Monday, August 10, 2015

Melissa Maygrove: Boxes and Lizards, Book Trailers Still Relevant, Movie Review, Symphony X Underworld Review, War Movie Trivia, IWSG Updates, and Ninja News

The wonderful Melissa Maygrove joins us today to discuss history, boxes, and lizards.

I’m grateful to Alex for offering to host me today, but I wasn’t sure what to write about. After pondering possible topics, I decided to give you a brief history lesson.

C’mon, c’mon. I promise it won’t be that bad. There’s even a giveaway!

The box social was the of our ancestors. Young ladies would each box up a homemade meal, and young men would bid on them. The winner got to share the meal with the lady who brought the box.

In Precious Atonement, the boxes contain desserts, and the men joke about hiding a lizard inside of one of them. That scene was the inspiration for this post.

Below are three boxes. One of them contains a lizard. (Humor me and engage your suspension of disbelief. *grin*) Leave a comment by midnight, central ‘Texas’ time Friday, August 14, saying which box you think it is. All visitors who have the correct answer will be entered in a drawing for a free e-book of Precious Atonement. The winner will be announced on Monday, August 17.

Who says history can’t be fun. :)

Find Melissa at her blog and website.

Find Precious Atonement at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Ninja News

Today’s Themes That Rocked the Challenge feature at the A to Z Blog is Jenn from Scribbles From Jenn. She dared to enter… The Twilight Zone!

Out now!

Black Magic and Mojitos: A Zyan Star Novelette by A.A. Chamberlynn

Find it on Amazon

Find Alexia: blog Twitter, and Amazon page.

Available now!

The Rat Killer and other Weird War Tales by Sean McLachlan

Find it on Amazon and Smashwords

And sorry, no Fantastic Four review. Did you see the reviews? It’s 9% on Rotten Tomatoes and the reviews have been less than kind:
Much of Josh Trank's abysmal "Fantastic Four" is set in a barren place called Planet Zero - and you may feel stranded there yourself for all 100 minutes of this plodding, joyless and stillborn Marvel reboot. - Lou Lumenick
Fantastic Four feels like a 100-minute trailer for a movie that never happens. – Todd McCarthy
A movie so dull and awkwardly structured that you wonder why anyone would dare telegraph a sequel at the end. – Kurt Loder
Yes, a sequel is scheduled, but I doubt it will happen now. Fox, just sell it to Disney. Three strikes and you’re out.

And the results of last week’s Battle of the Banned, hosted by Shady Del Knight, featuring covers of Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet:
Krokus – fourteen votes (including mine)
The Offspring – six
Nuclear Assault - eight


Thanks again for another awesome posting day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

There were so many awesome posts and my co-hosts rocked.

Those of you who’ve never co-hosted before don’t know what you are missing. It’s ten times better on the host side. Here are some of the comments I received from my co-hosts this month:

I had a fabulous time visiting the sites and was amazed by the outpouring of comments on my blog.

I have been having a blast co-hosting the #IWSG, thank you for the opportunity.

I was surprised by the variety of posts, from humorous to thoughtful to very personal and tried to leave thoughtful and/or helpful comments.

It was fun and I got the most comments ever!

I’ll be looking for co-hosts for the last three months of the year soon. Plus, we are announcing the most awesome contest and opportunity ever on September 2. You don’t want to miss it.

I cull the list every month, removing as many non-participants as possible. I feel bad removing people, but it’s not fair to those who are posting and looking for other IWSG posts on the list. If you are cut, you can always sign back up when you’re ready.

Chemist Ken posted about perseverance last Wednesday and used Melissa Maygrove’s climb up the IWSG list as an example – and it’s hilarious!

Especially the graph.

You have to check it out.

Finally, this was something I created for Karen Lange. It was one of my guest posts for my Dragon of the Stars tour, and she asked if I could create a graphic that highlighted each point I covered. Karen shared it recently, and now I am sharing it with you.

Are Book Trailers Still Relevant?

I haven’t noticed as many book trailers being released lately, which is a bit of a bummer. I know they require money and time (my publisher created trailers for my first three books, but didn’t have time to produce one for Dragon of the Stars) but I’ve always enjoyed watching them.

What do you think? Book trailers still cool? Require too much effort? Do you enjoy them?

And since I have a lot of new followers who may not have seen any of my trailers, here is the very first one for CassaStar:

Movie Review

From The Dark
This Irish film finds a couple stranded in the countryside after a farmer has awakened a vampire-like creature.
This was a simple film that certainly had promise. But that was utterly destroyed by the use of every bad horror cliché known to man – characters splitting up, car stuck, cell phones don’t work, flashlight dies, etc. Not to mention the characters do some of the dumbest things throughout the film. (Example – the creature is afraid of light, yet the woman walks around with a box of matches, lighting them one by one. My wife spent the final third of the film screaming at the woman, ‘Light something on fire. Anything!’)
The one thing the film had going for it was atmosphere. Too bad it’s not enough to save the film.
Not recommended.

Music Review

Symphony X – Underworld

I am a long-time fan of the band, and this is one of their most accomplished albums yet. Conceptually, the album deals with Dante’s Inferno. (Or, what would you go to hell and back for?)
As a fan of hard rock and metal, this is some of the craziest guitar work I’ve ever heard. (Yes, this novice is in total awe.)
If you like progressive rock and want to hear some of the greatest shreddings ever, don’t hesitate to pick up this album.

Movie Trivia!

It’s been a while! The theme is war movies or those that take place during a war. Name the movie from the actors listed:

1 – Hugo Weaving, Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones 2011

2 – Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland 1967

3 – Jude Law, Joseph Finnes, Rachel Weisz 2001

4 – Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Patrick McGoohan 1995

5 – Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender 2009

Answers next Monday!

Which box holds the lizard? Anyone have the misfortune of seeing Fantastic Four? Or From the Dark? Enjoy last week’s IWSG? If you’ve been a co-host, would you agree it was even more fun than just posting? Fan of Symphony X or prog rock? What’s your opinion on book trailers? And can you get any of the trivia right?


Blogoratti said...

Great thoughts by Melissa. And thanks for the wonderful reviews.
As for the movie trivia, I know of no.3,4 and 5.
Enemy at the gates, Braveheart and Inglorious Basterds.


ediFanoB said...

A nice and interesting post by Melissa Maygrove.
The box guess is a good idea.
Nevertheless I will not take part because "Precious Atonement" is not my cup of tea.

I could not find a positive Fantastic Four review.

Without cheating I identified only one movie:
5 – Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender 2009
That must be Inglorious Bastards.

Suzanne Furness said...

Err I'll go red box! Fun game!
Sorry I didn't post last week for IWSG I was on holiday. Back now (sort of!). Having been a co-host a couple of times, I have to agree it is a great experience. For anyone considering giving it a go ... go on, I'm sure you'll have a blast!

Pat Hatt said...

Never knew that about boxes. haha yeah FF4 sounds abysmal, worse than the first two and that is hard to do. Book trailers are fun, but they don't really seem worth it these days.

Captain America
The Dirty Dozen
Enemy at the gates
Inglorious BAstards

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm thinking the red box for the lizard. :)

Don't blame you for not seeing Fantastic Four! Wow...the reviews have been terrible!

Truedessa said...

Good Morning,

I see the Ninja has a lot of news today to share. I enjoy the book trailers, I think they are a creative way to introduce your book. I am not sure how they do in bringing in sales, but I think it creates curiosity which will make most want to know a bit more about the book. I wonder if the selling point might be where you post the trailers and of course the market you are trying to capture. Just my opinion. Have a great day Alex.

Oh, and the book Black Magic and Mojitos sound interesting. I will probably have to read more about that one.

Melissa said...

Thank you for hosting me, Alex!

Suzanne and Elizabeth, your guesses have been noted. Thanks for playing. :)

I'm still laughing about Ken's post.

Book trailers? I'm divided. It takes DAYS of sifting through stock images, video, and soundtracks to find the elements. I like them when they're done well, but I don't think the amount of sales they generate is worth the time an money that goes into making them.

Murees Dupè said...

I'm thinking the beige box. I liked the graphic listing your advice, Alex. It is very inspiring. Last week's IWSG was awesome. I got so much positive feedback for my post, and so many comments it was amazing. Thank you again, for creating the IWSG. I liked your book trailer. I honestly never paid much attention to book trailers before.But that might just change. Have a great week!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Just for fun, I'll guess the brown or tan box.

I really need to visit other blogs more during the IWSG. Looking forward to the announcement, though.

Is it OK to share that graphic? I think it would be very useful and popular.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex! Sweet! The tribe has spoken and I think we got it right. Krokus deserves the win for best cover of "Ballroom Blitz." I love Krokus and have all their hits in my personal collection. Krokus competed in a band battle that I staged on SDMM called "The Shady Awards" and won the Best Video category. Here's the link. Scroll down to the end of the post and check it out:

I'll be linking to your site again on August 24 when we present our next Battle of the Banned. See you then, Alex!

Holy Ghost Writer said...

Fantastic Four was awful. My son wanted to watch it and so we went. Worse comic book movie in a very long time.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Great start of the week, the lizard in the blue box... because the lizard likes it.

Fantastic Four looks bad in the trailer, it's something that FOX doesn't get story first... visuals second. In this case the visuals looked bad too. I enjoy the score more for the combination of composers working on it, I guess taking something good away from it. I will see it on DVD I am sure.

Sym X... I have to hear this, been a fan not sure how many pieces of music I have....


SpacerGuy said...

I reckon the blue box contains the lizard. Its a shame about fantastic 4. There were two scripts for that movie you know, I guess Fox gambled on the wrong one. Oh well, thats show business.

Arlee Bird said...

Too bad about Fantastic Four but I'm not surprised.

Book trailers can be fun but I don't know that they're very effective. I'm sure they have potential if done correctly and with the right placement.

I'm guessing the lizard is in the cream colored box (or whatever color that is).

Tossing It Out

Donna K. Weaver said...

I read that about FF this weekend. I know they do audience tests on films before releasing them. How can they not know they've got a turkey?

As for the trivia, without looking anything up, I think the 1967 film is The Dirty Dozen. Its celebrity cast list was longer than a dozen. :D

Natalie Aguirre said...

I really like the graphic you created. I saw it on Karen's blog.

alexia said...

Thanks for letting Black Magic & Mojitos share some blog space today! I'm going with the blue box for the lizard. Too bad about Fantastic Four - I didn't love the older ones, so I was hoping this one was better. As for book trailers, I still like them!

Melissa said...

Murees, Sandra, Jeremy, Spacerguy, Arlee, & Alexa, Thanks for playing. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Blogoratti, you got three!

Edi, you're correct! And the reviews were all so bad, even the good ones.

Suzanne, no worries. And yes, co-hosts have a blast!

Pat, they really had to stoop low to be worse, and they did it. Perfect score for you with the trivia!

Truedessa, I think they are like movie trailers.

Melissa, you're welcome! And I'm glad I didn't have to make my trailers.

Murees, thank you!

Sandra, yes - feel free to share it!

Shady! I will check it out. They did have some really creative videos.

Holy Ghost, sorry you had to see it!

Jeremy, pick it up - you'll dig their new album.

Donna, you would think they'd know! And you are correct.

Alexia, you're welcome!

mshatch said...

I'll guess the red box for the lizard. If we guess right does that mean we get a lizard?

That would be cool. Except my cats would probably want to eat him. So maybe not.

No clue on the trivia!

Melissa said...

Thanks for playing, mshatch.
Good question. Does FedEx ship lizards? LOL

Li said...

I'm guessing the blue box has the lizard, just because I like blue.
I enjoy book trailers, but depend more on actual reviews (or an author's past work) to choose books.
Disappointed about the poor reviews for Fantastic Four, because I was looking forward to it.
Happy Monday everyone!

Christine Rains said...

What a fun post from Melissa! I'm going to guess the red box. Congrats to everyone with releases today. Last week's IWSG was fantastic. Can't wait to see what's in store for next month. As for book trailers, I'm on the fence about them. I do watch them if my friends make them, but I don't watch random ones.

A Beer for the Shower said...

All of my boxes are full of lizards. This is why I don't have house guests.

I like book trailers, and am in favor, but I think they have to be well done. If it's just essentially a power point slideshow with cheesy music, I don't think that's really going to sell anyone. I haven't seen a single one in that style that's made me think, "Wow, I want to read that!" But one like yours (well thought out, actual animation or footage) certainly would.

Melissa said...

Thanks for playing, Li and Christine.
And LOL about Beer for the Shower's comment. :P

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Melissa - fun stuff! :)

Alex - I'd be open to helping co-host IWSG (other than October) - just let me know!

Where are all the good horror movies?! And I would've been yelling the same thing as your wife. :)

Saw a really good movie (drama, based on a true story) - Devil's Knot - with Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth. Sad, though.

nashvillecats2 said...

Great post from Melissa, made interesting reading.
The film and book reviews were also good to read on a wet Monday like it is here today.

kaykuala said...

Lizards are brown in color. Perhaps it is in the brown box. Congrats on those having their book releases. It can spur others to emulate them, yes!


Unknown said...

ooh every interesting about book trailers. Personally I never saw the point, really. Seemed like a lot of effort and at the end of the day it's word of mouth selling books. hahah no Fantastic Four for me, but I read an interview in Esquire that painted a less than kind picture of Miles Teller!

Bish Denham said...

A lizard in a box, hmmm. Shades of Schrodinger's Cat. :) I'm going with the beige one.

I can honestly say being a co-host is LOTS of fun!

As for book trailers. Yes they're fun to watch, but I'm do they really sell books?

Melissa said...

Thank you for the kind comments, Madeline and nashvillecats2.

Kaykuala and Bish, your guesses have been noted. Thanks for playing! :)

Shell Flower said...

Box socials sound really fun--if you are a good cook :) I'm going to guess the beige box for the lizard. Alex, I love your list about insecurity. You have some really good points boiled down there.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Marcy, your cats would have fun though.

Christine, good food for thought there.

Brandon and Bryan, thanks!

Thanks, Karen!

Madeline, thank you!

Bish, yes it is!

Thanks, Shell.

Jo said...

The Lizard has got to be in the blue box. Why, 'cos I like blue. Love that you hosted Melissa.

I have an idea I have seen at least one of the movies on your trivia list, but being a movie idiot, I have no idea what the movie was.

EEGiorgi said...

Congratulations Melissa !

Melissa said...

Thanks for playing, Shell and Jo.
Your guesses have been noted. :)

Melissa said...

Thank you, EEGiorgi! :)

Jay Noel said...

Great guest post, Melissa!And congrats.

I will probably catch Fantastic 4 on BlueRay eventually. I hardly see movies these days as it is, so I'm super picky whenever I get the chance.

Book trailers seem to be more for the author these days, like a celebration. I think the expense makes it tough, plus many authors haven't been able to correlate book trailer releases to actual sales, making it a low ROI.

1) Captain America
2) The Dirty Dozen
3) Enemy at the Gates
4) Braveheart
5) Inglorious Bastards

Can you tell I love war movies? Lol

Michelle Gregory said...

i can't believe i'd seen all of those war movies except #5. can you tell what genre my husband likes?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think the red box for the poor lizard. Didn't see the Fantastic Four. I haven't see many book trailers either. I think people are so busy flitting from site to site that they don't like to stay around long enough to watch a video.
I know two of the trivia and maybe a third.

Sandra Cox said...

Morning, Alex.
Melissa, what a great idea. I love it. I'm going with the tan box.

Sherry Ellis said...

Too bad about Fantastic Four. They must not be so fantastic.

I'm not sure about book trailers. I've had them made for all of my books, but I'm not sure if they really do much to help sales.

Mason Canyon said...

Fun post, Melissa. I'll guess the red box.

Good to know about Fantastic Four. We thought about watching it recently, but didn't. Now I'm glad we passed on it. From a reader's view point, book trailers can be very helpful if done right. said...

The blue box gets my vote.
I like a good book trailer. Bad or boring ones probably hurt sales, but good ones can only help.
Have a great week, Alex.

Chrys Fey said...

But...but...but...I DON'T LIKE LIZARDS!!!!!

*gulps* I think it's in the blue box. *hides*

I will not be seeing the new Fantastic Four because I think it's dumb that they remade it. The one with Jessica Alba isn't even old!

I did enjoy last weeks IWSG. I've co-hosted twice this year and I do think it's a lot more fun than just posting. :D

L.G. Keltner said...

I'm going to guess that the lizard is in the blue box! Why? Well, since I'm an avid Doctor Who fan, I must always go with the blue box when it's an option. It may eventually be my downfall. By the way, that was an interesting history lesson. Then again, I enjoy history anyway.

Chemist Ken's chart is the best! Go Melissa, go! But you're not getting ahead of me if I can help it! :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Sorry to hear about "From the Dark." Nice title.

Misha Gerrick said...

Awesome idea Melissa! I think it's in the blue box. :-D

cleemckenzie said...

Melissa's contest is great fun and I'm entering with my guess: RED holds the lizard!

I enjoyed being a co-host for IWSG. It was great fun and I met new people, so that was the best.

I love book trailers. I wish I had one for each of my books.

Really enjoyed Ken's chart last week. Made me laugh and appreciate Melissa's journey a lot.

Jemi Fraser said...

Loved the history lesson! I'd guess the lizard is in the beige box :)

I do like book trailers - and I wish bookstores would use them to lure in people. A monitor at the front of the store with trailers cycling through would be a great idea!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I will guess that the lizard is in the red box.

I unfortunately went to the Fantastic Four this weekend. It's worse than the ones that were released a few years ago. I prefer watching the SyFy movies put out by the asylum to this version of the Fantastic Four.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jo, I bet I know which one you've seen.

Jay, yes! Perfect score.

Michelle, let me guess...

Sherry, your trailers are cute.

Mason, good to know!

Good point, Robyn.

Chrys, and I've appreciated your help!

LG - funny! Melissa, she just threw the gauntlet...

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Enjoyed the post, Melissa.

The last movie I saw was Jurassic World. I need to get back to the theaters. I really like your How to Handle Writer Insecurity thing. Eye catching and informative!

dolorah said...

The red box holds the lizard; men are more drawn to the color red than any other color. Loved the history lesson. Good luck Melissa.

Sad about Fantastic Four, I was looking forward to it. And Dark, yeah, cliche's are so overdone.

I love book trailers; yours is one of my favorites. I enjoyed watching it again :)

I'm sure I've seen all those movies. But I'd guess 4 We Were Soldiers or Braveheart, and 5 Inglorious Bastards. I need to listen to Symphony X.

Have a good week Alex.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Melissa's post! I'll guess the lizard is in the blue box.
I hope book trailers are still relevant. I had fun making the ones for my book, and I'm looking forward to making one for Book 2.
The only trivia answer I know is #4: Braveheart.
Chemist Ken's post about Melissa Maygrove's IWSG climb is hilarious!

Robyn Campbell said...

Hey, Alex and Melissa. *waving* What a fantastic story, Melissa. I never knew about this. Love hearing about the history and your book. Hmmm. Lizards are one of my favorite things along with turtles, frogs, sharks, and horses. I think the gold box holds the little guy (I heard a scratching sound coming from it). So if he isn't in there, you'd better check it out. *wink*

Those Fantastic Four reviews bite. WOW. I doubt the sequel will happen either. WHOA. I saw those IWSG posts, Captain. As soon as things settle with Christopher, I plan on joining. (Praying they settle.) I don't blame you for cutting the non-participants. It isn't fair to the peeps who want in and who work their hearts out participating.

I saw that post at Karen's. I also saved it to my computer, printed it out, and now it is beside my desk. It is a great force/push in my writing day. Thank you, Alex.

Book trailers have to be done well to work. But they can propel sales if they are done in the the right way.

Tonja Drecker said...

What a fun giveaway idea! I'll go for the brown box. Interesting list of points from the IWSG and great graphic. Oh, and love the trailers are always great!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Book Trailers are fun to watch, but I am unsure on how much they help in sales. Wendy Tyler Ryan, who made mine, is struggling with her health and her computer's as well. So I have not been making any new ones.

Instead I am now turning to making paperbacks of my novels. I am gearing up to have something tangible to sell when the next Sci Fi Convention comes here in April. I have been invited to speak again. I am hoping to have at least ten of my titles in paperback by then to sell at my table.

FF is now down to 8% on Rotten Tomatoes! You saw the trailer to the horror film, GOODNIGHT MOMMY, on my blog today. Now, that looks to be even creepier than the original foreign version of THE RING.

Anonymous said...

I'm kinda glad I can't go see FF in theaters. Not sure if the one in town is closed yet, but they said August, so I just assumed.

I used to make book trailers for people. Nothing super fancy, but I found it lots of fun. Then time got crunched so I had to take the page down. I haven't made any for myself lately either. Too much writing that needs to be done first.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi, that would be a great idea!

Michael, that's bad...

Donna, thanks! You got two right. And give the band a listen.

Lori, correct! And his post was so funny.

Robyn, that's awesome you printed it out.

Thanks, T!

Roland, that's awesome!! We have some book formatters listed at the IWSG site. And eight percent? Do I hear seven?

Jo said...

By the way, assuming Jay is correct, I have actually seen four of those films.

Susan Kane said...

I know one is Inglorious Bastards, and another is Dirty Dozen. But that's all I have. With the line up, the movies would be great.

Oh, and Capt. America.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Jay & T!

Ooo. Trailers shown at bookstores. I agree—neat idea!

Susan, Sandra, Mason C., Rawknrobyn, Chrys (sorry!), L.G., Misha, Lee, Jemi, Michael, Dolorah, Lori, Robyn C., Tonya, thanks for playing! Your guesses have been noted. :)

*picks up gauntlet*

Cherdo said...

Finally, a Movie Trivia list where I actually knew answers and someone beat me to it. My favorites were 1 and 5.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've generally enjoyed book trailers, though I don't think they're a required part of promoting a book. It's more like a nice extra to consider if one has the money and interest. I'm not really sure if they go a long way towards successfully promoting a book, though.

Carrie-Anne said...

And I'm guessing the lizard is in the blue box.

Elephant's Child said...

Hooray for all authors. Always.
Hooray for your generosity of spirit.
And since anyone winning the e-book would be having a red letter day, I opt for the red box.

Melissa said...

Carrie-Anne and Elephant's Child, thanks for playing!
Your guesses have been noted. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

That dinner date idea is fascinating and I'm sure led to some amazing relationships.
Book trailers are cool but without animation or video clips it's usually just images strung together into a video. Not very interesting. But if you have the opportunity to use CGI or video it can be amazing.

Yolanda Renée said...

I choose the tan colored box. Calmness for that poor captured lizard.

FF was that bad, interesting. Will wait and watch on video with my son. Your comments seem to be growing and growing! You're all over the place!

Are trailers useful? No real response to the one I paid for, but I didn't spend a lot of money.

Have a great week!

Huntress said...

What on Sept 2nd??? No fair, making us wait.
you can tell me. Come on...I won't tell.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Wasn't there a box social in the musical Oklahoma? That's about all I remember about the plot of Oklahoma ...

Anonymous said...

I think the lizard is in the Blue Box!! :) I loved Chemist Ken's post on Melissa's IWSG journey and perseverence. She's amazing and that's why I heart her so much!

One of my favorite things to do is co-host the IWSG. I'd do it all the time if I were up to it. I've met the most wonderful people and a couple of my closest blogger friends through the IWSG. Put me down, Alex!

Andrew Leon said...

The sequel kind of has to happen because it ties in with what they're doing with X-Men.

Karen Lange said...

It's nice to meet Melissa! I agree, history can be fun. We can learn so much from the past. Thanks, Alex, for hosting Melissa. Thanks also for the shout out. Have a great week!

Cindy said...

That's too bad about the Fantastic Four as the last movie was pretty good.

I also like book trailers, but everyone says they don't do anything for sales, so why spend the money and time?

Melissa said...

Maurice, yes it is, and I agree. Part of the fun of writing historicals is the research, believe it or not. The box auction wasn’t a part of the story until I researched social gatherings of that time. Same goes for the heroine’s father acting like a fool with the red ear of corn in the harvest scene. It’s amazing sometimes when I look back over a story and realize how many little things wouldn’t have been in it had I not come across this or that while doing research.

Yolanda, I had only planned on keeping the poor little lizard captive for a day. Alex made it a four. LOL

Karen, it’s nice to meet you, too. :)

Yolanda and Eva, your guesses have been noted. :)

Liz A. said...

I think the blue box holds the lizard.

I saw the last Fantastic Four, and I thought it was way too early to make a new one. I'll make sure to stay away now.

I'm not a big fan of book trailers. They require me to sit still and watch, and when I'm on the computer, I don't sit still and watch. I'm not a big fan of much streaming content either--I don't sit on YouTube, for example.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jo, good for you!

Susan, you got two right.

Maurice, that's why I'm really happy how mine turned out.

Yolanda, I least you didn't plunk down a lot of money.

Dianne, our band performed it, but not sure about the social.

Eva, thanks!!

Karen, you're welcome. Thanks for asking for the graphic.

stephen Hayes said...

The reviews for Fantastic Four are disappointing. I haven't seen it yet but I still intend to.

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm hosting! Can't wait. I'm not sure what it means I'll be doing, but I'm game! Glad you cut non-participants. I've noticed lots of non-participants when clicking through the list over the past year. But I don't participate during A to Z month...that's the only time I don't.

J E Oneil said...

It was a great lesson, Melissa! :) I'm guessing the brown box because...well, just because.

I'm surprised at how bad the Fantastic Four movie is. The last two weren't great, but at least they had some idea of how to be entertaining.

Sean McLachlan said...

Thanks for the shout out!
I've never gone in for book trailers, as a writer or as a reader. I'd rather read the blurb and the first few pages. Those give a much better idea of the book. Also, most trailers I've seen on Youtube have dismally low hit counters. I'm thinking most readers give them a skip.

Anonymous said...

I'll go with the pink box. Congrats to all these authors on their new releases.

I remember receiving an email from a gentleman who worked at some publicity website regarding book snippets being read aloud with appropriate background music. I haven't heard too much about his website since, but I think forms of media and how we promote books will constantly change. Book trailers seemed to be the thing to do years ago. I don't watch too many of them today and I only made one for my first book.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Jeanne!

Liz A, Jeanne, and Medeia, your guesses have been noted. :)

Anonymous said...

I'll have to check out Symphony X! I've heard so many bad things about Fantastic Four.. I'm so disappointed because the preview looked pretty cool despite my misgivings about the casting. Guess I'll wait until Redbox.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What a fun contest, Melissa. I remember those boxes. Not that I was there, but I've seen movies and read about them. My guess is the blue box.

Tara Tyler said...

cute history! i wonder who will the box contest! yellow!
bummer but not surprised about fantastic four - what do i keep saying about hollywood...
and i like book trailers, but they just don't get much exposure to be worth it, i guess. i just make my own, but i need to get a better program to make them better... yours is still so cool!

happy monday!

Mary Aalgaard said...

I love book trailers. If I had a book, I'd make a trailer for it. I think it would be a fun, creative project. I'd hire my friend who is a videographer, but I'd love having a hand in creating the images and music. I need to wait until the new year to be a co-host for IWSG, but I think it would be a great way to connect with more bloggers. It's already a great day for posting and commenting and connecting. It can last into the week, even, as we spend time catching up on reading.

Melissa said...

Beverly and Tara, your guesses have been noted. :)

mail4rosey said...

I think the lizard is in the blue box. I knew three of the trivias. I checked the two I missed... I wouldn't have gotten them right.

Birgit said...

I took the day off so not looking until now-yup it's late:) Love The Twilight Zone and will check out her blog. I love the book trailer and I can see how this would help sell a book for sure. Visual usually sells. I heard The Fantastic Four sucks and I think I will pass on the Irish film. As for the guesses:

1. Lincoln
2. The Dirty Dozen( I love this film!)
3. Enemy At The Gates (Sad film)
4. Braveheart
5. Inglorious Basterds (wish Hitler met his end that way)

Nick Wilford said...

I never actually knew what a box social was. I'm going for the blue box. Ken's graph is very funny!

I did wonder why they made another Fantastic Four, it feels like five minutes since the last version.

I'd be interesting in co-hosting IWSG for December!

Movies - 2 The Dirty Dozen, 4 Braveheart, 5 Inglorious Basterds?

Helena said...

Oh darn, I just missed out on Melissa's contest by 50 minutes. Anyway, her box social "Precious Atonement" sounds great and I wish her the best for it. And a home for the lizard.

Why oh why remake a movie like Fantastic Four when one was made only ten years ago? Why not make a spanking brand new movie like, say CassaStar? Is it too original for Hollywood? Endless reboots are safer?

Too bad about From the Dark. Your review reminds me of that funny commercial that shows screaming teenagers running around in a mock horror flick and doing everything dumb and illogical. Even the chainsaw killer rolls his eyes.

Vanessa Morgan said...

I'm looking forward to reading Melissa's new book.
And I love the title The Rat Killer and other Weird War Tales.

TBM said...

yeah a fellow history lover. I'm always telling people history is cool!

Wow, I hadn't heard that the Fantastic Four was doing so poorly. 9%. That's hard to overcome.

Michelle Wallace said...

I think it's in the red box. Pure guesswork.
Hosting the IWSG is loads of fun and an unforgettable experience. Everyone should do it at least once. (I'm still visiting August IWSG posts...)

Book trailers are fun! When my time arrives, I'd LOVE to have a book trailer. But I've heard they are expensive, and some writers say that trailers make no difference when it comes to boosting book sales. I don't know... *shrugs*

Michael Abayomi said...

It's a shame the Fantastic 4 reboot turned out as bad as critics say it is, considering how good it sounded on paper. Oh well, guess I'll wait till it's out on DVD and Blu-ray. As for your trivia questions, #1 is Captain America: First Avenger, #4 is Braveheart, and #5 is definitely Inglourious Basterds (one of my all-time faves).

Melissa said...

Helena, no you didn’t! You have until Friday.

Thanks, Vanessa.
I agree. I like that ‘Rat’ title, too.

Mail4rosey, Nick, and Michelle, thanks for playing.
Your guesses have been noted. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephanie, you'll do great!

Sean, you're welcome.

Medeia, I didn't get a trailer for my last book.

Thanks, Tara!

Mary, be glad to have you help me next year.

Birgit, you got four right!

Nick, thanks! And you got three right.

Helena, it would be cool to see CassaStar as a movie.

Michael, three right!

Heather M. Gardner said...

This post is BURSTING with info and goodies!
You're the best, Alex!

Best of luck, Melissa Maygrove!

Even the FF commercials couldn't pull me into the movie. I don't understand how they can screw these movies up!

Great Googly-Moogly! A #IWSG surprise on 9-2? I believe I'm signed up for that one! YAY!!!

I like your writer insecurity graphic. Well done! I hope its okay for others to share!

Movie Trivia!
1. Captain America!
2. Dirty Dozen?
3. ????
5. Inglourious Bastards??? ( I still don't know what that means.)

Great post, ALEX!!!
Later, HMG

A Cuban In London said...

I really enjoyed Melissa's contribution Thanks a lot for that.

Greetings from London.

Joanne said...

This post is like a gift box that's already been opened - so many goodies. I'm going to guess the tan box because that one seems boringly obvious and the lizard has on its desert cammo to blend into it. I liked your book trailer a lot - wow, quite a production. None of my author friends have book trailers - I guess money and skills are the hindrance. Arggh - the movie list. I saw others answers beforehand and that jogged my memory. I saw Ricki and the Flash this weekend - great cast,so-so movie, but the theater air-conditioning felt awesome. Have a FANTASTIC week

The Happy Whisk said...

Very neat that you have trailers. Tim saw The Fantastic Four over the weekend and regarding your question about those apples .....

They are ripe, ready and DELISH !!!!

Just ready a lot earlier than what a supermarket might have on hand (depending on your area). Transparents don't have a long shelf life, for example.

Have a great week, and boogie boogie.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Heather & Cuban.

Joanne, your guess has been noted.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I think the beige box has the lizard. I enjoyed last week's IWSG. I always enjoy co-hosting it with you.
I missed seeing Fantastic Four.
Good luck to Sean, Alexia and Melissa.

Melissa said...

You, too, Rachna. :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Looks like book trailers never caught on like movie previews have, but then, we get the movie trailers crammed down our throat at the theater and in front of the movies we watch on DVD. It's pretty hard to force a book trailer on a reader....

Jeffrey Scott said...

Were you 'banned' from BOTB? Ha-Ha, just kidding.
Nice to see I helped pick the campy winner. :)
I don't know if you noticed, but I did sign up for the IWSG.
Hope I don't disappoint with that. I'm very insecure about posting my first edition the next Wednesday it comes around.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Love the idea of the boxes. What an interesting tie-in with connection between today's social media and that of the past.

Like your book trailers! You were so fortunate that your publisher created those first ones!

Toi Thomas said...

I'd the lizard is in the red box.
Been leery of the new F4 movie so I haven't seen it. I will rent it one day just to form my own opinion, in case it's not as bad as I think.
I've co-hosting once and so want to do it again. It nice connecting with the group on another level. If my job wasn't in the way, I'd co-host more often. I definitely recommend to anyone looking to really connect with others.
I love book trailer, they are like short films to me. Some are great and some are so bad that they are great. I do think that to make a good one takes money that most of can't or aren't willing to pay.
I'll keep the trivia to myself.

Helena said...

Okay, Melissa -- I'm going for the red box 'cause I like the color. Thanks!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Co-hosting is really fun!
On book trailers - they have to be less than a minute most of the time to hold my attention. I know that's probably wrong, but the long sections of music on still pictures just don't get me interested in books. I would rather read a preview, or watch a trailer that's 45 seconds and only spends about 5 seconds on each picture, unless the picture has some words attached to it. Even in a slideshow for an 8th grade graduation that we put together last spring, we were asked to keep the pictures on the screen for five seconds or less - and these were pictures of all of our kids, so they definitely had the "aww" factor. Whether it's right or wrong, we live in a Sesame Street world, where anything graphic needs to move and move fast.

Tyrean Martinson said...

BTW - your book trailer is awesome - the animation rocks and it all hits a nice pace for the viewer.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Mary.

Toinette and Helena (Yea, you came back!), your guesses have been noted. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

I saw that Rotten Tomatoes rating. Too bad no one can seem to get the Fantastic Four right. With CG and the foes the Fantastic Four had, the movies should be an awesome.

Hey, I loved co-hosting IWSG. Feel free to pencil me in any time or use me as backup should a co-host cancel at the last minute.

Sandra Cox said...

Great job on the meme for Karen, Alex!

Denise Covey said...

I've already downloaded Black Magic and Mojitos and it looks good. Well done to Alexia! It was a great IWSG month for sure. I'd be happy to co-host in September as it is between WEP challenges. Let me know if you need me. Otherwise November could work. Only have NaNo that month, lol!

Ava Quinn said...

History can be fun, Melissa! I actually remember reading about the boxed dinner tradition.

I hadn't read the reviews for Fantastic 4, but I'm pretty partial to the Ioan Gruffud versions, so I didn't think I'd be seeing it anyway. Glad I won't miss out on principle, tho. lol!

Emily R. King said...

That graphic about insecure writer's is fabulous, Alex. All good reminders. I saved it to my computer!

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats to Melissa, AA and Sean on their releases.

Cherie Reich said...

I enjoyed the history lesson, Melissa! Congrats! I'm going to guess the red box.

I haven't seen as many book trailers as I used to. I guess they're too much trouble and don't seem very effective to produce sales. I still think they're neat to watch, though.

M Pax said...

Congrats, Melissa! I'll guess the blue box, because I love blue. I only bake for my husband. :)

I don't do book trailers anymore because they don't really do anything but be cool. I love the ones a friend made for me and sometimes ask her for other videos.

Mason T. Matchak said...

I think the idea of the box social is interesting, but I'm always interested in unusual/mysterious ways that get people together. Though I do think hiding a lizard in a box would be funny as hell to everyone except the people who try to eat out of said box. O_o

As for the FF movie, I've never been interested, but ye gods, it looks like it turned into a complete waste. Supposedly Fox is going to go through with a sequel, but who knows what will happen.

Al Diaz said...

I should know how lizards smell. I am an overgrown one. I say it's the red box.

And Fantastic Four have never been of my interest. None of the movies made me even a bit curious.

Melissa said...

Thank you, Sandra, Ava, Mary, and Cherie.
(Mason, that was the point. LOL)

Cherie, Al and Mary, your guesses have been noted.

Fundy Blue said...

I'm going with the red box, Melissa! Fun piece!

I knew only The Dirty Dozen, Alex! I saw that so many times back in my Charles Bronson mad days.

I was flying eight hours on Monday and recovering yesterday, so I'm just commenting now. I would definitely encourage anyone to co-host. Yes, it takes some time, but it is so worth it.

Thanks for a great post filled with interesting information!

Liz Blocker said...

I love the old school, Melissa! And congratulations again. I guess the red box...

Elizabeth said...

Wow, Fantastic Four sounds bad, I don't think I'll bother with that one. I'm glad I decided to visit Ken's post, that was fun, I'm currently #220 :) As for book trailers, I think I've only watched one or two, I usually read reviews or take recommendations from friends.

Rhonda Albom said...

Sorry I am so late, but looks I am not too late for a guess - I think the lizard is in the blue box. I haven't and won't see Fantastic Four. I only know one of the movies - Braveheart.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Heather! And I haven't heard Great Googly-Moogly in a long time. You got four movies right.

Joanne, sorry, this post was a bit overload. And thanks! I'm pleased my trailer turned out so well.

Ivy, I will remember that.

Rachna, thanks for co-hosting.

Patricia, unless one could play in an eBook...

Jeffrey, no, just snubbed. Shady was banned, so I joined him. And glad you signed up for the IWSG.

Mary, thanks!

Toi, let me know what month you want to co-host again.

Tyrean, you're probably right. And thank you!

Stephen, you got it!

Denise, November would be awesome.

Mason, they will just be flushing money down the commode if they make that sequel.

Fundy, you got it!

Rhonda, correct!

Pearson Report said...

The lizard is in the tan coloured box, at least that's the box I would put a lizard in.

Great post - lots of wonderful information. As to the movies, I would need to cheat and google the name combinations. (just might, hahaha)

Have a wonderful weekend ahead. Cheers, Jenny :) :)

Melissa Sugar said...

What an entertaining post, Melissa. I'm going with the tan box. Fabulous trailer, Alex. I really need to reconnect with IWSG. Every post I read reminds me of how much I used to get out of it. I wish I hadn't stopped sharing.

Catherine Stine said...

Fun post from Melissa. And for books, the Rat Killer sounds dark but intriguing. Also, oddly enough I am a huge fan of hard rock and I will be checking out the Symphony X album. I saw Marilyn Manson in concert recently for his new Pale Emperor album. Powerful. And I'll be seeing Van Halen on Labor day weekend.

Sandra Cox said...

Sounds like Fan 4 is tanking.....

Melissa said...

Thank you, Fundy and Liz!

Fundy, Liz and Rhonda, your guesses have been recorded. :)

Melissa said...

Pearson Report & Melissa Sugar, you too!

Al Penwasser said...

Oh, I just can't psyche myself out to see The Fantastic Four. While they were one of my favorite Marvel comic books, I've no doubt the movie will be crap.

Belle said...

Melissa, it is very cool to have a contest. I glanced at the time on my computer; it was 12:01am. Yep, just my luck to miss by a minute.

Box socials sound like being picked for the baseball team when you are a clumsy, shy, girl standing there embarrassed and chosen last. Thanks for reminding me of the good-old school days! Lol Hmm, do I sound bitter? No, it is my brand of humor. Bitter humor. But I'm not bitter. No.

Loved the book trailer. I think it is the second one I've seen. Really draws you in.

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's a good job I never had to rely on a meal-in-a-box for dates - the guy would definitely ask for a refund :-) I vote for the red box, if I'm not too late.

Why do people split up in horror films?? I don't even like doing that on a Saturday afternoon shopping trip!

Pat Garcia said...

Nice history lesson on the why of boxes. I didn't know that.
I'm not participating in the giveaway, because I've already bought Precious Atonement. Hope someone wins who doesn't have copy.


Melissa said...

Belle, you're not too late. You have until midnight tonight.

Annalisa, your guess has been recorded. Thanks for playing. And I agree with you about splitting up. LOL

Thank you, Pat! I appreciate your support. :)

Chemist Ken said...

Thanks for the shoutout, Alex. I had a lot of fun writing that post.

Hart Johnson said...

Congrats, Melissa on your book release! And I am going with the red box, as it seems "least likely" (because it is girly) and therefore most likely, if that makes any sense...

Unknown said...

What a cute contest, Melissa! I loved the fascinating history lesson about box socials. Coincidentally, at this very moment, a tiny lizard got into my flat is "chirping." I had no idea lizards did that. Maybe it's some kind of mating call his own variation of a box social. Since he's beige colored, I'll pick the beige box!

Congrats to AA and Sean for their new releases!

I really liked the IWSG graphic with the suggestions. I agree with all of them.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Hart and Lexa.
Your guesses have been noted.

Now, to go pick a winner... ;)

Mark Koopmans said...

I was so sad to miss Melissa's giveaway, but if I had to guess, it's #2 (blue box stuck out to me :)

Also sad to hear the Irish film was crap - but *not* surprised... you have to be careful around those Irish fellows...

I was only (seriously now) thinking I wanted to do a book trailer for Donald's story... and then I thought, nah... no one does those anymore...

If you need me for October or December to be a co-host, let me know (sorry, I'm busy November 4 :)

Nissa Annakindt said...

Melissa Maygrove--- Precious Atonement sounds interesting. I had heard of box socials but knew nothing about them. I actually would love to find a lizard in my box social box!

And about the Fantastic Four movie--- the TV promo seemed kind of dismal. I will watch it when it comes out on television, but I think I will like the older Fantastic Four movies better.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Melissa, you can rejoin anytime.

Catherine, you are awesome!

Sandra, I think it sunk to the bottom...

Belle, didn't sound bitter to me!

Annalisa - funny!

Ken, it was an awesome post.

Mark, appreciate that!

msmariah said...

Hi Alex! I hope you're doing well. Like you, I skipped Fantastic Four. I was supposed to review, but I just can't bear to.

I will also skip 'From the Dark.' You know for once I wish people in horror movies were smarter or even slightly smart. The first horror movie I've seen in which the woman was reasonably intelligent and resourceful was "You're Next." Have you had a chance to see that one yet?

Shannon Lawrence said...

I love the box story. What a fun tidbit.

Man, I've heard nothing but bad about Fantastic Four. Yet I will likely still take the kids to see it. There haven't been that many family friendly movies that weren't cartoons this summer.

Co-hosting is great fun!

Melissa said...

Thanks, Shannon. And Nissa - LOL :D

DMS said...

I missed guessing on the box- but how fun! Thank goodness I don't have to cook something and put it in a box. I make a really good salad- but that doesn't seem like it would hold up well in a box. ;)

I do like book trailers!

Deniz Bevan said...

Love the graph, and your inspirational design!