Author Nigel Blackwell and His Paris Love Match

Like most of the other writers I adore today, I first met Nigel Blackwell on social media back in 2011… that’s how I usually start off with my author interview introductions.  But not this time!

Author Nigel Blackwell
Author Nigel Blackwell

Nigel is one of the very few writers that I actually met in person before stalking on Twitter or Facebook.  One Saturday morning, sitting on the floor of a nearby community college’s writer’s workshop, I met Nigel.  We shared lunch and talked about our writing journeys—kind of odd for strangers, but his kindness and generosity made me feel right at home.  He shared tips, such as craft books that I needed to read, and helped me understand the importance of loglines.  We were instantly friends.

Soon after, I joined Nigel’s local writing group and he was one of the very first (and few) I bounced plot and story ideas off of while writing Football Sweetheart.  He has since helped me with the logline for FS2, and most recently, helped me with my very first book trailer (to be released soon).  Seriously, his generosity goes on for days and days—he is simply a gem.

Oh, and did I mention he’s British?  I could listen to Nigel talk for hours.  I mean it… hours.

But before I ramble on, here’s a little bit about Nigel in his own words:

Nigel Blackwell was born in rural Oxfordshire in England. He has a love of books, a PhD in Physical Chemistry, and a black belt in pointing out the obvious.

As a teenager he toured Europe and loved seeing the wonders of the world and the people in it. Since then he has been fortunate enough to travel across Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Japan, and hasn’t been anywhere that doesn’t have the potential for a story.

He now lives in Texas with his wife and daughter, where they enjoy the sunshine and listen to the coyotes howl at night.

Before we jump into the interview, check out Nigel’s blurb for his debut suspense novel, Paris Love Match

Enjoy!

Paris Love Match

Getting a taxi in Paris can be hell.
Piers Chapman expected a boring business trip to Paris.
Paris Love MatchWhat he didn’t expect was to fight over a cab with a beautiful girl.
After a bad meeting, Sidney Roux just wanted to hail a cab, go home, and have a glass of wine.
She didn’t expect to fight over a cab with some pompous British tourist.
Neither of them expected another man to jump in their cab.
Or to be involved in a gun fight.
Or a car chase through the streets of Paris.
Or for the man to die.
But they’re thrust together when the mob demands they return what the dead man stole.
Will Piers and Sidney work together?
Will they find what he had stolen?
Will they stay alive?
And will they do the last thing they expected?
Will they fall in love?

*****

When you were a small boy, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

When I was five I wanted to drive a train. My dad worked for Great Western Railways. I thought that was so cool, and at age 15 I did drive a train. Ok, it was at the Cotswold Wild Life Park and it used to come of the tracks regularly, but hey, I was a train driver.

When I grew up, I don’t think English teachers in the UK considered anything younger than 100 years old worth teaching! I read a lot even in my elementary school days. At age 12 we had to read Chaucer. I didn’t understand a word! I much preferred the likes of HG Wells, Ian Fleming, Arthur C Clarke, Asimov, and anything that didn’t require translating! That was when I started writing. I used to go through pens like there was no tomorrow; it drove my parents nuts, but they were very supportive. I never gave the idea of writing serious thought. Science and math were pushed hard at school, and that’s the way I went. I’ve been really happy over the past few years to get back to creating stories.

Witney Green - close to where Nigel grew up (photo courtesy of Nigel Blackwell)
Witney Green – close to where Nigel grew up (photo courtesy of Nigel Blackwell)

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

I wish I knew. I think everyone has ideas for stories, it’s whether you can fashion them into something that has a purpose. For me, that always takes work.

Once I’ve got an idea and I’m writing, I find that I dream about my stories. Usually between 3am and 5am I have these vivid dreams, like I’m running about as one of the characters. I keep a pad by my bed and write stuff down. I don’t turn the light on, so sometimes it’s hard to read when I get up!

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Lee Child, definitely. His style is crisp and sparse, yet eloquent in so few words. He makes a gripping story from a handful of ingredients and a well-paced revelation of character motives.

Other authors are Paul Wilson (the Repairman), Caleb Carr, Michael Crichton (Esp Great Train Robbery which has great style, atmosphere, and attention to detail), Dean Koontz, and … It’s a never-ending list, which is a good thing, right?

The cover art for your book is amazing.  Did you design it yourself?

LOL. No! I’m an engineer. If I had designed it, it would have been 46pt bold courier on a white background. The ISBN number would have been on the front, too. I mean, everyone loves those 13 digit numbers, don’t they?

Actually, the cover was done by Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations using a great picture my publisher, Jillian Dodd, found. The models in the picture were also in a whole series of related shots that suited the theme of the book, and worked out well for things like the book trailer.

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing Piers and why?

Not really. I’m actually terrible at recognizing people, so images don’t stick very well.

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

Angelina Jolie. My mother survived breast cancer twice. My sister fought it for twelve years. I feel very sorry for her, and hope her preventative surgery is successful. As a celebrity figure she gets a lot of attention, but she does help raise awareness for all those people who face cancer without such public support.

The very beautiful and brave Angelina Jolie and her man, Brad Pitt, in Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Besides writing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

I love skiing and I love being out on the mountain in the cold air. I used to like surfing, but being in the middle of Texas put paid to that pastime! Of course, dog walking seems to have taken over my life recently.

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television – what are your four favorite television programs airing today? 

Four?! Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to see much TV. Top Gear would certainly make the list. Sad, I know, but how they take seemingly easy things and effortlessly turn them into a major disaster always makes me grin.

What is your favorite movie all-time?

Arrrggghhh. Just one? Now I’m the other way round to the TV question. Probably The Third Man because of the acting, the atmosphere, and the photography. Oh, and there’s Alien, Gregory’s Girl, 2001, Despicable Me (love the minions!), Romancing the Stone, Indiana Jones, anything James Bond, and … what’s that you say? Oh yeah, sorry, but how can anyone stop at just one?

Jack and Joan… love this movie!!

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater? 

Popcorn. With Butter (even though it’s probably some concoction from a chemical plant).

No doubt… I actually try to stay away from the “butter” at the theater.

You’re originally from England… share a bit about your hometown/region and tell us what made you decide to move to The States.

I grew up in a small town in Oxfordshire. There was very little to do there and unlike everywhere else around it, it wasn’t picturesque (and that’s putting it mildly). The rest of Oxfordshire, however, is beautiful. The UK varies dramatically in just 50 miles. From the rolling countryside of the Cotswolds, to the rugged hills and mountains in Wales, to the wonderful coastline around Devon and Cornwall. I miss that variation.

Montage of the UK - photo courtesy of Nigel Blackwell
Montage of the UK (photo courtesy of Nigel Blackwell)

I came to the US with my job. It was only supposed to be for six months, but 15 years later I’m still here and a US citizen. I love the open spaces and sunshine in Texas. Yes, it gets hot, but I can’t help but smile when the sun is shining.

I consider you one of my favorite Brits (and Donna Newton, of course!!)… and if you haven’t already noticed, I love getting lost in translation with British sayings… have any new ones for me? 

Well, thank you!

After the weekend with Donna at the DFW writer’s conference there aren’t many saying left!

There’s “tosh,” which means rubbish (as in that’s tosh); “give it some welly,” means to speed up, or use more muscle to get something done; and to “get shirty” means to get annoyed. Another favorite of mine is to be “at her majesty’s pleasure,” which means you’re in prison (they’re called Her Majesty’s Prisons). And if you know all those I’d say, “well stone the crows,” which means I’m amazed (though in your case I wouldn’t be!).

Nigel, I get shirty way too often.  LOL.  Thanks for the new phrase!

Lastly, you recently adopted a beautiful dog… tell us a little bit about her and how you instantly fell in love. 

Ha ha! I didn’t instantly fall in love. An Alsatian attacked me when I was young, and I haven’t wanted to be near a dog since. But my daughter’s wanted a dog or cat for a long time, and some friends of ours were moving into a smaller place and couldn’t take her. When I went round to see her I was hyperventilating, but she’s really well-behaved and it’s worked out well for both of us. She’s a cutie, loves to walk and is unbelievably obedient. Though she does consider a large portion of the kitchen floor an extension of her sleeping area.

Sideni - photo courtesy of Nigel Blackwell
Sideni (photo courtesy of Nigel Blackwell)

*****

Isn’t Nigel great?

Need more Nigel?  I mean, c’mon… we all need more Nigel in our lives… catch up with him at his website, or follow him via his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Do you have a question for Nigel?  Have you read Paris Love Match yet?  Have any fun (and clean) British sayings you’d like to share with us that might get lost in translation over here in the states?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Be sure and stop by Goodreads for a chance to win a copy of Paris Love Match!

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Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – From a Straight Up Mess to Prophet… NBC’s Save Me

The summer shows have started, some of them anyway.  And while we still have quite a few to premiere over the next month or so, I did catch a new NBC sitcom that aired two episodes this past week: Save Me.

We’ve heard the stories… someone suffers a near-death experience, prompting a change in his or her outlook on life.  This change is not always a bad thing; sometimes it is absolutely necessary to save one’s soul, but it’s also not always an easy adjustment for those around us and accustomed to our old ways.

This is the premise behind NBC’s Save Me

Save Me follows Beth Harper (Anne Heche, Hung), the matriarch of a run-of-the-mill Midwestern family…. or are they?

After Beth nearly chokes to death on a sandwich, she claims she now has a direct line of communication with God (she’s not very religious, so she usually refers to God as “He/She”).  Obviously, she can’t control when God speaks to her; however, Beth chooses to have her one-on-one time with “He/She” while sitting on the porcelain throne.  Why not, it’s a perfect time to think… right?  Anyway, now believing to be a prophet, she’s set on making right with all those she has wronged and even begins to convince her worst critics that she has changed for the better.

The new sitcom also stars: Michael Landes (Final Destination 2) as Tom, Beth’s philandering husband; Alexandra Breckenridge (American Horror Story) as Carly, one of Tom’s “side projects”; Heather Burns (Miss Congeniality) as Jenna, one of Beth’s neighbors; and Madison Davenport (Shameless) as Emily, Beth’s daughter.

This sitcom really does have a sweet family dynamic.  Despite the fact that Tom is cheating on Beth and their marriage is practically over at the beginning of the show, the two stick together for the sake of their teenage daughter.  He may be unfaithful, but it’s also obvious he loves Beth.  And with her new “trick,” he’s beginning to remember why he fell in love with her in the first place.

And then there’s Beth… man, was she a mess prior to her choking on that hero.  She was no angel, to say the least, but in those few minutes when her heart stopped beating, she found something enlightening and decided to better herself—she wants to save her marriage, she wants to be a better mother (and this relationship could really use some work), and she wants to be a better friend.

By now, you know my rules when it comes to comedy—sitcoms must make me laugh out loud.  I can usually tell after one episode if a thirty-minute show will find a permanent place on my DVR queue; but if not, watching two episodes is definitely enough.  After the two episodes of Save Me, I’m not completely sold… but Anne Heche is very entertaining as Beth.  Plus, the message of the show really is sweet.  Deep down, anyway… some of it is a bit raunchy.

So for now, I’m awarding Save Me with the JFTV rating.  This sitcom is kinda like our favorite bag of potato chips—we know eating one right after the other is not at all good for our health, but the flavor bursts (and the salt) keep us coming back for more.

Did you watch Save Me?  Do you plan to?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

Spring Cleaning – 2013 Edition

Years ago, May sweeps meant that the television industry saved the best for last.  The networks broadcast non-stop, action packed, cliff-hanging storylines every night of the week, hoping to pull in the largest ratings of the year before announcing which shows would receive pink slips.

Time to clean up the DVR…

And while this still rings true for some series, times have changed (for the most part).  Today’s May sweeps ultimately means knowing which shows will return and which shows will be swept away before the season finales have all aired.

Recent years prove that no show is safe: many shows are done after only one season; some shows make it through the toddler years, a minimum of two or three seasons; some programs have aired for years, even decades with multi-generational loyal followers; and, sadly, some still await their destiny.

Television’s broom was very busy AGAIN this year….

*****

One & Done

1600 Penn, 666 Park Avenue, Animal Practice, Ben and Kate, Cult, Deception, Do No Harm, Emily Owens, M.D., Golden Boy, Go On, Guys with Kids, How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life, Last Resort, Made in Jersey, Malibu Country, Monday Mornings, Partners, Red Widow, The Family Tools, The Mob Doctor, The New Normal, Vegas, and Zero Hour

Yet another show that kinda/sorta answers the season’s BIG mystery, but still gets canned before viewers have all the answers…

Supposedly, ABC will finish airing 666 Park Avenue and Zero Hour this summer… as will NBC with Do No Harm.  Personally, I’m going to start watching my TV guide for these episodes in June… probably on Saturday nights.

*****

Terrible Twos & Threes

Alphas, Body of Proof, Don’t Trust the B**** in Apt 23, Happy Endings, Smash, Touch, Up All Night, and Whitney

Out with the new and in with the old. Wait, that’s not right… BUT all that matters is that Jack is back in 2014!! That’s right – we’re getting twelve more episodes of 24!!

*****

Seasoned Veterans

30 Rock, 90210, CSI: NY, Dexter, Fringe, Gossip Girl, Private Practice, Rules of Engagement, Southland, The Cleveland Show, and The Office

Another CSI ABSOLUTELY robbed…

*****

Still Awaiting their Destiny:

Hannibal – but don’t worry; rumors say a cable channel might pick it up if NBC drops the ax…

Ugh, the waiting game…

*****

On a positive note, not all chivalry is dead: some shows have earned advance notice that next season will be their last.  Thank you networks; thank you for allowing the writers to close out a series appropriately for the loyal fans.  This doesn’t happen all that often, just ask Law & Order.

“Final Season.” That really bites.

Burn Notice – Michael, Fiona, Sam, Jesse, and Maddie definitely deserve the chance to close out their story… with a BANG!  Thank you, USA.  Seeing the words “Final Season” still stings, but I can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for us this summer!

Enjoy it while it lasts…

Warehouse 13 – Announced this month, Warehouse 13’s fifth season will be its last.  Thankfully, SyFy is allowing for the series to run a short six-episode fifth season in 2014, following the conclusion of this year’s fourth season (now airing) to wrap everything up with Artie, Myka, Pete, Claudia, and the Warehouse.

*****

And this doesn’t happen often—ever really—but one network picked up one of the shows it canned last year after its freshman year!  That’s right… a network actually admitted (in a roundabout way) that they were wrong, or at least hasty, in one of their decisions.

Welcome back, Poppy!

Unforgettable – returns to CBS this summer with all new episodes.

*****

Seems a bit insane, doesn’t it?  What’s the moral of today’s Tele-Tuesday?  Don’t get too attached to freshman television series… AND NO television show is safe from May sweeps.

Which of these cancellations came too soon as far as you’re concerned?  Do you think Hannibal has a chance of surviving?  I’d love to hear from you!

Football Sweetheart Cares – Doing What We Can for Oklahoma

After tornadoes swept across North Texas last Wednesday, I decided to donate all of last weekend’s Football Sweetheart proceeds to the American Red Cross to help where I could.  And while I would have much preferred the devastation end there, unfortunately Mother Nature had more in store for the southern states this week.

American Red Cross

Now, it’s time to give what we can to Oklahoma and those affected by the horrendous storms Monday night.

By now, most everyone has heard about the EF5 tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, devastating the small town.  Winds blowing in excess of 200 MPH destroyed everything in its seventeen mile path.  Children were trapped in elementary schools.  Neighborhoods once lined with beautiful homes and landscaped yards now resemble debris-covered terrain.  The photos and images seen across the internet and television are absolutely heartbreaking.

Oklahoma is known as “Tornado Alley” but that does not make what happened any easier to understand or accept.  Hundreds, if not thousands of people are displaced and in need of something right now.  Anything.  Everything.  They need our help.

So this weekend, starting today (Friday, May 24th) through Memorial Day (Monday, May 27th), I’ve decided to donate all of the Football Sweetheart proceeds to the American Red Cross.

All proceeds from every Football Sweetheart e-book purchased, whether via Amazon or Barnes & Noble, will go to the American Red Cross to help with the recovery process in all the areas affected by the severe spring storms.

Please keep all those affected in your thoughts and let’s hope Mother Nature is kind to us the rest of this storm season.

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Playing The Goodwin Games

I know I mentioned last week (and the two weeks before) that I would review Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons today, but I’m still behind on my TV watching since taking a break from the regularly scheduled program.  I know… I’ve been doing that a lot lately.  Let’s blame it on Spring Fever.  That, and trying to push out my Football Sweetheart paperbacks and book two in the series.

However, I am back this week… sort of.  As of Monday night, I had no idea what I was going to blog about today.  And then something happened that hardly ever happens to me—I caught a new television series airing live that I had NO IDEA about beforehand.

For today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, I’m reviewing Fox’s new sitcom, The Goodwin Games.  It may be short and sweet, but it’s a new review nonetheless.

Written by the creators of How I Met Your Mother, The Goodwin Games follows three siblings after they learn of their father’s recent passing.  The two brothers and their sister return home and are immediately summoned to the office of their father’s attorney where they will hear the reading of his will.  Everything seems normal, that is until they learn their father (Beau Bridges, does he really need an introduction?) was worth millions… twenty-three million to be exact.

Unlike traditional wills, these siblings will not split the inheritance… instead, only one of them will earn it all.  That’s right, I said “earn” it.

By following previously taped video instructions, the older brother (Henry, played by Scott Foley, most notable for his roles on Felicity, The Unit, and most recently, Scandal), the sister stuck in the middle (Chloe, played by Becki Newton from Ugly Betty and How I Met Your  Mother), and the youngest and perhaps least responsible of the three (Jimmy, played by comedian T.J. Miller seen on occasion around Chelsea Lately’s roundtable) battle it out—starting with a game of “Trivial Pursuit” that Daddy Goodwin has personalized to fit the family’s history.

Like I said, I just happened upon this show Monday night… I had no idea it planned to air on Fox this summer (great job promoting the show, by the way).  So I did what anyone would expect of me—I stopped and watched it.  LIVE!  And I never watch live TV…

Anyway, while I’m not at all accustomed to seeing Scott Foley in a comedy, he plays the role of the responsible and successful Henry very well.  He has a dry sense of humor and his comedic timing is great as he brags about himself.  Becki Newton I am more familiar with, especially since her role as Barney’s ex on HIMYM.  She’s cute and honestly seems to be playing the same kind of role I’ve seen her in before.  And then there’s T.J. Miller.  He’s funny and he’s also playing a role that I would expect from him, knowing him from Chelsea’s show.

But let’s not forget about Beau Bridges.  He’s great, but when is he not?  Did anyone watch him on My Name is Earl?  Sitcoms are his thing.

Casting and acting aside, is The Goodwin Games worth a watch?  I’m going to stick it out…

Why?  Because I did laugh-out-loud.  That is a requirement of mine when watching sitcoms… if they make me smile, good for them.  If they make me laugh, good for me.

This sitcom really does have a sweet family dynamic.  Despite the siblings bickering at the beginning, they grow and learn to laugh together and love each other once again.  But will it last?  Because now they have another leg of “The Goodwin Games” to compete against one another to win their father’s millions… and probably many more games after that, or at least while Fox airs new episodes.

So for now, I’m awarding The Goodwin Games with the SSTV rating.  I’m not sold, but I’m coming back for more.

Did you watch The Goodwin Games?  Do you plan to?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

New to TV this Summer (2013) – Part 1

I can remember back when the summer months meant we couldn’t find anything new to watch on television… maybe a reality program here, or a two-hour made-for-TV-special there, but no new series.

But not anymore.

As spring blows into our neighborhoods, so does a new television season…

Starting this week, the networks have a lineup of new programs to entertain us during the primetime hours this summer.  Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Here are just a few of the upcoming premieres we can look forward to this summer…

*****

Save Me

We’ve heard the stories… someone suffers a near-death experience, prompting a change in his or her outlook on life.  This change is not always a bad thing, sometimes it is absolutely necessary to save one’s soul, but it’s also not always an easy adjustment for those around us and accustomed to our old ways.

Save Me follows Beth Harper (Anne Heche, Hung), the matriarch of a run-of-the-mill Midwestern family…. or are they?

After Beth nearly chokes to death on a sandwich, she claims she now has a direct line of communication with God.  She’s set on making right with all those she’s wronged and even begins to convince her worst critics that she has changed for the better.

The new sitcom also stars: Michael Landes (Final Destination 2) as Tom, Beth’s meandering husband; Alexandra Breckenridge (American Horror Story) as Carly, one of Tom’s “side projects”; Heather Burns (Miss Congeniality) as Jenna, one of Beth’s neighbors; and Madison Davenport (Shameless) as Emily, Beth’s daughter.

Save Me premieres Thursday, May 23rd on NBC.

*****

Motive

Anytime a crime occurs, whether in real life or on TV, everyone wants to know why the crime was committed in the first place—the motive.

Television is full of crime dramas and police procedurals today, but most of these shows focus on the investigation and capture of the suspects rather than the motive behind the act.  Some TV programs might answer the why in a brief one or two lines of dialogue after they’ve interrogated the suspect for a few minutes, but they don’t really spend a lot of time on the motive.

Motive, a new ABC crime drama, hopes to change all of that.

The new series follows Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman, Judging Amy and The Killing) as she works homicide cases.

Wait a minute… that sounds just like every other police procedural on TV today.  Right?

Wrong.  Motive will identify the killer and victim at the beginning of each episode.  Viewers will then get to watch as Angie and her partner (Louis Ferreira, SGU Stargate Universe) work the case, while experiencing a series of flashbacks revealing clues at the same time.

Motive kind of reminds me of a combination of Cold Case (because of the series of flashbacks) and the short-lived series The Whole Truth, where viewers experienced the crime through both the prosecutor’s and the defense attorney’s point of view and they had to decide which one was the truth… fun show, but it didn’t last long.  Let’s hope Motive doesn’t suffer the same fate.

The new crime drama also stars: Lauren Holly (NCIS) as Betty Rogers, the medical examiner; Roger Cross (24) as Supervisor Boyd Bloom; Brendan Penny (Stargate: Atlantis) as rookie detective Brian Lucas; and Cameron Bright (The Twilight Saga) as Manny Flynn, Angela’s son.

Motive actually aired last night on ABC following Dancing with the Stars… but don’t worry, that was just a sneak peek.  The series officially premieres Thursday, May 23rd on ABC.

*****

Mistresses

Based on the popular British television series of the same name, Mistresses is a sexy new drama following the lives of four girlfriends as they discover who they really are via their friendships, relationships, and sex.

Sound familiar?  I’m thinking of one of my favorites here… Sex and the City.

The series stars: Alyssa Milano (Charmed) as Savannah “Savi” Davis, a successful lawyer, hoping to make partner—still sounding familiar here….; Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver, Savi’s single and carefree younger sister who is not really looking to settle down; Rochelle Aytes (Detroit 1-8-7 and The Forgotten) as April Malloy, a recent widow and single mother who owns her own linen shop; and Junjin Kim (Lost) as Karen Rhodes, a successful therapist who has a history of having affairs with her patients.

They’re all beautiful; they’re all successful; they’re all single.  Will Mistresses be the next Sex and the City?  Or will it flop trying, just like Lipstick Jungle?

Mistresses premieres Monday, June 3rd on ABC.

*****

And remember, Graceland premieres Thursday, June 6th on USA and King & Maxwell premieres Monday, June 10th on TNT.

Which of these new programs are you most looking forward to and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Football Sweetheart Cares – Helping Those Affected by the Severe Spring Storms

I spent most of Wednesday evening glued to the television… I know, many of you are thinking that’s not unusual for me.  But it was.  North Texas, specifically the DFW area, was preparing for our first visit from Mother Nature’s severe spring storms.

Spring storms in Texas are brutal.  And last year, certain areas saw complete devastation and are still recovering.

We were lucky in my neck of the woods Wednesday night… nothing but strong winds and heavy rain.  I’m not even sure we saw any hail.

But the southern counties of DFW weren’t so lucky.  A neighborhood in Granbury, Texas was leveled.  Almost 97 of the 110 homes in the subdivision were damaged, some destroyed completely.  Cleburne, Texas experienced a tornado that was reportedly one-mile wide.  Both storms have since been classified as an EF4 and EF3 respectively, with Granbury incurring winds of up to 200 MPH.  Overall, North Texas saw sixteen tornadoes Wednesday night and sustained extensive damage with hundreds injured.

Once again, severe spring storms devastate North Texas.  And my heart is with all those affected.

And sadly, hundreds, if not thousands of people are displaced and in need of something right now.

I want to do my part to help.  So this weekend, starting today (Friday, May 17th) through Monday (May 20th), I’ve decided to donate all of the Football Sweetheart proceeds to the American Red Cross.

American Red CrossAll proceeds from every Football Sweetheart e-book purchased, whether via Amazon or Barnes & Noble, will go to the American Red Cross to help with the recovery process in all the areas affected by the severe spring storms.

Please keep all those affected in your thoughts and let’s hope Mother Nature is kind to us the rest of this storm season.