Monday, January 11, 2010

Havin' A Party! With Games!

Party Time

Yes, it's here! It's here! Jen's Book Thoughts second anniversary AND the release of Robert Crais' THE FIRST RULE. So we have double the reason to party today.

First, as promised, I have winners in the Steve Hockensmith autographed books giveaway. Darcy O. is the winner of ON THE WRONG TRACK and Vicki W. is the winner of HOLMES ON THE RANGE. I have contacted both winners to get mailing information. Congratulations to you both.

Lemon Party

Don't you love these dancing lemons? They cracked me up. And since they have better rhythm than I do, I thought I'd include them in the celebration today. I did try Pop Culture Nerd's suggestion of running naked through the snow. But since it's so darned cold, I moved fast that the image only resulted in a streak (pun intended) across the picture.

A few little factoids about Jen's Book Thoughts over the last two years. This post is post number 554. As of this writing there have been in excess of 32,100 unique visitors (of which, just under 5,000 visited in Year One), and those unique visitors have translated into many new book friends. I hope you will all stick around for Year Three. You are, after all, my motivation!

Year Three will see, God willing, a second season of 6-word memoirs, another Bouchercon and L.A. Times Festival of Books. More reviews, interviews, giveaways and other fun book stuff. I may even pop in some reviews of movies and TV. We'll see. I'm also working hard on a theme week for later this year. I have no intention of resting on my laurels. This is just too much fun! So again, I hope you'll stick around and join me for Year Three. Let's make it a great year of sharing books.


Alright. Let's talk about party requirements here. We have dancing lemons, hopping beagles. You are each required to join me in toast. Hold your glasses up to your monitors...I'm toasting you from my end of the blog-o-sphere, "here's to another great year with crime fiction and friends!"

And what's a party without games? We have a game in honor of R.C.'s book launch today. We waited over a year for this one, so it's cause for celebration, right? Oh, who am I kidding, we wouldn't have to wait a year to have cause for celebration. But this game is in his honor. And the inspiration came from Pop Culture Nerd. We were discussing "degrees of separation" between R.C. and well...everyone. So, today we're going to play Six Degrees of Robert Crais. I hope you all will play along with me. Here are the rules:

1. Pop Culture Nerd is starting off the game by giving me a name that would be recognizable to most people. I have to connect this person to R.C. in six degrees or less (but not any more).

2. I throw another name out that would be recognizable to most people (in other words, I can't pick my sister's ex-boyfriend from seventh grade).

3. The first person to comment and play the game, needs to connect the name I gave to R.C. in six degrees or less then come up with the name for the NEXT commenter. And so on as long as the comments go.

4. All connections must be real and verifiable. So, no, "I dreamed that..."

So let's see how well we can do with The Six Degrees of Robert Crais! Pop Culture Nerd's name is:

Kevin Bacon

Wasn't that nice of her? She gave me an easy one. I don't need six degrees, so here goes:

    1. Kevin Bacon was the movie A FEW GOOD MEN with Demi Moore.
    2. Demi Moore was married to and had three children with Bruce Willis
    3. Bruce Willis played the role of Jeff Talley in the film version of Robert
      Crais' standalone HOSTAGE.

At first I had a name that would be kind of challenging. Not impossible, just challenging, but I'm going to be just as generous (maybe even more so) and choose the person I always thought would make a good Max Holman,


So now it's your turn. In the comments section, connect Mark Harmon to Robert Crais in six degrees or less and then contributed the next name. The names don't have to be Hollywood names, just names that would be recognizable by most people.

And thank you all for helping make this a FANTASTIC Year Two for Jen's Book Thoughts! Happy Reading!


Kaye Barley January 12, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

And here's to looking forward to another fun year. Keep up the good work, you give the rest of us a level of integrity (and fun!) to live up to.

novelwhore January 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM  

Hi Jen!

Oh oh I want to play, though I don't know if I'm going to be very good quite yet since I've only read the two Joe Pike novels and one Elvis Cole... But here's my rather questionnable attempt to participate in one degree:

1. I had never heard the name Mark Harmon until Jen Forbus commented on the Robert Crais fan page wall that he should play Max Holmon in a movie!

Whew, there you go. Hopefully someone can play better. Hope you liked the new Crais video on his fanpage!

Corey Wilde January 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

I'm not good at the Six Degrees game. But does this one go through the Bruce Willis route again, via the show Moonlighting? If so, the next name is Antonio Banderas.

When life hands you lemons, make -- dancers?

Jen Forbus January 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM  


Good! Yes, it could. It could also go through JAG. Mark Harmon appeared in a couple of episodes of JAG before NCIS started. And of course, RC was a writer for an episode of JAG.

Either way works!

Oh Lydia! You must learn about Mark Harmon. He makes my heart skip a beat! But alas, he's married to Mindy from MORK AND MINDY!

Next up Antonio Banderas. Who wants to take the next shot?

le0pard13 January 12, 2010 at 1:20 PM  

First off, congratulations on your second blog anniversary, Jen. I know I'm looking forward to the results of the third!

Now, to the game at hand:
1. Antonio Banderas co-starred in the '95 MIAMI RHAPSODY along with future SPY KIDS co-star Carla Gugino
2. Carla Gugino co-starred in the 2005 SIN CITY along with Bruce Willis
3. Bruce Willis played the role of Jeff Talley in the film version of Robert Crais' standalone HOSTAGE (this one is going to be a popular route)

And, since I just viewed OUT OF SIGHT again, I'll pick Jennifer Lopez for the next name (since RC would probably appreciate a woman at this stage in the game). Thanks, Jen.

Corey Wilde January 12, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

Now there's a route that had not occurred to me. I used Banderas to wife Melanie Griffith, ex-wife of Don Johnson, who starred in Miami Vice, with 2 episodes written by Crais.

J-Lo. Good luck. My brain just shut down.

Jen Forbus January 12, 2010 at 1:52 PM  

Very creative Michael! And J-Lo is a great new challenge. Who's up to the challenge next?

Beth Groundwater January 12, 2010 at 2:11 PM  

Hi Jen,
Congratulations on the 2-year anniversary! I'd drink to it, but I'm on pain meds for a root canal. ;( I'm happy to report that I'm one of those folks who has met Robert Crais personally. In fact, I have of photo of him handing me the certificate from my first writing contest placement at a Pikes Peak Writers Conference many years ago. He's very generous with sharing his time and expertise with writing organizations and conferences and certainly deserves his well-earned success. As you do, too, Jen!

Pop Culture Nerd January 12, 2010 at 2:32 PM  

Congrats on our 2nd blogoversary, Jen! Here's to an even bigger third year.

Now, linking Crais to Lopez:

1) She was a Fly Girl on In Living Color with Jim Carrey.

2) Carrey did Bruce Almighty with Catherine Bell. (Just happened to catch it on TV the other day!)

3) Bell starred in JAG, for which Crais wrote.

My name for the next commenter is: Tori Spelling.

Kay January 12, 2010 at 2:47 PM  

Jen, congratulations on your 2nd blogversary. I can't believe it has been that long. You are much appreciated for all the time you take to inform and share your journey through mysteries. Love your blog!

So sorry that Beth is on meds for root canal. I'm in the middle of dealing with one of those too. Well, I'm going for my 3rd visit concerning one. They have to take out what they have already done and start over. :-(

I'm not very good at 6 degrees so I will skip that part. Mark Harmon is mega-lovely though!!

Poncho January 12, 2010 at 3:26 PM  

OK. Jen, congrats for your blogiversary!! And I loooove the lemons. OK. Here for Tori Spelling

1. TORI SPELLING is the daughter of AARON SPELLING.
2. Aaron Spelling produced "Melrose Place" in which MARCIA CROSS had a star role.
3. Cross plays KYLE MCLACHLAN's wife Bree in "Desperate Housewives"
4. McLachlan played Jack Griffin in "The Invisible Man", written by CRAIS

OK... Now I'll name: Daniel Radcliffe. OK... Let me see if I can solve mine!

le0pard13 January 12, 2010 at 4:22 PM  

Okay... I'll take another crack at this.
1. Daniel Radcliffe had a role in THE TAILOR OF PANAMA along with Pierce Brosnan
2. Pierce Brosnan was OO7 in film and voiced the third person shooter game, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, along with Keith Szarabajka who did voice work in it
3. Keith Szarabajka co-starred as Mickey Kostmayer in THE EQUALIZER
4. RC wrote episodes for THE EQUALIZER

Thank God for Google and Wikipedia!

I'm going to pick another woman and favorite of mine (hey... I like women), Joan Chen.

Poncho January 12, 2010 at 5:21 PM  

Wow, le0pard13. That road was one I didn't find. My first pick was relating DR to Ian McKellen in "David Copperfield", Sir Ian to Ben Foster in the "X-Men" saga, and BF to Crais by "Hostage". As Jen said, this is fun, and addictive!

Joan Chen... with a little help of Corey... was an easy one:

1. Joan Chen acted in an episode of "Miami Vice"
2. RC wrote an episode of MV

I'll throw another woman: Cindy Lauper

Jen Forbus January 12, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

Wow Poncho Cyndi Lauper! That's a good one. I'm off to work out. If no one's taken a shot at it by the time I get back, I'll give it a go!

Thanks everybody! This is fun and I've been smiling all day!

le0pard13 January 12, 2010 at 5:49 PM  

That's a good one, Poncho. Took awhile, but...
1. Cindy did the music (along with Dave Grusin) for the film, THE GOONIES
2. THE GOONIES had a character named Jake Fratelli, played by Robert Davi
3. Robert Davi was Stan Maizel in Hill Street Blues TV series
4. RC wrote episodes for Hill Street Blues

Let's throw a monkey-wrench into this... director Sam Fuller.

Jen Forbus January 12, 2010 at 7:07 PM  

O.k., you guys don't get to have all the fun. I'm getting in on this one.

1. Sam Fuller wrote and directed THE BIG RED ONE in which Mark Hamill starred.
2. Mark Hamill played Luke Skywalker in the various Star Wars movies, where James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader.
3. James Earl Jones guested in two episodes of L.A. Law and RC wrote for L.A. Law!

Woo hoo!

O.k., let's try to get a little literary here. How about Harper Lee?

Jen Forbus January 12, 2010 at 7:10 PM  

You all might also be interested to know that Laura Lippman connected Cyndi Lauper to RC through herself and the Howard Stern show over on Facebook. Jeff Cohen was getting in on the fun over there, too!

Anonymous January 12, 2010 at 8:59 PM  

Happy Anniversary to Jen's Book Thoughts! You've done a fabulous job, Jen! Looking forward to 2010!

Wow, you guys are good at this 6 degrees! This isn't easy, but it's fun! OK:

1. Harper Lee was portrayed by Catherine Keener in CAPOTE
2. Catherine Keener played a secretary in the movie, SWITCH in which Jimmy Smits starred
3. Jimmy Smits was a regular on LA LAW
4. RC wrote for LA LAW

My husband wanted to play so he picked the next name. It's Richard Feynman, physicist and author.

(Nashville, TN)

Anonymous January 12, 2010 at 9:16 PM  

@ Jen: Great Mark Harmon story for you. My cousin was having a hard time leaving home to go to college at the USAF Academy. As she's heading back to her seat trying not to cry, she recognizes Mark and his wife on the plane. Through the flight attendant, she got a note to him asking him for an autograph and mentioning that she was headed to the Academy. The man gets up, comes back to her, talks to her for a bit and wishes her luck at USAFA! Whatta guy!!

@lp13: I'd forgotten all about THE EQUALIZER. My husband and I used to watch that all the time.

So, now I'm going to follow Poncho's example and try to solve my husband's suggestion.

(Nashville, TN)

le0pard13 January 12, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

This is becoming quite addictive...

1. Richard Feynman's story was told in the '96 film INFINITY, with Matthew Broderick portraying Feynman
2. Matthew Broderick had a cameo (as Ferris Bueller) in SHE'S HAVING A BABY, which starred Kevin Bacon
3. Kevin Bacon co-starred in the movie A FEW GOOD MEN (thanks for this Jen), along with Kevin Pollack
4. Kevin Pollack co-starred in the film HOSTAGE
5. HOSTAGE is based upon RC's standalone book.

Following Christine's husband suggestion, I'll select another physicist:

Charles Richter (thought of this because of today's Haiti earthquake).

Anonymous January 12, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

First let me apologize for poaching a few steps, but it's past my bedtime and my brain's mush. However, I JUST CAN'T HELP MYSELF, so:

1. Charles Richter was a Fulbright Scholar as was John Lithgow
2. John Lithgow co-starred with the original Mr. Six Degrees, Kevin Bacon
3. Kevin Bacon was in A FEW GOOD MEN with Kevin Pollack
4. Kevin Pollack was in HOSTAGE...which leads us back to THE MAN
5. RC who wrote the novel HOSTAGE is based on

As I'm thinking of "Sweet Dreams", I leave you with Annie Lennox as the next name.

"Good night and good luck." :0)

(Nashville, TN)

Naomi Johnson January 12, 2010 at 11:46 PM  

Hey, this six-degrees party is getting kind of noisy. Next thing you know, Jen will be asking everyone into the hot tub.

Jen Forbus January 13, 2010 at 6:24 AM  

Good golly I go to bed last night and Craisies keep the party going! Too much fun you guys. A hot tub? Why didn't I think of that in the party preparations???

O.k. I'm making an effort to be creative on this one:

1.Annie Lennox recorded "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" for the movie SCROOGED, starring Bill Murray.

2. Bill Murray also played in ED WOOD with Vincent D'Onofrio who was in JFK

3. Kevin Costner took the lead on JFK and also was in A PERFECT WORLD directed by Clint Eastwood.

4. Dirty Harry acted in THE ENFORCER with Tyne Daly, who was Lacy on the TV show "Cagney and Lacey" which was one RC wrote for.

Next up...who wants to try Ernest Hemingway? And by the answer here contains a help for Ernest Hemingway if you need it.

Jen Forbus January 13, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

Christine, I love that Mark Harmon story. I'm afraid if I ever met him in person I'd just be a babbling idiot. I have trouble making small talk when I don't see stars in my eyes! Ha!

Anonymous January 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM  

Good morning all! DANG, how'd I miss the hottub, Naomi? I bet she has one of those outside so that she can enjoy the snowy landscape while poaching in the tub. ;) Anyone having to institute their favorite hangover cures after Jen's big party?

Oooh, that was a good trail for Annie Lennox, Jen. (By the by, Tyne Daly is one of my favorite actresses.) Like I said, my brain was mush, so for those who didn't recognize my link btwn John Lithgow and Kevin Bacon, it was the movie FOOTLOOSE. ha.

Haven't had nearly enough coffee yet to tackle Six Degrees, but I'll be back to tackle Ernest Hemingway. That is if those 6 Degrees maniacs, lp13 and Poncho, haven't nailed it yet and presented a new challenge. :-)

(Nashville, TN)

le0pard13 January 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

Took awhile...

1. Ernest Hemingway wrote THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
2. the 1990 film adaptation of TOMatS starred Anthony Quinn
3. Anthony Quinn co-starred in 1991's JUNGLE FEVER
4. JUNGER FEVER co-starred Debi Mazar
5. Debi Mazar portrayed Denise Ianello on the L.A. Law TV series
6. RC wrote episodes for L.A. Law

Next up... author Elmore Leonard (since I'm reading him now)

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