Monday, May 24, 2010

a few of my favorite things...

Sundays are quickly becoming my favorite day of the week. Time to rest. Time to refill your well for what's to come. Time for the things you don't get to do the other six days. Somehow we managed to stuff some of my favorite things into one day...

A good book: I'm on chapter 7 of Ransome's Honor by Kaye Dacus. This is such a refreshing book as it deals with the British Royal Navy and has all the romance my favorite Horatio Hornblower series is missing. Go, Kaye! Can't wait for the next two - Ransome's Crossing and Ransome's Quest.

An amazing movie: Randy and I went to the matinee
of Robin Hood. I can't remember when I last saw a movie at the theater. This one reminded me of why I don't write medieval fiction. Lots of bloodshed and flying arrows and dirt and intimidation and raw living that makes you shudder. I loved it. And Russell Crowe. Oh. My. Word. Till now I've been immune to his charms but in this movie he had some irrisistible character qualities that had me wishing I was Maid Marian (who is no maid, BTW). In this role he is a true hero - loyal, brave, intelligent, intense, self-deprecating, capable, romantic, and of few words. Sigh. Move over William Wallace/Mel Gibson:)

A wonderful dinner (or supper as we say in the south): Last but not least, we went to dinner at Bella Italia on Port Angeles's First Street. You know, the restaurant where Edward and Bella had a tete-a-tete in the Twilight zone. Actually, I've never read the books, just pointed tourists to Forks, Washington.

Here's hoping you had a wonderful weekend, too.


  1. Sounds like a great weekend. I am ever so slightly jealous. ;) Though a good book was on the agenda for me. You simply must get your hands on Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest novel, A Hopeful Heart, her best TO DATE!!

  2. Casey,
    Oh you've piqued my interest here! I really like the cover of AHH and will have to get:) Thanks for the tip - we writers have to stick together! Glad a book was in your weekend. May there be many more...

  3. I LOVED this version of Robin Hood. I liked the fact that they explored the idea that women during that era had to be more active in their own protection rather than the Victorian ideal (when Marian originally appeared in the legend) of the "damsel in distress." And I adored the fact that both actors in the main roles are over the age of forty, just going to show that romance can happen at any age.

    To date, my favorite role of Russell Crowe's was as Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander. I don't know that Robin has usurped Captain Jack, but both characters have special places in my heart!

    (And writing one battle scene in Ransome's Crossing had me stuck for weeks/months last year. Now I'm faced with a couple of them in Ransome's Quest and only about six weeks in which to get it written. Which is why I'll never write medievals, even though that's one of my favorite eras for romance novels/movies!)

  4. Good to hear you enjoyed the movie too. Fun to see it on the same weekend. Wish we could have done so together. I took a longer than usual mental break this weekend. Started it on Friday, as a matter of fact! Makes for a slow-starting Monday, but that's okay. Got a foothold in the next chapter and that's all the expectation I placed on myself for today. Tomorrow's expectations are quite a bit higher.

    I enjoyed Ransom's Honor too. Just got back from the library with a new load of books. The Hemingses of Monticello just went into the CD player.

  5. Sounds like you had an invigorating weekend escape. I have to admit that Russell Crowe has never appealed to me but I guess I'll have to see if I'll change my opinion once I've seen Robin Hood.

    My weekend included muliple good books (I'm in illness recovery mode so I'm devouring my tbr pile. ack! It's nearly on empty!!!) Finished Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake and wasn't disappointed. I marvel at the woman's ability to approach each book in a fresh and interesting way. And her characters are so unique and at odds with their time. Love it. I've started Steadfast Soldier by Cheryl Wyatt and have settled into the heartfelt story with relish. She writes a love story that goes deeper than just romance, but the romance is fantastic.

    My movie was Fireproof -- first time I've seen it and can see what the fuss has been about. Very thought provoking...and you know I started thinking about ways to 'fireproof' my WIP. LOL.

    Alas no eating out for me this weekend, but I had lovely fresh veggies and have been living on salad since it's so hot. Blistering hot. Middle of August hot. Yuck.

  6. Laura, I'm glad you had a restful, restorative weekend. We all need times like that.

    I appreciate your take on the new Robin Hood. Every now and then I like to reward Gwynly for sitting through my romances by watching an adventure with him. Sounds like this would be a good choice. Action for him; romance for me.

    I had a good weekend. I attended my local RWA chapter meeting where Jeannie Reusch of Will Design for Chocolate presented an informative workshop on branding, accompanied Gwynly to a retirement party for a teacher colleague, and edited two chapters for a writer friend who is making so much progress that it warms my heart.

    I hope things are going well with your writing this week.

  7. Aw, that sounds like the best day! And as I'm hungry and *supposed* to be fixing dinner at the moment, your dinner sounds delish! How fun to get to step into the 'twilight zone' every now and then. From the movie, Port Angeles looked like a sweet sleepy town. I dont know if it was really filmed there?....

    By the way, I just pre-ordered Morrow. I am so excited! If I finish ol 'Sacajewea (this book is huge! I'm telling ya! I got a sunburn reading it outside yesterday!) I'll try to refresh myself with The Frontiersman's Daughter. Get myself all set to return to Kentucky :)

    Have a great writing week!~

  8. Happy Monday Laura!
    Your Sunday’s sound wonderful- what a great way to start the week! I love Sunday’s too because that’s usually when we’re all together. We start off with a wonderful church service (God ALWAYS know just what we need to hear to strength us for the week ahead) then we’re off to lunch (my favorite place is an Italian restaurant called Carrabba’s- they make the BEST chicken marsala w/ roasted garlic mashed ever!) then we usually come home and relax, sometimes with a movie or I with a book (I seem to be the only member of my family that got bit by the book worm :)). So, on Sunday’s we feed our spirits, our stomachs, and our imaginations ;)

    And I’ve read Kaye Dacus’s “Brides of Bonneterre Series” and thought it was really good, even though I love (and really only read) historicals. Although, another exception to my “historicals only” rule was Debroah Vogts “Snow Melts in Spring” and I can’t wait for book 2 in her Tallgrass Series called “Seeds of Summer”. Anyway, I’d definitely read Kaye’s “Ransome’s Trilogy Series” since they’re historicals and YOU recommended them ;)

    Gosh, I’m can’t wait to see Robin Hood! Russell Crowe is so, SO handsome!! He was made for roles like these :) Did you see Gladiator? He was great in that movie but everyone is saying he was better in this one :0 It certainly must be epic! And after your lovely detailed description I’m wishing I was cast as Maid Marian too :)

    How cute, we call it supper sometimes- although in RI we drop our “r’s” and replace them with “a’s” so when we say it it sounds more like “suppah” :) And why does just looking at a dish of pasta make me want to devour one myself? I wish you could lose weight by eating pasta ;)

    Amanda Stanley

  9. Sounds like you had a great weekend, Laura!

    I had a very good weekend as well. :D

    My parents sent me a birthday card, with money. I received it on Saturday, so I went shopping! I bought two pairs of crop pants and books with it.

    The books I bought were: "Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart" by Beth Patillo, "Simple Secrets" by Nancy Mehl, and "Love is Monumental" by Annalisa Daughety. Also, I had ordered the "The Spoils of Eden" by Linda Lee Chaikin from amazon and it was delivered on Saturday.

    I went to church Saturday night, and picked up my dinner from Bella Notte on the way back from church. I ended up not eating in. It was so crowded there. I had penne arrabiata, fried mozzarella, and of course the bread. It was a wonderful meal, and frankly other than a pack of crackers the only thing I had to eat all day.

    Yesterday, I picked up a cake at Kroger, and lunch from Qdoba. Then I just relaxed for the rest of the day.

    I watched Robin Hood the weekend it came out, and loved it! I really liked how it was the story before the legend we're all so familiar with. The romance was great, and I love political intrigue, so I really enjoyed that part of it too.

  10. Laura, you love Hornblower too? That is just awesome. I miss those TV films. And I am so, so happy you loved Robin Hood too! So glad you and Lori saw it this past would've been a blast to all go together, but oh well thank goodness for blogs!

  11. I wanted to see the movie before, but now I REALLY want to see it. I love Russell Crowe. He was such a hero in Gladiator. I can't wait to see what awaits in Robin Hood!

    Glad you and your hubby enjoyed a romantic date. Also glad you are enjoying a good book.

    After my first quarter reading marathon, I've hit a bit of a dry spell. My ADD is acting up and makes it difficult to concentrate. I checked out 3 books from the library and now I'm not interested in any of them, so I'm scouring my own shelves now for something that can grab my attention!

  12. Movies and books? That does sound like a wonderful weekend. Mine was graduation parties--fun in their own way.

    I love reading what everyone is reading. :)

  13. Glad you had such a nice weekend, Laura! I haven't made it to the movies in awhile, but your review just added Robin Hood to the list.

  14. LOL, Kaye’s here!
    Well, Kaye I really did enjoy your books! And after reading about the incredibly yummy sounding meal Michelle had Saturday from Bella Notte (gosh, I gotta come visit this place), it reminded me of what I first loved about your books- you wrote about food and you made it sound wonderful! I read the first few pages of “Stand-in Groom” on and thought, wow, I wish Palermo’s Italian Grill really did exist and I was joining Anne for that delicious meal! Michelle, you gotta check it out and you’ll know what I mean ;) S-iG was probably my favorite book of the series, and Anne was my favorite heroine, she was the kind of girl any girl would love for a best friend :) Kaye, it’s great to see you here and I can’t wait to read your Ransome Trilogy!!

    Amanda Stanley

  15. Kaye, I really, really liked the age factor here, too. 40 isn't dead - that's when it heats up:) I must confess that the battle scenes were so pitched that I sometimes couldn't follow and had to look to Randy for a quick translation. No keeping up with that Ridley! It is an awesome movie (the budget must have been Titanic-sized).

    My favorite RC movie is also Master and Commander and I write to the soundtrack. Such a well done movie. But I still lament the lack of romance in that one.

    One thing that has struck me about Ransome's Honor is how very well you describe action aboard ship even in conversation and I haven't even gotten to a battle scene yet! You reallly do a masterful job of making all that come to life. It must have been a daunting task researching. I'm thrilled I found your books! Thanks so much for stopping here - you add so much.

  16. Oh, Lori, I bet the Hemingses are great on audio. Let me know how that goes. My bookmark is stubbornly set at about page 50 in the book as I don't have time right now...

    Wish we could have gone to the movie together, too. Ruth could have told us when to cover our eyes:) Actually, I didn't have to do much with this one as it was pretty clean all the way around, except for a little bawdy humor I could have done without.

    I didn't have a very good writing day here either. Tomorrow, hopefully, like you:)

  17. Kav, I hope you have air-conditioning as you recuperate - or at least a big fan! Prayers with you all the way around. Your review of Letter Perfect perfect:) I read it today and enjoyed it very much. Mary here is a Hake fan, too.

    Fireproof is a must-see. I watched it last winter and wondered what all the fuss was about and am so glad I did. Wish they'd make more of those.

    Since some of my weekends are less than bloggable, it was fun to post about one that worked:) Bless you way up there. Send some of your heat our way, please!

  18. Keli, It's fun to hear what you've been up to in sunny CA. I actually think of you sometimes and wonder about that! Gwynly would like this movie if Randy was any indication. Never a dull moment. So well done all the way around. I hope you enjoy it though it's quite loud and rough. Since it's historically accurate I can tolerate that for some reason.

    Hoping this is a great writing week for you, too. Bless you for the warm thoughts:)

  19. Heather, Thanks so much for the pre-order!! Will be fun to see when Morrow arrives at your house. I admire you for keeping those pages turning on Sac:) Reading while sunburning is actually one of my favorite things to do (but oh so rare here).

    Port Angeles really is a sweet, sleepy town. I'll try to post a pic of the harbor soon as it is mind-blowingly beautiful:) I don't think the movie was filmed here or in Forks but there may have been some clips from here?

    Bless you, Heather, and enjoy all that art!

  20. Amanda, I can just imagine that you have a Rhody accent:) I went to college with mostly east coasters and got used to that. Love that Sundays feed your spirit, stomach, and imagination. Well said! And how funny that you got bit by the reading bug and no one else did! My husband isn't a reader either, though he does read my books.

    So good to hear from you and hear that you're a Dacus fan! Kaye is so prolific you never have to wait long for a book. Wonder if she could give me lessons?!

  21. Michelle, Thanks so much for sharing the details of your day. Love that! I thought of you this weekend and hoped it was as special as you wanted it to be. I can just imagine how crowded Bella Nottes was. Mom said it's been pretty hot there so that seems to bring everyone out.

    Fun to know what everyone is reading or hoping to read. I really need to get back to Linda Chaikin. I haven't read any of hers since my own pub. journey. She is a fine writer.

    And I think I'm going to be watching Robin Hood again because of the political intrigue. I missed some things that could be netted on a second viewing.

    Happy birthday again, dear friend. Till next time around:)

  22. Yes, Ruth, thanks to you or I wouldn't have even known the movie existed! Since I don't watch tv or read the newspaper, I am generally clueless and stuck in the 18th-c. I went back this morning and read your amazing review once again to make sure I hadn't missed anything:) So glad we met and you can keep me informed and enriched! Bless you.

  23. Mary, I think you will really like Robin Hood - George, too. Randy thought it was a little over the top violence-wise for the boys but I'm sure they'd disagree. Grandma took them to see How to Train Your Dragon or something like that.

    I need to see The Gladiator. Randy really liked that one. I loved him in A Beautiful Mind but found it very disturbing and sad as I worked in the mental health field all those years.

    Here's hoping that book drought will end soon! Been there, hate that:)

  24. Lorna, I love hearing what everyone is reading, too. I've picked up some wonderful finds that way. Soon we'll be discussing your book! Making Waves is about to make waves, pun intended:) I'm expecting a big splash and am glad to be along for the ride.

    Glad you get to rest a bit - well, next week after that deadline passes. You sure deserve time to put your feet up!

  25. Lisa, Yes, please see this one. It really is great inspiration and fodder for us writers:) I hope you're getting some great reading and writing time in. You are such a dear!

  26. Amanda, So glad you've found Kaye's books and enjoyed them so much. All this book talk is really a whole lot of fun:)

  27. sounds like a great weekend!! But can anyone really replace Mel Gibson in a kilt!!? Come on now!

    Then again, I haven't seen this version of Robin Hood. I really liked Kevin Costner back in the early 90's as Robin... so I'll have to see if Russell can outdo him...hmmm?
    I pretty much like anything Kevin Costner is in... or is it that I just like Kevin? maybe both.

  28. Lisa, Men in kilts are quite charming, huh? Looks like my next hero may be a Scot:) Move over Ian...

    Kevin Costner is a good actor. Randy and the boys were watching Silverado again a couple of nights ago - he's so funny in that one! I'm sure you've seen it.

    I have to hop over to your blog and see what you've been up to. When do your kids get out for summer? Don't answer. I'll go there now:) Bless you!

  29. Laura,
    I just recently read TFD from the library (I live in WV). I absolutely loved it, and didn't want it to end! I cannot wait to read Courting Morrow Little. I have been searching for a few good books to take to the beach this summer. I found your website yesterday and have really enjoyed it. I have written down so many books to consider... I'm so excited! Right now I'm reading Siri Mitchell's "Love's Pursuit." It's very good (She Walks in Beauty was too). Have you read Francine River's "Mark of the Lion" series... they are remarkable and unforgettable. I saw "Redeeming Love" on your list. I thought it was excellent, too. I also enjoyed Leisha Kelly (Tahn series, and Wortham Family and Country Rd Chronicle Series), Susan Meissner's "The Shape of Mercy", and the Beverly Lewis series "Abram's Daughters." The list could go on an on!!!
    Thank you so much for such a wonderful read (TFD) and a most interesting website. I definitely will visit often!

  30. Ashley, Welcome! I'm so pleased to meet you and hear you've finished Lael's story and liked it so much. Thanks so very much for that! Love the words, "didn't want it to end." I felt the same when I had to stop writing. I still miss them.

    Oh, you have me scrambling to add more books to my toppling pile:) Love that! I have read the Mark of the Lion series and couldn't put it down. I think it needs to go in my sidebar with Redeeming Love. And I am a huge Siri Mitchell fan. She sent me a supply of bookmarks and postcards and I got them just yesterday and felt gleeful as a little kid:) Love Pursuit is on my keeper's shelf and is one of my very favorite novels. I'm waiting for the library to get She Walks in Beauty back as I have it on hold. I may order it and offer it as a giveaway - but Siri's books are hard to give away!

    Thanks for the other book ideas. They all sound great. We seem to be kindred spirits as far as reading tastes:)

    A beach vacation sounds wonderful and I hope you find many books between now and then to take with you. Bless you, Ashley, and hope you come back soon!

  31. Late to the party this time! I loved hearing about your weekend - I have GOT to go see Robin Hood. That has been on my family's "list" since the first time we saw a preview of it. Saw Russell Crowe in "Gladiator," and it is definitely a must-see, Laura.

    Since my wireless router is STILL on the fritz, I've been reading like crazy! I just finished Judith Miller's "Postcards from Pullman" series, and brought home with me a Robert Whitlow book. My husband read "The List," and likened it to a Grisham novel. LOVED "Ransome's Honor," and am waiting anxiously for "Ransome's Crossing!" So many books, so little time...

    Hope your week is going as well as your weekend!!

    Oh! And I received the books by Dana Brown! Thanks! MORE books for my TBR pile!

  32. Hi Regina! Never too late:) Or is that, better late than never? Sorry about your router. Computer problems are one of my worst nightmares. But that only means more reading pleasure, like you said.

    Oh, can't wait to hear your impressions of Robin Hood. It is really quite a movie. I mistakenly read some bad reviews of it after I watched and ended up scratching my head. Guess movie reviews and book reviews are similar animals. No two quite the same!

    Yes, my weekend was wonderful. It makes up for all the leser ones I can't blog about:)

    So glad you got Dana's books. I always like to hoard them for winter reading by the fire. Something so inviting about that. Bless you and hope your week is a great one in Ky.

  33. PS: it was "dinner" in our house at my mom's table, but "supper" upstairs at my grandma's.

  34. Interesting, Lori. I'm wondering if you preferred dinner or supper upstairs? I still use supper for the evening meal, even in my books (hmmm, I hope I did in CML. I know I did in TCL).

    Speaking of supper, mine was way too big and I'm going for a little walk!