Monday Movie – 17 Again

On Saturday Amy, Katie, Stephanie, and I headed out to lunch at Ruby Tuesdays (I’ll spare you the harassing Amy and I received for never having been before).  The four of us hadn’t hung out in quite a while, so it was great to get together and enjoy a chatty lunch and a movie.

Our lunch server was … well … unique. And while we got together around 11:45 and the movie started at 12:50, we barely had enough time to make it to the theater due to some creative charges on Stephanie’s bill. It took about 15 minutes to get the billing mix ups taken care of, so we split up–Amy and I heading over to the theater first to get four seats together. We made it just in time for most of the previews, found seats and Steph and Katie joined us just as the movie started.

So I have to confess that I generally don’t love Zac Efron, who stars in 17 Again. But I was willing to give it a go, as the other girls really wanted to see it and I usually love Matthew Perry. I just didn’t know how very little Matthew Perry was in the movie. But it turned out okay.

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Matthew Perry plays Mike O’Donnell, a man dissatisfied with his life and the choices that he’s made. As a 17 year-old he gave up a college scholarship to marry his pregnant girlfriend, and now he blames his wife for his unhappiness, and they are just days away from finalizing their divorce. Mike has almost no relationship with his two teenage kids, and he’s living with his computer geek best friend Ned.

But then he gets the chance to be 17 again. But he doesn’t go back to 1989. He gets to be 17 again in present day. Suddenly he’s back in high school with his kids, befriending his bullied son Alex and his daughter Maggie, who is dating Alex’s bully.  And he doesn’t like what he sees.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. I usually find Efron’s adorableness a bit too … adorable. But I actually really believed him as a man trapped in a child’s body. I really appreciated the growth of his character in falling back in love with his wife and realizing the importance of his family. Low expectations always leave the door open for pleasant surprises.

Hoping you get a pleasant surprise until next time. -LJ

Ah, spring in the Rockies!

So I’m a bit behind in my blogging the last couple weeks. We’re going to blame that 100% on the last-minute edits I was trying to get done on my WIP (work in progress, for you non-writing readers out there). But it’s done and sent in, and now we wait. And brainstorm the next book idea which is already coming together.

So last Friday, my cube-mate Ashley had a word–from the weatherman–that we were going to have a snow day in April in  Colorado Springs. Certain companies who shall remain nameless closed down for “precautionary” measures. My company, not so much. So I tooled to work on the decidedly un-crowded streets. I got lots of work done in the morning and was quite proud of myself.

And then the snow came over the mountains and began dumping on us at about noon. The office started buzzing with rumors of an early release. And then came the official announcement. We were all to go home at 2:00.

So a little after 2, I battled the elements to get to my car, managed to scrape it off wearing gloves and not socks this time (if you haven’t heard my sock story yet … well, probably be thankful … or just ask; I’ll share). I g0t in my car and got approximately 3 minutes from work before the sun started shining and the snow stopped coming.

Pretty soon I was home and I felt like I had an entire extra day to my weekend. I was loving it! 🙂 But even though the sun was out, our driveway was covered in snow. So Amy and I bundled up and headed out to shovel it. You can read Amy’s account of the day here, complete with pictures. But I will say she doesn’t have all of her facts straight. She claims a snowball may have hit me by accident. I know it was completely malicious intent on her part when that  weapon was hurled at my head. But not to fear. I totally retaliated. I don’t know when I last had a snowball fight, but it was awesome! Probably because it was rather short and not completely frigid outside.

Anyway, we ended up making a snow woman (she definitely had a skirt), and Amy has a picture of her up too. I haven’t managed to download my pictures yet.

And by 2:00 the next day all the snow in our front yard had melted–taking our snow woman with.

Ah, that’s spring in the Rockies.

Loving the 70 degree weather until it starts snowing again (probably next week). -LJ

Friday Favorite – Twitter

Do you tweet? As you’ve likely noticed in the far right column, I tweet pretty regularly.

Don’t know what tweeting is? Haven’t heard of twitter?

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It’s a social networking site–of sorts. It allows you to, in no more than 140 characters, answer the question: What are you doing? It’s a snippet of insight into daily life on potentially a minute by minute basis. While it’s been accused of being a rather self-centered invention, I love it, not because I get to talk about myself, but because I get to follow some of my favorites. It’s amazing what you can learn about people just by the way that they twitter.

For example, I follow Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC, and an author that I had the privilege of working with on his last book Wild Goose Chase. So what have I learned about Mark in 140 character incriments? The man is a twitter maniac. He tweets more than anyone else I follow. He loves good food, and oh, he has some amazing spiritual insights.

I also follow Jess Barnes and Rachel, who are both quite funny. I love hearing a bit more about their day to day lives, not to mention whatever new fandom they’ve discovered. They are wonderful to follow!

Then there’s Nathan Fillion (of last week’s favorite: Castle). I just started following him, and I’m learning all sorts of cool things about him. Like how he supports the Kids Need To Read campaign (I’m a fan of kids reading), and how he was at a book launch party in Oceanside, CA last week. Wish I’d been in Oceanside last week. (Yes, twitter could be a first step to stalking someone–but I like to think of it as legal stalking.)

Speaking of legal stalking, I absolutely follow Brandon Heath. How could I not? He’s not s super-regular tweeter, but it cracks me up everytime he says something about being somewhere cool or meeting cool people like Bob Barker then says “Is this my life?” Yes, Brandon, in 140 characters this is your life.

Now I love tweeting, and I love following new and old friends. But I really love seeing who ends up following me. For example, after I tweeted about watching Brandon Heath on CBN’s 700 Club, the CBNProducers started following me. Then I tweeted about the lost library book saga, and who started following me? The PPLD (Pikes Peak Library District)! They even congratulated me on finding my lost book when I returned it. It kind of cracks me up!

If you’re not tweeting, then maybe you should be. When you start, give me a shout out, and I’ll follow you too!

Tweeting like a mad woman until next time. -LJ

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I’m famous-ish

Just wanted to give a huge shout out to TheSuspenseZone.com. Susan Sleeman over there absolutely rocks! I have the pleasure of working with her in my day job. And she just posted my bio and book cover on her site. It’s cracking me up that my bio and info is right next to Jerry Jenkins on the author list–you know alphabets and everything. 🙂 Anyway, you can totally check out my author photo there too. My hair is pretty awesome in that pic, if I do say so myself, and it’s all thanks to Katie and Stephanie my photo shoot stylists. You guys rock!

Anyway, I don’t think People magazine is going to call this week, but I sure appreciate the support from Susan, especially as she is an author too–her new book Nipped in the Bud is due out soon from Heartsong. Congrats!

Hanging out with Jerry (at least on TheSuspenseZone.com) until next time. -LJ

Teaser Tuesdays – The Disappearance of Devin Keating

teaser_tuesdays1MizB of Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event

Here are the rules:
* Grab your current read
* Let the book fall open to a random page
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
*You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
* Please avoid spoilers!

This week’s teaser is:
“His feet pounded the ground, but it seemed to take forever for him to reach the entrance. Breaths coming quickly and shoulders rising and falling heavily, he yanked open the door and darted down the hallway passing one, two, three doors.”
– Okay, so I’m totally cheating here! This is a couple lines from my new work in progress, tentatively titled The Disappearance of Devin Keating. It’s about all I have time to read this week, as I’m busy working on my first round of edits.

Monday Movie – You’ve Got Mail

On Saturday I woke up from a lovely afternoon nap and flicked on the TV while I made a wonderfully delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I flicked channels a bit until I landed on a classic favorite: You’ve Got Mail.

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This is one of my family’s favorites. I remember going to see it in the theater years ago with my parents. My dad and I especially love Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies. (Have you seen Joe Versus the Volcanoe? It’s a classic!) Anyway, if you’ve been living on the moon for the last ten years and haven’t heard of You’ve Got Mail, it’s the sweet story of Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox who meet in an online chat room (yea, it totally dates itself) and don’t have any idea who the other is or even their name as they e-mail back and forth. 

Kathleen owns a small children’s bookstore that her mother opened years before. Joe is the owner of Fox and Sons Books, a chain mega book store. When a Fox and Sons opens across the street from Kathleen’s store, she goes “to the mattresses” to fight the big, bad mega store. As they fight in person, Kathleen and Joe continue e-mailing each other, each unaware that their online penpal is their nemesis.

My favorite part of the film is when Joe discovers that Kathleen is his e-mail buddy and he realizes that he’s in love with her. He messes with her just a bit as he woos her. It’s my favorite!

Oh, also, it’s filled with great one-liners. Like when George, one of Kathleen’s employees, says, “I’m off to by a eucalyptus candle, because it makes my apartment smell moss-ay.” My dad and I always quote this line to each other, and it did prompt him to buy me a eucalyptus candle when I moved into my first apartment. After four moves, I still have it. Thanks, dad!

This movie is so fun, and after re-watching it this weekend, I’m inspired to read Pride and Prejudice, which is Kathleen Kelly’s favorite book. I love when Joe Fox tries to read it at her suggestion but keeps putting it down because it doesn’t entice him in the least. If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely a must.

Loving great rom coms until next time. -LJ

Friday Favorite – Castle

While I am a fan of castles in general, this is not a blog all about old-school housing structures. Nope this is about one of my other favorites: Castle, the TV show starring Nathan Fillion.

I think ABC is trying to redeem itself in my eyes after cancelling Pushing Daisies. Of course, nothing really compares to the Pie Maker, Chuck, and Olive on PD, and Castle isn’t exactly a similar show. But it is quite amazing!

Castle, which first aired in March of this year, follows Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion, who is one handsome man, if I do say so), a best-selling mystery author who has just killed off his main character. In the pilot he is called in by the police chief to investigate two murders that copycat killings in his books. He’s paired up with Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), who quite obviously can’t stand having him around. But by the end of the pilot, Castle has sweet-talked the chief into letting him tag along with Beckett, who he is basing his next character on.

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While the relationship between Castle and Beckett is amusing and so obviously going to turn romantic at some point, the really amazing part of the show is Castle’s relationship with his mother–an immature partier, who spanned the globe looking for a bad review of her son’s book just to make sure he stayed humble–and his daughter Alexis–a non-angsty teenager, who really has her life together, despite a weathly father, absent mother, and crazy grandmother. Castle and Alexis together are the most fun to watch. I loved the episode about nannies in which Alexis asks her dad why he never hired a nanny for her. He tells her he was her nanny and the episode ends with him looking at a picture of them at the park when she was young. But they’re not always sentimental moments. There’s laugh out loud ones like the laser tag game they shared in episode 5.

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Jess B. asked me if I wanted to watch this with her when the first episode aired. After all, we already get together every Monday night to write. Now we write from 8-9 and watch Castle from 9-10. It’s become a tradition rather quickly. One I don’t want to end, even for the summer hiatus.

If you haven’t given this show a watch, I recommend you do! ABC on Monday nights. If you miss it now, don’t worry. It’s scheduled to arrive on dvd in September.

Of course, as a mystery writer, I have to love watching a show about another writer. But even if I didn’t have to love it, I probably would anyway.

Thinking that there will probably be more Friday Favorites about Nathan Fillion until next time. -LJ

Teaser Tuesdays – The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips

teaser_tuesdays1MizB of Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event

Here are the rules:
* Grab your current read
* Let the book fall open to a random page
* Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
*You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
* Please avoid spoilers!

This week’s teaser is:

“I told you how nervous we were about pinning the case on the testimony of an either-year-old kid. But the kid had to testify.'”
– From The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips by Stephen Baldwin and Mark Tabb, page 158

I devoured the first 2 chapters of this book. It’s a really thrilling read and told very uniquely through the eyes of the son of detective on the case. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

death-and-life-of-gabriel-phillips