Wednesday, August 26, 2015

magical evening

This was a magical evening. First, I took my grandson to read to a dog:

There is an organization called "Leashes of Love" which supports pet therapy. One of the therapeutic events they host happened at a local library tonight. People who are reading challenged come and read to dogs trained to listen. I went in with no expectations that it would be helpful. I left amazed at how well my grandson did reading to the dog, Caesar, and how long he read without getting impatient. They will be offering this program once a month and you can be sure we will go every time.

Second, my mom and I watched a movie from the Redbox:

It was so lovely. We watched the first one for a second time a few days ago so it would be fresh. This one was just as good. Lovely story. Cinematic beauty. Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and, of course in this second movie you have:

David Strathairn!

You thought I was going to say Richard Gere, didn't you? He is in the movie, too. He does a great job of acting and he has aged well.

But I have loved David Strathairn since The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd when he was confusing Blair Brown by tossing her up his shoe. That was back in the late 1980's. And he is maybe even more gorgeous now.

Anywho - amazing therapy - entertaining movie - magical night!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Come along with me

I am inviting anyone interested to join me in a group that has existed for a while now on Shelfari.com

It is called the Lighten Up Club and we are following Julia Cameron's book The Writing Diet Write Yourself Right Size.

It is not about calling each other out on stuff. Rather it is about studying the book that teaches you to see your own stuff and move through it.

If you are not familiar with Cameron, she started with a book called The Artist's Way which helped artists unblock creativity. As their creativity came unblocked she often saw the side effect of their weight normalizing. That is why she wrote this book.

I will say upfront that I won't follow it 100%. The first tool is something called Morning Pages and there is no way I will get up and write 3 pages before I do anything. I am a very reluctant riser.

I commit to writing a paragraph as early in my day as possible that helps me "get current" with myself and to carrying my journal with me everywhere and writing when I can or when the urge hits me.

My weight loss surgery is still giving me portion control and less ghrelin production. It is starting to be harder to reduce my weight, though. I stepped on the scale this morning and I have reduced down to 265 from 374. Another pound and I will be down 110 pounds. The last 10 pounds have been very slow coming off.

I am determined to do whatever I need to in order to keep the numbers on the scale moving down until I am where I want them to be.

Sometimes we have NSV's or non-scale victories. Yesterday I had one. I climbed into the pool via the metal ladder at the deep end rather than the railed stairs in the shallow end. Next NSV of that sort will be climbing out by those stairs!

If you want to join the book just go on Shelfari.com and make an account for yourself. It is free. It requires and amazon membership number (which is also free) because amazon sponsors it. Once a member of Shelfari find the Lighten Up Club and join.

I love that song come along with me so here is the youtube of it for your (and my) enjoyment:
Thank you Vicci Martinez and Cee Lo Green for such a beautiful song.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Top Ten Favorite Book Boyfriends

 Here is a sentiment I suspect all female romance readers understand:

If only husbands would approach this with a - what can I learn from this book boyfriend - attitude.

If you asked me to choose a boyfriend out of a book, my first response would be brain overload with all the possibilities.

But then I think, wait a minute, do I want to live the life the heroine settled into with Mr. Book Boyfriend?

I am trying to think of a case where the answer would be yes, but I can't. I can give you a list of fictional men I adore.

1 - Roarke big sigh. Roarke is from the In Death series by J D Robb. Roarke is married to Eve Dallas. There are aspects of their life that appeal to me, like the fact that Robb has pledged to never give them children. Eve's life is okay to read but to actually face the dangers and get in the situations she does. I think not.

2 - Zane Latimer - what fun.  Zane is the hero in The Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde. I love Zane. And Akira's life seems desirable. However, she and Zane are set to have children and I'm done with raising children.

3 - Joker - be still my heart. Joker is Kristen Ashley's latest hero. He is definitely swoon worthy. And the way he loves Clarissa's son even though the child is not his - that is so attractive in a man. Same objections to Clarissa's life as Akira's.

In fact, that objection is so prevalent that I am going to refer to it as reason one from now on. Reason one - I am done raising children.

4 - North Archer - nothing like a man who learns his lesson. Bet the lessons from book boyfriends would not be lost on him. But then again, he is a book boyfriend and therefore a teacher of those lessons. He is from Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie. Again - reason one.

5 -  Theo Harp - Annie will never have to hide her darkest thoughts from him. He is from Heroe's Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Reason one.

6 - Will Flores - Hero of the Magical Seamstress Mysteries by Melissa Bourbon. Besides being hot he is handy. Nothing more attractive than a man who is can fix things or build things. And I like Harlow Cassidy's life. I would love designing clothing. Will has a child who is almost grown. If Will and Harlow decided not to have children - I could hang with him.

7 - Sam Hooker - smoking hot Nascar driver from the two Alexandra Barnaby books by Janet Evanovich. Barney is a lucky woman. Not interested in her life as an engineer, though. Not that there is anything wrong with engineers but my mind does not work that way.

8 - Daniel Cohen  - the best kind of hero as he loves Corrina Chapman just exactly as she is. He is from Kerry Greenwood's series about Corrina Chapman. Corrina is a baker who ends up solving mysteries with Daniel and their lives come as near to perfect as possible. They aren't interested in having children. They are devoted to each other. He has a life separate from hers and yet they spend a lot of time together. She has a life I would not mind having. She reads books and has cats and friends in the building where she owns her apartment. The only drawback is she has to get up at 4am to bake. But then, she comes back home and naps.

9 - Theo Fitzgerald - quirky hero of The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch He again has his own life and wouldn't be in her face too much. Her life is her bees and is pretty magical. It would be good but there is a possibility that Reason One would probably apply here, too.

10 -  I'm going to leave this spot open because I am sure there is a new and exciting book boyfriend sitting on someone's computer screen right now.

Can't wait for him to materialize.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Heroes Are My Weakness

I loved this book, (Heroes Are My Weakness). Of course, I do have a weakness for book-boyfriend-type heroes; especially when it takes a while to figure out if they are heroes or villains.

Theo Harp...sigh...

He's a writer with a dark soul forged from a dark past. He writes dark books.

Annie Hewitt - She's an actress cum puppeteer. She hasn't had a sunny past, either, but it hasn't effected her quite as strongly. She is currently down on her luck, though.

They knew each other back in the day. It ended badly.

Now here they are again; neighbors. Him in the big mansion on the hill. Her in creepy Moonraker Cottage.

From the jacket: "Now they're trapped together on a frozen island along with a lonely widow, a mute little girl, and townspeople who don't know how to mind their own business."

When Susan Elizabeth Phillips lectured about this book, she talked about using a device she has used before. Annie's feelings are voiced by her puppets. Theo's by his novel characters.

You might remember she did this in a book called  This Heart Of Mine. In the book Molly writes children's books. One of her characters, Daphne, voices Molly's thoughts she can't say out loud. Another character, Benny, parallels what Molly is thinking about Kevin Tucker. I loved this book, too.

Of course, Susan writes romances and we can trust her to give us a happily ever after that was worth all the trouble getting there. In fact, some of my favorite HEA's are from Susan's books.

I dearly love the epilogue* for this book where the puppets are having a conversation with Annie and Theo's progeny, little Charlie Harper. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it by saying anything more.

The ending of This Heart of Mine was great, too. This is a spoiler so if you haven't read it, skip this paragraph. Molly and Kevin are in a boat in the middle of the lake. Kevin ties his big sweatshirt around Molly like a straight jacket and throws her in. He waits a bit and then jumps in to rescue her. When she asks him what he is doing, he tells her he has to prove he loves her like Dan did with her sister Phoebe in It Had To Be You, by saving her life. She points out that Dan didn't try to kill Phoebe first and Kevin's reply is that he likes to go the extra mile. I laughed so hard.

My all time favorite ending, though, is the very last paragraph from her book, Breathing Room:

"They'd just begun to drift off when the door creaked open and two pairs of small feet scampered across the carpet, fleeing all the monsters who lived in the dark. Ren reached out and drew the invaders into the warmth of the bed. Their mother cuddled them close. For the next few hours peace reigned in the Villa of the Angels."
During her lecture, she said in a very self-deprecating tone that it takes her a full year to write a book and she isn't getting any faster. She is currently writing another book in the Chicago Star series (It Had to Be You and This Heart of Mine are both part of that series.) She said she thought sure she was finished with the series and, in fact, her husband, Mr Bill, says the Stars have had more quarterbacks than any football team in the history of football.

It was so lovely meeting her, hearing her lecture, mingling with her fans and getting my book signed.

I look forward to her next book. If you haven't read Heroes go for it. It really is one of my SEP favorites.

*I told Susan that I now had a signed book and a picture of myself with both her and Crusie. She told me Crusie's only flaw was her aversion to epilogues. I agree!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

It will happen soon.






I still have good intentions of posting a review / thoughts blog about Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

My flawed self, however, is not yet able to focus on writing this post.

And now I am off to drink my little bit of cherry brandy / sours / water over ice and resign myself to my 4 day work week that starts again tomorrow morning at 7am.

Yawn...big sigh...