Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Monday

After my vacation break last week, Music Monday is back! When I was at An Evening On Ice last weekend, I heard a rendition of "Love the Way You Lie" I wasn't familiar with since I don't watch American Idol. I like it much more than the original by Rihanna!

"Love the Way You Lie" by Colton Dixon

My other song of the week is an old one from the Great Expectations soundtrack. There are lots of great songs on that album (including a few that were used in one of my favorite skating programs ever). I'd love to see this song used for an exhibition:

"Sunshower" by Chris Cornell

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An Evening On Ice/Warner Bros Studio Tour

Sorry it's taken me a few days to write up my thoughts on An Evening On Ice! I spent the last few days exploring the Los Angeles area, catching up with friends and enjoying the beautiful weather. One of my favorite parts of the trip was the Warner Bros. Studio Tour I took on Tuesday morning. I've included a little summary and my photos from the tour below, but first a quick report on the show!

Braden Overett acted as the emcee of the show, and he has such a fun personality that he's perfect as a host. Between skaters, Richard Dornbush also provided some entertainment, reminding me of when Kurt Browning clowned around on Stars On Ice one year between the numbers. Ricky was dressed as a nerd, and he stayed in character for his program to "Let's Get It On" and "Staying Alive," which was hilarious. And his jumps looked great! He even threw in a triple axel.

Grant Hochstein was one of the first skaters, and his performance to "Collide" was a great showcase for his lyrical style. His skating is as smooth as ever. Alex Johnson skated to a very unique piece of music that was a different look for him. He has better spirals than many female skaters!

Chelsea Liu/Devin Perini did their short program to "Dueling Banjos," and they had a very impressive lift with multiple position changes. Alexe Gilles skated to "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and she was a beautiful presence on the ice. Her jumps looked solid, too! It was so great to see Courtney Hicks back after her injury. She skated to a really pretty song (wish I knew the name!). Leah Kaiser skated to Adele's version of "To Make You Feel My Love" and showed off some nice jumps and a lot of joy in her skating.

Tiffany Vise/Don Baldwin skated to "Come What May" and did some cool pair tricks. Derrick Delmore showed he's still a great jumper as he skated to "Apologize" with really good attack and speed. He was also sporting a cool mohawk. Nick Laroche, one of the founders of the US Athletic Foundation, used to be a mainstay at Nationals, and I always enjoy seeing him skate again!

Sean Rabbitt had the crowd with him from his first step, and he gave one of the most memorable performances of the afternoon with his self-choreographed program to Cabaret. The new team of Lindsay Davis/Mark Ladwig skated to "Too Afraid To Love You" by The Black Keys, and I was impressed by the crazy entrance to their lift. They appear to be meshing well as a pair. Beatrisa Liang was another mainstay at Nationals that I was happy to see once again. She skated a fun program to "The Way I Am."

Doug Razzano had a few problems on his jumps, but he had solid skating in between as he skated to "I Love  the Way You Lie" by Colton Dixon (loved this rendition!). I was a huge fan of Kimmie Meissner when she skated competitively, and I'm so glad she's continuing to do shows! She looked beautiful and happy on the ice.

Braden is one of my favorite skaters, and he treated us to a half lyrical/half comedic performance that was made of awesome. He's such a great performer. Mary Beth Marley/Rockne Brubaker have definitely grown together as a pair, and Mary Beth looks more mature this season. I like the new low ponytail style she's sporting. They have a nice soft, romantic style, which was showcased in their program to Louis Armstrong tunes.

Adam Rippon was barely recognizable without his signature curly hair, and he debuted a new style of program for him with upbeat dance music. Joannie Rochette closed the show to a Christina Aguilera song, and she had great charisma and audience connection.

I hope the US Athletic Foundation will continue to put on the show year after year! It's a great event to benefit a great cause, and it's also an excuse for me to annually visit L.A. :)

On Tuesday morning, I did the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Burbank, and it was such a cool experience! I highly recommend it if you visit L.A. Fans of Friends, The Big Bang Theory, the Harry Potter movies and Pretty Little Liars will especially enjoy it. We were able to sit in the sound stage where they film The Big Bang Theory and see some of the sets (the hallway with the broken elevator and Leonard and Sheldon's apartment). We couldn't take photos in the sound stage, unfortunately. The sets looked so small compared to what you see on TV!

The tour guide also took us to the Central Perk set from Friends. It was relocated from one of the sound stages to the prop warehouse. They did allow us to take photos there!

Some of the outdoor sets we saw from Pretty Little Liars were Rosewood High, Jason and Allison's house, Toby and Jenna's house, and Emily's house (see photos of these in my album below!) In the museum, which was part of the tour, the masquerade ball costumes from PLL were on display - Melissa's Black Swan costume, Aria's and Spencer's dresses, and Lucas's creepy costume with the white mask. It was so cool seeing them up close. No photos were allowed in the museum :(

The museum also held tons of costumes from other TV shows and movies, and the entire second floor held props and costumes from the Harry Potter movies. There was a dummy of Hermione that looked so much like Emma Watson that I couldn't stop staring at it. It was really remarkable.

While we were touring a house that's used in the TV show Hart of Dixie, two of the actors from the show, Wilson Bethel (who plays Wade) and Scott Porter (who plays George), were practicing a fight sequence on the lawn next door. I couldn't believe my luck in seeing two actors from one of my favorite shows! I'll always call Scott Porter "Jason Street" because of my love of Friday Night Lights. We weren't allowed to accost the actors, but I did snap a bunch of photos of them :)

Here are all the photos I took on the tour:

Warner Bros Studio Tour

Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Evening on Ice

Yesterday I attended An Evening On Ice, a wonderful show to benefit the US Athletic Foundation. The show was held at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California and featured an all-star cast of National, World, and Olympic medalists.

I'll post a detailed report of the performances later, but I wanted to post my photos and videos first!

Find the photos here!

Adam Rippon

Richard Dornbush

Braden Overett

Alex Johnson

Kimmie Meissner

Lindsay Davis/Mark Ladwig

Friday, July 20, 2012

99 Cent Sale!!!!

My publisher is having a huge 99 cent sale that includes LIFE ON THE EDGE! Get ready for the London Olympics by checking out this romance that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the life of an Olympic athlete.

Here's what one reader said about the book: "Life on the Edge is a beautiful love story wrought with emotion and a roller coaster ride of tragedy and triumph. The characters are so real, you root for them right from the beginning!" - Jessica Tornese, author of Linked Through Time

Only 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for a limited time!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Lovin Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Summer Lovin Giveaway Hop! The winner of the Slammed ebook is:

Jennifer Lane

Congratulations, Jennifer!!!!

Look out for more giveaways in the future! Coming up next on the blog - coverage of An Evening On Ice, a spectacular star-studded show to benefit the US Athletic Foundation. It's going to be a wonderful event with skaters like Adam Rippon, Joannie Rochette, Mary Beth Marley/Rockne Brubaker, Kimmie Meissner, and many more!!!! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Music Monday

Another Monday, another set of tunes! This week there are a couple of very different songs on my repeat playlist:

"Overcome" by Better Than Ezra
I bought this CD after Hurricane Katrina when I was exiled in Houston, and I listened to it constantly, enjoying the connection to home (Better Than Ezra is a local band). I still love so many of the songs from the CD, and I'm hooked on this one again.

"The Crisis" by Ennio Morricone (from the soundtrack to The Legend of 1900)
I first heard this song when Daisuke Takahashi skated a gorgeous exhibition to it at the Grand Prix Final last year. I loved it so much that I've included it in EDGE OF THE PAST, the upcoming sequel to LIFE ON THE EDGE. The song becomes an important symbol of some of the emotions in the story.

Hope you all have a great week! I'm leaving for Los Angeles on Friday and will be attending An Evening On Ice on Saturday, a wonderful show to benefit the US Athletic Foundation. Look for a report here next week plus hopefully photos and videos (if the lighting/camera situation works out!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Lovin Blog Hop

Welcome to the Summer Lovin Giveaway Hop! I'm giving away an ebook copy of the best-selling romance SLAMMED by Colleen Hoover. It's one of the most popular reads of the year!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below with your email address. You can earn extra entries by:
- Liking my Facebook page
- Following me on Twitter
- Tweeting about this giveaway (tweet @LadyWave4 so I'll get the notice) 

All entries must be received by midnight on July 17

To celebrate the Summer Lovin theme, I thought I'd share a deleted scene from my YA romance LIFE ON THE EDGE. Emily and Sergei are spending the summer weekend alone on Martha's Vineyard at Emily's aunt's house. They're getting ready to play croquet, which Em used to play with her cousins.

I set up the wickets around the expansive yard and gave Sergei a brief explanation of the rules. Once we started playing, he quickly moved around the course, and before long he was beating me rather handily.

"You're sure you've never played this before?" I asked.

He held up his hands and chuckled. "I swear, I haven't."

I stalked toward my red ball, cursing my apparent rustiness with the game. Later when Sergei gained an even bigger point lead on me, I took my mallet and knocked one of his balls clear across the yard.

"Hey!" he exclaimed. “What are you doing?"

"Oops, guess I slipped." I shrugged and widened my eyes with innocence.

He laughed. "You are such a sore loser."

"I haven't lost yet!"

"I'm giving you a three-shot penalty for misconduct," he said, trying not to smile.

"You don't have the authority to do that."

He crossed his arms over his chest and spread his feet firmly. "Oh, I have the authority."

My frustration was momentarily forgotten as I couldn’t ignore how hot Sergei looked in his stance. The aviator shades resting on his slightly sunburned nose, the T-shirt stretching over his tanned biceps, the khaki shorts that showed off his muscular legs . . .

I cleared my throat and folded my arms, mimicking Sergei. "Well, let it be known I am finishing this match under official protest."

"You know, we never said what the stakes are," he said. "I think the winner should be entitled to something."

"I think bragging rights will be a sufficient prize."

"No, there should be more . . . like the winner gets to pick the meal and movie of their choice next weekend."

I scrunched up my nose. "Ugh, then you're going to make me watch some weird foreign film with subtitles."

"Are you conceding the match?" He smiled.

"Not a chance." I pointed my mallet at him. "Go get your ball and let's finish this."

It didn't take long for Sergei to complete the course, at which time he thrust his arms into the air. "Victory!"

"Yeah, yeah, you got lucky on your first time out. And I haven't played in a few years."

He grinned. "Yep, that's the sore loser I know and love."

"I'm just telling it like it is," I huffed.

He held his mallet in both hands and looped it behind my back, using it to trap me against him. "You can't admit I beat you fair and square."

I tilted my head upward. "If beating a girl at a country club sport means that much to you, then by all means, go ahead and gloat."

"Oh, I will. And I'm looking forward to picking out a good movie next week. Something Italian . . . or French . . . a very long movie. And you can cook a three-course dinner. What's something that takes a really long time to make?" He lowered his mouth toward mine with a smile. "That's what I'll want."

"I might be a sore loser, but you're an obnoxious winner.” I pushed lightly on his chest.

"Uh-uh, you're not getting away. The fine print says the winner gets a victory kiss, too."

"You're gonna have to catch me first.”

I wrestled away from Sergei and took off running across the yard. He sprinted after me, so I turned and reversed direction. As I ran toward the side of the house, I heard Sergei cry out in pain.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hop and enter the other giveaways here!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Music Monday

Monday comes too quickly, but maybe a little music will help make it brighter! Here are two songs I'm fawning over this week:

"It's Time" by Imagine Dragons

I heard this song during the trailer for the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which looks fabulous!) and immediately fell in love with it.

"With or Without You" by Vitamin String Quartet

"With or Without You" is one of my favorite U2 songs, and I was so excited to find this version done by the Vitamin String Quartet. It would be perfect for skating!

What are you listening to this week?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - EDGE OF THE PAST

Today is Six Sentence Sunday, where both published and non-published writers share six sentences from their work. I'm sharing six lines from my WIP, the sequel to LIFE ON THE EDGE. Working title is EDGE OF THE PAST, and the snippet has Emily doing a little reminiscing . . .

As I watched the show, I remembered the day Sergei had showed Chris and me his choreography inspired by the episode. I loved his work and the emotion he put into it, and I’d shared my admiration with him.
“I think you have a special talent for creating romantic programs,” I said, leaning into Sergei. “You have sexy in your soul.”
He smiled and brought his mouth close to mine. “My muse has a lot to do with that.”

Hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek! The short program Emily's thinking about is set to the piece titled "Victoria's Secret" from the TV show Due South.

Stop by Wednesday for the Summer Lovin Giveaway Hop, where I'll be giving away a copy of SLAMMED by Colleen Hoover!

To read Six Sentence Sunday from other writers or to sign up, visit the Six Sunday site here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Music Monday

Need a little pick-me-up to start the week? Take a break and listen to some tunes on Music Monday! After watching the gymnastics and swimming Olympic Trials all week, I've been in the mood for songs that would fit well with Olympic montages. Here are a couple of them in my rotation:

"Kings and Queens" by 30 Seconds to Mars

"Ours" by The Bravery

What songs are you loving this week? Have a great Monday!