The Bad Girl Pre-Release

By: Lark Anderson
6/23/2020

The Bad Girl!

When Good Girl Nadine Winters finds herself given a second chance with a sexy bad boy from her past, she seeks help from her boss, the brazen Maxwell Stryder, to shed her innocent persona and adopt a sexy and dangerous new look.

Purchase HERE!

My fourth contemporary romance novel, The Bad Girl, releases 6/27, and let me tell you—I want to cry! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED my other novels, but I feel like I have such a strong bond with the protagonist in this one. Nadine is a ‘good girl’ who does the right thing, and makes good choices. She’s safe and secure and is basically the wheat bread of the carb family.

And let me tell you. A LOT of people think I’m some kind of badass, and it’s like, “Honey, no. I go to bed at around 9:30 each night. I have to be wary of spicy food because of my digestion. I drive the speed limit.”

So, Nadine was a very comfortable character for me to write. Completely relatable in every way. And able to step outside of herself for what she wants.

Which is where I fail. I see things I want, but I don’t take risks. Say I was single, and with no other qualifiers, there were two men in front of me. A sexy 30-year-old with a six-pack and a decent job and a 40-year-old with a dad bod and a good job—I take the dad bod every time. For one, I like to rest my head on it. But also, men grow, I truly believe with age comes wisdom. I think the 40-year-old might appreciate the qualities that I have. That I’m a fantastic cook, that I am considerate of time, and that I’m thrifty. I could be wrong, but dad bods feel safe and comfortable to me. Besides, a muscular, fit man is never going to eat my food. I’ll be wasted on them.

Well, Nadine took the risk I’ll never take. She moved outside of her comfort zone to achieve her goals. There are so many times I’ve dreamed of this myself, and so few times I’ve followed through and taken the leap. The most notable was when I published my first novel, The Billionaire’s Board. I was scared. Anxious. So many fearful emotions. But I did it! And then I it again. And again. And now I’m here, book four about to release, and book five DONE!

To all the women that read The Bad Girl and fall in love with Nadine—I hope you take your risk.

Yours in Adventure,

Lark

Join my VIP Readers List and get a FREE full-length book! I promise I won’t bombard you…and…GIVEAWAYS!!!!

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Lark’s Favorite RomComs!!!

By Lark Anderson
April 28, 2020

Hello, Friends! I thought that with the lockdown still going on, now might be a good time to recommend some of my favorite RomComs to my fellow romance fiends!!!

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) – OMG – THIS IS MY FAVORITE ROMCOM EVA!!! Prepare yourself for culture clash as a Greek woman(Nia Vardalos) falls for a non-Greek man(John Corbett), and it becomes a family affair! (This really resonates with me as I married into a Thai family.)

There’s Something About Mary (1998) – CLASSIC! When Ted(Ben Stiller) reunites with his childhood crush, Mary(Cameron Diaz), things get a little out of hand.

As Good As It Gets (1997) – When Melvin(Jack Nicholson), an OCD writer, is forced out of his comfort zone, his ‘emotional support’ waitress(Helen Hunt) must struggle to help him.

Something’s Gotta Give (2003) – Harry(Jack Nicholson) suffers a heart attack at his much younger girlfriend’s house. While he’s recuperating, he finds himself drawn to his girlfriend’s mother(Diane Keaton), and hilarity ensues.

Mortal Kombat (1995) – You might be surprised to see this on the list, but really, it fits into every movie category.

50 First Dates (2004) – Think Groundhog Day as Henry(Adam Sandler) falls in love with a woman(Drew Barrymore) who has memory loss, and each day, her memories of the day before erase.

I hope you’re all doing well during this unprecedented time! Stay safe!

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Romance & Quarantine

By Lark Anderson
April 20, 2020

Hello Friends!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. I’ve just been so busy with projects and clients that I haven’t had the time.

But suddenly, with the covid-19 crisis, my schedule has cleared. Hooray???

I hope everyone is doing well and remaining safe during this difficult time. My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced loss, whether it be a job or a loved one.

During my social distancing, I’ve also been diving into some books. Right now, I’m reading Death in Neverland by Isadora Brown, and after that, I’m going to pick up a grimdark fantasy, then I’ll return to romance again.

Another thing I hope to do is update my blog more and give shout outs to the books and authors that I love!!!

So, stay tuned! I’ll have new content coming soon.

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Don’t F**k With Cats

By Lark Anderson
February 11, 2020

True Crime Docuseries

CAUTION: SPOILERS EVERYWHERE

Don’t F**k With Cats(DFWC) came on my radar after watching an episode of Command Zone on YouTube(it was their recommendation). I don’t think I would have considered watching it otherwise, but it was worth the time.

DFWC is a true crime docuseries showing internet sleuths investigating and identifying a cat torturer. 

I’m going to start by saying, it is very well done, but I can’t necessarily recommend it to the masses. It will affect some people negatively, and it’s not worth the bad feels it ignites in some cases. I’ve watched horror movies since I was a child, and even I didn’t really want to see some scenes.

That being said, there is a lot to learn from the true crime docuseries, and I think it would be useful as a teaching tool for some lines of work.

It starts with a woman who goes online under an alter ego and finds a video of a man murdering kittens. Outrage ensues, and a vigilante group forms thereafter, pitchforks are grabbed. 

Now, this group grows huge rather quickly and encompasses many different types of people. I’ll put them into two distinct categories: 
1. The emotional investigators.
2. The analytical investigators.

Because I’ve done fraud investigations, skip tracing, and business analytics, I identify more with the second group. The data analytics portion is the best part of the series. I know what it’s like to track down shady people. There’s a thrill involved.

And I’m not overly emotional. I’m not a pitchfork grabber. I wouldn’t harass anyone online other than a snarky comment usually meant to be good-natured, especially because in the logical portion of my brain, I know it could impede an investigation. I would gather evidence, try to get access to more information, and report it to the police.

That is NOT what happened, and the first group really fucked up. They harassed a man that seemed to have issues but didn’t commit the crime, and low and behold, he committed suicide.

The level of rage I felt during that moment of the show validated how I feel about many online communities—which is not good. It’s easy to harass with anonymity in today’s internet world.

But there are fucking consequences.

After the death, the group splits, and honestly, it should have split sooner.

They eventually receive the name of the pet torturer, but even with a name, it’s wasn’t easy to catch him. Especially because he’s a globe trotter—you’ll have to watch to get more details on this.  

Perhaps the greatest missed opportunity throughout the situation is that they didn’t play on the guy’s vanity. If I were investigating, I would have enlisted a producer to assist me with offering him a position on a reality show or something. Have someone famous go online and be like, ‘Who is this guy? We think he’d be perfect for whatever fake reality show we’re filming?’ He wanted to be famous. BAIT HIM! You can even pretend to be a producer yourself.

I’m no necessarily criticizing as much as I’m putting on my ‘investigator’ hat and anticipating what may have caught him sooner.

Back to the show. Eventually, the animal torturer moves on to humans, which he had threatened to do, and a video is posted of him killing a man bound to a bed. There is a puppy in the video, and this is where things get weird.

There’s a female detective on the case, and eventually, the video is shown to her. She goes through how she watched the death and the murderer messing with a dismembered head of the man. At that point in the film, the murderer focuses on the dog, and the investigator is like, I just couldn’t watch at that point.

So, you watch a man being killed, dismembered(not sure if that is on camera), and the murderer playing with a decapitated head, but you had to turn it off when the puppy came on screen? As unfunny as what happened is, I had to almost laugh. WOW!

I’m not going to spoil the rest, so if you want to know anything more, you’ll have to watch. I tend to be very picky with what I watch, and I consider this a good investment of my time.

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Happy 2020!!!

By Lark Anderson
January 6, 2020

A picture from this year!

Hello, everyone! I’m here! I’m alive!

I know I haven’t been posting or blogging much, and I hope to change that soon. I just got caught up in a busy season with a LOT of work.

The last couple of months, I’ve been revising my sitcom for producers in addition to sending my movie script in for review and doing manuscript things. Throw in the holidays, and I’ve had no time for blogging or interacting.

I really hope to have a lot of exciting things coming out in 2020. Stay tuned! I promise it’s worth the wait.

Please, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. If you’d like to interact with me, Twitter is the best platform to do so on, but I’m getting better at Instagram(though I am NO instamodel), and if anyone wants to help me on that platform, I welcome suggestions.

So 2020 is poised to be a big year for me, and I hope it’s a big year for you too. I hope everyone works hard to achieve their goals and is met with excellent outcomes.

I also hope we practice kindness to each other and seek to inspire one another. Being the best version of ourselves is what we should all strive for, and although I have a long way to go until I become who I’m meant to be, I’m making a difference every step of the way.

This year, my goals are:

  • Encourage other writers.
  • Develop better dialogue.
  • Turn another book into a screenplay.
  • Have a greater social media and online presence.
  • Land an agent for my unreleased series.
  • Get back into running.
  • Collaborate with more incredible people.
  • More dress up! I want a better elf getup and possibly an angel and vampire outfit.
  • Practice thankfulness and gratitude.

Thanks to everyone that has stayed with me through this sometimes messy ride. I hope everyone meets their goals/resolutions for the new year, and if you’re struggling, reach out for help. You’d be surprised by the kindness of online strangers.

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Watchmen Theory

By Lark Anderson
December 20, 2019

Dystopian, Action, Drama

CAUTION: SPOILERS EVERYWHERE

THEORY: Dr. Manhattan was never about love when he took on the job of domestic god—it just so happened to go in that direction. Let me explain.

It’s about a week after the Watchmen television series created by Damon Lindelof and based on work by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons concluded on HBO, and I’ve had time to digest it a bit. I think I know exactly why Dr. Manhattan returned to Earth, and no, it wasn’t for love.

First, let’s do a brief rundown of the season. I will not be describing all the relations and interactions between the characters, just a very basic review, as this is meant for people who have watched the entire season.

Watchmen opens with a scene of the Tulsa massacre, which happened nearly 100 years ago. A boy survives.

Present day, we see the state of the country far different from not only that of our real world but the world Watchmen left us with in its conclusion. We aren’t concerned with the cold war as much as we are tension within the structure of our society. Anger is everywhere, with no clear resolution.

Enter the Seventh Kavalry, a white supremacist group that had been laying low for a couple of years after basically taking out almost the ENTIRE police department in an event called the White Night. They have a plan brewing, and this is where I’m just going to jump to the end because this is all the setup you need.

The Seventh Kavalry plans on stealing Dr. Manhattan’s powers and bestowing them to a complete asshat.

In steps the AMAZING Lady Trieu(Hong Chau) who has her own plans for stealing Dr. Manhattan’s powers and taking them for herself.

Lady Trieu is the BEST part of Watchmen for me. Holy shit, I love this woman. I want more Lady Trieu, and it’s entirely possible we can get more of her in future seasons.

So, we have two opposing factions wanting to steal Dr. Manhattan’s powers. How are they going to accomplish this? It doesn’t matter. All that matters in this article is what actually happens with Dr. Manhattan and the intent of it all.

So, we find out that Dr. Manhattan has been disguised as Calvin Abar(Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), househusband to Angela(Regina King), the entirety of the series. We are made to believe he approaches her for love and to spend ten years with her before tragedy strikes. The whole tone of it is very romantic, and we see them spending years happily together.

But when Dr. Manhattan approached Angela, he was really just looking for a successor, and he can see every outcome, or rather the puppet strings attached to each of their lives. He knew Angela would be his best option.

So, he was looking for a worthy ‘heir’ to his powers. He knew he would demise, perhaps he wanted to, and he knew he could pass his powers on. It’s clear he wasn’t done with humanity yet, and so he wanted to leave his powers to someone he believed could truly better humanity.

I can’t say what his exact qualifiers were, but one can assume it was because she didn’t crave power, she clearly was a good person, and she hated Dr. Manhattan because she blamed him for the demise of her parents. I believe her hatred probably served as her best qualifier because she knew more than most what misuse or abuse of power can cost someone.

He also knew her future, the life she would lead, and how she would take in a coworker’s three children after his death. He knew that even when she almost died for being a police officer, she would not give up her badge.

Angela is better suited for Dr. Manhattan’s powers than Dr. Manhattan is himself because frankly, she gives a shit.

Dr. Manhattan, or rather Jonathan Osterman, was a scientist before being imbibed with superpowers. Angela was a police officer. Jonathan was thrust into being a hero. Angela was a hero before powers passed to her.

And, unknown to her, her grandfather was one of the world’s original masked heroes, being the boy that survived the massacre.

I’m not trying to argue that Dr. Manhattan didn’t love Angela. All I’m saying is the reason he sought her out was to gain an heir. He didn’t love her until their last hour together, and what happens thereafter is HEARTBREAKING, but he got his wish, and his powers are now with someone who could truly make a difference and help humanity.

Shout out to: Jeremy Irons(Ozymandias), Don Johnson(Chief Judd), Time Blake Nelson(Looking Glass), and Jean Smart(Agent Blake) for being amazing in their roles.

And WTF ever happened with Lubeman?

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So….Yeah, I Write a Sitcom…

By Lark Anderson
December 13, 2019

Me, sitcom writer…

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working with producers to develop a sitcom. It’s been an exciting time for me, and while I’d love to share more information, I simply can’t at this time.

I will tell you this—it will make you laugh your ass off!

No matter what happens with it, I will come out of this experience a winner, because even if it eventually gets passed over by all the networks, I’ve made a lot of good connections, and I’ve had a lot of fun.

I’ve had some people ask me how I came across this opportunity. It was a culmination of several different things going on in my life. The people I was working with, the free time I had available, and blurting out an idea that the ‘right’ person just so happened to hear.

For the last couple of years, I’ve worked with many different people doing a variety of things. Basically, I’m a ‘project manager’ for my clients, beta reading, making corrections, lining up ARC reviews, doing ads, etc. Doing the little things people hate doing.

I’ve developed a great reputation due to the speed and quality of my work. These two things are incredibly important in the entertainment industry. I’ve also been told I’m easy to work with. I don’t upcharge if my clients go back and make significant revisions. I put all my efforts into positioning my clients for success, and it shows.

Now, I’m not saying others shouldn’t upcharge. People deserve to get paid for their work, but if I had to guess why someone would choose to work with me over others, I’d say it could be because they took this into consideration, but those aren’t my only good qualities.

I also make people laugh, whether it’s intentional or not. I’m not scared to point out my own flaws. I think outside the box. And I’m not afraid to try new things.

So, that’s my main project right now. I’ll be giving updates here and there, and I hope people like it as much as I like writing it.

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Castle Rock Season 2

By Lark Anderson
December 12, 2019

Mystery, Horror, Thriller

CAUTION!!!! MODERATE SPOILERS

One of my favorite streaming shows is Castle Rock(HULU), a supernatural horror based on characters created by Stephen King.

S1 was superb in both acting and storytelling. It was damn near perfect as far as I’m concerned, and although it left several unanswered questions, it ended as it should have, feeling deeply satisfying.

S2 is almost wholly independent of Season One—almost.

Castle Rock didn’t feel the same from S1 to S2. From a storytelling standpoint, they felt like distant cousins. S1 relied heavily on voiceover to tell the story, whereas S2 had just a touch. S1 also had more of a ‘grey area,’ meaning you didn’t know the good guys from the bad guys and their exact motives. S2 lacked that ambiguity.

Castle Rock S2 largely focuses on: Parenting children that are not your own.

Pop Merril(Tim Robbins) and Annie Wilkins(Lizzy Caplan), who do not know each other before the events of the show, are both raising children(seperately) that are not biologically theirs, having killed at least one parent of the children they are raising.

When Pop and Annie finally find themselves in the same town, the interactions of their families result in the calamity of Season 2.

In the beginning, we have Annie(Hello Misery!) traveling over several years with her daughter Joy(Elsie Fisher). A car crash leaves them stranded in Castle Rock, causing Local Scumbag Ace Merril(Paul Sparks) to take notice.

When Annie murders Ace for threatening Joy, it initiates a series of events prophesized 400 years ago. People are coming back from the dead, hallucinations are being had, secrets are uncovered, and we have a whole community on the brink of disaster.

You know, normal King stuff.

And this is all centers around the ‘Kid,’ played by Bill Skarsgard from S1.

S2 we learn more about the ‘Kid.’ We find out that a group of settlers believed he was an angel 400 years ago. The prophet of this group, Amity, sent her settlement to war in order to enact the ‘angel’s’ bidding, eventually going so far as to kill everyone in her band only to bring them back to life in present-day, taking over bodies as hosts.

We are left to wonder if the ‘Angel’ is Lucifer. Or perhaps the Crimson King himself from prior King’s work.

The thing that bothers me is that we really don’t know if the actual events of what happened in S2 were foretold or if the prophecy was thwarted. Did the ‘Kid’ have this planned all along, from start to finish? Was it to cause chaos and get key people out of the way for future seasons (Pop Merrill, Alan Pangborn from S1, Warden Lacey)?

S1 left questions that made it exciting and debateable. S2 left questions that made it look sloppy. Or, let me put it this way. The unresolved questions from S1 kept me talking about it with friends and thinking about it until the premiere episode for S2. The unresolved questions from S2 have me criticizing it.

The Good:

Tim Robbins and Lizzy Caplan’s acting! WOW! They truly put on award-winning performances.

How they shot the scenes with Annie was phenomenal. The shakey camera added to the tension and her fraying mind.

The connections to King’s other works are satisfying to fans.

The ending is genuinely horrifying.

There is an unreliable narration at play with Annie that really works well, and I’m still unsure of some of the things that happened throughout the season.

The Bad:

The questions left behind don’t make the show more interesting. They make it look sloppy. Ex: They never explained why some could hear the sound and others couldn’t.

The Somalia angle didn’t lead anywhere.

Huge missed opportunity with Chance, who I was hoping was descended from the settlers and trying to bring this to fruition.

Annie’s backstory. Really? It was like a bland potato.

So, was Joy anything special? The sun came out? WTF? Way to leave an ARC grossly unsatisfying.

Overall:

I enjoyed S2. It works as a fantastic backstory for Annie Wilkins, but that’s not really what I wanted for S2. It was a lackluster followup to S1.

I think trying to keep so many things ambiguous worked against them. I understand why they did it, but, once again, it made for sloppy storytelling.

I hope there is a Season 3 that addresses many of the issues because I did enjoy the story, despite its flaws, and I am interested in the secrets of Castle Rock and the surrounding towns.

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Knives Out

By Lark Anderson
December 11, 2019

Rated PG-13 / 130 minutes
Crime, Mystery, Thriller

CAUTION!!! MILD SPOILERS

I went into Knives Out, hoping it would be in the same vein as one of the BEST murder mysteries ever produced—Clue.

Clue…it is not, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun, well-acted, and worthy of praise. It is directed by Rian Johnson, who also did The Last Jedi(which I HATED). Maybe murder mystery is more Rian’s calling?

If I had to compare it to any other movie, it would be Murder on the Orient Express based on a novel by Agatha Christie. (This is not due to how it ends as much as it is the way the story is told).

The movie begins with what appears to be an obvious suicide of Harlan Thrombey, and while I don’t want to go into HUGE spoiler territory, there is much more to this suicide than what meets the eye, and this is only discovered when Benoit Blanc(Daniel Craig) is anonymously hired to work the case.

The entire family is suspected of murder, and all appear to have motive. Benoit decides to investigate with the assistance of Harlan’s nurse, Marta(Ana de Armas)—who has her own motives to hide.

Look, I’m not going to spoil this for you. The movie is great, but it’s not worth seeing if you already know the killer and what happened. So you’re not getting any more of the plot out of me.

The Good:

The movie throughout is incredibly well acted. Don Johnson offers a standout performance, but Chris Evans is also unexpectedly good! I have never watched him outside of Avengers, and I didn’t expect to like his acting, but it was great.

The Bad:

The film relies on puking as a ‘human lie detector,’ and I just wish they had worked the truth telling angle differently.

Overall:

If you liked Murder on the Orient Express, you’ll like Knives Out as well. Now, stop looking up spoilers and go see it.

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So…now I write romance?

When I set out to write, it was with the intent of writing almost exclusively dark fantasy. I had my world built in my head, and stories wanting to be told. And that’s just what I did. Except, things happened along the way.

Although I’ve beta read some I’ve never sought out romance. It just wasn’t what I liked to read, and to be honest, I looked down on it for a long time. But then my world took life, and as it turns out, my characters had minds of their own. They had wants. They had desires.

I peppered in romance here and there, but it was never the main focal point of my work, which is why what happened next was so surprising. I enlisted the help of several beta readers, and all of the female beta readers had questions for me regarding the romance angle, and…they wondered where it would go in book two.

Romance was the main element most of my beta readers lingered on, and on a whim, I took a suggestion from one of my readers and wrote a paranormal romance set in my world(a 65k whim.) To my great consternation, not only did I enjoy it, but it was universally liked by all of my beta readers(exclusively female,) which had never happened before. I had always had readers that have enjoyed my work, but many didn’t enjoy some of the elements that went along with dark fantasy/horror. I found it greatly ironic that a genre I turned my nose up at was actually something I enjoyed and wrote well.

So what does this mean for me and my world? Well, for one thing, I’m not going to stop writing dark fantasy/horror, but I am going to start a side project to explore the romance genre. At this point, I have written a couple, none of them are published, but one has gone through an editor, and I’m looking at the markups now.

I wonder how many other writers have been in this position, and what they’ve done when faced with the knowledge that their fun project actually reviews better than their passion project. For me, it was an eye opener and a humbling experience.

Yours in Adventure,

Lark Anderson