The Blacklist Nerds! Check out this giveaway for a Red Reddington Funko Pop figure!

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of The Blacklist. So, of course, when they released Funko Pops for Red and Liz, I scooped them up right away and grabbed an extra Red figure while I was at it. While we all (im)patiently await the January 2019 premier of The Blacklist Season 6, I decided a giveaway would be a great way to dull the pain.

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open internationally. One lucky winner will receive a Red Reddington Funko Pop figure (stock image above). This giveaway is sponsored and administered by Pure Textuality PR. NBC, The Blacklist, and Funko are in no way responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends 8/10/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per person. Duplicates will be deleted.

TO ENTER:  Subscribe to our blog (scroll to the bottom of the From Helios to Hollwood website) and enter your information in the form below. All information collected will be treated as personal and confidential.

Good luck!


Dont forget! We are part of the Pop In a Box Referral Program! First time shoppers get a discount by clicking here.


Jena’s Spoiler-Riddled Theory About Season 4 of #TheBlacklist (@NBCBlacklist)


Back in September 2016, at the tale end of S04E02 of The Blacklist, Red did something I’m still not sure I can forgive him for.  Upon resolving the issue of Alexander Kirk having Lizzy captive and learning that it was Mr. Kaplan who helped Lizzy fake her death in the first place, he shot her.


He fucking shot her.


Mr. Kaplan.



Right in the head.  With the glare of the sun in the camera’s eye, she spun and dropped to the ground in a lifeless heap.

I stared at the credits in stunned horror, my jaw hanging open.

“What the actual fuck just happened?” I demanded, turning to my father sitting in the chair beside me, tears trickling from the corners of my eyes.

The Blacklist is one of the few shows we watch together weekly with zealot-like devotion.  As a writer, Reddington is easily in my top 3 favorite characters of all time. He should fill the audience with disgust when faced with his more monstrous deeds, but he doesn’t.  Instead, we adore him, monster claws and all.  He’s charming and brilliant, and we cheer him on at every turn.  I wont continue to gush, you can read about how much I love Reddington here.

We found out an episode or two later that by some weird twist of fate, Kate not only survived but was being held by a dude who may or may not hold the world title of Creepiest Person Alive.  Now, this is really abbreviating the way it played out, but she talked her way out of the sketchtastic surroundings of Mr. Creepy’s cabin, and then that was the last we heard of her.

When that episode aired, I immediately turned to my dad and made two predictions regarding the possible outcomes for Mr. Kaplan’s story in season four:

A) The Ultimate Show of Loyalty

Red shot her in the damn face!  If she came back now, and said, “Look!  After everything you’ve done, after shooting me in the fucking face, I’m here and I am still devoted to you,” that would be the ultimate show of loyalty.  I think it would buy her the right to also say, “you’re never allowed to question my loyalty again, dick.”


B) Burn His House to the Ground With Him In It 

She knows everything.  She knows how he moves undetected, how he spends and invests his money, who keeps him safe and who can be counted among his enemies.  Most importantly, she possesses all the information she needs to completely paralyze him in every way without him ever seeing it coming.  As far as he knows, she’s worm food.  What he knows is he put a bullet in her head and left her in a place where there was no chance anyone would ever find her body.  In Red’s head, Mr. Kaplan isn’t remotely a concern any more.  She is, by far, the most formidable potential opponent he has – the one he doesn’t know exists.

For the rest of the season, I’ve watched everything Reddington has gone up against with a voice always lingering in the back of my mind telling me to watch for signs of which way Kate is going to go when she emerges.  After the events of the last few episodes and last night’s stunner Dembe twist, I think it’s safe to say the bitch is at the door double-fisting Molotov cocktails.

Dembe has made it rather clear to Reddington on a few occasions since S04E02 that he doesn’t agree with Red’s decision to kill Mr. Kaplan.  He saw the same thing Kate did – the one thing that puts Lizzy and her baby in the most danger is their association with Reddington.  She was right and Dembe knows it.  The decisions Kate made behind Red’s back were made with the goal of keeping them safe at any cost, which oddly enough were Red’s orders to her almost verbatim.  But he didn’t see it that way and refused to offer one inch of mercy.  If I’m right and Mr. Kaplan is behind Dembe’s shocking betrayal, it looks like she’s choosing the no mercy path in dealing with Red.  Dembe is like a son to him.  For Dembe to be the one who slipped the poison into the wine is probably the worst possible way Kate could have struck out at him, short of pulling a page directly from his playbook by putting a bullet in Red’s head.  He has no one left to trust.

If Dembe has teamed up with Kate and they are planning on burning Red’s house to the ground, I have a feeling this season’s finale isn’t going to leave me with warm fuzzies.  If I’m right, she’s gone way too far for him to let her live, and now Dembe has betrayed him too, arguably the only other person who knows everything about Reddington.  Red can’t die, he’s the star character of the series, but the two of them certainly can.  I think the fight is set to be epic, but I can’t see how I can be happy with the outcome.  It’s going to hurt no matter how it pans out.

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Stomping all over the fine line between a Bad Good Guy and a Good Bad Guy.

I have a tendency to lean towards being a big cheerleader for the villain in a story. Always have. When I was younger, my favorite character in The Lion King was Scar, not Simba.  Simba can go suck it.  Scar had a way better sense of humor.  Nightmare Before Christmas? Easy. Oogie Boogie.   He had the best music.  When I was thirteen years old, I read The Vampire Diaries (yes, kids, they were books loooooooong before the TV series) and I instantly fell in love with Damon. Not the severely dumbed down version of Damon you see on the TV series, but the cold, ruthless, walking nightmare that was Damon in the books. We’ll get into that later in this post.

This has been an ongoing trend for me in all venues of fiction, from books to television to the big screen. But it’s not just any villains, and it’s not exclusively “villains” per se. I realized when I was writing my first book, The Devil You Know, that my affinity is for characters who walk the sometimes very blurry line between being a good bad guy and a bad good guy.

And more than anything, I love it when it’s difficult to tell which side a particular character falls on. I think not being able to figure it out is a sign of genuinely good writing.

In this post, we are going to take a look at a small handful of my favorite fictional baddies and see where they fall.

Let’s start by looking at the terms I presented. A Good Bad Guy and a Bad Good Guy. Regardless of what side of the fence the character falls on, the biggest point to remember is that fence is most likely very grey. A Bad Good Guy is a good guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his or her goal. Usually, the goal is in the name of the greater good, but the road to meeting that goal may be very well be soaked in the blood of innocents and baddies alike (think Raylan Givens in Justified).

In all honesty, I don’t think I see this one a lot. Usually, the good guy has a moral compass that almost always points north. Sure, they may have a hiccup or two, but for the most part, the good guy can be counted on to lay their own life on the line for innocent lives.

However, when you DO run into one, OH……MY…….GOD…….. They’re amazing.

The other guys is a Good Bad Guy.  The GBG is a villain you cant help but fall in love with a little bit.  They’re charming, they’re clever, and once in a while, they slip up and reveal they still have a heart.  This is the bad guy with a conscience.  A quiet conscience most of the time, but a conscience nonetheless.  Every now and then, when they think no one is looking, the jump the fence and try on a white hat.  However, don’t count them off the black hat roster just yet because they will almost always hop right back over if the situation suits them.

Here are a few examples of characters who fall into these categories.

Continue reading “Stomping all over the fine line between a Bad Good Guy and a Good Bad Guy.”

OMFG YOU GUYS!!!!!!!! THERE IS A #TheBlacklist BOOK!!!!!!!! (@NBCBlacklist)


Soooo……remember the other day when I was all ‘OMFG I LOVE THE BLACKLIST!‘???  Get this!!!  I get an email (I don’t event remember who from right now because I’m so excited) letting me know that there is now a NOVEL!

Not a comic.

Not a graphic novel.

An actual novel.

The Blacklist – No. 159: The Beekeeper.

I have no clue how it ties into the cannon of the show, but you betta’ believe I’m about to find out.  *runs to one-click the shit out of it*


A brand-new original The Blacklist novel. Raymond Reddington brings Elizabeth Keen a new Blacklister: the Bodysnatcher, an unnamed, unknown man who has turned kidnapping into an art form. But when Lizzie and the team move to intercept the Bodysnatcher, they discover that he is not their real target. Their real target is much more sinister and it will take all their strength and dedication to resist him – and to discover what Reddington is really after.



When she reached the trees, wood cracked and a warm line of blood scored her cheek. Keen dropped to her stomach and crawled into the undergrowth. After a moment, she realized Stuart Ivy was nowhere to be seen. Damn it, damn it, damn it! Where was he? And where was Reddington? The bushes were thick and they blocked her view. The gunfire and screams continued. Another bullet smacked into a tree less than a foot above her.

Sweat ran down Keen’s back. A big part of her wanted to rush to the aid of her fellow agents, but another part of her pointed out that she was outnumbered, outgunned, and outmaneuvered. She needed to keep moving, find Reddington, find Stuart Ivy. Her jaw clenched.

Keen crawled deeper into the brush, then cautiously raised herself up a little higher so she could run in a crouch. She took a moment to fumble for her cell phone, but it had no signal. Of course.

The shooting stopped. Keen halted, confused. Where was she? Greenery surrounded her on all sides, and the escape had disoriented her. The canopy obscured the sun, so she couldn’t even use that as a reference point. Mouth dry, she circled around to her left a little, hoping to flank the group at the road, but she didn’t dare move faster for fear of drawing attention to her presence.


The harsh whisper snapped her head around. Dembe was peering around a large tree and gesturing at her. She duck-walked over to him, adrenaline touching every vein and muscle. Behind the tree was Reddington, looking as angry as she ever saw him.

“Are you all right, Lizzie?” he asked, calling her by the nickname she allowed no one but Reddington to use.

“I’m not hurt,” she said.

“What’s this, then?” He put out a finger and didn’t quite touch her cheek. She had forgotten about the cut, but now that he had brought it to her attention, she felt the sting.

“It’s nothing,” she said. “Where’s Stuart?”

“I have no idea,” Reddington said. “I was hoping he was with you. Have you seen Donald?”

She tightened her jaw again. Ressler had covered her and Stuart while they ran for the trees. She had left him behind. It had been the right thing to do, absolutely by the FBI’s extensive book, but that didn’t stop the sharp pang of guilt and wave of worry. She thought of him sprawled on the ground beside Gillford, his sightless blue eyes staring up at the equally blue sky, scarlet blood pouring out of his chest. No. He wasn’t dead. He couldn’t be dead.

“I don’t know what happened to him,” she admitted.

“And the Bodysnatcher?” Dembe said.

“I didn’t even see him,” Keen replied, peering around the tree. “Are we worried about him?”

“Not overly,” Reddington said. “Neither of us can get a cell phone signal out here. I don’t suppose…?”

“No,” Keen said.

“It’s either the mountains or the Beekeeper, or both,” Reddington said.

“Take this.” Dembe handed Keen a pistol. “It’s my extra.”

A motor coughed to life in the distance, followed by a second. Voices shouted, doors slammed. The motors faded away. Reddington and Dembe exchanged looks.

“I will go see,” Dembe said.

“I’ll come with you,” Keen said, but was halted by Reddington’s firm grip on her elbow.

“You need to stay here with me, Lizzie.” His voice was calm but firm, a father speaking to a daughter.

“It’s my job, Reddington,” she said, torn between exasperation at him and worry for Ressler. Hell, she was even a little worried about Stuart Ivy, and she had only just met him.

“And my job is to keep you safe,” Reddington countered. “There’s nothing you can add to Dembe’s woodcraft anyway. See? He’s already gone and you won’t catch up with him.”

He was, too. Keen sighed heavily and bit back a sharp retort. Instead, she said, “You know I work with the FBI, and danger is part of the career description. When you try to shield me, it looks like I can’t do my job.”

Reddington looked truly surprised. “When have I ever been concerned with what anything looks like?”

“An interesting question from someone who makes a living deceiving other people,” Keen couldn’t help saying.

Reddington turned his hat in his hand. Jesus, he still had his hat.

“Lizzie, you’ve examined human psychology carefully, and I’m in genuine awe of your skill. I’m sure that all your training and instincts tell you that human beings are never completely consistent. No matter how many claims they make to the contrary, inconsistencies eventually show themselves. The politician who defends family values visits prostitutes. The man who keeps a spotless home drives a car filled with trash. The police officer who tickets others breaks the speed limit on his way home from work.”

“Are we really having this conversation right after a gun fight?” Keen asked.

Reddington ignored her. “But I’ll tell you that human beings are marvelously consistent. Underneath, at the base, they always—always —act the same. Their surface behaviors may change, but underneath, we all stay the same. Even I. When I look at you, I can’t see the FBI. I see the daughter of my best friend in her Hello, Kitty pajamas and I see a promise I made. So I do what I need to keep you safe. I’m perfectly consistent that way.”

Keen shook her head. He made sense, sure, but…

“You’re also stalling me so I won’t go after Dembe.”

“See? Consistent,” he said, shaking a finger. “And here’s Dembe back again.”

Dembe emerged from the bushes, not bothering to hide his movements, which told Keen a great deal all by itself.

“Is he dead?” she blurted. “Ressler?”

Dembe spread his hands.

“I do not believe so. All the cars are gone. So are the bodies. I had a look at the tracks, and I saw no blood near the place where Mr. Ressler was standing. If he was shot, he shed no blood.”

Keen’s knees weakened a little, and she let herself lean against the tree.

“What else?”

“I did not find Mr. Ivy anywhere. I believe he was captured. The other agents were killed and their bodies dragged into the van.”

A heavy wave of grief came over Keen, and she closed her eyes beneath it. She hadn’t known Gillford long, but it had been long enough. Now she wished she had paid more attention during their conversation.

“I’m sorry, Bethany,” she whispered, and she wasn’t sure whether she was talking to Gillford’s daughter or to her own memories of loss.

“We need to keep moving,” Reddington said. “The Beekeeper will be looking for us.” He reached into his jacket pocket. “He and his people will be watching us, probably expecting us to follow the road and try to locate a cell signal, and they know this area.”

“We can’t leave Ressler and Stuart Ivy with the Beekeeper,” Keen said.

“Hold on,” Reddington said and he produced from his pocket a folded piece of paper the size of a mailing envelope. It took Keen a moment to understand what it was. As if they were in a French café instead of a forest surrounded by an army of armed madmen, Reddington unfolded the paper to the size of a poster, studied it, and turned to check his orientation against the road far behind them.

“A map?” Keen peered over his shoulder.

“The current generation is too dependent on technology, Lizzie.” He looked at the map again, then uphill at the low mountain ahead of them. “This way.”

He strode off into the woods.


LOOK!!!!  That’s Reddington on the book cover!  

Okay, I promise I’m done.  Seriously though.  Back in the day, I used to read Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel novels.  In fact, those Buffy and Angel novels are how I found some of my favorite writers (Christopher Golden, Nancy Holder, etc.).  I was so pissed when they stopped releasing them.  All new stories in a universe you already know starring the characters you already love.  It’s like fanfiction but with the capitalist blessing of the author.  How amazing must it be to get to write one of these???  Ugh!  Anyway, comment if you buy the book.  We can have fan freakouts over it together.  🙂

Side Note:   Like what I did there?  I said ‘back in the day’ like all 30+ Buffy and Angel books aren’t sitting on my bookcase as I type this…..

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Have I told you guys I am a FREAK for the show #TheBlacklist?? @NBCBlacklist

I had originally planned on just posting what I wrote on my author blog about the season 2 finale, but instead, I decided to make it a complete rewatch post.

I was one of those who caught wind of The Blacklist before it premiered, so I’ve been in since S01E01. I bullied people into watching the show. “YOU WILL LOVE IT, DAMMIT!” I’ve successfully converted, like, twenty people to being die hard fans, so I’m calling that shit a win.

Part of what triggered this rewatch was another addiction of mine – Funko Pop figures. I just became a member of Pop In A Box, a monthly Pop figure subscription run by Funko themselves. I was window shopping their new arrivals the other night when I stumbled across this handsome little devil currently on PREORDER:


Adorable, right?!?!


Oh, and that’s not all. Lizzy’s available too. 🙂


Although I think Lizzy is awesome, I really would have preferred Red, Dembe, and Mr. Kaplan, but that’s just my opinion…… I can just picture them on my shelf….. Red in the middle, Dembe standing stoically, hands folded in front of him, and Mr. Kaplan on the other side, her Mary Poppins-esque bag in one hand, and that giant fucking hand cannon of a gun she totes around in the other. *stares dreamily at the empty space on bookshelf* (Funko???? NBC???? Get on this, please????)

Oh, and yes, that was me admitting that a toy triggered a complete series rewatch. lol

And these Pop figures are not available until January 2017 so I wont be seeing them in my stocking this Christmas.  *pouty face*



Continue reading “Have I told you guys I am a FREAK for the show #TheBlacklist?? @NBCBlacklist”