Tag Archives: Long and SHort Reviews

#L&SR #WednesdayBloggingChallenge 2.13.19 Memories, light the corners of my mind…

Okay, so today the topic REALLY is: Most romantic memory. I’ve blogged about this one before, but it always bears repeating because the story is sososo typical of hubby and me. 

First, a little backstory is called for:

I don’t get a lot of gifts. I didn’t as a child and I haven’t as an adult. I tell you that so you’ll know how precious the gift I’m going to tell you about really is to me.

Obviously, I’m a girl. Duh. I was a child in the 1960’s a time when stereotypical gender roles were still very much in place. Boys got baseball cards, BBguns, and sports equipment for Christmas and birthday gifts.

Girls got Barbies, Easy Bake Ovens, and board games like Mystery Date.

I hated all those girly-girly toys. Still do, to be truthful. Even back then I knew they were designed to keep girls in their places, hoping and dreaming of the perfect boy/man to come along and take care of us for eternity.

Gag me now.

I so did not buy into that dream. But that’s a blog for another day.

When I was eight I asked Santa ( that’s right. I still believed in Santa at 8. Still do, in fact.) for a toy I’d seen advertised on Saturday mornings during the cartoon hours. It was aimed at the boy buying market but I didn’t care. I asked Santa that year for ROCK’EM SOCK’EM ROBOTS.

Lordy, I wanted that toy!!! I said a prayer every night that Santa would leave it for me. I was extra good around the house, doing my chores and even doing things I wasn’t asked to do just to score some brownie points with Old St. Nick.

Christmas morning came and….no robots. I think I opened a new outfit or two for the Barbie doll he’d brought me the year before – the one I NEVER played with, and some Barbie coloring books.

Devastated is too tame for how I felt. My mother asked me why I was so pissed ( and yes, she did say it like that to an 8 year old. Is it any wonder I am the way I am today?) I told her I’d asked Santa for Rock’em Sock’em Robots and couldn’t understand why I didn’t get it. I’d been good, did well in school, went to church. Did everything I was told and supposed to do.

Her explanation was very telling. She shrugged, took a puff of her cigarette and said, “‘Cause you’re a girl, not a boy. Santa doesn’t give boy toys to girls or girl toys to boys. That’s not right.”

See? Telling.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I told you that story. Stick with me and you’ll understand why.

Flash forward 48 years. I’m sitting at dinner with my entire in-law family a few days before Christmas and we go around the table telling stories about Christmas’s of the past. My father-in-law asks me what the best gift I ever got was. I told him, instead, about the Rock’em Sock’em Robots debacle and how much I’d really wanted that toy and how upset I’d been when I didn’t get it. On to the next person for another story.

Christmas morning comes and we are spending it with my in-laws. I wake up and we all start to unwrap gifts. My husband hands me a huge box wrapped with a big red bow and a tag that said, “to Peg, from Santa”.

Since I hadn’t asked for anything that year, I was in a quandary about what it could be. When I opened it I started bawling my eyes out. Yup – you guessed it. He’d given me the toy I’d always wanted. Apparently, after hearing the story I’d told a few nights before, he’d sent my brother-in-law to Toys R Us with instructions to get it for me.

Is it any wonder I love this man and have for over 30+ years? As far as romantic memories go, this one does it for me first, last, and always!

Since this is an author blog hop, let’s see what some of the other writers in this challenge find romantic. Click on this link to read their entires: L&SRWednesdayBloggingChallenge

And if you’r looking for me, you can always find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

 

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#L&SR #WednesdayBlogging Challenge. At The Movies!

I have to admit this: I don’t go to the movies as much as I used to. There are dozens of reasons, but the main ones are I like watching a movie from the comfort of my own, silent home in my own comfortable reclining chair; I hate movie food; and the prices per movie ( 15.00 where I live) are – simply put – ridiculous and not worth the expense. I wasn’t always this way. Up until about 10 years ago I went to the movie theater every weekend. But that’s a topic for another day and blog.

Today’s prompt – Favorite Movies of all time and why – is a cinemaholics dream and nightmare rolled into one. How is it possible to choose from the thousands of flicks I’ve adored and watched over and over again? Well, I’ll try to whittle it down.

You may assume, because I write romance novels for a living, my favorite genre of movie would be RomComs or tearjerkers. Your assumption would be wrong. So wrong. I’m an action girl and I love a good shoot-em-up-bang-bang movie! I also  love a toe-tapping singalong musical and I’m a sucker for the fast paced Preston Sturgis-type black and white movies of the 1930’s and early 1040’s.

First, shoot-em-up-bang-bang favorites:

PREDATOR

– made when the former governor of California was at his action packed height. The reason I lovelovelove this movie is because it has one of the best lines ever written. Jesse – the Body – Ventura is shot and is bleeding. One of team says “you’re bleeding, man.” Jesse’s comeback? He spits and says, “I ain’t got time to bleed.”

DIE HARD ( the first movie) the movie that made Bruce Willis a household name in the action field.

The reason this movie is so near and dear to me is because it features one of my favorite tropes: the everyday man caught in an extraordinary circumstance. Some may argue that Willis’s character, John McClane, wasn’t an everyman, but a cop who knew how to fight his way out of a hairy situation. While that may be true, in reality, McClane was just a guy trying to get home for Christmas, not a cop who stumbled upon a nefarious plot that made his exwife a hostage. Alan Rickman was at his absolute villain best in this movie!

THE EQUALIZER

– while not an everyman, ex-CIA operative Denzel Washington is no longer in the business. What’s that old saying? You can take the man out of the CIA but you can’t take the CIA out of the man? This movies’s a favorite because DENZEL!!!

 

Second favorite genre of movies: Musicals

HIGH SOCIETY

the musical version of the 1939 movie The Philadelphia Story which is one of my all time fav RomComs. (Remember those 1930-s fast paced ROMCOMS in black and white I said I loved?) HIGH SOCETY stars Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Louis Armstrong and Celeste Holm in a mad romp about a divorced couple, the heroines’ attempt to remarry, her father’s infidelity, an ex husband still in love, and the Newport Jazz festival all mixed together in one weekend of flirty fun and shenanigans. The reason this is one of my favorites? Well, show don’t tell applies to blogging, too, so gave a gander at this: HIGH SOCIETY

Next, we’ve got HolidayMovies and there really is only one that does it for me:
LOVE ACTUALLY.

 

Told from multiple viewpoints that all converge in the ending, this movie is simply put, perfect in every way. The main reason it’s one of my favorites is easy to see in this clip: To me you are perfect

ROBIN HOOD, PRINCE OF THIEVES 

– don’t judge me for this one because I’ve heard a gazillion times why this movie is so bad since Kevin Coster is the star. But it has one of the best lines ever written in a movie as a declaration of love and that’s the reason it’s one of my favorites. When Robin rescues Marion from the Sheriff ( Another fabulous role for Alan Rickman) she tells him she can’t believe he came back for her. His response? “I would die for you.” OOoooooooh. I die from delight every time I hear that line!

 

MY COUSIN VINNY

While I don’t like Joe Pesce as a rule, this was a role he was born to play. And it also starred Fred Gwynne  (Herman Munster!) and Marisa Tomei, who is the reason this is one of my fav movies. The scene where her biological clock is ticking is pure comedic genius! Tick Tock

Maybe Long and Short should have another Wednesday blog challenge so I can add more of my favs! 7 is a bit much for now but doesn’t begin to cover them all!!!!

And because this is a blog challenge, clear here to see the favorite movies of the other writers participating. L&SR Wednesday Blog Challenge.

Tune in next week to see what the prompt. And if you’re looking for me, here I am:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

 

 

 

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#CharacterNames #L&SR #WednesdayBlogChallenge 1.30.19

So the prompt this week is Characters I’d name a baby after. Great idea, no?

So why am I having so much trouble with it??

Here’s what I do know – characters I wouldn’t name a baby under any circumstances:

Boys first: Christian, Addicus, Ashley, Rhett, Fitzwilliam, Tom, Marvin, Bruce, Elvis

Girls next: Scarlett, Melanie, Lisbeth,  Portia, Juliette, Mulva, Hermione, Anastasia, Scout

Those names are so recognizable, and some of them are iconic, that I fear the poor child would be doomed to always being compared to his/her fictional counterparts.

 

 

 

Can you imagine a tomboy named Scarlett? Or a WWF fighter named Ashley?

I can’t either, but maybe to other writers, those would be perfect character names for their mismatched personality-typed characters.

But not for me. I like ethic names for my characters to enhance their heritage. I like naming my characters after their fictional grandparents or great aunts and uncles. I like the idea of family names and nicknames, like number-naming. You know what I mean: Harry is  grandpa, Pop in H-Two, grandson in called Trey ( for third). I know this is quirky, but I love it.

So I guess I’d better get to the actual prompt for today. Characters I’d name a baby after.

Girls first this time: Isabella, Jane, Nora, Eve

 

Boys next: Roarke, Dylan, Edward, Sonny

Since this is a blog challenge, here’s where you can find other authors who are participating and get their take on character baby names: L&SR WednesdayBlogging Challenge.

And if you’re looking for me, I’ll be busy naming my characters here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

 

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Rags to Riches; #L&SR #WednesdayBlogChallenge

 

Today’s topic – WHAT I WOULD DO WITH A MILLION DOLLARS – is a timely one for me( And probably the rest of America, especially those effected by the Government shutdown).

I’d like to be humble and say I’d donate all of the million dollar windfall to varying charities; adopt a few families in need; give to my church so they can build a new, badly needed, kitchen. I’d like to be truthful and say I’d invest some of it so it could grow and I could help even more people.

That’s what I’d LIKE to say, but…

Let’s go on the premise that my church is set, the government is back to work, and charities are bursting from  holiday donations. Then, there really is only one thing I’d like to do with the money, and it’s a very frivolous thing, but don’t judge me. Please.

Let me explain…

My darling daughter recently got engaged. She’s an only child, the love of my husband’s and my own heart, and she’s truly one of the best people we’ve ever known. I’d like to take some credit for that, but I can’t because she is her own person and has been since she came from my womb! Any way. She recently got engaged to a man who loves her as much as we do and of course, as loving parents, we want to give her the wedding of her dreams. Well, the wedding of her dreams is estimated to be $ 375,000.00 all in, as she says. The venue is the major cost.

It’s Ellis Island.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, or have forgotten your American history, once upon a time every immigrant who came to these shores had to stop at Ellis Island in NYC to be officially documented. People from every nation passed through it’s doors, were examined by doctors, and then documented as visitors to this country. Many people were denied entry due to diseases they contracted and then carried from spending long ocean voyages  in cramped cargo ships, packed in like rats– all for the chance to be a free American. People were quarantined; families were torn apart; original names were changed to sound “more American” by the ones doing the documenting and registration.

Ellis Island is located in  New York Harbor.

It’s the location of the NYC/Hudson River 4th of July fireworks spectacular every year.

It’s also been declared a national Monument. So, in order to have a wedding (or really any event) there, permits must be obtained from the States of NY, New Jersey, and probably the National Government, too. Assuming those are granted, since the venue is a museum and on an island, not your typical hotel wedding site, everything has to be brought in for the reception.

And I mean everything.

Flowers, linens, chairs, tables, glassewear, food, people. And how are they brought in, you ask? Via a ferry from Manhattan Harbor. Do you have any idea how much it costs to rent a ferryboat? Yeah, I don’t either but I’m assuming it’s not a couple hundred bucks and a nice thank you to the ferryman!

The wedding planners that my daughter spoke with gave independent values to having her wedding there and they estimated that the cost would be that ridiculous $375,000.00 mark. There’s no way her father and I can afford that. I’m a little romance writer, happy if I actually get any amount of a royalty check every three months. My husband is entering retirement age and we’ve been planning for our own future so we aren’t left destitute and on the streets when the time comes ( exaggerating, folks, but you know what this economy and the stock market are like right now!)

But, if I had a million dollars…..

Hee Hee.

And talking about weddings ( shameless plug segue), my newest book DEARLY BELOVED is about a – wait for it –  wedding planner. Timely, no?

Available here: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo // Apple // Google Play // Books-a-million

See what other authors are saying they would do with a sudden cash influx on Long and Short’s Wednesday Blogging Challenge.

 

And you’re always able to find me if you need me, here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Long and SHort Reviews, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#Weekend Wrapup

Just in case you missed any of my blog posts this week ( and yes, I realize how conceited and self aggrandizing that sounds!!), but Goodreads does so it, so figure, why not? Here’s a list of this week’s musings:

Saturday, May 5, 2018 Long and Short Reviews Saturday Seven

Monday, May 7, 2018  A little surprise for me

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 A visit with WRP and NRWA sistah Gina Leuci

Friday, May 11, 2018 MFRWauthor 52 week blog challenge entry

Saturday, May 12, 2018  The last Saturday Seven from Long and Short Reviews

and if you’re looking for me you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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#SaturdaySeven Love Quotes #LASReviews

As a romance writer, I’m always looking for the most romantic way to state a declaration of love. In my opinion, these 7 authors have done it just right.

Jane Austen

Ernest Hemingway

Leo Tolstoy

A.A. Milne

Miss Austen, again

William Goldman

Jodi Picoult

I wonder what the other authors in this blog hop are talking about today. Find out HERE

Looking for me? Here I am: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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#SaturdaySeven #LASreviews 7 Love Songs for the Ages ( or aged!)


Since I write romantic fiction, I like exploring all things romance-related and that includes music. I’m a woman of a certain age ( read old!!!) and have heard a great many love songs during my listening time on this earth. In no particular order, these are my favorite 7 love songs. And a little trivia: #7 is my wedding song.

  1. Can’t help falling in love with you. ~Elvis Presley   
  2. I will Always love you. ~ Whitney Huston   
  3. Because you loved me. ~Celine Dion     
  4. I just called to say I love you. ~Stevie Wonder      
  5. She Loves you. ~The Beatles     
  6. I think I love you. ~The Partridge Family ( David Cassidy) 
  7. I’m a Believer. ~The Monkees And because this is a weekly challenge, click HERE to read about the other authors and their 7 favorite things.

Looking for me? here I am:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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#SaturdaySeven #LASReviews

I’m at a conference this weekend, so I’m going to make this short and sweet.

The 7 elements I think are essential in any great romance story.

  1. a heroine with backbone that I can imagine myself being
  2. a hero I can fall n love despite foibles and flaws
  3. a villain/protagonist who isn’t a characature
  4. a plot that is plausible with conflict that is real not contrived
  5. a setting that is real
  6. an HEA ( duh!)
  7. secondary characters that are more than just walk-ons and that enrich, contribute to, and foster the h/h’s journey to love

Check out the other authors in this hop to see some of their favorite “7 things” Seven Saturday

 

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#SaturdaySeven #LASreviews


I’m that girl who picks up a book in bookstore and turns to the first page, not the back blurb, first. If the book gets me with the first line, I’m sold. Here are my 7 favorite opening lines in books. ( I really have about 1,000 but this is Saturday Seven not  Saturday 1,000, so…heehee)

The seven best opening lines in books.

  1. Call me Ishmael – Moby Dick by Hermann Melville

2. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. “It was a bright, cold day in April. And the clocks were striking thirteen.” 1984 ~George Orwell

4. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electricuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” The Bell Jar ~ Sylvia Plath

 

5. “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.'”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

6. “We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.”

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

7. “It was a dark and stormy night” Snoopy via Peanuts & Charles Shultz

 

Since this is a progressive blog hop, let’s see what some of the other authors’ seven favs for the week are: SaturdaySeven

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#SaturdaySeven #LASreviews Agatha Christie is my home girl!

I may write romance but I lovelovelove to read MYSTERIES. This love was created when I read my very first AGATHA CHRISTIE novel when I was 10 years old.  She died when I was 16 but before she did I’d found and read every single one of her books in my local library. The way she constructed her plots; the over-the-top characters she breathed life into, even her protagonists like Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple and Tuppance and Tommy, were all valued friends to me during my teen years. So, in no real order, here are my 7 favorite Agatha Christie books

The ABC murders

There’s a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim’s corpe the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place.Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught – until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans…

Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with an apparent drug overdose.

However the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information, but before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death. Luckily one of Roger’s friends and the newest resident to retire to this normally quiet village takes over—none other than Monsieur Hercule Poirot.

Murder on the Orient Express

“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again

And then there were none

Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a isolated mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…

Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?

***this was a great stand alone book and has been made into innumerable movie & television adaptations.

Curtain

The crime-fighting careers of Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings have come full circle—they are back once again in the rambling country house in which they solved their first murder together.

Both Hercule Poirot and Great Styles have seen better days—but, despite being crippled with arthritis, there is nothing wrong with the great detective and his “little gray cells.” However, when Poirot brands one of the seemingly harmless guests a five-time murderer, some people have their doubts. But Poirot alone knows he must prevent a sixth murder before the curtain falls. *** Poirot’s last case.

 

 

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Who poisoned the wealthy Emily Inglethorp and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? Suspects abound in the quaint village of Styles St. Mary—from the heiress’s fawning new husband to her two stepsons, her volatile housekeeper, and a pretty nurse who works in a hospital dispensary.

With impeccable timing, and making his unforgettable debut, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is on the case. *** His very first case.

 

 

 

 

 

The Murder at the Vicarage

Miss Marple ( in her very first appearance) encounters a compelling murder mystery in the sleepy little village of St. Mary Mead, where under the seemingly peaceful exterior of an English country village lurks intrigue, guilt, deception and death.

Colonel Protheroe, local magistrate and overbearing land-owner is the most detested man in the village. Everyone–even in the vicar–wishes he were dead. And very soon he is–shot in the head in the vicar’s own study. Faced with a surfeit of suspects, only the inscrutable Miss Marple can unravel the tangled web of clues that will lead to the unmasking of the killer.

Since this is a blog hop, hop on over to the other writers in the series to see what they’re writing about today concerning the number 7! SaturdaySeven

 

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