Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guest Post by Erica (Queen City E) - TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF!

Today, I present Penny Pimpin's first guest post by my sister, Erica (QueenCityE).  She is pimping a concept that is so perfect for this blog because it includes some of our favorite books and tv shows.  Oh...and a whoooole lot of shirtlessness!  Enjoy!   

Pimpin a concept: Take Your Shirt Off!

I was talking to a male friend the other day, who was also a fan of the Legend of the Seeker series (based on the Sword of Truth fantasy series by Terry Goodkind). We discussed how much we enjoyed the Seeker concept and the actors and actresses chosen for the series. From the male perspective, it seems there were no bad choices as far as the females featured on the show (though many of them were annoying, he found most of them easy on the eyes.) For me, one of the selling points was how often The Seeker (Craig Horner) was filmed without a shirt on.


I mentioned this, and he seemed to be surprised I'd be interested in such a small guy. I had to school him on one of my philosophies...and a concept I'd like to "Pimp" here on my sisters blog; the more shirtless, the better.

I find many of my favorite television experiences in recent years have had a lot to do with how much bare chest I get to see. There is a direct correlation to how well a show is doing to how much skin is shown or is that just my personal opinion?

I'm not the biggest fan of the True Blood series, mostly because I loved the Sookie Stackhouse books, but I did not miss an episode with Eggs; because he was almost certain to be shown sans shirt. To be honest, all the shows that Mehcad Brooks has been on understood that the more you show his rippling and glistening chocolate body the better!


His character, Jerome, from The Game may have started out in an Skybox suite trying to impress his bosses, but before long he was sunning poolside in Miami showing off his amazing abs. With his background in basketball (he starred in the movies Glory Road and Just Wright) it's no surprise the producers of The Deep End had him showing off his guns in a basketball scene, but I think the show would have made it longer if they'd had him play in a skins vs. shirts game, with Brooks being on the skins team! The same is true about his other failed series, My Generation, which showed him in a wife beater, but not out of one!
The 6'5 native Texan, Brooks, seems to have hit gold with the AllState commercial, in which he is the wished for "new boyfriend" who appears, surprise, surprise, shirtless! Oh yeah. No surprise that is my favorite commercial.


True Blood may not have a script I enjoy, but I can't complain about some of their overall casting choices. Another 6'5 hunk is Alcide, played by Pittsburgh native Joe Manganiello.

He's of course been shirtless in that Louisiana heat, but fans of How I Met Your Mother will remember his shirtless scenes in NYC. His character, Brad, was only in five or six episodes, but made the biggest impression on me when he surrendered the shirt off his back to his friend Marshall on his wedding day and then ran around the wedding with nothing on under his jacket. I'm starting to think that's how I'd like my groom to dress:D

There are other shows that understand shirtless is better. Dmitry on So You Think You Can Dance showed that a little chest never hurt anyone. And the producer's of Dancing With The Stars, unlike his counterparts on the football field, had no problems not covering Ochocinco.



Another friend just reminded me of how much Shonda Rimes must subscribe to my theory, as well, because the Grey's Anatomy cast is always featuring at least one of the physicians without their scrubs or lab coat. These days 6'1 former teacher Jessie Williams, aka Dr. Jackson Avery, has been doing the topless taunt more often than not. Wasn't McSteamy's first episode one in which he walked out the shower in just a towel?
 Ms. Rimes, I think we could be friends.



Finally, the producers that really understand and put into action the "Bare is Better" mantra is Smallville. Whether it's Clark Kent (Tom Welling), Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley), or Aquaman (Alan Ritchson), when they are not in street clothes, often times they are missing half their apparel altogether. In addition, another bonus is they often show members of this terrific trio wet, sometimes just standing topless in the rain.





It goes without saying that a period piece like Spartacus has a lot of bronzed beefcake...which is another great reason to give the Starz series a look. However, the History Channel also gives you some strong sternums to eyeball, so don't sleep on them either.

All in all what I'm basically saying, and the overall message I want to convey here, is the same thing I used to yell at my TV during Legend of the Seeker. Come on, "Take Your Shirt Off!!!"

Here, here!  Thanks for the post, Erica!!  So, what do you guys think?  Is there enough shirtlessness on tv or is more needed?  And more importantly, are there any shirtless shows out there that we're missing?  Let us know!!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My First Review - Venom by Jennifer Estep

I’m going to try my hand at reviews.  I still haven’t decided how I’d like to do my reviews, to keep them standardized.  I’m working on a couple of different ideas so I will try out different formats for my first few, to see which I like the best.  So, here goes.  My first review.  J
***Contains slight spoilers if you have not read the first two books in the series yet***
Title – Venom
Author – Jennifer Estep
Series – Elemental Assassins – Book Three
Pages – 389
Synopsis - It’s hard to be a badass assas­sin when a giant is beat­ing the crap out of you. Luck­ily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My cur­rent mis­sion is per­sonal: anni­hi­late Mab Mon­roe, the Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily. Which means pro­tect­ing my iden­tity, even if I have to con­ceal my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most. To the pub­lic, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best bar­be­cue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spi­der, retired assas­sin. I still do favors on the side. Like rid­ding a vam­pire friend of her over­sized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his mas­sive fists. At least irre­sistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detec­tive Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sis­ter was dead. She prob­a­bly thinks the same about me. Lit­tle does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer … who is about to save her life
My sister Melinda introduced me to these books and I’m glad she did.  This is a solid urban fantasy series.  The first two books are Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies.  It’s got elements I’ve never read before, which I always enjoy.  There are vampires and giants and dwarves and Elementals; people who have abilities over Air, Ice, Stone and Fire.  I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series, because I’m very anal about reading series books in order but if you don’t start at the beginning, you won’t be too lost because the major events of the two previous books are mentioned, in detail.  If you don’t want to know what happens in the first two books before reading them, though, then definitely read in order. 
What Worked For Me – I like the recurring characters in the series.  My favorite character so far is Finnegan Lane or Finn, Gin’s stepbrother.  He ‘s not book boyfriend material but he seems to be such a real character; like someone I might meet in real life.  He’s cocky and funny and sexy; I like it!  I also love all of the food references in the books.  Gin owns a restaurant and likes to cook and the author goes into detail about the food.  I’m always hungry when reading these books, but it’s a good thing.  Also, she has some of the recipes listed on her website. (http://www.jenniferestep.com/).  The action in the books is exciting and believable.  Oh..and there was a shower sex scene which ALWAYS gets a thumb up from this reviewer! 
What Didn’t Work For Me – I have found the books to be very repetitive.  The same things are described, multiple times, the same exact way in all of the books.  The same thoughts and feelings are expressed several times within the same book.  It only concerns me because it takes me out of the moment when I stop and think “didn’t I already read this?” or “yeah, we already know this”.  It’s an issue of mine that may not affect anyone else.  It’s really the only thing about the books that I don’t like and it is by no means a reason for me not to continue reading.   Also, there’s a character that was in the first two books that I LOATHED that is not actually in this book but is mentioned several times.  It makes me think the character may still return in the future which I would HATE were it to occur.  Seriously, just reading the name makes me sneer. Which is, of course, a compliment to the author; any time writing can evoke the correct strong emotions (because I’ve GOT to believe she WANTS us to hate this character!), the writer is doing something right!
All in all, I give this a 4 out of 5…uhhhh…..hmmm….yeah…haven’t come up with a rating system yet.  Asteriks?  Pennies? Cookies?  Pimp Hat Feathers?  Well, that’s an issue for another day, I guess.  For now, I’ll  just go with my Goodreads rating of 4 out of 5 stars! 
Thanks for stopping by to read my review.  Let me know what you think and if you’ve read the books and/or plan to.  The feedback is much appreciated!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Thanks to all of you for commenting and sharing your faves in tv, movies and music!  I saw a lot of interesting things that I need to add to my To Be Read and To Be Viewed and To Be Listened To lists!  I appreciate your taking them time to pimp to me!  And now….for our winner!  The winner of the Border’s gift card or Book Depository purchase is:

Commenter Number 3 - DREN!

Congrats, Dren!  You’ll receive an e-mail from me shortly. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time for you to pimp to me!

Alright then…so that whole “I’m going to blog more” resolution hasn’t really come to fruition yet…but never fear; I WILL be a better blogger this year!  At some point.  Sigh.  Well, 2011 has been weird for me so far.  Not bad, just weird.  I just finished my first book of the year on the 23rd. That’s almost inconceivable to me but it’s true. I’ve been reading but I hadn’t been really grabbed by anything I was reading and kept abandoning books, in search of something that would grab me.  I’ve had more interest in my writing.   BUT…I apparently did not write enough notes for myself on my Work In Progress because I’m trying to edit it and there are parts where I have NO IDEA what the H I was talking about in my notes!  Sigh.  I haven’t done anything on the blog either…obviously.  I plan to do better, though.  I promise.  I have big things in store for the blog, including reviews and polls and random rants.  You just wait; you’ll love it! 
This is usually my Obsessions post for the month but I haven’t really been completely obsessed with anything so far this year.  See…I told you….weird.  So, I’m going to leave it to you to give me a new obsession!   What series should I be reading that I’m not?  What show should I be watching that I’m not?  What book boyfriend must I know about?  What upcoming movie should I start obsessing about now? Give me a suggestion below to enter for your chance to win either a $15 gift certificate from Borders or an equivalent book purchase from The Book Depository.  Help break me out of my reading/viewing/watching slump and have a chance to win!  If you want to be entered into the giveaway, just let me know in your post & don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you.  You don’t have to be a follower to enter but I’d appreciate it if you’d become a follower if you aren’t one already. The contest ends Friday 02/4/11 at 11:59pm EST and is open to all who care to enter and can benefit from a Borders gift certificate or a book purchase from Book Depository.  I appreciate you stopping by….and I promise to do better!  J