In Search of Sean Costigan…

qpq_TootTOOTSIEGoodbye (2)

 

Goodbye, Tootsie. Putting it Together: Part Two
In Search of Sean Costigan.

In my last post, I talked about my decision to go indie with the sequel to It Had to Be You. One of the most important things an indie author needs to think about is cover art.

I wasn’t in a position to duplicate the first cover—not with the same artist, model or imagery—but I wanted to preserve some elements. Namely, a classic cinema and vintage feel.  That meant black and white.

1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mysteryAlso, beautiful as that first cover is, I wanted to depart in some ways. Mainly, I wanted both my lead characters to appear. For that to happen, I needed to find the right leading man.

Thus began my internet search for Detective Sean Costigan.

Who is Sean Costigan?

Sean is a second generation Irish New York City cop. He’s thirty-three years old, smart, driven, and, yes, a bit jaded from years on the job. His smiles are rare. They have to be earned, and he has a dry sense of humor.

What’s he look like?

Sean is 6’1” with raven-colored hair, dusky blue eyes, and a lean, muscular build. As for “type,” I confess to imagining Alex O’Loughlin in the role even though his hair isn’t quite dark enough.

So, I spent hours on the internet searching stock images. There are some sites that cater to romance authors that offer no shortage of beautiful men. (I had a tough job, right?) But believe it or not, my search actually grew tedious.

I had three problems.

  • Type

While several male models fit Sean’s physical description, few were paired with females who fit my leading lady’s type. (Think Amy Adams .)

  •   Pose

Clinch poses were plentiful, but Goodbye, Tootsie is a romantic mystery, not a full-fledged romance. There’s a difference.

Think about the TV series Castle. How often do you see Beckett and Castle crawling all over each other in their publicity stills? Not often, if ever. That’s because the romantic content of the show—while indispensable to the chemistry—is warm, not hot. It bows to the show’s murder mystery plot in each episode.

  • Time Period/Costume

I adore the 1920s, but it isn’t the wildest selling time period for historical romance. The scant selection of stock available with Roaring 20s costume reflected that.

And so, how close was I to throwing in the towel?

I was ready to surrender and settle for a cover with a feather boa and a hip flask when I decided to give it one more go. I returned to the leading romance sites, starting with RNC—Romance Novel Covers—owned and operated by cover model Jimmy Thomas.

Avid romance readers recognize Mr. Thomas. His image graces the covers of countless novels.  He also happens to fit Sean’s physical description. Too bad there were no 1920s period photos that fit my criteria among the wide selection of stock offered on his site. But Mr. Thomas did offer one thing I hadn’t seen elsewhere— exclusive custom cover shots.

By then, I was ready to consider going the extra mile, but, as an indie author, it’s my dollars and cents being invested to put out a quality product as well as my time.

So, I asked myself two questions. How long had I spent writing this book? And how much more time would I spend not only scouring the internet for cover images but editing, formatting and otherwise promoting it?

This made my decision easy. My time is worth a lot—at least, it is to me. So, I signed up.

 Next time …  working with Jimmy Thomas at RNC to get the perfect shots.

Until then… here’s a behind the scenes peek taken during the custom shoot for the cover for Goodbye, Tootsie. Meet Mr. Thomas and cover model Inessa, who is now my Trixie.

RomanceNovelCovers.com (RNC) Custom Photo Shoot - Behind The Scenes - Jimmy Thomas & Inessa - Delynn Royer

RomanceNovelCovers.com (RNC) Custom Photo Shoot – Behind The Scenes – Jimmy Thomas & Inessa – Delynn Royer

What do you think? Could these two play homicide detective Sean Costigan and perky girl reporter Trixie Frank in the movie? 🙂

 Indie authors… Have you ever had trouble finding just the right image or models to grace your covers?

GoodbyeTootsieTitleGOODBYE, TOOTSIE
January, 1925
Homicide detective Sean Costigan and tabloid reporter Trixie Frank are on the road to romance but at cross-purposes at work when they investigate the New Year’s Eve murder of “Poor Little Rich Girl” Abigail Welles after she comes into control of a family fortune.

COMING SOON in Summer of 2015!

Cover art design by Fiona Jayde. Learn more About Fiona here.

 Photo Credits

Goodbye, Tootsie title design copyright © 2015 fiona jayde media

 Custom Shoot for Goodbye, Tootsie – Copyright © 2014 RomanceNovelCovers.com

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.

Against the Odds. She’s Gone Indie!

DV_Goodbye Tootsie

Goodbye, Tootsie. Putting it Together: Part One
Going Indie…

It’s been quiet around here, and there’s a reason for that. I’ve been working hard, wearing a lot of hats—author, editorial director, copy writer, proofreader, art director—and that’s because…

Yep. I’ve gone indie.

Deciding to go indie with a sequel to It Had to Be You was a no-brainer in some respects and difficult in others.

Backstory alert…

1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mystery

A Trixie Frank – Sean Costigan 1920s Romantic Mystery

When I started  It Had to Be You, I’d been away from fiction writing for over ten years. That’s one serious case of writer’s block, even if it was self-imposed due to Life Stuff.

When you neglect something so fragile and creative for that long, you wonder if you still have “it.” You certainly doubt that you deserve to have it. You wonder–when you skim back over your old books–how in the world you ever did that unquantifiable, Mount Everest-climbing thing in the first place.

So, after over a decade, I stared at that brand new, empty white computer screen with its frighteningly patient, forever-blinking cursor and wondered… What am I doing? And Where do I start? And Am I crazy?

I’d had similar doubts when I was thirty and started to write A Touch of Camelot. The edge I had back then that I didn’t have this time around was a big one. Blissful ignorance. I didn’t know the odds against getting published, and I knew even less about the craft of fiction writing. So, I just wrote.

The result of that blissful ignorance was a marvelous fluke—a contest win, an agent, a publisher, and four historical romances published within three years. It ended pretty fast too—that’s a whole other story—but, wow, it was still very cool. As my dad always says, “They can’t take that away from you.”

Ten years flew by fast. Kids, work, remarriage, graduations…

So, there I was again. More wrinkled but game. Fingers  poised on the keys, staring at that intimidating white screen. I’m not going to lie. It was harder this time. The writing was bad. Every sentence oozed like mud. No emotion. No spark. No voice.

And I knew this…how?

Because I knew about good writing and bad. I’d found my voice once before, and I now recognized it by its absence.

Still… I had an idea for a heroine I loved and a setting that fired up my imagination. But no plot. I wasn’t even sure what genre this would be.

And I knew this was a pathetic way to start a book… why?

Because I knew a book needed to be labeled for the market in order to sell it. And what’s the point of writing a thing if you can’t sell it?

Yeah, I was a cynic. I’d lost my writing virginity, and there was no getting it back. I did the sensible thing. I put the manuscript away. For about a year.

Then I got it back out.

Well… it might be a mystery, I thought. Or a romance. Or, worst of all…a Mysterious Romance.  But, heck, why should that worry me? It was set in a time period everyone knew would never sell. In a way, that double whammy freed me to do the not-so-sensible thing. Write it.

Was it easy? No. Fast? No. Fun? Yes!! But the best thing was, I got my voice back.

Which has exactly what to do with going indie?

Going against the odds.

I could have left Trixie and Sean at the end of It Had to Be You and simply moved on to something more marketable to pitch to a digital publisher. Time-wise and market-wise, that would have been the sensible thing. But…

It was Trixie who’d helped me find my voice again. How could I leave her back in 1924 when I knew her love story with Sean wasn’t done? Her next murder mystery case was drafted. All it needed was to be polished, edited and readied for market.

So, once again, I’m doing the not-so-sensible thing.  I’m going indie.

Want to tag along? 🙂

 Have you ever taken a leap of faith and done the “not so sensible” thing?

How did that go? Regrets? Or are you glad you leapt?

 Cover reveal and launch date coming soon.

In the meantime, here’s the blurb!!

GGoodbye, TootsieOODBYE, TOOTSIE

It’s after midnight on New Year’s Day, 1925, and the richest girl in America has just fallen to her death from the top floor of the posh Cleveland Hotel in Manhattan.

When Detective Sean Costigan arrives at the scene, he learns it’s the day after Abigail Welles’s twenty-first birthday— the day she inherited a family fortune. It’s not the kind of coincidence that warms a detective’s heart. Neither is the fact that she wasn’t alone when she fell. Her new husband, Long Island party boy Nick Welles, lies incoherent in the master bedroom.

Sean’s girl, tabloid reporter Trixie Frank, is the first newshound on the scene. It’s a bigger scoop than she dreamed. The young heiress’s death will make national headlines. More importantly, this story hits close to home. And heart. The victim’s husband is Trixie’s ex-fiancé.

When Sean focuses on Nick as his prime suspect, Trixie is certain he’s dead wrong. But will saving her first love from the hot seat prove fatal to her new romance?

***

Photo credits:

Goodbye, Tootsie title graphic by Fiona Jayde Media

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.

February Doings, Sequels, and Love in the Movies

The_Thin_Man_Publicity_Photo_1936

Myrna Loy, William Powell, and Asta

Nick: Did I ever tell you that you’re the most fascinating woman this side of the Rockies?

Nora: Wait till you see me on the other side.

From After the Thin Man, 1936  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

February Doings

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when we think of February?

Valentine’s Day. Of course!

This is the time of year when the media, bookstores, and retailers reach out to romance writing types to help celebrate that most exhilarating and confounding of all human emotions… love.

a_gift_2 - Copy

Some Valentine’s goodies destined for the gift basket.

As a digital-only author, I don’t do book signings, but I’m looking forward to joining a whole passel of local romance authors at Ashcombe Farm and Greenhouses in Mechanicsburg, PA on Valentine’s Day.

If you’re in the area and you could use some baked sweets, seeds, plants, or a little romance, stop by and buy a signed book, take home a post card, or sign up for a chance to win a gift basket full of donated Valentine goodies from our authors.

Coming in 2015 … the sequel to It Had to Be You

1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mysteryThere’s a reason my posts have been few and far between lately. I’ve been hard at work on the next book in my 1920s romantic mystery series.

No kidding! Trixie Frank and Sean Costigan are set to return in a new romantic mystery–Toot Tootsie Goodbye.

What do you think of the title? I’ll have a blurb soon.

I’ve also been working with a talented new cover artist, so expect something a bit different this time. Stay tuned. 🙂

 Love in the Movies…

CLASSICMOVIEJUNKIE

TCM ‘s big to-do this month, of course, is its annual 31 Days of Oscar festival of Academy Award nominated movies. The line-up is phenomenal.

My humble self-appointed task was simply to pick a theme–take, love, for example (not just romance, mind you)—and choose some films about love in all its varied shapes, forms and sizes…

Thursday, February 5

 ♥ Desperado Love 

Bonnie and Clyde Trailer

Dunaway and Beatty

2:00 p.m.  Bonnie and Clyde (1967)  Crime/Drama. A 1930s bank-robbing couple’s crime spree cuts a violent swath through the American South. Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard., Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons.

 Why?  Beatty and Dunaway illuminate the screen with more than awesome good looks in this 1967 story based loosely on the crime spree of Depression-era lovers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrows. Nominated for ten Academy Awards, it broke taboos for sex and violence and shot Dunaway to stardom (pun intended).  And yes, it still rates a caution for violence.

Tuesday, February 10

Bantering Witty Sleuth Love 

After The Thin Man

Powell and Loy in After the Thin Man

4:00 p.m. After the Thin Man (1936) Comedy/Mystery TCM. Nick and Nora Charles return home to San Francisco after Christmas in New York only to find yet another mystery to solve. Nora’s cousin has been accused of murder! Myrna Loy, William Powell, James Stewart.

 Why? Loy and Powell return as bantering sleuths Nick and Nora Charles in the second of their wildly popular Thin Man movies. Their inimitable romantic chemistry remains front and center, but the mystery is cranked up several satisfying notches.  (Watch a young Jimmy Stewart ooze early star power.)

 Thursday, February 12 (13)

Family Love 

Father_of_the_bride_1950_promo (1)

Taylor and Tracy in Father of the Bride

3:30 a.m. Father of the Bride  (1950) Comedy. TCM  A family man is overwhelmed by the upheaval of planning his beloved daughter’s wedding. Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor.

Why?  Tracy is perfectly cast as the crusty-on-the-outside, squishy-on-the-inside father of the bride, and a teen-aged Elizabeth Taylor charms as his effervescent daughter. A light family comedy with some misty-eyed moments to warm the heart.

Friday,  February 13 (14)

Three’s a Crowd Love 

Taylor-Clift-A_Place_in_the_Sun

Taylor and Clift

 2:15 a.m. A Place in the Sun (1952) Drama. TCM. A poor young man faces hard choices when the world of wealth and privilege beckons to him in the form of a beautiful young socialite. Mongomery Clift, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Taylor.

Why? Spot-on performances by all three players in this riveting 1950s love triangle. Nineteen-year-old Liz Taylor scores her first time out in a serious, grown-up role, and Shelley Winters sheds her blonde bombshell image to the tune of an Oscar nomination. But it’s Montgomery Clift who owns this tragic tale of one man’s path to hell paved with good intentions.

 Saturday, February 14

 Bantering Legal Beagle Love 

Adam's Rib

Tracy and Hepburn in Adam’s Rib

6:00 p.m.   Adam’s Rib (1949)  Comedy, Drama, Romance. TCM.  Sparks fly on the home front when husband-and-wife lawyers represent opposite sides in a women’s rights case.  Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday.

Why?  Tracy and Hepburn are  synonymous with smart romantic comedy,  and this entertaining film with its battle-of-the-sexes story line  is no exception. Hepburn’s heartfelt courtroom arguments for women’s equality may seem quaint today, but they’re a telling product of their time. How far have we come since then? And how far have we yet to go?

***

And that’s a wrap!
I’ll say toodle-oo with a movie trailer–After the Thin Man–Find it HERE. Have a great week!

***

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

 (Missed something? You may be able catch it for a week or more on demand at Watch TCM)

***

Photo credits:

Publicity Photo for The Thin Man – Author Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It Had to Be You Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® – Copyright © 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Bonnie and Clyde – Trailer – [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 After the Thin Man – By Trailer screenshot  (After the Thin Man trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Father of the Bride – By Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (work for hire) ([1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Place in the Sun – Production Still from feature film by Paramount Pictures [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Adam’s Rib – By Trailer created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Happily Ever Afters & Classic Halloween Movie Picks

Alfred_Hitchcock's_The_Birds_trailer_02“Are the birds going to eat us, Mommy?”

From The Birds, 1963, Universal Pictures

What happens in Jersey stays in Jersey… Not.

October brings with it not only colorful autumn leaves and Jack O’Lanterns but my annual trek to New Jersey to attend the New Jersey Romance Writers’ awesome Put Your Heart in a Book Conference.

This is a conference that never fails to deliver a great selection of workshops for beginning writers as well as more seasoned scribblers, the newly published and the multi-published. And it’s always well attended by agents and editors too.

See? I didn’t make it up!

This year, I was excited that my 1920s romantic mystery It Had to Be You was among the finalists named in the annual Golden Leaf Contest for excellence in romantic fiction from RWA’s Region 1.

As it turned out, the winner of my category—Romantic Elements—was the talented K.M. Jackson for her 2014 contemporary novel, Bounce. (A well-deserved win, folks.) Best wishes to K.M. for continued success!

But best of all? Happily Ever Afters, of course.

I do love the craft workshops, but the thing I enjoy most is the opportunity to soak it all in with my Central PA writer pals. This year, several of us attended– Sunni Rose Blendette, Vicky Burkholder,  Natalie J. Damschroder, Misty Simon, and Ava Quinn.  In fact, anyone who follows our Twitter feeds may have noticed that we soon discovered an awesome new signature drink  – the Happily Ever After.

So, while some things that happen in Jersey really must stay in Jersey (i.e. less than graceful dance moves to “Love Shack” at the after-party) I’m more than happy to return with memories of very good times with very good friends.

Till next year, ladies!

Classic Movie Junkie’s “Low Gore Score” Halloween Picks

There was a definite chill in the air this past weekend. Could it be a portent of a spooky holiday on the horizon?

Halloween is more popular than ever and there are plenty of Fear Fests on the tube to prove it. Me? I  love a good horror movie, but as for the gore, not so much.  To wit, here are some Low Gore Score TCM picks guaranteed to put you in a non-queasy Halloween frame of mind.

The Queasy Classic Movie Junkie’s Halloween Gore Score Rating System
1 Boo =  Suspense and implied or off-camera violence.
2 Boos =  Suspense and occasional “ick” moments.
3 Boos =  Close-your-eyes moments and cringes
4 Boos =   Just. Close your eyes.

Wednesday, October 22

The_fog_1980_movie_poster2:15 (Thurs. 10/23) am  The Fog (1980)  Horror. TCM.  Murderous maritime ghosts return under cover of a supernatural fog to take revenge on a New England coast town.  Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook.

Why?  An under-rated spooky gem. John Carpenter released this watery ghost story on the heels of his low budget mega hit Halloween.  From the opening scene—a ghost story told around a flickering beach campfire–The Fog rises above (yes, pun intended) typical low budget spook fests of the ’80s. Gorgeous shots of the coastline and Carpenter’s spine-tingling musical score make this an enjoyable Halloween treat.

Gore score = 2 Boos  (Mostly for squishy sounds. Ew.)

Saturday October 25

512px-Alfred_Hitchcock's_The_Birds_Trailer_-_Tippi

Tippi Hedren in The Birds

 5:45 pm  The Birds (1963)  Horror. TCM  A California town is beset by unexplained and increasingly deadly attacks from masses of ticked-off birds.  Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette.

Why? Arguably Hitchcock’s best horror film. It’s got it all. Flashes of Hitchcock humor, Psycho-like red herring plot threads, interesting characters, slow-to-boil suspense, odd camera angles and shock shots. The special effects are hokey by today’s standards,  but they’re still surprisingly effective. Why? Because, I suspect, special effects were never what this was about. Gore Score = 1.5 Boos. 

Julie_Harris_-_1963

Julie Harris

8:00 pm  The Haunting (1963)  Horror. TCM  A paranormal researcher and three volunteers move into a deserted mansion that’s reputed to be haunted.  Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson.

Why? Atmospheric and scary. The Haunting is a forerunner to many a haunted house story to follow – including Stephen King’s Rose Red. Julie Harris is at her flighty best as the psychologically fragile misfit Eleanor Lance.  Is she truly going mad or is it the house itself that breathes and morphs and beckons her to join others who have perished within its malevolent embrace?

The Haunting will creep you out with a Gore Score of… wait for it… 1.

 Tuesday October 28

Jonathan_Frid_Barnabas_Collins_1968

Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins

1:00 pm   House of Dark Shadows (1970) Horror. TCM. A small town doctor tries to cure an 18th century vampire who has returned to his ancestral home to marry a woman he is convinced is the present-day reincarnation of his dead fiancée. Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh Scott.

Why?  All right, Dark Shadows peeps! I know you’re out there. Either you’re one of the scadillion now-grown school kids who scurried home every day to get their daily fix of D.S. or you’re one of many who have discovered this campy, crazily addicting ’60s horror soap opera in reruns or online.  (I ain’t gonna say which I am.)

This 1970 film was produced soon after the daytime series was cancelled to feed the legions of baby boomer fans who were left bereft and thirsty for more… more blood, that is.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha! So bad, it’s good. Pure fun. Gore Score = 1.5 Boos.

So, tell me, spooky movie fans, what’s your favorite scene from The Birds?

Anyone remember Dark Shadows?  Who was your favorite character?

Am I the only one who misses scary movies that leave more to the imagination than not?

What can writers learn about building suspense from watching Hitchcock films?

Have a great week!

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

 Photo credits:
The Fog – Original theatrical poster
The Birds – By Trailer screenshot (The Birds trailer) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Julie Harris – By Bill Doll and Company (ebay) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Jonathan Frid – By ABC Television (eBay front back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

After the Equinox, Coincidences and Classic Movie Junkie

Ghost and Mrs Muir“It’s been a dream, Lucia…”

From The Ghost and Mrs. Muir  1947, 20th Century Fox

After the Equinox

Happy belated autumn equinox!

autumn pumpkinHere in Pennsylvania, temperatures have been lovely—70s and sunny. It doesn’t get better than that. But our daylight hours are shortening, leaves are turning, and night temps are dipping.

Autumn has always been a mixed bag for me. A sense of melancholy sets in as the season changes. Why? I don’t know, but I also remember the excitement that starting a new school year used to bring. So, I tap into those memories to help counteract my autumn blues. Football games, apple cider, farm shows, favorite sweaters and Halloween. Bring it on!

Does the change of seasons affect your mood?

Coincidence Department

Most years, the hub and I spend some time in Montauk, Long Island, a tradition that started when I talked him into going with me to do some research for the 1920s romantic mystery I was writing—It Had to Be You.  Montauk has some rich 1920s bootlegging history.

This year, on our way to our Long Island retreat, we spent a night in Manhattan at the New Yorker. Wonderful midtown location.

TOP OF THE ROCK

View from the Top of the Rock

During our short stay, we visited the World Trade Center Museum, Times Square and Top of the Rock, but my favorite picture from this visit was the sight that greeted me when I stepped out from the revolving door of our hotel. Directly across the street was a building with space to lease. Beautifully carved into its face was one word: BICKFORD’S.bickfords 3

For those who haven’t read It Had to Be You (and I know you’re out there, you one person, you), Bickford’s was a popular national chain of cafeterias that started in the 1920s. It was a part of the New York City landscape for much of the 20th century. It was talked about by Andy Warhol and it appeared in works by William Styron and Woody Allen. It also happens to be a favorite hangout for my hero and heroine as they tool around 1920s Manhattan solving mysteries. 😉

So, here it is. The view from the sidewalk outside our hotel. Look closely at the top face of the building. I love coincidences. Don’t you? Any interesting coincidences happen to you lately?

Classic Movie Junkie

In nosing through TCM’s October schedule, I saw no shortage of classic favorites I’d happily recommend, but I decided that, for this post, I’d look for some options that were new to me – movies that I’ve always meant to see but never got around to.

I picked six that caught my eye. They either had interesting reviews, stars I couldn’t resist or were considered classics. But I hadn’t seen a one. Of the six, here are three picks. Happy post-equinox viewing!

Thursday, October 9

 Gene_Tierney_in_Ghost_and_Mrs_Muir_trailercropped9:45 pm   The Ghost and Mrs. Muir  (1941)  Fantasy/Romance. TCM.  A headstrong young widow moves into a seaside cottage haunted by the ghost of a rugged sea captain. Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Natalie Wood.

Why? Five-star romantic gem. Gene Tierney is perfectly cast as the proper but willful widow Lucy Muir in this sweet, funny, wistful love story that transcends time. Rex Harrison excels as the brash ghostly sea captain who first challenges her and then slowly falls in love with her. But he’s a spirit and she’s young and alive. Will he set her free? Highly recommended.

 Wednesday, October 15

 6:30 pm   Wife vs. Secretary  (1936) Comedy TCM. The wife of an affluent magazine publisher begins to believe that the rumors about her husband and his lovely secretary are true. Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, James Stewart.Jean_Harlow_in_Libeled_Lady_trailer

Why? Star power. It’s impossible not to recognize shades of Nora Charles in Myrna Loy’s portrayal of the sophisticated wife. Her glib other half is portrayed handily by Clark Gable, but it’s Jean Harlow—playing against type as Gable’s over-competent secretary—who’s the most fun to watch. Harlow, a comedienne at heart, had already built a stunning movie career by playing platinum blond vamps-with-a-wink. She was ready to show audiences what else she had.

Also watch for a young Jimmy Stewart in one of his earliest film roles as Harlow’s adorable, long-suffering boyfriend. You’ll want to take him home.

 Sunday, October 19

Alfred_Hitchcock's_Marnie_Trailer8:00 pm   Marnie (1964) Psychological Suspense TCM. A wealthy businessman becomes obsessed with curing a beautiful compulsive thief by uncovering the tragic secrets in her past. Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren. (Director – Alfred Hitchcock)

Why?  Riveting, flawed, complex characters. Connery’s suave brand of animal magnetism has never been more potent (or disturbing) and Hedren’s thinly-controlled ice princess performance never goes over the top. Critics seem to be split on whether Marnie is one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces or if it missed its mark entirely. Judge for yourself. My eyes never left the screen.

Content warning: Adult themes–no foul language or nudity, mild by today’s standards, certainly–but it’s about, among other things, predatory behavior and moral ambiguity. Not for kids.

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

Next time… Halloween classics!

Until then, have a great week.

Photo credits:

Ghost and Mrs. Muir Trailer – [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Harlow – By Trailer screenshot (Libeled Lady trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Marnie – By Trailer screenshot (Marnie trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Pumpkins and NYC- Delynn Royer