Bout of Books Wrap-up

I love this readathon and one of these weeks I’m going to not have a release scheduled, I’m going to not have my computer crash and have to reinstall Windows and every program under the sun, and I’m going to not have a bazillion other things get in the way of what the goal is…Reading.

Better planning is the key and I shall do so for future Bout of Books readathons.

But, I did finish 2 books and I did find some others that I plan on reading and have 1 started.

Finished: 

Finished: 

Started: 

Almost finished:

Overall, I learned things, made new connections on Twitter, and really enjoy the reading community that readathons provide. We don’t all read the same books or the same genres, but we all do read and have a love of the written word and that is what it’s all about.

~lissa

 

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

Guest Author: Barb Meyers

What?  Fun?

After a new acquaintance recently asked what I did for fun, my mind went blank.  Fun?  What’s that?

I gave him a ridiculous answer (that I drink).  When he stopped laughing I  asked him the same question.  He had a laundry list of fun things he enjoys.  Playing cards.  Movies.  Music.  The most recent fun thing I could think of that I’d done was drink wine while making dinner and watching the news.

Truth is I have no hobbies, unless you count reading.  If you’re asked what do you do for fun and your answer is “I read”  the other person is probably thinking B-o-r-i-n-g!  My brown thumb means I can’t garden.  I can no longer bake because I evidently passed whatever talent I ever had for that on to my daughter.  I don’t like to cook.  I enjoy bicycling but it’s hardly a hobby.  Is “fun” the same as what you like to do in your free time?  I play Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook.  Alot.  I’m not proud of it.  I’m not even good at it.  I do it when I’m too tired to do anything else or when I just want to let my mind wander.  Which is the same reason I bicycle or walk.  But do those activities count as fun?

What I like to do is write.  I don’t think I ever enjoyed anything as much as when I first started writing novel-length romantic fiction.  I wrote and wrote and wrote and never cared about publishing.  I had so many ideas.  I was so excited about what I was creating.  It was fun!  I still enjoy the creative process of writing, but the real world too often intrudes on the fun.

What if I’m boring?  Maybe I forgot how to have fun. The things I enjoy might sound depressingly dull to someone else.  Reading and writing.  Should I add arithmetic to my list of fun activities?

My husband and I recently dug out our ancient tennis rackets and made fools of ourselves trying to play.  We discovered the tape on our racket handles was disintegrating.  My hand turned black and his turned red.  We chased more balls than we got across the net, but the truth is, it was fun!  We teased each other about our bad shots and told ourselves retrieving balls is good exercise.

A boyfriend once said to me, “Life just isn’t exciting.”  I’m glad I didn’t marry someone who thought that way, but I keep thinking about those words in the context of whether or not I still know how to have fun.  It depends on what you consider fun and/or exciting, doesn’t it?

Fun is defined in my dictionary as enjoyment or pleasure.  I no longer quilt.  I’m not a movie buff or a particularly good dancer.  I’ve decided the key to having fun is embracing your unique interests and finding all the enjoyment you can each and every day.

A Forever Kind of Guy

Is he the real deal, or just another regret waiting to happen?

The Braddock Brotherhood, Book 2

First on Hayley Christopher’s list to get her train-wreck life back on track: stay away from men. Especially the ones who cause a ripple effect of bad decisions.

Still reeling from a high-profile divorce, the college dropout and former pro cheerleader is stumbling through yet another challenge—temporary custody of her nephew, Fletcher. No one knows better than Hayley that she’s not mother material. When she opens the door to her new landlord and old flame, she wonders just how many more past mistakes she is destined to pay for.

After the death of his wife, Ray Braddock is still putting the pieces back together. Hayley—and the silent little boy at her side—both bristle with emotional barriers so high, it appears no one but him can see that together, three broken people just might make a whole family.

As she watches Fletcher respond to Ray’s patient care, Hayley’s determination to hold on to her heart begins to soften. But just when she begins to think that Ray is one opportunity she shouldn’t let slip by, Fletcher’s gang-connected father threatens to make her pay for the one good choice she ever made…


Product Warnings

Touches on issues of death, child abandonment, neglectful parenting. Sensuous love scenes.

~~~

 

About Barb – In Her Own Words…

 

When not writing fiction, Dr. Seuss-like poetry or song lyrics, I masquerade behind a green apron at the local Starbucks where I pick up story ideas in exchange for serving up lattes.

 

As a native of Southwest Missouri I grew up in the Midwest, but my transplant to Southwest Florida proved successful. My hobbies include tormenting my long-suffering husband and interfering in the lives of my grown children.  I also like to sneak into nearby gated communities to walk my almost perfect dog, Pepper.  For exercise and meditation, I plug in my MP3 earpods and take long bicycle rides and beach walks.

 

I wish I could recall which book it was (not that I’d tell you) I finished reading, threw across the room and declared, “I can write better than that.”  I know I’m not the only romance author who started her career this way.

My web site is http://www.barbmeyers.com/

Samhain buy link is

I’m on Twitter @barbmeyers