<i>Take Down</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Take Down: Exclusive Excerpt Mallery Malone "Little does Karina Armistead know, but Gabriel has decided that she will be his." <i>Lord Savage</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Lord Savage: Exclusive Excerpt Mia Gabriel "I instantly forgot everything except how he’d kissed me last night..." <i>Dark Blood</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Dark Blood: Exclusive Excerpt Christine Feehan "You can’t go around saying things like that to me when we have company." <i>Irresistible Force</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Irresistible Force: Exclusive Excerpt D.D. Ayres "Even his scowl was, well, damn sexy..."
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The August 2014 Women’s Fiction Roundup
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Showing posts tagged: Avengers click to see more stuff tagged with Avengers
Tue
Apr 8 2014 6:33pm

Avengers 2 Speculation: Are Black Widow and Hawkeye an Item?

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for Captain America: The Winter Soldier as well as major speculation about and potential spoilers for next year's Avengers sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Read at your own risk.

Nearly two years have passed since Clint “Hawkeye” Barton and Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff stole scenes and hearts in The Avengers, the end of which saw the pair of SHIELD agents/assassins driving off into the sunset together for parts unknown. Ever since then, many fans—myself included—have been dying to know if there actually is more than friendship between them (I made my case back in 2012 for why I believe they're TOTALLY in love) and how their relationship will be depicted in future films.

Based on new evidence gathered from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (in which Natasha had a part but Clint was mysteriously absent), interviews with the directors and cast about that movie, and a blind item posted by an entertainment blogger, I am inclined to think that not only is there more than friendship between them but we'll get to see at least hints of their romance on screen in Avengers 2. Basically, fellow Clint/Natasha fans, I do believe our ship is about to set sail.

Here's everything I know so far. Let's get to speculatin'. (And to be absolutely clear: This is JUST speculation based on rumors extrapolated from interviews and such, NOT actual knowledge of future films. Your guess about what will happen is as good as mine.)

[“Love is for children; I owe him a debt”...]

Fri
Apr 4 2014 3:00pm

Amaztasticful!: An Obviously Super Impartial Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier*Disclaimer* I am an unabashed Marvel fangirl. I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I've seen Marvel's The Avengers in the theater nineteen times, thus far, and, more recently, I saw Thor: The Dark World in the theater five times before a back injury seriously curtailed my ability to binge on movies. I have already seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier two times, though today is the official opening date and I also managed to sneak in a re-viewing of the first Captain America movie, as well. What can I say; I'm an overachiever. I say all of this to let you know that I am supremely qualified to offer a review of this movie, but I also may be the slightest bit biased. Just a smidge. You've been warned. Since most have not yet seen the movie (seriously, what are you waiting for?), I'll keep this spoiler-free.

Because I love and crave all things Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have been anticipating Captain America: The Winter Soldier for months. I've watched all the sneak peeks, I've read all the theories, I've watched the interviews with the cast, I read all of the early reviews, etc. I participated in anything that was intended to ratchet up interest in the movie and the mission was accomplished; if I could have, I would have somersaulted everywhere all day long on Tuesday, so giddy was I that I was going to see the Advance Screening of the movie that night. One of the things I knew going in was that this movie is part traditional superhero movie but also part spy thriller. In honor of that duality, I will present this review in two parts. The first part will be a traditional, spoiler-free review and the second part will be a full-on fangirlgasm wherein I will abuse exclamation marks and make up brand new words. Because I must.

[Two parts, all awesome? You tell us!...]

Thu
Dec 12 2013 1:45pm

Superheroes for the Ladies? Sneaking Romance into “Boy” Movies

Twisted by Laura K. CurtisToday we're joined by author Laura K. Curtis, whose Twisted is a romantic suspense with a true-crime writer heroine who is trying to solve the true crime in her own life—the murder of her mother—and the chief of police hero who helps her. Laura is here to discuss the evolution of superhero movies, and who they're really aimed at. Thanks, Laura!

Recently, when my husband was out of town, I streamed the entire first season of Arrow, then followed it up with the various Marvel superhero movies. Why did I wait? Because, despite the comic books from which all these franchises are derived being written for young men, the screen versions don’t seem designed to appeal to the same audience at all.

I grew up with an older brother and a younger brother, which means I grew up with comic books. The ones I remember best were Batman, Fantastic Four, and X-Men, but Spider-Man made an appearance on occasion as did several others. We watched both Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk on television. (Naturally, the boys pooh-poohed at Wonder Woman, but we watched anyway.)

[News flash: Girls are comic readers too!...]

Thu
Nov 7 2013 2:00pm

Thor and Loki, Styxx and Acheron, the Lannisters: Sibling Rivalries

Thor and Loki in ThorMarvel’s Thor: The Dark World will be in theaters on November 8th in the United States, although it's been premiering all over the world outside the U.S. for the past month. In red carpet interviews, it stars, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, seem to have an easy friendship, which is in direct contrast to the troubled relationship their characters Thor and Loki share onscreen. Their contentious sibling rivalry has been the root of the drama that fueled both 2011’s Thor movie and Marvel’s The Avengers movie, as well. The trailers for Thor: The Dark World seem to indicate that Thor and Loki will spend at least a bit of time working side by side in this movie, even though their relationship looks to remain thorny.

Loki is my favorite character in the Marvel Universe right now, which is totally due to the fact that Tom Hiddleston plays him ( I went to see The Avengers eighteen times in the movie theater). I’m going to see it a nineteenth time on November 7th, as part of the special Thor Marathon that will include Thor, The Avengers, and the premiere of Thor: The Dark World. I am most looking forward to Thor and Loki’s scenes together partly because Hemsworth and Hiddles are just so much pretty in one frame, but mainly because my reading and viewing history has taught me that familial strife can lead to some of the best stories. There’s just so much angst, misery, snark and even begrudging loyalty that comes with warring family members. And if the stories include sorcery, royalty and/or Gods, similar to Loki and Thor, they seem to be all the better! They can be found in different mediums, across various genres and can run the gamut from comedy to tragedy.

[I'm just his brother, not his keeper...]

Wed
Nov 6 2013 6:47pm

Shipshape: On Agents of SHIELD’s Fitz/Simmons, Ward/Simmons, and More

Fitz and Simmons in SHIELD**This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Agents of SHIELD, including last night’s episode, 1x06, “FZZT.”**

Last night's episode of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD finally started to flesh out two characters I've been very curious about: scientists Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz. And in doing so, the show also seemed to suggest the potential for a love quadrangle involving Simmons, Fitz, Grant Ward, and Skye.

I'm not sure I'm invested enough in or know enough about the characters to have any real 'ship yet, but I'm me, so I'm always on the lookout for something that'll hook me. And I have to say that “FZZT” at the very least succeeded in making me sit up and pay attention to the wonder twins again after a few weeks of slipping interest due to their lack of screen time (seriously, waaaay to much time given to Ward and Skye—I can already tell you I care not at all if they ever hook up). So, what did we learn?

[Where's the love?...]

Tue
Aug 6 2013 11:30am

Power Hungry and Hot: Best (Meaning Worst) Anti-Heroes

Siege and Storm by Leigh BardugoI’ve just read Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo’s second book in the Grisha trilogy. Semi-spoiler here for anyone who hasn’t read the whole first book, Shadow and Bone: the Darkling is in the running for best villain of the decade. He’s cruel, wicked, scheming and entirely hot. Even if he ended up physically scarred as his soul, he’d still have the hotness factor. Bardugo knows it too. She said in an interview on Amazon that she’d love to meet him, “Because he's gorgeous and mysterious and dangerous and all those fun things.”

But he is entirely evil. He kills innocent people—a lot of them.  

Bardugo’s character occasionally shows signs of humanity that make him appear less of a monster, but damn. Who knows? He might demonstrate vulnerability just to gain Alina’s sympathy. He is no good. Even his mother knows that. I can’t see him tamed and sweet, like many so-called villains. I could imagine him broken, perhaps, and even secretly grateful for having his control removed, but that’s not the same.

You got your characters who’re all about the power, like sometime bad-guy Johnny Marcone in Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series. Yet Marcone doesn’t quite end up purely evil because he has a few humanizing quirks. He’ll never harm a child and goes out of his way to protect kids. That little softy touch gets him bumped off the list.

[Nice guys need not apply...]

Fri
Jul 26 2013 3:18pm

What’s Next for Hawkeye/Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron?

Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff in The AvengersJoss Whedon's announcement this past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con that Avengers 2 will officially be known as Avengers: Age of Ultron has whipped up even more excitement over the superhero sequel and what's next for some of our favorite Marvel characters. As a major Black Widow/Hawkeye (aka Natasha/Clint) shipper, I'm especially curious about what's next for the Avengers' master assassins, since they likely won't appear together in a film before Avengers 2 (unless Marvel is planning to sneak a Hawkeye cameo into Captain America: Winter Soldier, which is always a possibility).

We haven't heard yet about specific plans for teammates and close friends Hawkeye and Black Widow yet, but here's what Whedon has recently said about the characters as individuals and his plans for them in his next film:

On Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow:

She was the most fun for me [in the first film] because she's not a hero, you know, and it's something that I read - and I feel bad that I can't remember who wrote the book - but it's in one of the books explaining: “These guys are heroes, you are a spy. It's a different thing, it's a different skill set, and you don't have their moral high ground or any of that good stuff.” And that just makes her so interesting to me. So yeah, the stuff I've got going on with her in the second one is killer

And that just makes her so interesting to me. So yeah, the stuff I've got going on with her in the second one is killer.

—Quote from this post by Digital Spy, which cites a video of a panel Joss did at NerdHQ during Comic-Con

And on Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton, Hawkeye:

[Tell us more, tell us more!...]

Sun
Jul 21 2013 1:13am

San Diego Comic-Con 2013 News Roundup: Age of Ultron, Khal Drogo, Fassbender & McAvoy, Catching Fire, and More!

Fassbender and McAvoy at the X-Men panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2013Reporting to you live on San Diego Comic-Con 2013 from...Atlanta?!

Team H&H is still at RWA 2013 (see our post on tonight's 2013 RITA & Golden Heart Awards Ceremony), but we just had to share some of our favorite news tidbits coming out of Comic-Con, like...

Avengers 2 has an official title! Writer/director Joss Whedon announced today that the sequel to last year's smash hit will be called The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Apparently, in the comic book storyline by Brian Michael Bendis, a lot of superheroes die. Gulp! Now we're worried for our favorites (Iron Man! Black Widow! Hawkeye! Cap! Okay, all of 'em!), not to mention our favorite relationships (Hawkeye/Black Widow and Pepperony, for instance).

Footage from Marvel movies Thor: The Dark World (out in November), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (out next spring), and Guardians of the Galaxy (out in Summer 2014) was released, and the casts appeared on stage for the panels. Apparently Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff does in fact have a big role in Cap 2, and she and Steve form quite the odd couple. (But where's Hawkeye??? I still need to know.) Anthony Mackie's Falcon sounds like a major badass. Then there's Doctor Who's Karen Gillan, cast as Nebula in Guardians, who said she shaved her head for the role and then threw her wig into the audience (AWESOME). Oh, and Tom Hiddleston addressed the audience in costume as Loki and the fans just LOST IT, of course:

[+ Fassbender! Momoa! Somherhalder...]

Tue
Jul 16 2013 4:18pm

You Had Us at Whedon: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and FitzSimmons) News Roundup!



The buzz surrounding Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is starting to get even louder this week thanks to new promos (like the featurette of FitzSimmons, above, first posted by Huffington Post), the announcement that fan-favorite composer Bear McCreary (whose music for shows like Battlestar Galactica, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and The Walking Dead is nothing short of epic) will be scoring the series, and word that there's even more exclusive news/content coming our way during San Diego Comic-Con (maybe another trailer or even a screening of the whole pilot??).

Fans of Joss Whedon and The Avengers (and especially Black Widow and Hawkeye) that we are, Team H&H is pretty psyched about this show, which will debut (it was just announced) on September 24 on ABC. In fact, one among us may have even staked out a potential new 'ship in the form of Fitz/Simmons (though that video of the actors proclaiming that their characters's relationship is that of brother and sister has cast some doubt on that possibility, it's true, 'cause not every couple could pull off the Cesare/Lucrezia thing).

Do the new featurettes and announcements have you looking forward to Whedon's latest foray into television, too?

ETA 7/20/13: The whole S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot was screened at San Diego Comic-Con! And afterwards IGN interviewed Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge about the Fitz/Simmons relationship (apparently we're not the only ones who think that there could be some romantic potential there!)

Sun
Jul 14 2013 2:30pm

Shipping Sunday: The Avengers’s Clint/Natasha

Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America

Natasha and Clint. Black Widow and Hawkeye. Incredibly gifted master assassins and part of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Strike Team Delta, these two non-powered superheroes got a chance to shine in Marvel's The Avengers last summer, and stole a few hearts while they were at it. But while the two have a romantic history in the comics, in the movies any feelings other than deep friendship were mere speculation. Could that change in future films, like Captain America: Winter Solider or The Avengers 2? Would you want it to? Do tell!

And if you're already a Clint/Natasha shipper, share your favorite pics of them in the comments!

[+4 more Black Widow/Hawkeye images...]

Thu
Jun 20 2013 3:58pm

More Tony Stark, Please!: Robert Downey, Jr. Signs on for More Avengers

Will Robert Downey, Jr. (RDJ) be be back as Tony Stark for future Iron Man and Avengers films? The question has been on the minds of Marvel Cinematic Universe fans ever since it became public knowledge that Downey was renegotiating his contract for the franchise.

But we got the answer today thanks to an update from Marvel.com via Entertainment Weekly: Yes! And no.

Yes, RDJ has signed on for not one but TWO more Avengers movies (yay!). But no, he hasn't signed on for more standalone Iron Man movies (aww). Will he? Maybe, maybe not. But Avengers 2 is slated for a 2015 release and Avengers 3 probably won't be out until 2017 or 2018, so he'll be part of the franchise for at least another 4 years, and we know he's up for cameo appearances... Overall, I'd call this a win.

How about you? Are you looking forward to more Tony Stark on your screen in the next few years? Could you have imagined anyone else in the role?

The next Avengers is still two years away, but remember, in the meantime we'll have Thor 2, Captain America 2 (filming now with Chris Evans's Steve Rogers, Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, et al.—one can only hope Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye might pop up for one Clint/Natasha scene), and Guardians of the Galaxy. Plus, Iron Man 3 will be out on Blu-ray before we know it and we'll be able to revel in the Tony/Pepper a.k.a. Pepperony goodness (not to mention those awesome Downton Abbey shout-outs and that Hulktastic bonus scene).

Tue
Jun 18 2013 2:30pm

June 2013 Bloggers’s Recommendations: Psy-Changelings, Avengers, Wedding Photographers, and More!

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini SinghEach month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for June 2013 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the related posts section at the bottom of the post):

Jennifer Myers

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh was my most anticipated book of the year.  That is saying a lot for a book where I didn’t even know the name of the hero or heroine until a couple of weeks before release day. It didn’t disappoint. Ms. Singh gave us a truly epic love story combined with breakingtaking steps in the fall of the PsyNet. Neither plot nor romance was sacrificed for the other when it came to this book.  We were given so many answers; who Kaleb had been looking for, the identity of the Ghost, what will happening to the remaining council members, what happens with Pure Psy, yet we were also left with questions we all are desperate to solve. Ms. Singh totally outdid herself with this one.  Now to find out the identity of the next hero...

[The rest of the best...]

Tue
May 14 2013 4:00pm

ABC Reveals 2013-2014 TV Schedule: S.H.I.E.L.D., Wonderland, Tricia Helfer, and More!

It’s that time of year again, when the major TV networks unveil their fall schedules and we get a little glimpse of what we might be obsessing about at the water cooler from September to May. Here’s a look at the schedule and, more importantly, new shows that ABC announced at its Upfronts presentations in New York City today (CBS and the CW will present over the next few days):

ABC's Fall 2013 Schedule (all times ET)

SUNDAY
8-9 p.m. — Once Upon a Time 
9-10 p.m. — Revenge
10-11 p.m. —  BETRAYAL (DRAMA) Twisty and infidelicious, this soap/legal drama hybrid follows a female photographer who has a torrid affair with a defense lawyer. But when he gets a big murder case, he has to go up against her husband, the prosecuting attorney, in court. James Cromwell (American Horror Story: Asylum), Henry Thomas (E.T.), Hannah Ware (Boss), Stuart Townsend (Night Stalker), and Wendy Moniz (Damages) star.
Ship watch: Sara/Jack

MONDAY
8-9 p.m. — Dancing With the Stars
10-11 p.m. — Castle

[What about the rest of the week?...]

Fri
May 10 2013 4:33pm

Wishful Shipping?: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Fitz/Simmons

Fitz and Simmons—Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth HenstridgeUpdated 9/24/13Agents of SHIELD is finally here! You can find thoughts on the pilot episode here, as well as my hopes for Fitz/Simmons.

Anybody here ever go into a show or movie already knowing which couple you'll be rooting for, or shipping? Because I absolutely do, and not only when it's a book-to-screen adaptation where I'm already attached to a version of a couple.

No, I mean brand-new-to-me pairings that I get prematurely hooked on with very little to go on, like promo pictures, interviews, or even just character descriptions. Such was the case for me with Jack/Rose in Titanic back in the day (yes, I admit it!) and Clint/Natasha in The Avengers just last year. I also blame a certain recent post on LiveJournal's Oh No They Didn't community for my recent marathon catchup of The Borgias, which, let me tell you, will really make you wonder what TV is doing to your moral compass, even when it's all fiction. Anyway. This ever happen to you? Just me?

I'm wondering now if this will be the case for me with a show reportedly a lock for the ABC fall TV scheduleMarvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., an Avengers spinoff from Joss Whedon starring Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson and Ming-Na Wen's Melinda May that'll focus on lower-level agents in Nick Fury's Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.) spy intelligence agency.

It is still VERY early days for this show (I'm literally only going on character descriptions, some throwaway lines, and, let's face it, WILD SPECULATION), but already two characters in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s supporting cast have caught my serial-shipper imagination: Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, described as “A twosome so connected to each other they're known as 'Fitz-Simmons.' ”

[That all you got?...]

Sat
May 4 2013 2:46am

Iron Man 3 Meets...Downton Abbey?!!

Happy Hogan in Iron ManWe know Downton Abbey is all over pop culture these days. How I Met Your Mother recently paid homage to the show when Marshall, Lily, and Ted found themselves addicted to a very similar period drama called Woodworthy Manor. And in an episode of The Mindy Project a few weeks back (“Santa Fe”), Mindy's ex Josh got a quick update from a high-profile pal/client (the Green Bay Packers's Clay Matthews) on the Crawley drama he'd missed while he was TV-less in rehab. Then there was the time the show was a hot topic with Gossip Girl's upper east siders (or at least with Serena's mom Lily)... The list goes on, really.

So yes, Downton is all over the place lately. But did anyone see that Iron Man 3 connection coming?

******MAJOR IRON MAN 3 SPOILERS AHEAD*****

[Who knew Tony could be so sensitive?...]

Tue
Apr 23 2013 10:04am

The First Thor: The Dark World Trailer is Here!

SQUEE! Just a few days after the first poster was released, Marvel has gifted us the first trailer from Thor: The Dark World, with delicious teases of a) a love triangle b) an ultimate sacrifice c) Thor's awesomely huge hammer (!) and d) Loki and Thor's literal bromance!

Thor: The Dark World is out in theaters November 8, 2013.