3 Really Good Romantic Movies!

What makes a movie romantic?  What is it that draws us in and keeps us glued to our seats, mindlessly munching buttery, artery clogging popcorn as we wait, breathlessly, for that final ‘aw’ inspiring scene?  That moment we know our time was well spent because we finally got our happily-ever-after fix.

The lead actor and actress have to be believable, for one thing.  Some very talented people in the industry would be ill-cast in a romance.  Can you imagine swooning over someone like PeeWee Herman?  Of course I never thought Adam Sandler had it in him either until I saw him in 50 First Dates.  And speaking of Adam Sandler, all I can say about his performance in Reign Over Me is…wow!!!  Well, well worth your time to watch!

But back to the subject at hand…

The guy can’t be a jerk.  Or if he is, he has to be changed by the end of the movie.  Same for the woman.  Sometimes, when we’re talking movies like Kate & Leopold we can only hope the guy doesn’t change.  Not even a little.  Leopold was perfect, start to finish and I think if we ladies could find a real-life Leopold to give lessons to ‘normal’ guys, we’d all be happier.  Maybe we could get Hugh Jackman to be the instructor.  Hugh Jackman would make me very happy.

But let’s get to my top three for today (and that top three could change in an instant, as soon as I remember other romances I love).

In third place, and I’m surprised I’m including this at all, is A Walk to Remember.  Usually I prefer a different sort of ending, but I’ll be good and not give away too much, for those who haven’t seen it yet.  Let me just say I’ll be watching it periodically for years.  Or until my DVD wears out.

I wanted to post a specific scene but every video was embedded (which is extremely annoying!).  So I had to settle for the trailer.

It’s really a toss up for second place. Both star Sandra Bullock. She is one of my very favorite actresses and I own more of her movies than I can even remember.

The Proposal shot to the favorites list the moment my daughter and I saw it at the theater.  What’s not to like about this romantic comedy?  I mean, c’mon.  It stars Ryan Reynolds.  It has some of the funniest scenes I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, most notably the ‘chant’ scene with Betty White.  However, please note that this movie is not suitable for all ages.

And the top spot goes to…My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. I’ve loved this movie since first seeing it maybe two years ago. In fact, I loved it so much I watched it three times in as many days. The ending is absolutely fabulous!

So now that I’ve shared with you some scenes from a few of my favorite romantic movies, I hope you’ll share your top three picks with me.  Chances are they will make my favorites list, too.

Posted in Love, Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Merry Christmas Wishes To You

For those who celebrate other holidays, I hope you have a wonderful time with friends and family. For those who don’t celebrate anything, then I will wish for you a fun or relaxing day, whichever you’re most in need of. For those who do celebrate Christmas, here’s my 2016 video greeting card to all of you.

Posted in Christmas | 2 Comments

Overdo Makeovers

Yes, everyone, makeovers. When people tell you that your 2010s romance novels look like throwbacks to the 80s, it’s time to do something about it. So I did – and I’m excited to introduce you to the new Coach’s Boys covers! They’ll be updated at Amazon and on my website in the next few days. 

Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Posted in Coach's Boys Series, Cover Reveal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Doing the Right Thing Isn’t Always Easy

climbing-via-dellamicizia-1512147_1920-pixabayApparently, I’m unable to focus my blog on a single subject. I’ve tried numerous times since mid-2011 … and failed every time. If I can’t share what I want when I want, I get bored. And when I’m bored, I don’t feel like blogging. So I’m not just going to focus on writing. I love sharing the sneak peeks of my stories. The character profiles? Not so much. At least not for secondary characters. Those would be considerably shorter because, well, they’re not my main characters.

I also enjoy sharing my thoughts, stuff that’s going on in my life and with my family … and anyone who’s stuck with me knows I love to share information about good health and all things gluten-free and relating to the thyroid.

So I’m just going to keep doing that, especially since I’m making some big changes for my health again. 

About a month ago, I confessed to spending most of the past eighteen (or more!) months eating gluten-containing foods. But even after realizing it was the biggest cause for the extreme fatigue I’ve been dealing with this year, I couldn’t force myself to give it up again. Not even after announcing what a wimp I am in my November 5th post.

So I kept adding to my gluten-free food stash, hoping that seeing the boxes and bags of foods I’d grown accustomed to over the past several years would help get me on track again. But making a major change in your diet can be difficult, especially when the foods you’re eliminating taste better and are a lot cheaper?

Unfortunately, there was no getting around the fact that I’ve been feeling awful. For months and months. I tried to blame it on having a baby (now a toddler) in the house again but that wasn’t it. Not even with Aria’s crazy schedule – because it pretty much lined up with my crazy schedule.

It’s the gluten – and I know it.

So I finally put on my big girl panties … and gave it up again yesterday. Two days off it now and while I’m not noticing anything dramatic, the feeling that my lungs are burning, that the Hulk is squeezing them after eating gluten and walking anywhere was greatly reduced today.

I’m keeping a journal I’ll be sharing here. Stop rolling your eyes, please. My experiences may well help someone going through the same kind of thing. There’s also the fact that it’s because of old blog posts about my gluten-free journey that opened my eyes to the fact that this time, since March of 2015, I’ve been making a conscious choice to damage my body.

And so I’m not going to do that anymore. Is it fun? Nope. Do I dread the reactions of family and friends who always acted like I was being a paranoid diva about food? Yup. Will I enjoy going to family potlucks and having to pass on lifetime favorites? Not at all.

Will it be worth it to feel better again? To be able to concentrate enough to write more? You betcha!

Seems kind of appropriate given that dealing being gluten-free is a huge mountain in my life – and one I should have conquered by now.


Posted in Gluten-Free, Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sneak Peek – Weko 1 – Lainey Lawson

The holiday – and my first (hopefully last) experience with driving a ten foot U-Haul truck 170 miles means I’m posting this a day late. Yup. I now consider myself to be an honorary truck driver. Just because it wasn’t a semi doesn’t mean it wasn’t a big truck. Bigger than my van anyway.

So why did I drive a U-Haul? My daughter had to pick up the rest of her stuff from where she’d been living near Lake Michigan. She was totally up for giving it a shot but it was rainy, the day before a holiday, and the freeway was packed with nearly end-to-end vehicles. So I told her I’d do it. I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect but it wasn’t much different than driving a regular vehicle. A little more uncomfortable, especially after being stuck in a twenty-mile backup but we won’t get into that.

And how was your Thanksgiving? 😀

Okay. Before we get to the sneak peek, I wanted to share a video about a subject Lainey makes reference to. I decided I should provide proof that people actually do surf in Lake Michigan.


Lainey probably set a speed record for shortest shower time in the history of showers, but after getting a good look in the mirror, she decided she needed to do some damage control. She’d just met two extremely good looking men—while wearing a sweat covered tee shirt, her sable brown ponytail wet and plastered to her neck. Definitely not an impression she ever wanted to make.

Wasting no time, she slipped into a pair of clean underwear, carefully but quickly brushed her hair out, then spent the next three minutes drying it as best she could. Since it hung to the middle of her back when loose, and there was plenty of it, she had to settle for slightly damp, clipping it back on the sides before slipping into a pair of denim capris and a soft white tank top. As an afterthought, she added a pair of red clip on earrings and a matching necklace. Glancing in the mirror on her way back to the kitchen, she was pleased with her ten minute transformation.

“What can I do to help?” she asked. Brenda was sitting at the counter putting a cheese and cracker plate together. The guys were nowhere to be seen.

“Just relax, cuz. Chase and Wesley are starting the coals, the burgers are ready in the refrigerator. All that’s left is the lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, but we’ve got plenty of time to get those ready.”

“I’ll just do it now, if that’s okay. I’ve been sitting most of the day.” And it was true, first in her car, then on the bike. Brenda nodded and she started rinsing the produce lying on the counter next to the sink.

“So what do you think of the grownup Cooper twins?”

“Well, other than the fact that they look a little like the guy from P.S., I Love You, they seemed nice enough.”

“They really are. Well, Chase is. I haven’t been around Wesley enough to know him well but I’ve been assured he doesn’t bite.”

“It doesn’t matter to me whether he does or not,” she said, laughing nervously. “Like I told you, I’m not interested in anything more than friends. Even if I was, one, I won’t be here long enough to do anything about it. And two, it’s been my experience that guys who look like that are definitely not into curvy girls.”

“You’re not curvy,” Brenda protested without the slightest hesitation. She’d always been her champion since they were kids and it didn’t seem like it was ever going to change. “You’re gorgeous. You always have been.”

“I don’t know that I’d go quite that far, but thanks.”

Lainey had been involved in three long term relationships with good looking, well-built men and had, in fact, been proposed to twice. But something had been missing and she’d regretfully turned them down. For as long as she could remember, she’d believed in the whole knight in shining armor, happily-ever-after thing—and she wasn’t settling for less.


Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Profile 3: Elaine Marie Lawson

girl-491623_1280pixabayAs I explained in my post on Friday, this profile is about two weeks late but I hope you’ll still enjoy Lainey’s profile. She was an easy character to come up with because she’s every girl in developed countries rolled into one. We’re all flawed – in our own eyes – whether where twelve, sixteen, twenty-two, forty, or older. 

Like many women, myself included, Lainey struggles with her weight. She eats fairly healthy and is active, but no matter what she does, she can’t drop below a size sixteen. For the most part, she’s happy with herself but deep down, wishes she knew what was wrong.

Because I’ve struggled with thyroid issues for so long, I’m 95% sure I’ll try to raise awareness for this condition with this story. Thyroid-info.com cites a study funded by Knoll Pharmaceutical Company estimating the number of undiagnosed cases in the USA to be in the neighborhood of thirteen million.

Hypothyroid Mom has a list of reasons why so many aren’t being diagnosed, including outdated lab ranges, which vary greatly depending on the lab. Then you have doctors who refuse to treat a patient if their TSH is below 10. She has another article (here) that tells what the new ranges should be 0.3 to 3.0. That’s a lot lower than the old standards … and a whole lot lower than 10!

So I think this is a great subject to deal with in my book, along with self-acceptance/love.

With that said, you’ll find Lainey’s profile below. And don’t forget to visit my Weko Series Pinterest page if you’re interested in seeing how see her and the other characters. I’ll be doing shorter profiles for the secondary characters in this book.

Name: Elaine Marie Lawson

Pronunciation (if applicable): Lane – ee

Title: Ms.

Nicknames: Lainey (see above for pronunciation)

Sex: female

Race/species: Caucasian

Age: 26

Mental age: 35

Height: 5′ 6″

Weight: Refuses to tell me – but she wears a size 16

Eye color: blue

Hair color/length/style: sable brown, hangs just past her shoulders and is fairly straight

Skin color: slightly tanned

Glasses/contacts: no

Physical details

Eyes: a little larger than average, thick lashes

Nose: straight, not too wide

Body/build: wears a sixteen but is toned and athletic

Physical flaws: overweight and can’t get rid of 40 pounds no matter how hard she tries

Scars: lower right abdomen (appendix), faint scars on right ankle from dog bite

Tattoos: none

Piercings: ears – single hole in each

Birthmarks: mole at base of neck near left side, small one that looks like a faint hickey near left collar bone (she hides it with collars, scarves, or concealer)


Sanguine: 25%


Phlegmatic: 75%


Most prominent personality trait:  Determined

Best traits of their personality: Is dependable, hardworking, focused, caring

Worst traits of their personality: works so hard so she feels better about herself, secretly jealous/resentful of women with ‘good’ figures but won’t often admit it – even to herself – because it makes her feel petty.

Current faith/religion: Christian

Current superstitions/quirks: loves shoes, purses, and hats,

Marital status:  Single

Occupation: Trainer for Four Quarters Steakhouse

Good qualities: Responsible, reliable, great friend, honest, hardworking, eats healthy and works out regularly despite weight issues

Bad qualities: Won’t admit it but works so hard to try to win approval because no matter how much she claims to be comfortable in her skin, she feels a little inferior. Leaves her little time for friends, family, and a social life.

Special skills: problem solving, resolving conflicts with the people she trains

Hobbies: loves to read, crochet, and bake things

Parents: Hugh and Sheila Lawson

Siblings: Younger sister, Chantel, younger brother, Kevin


Meat: grilled chicken or steak

Veggie: broccoli

Fruit: apples

Dessert: strawberry fluff

Snack: popcorn

Breakfast: french toast and bacon

Lunch: BLT, onion rings, lemonade

Supper: swiss steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli, and fruit salad

Beverage: water

Surgeries: appendix, tonsils

Injuries: broken arm (fell out of tree at thirteen)

What scared him/her as a child: putting on shorts or a swimming suit because she found out at an early age that while not all classmates were mean, some could make the life of a slightly overweight kid miserable.

It took a little thought to come up with a song that was perfect, or as close as I could get to perfect, and this is it…

Photo credit: Pixabay.com


Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Quick Check-In

I’ll try to resume the profiles and sneak peeks next week (Tuesdays and Fridays) but for today, I thought I should explain my disappearances for days and weeks at a time.

I may or may not have shared – because I can’t remember – that I got pretty sick for a few weeks this past spring. It finally seemed like it was gone, then about ten days later, I got hit with round two.

Because I spent nearly two months taking Mucinex DM round the clock, I stopped all of my supplements except vitamins C and D and by the time I was finally rid of the virus the first part of July, I found myself slammed with a bladder infection. Turns out that when you’re taking boatloads of Mucinex, you need to be drinking a lot more water than I had been doing.

So technically, I was sick for about three straight months. And not taking supplements for my thyroid – for the entire time. I didn’t know what might interact with the medicine so I figured better safe than sorry.

Needless to say, I basically started from scratch again and I’m still not back to normal, thanks to doing too much – like NaNoWriMo this month (and in July). It’s been one step forward and two back. Some days, I’m so exhausted,  it’s a struggle to drag myself out of bed. 

So I’ve put myself back on a strict schedule for supplements – and am trying to get more naps in. And it’s helping. I’ve got a ways to go but I’m getting there. 

So I hope you’ll continue to be patient with me as I continue to get back on track.

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

Privilege or Punishment?

i-voted-11-8-16My daughter wanted me to take her home. In her opinion, the parking lot at the township hall looked packed. There were maybe twenty cars so I laughed and laughed and said nope! It won’t take long. And it didn’t. Maybe ten minutes. Tops. In and out without it affecting my day in any significant way. For my trouble, I was awarded the nifty little sticker you see to the right.

But I couldn’t bring myself to peel it off the backing and slap it on my sweater.

Why? Because I’m not proud of the fact that I stood in that booth and colored in the tiny circles (with ball point pens rather than the markers we should have had). I wish I was, but I’m not. Because, once again, it felt like choosing the lesser of two evils. Or, more precisely, one of two spoiled, mean-spirited rich kids trying to see who can win a pissing contest. Pardon my language but I can’t think of a way that describes this sorry excuse for a presidential campaign more accurately than that.

Basically, most of what I heard from the front-runners was something along the lines of:

“Vote for me because the other guy/gal is scum of the earth, a racist, a criminal, a monster who will usher in the end of civilization as we know it.”

And it makes me sad. Rather than focus on what they stand for, what we can expect from them should they win an election, we have politicians whose only goal seems to be making their opponents look worse than they do.

While the time it took to cast my vote might not have been significant, the results of everyone’s votes today will be … for the next four years. And I suspect no matter which way it goes, we’re in for a pretty rough ride.

God bless America. We’re going to need all the help we can get.

Because of the election, I’ll post the next profile tomorrow.

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Sneak Peek – Weko1 – Wesley Cooper (and a confession)

bakery-1209446_1920pixabayDay four of the 2016 NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing month (a worldwide writing challenge), and I’m not too far off the daily goal. In fact, I may be able to catch up tonight. Well, looking at the time – 12:26 a.m. – maybe not. But I’ll give it my best shot. It’s the weekend, I might be able to sleep in. 😀

Okay, confession time. A little over a year and a half ago, I got ‘glutened.’ Glutened is what happens when you think a food or supplement you think is safe to eat, so you don’t bother reading the label. But it isn’t safe because there’s a little surprise wheat in it.

So I had a bit of a tantrum. I won’t go into details because I blogged about it in The I.Q. of a Gnat (if you want to read it), but suffice it to say I’ve had trouble getting back on the gluten-free wagon since. I did try off and on for the rest of 2015 … but I’ve eaten whatever I’ve wanted this year.

It finally hit me a few weeks ago that this has most likely been a huge reason I’ve been so exhausted. I’ve blamed it on being up many nights with the baby, but that’s not it. Not all of it. I’ve been getting far less sleep than I am now – for most of the past eight years – and not been this tired.

I’d intended to just keep going until after the holidays. I mean, it’s just a couple of months and pies and breads are so much better with regular flour, right? But my ability to walk and breathe at the same time – my main symptom of gluten sensitivity (and maybe a wheat allergy) – has been getting worse. A lot worse. Like scary, lungs-burning-like-I-just-tried-to-run-a-mile worse. 

So I picked up a few gluten-free items tonight and I’m back on the wagon again. If I report that the extreme fatigue has improved over the next few weeks, please feel free to tell me ‘I told you so!’ if I ever get stupid like this again.

And now for the sneak peek. Just keep in mind that at the moment, Wesley still has a lot of growing up to do. 🙂


“You owe me, Wes,” Chase said, his voice low. Wesley pressed the phone closer to his ear. “I’m stuck doing a 5k run because you thought signing me up was fun. Now I’m cashing in my twin card.”

The whole twin card thing was getting old, he thought, flopping down onto the edge of his bed. They’d been ‘trading’ it since they were kids. If one of them took advantage of the fact that they were identical, though only in looks, then the other had to do whatever the ‘victim’ decided was fair retribution.

“Dating Brenda’s cousin for two months is asking a little much, don’t you think?”

“I’m going to be running my butt off for the next eight months to get in shape for that marathon next spring, baby brother, so no. I don’t think eight weeks of your time is asking too much.” Yeah, maybe the marathon was going a little too far, he admitted, but only to himself. He’d gotten a lot of laughs out of it though.

“So why can’t this chick get her own dates? Does she look like Frankenstein? Or Frankenstein’s curvy sister?” Because usually, when friends or family badgered him into something like this, the girl wasn’t anything to write home about. And more often than not, she had a weight problem.

“I’m guessing it’s a weight thing,” Chase admitted reluctantly. “Brenda did say she was a really pretty girl.”

“And what’s this girl’s name?”


“Last name?”

“No clue. She’s only referred to her as Lainey. So are you going to do it?”

“How many dates?”

“I don’t know. Maybe once a week. We’ll have to take her out and Brenda doesn’t want her feeling like a third wheel. But you have to be nice to her, Wes.”

“How nice?”

“Well, we don’t expect you to marry her so not that nice. But not rude.”

“Okay, fine.” Until they renegotiated the twin card, he didn’t really have any choice. Fair was fair. But they were going to discuss this at the first opportunity. “Will that square us up then?”

“I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it. I’ll still have six months of running after she goes back to Ohio.”

“Whatever. But don’t push your luck.”

As soon as they ended the call, Wesley opened Facebook, found Brenda’s account and started going through her friends’ list. There was no Lainey, Lainy, Lainie, or any other form of the name he could think of. There was, however, an Elaine. And Elaine was listed as a cousin. A cousin who definitely didn’t wear clothes in single digit sizes.

Wesley sighed. Yeah. Maybe it was time to put an end to the twin card.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Posted in Romance, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Profile 2: Wesley Cooper (and a BIG apology!)

I was responding to some comments today that I was sure I’d already responded to – but nope. There was nothing there, so I figured I’d just meant to and forgotten. When the ones I wrote today disappeared, I was on the verge of sending in a complaint to WordPress – until I noticed a big red rectangular ‘button’ with “CANCEL REPLY” in white letters. Very noticeable, but I never noticed it until today. As you can see below, it’s a lot bigger than the ‘reply’ button, which basically blends in with the background.


At first, I couldn’t believe I’d been hitting the wrong button, but when explaining it to Karen McFarland – 3-4 paragraphs worth of explanation – I did it again … and had to retype it. And that’s in addition to the first one of the day – the one that disappeared.

So I’ll be going through some older posts to see how many I screwed up on. I promise I haven’t been ignoring everyone. Sometimes, I’m a little late, but not like this. This is is just strictly due to the fact that my eyes must be drawn to the most obvious place to click – and I just don’t bother to read. That, or it’s a fairly new feature and it just never registered until today.

Now for Wesley’s profile. I’m afraid he’s not going to be the most likable character at first, but give him a chance. He’ll grow on you, just like he’s growing on me. 🙂

Don’t forget to check this blue link >>> Weko Series Pinterest Board to see each new character as I share their profiles. I’ll be doing the same with another new series too.

Wesley Gary Cooper

(Nick’s info is below – change it for Wesley)

Pronunciation: N/A

Title: Mr.

Nicknames: Wes, Gary Cooper (by smart aleck friends)

Sex: male

Race: caucasian

D.O.B.: December 29, 1987

Age: 28 (but 29 at end of year)

Mental age: 15 – 28 (depends on the moment)

Height: 5′ 11″

Weight: 175 pounds

Eye color: blue

Hair color/length/style: brown, wears a business cut

Race/skin color: white, tanned, makes sure he always has a bit of facial stubble

Glasses/contacts: glasses for reading and working

Physical details (shapes)

Body/build: well-built, nice muscles but not huge

Scars: scar between collar bone and left shoulder from puncture wound (messing around with a band member’s flag in high school, tripped and fell on end of it)

Tattoos: none

Piercings: none

Birthmarks: none


Sanguine: Is very sociable, loves to talk, considers everyone a friend though he has very few true friends (Nick, Willa, John, and his twin brother, Chase). Buried in his rather shallow heart is a good guy Wesley doesn’t realize exists. Tends to see what’s on the surface rather than the whole, be it people or things. Deep in his rather shallow heart is a good guy but he doesn’t realize it because he already thinks he’s a good guy. (Click this blue link to learn more about the Sanguine temperament)

Most prominent personality trait: Self-centered

Best traits of their personality: loyal friend, willing to help those he cares about, generally optimistic

Worst traits of their personality: often bases opinions on appearances, impatient

Current faith/religion: Christian

Current superstitions/quirks: Hates dressing like his brother. Wears an expensive watch, looks at it often when bored and wants to leave wherever he’s at. Likes to hold a pen, taps it when talking business with anyone, or when bored. Neat freak.

Marital status: single

Occupation: Accountant with largest firm in the area. Also does taxes, payroll, etc… for friends and family for a discounted price.

Good qualities: Always keeps his word, great friend (to the smaller circle), intelligent, good with numbers. Devoted to aunt.

Bad qualities: zones out when people bore him, impatient, often judgmental, tends to be critical of others

Special skills: numbers, good at pencil drawings

Hobbies: Likes doing jigsaw puzzles but doesn’t advertise the fact. Does them on a thin board he can hide under his bed if necessary. Loves to read.

Parents: Jolie (55), father – unknown. Jolie abandoned with her Aunt Jessie (72) when they were five (she raised them and dressed them in identical clothes throughout grade school).

Siblings: Identical twin, Chase Jackie Cooper (28)


Meat: fried chicken

Veggie: salads

Fruit: grapes

Dessert: pumpkin pie

Snack: popcorn

Breakfast: bacon and toast

Lunch: hot beef sandwich, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad

Supper: fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, salad

Beverage: water or cola


Surgeries: appendix, tonsils

Injuries: repair to shoulder after falling on pointed part of flag


What scared him/her as a child: Aunt Jessie leaving him too, losing his brother.  Had nightmares for years, still has them occasionally.

Peeves: Hates that his mother gave him and his brother middle names of old, famous guys with the last name Cooper. Hates when people won’t wash their hands after using bathrooms.

In trying to think of Wesley’s theme song, only one kept coming to mind – and though he isn’t a model, he does think pretty highly of himself early in the story. That makes this song very appropriate. 🙂


Posted in Character Profile, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment