Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Let's talk Bond, baby. James Bond.

If you’ve been working too hard this summer, you need to take a break and go rent Casino Royale, the latest James Bond movie. Have you seen it? I resisted for a long time because I wasn't sure about the new guy. I wanted to see Clive Owen in the role and my second choice would have been Hugh Jackman. And, too, the last few Bond movies have been so bad that I completely lost interest in the franchise.

Now that I’ve had a chance to see the new Bond in action, here’s my take...Clive, who? Hugh Jack-what?

I’ll just say it. Daniel Craig is the best James Bond ever. I said...ever. He is Ian Fleming's James Bond. Dark, driven and, at times, utterly vicious--the Bond that is described in both the movie and the book as ‘a blunt instrument’. This installment required a real badass with a side order of nasty and, boy, does Daniel Craig serve it up. I can’t even imagine (and don’t want to) any of the other Bond portrayers doing what he did in this movie.

Casino Royale is the beginning of Bond’s 007 career, before he became the suave, sophisticated secret agent. He’s realistic and gritty and doesn’t resort to the usual bag of silly gadgets and tricks that had begun to make the character cartoonish. And there's a pretty wonderful love story to boot. It is the love story—and the resolution—that creates the smooth, yet chauvinistic Bond of the future.

Still not convinced? Watch this clip and tell me this isn't one of the most romantic scenes in recent movie history?

Amanda Stevens

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Daphne du Maurier Award!

by Ann Voss Peterson

I received some terrific news from Dallas last week. It seems my Harlequin Intrigue, VOW TO PROTECT, won the Daphne du Maurier Award for series romantic suspense!

Now this is very cool for many reasons. The competition. is very tough. I know, I've read many of the books mine was up against. It's judged by people who know and love romantic suspense, members of the nearly 1000 strong Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA. I've reached the finals four times, and this is my first win. But one of the very coolest parts about winning this award is that if I hadn't read Daphne du Maurier's REBECCA in my formative years, I probably wouldn't be writing romantic suspense now.

It might sound a little dramatic, but it's true. REBECCA was the novel that first introduced me to that delicious interplay of romance and suspense. It stuck with me during my college years while I was trying my hand at literary short stories. It nagged at the back of my mind during the brief time I wrote fairly pitiful screenplays. And when I sat down to write my first novel, the story was REBECCA set in the world of Quarter Horse shows (no, I never submitted that story to anyone...nor will I).

That story continues to influence what I write, and I've read it more times than I can count. And the award will have a proud place on my wall.

What are some of the books that have influenced you (in writing, in life, in...whatever)?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Where to catch some Intriguers this week

Wow! Things have definitely been quiet in here lately. But then, this week is the week of both the Romance Writers of America conference in Dallas, and the Thrillerfest conference in NYC--and many of the Intrigue authors are attending one of the other.

I'm at home this week, hunkering down with my writing during the day, and enjoying some family time with my son this week (his band commitments were scheduled long before I was sure of the dates for either conference, and besides, he's going to be a senior this year and I don't want to miss helping with and attending any of these last big events he has before he graduates!).

From other loops I've been on, it sounds as though some of our other Intrigue friends are doing well at both conferences! Winning awards (I'll let them share the details about their good news!), meeting with editors and publishers, presenting workshops, selling books and more! So that's something to look forward to.

In the meantime, if you need a fix of Intrigue, check out the two discussions going on at the Harlequin website at www.eHarlequin.com. Under the column, Simply Series, you'll find two ongoing discussions--one on reading Intrigue books, and one on writing them.

Hope to see you there!
Julie Miller
(only a week left on my summer book giveaway contest at www.juliemiller.org!)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! To all our American friends. And I hope all our readers around the world have a splendid fourth of July wherever they are. Every day should be a good day, right?

I've been a longtime reader of Harlequin Intrigue, even before I became a writer for the line. And July marks the release of the 1000th book from Intrigue! So that's another reason to celebrate!

What are some of your favorite memories of Intrigues over the years? Either as a reader or writer. I remember back when the very first Intrigue came out--THE KEY by Rebecca Flanders. I was in college, looking for a quick, satisfying (affordable!) read to supplement my mystery and romance obsession, and to give me a break from studying and academic reading. I picked up THE KEY, thinking it sounded like a really good idea to read a romantic suspense book from Harlequin. And by the time I was done, I KNEW it was a great idea. I was hooked. No way have I read 1000 Intrigues, but I've read a good number of them, and I love how the line has evolved and stayed current with topics, fresh with new writers, and reliable with many of my author and mini-series favorites.

Happy 1000th, Intrigue!

Julie Miller