Sometimes Twitter does hilarious hashtag memes, like 3drunkwords, 3wordsaftersex, etc., and they’re always good for a long laugh on slow afternoons. One of the ones that cracked me up awhile ago was firstdraftmovies, in which fictional “first drafts” were shown of famous movie lines. Here were some of my faves:
“The first rule of Fight Club is all registrants must pay $20 and receive a membership card before they can fight.” @stephanbugaj
“Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to make me a sandwich?” @HanksStorm
“Play it, Sam. Play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ ” @riadams1
“Rule number one is: Don’t talk about Book Club.” @keithlaw
“Hey, I’m James Bond!” @JoshHolliday
“You had me at ‘I’m drunk and vulnerable’.” @eric_dolan
“Bloomfield. James Bloomfield” (sorry, didn’t get writer on that one!)
“I’m fairly disgruntled and I don’t think I’m going to put up with it anymore.” @powermond
Look at all this loveliness that came for me in the mail today:
I was the randomly selected winner in the drawing for an Amazon gift card that K.M. Jackson (or Kwana, to those of us who follow her fun blog, Kwana Writes) held on her blog the other day! She was celebrating the release of her new book, Through the Lens.
And look at all the lovely things she sent: a fun leopard-print scarf, a very Hollywood-vintage bling-y frame, a beautiful card, and — of course — the Amazon gift card and some exciting promo items for her new book! I was so excited to open this package!
Kwana’s a class act.
I “met” Kwana through the blogosphere a few years ago, and we just seemed to have so many things in common — both sending kids to college the same year, both trying to find time to write our books, both grew up in the ’80s, both in happy 20+-year marriages, both love art and decorating, both struggling with all the things you struggle with when you’re a busy mom. … It’s been a joy to watch her career blossom and watch her get her books done!
(And I hope to be right behind her!)
Just thought I’d share such a lovely package, and such a lovely lady.
It’s three days before RWA Nationals starts, and Firebirds are landing in OC!
“The Firebirds” is the name we chose for our class of Golden Heart finalists, the class of 2012.
There are about 60 of us in about 10 different writing categories (YA romance, Regency romance, romantic suspense, contemporary, etc.) — all different ages, all different steps of the publishing journey, all different states, and even some from different countries. (One woman is coming from Budapest, one is an ex-pat in India, at least two are coming from Australia, and at least one from Canada.)
We’ve already become close on our email loop, emailing each other every day since we finaled.
We’ve shared stories of what we said or did when we got “the call” that we’d finaled (I especially liked the story of the finalist who answered the phone naked!), where we live, who are kids are, how long we’ve been writing, and where we got the idea for our GH manuscript.
We’ve written every day about agents we’ve talked to, editors who’ve approached us, leanings toward self-publishing, and fears of giving pitches in person. … Continue reading →
The settings look beautiful; Leo is a surprisingly suitable Gatsby; Daisy looks perfect; and the soundtrack is sublime. … It seems Baz Luhrmann (Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge) really captures the opulence and gorgeousness of this time, mixed in with the horror of the gluttony. That fine line is something the 1970s movie didn’t capture at all.
Now I can’t wait for Christmas! (**Giddy dancing**)
Holiday Affair — Lisa Plumley. Another cute contemporary. This one was about Karina and Reid who meet at a holiday B&B during the Christmas season when she brings her kids there — super cute setting and a cute plot, overall. But I didn’t quite buy the character of Reid at all. He didn’t seem to think or talk like any man I ever knew. But I liked the Karina character, who seemed realistic, and her recent divorce managed to seem funny.
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor — Lisa Kleypas. Contemporary about Mark and Maggie, who fall in love on an island off the coast of … um … I can’t remember. … (Washington???). I pictured a lot of Sleepless in Seattle. (They even meet over a little girl that the hero is raising — his niece.) But it was cute and, for a Christmas story, it didn’t rely on tropes. In fact, it seemed like a regular book that simply took place at Christmas (which I liked a lot!)
When Beauty Tamed the Beast — Eloisa James. I’m obviously a big Eloisa James fan, and I looked forward to this new book of hers about Piers and Linnet. For the first half of the book, though, I couldn’t get over how similar her hero, Piers, was to Gregory House from television’s House. (Although Piers is living in a 19th century Welch castle.) Although House has long been a FAVE show of mine (and I always loved the character of House), the similarities were more distracting than enjoyable. I could even hear his voice in all the dialogue. Then I started Googling it, and realized that at the end of the book, James actually SAYS this character is based on House! Somehow that eased my mind from the distraction and I enjoyed the second half of the book. But I think this book would be more enjoyable for someone who didn’t watch so many episodes of House and could “meet” that character for the first time.
Storming the Castle — Short Story — Eloisa James. I got this one for 99 cents on my Kindle! This is the story of Phillipa and Wick, and I got the impression there were characters from James’ longer book A Kiss at Midnight, which I didn’t read. (But might soon!) In this one, Wick is pretending to be a butler at his brother’s castle, and he falls in love with Phillipa, who is there pretending to be a nursemaid. I thought the characters were really well drawn for a short story — normally that’s a tricky thing to do.
Duchess in Love — Eloisa James. Cute Regency about Cam and Gina, childhood friends who are forced into marriage when they are young teens but Cam flees before the marriage day is even over. They reunite as adults, supposedly to get a divorce, but things rekindle, of course, when they join a weekend-long house party. (Those Regency folk sure know how to party, man.) Anyway, this was okay– for some reason, I wasn’t particularly fond of Cam or Gina, so I didn’t love it as much as I love other books. But there were great secondary characters and the story moved along well.
Outliers — Malcolm Gladwell. Nonfiction. Fascinating discussion about what makes one person a success and another person not. I loved all the examples he gave. this is the book where he discusses the 10,000 hours necessary to make anyone an “overnight success.” (His point being that no one is an overnight success — you may not see it, but 10,000 hours of practice went into whatever that person succeeded at.) It makes me want to read Gladwell’s other books, Blink and Tipping Point.
The Alchemist — Paulo Coelho. I enjoyed this fable, which made me think a lot about my son in the days when he was deciding his future (where to go for college). It’s a fable about how far you should go in getting what you want, and how to know when you get it.
As You Desire — Connie Brockway. This is an older book, but it’s in the top 10 of AAR’s Top 100 Romances list, and it’s the only author I haven’t yet read in the top 10. And, I must say, Connie Brockway doesn’t disappoint. This is a really cute story of “Dizzy” and Harry, set in Egypt in the 1800s. Both are English and are living in Egypt temporarily, but Dizzy wants to go back to England and Harry absolutely doesn’t — he’s fine living in Egypt as a collector, plus he’s got a secret he’s trying to keep. When I read the back of this book, the writing sounded silly and flowery, but when I actually read the excerpt (downloadable on Kindle — you can read the whole first chapter as a sample), I realized the “flowery” writing was actually Dizzy’s attempt to concoct romance writing from that day. Pretty funny. Connie Brockway actually handles the writing quite well, with humor and wit. This makes me definitely want to read the other Brockways on the top 100 list.
Call Me Irrisistible — Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This was one I was waiting on with bated breath — I knew the release date was Jan. 18, and I was up that morning, downloading this to the uber-cool Kindle that’s exactly awesome for this very reason. And I did enjoy it. It didn’t topple my other fave SEP, but I liked it. Two things I didn’t like though: (1) I didn’t like that there were so many old characters showing up — it sort of frustrated me and made me feel like I had to remember them all. And, because they’re old characters, they weren’t very well developed in this book. (2) I was disappointed that we didn’t get the alternating point of view between the hero and the heroine, which is usually entertaining when handled by someone as funny as SEP. We finally got Ted’s POV at the very end, but by then I didn’t really like him all that much. I realize that the alternating POV really helps you fall in love with both characters.
Blue-Eyed Devil — Lisa Kleypas. Okay, I’m hooked on Lisa Kleypas already. After finishing Smooth Talking Stranger (below) the other night, I went on the Amazon Kindle store and immediately downloaded this one, which is about another Travis. (It occurred to me, later, after reading the reviews on Amazon, that I’m reading these all out of order, but oh well.) This one is even better.
Smooth Talking Stranger — Lisa Kleypas. This was my first purchase with my Christmas Amazon gift card from hubby. I’d only read one Lisa Kleypas before, from the AAR Top 100 Romances list (Dreaming of You, a historical, which I liked), but everyone seems to love her contemporaries, too, so I’d always wanted to add one of her contemporaries to my TBR pile. This is the one I picked on Christmas Day. I don’t know why this one, but there it is. And it was a good choice — I really enjoyed it. I’m not crazy about romances in the first person for some reason, but I eventually got past that and just enjoyed the story. This one is about Jack Travis and advice columnist Ella Varner.
I think I probably said this already last year (gah! Am I repeating myself already? I guess that’s what you get after running a blog for four years…), but I really like making a list of everything I’ve read. It’s fun to look back on (and think, gosh, was that just last year???) or to reflect on which books were standouts and which were not.
I woefully read very few book club books (like … er … one??? eek) — I vow this year to read more of those and get involved in the discussions. (When I don’t read the book I still go to the meeting for the wine and good company!) 🙂 This year’s book club list looks great, so I’m really going to make more of an effort. I think I’ve read most of the romances I need to read for research on style and pacing, so now I can read a mixture of genres.
Anyway, did you make a list this year? What was your favorite standout book from 2011?