think that's what drives erotic writers - as in writers of erotica, not writers with erotic appear; although... - as they clack-clack away on their keyboards, bringing our dirty deeds and fornication fantasies to life. 

In the past, I came (no pun intended) across Alison Tyler's (Alison's WonderlandOn Finding Jon's Porn) works and became an instant fan - all the while, unwittingly owning a novel she wrote. So when Smart Ass appeared across my Amazon recommendation page, there was little thought when I decided to get myself a little something.

Now I'm a little behind (again, no pun intended) with this. It appears that Smart Ass is part of an annual anal anthology - say that five times fast! - that also includes Bad Ass and Kiss My Ass. It's compiled with the help of fellow writers Kristina Lloyd (SplitAsking For Trouble), Sommer Marsden (Learning to Drown Drunk and Disorderly), Sophia Valenti (Stocking Up: an erotic collection for the fishnet fetishistIndecent Desires), and Jax Baynard (Torn: Erotica Ripped from the SeamsEat Me: Succulent Stories of Edible Erotica), with Thomas S. Roche (The Panama LaughLike A Wisp of Steam: Steampunk Erotica) stepping in for Smart Ass.

Kristina Lloyd's "My Ass is Your Ass is My Ass" starts the anthology off with its mixture of poetry and porn. It sets the stage - not to mention, the mood - with is raunchy first sentence - "So, there he is with his cock in my ass, and I'm biting the pillow, making all sorts of groans" - to narrator's poetic description of the deed - "On the inside, I'm floating in a space nebula, and star clusters of silver are pulsing bright and dark." How can someone go from describing a pornographic threesome to describing the trio post coital as "Tokyo in the rain at night [...] Tokyo mad flesh?" It's just not something you expect in erotica, especially that dealing with anal sex. Yet, it's there. And it's beautiful and naughty. Sensual and...well, it's just sensual, okay?

In "Tahoe Tease," Thomas S. Roche introduces us to a character dying to get a piece of his girlfriend's ass, which has been promised to him if he can go two months without an orgasm. But she's not going to make it easy for him. And things worth having rarely go without a little bit of sacrifice.

Where as in "Plucked," Alison Tyler changes the tables with the anal play by giving a womanizer a taste of his own medicine.

I think Alison Tyler says it best in the introduction; this anthology is "a type of nontraditional sweet porn that's kinky and filthy and leaves everyone with a smile at the end." Of course, she was talking about her story. It's a nice little collection for you Kindle or whatever. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Money Well Spent

So that kid from Angels in the Outfield actually grew up into a somebody worth watching. Who would've thought it, hu? Rather than falling into obscurity as it was for most child stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gone from being an alien elder to being Cobra commander to being the guy to have his heart broken by Zooey Deschanel. So is there anything he can't do?

Than answer, it would appear, is no. Well, in the logical, believable area, anyway. Though, I'm sure he could just zip off into the air if he really wanted to.

Here's the story: Five years ago, Joseph Gordon-Levitt - a man who, apparently, I cannot go without saying/typing his entire name whenever mentioning him - started a pet project called HitRECord, which, as of last year became a production company. He goes on to say:
We create and develop art and media collaboratively here on our site. Even this introductory video is the remixed result of a great many contributions. So rather than just exhibiting and admiring each other's work as isolated individuals, we gather here to collectively work on projects together. Videos, writing, photography, music, anything -- we call them all RECords. Now and then, when I think something we've made has come out especially well, I approach the traditional entertainment industry to turn our work into money-making productions; and then we share any profits with the contributing artists.
This project later gave birth to it's first collection, RECollection Vol. 1 - on sale today! I opted to pre-order the set - which included the limited edition record you see next to the book - sometime in the summer. I all but nearly forgot about it until it arrived at my doorstep this morning - hand delivered by the wonderful postal worker himself - Note to self: Bake this man some cookies.

I couldn't wait to rip the package open and devour it entirely. Of course, I was just starting my day of jobless anticipation - I've been answering every phone call in hopes it's an opportunity, but only get bill collectors (which I have half the mind to ask if their hiring). I put it on hold. Snapped the above photo and started off with the DVD which features short films, tiny stories, music videos - my favorite was "They Can't Turn the Lights Off" - and live records. I followed this by reading the book in one sitting - it wasn't that hard, but to digest the magnificent beauty of the images presented upon the pages, mixed in with the words was an overwhelming sensation that I do not think I can fully describe. My personal favorites, oddly, are the first and last features in the book. 

The book itself, actually, reminds of me the children's stories I used to read when I was a kid. The way they were written. It's as if the book is for adults who never stopped being children, as well as, those who forgot how to play. And, while the tales might be a little sketchy, I do plan on reading the first and last entries to my child when s/he is born.

Sadly, however, I cannot review - if that's what I'm doing, anyway - the CD that includes 17 original songs because I haven't gotten that far. But the book is amazing. It's more than amazing. It's probably the best collaborative work I've seen in a long time. 

Morgan M. Morgansen's Date With Destiny, as featured in HitRECord: RECollection Vol. 1

Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Book Hunter Watches Some TV

Once upon a time, the FX Network aired this magnificent lawyer-based drama called Damages. At first, I wasn't too interested with it. However, when the network started to re-air the first season in preparation for the second season, I was hooked immediately. However, after the third season aired, I learned that Damages would not be returning to the FX Network line up. This was a shock because the third season was filled with twists and turns, not to mention on the edge of your seat excitement. What on earth was wrong with FX? How could they allow such a killer series drop from their grasps when shows like Always Sunny are given chance after chance for renewal - okay, that's like comparing the works of William Shakespeare to that of whatever that women who brought us Twilight is named.

Thank the TV gods that DirecTV picked up the series on its Audience Network. The fourth season is by far the best, as the Audience Network allots the series a little more freedom than FX ever gave it. Freedom from the FCC, for instance - which means a little more color and nudity to the series.

The season picks up three years after the events of season three, with Ellen now seeking to take down a private military contractor played by John Goodman. Dylan Baker also appears as a CIA agent whose emotions have compromised his allegiance to the CIA, his country and its military. Chris Messina plays Ellen's old high school flame, Christopher Sanchez, who sets events in motion with information on an illegal mission carried out by High Star.

The season, told in ten hour-long episodes, delivers a range of emotions, which is expected from the series. Glenn Close and Rose Byrne returned as Patty Hewes and Ellen Parsons, respectively.

I can't wait for the fifth season and hope that the Audience Network picks it up for a couple of more.

Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Random update

Someone was going to tell me about this, right?

Facebook, the other day, decided to drop me an advertisement that finally piqued my attention. The ad was for Story of the Week, a project by The Library of America. Because I'm always finding myself in between books, I decided it was a good idea to subscribe to it since it was free, my favorite word.. Hopefully, I do a better job keeping up with this than I do with Narrative Magazine, also free. 

I started reading The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era by Teressa Iezzi, which is an Advertising Age book. It's a nice read, but it's making me wonder if I'm even cut out for this sort of market. Several friends seem to think it was a good idea to look into it, but I'm beginning to have my doubts. Me, the book hunter, turned copywriter? And let's not fail to mention the way advertising works in this new era - I mean, just look at the title of the book! Still, it's a good book and worth the read, especially if you're a creative or looking to become a creative.

I figured that reading the book might help me a tad with writing those ads I do from time to time. I aimed for a different angle when I wrote an ad post for a spice rack website for my Tumblr account, incorporating a personal - not to mention, very true - story about growing up in a house with a kitchen kept in complete disarray. I'll experiment with the other two ads I have on queue, one of which is for this blog. We'll see how that turns out. I hear the client is a stickler for correct/proper grammar. Which, if you haven't been able to tell, isn't what this blog is known for.

Oh well, until next time, keep on huntin'.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stick a fork in him, he's done

There comes a point in when all readers begin to wonder if their favorite authors are just messing with them. Jeff Lindsay has never been one of my favorites, but his character Dexter Morgan hits close to home - not that I live a double life as a serial killer, or anything. 

Maybe I'm still upset that the metaphorical dark passenger was ruined for me in book three, when it became something a little more sinister and occultish. I like the Showtime version of the character much better. 

So why did I continue with the series? Because I like verbal abuse and when I start something, I see it through the end no matter how awful the end is. It's probably why I'm looking forward to Double Dexter, which hits shelves next month - once again, coinciding with the new season.

Perhaps, the returning of brother Brian lends a hand to the upcoming novel's plot. Who knows. I don't. Maybe Lindsay knows, but I doubt it anymore. I'm just bitter. I think. I don't know. Reviewing this shit is hard.

Anyway, on with the show, shall we? Dexter is Delicious opens the day of Lily Anne's birth - this would be little Harrison's counterpart in the literary world. Dexter begins to feel things, becoming slightly more human than he's ever been - and it's not fake. He feels eyes on him. He turns and sees someone leaving but gets there too late. Deborah calls him. Blood bath. Missing girl. Something about vampires then cannibals then a girl's wish to be eaten. Somewhere along the line, Brian returns. Becomes one of the family. Seemingly connect to the cannibal BBQs. Deborah's getting maternal. Chutsky makes a couple of appearances. Dexter is captured, more than once. For some odd reason, Doakes still stalks around - shouldn't this guy be forced into retirement by now? Bad guys think they have the upper hand. Dexter decides not to give up the dark life. The book ends.

I mean, you'd think after all the things and supernatural entities that have been bestowed upon Dexter Morgan, he's be a little more sensible and not get caught. Still, he walks into the obvious traps, his demonic buddy has temper tantrums and Jeff Lindsay's blowing our money on something other than writing lessons. Not that he needs them. I mean, he has writing skills. It's telling stories that he has problems with.

Never the less, there were some things that kept me reading. Namely, Dexter's absolute human affection for daughter Lily Anne and Brian's sudden need to be with family. 

As for me, I'm gonna attempt reading Teressa Iezzi's The Idea Writers: Copywriting in an New Media and Marketing Era. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

The Book Hunter Watches a Movie

A couple of movies, actually. And a new TV show pilot.

Originally, I wanted to entitle this post "I don't remember high school being this interesting." The school I attended showed little potential for excitement. In fact, only two incidents stand out in memory, one of which was perpetrated by yours truly, sort of. 

Not the point. Shall we get to that?

Before I get into this, it's no big secret that I find Evan Rachel Wood's (The Life Before Her EyesAcross the Universe) talent ghastly at best. The only movie I seem to enjoy is the prerequisite film, Thirteen. I was shivering in my boots when she started to play a reoccurring character on True Blood during the third season. I jumped for glee as her character is quickly taken care of during the fourth. 

With that said, I don't know what led me to watch Pretty Persuasion, in which Evan Rachel Wood plays - unconvincingly - a private school prissy, bitch that just makes you want to slap the shit out of her and demand she stop acting. What? I can't be the only one, can I?

Kimberly Joyce is your sweet, down to earth girl. She befriends new student, Randa, Islamic in America, post 9/11, and warns her that people won't be as nice to her as she is. They'll laugh, she warns Randa. She is in a relationship with a guy she can't stand, who is dumber than dirt. Then there's the nearly absolute fake relationship between her and Brittnay. Ugh. How annoying can these girls be? Always cheering each other on, no matter what. When Kimberly gets the coveted role of Anne Frank in the school play, Brittnay is happy for her. Of course, things change a month later. And that's when the bullshit happens.

Let's just say, the three girls frame their beloved English teacher, played by Ron Livingston (Defying GravityOffice Space), for sexual misdeeds. They drag his name through the dirt just to get back at him for all the grief he's caused. And the twist? Well, the twist is something you'll get when you watch the damn thing, if you can. 

Brick, on the other hand, is a movie that I can get behind. It's set up like a film noir, only in high school. So while it's deep - kind of - there is some comical feel to it. 

This dark, high school tale stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The LookoutInception) as street smart Brendan, who is called upon his ex-girlfriend - portrayed by Emilie de Raven (RoswellThe Hills Have Eyes). When he finds her dead, Brendan sets off to find the killer, leading him into the underbelly of his high school social network. 

The film is next to unbelievable. There were points where Jyg and I couldn't help but to laugh - like when Brendan's about to smash Tugger's car window and Tugger - played by Noah Fleiss (Joe the KingEvergreen) - stomps his way toward him. Still, it is quite enjoyable and the best storytelling I've seen in quite some time, in a film about high school students, anyway.

It's no big secret that those behind the Marvel Comic films think fans are complete and utter idiots. That we'll watch whatever piece of crap that is thrown our way and wholeheartedly accept Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. For the most part, they're pretty much right on the money.

How Thor struck up so many good ratings is beyond me. Perhaps it's all accredited to Chris Hemsworth's (A Perfect GetawayStar Trek) pretty face. One can only hope that hormones played a hand in it, because thinking this movie was actually worth the watch is kind of hard to swallow.

It feels the only agenda they're attempting to meet is filling up their pockets by releasing half-assed, plot-flaccid movies about our favorite superheroes. And if that's the sole goal, then I'm going to sit out when it comes to The Avengers movie they're building up for. I mean, c'mon - Mark Ruffalo, are you fucking serious?!

There isn't a single moment in Thor where I didn't have to shake awake just to remind myself that I was watching an "action packed" movie about the god of thunder. Nope. Even Loki failed to meet my supervillain  standards. Sure, he was cool - only not really. 

And it's not like the actors didn't try. They tried. Oh my goodness, did they try. But the movie still fails.

Speaking of fail, did you hear about this one? Get this, Fox decided to try out a new show. It's about a quirky girl who moves in with three guys - three guys who have serious female issues - and comedy ensues. Only, it doesn't. And Zooey Deschanel's (Tin Man(500) Days of Summer) ability to make a cute face on command won't save it. And I'm sure in a few months, when Fox realizes it's a dud, I'll see a shitload of complaints over on Tumblr about it. Because Hipsters want a savior, but they won't get the one they want, but the one they deserve and...yeah. I've got nothing more to say on that topic.

Still, how do you even attempt this? There's got to be a moment when the actors just shake their heads and say, "Well, at least we get paid."

I wanted to love The New Girl so badly, it hurt. I mean, how could I not? There is a reason why Jyg jabs me, jokingly, and says, "Look, it's your girlfriend," whenever she appears on the television. I give it six episodes before Fox pulls the plug. And if it lasts longer than that, I will no longer underestimate the hipster movement.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Expecting Book Hunter

One of these is not like the other...
Two weeks ago, Jyg announced to me that she might be pregnant. Three tests later - one home pregnancy, another walk in clinic and a final test with an actual doctor present - we now know that it's not just a possibility anymore. So in all good book hunter, I set off to find the books of guidance and wound only  buying one helpful book, a baby name book - which we don't need because we had names picked out since the beginning - a book whose title I didn't read real well when I dropped it into my Amazon shopping cart and a book that has nothing to do at all with the subject of child care

I already cracked open Eating Well When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff with Sharon Mazel because - not to belittle Jyg's culinary skills - I'm the cook in this family. Besides, it might get me to eat healthy as well if I'm the one responsible for the meals. I do plan on purchasing What to Expect When You're Expecting if Jyg's sister doesn't already have a copy to lend us. Although, several men on Amazon have already stated letting your loved one read that book might be disastrous on our psyche. They suggested reading the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. I thought I was purchasing the male equivalent to What to Expect When You're Expecting - What To Expect When Your Spouse Is Expecting - when I picked up What to Expect When You're Wife is Expanding, but...well, the title alone tells you my fault.

As usual, I also had a book on queue for my would-be budding writing career - current situations, however, might put that on hold indefinitely). Just to keep me motivated, I picked up The Idea Writers by Teressa Iezzi.  A couple of people have urged me in this direction in the past, so I finally sucked up whatever pride I had and decided to look into it. As for the Cool Names for Babies book, well, that's also for my writing. A writer can only use a certain name a number of times before people get suspicious, you know.

What does all this news mean for the book hunter? Well, at the moment it's hard to tell. I do have over five hundred books in my personal library, plus whatever I have on my Kindle. So for the moment, hunting might be a luxury I can no longer afford. But reviews, my friends. Those are always free. Until next time, keep on huntin'.