Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy

That’s the title of my friend HelenKay Dimon‘s widely-acclaimed romance novel, now out in a mass-market edition. If the title alone doesn’t make you pick up the book, the punchy back-cover copy will:

Annie Parks came to Hawaii to gather information and settle a score, not spend time handcuffed to a sexy stranger’s bed. Okay, so this particular stranger saved her from drowning after she was pitched overboard by some goons. And he’s about six feet of hard, Hawaiian muscle and gorgeous cool that’s making forgotten parts of her say, “A-lo-ha!” She needs to stay focused, but a side dish of Kane Travers is awfully tempting.
Kauai Police Chief Kane Travers is not a vacation kind of guy. So it figures that when Internal Affairs suspended him, he’d end up rescuing a sarcastic, dishonest, extremely hot redhead who is clearly hiding something. Amnesia? Yeah, right. Kane’s got half a mind to give Miss Whoever She Is something she’ll never forget. His cop senses tell him that the lady’s in deep and needs his protection. But how can he get her to tell him anything when his mouth won’t stop covering hers?

If YOUR MOUTH DRIVES ME CRAZY is half as much fun as the jacket copy, you’re in for a treat. You can win a free copy at Alison Kent’s blog just by telling her something about your mouth…but you’d better hurry, the drawing ends on Monday, March 2 at 8 p.m. CST.

Mr. Monk Gets Another Nice Review

Gary Mugford at Mugshots gives MR. MONK IN OUTER SPACE a thumbs-up. He says, in part:

Goldberg has lots of fun at the expense of the typical SF convention-goer, but there seems be a respect deep down. […]But it’s really almost an Ambrose book. It’s Ambrose who provides the needed insight into the TV series, since he’s an expert on the show. It’s little insights into Ambrose that makes this something different rather than the same old, same old. That’s why this book gets a thumbs up. Goldberg continues to expand the tight little world that is Adrian Monk. As we head to the eighth and final TV season, it’s going to get harder and harder to find new sides to the mystery that is Monk. But for the time being, Goldberg continues to deliver solid entertainment in new and surprising ways.

Thanks, Gary!

Rehashes, Reworkings and Reimaginings

Once again, there are quite a few British remakes, shows based on movies, and "reimagined" old TV series among the pilots greenlighted to film for the 2009-2010 season.

NBC, burned badly by THE BIONIC WOMAN and KNIGHT RIDER, seems to have sworn off re-imaginings this season, though they are shooting a pilot based on the movie PARENTHOOD, which already inspired a flop 1990 sitcom on the same network.

CBS seems to have lost interest in foreign remakes (after getting burned with ELEVENTH HOUR, WORST WEEK and THE EX-LIST) and reimaginings (though they haven't tried any yet), passing on proposed remakes of HAWAII FIVE-O, LOST IN SPACE, and STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO. That said, their sister netlet the CW is shooting a MELROSE PLACE remake to capitalize on their success with BEVERLY HILLS 90210.  

ABC is shooting pilots based on the movie THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, the 1983 NBC series V, and a stateside version of the BBC hit sitcom NO HEROICS
Fox is shooting a U.S. version of ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS and resurrecting THE HUMAN TARGET, a comicbook franchise that inspired a flop Rick Springfield series on ABC back in 1992. 

To see a complete list of the networks' various pilots, click on the individual network links above.

Watching Harry O

I have been treating myself to episodes of HARRY O after a day of work. It's been an interesting experience. The first 13 episodes were shot entirely on location in San Diego and had a slow, laconic pace and a real style. David Janssen's Harry Orwell almost never did anything overtly physical…he had a bullet in his back, for God's sake, and he was hardly a buff guy. The plotting wasn't very rigorous, but individual scenes were often sharply written. But around episode 14, the show moved to L.A. and lost a lot, if not all, of its style. The main title theme/opening sequence was "toughened" and so was Harry, who although still world-weary, now gladly engaged in fisticuffs. Suddenly there were sexy and scantily-clad women everywhere and none of them could resist his non-existent charms (though he didn't seem very interested in bedding them). Much of the work that had been "on location" moved into the soundstage and looked it (one particularly cheap set was clearly, and superficially, redressed multiple times over two episodes). On the other hand, Anthony Zerbe came in as Lt. Trench, the best "friend on the force" in TV PI history (and a role that earned him an Emmy). The scenes between Harry and Trench, which would have been expositional hell in any other PI show (and in the first 13 of Harry O, with Henry Darrow as the cop, often were), crackled and became the best thing about the series. I am only three episodes into the LA-set episodes, though. There are still 24 more to see…including one where Henry Darrow's Lt. Manny Quinlan character came back to be killed off. (You can see the first scene of the second Harry O pilot and the first regular episode, "Gertrude," on YouTube)

I Do Not Understand the DVD Business

The complete first season of CANTERBURY'S LAW, a show from last season that nobody on earth watched, is coming out on DVD this week. All six episodes. To which I say….WHY!? 

What possible reason could there be for putting this unmitigated flop out on DVD while there are so many, many shows that people did watch, that actually lasted more than a mere six episodes, that still haven't been put out on DVD? 

What is the market for this? Who do they expect to buy this thing? Are there legions of Canterberries out there, dressing up like Julianna Margulies at CanterberrieCons and clamoring for its release that I don't know about?

I do not get the TV-on-DVD business at all.

Mystery Money For You

The Mystery Writers of America is awarding $500 scholarships for aspiring writers to attend conferences and short-term writing programs. The details are below and you need not be an MWA member to apply for the grants:  

2009 Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing
What Is It?
The Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing seeks to nurture talent in mystery writing—in fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting.
Who May Apply?
The scholarship is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. Membership in Mystery Writers of America is not required to apply.
How May the Scholarship Be Used?
The scholarship may be used to offset tuition and fees for U.S. writing workshops, writing seminars, or university/college-level writing programs.
The scholarship committe would like to emphasize to potential applicants that scholarship funds may be used for short-term writing workshops, conferences, and seminars, and not solely for university/college-level writing courses.
What Is the Scholarship Amount?
MWA will present two scholarships for up to $500 each in summer/fall 2009.
What do I need to submit?
>  Scholarship application form
>  Copy of official description of writing workshop, seminar or class printed by the institution/sponsor of writing program
>  FIVE COPIES of a mystery writing sample (e.g., 3 chapters from a novel with a synopsis, 
    3 short stories, 3 pieces of short nonfiction work, 1 screenplay, or 1 play script)
>  Two letters of recommendation (usually from teachers who can speak to the applicant’s writing ability)
>  FIVE COPIES of a short (300- to 500-word) essay on the applicant’s interest in mystery writing 
The scholarship committee may also require a syllabus or other documentation from the writing program to be attended.
Submission Address:
Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship Committee
PO Box 16319
Saint Paul MN 55116-0319
Application Deadline:
All applications must be postmarked by February 28, 2009. No late applications or emailed applications will be accepted.
Contact the Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship Committee at the address above or e-mail No phone calls, please.