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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Friends With Benefits – review

*warning, contains spoilers!

We saw Friends With Benefits over the weekend in an attempt to beat the heat and I thought I’d write an informal review.  I know, I know, you see the trailer and you already know how this one’s gonna end.  They’ll both give up their hard hearted cynicism and wind up all ooey, gooey in love with each other amid a parade of hearts and flowers, right?  So why do we bother to see these movies?  Didn’t they do this one last year with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher?I admit I was about to give this one a pass until I saw the preview for it at another movie and the scene where her mother walks in on them in bed together made me crack up.  (I wish tv commercials for movies had half of the story the in theater previews have, I would see so many more movies!)  That and I like both Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, so I was up for a bit of fun on a Saturday afternoon.

So this one is about NY Head Hunter Jamie who is courting Dylan, head of design for a little website in LA to take over a prestigious position at GQ magazine.  He flies out to check it out, and Jamie decides to sell him on New York instead of the position and takes him on a whirlwind walking tour of the city (in killer heels no less…)  He agrees and takes the position and a friendship montage begins. 

While hanging out and watching a sappy chick flick, they lament on how they miss sex because neither one of them is in a relationship at the moment.  The idea comes up that they should add some sexual benefits to their friendship and each agree to give it a go.  He’s emotionally unavailable and she’s emotionally damaged, sounds like a recipe for easy uncomplicated sex, right?  That might have worked for me, except for it was kinda unappealing, the way they talked through the sex, each giving critique and complaints.  It made it kinda technical and maybe that was the point, but it was a little awkward to watch. 

So is Friends With Benefits worth seeing?  I’d say yes if you’re a fan of either of the stars.  Jamie comes across as kinda hard most of the time, but I can see what they’re going for and Dylan a little silly from time to time, but both were enjoyable to watch.  Whenever her mother is in the scene she steals the show, those were the funniest moments and I did tear up a little near the end when he and his father have a heart to heart (minus pants in an airport restaurant no less).  I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars, definitely worth the matinee price.

Dream Casting – Angel of Mercy


I think most writers have specific types in mind when they start crafting characters.  I know when I start to flesh out my leads in particular, I start by coming up with a list of attributes, is she kind?  Spunky?  Sarcastic?  What color hair does she have?  Is she an only child?  Does she get along with her parents?  The more detail I can drill down, the richer the character ends up.  Being a visual person, I almost always end up picking an actor or actress in my mind that I associate with the character, down to the bit players who just show up in one scene.  It makes it much easier to keep everybody straight in my head (actually I cheat, I keep a spreadsheet of names, who they are and who they look like).  You can’t help but think – if they made a movie or tv series out of this story, who would play so and so?  In the spirit of this, here is my dream casting of who would play everybody in Angel of Mercy

Mercy – Amelia Warner – a pretty obscure British actress who I think is beautiful and spirited
Sam – a younger Jude Law, pre-Talented Mr. Ripley.  I came across a couple of pictures of him taken by the paparazzi and he was a little ruffled and baffled looking, it really caught that part of Sam’s clueless personality
Adam – Ian Somerhalder because let’s face it, he could play this character in his sleep and he’s just a sexy beast
Ben – Mark Rufalo – he has that every guy quality that’s easy to overlook sometimes, but he can be so charming!
Parker – Bradley Cooper – because he can play an ass and still be pretty to look at
Matty – Justin Long – I think he could pull off the slacker brother so well
Daphne – Amanda Seyfried – with that long blonde hair and blue eyes, she has that wide eyed innocence that I associate with Daphne
Weatie – Jeremy Sisto – I can totally picture him playing an intense, scruffy looking scumbag
Nathanael – Matthew McFadyen (go see him in Pride and Prejudice as Mr. Darcy) – He has the intensity to look really pious and thunderous
Walter (the bouncer at Eden) – Marc Blucas – he’s got the muscle and all American looks to be a sweet guy that just doesn’t ring Mercy’s bell
Rachel (the nurse) – No idea what her name is, but the red headed nurse from “While You Were Sleeping” was who I pictured, it was probably on TV or something
Jilly (waitress at Eden) – Kristen Bell – because I love Kristen Bell and I like to incorporate her whenever I can.  ;)
Mariah (Adam’s wife) – Morena Baccarin – a la Inara from Firefly, because I could see her tempting an angel to fall from grace
Cephas – Badger from Firefly, because I love the accent and he plays a great baddie
Mimsy – one of my own cats!  Because she’s so cute and curious and her squeaky sounds are like nothing I’ve heard from a cat before. 

Did I miss anybody?

(I’d love to hear it, by the way, if any readers had a specific person in mind when they read the story as well!)

You Can’t Hug Every Cat

I came across this youtube video this week and I am seriously obsessed with it.  Every single time I watch it, it makes me absolutely giddy over how silly it is.  My kids now know the words to the song and hubby is working on making it a ring tone for my  youngest.  It’s made by this nifty downloadable app for your phone called Songify which will convert any spoken words into a techno pop kind of song.  You have to watch this.  Seriously.  Do it…


I can’t understand why she’s still single…

Angel of Mercy Is Now Available In Print!

Well it only took about a month after it came out as an e-book, but Angel of Mercy is finally available in print through Amazon.com.    And seeing as how I’ve been meaning to post an excerpt from the book, this gives me a good excuse to get one up.

This is fairly towards the beginining of the book, Mercy has spotted her mysterious blue-eyed stranger and has followed him home.   (kids at home, never try this!)

This was crazy.  I was in a bad part of town, following a guy who may or may not be real, into an unfamiliar building… to what end?  Still, I found myself pressing the elevator button, toes tapping with impatience for it to arrive.  The car was empty when it stopped on the ground floor, and I stepped inside and pushed the button for the third floor.  The ride was short, and the elevator doors opened to reveal… nothing.  Just an empty hallway.  So what was I supposed to do now?  Start knocking on doors?  Not exactly a safe prospect in any neighborhood.

I was just about to rethink heading back to my car, when two doors down, a little boy, maybe eight years old emerged; his arms loaded down with trucks that he unceremoniously dumped onto the hallway floor.


I had never been one to approach strangers of any kind, remembering what my mother instilled upon me since birth.  At that moment, I was hoping this kid’s mom hadn’t been quite so strict.

Approaching the boy hesitantly, I gave him what I hoped was a harmless looking smile, not in any way predatory.  “Hey, can I ask you something?”

The boy didn’t look up, he was too busy lining his trucks up into two meticulous lines, facing each other.

Undeterred, I forged on, nothing to lose.  “I’m looking for a friend of mine, he lives on this floor but I forgot which apartment is his.”

Still no reaction from the kid; maybe he was deaf?  More likely the cars were just that much more interesting than I was.

“He’s tall, with blonde curly hair and blue eyes, he wears a long brown coat most of the time, have you seen him?”

“You mean the magician?” the boy asked without looking up.

Waiting Sucks!

*Warning, this post contains spoilers

This isn’t a detailed recap so much as a stream of consciousness about the ep this week.

True Blood this week was so good, I’m having a hard time waiting a whole week until it’s on again! This week’s ep was titled, “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?” Which pretty much refers to Jason’s being tied up and used as a chew toy for panthers in the Hot Shot community’s bid to expand their gene pool. This storyline pretty much reflects the way it went down in the books, only with more lurid detail (including a lot of people snacking on raw animals, ick!) leading to Jason’s eventual joining with the shifters as one of their own. Only in this version, it looks like they’re planning on having him mate with every female in the town, down to the seriously underaged (double ick!) This isn’t my favorite storyline as I’m not a big fan of Crystal’s, but she’s at least nicer than she was in the books. Crazy insane, but nicer.

I am still getting a kick out of seeing Bill as the King of Louisiana. Yes, it’s a thin stretch of plot to see him in that position, even with their flashback to explain it, but it’s nice to see him have something to do instead of just mooning over Sookie or disapearing to South America or something. I liked watching him dole out paternal advice to Jessica over her infidelity to Hoyt. It was an interesting move when she decided to just glamour Hoyt into forgetting about her confession and their problems, I’m betting that comes back to bite her in the end. Speaking of them – how creepy is that old nasty babydoll? I can’t wait til they reveal the backstory on that! And how funny is it that Jess gave it to baby Mikey to play with!

I have to say that I’m of two minds on how they’re handling Eric’s amnesia on the show. I kind of like how it unfolded in the books a bit more, with absolute secrecy behing Eric staying with her (Instead of her blabbing to Alcide inside of fifteen minutes – although it was a hoot to see Debbie Pelt all clean and sober playing Susie-homemaker. Does anyone actually think that’ll last?) But I do like Alexander’s portrayal of Eric, especially that little sheepish grin at the very, very end of the ep just after he’d drained Claudine to death. Which was another huge upset! Claudine is dead? And what’s with the fae being all scary monstery? They look more like goblins than faeries to my way of thinking. But back to Eric, it’s an interesting idea keeping him a little wilder and unpredictable with the memory loss, instead of as meek as he was in the book where Sook was concerned. It certainly is keeping Sookie on her toes!

Also strange is the idea of the head witch being possessed into making Eric lose his memory instead of it being her just grubbing for power. It’s an interesting shift, and they’re sure adding a lot of drama by bringing Lafayette and Jesus into the mix, though Tara’s involvement in the storyline seems a little forced. Why isn’t she going back to New Orleans? Because she wants to help Lafayette out of the jam he’s in? What exactly does she think she can do against a thousand year old vampire? I’m pretty sure Pam’s not gonna just forgive and forget about them invading her territory to steal Lala back. It makes me wonder how they’re going to resolve all of this at season’s end.

What did you guys think of the episode? Is True Blood still pumping strong or are they losing their direction?

Excerpt From The Touch

The Touch - Lisa Olsen

Here is a little excerpt from my new book The Touch.  The scene is between my two main characters, artist Lexi Morgan and Detective Gabriel Ryan, in her kitchen after doing a little sleuthing together into her brother in law’s disppearance.


“Okay seriously, this has been bugging me all day; do you always wear the gloves?”

“Uh yeah, pretty much, unless I’m in my room.”

“Are you a germophobe or…”

“No, not exactly.  I told you, I wear them for protection.”  Lexi turned away to pour out the coffee, using the simple act as a way to buy her some time.  This was what she’d been hoping she could avoid at least a while longer until he had a chance to know her a little better.  But then again, there was a good chance she wouldn’t see him again, wasn’t there?

“Protection from what?”

Setting the mugs down on the counter, she went back for the milk and sugar, avoiding his eyes for the moment.  “I get… impressions from things I touch.  The gloves keep me from constantly picking up distractions every time I touch something, so I can function,” she said simply.

“Impressions,” he repeated.

In for a penny, in for a pound.  “I can see things when I touch them.  Sometimes it’s brief images; sometimes quite a bit more depending on how much they’ve been handled and if there was a particular association with them.  It’s just something I’ve always been able to do and it’s more of a nuisance than anything else, trust me there are things you don’t want to know about how your food has been prepared,” she went for a smile, “hence the gloves.”

Gabriel stood there, the mug frozen halfway between the counter and his mouth.  “You see things… like visions?”

She could tell from the way he looked at her that he was skeptical at best and seriously doubting her sanity at worst and Lexi struggled to explain it in a way that didn’t make her sound completely whacko.  “It’s like… I get images of things, places the object has been, who’s been handling it, what they were thinking at the time.  If it’s something they’ve held for a long time I can sometimes even see the person and what they’re doing now.”  Was she just digging herself a deeper hole?  “There are layers to it; once you figure out how to peel them away, then you can look farther and farther back into its history.  I’ll tell you what, give me something of yours and you’ll see if I can really do what I say I can or if I’m just a little balmy in the brainpan.”  Sometimes that was on the only way, to give an actual demonstration.  Even then, some people assumed it was a parlor trick.

“Okay,” he seemed willing to play along at least.  Pulling out his wallet, he fished out a business card and handed it over.

Accepting it with her left hand, she pulled off the right glove with her teeth revealing her pale, smooth hand.  Drawing in a long, calming breath before she touched it with bare skin, Lexi let the images wash over her for a good few minutes, taking it back as far as she could before her eyes popped open.  “So when I touched it, I could see the last time you pulled out the card next to it to give to Monica.” Not that it would prove anything to him since she’d been standing right there when it happened.  “Before that, I saw when you put it in your wallet to begin with and beyond that I could see where the card was shipped from, stuff like that.  Nothing too interesting, but if you gave me something more personal I could probably pick up more.”

Gabriel’s head canted to one side as he studied her, obviously trying to decide if he could take her at her word.  “Where was I when I put it the card in my wallet in the first place?”

“In your bedroom, I think.  There’s a blue comforter on the bed and a big brown chair in the corner of the room with a bunch of clothes hanging on the back of it.  The blinds were open, but I couldn’t see much of what was out the window because you were looking at your wallet.  Oh and the bedside table, it has…two drawers and it’s a dark brown, I think they call it espresso, with silver handles.  ” Lexi struggled to recall every detail she could about the room.

His eyebrows climbed skyward and she could tell she’d been accurate in her description of the room.  “So you get these visions from everything you touch?  What would happen if you touched me?”  Gabriel extended his hand, palm up towards her.

Lexi withdrew her hand instinctively, cradling it to her body and then away with a little gasp as she picked up something from her jeans without being prepared for it.  “I don’t…” she paused to take a calming breath, giving him an apologetic smile.  “I’m sorry, I don’t touch people,” she tried to explain, reaching for the coffee mug with her gloved hand before realizing that she hadn’t added milk or sugar yet.  Instead she hurried to replace the cotton glove, instantly feeling more at ease once it was covered again.

“Ever?” he blinked.

“No, not for a long, long time,” she replied in a subdued voice.

“Why, what happens when you touch a person?”  Gabriel frowned, dropping his own hand back to the counter again.


The Touch is available now through amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com