Reading Raves: Vol. 4 – Spring Flings 2015

Sure – Much of the country is still dealing with wintery weather.

But spring is coming! Before you know it, flowers will be blooming and the air will start to warm.

It’s the perfect time of year for books with a little whimsy. Now that the long winter is (almost) over, have a little Spring Fling with these two awesome series.

Christina Lauren: The Beautiful series

The common theme here? PASSION. The circumstances are all different, but every couple in this series is drawn together in their own unique way. And what I think is so clever about these novels (in addition to the great banter!) is the way all of the stories are woven together. The next one comes out in April, and I can’t wait to read it!

Alice Clayton: The Redhead series

True Fact: I laughed until I cried reading every book in this series. The Redhead and her Brit are a dynamite and dynamic duo. Alice has a way of delving into deep fears in the most humorous and touching ways. And all three books in the series are on sale right now! You won’t be disappointed.

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Based on a novel by …

It’s Oscar Sunday!!!

Yes, I am that excited about it. Not only do the Academy Awards celebrate the best in cinema, but they’re also the highlight of the Red Carpet season.

But, truth be told, the literary world plays a very important role in the Academy Awards. So many nominated movies are “based on a novel by …” and this year is no exception. Wild, Gone Girl and Still Alice are just a few of this year’s nominees that started as a novel.

In particular, there is a strong tie between Best Picture winners and the written word. From 1930’s Best Picture (All Quiet on the Western Front) to last year’s winner (12 Years a Slave), there is quite a history of Best Picture winners based on literary works.

But I have to admit, there is one standout to me. No Oscar-winning film pays homage to its source like Gone With the Wind. It truly is a visual interpretation of Margaret Mitchell’s words.

Will another movie title be added to the book-loving list tonight? I’ll definitely be tuning in to see who the Academy Award goes to …

Love don’t cost a thing … or does it?

SpotlightFullCoverFrontMore than 10 years ago, J.Lo. taught us that love don’t cost a thing.

Well, perhaps that’s not necessarily true. In this case, love will cost you 99 cents.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, several books offered by The Writer’s Coffee Shop will go on sale – including Spotlight! From Feb. 14-15, you can get the Spotlight ebook for 99 cents.

So, if you haven’t read Lily’s story, this is a great opportunity to get it. Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for more details and links!

After all … 99 cents seems like a small price to pay for a little romance …

The Big Game …

So, The Big Game is a week away.

But, for me, the playoffs are still going on.

Because while football season might be ending, awards season is still going strong.

Don’t get me wrong – I do love good competition. I want to see the Seahawks take on the Patriots. And I’m just as interested to see Redmayne take on Cumberbatch.

The Red Carpet is a gridiron in its own right. Players (actors and actresses) have coaches (PR teams) guiding them toward the other end of the field (the ballroom) while interacting with the other team (interviewers) all within a certain amount of time.

The uniforms might be slightly more glamorous, but I suspect the spirit of competition is just as gritty.

The Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Producers and Directors Guild Awards? Those are *my* playoffs.

Fashion Police? That’s *my* Monday-morning Quarterback.

The Oscars? That’s *my* Super Bowl.

I’m ready for The Big Game.

Good Decisions

Sometimes, a split-second decision changes the course of your life.

I never planned on having a career in communications. But 20 years ago this year, I figured out that’s exactly what I was meant to do.

Growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer. So much so that my parents said I would pull my dad’s law books off his shelves and “read” them. Glass ceilings were starting to crumble, and I had visions of power suits, high heels clacking on marble courthouse floors and shouts of “Objection!”

Charger Staff

So when some of my friends decided to join our high school newspaper staff, I thought, “Why not?! It’ll look good on college applications. And I love my English and literature classes.” On a whim, I joined the staff, too.

And I haven’t looked back since.

It didn’t take me long at all to fall in love with the Fourth Estate. I loved learning all I could about journalism. I loved learning to gather and share stories. I loved learning to puzzle them together on a newspaper page (yes, by hand – before any fancy design software!).

Two degrees and 20 years later, journalism is still my passion. The stories journalists tell are every bit as important as the stories told by novelists, poets and songwriters. They give us insight into the world around us every single day, and there’s so much value in that.

I may have started out wanting to be like Amal Clooney but ended up becoming more like MacKenzie McHale. And I’m more than OK with that. After all, they both wear fabulous shoes.

Reading Raves: Vol. 3 – Holidays 2014

Confession: My holiday indulgence is not Christmas cookies. It’s Hallmark holiday movies.

I know. But they’re so charming! And they remind me that sharing your favorite stories make a great gift.

I know of a certain book (*cough* Spotlight *cough*) that would be perfect for anyone who is passionate about the entertainment industry and journalism. And here are a couple of others that should make their way under your tree.

R.S. Grey: The Duet

I had the chance to meet the lovely R.S. Grey during the Texas Book Festival. And her writing is a fun as she is! The Duet is her latest … can two very different singers come together for Grammy gold?

Ina Garten: Make It Ahead

This one is for all the foodies (me included!) out there. One day I will throw a dinner party as classy and elegant as Ina’s!

Ruth Clampett: Mr. 365

I mentioned my love of Hallmark’s holiday movies. And Mr. 365 is the e-book version of that same charm. My friend Ruth’s book will definitely put you in the holiday spirit!

The great thing about wrapping up a book during the holiday season is that it’s a gift that keeps on giving. They can read it again and again and think of you each time. Now that’s money well spent!

Giving Thanks

It’s been an eventful year, and I have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

For me, publishing a book was a more-than-one-woman job. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude.

I’m thankful to the TWCS team – especially Jenn for designing a beautiful cover and the fabulously wonderful editors who helped my words take shape.

I’m thankful to my family for being more than understanding when I was on deadline and for spreading the word about Spotlight when it came out.

I’m thankful to Amanda and Donny for giving me even more inspiration and the rest of my friends for their support and excitement about this book.

I’m thankful to everyone who has purchased and reviewed my book. I hope you’ve enjoyed Lily, Nate and Daniel’s story as much as I have!

And now it’s your turn … what are you giving thanks for this week? Share the gratitude!