Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Guest Blogger Kelley St. John

Kelley St. John has always been a good friend to the Playfriends, and we're so excited to have her back on the Playground! Kelley's new series from Blaze is hot, hot, hot, and we're loving each book. She's here today to talk about the series and what scares us, so give Kelley a big welcome to the blog.

(You can check out her earlier Playground visits and get to know Kelley a bit better in the Sandbox archives.)

Some like it hot. Some like it hot…and spooky.

I’m so excited to be guest blogging on the Playground today! Thanks so much for having me! And first and foremost, I want to congratulate Kira Sinclair, one of the amazing Playfriends, on her recent Blaze sale. I’m thrilled to have a fellow Blaze Babe hanging out on the playground, and I am SO looking forward to see where each of the Playfriends land in the publishing world. It won’t be long until you’ll see all of your friends on the shelves, and like me, you can grab those books pronto!

Okay, now to today’s blog topic – quick – what movie is this from?

“I see dead people.”

(imagine Jeopardy music here)

I bet you didn’t need the first two beats of the Jeopardy music to answer that one, did you? Since the movie The Sixth Sense grossed over $600 million worldwide, chances are you saw it and immediately thought of Haley Joel Osmont speaking those now famous words.

While I didn’t know it at the time, those words and that movie generated the premise for my first Harlequin Blaze mini-series, The Sexth Sense, a series about a Cajun family whose heritage involves helping ghosts who can’t find their way to the other side. All of the current Vicknair mediums (six cousins—three boys, three girls) are in their twenties, at the peak of their lives, and to-die-for sexy (this is a Blaze series, so you know there’s lots of sexy going on.) Oh, but don’t think that the sizzle stops with the family; those ghosts have plenty of heat going on as well.

I’ve had a blast writing about the Vicknair family and using my knowledge of Louisiana and Cajuns (I’m married to one, btw) to depict the beauty of the state that faced so much devastation not so long ago with Katrina. In fact, a thread that runs solid throughout the series is the family’s beloved plantation, which was nearly destroyed by Katrina, and their determination to save the home from destruction.

Here’s the movie trailer for the first three books in the series (three come out this year, and three more next year)…

Let me know what you think of the book teaser!

Now for my questions to you: I love intense, spooky movies, but I don’t like gory. Examples of my favorites are The Sixth Sense (Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osmont) and What Lies Beneath (Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer). And I’m always looking for great books and movies that are along that line. So…tell me your favorite books and movies that are intense and spooky (but not gory; I do like to sleep at night). I’d love to add your favorites to my “to be read” and “to be seen” lists.

Kelley St. John

Kelley will be dropping in all day, so be sure to comment, ask questions, etc. As always, we'll be giving away a book to one lucky commenter!


PC here. Guest bloggers and other special events will keep me from having a regular blog for several weeks, so I'll be taking over Saturday this week. Be sure to come by, because in addition to your dose of PC, I'll be announcing all the blog winners from assorted Scotland-related contests!


Playground Monitor said...

"Wait Until Dark" with Audrey Hepburn never fails to have me jumping from my seat even though I've seen it numerous times and know exactly what happens.

I love the trailer! You need to give lessons on how to make those.


Lis said...

I'm not much of a gore fan either, trying to think of the ones I could sit through. I Know What You Did Last Summer. Valentine with David Boreanaz. That's about the only 2 I could think of.

That's an awesome trailer. :o)

LadyVampire said...

The Sexth Sense series sounds awesome and I definitely need to get ahold of those books. I really like books that have that paranormal twist in them. Also love the trailer.
As for suggestions of movies, you might want to try Stir of Echoes with Kevin Bacon, Dragonfly with Kevin Costner, and The Green Mile with Tom Hanks.
Books I would suggest are Charlaine Harris's Harper Connelly Maysties series which starts with Grave Sight, and some of Dean Koontz's books although some of them can be a little gory so beware of that.

Kelley St. John said...

Hey PM --
I'd love to give you lessons on making trailers. It's really a blast (and VERY easy)!

Excited to be here,


Kelley St. John said...

I'm making a list of these movies and books -- this is going to be OH SO FUN!!! Thanks, PM, Lis and LadyVampire :)

BTW, after writing my blog post, I headed to the movies with the Sexy Cajun for date night. We were going to see Ocean's 13, but after we got there, we learned the theater had posted the wrong show times on the site. It wasn't playing until two hours later.

We asked what was about to start, and they said 1408. I didn't know what 1408 was, so I asked, "Is that one good? Who's in it?"

Answer from girl who should have told me more -- "John Cusack."

From me -- "Oh, I LOVE him!"

Bought the tickets. Was scared to death. And, the worst part, I couldn't leave the thing once it started, because any ending I'd have come up with in my mind was going to be WAY worse than the real thing.

I made it through the movie. Oh, and I'm posting this in the middle of the night, because I'm NOT sleeping. Need I say more?

Kelley, definitely not much for the REAL scary stuff -- and 1408 is REALLY scary

Nini :) said...

Hi Kelley!

The clip looks fabulous! I'll be heading out to nab the newest book today. Very sexy!!

I don't like scary stuff..well not too scary. I like things that make you think and i prefer some sexy romance in both stories and movies...

DH watches those, he loves to be scared, and i love to scare him while he's watching the DVD...i'll come up behind him quietly and tap him on his shoulder. Makes me hysterical when he jumps!

One of my favorite movies is The Abyss...Not scary at all, but just oh so good. Same goes for Ghost.

I like classic horror movies. The old Frankenstein movies, Dracula, Nosferatu, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Those kinds of movies...

But i love the new vampire stories that have been coming out lately. JR Ward, Sherri Kenyon, Lara Adrian...just to name a few.

Nini :)

Anonymous said...

The Sexth Series sounds great. This is the first I've heard of them and I 'll be watching for all of them.

Theresa N.

Angel said...

Well, if 1408 is that scary, I'll definitely have to watch it... I love scary movies.

Another John Cusack one, really psychological without too much gore, is Identity. One of my faves...

Jen said...

Great trailer, Kelley! The books look GREAT!!! Nope. Don't do gore. Not really fond of spooky. This is old, old, old, but I love The Jagged Edge.

Kimberly L said...

Great trailer and book. I seen The Sixth Sense. Good movie. Not a big horror movie fan. Whenever I watch horror movies I have my face hidden in my hubby's chest. LOL

Problem Child said...

Love, love, love John Cusack--have since the day he held a boombox over his head to seranade the girl...

But 1408 sounds kinda scary...

Kelley St. John said...

Oh Wow, this movie and reading list is getting really good! And I've got the Blockbuster Total Access thing now, so I can just line them up in my queue and let them come in the mail. How cool is that?

Jen -- guess what's in my DVD right now? The Jagged Edge. Very cool movie indeed!


Smarty Pants said...

I don't do scary or gory. I can tolerate a thriller with the occasional make you jump moment, but that's it.

As for movies, the Mothman Prophesies comes to mind, made all the more creepy by the fact that its based on a true story. Has Richard Gere in it.

The Blair Witch Project was very scary, but interesting because it showed nothing. The stuff in your head was far worse than anything they could show, so they just left it to the imagination. That one scarred me, I think.

I'm drawing a blank on anything else.

Instigator said...

I don't do scary...or gory. I'm a wuss when it comes to stuff like that.

I do remember watching one movie in high school that absolutely scared the snot out of me...I think the title was Fire in the Sky. Of course my reaction could have been influenced by the fact that we were watching the movie in the middle of the night in a deserted house by ourselves. Teenagers :-)

I'm reading Ghosts and Roses right now... It's fabulous! I can't wait for Shiver and Spice. I have to say I'm pretty partial to that cover :-)

And thank you for welcoming me to the Blaze Babes :-) I'm so exicted to be part of this line!


Playground Monitor said...

I just thought of another good movie -- sort of a psychological thriller. It's called "A Murder of Crows" and has Cuba Gooding Jr. It has a decidedly nice twist at the end. I caught it by accident on cable once. And "Memento" is another one that's very twist-y.

M. Night Shayamalan (I had to go look that up :grin: ) has some other good movies besides "Sixth Sense." "Signs" with Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix is good and "The Village" with Bryce Dallas Howard is excellent. I thought it was going to be a horror film because of part of the previews, but it's more psychological instead.


Kathy said...

Welcome to the playground, Kelley!

Wow! These are all great suggestions. I'm chiming in late here. The first movie that came to my mind was Stir of Echoes (so creepy). Lady in the Water, loved What Lies Beneath, Identity was good and you'll never guess the ending, The Shining stays with me always, The Sentinel (made in the 70's and oh, so weird, but the ending is perfect), The Ninth Gate with Johnny Depp, Bram Stoker's Dracula-youza!, and there was this French film about werewolves that was sooo great. I had to read suptitles but I didn't even mind. It was that good. Wish I could remember the name of it. What about the movie, Wolf with Jack Nicholson and Michele Pheifer? Oh yeah! Slightly gory but lots of sexual tension. Eye of the Beholder with Ewan MacGregor and Ashley Judd. And let us not forget the movie of all time, Psycho!!!! I was unable to take a shower for two years and afterward had to have a clear curtain.

Love the trailer, Kelley! You never cease to amaze!


Kelley St. John said...

Oooh, speaking of Ashley Judd, I loved Double Jeopardy. That line, "I could shoot you in the middle of Mardi Gras, and they can't touch me," hooked me!


Stacy S said...

The new series sounds great. I read alot by Kay Hooper. The Bischop series. There about psychic FBI agents. Really good.

tetewa said...

One of my favorites was the original When a Stranger Calls with Carol Kane. I was afraid to babysit for years. A new release that I saw about a month ago was Vacancy with Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale. This movie was very intense and makes you think twice about staying in small town hotels.

Kelley St. John said...

Oooh, Vacancy sounds like one I need to check out. I adore Luke Wilson. Will put that on the Blockbuster queue now ;)


Sue A. said...

If you liked Sixth Sense... Then you'll like The Others (2001) with Nicole Kidman and The Changeling (1980) with George C. Scott.

I'm a huge fan of Dean Koontz. You can't go wrong picking up one of his many many books.

Smarty Pants said...

The Others was really good - one of those movies you have to watch twice because when it ends, like Sixth Sense, you go - no way! How could I not notice that?? So you watch it again. Very creepy, but not at all gory.

So, Kelley, a question for you now...without spoiling the books of course...a HEA with six different couples where one just happens to be dead. I can't fathom how that would be resolved - especially for each book to end differently. Was it hard for you to come up with an answer to this challenge?

Kelley St. John said...

Smarty Pants said...
So, Kelley, a question for you now...without spoiling the books of course...a HEA with six different couples where one just happens to be dead. I can't fathom how that would be resolved - especially for each book to end differently. Was it hard for you to come up with an answer to this challenge?

Ooooh, Smarty Pants -- GREAT question! The six scenarios were tough, but I defined them from the get-go, so I knew heading into writing the series what the defining factor was for each. The book that is out now, Ghosts and Roses, actually has a hero and heroine that are both breathing ;) The ghostly factor in that book is that Gage's assigned ghost was murdered and won't cross until she makes certain that the killer doesn't get to her friends. One of the friends happens to be the heroine, which really made for an intense storyline. I loved writing it!

Shiver and Spice, the book that comes out in September, does have a ghost as 1/2 of my couple -- but again, it's handled differently than Kiss and Dwell. The book I'm working on right now will be released next May and is Tristan's story. That one deals with an evil ghost, and that's all I'll give away for now :)

Thanks for asking!

Pat L. said...

Yes, Wait Until Dark was great. I am always jumping out of my seat at scary movies. I dont like violence.

From the t.v. trailer, 1408 looks very scray, Kelley.

The Sixth Sense was v.g. Never saw Psycho, can you believe?

Maureen said...

I don't like gory movies but I did watch and enjoy Silence of the Lambs.

ChristyJan said...

I don't like gory movies either.

Some of my favorite scary movies are: The Birds, Ghost Story, and the original House on Haunted Hill.

jenn m said...

I love scary movies. A good movie recently was blood and chocolate. it really wasn't scary more of a love story.

Kelley St. John said...

Okay, now I'm wanting to watch movies...and I've got a book to finish first ;)

Thanks so much for all the great insight! My Blockbuster queue is looking mighty spooooooooky!


Kelley St. John said...

I enjoyed blogging with all of you! Thanks again, playfriends, for having me!!!


Anonymous said...

i can watch some scary movies, you books look hot. great covers.