Review of Must See Movies for 2016

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2016 is going to be an epic year for movies!!! Or so I thought!

So for the last couple of years I’ve put out a list of movies I thought would be awesome for the following year. Yet I rarely review them afterward. So I am now. You’re welcome. I know that some of my views will not be popular, but hey, they’re mine and that’s all I can say. So I thought 2016 would be a banner year for amazing movies. I was super excited! And mostly disappointed. So, here goes. My reviews of the movies I most anticipated in 2016. POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD! You’ve been warned!!!

20. Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur

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This movie didn’t actualy release so I can’t yet give it a review. At least I think it hasn’t released!

19. Rogue One РA Star Wars Story

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Sigh… Rogue One! What a let down. I am a Huge Star Wars fan! People who know me, know that! But this movie… ugh… There was no character depth. No backstory. No setup. Nothing. The only ones I cared about were the robot and two of the secondary characters. And they all died! All of them! No one made it out! That’s just not cool. And very boring. There was none of the magic the original Star Wars movies had. No Jedi. No Lightsabers. No witty banter. It just all fell flat ūüôĀ So sad.

18. Deadpool

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I have to say in all honesty, I didn’t watch it. Why? Because my husband and kids did and even my kids who are HUGE Deadpool fans said the movie sucked. So… I didn’t see it. Too bad.

17.¬†Assassin’s Creed

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I was super excited for this movie! I went to see it and Bam! I spent the first half of the movie asking what the freak was going on! Seriously! I did not get it. Neither did my girls. Then, by the second half I was like, yeah I sort of get it. And by the end I was like, Okay the parkour and fight scenes were great, but I still don’t understand everything. I saw it a second time and it made a lot more sense but still there were things that were really vague. All in all, it was good. But they could have spent a bit more time helping those of us who haven’t played the game yet understand what the heck was going on!

16.¬†Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Tim Burton is one of my top 3 filmakers in Hollywood. However in the last 8 years or so his quality has been really iffy. So when I saw this was coming out I had high hopes, but didn’t hold my breath. And after having seen it I have to say, I liked it. I don’t think it’s Tim Burton’s Opus as others claimed. I still think Nightmare Before Christmas is the best movie he ever produced and Edward Scissorhands is a close second followed by Beetlejuice. But this was definetly a refreshing throw back to those older Tim Burton movies that I adored.

15. Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find them

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I went into this movie with extremely low expectations, but Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander stole my heart. He was so sweet and so genuine that his performance was oscar worthy in my opinion. The plot was okay. The graphics were great but it was Eddie that really made the movie shine. I loved his entire performance and would watch it again just because of him. The plot was predictable at best and honestly the one thing that really ruined the whole movie for me was Johny Depp at the end. I really had hoped for someone else. Just about anyone else. I’m kind of over his stale performances.

14. Jason Bourne

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I have to be honest, I have not yet seen this one. I need to get on that.

13. The Hateful Eight

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Again, I put off seeing this one. Not sure why. I just didn’t get around to it. I need to though.

12. Moana

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Loved it! This was a beautifully done movie. Dwayne Johnson was funny as ever. The plot was great. The visuals, the laughs, all of it. I really loved this movie. Well done Disney. This was how I had hoped the movie Brave would be, but wasn’t. This did the Polynesian people proud.

11. Independence Day

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I have to be honest, due to all the terrible reviews I could not bring myself to watch this. They were terrible, and apparently so was this movie. I just have no interest anymore.

10. Gambit

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This one didn’t release but I still reserve the same thoughts I had before. Channing Tatum is no Gambit. I hope this one doesn’t suck.

9. Star Trek Beyond

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This one was a let down. I loved the new character Jayla but other than that, it was the same old same old predictable plot for a Star Trek Movie. Which is sad because I have loved the last 2 they did. But this one fell short for me. From Spock and his girlfirend fighting to the villian being a Star Fleet Officer to everything. Just, predictable. I hate that.

8. BFG

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Again, I didn’t see this one because the reviews weren’t good. I plan on seeing it because I loved this story as a child, but it was in and out of the theaters so fast I just didn’t get a chance.

7. The Jungle Book

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Another movie that has great visuals but lacked everywhere else. There were things about it that they did that I really did not like, especially the ending when Mougli sets everything on fire. But it was great visually.

6. Batman vs. Superman

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This movie got a lot of flack but I personally didn’t think it was terrible. I loved Wonder Woman. Didn’t understand the weird dream sequences and thought the fight scenes were good. I even liked the acting. Except for Jessie Eisenberg as Luther. I didn’t like him at all. I am fully on Superman’s side in this one, BTW. And thought Batman was a jerk, not unlike Tony Stark in Civil War. But all in all, though it’s not a movie I’m dying to watch again, I didn’t hate it.

5. X-men: Apocalypse

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I soooooo wanted to love this movie! I LOVE X-Men. They are one, if not my most, favorite franchise. But this one fell short. The bad guys didn’t talk. They were killed off of defeated too quickly. Their storylines were vague at best. I just didn’t really care for this one. Sorry.

4. Dr. Strange

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This was a great movie. Not an amazing movie, but a great movie. My favorite character was the cape. I had hoped for more though. I had hoped to see more magic in it and more magic graphics and training and learning but we didn’t. We got some, but not as much as I’d hoped. It was a good movie though and I’d watch it again.

3. Suicide Squad

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Again, this was a movie that got a lot of bad reviews but I was pleasantly pleased with it. No, it is nothing like the graphic novels, but it was good. And as a romance author, I just loved the twisted Harley Quinn/Joker storyline. It was twisted and amazing. Jared Leto played the Joker like we’ve never seen him before and it was great and new and refreshing. I even liked Will Smith as Deadshot. I think a lot of the characters in the squad were under utilized, but hey, in a big squad not everyone can shine. Jsut ask Hawkeye and Black Widow.

2. Captain America: Civil War

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Best Movie Of The Year!!! This movie rocked! I saw it 5 times in the theater. Yes, it is that good. Everything about it was awesome. The fight scenes. The banter. The fight scenes. Captain America and Bucky. The cameos. All of it. Black Panther and Spiderman stole the show. I didn’t expect to like Black Panther but he was so awesome! And Spiderman was he perfect blend of goofy kid and great hero. I loved this one. Loved it!

1. Warcraft

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I waited 10 years for an amazing Warcraft movie… and I’m still waiting. On the surface this movie was pretty good. But not great and not amazing. All of the characters were flat. They had no backstory and nothing to really tie us to them. It was rushed and there was no build with the characters, again, so we couldn’t really root for them. I feel like there were so many storylines they could have gone with and so much content out there that it should have been amazing. They could have gone the LOTR or DragonLance route with it on a epic adventure showing you all of WoW. Or they could have done a war like they did but start out showing the lands and how the Orcs were dying off and then them being called and going through the portal and everything, but again, they cut that out and didn’t do it. There was just so much they could have done to make this a real story, and they relied on the visuals instead of the storyline to carry them through. I’m kind of tired of movies doing that. All visuals, no plot.

So what do you think? Did you see these movies? Let me know. And stay tuned for the new 2017 list this week of movies I’m excited for!

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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21 Days of Halloween Countdown Best Halloween Decorations

One thing I love most about Halloween is all the cool decorations. I have more Halloween decorations than I do Christmas decorations! I just love them. If it was up to me I’d leave my decorations up all year. But since I can’t, I just have a section of my house that is always decorated with Halloween stuff. It’s the bar between my living room and my family room. And it’s lots of fun. My kids call it our Harry Potter area.

So what are my favorite things to decorate with for Halloween? Well here are 5 of my favorites.

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5. Specimen jars and Potions

I love Specimen jars and potions! I have them everywhere. They’re creepy and cool and easy to put together. You can get jars from thrift stores, reuse jars from groceries, or buy them online. Then you just need some labels and stuff to put inside.

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4. Spider Webs and Spiders

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do spiders. I hate spiders. There are very few things worse than spiders. Except, scorpions, and clowns. Those are worse. But I digress. There are two houses in my area that stand out with spiders. One covers the entire front yard and giant tree in one huge web. It must take forever and it looks amazing! The other puts up over 1000 spiders inside their whole house. When you trick or treat there and they open the door every surface is covered in spiders. It’s so creepy.

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3. Skeletons

I love skeletons. And I love all the new skeletons that companies are coming out with. Dogs, Birds, Snakes, Frogs, Bats, You name it. And they are tons of fun to put both inside and outside of the house. You are only limited by your imagination.

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2. Pumpkins

Sometimes I look at what we do to pumpkins and think it’s a waste. They are food after all. But I have started collecting reusable pumpkins. I love the new striped, dotted, glittery and fabric. I love them all. Fat, squat, tall, funny shaped, you name it. And when we do carve real ones and I’m done with them I cook them up for butter or pie or other yummy stuff!

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1. Signage

I love cool signs, funny signs, signs that point the way to my favorite fantasy places. Signs are a great way to add to any Halloween display. Whether big or small, they are lots of fun.

So what are some of your favorite things to decorate with? Tell me.

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

Are you a member of my newsletter? Join HERE for a FREE E-book!

21 Day Countdown to Halloween! Ten Scary Books for Halloween

I read a post the other day about the top best Horror books of the 21st century. And it got me thinking of the scariest books I’ve ever read. I don’t read horror anymore, but I used to read it when I was in high school and college, so I get that some of these might be oldies, but it doesn’t make them any less horrifying! So here are my top picks for scary books to read for Halloween.

It by Stephen King
It took me 3 tries to get through that book. It seriously scared the crap out of me. Now the ending wasn’t as I’d hoped it would be but the book is never the less a scary one. Of course Stephen King is the master of horror so what do you expect?

The Stand by Stephen King
Now, I know today this wouldn’t seem as scary. With all we know about biological weapons, they seem pretty much common place. From mutagens, to dirty bombs, they are everywhere. But back in 1992 when I read this book, the idea that a super virus could spread by just someone sneezing on you, let’s just say I was paranoid for MONTHS!!!! I loved this book. It is one of my two Stephen King favorites, but it scared the crap out of me back then.

Dracula by Bram Stoker
This book is not for kids! My daughter asked me if she could read it and so I read it and I was freaked out. It was dark, it was scary and it was awesome! I loved it! If you want a great scary classic, read this one. It’s worth it.

Grimm’s Fairytales
Have you ever read those things? They are seriously¬†messed up! Originally the princesses weren’t all happy and light and their stories didn’t come with happy endings. Some are really dark and gory. Some are sad and tragic. But most of them are pretty scary actually when you think about them. And if you want to get even darker read the origin stories that the Grimm stories came from!

Anything Edgar Allen Poe

Literally anything. You could pick up any of his stories and be scared. Fall of the House of Ushers, The Pit and the Pendulum, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Tell Tale Heart. All of them are enough to give you chills. Poe is one of my all time favorites and he’s scary as hell.

Anyone of these books is enough to get your blood chilling and have you looking over your shoulder when you climb the stairs at night! So tell me, what are your favorite scary books? Which do you love the most? And if you want to see an article about the best scary books in the last 200 years, go here:

http://www.the-line-up.com/40-scariest-books-of-the-last-200-years/

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite
Are you a member of my newsletter? Join HERE for a FREE E-book!

21 Days of Halloween Countdown Best Halloween Werewolf Movies

So a few years ago I started trying to figure out what my favorite Werewolf movie was and was sad and shocked to find, that there are very few werewolf movies I have actually liked!

Underworld, is my most favorite movie with werewolves, but other than that, as I went through the werewolf movies I have seen, there were very, very few that I would say I actually really liked.

A werewolf movie came out in 2014 called Wolves. I watched it for one reason and one reason alone. Jason Momoa. Lucas Till is in it and he is one of my least favorite actors but I said, for Jason, I will give this a shot. Don’t. It’s not worth it. Unless, you are going in just¬†to see Jason Momoa as eye candy. Then it’s worth it. He is so evil it’s awesome. But the story sucked and the graphics made them look like giant fuzzy kittens.

In 2007 I was so anxious for the movie Blood & Chocolate to come out in theaters. I had seen the previews and was squealing with delight at finally having a great werewolf movie. It had Hugh Dancy and Olivier Martinez, both of whom I liked. Yet sadly, I was depressed with the outcome. The movie was a let down. Not a total letdown, but a moderately big one. So again, I will rank this on the list of werewolf movies out there, but don’t expect to come away feeling like you got an awesome werewolf movie.

In 2011 I waited with baited breath¬†for Red Riding Hood to be¬†released! Again! I was ecstatic for the movie to come out and couldn’t wait to see it. The visuals looked stunning, the story interesting. It had Gary Oldman for Pete’s sake!! And I like Amanda Seyfried. But again, I was let down. The holes in the story were enough to turn me off. Even though I wished so hard for the movie to be awesome. Some of the twists were good. Gary Oldman was totally evil. The love story was sweet and there was action, but it didn’t live up to the hype for me.

Sigh…

So when I went to find an awesome werewolf movie, there was only one that I could think of, that met my expectations. No, it is not the New Wolfman from 2010. As much as Anthony Hopkins has been one of my favorite actors since Silence of the Lambs, I refuse to even review that movie because it would hurt my soul to say something bad about him.

The one movie that I loved. The one movie that I thought was a great performance of werewolves in today’s society was, Wolf. Yes, the 1994 Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfieffer, James Spader movie. How could one ever forget Jack Nicholson marking his territory in the bathroom? Plus the special effects were very well done and quite believable. Though I do not write my werewolves to still be in human form when they wolf out. I think the movie did an awesome job of it. I don’t think they could have put together a better cast with a better script.

Another shout out I’m going to give is not a werewolf movie but a shifter movie. LadyHawke. Michelle Pfieffer and Rutger Hauer. It a beautiful love story set in a fantasy world about two cursed lovers. It is not horror nor is it really even a werewolf movie, but it is a shifter movie and a great one at that. Plus is has a young Matthew Brodrick in it.

So if you’re going to watch a Werewolf movie, I recommend Wolf or Underworld. There is nothing sexier than an Alph Male protecting his mate. And there’s nothing better than a werewolf movie with a real plot!

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

Are you a member of my newsletter? Join HERE for a FREE E-book!

21 Days of Halloween Countdown Best Halloween Treats

Welcome Back!!!

I love fall and the fall season. I love the smells and the colors and the foods. I love it all. Unfortunately, I live in Southern California now so I only get two seasons. Hot and not as hot. But I grew up in Virginia and Idaho so I know what seasons are supposed to look like! 

One of my favorite things in the world is food. Food and treats! For six months, fall through early spring you can bet I’ll be at Panera Bread company once a week having a bowl of Autumn Squash Soup. It is my favorite! Now I will be the first to admit I like pumpkin, but I don’t love everything pumpkin. So I thought I’d put together a list of five awesome Halloween treats to try out!

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5. Halloween Bark – Fun Halloween Food

Halloween bark is fun and colorful. I made some Christmas bark last year and my kids almost died of happiness! This one is super easy to make and a little bit goes a long way. 

  • 1 lb white chocolate melts
  • Variety of Halloween food sprinkles
  • 1 cup Pretzels
  • 12 Oreos, orange and black
  • 1 1/2 cups Candy corn
  • Candy eyeballs

First, you put a wax sheet in your pan. Then lay down a thin layer of white bark. Next put in your broken up Oreos and pretzels. Cover them with more white chocolate. You don’t want to spread it around because you’ll get the Oreo dust everywhere and it looks terrible. So be sure to pour it. Then sprinkle on the candy corn, and sprinkles. Lastly place the eyeballs all around so when you break it up there are one or two in every piece.¬†

You can also do this with chex mix or popcorn balls!

 

4. Gooey Monster Cookies!

  • ¬†1 White Cake Mix Box
  • ¬Ĺ cup butter softened
  • ¬Ĺ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 8 oz. Cream Cheese Bar softened
  • 1 egg
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Food Coloring ( NEON food coloring makes them more vibrant)
  • Candy Eyeballs
Beat butter, vanilla, egg and cream cheese until fluffy. Then mix in cake mix. Divide into bowls for different colors and add food coloring. Chill for about 30 minutes then roll into balls (I like to to use my melon baller) and dip into powdered sugar before baking. Smoosh them down a little on the baking sheet. Do NOT add the eyeballs yet or they will burn. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, then add the eyeballs while the cookies are still warm and gooey ūüôā

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3. Caramel Apple Dippers

Now, if you are like me, you like to do as little prep work as possible. So this is totally for us! Get caramel and sprinkles and candy corn and marshmallows and crushed cookies and anything else your kids and you like, and put them in paper bowls. Slice up Granny Smith Apples and grab some skewers and you are good to go for apple dippin’ fun!

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2. Mummy Dogs!

My kids love these! You can do them with hot dogs of any kind, small Vienna sausages, giant bratwurst, you name it! 

1 (11 oz) can refrigerated breadstick dough
2 slices cheddar cheese, quartered 
8 hot dogs
black mustard seeds (or poppy seeds)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place one cheddar cheese slice on your hot dog. Then wrap each dog to look like a mummy, leaving an area for the eyes. Cut two tiny slits and push in two black mustard seeds for eyes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.

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1. Spider Infested Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now I will tell you! I am NOT a spider person! When I first saw these I thought – No way! I think they are so cool, but seriously I do not know if I could do them. I think they would be fun to do as a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie though.

  • 1 cup of butter or margarine softened
  • ¬ĺ cup of white sugar
  • ¬ĺ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • ¬Ĺ tsp of water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2¬ľ cup of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • ¬Ĺ cup of chocolate chips for decorating

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix¬†everything together. Drop a rounded teaspoon onto a greased or lined baking sheet. ( I like to use a melon baller) ¬†Make sure there are a few chocolate chips on the top of each cookie to make your spiders. Then bake for 10-12 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool and while they are cooling melt some chocolate chips on the stove or in the microwave until they are smooth. Place the melted chocolate in a piping bag or a squeeze bottle or a small plastic bag with a tiny tip cut out of it. Then pipe the legs onto the chips along with a head. If you want to get completely creative you can pipe webbing too, but I’m not that good ūüôā

So what are your favorite halloween treats? Tell me, show me, let me know so I can try them for myself! You can follow me on Pinterest for more of my Halloween ideas!

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Remember to come back tomorrow for more 21 days of Halloween!

Welcome To Monster Mondays! Best Werewolf Movies

So I started trying to figure out what my favorite Werewolf movie is and was sad and shocked to report, that there are very few werewolf movies I have actually liked!

Underworld, is my first favorite movie with werewolves, but other than that, as I went through the werewolf movies I have seen, there were very, very few that I would say I actually really liked.

In 2007 I was so anxious for the movie Blood & Chocolate to come out in theaters. I had seen the previews and was squealing with delight at finally having a great werewolf movie. And sadly, I was depressed with the outcome. The movie was a let down. Not a total letdown, but a moderately big one.

In 2011 I waited with baited breath¬†for Red Riding Hood to be¬†released! Again! I was ecstatic for the movie to come out and couldn’t wait to see it. The visuals looked stunning, the story interesting. But again, I was let down. The holes in the story were enough to turn me off. Even though I wished so hard for the movie to be awesome.

Sigh…

So when I went to find an awesome werewolf movie, there was only one that I could think of, that met my expectations. No, it is not the New Wolfman from 2010. As much as Anthony Hopkins has been one of my favorite actors since Silence of the Lambs, I refuse to even review that movie because it would hurt my soul to say something bad about him.

The one movie that I loved. The one movie that I thought was a great performance of werewolves in today’s society was, Wolf. Yes, the 1994 Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfieffer, James Spader movie. How could one ever forget Jack Nicholson marking his territory in the bathroom? Plus the special effects were very well done and quite believable. Though I do not write my werewolves to still be in human form when they wolf out. I think the movie did an awesome job of it.

So if you’re going to watch a Werewolf movie, I recommend Wolf or Underworld. There is nothing sexier than an Alph Male protecting his mate.

Monster Monday – When is Unusual just Ridiculous?

This season I’ve started to branch out. There are so many amazing stories being released about Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies, but I really started thinking, what else is out there?   To my surprise there was a LOT more out there than I had anticipated. There are dragons, ghosts, shifters of all kinds. There are demons and angels, dinosaurs (don’t ask) and even Naga. I also found a number of stories about Mermaids/Mermen and Centaurs/Satyrs.   I found the last two sets weird and it got me thinking. Where is the line drawn? Where is weird too weird in Paranormal or Fantasy Romance? I had a friend mention to me that she thought I should put an island in my Farielle Series with Satyrs and Centaurs. I told her there was no way! Then she showed me this photo.

 Centaur

I was like, uhm… okay, I could be persuaded. Because seriously, that guy may be hand drawn but he‚Äôs hot. But then I started thinking, well how does that work? He would have to be under a curse of some kind. ¬† Then I saw that there is an entire series of books written about Satyrs! Just last week on Face Off on ScyFy, a guy won the weekly challenge¬†for his rendition of a Satyr. I have to say, I don‚Äôt mind a man with a bit of hair,¬†and horns can be sexy. But goat feet? Nope, sorry, couldn‚Äôt do it!¬† Not my thing!

faunsmall  

I kind of feel the same way about merpeople. Fishtails aren’t sexy! I know there are a bunch of books out there right now about mermaids and stuff but that just isn’t sexy to me.

 __the_mermansmall

In my Fairelle Series I am doing a twist on The Little Mermaid. And my Mer- is a guy. A Nereid. But he doesn’t sprout flippers or a tail! I just don’t think I could write that.   So what about you? Could you write and/or read a story about guys who looked like a horseman or a fishman?