- A Kitty in the Henhouse
- Chicken Scratches and Other Writing Tips
- Eye Candy
- Happenings at the Henhouse
- Music of the Coop
- Pop Culture
- Squawk Authors: Latest and Greatest Books
- Squawk Friends
- Squawk Interactive: Captions, polls, etc
- Squawk's Favorite Books
- Stranger Than Fiction (Real Life)
- Teresa Reveals the CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE ROMANTIC
- CHRISTINA DODD HAS A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
- Christina Dodd Exposes the Glamour of Booktour
- Christina Dodd Treats You to an Extra Excerpt of IN BED WITH THE DUKE!
- GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Contest!
- Connie Brockway Posts Incriminating New Video
- SPOIL ME! BY CELEBRATING THE GOLDEN SEASON’S PUB DATE, TODAY!
- Teresa Says It Loud and Says It Proud: I WRITE ROMANCE NOVELS!!!
- CHRISTINA DODD SAYS “IT’S CHRISTMAS! DUCK!”
- Teresa Needs Your Help to Choose the SEXIEST MAN DEAD!
PEOPLE magazine recently named Johnny Depp the Sexiest Man Alive. What better time to choose the SEXIEST MAN DEAD? (And no--Edward Cullen does NOT qualify this time!) Let’s forget those hot guys with their minty fresh breath and pesky pulses for a little while and harken back to days (and men) gone by. I’m posting a few of my favorites to inspire you. (And let me say right off the bat before anyone forgets--SEAN CONNERY IS STILL ALIVE!!!)
Has there ever been a more swoon-worthy moment in cinematic history than the one where Scarlett O’Hara looked down that long, sweeping staircase to find Rhett Butler grinning up at her? Those sparkling eyes and that devilish grin can still take my breath away. Clark Gable could carry me up the stairs any day! (Or night!)
I’ve already gone on record as saying that the phone scene between Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE is the hottest love scene in history. There are no rumpled bedsheets. There are no naked, straining bodies. There’s simply George Bailey and Mary Hatch sharing a phone in her mother’s living room. An overtly hostile George is torn between his dream of escaping his hometown while there’s still time and his desperate desire for young Mary. I don’t have to tell you which one wins and in that moment when he drops the phone and grabs Mary, the chemistry between them is so sizzling it may very well melt your heart and your DVD player. There’s just something about a “nice guy” who seems so laid back but has such smoldering reserves of passion that I’ve always found irresistible.
As you can probably tell from my own passion for such actors as Russell Crowe and Clive Owen, I don’t mind a face that’s been lived in a little. I can’t even articulate why I find Humphrey Bogart so beautiful. He’s certainly not conventionally handsome, yet I could spend hours gazing at his face. It’s no wonder he became the love of 19-year-old Lauren Bacall’s life. I love CASABLANCA of course but KEY LARGO is one of my personal favorites.
Ah Jimmy Cagney! Another unconventional charmer who could play either angel or devil. You never knew for sure whether he was going to smash a grapefruit in your face or break into a rousing chorus of Yankee Doodle Dandy, but his energy and his appeal were undeniable.
If you like your men strong with a rolling gait and an unmistakable drawl, then John Wayne is the man for you. I grew up watching him in all of his different incarnations and no matter how old or paunchy he got, he never really lost his craggy charm. He was both a man’s man and a lady’s man and he made you feel as if you would always be safe in his arms. (And if you ever get a chance, watch a very young John Wayne in ANGEL AND THE BADMAN because it’s one of the most classic romances ever filmed.)
Beautiful and dangerous, James Dean was truly too fast to live and too young to die. Although he was only 24 at the time of his death in 1955, this fair-haired boy from Indiana blazed his signature on our psyches to become an American icon.
Ah Cary Grant ...there’s something timelessly irresistible about a man this gorgeous who can still laugh at himself.
Errol Flynn can swash my buckle any day!
Rock Hudson rocked our world (and Doris Day’s) in romantic comedies like PILLOW TALK, LOVER COME BACK and SEND ME NO FLOWERS.
The consummate gentleman in a world in desperate need of them, Gregory Peck used his smoldering good looks to make the world a better place.
Although he was undeniably hot, nobody has ever epitomized “cool” to both men and women like Steve McQueen.
So who would you pick as your own personal SEXIEST MAN DEAD? Pop on over to my Facebook page HERE and let me know!
Aside from Julian in my very own THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME, Spike from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is my all-time favorite vampire. (I started to say “fictional vampire”, then realized that would be redundant.) With or without a soul, Spike with his soulful eyes, biting wit, and self-deprecating humor could definitely tempt me to try love at first bite. (And my oh my, what about those cheekbones???!!!)
Spike (as portrayed by the incomparable James Marsters) arrived in Sunnydale early in the second season with his lunatic lover Druscilla in tow. Introduced as the definitive Big Bad, no one could have guessed his character’s journey would lead him to fall deeply and irrevocably in love with Buffy, proving just how quickly loathing can turn to love when one’s nemesis is a diminutive blonde with a martyr complex and a weakness for creatures of the night.
Their sizzling chemistry was explored in Season Four in the episode “Something Blue” when a heartbroken Willow inadvertantly cast a love spell on the vampire and the Slayer. To the horror of Buffy’s friends and family, Buffy and Spike begin to nuzzle each other’s necks and pick out china patterns for their wedding. In Spike’s piece de resistance, the Season Five episode “Fool for Love”, the pre-vampire Spike is revealed to have been a sensitive soul, something of a mama’s boy who was christened “Spike” and “William the Bloody” not because he was so fearsome but because he wrote poetry so bloody awful it made you want to drive a spike through your forehead. (What writer who has ever been reviewed by KIRKUS couldn’t identify with that?) This episode also revealed that by the 1980’s Spike had metamorphosed into a leather-clad vampire so preternaturally cool that Billy Idol stole his platinum locks and rebel’s snarl.
Spike won my heart for keeps at the end of this episode when he marched up to Buffy’s house with shotgun in hand, determined to purge his life and heart of the Slayer forever. Instead he ended up letting her cry on his shoulder while he awkwardly patted hers. More tingles ensued when Buffy and Spike finally consummated their attraction with a swoon-worthy kiss at the end of the legendary musical episode, “Once More with Feeling.”
What I’d like to know is: Who is YOUR favorite vampire of all-time? Do you prefer Angel’s Heathcliff-style brooding to Spike’s caustic sarcasm? Did Frank Langella’s smoldering DRACULA tempt you to leave your balcony door unlocked or would you prefer to have Gary Oldman’s untrimmed fingernails caressing your throat? Does Louis or Lestat light your fire? Do you prefer the laid-back Southern gentleman Bill from Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series or the cunning and elegant Jean-Claude from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books? In a fictional world where every vampire has a little bit of soul, who would YOU be most likely to greet at your front door with those two immortal words, “Bite me”???
For my last full blog for Squawk Radio, I couldn’t decide whether I should make it one of farewell, or of reminiscing, or of business-as-usual, this-is-what-I’m-thinking-about-today. Finally, I decided to go with that last, with the hope that what I’m thinking about today will include the other sentiments, as well. Because what I’m thinking about today is: What Should a Woman Strive to Be in Contemporary Culture?
Answer? Laila Ali.
Yep, that’s who we should all aspire to be. Something else I learned watching “Dancing with the Stars” (see blog of March 27) is that Laila Ali is strong, smart, talented, beautiful and proud, and she is unapologetic about being all those things. She likes herself. She likes her life. She is close to her family and is very much in love. More important, she respects herself. Maybe it’s a cliché--R-E-S-P-E-C-T and all that--but it’s true. We women need to stop beating ourselves up for all the things we’re not and start being proud of all the things we are.
We are strong. Emotionally, without question, thanks to putting up with all the crap we’ve had to put up with for generations. And if we’re not working to make ourselves physically strong, too, we damned well should be. Strap on some one-pound wrist and ankle weights and put a Richard Simmons video on. I guarantee you’ll see some muscles, and you’ll feel better, too.
We are smart. Being women in a man’s world, we’ve had to learn to live by our wits. We should never, ever, stop learning new things. Take a language course or pick up a musical instrument you’ve never played. Read outside your comfort zone. Rent some documentaries. Become smarter still.
We are talented. Immensely so. We have gifts both individual and universal that men can only dream about. We can multitask. We can communicate. We can share. We can create. We can nurture life, not just from out bodies, but in our families and communities. Go forth and share your talents and gifts--and yourself--with others.
We are beautiful. No matter who we are or where we come from or what we look like, we have immeasurable beauty within us. And when we reach inside ourselves to tap it, we absolutely glow. When we feel beautiful, we ARE beautiful. We should feel beautiful everyday and never let anyone make us feel like we’re not.
And we should be PROUD of being all those things. In-your-face, unapologetic proud, like Laila Ali. So that’s my final message piping out from Squawk Radio. Go be strong, everyone. Be smart. Be talented. Be beautiful.
Now tell me all the ways you guys are strong and smart and talented and beautiful. Brag and boast about who and what you are. What is it about yourself that you’re most proud of?
Liz has been teaching a writing workshop all week, so she’s taking a break from the music blog—which means you get an Eloisa Movie Blog! (OK, this is only issue #2, but I do love movies.) The problem is that I’m no expert, the way Liz is about music. In fact, I’ve only recently started to figure out just how important a director is to a film. Yeah, go ahead, laugh. I’ve been watching movies for years, and enjoying them—but never bothered too much about who the director happened to be.
Until last week. I was visiting a friend who proposed a Robert Altman marathon. I’ve heard of Robert Altman, though before last week I couldn’t have told you what his movies were. We started at the beginning, which meant I now know three of Altman’s earliest movies (then I had to return to NJ, where there are children, jobs and very little movie-watching time).
It’s fascinating to watch one director’s movies in a row! Has anyone else done this? By focusing on who directed a movie, you learn their quirks—the way Altman overlaps the dialogue, for example, and his idiosycratic, hysterically funny take on life. My two favorites from the movie marathon:
MASH. I guess I knew this was a movie, but I thought of it as a TV show. There’s no love story here, but the tale of three bad but brilliant boys fighting to save people’s lives has an inherent sexiness that I adored. I fell in love with all three of them. If you haven’t seen this ever or recently—watch it!
THE WEDDING. This is a wild, crazy, insane wedding. I loved it. In fact—I’m going to write it. My own Altman homage...coming to you in Georgian period dress!
Has anyone else ever done this? What directors are worth glomming onto and spending a whole Sunday watching?
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There is a lot of on-screen sex. Bare rears pumping, shots of boobs and torsos, legs intertwined, blah, blah. My reactions range anywhere from, “Ick, gross,” to, “Wow, that’s sexy,” to, “Hahahahaha!” Because sex, while a lot of fun in the doing, has the potential to be highly comedic.
But for real heat, nothing works like a well-done on-screen kiss. And by well-done, I mean the kind of kiss that quivers on the edge of erotica without ever going any farther than four lips meeting for the exchange of souls.
In the newest PBS version of JANE EYRE, do you remember the scene after Jane saves Mr. Rochester from the fire in his bed? They stand in silhouette against the firelight. He wraps a blanket around her shoulders. And they don’t kiss … they look at each other.
Right there on the couch, I froze, unable to move, my carbonated beverage halfway to my mouth, my eyes straining, while passion smolders between them. What makes it better is — she doesn’t know what is happening, she doesn’t know what to do — and he does. And he’s right there. He could seduce her. He wants to so badly, I could taste it. And he restrains himself.
If I had spilled my drink into my lap, steam would have risen.
Later, there was more, when he was trying to convince her to stay with him, but that one scene in silhouette is seared onto my eyeballs. Sexual tension is not about heaving bottoms. It’s about one man and one woman hovering on the edge of love, yearning for one thing and one thing only — each other. That is the kind of moment I always try to include in my books, one that leaves you breathless.
So in no particular order, here’s my very incomplete list of the best movie kisses.
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA At the end when she’s trying to get away to go with Raoul and she plants a good one on the Phantom and only one thought runs through the mind of every woman watching. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? GERARD BUTLER? YOU’RE LEAVING GERARD BUTLER FOR PRETTY BOY RAOUL? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FEEBLE GRASP ON REALITY? SO THE PHANTOM’S FACE IS A LITTLE MESSED UP! ALL CATS ARE GRAY IN THE DARK!
DON JUAN DE MARCO Early on, there is this scene with a woman in a restaurant. She’s obviously waiting for a man who doesn’t value her as he should, and Johnny Depp (dressed as Don Juan de Marco in a cape and a mask), sits down at her table. He kisses her fingers one by one while saying, “These women… have fingers, with the same sensitivities as their legs. The fingertips have the same feelings as their feet, and when you touch their knuckles, it is like passing your hands along their knees. And this, tender, fleshy part of the finger, is the same as brushing your hands along their thighs. And… finally...”
One word. Wowsa.
LAST OF THE MOHICANS DA! DA DA DAH DAH! DAH DAH DAH DAH! A hot kiss, a great theme, and a fabulous line delivered by an intense Daniel Day-Lewis.
“What are you looking at, sir?”
“I’m looking at you, miss.”
The kiss at the end of A&E’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE — okay, it’s barely even a real kiss, but the lead-up is six hours of Colin Firth brooding over Miss Elizabeth Bennett. Talk about a build-up of sexual tension that can only be released by … one … thing!
And, oh man, let’s never forget that moment on the piano in PRETTY WOMAN.
I wrote some great sex in IN BED WITH THE DUKE. But I was most proud of the kisses they shared. “This wasn’t some tentative, inexperienced press of lips to lips. This was a swashbuckling kiss. This was a passionate kiss. This kiss was running through an exotic jungle, splashing into a warm, tempestuous sea, stepping into the storm outside and inviting the lightning to strike and set her ablaze. The wind from the open window swirled around them, wet and cool, lifting the hem of her nightgown and tangling it around his boots. Emma strained against him, absorbing this man’s love of adventure, of justice, and of … her? His lips parted hers, his tongue swept into her mouth. He tasted her and wordlessly invited her to taste him, his soul, his being.”
“> What movie kisses have been so hot that you melted in your chair? What almost-kisses seared the scene onto your eyeballs? What do you think makes the difference between a kiss that makes you toss popcorn into the air and try to catch it in your mouth and one that makes you buy the DVD just so you can run it over and over and over …?
It hardly seems fair to let Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and the other “Big Boys” get all of the swoons so today I bring you some “new” lovely, interesting men who have recently tracked on my radar. Enjoy!
No one can accuse Oliver Hudson of not having a great pedigree. He’s the son of Goldie Hawn and 70’s music star Bill Hudson and the brother of adorable actress Kate Hudson. With those genes, it’s no wonder he’s so pretty! He’s currently starring on the CBS sitcom RULES OF ENGAGEMENT with deliciously snarky David Spade and the hilarious Patrick Warburton (Reminder him as David Puddy from SEINFELD?)
Once I got past that whole Marky Mark/rapping/Calvin Klein underwear model thing, I realized what an excellent actor Mark Wahlberg was. (He nabbed an Oscar nomination for his scorching portrayal of a Boston cop who speaks profanity as if it were a second language in THE DEPARTED this year.) He was absolutely adorable in THE ITALIAN JOB and he still has some of the best biceps in the business.
I’d watched illusionist Criss Angel on A&E’s CRISS ANGEL: MINDFREAK before but I didn’t pay that much attention to him until an observant reader wrote and told me they thought he’d make a wonderful Julian in THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME. Hmmm....that certainly got my attention. Nobody can deny that the guy has a pretty face and charisma to burn. So if you like your men a little “freaky”, Criss Angel just might be the magic man for you!
I’ve always been a Lex Luthor woman myself. Tom Welling as Clark Kent has always been just a shade too pretty and clean cut for me. But when I saw him go all “bad boy” during a recent SMALLVILLE episode after he tasted some Red Kryptonite right off of Lois Lane’s lips, I began to see him in a whole new light! A very hot, sizzling light!
I always thought it was odd that soft-spoken, bespectacled Carmine Giovinazzo on CSI: NEW YORK made my pulse race until he was voted one of the Sexiest Men on TV and I realized it wasn’t just me. I don’t know if it’s his unassuming manner, his tough guy past, his soulful eyes or that fabulous New York accent but there’s just something about his character of Danny Messer that makes me want to hop a plane to Manhattan. (Picture Teresa biting tongue to keep from finishing with obvious pun.)
So how about you? Have you discovered any new hotties lately or taken a fresh look at someone who never caught your eye before?
(And if you’re coming late to Squawk today, make sure and scroll down to read a message from a real-life romance hero )
And just for fun, here are some of your suggestions as afternoon additions!
Eddie Cahill from CSI: NEW YORK
George Eads from CSI
Ioan Gruffudd from HORATIO HORNBLOWER, THE FANTASTIC FOUR and AMAZING GRACE
Toby Stephens, the most recent incarnation of Mr. Rochester from BBC’s JANE EYRE
I’m still swooning over all of your wonderful nominations last week for the MOST ROMANTIC TV SHOW. You made me pine for Sam and Diane’s chemistry, Dave and Maddy’s rapid-fire banter and the delicious chemistry between Mulder and Scully. So today it’s my pleasure to bring you our MOST ROMANTIC TV SHOW poll!
There were a limited amount of selections I could add to the poll so if you don’t see your favorite, don’t let it break your heart. ALL of last week’s suggestions were much enjoyed and appreciated.
And perhaps my next question should be: IF YOU COULD BE THE HEROINE ON ANY ONE OF THESE SHOWS, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE???