Updates and Whatnot and Classic Movie Junkie

Baby_Face_Barbara“I have to think of myself. I’ve gone through a lot to get those things. My life has been bitter and hard. I’m not like other women.”

From Baby Face, 1933, Warner Brothers

Updates and Whatnot…

GLBadgeFinalist_2014There’s happy dancing going on here at Light of Heart. I was thrilled to learn last week that It Had to Be You was named as a finalist in the Romantic Elements category of New Jersey Romance Writers’ 2014 Golden Leaf Contest.

It Had to Be You is in wonderful company with titles from fellow Romantic Elements finalists K.M. Jackson for Bounce and Tanya Holmes for Within Temptation.

If you’re looking for great romantic reads, there’s something for everyone. Finalists in all of the categories are named in the August 29th post at the NJRW Blog here.  Beginning in September, there will be excerpts, and winners will be announced at the  Put Your Heart in a Book Conference on October 17, 2014. Fun!

Classic Movie Junkie… Labor Day Picks

What’s your favorite season? Are you a summer bunny? Autumn? Winter? Spring? I’m a summer bunny, so it gives me no joy to watch another summer season fade in the rear view mirror. Fortunately, there are some great films on tap at TCM this coming week to ease my grumpy seasonal transition. Here are just a few.

Tonight! Sunday August 31

Alan_Ladd_in_Shane8:00 pm   Shane (1953)  Western, Drama TCM.   A mild-mannered drifter with a violent past joins homesteaders to fight the deadly tactics of a ruthless cattleman to run them off their land. Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon deWilde, Jack Palance.

Why? The mysterious drifter… the Man with No Name … the gunfighter who rides off alone into the sunset. This is an American western archetype that may have culminated in Pale Rider, but long before Eastwood’s anti-heroes rode into town, there was the Man with One Name–Shane.

This classic western still stands as one of the of the best of the genre. Stunning cinematography, timeless story, great performances, and one of the most heart-tugging final movie lines of all time.

Friday September 5

8:00 pm  Baby Face (1933)  Drama. TCM  Tired of being used by men, a cynical young woman moves to the big city to Stanwyck_Baby_Facesleep her way to the top. Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent.

Why?  Stanwyck plays one tough cookie in this Pre-Code classic that, along with some other racy films—notably Jean Harlow’s Red-Headed Woman ( 9/12/14)— helped usher in enforcement of the Hays Code. Is there a great story here? Not particularly, although it’s frank enough to be interesting. I’m not wild about the ending, either, but Stanwyck is a pure delight to watch as this bad girl we love to root for.

Sunday September 7

Charlton_Heston_Ben_Hur_trailer 8:00 pm   Planet of the Apes (1968) Science Fiction. TCM. Astronauts go through a time warp only to find themselves stranded on a planet of the future where apes have evolved as the dominant species.  Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter.

Why? The first and best of the Planet of the Apes series. Charlton Heston brings his A-game to his role as the cynical, mankind-hating astronaut George Taylor. But it’s Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall—as the truth-seeking ape scientist couple Zira and Cornelius—who bring light, wit and (ironically enough) humanity to this grim, clever tale about man’s inhumanity to both man and beast. The final 30 seconds … unforgettable!

Trivia Corner

 Curious about those naughty Pre-Code era films? Many featured strong female characters. Check out more on tap for September 5th on the TCM schedule – Female, Night Nurse, The Divorcee. Then check out TCM’s documentary–Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood.

*

Brandon deWilde

Brandon deWilde – “Shane…! Shane…! Come back!”

Brandon deWilde was that baby-faced actor who belted out the famous tear-jerking final lines in the movie Shane. He was the youngest actor at the time to be nominated for a competitive Academy Award–Best Supporting Actor.

Have a great week!

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

 Photo credits:

By Trailer screenshot (Baby Face trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Shane – By Trailer screenshot (MGM) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Trailer screenshot (MGM) (Ben Hur) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Brandon diWilde – By ABC Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [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 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, 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

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!

IT HAD TO BE YOU


BUY LINKS  priced from $2.51 to $2.99

Amazon  *   Barnes & Noble  *   iBooks  *  Google Play  *  Kobo

Carina Press

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.

 

Sneak Peek Sunday… Is she in over her head?

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!

Today’s six-paragraph peek is from IT HAD TO BE YOU, my new 1920s romantic mystery about a tabloid reporter who Sneak Peek Sundaystumbles 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.

 It Had to Be You … Is she in over her head?

It Had To Be You_Carina PressIn  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? This had to be the passing fancy of a bored debutante. Right?

Not if you ask Trix.

In today’s peek, Trixie has had her best day ever at work. She’s been assigned to the story of her career, the Central Park murder of bootlegger Johnny “Blue Eyes” Murphy. She cannot mess this up. But when she returns home to her apartment that evening, it’s to the chilling discovery that her door has been left unlocked.

Has someone broken in?

A rushed search of her place reveals no valuables missing, but some items may have been moved. Her imagination? Or is someone playing games? Spooked, Trixie calls Detective Costigan, who offers to come over and take a look around.

***

Trixie had to fight an urge to protest as Sean proceeded to prowl through her kitchen. What had she gotten herself into? He touched the top of her table and drummed his fingers along the edge of her sink before peering inside her nearly bare cupboard.

Cops should be more like doctors. Old. And bald. Definitely bald. Perhaps if Costigan were more the comforting fatherly type rather than the virile, see-through-a-girl’s-skin-to-her-quivering-soul type, she wouldn’t feel so exposed as he delved into every detail of her personal life.

When he opened her icebox, she could keep quiet no longer. “Excuse me, but what do you expect to find in there?”

“Not this.”

His tone was oddly flat. She crossed to his side to see what he stared at inside the upper compartment. A quart of milk, a stick of butter, a sliced tomato, a half-eaten chicken sandwich.

And her brassiere.  Trixie’s mouth fell open

***

Welcome to the big time, Trix. Someone is indeed playing games.

But what are the stakes? Simply to scare her off the story? Or is their intent something much worse?

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

IT HAD TO BE YOU
DIGITAL BUY LINKS  priced from $2.51 to $2.99

Amazon  *   Barnes & Noble  *   iBooks  *  Google Play  *  Kobo

Carina Press

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.

Sneak Peek Sunday… What’s a girl to do?

Welcome to Sara Walter Ellwood’s Sneak Peek Sunday!Sneak Peek Sunday

This is the second week I’m posting a six-paragraph excerpt from my new 1920s romantic mystery, It Had to Be You, which is officially one week old today!

geraniums - CopyAnd a lovely day “today” is. Spring has finally sprung in these parts and are we ever glad to see it. This is the first weekend we’ve had in the 70s since… well, since… Yeah. We’re loving it.

It was also an awesome release week, and I have plenty of people to thank for their support, good wishes—including a gift of the lovely geraniums pictured here—Tweets, RTs, Facebook shares and blog visits. (Oh, and “mercy buys.” Thanks, Mom! 🙂  )

Net Sightings …

Because a new book release only comes along for me every other–oh, I don’t know—decade or so, I’m taking special notice when mentions of  It Had to Be You pop up on the ‘net.  If you’re so inclined, please give these sites some traffic by clicking on their links.

→    I was thrilled to see It Had to Be You was reviewed at Dear Author HERE.

    Heroes and Heartbreakers picked It Had to Be You as one of its “Not Your Usual Historicals” for April 2014 HERE.

→     And there’s still time to wander on over to my April 8th post on the Carina Press blog HERE and tell me about the classic book, song, or movie that most inspires you!

And now, on to this week’s Sneak Peek… It Had to Be You

201_318_Carina_0414_9781426898129_ItHadToBeYouHere’s the Mini Blurb.

New York City, 1924 … An ambitious young tabloid reporter 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.

***

Last week, we met Detective Sean Costigan 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? This had to be the passing fancy of a bored debutante. Right?

Maybe not.

Later that day, Sean enters a crowded, standing-room-only gathering of the press and learns that Miss Frank will do whatever it takes to get her story…

***

Sean glanced at a wall clock. He was late for Keegan’s meeting with the press. When he stepped in from a side door near the front, the chief was already reading from a prepared statement.

“…made a commitment to the citizens of New York to protect our homes and businesses from the growing threat of organized crime and its murderous consequences.”

A flash from a camera came from the back of the room. The source caught Sean’s attention when the magnesium powder cleared. What the…? He stared, not sure he believed his own eyes. Was that Miss Frank? Perched on some guy’s shoulders?

If she’d wanted to gain a bird’s eye view, she’d accomplished it. With her skirt bunched up and her legs exposed to above the knees, she’d also managed to snag the attention of every red-blooded officer standing in front.

“And that concludes our—” The chief cut off as he looked up from his podium and got an eyeful. He cleared his throat. “Er, uh, that is to say, this concludes our statement. I can…take questions.”

Trixie handed the unwieldy camera back down to her companion, exchanged it for a notepad and pencil, and shot up her hand. Impossible to ignore.

***

Well, that’s one way to level the playing field when you’re the only five foot-four female in an all-male crowd of cops, cameramen and crime reporters. 🙂

Ladies, have you ever felt similarly challenged when you were the only woman in the room?

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

IT HAD TO BE YOU
BUY LINKS  priced from $2.51 to $2.99

Amazon  *   Barnes & Noble  *   iBooks  *  Google Play  *  Kobo

Carina Press

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.