Tag Archives: reviews

SixforSunday: Books That Made Me Cry

Books butterflies library

I’m starting a new (for me) prompt I found at my friend Davida’s blog. The prompt is hosted by Steph, begun when she wanted to share 6 bookish things each week. This week’s topic is books that made me cry (or almost cry).

  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. An incredible book that I recommend to everyone.
  2. The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst. Could not help getting emotionally wrought up in this love story.
  3. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien. A non-fiction account of raising an owl. Wonderfully told.
  4. When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal. Beautifully written story about the search for a sister.
  5. Whisper Me This by Kerry Ann King. Devastating family drama.
  6. The Cat Who Went to Paris (trilogy) by Peter Gethers. The animal stories get to me every time.

I also cried the other week when reading Larger Than Life by Jodi Picoult, but that was really a short story/prologue from her novel Leaving Time, which I haven’t read yet and may not because it will break my heart. It’s about elephants.

Speaking of reading, I set a crazy high goal for myself of 100 books to read this year. I’ve read 17 so far. It should be doable because I’m not writing a book this year. I hope I can do it anyway!


©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Black Widow


The challenge song today is “Up Where We Belong,” which was featured in one of my favorite movies An Officer and a Gentleman. Richard Gere played the lead role and Debra Winger rocked as his love interest. That was the first time I saw Debra, and I instantly adored her. She’s been in many enjoyable movies (though I didn’t really care for her last one, The Lovers).

Probably my favorite after AOAAG is Black Widow. In this 1987 film, Debra plays an FBI agent, Alexandra, who becomes obsessed with the idea of a connection among a group of dead men. She doesn’t believe they perished from accidents but were, in fact, murdered by the same woman. Alexandra basically devotes her life to solving this puzzle and ends up romantically involved with a man she perceives is the next target.

Theresa Russell plays the wife of each of these wealthy men and is so great with her multiple disguises. Highly recommend if you haven’t seen it!


Written for Mindlovemisery Challenge 174

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Switching Positions

Switching Positions

— Read on crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2021/01/02/switching-positions/

Thank you, Caramel, for reviewing my book!

Book Review: Ghosted: Disappearing Acts

Book Review: Ghosted: Disappearing Acts

Book Review: Ghosted: Disappearing Acts

— Read on mentalhealthathome.org/2020/12/23/book-review-ghosted/

Ashley reviewed my book! Thank you, friend. It’s a very detailed review too and I really appreciate it. 🥰

Six Degrees 5 [blogcarnelli]

Kevin Bacon

Welcome to Blog Carnelli! This is a fun, no-pressure, no time limit prompt. The idea is to use the six degrees of separation concept (that everyone is only six or fewer people away from Kevin Bacon) to connect books, movies, and songs.

In our last episode, about 75 years ago in September 2020, we ended the list with Tommy James’ “Draggin’ the Line.” Today we will begin with…

1. Borderline Personality Disorder and other poems by my friend Doug X (ebook available on Amazon). This collection is a short, witty, and insightful read. I’m a big fan of Doug’s poetry and comedy. 🤩

2. Next up is Romancing the Stone starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. This 1984 movie is one of my favorite romcoms! It’s so meta because Turner plays a romance novel writer who meets Douglas while on a wild adventure in Columbia in search of her sister. He’s very far from the “perfect man” she envisions as a soul mate…

Romancing the Stone

3. We continue with Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone. Wow, what an intense novel! I could not put it down. Even though the plot seems far fetched, Stone creates characters that drive it perfectly. Throughout the story, I kept thinking things could not get weirder, but they did. And wonderfully so. 🙃

4. This leads into “The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern ~ a powerful song that was used in The Poseidon Adventure film. I’ve always enjoyed its strong message of hope. Besides winning Best Original Song in 1972, it went on to be a No. 1 hit single in 1973. 🥳

5. Now we have Maureen Stapleton playing Estelle in The Money Pit, a hilarious 1986 movie. Tom Hanks and Shelley Long star as a married couple whose “bargain” dream house turns into a nightmare. Estelle sold it to them.

Money Pit

6. Naturally this segues to the Talking Heads 1983 song “Burning Down the House.” The lyrics sound ultra serious but make no sense at all, which is fun, if you’re in the mood for that kind of thing… 🤪

If you’re so inclined, why not pick an item from my list above and DO THE CARNELLI on your own blob? 😍

See ya like whenever…


©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

HallChall19: Movie


Last night I watched a funny “documentary” about a vampire roommate situation called What We Do in the Shadows. It wasn’t scary, just hysterical. Apparently there is also a series with the same name. A more “serious” vampire movie I enjoyed decades ago was Dracula, starring Frank Langella. He’s such a good actor. There’s a spoofy film I rewatched several times as a teenager ~ Love at First Bite, starring George Hamilton and Susan Saint James. It cracked me up back then, but idk if it stands the time test. Note: I haven’t watched or read any Twilight material. 🧛‍♂️

My favorite vampire/horror movie is Dark Shadows, which stars Johnny Depp. It has a stellar cast, is super funny, and is also very sexy. It’s basically a lurve story. Another fave scary movie is The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson. Love her! The Others, starring Nicole Kidman, is great too. These are more psychological horrors than gore, but they are still gripping. Maybe more so! 😬

Scarier still are the psychological dramas that simply feature people doing horrible things to others because that can actually happen. And it has…


Written for Tourmaline’s Challenge

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Six Degrees 4 [blogcarnelli]

Kevin Bacon

Welcome to Blog Carnelli! This is a fun, no-pressure, no time limit prompt. The idea is to use the six degrees of separation concept (that everyone is only six or fewer people away from Kevin Bacon) to connect books, movies, and songs.

Today I’m starting with the last item from my Six Degrees 3 post. That was the book Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien. I’m using the author’s name Stacey to connect to the first entry in this post.

Stacey Wiedower wrote 30 First Dates, a fun romance novel about a blogger (yay!) who decides to go on 30 dates with 30 different men before she turns 30. It’s part of the “bucket list” of experiences she wants to check off, and she shares her adventures with her readers. I think we can all relate to this book in some way. This is a romance, so we can expect the HEA, and the book delivers, but not too predictably.

The movie 50 First Dates stars Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. Now, usually I dislike watching the characters that Sandler plays, but Henry is an exception. He’s really sweet in this! Drew as Lucy is funny and adorable as always. The twist in this tale is that Lucy had an accident which robbed her of her short-term memory, so every day Henry must think of a new way to woo her. Lucy also has a very (over)protective family who is watching out for her, and Henry has to get on their good side too. The movie was filmed in gorgeous Oahu and was directed by Peter Segal.

What do you think I’ll chose next? Of course! It’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” written and sung by Paul Simon on his 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years.” Supposedly, this song was motivated by Paul’s divorce and his decision to address the breakup in a lighthearted manner. The song seems pretty cute with all the rhymes of male names, but I take it somewhat seriously as well. It can be hard to leave someone… you can feel paralyzed, like there’s just no way to deal with the logistics of it. A friend may point out the various ways it’s possible for you to end the relationship, but ultimately you need to summon up enough emotional energy to get it done.

In 2001’s Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon’s character Elle Woods uses a breakup to motivate herself to go to law school. She takes her silly blonde self and her cute puppy across the country from sunny SoCal to staid New England. Initially, Elle enrolls in order to be close to the jerk who dumped her, but soon she discovers that Harvard Law is actually the right place for her as she begins to hit the books and impress her professors. This film was directed by Robert Luketic.

Reese played June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash’s second wife, in Walk the Line, a 2005 musical/drama directed by James Mangold. Joaquin Phoenix played Johnny. I love this movie so much! All the music is wonderful and Reese & Johnny knock “Jackson” out of the park. There’s a lot of sadness mixed in with the great music. Wonderful film.

“Draggin’ the Line” is a 1971 song written and sung by Tommy James after he left the Shondells. It’s been speculated that the song refers to drug usage (especially after “Crystal Blue Persuasion”), but Tommy said no… it was simply about having to go to work every day. This view holds up too, since the song also mentions “checking the line,” possibly referring to setting up power lines back then.

Okay then. That wraps up my fourth post on Blog Carnelli. I hope you enjoyed it and will join in with your own.

Super Jumbo Deluxe Combo Post

Park bench in the rain with colorful lights

Time slid by like reflections smeared by the rain. Each moment seemed compelling until it was replaced by the next one, like a picture inside a kaleidoscope. She felt as if she were a mere park bench in a painting, observing her own life but not participating in it, still having trouble transitioning to this new way of living, working, being. There were smiles, of course, such as last weekend when she saw her friends again. They watched a movie outdoors, and it was L.A. Story with Steve Martin, which she thought she should like, but it was vaguely disappointing. Her instincts protested against all the grabbiness by the various characters, even though it was done in the name of comedy. That’s supposed to excuse a lot of unacceptable behaviors, isn’t it?

Maybe it was her, her habit of craving stability and sameness in a world gone mad. Perhaps it was time to fling off her fears and dive into the chaos, as she had done when younger. But that was a road to nothing ultimately, and while she didn’t have an overwhelming sense of regret for her choices, they hadn’t led to anything great either. But maybe greatness wasn’t the point… maybe a better method would be to appreciate each moment fully before it was washed away in the rains of time bla bla bla. As her favorite quote went: life is short; eat dessert first.

That thought reminded her of one of her favorite books: The Unbearable Lightness of Being. She had read it several times, and it was such a great study in the intricate differences of perspectives. When they cast Daniel Day Lewis as the lead, she’d been pleased. He so perfectly matched the image in her mind of the philandering doctor in the book. The movie itself was good, but it couldn’t live up to the book’s greatness because there was no way to bring in all the crucial nuances of the narrative.

The Glass Castle, on the other hand, had disappointed her with the lead. This was one of her favorite books and yet Brie Larson as Jeannette didn’t feel right at all. There was something off about her voice, tone, and looks. She’d never envisioned J as an adult Manhattan snob the way she was portrayed by Brie. There was a strong undercurrent of angst and loss in the book’s Jeannette, not this smoothly perfect adult. However, Woody Harrelson as the raging alcoholic father was a perfect fit. She decided that casting was an onerous task and she would certainly find it tough. There were so many factors to consider.

In any case, she had a family beach day to look forward to tomorrow, which would probably end up as next week’s smile. But how was it possible that over half a year had passed in this strange limbo? She didn’t want to spout cliches, but she had the eerie sense that the ending was rushing toward her like an out of control semi-truck on a slippery downhill slope. Or perhaps it would be a warm gentle fog of nothingness as the colors all blended into one…

Eat dessert first

Written for Trent’s Weekly Smile.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question 84.

Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August 26.

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt ~ Transition.

Image credit ~ lovethispic

Six Degrees 3 [blogcarnelli]

Kevin Bacon

Welcome to Blog Carnelli! This is a fun, no-pressure, no time limit prompt. The idea is to use the six degrees of separation concept (that everyone is only six or fewer people away from Kevin Bacon) to connect books, movies, and songs.

Today I’m starting with the last item from my Six Degrees 2 post. That was the novel My Trashy Romance by Terry Black. I’m using the word black to connect to the first entry in this post.

1. “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones. This 1966 song has darkly themed lyrics about depression and death. It’s one of their greatest hits, maybe because most people can relate to feeling hopeless from time to time.

2. The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. This is a suspense novel centered upon a Degas painting that the heroine has been commissioned to reproduce. She suspects that the piece is itself a forgery and becomes involved in a tangle of lies and thieves.

3. Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. This romance novel is a fun romp through the world of art fakes and forgeries. Tilda, the heroine, and many other characters are constantly pretending to be people they aren’t.

4. We’re the Millers, a film starring Jennifer Aniston. This comedy centers on a drug dealer who needs to go to Mexico and pick up a shipment or else be killed. To be inconspicuous, he recruits a stripper (Jen) and a couple random teenagers to pose as a family.

5. “Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller Band. This 1976 song talks about revolution and the impoverished. Yet, despite these heavy themes, the narrator would prefer to simply fly away to the sea and be free of it all.

6. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien. This is a heartfelt story of a little broken bird and the biologist who cares for him his whole life. It’s a love story and it’s wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Okay then. That wraps up my third post on Blog Carnelli. I hope you enjoyed it and will join in with your own. Since I want to keep track of my connections in order not to repeat any, I created this handy little table in Word. In real Carnelli, if you repeat any item in a round, you are out of the game.


©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

New Prompt ~ Six Degrees

Kevin Bacon

I found the 6 Degrees idea at my friend Davida’s blog, but I’m going to tweak it a bit. She links to a prompt that asks us to describe 6 books, each connected to the previous one in some way (a word in the title, the same author, a theme, etc.). That reminded me of a super fun game I’ve played called Carnelli, which uses books and movies. Since I’m pretty flexible with rules, I’m going to allow songs and poems too ~ anything written, basically.

Blog Carnelli is what this is, my friends, and I hope you will join in. Take any one of my 6 items and start your own Six Degrees post (no time limit)… or take one from another player. Can you just begin your own from scratch? Sure, why not! We can use the tag #blogcarnelli to find each other.

If you’re wondering what is the deal with Kevin Bacon, click here. Okay? I’m gonna start! 🤩

1. Hollow Man. This is a 1980 movie starring Kevin Bacon as an arrogant creep of a scientist working on an invisibility serum for the military. There’s also a love triangle involved with Elisabeth Shue. The movie is violent and somewhat predictable, but hey Bacon.

2. Leaving Las Vegas. This is a 1995 movie starring Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue. The story centers on the relationship between an alcoholic man who has lost everything that mattered to him and a prostitute. Sad, but great.

3. The Glass Castle. This is a 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls, where she chronicles her childhood with an alcoholic father. I found it utterly engrossing. There’s a movie version, but it’s not nearly as good as the book.

4. “Heart of Glass.” This is a 1978 new wave song by Blondie. It was written by group members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. Though the music is upbeat, the lyrics are focused on mistrust and heartbreak.

5. The Heart Goes Last. This is a 2015 novel by the wonderful Margaret Atwood. It’s a dystopian romp where you have to agree to be a part-time prisoner in order to have a modicum of security. Thought provoking!

6. “Folsom Prison Blues.” This is a 1955 song by Johnny Cash told from the point of view of a prisoner. The guy is lamenting his loss of freedom when he hears the train go rolling by. A classic! 🎶💖

So, there you have it. My first Six Degrees #blogcarnelli post. More will come along at random… looking forward to yours!


©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.