Tele-Tuesday: White-Hot TV

We all know the temperature is red-hot in Miami.  In 2007, the temperature rose when a new production came to town.  With sexy stars and massive explosions, Burn Notice raised the climate in Miami to white-hot.

Burned by the U.S. government, former spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) wakes up bruised and sore in a run-down Miami motel with no memory of how he got there.  Freezing bank accounts and assets, and deleting the agent’s entire job history are just a few of the government’s little tricks when burning an agent.  With nothing, Michael turns to his family and friends for assistance as he takes on odd jobs for money, mostly utilizing his background as a spy to take down drug cartels, find kidnapped victims, and handle any other sticky situations that require his expertise.  The news of Michael’s success as a private investigator quickly spreads throughout Miami, and he’s known as the go-to guy for anyone finding themselves in a bind.  The numerous requests for his help often interfere with his only goal – discovering the truth behind his burn notice.

On a personal note, Michael has a hard time letting anyone get close to him, undoubtedly due to his life as a secret agent.  Michael every so often lets down his emotionally hardened wall to friends and family, and he reveals a vulnerable side.  He can’t refuse to help his loved ones out of trouble, regardless of just how deep they’re in.  While his primary goal is to unravel the mystery behind his excommunication from the government, Michael will do anything necessary to keep his close circle of loved ones safe.

Michael first enlists an ex-navy seal buddy, Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), to help him uncover the truth behind his burn notice.  Since retiring, Sam’s life has been focused on women and booze.  Sam often refers to his conquests as “lady-friends”, and these women inevitably provide Sam with cars, money, and rich bungalows that he lends to Michael for use during their freelance work to interrogate suspects, hide clients, or even hide themselves.

Despite his friendship and loyalty to “Mike” (Sam’s the only one who calls Michael by the commonly used abbreviation), Sam was forced to inform on Michael to the FBI, but Sam found a way to only report “half-truths” to the feds, with Michael’s help of course.  After some of Michael’s file mysteriously vanished, the FBI’s no longer needed Sam’s help.  Undercover, Chuck Finley (Sam’s alias) uses his knowledge of the American government to obtain the necessary information for Michael’s task at hand.  With his training as a Navy SEAL and his brilliance with tactical plans, Sam proves to be a valuable asset for Michael and the team.

The second member of the team is Michael’s ex-girlfriend and former IRA agent Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar) who doubles as an arms dealer and a bounty hunter.  Fiona loves to blow things up and always jumps at the chance to build and plant explosives.  Fiona and Michael first met while he was undercover as an operative, and his abrupt departure (his cover was blown) has always haunted her.   She wants nothing more than to rekindle her relationship with Michael, and even uses his mother against him at times.  Fiona’s sharp-tongue and quick-wit make for some of the best banter between the characters.  She has a love/hate relationship with Sam, and really only tolerates him because of his loyalty to Michael.

Not quite a member of the team, but always in the middle of things, is Michael’s chain-smoking mother, Madeline Westen (played by the great Sharon Gless).  Madeline hovers over Michael, always reminding him that he was never around when the family needed him most: he didn’t attend his father’s funeral, he doesn’t help his brother (who happens to be a train-wreck by the way), and he never tells her what she wants to know such as where he’s been all these years and why he always flees when she needs him most.  Regardless, Madeline loves her son and does whatever necessary to keep him close by.  One of Madeline’s favorite tricks is to insist that Michael help her friends, and in return she too joins the team now and then by going undercover to aid her son and his friends.

The fourth and newest member of the team, Jesse Porter (Coby Bell) is a counterintelligence agent accidentally burned by Michael.  Not knowing Michael was responsible, Jesse approaches Michael and asks for his help uncovering the truth behind his very own burn notice.  Feeling guilty, Michael not only invites Jesse to join the team, but he also offer’s Madeline’s garage to Jesse as a safe place to stay.  It’s not long before Jesse puts two and two together, and though he ponders killing Michael, he ultimately rejoins the team after Madeline tricks her son and his friend into talking it out.

Last season ended with Michael arriving in Washington, D.C. and coming face to face with a man who greets Michael with a cold, “Welcome back.”  Will Michael’s burn notice be lifted?  Will Michael and Fiona grow their relationship as a couple, or will Michael continue to push her away?  Will Jesse’s obvious feelings for Fiona pose as an additional threat to Michael & Fiona’s future, or will he graciously step aside?

 

Burn Notice is one of the best, and definitely the sexiest show on television.  To add fuel to the fire, Jeffrey Donovan might just be the sexiest man on TV.  Does anyone else make eating yogurt look so yummy?  When he throws on those sunglasses and flashes that crooked smile, he has women melting in their living rooms across the U.S.

Not to leave the men out, many argue that Gabrielle Anwar is indeed the sexiest woman on TV.  C’mon guys, doesn’t it have something to do with her love of guns and explosions, or is just her smokin’ hot body?

And, not to deny their sexiness, Bruce Campbell rocks Sam’s Hawaiian shirts unbuttoned down his chest, and he wears a pinky ring like no other.  Oh, and Coby Bell?  He’s quite the sight for sore eyes.

Is this enough for you to check out USA’s hit?  Tune in this Thursday, June 23rd for the season premiere.

 

Are you a Burn Notice fan? Who’s your favorite character on the show and why? Do you watch because of the sexy cast, the compelling and action-packed story lines, or for another reason?  Do you think Michael and Fiona can survive a relationship, or does the show need to continue to play a cat & mouse game to keep it interesting?  I’d love to hear from you!

Stay tuned after Burn Notice for the season premiere of Suits on USA.

Remember to stop by the #DevilColony hashtag in Twitter today to celebrate James Rollins’ new release – The Devil Colony. 

Friday FabOoolousness – New York Times bestselling author, James Rollins

On Saturday, May 7th, I was sitting around (eh-hem, I mean doing research) watching television, when I decided to give a shout out to a fellow Twitter-mate that Kristen Lamb had recently introduced me to.  Imagine my surprise when he responded that he was at the Pirates premiere in California and would tweet more after the movie.

Questions started circling in my head: Pirates premiere?  In California?  The Pirates of the Caribbean premiere?  Pirates, as in Captain Jack Sparrow and Johnny Depp? 

The answer to all of those questions was – YES!

New York Times bestselling author James Rollins

Who in the world had Kristen just introduced me too?  Don’t get me wrong, I knew the name James Rollins, but was @jamesrollins the James Rollins?  The James Rollins New York Times bestselling author??

Did I think that I had been chatting with a NYT bestselling author the past few weeks?  No, I didn’t.  Had I actually been chatting to a NYT bestselling author on Twitter?  Yes, I had! 

For those who may not know, James Rollins is indeed a New York Times bestselling author.  He’s written over sixteen books as James Rollins, and seven under the pen name James Clemons.  His works span several genres including action-adventure, thriller, suspense, mystery, and fantasy.  For all you Indiana Jones fans, James wrote the novelization of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. 

We could celebrate James for any of his many accomplishments.  For one, he’s a licensed veterinarian.  We could also celebrate James for any one of his literary series, like his Jake Ransom series for children and adults; his many individual works such as Subterranean or Ice Hunt; his short stories, including his most recent release: The Skeleton Key; his The Banned and the Banished series; but, today we’re celebrating James for his SIGMA Force series

James Rollins' SIGMA Force Series

The first novel in the SIGMA series, Sandstorm, was released in June, 2004.  The SIGMA Force is a fictional division inside the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and consists of highly trained and skilled operatives as well as expert scientists whose primary focus is fighting terrorism and protecting sensitive and confidential information. 

The SIGMA series also includes Map of Bones (May, 2005), Black Order (June, 2006), The Judas Strain (July, 2007), The Last Oracle (June, 2008), and The Doomsday Key (June, 2009).

Guess what?  It’s June, 2011.  Do you know what that means?  It’s time for a new SIGMA Force novel! 

The Devil Colony, book number seven in the SIGMA series, releases this Tuesday, June 21st

Join us, Tuesday, at the world premier launch party of The Devil Colony!  Find us gathering for twenty-four hours on Twitter in the hashtag #DevilColony.  This gathering may be online, but make no mistake – this will be a HUGE cyber-party. 

What’s the party’s theme?  You guessed it – Devil

Dress up for a costume party, or dress up for a fancy New York or Los Angeles book release party.  Wear devil costumes, eat deviled eggs or deviled ham, and take pictures!  Not in the costume mood?  Put on that sexy cocktail dress and high heels or your Mad Men suit, and take pictures!  Post all of your pictures on twitter in the #DevilColony hashtag.  Why

James will stop by periodically to say “Hi” to all of his friends, family, and fans.  Why else? 

James will also select his favorite pictures from our cyber-party and post them on his site’s Wall of Fame.  Why else? 

The best pictures will win a big mystery prize

Camera shy?  That’s okay!  Join us anyway.  Tuesday’s #DevilColony hashtag will be the social event of the Twitter-verse.  Come, have fun and hang out! 

Do all the writers out there need added incentive?  This is James Rollins, the NYT bestselling author.  What if other agents, editors, and bestselling authors stop by?  Do you really want to miss that opportunity? 

All success aside, James Rollins is an everyday guy.  He’s funny, smart, compassionate (he’s a veterinarian for goodness sake), and most importantly, he’s my friend.  

In the meantime, stop by James’ website here and his bookshelf here!

Check out Jenny Hansen’s fun post about James here and read a fun interview with James by Kristen Lamb here

Have you read any of James’ books?  Will you join us Tuesday at our cyber-party?  Have you ever pinched yourself when you realized you were talking to one of your favorite authors via social media?   Leave a comment and share; I’d love to hear from you! 

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