Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Double Bind

I just finished reading this book last night, The Double Bind. I can't quite pronounce the author's last name and end up calling him Chris Bojangles. I'm sure he would appreciate that. Its Chris Bohjalian and you might remember him from the Oprah book club book, Midwives. If you haven't read that one then get it now because its one of those must- read books.

The Double Bind starts off with a brutal near rape and follows the character of Laurel through her search for information about a homeless man. Laurel is a worker at a shelter who and she befriends a man named Bobbie Crocker. He was living on the streets with nothing but a bag full of photographs. When he passes away, Laurel delves into the photos, researching and becoming nearly obsessed with the indentity of this man and his relationship to the people in The Great Gatsby. There is much more to the story but I can't give it away, you will have to read the book. The second half of this novel will have you turning pages quickly as you start to piece together who this Bobbie Crocker was, why Laurel is nearly manical in her interest and what Jay Gatsby has to do with the whole thing.

All I can say is WOW, the author has an amazing imagination! I'm not giving anything else away.

Because of the Writers Stike (no new tv episodes) plus the cold, damp, rainy weather, I have been reading non-stop. If I am not on the computer, I am sitting with a book in my hand.

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Friday, January 25, 2008


I have been on a historical novel kick lately. I have tons of good books to read on my shelf but I keep heading to the library for more thick novels to sink my teeth into. A fantastic book, no matter what the genre can transport us to another time and place. There have been times when I am standing at the stovetop, cooking with a book in my hand. Other instances find me with tears running down my cheeks because I get so emotional. And who can resist a book that makes us laugh out loud? Then you try to explain to who ever is sitting next to you what is so funny but they don't understand because they aren't reading the book.

Last year I took an eleven day Panama Canal cruise and probably, one of the best parts of the trip was the fact that I read almost a novel a day! When my husband was doing his thing and the kids were off playing, I was back in the cabin or sitting somewhere relaxing with a novel in my hand. I read a book about Marie Antoinette which really whet my appetite for learning more about the young, frivolous Queen.

Last night I could have watched Celebrity Apprentice or something fun on HGTV. But I decided to head to bed, lounging under the covers with my novel. I finished Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund. This is a huge book which I'm sure took the author a long time and a lot of energy to write and she did an amazing job. It's so chock-full of information and details of locations and people. I highly recommend Abundance! It's incredible and you will love it. I found myself very sympathetic towards Marie Antoinette and her husband. Last night I was google-ing images of Marie to see what she looked like, this queen with her towering hair do's and extravagent dresses.

I wish I paid more attention to history when I was in school. Now as an adult, I am so intrigued with these famous ladies. I just got a book about the last wife of Henry the VIII and rented the film with Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth I.

A few years ago we were traveling across the country via airplane and I was in the middle of My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. First of all, I never take library books on vacation with me in case I lose them. Second, I do not travel with hardbacks because of their size. Well this book was both from the library and a hardback. I simply couldn't leave it behind though; I HAD to finish it. I was somewhere over Colorado when I finished the story and OH MY GOODNESS. If you haven't read the book, I don't want to spoil it for you but I was thunderstruck by the ending. I looked around for someone to talk to about this fantastic novel but of course everyone was paging through Sky Mall or sleeping. See, that's what a terrific book does, it leaves you wanting to tell other people about so they can experience it too!

Good books, seriously what's better? Check out Abundance if you are looking for a thick, juicy historical novel!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Victoria Zackheim, For Keeps

It would be so nice to look in the mirror and not see the hundreds of little (and not so little) things that I would change about myself. I wish I could take into consideration that this body of mine has traveled across the country and back, my body has weathered the storm of birthing two babies, has been through several surgeries, my body has swam in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, has zip lined, rock climbed and snorkled and has published a book and is raising a family. But. But I keep seeing those imperfections on a daily basis despite the fact that this body has been the vehicle to experience a wonderful and exciting life.

I loved Victoria Zackheim's book, For Keeps Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance. Twenty seven smart and accomplished women have written essays relating to body image or experiences they have gone through which has shaped who they have become. I find it body image a fascinating topic, the book is brilliant. I For Keeps next to by my bed so I can dip into it now and then for strength and wisdom, learning from women who understand, who know what its like to look down and see a scar or glaring imperfection. This is a book you need to own. Buy it for a friend because it's a meaningful gift. And props to the women who wrote the essays, thank you.

I won't go out of the house without my…

tinted glasses (one must see, after all!) and presentable underwear. (Yes, my mother was one of those moms who warned me that I should never wear holey knickers...just in case I'm hit by a car and my skirt flies over my head. Haven't worn a skirt in years, but the undie thing stuck with me!)

I feel most beautiful when…

I'm fully clothed and engaged in a project that I find stimulating, challenging...and thrilling.

Which essay affected you the most?

I was deeply moved by all of them, but I was most affected by the process of writing my own. I had never revealed such intimacies and it was quite terrifying.

How do you stay focused on what’s important- health, friends, family etc.?

Not very well. That is, I lose my focus quite easily when I'm concentrating on my work. What suffers most, however, is my physical well-being.

Do you think the models in magazine and celebs are partly to blame for women being so hard on themselves physically?

Partly? Oh yes, and the magazines, photographers, and fashion mavens as well. As long as we continue to buy into what 'they' consider beautiful, women will never be able to see themselves, imperfections and all, as beautiful and valuable women.

If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?

Could I be thirty years younger, please? I've got so many projects and time is slipping by! (And while you're doing your magic, I wouldn't mind being 30 lbs. lighter, thanks!)

What are you most proud of?

My children. They have grown into lovely and loving adults, grounded and kind and creative. After my children, I would have to say my books.

When do you feel strongest?

When I try to make something happens...and it does. A book, an event, getting an invitation to appear or read. That big Yes! makes me feel empowered.

What do you hope women get out of reading this book?

A sense of how wonderful they really are. Thin, overweight, plain, beautiful, fair, dark, whatever size, shape, and color, I want each woman to read these very personal essays and think, "She's talking to me, I've been there, and now I'm feeling better about myself."

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Five Minutes With Maggie...

When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton

Newlyweds Madeline and Aaron were happily and madly in love. But when a tragedy befalls Madeline, she suffers brain damage that reduces her to the mental capacity of a small child. Aaron refuses to abandon his wife even though her own parents have seemed to disappear, unable to cope with the tragedy. Aaron decides to care for her as though she is his young daughter. Aaron remarries, and he and his new wife Julia have two children. Though Julia readily accepts care of Madeline, the daily life of this family is unique and it affects their two children.

This story, told through the eyes of Aaron's now-grown-up son chronicles the rise and fall of his extended family through the political struggles of the 60s and 70s. Madeline's story - heart-wrenching, touching, and emotional - provides the delicate undercurrent and the binding factor for this family. Throughout the novel, questions are constantly and subtly posed: Was this the right arrangement for Madeline? Did her care help or hurt the family bond? And if this happened to someone in your family, what would you do? -Maggie Marton

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Author Marta Acosta interviews me!

Have you read Marta Acosta's novels? Funny and entertaining, check it out.

Talented and lovely author Marta Acosta has posted an interview with me on her blog. She is so cool!

You must head over there and read what she has written. Also there is a free book giveaway so hurry on over and post something nice about me. Now git!

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27 Dresses

If you are in the mood for a funny, sweet movie with a satisfying and happy ending then go see this movie! Written by Aline Brosh McKenna (fellow Jersey girl, woo!) who penned the screenplay to The Devil Wears Prada, this is your perfect chick-flick movie to see with your best girlfriends.

I adore Katherine Heigl and have a little bit of a crush on James Marsden after seeing this (and Enchanted and Hairspray)! Also noteworthy is Judy Greer who plays the sarcastic best friend and Ed Burns who plays the object of affection. Malin Ackerman rounds out the cast, she reminds me of a Kirsten Dunst/Cameron Diaz hybrid.

Cute movie! Two thumbs up.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Marla Martenson, Excuse Me, Your Soul Mate is Waiting

When I was a teenager, all I would dream about, besides being a famous writer and living in California, was having someone to love me. I wanted a boyfriend who would treat me nicely and appreciate me and love me and shower me with affection and compliments. I never longed for having babies or being a mother but being a wife, yeah. I liked that idea. Of course I had a preconcieved notion of what he would be like, which is NOTHING like the man I married.

Fast forward to now, I have been married for twelve years and hopefully the husband seeking, soul mate searching is over forever. But had I not met him, what would I have done? Author Marla Martenson's new book is called, Excuse Me, Your Soul Mate is Waiting. This is the book I would have consulted if I didn't find my Mr. Right. Who doesn't want to find love, have a partner to share their life with? The book is about how to use the Law of Attraction to attract your mate. This is an easy to read book, never preachy, always positive and upbeat. And Marla herself is a gem! Click here to visit her website.

How has the Law of Attraction worked in your life?
The Law of Attraction has and continues to work in my life in all areas. Since I really started to apply it, especially using the techniques in Lynn Grabhorn's book Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting which I review and teach in my book Excuse Me, Your Soul Mate Is Waiting, my whole life has changed. I got a new career in matchmaking which has been incredibly rewarding, I met my husband who is my soul mate, I got a book deal with Hampton Roads and new and wonderful opportunities are appearing continuously.

Do you believe in the notion of a soul mate?
I believe that we all have many soul mates. My dog Daphne was my soul mate, my husband is my soul mate and many of my friends are soul mates teaching me and bringing something much needed and special into my life. As far as a romantic, life partner soul mate I do believe in it and believe that I have finally met mine.

What is the most important lesson you have learned about love?
The most important thing that I have learned so far is that love means non judgment, patience, and accepting people for who they are and not trying to change them.

Everyone imagines love as a fairy tale. Do you believe in happily ever after?
I believe that happily ever after does indeed exist. My husband's parents were married over 50 years until his father passed away last year. They were best friends as well as husband and wife. The happily ever after seems rare nowadays with the divorce rate so high, but it is definitely possible.

How can someone tell if their partner is "the one?"
I discuss this at length in my book, ask yourself some important questions early on about the person and be honest with yourself. Often times people mistake attraction or lust for "soul mate." Does this person treat you and your loved ones with respect? Does he talk about future plans together? Does he introduce you to his friends and family? Is he proud to be with you? Do you feel like you could spend the rest of your life with this person and be happy and fulfilled?

What was your path to becoming a matchmaker?
I honestly think that my becoming a matchmaker was meant to be. I never intentionally planned to become one. I didn't even realized they existed. I fell into the job by answering an ad in the back of an actor’s newspaper. I was looking for a part time job and ended up having a 6 year career in the field, helping countless couples to find "the one" and to go on to get married and write a book about it.

Do you watch TV? What are your favorite shows?
I do watch TV. When I get home from a long day at the office, about 7:45 p.m. I love making myself a cup of tea, putting on my sweats and curling up to watch my favorite shows, Larry King Live, Oprah, Nancy Grace, Show Biz Tonight, The O'Reilly Factor, Glen Beck. Then for fun, my husband and I love watch Forensic Files, Dexter, The Tudors, The History Channel, and basically most of the HBO and ShowTime series.

If you could match a couple of single celebrities, who would you pair up?
Paris Hilton and Hugh Hefner would be pretty wild!

What is the mystery of David Spade? That guy has dated every eligible and gorgeous actress in Hollywood!
Well, I don't know what his mystery is, but it seems like he is having the time of his life!

My husband and I are so different. he loves sports while I like museums and art. I am creative while he is logical. Please explain the "opposites attract" theory.
Well, I believe the opposites attract theory means looks wise opposites attract. I am a red head and have always been approached by more dark or ethnic men and I love dark guys. As far as having different interests, that's okay as long as you respect each other and give each other space to do your own thing. It's also important to share in each others interests for example if your husband loves sports, watch a game with him now and again, or make him sandwiches and get his favorite beer. And hopefully he will go to the mall with you once every couple of months and hold your purse while you are pawing through the sales rack!

Do you plan on writing another book?
Yes, as a matter of fact I am halfway through a novel and I would love to write more non fiction self help type of books.

What is your five year plan?
My five year plan is to continue writing and build a speaking career, travel and enjoy life.

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Celebs who hated school

Its no secret that I hated junior highschool and highschool. There was nothing fun about it. I was teased and picked on, humiliated and made fun of consistently. My husband wishes he could hop in a time machine and go back to 1988 but for me, the only good memory is when I was handed my diploma and knew I would never ever have to go back to highschool, ever.
The thrust of my ambition is probably due to shaking off those feelings of inadequency. Prove that without braces, a headgear, short hair and a most sensitive nature that I have made something of my small town self.
I was looking online to see if there was a new book coming out from Plum Sykes in the near future. I didn't see any book information but I did stumble upon this interview. Here is a woman who resembles Jackie O, who probably wears cashmere pajamas to bed, who is very successful and lovely and she? Hated school too.
I don't know why I'm even thinking about this topic, school and how happy I am that I never have to go back. But here are some celebrity quotes that I found:
Plum Sykes-
Did you enjoy school?
There are no words for how much I loathed my school days. I remember on the last day everyone except myself was crying. I was thrilled to be leaving: I couldn’t understand what there could possibly be to miss about school.
Victoria Beckham also had a hard time:
"They were literally picking things up out of the puddles and throwing them at me. I just stood there, on my own. No one was with me. I didn’t have any friends. People would push me around, say they were going to beat me up after school, chase me. It was miserable, my whole schooling, miserable. I tried to be friends with people, but I didn’t fit in. So I kept myself to myself.”
Anthony Hopkins of all people!
"I thought I would defy them all. That has stayed with me the rest of my life, the thought that I would show themall one day. And that's why I became an actor."
Sarah Michelle Geller:
"I've always been the nerdy, geekish outsider who still remembers how a lot of my classmates used to torture me."


Books to Film, I Love You Beth Cooper

More to book to movie news! I love it when I hear about a book that is being made into a film and its happening more and more. Congrats to author Larry Doyle, he's living my dream!
Here's the scoop:
Hayden Panettiere is set to star in I Love You, Beth Cooper, a teen comedy that’s going to be produced by Chris Columbus (Rent, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets).
Hayden will play Beth Cooper, a cheerleader who is the object of a nerdy valedictorian’s obsession. The pair embark on a series of misadventures after he proclaims his love for her in his graduation speech.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby Mama with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler

It's not secret that I love movies! I should put a disclaimer: I don't love science fiction or fantasy. Or brutally frightening movies. Or horrors. But every other genre, I'm game. Especially comedy. I saw this trailer and wanted to share it with you- Baby Mama looks hilarious!

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Monday, January 14, 2008

The Kept Man

I really thought this book was going to be about a woman who was waiting for her husband to die because she didn't love him. Instead, Jarvis Miller was deeply in love with her famous artist husband but is waiting for him to die so she can get on with her life. While she is waiting, she becomes friends with a group of guys at the nearby laundromat who call themselves the Kept Men Club. They are men whose wives work while they stay home. Needing people to hang out with, she butts into their conversation one day and finds herself with some new friends.
Jarvis is caught between the land of the living and dead. Her life consists of visiting her husband and heading to the laundromat to wash her clothes where she meets up with The Kept Men Club. Her life is pretty depressing.
While her husband has been in a coma for the past six (SIX!) years, Jarvis has uncovered that he was having an affair. We get flashbacks and details on the art world that I found interesting. This isn't a long book, you can easily read it in a day or so. As with her first book which was a collection of short stories, author Jami Attenberg has a nice flowing prose. I think the book has sort of a sad feeling to it, surely not a book you want to read when you are feeling down in the dumps and need a pick me up. You can read more on Amazon.com or on the authors website.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Book to Film, Atonement

Sometimes months and months go by and I don't get to the movies. For some reason, I have been seeing many films recently. I love going to the movies and sitting through the trailers and I love the anticipation of being taken out of my element for two hours while I am immersed in a story.

I read Atonement several years ago. I remember laying on my couch reading this thick novel with my fingers turning the pages as quickly as possible. Fast forward to now when the movie version is on the big screen and nominated for many awards. It is a visual feast with glamorous shots of a mighty mansion and a lush green garden, war torn England, and Keira Knightley with her red stained lips and an ever- present cigarette dangling from her skinny fingers. With a novel you engage your imagination but a movie allows you to sit back and be fed the story.

The film was amazing, gorgeous cinematography and costumes. The character of Briony is constructed carefully as a bored young girl with a wild imagination who reinvents the events of one night and sets the lives of the characters up like dominoes, destined to fall. Like The Kite Runner, this film (and book) shows how an action during one's youth can impact the rest of a life, or many lives.

I love when I go to the movies and walk out thinking, "OH MY GOSH, EVERYONE HAS TO SEE THIS!" and then its on my mind for days and days. I keep rethinking the hip, quirky dialogue of Juno. The Bourne Ultimatum had me on the edge of my seat, that was a great movie. Sweeney Todd was gory and dark, The Kite Runner had great acting and was emotional, Atonement was beautifully done, see it if you can. But read the book too.

Next movie for me is 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl. I love a good chick story and this film is written by the screenwriter who penned the film version of The Devil Wears Prada. Let me turn off my brain for a bit and be entertained!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Makes me believe

I am completely intrigued with this Diablo Cody girl. Her story inspires me and makes me believe anything is possible! You must imagine me running through a field of wildflowers with my pet unicorn saying that. Seven long years ago I decided to become serious about being a writer because before, you know, I was just joking. I started writing stories and they turned into novels and then I began this blogging thing which was at the time, just beginning to become a phenomenon. Fast forward to now when I have this blog (going strong, yay) plus Hello Dollface and a book out in the world. The movie deal hasn't happened but I'm optimistic.

Right at this moment, I am in the beginning stages of developing a feature film with a writer who made several movies for Disney. This is HUGE, people. I am in the midst of reworking my second novel. That brings me right back to Diablo Cody and isn't that like the coolest alias ever? Maybe I should rethink my name and christen myself with a hipper moniker. Harlow, I like Harlow. Harlow Kitten.

Diablo was a stripper by night and blogger probably by early evening. Then- boom! Book deal! Followed by a movie deal. And the movie is so funny and cool and the dialogue is rather brilliant. Ellen Page is not only super cute but a great actress. Jennifer Garner is reserved and icy in a good way while Jason Bateman- gosh remember him on Silver Spoons?- he's pretty outstanding too. Its wonderful that a newcomer to the Hollywood scene is getting accolades and awards and she is the hippest hottest thing in Hwood right now.

Blog to book deal to movie deal, this is the stuff dreams are made of. It makes me believe that it could happen to me too and then sooner the better because I'm not getting any younger. But until then, head to your local theater and see Juno. In the meantime, I want to read Candy Girl.

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Liza Palmer, Seeing Me Naked

Liza Palmer is a smart girls author. Both of her books, Conversations With The Fat Girl and her newest one, Seeing Me Naked, will be enjoyed by the youngish hipster set as well as the suburban moms like me looking for a bit of literary escapism. Liza writes well, no doubt about it, with some beautifully crafted sentences that I had to reread, trying to commit them to memory. Seeing Me Naked is flirty and fun but a book you can take a big bite out of, no pun intended given the subject matter.

In the book, we have a heroine who is busy living in the shadow of her successful best selling author dad and cool brother who is emerging as his own literary sensation. Elisabeth is a pastry chef at a French restaurant, not quite certain of her own aspirations. She's not quite certain either of her wealthy, on-again, off- again boyfriend, Will. Coming from a pretentious family, Elisabeth finds herself falling for a basketball coach who couldn't be more down to earth or opposite of what Elisabeth knows. Ahhh, complications arise! There is more to the story than that, but there's the general idea. You have to read it for yourself. It's a quick read and a very engaging one at that. And all the talk about food! And places to eat in Los Angeles!

And I have to tell you that Liza is super duper cool. Anyone who recalls Two Moon Junction with such fondness is A-okay in my book. You must check out the blog which she shares with other talented writers here, read this hilarious post. And Liza's website is here. Check out the pensive author photo! Such a serious face belies a great sense of humor.

You mention so many great places to eat in Los Angeles. What are your favorites? And what celebs have you seen dining?

I love that stretch on 3rd Street with all those little diner-y cafes. Quality Café and Joan’s on Third being my two favorites…so good. Joan’s has amazing take-away stuff – like these green beans – why am I so excited about green beans, you ask? They’re THAT GOOD. And they sell gummi alphabet letters and serve Mighty Leaf Green Tea Tropical tea – two of my all time favorites.

My most recent star sighting was out of this world. I was eating at Mozza – the new Mario Batali place on Highland – and Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner were holding court just over my shoulder. And that place is TEENY, so it was definitely a close encounter. Mel Brooks’ voice is unmistakable. So perfect. And the food is….so.good.

Chef Liza! So much talk about food! Do you cook? Where did you learn so many details about being a chef? Are you a Food Network fan?

I so wish I could whip up amazing food like Elisabeth Page, the lead character in Seeing Me Naked. The biggest step towards culinary education I did recently was by a grill. Big doin’s in the Palmer abode.

No – Elisabeth’s expertise is thanks to Karen Rawers, a pastry chef here in Los Angeles who worked under Michel Richard of Citronelle. I asked her every question under the sun, we drew maps of what the kitchen would look like, where she’d be stationed, who’d she be next to – all those little throw-away facts that are so monumentally important. We then traveled down to Bastide here in LA – when Chef Ludo Lefevre was still in the kitchen – and had their Chef’s surprise menu – paired with some amazing wines. We even got a tour of the kitchen after dinner. So inspiring. It really is like nothing else, you know? The level of sheer brilliance in kitchens like that – I mean, everything has to be perfect…and it is. Amazing. A job I could never do.

I love the Food Network…love. It. My favorites have got to be Barefoot Contessa and Giada di Laurentiis. It’s just so calming, I find.

Did you see No Reservations with Catherine Zeta Jones? I heard she doesn't know how to cook at all in real life. (Real life is where she can hire a personal chef.)

I saw No Reservations – but actually preferred the German movie, Mostly Martha, on which No Reservations was based. I thought it dealt better with all the subtle emotion that No Reservations lacked – I think No Reservations relied a little too heavily on the music montage to move the narrative forward. And I love me a music montage, I assure you. But, they just got greedy with it. I thought Catherine Zeta-Jones did well – and when isn’t Aaron Eckhart ridiculously hot? And Abigail Breslin? So talented.

Was Ratatouille an inspiration for Seeing Me Naked?

No – Seeing Me Naked was born wayyyy back in 2006 – long before Ratatouille hit box offices. But I loved Ratatouille. LOVED. They totally nailed the whole French kitchen– I read in the credits that it was Thomas Keller from Napa’s French Laundry that consulted for them. You can totally tell – they’re spot on. But besides all the kitchen stuff - I’m a huge Patton Oswalt fan – the Comedians of Comedy is one of my favorite documentaries, by far. I just think the movie was so smart and beautiful. The Anton Ego speech at the end about critics and criticism is just lovely – and voiced by Peter O’Toole? Perfection.

What is your all time favorite movie that you could watch over and over?

Princess Bride. Hands down.

What is the last book you read and loved?

I loved the Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer. So good.

Let's discuss Richard Tyson, the non-Academy award nominated actor who starred in the brilliant yet little remembered Two Moon Junction. What do you think happened to him?
Ok, first off – dude made a carnival worker hot. A CARNIVAL WORKER. A CARNY. HOT. Sigh. I remember Sherilyn Fenn drove that white, convertible BMW – I mean, I was in my teens when that movie came out – and I just don’t remember coveting a vehicle more. The. Coolest. I think that movie – it’s such a heartbreaker – because I remember it being this taboo thing that was all tawdry and risqué and now…it’s just kind of depressing and dated. I shouldn’t have taken another bite at the apple – I should have just let that movie languish in my memories. And you know that Richard Tyson is totally doing the Red Show Diaries thing, right? He had that written all over him. Along with like – Costas Mandylor and Richard Grieco.
this is the stuff teenage dreams are made of
Where did the names from the book originate- Rascal? Ballard? Rick Danko?

Rick Danko is an actual guy – he was the bassist for The Band. He did the vocals on my favorite song by The Band – It Makes No Difference. He was this musician who started touring at 16 – went on to back-up Bob Dylan and then that same line-up became The Band – one of the all time greatest bands ever. He died young – and I think that tragedy attracted Rascal.

Rascal – you know, it just happened. He came out of the gate fully formed – the name, the brooding look, that melancholy. He just kind of appeared – and he couldn’t have been named anything else. He was very real to me from the beginning. And I know the name is different - but that was the point. He was named by Ben (the iconic father) who wasn’t bred from these upper crust families like Ballard (the socialite mother). So, Rascal had to toil away in these private schools with the Williams, Annes and Michaels. An outsider from the beginning.

How do you handle stress?

Black tar heroin.
(just kidding…I’m more of a dog walking, tea drinker…)

What is a little known fact about you?

I still get immensely nervous before readings – like out of control shaking, trips to the bathroom, shaky voice nervous. And I love every minute of it. I love that this job still terrifies me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What will your next book be about?

Chasing Grace is about Grace Hawkes and the whole Hawkes clan. It should be out 2009. I’m dealing once again with family and a character’s need to go backwards to go forward.

a photo for you Liza, Richard Tyson today.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Kite Runner movie

I saw this movie last weekend and was excited to share my review. First of all, if you haven't read the book, get to your library or your local bookstore and get your hands on a copy. Like I said before, this novel sat on my shelf for years despite everyone raving about it. I didn't think I would like it and brushed it off. It was literally gathering dust until one day I picked it up and quickly devoured it. It's emotional, touching and well written. It gave me an insight into that part of the world.

After you read it, see the film. The Kite Runner movie sticks very close to the book for the major part of the film. I would say the first 85% of the movie is identical to the novel. During the last few chapters of the book, when the suspense is building and the ending is unclear and you are almost crying, well that's the part they left out of the movie. While I loved the film, I felt the ending was a wee bit rushed. The suspense in the book just was not there in the movie, at least not for me. The acting was great and I liked seeing new faces instead of the same old actors and actresses.

Definitely an Oscar contender, gorgeous cinematography. I am no movie reviewer but I do have a huge passion for books made into films. I hope the writers strike gives the creator/ writer more recognition. Now when will A Thousand Splendid Suns be turned into a screenplay?


The Other Boleyn Girl...coming soon!

I am so excited to see this movie, Natalie Portman looks wonderful as Anne Boleyn. I finished The Boleyn Inheritence too and loved it! Now I'm looking for another book on the wives of Henry the 8th. What a devil he was. I never know how much I could enjoy historial fiction. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them.

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Five Minutes with Maggie

GRITS Friends Are Forevah: A Southern-Style Celebration of Women by Deborah Ford

I'm certainly not a southern gal – I was raised in the Midwest, and I currently live on the east coast. But this book, dedicated to GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) made me wish just a little that I was from a southern state. The third installment in Ford's GRITS series of books is an endearing "how to" of meaningful, long-lasting friendships. Ford covers the importance of mothers and sisters, best friends, acquaintances, and neighbors. While Ford's own experiences direct the narrative, quotes about friendships, anecdotes, and other tidbits are sprinkled throughout the book.

This isn't the book to pick up if you're looking for a plot or characters to cheer for. Instead, it's written as an inspirational guide to making new friends, cultivating friendships, and the little ways in which our friends are invaluable to our lives. While the overall message of the book is uplifting, many of the chapters also include a mix of heartwarming and heartbreaking tales. This book would be the perfect gift for your best girlfriends and sisters – as long as you give a box of tissues to go with it! -Maggie Marton

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Introducing Victorious Girls!

This is a project that is near and dear to my heart. You will love these five girls who are into things like sports and designing clothes and singing and dancing and writing songs and stories. These are Victorious Girls and I am working on creating a feature film about them! The movie will have a completely original soundtrack will be a fun movie geared towards pre-teens.

I am super passionate and excited about this and urge you to check out our website, and also head over to HelloDollface.com where I wrote a lot more about these five young girls.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Time Traveler's Wife movie stills!

The movie is currently filming but I stumbled upon these photos and wanted to share. I know many people who adored the book- I wonder how the movie will compare? As soon as there is a trailer available, I will surely post it.
Isn't Rachel McAdams just gorgeous? And I have to admit, Eric Bana is not so bad either. I am looking forward to seeing him in The Other Boleyn Girl in February.


Five Minutes With Maggie...Underneath It All

Underneath It All by Margo Candela

In a traditional immigrant family, it's tough going against the grain. In her Mexican-American family, Jacquelyn seems like the black sheep, even though her older brother who lives at home has a dead-end job, and her father never seems to get off the couch. But, she just got divorced; she took a position as a personal assistant to the mayor's wife; she's dating a married man. Her parents are worried, but Jacquelyn's journey is all about finding herself among her eccentric, overprotective family, her wonderful, caring friends and a neurotic, self-indulgent boss. Her adventures along the way are sometimes shocking but always hilarious.

Margo Candela's writing style is casual and entertaining. Jacquelyn is a character you can't help but like because she seems like an everyday gal – honest, hardworking, hopeful. She does make some bad decisions along the way, but as she learns (or doesn't learn) her lessons, you can't help but cross your fingers for her to come out on top.-Maggie Marton

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