Saturday, December 24, 2005

Have you been Naughty or Nice?

I have to admit to being both this year. But I like to think I've been more nice than naughty, at least in real life. (I'll save the naughty for my writing:))

Merry Christmas to all! And may Santa bring you everything you deserve!

Here's where you can find the current lowdown on the big guy:

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Peter Jackson! Wow!

I used to want to be the Jodie Foster of Romance. I still love Jodie, but I have a new idol/mentor. Peter Jackson. The man is absolutely incredible. Not only does he look great (I think he's lost like a hundred pounds since he did Lord of the Rings) but he's hot! As evidenced by his before and after pics on the left.I love the way this man thinks.

I saw King Kong last week. It was one of the best movies I'd seen in a long time. It has everything. Great acting, great plot, beautiful cinematography, to-die-for (literally) action scenes and one of the best leading men in Hollywood (and I'm not talking about Adrian Brody) This makes 4 Holiday seasons in a row that Jackson has a blockbuster movie out. You just can't argue with that sort of success. Now I just have to figure out how to get published and hit the NYT best seller list 4 times in a row!

Hey, if you don't aim high, you'll never get anywhere. Right?

Which reminds me. If you haven't voted yet don't forget. Vote for The War Bride and help make me the Peter Jackson of Romance!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Round 2 starts today!

I'm happy to announce that the next round of the American Title 2 Contest starts today and I'm still in the running! I truly appreciate all the support and well wishes I've received from so many people. Without your help, I would never have made it to this second round.

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Jeanmarie Hamilton and Suzan Hyssen. These are two incredibly talented ladies and I hate that elimination is a part of this process, but I expect that good things will happen for them in the future. Remember their names!

This next round will be particularly grueling because the 3 contestants with the lowest votes will be eliminated. The featured blurb this round is a description of the story's hero and heroine. Here's mine from The War Bride:

Miles Mountkeefe lives a gentleman’s fantasy of danger and excitement as a British spy in the Napoleonic wars. But when his partner is murdered, Miles’s entire world crumbles and he charges himself with a single-minded mission: find the murderer. Getting his partner’s widow to cooperate is the key to his investigation; unfortunately, Tess Beauchamp has an agenda of her own. She might be the most beautiful woman he’s ever set eyes on, but he has no intention of letting anyone, or anything stand in his way… including his growing attraction for her.

Tess Beauchamp yearns to return to her homeland of Spain and right the wrongs of her past. When Miles Mountkeefe shows up on her London doorstep seeking her help in solving her husband’s murder, Tess realizes this is her golden chance. But Tess is guarding a secret she dare not reveal--and the last man on earth she trusts is the only man who can find her daughter.

To vote, please go to

Voting for Round 2 ends on January 1.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Is Microsoft the devil?

Warning: This blog is Christmas commercialism at its best.

I know it happened with the Cabbage Patch dolls. And it happened with Playstation. Now it's X-Box 360. The demand for Micosoft's newest game creation far outweighs the supply. Is this done on purpose? And why? Will holding back shipments of X-Box 360 create even more demand for it after the Christmas shopping rush? Or did Mircosoft make a mistake and not produce enough of these babies? Or... is there some techno glitch with the new X-Boxes they aren't sharing? Either way, the result is the same. Lots of techno-geeks (including my beloved 14 year old son) will go without the one thing they wanted most these Holidays.

My local Target store got 14 of them in for the After Thanksgiving sale, all of which went in the first few minutes the store opened, and have only gotten 2 in since. One local man was even stalked at the Walmart and mugged for his X-box 360. What's up with that? I have to ask myself, is Microsoft the devil or what?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Popcorn Time

One of the best things about the holidays (besides all the cheer and good will toward men, of course) is great flicks!

I admit it, I'm an entertainment ho. Movies, television, books, whatever the medium might be, I just love good stories. This holiday, I'm looking forward to the new SJP movie, The Family Stone. Besides my favorite Sex in the City gal, it's got a great cast, including Diane Keaton, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams, and that's just the chicks. We also get so see yummy Dermot Mulroney (maybe he can redeem himself from that awful "Wedding Date" movie) Luke Wilson and Craig T. Nelson (who always makes me laugh).

My pal Erin and I love to do movie reviews at work. We usually agree on the biggies, although I think I'm still the only woman in America who hated Steel Magnolias (Yes, Erin, you will never change my mind on that one). It will be interesting to see how we compare on films this Holiday.

Some of the other flicks I plan on seeing:

King Kong (I've heard Jack Black does an awesome job as the villain)

Fun with Dick and Jane (besides having a great title, it's got Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni to recommend it)

The Producers (a sorry substitute for the real thing on Broadway, but hey, it's better than nothing)

Memoirs of a Geisha (loved the book. Will be interesting to see if the movie does it justice)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Love Monkey!

I love that title. It's a book, yes, but it's also a new CBS show premiering January 17 starring one of my favorite actors, Tom Cavanagh. You might remember him as "Ed", one of the best TV shows of the last few years. Of course, since I loved Ed, it was cancelled (think Sports Night, another great show I loved that also got axed) I hope I don't curse Love Monkey, cause I'm already half in love with it and I haven't even seen an episode yet. The book has been heralded as "Sex in the City" for men. Gotta love that! It's going to the top of my Have to Read NOW list.

Here's a summary:

Tom Cavanagh (“Ed”) stars as Tom Farrell, a 30-something up and coming single record executive who’s navigating the tumultuous and highly amusing waters of work and dating in New York City in this new show based on the best-selling book by Kyle Smith.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Agh! It's over

I always love the end to Survivor. But I hate it, too. It means that the season is over and I have to wait for the next one. Those of you who are Survivor junkies understand this angst. This season was great. Lots of drama and laughs. As much as I made fun of Dudd, he was entertaining and I love to be entertained and he didn't let me down in the final tribal council.

But what I love best is when the person I want to win, does. Danni absolutely rocked. She played this game fantastically. Kudos to her. And shame on Rafe for making this anything other than what it is. A Game. Maybe you should have eaten the chicken, Rafe. Starvation does weird things to people. If you wanted to go to the Final 2, then you don't tell the person with the power to "do what they think is best." I have to wait till the end of January for it to begin all over again. Survivor, Panama, Exile Island. Sounds good, huh?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Bah! It's not the Curse!

Cindy, Cindy, Cindy! You gotta keep your eye on the big prize, baby! You were right about the curse. One day, someone will win the car and the money. But in a game where knowledge is power, unfortunately, you had none. Despite the fact that you were in the power alliance, you went to tribal council twice without knowing who was being voted out. You even commented on that. You knew you were out of the loop and when you were presented with the golden opportunity to get into the loop, you took the consolation prize instead.

Now, I agree, a brand new car is a very sweet consolation prize, but it's not a million dollars and it's not a hundred thousand dollars (which is what the runner up gets). The instant you picked the car for yourself, you were toast. Even my 12 and 14 year old knew that. We all sat around the living room shaking our heads.

The key to Survivor is knowing your opponents and you didn't. As Rafe said, if you had given him a car, he would have never voted you out. I think Danni and Lydia would have felt the same way, too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Talk about Hot!

Eden's Pleasure is my friend, Kate Pearce's first book and I have to tell you, it's fantastic! I'm not the only one who thinks so, either. Here's one of the reviews this fab book is getting!

Title: Eden’s Pleasure
Author: Kate Pearce
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 1-4199-0408-6
Reviewer: Francesca Hayne
Rating: 5 Stars
Heat level: O

After eight years in a horrendous marriage, Eden is ready to experience a little pleasurable freedom. After having been caught in a compromising situation with Gervase Harcourt, she’s ready to explore her deepest desires. When Gideon crosses her path to make amends for his part in her disastrous marriage, he promises to teach her the joys of passion. But once Gervase enters the picture, the fantasy of erotic, no strings attached exploration becomes difficult to live with when faced with the reality of her love for him.

This book truly moved me, making me feel an instant connection to the characters and leaving me empowered by the story. I really enjoyed the no-nonsense attitude Eden displays, as well as the compounding emotional turmoil that the situation creates. Any story that can drain me emotionally as well as sexually is rare indeed, and Eden’s Pleasure does both. Gervase has a challenging personality that I can’t help but feel an attraction to. He knows what he wants and doesn’t fail to take what he needs. This take-charge attitude is both desirable and shocking, not to mention devilishly sexy. There isn’t a moment in this whole novel that I didn’t sense a romantic and loving connection between the characters. They do things together to showcase their love, making their joy seem real. But the sex! Cool me down with a cold shower because these sex scenes are scorching hot. There is a bit of everything here, from sex toys to voyeurism and even a bit of ménage, and the story never slows or becomes dull. Overall, I greatly enjoyed Eden’s Pleasure and will be placing Ms. Pearce on my auto buy list.

Francesca Hayne
Just Erotic Romance Reviews

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I'm it!

What's "it", you ask? Remember in grade school when you chased each other on the playground and tagged people? You'd scream, You're it! Well, I've been blog tagged by Lucy. I'm supposed to come up with 15 things I like/feel about books.

MARIA's 15 myths on books:

1. It is essential to have a book with you at all times. It's like your wallet or your keys or your lipstick. You never know when you'll need it. TRUE!

2. Never judge a book by it's cover. FALSE. Unfortunately, a good cover makes a big difference. Not that a great book can't have a bad cover, but it's hard to get over it unless it's an author you already love.

3. Women who read romance have no love life. FALSE. Most women find that reading a good romance actually enhances their love life. That particular theory was scientifically tested by moi, btw.

4. Anyone can write a romance. Uh... FALSE. Sure, anyone can write any sort of book, but a good book is hard to write. Period. No matter what the genre.

5. Romance is just smut packaged up pretty for women. GRRRR... FALSE! Romance and Erotica are not smut. There's a big difference between Romance, Erotic and Pornography.

6. Julia Ross rocks. TRUE! If you love historicals and you've never read her, you need to.

7. Historicals are dead. FALSE. I refuse to believe that.

8. Westerns are dead. FALSE. Refuse to believe that, as well.

9. The best thing you can do for your child's education is to read to them every night as small childen, then encourage them to read for themselves as they get older. Well, duh! TRUE.

10. Maria's idea of a good date with her husband is: going out to dinner, then to a movie, then to the bookstore, where they each browse for about an hour, buy lots of books and have coffee, then go home and do none of your business. TRUE :-)

11. The best books make you both laugh and cry. TRUE. But it's hard to find those.

12. Nothing irks me more than a bad book that's been published. TRUE. I shouldn't have to explain that one.

13. The book is always better than the movie. TRUE.

14. The bigger the book, the better. Uhm... FALSE. That bigger is better theory only works for certain things. And it's not what you're thinking of, either!

15. The Great Gatsby is the finest book of the 20th century. FALSE. I've heard/read this many times. It's beautifully written, but I hate the characters. And for me, it's all about the characters.

Okay, so now I get to tag 3 unsuspecting victims. I think I'll tag some of my fellow American Title 2 finalists. Suzan, Ruth and Michele, you're it!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Et tu, Stephenie?

I don't know who was more surprised. Me or Dudd. You gotta hand it to Danni. She outwitted and outplayed. Now all she has to do is outlast. She's got a great chance to win this game if she she can get rid of Rafe. I love that girl!

But the biggest shocker tonight came from Steph. I thought she was smarter. Voting off her home boy was a big mistake. If Steph makes it the final two, Dudd is going to enjoy spilling Jersey girl's blood all over tribal council. It will be nasty, I guarantee it.

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