FEBRUARY

CELEBRATING RELATIONSHIP AUTHORS

02/28 – Diana McCollum

Friday, February 28, 2020

On being different....

The theme this month is Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer.

If they ever write a biography starring me, that's definitely the title. With the subtitle Shit Happens!

For as long as I can remember - and that's pretty far back - I haven't been like anyone else in my family. Let me explain...

My family  members smoke and drank. Often. To excess, many times. I have never had a cigarette and don't drink alcohol.

My parents never graduated from high school and certainly didn't go to college. I have a Masters Degree in Nursing Administration with a minor in Geriatric Psychology.

My parents have never been on a plane or traveled outside the United States. I've already filled up two passports.

My parents, although raised Catholic, haven't been inside a church since I was married 33 years ago. I attend Mass every week.

My parents don't read. Anything. Not newspapers, not books, not magazines. All the information they get is from television. I not only read 2-3 books a week, I write 3-4 per year, and I have have a daily blog, plus I write monthly columns for 2 other blogs and participate in a weekly blogging challenge through Long and Short Reviews e-zine.

My parents are isolationists. They have no close friends and rarely leave their house. I have a wide circle of friends I love, even though I'm an introvert.

There were many times in my life I truly wondered if my parents found me on a door step or a pumpkin patch because I am nothing like them. At all.

Genetics is usually a key factor in how people will behave, and what your genes don't decide, your environment will. I can't explain why my faith has carried me through my life when my parents didn't choose to participate in it. I can't explain why I knew - knew without an iota of doubt - that education was the way for me to advance in the world. And there's no viable explanation why my marriage has lasted longer than both my mother's and father's remarriages have.

So, I just accept the reality that for some reason I am different from the people who birthed and raised me. Those differences have led me to some amazing paths in my 59 years and will probably continue to do so. The whole nature vs. nurture hypothesis is one I think about. A  lot. For me, it just seems that my true nature was, and is, to be different. Or to use the theme for this month, that it's made me march to the beat of a different drummer for all those around me and who raised me.

I write RomCom and contemporary romance books about strong women, the families who support them and the men who can't live without them. And if I had to say it, those women, too, march to the beat of a different drummer!
I love Social Media so much! You can usually find me here: 


Until next time, peeps ~ Peg

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Dangers of Drummers

by M. L. Buchman

This month's suggested topic is "Marching to a Different Drummer."


As a writer, I've found this to be a major problem. For me there are always Twelve drummers drumming (at the minimum). Anyone who has followed my writing career can attest to that. In fact, if you count novel series separate from short story series, I've written 32 different series. Some of those are still just two or three stories (or novels), but some are seven novels or even eleven short stories in the same series. (No wonder my head hurts.)

This is also a brilliant way to both intrigue and frustrate readers. "I love this series! When's the next book? And that series too! What about that one? Or the one over there?..."

There is good news and good news and good news here though.

The first good news is that you get to try a lot of things. Invent characters, learn things you never thought you'd learn, like the length of the Wright Brothers first powered flight being shorter than the cargo hold of a military C-5 "Galaxy" transport jet. Or that a favorite of Russian bagged snacks is toasted brown bread, rusks, in flavors such as: onion, BBQ, crabmeat, and jellied meat with horseradish. Learned all this and much more for my upcoming Miranda Chase thriller:

www.books2read.com/condor
The second good thing is that chasing after those different drummers has let me discover what works for my writerly voice. Author voice is a terribly tricky thing, because the author has no idea what it actually is. Seriously. It's up to the marketplace to tell the author, "Oh, this is the kind of story you write really well." For example, I launched my career in romantic suspense. I tried going over to contemporary romance (a sub-genre that I greatly enjoy as a reader and a writer). While I still got great ratings, I earned far fewer sales. So, I went the other way, over to action-adventure technothriller. Whoosh! I think I found my authorial voice...at least until the next cool drummer comes along. I just can't write Miranda Chase fast enough; not for the readers--for me! I just love this series.
www.mlbuchman.com/miranda-chase
The third awesome thing is that I end up creating whole worlds that I love to go back and revisit. I've recently started pulling some of those many series into collections. Revisiting these two short-story series, I got to write brand-new introductions about why I wrote each story and what they've meant to me over the time since I wrote them. I really love being able to do this and you'll definitely see more of these from me in the future.

The world of the firefighting Hotshot crews and the Fire Lookouts high in their lonely towers are only the first two that I've tackled.
https://books2read.com/the-complete-hotshots
https://books2read.com/the-complete-fire-lookouts

So, sure, following a thirty-two, or even just a dozen, drummers has its drawbacks (like making your brain feel like it's going to explode).But I highly recommend it! 

Why?

Because it creates so much fun!


M.L. "Matt" Buchman has 60+ thriller and romance novels, 100 short stories, and lotsa audiobooks. PW says his thrillers will make “Tom Clancy fans open to a strong female lead clamor for more.” Booklist declared three novels “Top-10 Romances of the Year.” A project manager with a geophysics degree, he’s designed and built houses, flown and jumped out of planes, solo-sailed a 50’ sailboat, and bicycled solo around the world…and he quilts. More at: www.mlbuchman.com.

Monday, February 24, 2020

A Drummer of a Different Sort

by Courtney Pierce



Flawed characters are infinitely more interesting than those who always say and do the right things. Personally, I love to create protagonists with issues that get in the way, whether they be irrational fears, physical challenges, or emotional complexes. Great stories incorporate protagonists and antagonists who must stumble past their flaws to get out of trouble.

Who cares about the character who gets up in the morning after a restful sleep, encounters no traffic on her way to work, chats with her co-workers, and punches out to come home to a Healthy Choice dinner in front of the television? Good luck to the author who can turn that into a compelling novel.

However, the above scenario could be a fun set-up for something to happen that jolts our protagonist right off the couch. It can be as simple as a phone call, a knock on the door, or a bang on the roof that forces her to turn off a re-run of Laverne and Shirley. And after that “something” happens, it must become impossible for our protagonist to return unchanged to her normal life.

This is off the cuff, but let’s play “what if” with our boring scenario.

Our protagonist, who I'll name Lana, has a complex about being unusually tall. At six-foot-two, she has held herself back by being too self-conscious. Flat loafers are her footwear of choice, and she hunches her shoulders in an attempt to diminish her size. Co-workers find Lana's height intimidating, and so do men. Without a love life, she feels isolated, alone, and useless.

But what if there really is a loud bang on the roof while Lana is watching Laverne and Shirley reruns? She runs outside and discovers a small spaceship has crash-landed and hit her chimney. Pouring out of it are dozens of tiny inch-high aliens. Maybe they’re friendly . . . or maybe they’re not. 

When the aliens flood into the house through the mail slot, they freak out when see how tall our character is. It's Attack of the 50-Foot Woman meets Invasion of the 1-Inch Squeakies. Lana can't communicate with the aliens, catch them, or kill them. They're too fast and small.

Both sides of this confrontation are completely out of their comfort zones. How does she get those aliens to stop biting her ankles and blistering her knees with needle-like laser beams? The aliens are frightened, intimidated by Lana's size, and panicked that they might never get home. Lana is ready to get out the bug spray in self-defense.

And at the 50% mark—the climax—Lana locks herself in the bathroom and frantically searches for a pair of tweezers. She finds a set just as one of the aliens shimmies under the door and pops up to a Karate-chop stance. Lana plucks him up by his foot. While hanging between the pincers, the alien smiles and points toward the bathroom window. Lana's gaze shifts to the trajectory of the alien's tiny finger. 

Ah, hah!

A moment of understanding pushes Lana into hero mode. She has the upper hand, so to speak. The aliens need her height in order to get their spaceship operational again. Only she can reach that key spare part that is hanging by a wire at the edge of the roof. Thus, our protagonist begins her journey from victim to hero. She is desperately needed and appreciated for the very flaw that has plagued her. All of their fighting was for naught.

Lana puts on her high-heeled boots and stands up straighter.  With the spaceship fixed, it's a teary departure for our tiny aliens, all waving at their tall friend as they board. 

This could be a hilarious comedy or a scary drama, straight out of an episode of Rod
Serling's Twilight Zone. And like every one of Mr. Serling's imaginative stories, the above silly story was a simple allegory with two layers of meaning. It's that all-important second layer that latches and holds readers in their grip, because readers see themselves in the protagonist's struggle. 

In similar fashion, one of my favorite Twilight Zone stories is "To Serve Man." If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you check this one out. The premise is that aliens come to earth with seemingly benevolent intentions. They are friendly and gracious to build human trust. The humans gladly board the spaceship, on which they're given luxurious accommodations. Then the humans find out the real reason for why they're there. They've been duped. 

"To Serve Man" is a cookbook.

Photo: Micah Brooks
Courtney Pierce is a fiction writer living in Kalispell, Montana with her husband, stepdaughter, and their brainiac cat, Princeton. Courtney writes for the baby boomer audience. She spent 28 years as an executive in the entertainment industry and used her time in a theater seat to create stories that are filled with heart, humor, and mystery. She studied craft and storytelling at the Attic Institute and has completed the Hawthorne Fellows Program for writing and publishing. Active in the writing community, Courtney is a board member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and on the Advisory Council of the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is a member of Willamette Writers, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and She Writes. The Executrix received the Library Journal Self-E recommendation seal.

Print and E-books are available through most major online retailers, including Amazon.com.
Check out all of Courtney's books: 

courtney-pierce.com and windtreepress.com 

New York Times best-selling author Karen Karbo says, "Courtney Pierce spins a madcap tale of family grudges, sisterly love, unexpected romance, mysterious mobsters and dog love. Reading Indigo Lake is like drinking champagne with a chaser of Mountain Dew. Pure Delight."




Coming in 2020!

When Aubrey Cenderon moves to Montana after the death of her father, the peace and quiet of Big Sky Country becomes complicated with a knock on the door from the sheriff. An injured grizzly bear is on the loose and must be eliminated before it kills again. The sheriff's insistence that she buy a gun for protection will present Aubrey with some serious soul-searching, because the grizzly-on-the-run is hunting for her too . . . for a different reason.





Saturday, February 22, 2020

Sex and Romance: Synchronicity or Warfare? by Kim Olver

A common conflict in many relationships is a matter of priority: one person tends to prioritize sex, and the other favors romance. Of course, people generally like both, but if forced to choose one or the other, would you side with your partner? In my work with couples, I find the sex and romance department is usually out of balance.

In the beginning of a relationship, everything is new, pheromones are abundant and both people are trying to please each other; there is an endless supply of sex and romance. As the relationship evolves, the high of the newness starts to wane and you each begin to pull back from the part of the sex/romance dance that isn’t your priority. This can lead to a lot of disappointment, confusion and eventually anger.

Over time, the synchronistic sex/romance dance you mastered so well in the beginning can dissolve into a game of relationship warfare. When you know what your partner is craving but you aren’t feeling understood by them, you might hold back what they want in an attempt to punish and control them. This is a slippery slope and can lead to some difficult times in your relationship.

In their best attempt to fix this, couples often use what they were taught as children, some version of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. However, the Golden Rule is not the best thing to apply in this situation. You need to begin using Tony Alessandro’s Platinum Rule®: Do under others as they would have you do unto them.

When using the Golden Rule, the partner who prioritizes sex over romance will make sexual overtones toward their partner, resulting in the romance-favoring partner feeling like they are only appreciated for their ability to be a sex machine for their partner. Similarly, that partner will make romantic overtures hoping for reciprocation, and the sexual partner feels like they are only called upon for comfort and may feel like they’re being teased. Both of you are communicating the message for what you want but your partner is misunderstanding your intentions. You both want to move closer to one another, but in order to have success, you must communicate your message in the way your partner can understand so they will lean in rather than pull away.

When you change your behavior to engage the Platinum Rule instead, magic can happen. If you want more sex in your relationship, you need to be more romantic toward your partner. If you want more romance in your relationship, you need to be more sexual. This may seem counter-intuitive, but when you employ the Platinum Rule, you are neither prioritizing your partners’ needs or your own; you are actually prioritizing the needs of your relationship, which trumps both of your individual needs and desires. 

Try it—I know you’ll thank me.

Kim Olver's mission is to help people make better choices for a better life. She is a licensed clinical professional counselor, a nationally certified counselor and a board certified coach. She is a world renowned expert in Choice Theory™, a highly sought after international speaker and an award-winning author. Her books include: Leveraging Diversity at Work with Sylvester Baugh (2006), Secrets of Happy Couples (2010), Choosing Me Now (2019) and A Choice Theory Guide to Relationships (2019). Kim is currently working on the forthcoming books, The Definitive Guide to Coaching and Radical Responsibility and Awesome Appreciation. 

Kim is the author of The Relationship Center blog; creator of Empowerment Parenting, a 25-hour parenting curriculum for court-mandated parents; and owner of Academy of Choice, a BCC (Board Certified Coach) Coaching Program. Kim worked five years as a counselor for schizophrenics in a community-based residential program, 17 years holding various positions with a specialized foster care agency, was Executive Director of Glasser Institute for Choice Theory - US for nine years and the Executive Director for William Glasser International for eight; and founded her own company, Coaching for Excellence, in 2005. 

She is a model of what she teaches about taking responsibility for the things she can influence and control and finding appreciation for those things she can't. Kim believes radical responsibility and awesome appreciation are the keys to a happy, peaceful, satisfying life.







Friday, February 21, 2020

Something Different - Zombies Revisited


Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of SciFi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. Having struggled with this month's topic, I decided to revisit an old post with a similar (ish) theme - stepping outside my comfort zone. The 'supernatural' tag in my writer bio might make my next statement sound a contradiction. I am NOT a fan of scary books/films. While my younger sister would happily fall asleep watching Alien or Poltergeist, I would be a quivering wreck hiding under my duvet with my back pressed against the wall.

She also tried to get me reading Stephen King but not only did I hate the writing style, the subject matter left me vaguely sick and disturbed. Probably the idea, but it doesn't do it for me. I don't like to be scared. I don't like things that make me jump. I've suffered terrible nightmares all my life and could only sleep with the light on until I met my husband, but even now I can still wake shaking from the odd one. I'm a bit better with it all - I taught myself to wake up when things start getting nightmarish, and my tolerance for horror elements is a little higher. But I still do my best to avoid things that might trigger bad dreams.

So it probably seems hugely ironic that I've written two zombie stories. I can blame them totally on my editor and friend Dani Fine, and fellow author and friend Karen Bynum. I watched them raving over a book called Warm Bodies on Twitter, and later the film. Now, the classic Hollywood zombie films are definitely on my do not watch list. But Dani and Karen were talking so passionately about the book and with such excitement, I had to take a look at the film.
The trailer looked cute, and the description intrigued me. So I made one of those mad, random choices that keep life interesting and just straight out bought the DVD.

I. LOVED. It! While it's not the full on zombie horror film that would appeal to most, it is typical Hollywood zombies for at least part of the film. It was just on the edge of my tolerance levels. But it was also very different. Told from the point of view of zombie R--who is a bit odd for a zombie--it follows his story as he falls for and saves a human girl--Julie--and begins to find his way back to being human himself. It's a twist on Romeo and Juliet (even including a version of the balcony scene) and one of the sweetest, cutest romances I've ever seen. The book is quite poetic in its writing style as well, which appealed to my own preference for the lyrical. I even have the film poster displayed at the top of my stairs.

Not only that, but it went on to inspire three stories of my own, even if only two feature zombies. The third one--and the first I wrote--features a damaged android rather than an undead (and came 2nd in the RWA LERA Rebecca contest last year. Right now it's in edits with no set release date but hopefully soon!). So I guess I can't say I hate zombie or horror films any more. But I'm still not a fan of things that make me jump. Unless it's R...

Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies and the prequel The New Hunger are available at all good book retailers, with book three set to release in February (psst, if you visit the author's website HERE and pre-order directly there are some special exclusive goodies too).

And if the idea of zombies with a twist intrigues you, some of Sir Terry Pratchett's Nightwatch books feature the zombie Reg Shoe, or Reaperman follows recently deceased and reluctant zombie Windle Poons. Or there's mine:
Restless In Peaceville
Adorable zombies in an alternative Louisiana.

Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened
A coma victim wakes to find himself alone in a utopian city he can't remember, with a strangely familiar dead girl knocking at his door.

Want to chat? You can find me at my website or my blog, but my favourite place to hang out and char is as @pippajaygreen on Twitter.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

A one of a kind of love

Hey Hey everyone!  Welcome :-)


I hope everyone is enjoy the 'month' of love... so of course, I HAVE to blog about love. The thing about this is that love doesn't look the same for everybody.
For example some people love Brussels spouts... I'm not sure why but they do.


Of course everybody loves doughnuts... if you don't then I question if you are human just saying :-)


Some people love the winter...


While others of us love the summer...


And then you have those you love the fall...


While I may not understand their love I respect it.
There are so many kinds of love...and what that looks like for different people. And that is where we run into trouble sometimes. People want you to love the same as they do.
Why are you with that guy? Unless he's hurting you (physically, emotionally, or mentally) I never ask this. Because again love looks different for everyone.

Take for example - Benny and Joon (if you haven't this movie you need to)


And - Cinderella


I think everyone would agree that Joon and Cinderella are complete opposites. And very few people probably picture Benny (the character not the actor ;-) when they think of Prince Charming.

But that's what love is! It's different for each one of us. I don't even really want to think what Joon would do with a glass slipper - just saying.


In my book Taking A Risk - Leigh is dumped because she's 'boring.' Her ex-boyfriend didn't appreciate the fact she ate only red M&M's and cleaned the refrigerator on Monday's. Which would be fine but he made her feel bad about herself and this is my really serious note -

LOVE NEVER EVER MAKES YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF! 


Okay, back to the lighthearted focus of this post. Leigh goes on an extreme vacation, thinks the super sexy guide would never find someone who eats M&M's by color on certain days sexy.... surprise - he's all about that! He loves routine. He's super turned on by the fact she cooks pork every Wednesday (okay maybe not super turned on). The point is the accountant dude thought she was boring...the Amazon extreme vacation guide thinks she's amazing.


Leigh had to find her Benny or Prince Charming. Just like we all do. I'm very lucky and I found my Benny the 1st time around - because I'm so a Joon and not a Cinderella.

When I write, I want everyone to have a  happy every after with who will make them the happiest!

If you would like to read about Leigh and her hot extreme adventure guide, it's available here -


EBook

Enjoy the rest of the love month! See you in March

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Beating My Own Drum

If there's a different way to do something, that's usually the way I'll choose. In hindsight I think this stems from having a dressmaker for a mother. Back in my days at high school girls were taught sewing (while the boys did woodwork) and while I made the required items (a gingham table cloth, an apron, a skirt), mine were always a bit different to everyone elses because mum would help me choose the fabric and with the sewing and I tended to veer from whatever the other girls were doing.

I always had the latest style in clothes but never had 'bought' clothes until I was old enough to earn my own money. I'd have the style of the day, but my fabric or trim or aspects of the design would be unique and individual. I can still remember in the 60s when one trend was to have your stockings/tights match your top my darling mum made mine  in large black and white diamond pattern (worn with an orange skirt). Luckily I had a mother who let me embrace the latest fashions, even when they were a little crazy.

I loved having clothes that no one else had and that attitude has stuck with me to adulthood where I enjoy doing things that people probably would expect of me because to all outwawrd appearances, I look reasonably normal  lol

While a lot of people mightn't think it's that strange that I write romance, when they find out it's the steamy kind, their eyes often widen a bit. I've even had the comment 'wow, you wouldn't think it to look at you!'

I also have a love affair with stilletos. Shoes, not knives. While many women my age opt for 'comfortable' or 'practical' shoes, I still proudly wear my 3" heels when the occasion calls for fancy shoes. There haven't been that many fancy occasions recently, so I decided I'd just wear my favourite emerald green suide stilletos in the house, because they look so pretty and I enjoy wearing them. They make me feels feminine and sexy and I plan to still wear them well into the future.

I'm lucky enough to have children who appreciate having a mother who's a bit left of centre (I think they kinda like it actually). When, as I rapidly approach retirment age, I decided to become a life model (posing for art classes), they were totally supportive. I love finding a new path to explore, especially when I realise I'm good at it (and holding a pose for blocks of 20 minutes is great thinking time for plot building or character examination - two birds, one stone).

I left my paid job (one which I really enjoyed) to follow my passion for house renovation and became a 'flipper'. I gave up the security of a regular income to live the dream of turning a sad, tired house into something modern and lovely. I only regret that I left it so late in my life to realise that taking risks can have huge rewards (and if they don't, they give lessons to learn).

With the advantage of hindsight, I honestly believe we are often too quick to want people (right from babyhood) to play in tune with the rest of the orchestra, follow the conductor, rather than feeling and following your their own rythym. I just hope everyone does eventually listen to it, gives it a chance. You mightn't like where it takes you, and that's fine - but it might just make you smile at the fabulousness of your own precious drumbeat.


Andra Ashe writes steamy romances with strong heroines who find their own drumbeat, and find a man who'll encourage her to play it. 

Join her ARC team for free advance copies of her upcoming books.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Creative Lawnmowing...Musings on a Summer Day ...by Delsora Lowe


Musings on a summer day, you say? But it’s February.

Despite the snow on the ground and the chill of winter in the air, I can still dream of the summer to come. Gardening. Mowing the lawn. Long walks without wearing eighteen layers. And summer may mean I am finished with book edits.

Frosty February
But it is February and I am ensconced in edits and a 30K writing challenge for the month, so I hope you don’t mind that I dug out an article I wrote a few years back. This piece won me a certificate for best article written for our state chapter newsletter, bestowed on me by my Maine Romance Writers. So…enjoy and dream of summer, as I tell you a bit about my writing methods.

And now for the article that fits our topic this month…marching to a different drummer.




Creative Lawnmowing – Musings on a Summer Day Originally released in June, 2008

What’s a May without the lawnmower not working? It sits in that cold garage all winter and craves exercise. When I finally haul it out, it moans and groans and hisses its dissatisfaction at having to work, until we change the oil, put new gas in it, sharpen the blades, and take a wire brush to the spark plugs. Then we’re off. Glad to be back at it.
 

Remind you of anything? That dry spell when our muse decides to take a mid-winter break?

By the time I get the mower in shape for the summer season it is mid-June, my grass is hovering half way up my calf, and the telltale signs of Black-eyed Susans and Daisies are popping up. Just like my writing muse, percolating with snippets of ideas. So, I mow around each stand of wildflower greenery. Then I wander off toward a tree and mow around that, before I realize I’ve veered off course. Seems I can’t mow a straight line to save my life.

As I was mowing my creative course around the yard, preserving the wildflowers and trimming around trees and gardens, it came to me—I mow like I write. I know where I need to begin and I know where I need to end—the garage in both cases. I also understand that my goal is to mow the entire lawn—complete the job.

I complete my mowing assignment the same way I write a book. I pull the lawnmower out of the garage and then I pantser (as in writing by the seat of my pants) my way across the lawn. I take the same side-trips I do when I write. Just like my characters take on a life of their own before I have to rein them in, my mower takes a trip of its own design before I have to straighten out in order to complete the task of mowing the entire yard.
My mower comes to obstacle after obstacle in my lawn—usually because I didn’t plan ahead. I didn’t take the time to pick-up the lawn before I started the mower. A downed limb, buried under the long grass, means I have to stop the mower to pick up the limb and toss it in the discard pile—interrupt my mowing pace. Or, I can choose to toss the limb aside in the area I just mowed, then go back and discard it later.

As a pantser writer, I usually get inspiration from a kernel of an idea, rev up the computer and start writing. I keep moving around the obstacles, highlighting them in yellow so I can revise later, and continue writing while my muse is comfortably seated on my shoulder. Who knows how long she’ll stay before she gets restless. Once that happens—once my muse has returned to the garage—I go back and do the tedious job of picking up and tossing the waste into the discard pile (my outtake file, since I hate to throw things away).

When I’m mowing and come to a stand of wildflowers soon to bloom, I take a detour around it. I preserve the waving green-leafed stalks, knowing they’ll blossom into something beautiful if I nurture them along. In my manuscript, these soon-to-blossom flowers are highlighted in gray before I move on with the story. Later I go back and ponder the best words to bring the bud to bloom, to give the sentence more pizzazz or deepen the character’s POV.


Now it’s mid-July. I’m back to mowing. We’ve finally had enough rain to encourage the grass to grow again after weeks of drought. My stands of Black-eyed Susan are in full boom. It’s easy to mow around them because I can identify them as blossoms, rather than trying to determine which leafy stalk lives or dies by the mower (or the outtake file). I’ve fixed the problems from my first draft. The editing and revising gets easier—I can straighten out the mower again. The repetitive motion of the lawnmower going back and forth along straight lines, frees my mind to daydream—conjure up the next bit of trouble I can throw at my character before we get to the big black moment and the happily ever after.



A Valentine Story – ON SALE until end of February
Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Moonlighting-Serenity-Harbor-Novella-Starlight-ebook/dp/B075TK7KYS/
Books2Read

~ cottages to cabins ~ keep the home fires burning ~
Delsora Lowe writes small town sweet romances and contemporary westerns from the mountains of Colorado to the shores of Maine.
Author of the Starlight Grille series, Serenity Harbor Maine novellas, and the Cowboys of Mineral Springs series, Lowe has also authored short romances for Woman’s World magazine.
Social Media Links:

Clip Art:
Purple Marching Band: http://cliparts.co/clipart/2383123
Lawnmower: https://www.clipart.email/list/lawn-mowing/
Flower: www.allthingsclipart.com/black.eyed.susan.clipart.htm
Happy Trees: https://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/34958/happy-trees-illustration/

Monday, February 17, 2020

Favorite Romantic Movies Round 3 by Kristin Wallace

Okay, this month I get to review more romantic flicks in honor of Valentine’s Day, which we just celebrated on Friday. 

Be sure to check out my previous roundups if you want.

2020 Romantic Movie Review

While You Were Sleeping

Lucy (Sandra Bullock) is a lonely single cashier for the L-train who pines after the handsome man she sees taking the platform every day. When he’s attacked and falls onto the tracks, she saves him. At the hospital she gets mistaken for his fiancĂ© and then she begins to fall in love…with her “fiancĂ©s” family, especially his brother Jack (Bill Pullman). 

Groundhog Day

Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is a cynical weatherman who gets stuck (or cursed) to relive Groundhog Day over and over as he covers the annual Groundhog Day festival in Punxutawney, PA. This is one of the most innovative romantic comedies
I’ve ever seen, with a brilliantly funny performance and a sweet love story as Phil tries to woo the news station’s producer, Rita (Andie McDowell).

13 Going On 30

When a girl (Jenna Rinc) makes a wish to be “Thirty, Flirty and Thriving” on her 13th birthday, she wakes up the next day as a 30-year-old woman (Jennifer Garner). She doesn’t remember anything about the intervening years. To help her put the pieces back together, she looks up her childhood friend, Matt (Mark Ruffalo). Turns out Jenna has the life she dreamed of, as an editor for a NY fashion magazine. Or does she? This is totally Jennifer Garner’s movie as she pulls off the feat of acting like a typical teenager, and as she slowly realizes the kind of life she really wanted.

Something’s Gotta Give

Diane Keaton is Erica Barry, a successful playwright and divorcee who seems perfectly happy on her own. Until her 20-something daughter brings home her new boyfriend…who happens to be a much older man (Jack Nicholson), who only dates young women. This is a great story about a “mature” couple finding each other and realizing they were both missing out on a real love.

The Proposal

Sandra Bullock again, only this time she plays Margaret Tate, a tough-as-nails senior editor at a book publisher. Turns out she’s Canadian and is unknowingly in the US illegally. In order to stay and keep her job, she ropes her assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds). This story is unique as it’s the woman who has the power in the relationship. At least until Andrew takes Margaret home to meet his family…in Alaska. Hilarious and such great chemistry between the two leads who at first hate each other. A classic “hate turns to love” story.

The Princess Bride

I can’t believe I’ve never included this movie on my list! It’s one of the funniest movies of all time, but at its heart we can never forget that it is also the epic romantic tale of Westley “As you wish” and his beloved Buttercup. I’m sure most of you can quote some of the best lines. The cast is incredible, and every role is perfection. If you haven’t seen it in awhile, do yourself a favor watch it again. 



Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and sweet contemporary romance filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. The Christmas in Shellwater Key boxes et will release this winter. If you're not tired of holiday romances, scoop up Christmas in Shellwater Key, a holiday boxed set with three Shellwater Key novellas (Finding You At Christmas, Falling For You At Christmas, and Loving You At Christmas). It's still available on Kindle Unlimited.