Saturday, November 5, 2011

Spotlight - Michael J. Lee author of From Russia With Blood

About the Book...

400 year old vampire Ian Redd joined British Intelligence during the Cold War. But after the Berlin Wall came down they decided they no longer needed his services. He was retired, almost permanently. Ian escaped and has lived the quiet life in a small town until a professional hit team arrived at his doorstep. Who sent them? That’s a question that will lead Ian into the arms of a beautiful woman named Larissa Barton and into the most dangerous operation of his unlife.

Larissa Barton’s life has barely begun and it’s already gone off the tracks. She’s back in her hometown working as a barista. But things change when Ian Redd enters her life. Dark, mysterious and gorgeous, Ian is her only protection her from the people and creatures who suddenly want her dead. With Ian by her side Larissa plunges into a world of magic, werewolves, vampires, spies and assassins and discovers her own secret past.

"One part James Bond, one part Dracula, and a whole lot of action and adventure. From Russia with Blood kicks ass!" - Vivi Anna, award winning author of the Valorian Chronicles.

 About the Author...

Micheal J Lee was born in the Midwest and has spent time out on the East Coast and in LA.

He learned the craft of screenwriting the hard way, as a barely paid reader. That’s how he got a good feel for writing form and the craft of storytelling. His approach to a story is a lot like Bruce Lee's approach to fighting, absorb what is useful.

Lee published his first paranormal romance, My Frankenstein, recently. It's been an adventure – and now he’s on to book 2, From Russia with Blood.



In Michael's Own Words... 

The Top 12 Creepiest Scenes from the Bond Movies
Well Halloween is officially over but for some of us it’s always a good time for a creepy movie. And I have a confession to make, some of the creepiest movie moments I can remember come from the Bond films. That’s why From Russia with Blood, vampires and James Bond style adventure seemed like such a natural combination for me. Besides combining the suave seductive power of Dracula and 007, there has always been an element of horror in the Bond films, especially the early ones. These were serious, tough adventures and people were getting bumped off in some chilling ways. So here are my top 12 creepiest scenes in the Bond movie franchise.

1. Dr. No - The Spider Scene:  The series kicked off with macabre start. At the time Dr. No was one of the more far out novels in the series. Now it seems quite tame. Ian Fleming modeled his villain on Fu Manchu by pulp novelist Sax Rohmer. In fine pulp tradition, the villains try to kill off Bond with a deadly spider. 007 has to wait stark still until it completes its journey across his body and onto the pillow. The slightest move will cause it to bite!

2. From Russia with Love - Red Grant Stalking Bond:  This scene is straight out of a slasher film. SPECTRE assassin Red Grant has already been established as a lethal killing machine. There’s a scene late in the movie where he appears behind Bond and silently stalks him. The audience is screaming at James to turn around. Of course he doesn’t. I should also mention the great fake out to begin this film showing Bond’s “death” at the hands of Grant.

3. Goldfinger - The Golden Corpse:  One of the signature moments of the film franchise. 007 wakes up. An eerie glow draws him to the bedroom where the beautiful girl lies naked and dead; her body covered in gold paint. Could this have actually happened? Even Mythbusters wasn’t able to solve that one. But the scene is unforgettable.

4. Thunderball - Don’t Double Cross SPECTRE!:  That’s clearly the message with this tense underwater scene as the head villain disposes of a traitorous lackey. For most of the movie, the underwater scenes slowed down the action, making Thunderball one of the lesser Connery films. But that’s not the case here. From the moment the jet hits the water to the final death throes of the pilot this scene is heart-stopping.

5. You Only Live Twice - String of Death!:  There are quite a few grisly scenes in this movie. The girl being fed to the piranhas is a great one. But for sheer tension and shock value I have to go with this unique assassination technique. This scene is like the spider trap from Dr. No but it’s even more effective. Bond sleeps soundly next to the girl, both unaware that poison is slowly dripping down a string towards his mouth. What makes this scene even more shocking is that the trap works, sort of. The girl and is the one who dies. She had been a pretty major character up until this point and her demise was a true jolt.

6. Diamonds Are Forever - The Mud Man:  This film opened with a scene so strange, when I first saw it as a kid I thought I was watching a horror movie. Bond has infiltrated Blofeld’s lair only to have his snooping interrupted by a mud covered assassin. Bond turns the tables on his attacker and the killer meets a pretty gruesome end.

7. Diamonds Are Forever – Bambi and Thumper:  This is another iconic moment in the Bond franchise. Now most people think this scene is more sexy than creepy. For me, its seductiveness makes it even more macabre. These characters are drowning each other. I’m pretty sure Bond does drown Bambi at the end. Watch it again. When he’s done he doesn’t let her go. He shoves the now barely flailing Bambi down even deeper and then leaves her floundering in the middle of the pool!

8. Live and Let Die - The Man with the Laugh:  I’m not sure how this entry was named the top Roger Moore Bond film by EW.com. It’s a pretty low key (for Bond) adventure. It plays more like a reverse Blaxploitation film. But the movie does boast a memorable villain. Not Yaphet Kotto but Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi. With his skull face makeup and chilling laugh he’s the best thing in the film. There’s a scene where he’s just burning Tarot cards that’s creepy as hell. Even Kotto doesn’t seem to know what to make of him in that scene.

9. The Spy Who Loved Me - Jaws!:  Now here’s the best of the Roger Moore era. This fanciful but exciting Bond film had it all; futuristic sets, big action scenes, one of the best large scale battles in franchise history. And to top it all off it had Richard Keil in his signature role as Jaws. Considering the character as much joke as a villain it’s incredible how much menace Keil generates in this film. His first few scenes wouldn’t be out of place in a ‘70s horror film. He stalks his victims silently, attacks and leaves bloody-necked corpses for Bond to find. Yeah, vampires and Bond really do go together.

10. Moonraker - Fly the Unfriendly Skies:  Moonraker was my first introduction to the franchise. It wasn’t the best film to start with. It was trying to copy Star Wars so it was only half a real Bond film. This is the movie where Jaws went from a menacing killer to a cartoon teddy bear. But the film still managed to provide a few jolts. Imagine the surprise to my young mind when the film opens. A space shuttle is stolen right off the back of a transport plane. The poor crew, who are just doing their jobs, get a face full of rocket exhaust and are incinerated. That was a pretty big departure from Star Wars. The opening kept the airplane theme with a stunning sequence where Bond is thrown out of a plane without a parachute. He tackles an enemy and steals his chute. The man screams as Bond kicks him away to face a horrid death.

11. Moonraker - Feeding the Dogs:  But Moonraker had a scene that was horrific and haunting even to adult eyes. Bond has seduced Hugo Drax’s assistant into revealing vital information. Drax promptly sets his dogs on her. The sequence is gorgeously shot. It seems like it belongs in a completely different movie. It wouldn’t be out of place in an Italian giallo.

12. Never Say Never Again – Nicole:  Connery’s last stab at 007. This is an oddball film in that it wasn’t made by the usual producers. Some people don’t consider it canon but it does have a chilling scene. Bond has just returned to his villa and is looking for his female assistant. He finds her in the water bed, drowned. The reveal is nearly identical to a similar scene in Nightmare on Elm Street IV.

**  Thank you Michael for stopping by Mad Moose Mama and sharing your thoughts with us all...I agree with your Live and Let Die thoughts...HAHAHAHAAAA...that dude CREEPED me out as a kid~!!  We wish you all the best in your ride on the muse train Michael~!!  **