Top 5 Golden Age Movie Picks for Your Holiday Week

James Stewart and Donna Reed 1946

James Stewart and Donna Reed 1946

“What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”

From It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946, Liberty Films

Top 5 Golden Age Movies for Your Holiday Week

It’s been a fact of my life for over a decade that my day job heats up at this time of year, offering no extra time off. My stress levels climb and Christmas spirit plummets. It’s been particularly bad this year.

First, our Thanksgiving dinner got pushed back, which in turn delayed putting up the Christmas tree. (Because I refused to have our Thanksgiving meal in the glow of Christmas tree lights. My standards may not be high, but they’re firm.) Add to this, freakishly warm December weather here in the northeast U.S., and I’ve been plunged into a serious state of ….

Scrooge Emergency!!

Scrooge

Yep. I need me one big huge honkin’ shot of Holiday Spirit to get me off the launch pad. To that end, I’ve been streaming mega-amounts of no-holds-barred, heavy-duty, pile-on-the-schmaltz holiday classic movies, and—

Oh… wait a minute…

I think it’s working… Wait…

I… almost… smiled?

Quick! Pass the egg nog!:)

CLASSIC MOVIEWhich movies or TV shows get you revved for the holidays?

Classic Movie Junkie’s
Holiday Movie Schmaltz Rating Guide

  • 1 Hanky =  Heartwarming
  • 2 Hankies – Misty Eyes
  • 3 Hankies – Oh, man…!
  • 4 Hankies – Don’t schedule anything for the rest of the day.

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Barbara_Stanwyck_in_Christmas_in_Connecticut_trailer

Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut

# 5     Christmas in Connecticut (1945)  Holiday Screwball Comedy/ Romance.  A popular columnist for a national homemaking magazine (who isn’t married and can’t cook) must fake a Martha Stewart-worthy Connecticut family holiday for a war hero. Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet.

Why?  Stanwyck Lite. This enjoyable bit of mindless holiday fluff is just the ticket for an afternoon of gift wrapping and sipping egg nog. No hankies necessary. It’s just, well, nice.  Holiday Schmaltz Rating  = 0 hankies

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1_It happened on

It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

#4      It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)  Holiday Screwball Comedy/Romance.  A philosophical hobo moves into a NY mansion while its millionaire owner winters in the south. The house soon fills with returning G.I.’s, their families, and the millionaire’s rebellious daughter. Don DeFore, Gale Storm, Charles Ruggles.

Why?  All heart and sweet, sweet, sweet. This screwball comedy romance is set in New York City against the housing shortage that followed World War II.

Don Defore and Alan Hale in It Happened on 5th Avenue

Don Defore and Alan Hale in It Happened on 5th Avenue

The ensemble cast is full of faces that would soon become instantly recognizable to TV audiences—Don DeFore (Hazel), Gale Storm (My Little Margie), Alan Hale (Gilligan’s Island), and Charles Ruggles, who appeared in over 100 movies before playing recurring roles in shows like Beverly Hillbillies and Bewitched.  Holiday Schmaltz Rating  = 1 hanky

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Ingrid Bergman in The Bells of St. Mary's 1945

Ingrid Bergman in The Bells of St. Mary’s 1945

 #3     The Bells of Saint Mary’s (1945)  Drama/Comedy. Despite their differences, a priest and a nun work together to save their city school from being closed. Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman

Why? Crosby does his second turn as the glib Father O’Malley in this heartwarming classic that also stars Bergman as the proper but feisty Sister Superior Mary Benedict.

Best scene? Bergman in full nun’s habit teaching one of her youthful male students to box. An exceedingly pleasant distraction for a quiet afternoon.  Highly recommended.

Currently free to stream on Amazon Prime

Holiday Schmaltz Rating  = 2 hankies

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natalie-wood-miracle-on-34th-street

Natalie Wood & Maureen O’Hara in Miracle on 34th Street

#2     Miracle on 34th Street (1947)  Holiday Fantasy/ Drama/ Comedy.  When a department store Santa claims to be the real thing, a skeptical little girl asks him for her seemingly impossible heart’s desire. Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood.

Why? The inimitable Maureen O’Hara plays Doris Walker, a divorced head-over-heart career woman who’s lost her faith in love.

Natalie Wood was just eight when she won her career-making role of O’Hara’s precocious daughter. Edmund Gwenn’s iconic performance won him an Academy Award and a special place in movie-goers’ hearts as the “real” Kris Kringle.

A particularly poignant film this year after screen legend Maureen O’Hara’s recent passing.  Holiday Schmaltz Rating = 3 hankies

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Dancing_near_the_crack

It’s a Wonderful Life

#1     It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)  Holiday Fantasy/Drama.  A small town banker contemplating suicide is saved by a guardian angel-in-training. Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers.

Why?  Is there anyone on the planet who hasn’t seen this? It’s the granddaddy of all classic holiday films for good reason.

Jimmy Stewart is so pitch perfect as Everyman George Bailey, it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. Donna Reed plays beautiful counterpoint, Barrymore preens as the quintessential villain, and Henry Travers wins hearts as Angel 2nd Class Clarence Odbody. It just ain’t Christmas without it.  Holiday Schmaltz Rating = 4 hankies

Trivia Question: What film title appears on the Bijou theater marquee when George Bailey runs through the streets of Bedford Falls near the end of the movie?

  • Christmas in Connecticut
  • The Bells of Saint Mary’s
  • A Christmas Carol

Have a wonderful holiday!

 Photo credits:

It’s a Wonderful Life  – Screen Shots [Public domain]

Seymour Hicks – Scrooge 1935 – Screen Shot – [Public Domain]

Ingrid Bergman – By Trailer screenshot (The Bells of St. Mary’s trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It Happened on 5th Avenue and Miracle on 34th Street  – Screen Shots for Critical Commentary

By Trailer screenshot (Christmas in Connecticut trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Turkey Day Shuffle & Flappers & Jelly Beans

The Turkey Day Shuffleautumn pumpkin

My husband and one of my sons works in retail, so we’re well acquainted with irregular schedules and working weekends and holidays. But Thanksgiving was always the one holiday that seemed to work out. Mostly because stores close early that day.

This year, though, the unthinkable has happened. Not only is my husband’s store extending their hours, he offered to work so someone else can spend the day with their family. Which means…

Yes. We’ll be doing the Turkey Day Shuffle.

We’ve hosted our family dinner for almost a decade now, and we love doing it. So, we’ll be moving our Thanksgiving to Saturday. The calls have gone out, and the schedule shuffling has begun.

Books, books, books…

1920s Romantic Mystery

Goodbye, Tootsie Book Tour! Hosted by BVB Tours

Goodbye, Tootsie—the second book in my 1920s romantic mystery series—went on tour earlier this month and got some great reviews. I’m more thankful than ever for book bloggers who dedicate their time to reviewing and promoting books, especially those of indie authors.

Thanks also to the awesome Beck Valley Books, which does a fabulous job of organizing book tours.

If you have a moment, give these bloggers some traffic and enter my $20 Amazon Gift Card giveaway. Yes, it’s still running, and it’s free. (Expires November 29, 2015.) Do it. Do it now.  I’ll wait.:)

Follow the book tour. Read the reviews…

A Thanksgiving “Flappers & Jelly Beans” Tidbit

FLAPPERS JELLYBEANSIn honor of the upcoming holiday—no matter which day you celebrate it—here’s a remix from a Flappers and Jelly Beans post from Thanksgiving past…

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Think the trend for pushing the winter holiday shopping season on consumers earlier each year is a modern phenomenon? Think again.

The opening scene of It Had to Be You takes place in Herald Square in New York City on Thursday, November 27, 1924.

1920s Fiction -It Had to Be You

Mystery and Romance in 1920s Manhattan

It was Thanksgiving day and the first year R.H. Macy’s sponsored its Thanksgiving day parade. Except they didn’t call it that back then. They called it Macy’s Christmas Parade.

Here’s a peek back in time from the following day’s papers:

“Santa Claus chose Thanksgiving Day this year to come to town. With a retinue of clowns… animals, and floats, the bewhiskered man in red, in sight of thousands of persons, arrived at 9 o’clock yesterday morning and three hours later was crowned ‘King of the Kiddies’ on the marquee above the entrance to Macy’s new store in Thirty-fourth Street near Seventh Avenue…”

Most of the participants that day were Macy’s employees, but they were joined by many others, marching bands as well as floats featuring The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe and Little Red Riding Hood. There were also animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo—bears, elephants, donkeys.

But no giant balloons. Animal-shaped balloons made by Goodyear wouldn’t begin to replace the live animals until 1927. One of the first? Felix the Cat.

Macy’s at Herald Square (1942). From the Office of War Information Photograph Collection

Macy’s at Herald Square (1942). From the Office of War Information Photograph Collection

Another 1924 attraction that would feel familiar to us was the unveiling of Macy’s spectacular store window: “The Fairy Frolics of Wondertown.”

Some sources say a quarter million people attended the first parade. It was such a success, Macy’s decided to make it an annual event.

The world has changed, yes?
But maybe not as much as we think.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

Macy’s Parade 1930s  – British Movietone Temp – Subscribe at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmRpYigmLBc

For those who celebrate, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Photo and video credits:

Pumpkins – Delynn Royer

Macy’s at Herald Square (1942). From the Office of War Information Photograph Collection
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

1930s Macy’s Parade
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmRpYigmLBc
British Movietone Temp

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.

Farewell, Maureen

Maureen O'Hara

Maureen O’Hara (1942)

“Above all else, deep in my soul, I’m a tough Irishwoman.”

–Maureen O’Hara

The Queen of Technicolor

It takes a lot these days to bring Classic Movie Junkie out from hiatus, but the sad news of Maureen O’Hara’s recent passing at the age of 95 did the trick.CLASSIC MOVIE

There are some movie stars who strike a universal chord of empathy with audiences. It may be because they play their heroic characters so well. When they reveal their human vulnerabilities for all to see, we believe as we watch them up on that big screen that maybe we can be more like them.

Or maybe they just have that special something called “star quality” that translates so eloquently to film.

Most likely, it’s a special combination of both. Whatever it is, it’s more than a pretty face. These performers work their way into our hearts over many years—Jimmy Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, and,  to name a modern example, Robin Williams. When it’s time to say goodbye, it feels like we’ve lost an old friend.

Maureen O’Hara was like that.

♦♦♦

Maureen O’Hara

“I’m terrified about the day that I enter the gates of heaven and God says to me, just a minute.”  —Maureen O’Hara

♦♦♦

I can’t recall for certain the first Maureen O’Hara movie I saw, but I suspect it may have been a TV showing of The Parent Trap. I was a kid, so I identified with the Hayley Mills twin characters. In fact, I think that movie inspired one of my first attempts to write fiction—a story about summer camp. But I knew even then which character I wanted to be when I grew up—O’Hara’s Maggie McKendrick.

Gorgeous? They didn’t call her the “Queen of Technicolor” for nothing. With that flaming red hair and those flashing green eyes, O’Hara was one of the most beautiful actresses to ever grace the screen.

More important than beauty, though, was the role. O’Hara was always a woman’s woman, not just stunning but smart and sassy. The role of Maggie in The Parent Trap was a perfect fit after she’d grown out of those fiery lass roles of her youth.

Like Kate Hepburn, O’Hara could play strong women at any age who could go toe-to-toe with their equally strong men and make us laugh every step of the way.

She once said, “I think I’ll just stick around until I’m 102.”  By damn, she was feisty enough to almost do it.

♦♦♦

What are your favorite Maureen O’Hara films?

Here are some of mine.

The Parent Trap (1961)

The Parent Trap  (1961) Family Comedy/ Romance.  Twins separated by divorce meet at summer camp where they hatch an audacious scheme to switch places and reunite their parents. Hayley Mills, Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith.

Why? Set aside the outlandish separated-at-birth premise and settle in for the original of one of Disney’s best-loved family comedies. Hayley Mills shines in her dual role as matchmaking teenage twins, and Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith are pitch perfect as lively reunited ex-spouses set to prove that, though there may be snow on the roof, there’s still fire in the furnace. Uncomplicated fun.

♦♦♦

“Bette Davis was right—bitches are fun to play.”

From ‘Tis Herself: An Autobiography, Maureen O’Hara, John Nicoletti, 2004

♦♦♦

Wayne & O’Hara in McLintock! (1963)

McLintock! (1963) Western Comedy.  A cattle baron’s comfortable bachelor life is turned upside down when his estranged wife returns to get a divorce. John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara.

Why? I’m not a fan of pie-in-the-face comedy, but if a film has other attributes, I can be won over. McLintock! has two: Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne.

O’Hara takes no guff in this film. Her character—Kate McLintock—is a royal you-know-what from the get-go, and she keeps it up throughout this western version of The Taming of the Shrew.

The thing is, we sort of like her. In fact, the first time I watched this movie, I thought it had to be my imagination that I liked her. Then—in an instant—with a look, smile or a quip, O’Hara would reveal a glimpse of Kate’s humor, strength, or vulnerability.

Not my imagination.

Wayne wasn’t best known as a romantic leading man, but when paired with O’Hara, their chemistry shot through the roof. In McLintock!, G.W. and Kate aren’t youngsters. They’re in the later years of a marriage between two strong personalities that’s gone adrift. Theirs is a mature romantic chemistry that not only sparks with sexual tension but tugs at the heartstrings.

Recommended with the caveat that all is not 21st century politically correct in this film.

♦♦♦

“Of all my films, The Quiet Man is my favorite, and John Wayne, who became a dear friend, was my favorite leading man,” – Maureen O’Hara

♦♦♦

“It’s a bold one you are! Who gave you leave to be kissin’ me?” –The Quiet Man (1952)

The Quiet Man (1952) Romance/ Drama/ Comedy. An Irish-born American ex-boxer falls in love with the sister of a man who despises him when he returns to his birthplace to escape his past. John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara.

 Why?  O’Hara’s wonderfully nuanced performance as spitfire Mary Kate Danaher is her signature role, one for which she should have won an Oscar. John Wayne’s layered portrayal of Sean Thornton, an ex-boxer with a dark past, will surprise viewers who may only be familiar with his westerns.

Set in the magnificent Irish countryside, the legendary chemistry that sparks between these two Hollywood greats lights up the screen.

Caveat:  Not all is 21st century politically correct in this 1952 film set in 1920s Ireland. That said, this Oscar-winning Best Picture is a classic love story that shouldn’t be missed.

♦♦♦

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)  Holiday Fantasy/ Comedy.  When a department store Santa claims to be the real thing, a skeptical little girl asks him for her seemingly impossible heart’s desire. Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood.

Miracle_on_34th_StreetWhy?  In a far cry from her country lass roles, O’Hara plays Doris Walker, a divorced head-over-heart career woman who’s lost her faith in love.

Natalie Wood was just eight when she won her career-making role of O’Hara’s precocious daughter. Edmund Gwenn’s heartwarming performance won him an Academy Award and a special place in movie-goers’ hearts as the “real” Kris Kringle that lives on to this day.

This film enjoys repeated screenings on television each holiday season and can be streamed any day of the year. This year, though, there’s a special treat. It will be re-released on December 20 and 23, 2015 in select cinemas nationwide as part of the “TCM Presents” series.  Interested? Check for participating theaters HERE.

Taking_time_off_between_the_shooting_of_scenes_at_the_RKO_Studios_in_Hollywood,_Miss_O'Hara_helped_collect_more_than..._-_NARA_-_196469_(cropped)

Maureen O’Hara (1942)

♦♦♦

There’s a beautiful romantic line in How Green Was My Valley, spoken by Walter Pidgeon’s character to O’Hara’s character. “You will be queen wherever you walk.”

Céad slán, Maureen. Farewell.

♦♦♦

Photo credits: 

Maureen O’Hara 1942 – Trailer screenshot (The Black Swan trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Parent Trap – Reynold Brown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wayne & O’Hara – By Trailer screenshot (Wake o y DVD (Batjac-Paramount Pictures) (McLintock! film screenshot) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wayne & O’Hara – The Quiet Man – Copyright held by the film company or the artist.
Fair use to provide critical commentary on the film.

By trailer screenshot (RKO Pictures) (Sinbad the Sailor trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Miracle on 34th Street  – Copyright held by the film company or the artist.
Fair use to provide critical commentary on the film.

Maureen O’Hara circa 1942 – By Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. (06/13/1942 – 09/15/1945), Photographer (NARA record: 1138532) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What Day is It? (Or… End of Summer Roundup & 99 Cent Book Sale)

Where my Feet Take Me: A scene in It Had to Be You takes place at night on this rocky beach in Montauk, Long Island.

“’What day is it?’

‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet

‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.”

From Winnie-the-Pooh, 1926, A.A. Milne

 

What Day is it?

Did you ever wake up in a panic before the alarm clock went off and wonder what day it was? Is it Monday? Saturday? Wednesday? Holy cow! Am I late for work?  (And, no, in that instant, the word on my mind is not “cow.”)

I woke the other day wondering for a split second not only what day it was but what month it was.  It couldn’t be the end of August already… could it? Nah! Wasn’t it July, like… a week ago?

With a non-writing job that expects me to show up regularly, a family that expects me to talk to them regularly, a house that expects me to keep it presentable regularly, and friends who expect me to have fun regularly, it’s an inevitable fact that the one thing that’s only mine—the writing—too easily drops off the radar. That fact is never more true than in the summer when family and social gatherings and vacation get tossed into the schedule.

Yes, time for writing was in short supply this summer, which is why my blogging has been more non-existent than usual, but the summer is indeed coming to a close.

Does that mean I’ll be visiting my own blog more often? Well…:)

Are you as productive in the summer as you are at other times of the year? If not, what gets sacrificed?

The WIPs

WIP is an acronym for Work(s) in Progress. I haven’t been a complete washout with the writing. I took a break in August from editing the third book in my 1920s romantic mystery series, Goodnight, Angela, to try my hand at writing a short story.

Authors… do you write both long and short fiction? If so, how do you do it? Are you better at one than the other?

Here’s why I ask.

This has been an interesting experiment since I’ve never completed a piece of fiction shorter than 85,000 words. The suggested word count for an anthology I’d like to participate in is a flexible 7,000 to 10,000 words.  I’m at 14,000 and counting. (That’s… seven tons of words, right?)

Yeah. And I’m not even sure I like how the story is going.

Its working title is “Heart of the Dragon.” It’s about a big city, smart ass private eye and his overly optimistic small town secretary. It’s set in the Bowery and Chinatown in 1926 New York City.

Will this little darling ever see the light of day? Maybe. Maybe not. I’ve got more than a few stories living on the Island of Unfinished WIPs.

Authors… do you have any WIPs keeping mine company on the Island of Unfinished WIPs? Any favorites you secretly hope to rescue?

I’ve got one sentimental favorite I plan to finish one day, an untitled reunion historical romance that’s been percolating for–I kid you not–two decades.

In fact, I worked on that one a bit this summer, too. Anything but work on the project I’m supposed to be finishing, right? There’s a word for that…

Procrastination

I think–if you’re a writer–you should be able to count procrastination as work.

  • Surfing the Net = Research
  • Napping = Plotting
  • Tweeting = Promotion

Ahem… One pastime I can’t fool myself into classifying as work is Pinterest. Any pinners out there? That’s just too fun to call work, isn’t it?

Hey… maybe I’ll start a new board called PROCRASTINATION.

What would you pin on your Procrastination Board?

I did start a new board this summer. It’s called “Where my Feet Take Me,” and it was inspired by one of my new wellness resolutions—to take a solitary 30-minute walk every day when the weather is decent. (I reserve the right to define “decent.”)

Can taking a walk be procrastination? Sure! But I prefer to call it “Refilling the Well.”

This nifty graphic is an example of procrastinating on Canva to illustrate procrastinating on Pinterest.

This nifty graphic is a prime example of double procrastinating. It’s procrastinating on Canva to illustrate procrastinating on Pinterest. (Don’t try this at home unless you’re at least a brown-belt level procrastinator.)

The Pinterest board has expanded to include photos taken not only on my walks but on vacations and research trips. I’ll be adding to it as the spirit moves me.

If you feel like procrastinating now, check out my new board here. :)

What do you do to Refill your Creative/Spiritual Well?

And in Other News…

I guest posted on some blogs this summer!

“The Yin and Yang of Fictional Sleuthing” (about the built-in conflict in “he and she” detective teams) at Book Babe.

  • Book Babe is a unique book review site, specializing in books (often historical) that feature strong, smart heroines. Do visit!

“The Duck’s Quack… 20s Speak” (about 1920s slang) at Cats, Roses and Books!

  • Cats, Roses and Books is where best-selling mystery and romance author Karen Rose Smith blogs on cats, gardening, cooking, and writing. Stop by!
1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mystery

A 1920s Romantic Mystery

Beck Valley Books hosted a successful book review tour in July for It Had to Be You. If you’d like to take a peek, find the links here. 

Goodbye, Tootsie is featured  now in the Choosy Bookworms Read & Review program.

MyBookIsFeaturedOnChoosy (1)What’s Read & Review?  A program for  indie authors to get their books into the hands of interested readers willing to write an honest review. (Publishers have their own ways of distributing free copies to readers and reviewers. This gives indies a chance to do the same.)

If you’re a reader of historical mystery and romance and think you may be interested in Read & Review, check out the FAQs here and Goodbye, Tootsie‘s page here. (Limited time only.)

A 1920s Romantic Mystery

A 1920s Romantic Mystery

The Choosy Bookworm also offers a Daily Deal e-newsletter that lists indie books for free and bargain prices. The newsletters are brief and fun. Give them a try.

Goodbye, Tootsie is on sale for just $.99 at Amazon!

Sale price is good through Labor Day  (Perhaps longer if I procrastinate on making the price change.:)  That’s the beauty of indie publishing.)  Give as a gift or keep for yourself. Buy it Here!

Have a great week!

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Photo Credits:

Where My Feet Take Me – Photography copyright © 2015 by Delynn Royer.

It Had to Be You – Copyright © 2014 cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Goodbye, Tootsie Cover Art by Fiona Jayde Media

New Release, Ebook Tour, Giveaway & Other Summer Doings!

Goodbye, Tootsie is Here!

A 1920s Romantic Mystery

A 1920s Romantic Mystery

It’s been a long road, baby!

I’m bleary-eyed and sleep-derived but also dang happy to announce that Goodbye, Tootsie–the sequel to my 2014 romantic mystery, It Had to Be You–has gone live at Amazon and will soon be available under the Kindle Unlimited program.

If you’re so inclined, you can give it some Amazon love by:

→  Checking out the sample pages at U.S. Amazon HERE. (Every love-tap on that book link is appreciated!); or

→  Tweeting the book page… New! #Mystery & romance in #1920s Manhattan! GOODBYE TOOTSIE @DelynnRoyer #romanticmystery getBook.at/20SMYS

Plans to release at other ebook retailers—iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo—are in the works for Fall, 2015.

It Had to Be You: All Grown Up! (And Going on its First Summer Book Tour Vacation)

Where does the time go? It’s hard to believe It Had to Be You is already over a year old. To celebrate, we’re doing a $25 Amazon gift card giveaway and sending it on its own Mid-Summer Book Tour Vacation.

It Had to Be You Book Tour

It Had to Be You Book Tour

Its overnight bag is all packed and it’s ready to go for a book tour hosted by Beck Valley Books from July 6th to July 10th. Below is the itinerary, and the Book Tour Page is HERE.

Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Appreciation for Book Bloggers

If you’ve ever written a book or a movie review, you know firsthand that it takes time and thought to dash off even a thumbnail review if you want it to be useful and of good quality. An hour, maybe?

What about an in-depth review for a book or movie review blog? More than an hour? Easily.  (If I count writing, editing, hyperlinking, and layout, it takes me about half a work day to do a blog post.) Oh, and don’t forget to add the time to actually read the book or watch the movie.

In today’s online book market, reviews are important to authors for sales and to readers for making buying decisions. Yet, most book bloggers receive no compensation for their reviews beyond review copies of books. That’s what’s called a Labor of Love, and it’s appreciated.

If you have time, please consider popping by to visit Beck Valley Books and the other sites hosting It Had to Be You on its first summer book tour vacation.:)

Best Surprise of the Week

1_Bride_of_frankenstein_1935_still_03Speaking of book bloggers, eagle-eyed Ava Quinn, the chucklemeister behind Tongue in Cheek blog, tweeted me last week that my first book–A Touch of Camelot—was reviewed at Dear Author.

0000012480-DelynnRoyer_ATouchofCamelot_800pxGah!  What a cool surprise!  (Truly, this tweet came at a time when I’d just birthed Goodbye, Tootsie, and I still resembled the Bride of Frankenstein–little sleep, bad hair, blurred vision from staring at the Kindle previewer for, uh, like, days. ) I believe the pic above accurately captures the expression on my face when I read Ava’s message… whaaat?)

My favorite line from Jayne S’s review?

“As a western rom com, ‘A Touch of Camelot’ hit the spot for me…” I’ll take it.:) (Read the full review here.)

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And so, what’s new with you? Have you gone on any summer vacations? Any excursions coming up? Did you have any fun surprises lately?

Thanks for visiting, and have a great week!:)

 

Photo Credits

 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.

Goodbye, Tootsie cover art design by Fiona Jayde Media. Learn more About Fiona here.

Goodbye, Tootsie Custom Photo Shoot and Cover Model Image from  RomanceNovelCovers.com

By Trailer screenshot, from DVD Bride of Frankenstein, Universal 2004 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYD3-pIF9jQ) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Touch of Camelot cover art design by Hot Damn Designs