Geek Charming – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2011 film Geek Charming.

Story

It’s a teen rom-com where the popular kid has to work with the nerd and they fall in love. I did like the gender-swapped makeover scene.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The female lead almost seems like she’s a bad actress to start with but it turns out that it’s the character who’s a bad actress and she’s nowhere near as shallow or vapid as she seems. This is a hard transition to pull off without seeming fake and the movie did a great job.

The male lead became more accepting and confidant but didn’t have much more development than that.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Sometimes I forget what the 2010’s was like, but this is filled with dated slang and quippy one-liners.

When the movie decides to be serious, it does a great job in those softer moments. Bonus points for explaining relativity in one breath.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The camera work was very early 2000’s Disney channel. The clothes, sets, and everything else were okay but low budget.

The music was acceptable but nothing special.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I get irritated watching the characters flinging their cameras while filming and I found the idea that a film club would be all sci-fi a little unlikely. Film nerds tend to look down on the genre.

That being said, the actors did a great job and it was cute. I really liked that this movie showed the world what made him fall in love with her. It was a nice touch and made everything more believable.

Bonus point for having the poor kid showing the rich man Metropolis, a film about the class divide between workers and wealthy land owners.

Score: 1

Overall

A product of its time, it celebrates nerds and love with lots of innocent heart. The actors do a great job with a predictable script.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises – Characters

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

Characters | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


I was told the sheer quantity of characters was a little intimidating. I started to understand as I made this list. Hopefully this will help keep the characters straight.

Hal the Sun Speaker

Hal

Born 825 Post First Earthen Emigration. A prophet called the Sun-Speaker, he gets visions from the god Sol that lives in the sun. He was raised on Venus from the age of ten.

Rose

A doctor who was part of Hal’s crew. She is currently in hiding, raising the future King of Mars with her wife Sofia.

Sofia

Former special forces in the Mars militia, she was dishonorably discharged for saving Hal’s life against orders. The first time she met him, she also beat the crap out of him. She is his former bodyguard.

Gwinevere the Second, High Queen of Venus

As a child, found Hal hiding in the luggage of the royal ship. They dated as teenagers. When he was ex-communicated from the church, she broke all ties.

Princess Lenay

Princess of Venus. She was born with an immune disorder like her mother but both were healed by Hal.

Thomas the sixth, Ruler of Mars

King of Mars being raised in exile on Earth. He was kidnapped as a child by the Venetians.

The Assassin

Suzie (AKA Helena)

Former assassin with the Maidens of Antichthon. Hal helped her uncover the corruption in the organzation and she joined his crew as his new bodyguard. They eventually developed feelings for each other and are now dating.

Samantha

The assassin trainer from the Maidens of the Antichthon. Disgraced, she was tortured and implanted with cybernetics and sent to fight in the arena. Hal healed her and the expelled cybernetics became their own person. Currently both are in charge of the The Mederei Alpha, a former gladiator ship which is now a home for refugees.

Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station

Seren Plentyn

An adventurous twenty-something archeologist and linguist. Member of the Children of the Stars.

Captain Jan Ng

A stern but fair life-long miliary soldier. They are the captain of the MOAS (Mother of all Suns) Warship Ennill.

Annie Musa

Wife of Seren and ace fighter pilot. Annie is sarcastic and loyal. Member of the Children of the Stars.

Mother of All Suns

The last remnants of an ancient civilization downloaded their minds into a great machine. Its power source was a sun and that sun’s consciousness merged with the people.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral

Janet

Plutonian who discovered the secret to eternal youth. Despite looking 18, she is a brilliant doctor and scientist.

Adric

Computer and engineering genius. Helped free Callisto from mob rule with his hacking skills. Currently the engineer on Hal’s ship, the Hey Sunny.

Travis

A Mercurian pilot. Hal served as a medic on his ship. To save his life, Hal had to leave him on a pirate ship to be tortured.

Caro

The system’s strongest telepath and precog. Former member of Hal’s crew currently living on Xanthus.

Gladiators in SPACE!

Henrick Al-Mer of the house of Mers

Royal instructor to the kings and queens of Mars.

Aly

Martian-Barsoonian adviser to the King and former leader of his people.

Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist

Diamond Stars (AKA Garnet)

Former Black-Sun operative who went rogue. Current incarnation of the Robin Hood style character Diamond Stars and captain of the Revenge. Also a recent Sun Speaker of Sol.

Onyx

Doctor on the Revenge. Boyfriend of Diamond Stars.

Sphene

Younger sister of Onyx. Weapons expert and gunner on the Revenge.

Ghost Ship Robinson

Fry

Ex-soldier and mercenary. Died on the Robinson

Hoff

Ex-soldier and mercenary. Bioscience expert on the Hey Sunny.

Teddy

Former engineer on the Hey Sunny. Died on the Robinson.

The Suns of War

Nessa Muldune

Captain of the ISS Galahad. She’s a Feline Martian who has a strong love for her crew, knowledge, and justice.

Alexandre Crowley

Senior science officer of the ISS Galahad. He’s a Serpant Tyrite who values logic over emotion.

Tanya Brook

Lieutenant weapons officer of the ISS Galahad. She’s a Sapian Martian. She’s tall, muscled, and looks like she’s been in plenty of fights.

Em Frechette

Master Sargent and communications officer of the ISS Galahad. They’re a Sapian Tyrite. 

Peri Anson

Doctor of the ISS Galahad. He’s an older Sapian Martian. His interest lies in his crew and their health above all else.

Bart Shelby

Lieutenant and pilot of the ISS Galahad. He’s Canine Arisian with plenty of years as a fighter pilot.

Arzure Pendreicht (Zuri)

Head Engineer of the ISS Galahad. She’s a young Sapian Martian, the reincarnation of King Arthur, and a Sun Speaker for Sol.

The Holiday Sitter – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film The Holiday Sitter.

Story

This is the Hallmark Christmas formula at it’s best. I appreciate that they took a little time to show how hard it can be for gay men to date and the trauma involved.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I was worried at the beginning because the main character was a complete ass, but once he calmed down and started to open up about his feelings, he became a lot better. He was actually quite charming and funny when he wasn’t trying too hard to be a jerk.

The handyman next door who just wanted a family was charming and adorable and the two of them had pretty good chemistry.

The kids were cute if forgettable and the rest of the cast was good.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Some of the dialogue was terrible and the only thing that kept them from making the movie unwatchable was the earnestness and quality of the actors.

There are also a few cute quips and lots of family adorableness.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie was well filmed and showed that each shot was well thought out from a framing point of view. It bugs me in these movies when people leave on vacation and they still have food out. In this one his popcorn machine was still filled with popcorn.

Early in the movie the little girl wins a massive quantity of stuffed reindeer toys; from that point forward there are stuffed reindeer in almost every scene and it was a lot of fun looking for them.

The music was standard and did it’s job.

Score: 0.5

Fun

This is a Hallmark Christmas movie. You should know in advance if you’re into that sort of thing. I thought the romance was fun and the movie was easy to watch with little to no forced drama.

Score: 1

Overall

A nice gay twist on the Hallmark Holiday movie formula with two actors that had great chemistry. It’s cute, fluffy, and warm; everything a holiday romance should be.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Crushing It puzzle

Crushing It

There’s this site that allows for any picture to be transformed into a digital puzzle. For free. And you can play for free.

I used it for the cover of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. See that puzzle here.

And now, here is the puzzle for Crushing It!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Which Character Are You? Crushing It edition

Crushing It
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Mini MSN Chats 8-10

Crushing It

Here follows the accounts of 2003-version MSN chats between Tommy and Carter, set in the middle of Crushing It as they navigate their long-distance relationship.

MSN chat #8
MSN chat #9
MSN chat #10
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Discussion Questions for Crushing It

Crushing It

Download the printable Discussion Guide

  1. Crushing It is set in 2003. How would the story be different if it was set in the present day?
  2. Throughout the book, Tommy is completely unaware of the magical world surrounding him in Westmeath. Do you think it would have changed anything if he had noticed?
  3. Tommy and his mother are at odds at the beginning of the book. Who do you feel more empathy for? Can you see the other’s point of view?
  4. Icebreakers are a staple of camps. How do they make you feel? What type do you prefer?
  5. Do you think Tommy’s reactions and feelings when he realized he was gay were relatable? Have you ever had a crush on someone you didn’t expect? How did you feel and react?
  6. The technology in Westmeath is much more advanced than it was in real life in 2003. How does this affect the story?
  7. We only see Carter’s point of view at three points during the book. How would the story have been different if it had been equal parts from his POV?
  8. Long distance relationships are difficult, but in what ways is it a good thing for Tommy and Carter? How is it a struggle?
  9. Two themes that tie the book together are music and science. Can you think of more?
  10. The world isn’t ending in the book. Do you think it being low-stakes, or cosy, is a strength or a weakness?
  11. Suppose Crushing It became a movie or a TV show. Who would you pick to play the roles? (You can check out my dream casting for ideas) What aspects of the book would you want to see more of? What would be the most difficult part of filming?
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

“Crushing It” Review 6

Crushing It was sent out for reviews in May, and I’ve received some in return. Here’s one from author S.M. Carriere:

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

The Hidden Magical World in Westmeath

Crushing It

How do you write an urban fantasy if your main protagonist has no idea that he lives in a magical world? How do you let the readers who are introduced to the Aetherverse in Crushing It know that there even is a magical world, if your protagonist is unaware that it exists?

I had to figure out the answers to these questions once I realized that this book was, well, a book.

I decided to bookend the main content with a secondary point of view; that of Carter, the love interest. He grew up in the magical community and knows almost everything there is to know about it.

In the prologue, he and Kennedy are talking about the imminent arrival of her brother, who Jason wants to keep in the dark regarding the magical community. It’s Jason’s perogative; as the soon to be brother-in-law, he wants to get a feel for Tommy’s character before introducing life-changing information.

Then the interlude shows Carter’s anxiety over keeping such a big secret from Tommy. Will he be upset once he finds out? He won’t be told until the wedding, which doesn’t happen in this book!

Finally, the epilogue is a letter from Carter to Tommy counting down the days until the wedding. His excitement over finally getting to tell the secret is obvious.

The novellette at the end of the book, also from Carter’s POV, starts to really show his strengths and skills… and mistakes.

One of the benefits of leaving the main character out of the loop regarding the magical community: in book 2, I can introduce it to both the readers and the character at once. Not only does this happen in book 2 of Lucky in Love, but the explanation is in book 2 of The Gates of Westmeath as well as a nice little recap! Win-win, in my book! (Pun intended)

I don’t want to spoil too many surprises now, in the hopes that book 2 will be published in the future, but if you want to sneak a peek at what our magical world looks like (and you want to keep it in the Young Adult category), check out Éric’s Baker City Mysteries series! Book 4 came out this year!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

The Mystery of the Dancing Lights by Éric Desmarais is available now!
Physical from Canadian indie bookstores, physical from Indigo, electronic version

What if Carter had Instagram?

Crushing It

That was the question I asked myself as I watched a fun instagram for a contemporary romance. This is the result, and I’m super proud of it.

If Instagram had existed in 2003, this is what Carter would’ve posted during the first portion of the book Crushing It:

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version