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Video Friday: Prep & Landing

Every Christmas there are a few movies and specials I absolutely must watch a couple of times. Prep & Landing is one of those. The story is super simple. Guy gets stiff on a promotion he thought was his, rebels, and realizes he is best off right where he is. But so elegant. Lanny obviously thinks he has hit the jackpot being teamed up with his idol and he’s understandably disappointed with Wayne doesn’t measure up. Wayne thought he should be promoted up the ladder, but doesn’t realize he’s found his place. Santa knows all. He knows Lanny can weather the disappointment of his idol having clay feet while Wayne remembers that he’s right where he belongs. Plus there’s some jokes that will whiz right over the little ones heads for the adults to snicker about.

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What I’m Watching: Nutcracker Christmas

A Nutcracker ChristmasI caught this movie during the summer Hallmark movie marathon. Twice. It’s so sweet and charming. Lily’s ballet career and personal life were taking off when her sister was killed in a car accident. She dumped it all to go home to raise her orphaned niece. (And teach yoga. And not get involved with any men.) Then her niece is offered a chance to dance in the Philadelphia Ballet’s Nutcracker as a guest and Lily goes with her only to discover that the man she walked away from when her sister died is the director.

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Trope: Found Family

This time of year always reminds me of the families I have found. I worked at Borders for 10 years and despite the fact that the company closed I see one of my old co-workers weekly for lunch, others around the neighborhood, and about every other year one of my old co-workers has a party for us at her house so we can catch up. We had some of the craziest conversations and I know if I asked for help, they would be there just like I would be there for them 10 years after I left that job.

Another family was found when I worked in Abu Dhabi, and the reason I think of it now. My first faculty head started a tradition of Thanksgiving dinners the first year. You must understand, when living in another country all those national holidays that are part of the fabric of the year just don’t happen. The first year I was in Korea, we forgot Thanksgiving completely. The second year we cobbled together a Thanksgiving dinner on our way home from school by stopping in at the KFC around the corner. So when my faculty head invited all us teachers to dinner at her house, it was great. Also in Abu Dhabi was the woman who I called my Abu Dhabi Mom. She was the one who got out of bed to drive me to the hospital when I had my appendicitis, and the one I split a car rental with for two years. We had lunch together every weekend. Now that I’m back in Ohio and she’s living in Houston, I miss those lunches.

So it’s no wonder that one of my favorite tropes is found family. I love finding a series of books where the main characters have a group of people around them (who usually end up with their own books) and I love writing books with a cast of characters who might not be blood, but they are family, fighting with and for each other as they find their happily ever after. What’s your favorite found family?

Video Friday: Tender Is the Night

 

 

titn_revisedThis book was another experiment in chronology for me. You see, it starts before Try a Little Tenderness. Then there’s a thing and time leaps forward to after Love Me Tender. I’ve never been comfortable with the miracle cure. Gale needed more than a wand waved over his head and abracadabra he’s all better. So in that time, and thanks to Ryan getting the gig on Space Odyssey, he gets therapy. So by the time the second half of the story rolls around, many things have changed. Plus I got to throw in a cameo by Maureen from Satellite Of Love. After all, who’s best to stand up to the bluster of an angry Hollywood agent than the wife of a rock star?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Friday: Love Me Tender

 

 

 

lmt_revisedI loved the story of Mick and Sarina, but Sarina’s view of Candy fascinated me. Keep Coming Back To Love ends in the middle of this book and if you’ve read Keep Coming Back To Love then you know Candy spent much of that book an emotional mess, but from Sarina’s point of view Candy is a competent, wise elder. (This book also comes not long after Not Second Best where Tessa was an emotional mess, but appears so together in this book.) This book also gives a different perspective on Candy’s daughter’s health crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Friday: Breathe a Sigh

 

 

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There are a lot of songs titled Try a Little Tenderness and for legal reasons that’s where I got the title. Yeah, that’s where. In reality, it’s a line from a Def Leppard song titled “Breathe A Sigh.” Leave it to me to be a fan of one of the biggest selling bands in history and be devoted to their lowest selling album, Slang. It’s a brilliant album. I credit it for frequently ending writer’s blocks for me. I played it on repeat for most of the writing of Heaven Beside You and ever since it’s worked it’s magic.

Video Friday: Hollywood Nights

 

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Buy here: Amazon : Barnes & Noble : iTunes : Kobo : GooglePlay

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Order here: Amazon : Barnes & Noble : iBooks : GooglePlay : Kobo

titn_revised

Order here: Amazon : Barnes & Noble : iBooks : GooglePlay : Kobo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with many of my books, this started out as a short, stand-alone that spiraled out of control. I wanted to write a short story to include in a holiday charity collection. Halfway through writing it I realized there was a whole lot more going on than I thought. Then as I finished the first book I realized there was even more going on! I swear it was supposed to be a short story with cameos by a few characters from my other series.