Teaser Tuesday – Persuasion

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:
” Whether former feelings were to be renewed must be brought to the proof; former times must undoubtedly be brought to the recollection of each; they could not but be reverted to; the year of their engagement could not but be named by him, in the little narratives or descriptions which conversation called forth.”

pg. 46  – Persuasion by Jane Austen

– Since I finished Pride and Prejudice, it’s time to move forward with more Jane Austen books. Got to get them checked off my 30 by 30 list. And since Pride and Prejudice was like pulling teeth for me to read, I decided next up should be the shortest. Is that lame? Just a little bit. 🙂 So even though the book doesn’t have Rupert Penry-Jones like the newest movie version does, I fully expect to enjoy this book.

Monday Movie – The Switch

This weekend Amy came out to Nashville for a visit–well, actually she was in town for work and extended her stay so that we could hang out. Our Saturday started with a trip to The Pancake Pantry (we couldn’t pass up the really, really good stuff!) and then we were off to the mall. We hit some great stores and then it was off to the movies! the-switch-movie

After considering a few options, we landed on seeing The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. A quick overview … Jen’s character Kassie decides she’s not getting any younger and it’s time to have a baby. Except there’s no guy in the picture, except her neurotic best friend Wally (played by Bateman). She turns to Roland, a donor looking to make a little money to support him and his wife. But at an … and this was really weird … pregnancy party, Wally gets drunk and makes a switch. Kassie gets pregnant and moves back to Minnesota to be near her parents. Seven years later, Kassie returns to New York City with her son Sebastian (played by the cutest kid, ever!), a six-year-old version of Wally.

I confess that I thought this movie had a bit of a rocky start with a few scenes that I could have done without. But the story is set up well, despite a snippet of unnecessary nudity and a couple crude jokes in relation to Kassie’s pregnancy.

For me, the story really took off when Kassie returned and Wally, begins to become a man who wants to deserve the love of his child–even if he hasn’t been able to tell Kassie that he’s the father. As the bond between Wally and Sebastian grows through surprising circumstances, my heart just melted. And when Sebatsian told Wally that he just wanted Wally to be proud of him, my heart broke and I nearly cried. I loved, loved, LOVED their relationship, and the bond that was there before they even knew Wally was the father.

Tack on Wally’s friend Leonard, played by the brilliant and oh-so-funny Jeff Goldblum, and the humor in the second half of the movie really shined. I did love it when Wally and Leonard were on the treadmill at the gym, and Wally was running while Leonard was walking … and eating a candy bar. That’s my kind of exercise.

I really enjoyed this movie. But I walked away thinking about the media buzz going on with Jen Aniston’s comments about single parenthood. She’s been very outspoken about her right and ability to be a single parent, if she chooses. Of course, this media hubbub stems from her character’s single motherhood. And I find it really ironic, because The Switch really is a love story between a father and a son and the importance of that father in his son’s life. Dads are important. So are moms. And I’m thankful for mine. 🙂

Birthday Shout Out!

Just wanted to offer a really quick birthday shout-out to my dad today. I won’t reveal his age or anything … just that he’s super-cool and the best dad I could have asked for. And he’s a pretty awesome Poo-paw (grandpa), too. Hope to get to see him with my own kids some day. 🙂

Love you, Daddio! Hope your day is awesome! (I’ll call you later, today. Even if I did accidently have your gift mailed to my old Colorado address instead of to my Nashville one. Oops!)

Friday Favorite – Mark Smeby’s This World Is Not My Home

Hey, guys!

Last week, I introduced you to my new friend Mark Smeby. Mark was out of town this week, filming a new movie called 1 Message, for which he plays the “romantic lead”. Looking forward to checking that out whenever it’s ready. But for now, I thought I’d share Mark’s tune, This World Is Not My Home. Just click on the link below to open a new window that should play the song for you.

Mark Smeby – This World Is Not My Home

Hope you enjoy it, and check out his new album Pilgirm Man, out September 14th.

The song from Mark that keeps playing in my head, is actually the Christmas one, Emmanuel (You Are With Me). I swear, every time I hear it on my itunes, I end up singing it for hours. (Too bad I don’t have a voice like Mark.) 🙂 So here’s that music video.

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this musical edition of Friday Favorite. Thanks for sharing your music with all of us, Mark! (And also thanks to Mark for telling me how to post audio. Watch out for crazy audio clips from LJ, coming soon!)

Code of Justice Line Edits

This week, I got a very special gift in the mail. The line edits for my next book! It’s called Code of Justice, and if you’ve read The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn or Vanishing Act, you’ll recognize our heroine, Heather Sloan, Portland FBI Agent.

And now a little confession about the way I work. 🙂 When line edits arrive from my editor in New York, I always read the last chapter. I figure that’s the best way to know if she really liked it. And this time, I had some special treats–like how much she’s looking forward to reading the proposal for my next series. (That makes two of us. I guess I better get to writing that.) And there were lots and lots of smiley faces. (My favorite!) But these two, were my favorite notes from the last chapter. I hope you get a kick out of them, too! (Read the typed words at your own risk of spoiling the plot.) 🙂

<3 Hurray!! <3
<3 Hurray!! <3
Good! Nice and evil. :)
Good! Nice and evil. 🙂

Love these notes. They make me smile. 🙂 Hope I’m still smiling at the end of the edits. 🙂 Wish me luck! I’m diving in this weekend!

Happy Vanishing Act Day!

Hey there, fun-seekers! Today is the big day! It’s the official release date of Vanishing Act.

*dancing wildly around the room*

Okay, okay, I’m  done with the happy dance … for the moment.

To kick off the day with a bang, here are some great reviews already up and running. Thanks to everyone who’s read and reviewed it and told your friends about it. You guys rock my socks off!

andtheniwokeup.blogspot.com
brucejudisch.blogspot.com

quilldancer.com
ilovemy5kids-reviews.blogspot.com

Thanks again! And if you see a copy of my book out there, give me a shout out. I’d love to know!

30 by 30 – 2 week check-in

Hey there fun-seekers! Well, it’s been two weeks since my 29th birthday and the big reveal of my 30 by 30 list. So I figured it’s a good time to check in on some of the key items on the list ands see where I’m at. Afterall, what’s a goal if there’s no accountability to keep it? Here we go …

#1 – Complete the Nashville Rock and Roll ½ Marathon – okay, so I haven’t done anything with this one yet, but I looking up info on it this weekend.

#2 – Write 2 novels – I wrote a proposal for a Christmas novella this week. Does that count?

#3 – Read all of Jane Austen’s Books  – I only have 75 pages left in Pride and Prejudice, and I picked up Persuasion at the library.

#6 – Finish Caleb’s fire truck cross stitch – I’ve spent about 6 hours in the last 2 weeks working on it. And I’m no where close to finishing. This is going to be a long one. 🙂

# 7 – Visit 3 Civil War battlefields – I’m making plans to visit the scene of the Battle of Franklin and the Carnton plantation in … well, Franklin, when my mom comes for a visit. And it’s going to double as a research trip for said Christmas novella.

#30 – Vacation on Prince Edward Island – I totally rented a car for our trip this week. And when my mom called me this weekend, the first thing she said was “three weeks, only three weeks!” 🙂

There you have it! I have 50 weeks to go. I better get myself in gear. 🙂 There is much to be done, but it’s going to be an exciting year!

Argh! and Guh!

I really believe that sometimes the only response I can have in a moment is Argh and/or Guh. Do you ever hit those situations where you’re completely aware that your brain cannot handle a better, more complete thought than “Guh”?

Yesterday I hit that moment and had that response for more than one reason at the same time.

Let me explain. I’ve recently made a new friend. (Yes, I’m in first grade.) His name is Mark Smeby. (Everyone say hi to Mark.*) Mark is sort of a jack of all trades kind of creative guy. Writing. Acting. Music-ing. So yesterday, we were chit-chatting away about this that and the other, and I mentioned to him how much I enjoyed the preview cd he’d given me of his forth-coming album Pilgrim Man. (Prepare for a Friday Favorite when it releases in September.) Mark has this smooth sound that just puts me in a place of peace with my eyes focused on God. So after I blamed him for getting one of his songs stuck in my head for the last 3 days, he sent me a rough cut of the last song the album: This World.

I listened to it, and pretty much all I could do was say Argh! And then I had a Guh! moment.

It’s such a beautiful song. Great, great lyrics about this world not being our home. So my Argh! moment was really a this-is-so-beautiful moment and I-could-never-do-that-in-a-million-years moment rolled up into one. A bit of jealousy. A bit of “hmmm.”

And then the Guh! hit me. Because I really heard the lyrics, heard the message. “This world is not my home. Just passing through.” And I was forced to ask myself a really rotten and oh-so-necessary question. Am I living like this world, this temporary earth is my home? Or am I living with heaven on my mind and heart? Am I yearning for things of this world or yearning for eternal, heavenly, godly things?

Sometimes, for me, just asking those hard questions gets me moving on a path to consciously living and acting like I should. The Bible is pretty clear about where are hearts and minds need to be focused.

Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Smeby.

*This remark in no way implies that the aforementioned will be joining us on the blog today. But should he stop by, then “Hi, Mark!”

A new author to watch!

As you all know by now, I like to keep my eyes and ears open for new authors for you all. And today, I’m happy to introduce you to K. Dawn Byrd, whose second book, Killing Time, releases from Desert Breeze this month.

Please join me in welcoming her!

How did you get started writing? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always been an avid reader. I feel a need to be creative, but am not good at arts and crafts. I tried oil painting, but wasn’t all that good at it either. When I began to release my creative outlet in the written word, I discovered my passion. 

What’s your new book, Killing Time, about?
Here’s the blurb from my publisher:
Mindy McLaurin, thinks it’s the end of the world when she’s incarcerated onkillingtimecoverart trumped-up embezzlement charges. While in jail, she investigates the death of an inmate who allegedly died of an overdose. Mindy suspects foul play when her cellmate dies and she learns that both women had ingested the same drug. Mindy trusts no one, including Drew Stone, the handsome counselor she can’t stop thinking about. She faces many challenges, including constant interrogation by the Major and emotional abuse from the other inmates. Upon release, someone is stalking her and framing her for the murder. Can she prove to Counselor Stone that she’s innocent of all charges before she loses him forever?

How did writing your second book compare to writing your first?
The second book was a lot faster, in part because I completed it during NaNoWriMo. My books were actually published out of order. Killing Time (Desert Breeze Publishing, August 2010) was the first book I’ve ever written and Queen of Hearts (April 2010) was the second. The second book was a lot easier because I’d learned a lot about the craft in between the two. I’m currently working on my fifth novel.

If you had a completely free Saturday with no commitments, no deadlines, and nothing planned, how would you spend the day?
That’s easy…I’d write all day. It’s not very often that I get that opportunity.
 
Is there anything you’d like to share with our readers today?
I want to thank those who bought Queen of Hearts during its debut month, making it the bestselling book for my publisher that month. You guys keep me writing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

How can they keep up with what you’re doing?
Please sign up to receive updates from my blog. I spotlight three to five inspirational authors there per week who give away signed copies of their books. www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com

Swing by her website and say howdy if you get a chance! And stop by Desert Breeze to learn more about this book!