Top Ten Tuesday: Fall into Books!

It’s almost Halloween! And it’s TOP TEN TUESDAY via The Broke and the Bookish. Sorry, I didn’t have much time for a fancy post. I’m fresh off a weekend trip to Dallas. Yay Texas, y’all! Who else loves Texas?

So, I don’t read scary books. They are too scary. And I don’t even read books that have any Halloweenish things in them–witches, ghosts, vampires, zombies. All I can offer you are some books on my TBR list, which honestly is so long/tall/out of control that it’s pretty scary all on its own. So I figured if I also threw in a few pictures of pumpkins and candy corn and a witch, this could totally be a Halloween post.

TTT Halloween


I know that’s only 8. So here are two books way too scary for me to read!

Are there any books that are not too scary and would be a good Halloween read for me? Or is there anything else I could add to my TBR list? I’d love to hear from you!

Literary Battles: Book vs. Movie – Round 2

Thanks for stepping into the ring with me once again for another literary battle. Today’s fighters are a last minute addition to the card. I had a different topic planned, but then Sunday happened. More specifically, my procrastination on Sunday happened, leading me to the couch and the TV remote and a movie I hadn’t seen in a while: Something Borrowed.

I know I just had a battle with Emily Giffin, but I must bring her back into the ring. There’s too much I have to say about this book and this movie. So, this week I bring you…


Once upon a time, I read this…


And then this weekend, I rewatched this…


Before I say The Thing That Shouldn’t Be Said, let me start with the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. This was my first Emily Giffin read. It was more of the great women’s fiction that I love because it’s such a relaxing escape. But then I saw the movie. And it was like the book but in HD. There were so many things that the movie did for me that brought the story to life in a much clearer way.

  • the relationships between the characters: The visual of the actors playing Darcy and Rachel helped me to see more clearly how opposite they were. I also enjoyed seeing the interaction between Rachel and Ethan. It made me feel like he would’ve been a better match for her.
  • the ending: When I read the book, I was happy for Rachel. But at the end of the movie, I felt a little differently. I felt sad for Darcy. Even though she was pretty selfish at times, I saw more clearly how even a jerk doesn’t deserve to be treated poorly by others. I know Darcy and Dex weren’t married yet, but it still seemed wrong that her best friend would take her fiancee. Even if he should never have been her fiancee in the first place. And even if Darcy had cheated on him as well. Kate Hudson’s face in the very last scene–trying to pretend like she was happy–really left an impression on me. As much as she wanted everyone to believe she didn’t care, she really did. And that made me sad.
  • the hot boys: Okay, I admit it. I cannot lie. John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield are totally swoonworthy in this movie. John Krasinski is the hottest boy-next-door there is. I think he totally influenced my desire to see Rachel choose Ethan instead. And Colin Egglesfield is model-hot, but in a quiet swoony way. I’m sure the hot boys had a lot to do with why I liked the movie better than the book.
  • the music: They nailed the soundtrack. So many scenes had added emotion because of the songs that were chosen.

So I know I just said it, The Thing That Shouldn’t Be Said…but I’ll say it again. I liked this movie version better than the book. Not because the book was bad but because the movie had the perfect amount of everything that brought the story to life.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? If so…


I’d love to hear from you!


Top Ten Tuesday: What’s In a Name?


Let’s celebrate….I finally figured out which day it is, and my Top Ten Tuesday post (via The Broke and the Bookish) matches the topic for this week! I can read a calendar! Check “Calendar” off of my TBR list.

This week is all about names. Names can be great or they can really flop. Think of product names…I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Oops (a wine brand name!) or Crispy Hexagons (a real cereal name). Some are great and some really flop. (Read about more funny product names in this article here.) The same goes for character names. A name can be something that makes a character truly memorable, in fact, so memorable that you want to name someone after him or her.

top ten tuesday



A quiet girl doesn’t have to be shy in nature. Quiet can also refer to her self-confidence or the manner in which she goes about showing her strength. (Click on the picture to read my scintillating analysis.)


They may be hot in description (or if a really hot actor played him in a movie), or they may be hot because they are a swoony average boy-next-door. (Again, click on the picture to read my scintillating analysis.)



What are your favorite character names? Tell me some great ones that I’ve missed!



Photo Story #123


It’s been fourteen weeks and five days. That’s 2,472 hours since she last put on her running shoes. 103 days of frustration. After all this rest, her hamstring should have been healed. Dr. McHot is cute and all, but he’s about as helpful as her mother. “You’ll just have to keep on resting it.” She’s tired of resting. She’s sick of the lethargy dragging her down. She wants to lace up those shoes and face the road in front of her. To feel the dread of aches and pains and anticipate the joy of that runner’s high. To take that first step out in the crisp morning air.

She just wants to run.

#TBT: An Open Letter to the Marginally Successful Author Holding My Manuscript Hostage

It’s a hectic week, so Literary Battles will return next week. Sorry :(  But in the meantime, enjoy this #TBT post from the past.  Early in my writing career, an acquaintance of an acquaintance offered to read the first chapter of my first ever manuscript. The response was not quite what I expected. Thankfully, I’ve found other writer friends who are a bit more helpful. I needed to laugh this week. If you do too, I hope this helps!

Dear Marginally Successful Author Who is Holding My Manuscript Hostage,

Your ransom note, cleverly disguised as “News and Notes”, arrived in my inbox today at 10:22 A.M. I agree to your terms; I will send you the $45 check for your unsolicited commentary in exchange for the release of my beloved manuscript. Now that you’ve heard from me, you don’t need to “hold onto it” any longer. Please set it free.

First, though, I’d like to tell you a few things.

Let’s start with the fact that I never asked you to spend “some 20 hours on line-by-line editing.” You offered to read my first chapter. In fact, your exact words were, “If you’d like, I’ll take a look at the first chapter.” So, of course, I sent it. You have published 12 books—something I learned during the suggested visit to your outdated 90s web site—so naturally, I’d want your opinion of my story.

And speaking of your 12 books, it’s strange that I’ve never heard of any of them, especially given you are a writer of such self-proclaimed high caliber. Perhaps I missed your books in the dollar bin at Borders as I passed by on my way to the bestseller table to pick up a copy of The Help or Tuesdays With Morrie. Thankfully, though, I’ll probably get to see your work on the big screen as one of your books “has a good chance of being turned into a movie.” Thanks for that heads-up. But really, you didn’t need to tell me a third time.

I do, though, want to thank you for offering to sell me two of your books for $45 in lieu of the $5 per page you usually charge for editing—editing that, I assume, people request. Thank you also for clarifying that you are “certainly not asking” that I pay you since this was an “offer of friendship.” That’s so very kind of you, especially in light of the incredible length of the chapter. It’s understandable that once you started editing, you “couldn’t have imagined it would be 16 pages.” I mean, how could you have possibly known that there were 16 pieces of paper in the envelope I sent to you? You’re not a clairvoyant.  My deepest apologies for any unintended deception on my part that led to those “20 hours of line-by-line editing.”

Believe me, I understand how precious your time is. What with your speaking engagements at Leisure World and the local library. (Thank you for also directing me to your blog, so that I could truly comprehend the vast extent of your influence.)  And though you stated, “I should have stopped editing or asked you if you really wanted me to do this work” before continuing on with this enormous project, I suppose it’s obvious why you chose to do neither of those two things. You were out of state and understandably could not communicate with me. Interstate communication is very difficult in the 21st century, and yes, it’s especially vexing when the local Motel 6 doesn’t have free Wi-Fi.

But finally I’d really like to thank you for the uplifting concluding remarks in your ransom note—er, “News and Notes” as you called it. You told me that writing for publication is “a whole different world than writing for school essays.” At first I detected a bit of condescension, but I realized that I am nowhere near the writer that, say, you are, so I must simply be misinterpreting your inspirational message. And indeed, I am just a dim-witted English teacher; so naturally, my skill set is limited to writing essays. And I probably don’t do that very well either, as you pointed out with your parenthetical aside, “even these usually need lots of fine tuning.” I am just grateful that a marginally successful author—with a “book that has a good chance of becoming a movie,” don’t forget!—such as yourself could swoop in with her mighty red pen and save my insipid, unintelligible novel.

Like you, I’m also so happy I “trusted (you) with the chapter” and turned to you for advice. Your shameless self-promotion has offered so much guidance. And I guarantee the check will be in the mail today. Personally, I feel I should only need to pay $42.22. I should be able to deduct the $2.78 worth of postage affixed to the SASE I sent with the chapter; you obviously will not need this when you ship your two books and my chapter (along with your generous offer of a letter summarizing your conclusions) to me via Priority mail for $4.95. But I’m not going to argue. At this point, all I want is the safe return of my chapter.


P.S. “Dear, Leslie,” is not the proper way to punctuate a salutation. It’s incorrect grammar, and it’s annoying.  Only one comma is necessary, and it belongs at the end of the salutation, just FYI. And I usually charge $2.78 for this type of letter editing, but since it’s an offer of friendship, I’ll just let you buy a copy of my book when it’s published in lieu of the $2.78.

Photo Story #122

The birthday boy turned 2. He went to the park, he was blessed at church, he received presents, he ate cake, and he played. The shelter begrudgingly let me adopt him, fearing that because I wasn’t going to be home all day, the little guy wouldn’t get enough attention.

I think Mr. Darcy is getting enough attention.

Literary Battles: Book vs. Movie

Welcome to Literary Battles Round 2. Here you can learn more about what this new series is all about.


Black and white. Cold and hot. Clinton and Trump. These are all sides that are constantly at odds. The same can be said for books and their movie versions. More often than not, I find myself cheering for Team Book. Scientific research* shows that books are better than their movie versions 99.547% of the time. But every once in awhile, we meet the .453%. And that’s what happened once upon a time when I…

read this

Screen shot 2015-09-07 at 5.05.38 PM


watched this


More than most books, the Harry Potter series was full of so much detail that it wouldn’t have been surprising if the movie lacked many of the book’s elements. But I was not disappointed at all. I am not, though, a diehard Potterhead. So, it’s quite possible that some people will read what I just wrote and say…

But for the simple casual reader like myself, the first movie an all subsequent movies were great. Things I liked about them…

  • even the smallest details of particular places were included
  • characters stayed true to their traits
  • events did not change
  • many characters were close to how I imagined them
  • I actually got a better understanding of the fantasy world by seeing it come to life

So, in this particular battle, I’m not taking sides. It’s a draw. The books were fantastic, but the movies were an equally exciting trip into Hogwarts. Everyone wins!


How did you feel after reading the Harry Potter series and then watching the movies?