Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression follows the western movement of one family & a nation in search of work & human dignity. Perhaps the most American of American classics. The novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, & changes in financial & agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, & in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other "Okies", they sought jobs, land, dignity & a future. When preparing to write the novel, Steinbeck wrote: "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression & its effects]." The book won Steinbeck a large following among the working class, perhaps due to the book's sympathy to the workers' movement & its accessible prose style.
The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school & college literature classes. A celebrated Hollywood film version, starring Henry Fonda & directed by John Ford, was made in 1940.

Release Date: January 24, 1940
Release Time: 129 minutes
Henry Fonda as Tom Joad
Jane Darwell as Ma Joad
John Carradine as Jim Casy
Charley Grapewin as Grandpa
Dorris Bowdon as Rosasharn
Russell Simpson as Pa Joad
O.Z. Whitehead as Al
John Qualen as Muley Graves
Eddie Quillan as Connie
Zeffie Tilbury as Grandma
Frank Sully as Noah
Frank Darien as Uncle John
Darryl Hickman as Winfield
Shirley Mills as Ruthie
Roger Imhof as Thomas
Grant Mitchell as Caretaker
Charles D. Brown as Wilkie
John Arledge as Davis
Ward Bond as Policeman
Harry Tyler as Bert
William Pawley as Bill
Charles Tannen as Joe
Selmer Jackson as Inspection Officer
Charles Middleton as Leader
Eddy Waller as Proprietor
Paul Guilfoyle as Floyd
David Hughes as Frank
Cliff Clark as City Man
Joe Sawyer as Bookkeeper
Frank Faylen as Tim
Adrian Morris as Agent
Hollis Jewell as Muley's Son
Robert Homans as Spencer
Irving Bacon as Driver
Kitty McHugh as Mae

Academy Awards wins (1941)
Best Supporting Actress, Jane Darwell as Ma Joad
Academy Award for Directing, John Ford

Academy Awards nominations (1941)
Best Actor in a Leading Role, Henry Fonda as Tom Joad
Best Film Editing, Robert L. Simpson
Best Picture, Darryl F. Zanuck and Nunnally Johnson
Best Sound Recording, Edmund H. Hansen
Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, Nunnally Johnson

Other wins
National Board of Review of Motion Pictures: NBR Award; Best Picture- 1940
New York Film Critics: NYFCC Award; Best Director, John Ford; Best Film- 1940
Blue Ribbon Awards, Japan: Blue Ribbon Award Best Foreign Language Film, John Ford- 1963
National Film Registry – 1989

American Film Institute recognition
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies – #21
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains: Tom Joad – #12 Hero
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes: "Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there." – Nominated
100 Years...100 Cheers – #7
100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary) – #23

We have probably all read this in high school English class and if you were like me, I didn't like being told to read something and it didn't exactly match my reading interest of the time, so it wasn't a real favorite.  Now I look back with adult eyes and can only recall it with complete fondness.  As a farm girl myself and having come from a long line of farmers, the movie always spoke to me as very special.  It truly is a masterpiece of film making and a classic that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.

Author Bio: 
John Steinbeck III was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937. In all, he wrote twenty-five books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories.

In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley region of California, a culturally diverse place of rich migratory and immigrant history. This upbringing imparted a regionalistic flavor to his writing, giving many of his works a distinct sense of place.

Steinbeck moved briefly to New York City, but soon returned home to California to begin his career as a writer. Most of his earlier work dealt with subjects familiar to him from his formative years. An exception was his first novel Cup of Gold which concerns the pirate Henry Morgan, whose adventures had captured Steinbeck's imagination as a child.

In his subsequent novels, Steinbeck found a more authentic voice by drawing upon direct memories of his life in California. Later he used real historical conditions and events in the first half of 20th century America, which he had experienced first-hand as a reporter.

Steinbeck often populated his stories with struggling characters; his works examined the lives of the working class and migrant workers during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. His later body of work reflected his wide range of interests, including marine biology, politics, religion, history, and mythology.

One of his last published works was Travels with Charley, a travelogue of a road trip he took in 1960 to rediscover America. He died in 1968 in New York of a heart attack and his ashes are interred in Salinas.

Seventeen of his works, including The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), and East of Eden (1952), went on to become Hollywood films, and Steinbeck also achieved success as a Hollywood writer, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Story in 1944 for Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat.




A New Season by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle

Title: A New Season
Author: Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Genre: Adult, Sports Romance
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Dark deception has pushed Emma past her limits. She has no choice but to run again.

Back home, she falls in the arms of her childhood crush, sweet and sexy Jaken Tanner, NFL quarterback and publicly all around nice guy.

Emma is desperate to put her sordid past behind her and become the kind of woman worthy of the pure and passionate love Jaken offers.

Despite their immediate attraction and Jaken being the man of her dreams, Emma is afraid to get sucked into his famous guy life and lose herself all over again.

If only she could erase the last few years. If she could forget the pain and shame of her actions, Jaken is her second chance.

Will her past destroy her chance with the perfect guy or will Emma realize she may be perfectly created by her past to build a future with her one true love?

***A New Season contains explicit scenes of a sexual nature and is not suitable for readers under 18 years of age.***

     I woke to Jaken's lips on the back of my neck.
     "Good morning."
     "Morning," he said as he kissed me again.
     His kisses distracted me up to the point when his hand covered my breast.
     I moaned and it sounded more like a question, but not a protest. He stopped kissing me. I looked at him over my left shoulder.
     "Don't stop."
     He continued sliding his tongue up the curve on the side of my neck as his hands went from over my shirt to under it. He made no attempt to take it off.
     I pressed into him. He groaned. I groaned back, loving the sound.
     He pulled away, and as I leaned back, he looked into my eyes as his hand moved down my stomach and into my shorts. He rested his hand on my pelvic bone, and I said a silent pray of thanks for getting that wax the other day. I felt bad about praying for something like that, but then he touched me, and all I could think...
     Oh, my God, that feels good.
      I moaned and my head fell back. I closed my eyes and his fingers continued to do things to me I didn't know were appropriate for a man who made his living with his hands. He hit one spot with his middle finger and I gripped his hand.
     "Please," I whispered.
     "Please what?" he said, and his tone made me open my eyes, his breath hot on my cheek.
     "Don't stop." He gave me that grin again, kissed my nose, and pushed his fingers deeper between my legs.
     "You want to come for me, baby?”
     We had our eyes locked on each other, and the way he spoke to me, I felt like I was doing this for him instead of the other way around. A sense of pride swelled in my chest as a sense of something else swelled in my center.
     "Yes," I said.
     "Okay, come for me." He commanded.
     I knew it was his fingers. The blood had rushed to the area he manipulated with them, but I swear I could have come on command even if he wasn't touching me. His voice had that kind of power. My toes curled and my fingers dug into his forearm. A wave of whatever power orgasms were made of rushed over me.
     "That's it, baby," he whispered in my ear as I came back to the here and now. He swung a leg over me, as his phone on the nightstand began to buzz. We both looked at it.
     "Oh, you're kidding me," I said.
     He started laughing as he rolled over and sat on the edge of the bed. He turned off the alarm and turned back to me.
     "I'm sorry." He leaned over and kissed me. "I have a tee time. I have to go."
     "Fine, leave me here in bed alone." I flopped back. "Again."
     "Well, at least this time I finished what I started." He headed into to the bathroom chuckling.
     "Then why do I want more?" I asked myself.

Interview an NFL Football Player . . . Jaken Tanner
Hey Jaken. Thanks for joining me. 
You're welcome.

When did you realize you had a talent and when did you decide that you could use your talent to make a living? 
Wow. You’re going to get right into it. No softball questions like what’s you’re favorite color or what would I do if I wasn’t playing football.

We’ll get to that, but when did you figure out you were good.
To be honest, I don’t think I even appreciated that I was good at football until I got to college. Growing up in Texas, every guy played football. It’s just what you did. I was really close to my high school coach –

He later became you’re father in law?
Uh, yeah. He and my father were supportive and encouraging and guide me to be good at something and in college, I started my second year and started every game ever since.

Where did you're discipline come from? 
I think it came from having my son at such a young age. I knew I had to work hard and do what I needed to do in order to make a life for him. I was okay with having a nice life, but I wanted him to have an extraordinary life and to give him that, I needed to be disciplined in football.

What food do you hate giving up when you're in training? 
Oh man. Not a food, but a drink. Jameson. I love it, but I don’t drink it during the season. My girl friend turned me on to Jameson with a pickle back and swears it prevents hang overs, but I still wouldn’t risk it during the season.

You’re girlfriend drinks Jameson?
Yeah, she’s an exceptional woman.

Any strange superstitions or pregame rituals you perform before you play a game? 
Since my rookie season, Michael and I have rituals that have evolved over the years. We have to walk on the field together for warm up and intros. We run the field together during warm ups and have to be in step. We play catch during the opening kick off, stuff that like.

No lucky underwear? 
No. Blushes from ear to ear.

What's you hype music? 
My girlfriend, Emma, sends me a new song every week. Like for the Super Bowl, she sent me Fighter by Gym Class Heroes.

The songs mostly lean towards hip hop?
No, for the NFC Championship game, it was that song from Rocky IV. (Jaken Sings) Hearts on fire, strong desire. –Emma sitting in the back ground shaking her head and laughing.

Let's get back to some serious stuff. Would you let your son play football? 
This is the hot topic isn’t it. I get it. I would love it if my son became a regular guy with a regular job where he didn’t get beat up every week, but I also know the passion I have for the game and would rather my son find something that evokes the same passion for him. If that’s football, then I am excited for him.

How do you find time be a father and a boyfriend and an NFL Quarterback? 
He turns back to look at Emma and then back at me. 
It’s hard. Emma has been a fan of mine even before we got together. She is super supportive and it’s important for me to be just as supportive of her. Plus, she and my son get along so well, we enjoy spending time together.

Yeah, but you need some time alone.
We find time.

Ok, since I’m not going to get anymore then that, let’s do some quick hits. 
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Mixes better with stuff.

Beach or Mountains?
Emma in a bikini – hot.

Favorite city?
New York
Where I meet my girl for the last time.

Read or watch TV?
I’ve seen the process and respect the heck out of it.

If you weren’t a football player, what would you be doing? 
A teacher.
It an awesome superpower to have, being able to teach someone something.

Reason why I watch football . . .
Competition – two teams, one goal, to win and look hot doing it.

The Physiques – have you seen Colin Kaepernick (49er’s Quarterback) or JJ Watt (Texans Defensive Lineman). If not, Google them. Their bodies are unbelievable. So hot!!!

The Hits – they can be loud and scary and make you cringe, but I love a good hit.  Especially when both players bounce back up like, you didn’t hurt me.

The Drama on and off the field – two teammates sleeping with the same woman; a player is more of a father to his girlfriend's son then the kids real father; a girl trying to find love while living down the reputation of sleeping with every running back in the league – Sounds like the premise of a great romance novels, these are real life stories and play out on and off the field.

Watching Talent – I am a big fan of watching talented people practicing and performing up to their talent level. I know I work hard at what I do and am motivated to watching other who have a passion for something do the same.

The Production - on TV and in person – Going to an NFL or College game is an entertaining production. They put on a show from the moment you walk into the stadium until you leave. You get to see the sights and sounds and smells of the game and get caught up on the excitement. If you aren’t a fan before you see a game, you will be when you leave. On television, you get to see it all. The hits, the action, the speed of the game, the sweat dripping off hot gorgeous bodies and muscles convulsing in slow motion. And, all of this in HD.

Spend time with my family – Football brought my family together. When I was younger, our little Texas town stomped down for Friday Night Football – think Friday Night Lights. My father worked in the sports industry and I got to go to professional games since I was a kid. Even now, during the season, my family comes together on Sunday’s to watch the Cowboys. We even have to sit in the same seats every game if they are winning. With our crazy busy schedules, it’s the one time all week where we hangout together and bond.

Author Bio:
Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a New Adult Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader and movie fanatic who hails from Texas.
After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.

Sydney has been blogging at for three years, where she interviews people about their tattoos, discusses her favorite movie quotes, reviews books (New Adult & only the ones she loves) and journals about her writing and editing process.

An active tweeter, she is also a JuNoWriMo (2x) and NaNoWriMo (2x) winners who notes the sci-fi action flick "The Matrix" as the best representation of her life in the past. She is blessed to be awake now and doing what she loves.

She can recite the entire script for the 80's teen comedy/drama "The Breakfast Club" and loves any and everything associated with the Avengers Movie, especially Tony Stark.

When it come to books, Sydney reads many different genres, but some of her favorite writers are Stephen King, Cora Carmack, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Cassie Mae & Emily Bronte. The Great Gatsby, Under the Dome, Losing It, CassaStorm, Switched, & Wuthering Heights are her favorite books.



Brought to you by: 

An American Cowboy in Scotland by Em Taylor

Title: An American Cowboy in Scotland
Author: Em Taylor
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Release Date: June 25, 2015
As Rhona Lorimer waits for her new boss to arrive, she reckons things can’t get much worse. The manager of the Scottish estate has to explain to her new American boss that the estate is in ruins and there’s no money left. When the drop dead gorgeous cowboy turns up in full Highland regalia, looking like he fell off a shortbread tin, Rhona knows she has her work cut out.

The locals don’t take to Lord Cole Macallan, so Rhona feels obliged to show him hospitality. But the guy is hot. Can Rhona fight her feelings for her new boss as their worlds collide and they discover just how much Scotland and America are two countries divided by a common language… but brought together by mutual passions?

I pushed my butt back against his hips and was pleased to realise he had a healthy hard-on. Though what I had been expecting when I’d had my tongue down the poor guy’s throat for the past five minutes, I’m not sure. Suddenly heavy petting seemed to be terribly unfair on both of us.

Cole sucked the lobe of my ear into his mouth. I dropped my hands and clasped his hips, pulling his thighs so he was clasped against me, grinding against me. We definitely needed to be naked and soon.

When he moved one hand to cup me between the legs, I whimpered. I hoped to God that Cole realised I had changed my mind on the whole sex versus heavy petting question because I wasn’t sure if I was capable of speech.

He moved his free hand to circle my nipple with his thumb, sending a spear of want to my already aching groin. I arched into his touch and I could feel his smile against my neck before he brushed my nipple again.

Yeah, we were going all the way.

He pulled me away from the counter slightly and tweaked the button of my jeans, lowering the zip and pushing his hand under the denim but not under the cotton of the knickers he’d bought at the supermarket earlier.

“Cole, I need you. Not just heavy petting. Much further,” I urged, aware we were already at third base. Coles’ throaty chuckle against my neck tickled and made me grind my ass harder against his groin.

“You’re already gettin’ wet, honey.” God, his accent was really thick. “You’re gonna be drippin’ by the time I enter you.” His fingers played over my flesh, rubbing in a circle over my clit. I laid my head back on his chest and moved my hips into the motion. It had been a while since fingers other than my own had been down there and his seemed more expert than mine.

Cole Macallan
Cole Macallan is an all-American guy. He’s a cowboy through and through. He grew up on a huge ranch in Texas and is the eldest son of an oil magnate. He has a younger brother and a younger sister. He loves horses, NASCAR and watching the Dallas Cowboys.

At the age of sixteen though, Cole was being prepared to take over the family business and was sitting in on business meetings with his father.

Cole attended Duke University and studied Business. He didn’t have much choice as he was going to inherit the largest share of his family’s business which had a turnover of around $20 million a year. When he was in his second year of college, his father died of a heart attack and Cole became CEO of the company. He finished college as his uncles took care of the company until he graduated. Now he’s one of the GQ’s Top 50 bachelors in America.

Rhona Lorimer 
Rhona Lorimer is smart, sassy and cute but she’s never lived up to her potential. Unfortunately life keeps happening to her and it seems to keep knocking her on her ass. She’s an only child and really was a daddy’s girl. Her mum was never the nurturing type and hated living in the tiny village of Strathdougal, an hour south of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow.

Rhona didn’t stick in well at school and messed up her exams in her final year, not gaining enough qualifications to go to university. So she became her dad’s apprentice. He was estate manager to Lord Macallan, who owned the Castle, manor house and estate round Strathdougal. It was then she noticed her dad becoming forgetful. That was when her mum upped and left.

To cut a long story short, Rhona’s dad is now in a home, Rhona has his job and Lord Macallan died, leaving the estate to some American guy whom she has never met. To top it all, there’s no cash, the manor house is in a state of disrepair and the castle is a ruin. Once again, she seems to be sitting on her butt in a muddy puddle.

Why Does it Always Rain on Me? – Travis
Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That? Dolly Parton
I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind of Thing – The Pet Shop Boys
This Kiss – Faith Hill
Out of Reach – Gabrielle
I’m not Gonna Miss You – Glen Campbell 
Holding Out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler
Healer in Your Heart - Runrig
Headlights – Runrig
From this Moment On – Shania Twain

Some Mistakes – Brad Paisley
Waking Up in Vegas – Katy Perry
The Greatest Flame – Runrig
Can’t Fight the Moonlight – Leanne Rimes
Better Get to Livin’ – Dolly Parton
You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk – Pet Shop Boys
LDN – Lily Allen
Don’t Come the Cowboy with Me Sonny Jim – Kirsty MacColl
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Author Bio:
Em lives in the small village of Dundonald (which features in An American Cowboy in Scotland) in Ayrshire, Scotland. She regularly visits Dundonald Castle for coffee, cakes, inspiration and chat. When she’s not writing historical, contemporary and vampire romances, she’s trotting around the country to film and TV conventions, hob-nobbing with celebrities and avoiding housework.

Em is still waiting for her own Colonel Brandon to come along but since she’s sick of kissing frogs, she’s quite content to hog the TV remote and have the whole sofa to herself.


Brought to you by:

Release Day Blitz: Tainted Black by Shanora Williams

Title: Tainted Black
Author: Shanora Williams
Genre: NA/Contemp Romance
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Dear Mr. Black,

I know you were hurting. I heard your cries. I wished over and over again that I could make it better, but as you stated I was too inexperienced; too good for someone as bad as you.

Perhaps you were right, but it didn’t matter because what I did know was that I loved the way you felt—loved the way you smelled. I loved how hard you got for me, and when you called me your Little Knight.

I can still remember that day in the park, when you held me close and kissed me deep. How you effortlessly made me cry your name on top of sweet smelling grass, making me feel like the only girl in the world. I loved how you looked at me, how you spoke to me.

I 'd been madly in love with you ever since I was twelve years old, but I shouldn’t have been.
Isabelle would have hated it—my best friend. I couldn’t afford to lose her. Besides, you two had already lost enough. Losing Mrs. Black was the epitome.

It’s Chloe Knight.
I wanted to be there for you no matter what, but Isabelle needed me too.
And she would have hated me if she ever found out I was sleeping with her father.

** Tainted Black is a forbidden love-story about a girl who helplessly falls for her best friend’s father. After a tragic accident ends the life of Theo Black’s wife, he turns to the one person he has always found interesting.  Chloe Knight, the girl from across the street, his daughter’s best friend, and a person that is considered completely off limits for him. **

I looked down at the person’s name that flashed on my screen. Mr. Black. Surprised, my heart caught speed, and I answered, my voice soft. “Mr. Black?”

“Hey Chloe.”

“Everything okay?”

“I don’t know,” he said, voice low. “You tell me.”

“What do you mean?”

“You just gonna stay in your room and watch me, or are you gonna come over and actually talk to me?”

I huffed a laugh, looking up, heat bombarding my cheeks. Being embarrassed would have been an understatement. “I’m—I don’t know what you mean.”

“Turn on your lamp,” he demanded.


“I want to see you.”

I looked towards my lamp, hesitating. He was quiet, waiting for me to follow through. I blew a breath, going for my lamp. Then I met at the window again, and he was still there. His expression had changed though. He was smiling now. It was gentle. Sweet.

“Damn. Is there ever a time you don’t look good?”

“Please,” I laughed, tugging on the hem of my tank. It was then that I realized I had no bra on. I covered my chest with my arm.

“Don’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“Cover up. Just stand there… let me look at you.”

Slowly dropping my hand, I stared ahead, allowing Mr. Black to get an eye-full. I was in my most natural state—hair up in a bun, shorts low, revealing too much leg, and sporting a white camisole that exposed firm, brown nipples.

“What are we doing?” I asked, voice barely heard.

He was quiet for a moment, his face serious now. “Picking up where we left off.”

Author Bio:
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author Shanora Williams considers herself a wondrous, down-to-earth author who's all about romance, paranormal, and the historical fiction. Coffee and Oreos are her addiction. Reading is a necessity. Whenever she isn't writing or reading, she's most likely spending her time with family and loved ones, or watching hit TV series on Netflix.


Brought to you by: