Summer Doings, Thermometer Pets & Classic Movie Junkie


“I just got to feel that whoever I marry has some real regard for me, aside from all that lovin’ stuff.”

From Bus Stop, 1956, 20th Century Fox


Thermometer Cat

Ah, summer. It’s my favorite time of year. But, yeah, it’s hot. I know it’s too hot when Thermometer Cat tells me I don’t have the A.C. cranked up high enough. Here’s how it works.

When the temperature is correct, Thermometer Cat looks like this.

1_Temp Correct - Copyrighted Photo

Temperature Correct

1_Temp Incorrect- Copyrighted Photo

Temperature Incorrect

When the temperature is incorrect, she looks like this…

Low Tech. But accurate.

Other Summer Doings…

1920s Fiction -It Had to Be You

As promised, I’ve fallen off my blogging schedule (if ever I had a schedule). I’ve been staying busy with family coming to visit, working at the paying job and writing and, yes, goofing off. For example, check out my new Pinterest board “Vintage Fashion – ‘20s and ‘30s”,  an It Had to Be You – inspired board. Let me know what you think. Dang, but pinning is time-sucking fun!

Mini Vacay

Summer is for hitting the road. The hub and I have an anniversary this summer, so we’ll be heading out for a day trip to Inner Harbor, Baltimore to “do-over” one of our first dates. As I recall, we got rained on while waiting in an excruciatingly long line at the aquarium. I spent the rest of the day wearing soggy clothing and bad hair. I was convinced this guy–who I thought was sorta cute–would never ask me out again. He doesn’t remember it that way. That’s romance. :)

How’s your summer? Any thermometer pets at your house? A singing iguana? Color-changing poodle? Any mini vacays planned?

Classic Movie Junkie

Speaking of time-sucking fun, there’s a plethora of classic movie gems on TCM this month. Here are just a few on my July watch list…

Saturday July 12

1_Eileen_Heckart,_Marilyn_Monroe_and_Don_Murray_in_Bus_Stop_trailer_18:00 pm   Bus Stop (1956)  Comedy/Romance. TCM. An exuberant but naïve rodeo cowboy won’t take no for an answer when he decides he wants to marry a struggling saloon singer.  Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray.

Why?  Monroe’s performance as down-on-her-luck saloon singer Cherie is funny, sweet heart-tugging and, possibly, the best of her career. Match that with Don Murray’s oddly engaging film debut as the gorgeous but not too bright rodeo cowboy “Bo” who falls madly in love with her at first sight.

The romance builds gradually and unpredictably and is refreshingly complicated on Monroe’s part for what is basically a light  rom com.  Don’t miss this five-star gem.

Sunday July 13

 6:00 pm   Dial M for Murder (1954) Thriller/Mystery. TCM.A husband’s plot to murder his straying wife takes an unexpected turn when she killsDial M for Murder Movie Poster his hired assailant in self defense. Ray Milland, Grace Kelly.

Why?  Clever, clever, clever. Ray Milland is so superb as the suave, conscienceless, patient-as-a-spider murderous husband that we easily forgive the ever-beautiful Grace Kelly for her marital straying. Still, it’s the twists and turns of this shell-game of a plot that make this Hitchcock classic worth more than one view.

Sunday July 27

 256px-Glenn_Ford_-_19552:00 pm   Blackboard Jungle (1955) Drama TCM. An idealistic new teacher is confronted with the hard realities of juvenile delinquency when he takes a job at an inner city boys high school. Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Vic Morrow, Sidney Poiter.

Why? Parts of this movie are dated but most of it translates very well, thanks to Ford’s understated performance. His portrayal of crusading teacher Richard Dadier—an ex-vet who comes to his first teaching job idealistic but no saint—is nuanced and real.

Sidney Poitier fans: Poitier was too old to be cast as a student in this film, but he still owns every scene he’s in—a treat to watch.

Trivia Corner

Bus Stop marked the film debut of Marilyn Monroe Productions as well as actress Hope Lange, who later married leading man Don Murray. The making of the movie was infamously difficult. Lange later stated about Monroe, “She may have put everyone through hell, but the end result was extraordinary. She’s wonderful in the film.” For more  on the making of Bus Stop, check out AMC’s Backstory: Bus Stop on Youtube.

Dial M for Murder (based on a stage play) has been remade more than once. Check out 1998’s A Perfect Murder, starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Blackboard Jungle featured a little-known rock and roll ditty called “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. It was a year-old “B-side” song that had already faded into obscurity.  Suddenly it rocketed to #1 on the Billboard charts. And the rest is history. :)

Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.

Have a great month!

Photo credits:

Dial M for Murder movie poster – Bill Gold [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Glenn Ford – By Columbia Pictures (eBay) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bus Stop – By Trailer screenshots (Bus Stop trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It Had to Be You cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Thermometer Cat – Copyright © Delynn Royer

Catch as Catch Can and Classic Movie Junkie

Bogart and BacallVivian: You go too far, Marlowe.
Marlowe: Those are harsh words to throw at a man, especially when he’s walking out of your bedroom.

From The Big Sleep, 1946, Warner Brothers

Catch as Catch Can

I see the writing on the wall. Summer is wrecking my Sunday blogging schedule. Something to do with it being all sunshiny on the weekends. Talk about distractions. So many things to do, people to see, yard sales to investigate, fields to romp in…

So, I’m cutting myself a break from blog-guilt and setting up an official Catch as Catch Can Summer Blogging Schedule. This means I may or may not be popping up weekly. Or bi-weekly. Or not. Or… possibly on a day other than Sunday. (Holy cow! All this craziness is making me feel devilish. I may dash out to the mailbox without my sunscreen. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

So, what guilt-inducing “should” thing are you taking a vacation from this summer?  Think about it… ;)


I’d be remiss in the Shameless Self-Promotion Department if I didn’t mention a lovely review that popped up earlier this month on BOOK BABE  for my 1920s romantic mystery IT HAD TO BE YOU.  The comment that made me smile the most? “It’s like Nancy Drew in the twenties…”

BROKEN VOWS is on Prime!

Historical Western Romance

There was more to that handsome gun than she wanted there to be…

In other news, BROKEN VOWS the ebook is on Amazon Prime. That means, Prime members can borrow it for free. This one’s my best seller to date—a sensual marriage of convenience western set in 1870s Texas. Here’s the link. (So, go grab it. Go now. I’ll wait.)

<Elevator music…>

<More elevator music…>

Back?  Good. :)

Speaking of fun distractions, I got to visit recently with talented authors Karen Rose Smith and Natalie J. Damschroder at a booksigning event.

Karen was signing her brand new cozy mystery—the second in her Caprice De Luca series—DEADLY DÉCOR. Natalie was featuring three of her contemporary romantic adventure titles, ACCEPTABLE RISKS, BEHIND THE SCENES, and FIGHT OR FLIGHT.

If you’re looking for some entertaining summer reads, look no further. You won’t be disappointed!

Classic Movie Junkie

Yep, it’s summer, but there is such a thing as a rainy day. Here are two classic movie picks for this week if you’re not out barbecuing or sunning by the pool.

Sunday June 15

 Poster_of_the_movie_The_Courtship_of_Eddie's_Father3:45 pm   The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963) Romantic Comedy/Drama. TCM. The precocious young son of a widower plays matchmaker.  Glenn Ford, Shirley Jones, Ronny Howard.

Why?  This is the less well-known movie (based on a book) that inspired a popular TV series that aired from 1969 to 1972. (Got that?) Ronny Howard steals this show. He was at the height of his kiddie cuteness and a darn good child actor—both funny and heart-rending as the motherless Eddie Corbett.

Glenn Ford and Shirley Jones play the newly widowed Tom Corbett and the divorced girl next door, both of whom are afraid to risk their hearts for a new love.  Family-friendly viewing.

 Friday June 20

 9:30 am   The Big Sleep (1946) Film Noir/Mystery/Romance TCM. Private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy retired A_Humphrey_Bogart_in_The_Big_Sleep_trailer (1)general to pay off his daughter’s blackmailer. He stumbles instead into a puzzling case of murder. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers.

Why?  The twisting-turning mystery is secondary in this five-star classic. This is a Hollywood-sanitized Hays Code version of Raymond Chandler’s detective novel, The Big Sleep, but it makes up for what’s glossed over with clever Chandleresque dialogue and smart romantic chemistry. Witness Bogie and Bacall burn up the screen without removing a stitch. Excellent from start to finish.

Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.

Have a great week!

Photo credits:

Bogart and Bacall – By Warner Bros. [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Courtship of Eddie’s Father – Reynold Brown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bogart – By Trailer screenshot Licencing information : and (The Big Sleep trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Early Summer Greetings and Classic Movie Junkie

Susan:     You’re angry, aren’t you?Bringing Up Baby
David:     Yes, I am.
Susan:     The love impulse in men frequently reveals itself in terms of conflict.
David:     Excuse me… the what impulse?
Susan:     The love impulse.

From Bringing Up Baby, 1938, RKO Radio Pictures

Classic Movie Junkie

Greetings on this first day of June! While I know the official start of summer has to do with that solstice thingy, I’ve declared it summer at my house, where the season changes on the day my toenails are buffed and painted and ready for public display.

WedgeHeelEt … VOILA!  

Well, um, yes. What we are looking at here is actually a foot double, but it’s strikingly close to the real thing except that my nail polish is pink, my ankle is thicker, my arch isn’t as pronounced, my toes aren’t as straight, and I would probably break a bone if I tried to walk in a wedge heel as sleek as this.  But otherwise… don’t my toes look cool? :)

Ladies, are your toes ready for summer? Don’t be embarrassed if they aren’t, just get them on the calendar pronto and let your summer begin!

 Writerly Update

Book GoodiesIf you’re a  reader or an indie author, check out BookGoodies, a site for readers and authors to find each other, lots of bargain books, and more. My BookGoodies Author Interview is HERE.

Also, It Had to Be You is on Mystery Reads where I was asked what inspired me to write a new romantic mystery series. I think my answer had something to do with my love for mystery, romance and classic cinema. (What else?)

Which brings us to this week’s Classic Movie Junkie picks!

Sunday June 1

Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.

2:15 pm   Laura (1944)  Film Noir/Mystery. TCM.  A homicide detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is Gene Tierney in Laurainvestigating.  Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb.

Why?  Romantic film noir gold with a cool twist. Bogart set the cinematic standard for the Cynical Private Eye in films like The Maltese Falcon. Dana Andrews set a similar standard for the Cynical Homicide Cop in Laura. Gene Tierney is the film’s ethereally beautiful namesake, and Clifton Webb turns in an Oscar-nominated performance as her egotistical mentor.

Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby

8:00 pm   Bringing Up Baby (1938)  Screwball Comedy Romance. TCM.  A strait-laced zoologist’s endeavors to land a million dollar donation for his museum go haywire when he meets a madcap heiress and her pet leopard.  Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant.

Why?  A flop when it was first released, this film is now considered one of the best screwball comedies ever made. For me, it’s all aces, but it comes in a tad behind my other favorites—My Man Godfrey, Twentieth Century and His Girl Friday.

Hepburn is a treat to watch, not only because she’s so inherently charismatic but because she’s still finding her feet. This is one of her earliest comedies, and her learning curve shows in some scenes. As for Grant, he came to his role as the exasperated, bespectacled Professor Huxley with his tone and timing all ready to roll: “Susan, when a man is wrestling a leopard in the middle of a pond, he’s in no position to run.”  All fun. :)

Tuesday June 3

 Cropped_Natalie_Wood_19662:00 pm   Sex and the Single Girl (1964) Comedy/Romance. TCM. A sleazy tabloid journalist sets out to expose a famous female sex expert as a virgin. Natalie Wood, Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, Lauren Bacall.

Why?  This is strictly for diehard Natalie Wood fans (such as moi). Goofy early-60s kitsch. Natalie Wood lets her hair down as prissy bestselling “sex-pert” Helen Brown, and Tony Curtis is uber-gorgeous as womanizing tabloid journalist Ben Weston.  Lauren Bacall and Henry Fonda put in entertaining performances in supporting roles that are well beneath their combined star power.

Trivia Corner

What? No Doggy Oscars?

If the dinosaur bone-swiping, leopard-wrassling pooch George in Bringing Up Baby looks familiar, it’s no wonder. That’s Skippy—also known as Asta from two of The Thin Man movies. Skippy also slam-dunked the meaty canine role of Mr. Smith in the Irene Dunne/Cary Grant comedy The Awful Truth.

Have a great week!

Photo credits:

Delynn’s foot double – By glitter heels [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
Gene Tierney- By Trailer screenshot (Laura trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Bringing Up Baby – By RKO Radio Pictures (work for hire) ([11]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Bringing Up Baby – By Trailer screenshot Uploaded by Lobo512 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Natalie Wood – By Movie Studio (eBay) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Classic Movie Junkie… Memorial Day Week Picks

Dana_Andrews_in_Best_Years_of_Our_Lives_trailer“You know, I had a dream. I dreamt I was home. I’ve had that same dream hundreds of times before. This time, I wanted to find out if it’s really true. Am I really home?”

The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946, RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

Classic Movie Junkie … is back!

It’s been a busy spring—the April release of IT HAD TO BE YOU, a manuscript for the second book in the series to polish, a writing retreat and more.

The result is, there’s been precious little time for the Classic Movie Junkie in me to get her fix, but with manuscript revisions now behind me and a three-day Memorial Day weekend to contemplate what my next project will be, it seems a great opportunity for the Classic Movie Junkie to scope out some films with a military theme to pay tribute to our veterans.

So here are two classic film picks for the week—one to make you smile and another to make you sniffle (and then cheer)!

Sunday May 25

 256px-Andy_Griffith_19628:00 pm   No Time for Sergeants. (1958)  Comedy. TCM.  A sunny-natured country bumpkin is drafted into the Air Force where he proceeds to drive everyone crazy.  Andy Griffith, Myron McCormick, Nick Adams.

Why?  Great art? Maybe not. But dang fun. Andy Griffith demonstrates the acting and comedic range that would soon transform him into a TV icon. Be prepared, though. He’s not the straight man in this goofy comedy. His performance as hayseed Will Stockton is over the top.  Think Gomer Pyle before there was a Gomer Pyle. (Complete with “Gawl-awl-eee!”) And Forrest Gump before Forrest Gump.

Myron McCormick almost steals the show as Griffith’s long-suffering sergeant and Nick Adams plays off Griffith perfectly in his role as Griffith’s brainier but nervous sidekick. No Time for Sergeants is sweet, clean, broad 1950s humor.

 Monday May 26

10:30 pm   The Best Years of Our Lives. (1946) Drama. TCM. Three service men struggle to re-connect with their civilian lives and the women who love them after they return home from World War II. Myrna Loy, Frederic March, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Harold Russell. Cathy O’Donnell.Fredric_March_in_Best_Years_of_Our_Lives_trailer

Myrna_Loy_in_Best_Years_of_Our_Lives_trailer_closeupWhy?  Well-written, well-acted and beautifully executed, The Best Years of Our Lives took—count ’em–nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Frederic March and Myrna Loy head an ensemble cast as long-married couple Al and Millie Stephenson. Dana Andrews is superb as returning flyboy Fred Derry. Teresa Wright and Cathy O’Donnell give lovely understated performances, and real-life service-disabled vet Harold Russell remains the only actor to win two Academy Awards for the same performance—Best Supporting Actor and an honorary award for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans.

Warning: Settle in and get comfortable for this one. Playing time is 2 hours 51 minutes. And keep a tissue or two  handy.

Trivia Corner

Don Knotts teamed up for the first time with Andy Griffith in No Time for Sergeants. He appears for only moments in a minor role as an anal-retentive “Dexterity Testing Officer,”  but each one of those moments is pure pre-Barney Fife gold. Also keep an eye out for a fleeting appearance by Jamie Farr (of later M.A.S.H. fame).


 Times listed are EDST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.

Have a great week!

Photo credits:

Andy Griffith – By CBS Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Dana Andrews, Frederic March, and Myrna Loy – By Trailer screenshot (The Best Years of Our Lives trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



Sneak Peek Sunday … She Done Him Wrong

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

 One Writer’s Bliss

OUT THE WINDOW - CopyIt’s been a few weeks since my last post. I’ve been keeping busy with revisions and polishing of the second book in my 1920s mystery series. I’m happy to say it’s finally up to snuff and ready for submission.  [Insert happy dance!]

In fact, there’s been lots of happy dancing around here at “Light of Heart” because, as I write this, I’m also on my annual writers’ group retreat—an event I look forward to all year. Four days at a retreat center in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. Here’s a pic of what’s outside my window. Bucolic, n’est pas? It’s a long weekend full of NO cooking, NO cleaning, NO day job—that’s right. No obligations beyond yakking it up with an awesome group of writers and setting one’s fanny down in front of the computer to write, write, write!  This, folks, is what we call Writers’ Bliss.

What special getaways do you look forward to?

And now to this week’s Sneak Peek from It Had to Be You

Today’s six-paragraph peek is number four from It Had to Be You, my new 1920s romantic mystery about a tabloid reporter who stumbles on the story of her career when she joins up with a jaded homicide detective to solve the Central park murder of a notorious bootlegger.

In  previous peeks, we met Detective Sean Costigan just as he was coming off an all-night murder investigation with no sleep. He had one more witness to track down, a hungry tabloid reporter who once earned her byline at the expense of his Brooklyn brothers in blue.

Sean wasn’t quite sure what to make of the lovely Trixie Frank.  She’s the daughter of a multi-millionaire. Why would an uptown dame like that be working for the sleaziest jazz sheet in town?It Had To Be You_Carina Press

In today’s peek, Sean’s past has just walked in the door of the crowded cafeteria where he and Trixie are having lunch after a long day spent canvassing Hell’s Kitchen. For two days, Sean has been looking for the murder victim’s wife, Nell, who went missing after her husband’s slaying.

Why did Nell go into hiding? And what does she know about her husband’s murder? Sean’s got more than a professional interest at stake when Nell walks in the door. She’s his ex-fiancée, the woman who jilted him for another man fourteen years ago…


When Sean had set his mind to tracking down Nell, he thought he was prepared to see her again, either face-to-face or, if it came down to the worst, laid out cold on a slab in the First Avenue morgue. He’d been wrong.

When he’d turned to see her very much alive from across the room, something painful caught in his chest, something that only tightened when she’d come close enough for the jasmine scent of her perfume to stir his senses and for the breathtaking color of her eyes to come clear.

It was as if fourteen years fell away. Sean remembered— No, felt what it was to be eighteen again, full of hope and possibilities.

As children, a special understanding had existed between them. He couldn’t count how many hot summer evenings had turned to dusk while the two of them sat with their legs dangling over the edge of an empty pier, talking and sharing childish dreams. And when they’d grown older, it was those bonds formed in childhood that had ripened into a sweet sexual connection that Sean had not found with any other woman who came after her.

But now, as he sat across from her in the busy cafeteria, he’d had some time to gather himself. Fourteen years had passed. They weren’t eighteen anymore, and wherever she’d been hiding the last couple days, she was here now and she was safe. It was his job to see to it that she stayed that way.

“Tell me about the night Johnny was killed,” he said.


People come into our lives and they leave. Life paths intersect and then take us in different directions, but sometimes those paths circle back to intersect again. Did you ever have to face someone from your past who betrayed you or broke your heart? How did you handle it?

For more fun sneak peeks, be sure to hop on over to SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY HERE!


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Text Copyright © 2014 by Delynn Royer.

Permission to reproduce this text was granted by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

It Had to Be You – Copyright © 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.