5 reasons why the Fifty Shades movie is better than the book

50 Shades cover art

So, this may run contrary to every review out there, but I liked the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. In fact, in many ways it was better than the book. Here’s why:

  1. Anastasia is not an idiot. She’s got sass. She sticks up for herself, pushing Christian, questioning him, and at times even outsmarting him. When they discuss the contract, she insists on a business setting and confidently negotiates the terms. She may have an antiquated flip phone, but she’s a poor college kid after all. And she  does know how to use a computer… it’s just on the fritz.
  2. Ana is funny. When she drunk dials him in the bar, her reactions are spot on. Alternately confident, nervous, cute, embarrassed, she’s charming. You can see why her friends like her and why Christian is intrigued.
  3. The movie glosses over the illogical parts. Christian is still a young billionaire, but they never say how young. The book puts him at 27, which is ludicrous. In the movie, he could be 30, maybe 32. Not so old that it’s creepy that he’s with a young college grad, but old enough that he had time to amass a fortune, learn to play piano/fly/dance and cozy up to 15 women. Plus, his family appears wealthy, so maybe he didn’t build Grey Enterprise from scratch, but rather took over the reins.AND the timeline doesn’t seem so compressed. Instead of taking place over two weeks (?), the movie gives the impression the relationship evolves over a few months.  After their initial meeting, Ana sits in class, Christian goes to work. Over time, she mulls, he pouts. She considers her options carefully, he stews impatiently. She muses chewing on a Grey pencil, he fidgets in his grey office. The pace is much less frenetic, which helps dial back the ‘Christian is an unreasonable control freak’ vibe.
  4. Christian’s got a gorgeous… apartment. I expected it to be cold, grey steel, white walls, hard angles, with large windows leading to the balcony. Nope. It was ALL floor to ceiling windows. Not much furniture, but there were warm brown pieces, glowy candle thingies, and a dramatic sweeping staircase. The only walls were in the upstairs hallway and bedrooms (ok, they were white) and the playroom (red, natch). The playroom was large, but kind of elegant in its own right. I would have had to explore it, just like Ana did. Kudos to the set designers.
  5. And overall, the movie was cast well. Ana was close to perfect (see #1 & 2). Loved her. Christian was a little off, some of his lines were poorly delivered, but he looks the part–nice body, tousled hair, sexy saunter. He’ll do.I expected Ana’s mom to look like a hippy throwback, but she was more a modern day free spirit. I hated that she didn’t come to Ana’s graduation, but that was straight from the book. Other than that, she was sweet. Ana’s roommate Kate was much more believable in the movie. She was pretty, dynamic, and not nearly as obnoxiously pushy as in the book. And Elliot? Perfect. Just perfect, front and back.

That’s not to say the movie was without its flaws. Christian’s performance was sometimes embarrassingly stilted. Early on, he rants at Ana for wanting him, and his reactions were so odd, the audience laughed. In the sex scenes, Ana seems to go from zero to the verge of orgasm in 2.5 seconds. I wish it were that easy.

And my own personal preference…I would have liked to see more of Taylor, the driver/bodyguard. He’s my secret crush.

But other than that, as a fan of the book, I’d say the movie was fifty shades of fabulous.

To see the few POSITIVE reviews printed regarding 50 Shades, check out my 50 Shades of Great Expectation page.

I love me some shape shifters

Daisy Banks, a fellow Lyrical author, has published the second in her three-book series called “Timeless.” I invited her to share information about her latest work.

Thank you so much for hosting me, Alleigh, and helping me celebrate the release of my new book To Eternity.

This book follows Magnus and Sian, whom you may have met in my first book, Timeless.  I hope those of you meeting them for the first time in To Eternity will be inspired to read my first book to learn more about their past .

I am presently in the process of writing Out of Time, Book Three in the series and hope to complete it this year.

Daisy Banks cover To EternityTo Eternity-wild beneath the moon- Book Two in the Timeless Series.

Blurb

For four centuries Magnus has lived according to the dictates of the moon, his heart isolated by the domination of his wolf nature. Now fate has brought the beautiful, independent Sian to his house at Darnwell and their irresistible attraction has exploded into a white-hot passion. Yet she is not wolf, and the time has come for her to embrace the change. But once she completes the ritual and claims her place next to Magnus, the rivals will appear on the horizon…

Excerpt

One element in both Timeless and To Eternity that I enjoyed writing about was Magnus and Sian’s magnificent house. Their interest in antiques and architecture, the work they share in planning restoration, and the walled garden interested me a great deal.

I hope you enjoy this short excerpt:

Each dawn, as the shoot-day approached, he dwelt on the need to find another place to spend his time during the days when the whole camera team, the musicians, dancers, sound crew, and all the many others she’d explained would be necessary for the film, came to the house. The prospect of so many disturbed his equilibrium. He’d not invited so many strangers into his home for more years than he cared to think about. Though he did his best to disguise his apprehension, without a doubt, Sian knew.

“Magnus, it will be fine. You can come to watch the filming if you want. Think of the event as if it were a step back through your vacation pictures. I promise the costumes will bring back happy memories.”

He shook his head. “Thank you for the thought, but no, I’d rather not. Perhaps I’ll spend the day researching decoration for the renovation of the conservatory.”

“If you’re sure. I’ll keep the crew to the schedule. Everyone will be out of the house and off the grounds by six-thirty, no later, I promise. That way we can have dinner and the evening together.” She offered him a smile filled with confidence.

“Wonderful, I’ll look forward to dining with you.”

“Hmm…” She stared at the letter she’d opened. “Here’s some information you might want to look at, too.”

He accepted the papers. “Green Girls?”

“Yes, in answer to my advert regarding the walled garden. It won’t put itself to rights, and as much as I enjoy looking at it, I don’t think we’ll resurrect it alone. In my opinion, we need specialist help. I like the look of this group.”

He assessed the business card, professional enough to be encouraging. Opening the sales literature, he gave it a quick glance. “Every employee is a descendant of a Land Army girl?”

“Yes, it’s their advertising gimmick. They all had relatives in the Land Army in the war. You must know of the Land Army.”

He nodded. A wave of helpless adoration hit him at this new example of her happy knack of finding his weak spots. If she’d been a tigress in another life, he’d not be surprised, because Sian sank her claws into him with loving relish, tearing into his open heart. “Yes, I have recollections of the Land Army, my dear. I was quite active during wartime. It was easier.”

Thanks for reading,

Daisy Banks

Buy Links

Amazon  *   Amazon UK   *   ARe   *   Barnes&Noble   *   Kobo

You can also read Chapter One of To Eternity free on Daisy’s blog. Take a peek at her My Books page or visit her:

Blog   http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Website http://daisybanksnovels.yolasite.com/

Twitter @DaisyBanks16

Facebook http://on.fb.me/18iRC35

Pinterest http://bit.ly/16sF1XG

I Love Amazon’s Author Central

Amazon has added a new feature to their website, called Author Central.

It allows authors (duh) to create a bio page and other services to help them connect with their reading audience. But even better, it posts rankings, showing how well an author’s book is selling compared to all other Amazon authors, and authors of similar genres. So, I can see how well my book (Dare to Love–in case you’ve been hiding under a rock) is selling compared to other Romance authors on Kindle.

They create a fun little graph, that is updated hourly, so I can obsessively chart my progress over time. So, I now know that my overall Amazon bestseller rank today is #19,610 – an all-time high!

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 2.15.37 PM

I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm, because, while this may mean I’m selling more books (increased numerator), it may also mean that other writers are selling fewer (decreased denominator). See, math is fun and useful!

I can access another chart that indicates I was the #957 best selling author of historical romance ebooks last week. Sadly, I’m now down to #1,738, but it’s been climbing for the past day or two.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 1.09.20 PM

AND according to Amazon, as of 12/11, I’m the #52 best selling author of Kindle ebooks in the category of fiction/historical fiction/British. Sure, if you add enough qualifiers, I’d eventually find myself in the top #100 of something, but I think this is a fairly substantial category.

Thanks, Amazon, for creating this feature. It’s like watching my own private stock market game.

Even more importantly, thank you to everyone who has bought my book. It is an amazing thrill to find people are interested in reading what I’ve written. And…AND…some of them have actually enjoyed it. Look at all the positive reviews!

Life is sweet.

FINALLY! After 11 months or 7 years…

Dare to Love cover artSeven years ago, I started my romance novel “Dare to Love.” I’d never written, let alone published, a novel before and I have no idea why I thought I could do it. I mean, how many people have the time, the commitment, and the patience  to go through with it?

For some reason, I did. It took me five years to write and two years to find a publisher. Then, almost a year ago, in November 2013, Lyrical Press gave me the green light. They wanted to publish my regency romance novel about Lord Dare Landis, a handsome heartless rake who treated women as interchangeable playthings. The novel takes place during a visit to the country home of his oldest friend, Lord Horsham, accompanied by Horsham’s younger sister Nivea. While there he learns that women, or more accurately the right woman does not lead to betrayal. Now Lord Landis must answer this question–does he dare to love?

I signed the contract with Lyrical (now owned by Kensington Press) in January and, 11 months later, it will finally be published as an ebook. Tomorrow. December 1, 2014. Unbelievable, really.

Now, I just have to wait to see if anyone buys it. I hope so. Because I have about five more book ideas swirling around in my head and I’d love to give each of the couples the opportunity to come to life.

Fingers crossed.

Kindle   Nook    Kensington

www.alleighburrows.com

Clear as Glass

Clear as Glass bookcoverThis week we are joined by Lynn Kellan, author of “Clear as Glass.” Her first full-length novel, out October 22, 2014, was the winner of five Romance Writers of America chapter contests.

Poised to become her overbearing father’s right-hand man, Jaye Davis is tired of being a faceless drone, writing software. She’d rather help real people—like the family who owns a struggling glassblowing factory in the Appalachian Mountains. While she’s there, she might figure out how to squash the secrets gnawing at her.

Mitchell Blake and his father keep butting heads about expanding Blake Glassware, and now Mitch has to deal with his father’s consultant, Jaye. Arguing with this doe-eyed woman makes one thing perfectly clear: she has the power to shatter his safe, lonely life.

Lynn has agreed to answer a series of random questions, helping us get Behind the Pages of her most recent work.

So Lynn, who is your favorite character in the book?

My favorite character in Clear as Glass is Jaye Davis. She’s funny, smart, and won’t back down when Mitchell Blake initially tries to convince her Blake Glassware doesn’t need her help. She’s the first one who sees that she and Mitch aren’t that different – he is stifled by an overbearing father, just like she is. This private kinship is the first thread that binds them together.
Is your personality more like your hero, Mitchell Blake, or the heroine, Jaye Davis?
There is a lot of me in Jaye whenever she cracks a joke or has a visceral reaction to an emotional scene. I must admit that I fell in love with Mitch when I wrote the book, so being part of the heroine was a fun way to participate in the story. (Don’t tell my husband.)
What is your favorite scene?
The hot tub scene toward the end of the book. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a bear wandering around in the back yard while Mitch and Jaye argue in the hot tub. When I discussed this scene with my critique group, much hilarity ensued because everyone wanted to know what the bear was doing! We still refer to that discussion as the “Where’s the bear?” chat.
Where did you get stuck when writing this book?
Gosh, there were so many places. I always get stuck. Heck, I got stuck right now when I was trying to think of an answer to this question! However, I had the most difficulty tying up all the subplots at the end of the book. The final chapter, in particular, gave me panic attacks. I rewrote the last scene a number of times, but all that angst crafted a satisfying ending.
What’s up next?
Currently, I’m finishing a three-book erotic series written under a different pen name. I hope to finish that project at the end of 2014 and then I’ll polish my next contemporary romance to release in 2015. The book is already written, and it’s titled The Perfect Flaw.

For more information on Lynn Kellan or her work, visit her website. Clear as Glass, published by Wild Rose Press, is available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and in print

Blog Hopping

bunny-reading bookI was asked to participate in my first “Blog Hop.” Authors post information about their book on a blog and then provide links to other websites, so readers can ‘hop’ from blog to blog. If you’re joining me from Jackson D’Lynne’s page, thanks for hopping over.  If you just stumbled across my site by accident, welcome!

Instead of answering questions myself, I’m allowing the hero from my book, “Dare to Love” to speak. Please welcome Lord Landis.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he fictional or a historic person? 
My name is Adair Landis–Dare, to my friends–and I am most assuredly an historic person. Perhaps infamous would be more accurate, as I am known among the ton as a handsome heartless rake who answers to no one.
Although, I now answer to Nivea, which is as big a shock to me as it is to the rest of the world.
2) When and where is the story set? 
My story takes place in 1800 England–the center of the civilized universe. My colleague, Ms. Burrows was kind enough to document my exploits during a visit to the country home of my good friend William Horsham. He insisted I escort his sister Nivea on a carriage ride up from London, which turned out to be a much less dismal endeavor than I anticipated. Then, after a good bit of time, and some shameful behavior on my part, I returned to London, where my tale comes to its surprising and delightful conclusion.
3) What should we know about him? 
I’m a right bastard. Or at least I was until I met the right woman. That’s not to say that I didn’t have my reasons for behaving as I did. Damn good ones, if truth be told. But I’m good at keeping secrets, so if you want to learn more, you’ll have to buy the book. Ms. Burrows assures me that this can be accomplished by pressing letters on the strange window box she calls a computer. If you tap her name into this device, you’ll see a photo of me and my beloved Nivea in flagrant delicti, above the words “Dare to Love.” That is the story of me and Nivea, the woman who shattered my carefully crafted facade and showed me how to love. (I  showed her a few rather enjoyable things.)
4) When will the book be published? 
You will be able to purchase Dare to Love on December 1, through Kensington Publisher. This amuses me, since I maintained a house in Kensington for a number of years. If those walls could talk…the stories they would tell…
That will need to wait for another time. I’m catching a whiff of vanilla, my favorite scent.
Muffled Hello, my Luv. Yes, I was just finishing up. A carriage ride, you say? That sounds like a marvelous idea.” The sound of seductive chuckles, kissing, the whisper of fingers across fabric, and a sudden throat clearing.
Oh, you’re still here. Well, I’m afraid an urgent matter has come to my attention. Please excuse me.
Remember to purchase Ms. Burrows book–December 1. 
 On October 9, I’ll post a link to our next stop on the tour. Stay tuned

Becoming an Author

It’s funny. Being a writer is easy. You get an idea, you write it down, you edit it a few times and voila! You’re a writer. If you’re lucky, and mildly talented, you can get someone to pay you to write–newsletters, brochures, websites, etc. I’ve had that good fortune for over 15 years.

But being an author? That’s a LOT of work.

First you get an idea for a book–that’s the easy part.

Then you start to write, realize you don’t know what you’re doing, talk to other writers, and maybe join a club or go to a conference. Over time, you manage to craft a pretty good story and you’re ready to “Become an Author.” Da da da dum.

That’s when things get tricky. Here are steps 1 through 397 (or so it seems):

  1. Write a synopsis of your novel (it’s very tricky to squeeze a 300 page novel into a 3 page summary: Boy meets Girl, Boy likes Girl, Girl gets mad at Boy, Girl wallows, Boy gets angry, Boy admits he’s wrong and they live happily ever after)
  2. Find someone to pitch to. This can be done by searching online for publishers, making contacts at conferences, entering contests–winning–and being referred to a publisher, or just dumb luck (a friend of a friend? Score!)

Here were the rest of my steps–your reality may vary:

  • Get rejected
  • Re-write pitch, summary and first 3 chapters about five times
  • Give the right pitch to the right publisher and submit your manuscript
  • Get accepted! And get a contract
  • Find someone who knows what they’re doing to review your contract.
  • Develop a bio, get a professional photo, submit cover art outline, write your book blurb, get your manuscript copyrighted and all the other boring administrative stuff.
  • Start the editing process. YIKES! You thought you had a book good enough to get published and then all your appallingly bad writing flaws are brought to your attention–page after page of corrections, comments, notes, insertions and deletions.
  • THEN you have to start thinking about marketing. Set up a website, twitter account, facebook, pinterest, whatever you think you can keep up with, whatever you have time to learn.

That’s where I am now. I’ve finished my edits, created a website and started a twitter feed(@alleighburrows). I look forward to the next 43 steps I’m sure are coming. That should be the inspiration for my next blog.