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Dear Hallmark,

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I love you…I really do. But…..this weekend was a little too soon to begin the Christmas marathon. It makes me think the holiday is just around the corner, when in fact Halloween is!!! Yes, that’s right. We have yet to take our turn around the ol’neighborhood, dressed up as super heroes and types of food. It was 80 degrees today in my neck of the woods, for goodness sakes. Your movies, although I can watch them till my eyes cross, need to wait just a few more weeks. Until Thanksgiving, at least. That’s when I get the spirit stirring in my bones. Not now while my scarecrow is standing proud on my porch and the mums are smiling in the last warm days the forecast has to offer. I try to think back and remember–did everything move with the speed of light when I was younger? Were we shopping for Valentines on the heels of the New Year? Doing a warm-up to black Friday in the dead heat of July? I wonder…when did we begin to hurry everything up? Unless you’re a thirteen year old girl, counting the days down until you’re sixteen and can drive…aren’t we supposed to be relaxing and taking it all in? Slowing down the aging process…stopping Father Time as best we can–why can’t we start it with the holiday rush? And slow this train down a little. 🙂

Sincerely,

A true-blue fan, who will probably watch even though it feels too soon.

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A Total Staple

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I got stuck staying awake last night watching “Dirty Dancing”. Yes I’ve seen it a million times before. Yes I own it myself. But there it was on television. With tons of commercials. And I couldn’t help myself. “Dirty Dancing” is like “Christmas Carol”, “Pretty Woman”, and “Titanic”. I don’t know of many people who haven’t seen “Dirty Dancing”.

What doesn’t work about this movie? There isn’t one thing I could say to criticize this classic. The cast, the music, the chemistry…it was all soooo good. It completely depresses me to think of the world without Patrick, but I’m so grateful we have a piece of him in this hit. I heard it through the grapevine they wanted to do a remake. What??!! It figures. No one can think of anything original anymore. It’s sad.

And so I’m tired today, but boy was it worth it! My favorite all-time line was when Baby is in his room, after the dance, and she says she would regret walking out and never feeling the way she does when she’s with him. I could rewind this moment and watch it a million times. Come to think of it, I might’ve blogged about this movie before. This seems very deja vu. But think about it…haven’t you felt that way before about someone? If you haven’t, I hope you do. It’s a wonderful thing. 🙂

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Love Triangles

The Love Triangle SeriesThe Love Triangle….it’s what makes me want to read a book, and shockingly what I found out recently, people are turned off from reading a book. We all are our own person, I get it. But really? Who doesn’t love a good triangle? Squares are pushing it, I’ll give you that. And shamefully I seemed to have written this formula in my second Amy book, but it clears itself up quickly. 🙂 But a triangle? I love it.

I think that’s all I’ve written so far. And I think it stems from what I like to read and watch. It completely sucks when someone has to choose. And is it always a clear choice? Pretty much, but it grieves my heart to see the one not chosen to stay behind, licking their wounds. Sometimes. Then again, sometimes I add a bit of nasty…not too much, mind you…to their character, in order to not make you feel so sorry for them. To shed light on the clear winner of love.

“Wuthering Heights” started me out on this quest. Clearly there was a winner in love, but what was wrong with her husband? Nothing really, except he didn’t have her heart. Her heart lay securely, deeply-rooted in Heathcliff. Oh, the tragedy! In this case, Cathy couldn’t be with her true love. He was too wild, too un-catchable. Just the same in “Bridges of Madison County”. The heroine feels a deep draw to Kincaid but can never realize it. Tragedy, again! These books are non HEA, but they held such a spell over me. Does there have to be a third angle in order for a character to realize the deeper love she feels for the “real” one? Hmm…

I suppose that’s why people like the ol’ two people angle. Just one girl looking in the world for that perfect mate. The struggles it takes her to find him and keep him. The work-up to just the two of them to take on the world. No other guy to pull at her in the smallest way. Yeah, okay I could get into that. I have read and enjoyed books with this trope, but my meter for love will always pull toward the triangle. 🙂

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Love Comes Quickly

Love-Pictures-2How quickly does love really come? How fast is too fast? I was asked this question not too long ago by someone who thinks they love someone only after a few weeks of talking. There have been two dates, telephone conversations, and endless texts between them. Hmmm…could it be love? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s infatuation. Is there a litmus test for love?

I read a review for my debut book, “Waking Amy” and they stated that the love between the hero and heroine happened too quickly. Don’t you kind of have to write it quickly? I mean, there’s only 250-300 pages to establish love. Less, if you want to add in a problem, some climax, and a conclusion, too! Certainly we don’t have the leisure to drag it out for three volumes. But doesn’t love happen that quickly in real life? My friend seems to ponder the question. And I would figure her to only be on about page 50 of her romance!

I was watching Dying Young tonight. You know…with Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott. Anyway, they were about 25% into the movie when it happened for them. Julia Robert’s character was about to leave when Campbell Scott seduced her and they slept together. BAM!! The next morning he declares his undying love and she returns the sentiment. Are you serious? Isn’t that a bit quick? Shouldn’t they date more than one time before sealing their fate with forever-talk? Couldn’t they’ve remarked how much they liked one another before diving into “here’s my heart, don’t break it”? It must be that I’m just so slow in coming to the conclusion about surrendering my soul to someone. But it works in fiction and movies. I get it. It has to. We only have but so long to convey the message. No heroine walks into a book halfway into a romance with the hero. How would the reader have empathy for anything they went through in the beginning of their romance? Where is the build? Oh yeah…it’s on pages 1-75. So, what makes it so unbelievable then to think my friend isn’t in love? I’m not sure, I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Point 2 that I can quickly recall. The movie, “The Longest Ride”, by Nicholas Sparks. The girl dates him only a one time before she rips off her clothes and magically they can’t live without each other. What? I found her to be a little loose quite frankly. I know, I know…that’s what sells. But is it real life? I guess so. For some. I don’t hang around people who have these types of things happen to them…but I wonder…is my friend going to fall to this “fictional” fate of love comes quickly? I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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Writer’s Block Denial

writers-blockSo for about a month, I haven’t really written. Okay…maybe a few pages. But even those felt forced. And don’t they, whoever ‘they’ are, say that you should write every day, whether you want to or not?

Perhaps the reason I couldn’t write was because of all my release things going on. Perhaps it was because my chair felt uncomfortable, I had too many clothes to wash, the moon wasn’t out…I don’t know. Whatever it was, it wasn’t happening when I lit up the ‘Word’ function of my keyboard.

Let’s face it, you can’t force inspiration. It’s either there or it isn’t. Specifically, I’m writing the third and final installment of my Amy series. I marvel that I finished the second one. It’s such a relief to know it’s finished. It even passed the beta reader tests. Two thumbs up, they said.

I know what it is! It’s the pressure to get it right again. Look at “Fifty Shades of Grey.” That girl has got to feel the pressure. Incidentally, I’ve heard not so rave things about the second book. I mean, once you did it amazingly right the first time…    And “Harry Potter”? Didn’t she write the next book unaffiliated with it, under a different pen name? Did she feel the pressure, too?

Not saying that “Waking Amy” is all that. But, I felt strained to do the second one. Albeit, it’s over with and I like it more than the first…but then I have a third one to contrive. I need this one to be the best of all three. End with a bang. Shrimps on the Barbie!, if you know what I mean. Maybe it’s a series thing. I don’t feel this pressure for writing standalones.

Whatever the reason, I identify myself with being a supreme procrastinator. (see previous blog post on this problem) I have to have someone breathing down my neck, a gun pointed to my piggy toe…just to get it moving.

But good news! I wrote an outstanding 7,000 words today. And it wasn’t that difficult. Once I get all the imaginary people in one room, they tend to start talking. Then the buzzer rings, and I have to put the dinner on the table! Oh well, I’ll start again tomorrow. Hopefully, Amy will remember where we left off, and the lines she’s supposed to be saying. 🙂

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Launch Day!!

ballI can’t believe this day has finally arrived! I’m releasing Amy. My heart couldn’t be happier. I actually saw a new review on Goodreads last night, and a smile spread wide across my face. Someone read Amy!! And liked it! Well, she did say Amy drove her a little crazy with her naiveté. But she is naïve. Haven’t you known someone who was…to the point  you wanted to palm their face and say ‘wake up!’

Anyway, she does wake up and that’s the point of the story. I hope so many of you enjoy the book. I was so pleased to have continued her story into the second book, “Leaving Amy.”  I have decided to release this in April, so no one has to wait long to see where it goes with Amy.

But first…”Waking Amy.” Enjoy this excerpt and remember today is the release! I thank you in advance to the moon and back!!

“I’ll have a whisky sour, please.” He told the bartender.

I looked at him, amazed that fate had such a sense of humor. I laughed.

“What’s funny?” He sipped the drink the prompt bartender had sat down in front of him.

“It’s just that we’ve already danced together, had a heated discussion in a bathroom hallway, and here we are again. I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.”

He moved closer to me, situating his entire body to mirror mine. He couldn’t seem to get close enough. My eyes fell on the stitching of the inside seam on his pants. “Fate is funny like that.”

“My thoughts exactly.” I tried on a look that would best soften the blow of what I was about to say. “I don’t mean to be a buzz kill, Tom, but have you missed the fact that I’m wearing a diamond on my left ring finger? I don’t want to give you the wrong impression of me.”

“I did see it. I see it now. But when it didn’t bother you, I thought, why should it bother me? When I didn’t see one on your friend’s finger, I figured there was a story behind you, and a ring wasn’t the main component.”

I laughed as though I had just seen the wolf’s tail hanging out from my grandma’s nightgown. “It’s not that it bothers me or not. I’m married and I’m not out looking for anything. The guy I was with last night is just a friend.”

He tilted the glass back and finished off his drink. Was he playing a dial tone in his head during my speech about not being interested in bed sheets and notches?

“So, you’re here to just have a drink?” His tone questioned my honesty.

“Sadly, yes. I lack alcoholic beverages at my house.”

“And last night? Were you there because your home doesn’t have a dance floor and a bride and groom? Who was the guy? By his tone and sense of ownership toward you, he was obviously someone who also didn’t care about your ring finger.”

My story suddenly had more holes than a hooker’s stockings. Or so I imagined. “He is a friend. And we were just out.”

“I see.” He signaled for the bartender to refill his glass.

“I know it looks and sounds like I’m some type of confused, married call-girl, but I assure you, last week I didn’t even know that guy or own this dress.”

“Have you eaten dinner?” Again, am I invisible here? Are you missing a hearing aid?

            “I haven’t. I’ll probably eat later. Did you hear me?” I leaned over to him, waiting for recognition. I could smell his aftershave and it trapped me momentarily.

“Would you like to grab a table and we get something to eat?”

Suddenly, I remembered where I was, or rather who was likely to be dining there. Talking to Tom and inhaling his manly smell had taken my eye off the door. For all I knew, Mark and Ashley could be here already. I tried to see through the fuzzy partition to the other side. The smell of food from the kitchen taunted my appetite. I was starving, but to have dinner with this guy would give him the impression I didn’t mean that gibberish I had just said. And it would jeopardize my plan of not seeing my sister in the main dining room. “I think I’m going to pay my tab and go.”

“Please don’t.” He put his hand on top of mine. Sincerity somehow found its home on his face.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to have dinner.”

“Because you don’t eat, or you don’t think it’s a good idea to eat with me? I’m harmless, I assure you. Just ask that table full of people over there. They’re my friends, and they can vouch for my reputation. I’m nothing but a gentleman. Now, what do you say? Sit across the table from me and eat. I promise not to cross the center line.”

He was too charming for his own good…or mine. I found myself basking in the attention of this fascinating, older gentleman. Enjoying his infectious smile and wondering why he seemed to be enamored with my company. It wasn’t as though I wasn’t supposed to be out. So what if I picked the same restaurant as my whore sister and her choice in hand-me-down men. Served both of them right to see me having a little fun.

“Well, if you put it like that, I’d be ridiculous if I didn’t. I guess I could share a table.”

 

https://www.amazon.com/author/julieanndove

Waking Amy Digital

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Movie Night Out!

the choiceValentine’s Day…picture it; I’m eating dinner at an actual restaurant and seeing a movie afterwards! It would have to be a holiday for that to happen!

And so, after a lovely meal,  we decided to go see a movie. And who would’ve guessed, but Nicholas Sparks had his new one out, just in time for Valentine’s day!

Let me begin with the cast. I think they did a fabulous job. I hate going to the movies and seeing the same actors. It was refreshing to see some new faces. The lead guy was charming. A bit of a player, a cutie, and had a pinch of a southern twang. The lead girl was pretty, feisty, and was confused with what she wanted. Or rather, who she wanted.

I’d have to say that I think Sparks’ other movies were better in content. Although there was plenty to like of this setup, he just didn’t deliver it as eloquently as the ones before it. This one worked up nicely to building a relationship between the two lead roles, but it quickly wrapped up and offered a second conflict to the story. It was like I was in a car traveling 20 mph, then it switched to 55, then we stopped, then it took off to 50, and slowed down to 15…all the way to the end. It got to the point, in the last twenty minutes, that I was looking around the theater, watching the lights on the wall. Searching out the exit sign. Because you knew where it was going, but it just kept dragging on.

He also failed to develop characters that were richly offered. The dad for example. The dad had a story all to himself. And the main guy’s relationship with his mother–the reason he was the way he was…emotionally detached. That was never dealt with. And there were even parts in the movie that was discussed, having not happened. You’d have to watch it in order to understand.

All in all, it was a nice thought but poorly executed. It felt patched and hurried. No wonder it received poor ratings. I’ll buy it when it comes out for sale, no doubt. If only to have in my collection of things to watch while I write out bills or other things.

As always, my favorite aspect of these movies is the location. I could live where this was filmed. I loved the low country scenes of the south. It made me want to dial up Realtor.com and search for real estate there!

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Onward, to Number Three!

female-writer-typewriterI haven’t written an organic word in what seems forever. Editing and revising doesn’t count. Today I’m beginning the third and final book in the “Amy Series.” I’ve just got word from my loyal Beta readers that they enjoyed the second one. Which made me screech in my tracks. “Oh yeah, I better get started on the next one.”

And so I shall. Of course I have to re-read the last few chapters of the second one in order to put me back in the story, but I took care of that this morning at six. Yes, six. A.M. I knew time was precious today, so I started early. It’s a good sign that I’ll be super exhausted when I get off from work tonight at nine. Whatever. I’m young, right? I can take the exhaustion. Certainly knowing that tomorrow is Saturday will help.

I wanted to post an excerpt from the first one that is releasing February 23. Some type of sample so you can decide if it’s your cup of tea. Seeing as not everyone enjoys the same kind of beverage. “Waking Amy” is a chick read. It deals with the ups and downs of a thirty year old girl who’s dealing with trying to salvage her declining marriage. The guy who’s coaching and helping in the mission is sort of a distraction. Taking her mind a little off the goal. Still, she tries to remain focused. Here is a sample:

My routine was off-kilter the next day. Not only wasn’t I going to work as usual, and Wesley wasn’t home like every day, but my core felt different. I barely slept the night before, replaying the moment that stood out from any other in my life. As if someone had finally found the cord and plugged me in.

Today I felt like a ripped sheet, fluttering in the wind. It was only yesterday that I had a plan. Heck, last week I thought I had a husband and a future. Nothing was a sure thing anymore. Nothing but this feeling of chronic jitters I had adopted that came from kissing Dr. Mark Reilly. Comparable to a dope addict who no longer had a fix or a way to find a fix. I was now ten steps from the direction I had started out. Turned around and still spinning. The roller coaster ride was compliments of Mark, too. I grabbed my journal next to the bed and opened it to a blank sheet. Visual evidence of why I couldn’t think of him and that kiss would have to be realized and written down.

  1. Mark Reilly has probably slept with half of the female population in the greater part of Portland, never having gone on a second date with any of them.
  2. I’m married.
  3. He’s a player. I’m his quest. I’m tomorrow’s trash in his female recycle bin.
  4. I’m married.
  5. I’m married and Wesley will be a different man when I become a different woman. We will be happy.
  6. Forget Mark Reilly. It’s only business.

Waking Amy Cover (1)

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Cover Reveal for WAKING AMY

weekendIt’s here, it’s here, it’s really here! I have a cover for my first book, WAKING AMY. I’m pleased as punch to introduce you to it. Tell me if you like it:)

Waking Amy Cover 12-3-15 (2)

It’s been a long time coming for sure! A couple years to be exact. It’s amazing…you write and write, re-write, and agonize monthly about plot changes, then you finally see the result everyone else will at first glance. This is Amy! Just to give you a quick snippet of her…

Amy is married to Wesley. They have an okay marriage. Nothing wild, nothing too dull. She spent most of her high school days crushing over this guy. So five years into their marriage, Amy sees he’s been a bit distracted. She’s midway into thinking of ways she can kick it up a notch when she goes home after work and finds a note that he’s leaving her…leaving the marriage. He wishes her the best but he can’t go on living the way they do. Amy is crushed to say the least. But Wesley doesn’t get too far. He wrecks a few miles out of town. The hospital calls and informs her he’s in a coma. And oddly enough Amy sees this as a God-send that she has one more chance to get it right…to channel the girl he won’t leave when he awakes. After all, she she’s the one who always shrugs off dinner with their friends and would rather stay at home watching Hallmark movies in her p.j.’s. And let’s not get into the fact she only wears cardigans and flats; black and gray to be exact.

On the journey of transforming herself, she encounters Dr. Mark Reilly; he’s Wesley’s neurologist. He’s also a complete Casanova and monogamously-challenged—definitely not a guy who wants to snuggle in bed eating Rocky Road and doing crossword puzzles with you. He can’t even remember the name of the girl he went out with last weekend. But with Mark’s help and advice on what it takes to be irresistible, Amy hopes her marriage can be saved. Now if she could only stop staring at the good doctor and imagining he’s the one she’s wearing new skirts and makeup for.

The verdict is still out…who will awaken first? Amy or Wesley?

P.S. This is book one in the Amy Series.

 

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Think Like A Man

chanDo you know how difficult it is to think like a man? I’ve had quite a time of it this weekend! I’m working on a new book…well actually reviving one I wrote a few years ago. It’s too good to leave on the shelf of my desk. I hear it calling out to me. “Julie, Julie, remember me? Solve my problems.” I digress… So I’m writing it from the perspective of a guy. Unusual, huh? Considering I’m not one. And my boyfriend is of little help. He’s not the typical kind you’d find wandering in the pages of a book. In fact he’s somewhat of an original.

I’m a girl, right? I talk about things to my girlfriends. Evidently the only things guys talk about are sports, their jobs, and their cars. Don’t they ever talk about their relationships? To one another? No in fact. My boyfriend has enlightened me that when guys go out it’s to get away from all that stuff. (not him, of course:) But other guys. And they certainly don’t talk about problems, i.e. having to sleep in the spare room. Well who do they talk to then? I’m certain everyone needs someone to divulge to… to get help from? Are guys simply floating islands, never connecting with anyone… to get it off their chests? No wonder they die of heart attacks. They have a lot stuff stored up.

Is it a weakness, I asked? Will the other guys think the one having problems isn’t man enough? My boyfriend assures me it’s in the guy’s best interest not to mention such things and take care of it on their own. How horrible. Not that I go and spill all that’s going on with my personal relationship, but I do have one very close friend that I would. Silly me, I assumed everyone had someone.

It certainly doesn’t help the guy in my story. He’s more disturbed than I thought! Does that mean that a close girl/friend couldn’t be confided in about marriage problems? Hmmm… I’ll have to ask. It’s so weird tracking down the answers. And it’s kind of across the board, I’m finding. Like a universal language. Guys are definitely a different breed than girls. And writing from a guy’s head is going to prove my biggest challenge yet. I might need a couple of men on speed dial throughout this thing to ask questions!