Tag Archives: romance novels

The Weekly Smile

I’m excited to report that I’ve just finished my list of A2Z items for the April blogging challenge! YIPPEE!! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

I hope all my fellow bloggers are joining in for the joyous camaraderie of committing to post every day in April, except Sundays, and choosing a theme (or just go with misc.). I can’t wait to read the interesting entries I’ve seen so far ~ symbols and signs, creatures from mythology, a fruity motif, etc.

Anyway, my theme is romance reviews, and I’m doing about half novels and half romantic comedies. Tonight my focus has been on getting my list together, but I got stuck on some of the tough letters. That gave me a sad. I really didn’t want to end the day unsatisfied with an incomplete list. But then I had the idea to enter search words into my Kindle app (for iPhone) and OMG amazing! It found books I’ve already read and new ones that sound cool, so I grabbed samples to see if I want to buy them. Neato!

For example, I found a romance novel titled Until We Kissed, which is about a librarian and a writer. You really can’t get more perfect than that, amirite? I would never have found this book on my own without obsessively searching for a word starting with U.

I like apps that are dedicated to one thing. It’s becoming hard to search for things on Google and Amazon because they have too much ~ unless you already know what you want, of course. But sometimes it’s nice to browse. The Kindle app was more like being in a bookstore. I didn’t end up with kitchen gadgets when I wanted books. Not to besmirch gadgets. They have their place.

A2Z Blogging ~ Theme Reveal

First, please accept my apology for deleting the earlier post about A2Z April blogging. Thank you to everyone who liked and commented. I had too much multitasking going on and made a bunch of errors in the post and comments, so it’s best I begin again.

Second, I’m joining in the fun this year by committing to blog the alphabet during April. I already signed up on the official page and hope you do too. I know several of my favorite bloggers have also accepted the challenge. The more the merrier!

Third, my theme is romance reviews, specifically romantic comedies and romance novels. These will be positive reviews of some of my favorite movies and novels, nothing negative, and all my posts will be family-friendly.

Here’s a taste of what you can expect:

A. Alex and Emma, an underrated romcom gem.

B. Bet Me, one of my favorite Jennifer Crusie novels.

C. Clueless, a sweet romcom based on Jane Austen’s Emma.

I hope you will enjoy the posts, and I look forward to yours. Some interesting themes are happening! πŸ˜€

Lit Chick [fiction 536]

I didn’t recognize Krista at the cafΓ©, and she spotted me first. “Emily!” shrieked a gorgeous blonde.

My gawd. It was her! We hugged like we hadn’t seen each other in two years, which, duh, we hadn’t. “Krista, you look amazing! I didn’t even know it was you. You’re so skinny! And blonde!”

She smiled and flipped her hair. “I know, right? Meet the new me. No more dowdy, chubby, pizza-gobbling struggling writer. Now, this girl is a gluten-free, fitness-crazed published author with a movie deal.”

I sat down, overloaded with data. “Holy cow! Congratulations!”

Krista ordered a bottle of champagne. “We need to celebrate my success! What have you been up to?”

“Uhhh, gobbling pizza and struggling, more or less.” I didn’t want to lie to my college bestie. “Assistant to the assistant VP in a giant corporation, hoping to get noticed and promoted. But enough about me. Tell me about your book. A romance novel, I presume?”

The waiter served the champagne, and as Krista lifted her glass of bubbly to clink with mine, an enormous engagement ring glittered on her left hand. Geez, that too?

“This is chick lit,” Krista said. “The new hot thing.”

“Aren’t they the same?” I sipped my bubbly, first I’d had in ages. Then again, what did I have to celebrate? Gaining five pounds? My mother’s endless nagging about how I needed to hurry up and find a husband? My failure to achieve anything at work?

Krista flipped her hair. “Totes different. A romance novel is about the relationship between the protags, and it’s written in third person usually. It describes both the hero and heroine as characters with flaws that they overcome to find happily ever after true love. They’re generally incredibly good-looking too, and the hero is usually a duke or a CEO or a military type guy or a vampire.”

“I like vampires,” I confessed with a giggle as the waiter topped off my glass. He was rather cute actually.

“Chick lit can have vampires too,” Krista said, “but the point is, is it’s much more realistic. The heroine narrates the story in her own true voice without any pesky interruptions from other characters.”

I twirled my glass, watching the pretty bubbles sparkle in the sun. “Pesky. I hate pesky interruptions.”

“Exactly!” Krista covered my hand with her own. “Emily, I could use a loyal, smart friend to help me on the set. I had a bit of an ulterior motive in meeting you today.”

“Um what?”

She laughed. “I’m offering you a job, silly! Come be my assistant and I’ll double your salary, whatever it is. We’ll get you a good stylist and nutritionist, and in a month you’ll be a new person. Hair, makeup, clothes, everything!”

I blinked at her blonde confidence. “A new person? But you’re hiring the old Emily.”

“The new Emily will be even better, trust me.” She tossed a credit card on the table. “Let’s get started today, shall we?”

Just then the waiter winked at me, which I took to be sarcastic. Sure, pity the frumpy friend. Just wait until my makeover!

“Why not?” I said to Krista. “What do I have to lose?”

~*~

Genre Challenge 13: Chick Lit

Little Bit of Soul

Soul mates are the stuff of poetry and romance novels, and who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? It’s hard to believe in a soul mate if you don’t believe in souls though; and souls come packaged up with all that other mystical glitter I can’t quite wrap my brain around. Despite my creative forays, my heart is made of math. One of my favorite lines from a romance novel was “she had his number, and it was 666.” I would credit the book and the author if I could remember either, but I can’t. I don’t think I ever dated the devil, just your ordinary liars and narcissists, but that guy wasn’t the devil of course. They never are, in romance novels. No matter what kind of terrible choice the romance novel heroine appears to be making with her wild and crazy attraction, it’s always exactly the right choice. But that’s because we’re writing her story. I have written my own stories, with my own heroes. Perhaps that’s why I’m solo.

Sorry Sorry Sorry!

I’m tired of useless, BS apologies. Haven’t we heard enough of them already? All these phony baloney pretensions of being contrite when everyone knows that the only thing the [celeb, politician, spouse, etc.] is sorry about is the fact that they got caught doing whatever thing. πŸ™„

I expect that in the coming weeks we’ll be treated to a parade of sorries from the criminals caught up in the college cheating scandal. You know they’re unrepentant. You know they haven’t suddenly found a moral compass. They’re just sorry they got caught.

I would love to see real justice served up to these uber wealthy who believe they can sail through life flinging money at every obstacle until it disappears, but I’ve been told that is unlikely. Money is power after all. These superrich celebs know another scandal will be along soon, and theirs will thaw in the public mind until it melts from view.

It was a relief to read that Faux News creep announcing how he refused to apologize for his nasty comments about women and girls. He knows he’s a jerk. He knows we know ~ and he doesn’t give a crap. No one has to pretend to accept his fake apology because he isn’t giving one. Win win!

On the other hand, when someone is forced to apologize for saying something nasty or doing a bad, and you know they don’t mean it, our cultural norms dictate that you give them a second chance even when you know in your heart they’re insincere. That’s really annoying. 😑

Then what happens? All too predictably, they go and do the same thing again. We’ve all seen it, haven’t we? Both in our personal lives and with public figures. I used to buy into the second chance garbage, especially with romance ~ I can’t tell you how many plots are built around the concept of the “second chance romance,” and it seeps into your mindset that you should be forgiving. Well, that’s crapadoo.

We should be more judgmental is what. If your instincts say someone is a lying jerk, and they’ve hurt you once, then why accept an apology? Why give a second chance? Eff all that. Pffft. πŸ˜›

Yeah, if time has passed and someone has demonstrably changed their behavior, that’s a different thing. Then their apology isn’t just a giant bowl of moldy word salad.

*

Speaking of misogyny. This is in no way a defense of the Faux News creep, but we are sure weird about bodies, especially female ones. I mean, we have “pageants” where women (or girls even, gah) are supposed to glorify their physical looks in bikinis and glittery gowns, with loads of makeup on their faces and their hair styled all sexy, etc., but men are not supposed to be attracted to them, and if they are, they must not express their attraction in any sort of inappropriate language. What is the right way for a man to say that Miss Maine is appealing to him without sounding degrading or demeaning? “Gosh, I would love to discuss poetry with her over a nice cup of tea?” 🌹

There are men who haven’t been present at teen beauty pageants, ever. I would wager most men have not. So, we don’t know what most adult men would say to their friends about these girls. Maybe adult men shouldn’t be at these pageants. Maybe we shouldn’t have contests where teen girls are judged by adult men on how they look in bikinis. Just some thought noodles…

*

WordPress apparently did not want to be left out of the #failloop of Gmail and Facebook, which both went kerflooey this week, Gmail on Tuesday and FB yesterday. (I only know about FB from everyone’s moaning ~ happily, I do not have any FB products myself.) So, last night I was yet again treated to a 12+ hour gap in posts in my newsfeed. If you’re wondering why you’re missing my hearts and cheery comments, this is the reason. 😒

I did search for the prompts however, and to my delight lots of them could be applied (with a wrench) to this very post I had saved in drafts, hurrah! Of course, I needed to write a zillion more words, but when does that stop me? (Hint: never.) I hope everyone has read to the bitter end looking for the prize!

Erm, there isn’t one.

So very sincerely sorry that you read all these words for nothing. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

~*~

Opposites Attract: Challenge 9

Opposites Attract: Challenge 11

[yes, I skipped 10 ~ even my wrench could not make it fit]

The Weekly Smile

Just a quickie this time. “Anna” finished a new story last weekend and submitted it to the anthology editor. She had been invited to do so. It had been a while since she wrote one of these and it took a few days for her to get back in the mood, so to speak. Let’s hope the editor loves the story. πŸ’–

In the meantime, here is the rest of Anna’s work for you to buy and review! πŸ˜€

V4L Challenge 2

My Funny Valentine Dating Profile

Cranky cat lady seeks sexy male muse. Hopefully you will inspire me to finish my romance novels in progress… I need to do much more “research.” If you like to give massages but not pester me for one in return, that would be great. I love romantic walks on the beach, but only when they aren’t crowded with people, so does 6am work for you? Must love cats obviously and also my cooking, of which there is none. I’m a wonderful catch, according to my parents (RIP), and will give you plenty of space. In fact, I prefer lots of space in our relationship, so if you’re long-distance, including from another planet, don’t hesitate to contact me for lots of pointless, meaningless chat. I’ll send fake pics ASAP and please do the same. xoxo πŸ’‹

One-Liner Wednesday

I know, right? But in honor of Valentine’s Day upcoming, I’m going to post barfy love quotes all month for One-Liner Wednesday. This is despite the fact that I do not have a Valentine nor do I expect to have one ever again.

But! That’s the beauty of serendipity ~ the unexpected. That’s why we love romcoms and romance novels (those of us who do). While we as readers know that the protags will meet, have major problems, overcome them, and live happily ever after ~ they don’t know that. This is what makes the stories interesting and why we identify with the heroines. We’ve been there. We know how it feels to be struck with Cupid’s arrow and feel bewildered. Why him? Why now? This wasn’t supposed to happen!

I just received a book in the mail I ordered from Amazon titled Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt. While I love her books and romances featuring dukes, I can’t recall why I bought this. I have a zillion books to read already! I guess I should view this as simply another instance of serendipity. πŸ˜‚

Confession, shameful but not short

I’ve had a lot of coffee, so I’m in the mood to jabber on. And on and on. Some of this may be confessional, some may be rantacious, I just don’t know at this point how it will all go. I already see I’m creating new words and doing grammar incorrectly, which may bother some readers.

Some tweeps were taking umbrage at Justice Democrats, so here’s the confession part of my post (there may be more, dunno yet): until I wiki’d last night, I didn’t know this was an actual thing. I told you I’ve been reading less news! Now, of course I’ve heard the term, duh, but I thought “justice” was simply an adjective, sometimes appended sarcastically, to certain young, progressive Dems, such as AOC, who attack established Dems instead of focusing on Republicans. How embarrassing. Not that I actually said anything to embarrass myself (until now), but just that I’ve been bopping along, thinking I know what’s happening, when I really don’t have a clue.

Some of you super savvy political types may not want to associate with me now, and I can understand that. It’d be like an alleged fan of romance novels fessing up that she never heard of The Flame and the Flower. (It wasn’t a rape scene! Go away.)

What else did I plan to babble about? Oh, my novel. So, I have 17 chapters written, all fabulous because I’m a massive egotist, and they take place in 1996. I only meant to give a small taste of what happened back then, and immediately swoosh back up to 2016, but so much is important, I’m discovering. I really want the reader to understand why my protag made a choice because it’s not something most people would agree with if simply told about. I want people to grok the intricate relationships between my chars, not just say welp they had a bond from 20 years ago, just accept that. Nope. Gotta show how it developed. Upshot is my novel is gonna be longer than I expected.

But the thing is, the supernatural element is only very mildly present in 1996, and idk if it’s cool to go 17 chapters without having it play much of a part (actually 18 because I’m not done yet), and then when we’re back to the future in 2016, it’s woowoo time. Maybe readers won’t accept this. Maybe I need to make 1996 more woowoo, to be consistent. Personally, I am not a big fan of inconsistency, unless it’s good. Bwah!

But I don’t want a bunch of ghosts in 1996, so whatever. It is what it is. I’ll just make it work! Speaking of fails… I see I have not managed to smush “quest” into this giant pile of [crap, garbage, trash], which makes me sad because I don’t like to do a prompt post unless I can use five prompts, with the exception of a poem or one of those story things. You might call this an endless quest for meaningless consistency.

Or you might not.

Combo Question Time!

Sadje nominated everyone to answer these questions and I thought I’d have a go. Yes, I’m procrastinating, but I have written a lot on my novel lately, so there. πŸ˜›

1. How long have you been blogging?

– Since the end of 2003 (I’ve had several blogs).

2. Do your friends and family support you in this?

– No one cares.

3. Which is your favorite time of the day?

4. What would be your dream vacation?

– Stay home, read, write, watch movies, get massages, have a personal chef deliver meals.

5. What genre of movies [do] you like best?

– Depends on my mood. Good romcoms, mafia flicks, interesting psychological dramas, GOOD comedy, musicals!

6. What do you wake up to?

7. Are you a morning person?

– After a hot shower and hot tea.

8. What motivates you?

– Organization.

9. How do you think your friends see you?

– Don’t know.

10. What would be your idea for saving the environment from pollution ?

– Scoop up all the garbage and dump it on Mars.

11. Happy or peaceful, what is more important to you?

That’s it for Sadje. Now we go to Fandango, who has answered some Q’s about blogging from Calmkate and recommended we all do likewise. Sounds good to me!

What led you to start?

– When I first began blogging in 2003, it was because all the writers I knew had started to blog, so I thought I should too. Of course, they were blogging about their books and publishing contracts, but I didn’t have those things, so I just jabbered on about cats and cupcakes.

Has your motivation changed since starting?

– Not really. I still like cupcakes. In fact, today I saw on my Nextdoor app that a bakery just opened on Newport Blvd and they have these adorable cupcakes that look like little baby cactus plants, omg! I’ll have to go over there. πŸ˜€β€οΈπŸ§

What has the experience been like?

– Well, I made lots of friends (yay!) and had to deal with a couple stalkers (boo) and got into a big flamewar with some pit bull freaks and ended up closing that blog and opening a really tame one but it was too boring and then there was the private one during my mom’s illness and I quit for a while but missed it too much so I began this one to cope with my sads over the married man and didn’t even post much for a long time but here we are.

Have you learned anything?

– Never ever ever mention pit bulls.

Has your writing style changed?

– I go through various annoying phases but overall no.

Are you planning to write a novel or are you already published?

– Yes and yes.

What advice would you give to a new blogger?

– I’m just going to say what I like, which people can feel free to disregard. Talk about yourself or offer something interesting whether info or fiction or photos. Don’t make your blog a dry piece of toast that’s an impersonal pile of links or advice or god forbid news. We can google that stuff ~ no one is reading blogs to get links to Buzzfeed articles or shopping tips. We know how to find this stuff on our own. Figure out another way to monetize because that’s just too damn boring; I’ve unfollowed everyone who does this.