Before there was #MrDarcy there was #ChristopherReeve as #Superman...

I loved the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve. Since it was 1978, I'm going to say it came before the 1981 version of Mr. Darcy (David Rintoul.) I mean, Christopher Reeve was a work of art. Anyone who has bothered to sit through "Somewhere in Time" knows that. But I just love how the big joke of this Superman movie was that there were no more phone booths, so he had to change in a revolving door. I don't know what Superman does now because I haven't seen many superhero movies in my lifetime.

The kids are making fun of the bad special effects -- sometimes, the world is too jaded. He was the best Superman.


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This is the first movie I remember swooning over a handsome hero. I think it's pretty evident that I had good taste back then. Who was your first movie crush?


#50Shades at the gym...just say no!

I'm at the gym today. The LORD's DAY! And I'm listening to a "Watch What Crappens" blog on "Southern Charm." (Don't judge me!) on the elliptical machine. I look up and on the TV is what I later figure out is "50 Shades of Grey" the movie, but at the time, the closed captioning reads:

Of course, I'll be your sex slave.

What part of that dialogue or the weirdly edited sex scenes are part of gym fare? I looked around me, thinking others must be a little horrified -- like watching a sex scene with your parents. But nope. Girl next to me is just watching it like it's what's on, so whatever.


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So I know I can be a little old-fashioned and I prefer Jane Austen to E.L. James, but seriously, what happened to the days when Lucy and Ricky had to sleep in separate beds? How far have we gone downhill in such a short time?

At least can't we see that stuff in the privacy of our own homes? In fairness, no one else paid any attention and I went back to my podcast dissing on T. Rav as the worst human being on television. It just makes me happy that other people see through him. And their J.D. impression is on-point. But there's a lot of swearing, so if that offends you, like sex slavery offends me, then don't listen to "Watch What Crappens." How can you NOT love a show that spends 90 minutes dissecting an hour long reality TV show? Epic.


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I'm a labeling queen. I love my P-Touch labeler. As an ADD person, the labels allow me to stay organize and pay bills/manage paperwork for six people. So imagine my excitement, my pure geeking out at finding this fancy P-Touch labeler that allows for PRETTY labels. Are you hearing me? Labels with bling, people!

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I did a friend's job a few years' back while she recovered from organ transplant surgery. While there, I labeled her entire office. When I work for her now, I file everything away and make new labels if she needs them. I have labeled files for everyone in the family and their schools/work/insurance/cars/licenses/bills, etc. This is survival for me. Now that my nest is getting empty, I am really looking forward to making my sons their own set of labels and sending them on their way. I don't think they'll appreciate the polka dot versions. I'll save those for myself.

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Anyway, labels with bling. I'm in!


#SouthernCharm -- The Breakup Bunch Part 2

Thomas had a Summer party and we all know what that means: he's got his tight pants on...


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And a young sycophant on his arm. Seriously, I hope Ashley is an actress because otherwise, there is no excuse for her behavior. When she said she liked the nanny, but didn't understand why T-Rav needed Kathryn's approval. Seriously? Why would any mother want to meet the woman who is basically raising her kids? Is Ashley for real?

I really, really hope that Ashley is an actress because otherwise, she couldn't be any ruder or more obnoxious.

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Back to the Nanny. If that scene didn't show the head games that T-Rav is playing with Kathryn so that she can "earn" the rights to get back into her children's lives, I don't know what does. He just loves to play with her. She has done NOTHING he hasn't done in the past, but her sins are unforgivable. Yet, while he did eight years or so in the slammer, he's the epitome of parenthood. Please. The South Carolina courts need to rethink their ways if you can buy your kids with a good lawyer. Kids need both their parents! T-Rav is competing with Kathryn, I don't think he'll ever get it.

Then, this awful woman Ashley says they can get married and SHE can become the kids' caretaker. How desperate is this woman? Isn't she a nurse? Doesn't she have a job other than kissing T-Rav's bum? Gross.
Ashley is so thirsty the way she's grabbing onto Thomas's pocket, what the heck? And did you notice how Thomas doesn't even seem to notice her but is all over Kathryn when she comes in?

Cameron looks adorable pregnant and that scene of her eating by herself is everything.

In the meantime, Craig explains that he didn't bring a date to the dinner because it's the first time he will see Naomie and he doesn't want to hurt her. See T-Rav? That's how it's done, dude. Oh my goodness, that scene between Naomie and Craig was so tough to watch. I love them both, but they're terrible together. That's such a crime against humanity when people in love are terrible for each other. Maybe that's why I'm a romance writer. It shouldn't be that way. I loved hearing that Naomie was hurt. I have to admit, it didn't feel like she would be.

Austen is taking after T-Rav by having some PDA with one of Chelsea's friend. Tacky. And what about him not picking up the tab and coming over late at night? Chelsea is so out of Austen's league. How did any of this happen?

Then Thomas walks into the kitchen where the gals are and my daughter says, "Why is he even there? He's like that weird dad who shows up at your high school parties." LOL "Seriously, why is he so old and all his friends are so young?" Amen, Elle. Amen. So before, when he had no interest in Ashley when she's hanging on him, all of a sudden in front of Kathryn, he can't take his hands off of Ashley.


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I ABHOR how JD says he's single. Dude, you are not single. You have four little kids, so even if you're being a jerk to your wife, you're not exactly free. Capiche? What a jerk.


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Shoutout to Naomie for calling JD on his crap. He looks SOO guilty when she confronts him. LOL Kathryn just looks happy to not be in the fray. Kathryn has turned out to be so bright. I hope she has officially woken up and is completely over Toxic Thomas.


Excited to take the @JudyBlume MasterClass

I wrote and published several books before I discovered that my natural voice was in first-person. It wasn't until Judy Blume released an adult novel a few years' back that I realized where that love came from -- no other than Judy Blume!

I love the intimacy that first-person storytelling allows. As I watched the commercial for Ms. Blume's MasterClass, she said that she had a messy mind and writing allowed her to clean it up. That is EXACTLY how I tell a story. I will say that my first drafts are not a complete mess -- because I write them over and over as I go. Something every expert tells you NOT to do. But I can't do it any other way. I obsess over those character details until I know them so intimately, I can move on past chapter 5. Then, it probably gets messy.

She also said that when she wrote, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" she wanted to tell the truth. That is paramount to me. I want my fiction to have an element of truth that people can relate to. It's why I have such a hard time with "perfect" characters. No one's life is perfect. No one's. I know that Instagram would make you believe that someone's life is perfect as they pose with their new Tesla or stand in front of their Beverly Hills' mansion, but that's not the case.

In some ways, it allows you to live in an alternate universe where the truth gets shoved under the rug. Kris Jenner's life and marriage looked pretty good until we found out her husband wanted to be a woman. When I wrote the book about the Iraqi missionaries with Carrie McDonnall, she said she was at the airport and she couldn't go through the metal detector, because after being shot 26 times, she was riddled with shrapnel. She looked like a beautiful, young woman with nothing wrong with her at all. She said that looking around the airport, she thought, you never really know what anyone's going through. That is SO true, and it taught me not to judge too harshly. It also makes me want to write and tell those stories of hidden struggles that most people cannot share -- either because people won't understand or because it's not their secret to tell and they keep it for a loved one.

If you could sit at the heels of one of your favorite authors, what would you want to learn? I want to learn how Judy finds the truth she wants to share. What does she need for people to understand? And how her process works.


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Back to work! #AmWriting -- but #SouthernCharm y'all...

I'm finally back in my office. It's been a long time, and I need to be writing every day, so this must change! But first, I have to talk about "Southern Charm" because none of my loser friends watch it. (Where did I go wrong?) Okay, reality TV is like the modern-day melodrama. There are those you root for (Kathryn -- girl get away from Thomas -- he's toxic) and there are those you wait to trip on their own egos. (Pretty much the entire male cast -- except for Craig. I love Craig.) I loved Shep until "Relationshep" and now, he has that Jax look about him. He's too old for that behavior. And for the entire cast, can I just say, STOP DRINKING!!!! You're all like a Tennessee Williams' play waiting to happen.


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For those of you who watch -- let's take this apart one trainwreck at a time.

1. Thomas' new girlfriend. Okay, Ashley a word of advice: YOU NEVER call a woman who mothered two of your boyfriend's children a baby mama. She is attached to him forever. You are most likely the flavor du jour. Ashley, never, ever be that girl who helps a man mentally torture his ex. It will come back to bite you in the bum. Someday, you will be that ex and the next woman -- who will be younger and prettier most likely, will do the same to you. The fact that Thomas was giddy to show Ashley off to Kathryn at the party was quite frankly, creepy and stalkerish. If you've moved on, prove it. Kathryn shouldn't be in your thoughts. And poor Lilly Pulitzer. Those shorts were not a good look. Wedges, really?

2. Kathryn. Personally, I think she's moved on for the most part. I think that Thomas will always try to pull her back in -- but I hope she holds strong. He's not the marrying kind. As proven by the fact that he's spent 50+ years single. Let him stay that way. Or let him play his games with other people, you're better than that Kathryn. I like seeing new, stable Kathryn -- don't let him pull you back into the mess. I cringe every time I hear her yell, "THOMAS! I WON'T LET YOU LEAVE ME!" Bravo, give her a break and stop playing that clip.

3. Craig and Naomi. I miss this couple, but really do think they're terrible for each other at the same time. I think Naomi is a total nag, but I have to admit, if my guy were sewing cute onesies and not working, I'd probably be worse. So I'm going to give her a pass on this one. She deserves a good life.

4. Chelsea. I love Chelsea. I wish I could have been 1/100th as cool as her as a younger woman. She definitely deserves a man with a job.


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5. Why don't any of the men in Charleston work? I mean, it's crazy. Living in Silicon Valley where everyone is a workaholic it is completely foreign to me.

6. Do we think Patricia's ring is real? If it is, it's really ugly just to be big/gaudy. It looks like an actual ice cube. Made with Flint, MI water. Of the ring, she said it could be bigger. Gross. It looks better in this picture than it did on the show.
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6. J.D. and Liz. I have to admit, I did not see JD coming. I think she was the one with the money and she's gorgeous. But I do like the women banding together against the good ol' boys network. That being said, I hope JD gets his act together. They have triplets and another little one. There is no amount of partying that is worth losing that gorgeous family over.

7. Landon. I don't miss her at all. There are people on TV, I love to fake-hate. Dorit on RHOBH is one of them. She is so clueless that I enjoy her immensely. Landon, not so much. She was so easily used by Thomas to get back at Kathryn that I had actual feelings against her. I think the final straw was her thumbing her nose at her dad's job -- trying to help her stop being a gold digger and get some self-respect. I hope that has happened and I wish her well. But I'm glad she's off the show.


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All photos from Bravo television.


I love the new #AmericanIdol

So here's the thing. I stopped watching "American Idol" years ago because I thought they made fun of the mentally ill. And that was no okay with me, and I didn't want any part in it. So I nixed it.

Now it's back and I'll be honest. I think Lionel Richie is a legend and he's the reason I tuned in to the new revamp. But I've been pleasantly surprised by all the judges. Luke Bryan is boring on his own (talented, but kind of like paint drying as a personality. Which surprises me because my daughter says he's hilarious in concert.) Maybe he hasn't found his Idol legs yet.

Katy is a pleasant surprise I wasn't expecting. I think she's darling and so funny to watch. All of them have a great rapport with contestants. They seem to identify with them as up-and-coming artists, which is admirable considering how long it's been since they were up-and-coming artist themselves. I like hearing the stories. It's always so amazing to me that these people hide this incredible talent and they're like working at Frosty Freeze or something.


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I know people like "The Voice" but I haven't watched it to compare. I don't plan to start. I'm not a Blake Shelton fan. At all. I'm really not an Alicia Keys fan either. I find the way they turn in their chairs Kitschy to the extreme, so I'm happy that "American Idol" is back for those of us who were early fans.

My favorite so far is Noah. LOVE his voice. I have another favorite: Maddie Zahn from Idaho. Have you tried to the new Idol?


#MaryPoppinsReturns

There's a new trailer that shows, pretty much nothing. But a new movie is coming out about the Banks' children all grown up. And it's a period drama. And Colin Firth is in it. You're welcome.



I just rewatched Saving Mr. Banks and I adore that movie. It's so well-done and with such an amazing cast. Even the side characters are MOVIE STARS. Remember what that is, Hollywood? Okay, clearly not. For the first time in my life, I didn't watch the Oscars. I have no idea who most of the people are and I didn't see any of the films that were nominated, except Coco, which I loved.

I am an avid moviegoer and I did not see ONE of the movies nominated. Let that sink in a minute. I probably go to the theater twice a month. And I did not see any of those movies, nor do I want to. But really, they lost me after "La La Land" winning last year. I love classic Hollywood and musicals and they hired actors who couldn't dance or sing. That was offensive to me and Fred Astaire's ghost.


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The movie is sad. It's about a writer after all. Why do writers always have such sucky lives? I haven't watched the A.A. Milne movie yet, but I hear it's sad, too. Virginia Woolf, who was an INFP like me, killed herself by putting rocks in her hem and walking into the river. Seriously, that's not what I want to leave the world with as a writer. I want to sprinkle fairy dust.

Robin Lee Hatcher, one of my favorite authors and people, posted this on Instagram yesterday. This is the kind of writer that I want to be.


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Arie...I kind of blame his parents...

As a mom of four, I hate when the mom takes the blame for every stupid thing their kids do. However, I really think that Arie's parents talked him into Becca. It was clear his emotions and feelings were for Lauren and he was trying to talk himself into Becca. Let's be clear. Both women are too good for him. He can't man up enough to figure out what he wants and have any convictions. Maybe he was overwhelmed and doesn't do well in a crisis. But as his parents, they KNEW he couldn't make a choice and yet they told him theirs. Strongly. Multiple times. And he was in such a confused state, I think he went with someone else making the decision for him. It was easier.

Keep in mind that his ex-girlfriend said he would be a great bachelor until it was time to pick just one. Baby Bekah called it too by saying he's a manipulative person who says what anyone wants to hear to get his own way.

The thing that bothers me most about him is even after he'd broken Becca's heart, he had NO consideration for her feelings at all. He was completely lacking in empathy. Even when talking with her on tonight's show, he seems to want her to feel bad for him. I think our bachelor is so in his own head that he's probably not capable of sacrificing for another person. He's probably been spoiled and told that he's allowed to get whatever he wants. (I'm not a fan of his family, can you tell? I think they created his narcissism or at least enabled it.) . This show certainly didn't help.

When asked if he has regrets by Chris Harrison, Arie says he regrets asking Becca to marry him. TO HER FACE!! Not that she's hurt, not that he was unfair to her, no, he regrets that he made a mistake. This guy is utterly clueless and if Lauren doesn't run I fear for her future. When she is having a baby Arie will tell her that her wailing is really bothering him. Could she please keep it down?

If any of you have read by Ashley Stockingdale, I'm thinking Arie is Seth Greenwood come to life. As far as Becca being the Bachelorette, I hope she's ready. She deserves so much better than what happened to her. She allowed that jerk to talk to his ex and "get some closure." That is going to harm her trust in anyone. There are long-term repercussions to what he did and I don't think he will ever get it.


Christian Scavenger Hunt Stop #21

 

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Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you've just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1 and collect the clues through all 30 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!


  • The hunt begins on 3/1 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.

  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).

  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt--you have all weekend (until Sunday 3/4 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books.

  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author's scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at Stop #30. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!
  • It is my honor to introduce Karen Witemeyer!









More Than Meets the Eye

When her family is threatened, Evangeline doesn’t expect falling in love to be their best defense. Yet how can she follow her heart when it tugs in opposing directions?

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A Heroine with Heterochromia

By Karen Witemeyer

My June release, More Than Meets the Eye, will be the first book in a new series. While there is an excitement that comes from getting to know a new group of characters, there is also a pressure to make them fresh and unique.

The premise behind my new Patchwork Family series is a group of orphans who bond to form their own family when their orphan train derails. These youngsters have been passed over and left unclaimed. Zach, because he is a belligerent loner with a giant chip on his shoulder. Seth, because he is sickly, weakened by asthma. But how could I make my cheerful, tenderhearted Evangeline undesirable to adoptive families?

Mismatched eyes.

Psychologists will tell you that humans crave symmetry. It's why certain faces are universally more attractive than others. When that symmetry is out of balance, it creates cognitive dissonance. To justify our discomfort, we place blame on the cause, calling it unnatural or something darker, like witchcraft. The greater the dissonance, the greater the reaction. So, I didn't simply give my heroine slightly different colored eyes. I made them drastically different. One dark brown and one vividly blue. These are the eyes I patterned Evangeline's after.

My husband loves the fantasy genre, and he and I recently watched The Shannara Chronicles based on Terry Brooks's novels. General Riga is a ruthless villain on a quest to eradicate magic. His evil is highlighted by his unnatural eyes—one dark brown, the other vivid blue.

My sweet-natured heroine has nothing in common with that villain, yet she feels the sting of rejection and prejudice because of her eyes and is challenged by the hero to stand tall in a world that fails to appreciate her inner beauty because they are blinded by what they see on the outside.

 

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Winner of the ACFW Carol Award, National Reader's Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA® and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. Learn more at www.karenwitemeyer.com or join her private Facebook group - the Posse.

Here's the Stop #22 Skinny: