July 27th, 2017

Posted by James Whitbrook

“Stronger Than You” is perhaps Steven Universe’s best-known song, and is certainly one of its most beloved—a funky ode to the power of love that defines the series’ core themes. Cartoon Network took to Comic-Con last weekend to give the song its own music video, and it’s a lovely tribute to the show’s fans.

Read more...

Posted by Germain Lussier

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy is one of those series that has almost too much merchandise, in the form of toys, props, t-shirts—you name it, and it’s probably been licensed. One thing we’ve never seen, though, is maybe the best of the bunch: this custom bird feeder that looks exactly like the haunted cabin from the…

Read more...

posted by [syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed at 10:00pm on 27/07/2017

Posted by Amanda

This year, RWA is live-streaming the festivities once again at 7:00pm EDT this Thursday, July 27th! We hope you’ll be watching along with us and cheering on your favorite books from last year.

Earlier this afternoon, The Ripped Bodice accepted the award for the 2017 Steffie Walker Bookseller of the Year! Congrats to Leah and Bea! You can see their acceptance speech here.

If you’d like to look through the books up for a RITA this year, check out the reviews from this year’s RITA Reader challenge! Here they are broken down by genre:

Romance Novella
Short Contemporary
Short Historical
Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance
Mid-length Contemporary
YA Romance
Romance with Spiritual or Religious Elements
Paranormal Romance
Best First Book
Romantic Suspense
Long Contemporary
Erotic Romance
Long Historical

If you’d prefer the quick and dirty overview, we’ve compiled all of the grades this year in a spreadsheet. Be sure to click on the GRADES tab at the bottom of the sheet.

Check back tomorrow with a more in-depth breakdown of the reviews, grades, and the winners in each category!

Which books do you think will take home an award? Any betting pools going on?

Posted by Jason Johnson on The Root, shared by Cheryl Eddy to io9

Confederate, the new show by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, sounds like hot trash. Smelly, putrid, straight-from-the-piss-drenched-dumpsters-of-1980s-Times Square trash.

Read more...

Posted by Katharine Trendacosta

This Friday’s episode of Dark Matter sees our numerically-named crew flung through time and space and ending up in Wisconsin in 2017. You know, like you do.

Read more...

Posted by Charles Pulliam-Moore

When Marvel’s Legacy event kicks off later this year, it won’t just be a way for the publisher to bring beloved, long-dead characters back from the grave, it’ll also be one of the first times we get a look at the Avengers’ truest, deepest origins that go back a million years.

Read more...

Posted by Zach Ezer

Sidekicks. Always there to lend a helping hand, or sword, or wand, as the case may be. A hero is nothing without his or her sidekick, but these companions rarely get the recognition they deserve. A few second bananas may get the spotlight on occasion—your Robins, your Chewbaccas, your Igors—but they all originated in…

Read more...

15 hot and sexy Tinder profiles that are shamelessly direct about what they want.

Despite the app's almost prideful, continuous ridiculousness when it comes to bios, bots, and terribly punny/cheesy conversation; it still plays host to some unimaginably attractive women. Yes, women that'd seem to be using the app to cut out the bullshit, and shortcut straight to that wonderful animalistic desire that aggressively occupies us all (almost all the time)...SEX. These profiles were particularly shameless. 

Submitted by:

photos of people that look like dogs

Here are some of the best matches done by the hilarious twitter account "You are dog now". So if you ever wanted to be a dog, you can submit a picture to this Twitter account and the person or persons behind it will go to great lengths to find a dog image that matches your appearance, expression, position, location, accessories, and whatever else it takes to make you a dog.



Submitted by:

Posted by Guest Reviewer

A-

The Problem with Forever

by Jennifer Armentrout
May 17, 2016 · Harlequin Teen
RomanceYoung Adult

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by Coco. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the YA Romance category.

The summary:

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

Here is Coco's review:

I picked up this last-minute review of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Problem with Forever last week because I felt like doing one more of these RITA reviews when the opportunity came, but, well, it was a push to get it done and written before the deadline! I hadn’t read the book—as YA isn’t normally my happy place within the romance genre, despite the odd fact that I reviewed another YA RITA earlier this year—but I thought it’d be fun, and then life happened, and it didn’t go quite according to plan. Instead of a leisurely full seven days to read and write a simple review, I, of course, didn’t get the time to do it until two days ago. Luckily, reading it quickly wasn’t a problem as I was drawn into the story by the midpoint and raced to finish it.

A gif of a cat flopping pages of a book

At the beginning, however, I was dubious. I thought it was going to be another melodramatic YA story chock-full of painful childhood experiences, which were then overcome quickly at the end by the power of young L-O-V-E. You know. And, I think it’s far to say, there is an element of that in this story that might turn off some readers. (When I was adding the TWs, I was like, damn, this story sounds majorly dramatic!) But—BUT—it’s not that simplistic. I was ultimately submerged in the story and impressed by the author’s commitment to talking about the long-term effects of childhood neglect and abuse. I’d say it’s a pretty even mix of a coming-of-age story with a YA romance. I wasn’t familiar with the author, but she appears pretty prolific, and has done a mix of independent press, self-publishing, and major pub houses (like this one from Harlequin Teen); she writes predominantly YA, YA fantasy, and New Adult. I like to find out a little bit about authors, and while I didn’t have the time to do that here, I liked the impression I got of her simply from her Acknowledgements section, especially when she refers to the way in which someone else “adeptly dubbed this book one of my horcruxes even though the last time I checked I didn’t commit a great evil. I think.” It makes me think that this story was important to her, and I like the idea of authors putting little pieces of their souls into their books—but, you know, without the evil part.

In The Problem with Forever, Mallory (“Mouse”) and Rider (…of course his name is Rider) spent several years together (maybe, like, from ages 4-13?) in the same unsafe foster home. The foster sibling thing wasn’t emphasized that much—helped in part because the house was so dysfunctional that they were nothing like a family—and instead their relationship was framed in terms of friendship.

Perhaps most importantly, Mallory’s survival mechanism was to be as silent as possible and to hide alone to avoid the wrath of the foster “parents”, whereas Rider sought to attract (negative) attention in hopes of protecting Mallory.

They are eventually separated as tweens and lose track of each other. Mallory ends up adopted by two doctors (in a rather miraculous turn of events) and begins the hard work of dealing with her trauma, seeing a psychiatrist and a speech therapist, and working through (but, thankfully and more realistically, not simply overcoming everything) her issues, the most tangible of which is her difficulties around people and with speech. This was fairly well fleshed out, considering it’s a romance and can’t focus entirely on her recovery. After homeschooling for a few years, she wants to try high school for her senior year in order to see if she would be able to eventually handle college. On her first day at school, she sees Rider again for the first time in three (or four?) years. Despite the fact that he tried to find her, and she asked her foster parents about him, they never reconnected or even knew if the other one was still alive. But, luckily, they’re in the same speech class!!! Bam! Insta-romance-plot-development!

A gif from the TV show Castle with the caption Don't ruin my story with your logic

I appreciated how Armentrout eventually complicated the early depiction that Mallory (and the reader) had of Rider. At first, Mallory views him merely as a White Knight figure but she ultimately realizes he has self-destructive tendencies and doesn’t see his own self worth, which led to behaviors that one might mistake for heroic but, with maturity, she could recognize as potentially problematic. This is an example of the tightrope that Armentrout walks when playing with both traumatic storylines and classic bad-boy-saves-shy-girl tropes.

There are a few other instances of life-and-death drama (including a fatal shooting and a potentially life-altering disease) that serve as turning points in our protagonists’ lives, and I feel somewhat conflicted about their treatment. I think one is handled with more care than the other, but they still felt at times like literary devices to spur changes in the characters. But, then again, things that happen to other people obviously can have a big impact on us, especially at that age, when it’s easy to turn everything into something about yourself.

There are some moments of awareness that touch on class and race and the incredible role luck (good and bad) can play in determining young people’s lives and their prospects. I wish she would have gotten more into those issues and be more explicit with regard to the drugs and gun violence present in many young people’s lives, but I didn’t have a huge problem with Armentrout’s depictions and at times oblique explanations.

Armentrout uses is Margery Williams’ 1922 classic, The Velveteen Rabbit—which is available to read online here, in case you’ve forgotten this harrowing children’s story—to nice effect (or it might seem overly saccharine and unrealistic, depending on your point of view and if you’ve been sucked into her world). The story is a common refrain throughout the book and is used when developing Mallory’s and Rider’s backstories, their relationship, and each one’s personal growth.

A quote from The Velveteen Rabbit about how something that's real can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

 

The other theme that occurs throughout the book, and the titular inspiration, is the concept of forever and its connotations. Again, the story begins somewhat simply as Mallory remembers how Rider said he’d always protect her—forever—which doesn’t happen. Again, by the end of the story, I was somewhat impressed with Armentrout’s ability to deepen Mallory’s understanding of what all “forever” implies, both good and bad.

Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it really didn’t exist… Then there was me. I’d thought I’d be stuck the way I was for forever, always scared, always needing someone to speak up for me. I’d learned to cope with my fears, found my voice, and realized that Carl and Rosa would love me even if I wasn’t perfect. Forever wasn’t real. And I guessed, for me, that I was lucky it wasn’t. But for others, I wished it was real, that they had forever.

As soon as I returned to find a few quotes pertaining to Mallory’s self-realizations in the latter half of the book, I felt a little dubious about their effect as, once again, I wondered it was too over-the-top. But, to Armentrout’s credit, when I was reading, I didn’t have those doubts; I was fairly engrossed and simply present in the world she’d created. It’s only looking back that I question myself and the somewhat dramatic prose, like “Forever wasn’t a problem. Forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow held.” Dramatic, yes. But, shit, I mean, she’s not wrong?! And only teens can get away with the kind of bold and sweeping statements.

A gif from Ferris Bueller's Day Off with the caption - so it's a little childish and stupid, but then so is high school

Even though now I tend to look back at that time of life, and teen characters in fiction, with a somewhat more jaded and indulgent half-smile, I still kind of love teens and young adults for this very reason.

And Armentrout does lighten the tone at times. For instance, she has Mallory observe that “our story was something straight out of an Oprah special or an ABC Family movie” and later Mallory quips that Rider looked “good in the way I didn’t know a teenage boy could look. Like they did on TV, when played by twenty-five-year-olds.” And Ainsley, Mallory’s one real friend before starting at the public high school, rants about another boy, “Do you know, one of his friends last week actually argued with me about that? He was all like, let me wannabe mansplain this to you while incorrectly explaining the First Amendment.” I’m not sure this is how teens talk, but I liked it and it was nice break from the intensity.

And though I don’t tend to want to read YA romance too often, a good author can pull me back into that mindset.

And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I mean, it doesn’t last forever.*

A gif from The Sandlot of a man enunciating every syllable in forever

*C’mon, you knew I had to do it!!!

Posted by Dunc

A handful of unretouched studio publicity photos from the film has been leaked, and while they're interesting and do confirm at least two recent (minor) rumors, they're not much we haven't already seen.

Posted by Ryan F. Mandelbaum on Gizmodo, shared by Cheryl Eddy to io9

Any Carl Sagan fan knows you’re made of star stuff. Protons don’t decay into any other particles (as far as we can tell), so you can reliably assume that most bits of you have been around since a second after the Big Bang. But if you’re thinking a little more locally, you might wonder whether the Milky Way formed in…

Read more...

Posted by Beth Elderkin

The big question to come out of the latest episode of Game of Thrones was how the impasse between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen was going to be fixed. It turns out that divide is a hell of a lot more complicated than we thought, since a key prop suggests Tyrion Lannister is keeping one of the parties in the dark.

Read more...

posted by [syndicated profile] io9_feed at 05:15pm on 27/07/2017

Posted by Katharine Trendacosta

Yes. I know. I know that makes no sense given that one of the most famous bad lines in all of Star Trek history is “What does God need with a starship?” I also know it makes no sense since Deep Space Nine’s Sisko was the literal chosen one of the Bajoran god-equivalents. I know that and you know that. But my god, does

Read more...

Posted by Charles Pulliam-Moore

According to HBO president of programming Casey Bloys, the network anticipated that there would be significant backlash to the announcement of its upcoming series Confederate, but they were not prepared for how swift and damning it would be. HBO, Bloys said, could have handled things better.

Read more...

Posted by Germain Lussier

The first trailer for It was one of the scariest movie trailers in recent memory. Now, a new trailer is online and while it loses a bit of that shocking surprise, it makes up for it with plenty of tension, lots of new footage, and more looks at the evil clown Pennywise, who is simply terrifying.

Read more...

Posted by Adam Clark Estes on Sploid, shared by Cheryl Eddy to io9

Ever notice how Christopher Nolan’s movies (Interstellar, Inception, The Prestige) feel like an anxiety attack? Well, maybe that’s overstating things a bit. But the director does have a knack for creating an unnerving degree of tension. Turns out he’s using a little bit of musical magic to do it.

Read more...

posted by [syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed at 03:30pm on 27/07/2017

Posted by Amanda

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

RIPPED BODICE RECOMMENDED: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation is $2.99! This has romance, a bit of mystery, and some historical elements. On a podcast episode with Bea and Leah of The Ripped Bodice, Leah mentioned that she recommends this book pretty frequently. Have you read this one?

Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard’s Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon’s invasion.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation’s identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

Blood of the Earth

Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter is $2.99! This urban fantasy novel is the first in the Soulwood series, which seems to be a spin-off of Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. It was also recommended during our SBTB Reader Recommendation Party at RT 2017. I remember because I immediately added it to be TBR pile.

Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring Nell Ingram, who wields powers as old as the earth.

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her.

Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville.

Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

Dare to Run

Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin is $2.99! This is the first book in the Boston-set Sons of Steel Row series. The heroine is a bartender and the hero has criminal ties, which I know isn’t for everyone. Readers loved the pacing and action, but wanted the heroine to have more of a backbone. It has a 3.7-star rating on Goodreads.

The New York times bestselling author of the Out of Line Novels takes readers to Boston where one gang of criminals knows how being bad can be so good…
 
She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart.

Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission—even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause him even more trouble.

Heidi Greene knows to keep her distance from a ladies’ man like Lucas—even if she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he rescues her from an attack in the alley outside her bar, she’s forced to stay by his side for safety. But the longer she spends time with him, the greater her chances are for getting hurt in more ways than one.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

The Last Man on Earth

The Last Man on Earth by Tracy Anne Warren is $2.99! This is a contemporary workplace romance set in the world of advertising. Readers loved the antagonism between the heroine and hero, but found the hero was a bit of a jerk overall. It’s the first book in The Graysons series.

From New York Times bestselling author Tracy Anne Warren comes a sexy and romantic new contemporary series about corporate combat in the boardroom and under-the-covers passion in the bedroom……

Idealistic good girl Madelyn Grayson believes in doing what’s right. Even as a high-powered executive in the mad world of advertising, she doesn’t cut corners, making her ad campaigns sizzle without having to burn anyone along the way.

Rival exec Zack Douglas never wastes an opportunity to land the next big deal—especially when it benefits him. A bad boy with a reputation to match, he has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to get ahead, no matter who gets in the way.

When a hot promotion pops up at their company, both Zack and Madelyn wind up on the short list for the position. But as the two square off, they discover that being heated rivals in the office makes for scorching bed play behind closed doors. Will Madelyn’s steamy, secret affair with Mr. Vice make her compromise her ideals—or worse, lose her heart?

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

Posted by James Whitbrook

There’s a lot of things to love about Wonder Woman—but the movie’s climactic battle between Diana and Ares is one of the weaker aspects of the film, with many ridiculing the God of War’s mustachioed visage popping out from under his spiky helmet. It turns out that Ares could’ve looked a lot meaner.

Read more...

Posted by Katharine Trendacosta

If trailers are to be believed, the first movie based on Stephen King’s massive Dark Tower series has a lot going on. Like, more than is even in one of the doorstopper books King’s written. And that’s why the purported 95-minute runtime has so perplexed people.

Read more...

The video of Skittles the cat and his tiny friend was captured by Laurie Pinksen while visiting their family cabin: "Our cats name is Skittles. She is a very gentle cat and has always been around small children and babies," said Laurie to Iizcats. "Skittles enjoys roaming the neighborhood and is often seen playing with children". With such a friendly cat, it's not surprising Skittles loves to bring new friends home...



Submitted by: (via Caters Clips)

Tagged: squirrel , skittles , Cats
People asking to be roasted and getting what they asked for.

It's kind of a dreary Tuesday. Winter's kind of back and it's time to get warm. So cuddle up close to your internet-ready device and enjoy these eight warm roasts that'll keep you warm with blanket of laughs and some people getting roasted to a crisp. 

Submitted by:

Tagged: roast

Posted by Charles Pulliam-Moore

On this past week’s episode of Game of Thrones, we finally learned what happened to Hot Pie, the reformed bully who found his true calling as a baker and whom we last saw in season four. As fate would have it, Ben Hawkey, the actor who plays Hot Pie, has been busy in the kitchen as well.

Read more...

Posted by James Whitbrook

The process of coming out is one that LGBTQ people go through multiple times in their life—speaking to family, speaking to friends, speaking to co-workers, hell, speaking to complete and utter strangers, sometimes. In the world of comic books, out heroes have one other category... telling their fellow superheroes.

Read more...

April

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
            1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6 7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30