Scenes from the ACFW Conference – next year Indianapolis!

Teaser Tuesday – Straight for the Heart

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:
“Shock rolled through Sarah, forcing her to look away from her husband for fear she might cry. Had he found her so lacking already, without giving her a fair try, that that he was ready to be rid of her the first chance he got?”
pg. 70  – Straight for the Heart by Vickie McDonough

– Another book from ACFW shopping spree. 🙂 I’ve read books about women who married men to rescue them from jail time, but I’ve never read one where a man marries a woman to save her. Looking forward to it!

straight-for-the-heart

Monday Movie – Fame

fameI’m gonna live forever
I’m gonna learn how to fly
High

I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry
Fame

I’m gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame
Fame

I’m gonna live forever
Baby remember my name

So last week Amy sent out an e-mail inviting a bunch of girls to see the new movie Fame. She was super-eager, and her enthusiasm definitely rubbed off on me. We decided to go to the earliest showing on Saturday, but we had some concerns that it might sell out. Anticipating that potential problem, we went to pick up our tickets on Friday night.

Saturday morning dawned sunny and bright, and we. were. stoked! We zipped over to the theater (thankfully no pedestrians were injured in the drive), and hurried in to make sure we got seats before the show started at 11. We step into the theater, and hunt high and low for three seats together (Katie was joinging us). Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy with all … four other people in the theater. 🙂

So we sit down to enjoy the show, eventually sharing the theater with about 20 other people. And I was still really excited. The movie was divided up into 5 parts: Audition Day, Freshman Year, Sophomore Year, Junior Year, Senior year. It follows 10 students at Performing Arts High School in NYC through their high school. The problem is that only one of the 10 actually have a character arch and change.

It was frustrating not being able to invest in any of the characters as none of them had enough screen time for be to begin to really care about them. Loves were found and lost in the span of 4 minutes of screen time. Huh? It just doesn’t make me want to keep watching.

And the overarching story question … was nonexistant. There wasn’t really a lesson like the importance of staying in school or working hard to acheive goals. It just felt lacking.

I was so disappointed. So was Amy. Katie had read reviews that it wasn’t very great, so her expectations were low.

Needless to say, I won’t be running out to buy this one when it comes out. But on the plus side I did see a great preview for The Bright Side, based on a true story and starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. It looks awesome! I’m sure I’ll have more details on it after I see it. 🙂

Eagerly awaiting another really good movie until next time. -LJ

A really awesome video!

I stumbled upon this amazing video of David Robinson giving his NBA Hall of Fame speech on September 11 of this year. I’m floored by his humility and love for the Lord. David, who played for the San Antonio Spurs, is a member of the church which Max Lucado pastors. If you’ve read every Lucado book, as I have, then you’ve read lots of anecdotes about Robinson. One of my favorites is the story in Lucado’s new book Fearless, which tells of Robinson praying with his son during communion on a Sunday morning between championship games. Pretty awesome testimony.

I watched this today at work, and I’m not kidding it made me cry. I hope you enjoy it too!

Teaser Tuesday – White as Snow

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:
“A mob of television vans lined each side, as well as cars and vans bearing the logos of prominent radio stations. They seemed to be centered in front of her house.”
pg. 80 – White as Snow by Janice A. Thompson

– My recent trip (or more accurately trips) to the ACFW bookstore will keep me reading for many, many months to come. I’m excited about this book, as the hero is a pro football player. Yay! I’m totally in the mood for that, given the recent start of the NFL season. Man, I love football!

white-as-snow

After ACFW

So you’ll likely notice that I missed a couple posts this weekend–like a Friday Favorite and a Monday Movie. But here’s the deal, I was in Denver at the annual American Christian Fiction Writers conference. I joined 500 fellow fiction writers for an amazing weekend of worshiping God, learning some new writing techniques, and meeting lots of new friends.

I took a bunch of pictures, but I haven’t had time to download them yet. I’ll try to get them up in time for Friday, along with a complete rundown of the weekend.

But mostly, I wanted to share that I met with a lovely agent, who expressed an interest in seeing my proposals for two books that I’m working on! I know it doesn’t sound very interesting, but being asked to submit a proposal is a big deal in the writing world. It means she liked what I told her about the stories. I’m praying that she’ll like the proposals and will want to represent my work.

If you think of it, maybe you could pray along with me. 🙂

Anyway, it’s crazy how the highlight of my weekend could be a simple request that led to quite a nerve-wracking evening tonight as I re-read my proposals to catch any final typos … and then e-mailed it off! Wow! I’m feeling really scared just thinking that this agent will be really analyzing my stuff in the coming weeks.

Trying not to shake all the way out of my books until next time. -LJ

When in Rome …

Seriously, I saw this trailer the other night and it made me laugh for 20 minutes straight. (Just ask Amy, who finally texted me from her room in the basement, where apparently she could hear me laughing–sorry, Amy!) I’m not quite sure what tickled my funny bone so hard, but I’ll be at the theater in January when When in Rome releases. Maybe I’ll see you there …

P.S. Just get past this crazy picture and the set up. The trailer is the really awesome part.

Teaser Tuesday – So Not Happening

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 barely resist a second eye roll. ‘I’m in a skirt.’ I motion for him to face the other direction, then with very unladylike grunts and probably a flash of my undies, I crawl out of the dump and back onto terra firma.”
pg. 100 – So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones

– I’ve only ever heard amazing things about Jenny B. Jones and her YA books, but I haven’t read anything of hers. Until now. I picked up this book during my recent Family Christian Store coupon shopping spree, and I can’t wait to really dive into it!

so-not-happening

Monday Movie – Post Grad, among others

Over the Labor Day weekend I decided I was going to see 3 movies. I’d been eagerly awaiting two of them, so I was thrilled to have time over the long weekend to finally watch the movies I wanted to see. Plus I had some movie passes from my birthday, so 2 of them were paid for. By Friday afternoon I had my plan in place: A matinee after work on Friday, one after church and a pedicure on Sunday, and finally a noon-time showing (the super-cheap one) with Amy on Monday. I was stoked!

Until I saw the movies.

Friday, I decided to watch Gamer. I love Gerard Butler (as we all know), and a good action flick, so I coudn’t wait to see this movie. Problem is, this is not a good flick. While the plot was interesting and posed some thought-provoking questions about the lure of power, it wasn’t enough to make up for the gruesome violence, profuse swearing, and all around depravity (I think finally used this word right, dad!). I was so bummed.

So I went into Sunday with higher hopes for All About Steve. I generally enjoy Sandra Bullock (as evidenced by my thoughts on The Proposal), and I love a good romantic comedy. But what I discovered was not much comedy and even less romance. Ugh! What’s a girl to do?

85772_A_1Sht_R3:1 SHEET MASTER (CTP READY)Monday was my last chance. My final hope, if you will, to redeem my movie-going weekend. And then … there was Post Grad, staring Alexis Bledel, a favorite from Gilmore Girls. Amy and I had been talking about seeing this flick for weeks, but our schedules just weren’t lining up. Finally the planets aligned–or more acurately, Amy and I set up things in advance–and we got to see this cute story about a college grad who wants to work in publishing (I totally understand) but is thwarted by her class’s valedictorian at every turn.

While definitely not a perfect movie–it’s rated PG-13 for several good reasons–it’s a really cute story about family and the importance of sticking together and being there for each other. Several times I found myself laughing hysterically. Then Amy would laugh, and I would laugh again because she was laughing. Back and forth we’d go, and it was just so funny.

But I loved the lesson at the end–that it’s not so much about what you’re doing as who you’re doing it with. Family is important, and so is finding the right guy. 🙂

So my Labor Day weekend movie marathon wasn’t a total bust, but it turned out that the movie I was least excited about was really the best. Wondering what that really says about my movie watching habits until next time. -LJ

What to do next Saturday

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering what on earth you’re going to do next Saturday. You’re thinking … wouldn’t it be cool if I could go to one location and meet over a hundred authors, get some good books signed? Well, lucky you!

Saturday, September 19 from 4-5:30p.m. at the Marriott Tech Center in Denver, more than 100 Christian authors will be selling and signing their books. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. So if you happen to be in the Denver area, swing by and meet one or more of these great authors, including me!
 Carolyne Aarsen  
 Diane Ashley  
 Ruth Axtell Morren  
 Rick Barry  
 Christina Berry  
 Lauralee Bliss  
 Diana Brandmeyer  
 Sandra Bricker  
 Margaret Brownley  
 Candace Calvert  
 Robin Caroll  
 Jeanie Smith Cash  
 Colleen Coble  
 Brandilyn Collins  
 Mary Connealy    
 Shirley Connolly  
 Margaret Daley  
 Susan Page Davis  
 Mary Davis  
 Janet Dean  
 Megan DiMaria  
 Lena Nelson Dooley  
 Wanda Dyson  
 Leanna Ellis  
 Pamela Ewen  
 Miralee Ferrell  
 Linda Ford  
 Tina Ann Forkner  
 Judy Gann  
 Jeff Gerke  
 Rhonda Gibson  
 Debby Giusti  
 Sandra Glahn  
 Elizabeth Goddard  
 Winnie Griggs  
 Cathy Marie Hake  
 Lisa Harris  
 Mary Hawkins  
 Roxanne Henke  
 Cynthia Hickey  
 Patti Hill  
 Denise Hunter  
 Annette Irby  
 Myra Johnson  
 Liz Johnson  
 Jenny Jones  
 Eileen Key  
 LAURIE Kingery  
 Kathleen Kovach  
 Harry Kraus  
 Jeanne Marie Leach  
 Tosca Lee  
 Julie Lessman  
 Loree Lough  
 Elizabeth Ludwig  
 Richard Mabry  
 Debbie Macomber  
 Joyce Magnin  
 Gail Gaymer Martin  
 Judy/Jude Martin-Urban/Urbanski  
 Debby Mayne  
 Aaron McCarver  
 Vickie McDonough  
 Dana Mentink  
 Robin Miller writing as Robin Caroll  
 DiAnn Mills  
 Stephanie Morrill  
 Janelle Mowery  
 Jill Elizabeth Nelson  
 Kevin Parsons  
 Golden Keyes Parsons  
 Donita K. Paul  
 Tracie Peterson  
 Allie Pleiter  
 Cara Putman  
 Tara Randel  
 Deborah Raney  
 Sandra Robbins  
 Kim Sawyer  
 Marc Schooley  
 Michael Sheehan  
 Shelley Shepard Gray  
 Ann Shorey  
 Beth Shriver  
 Sandra Lee Smith  
 Virginia Smith  
 Betsy St. Amant  
 Therese Stenzel  
 Stuart Stockton  
 Alison Strobel  
 Michelle Sutton  
 Camy Tang  
 Donn Taylor  
 Janice (Hanna) Thompson  
 Missy Tippens  
 Pamela Tracy  
 Carrie Turansky  
 Deborah Vogts  
 Jenness Walker  
 Dan Walsh  
 Susan May Warren  
 Michael Webb  
 Kit Wilkinson  
 Lisa Wingate  
 Beth Wiseman  
 Kimberley Woodhouse  
 Lenora Worth  
 Cheryl Wyatt  
 Kathleen Y’Barbo