Movie Monday – Holiday Style #2

It’s the second installment of my Holiday Movie thoughts. I was near the end of my movie list on the DVR and had to record a several more so there’d be another post for next week.

It’s been interesting, I’ll say that. Some are really adorable and full of hope. Some are so over-acted, so overly dramatic, so overly cute that the gag factor comes into play.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed watching them, as I do each year. They require a definite suspension of reality and a fair number of them have a rather large contingent of unemployed right before Christmas executives and service workers who really luck into love,a dream job, a whole new life in the end. But, I guess that’s what hope and Christmas, and romance are for.

Tis The Season For Love – small town girl goes to follow her dreams in the big city, but they don’t pan out, and she goes back home for the holidays… Can you fulfill your dreams even if they’re not working out exactly the way you’d planned them?

A Star For Christmas – on ION Television… The cheesiest, stupidest, most painfully uncomfortable holiday movie ever!!! Can’t. Even. At. All. I’ve never wanted to toss my cookies during a holiday movie before, but this one, yeah. My eyes hurt from rolling in the back of my head so hard.

A Bride For Christmas – A bet on a girl. A puppy in a shelter. Runaway bride. It’s a cute one.

A Prince For Christmas – ION Television… I was a little scared with this one. I wanted to like it… It was a little over the top with the Prince riding to the rescue of the down and out woman. The happenin’ little town that is busy everywhere except the diner.

A Crown For Christmas – Such a cute movie! From. Hotel maid turned impromptu governess (and no hotel maid wears 2″-3″ heels while cleaning rooms and pushing carts for 8-12 hours a day) meets and falls for a King. Snowball fights. A bratty, little Princess who was lonely, and missing her mother and the relationship she used to have with her father. Gingerbread cookies. Singing of carols. Nighttime horseback rides. All complete with a crown coveting royally approved bride-to-be. It was fun and sweet.

Holiday High School Reunion – This movie was every reason I have not attended any of my high school reunions.

One Starry Night – Astronomer and rodeo cowboy in New York. Sweet, holiday romance. Soul mates. Wrong loves. Making wishes on stars. Dreams coming true. It only takes 8 seconds. Do you believe?

A Holiday Detour – Candace Cameron Bure is a Hallmark Channel staple in movies. She’s played everything from a doctor to a writer to the heir of a hotel empire… In this one, she’s a magazine writer for a bridal magazine, intent on the perfect man and the perfect wedding, rather than on love. The secondary characters, Frank and Maxine, were worth it. I wish Candace Cameron Bure would play someone vulnerable, with emotional range. Someone charming. In the end, it was okay, but definitely not my favorite.

12 Gifts of Christmas – Fun, unassuming movie with a lot of the feels. A painter meets businessman in a bakery. How could I not keep watching? So sweet and tender. Loved it.

Once Upon A Holiday – A royal princess from a small independent country ditches her security and staff. For being from a European country, that they all have American accents, is truly suspect. The acting is fine, except for the whole lead actress thing. She acts in little giggles, smoldering eyes, sultry looks, and stiffness that is uncomfortable to watch. Second holiday movie I’ve seen her in this year and she, just…No.

Despite some of my less than stellar impressions of a few movies, I am still in love with holiday movies. Are you watching anything fun this season?

~lissa

Author Friday – This Author Says Thank You

I haven’t been online a whole lot the last week or so. I know I haven’t kept up with the blog as much as I used to and I know I didn’t leave a Thanksgiving message this year as I have in the past, but my heartfelt gratitude is no less diminished.

I’ve been trying hard to be present. To be in the moment. Too much planning ahead or looking back ruins the RIGHT NOW and I’ve spent too much time looking around and not looking within to savor the minutes and seconds that are passing by.

When I started writing, I didn’t go into it with the idea of hitting a list. But guess what? Earlier this week, I found out that A Very Alpha Christmas box set hit the USA Today Bestseller’s List. This was a shock for me. Not because of the others in the set, because WOW there are some major paranormal authors in it, but it was a shock because I’m part of it. I’m sitting there in the list of author’s names right along with everyone else. I mean…Holy. Crap. L. Matthews. THAT’S ME!

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I wanted to write good books. I wanted to write books that would resonate with readers. I wanted to touch people. I didn’t think about making a list. I didn’t think about making a lot of money as a writer. But I did think about a dream coming true and that was writing a story, having it published, and seeing my name on a cover. I’ve achieved those things. Time and time again.

I’ve made a little money, too.

And with an amazing and talented group of authors, I have become a USA Today Bestselling author.

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None of it. NONE OF IT could have happened without you. Those who’ve been with me from the beginning and those who’ve come to read my work in recent months, weeks, days , who’ve held me up when I wanted to cry, who’d been in my corner when it seemed every review written was a bad one and made me want to quit, who’ve supported me when it seemed no one else did, who’ve shared in my achievements and my failures, THANK YOU!

And yes, if by chance you’ve haven’t ordered the book, click the cover to do so now!

boxfullB300Please visit the authors who make up A Very Alpha Christmas… I know you’ll be glad you did!

Have a wonderful weekend!

~lissa

 

 

Movie Mondays – Holiday Style

 

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I love holiday movies. They’re sappy and unrealistic in many, many ways. But they make me feel good. They make me smile. They ultimately are about hope and family and love and returning to the simple pleasures of life. They always pose the question of What’s important to you?

I think, given the state of the world as it right now, wars on religion, on sexuality, on basic freedoms and rights… Natural disasters and illnesses… It’s vital that we find comfort and smiles and hope wherever and whenever possible. That we find ourselves.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to list the movies on Hallmark Channel or on DVD that I watch, or that my family watches during the holiday season.

So far, I’ve watched the following. Yes, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving, but these help me me find the spirit, find the joy, find the smile that I miss being away from friends and extended family during the Season…

And, they simply put me in a happy, lighter mood. So, curl up and grab the remote!

Fir Crazy – Elise has corporate marketing dreams and while out of work at the holidays, reluctantly agrees to manage the family’s Christmas tree lot in NYC for the season. Along the way, she learns the value of friendship, kindness, and to be ready for anything.

The Thanksgiving House – Is this house the site of the first Thanksgiving? The local history teacher and historian thinks do, but when it’s willed to the previous owner’s niece, a hot shot lawyer, he may not have a chance to find out. Memories and the kindness of a mother who befriends her, the hot shot lawyer may find herself with a change of heart.

A Princess For Christmas – A total fairy tale.

A Royal Christmas – Another TOTAL fairy tale!

The Nine Lives of Christmas – Confirmed bachelor fireman meets matchmaking cat who leads him to vet student Marilee, who in turn teaches him that it’s okay to fall in love.

Angels Sing – Touching and full of hope when a man who hates Christmas learns valuable lessons about unconditional love and the ability to forgive oneself.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Another annual favorite. He’s a wanderer who meets a retired cop in the airport at Christmas. She’s uber organized and a single mom who’s struggling to meet expectations. It’s all about simplicity and cutting out the nonsense.

Ice Sculpture Christmas – When the slate is blank, or the block of ice, in this case, two people from two different worlds find magic in dreams coming true.

I’ll give weekly updates until Christmas and I urge you to find the kindness and hope in the season. And if you can’t find it, be daring and be bold and be the kindness and hope for others.

~lissa

Sticky Sweet

GingerbreadLatteI am not a patient person. Especially in the kitchen. Not when I’m hungry and want to eat Right. Now.

One thing this year that I’ve started making is my own syrups for coffee. Mainly for iced coffee in the summer, but with fall, my favorite drink is a Gingerbread latte. Starbucks doesn’t start selling it (usually) until Thanksgiving, but again, there’s that not patient thing I’ve got going on.

So, I opt for making my own. I’ve made Vanilla Bean syrup and Caramel Vanilla syrup as well as straight up caramel syrup. And after I got the gist of it, I was pretty good. Gingerbread on the other hand, is going to be a bit more tricky, I’m afraid. See, it’s thick. And I need it a little thinner. The recipe I tried works. The flavors are good. The blend of spices good. But it’s still a little thick. I’m going to have to play with it.

Y’all know how much I love to play in the kitchen. A lot. I mean. A. Really. Lot. I haven’t spent as much time doing so this year as I had wanted or planned, but I do hope to remedy that in the coming weeks and months. This time of year inspires me. I just have to find a way to remain motivated at other times of the year.

My pictures are never as pretty as real food blogger pictures. But I use a cell phone camera, they use cameras that are incredible and have settings I have no idea how to use. Then there’s the photo editing and software. No, I just use my cell phone. If you click the links to get the recipes for the syrups, by all means, look at their pictures and how awesome they are. Mine are well, just mine…

Now, let’s start playing!

 

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I’ll be trying different Gingerbread syrups over the next few weeks until I find the perfect one. For now, this is the one I’m using.

~lissa

Have You Been Naughty Or Nice?

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Collection Includes:

Heated Holiday © Copyright 2015 by Mandy M. Roth
Stirring Up Trouble © Copyright 2015 by Michelle M. Pillow
Baby It’s Cold Out Bear © Copyright 2015 by T. S. Joyce
Hunted © Copyright 2015 by Chloe Cole
Vampire Games © Copyright 2015 by V. M. Black
When Darkness Falls © Copyright 2015 by Terah Edun
Christmas Past, Christmas Presents © Copyright 2015 by Carina Wilder
Wrapped Up © Copyright 2015 by Cathryn Fox
An Impossible Gift © Copyright 2015 by Cristina Rayne
Thief of Souls © Copyright 2015 by Jaycee Clark
A Glint of Light © Copyright 2015 by JC Andrijeski
The Clockwork Dragon © Copyright 2015 by Tasha Black
Blitzen’s Fated Mate © Copyright 2015 by R. E. Butler
Star’s Fall © Copyright 2015 by Jaide Fox
In Good Spirits © Copyright 2015 by Michele Bardsley
Midnight Before Christmas © Copyright 2015 by Renee George
Winter Blues © Copyright 2015 by T.J. Michaels
Wish Upon a Werewolf © Copyright 2015 by Elsa Jade
A Christmas Caroline © Copyright 2015 by Allison Gatta
Frostbitten Hearts © Copyright 2015 by Arial Burnz
The Lady And The Dragon’s Holiday © Copyright 2015 by Mandy Rosko
Not a Gentleman’s Christmas © Copyright 2015 by Candice Gilmer
Claimed by the Dragon King © Copyright 2015 by Dawn Michelle
The BBW and the Beast © Copyright 2015 by Sylvia Frost
Reindeers, Elves, and Cookies…Oh My! © Copyright 2015 by Lissa Matthews
Santa Shifter in Manhattan © Copyright 2015 by Lexy Cole