romance

Client Spotlight: Author of Kick-Ass Heroines @ShondaBrock

Shonda Brock Interview.jpgShonda Brock and I have been working together for a long time and how it has flown by! We’ve had so much fun over the years. We knew we were destined to make a good creative team because we both were born on January 22nd. We also both appreciate wine, books, and yoga.

Shonda Brock served in the US Military before becoming a medical professional and a busy mom. Somehow, she manages to squeeze in some writing every now and then. She is also an indie author advocate, hosting Paranormal Author Interviews and some of the best writing contests on the web.

Her paranormal romance series, Eternal Traces, features powerful female characters, exotic locations, and fascinating historical references. Readers who like diverse romances layered with mysticism, pulse-pounding action, and a fair amount of blood will enjoy her books.

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Shonda. I’ll leave all her links at the end. Please leave your comments for her as well!

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Movies You Haven’t Heard Of: Blue is the Warmest Color (La vie d’Adèle)

Blue is the Warmest Color Collage

The first of my new review series.

I generally feel unfulfilled by the majority of American and mainstream film, but there are so many amazing movies made every year that get buried beneath the blockbusters. Well, I’m putting a stop to that. In this series, I will explore foreign film, indie film, and film festival winners. These types of films are a huge influence on my writing and I want to share them with you.

My first review is for Blue is the Warmest Color (La vie d’Adèle), Palm d’Or winner in 2013.

Synopsis

Language: French with English subtitles. 2 parts, total 3 hours 7 minutes.

Adele is an innocent middle class girl. She likes to eat spaghetti and watch TV with her pleasant, ordinary family. While in high school, Adele realizes something is missing from her life. She discovers she’s attracted to women and is not really sure what to do about it.

One night she meets a blue-haired woman named Emma in a bar. They have an instant rapport and Emma begins waiting for Adele after school. They talk philosophy and art. Emma is an artist and sketches Adele.

Adele’s new friendship with the blue-haired girl is obviously more than plutonic. Her school friends ostracize her. Adele distances herself more and more from her old life, embracing a new one with Emma. The two grow closer and Adele becomes Emma’s muse. They enter into a steady relationship and move in together, but Adele never feels like she fits in with Emma’s intellectual and artsy friends. She’s a just an elementary school teacher and is happy simply being Emma’s partner.

Emma’s affections wane. She wants Adele to become more of her own person. Physical intimacy becomes infrequent and Adele becomes insecure. She acts out by sleeping with a man she works with. The couple’s bond is destroyed, and Emma throws Adele out of the house. From there Adele is lost and struggles to get Emma back. She defined herself by being Emma’s lover and loses her identity and self-worth.

From there, Adele floats through life in a detached, depressed state. A few years later, She and Emma meet and make peace with one another, but Emma has a partner and there is no hope for reconciliation. This doesn’t stop Adele from trying to win her, but even though Emma still has powerful feelings for Adele, it’s too late.

In the end, Emma’s painting career takes off and Adele attends her gallery showing. She see’s Emma happy with her new partner. This is the moment Adele finally accepts the fact that she and Emma will never be together again and with that acceptance, Adele permits herself to move on and become her own woman.

Review

Blue is the Warmest Color is a sweet and turbulent coming-of-age romance in which the protagonist discovers that in order to really love someone, you must know and love yourself.

Both Adèle Exarchopoulos (Adele) Léa Seydoux (Emma) executed mindblowing performances, and I’ll be looking for more movies featuring them. Lea Seydoux I found particularly captivating as Emma, and Adele Exarchopoulos was the perfect combination of awkward, charming, and vulnerable.

The director, Abdellatif Kechiche, is a genius. You could tell he had a distinct vision for this movie. He allowed the actresses to be free and natural. He kept them raw and very human. I would sometimes forget I was watching a movie and not just peeking at someone’s life through their windows.

You could tell Kechiche was in love with Adele’s mouth, and as adorable as it was, he could’ve focused on it a little less. The sex scenes were passionate, but extremely graphic and drawn out. There is such a thing as too much ass-slapping lesbian sex, and after the release of physical longing between the characters, I wanted to get back to the movie to see where their relationship would go next. I think if Kechiche cut the sex scenes in half they would’ve made more of an impact. However, I’m sure there are many who would disagree.

Even though this is what would be considered a LGBT movie, I felt the homosexual was element secondary to the main themes. This was a pure love story that shows us how relationships, even the ones that don’t work out, help us grow and become part of our being.

Trailer

Rating

***** 5 stars

NOT recommended for…

…viewers who are not prepared to make the investment of time and attention into a complex love story in a foreign language. This movie is especially not for anyone who is squeamish about full-on lesbian sex or who doesn’t enjoy reading subtitles for long periods of time.

Recommended for…

…film-lovers who gobble up three hour-long character-driven love stories in French. I am so one of those people! If you are too, turn off your devices, lock the door, grab some junk food, and indulge in Blue is the Warmest Color.

Photo credit

Rotten Tomatoes

The Blog of Big Ideas

Indiewire

Have you seen this movie?

How did you like it?

What other indie/foreign films would you recommend to me and my readers?

Free Kindle eBook: The Wrong David

Fall in love with a person you can't have

Free this weekend!

To celebrate the one year anniversary of my first published work, I’m offering my novelette, The Wrong David, free all weekend.


Here are some of the reviews…

“…a very entertaining, sexually wrought, wistful romp throughout the beaches and streets of Marseille.”

“Fuelled by boozy days and nights of over-indulgence David finds a voice we didn’t think he had. The scene is set for a perfect indiscretion – but there’s a twist in the tail!”

“Anyone who has ever secretly longed for the significant other of a close friend will immediately identify with this well-written story set in the South of France. The dialog is sharp and the characters believable. The writing is both funny and poignant. The Wrong David entertains and delivers.”

“I loved this little book and highly recommend you take an afternoon to yourself, grab a bottle of wine, and get lost in Marseille and The Wrong David.”

“…for an endearing look at love, loyalty, timing and being in the moment.”

“An entertaining read that leaves you yearning. Well written and captivating.”


Read all reviews.

Download your copy here.

No Kindle? No problem. Read Kindle books on any computer or device. Click here.

🙂 Once you’ve finished, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your review on Amazon. 

The Wrong David will be free tomorrow.

The Wrong David by Christa Wojo

It’s David’s birthday. Get your free copy of his story this weekend!

It’s hard to believe The Wrong David was published a year ago. I have very nostalgic feelings for this novela because it was the first thing I’ve ever published. I miss these characters and wonder if I should revisit them for a full-length novel. Maybe you can read the story and tell me.

The great reviews I’ve received for The Wrong David have motivated me to keep writing, and in honor of this humble occasion I’m giving The Wrong David 1st Anniversary Kindle edition for free over the weekend.

The story…

David is a disillusioned American wine broker who meets his partner and best friend, Brian, in France’s Côte d’Azur to tour the vineyards of Provence. Brian brings his wife, Vanessa, who David has been desperately in love with for years. David has cultivated his obsession with Vanessa, using it as a distraction from his otherwise unfulfilling life.

As the threesome drink themselves through The French Riviera, David is losing his ability to hide his feelings for his best friend’s wife.

Read more about The Wrong David and my self-publication experience.

Meet my character, David.

Add The Wrong David to your wishlist, bookmarks, or download for FREE beginning Friday morning.

Let me know if you need a reminder! I can tweet, email, or Facebook ya!

Stuff I Forgot To Tell You

anchorman-2

We’ve recovered from our hangovers. Get ready for some news, bitches.

I meant to get this news out in individual posts before New Years, but that never happened. I blame my tardiness partly on holiday preparations, but it was mostly the coma-like state induced by excessive eating and champagne consumption. So here’s a round-up of the latest news from my little place in this world.

 

The Wrong David with Klimt Tote

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 10.04.56 AM

Review of The Wrong David by Christa Wojo

New Reviews for The Wrong David

I was surprised to see two new reviews for The Wrong David. I still feel awed (and terrified) when I find out someone read my book. And I’m stupefied whenever I receive a review, especially 5 stars. I am both humbled and flattered because Max Tomlinson is a highly respected author of noir, dark fiction, thrillers, and Sue Archer runs one of my favorite blogs on writing and editing called Doorway Between Worlds. I thank these reviewers from the bottom of my heart. (These were unsolicited reviews)

 

writers-roast

New Victims for Writers Roast

I have two brave writers willing to be skewered for the Writers Roast. Amanda Mabry will be put over the hot coals first. She’s an “author and bibliophile, redeeming villains and scandalizing saints one chapter at a time…” She submitted a chapter from her fantasy WIP that I really enjoyed reading and you will too.

My next carne asada (as we call it here in Panama) will be Doug Stuber, “a visiting professor of English at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea.” He requested to be served “with a nice reduced glaze, a side of salt potatoes and pickelled garlic on the side.” I’ll see if I can manage that.

 

Sweet D Coffee Mug Contest

My winners will tell you…

coffee tastes better in a mug with a naked lunatic on it. This took place before Christmas, so I have no excuse for failing to announce my winners for the Mad Genius coffee mug contest. Please, accept my apologies. Congrats to Kim Whaley and Cecil Parsons!

Kim Whaley is my #1 fan on My Sweet Delirium’s Facebook page. She’s been there from the beginning and says she enjoys all the inspirational and funny posts and quotes. Thanks for your support, Kim!

When Cecil Parsons received his mug he tweeted, “I love it and it enhances my coffee flavor.” He also said he was fighting to keep the co-workers from stealing it. I was surprised to hear this, since blogger buddy/beta reader, Charlotta Amato, says my crazy naked man (whom I’ve named Figment) “scares the hell out of her.” I think I’ll take a poll to make sure he’s not frightening people away from my fanpage.

I have another really cool prize coming up this month, so stay tuned and make sure you like Sweet D’s fanpage to participate.

 

 Bernini's Rape of Proseperina

The Sculptor is Finished, Kind of…

I vowed to have my third full length novel done before Thanksgiving, but travel and business prevented me from keeping my promise to myself. I left my poor heroine, Ona, in an excruciating position and felt terribly guilty for abandoning her while I was off living real life.

Read 7 lines from the third book.

After a two-month hiatus, I finally sat down and wrote the ending. I considered it a present to myself on Christmas morning. Although it felt good to get it overwith, the final moment was sort of an anti-climax. After being away from my characters and story for so long, I didn’t feel like I did them justice.

This is not only the ending of the book, but the ending of the whole series, and I intended to build up everything to a such an emotional crescendo that I’d leave the reader bawling their eyes out. As of now, I think it faded out more like a hot fart, but oh, well. That’s part of writing.

At least I know I can write novels and finish them. Now it’s time to learn how to revise. I’m dreading this part. With three books in their crudest forms, where do I begin? Fellow writers, any help is greatly appreciated! I have no idea when I’ll be publishing these babies. Maybe by Christmas 2015? In the meantime, you will enjoy more posts involving Kristine Poole, my amazing sculpture consultant.

 

I know there was more stuff I forgot to tell you…

…but I can’t remember right now. Let me know if I left anything unresolved and share your New Year News below!

Also, please share any revision resources or tips. I have a huge mess to clean up here.

 

Stay classy.

Drunken Americans Behaving Badly in France

Hi everybody. Just to let you know, as part of my KDP Experiment I am trying one of Kindle Direct Publishing’s promotion optionsThis means my novelette, The Wrong David, is free on Amazon for the next five days!

The Wrong David by Christa Wojo cover featuring Gustav Klimt's Watersnakes.

The Wrong David

Grab your copy here.

Many of you may have already met my character, David, in the Meet My Main Character blog tour. For those of you who don’t know him, here’s a quick blurb:

David is a disillusioned American wine broker who meets his partner and best friend, Brian, in France’s Côte d’Azur to tour the vineyards of Provence. Brian brings his wife, Vanessa, who David has been desperately in love with for years. David has cultivated his obsession with Vanessa, using it as a distraction from his otherwise unfulfilling life.

As the threesome drink themselves through The French Riviera, David is losing his ability to hide his feelings.

I know. It’s not the best blurb. I’m still working on that. And I will let you know how this KDP promo turns out.

If any of you experienced indie authors have any tips on how to make the most of these promotions, please share.

Wish me luck!

 

Santé! (Cheers)