Best Christmas movies EVER

When you’re one of those people who start counting down to December 25 on January 2, making a top ten list of Christmas movies is a Herculean task. Nevertheless, after going back and forth with my Twitter friends over the past few weeks (“You’ve never seen WHAT?!”) I figured it was for the greater good.

So here, in no particular order, are my votes for the top 10 Christmas movies of all time. Or at least of my time. Please let me know what I’m missing out on. I’ve got room on the shelves!


Why: Umm, electric sex gleaming in the window. You’ll shoot your eye out. Triple dog dare. Fra-geee-lay. Ohhhh fudge. Pink nightmare. The Bumpuses’ dogs. I could go on forever. Whether you grew up in 1940s Indiana or 1980s New York, this nostalgic look back at one little boy’s childhood resonates with everyone. Why else would TBS air it on a 24-hour loop on Christmas Eve?



Why: SO many studios have tried to pull off the ensemble cast epic story, but no one comes remotely close to “Love Actually.” It’s the one movie that gets played every year in my house without even the slightest complaint about stale old traditions. It is heart-warming, funny, sweet, and has great comedic timing. Honestly, the trailer doesn’t even come close to capturing how good this movie is. If you haven’t seen it, just buy it. Continue reading


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Chick Lit for Christmas

Kenyon - ChickLit4Xmas 2014

A couple weeks ago, Twitter lit up with the hashtag #ChickLit4Xmas. I was thrilled to be a part of such a great movement, but life … alas … prevented me from posting to my blog as well! So please follow this link to the official #ChickLit4Xmas Pinterest page and pick up a book to snuggle with after the holidays!

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Take a peek inside my writing room — via Novelicious

My Writing Room picture - Kenyon
Sometimes it’s one-fingered on an iPad in the nursing chair. Sometimes it’s while tossing a ball for my dog in the back yard. Sometimes it’s on the kitchen counter, jotting a few sloppy words between recipe steps and lunging to reset my daughter’s baby radio every 49 seconds – to avoid a complete, non-cooking-related meltdown. And once in a while, on those rare days when everything actually goes according to plan, it’s in my home office while the little one slumbers and my dog curls peacefully at my feet. That’s the dream, anyway.

Right now, while working on the third book in my Desperately Ever After series, my “writing room” is wherever I can spare time for a thought and a scribble. That’s because in addition to being an author, I’m also learning how to be mother to a five-month-old girl and playmate to a woefully neglected (though really not at all!) tornado of a labrador named Shadow. Suddenly, two hands are a luxury and I’ve read The Little Engine That Could ten times for every chapter I’ve actually written. Who am I kidding? Every PAGE I’ve written.  Continue reading

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Celebration time!

Don’t miss the release party for Caching In, by Skipping Midnight vet Tracy Krimmer, tomorrow on Facebook! Looks like a good time all around ;)

FB Party to share

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Into the Woods trailer

Saw this on Thanksgiving and thought it looked AMAZING. One week later, cleansed of all the wine and tryptophan … I still do.

Coming Christmas Day. Have a peek ;)

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Holiday e-books and an autographed postcard to announce your gift

With Thanksgiving on Thursday and the infamous Black Friday coming right on its heels, it’s almost time to start assembling our holiday gift lists. What’ll it be this year? New slippers for mom? Golf gloves for dad? Three dozen ping pong balls for your college-age brother? (No paddles needed.)

Or how about a thoughtful selection of books you’ve chosen specifically for them? A selection you just know would replace their iPhone during the morning commute or fly to the top of the list on their Kindles.

Since you’re reading this, I’m probably preaching to the choir. But the right book isn’t just a pile of pages with an interesting graphic on the front. The right book can give someone an unforgettable adventure, make them fall in love, introduce them to lifelong friends, or change everything they thought they knew about, well, everything. Continue reading

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Free book alert: Swimming Upstream

Swimming Upstream coverFormer Skipping Midnight interviewee Ruth Mancini has a great offer going on that I felt it my literary duty to share. Her debut novel, Swimming Upstream, a finalist in the 2014 Kindle Book Awards, is free for Kindle on Amazon this week!


A brief summary:

“I once read that the end of a relationship is like being involved in a road traffic accident. Which is quite fitting really, given what happened.”

After seven years, Lizzie wonders whether she is truly happy with her long-term boyfriend. When one wrong step and a chance meeting set off an unexpected chain of events, her life starts breaking up. On the same day that she meets Martin, an attractive lifeguard, her old friend, Catherine, re-appears. But is Martin really all he seems? And what is the secret that Catherine is hiding? As Lizzie struggles to confront the ghosts of her past, can she survive the shocking twist that will change the course of her future?

Swimming Upstream is a life-affirming and often humorous story about getting over a relationship breakup. It is also a story about female friendship, love and divided loyalties – and the moral choices we find ourselves making when the chips are down.


If I didn’t already own a copy, I’d definitely pick one up. Follow the links below to snag yours:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Bonus: Click here to read Ruth’s interview from earlier this year.

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Just had to share – fairytale figurines

Blog - Disney characters

Someone very special picked these up for me the little one a few weeks ago. Talk about a perfect addition to her nursery … since that’s where I tend to do 90 percent of my work these days anyway!

Can’t wait to watch her spin her own stories with them someday ;)

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November 10, 2014 · 12:41 PM

Best Halloween films for wussies (like me!)

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /

I have a confession to make. I’m a wuss. Not when it comes to roller coasters, thrill rides, or soaring around Hawaii in a doorless helicopter, mind you. But put me in a haunted house and I might clock some poor 15-year-old “zombie” in the jaw … while screaming at the top of my lungs and flinging metal props to aid in my escape.

Yet despite all that, I love Halloween. I love the colors, the fanfare, and the ability to embrace some inner wild side for a day and not care what anyone thinks. (So yes, the same reason your nice muffin-baking neighbor is reading 50 Shades of Grey … again.) That said, I could do without the psychopaths in hockey masks. And the pea soup vomit. And the creepy  children with long black hair who move like spiders and climb out from abandoned wells.

That’s why my top Halloween movies* are the fun-creepy kind. The kind you watch with friends, quote at random times, and follow with a good night’s sleep. They aren’t necessarily for kids — just kids at heart. So grab a bowl of candy corn, pick a number, and enjoy:


Why: I’ve never forgotten that sizzling rendition of “I Put a Spell on You.” The bully situation is SO early ’90s (he calls the hero “Hollywood” and is somewhat obsessed with his sneakers). It has the only CAT I’ve ever actually liked. I still want dress up as part of the Sanderson trio someday (any volunteers?). And Bette Midler’s lips in this are just, like, Wow.



Why: It’s a musical for people who detest musicals. It’s extremely clever. It takes two polar opposite holidays and fits them together perfectly. There’s something about Tim Burton. And the animation is entertaining on its own.



Why: Tim Curry in fishnet stockings and a bustier. Plus, the Time Warp is extremely catchy; you’ve been warned.

Continue reading

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Filed under Distractions, Hollywood, Misc

Eric Wilder of The Grimm Report is in the house! And he’s got a new book!

I HumptyWhat if Humpty Dumpty didn’t actually fall from his infamous wall, as we’ve all been led to believe … but jumped? What Rumpelstiltskin’s “straw-to-gold” scandal landed him on the wrong side of the law? What if TMZ didn’t report on inebriated celebrities, but the marital mishaps of fairy tale icons like Beauty and her feral spouse?

As a huge fan of The Grimm Report — Eric Wilder’s mock-tabloid website that satirizes popular fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and folk tales — I’m extremely excited about his new book, I, Humpty (available now at Amazon). Eric’s here today to talk about it, answer some questions, and give one lucky reader an autographed print copy of the new release. Enjoy!


1. What can readers expect from I, Humpty? 

I, Humpty is a collection of mock-tabloid satire that marries the reality of everyday life with popular elements from fairytales, folklore, and nursery rhymes. Rejoice with the Beast as Belle grants him permission to convert the den into a man-cave. Learn why the third little pig grows weary of his live-in brothers. Follow the courtroom drama of Rumpelstiltskin’s indictment in the Straw-To-Gold Scandal. I, Humpty covers all of these stories and more.

The articles within I, Humpty were selected from a website called The Grimm Report, a fake news site featuring fairytale/current event mashups to celebrate the absurd. Creating a book gave me an opportunity to expand on some ideas I had. I invite you to take a look at the results.


2. How did The Grimm Report and its mock-tabloid stories come about?

A couple of years ago I took a creative writing class at a local literary institution as an extracurricular diversion. One evening my instructor challenged students to take well-known characters in the public domain and reinvent them. That week I had come up with an elaborate story, detailing on how Humpty Dumpty hadn’t merely fallen off the wall. Instead, he was a crazed thrill-seeking daredevil who jumped. Continue reading


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