Friday, June 05, 2015

The Trouble with Ensemble Casts

When I discovered this show was on YouTube, I was so excited, I watched the first few seasons straight through.

I also watched the first five seasons of this show on Netflix.

Both shows' storylines tanked after the first few years. That happens about 90 percent of the time with serial TV series, I've found. They usually linger on for years before someone finally puts them out of their misery.

I started wondering, though... Why can I watch old shows about teens and 20-somethings, but not new ones? So I decided to try out the newer version of the above two shows. I started with this one:

I barely made it through the first half of one episode. They introduced us to no less than eight people in the first ten minutes. I couldn't figure out who any of them were. There was nothing to grab onto.

I decided to try out 90210 before I gave up forever. From scene one, I was hooked. We were introduced to a family. We got to know the two teens in that family before we started meeting all the other generically beautiful people.

Because we were introduced to a central character (the female in front of that picture^) first, we cared. We could get to know the others through her. That was exactly what Melrose Place did in 1992 (Allison) and Beverly Hills 90210 did in 1990 (Brandon and Brenda).

Wiewers need a hero. We need someone to root for. I've personally found the same goes for literary fiction. When a book throws too many characters at me in the first chapter, I tend to get lost. 

I don't think I'm the only one. After all, the new Melrose Place lasted one season, while 90210 stuck around for five seasons and had high ratings and good reviews for first couple of those.

What TV shows do you watch?

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Introducing The Darkness Within By Kelly Hashway

Today we're celebrating the release of a new book from one of the most adorable bloggers in our community.

Kelly Hashway is launching her book into the world with a book blast. The Darkness Within is a continuation of The Monster Within, a book I'm going to have to read before I can read this one! Here is the cover for her latest: 

Here's more about Kelly's book, which you can buy now. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!


After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? 


Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?


Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as an editor for Leap Books as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. 

Contact info:

Monday, June 01, 2015

We All Should Have Rainbow Hair

I'm technically a middle-aged woman. There are things I shouldn't think are cool. I should be shaking my head, all Golden Girls-ish, and mumbling to myself about kids today.

But there's one trend I find absolutely mesmerizing. I would never do it because it would look ridiculous on a middle-aged woman. But for a young woman, I think this is beautiful.

I've seen people my age (and older) shake their heads at it. I've even seen them refer to young people with multicolor hair derogatorily, using terms like "Rainbow Brite." For the record, Rainbow Brite's hair doesn't look like this:

It looks like this:

I think the problem with this new hair trend is that it goes against what we're used to seeing. For centuries, hair has been varying shades of a few select colors. You're blonde, brunette, or a redhead. That's it. Anything else is "unnatural."

Yet we don't limit our clothing or nail polish colors. At times, we don't even limit our eye-makeup shades.

Apparently we aren't stopping with multicolored hair, either. Are you ready for the new trend in hair color?

Are you sure?


Don't get too excited if that's your natural hair color. Apparently to pull this off, you have to be really young.

And really attractive.

Otherwise you just look prematurely gray.

What do you think of these new hair trends? Would you ever dye your hair a daring color?