Tag Archives: romance novels

Truthful Tuesday Books

Books butterflies

PCGuyIV continues his Truthful Tuesday prompt with some questions about books.

Do you have a favorite author? If so, who and why? If not, why not?

I have several! For romance novels, I love Jennifer Crusie. She creates very multi-dimensional characters. When I’m in the mood for a detective story, I like the late Lawrence Sanders, especially his Delaney and McNally series. When I want to read a short story, Ray Carver is my guy. He packs so much meaning into so few words. I also enjoy novels and short stories by Haruki Murakami… they’re a bit weird in a good way. And Robert Frost is my favorite poet. Hard to explain “why” with poetry!

What was the first book you remember enjoying reading?

Arty the Smarty! It was about a fish. Let me see if I can find it… Yes! Amazon has it for $149. Yipes, wish I’d kept my little books. 💰

What three books best sum up your taste in literature?

Jennifer Crusie’s Faking It (romance). Ray Carver’s Where I’m Calling From (literary fiction/short stories). The Third Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders (murder/drama/police work).

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.

Six Degrees 2 [blogcarnelli]

Kevin Bacon six degrees

1. Today I’m taking the last entry from my previous post (“Folsom Prison Blues”) and using the theme of feeling stuck (a word in FBP’s lyrics). One of my favorite songs, “Hotel California,” also has a trapped theme. It’s by the Eagles. Initially the narrator feels welcome at the HC, but eventually realizes there is no escape. The song includes the line this could be heaven or this could be hell.

2. The 2019 movie Vivarium (starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) also switches from the idea of something that seems great to the realization that it’s horrible. A young couple go to look at their possible dream home with an estate agent. He disappears and the couple is left stranded in a maze of horror. They are forced to raise a baby who may be some kind of demon from hell (or an alien).

3. Speaking of hellish homes, I present We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. What’s going on here? Is this creepy family dead or alive? I enjoyed this psychological horror story very much. I also love a story told by an unreliable narrator. The novel has two sisters as main characters.

4. One of my favorite romcoms, 27 Dresses, features two sisters dealing with their romances. They are first of all in love with the same man (for a while) and second must untangle themselves from various deceptions. It’s a funny and sweet film.

5. “Alice’s Restaurant” repeats the lyric 27 glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one to be used as evidence against us. Those were pictures of the heap of trash that the narrator and a friend illegally added to on Thanksgiving. This is a war protest song by Arlo Guthrie about the Vietnam draft, among other things.

6. My Trashy Romance is a fun story about a trash collector who falls for a librarian. Initially, they hit it off, but she discovers something that upsets her, so she breaks up with him. But does he win her back? This witty novel is written by my real-life friend Terry Black.

Okay, that’s it for my second six degrees / blog Carnelli post and I will continue on at some future date…

~*~

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

Photo credit ~ Kevin Bacon, the original six degrees dude, via Google

30 Day Film Challenge 5

I found this fun challenge at Sandmanjazz. As I did with the books (not the bingo, but the 30 days), I’m going to do these movies in blocks. So instead of a post a day for 30 days, I’ll have 6 posts total. Here’s my fifth set of films…

21. You’ve Got Mail and 27 Dresses are tied for my favorite romcoms… and they both make me want to fall in love. They have that standard romance novel trope of mistaken identity, but I’m not tired of it. Unlike other tropes (switching places, time travel, misunderstood eavesdropping, etc.), mistaken identity stories still appeal to me. You fall in love with someone, not knowing who they really are, but when the truth is finally revealed, you love them even more. Why I like this the best, idk. Probably some freudian thing…

22. Fantasy-world films, like most sci-fi, do not normally appeal to me. But there are always exceptions. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’s was a fantasy film I loved.

23. Risky Business means a lot to me. Weird, right? I have nothing in common with any of those characters. But I knew people like them. The idea that Joel’s hard work meant nothing to the Princeton recruiter, but setting the dude up with a hooker got him in… well, that just sums up our effed-up values as a society, doesn’t it? Even I go ooh Ivy League to this day until I step back for a second and remind myself of (waves arms) everything.

24. I don’t normally care about directors ~ I like what I like. But Rob Reiner and Martin Scorsese happened to have directed a large number of my faves. Since I’ve already mentioned a few of RR’s films (WHMS, Alex & Emma), I will give Marty a shout-out here. Goodfellas is in my top 5 favorite films of all time, and it’s a Scorsese-directed flick. I do rewatch it frequently. Don’t forget After Hours though, a super weird dark comedy with no mafia characters. It is also one of Marty’s and I love it.

25. A film that inspired me? Hmm. Hidden Figures was pretty inspiring, not that I could relate to it personally, since I don’t struggle for anything because lazy. If it’s difficult, I give up. But I appreciate how others keep fighting for their dreams.

I’ll be back! (On the 30th.) 🤣

~*~

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

After Midnight

I don’t have any photos illustrating the color for today’s prompt from City Sonnet, which is midnight blue. I do have a dark blue sweatshirt I could take a selfie in, but it’s too hot. So, I present this cheat pic…

Midnight Sins by Lora Leigh

I rarely give one-star ratings because if a book is that bad, generally I won’t finish it or review it at all. But I did finish this one, probably because of all the hot secks, and it was awful. Apparently I read two more of hers, just to be sure. 🤣

~*~

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

Image courtesy of Goodreads.

30 Day Book Challenge 4

30 day book challenge

I’m doing this challenge in groups of 6 so that I end up with 5 posts at the end of June for my 30 day book challenge instead of 30. This is my fourth set of books.

19. As I said, I don’t care for audiobooks, but if a man with a sexy British accent wants to read something to me, I won’t put up a fuss. I watched a multipart show about meerkats of all the silly things because the narrator had such a delicious British voice.

20. I love unreliably narrated books! So much fun. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is a good example of a book with an unreliable narrator. Merrikat pulls you into her world and you think you know what’s going on… or do you? I do have a preference for books about sisters…

21. Orange County Noir, edited by Gary Phillips, is an anthology of short stories that are set in Orange County, California. Many are very dark, giving us a peek at the desperate lives people live behind the facade of glittering McMansions and shiny new cars. I see it has a whole bunch of bad reviews because people want Orange County stories to be upbeat, I guess. Well, they aren’t. WE SUFFER HERE.

22. I had to find a brand new book to read for the LGBTQ love story, as there were none on my list. It’s definitely not a genre I seek out, though I’ve read bits of pr0n here and there, as you do. Naturally, I chose the L, since it’s bad enough having one man in a love story, but two of ’em? Gah. Anyway, I picked Endless Love by Lauren Trevino. This book was just okay. It could have used an editor/proofreader ~ there were lots of typos and elided words. We all make mistakes and it’s hard to catch our own when we’ve gone over the same pages a hundred times and made changes. Beyond that, the heroines were rather bland with cookie-cutter motivations. Just like the cliched male/female romance novel, every character was incredibly beautiful, there was a friend who betrayed them, one walked in on the other at exactly the “wrong” moment (twice), the sex was always amazing, yada. Some chapters were too disjointed and short. There were POV breaks. Etc. But the story still pulled me along well enough to the end with some tension anyway. I was planning to give the book 2 stars but gave it 3. Why? Because at the end, the lovers discussed the 2016 election and actually went out in the street to protest. Generally, romance novels don’t take any political stance, and for that act of bravery, I awarded another star.

23. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” This is the last line of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. It’s probably due for a reread.

24. Wow, I don’t have any true collaborations in my Goodreads list. This means a book written by 2 or more authors, not a collection of stories by 2 or more writers. Different things. I must have read some, but I don’t recall any. To rectify this, I’m going to buy one of the books by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. She’s a romance writer and he’s a suspense writer ~ they wrote a few books together (I actually attended one of their workshops in San Diego several years ago). I’ve wanted to read one, so this is my opportunity. I don’t have time to read it before this goes live though. Sorry about that.

See you on the 30th with my final set of June books!

~*~

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

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

30 Day Book Challenge 3

30 day book challenge

I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my third set of books…

13. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb is an excellent book about history, finance, politics, and (especially) human psychology. I highly recommend it. The last third is full of math, but you don’t have to pore over that to get the gist of the book (I did not).

14. Speaking of swans… Swan Song, a twisted adult fairy tale by Jess Haines was a magical love story, with a bittersweet/philosophical ending. It’s a retelling of The Swan Princess, which is a pretty bad love story imo, and Ms. Haines writes a much better one with a way cooler hero. (PS: it’s not that “adult.”)

15. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien made me cry sad tears and no this was not meant to be a bird-themed set of books! I look on Goodreads to find books I’ve read that fit the motifs. Or, if I can’t find something, I will read a new one, such as #14. Nothing wrong with reading a new book! But I digress. Wesley is such a wonderful story… please read it ASAP. I guarantee that you will love it, or… um… nothing. Owls are awesome!

16. I’ve read many books more than once, but let’s go with The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, a most excellent novel. Please don’t feel you know the story if you’ve merely seen the movie, which was good, but it didn’t (and couldn’t possibly) do justice to this complex philosophical work. It’s okay to read it in small doses and think about it. I did. It’s so very brain crunchy.

17. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was such an unexpectedly weird read, but I enjoyed it a lot. I guessed part of the mystery early on, but I still liked it and wanted to see where it went. I recommend it if you like stories that are a bit offbeat.

18. For my RIP author, I’m going with Ray Carver and his book of short stories Where I’m Calling From. Many of my favorite stories are in there, including the title story as well as Fat, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Neighbors, etc.

Alrighty then! See you with my next set on the 24th. 🙂

~*~

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

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

30 Day Book Challenge 1

30 day book challenge

I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my first set of books…

1. My favorite book in a series is The Third Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders (RIP). This is where retired police chief Edward X. Delaney has to solve a series of murders, all men, committed by a very clever woman, a plain secretary by day who dresses up as a femme fatale at night to lure a random victim into her deadly web. All the deadly sin books are great, but I particularly love this one for some reason… who knows why… so mysterious.

2. Hard to choose a favorite writer! I’m going to go with Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. She writes consistently realistic and fun romances. This one is particularly witty and delicious.

3. Sadly, I’ve never finished Ulysses by James Joyce. My father always wanted me to read it, since it was one of his favorite books, but it was such a tedious slog. I tried two or three times and gave up. So boring!

4. I will always remember The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It had a strong effect on me. The attachment to objects. The power of imagination. What’s real and what isn’t. The cruelty of mockery. So much is in here…

5. My favorite classic novel is The Great Gatsby. I don’t care if Fitzgerald wrote it fast because he needed money. It’s still beautiful. Why is that bad anyway… to write for money? Who says slaving away for decades without a care for recompense creates true art? Bah.

6. The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst broke my heart. It was shockingly sad even though we knew some of the tragedy right at the start.

I guess I will schedule this for June 6 even though I’m doing it on Tuesday. K… see you then. 😻

~*~

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

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

Couple More Movies + Bonus Peeve!

Bitmoji popcorn

I’m still not watching much TV in isolation, but I feel lucky I stumbled onto these two gems this past week. I vastly prefer a movie to a series. I like to be finished with a thing and know how it ends after a small time commitment. There are exceptions, of course, for fabulous shows like GOT, SFU, BB, etc. But I’m mostly not willing to keep trying one mediocre E1 after another.

1. The Duchess. This 2008 British drama starring Kiera Knightly and Ralph Fiennes is directed by Saul Dibb. It’s based on the married life of a real person, Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire. Amanda Foreman wrote the biography upon which the movie is based. Michael O’Connor won the Academy Award for Best Costume ~ and the costumes are stunning. This is not a romance novel come to life, though it appears to begin as one. As time goes on, I keep hoping for happily ever after for the Duchess, but happiness seems to elude her at every turn. She has a wealthy and protected life, with every whim indulged, and we don’t dive into the problems of ordinary Englishmen in this film… one needs to be aware. But it is also true, and this is brought home to us a few times, that Georgiana’s life of luxury could be taken away at any point because her husband holds the key to everything. He gets to have a lover (as many as he pleases) when bored with marriage; she does not. There is criticism that the film is slow-moving, which I suppose it is, but I enjoyed it very much.

2. Off the Menu. Okay, here we do have a relatively typical rom-com. This 2018 Prime movie is directed by Jay Silverman and written by Jennifer Goldson. It stars Santino Fontana as Joel Flanagan and Dania Ramirez as Javiera Torres. Joel is an aimless rich dude; he’s living off his inheritance in a fancy house and trying out new health routines to the annoyance of his girlfriend, who dumps him. He has a law degree but hardly uses it. His ambitious sister, who heads the family fast food business, forces Joel to go on a quest for the perfect new taco taste to revitalize their sagging sales. But he hates Mexican food! He ends up in a small town at Javiera’s restaurant. Javiera is a single mom, struggling to keep her business going while refusing to serve anything but the freshest, most authentic Mexican cuisine. She hates fast food! Etc. It was cute.

Neither the visual nor the html menus will allow me to insert a line of white space between my two movies. I could take the numbers off entirely, but why? Why can’t I have my blank line? It’s as annoying as Word! Is that the aim of the Happiness Engineers, to make us scream with as much frustration here as when we’re trying to format a document in Word? If so, great job, guys! 🤬🤬🤬

Maybe I should watch Anger Management next…

~*~

Image credited to Bitmoji.

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

PFF46: Do It Again

Flashback Friday

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The post below is a reblog of a post I made exactly 8 years ago.

The Do-Over

I’m trying to get back in writing mode because I was so into it a few weeks ago after getting that email re my story going in an anthology. I got so excited about editing two of my novels (one finished, one a colossal mess worth saving), and also writing another O&C adventure, which I have absolutely clearly detailed in my mind.

(Sorry I can’t elaborate on O&C here. If you don’t know and want to, email me.)

But it’s been kinda hard to get in a romance-writing mood, to say the least, with all the stuff that’s been happening with my father. I know that a “real writer” would be able to put all that out of her mind and just get on with it already, but ugh. I have to be in somewhere within a reasonable range of the mood.

So, I perused some  novels at the drugstore, and even bought a couple, started them. Was thinking about the kind of romances I really like, and don’t. There are an infinite variety of settings, but only a handful of actual themes.

One very popular one, that I dislike intensely, is the do-over. This is where two people who’ve already failed at a relationship must get together again (because their child is kidnapped or the earth is about to be vaporized and only they can rescue/save — together). The protags have learned and grown in the years apart and are now much more evolved and able to see each other differently bla de bla. They fall in love all over again but in a better way, rescue the child, save the planet, live happily ever after. I hate that.

My feeling is that if it didn’t work the first time, it’s not going to. Plus also I don’t believe people actually change, not fundamentally. So there you go.

OTOH, probably my favorite motif is the screwed-up identity one.  This is would be something like a woman invents a fantasy fiance for whatever reason (to take title to an estate, forex) and then some strange guy arrives in the middle of a crowded party announcing he is the fiance. The woman has to play along. The man has his own mysterious purpose for doing this (he’s trying to ferret out a double agent in the military, say). And the whole thing goes on from there, completely tangled, drawing the protags closer, until there’s only one possible outcome — they have to get married, have insanely wonderful sex, and LHEA.

Hard to do these identity mix-ups in contemporaries because people would be Googling everyone else like mad. Or is that just me? No, I think we all Google. Who wouldn’t Google?

Anyway. I do have a novel started with an identity mix-up, but I have to sort out the details. There’s a lot of computer stuff and police work I have to finesse, and unlike real writers I don’t want to do any boring research. I just want to make shit up. And I have another novel that’s finished, though completely messed-up, with the protags lying about their purposes for being where they are, which should end up being wildly ironically funny, but it needs a ton of work. These are not the same two novels I mentioned in the first paragraph, if anyone cares.

Oh, my short story that’s getting published is a do-over. You should know by now I’m inconsistent. 

Actually, there’s a simple explanation. When you have these erotica type of things where there’s only 5K words to play with and most of them have to involve sex, it’s very difficult to set things up quickly unless the characters already know each other.

But I never would write a novel d0-over. You can take that to the bank.

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels.

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