Poppy’s Birthday Bash: Taylor Gets Listy

Today’s special guest for Poppy’s Birthday Bash is the lovely and talented Taylor V. Donovan. Along with several other writers, Taylor runs the blog Chicks & Dicks. Some of the posts on the blog have really changed the way I look at things. They make me think, and that’s always a good thing. So for Taylor’s contribution, I asked her to come up with a Top 12 list of Chicks & Dicks posts. 
First of all I’d like to thank Poppy for having me on her blog as part of her special birthday celebration. You are an amazing lady, and I am very happy to have you as my friend. 
One of Poppy’s favorite things is Chicks & Dicks http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/, a blog conceived for the purpose of providing a platform where a variety of subjects and opinions concerning MM Romancelandia can be aired, whether we agree with them or not. It is run by a group of amazing people that you can check out when you visit our blog, and counts with excellent collaborators that spice things up every month.
It’s been a year since we launched the site and during that time we’ve had a plethora of guests, themes, and a fair share of controversy. As you could imagine choosing only twelve favorite posts was almost impossible, but there are several that stood out because they made me think, laugh, and even cry. So without further ado and in no particular order I give you my twelve favorite posts on Chicks & Dicks to date.
1. Believing in Love http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/12/believing-in-love-by-marie-sexton.html , by Marie Sexton about characters reclaiming their faith and incorporating religion in stories in a positive way. 
2. This Really Needs to Stop http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/11/this-really-needs-to-stop-by-thorny_20.html, by Thorny Sterling about the use of the term “chicks with dicks” and how hurtful and/or offensive it can be. 
3. Coming Out as an Author http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/06/coming-out-as-author-by-tj-klune.html, by TJ Klune about letting people know he writes MM Romance. 
4. Real Stories, Real Romance, Real Soon, Please http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/03/real-stories-real-romance-real-soon.html , by Adara O’Hare, a very insightful analysis of the stories in our genre. 
5. Gay Pride, Fathers Day and a Gay Father and Son http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/06/gay-pride-fathers-day-and-gay-father.html, by Rick R. Reed, in which he talks about being a gay father of a gay son. 
6. American Grandstand http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2011/12/josh-lanyon-american-grandstand.html, by Josh Lanyon, in which he offers invaluable advice to authors on all things promotion. 
7. Mores First Ejaculation http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2011/11/mores-first-ejaculation.html, by Mores. A touching, hilarious recount of… well, the title says it all  
8. Same Sex Abuse: Can You Spot the Indicators? http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/07/same-sex-abuse-can-you-spot-indicators.html, by Edmond Manning, an eye opening look into the oftentimes difficult-to-spot same sex abusive relationships. 
9. Gay-For-You? That’s Not What I Call It http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/04/gay-for-you-thats-not-what-i-call-it-by.html , by Alec E. in which we discuss the viability (and veracity) of one of the favorite tropes in the genre. 
10. Authors’ Personal Lives http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/09/authors-personal-lives-by-nikyta-jenkins.html , by Nikyta Jenkins, a perhaps controversial take on the time authors spend online and how much information they should share… if any at all. 
11. What Makes a Series Spectacular http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/08/what-makes-series-spectacular-by.html, by Joyfully Jay about what makes or breaks a series. 
12. Smell-A-Mate Syndrome http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/04/smell-mate-syndrome-by-poppy-dennison.html, by Poppy Dennison, a hilarious look into insta-love. 
As a bonus, I’d like to include a post titled The One Thing We Shouldn’t Break is Our Community http://www.chicksanddicksrainbow.com/2012/04/one-thing-we-shouldnt-break-is-our.html , written by yours truly. It is a reminder of what our blog stands for, as well as a heartfelt plea to be kind to one another in our little MM Romance World. 
Taylor V. Donovan

Poppy: No commentary necessary from me on these. If you don’t follow Chicks & Dicks, you should. They’re a great group and while you may not agree with all of the posts, you’ll definitely learn something from them. 

Poppy’s Birthday Bash: Jase Gets Quirky

Today’s Birthday Post comes from the super cool Jase. Most of you know him as slaveboy, one of the moderators of the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads. Jase and I have had some of the strangest, most random conversations. He’s always teaching me something new or making me look at things in a different way. I knew he’d come up with some amazing 12 things list…and so he did! 
So Poppy asked me to write a list of 12 things for her. After she frowned on a few of my suggested topics, I decided to offer you all a look inside my odd tastes. (Poppy: Hey, now! In my defense, most of those topics were x-rated!) Now I love looking at model quality men but when it comes to picking a favorite in a movie or a TV show, I usually don’t agree with the average viewer. So here is my list of 12 uexpected people and characters that I find sexy. 
1. Chewbacca. While most are sighing over the rakish good looks of Han Solo, I was checking out his faithful companion. Tall, furry, and fierce! Plus, just think how big his…  In Revenge of the Sith, I found an even hotter Wookiee character!

Poppy: You know, I can totally see you getting off on the giant hairy manimal! 
2. Deadpool. Okay, yeah the guy has a melty face but he has a great sense of humor! I would so hit that!  

Poppy: I have absolutely no idea who this is. But I’m a little frightened by the idea of a melty face. 
3. On True Blood, everyone loves Bill and Eric. I have to admit that Eric and Alcide get me going too. But who would I go for? That Daddy man with the power! Hell yeah! Roman rocks my world!  

Poppy: *whimpers* OMG, Yes. Yes, so many many times! 
4. In most of the Predator movies, viewers are oggling the military men who fight the crazy aliens. But in Aliens vs Predators, I found myself getting all squirmy for the predator that dies at the end. He’s strong, he’s in control, and he’s a hidden softy. Oh yeah baby!

Poppy: Yep, this is one of those weird and random conversations of ours! LOL. I still don’t get this one, Jase. But I love you! 
5. The next two are my picks from Sons of Anarchy. Most are all hot for Jax, and he is sexy but not my type. For this show I picked two that I would want together. One is Bobby. He would make the perfect Daddy man. He would want to spoil a boy and would be the greatest at snuggling.
Poppy: Another show I don’t watch, but taking a look at Bobby, I’m not surprised at all that you’d pick him. He’s defininitely in the Jase-Daddy-Man category! 
6. Tig. Tig is the kinkiest motherfucker ever and he is so unashamed of it. He doesn’t care if his lovers are male, female, somewhere in between… he isn’t even worried if they’re alive! Matched with Bobby, they would make for one wild ride!

Poppy: I love how you have them paired up for some kinky good times! 
7. Snoop Dogg. Something about this man makes me want to lick him. Maybe it’s that cigarello.

Poppy: Yes, Jase. It’s the cigarello. That’s what it is. *g* 
8. Rob Zombie. Jesus Christ that man is HOT!

Poppy: Pretty much the epitome of grumpy man, huh? Look at that intense stare! I’m sure you’d be melted into a puddle of Jase-goo if he looked at  you like that! 
9. Raphael from the Ninja Turtles. Grumpy and tough. I used to imagine having a relationship with him…shh..

Poppy: I’m pretty sure your secret is out now….Turtle Power! 
10. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? He as sexier as the Beast! 🙁  

Poppy: What big teeth you have! The better to bite Jase with! 🙂 

11. Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward? Favorites are Wrath. Powerful and Grumpy. And XCor. Powerful and Grumpy. See a pattern here?

Poppy: Oh yeah, there’s a definite pattern here! I like it! 
12. On Game of Thrones. Now I think Khal Drogo is hot but who might surprise you that I like? Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Powerful and Grumpy. 🙂  

Poppy: This one doesn’t surprise me at all. I really need to watch that show….
So now tell me someone that you think is hot that everyone else can’t believe!

Poppy: Well, I happen to develop crushes on sidekicks. Sure, the main character hunks are sexy, but there’s something about the funny man and the smart guy that just flips my switch. Here are two that I can’t get enough of:

 Xander Harris: Best known as the human sidekick of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was always most fascinated by this guy. Sure, Angel and Spike were sexy, but I imagined them paired with this guy more than Buffy. Spander for the win!

Jack Hodgins: Yes, I like shows with David Boreanaz, but I tend to fawn over the guys in the background more than him. On Bones, whenever the sexy geek Dr. Jack Hodgins is onscreen, I can’t take my eyes off of him. Let’s just say that he melts my butter and leave it at that. *g*

Poppy’s Birthday Bash: Mary Does A Switcheroo

For day 5 of the Poppy’s Birthday Bash, I sweet-talked one of my favorite authors into coming up with a list for me. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Mary Calmes this year, and she’s an awesome lady! I can’t wait to see what’s she’s come up with…

First of all, I want to thank Poppy for including me in her celebration. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
As to my post, I wanted to talk about movies we all know and love that would have been better if they were m/m. There are so many, way more then I can mention here, but these are the ones that have jumped out lately. Normally, as I leave a theater or after watching a movie at home, I will turn to my husband and say, “That was good, but you know what would have been better…”

12. Armageddon: Be serious, if Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) had actually been in love with AJ Frost (Ben Affleck) that movie would have been way more interesting. And think how much more painful it would have been when Harry sends AJ off the asteroid to save his life. Forget it; we’d have all been crying for days.

11. The Last Samurai: Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe) being in love with Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) would have made that one even more of a tearjerker. If, after Katsumoto saves him at the beginning, he had moved Nathan into his house and slowly shown him the beauty of the culture and people…there would have been a long, slow seduction….that would have been better. And hotter.

10. The Avengers: Enough said. And may I say how much great free fic there is out there right now. Just amazingly, over-the-top good.

9. Wedding Crashers: If John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) had realized he was in love with his buddy Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn), instead of whatshername, and in the end, discovered that Jeremy loved him too….that would have been so good! Am I right?

8. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: This is another no brainer and again, I’m not the only one who thinks so as evidenced by the staggering amount of slash fiction out there. Aragorn and Legolas? It just makes sense.

7. Footloose: Not the original with Kevin Bacon because really, him and Chris Penn? That was never appealing. But the remake? Uhm, yeah. And if you’re asking, why did she even go see the remake? Well, the answer to that is simple: I had to SEE. I loved the original so…I just had to. What saved it for me was imagining Ren (Kenny Wormald) and Willard (Miles Teller) together. They danced a lot. They were adorable.

6. Backdraft: The whole, I go, you go, we all go thing in Backdraft would have been that much better if Bull McCaffrey (Kurt Russell) and Axe Adcox (Scott Glenn) had been the two in love. Would have added a whole new dimension of tension and intrigue and maybe the ending would have gone another way. That would have been nice.

5. Point Break: So we have Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) and Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) and…let’s talk about those names a minute. Have you heard a better porn name then Johnny Utah? Okay so Johnny’s undercover and Bodhi is a hot surfer and they meet and one is the bad guy and one is the good guy and…it writes itself.

4. Tequila Sunrise: I have never seen such an unnecessary character as Michelle Pfeiffer’s Jo Ann Vallenari in this movie. You have Mac McKussic (Mel Gibson) and Det. Nick Frescia (Kurt Russell) who have been friends since they were kids. But then one day Mac and Nick are about to get busted by the cops and Mac tells Nick to run and he takes the whole blame, does time, becomes a criminal the whole nine yards. Nick becomes a detective. Years later in LA County, the only criminal you can’t mess with is Mac since Nick is way up the food chain now. It was good right there; a movie with them working it out would have been fantastic.

3. The Lost Boys: Don’t even get me started on all the symbolism in the movie and the names, Michael, David…that’s another post. But if Michael (Jason Patric) and David (Kiefer Sutherland) had been the ones to fall in love, then David wanting to make Michael a vampire would have taken on much more meaning. And David would have changed back to a regular guy once they killed Max and they could have lived happily ever after. That one really needs a rewrite.

2. Sherlock Holmes: The final no brainer on the list with the same amount of slash fic to back-up the fact that Sherlock and John should be together. Whether it’s the TV show or the movie, the detective and his faithful sidekick are a perfect couple.

1. The Magnificent Seven: At the end of the movie, Chris (Yul Brynner) and Vin (Steve McQueen) ride off into the sunset. Through the whole movie, Chris is the only one who really “gets” Vin and vice-versa. They’re both gunslingers, they both know that the end of their time is coming and that the number of guys like them is dwindling to nothing. They have fought together, side-by-side, laughed at each other’s jokes, grounded one another, and instead of splitting up, after everyone else is dead, they remain together. That one just needed a little editing and a quick kiss at the end. I would have been happy.

********
Okay so that’s it, so what movie do you all think we should take another look at? And as to questions for Poppy…
#1: What movie would you most like to see rewritten as m/m?

Oh man, that’s a tough one, Mare! Hmm. I mean, on the one hand, I could go with Star Wars. Luke and Han? Come on! Outside of that, any romance movie, cause I’m just that romantic. Ohhh…or what about X-Men First Class!

#2: What actor turns you into Poppy-goo? Mine is Keanu Reeves. Always and forever.

OMG, Mare! Imagine the Dracula movie with Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman made into m/m…um…wow. But anyhoo, to answer your question, these days I’m totally addicted to Joe Manganiello. I mean, seriously, that man melts my butter!

#3: And finally, what is your all-time favorite movie?

It really depends on my mood. I love White Christmas this time of year, and I’ve watched the Pride & Prejudice (BBC version) about a million times. Oh, and the John Hughes movies of the 80’s. Yeah. Love those. Man, I really stink at just picking one. This is why I’m giving lists of 12! LOL

Poppy’s Birthday Bash: Xara Gets Geeky

Today’s guest for Poppy’s Birthday Bash is none other than the amazing Xara X. Xanakas. When I first dipped my toes in the murky waters of M/M writing, Xara was one of the first friends I made. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent the last few years making her crazy (or is that crazier?)! Why, you ask? Well, because Xara is a super geek and I’m widely known for my technologically challengedness!! (Yes, that is a word. No, I can’t prove it.) So for Xara’s 12 things, I couldn’t think of a better post than 12 geeky things every writer should know!  Here is her list:
1. First and foremost: BACKUPS! Back up your manuscript. Back up your notes. Dropbox. Carbonite. External hard drive. Jump drive. Sign up. Buy them. USE THEM! Attach the USB drive and click-and-drag your files over to it. It’s that simple, and it can save you a world of heartache should your computer decide it’s time to take a permanent nap.
Poppy: Oh yes, I do this. I mean, I didn’t used to do this, but then Xara found out. Boy howdy, did she go all Texas on me! Never fear, I now have Dropbox, an external hard drive, AND a jump drive. And I use them. Oh yes, I do! I promise, Xara!
2. While we’re talking about backups, take a minute to check out your bookmarks. Look at all those links. How much would it suck to have to try to rebuild that list? Back those bad boys up. Usually it’s as simple as going to the bookmarks menu and exporting the list as HTML. I’m sure you know what I’m going to say next…copy that file to your jump drive/external drive/Dropbox… wherever you are saving your data. If disaster strikes, you can import the HTML file back into your browser of choice and find your perfect leading men again.
Poppy: Oh…I haven’t done this in a while. Probably ought to do that since I’m bragging about my backing-up skills.
3. Ever get midway through your masterpiece and have your character suddenly decide his name is really Mark instead of Tim?  I had one character decide his name wasn’t “Dom” any more. No worries. Global replace can beyour best friend when that happens. Unfortunately, it can be your worst enemy too. One of my guy’s brother became “Sammy”, but they also started using ‘conSammys’ and had sculpted ‘abSammyens’. Yeah. Ooops. Take an extra minute and make sure you’re selecting “Match Case” and “Match Whole Word” to help minimize those little gotchas, or take the time to replace one at a time rather than replacing all in one fell swoop.
Poppy: “conSammys”…Snickersnorts. Did he rip open the conSammy package with his teeth before rolling it on?
4. Keyboard shortcuts. Learn them. Use them. Love them. Whether you’re on a Mac or a Windows box, they do the same thing and make your life so much easier. There are the standard ones: Control/Command+X/C/V for cut/copy/paste. Control/Command+S to SAVE (early and often as you’re working). Control/Command+W to close. And Control/Command+Z to UNDO that delete. Did you know you can use the Shift+Arrow keys to highlight text? And if you hold down the Alt/Option key at the same time, you can highlight the whole word? And Shift+Alt/Option+Delete will delete a whole word at a time? That can certainly cut down time when you want to move whole chunks of text.
Poppy: Hey! You never told me that last one. I’d practice, but I don’t want to delete anything in this post by accident. You have met me…it would happen.
5. You may be sitting at Starbucks, drinking your latte and using their free Wi-Fi to read this. But if you don’t like the smell of coffee roasting in the afternoon, you can find free Wi-Fi almost anywhere. How about people watching at a hotel lobby? Even some parks have free Wi-Fi these days. Get out of the dark hipster hovel and look around.
Poppy: Mmm. Latte. Wait….what were you saying?
6. BUT don’t check your bank account while you’re doing it. Or pay your bills, or add money to your PayPal account out there. Hackers come in all shapes and sizes, and the more information you put out there on an unprotected network, the more vulnerable you make yourself. It is easy for someone to sit in the corner and collect your network traffic to find your unencrypted Gmail passwords. I appreciate that you’ve found the perfect penis enlargement medication, but I really don’t need that. Thanks anyway. And I’m sure someone is saying something bad about me somewhere. You don’t need to tweet me the links.
Poppy: Yes, Xara. My home network is now secured. I won’t let my neighbors use my internet out of the kindness of my heart anymore! But are you *sure* you don’t need to look into that penis enlargement medication? Jeff and Brad might be amused. J
7. What can you do to help cut down on someone snarfing your passwords? Enable your firewall. It’s built in to your OS. Use it. And check it periodically to make sure it’s still enabled. Some nefarious software downloads will disable it, and some OS updates will turn off the firewall by default. Protect yourself by making sure your firewall is enabled, especially when you venture out into the big, bad world.
Poppy: Um, Xara? How do I check my firewall? Oh, and I know that OS means Operating System. Just in case there are any others out there like me who don’t know some of the abbreviations. Xara has taught me well…for the most part. I like to think I’m a geek-in-progress.
8. While you’re at it, you might want to enable Private Browsing. This stops your browser from storing your history and cache locally. If you hop on your parent’s computer while you’re visiting, you might not want your mom to find those pictures the next time she launches her browser and manages to bring up her history window. You can also change your settings in your browser to keep it from storing any cache or history. This can save you some embarrassment when you ask your computer guru neighbor to help you out. You never know what they’re going to find when they start digging on your system.
Poppy: I don’t have to worry about this one. Xara is my computer guru…and she usually likes what she finds in my history. J Heck, who am I fooling, she’s given me most of the links!
9. If you want to know more about any of these suggestions, Google them. The answers are out there. You can find out almost everything about anything out there in the webverse. It’s a powerful tool to help make your writing stronger. Avoid glaring errors (like driving through Portland on your Seattle to Vancouver trip) with a simple search. The truth is out there somewhere…
Poppy: Google-fu is strong with Xara. It doesn’t matter what random question pops into my wildly random mind, Xara finds the answer for me before I’ve even opened a google window. She’s just that good. One of these days, I should make a list of the weird stuff she’s found for me. I think I’ll start doing that…I’ll make a bookmark! Which I will back up!
10. Which reminds me: Wikipediais a great starting point for information. Just beware – it is community driven content. That means that anyone can add anything to a wiki page, regardless of accuracy. Simply put, trust but verify anything you find on Wikipedia. Do a quick crosscheck of the information you find out there. News reports don’t rely on a single source when the report breaking news. You shouldn’t either.
Poppy: Yep, yep. This is great advice. I’ve found some fantastic information through Wiki, usually by checking the links at the bottom of the post. Other books to read, articles, and the like. Hey, did you know you can make a “book” of Wiki articles? It’s a great trick for researching huge topics! I like to gather all of them into one “book” and download it as a pdf. That way, I don’t have to worry about losing track of something that interested me. (Over in the left column of Wiki, under the print/export tab, you’ll see “create a book”. Give it a try!)
11. So now you’ve outlined your story and now you’re all set to write, but it’s time to take the kids to practice. You don’t want to have to pack up your system and lug it out in the bleachers. What can you do? Go portable. Dropbox is available on all smartphones and tablets. So are any number of writing tools. I use QuickOffice on my phone, Kindle Fire, and iPad, and Dropbox to sync the files. I can start writing on my tablet, pick up where I left off on my laptop, and review it on my phone in line at the store. Your App Store will have a writing program that will suit your needs and budget. GoogleDrive is available online across all your gadgets.
Poppy: Oh…Xara! We need to discuss! My Kindle Fire just arrived and I haven’t had a chance to explore it yet. You mean I can *write* on my Kindle Fire? What? What what? I’m soooo going to talk to you about this just as soon as I get this posted.
12. Or, if you want something even simpler, there’s always paper and pencil. Low-tech and old school, sometimes unplugging is the best option. There’s something to be said for the feeling of words appearing on paper as they tumble out of your head. Your writers’ block may be caused by information overload. Remove all powered implements of mass distraction and go back to your wooden #2 pencil and connect with the paper in a tactile way.
Poppy: My absolute favourite of all your geek-tastic tips! Bust it out old school. I love it. J
I hope these tips helped you. Now, go get your geek on and spin me a story! I’m waiting… 
After you do your backups.
Need inspiration? Here’s a few questions Spouse had for you:
Poppy: Hey now! I never said Spouse could ask questions! Doggonit! You know he’s got an evol streak, right? Oh wait, of course you do. You’ve been married to him for a decade or two…oh well, here goes…
1. What is the meaning of life?
42? No really, Spouse, that’s a question for a better geek than me. I do know that having friends like you and Xara are one of the most important things. Oh, by the way…Thank you! Ha! I got you again!
2. Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?
Jimmy Hoffa. Wiki told me so it must be true.
3. Speaking of buried, where the heck is Jimmy Hoffa?
Is this a trick question?
~xxx~
Xara X. Xanakas decided years ago to embrace her weirdness. A friend first described her that way to the man who’s been her husband for over twenty years. That formula fits her, and she figures if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Being Texan, her crush on cowboys comes natural, but the techie in her loves to show nerds a good time. She relishes all things different, and brings saucy style to her writing. Whether wrangling a wayward ranch hand or adding another critter to here were-menagerie, Xara strives to make the outlandish appealing. She’ll make you quirk a brow and snort with laughter, and that’s all right by her. Xara believes that unique is best and happily ever after is the icing on the cookies.

Poppy’s Birthday Bash: Annette Goes Hollywood

For today’s 12 Days of Poppy post, I hit up my friend and RomFanReviews blogger Annette. Annette and I are both avid readers, and wanted to compare notes on books turned into movies. Do we love them or hate them? Are there any stand outs? And did Annette put my favorite on her list? Let’s check out what she has to say…
When I came up with the idea to do “12 Books Turned into Movies” for Poppy’s 12 Days of Poppy Birthday Bash I did not realize what I was getting myself into.  All that came to mind was my favorite book of all time which you will find out what my #1 is later. So, I changed my idea to “My Top 12 Books Turned into Movies” so, here we go!!!
12. Gone With the Wind – Author Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer for this book which was released in 1936.  The story is set during the Civil War and follows life and trouble of Scarlett O’Hara who begins the story as a sixteen year old girl in love.
What more can be said about this one “Oh Rhett” starring Vivian Leigh and Clark Cable who gave us the phrase “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn” that made every woman swoon.  And then of course we have Scarlett that you either wanted to hug her or slap her, talk about a woman who went from sweet to bitch in zero-sixty. 
Poppy: What I love about this movie is that it isn’t your typical romance. It’s funny, because everyone seems to think of Gone With the Wind as a romance, but it isn’t that as all. And Rhett…oh Rhett…
11. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
Published in 1967 The Outsiders tells the story of a group of boys coming of age in 1965. Claimed as a controversial book due to the violence even to this day it is now part of some schools reading curriculum.
I was a young adult myself when this book was turned into a movie in 1983 and I cannot tell you how many times I watched this movie.  Yes, partly because of the cast but also the story of all that Ponyboy had gone through and the friendships that held through it all.
Poppy: This is one where I watched the movie first. I don’t like to do that, but heck, I didn’t really know any better at the time. And really, how could you go wrong with that cast? How many of those guys went on to become superstars? 
10.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
Okay, I know it is a children’s book and movies but I love them both.
First published in 1950 and then adapted into a movie in 2005 this story follows Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy into the world of Narnia where they befriend many of the characters and help to defeat the White Witch.
What more to say about a story that takes you into a world of beings and magic. 
Poppy: I tried to resist watching this movie when it came out a few years ago. You might not be surprised to know that I get cranky when books are made into movies and they don’t do it “right”. Fortunately, this one worked for me and it introduced my nephews to the world of Narnia. Gotta love a movie that makes kids want to read! 
9. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Published in 1843 and the first time I saw one of the many adaptions made into a movie was the 1951 version starring Alastair Simms. Of course it was probably 20 something years old by the time I saw it.
We all know how the story goes, grumpy and tight fisted Scrooge is haunted by three ghosts.  The best way to start the holiday season along with The Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty.
Poppy: I adore this Christmas story. One of my all-time favorites. I don’t know though, Annette. I’m not sure the films have every really done the book justice! 
8. Interview with a Vampire – Anne Rice
This was the beginning of my love of all things paranormal.  Anne Rice is the queen that started it all for me at least.  I know there is Dracula and other stories out there but this was where it all began for me.
The telling of the story of Louis and how he became a vampire and his survival over the 200 years the book covers.  Anne Rice began this book as a short story and who knew the hit it would become. 
Just a little tid-bit my daughter found a kitten and brought him home and she named him Lestat after the character in the book.  He lives up to his name with his fangs and his nightly roaming the house and 11 years later he is still my vampire kitty.
Poppy: You know, my absolute favorite character in the film? Claudia, as played by Kirsten Dunst. Man, she broke my heart into a million pieces…and sent cold chills down my spine while doing it! 
7. Beaches – Iris Rainer Dart
I will admit this is one book I did not actually read but the movie I could almost recite word for word.  You see my best-friend Tina and I dubbed this “our” movie.  Of course I am not sure which one of us is Bette Midler LOL…
The story of two young girls who meet and become fast friends it follows them through their adult lives of struggles and just trying to make it through another day.  But, when one of them falls ill and the other drops everything to be there for her is the main plot of the story and their flashbacks of their friendship.
It is a movie I can relate to because my BFF or my soul-mate as I call her are like that, no matter how far away we are from each other we are always there when needed.  Who knew that two women who met at a bar would still be best-friends 25 years later?  I love you Twinkie.
Poppy: Well, it had to happen at some point. I hate to admit it, but I haven’t read the book! Meep! But I have seen the film version multiple times. Bette Midler is outstanding in this movie. Whenever I need a heart-wrenching cry, this is the film that goes on! 
6. A Time to Kill – John Grisham
John Grisham brought us the story that made us all question what would we have done in the same situation. 
The tale of a white lawyer, Jake Brigance who takes on the case of Carl Lee, a black man in Mississippi that murdered two men who had beaten and raped his young daughter and left her for dead.  It follows the hardship that and the trial and tribulations that they encounter.  This is one of those stories that could have been ripped from the headlines of a newspaper.
I watched this movie the first time because it had my favorite actor Matthew McConaughey and it has become one of those movies that I will forever treasure just because it does raise the questions, would I do the same thing Carl Lee did? 
Poppy: Well heck, Annette! You surprised me with this one. I wouldn’t have put it on my favorites list, but I can certainly see why you did. Matthew McConaughey was really good in this one. Yeah, I can see it. How about that. You got me on this one! 🙂 
5. Dances with Wolves – Michael Blake
The story of Lt. John J. Dunbar and life on the wild frontier, he encounters the Sioux Indians and a woman who lives with them although she is a white woman.  Stands with a Fist has been with the tribe since she was a child and adopted by their Shaman. 
Dunbar becomes friends with the Sioux and has a connection with a wolf that hangs out at the post.  But, he has to make a decision and choose between the two worlds.
This is one of my favorite movies, I love historical movies and books, and I can never get enough of them.  And when it involves the great people of this land the Native American Indians and wolves I am hooked as it brings two of my favorite loves together.  If you were to see my house you would know what I am talking about, wolves and Native American Indian art and books all over the place.
Poppy: Love. Absolutely love. All I can say about that. Well, I could say Kevin Costner, too, but you knew that already…
4. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
Written in 1996 this story based on true events made me cry, laugh and also at times want to throw it out the window.  That is what makes a great book for me, one that brings out just about every emotion possible and still has you come back for more.
The story of a man who falls in love with a woman but life happens and separates them to only come back again and still feel the sparks.  It proves to us that there is a love out there that can last through anything and that there is that one person out there for us all.
Made into film in 2004 I had to see if the movie was as good as the book and of course it did not hurt that it starred Ryan Gosling.  I swear I probably went through a whole box of Kleenex.  This is one of those movies that I can watch over and over and still not get enough.
Poppy: Now, don’t shoot me, Annette, but I’m not a Nicholas Sparks fan. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m a fan of anyone who can make me cry with every. single. book. That said, this movie was really fantastic. Gena Rowlands is one of my favorite actresses and, man, she did something amazing in this role! 
3. The Twilight Saga– Stephanie Meyer
Well, unless you live under a rock these books really need no explaining.  We have Bella, Edward the vampire and Jacob the werewolf.  I know a lot of people have a problem with the books compared to adult version of vampire romances but I devoured these books in one week.  Of course it was due to the first movie Twilight being released and I wanted to read the books first.
With the release of the final movie Breaking Dawn Part 2 I will admit finally that the final book in the series was my favorite, maybe because it was more adult then the first two when they were still in high school.
Poppy: I love you, Annette. Really and truly. But nope, not this one. LOL! 
2. The Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
The oldest book on my list, the first publication of this book was in 1826 when they didn’t even have pictures on the covers since they were the nice leather bound, last forever books.  Can you imagine what it would cost to get one of those now?  If I ever hit the lotto this will be one book that will grace my shelf forever.
As I explained before I have a love for history and Native American Indians and then throw some romance in the mix and it is the perfect film for me.
When the daughters of Colonel Munro are taken by a Huron Indian for revenge against their father it is up to Hawkeye, Chingachgook and his son Uncas to rescue them from the fate handed to them.
This is a story of not just war and romance but also of a man and his people, what is to become the beginning of the end for a race of great people.
Poppy: Now you’re speaking my language! Daniel Day Lewis! Need I say more? Oh, how about “I will find you!” *melts into a big puddle of Poppy-goo*
1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Published in 1960 I remember this being one of the required books I had to read in my high school Lit class and I just remember that I could not put it down once I started to read it.  Harper Lee is another Pulitzer Prize winner.
Based in 1936 the story of little Scout Finch getting a lesson in strange friendships with neighbor Boo Radley and hatred due to her father defending a black man accused of raping a white woman in the south.
The movie starring Gregory Peck is an all-time favorite of mine.  Released in 1962 I never saw the movie until I was in high school and after I had read the book.  Based on a time when I was not even thought of yet and to see the prejudice that was going on in that time just blows my mind.  To know it still exists today in the form of race, religion and sexual orientation to me is unforgivable.  It makes me what to just “bitch slap” the bigots of this world.   We all bleed red.
Poppy: Absolutely 100% agree on this one. Gregory Peck…yeah. Just yeah. Amazing book and must-see movie. 
Well, that is my Top 12 list and if I could have continued with even more it would have also included such books as the Harry Potter Saga, Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Green Mileand many, many more. But, I had to narrow down to 12 which was not an easy task at all believe me.  We will see if City of Embers will be added to this list when it hits theaters next year.
 Now I have a couple questions for Poppy since this is her Birthday Bash:
Keeping with the theme here what is your #1 book turned into a movie?
Poppy: Oh, this one is so easy for me, and I’m surprised it didn’t make your list, Annette! Without a doubt, Pride & Prejudice! I’ve read the novel dozens of times, and I’ve watched the BBC mini-series about as many times! Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Yeah. Just yeah. *nods* Yes. On so many levels. Poppy likey. 🙂 
If either Mind Magic or Body Magic were made into a movie who would be your leading man?
Hmm. This is actually a really tough question for me. Although I did find some images of guys to use as inspiration for the characters of the Triad verse, none of them are really actors. Well, unless you count Colton Ford. He was the person I used as an inspiration character for Gray Townsend, my alpha werewolf. 🙂 
What is something on your Birthday wish list?
Well, other than books, I’d say that owls would be top on my list this year. Owls? Yes. I know, I’m random. I’ve developed a sudden fascination with owls. I can’t explain it. 
Now for everyone else out there….what is your favorite book turned movie?

Poppy’s Birthday Bash: MJ O’Shea Talks Larry Stylinson

Day two of the 12 Days of Poppy has arrived, and with it comes the sparkly that is M.J. O’Shea. M.J. is one of those gals who believes in pink and glitter and being your own damn self. I love her for it, and she’s taught me a lot over the course of our friendship. She’s also brought to our friendship the love that is Larry Stylinson. 
Now, I’m not normally one to speculate on the love lives of celebrities, but Louis and Harry…I just can’t seem to help myself! Larry is real, dangit! Here to prove why my obsession is based on some facts and not just conspiracy theories and speculation, is the gal who got me into the obsession in the first place! 


12 Reasons why Poppy thinks Larry Stylinson is real:)
(in no particular order)
MJ O’Shea here!  Hey….
Soo, how to begin? First of all, Embarassing confession: I’ve always had a thing for boy bands. Shhhh. Don’t tell. Lol. But really, they’re so fun. The matching sweaters, the dance moves, the slightly corny music…what’s not to like, right? Anyway, to celebrate our love of all things choreographed, harmonized, and color coordinated my co-author Piper Vaughn and I decided to put down our rockstars temporarily and write a boyband book. Oh yes we are. It had to be done:) For “research”, we watched about 500 backstreet boys and Nsync videos (because it was necessary okay?) but after I was done drooling over Nick Carter (<3 sigh), I happened to come across a little phenomenon called “Larry Stylinson”. I showed Piper, and being the mm writers we are, we both thought omfg what IS this??? After that a slight…okay, maybe a little less than slight obsession was born:) I then shared it with Poppy who I’m sure curses me for it on a daily basis and yeah. That’s about it!
If you’re not aware of the Larry, I’ll try to sum up: Larry Stylinson basically equals Louis Tomlinson + Harry Styles of the boy band One Direction. We’re all going to pretend that I didn’t just admit I listen to One Direction, okay? Shhhh. Like at this point it’s a big secret. Anyway…Here’s the thing with these two: they kinda really act like they’re in love. There’s actually a fairly large section of the fan base who seriously believe that they’re in love. Not a cutesy “bromance”, or “just effing make out and get it over with” but real actual love. Like the stuff we read and write about every day.
Now, if you’ve never watched any One Direction footage, I suggest you do. It’s very entertaining. Hehe. Let’s just say there’s a reason that, as a group, they’ve been called “undeniably adorable yet intensely homoerotic” before. Uh…because they all are. Both of those things. It’s like five way puppy love. Thing is, these two boys (Harry and Louis) take it just a step – or maybe two hundred steps – further than the rest of them do.
I’ll be honest. For me, the jury is still out on what “the truth” is.  I do, however, find it extremely and undeniably entertaining… and occasionally quite convincing.
So without further ado, here are the 12 reasons why Miss Poppy believes in the love that is Larry <3 
1. Heart Eyes and Hungry Staring
These two stare at each other constantly. Seriously. To the point where it’s sometimes almost uncomfortable to watch (like Molly Ringwald movie embarrassing, I swear) Of course there are about a gazillion pictures of the staring…like really. Gazillion. Maybe even more. I’ll only share a few for posterity.  The stares typically come in two categories:
 One is: “You’re so perfect, you can’t really be real, I love you till it hurts, how do you even exist?”
 And the other is well, basically…. “I want to eat you.”  Believe me. You’ll see.
For newbies, Harry is the one with the dark curls and Louis kind of looks like…peter pan?
tumblr_lzyx3sczOA1rqsk67o1_500.gif  And time stands still…. Awwww. Lol.
tumblr_m1n641EhIz1r0e0bq.gif  You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
tumblr_m6hvrkuqOw1r3wk77o1_500.jpg  Umm guys? You’re like on a TV show. Save it for later.
tumblr_m2lhg3eBiI1qbhk9c.gif   Okay, seriously this makes me laugh every time. It’s like Harry’s contemplating what sauces would taste best on Louis. Personally, I’d go with honey.
 
tumblr_m2jmma679n1rpm0jao1_500.gif  yeah…lol. Harry’s hungry a lot.
tumblr_m4tmexEbJh1rqtr9uo1_500.gif   This is like sparkly rainbow lovey sunshine 🙂
tumblr_lyyl00nVNO1qe7qpso1_500.gif   Sigh, Louis you’re so wonderful I can’t even handle it…
tumblr_mdm2d4aOx91ru52jc.gif  Same look…different guy. Le Sigh.
S640x480  Hungry? Thirsty? Secret Vampire? You decide.
Okay, okay..lol. No more. But there are SO MANY!!! That was just the sprinkling of snow on the tip of the iceberg. Next topic!!! Onward and ummm… upward? Snort.
Poppy: You know, I’ll be 38 here in a few days, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never had anyone look at me as intensely as these two guys look at each other! You’ve got to admit, the heart eyes have to mean at the *very* least that they care about each other very much. ‘Course, I choose to believe that that caring is love. You can decide for yourself.
2. Near Kisses and (yikes!) Near Misses
Near Kisses: There have been a number of occasions where it looks like Harry and Louis are leaning in for a romantic smooch but then mentally check themselves when they realize they’re in public…poor babies having to hide their love. Lol. For reals though this one makes me wonder. I can’t come up with another explanation for why their mouths have to be .001 inches away from each other…like ever. And they are. A lot. Once is an accident boys, two is a coincidence. 500 times is Larry Stylinson. (and I’m not going to even start with the kisspering. No, you don’t have to have your lips ON someone’s ear and your whole body squished to theirs to whisper…I promise).
tumblr_m52c62DXLC1qjryvto3_500.png  ummmm, that’s not his ear
tumblr_m2gfja7o3H1r6943u.gif  Bonus for heart eyes <3
 
tumblr_m4i5pgcvNP1r8qqwno1_500.gif there are actual videos of this out there. I’m lazy.
tumblr_m2yqxiJs091qkf2j5o1_500.gif cheek kissing just for awwwww
tumblr_m2wr26rrUA1qf45iv.jpg  (not kissing but I love their hugs. They hug so… intensely? Adorable)
Near Misses:  In the Larry fandom there is a word that’s spoken, kind of a code word for “the jig is up Harry and Louis. You’re not straight but good try”. That word is ‘Wellington’. Cell phone footage was taken of them in a bar there that, well, doesn’t look very platonic. Now the film is grainy and crappy and it’s hard as hell to tell what’s going on, but some people see kissing, some hear the girl say ‘oh my god they’re kissing’, and there for SURE is cuddling/upright spooning action. I’m going to say I’m not sold on this one. I’ll leave you the link and you decide! It’s really short.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03sicpPuOX8&feature=player_embedded 
tumblr_m30ghkWa5b1qzgdofo1_500.png  also, this from the guy who owned the video. He later changed his story about 600 times…but that goes in the “weird things” category. I’ll leave this one alone for now.
The other near miss is a quick video of them walking down the street “holding hands” . As soon as one of them sees a camera the hand goes in the pocket very quick like. Again, this is another thing I kinda buy (far more than Wellington). I’m having a hard time coming up with another reason for what happened here. I mean I guess they could be “bros hand holding”. It happens. I imagine. Anyway, you decide for yourself. I’m open to explanations:)
tumblr_m9dpkciEvA1rnjfa7.gif  (found it in GIF form. Can’t be bothered to find the whole thing.)
tumblr_m9dpohIgdA1rnjfa7.gif  afterwards walking closer to whoever’s filming, head down. Harry’s a rockstar. He didn’t move his arm:) Out of the two he seems to be the one who cares less if people think he’s gay.  Actually, he doesn’t seem to care at all, which I think is cool.
Poppy: As those of you who’ve met me know, I’m a touchy-feely kind of gal. But come on, even I don’t get *this* up close and personal with my friends! 
3. Subtle but not so subtle Touches
Okay. Let’s be real. This whole group touches a lot. A LOT a lot. There’s a reason that the typical shipping OTP (or one true pairing) got turned into OT5 for them. It’s kind of like a big cute puppy orgy complete with butt touching, fake make outs…crotch grabbing? Yeah, they do that too. But again, Harry and Louis touch a lot more. And quite often it doesn’t have that “Fanservice” element to it. It actually seems like nobody was supposed to see it…or they don’t really care who sees it but they just had to touch. A few GIFs below:)
tumblr_m1gd1lXxFT1r3wk77o1_500.gif  IDK about you but I nibble seductively on my friends all the time. I mean, it’s a thing, right?
Tumblr_m2lh3zoig61qbhk9c.gif   hee hee hee stop teasing me Louis!! Heee heee heee
tumblr_m2lfsgvFcT1qbhk9c.gif Casual upright spooning. No big.
tumblr_m2le2mRdak1qbhk9c.gif  awww hand holding on the X factor.
tumblr_m2apglkcR61r6943u.gif  Ohhh the hair stroking. There is MUCH of this.
tumblr_m2km4ak9GW1rrjb1lo1_500.gif  Sure everyone caresses their buddies’ cheek when they whisper. IN AN INTERVIEW.
tumblr_m32ibc4nPf1rsm5ipo1_r4_400.gif  (This one is hot. I seriously want to know what Harry said cause this was followed by a good minute of squirming.)
tumblr_m2ldhmKWqs1qbhk9c.jpg  grooming? awwwww
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7ip_wVfOb0 (a whole interview of constant touching)
This next video is one of Poppy’s favorites. Mine too. It actually made my stomach flip too like I was seeing something I wasn’t supposed to see. Go to 3:53 and watch. It’s just a moment but…well, decide for yourself. It’s a combo for me of all three guys. Those main two and camera blocker Zayn. (see the section about the other boys’ reactions below)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=LhB3VgJEYPY#!
After I just typed that I sat here and thought about how I know all of their names and faces just like a teenage girl…. Good lord. I blame research. RESEARCH. Continuing on…
Poppy: Sure, M.J. It’s all in the name of research. But seriously, go watch that video above at 3:53. Tell me you don’t feel like you’re watching a secret touch between a couple! I dare ya! Gah, everytime I see it my stomach does that little stomach flip, too. 
I also have my favorite “grooming” moment. In this video, at about :41 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxmId33_UTw&feature=player_embedded Louis looks at Harry and says “I’m not sure about your fringe.” Harry immediately fixes his hair and looks to Louis for approval. Aww! <3
4. The “Secret” Signal
They do this thing. They do it a lot. It looks like a thumbs up, but it’s more. Often, they’ll do the thumbs up but then bump their knuckles together and give each other these weird little flirtatious smiles. OH, and btw, they said they were learning sign language. Hmmmm…We were suspicious. So much so, Piper asked our friend who knows ASL and he said the way they’re doing it means “sweethearts”. Yeah. Wow.  So that’s a thing. We don’t really know for sure what it means to them but we do know they giggle a lot and exchange significant glances when they do it so there ya go. A few GIFs below:)
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9dqttd6dJ1rnjfa7.png  That right there? That’s it in joined form. They do it separately a lot too though.
http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0qte5ahUm1rqstuho2_250.gif  see? Under the table. Nobody was supposed to notice that.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2u29bVAxv1qdghmvo1_500.gif  (could Harry’s body language be any flirtier here? Lol. )
Anyway, again. They do it a LOT. There are more examples of it than I could ever post here.
Poppy: This is one of those times that “proof” makes me nod in agreement. Like MJ said, I don’t know what this secret symbol means to the two of them, but it obviously has some sort of meaning. Just look at the smiles on their faces when one sees the other doing it. *happy sigh* They are so in love. 
5. Harry’s Freudian Slip ups  
Harry Styles is famous for using gender neutral pronouns in interviews. When asked what kind of girl he likes he changes it to “someone who is funny”, or “they have to make me laugh”. Always.  Well, always except for once. When he accidentally said “him”. I’ll link the video below. Just go to 3:53. And if you look at the face he makes after he says him? Haha. I will always laugh. It looks like his life is flashing in front of his eyes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Mh-pAFbJU0&feature=player_embedded
Another time in an interview he nearly said…well nobody’s sure what he nearly said cause he caught himself. But it sure sounded like he was about to say “my boyfriend came and picked me up.” because after that he got all awkward and changed it to “someone picked me up and I had to drop him back off…” etcetera etcetera flustered babbling. Again with the life flashing in front of his eyes too. Harry needs to work on his poker face. Actually don’t. We like the entertainment.  The interview is LOOONNG…but Harry and Niall are kinda cute and funny. Start at 10:54 to see what I’m talking about.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBZDDYYQLB0
Note: This interview is also interesting, because he actually said when asked… “what is a turnoff in a girl?” And made it very clear that he was talking about girls (and not guys I’d imagine) — then gave a really dumb jokey answer. I think it was Spitting. He also made the distinction of saying “I had a lot of friends who were girls” instead of implying that he was good with the ladies…interesting? Perhaps.
Poppy: Yep. Harry isn’t big on the denial. And he’s very careful with his use of gender-neutral pronouns. Proof? I don’t know. But it sure does make you wonder…
6. Photoban or BS?
This one’s actually kind of serious…or it could be nothing and I just don’t have a clue:) There are rumors that back in the UK there is actually a photoban out on them, meaning paps can’t take (or maybe they just can’t be published) pics of the two of them together in public unless they’re out as “One Direction”. Now, I in no way know a damn thing about this but these Larry Shipper girls have actually asked media experts who assure them it’s very possible and has happened before. Now I (and Poppy) realize this could be massive amounts of conspiracy theory bullshit. Neither one of us are experts. Here’s what I do know. There are times when both boys have been places and there are pictures of them with everyone else there, but no pictures of them in the same screen. So they were there. And they weren’t papped together. And they’re famous for the gay rumors so wouldn’t those pictures be paparazzi gold? 
Just think about it…
Poppy: This one kinda breaks my heart a little. When the good ship Larry Stylinson first started sailing, we got tons of pics of the two of them together and being flirty and sweet. Seems strange to me that all of a sudden those pictures have disappeared. If they are nothing but friends, why can’t we see them together? 
7. Mario Kart (aka the best interview EVER)
There really is no explanation for this interview other than they weren’t talking about Mario Kart for a single second…and “Mario Kart” was pretty much blatant euphemism for sex. Quick breakdown for those who have a hard time understanding boys with accents who mumble a lot. Starting at 5:35 in the video. Seriously, watch from there till the end. It’s like sexual innuendo city. I laughed.
… The interviewer makes a rather obvious innuendo: “Harry and Louis you have a special  relationship that people have picked up on. Blah blah blah. Who is in front and who is behind when you “play mario kart”. (or something like that).  And you know they all get it (well, all except for poor clueless Liam in the back) cause two of the boys start giggling and Harry feels the need to clarify “you mean, who is in front and who is behind?” (more giggling) They go on to explain that they’re very generous to each other and when Louis is tired, well yeah. You’ll see. (LOL) I don’t really take this seriously. It’s joking. Or maybe “joking but not really joking”…right Mr. Snicket? Either way, it’s funny as hell. Probably my favorite thing One Direction has ever done. Including their music.  (remember start at 5:35 unless you really want to watch the whole thing)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHclIjGG-0M
And just in case you didn’t get what I said above:
“What is the best way to keep a secret, Mister Snicket? Tell it to everyone you know, but pretend you are kidding.”  — Lemony Snicket. Series of Unfortunate Events.  <3
Poppy: I have to agree with MJ that this one isn’t so much proof as it is seriously entertaining. I laugh every time I see them carrying on and being about as unsubtle as possible. The funniest thing to me though is Liam’s cluelessness. Trying to beat 2 minutes Liam? Really. LOL
8. My favorite game: Spot the Couple
The pictures speak for themselves. It’s kind of adorable. There’s Harry and Louis…and the other three. By the way, sometimes the band is two couples and then poor little Niall (awwww I  <3 Niall). I’ll include a double date shot in here for fun. Ziam, which is Zayn and Liam, they’re really only a few steps behind Larry in PDA. At least they admit that they’ve kissed once. They’re kind of pretty together. Mmmm… But that’s a whole other story. I’ll leave it for another day.
tumblr_m24sfa8PNa1rox1lho1_500.jpg  lol.. Really Harry? Really?
tumblr_m268fmN5NO1qm2t9oo1_500.png  ( off in their own little cuddle. Not sure why the circle is there…oh never mind. Harry’s grabbing his ass again.)
Self explanatory. And adorable.
tumblr_m2ldxmJC1V1qbhk9c.jpg …yeah the other three were there. I promise.
tumblr_lefqsbkQo41qfn2sno1_500.jpg just a little stage cuddle. No big.
tumblr_mchzugdmqy1rwv64go1_500.jpg this one is verging on double date…but Larry is in their own little corner kisspering away.
 
tumblr_m2np61XS5z1qdtmnj.png couple and awkward interloper.
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4fo7cIM4D1rn2v9o.gif The rest of them could get to the bus on their own. Apparently Louis needed help from harry’s lips.
LOL. The bottom one is another double date: tumblr_mdg4tdbLfW1qh787go1_500.png  (and Niall)
9.  The other boys’ reactions
This is actually kind of a long and involved topic including body language, instinctive reactions, and lots of stuff that could easily be analyzed to death. I’ll just do a few little points.
1. Niall. He’s the little blond Irish one. He’s been dubbed “Captain of the Larry Ship” because by all appearances he likes the idea of Harry and Louis as a couple as much as the girls. He also does stuff like glance at Harry when Louis’ girlfriend is brought up (again, she is another LONG topic), or watch them when they’re doing the secret signal, or says stuff in interviews like “I’m their spokesperson and they don’t want to discuss their relationship.” His behavior is odd if those two are “only friends”.
2. He’s not the only one. The other boys tend to watch them too. And defend them with body language, cover for them (like in that video above) … And get really squirrely/oddly smiley when the subject of Larry is brought up. And the smiley-ness is decidedly odd now since it’s gotten to be an uncomfortable topic for Louis (at least according to print articles) and would be something not to smile over but to annoyed by.
3. Stirring up shit. The other boys…insinuate things regarding Harry and Louis. Especially lately. They like to say stuff like “Larry is our friend” or allude to the possible fact that Larry is living together, or “but aren’t you bringing your man?” (to Louis from Zayn). Yeah. I really have zero idea what that’s all about. That stuff is all over every interview. It’s a pain to find…but if you’re so inclined, I’m sure you can. Again, with how tense Louis has supposedly been over the rumors lately, I’m not sure why they’re doing it. Seems…weird.
A few pictures as example — even though this mostly happens in motion and verbally —
tumblr_m37yk6yGfj1qbtghmo1_500.jpg this cracks me up. It’s an actual photoshoot shot of Harry and louis watching each other and everyone else watching them. Art representing life??
Here’s Captain Niall. 🙂 he’s adorable by the way. I like the Irishness…

See how Niall sees Harry getting grabbed by the girl and he looks at Louis? Notice Louis’s pissy expression! 

10. Love Bites and Suspicious Bruises
Sometimes Louis has hickeys when his girlfriend is on another continent and has been on another continent for days and days. Sometimes Harry has them at the exact same time, along with these odd bruises that quite often show up on the same spot on his arm. Hmmmmm…. No comment (kinky boys). But I shall include pictures:) Let’s just say, Louis is having fun with someone and it’s not his girlfriend. Who knows for sure what Harry’s deal is. I’ve heard the boys say jokingly before that they all give each other love bites to be jerks. 1. If that’s true I’d like some video footage of it please!  2. How come nobody else ever has visible hickeys?

11. Cute as Hell Jealousy
This speaks for itself. Some touching seems to be fine, but then they both appear to not like it toomuch when the other guys touch or get too close.  I’ll include some GIFs and my absolute favorite short video where Harry has a fake but not so fake hissy fit when Louis’ attention is elsewhere instead of on him. The jealousy might not be romantic, but it’s there. There’s lots of…nope. You can’t touch him.
tumblr_m3snopdkCv1qg5snoo2_250.gif  I love the “that’s enough cuddling with Zayn, honey” knee pat. Best part is, Louis listens.
tumblr_m3snopdkCv1qg5snoo1_250.gif  Did you seriously just touch my man interviewer dude?
tumblr_m3bkyfeS961qgahfro3_500.gif Okay, Zayn. No more touching Harry… (you’ll notice Zayn is often the source of jealousy between them.)
tumblr_m3snopdkCv1qg5snoo3_250.gif This time it’s Liam. Liam, back off…
tumblr_m23kzhinWj1qhbc2uo1_500.gif (jealousy plus hand signals. Lol)
(video is here. This is cute…and again it’s Zayn. It’s only a minute I think)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=837FH1uGifQ
12. Smokescreens, “Weird stuff”, and lack of actual denial.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet even though the topic is long and involved and quite possibly the most conspiracy theory – ish thing I’ve read into since the Davinci Code. Here goes.
1. Smokescreens:  Smokescreen One. Louis has a girlfriend. Snort. Okay, I’ll be fair. He might be straight — not that it matters. I’m not saying she’s not really his girlfriend or that she’s a beard etc. I’m saying there is a lot about their very publicized, used to promo products, overly papped relationship that seems a bit fishy.
Smokescreen Two: Harry as a manwhore. Now again, he’s a young guy. He’s allowed to have fun. BUT articles released about how he’s slept with 400+ women this year and is called a Lothario, while touring constantly, recording a new album AND doing promo? Now remember, they’re supposed to be the sweet squeaky clean Nickelodeon boyband. If his PR team is cool with that kind of constant scandalous press (when Harry himself has said it’s not true), in my opinion there’s something else that needs to be hidden. Better to be a manwhore than ???? Yeah. And of course there’s Haylor (that would be Harry and Taylor Swift). They’re supposedly in this heated relationship…but awkwardly nobody has ever taken a picture of them in the same room.
2. Lack of Verbal Denial:  All this “Larry” speculating could’ve ended a long time ago if one of them in a pleasant and nonchalant voice said “Oh, haha, the bromance stuff is funny but we’re just friends.” Louis has said it about him and Liam. Harry has said it about him and Niall. But they’ve never said it about each other… There’s just really weird brush offs. “Oh, some fans think Harry and I are together. Crazy, huh?” BTW. Harry never ever talks.
Now there are print denials all over the place. If it’s that easy in a magazine, how come you can’t say it in person? Food for thought.
3. Weird Stuff: Oh man. Yeah. There’s a lot. Tweets that don’t line up, vacation shots that were photoshopped, things deleted, the old One Direction youtube account with “someone” (one of the five boys who ran it) saying they’d go straight for Cheryl Cole…. The list of things that don’t add up in this situation is really long and yeah. Weird. Especially for people that have nothing to hide. The link I provided below goes into the weird stuff in depth.
I bet PR teams miss the days before twitter and tumblr and blogs and cell phones. Just sayin.
Okay this has gone on FAR too long.
If you want to know more…this chick is pretty much the Larry messiah: http://reasonswhylarrystylinsonisreal.tumblr.com/post/22345529322/reasons-why-larry-stylinson-is-real-masterpost  There is HOURS worth of stuff on here that I didn’t even start to get into…hours. Just a warning. You might get sucked in. Even if you don’t believe, it’s hard not to look.
Poppy: Trust me, if you go to that masterpost, you will get caught in a time warp. Next thing you know, a day will have passed and you’re still reading about Larry…
That’s all for me!!
XOXO  (I totally just felt like gossip girl for a second)
🙂 MJ
Poppy: There is so much weird stuff with these guys it just doesn’t add up to anything but love. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! In the end, there’s just one question…
 And now for my favorite part of the Poppy Birthday Bash, those pesky questions that I agreed to answer as “payment” for these posts!

1. What name for a male character have you always wanted to use but haven’t yet?
Well, huh. That’s a stumper. Cause I’ve used most of my favorite names already! Couldn’t you have asked me this yesterday before I just used my newest favorite name on a new character?? Huh?? Okay, let me ponder…Oh! I know. I really love the name Skylar. I was planning to use it in an upcoming book, but it doesn’t work so I had to change that guy to something new. So…I will have a Skylar one day when it works! 🙂 
2. What’s your favorite flavor of Ice cream. Why?
OMG…hands down, Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra. For serious real. Caramel icecream on one side, fudge ice cream on the other, with a big ole gooey hunk of caramel down the middle. *whimpers* I need some. Right now! 
3. What is your favorite paranormal universe other than your own?
Dang it, MJ! I can’t answer that! There are too darn many! Okay, if I have to pick just one, I’ll go with Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake universe. I love how she weaved in so many different elements of the paranormal world. She has vampires and shifters and every other paranormal element you can think of, and some you can’t! (But J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood is right up there as well as Mary Calmes Change of Heart werepanther series…panthers and egyptian mythology for the win!)

bio:
M.J. O’Shea has been writing romance since algebra class in sixth grade (when most of her stories starred her and Leonardo DiCaprio). When she’s not writing, she loves listening to nearly all types of music, painting, reading great authors, and on those elusive sunny days in the Pacific Northwest, she loves driving on the freeway with her windows rolled down and her stereo on high.

http://www.facebook.com/mj.oshea.5

Poppy’s Birthday Bash: Rick Reed Stuffs My Box!

Welcome to day one of the 12 Days of Poppy Birthday Bash! I’m really excited about my birthday this year because it falls on December 12th…which is 12/12/12 this year! Pretty cool, yeah? In honor the coolness of the date, I decided to gather a few of my friends for a blog party. 

Today’s post is a gift list from one of the loveliest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, Rick. R. Reed. Rick and I met last year in New Orleans and again this year during a trip I took to his hometown of Seattle. I also got to see him at the GRL Retreat in Albuquerque. He’s an amazing man, and such a talented writer that I find myself in awe of him. I’m very proud to call him friend, and can’t wait to see what gifts he has in store for me!


For Poppy’s big birthday, these are a few of my favorite things, so I thought I’d stuff them in your birthday box. Each item has special meaning for me, some serious, some not so much. Hope you enjoy these things as much as I do.
  


1. Best Book Ever–What writer’s box would be complete without this? For me, it’s John Kennedy Toole’s A CONFEDERACYOF DUNCES.

Poppy: I hate to admit that i haven’t read this, Rick! It’s going on my amazon list right now! Happy Birthday to Me. 

2. Best M/M Book Ever–James Purdy was writing strange, lyrical gay love stories long before anyone even thought of the term, “m/m” and his books still resonate as not only the very finest in gay literature, but the finest in literature period. For Poppy, I pick what I think may be his best, IN A SHALLOW GRAVE.

Poppy: Another one I haven’t read! Gosh, I know what I’m going to be doing over the next couple weeks. Reading some great books. 


3. Best Junk Food Treat–I’d like to shove a Ding-Dong in your box (RIP Hostess!)

Poppy: Now you’re speaking my language, sweetheart! I must admit though that when you say you want to shove a Ding-Dong in my box…well….


4. Best Epicurean Treat–I’d bring you back one of my most delicious finds on my trips to Italy: anchovy-stuffed olives from Peck’s Gourmet Food store in Milan.

Poppy: Anchovy stuffed olives? I’m going to have to trust you on this one, Rick! Now I know that you have great taste….how about on my next trip to Seattle you hook me up with one of these bad boys? *g*

5. A Pair of shoes–But not just any shoes…and what girl doesn’t want a pair of birthday pumps (we’re talking shoes here, dear) on her special day? For you, I offer Kate Middleton’s classic beige pumps.

Poppy: Shoes! Wee!! Gotta love shoes, and these are fantastic. Believe it or not, I don’t own a pair of beige pumps! You’re a great gift giver, Mr. Reed! 


6. A Fling–With Bradley Cooper, one night only and I get to get in the middle.

Poppy: Okay, hold on here a second…one night with you AND Bradley Cooper? Cause…yeah…wow….I’ve got some mental images going on here buddy! I think I’m going to have to write down this plot bunny right this very second. Oh my. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me? 


7. A Long Weekend–In the San Juan Islands. We’ll take the ferry over from Anacortes, WA to Orcas Island and spend the weekend relaxing in a cabin and soaking in the clothing-optional outdoor hot tubs with gorgeous views of the bay.
Poppy: Please? Pretty please with sugar on top and a picture of Bradley Cooper? I am planning a couple trips to Seattle this year and…yeah…*whimpers*…I think this is your best box stuffer yet! 


8. A melon baller–Because everyone needs one.

Poppy: A melon baller? Really? Okay, this one made me giggle like a loon! And yet another thing that I don’t own! Did you sneak into my house and take a look around? 



9. A puppy! We’ll head down to the pound together and rescue one of the neediest cases and you will never feel so loved and appreciated.

Poppy: I’d love nothing more than a puppy of my own to love as much as you love your Lily! 


10. A pajama party–with all your favorite people selected from the cast of characters assembled at this year’s GRL.

Poppy: Oh how fun! Now I want to go pajama shopping! Rick, your birthday list is going to be very bad for my wallet! Can you imagine all of us hanging out in our cute pjs and partying like…well…like us! Cause rock stars don’t have anything on us! 


11. A pack of smokes–it’s your birthday…indulge yourself.

Poppy: *blushes* You know me too well. But I haven’t forgotten our little talk in Albuquerque! 


12. Love, love, and more love–because we can never have enough.

Poppy: And this is the best gift of all. Thank you, Rick. And I wish you all the love in the world as well.


As a bonus, my sneaky friends agreed to do these posts only if they got to ask me any three questions in return. Since I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment, I agreed. Here are the questions Rick wanted to ask me:

1. Now that you’ve reached this age, what’s the single most important thing you’ve learned?

The most important thing I’ve learned is to love me for me. I’m not perfect–Lord, am I so far from perfect–but every thing about me is just the way it’s meant to be. I love that I can embrace the things about myself that make me happy and work on the things that don’t. It’s a gift that I give myself and wish the same for everyone else.

2. Name the three most unusual things in your refrigerator right now.
Unusual? Hmm. That’s a bit tricky as the fridge is a bit bare at the moment. *goes to look*
Oh wow. I just found a science experiment in the veggie bin that used to be some sort of green vegetable. I’m going to guess asparagus, but I can’t be sure. *shivers* It’s now in the trash. I’ve also got a jar of Devon cream that I picked up to go with some scones I plan on baking next week. Scones and clotted cream are one of my favorites treats, and you just can’t get them here like I could over in England. And the third is a jar of apple butter that one of my neighbors made for me. Homemade! Yum!

3. Just who do you think you are?
I’m proud to say that I’m an author! Not much more than a year ago, that title seemed to be an impossible dream, but now I’m living the life I’ve wanted to since I first put my first story to paper.



Rick R. Reed BiographyRick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a two-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his partner and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.” 

Visit Rick’s website at http://www.rickrreed.com or follow his blog at http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/. You can also like Rick on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rickrreed.

Suit Up Sunday: John Barrowman

I can’t believe I’ve been posting men in suits for a few months and haven’t gotten around to posting John Barrowman. He’s not only completely yummy, but he also has that delcious smirk that I love so well.

And look at that smile. And those cheekbones. And those eyes.

Seriously? It’s not fair how handsome this man is.

You can’t really talk about John Barrowman these days without mentioning his character on Torchwood, Captain Jack.

Yeah, I’ll own it. I’m a total Janto fan girl. (That’s Jack/Ianto for those of you who’ve never seen the show.)

Jack…Ianto…seriously amazing.

And then there’s this…he sings too. Talk about a triple threat.

Whenever I’m writing a particularly heartbreaking scene (one of which appears in my next release, Body Magic), I turn to this song.

Get a hanky handy, cause it breaks my heart every time I hear it.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Sunday!

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