Category Archives: Distractions

Twelve romance movies to watch over … and over … again

A few weeks ago, I somehow found myself stuck on the couch with nothing in reach but my phone and the TV remote. (Nursing moms will understand this.) Ordinarily at a time like this, I’d wind up losing myself on the web, clicking on news stories I shouldn’t, and filling online carts I’d never actually check out.

But this night, I told myself I deserved a break. I deserved to get lost in a good movie … but not one that required too much attention. What I wanted was something familiar, something that would make me smile, something that would take my worries far away and keep me company like an old friend. So scrolled down to “Leap Year” and spent the next two hours with Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, and a countryside full of jaunty Irish brogues. 

We all could use that sort of mental escape every so often. It’s like visiting a spa that works on your psyche instead of your pores. So this Valentine’s Day, I’m posting a list of the top romantic movies I could watch over and over. (In other words, while I think “An Affair to Remember” is a fantastic movie, it’s a little too heavy for this list.)

Please feel free to leave comments below. I’d love to hear what you think.

Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂


This is one of those typical girl meets boy, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl fall in love deals. But the humor and the actors make it so much more than that. Seeing the Irish countryside is an added bonus.


I can’t let a single Christmas pass without watching Love Actually. It shows love in almost every situation imaginable. And unlike the vast majority of ensemble movies, you’ll never forget this one.


I still remember the first time I saw this movie. I was in Cape Cod with my cousin, and the theater somehow managed to stretch the film so that it looked as if John Goodman was playing Sandra Bullock’s body double. But I’ve loved both her and Bill Pullman for decades, and am pretty sure it’s a love that will last a lifetime. Continue reading



Filed under Distractions, Hollywood

Gilmore Girls update: It’s really happening!

I thought the cover reveal for Skipping Midnight was the most exciting thing I was going to post about this week but … the “Gilmore Girls” revival trailer is here!

One of the best shows ever made, in my humble opinion. Funny, topical, quirky, sexy (well, Dean was sexy anyway) … it almost makes me consider the name Lorelai for my next baby. Almost.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or only recognize Lauren Graham from “Parenthood” (shaking my head in shame), it’s worth a peek. Personally, I think it looks FANTASTIC and absolutely can’t wait until November 25! 

P.S. Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section. Sadly, my dog and toddler don’t have much of an opinion on the matter…

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Best Halloween films for wussies (like me!)

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.

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Filed under Distractions, Hollywood, Misc

What’s Your Patronus?

There’s never a bad time for Harry Potter, in my opinion, but October has got to be the best. With neighborhood lawns already filling up with witches, ghosts, goblins, and all sorts of spooky … what better time for a Patronus Charm?

Thanks to M’s Bookshelf and  Sky’s Book Corner for finding this neat little quiz that predicts what your unique magical guardian would look like. A cat? A horse? A phoenix? I apparently share the latter with Dumbledore. Can’t go wrong with that!

Click here to find out yours!


Filed under Distractions, Hollywood, Misc

Once Upon a Time returns!


(Warning: This post may contain spoilers from season 3!)

Summer may be the season of leisure, but there’s something truly magical about autumn. The kaleidoscopic carpet of red and yellow leaves. The smell of stripped earth. The early sunsets. The brisk nights. And the return of our favorite TV shows.

This year, however, winter descends early as the fourth season of Once Upon a Time returns with a new face in tow: Elsa from Disney’s hit film, Frozen. Will the cursed Snow Queen play a villain? A hero? A romantic rival to the long-awaited and much-celebrated “Captain Swan?”

What’s more, will the Evil Queen slide right back into her old ways now that her flame’s wife is back? Now that yet another “happily ever after” has been yanked from her grasp?

Many questions hung in the air as season 3 ended in May. Thankfully, the answers will finally start coming tonight!

Reminder: The drawing for a Once Upon a Time DVD (season 1) and a signed copy of Damsels in Distress (Book 2 in the Desperately Ever After series) ends at midnight (EST) Sunday, September 28. Click here to enter


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Yes, there is good in the world

Despite my résumé, I’m not a huge fan of today’s media. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there aren’t loads of wonderful, ethical, idealistic journalists out there who want to make a real difference in people’s lives. In truth, this is probably the case more often than not, but they’re usually not the people who hold the purse strings. And those who do, unfortunately, seem to believe that sensationalized violence sells better. That evil should be slapped under a microscope and analyzed and theorized and replayed and dissected to the point where it’s absurd. That the monsters deserve more attention than the martyrs … because human beings are innately fearful … and that is an easy quality to exploit.

But I could go on about this forever and get nowhere. (As many, many others have done.) So instead, I’d like to share some of the sites I found last weekend, after I wiped CNN from my bookmarks and went on a search for “positive” news. They might just help you remember that for every horrible thing that happens in the world, there are a million other reasons to smile.

1. The Good News Network: This site gathers stories from around the globe. In addition to categorizing its stories by region, the Good News Network also makes it easy to find whatever your aura needs at the moment–be it cute pets, a good laugh, or a hero. Continue reading

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Do you believe in 398.2?

Do you still believe in fairy tales? Do you understand the meaning of “live like there’s no midnight?” If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Imagining what happened to our most beloved fairy tale princesses after true love’s kiss, the Amazon #1 bestselling Desperately Ever After series combines “Game of Thrones” with “Desperate Housewives and adds three heaping cups of Brothers Grimm.

Have you ever wondered how Cinderella would feel 10 years down the road, when her iconic ball gown no longer fit and she was an overextended mother of four? Or how long it would take “Beast” to return to his old, wolfish ways once he regained his good looks? Or what kind of man finds a comatose woman in the woods and decides to kiss her?

Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, the Desperately Ever After series takes a whimsical look at “happily ever after.” With laughter, wine, and a new take on old-fashioned chivalry, these friends see each other through life’s trials one secret at a time.

Like us, the characters struggle with family, kids, career, regret, magical watch lists (okay, maybe not 100% like us), friendships, and … especially … men. It’s a little bit fantasy, a little bit chick lit, and a whole heck of a lot of fun.

WARNING: It is worth noting that, while I have always been a fan of Disney, this series draws from the original fairy tales and my imagination. As such, there are no singing crabs, no flirtatious candelabras, and no Gaston. Belle’s father was a bankrupt merchant (not a beloved inventor), and Sleeping Beauty’s awakening may not have been as romantic as we’ve been led to believe.  I say this both to widen horizons and to ensure my fellow Disney-lovers that this series in no way aims to undo those animated “happily ever afters.” It simply aims to provide a few laughs, question what “happily ever after” means in real life, and present a different interpretation of how these centuries-old stories may have panned out.

This necklace, offered by Newartpendants on Etsy, features one of my favorite sayings. The number 398.2 corresponds to the folktales, fairytales, and fables section of the library.

If you’d like to do a little background reading, please see the following:

• Cinderella by Charles Perrault
• Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bête) by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, as well as its adaptation by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont
• Rapunzel by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
• The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood by Charles Perrault, as well as its earlier inspiration, Sun, Moon, and Talia by Giambattista Basile
• The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen
• Snow White by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1812)
• The Story of a Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Additional tales mentioned in passing: Charles Perrault’s Bluebeard; Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid; and the Grimm brothers’ The Robber Bridegroom, Hansel and Gretel, and The Golden Goose

Now available in print, e-book, and AUDIO!!








Check out this new line of Disney Toms, so far featuring Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and now Snow White.

I wonder who’s next. Penelopea perhaps? 😉

Use this link to save $20 off a $75 order




“Laura Kenyon makes happily ever after desperately delicious!”
New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Evanovich

“If you are looking for a fun and gossipy story to satisfy the holes left when Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives had their series finales (or even if you’re going through Once Upon a Time withdrawal come season finale time) look no further than Desperately Ever After.
~ Chick Lit Central

“At times laugh-out-loud funny, and at times very touching, Desperately Ever After is the debut of a real talent.”
~ Elizabeth Blackwell, author of While Beauty Slept

“An explosive cocktail that will have you laughing out loud and wanting more and more!”
~ Lost in Chick Lit

Have you ever wondered how Cinderella would feel 10 years down the road, when her iconic ball gown no longer fit and she had four kids, a billion royal duties, and a husband who was never ever around? Or how long it would take “Beast” to return to his old, wolfish ways after Belle broke his curse? Or what kind of man finds a comatose woman in the woods and decides to kiss her?

Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, the Desperately Ever After series takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss. With laughter, wine, and a new take on old-fashioned chivalry, these friends see each other through life’s trials one secret at a time.

From infidelity to aging. From deferred dreams, lost loves, and the pressures of family life. The books are about a group of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.




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Disney Couples Therapy

Infidelity. Secrets. Problems with the in-laws. A sex life on the rocks. Oh, and fairy tales. Sound familiar?

Yes, this description fully applies to Desperately Ever After. But it’s also the premise of a series of short videos called Disney Couples Therapy.

The three-minute clips show Disney’s versions of Sleeping Beauty, Belle, the Little Mermaid, and Snow White hashing it out with their romantic counterparts well down the road. They are downright hopeless compared to Desperately Ever After, and show only the couples (no girl talk here!), but fans of the book series may find them clever and definitely worth a laugh.

It’s perfect timing too, because Damsels in Distress (D.E.A. book #2) actually has a marriage counseling scene between Sleeping Beauty and her husband. Look for that August 20. But in the meantime, exercise your funny bone for a few minutes and enjoy these clips:

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Filed under Desperately Ever After, Distractions, Fairy Tale Spin-offs, Hollywood, Misc

Word Crimes

Let me start by saying I’m not a fan of Robin Thicke. But when I heard “Weird Al” Yankovic’s parody of “Blurred Lines” (which, depending on your gender, you may or may not detest), I just couldn’t help but share it. Yes, Thicke’s beat is catchy, but it’s Weird Al’s rant against countless “Word Crimes” (“I could care less” has always driven me nuts, as has the misuse of “its” and “it’s”) that really hooked me.

So for all you fellow grammarians out there … even if you get a little lax every so often … enjoy:


Filed under Distractions, Writing Process

Fun for Friday: Fairy tale cocktails

While I still can’t partake for another few months (sigh), I simply HAD to share this fantastic post from Fairy Tale News.

Inspired by Disney heroes, heroines, and villains, Washington-based Cocktails by Cody has been creating a line of “Fairy Tale Cocktails” that, I think, look absolutely AMAZING. Instead of a handsome prince, I’ll probably be dreaming of the Evil Step Mother tonight. Chocolate vodka, chocolate liqueur, and pomegranate juice. ::Flutter::

Click on the link above for the full article and links to Cocktails by Cody’s Facebook page.

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