Three Stories For Your Consideration

I wrote a longer post earlier in the week to post for today, but I got to thinking: It’s Halloween tomorrow, so I decided that I would take a moment and ask for comments  on no less than three supernatural stories that I have started, (two nearly completed. Just as I start to truly knuckle-down to get my writings finished/polished, life gets complicated again, or shall I say, gets more complicated.)

I know that the characters will intrude on each other and make the final decision for me about who gets to the finish line first, but which would you most likely be interested in reading first, (or perhaps: which one is the least unpalatable to you?)

Please consider:

 1) A guardian angel tries to justify the comedy of errors that occur when another guardian rightly foils a foolish attempt by the first to unduly influence the second angel’s charge whiletrying to save a marriage.

2) A magician finds his tricks working better than ever, despite his beautiful assistant’s erratic behavior. He discovers that he has help from another source.

3) A hapless young woman has one small problem after another, and can’t quite get a grasp on why she has unlikely impulses and feelings of reproach. (Based on the actual story of a friend.)

The first two are close to completion, (but far from edited).  The third is only begun, but that story won’t leave me alone. I have tried to block it out, and so I am not even sure how it will play out.

The first one is short novel length, (I think); the other two are even shorter. The second one is definitely a short story.

I realize that this post and the summaries are truly brief, but I did them on the fly, with Halloween in mind.

What do you think? 

Do you think that you’d be interested in any of these?

Please let me know.

Posted in big plans, blessings, Books, characters, Daily life, Dealing with stress, experiences, Faith-centered stories, Family, fantasy, imagination, magic shows, novels, paranormal, reading, reading preferences, screwball comedy, short stories, Tonette Joyce, using talents, writing, writing from experiences | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

My First Ghost Novel

[from a few years ago]

An Excerpt for Halloween

By Jeff Salter

Chapter One

            “Aren’t you the new teacher who lives in the spooky old downtown hotel?” asked the female voice behind Levi Muir. Lurching into the flimsy cart against the faculty lounge wall almost caused him to spill his freshly poured coffee.

            Turning, Muir realized the speaker was his attractive young colleague with lovely tanned legs. “I’ll be at the Whitecliff Apartments. Don’t know anything about a hotel.”

            She moved closer and extended her sun-bronzed hand. “I’m Lucy Tierney, science department. Starting my sixth year.”

            Nice to know there were some five year survivors at Magnolia High. “Levi Muir, English department. Rookie.”

            “I know, Levi. We can all spot a newbie. Have you been assigned a mentor yet?”

            “Uh, don’t think so. Don’t recall it coming up.” His eyebrows lifted. “Are you…?”

            “Oh, heavens no. Not me. I won’t serve as a mentor until my seventh year, at the earliest.” Then she lowered her voice. “So what do you think of your apartment in the legendary old Majestic Hotel?”

            It was the final day of orientation and professional development training; Monday would be D-Day… when the students began classes. “Haven’t really stayed there yet, Miss Tierney. Tonight’s my first night.”

            “Lucy. You’ve been here every day this whole week. Where have you been staying?”

            “An aunt lives in Magnolia. My apartment wasn’t ready yet. In fact, all I got was a nickel tour from a shrimpy manager who kept looking over his shoulder.”

            Lucy nodded like she knew the man. Her nicely-toned arm tensed as she reached for an empty cup, but she frowned and put it back down. “The coffee’s awful here.”

            Already noted.

            “Have you seen those old hotel furnishings?”

            “Didn’t really notice, except to be sure I had a bed and a chair.”

            “What about table and stove for cooking your meals? Plus couch and extra chair… for all your visitors?” Her warm smile suggested she’d be willing to be among them.

            And attractive company she’d be. “Don’t really cook, at least not worth mentioning. And not expecting many visitors, since I really don’t know anybody here except Aunt Martha.”

            “Well, now you know me.” Lucy’s lovely smile hinted that she probably expected a particular reply, but Levi couldn’t guess what, so he just eyed the half-full cup in his hand.

            “Not a big talker, are you?”

            “Guess not.” It sounded terse. “Sorry. Must be the rookie jitters.”

            Lucy nodded thoughtfully. “So tonight is your first night in the old Majestic…”

            “The Whitecliff Apartments.”

            “Well, everybody here knows it as the old hotel, so you might as well get used to it.” Her tone was lighter than the words she’d selected. “And you probably already know that everybody says it’s…”

            Swooshing suddenly into the lounge, Principal Gull interrupted as she jostled directly between them. “Now hush, Miss Tierney. We don’t want to scare away any more of our first year teachers.” Mrs. Gull squinted as though she were adjusting to contact lenses. “It’s difficult enough to recruit good people to small towns like ours, so don’t run them off before classes even start.”

            Lucy appeared mildly embarrassed. “I thought he already knew.”

            “Knew what?” Muir faced the principal again.

            Mrs. Gull took an elbow of each and steered both teachers out of the lounge. “All in good time. For now, let’s head into the cafeteria for final briefings and to review our battle plans for Monday.”

            Lucy said no more but took a seat next to Muir at an otherwise empty table.

            Over the next ten minutes, he paid considerably less attention to the briefings than to his intriguing tablemate. Though Muir and a few other rookies had received orientation on Monday and Tuesday, the veterans didn’t appear until Wednesday for the professional development training aimed at all instructors. He’d immediately noticed Lucy and had observed her frequently… without actually communicating. Leaning closely, he whispered, “What was Gull talking about?”

            No immediate reply. But after a new speaker took the microphone, Lucy tapped his thigh, sending electricity all over his body. Only her business card, however. On the back was a hastily scribbled note, “Tell you later.

            The principal was staring when Muir raised his head and he felt like a kid caught passing notes in study hall. Which was pretty much the situation.

            As the session finally ended, Muir tried to catch up to Lucy — already exiting the cafeteria — but was called back by the principal’s authoritative voice. “Mr. Muir, could I see you for a moment, please?”

            “Of course, Mrs. Gull.” He watched for a clue whether this would be some sort of reproach or merely a final word.

            Gull’s expression offered no hint, but it seemed she mulled over her words before speaking. “I wouldn’t be worried about whatever Miss Tierney told you concerning the hotel.”

            “She hasn’t told me anything.” Yet.

            Gull continued anyway. “Seasoned Alabama buildings develop reputations and in an older small town like Magnolia, legends die hard, especially…” She made a show of checking her watch. “Well, anyway, like I say, don’t fret over what you hear.”

            “Okay, Mrs. Gull, I won’t.” He nodded deferentially. “Thanks.”

            The principal seemed satisfied they’d held their little chat, although Muir still had no clue what they’d been talking about. So far, all he knew was the structure was old, had once been a hotel, and presently featured offices on first floor and apartments on second. Plus, whenever people mentioned the place, they usually had an odd expression and lowered their voices.

#  #  #  #  #

And since it’s Halloween in a couple of days, I thought I’d remind you of my 2011 blog about a Halloween event long ago… in which I played the Frankenstein monster and nearly scared some teens to death.

https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/halloween-long-ago/

[JLS # 512]

Posted in Miscellaneous | 11 Comments

What I’d Call a Tight Spot

At my personal blog I’ve been sharing some excerpts from my Clean Reads release Never Trust a Pretty Wolf so I thought I’d share one here too. I’ve written my heroines and heroes into lots of tight spots, but this one is probably one of the most serious. I’ll share a blurb with you and then the excerpt.

Blurb:

Liesel Wolf has a secret, a dangerous secret she’ll go to any lengths to conceal. When she’s paired in a charity game with sexy marshal Andy Bryce, a man with secrets of his own, her carefully constructed world comes crashing down, and Liesel’s on a collision course with her past.

Excerpt:

Andy scowled as he drove down the dark highway toward Liesel’s house. He felt like an idiot. What kind of nitwit went out after midnight to sing to a woman who couldn’t stand him? Why had he ever listened to Tony in the first place? Tony liked nothing better than to see him make a total fool of himself.

Oh, he knew why he listened to Tony. No matter what it took, he wanted to get Liesel’s full attention because walking away from her wasn’t an option. He wanted her in his life so much, that if acting like a fool would help him achieve his goal, he’d willingly do it. He didn’t care if Tony got a good laugh out of it or not.

He rounded a sharp corner and saw a red glow in the eastern sky. What in the world…? Fire! In the direction of Liesel’s house!

He ran a stop sign without even seeing it. The sky grew steadily brighter with every turn of the car’s wheels. By the time he reached the end of her driveway, a raging inferno engulfed the entire house. Orange flames shot skyward, greedily licking at the amber-­colored logs, while smoke filled the air and almost choked him even at that distance.

He drove as close to the house as he thought he safely could and roared, “Liesel! Where are you?” He laid down on the horn, but nobody came running to meet him.

He ran all the way around the house, but he didn’t see her anywhere. She must still be inside! As hot air seared his eyes and face, he fell back from the force of the blaze. A solid wall of intense, voracious flames blocked the front door, but an outside staircase leading to a second-­floor balcony was still passable.

He ripped off his shirt and tied it around his mouth and nose, then dashed up the steps to the balcony. Smoke billowed and swirled against all of the windows. He stared inside but the smoke prevented him from seeing anything. With no warning the window burst outward, spraying his chest with glass and barely missing his face. Hot sparks pelted his bare skin, raising water blisters, while small shards of glass worked their way into his skin.

He saw a set of French doors in the center of the balcony. It looked like the most likely spot to enter the upstairs. He kicked out the glass near the doorknob and flung the door open. Smoke billowed out in black, thick, suffocating clouds, but the room hadn’t caught fire yet.

The smoke almost blinded him, and his lungs screamed for air. By chance he stumbled against the bed, which felt blazing hot to the touch, and saw Liesel lying motionless under the covers. He wrestled her limp body from the bed, slung it across his shoulder, and ran for the door. A huge blast of hot air pummeled him in the back and propelled him toward the balcony as red-­orange flames ignited the carpet behind him and chased after them.

The balcony burned his feet even through his shoes. The right side where the steps were had already caught fire, but the other side was open. The drop was more than he would have liked, but with no real option left open to him, he jumped.

They hit the ground with a bone-­jarring thud as flames devoured the entire balcony.

“Liesel!” he croaked. “Wake up!”

He shook her, but she still didn’t move. Groping for her hand, he tried getting a pulse, but the wailing of a siren in the distance distracted him. Thank God the fire department had arrived! By the time the firemen reached the house with a fire truck and ambulance, he had Liesel in his arms.

“Help her!” he cried as the paramedics burst out of their vehicles. The paramedics wasted no time. They put an oxygen mask on Liesel and popped her into the back of the ambulance. “Let’s go,” they yelled.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt.

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An Early Start

October is nearly over. That doesn’t seem possible. I hear so many people talk about how this year dragged on with all the lockdowns and restrictions in place. For me it was more of a combination. Yes, it seems like this pandemic has been here for such a long time. It feels like years since I have been able to see my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and parents all together. I can’t even remember the last movie I saw in theaters. I miss seeing one of my dear friends, we missed our annual ice cream date at the end of school year. However, this year itself seems to be flying by.

My kids and I did our Halloween last weekend. The kids dressed up, I gave them buckets of candy that would equal the amount they would have gotten at the annual Schroeder Halloween party and Halloween at the Y (for my youngest). We snuggled in and watched a few kid friendly shows (Its the Great Pumpkin, Curious George’s Boo Fest, and Spookley the Square Pumpkin. They didn’t get to do all the fun games they normally would have done followed by stories around the fire. They had fun, for what it was.

Wyatt and I have started our Christmas preparation. Of course we are excited about Thanksgiving. We have that menu pretty much set. With Covid taking away so much of our usual traditions I wanted to make sure that this year is special for our family. So in June I started purchasing new books, with Christmas themes. I wrapped each book and slapped a gift tag with a date on them. Every day we will get to open a new book to read together before bed. I even got a few “spooky” Christmas chapter books for Jess who loves everything scary. They’ll begin opening these books November 21.

I decided I wanted a planner so I could keep track of things I wanted to do this holiday season. So I searched online and found several to pick and choose from, piecing together one that would work for what I needed. Wyatt insisted that he needed a Christmas planner too. So I printed out several pages for him, many of those pages are coloring pages and riddles for him to enjoy. We have had putting out planners together. We started searching through our recipes and looking online for new ones that we are putting into the baking section.

I printed out Polar Express Tickets on glittery card stock and tucked that away into my planner for a Polar Express night where we will wear pajamas, read the book, then watch the movie while drinking hot chocolate.

I also have a page where I am planning a Grinch Night. We’ll dress up like Whos, eat Roast Beast, make a little something, read the book, watch the old cartoon, the live action, and probably the newer animated movie as well.

There are several other small events that I am planning for our family this Christmas season. I don’t want the only thing my kids remember about this Christmas to be that they didn’t get to go to their Grandparents’ house to see all of our family. When they look back on this Christmas they will get to have all these wonderful little memories as well.

So, while it is still only October I am getting ready for Christmas. It might be a little early but I don’t care. This year hasn’t exactly been your typical year. I could use a little extra Christmas joy right now.

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Rambling Reader Reviews, Part Nine

This past month, I’ve been continuing to read my way through two mystery series. I guess once I start on something I like, it’s difficult to leave until I see my way to the end! Here are the four titles I enjoyed:

Trouble in Mudbug by Jana DeLeon
Ghost-in-law #1
A reluctant heiress, an undercover cop, and a ghost are the unlikely protagonists of this wonderfully wacky story. Maryse Robichaux is a botanist on a mission to find a natural cure for cancer. Her studies are interrupted when Helena, her mother-in-law dies, but continues to pester her in ghostly form. No one else can see her ghost-in-law, and there are some hilarious moments when Maryse is caught responding to the outrageous things Helena tells her. Helena adds to the comedy as she’s “learning” ghostly things, like walking through walls, picking up items, and changing the clothing that she’s wearing. Adding to Maryse’s headaches are mysterious near-fatal accidents and a sexy botanist who keeps turning up wherever she goes. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series!

Mischief in Mudbug by Jana DeLeon
Ghost-in-law #2
Helena, the ghost from Book 1, helps another Mudbug resident solve a mystery. This time, Sabine LeVeche has leukemia and needs to find a blood relative who can donate bone marrow. But Sabine is an only child whose parents both died in an auto accident when she was a baby. A handsome PI named Beau discovers that Sabine is actually a member of the super-wealthy Fortescue family – but though the family seems to welcome her, mysterious things start to happen. She’s poisoned, nearly mugged, and her car is blown up. Helena adds a lot of comic relief to the story, and the resolution is unexpected and sad. I can’t wait to dig into Book 3.

The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason
Stoker and Holmes, Book 3
I continued reading this fascinating steampunk mystery series by Colleen Gleason, my guest from a weeks ago. In this installment, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes have been assigned to guard a member of visiting royalty. Princess Lurelia of Betrovia seems like a meek, unassuming young lady, and they worry that they’re in for a boring time. But almost immediately, things go awry. First, there is a murder during the welcome party for the Lord Regent and the princess. And then an important letter detailing the whereabouts of a missing artifact disappears. The young ladies manage to find clues while uncovering a host of other mysteries – like the dull and boring princess’ penchant for disappearing and then showing up again, and the reappearance of the villainous Ankh from Book One. Add in a little bit of romance for both young ladies, and there was enough to keep me reading far into the night! 

The Carnelian Crow by Colleen Gleason
Stoker and Holmes, Book 4
Mina is awakened by an insistent crow tapping on her window. When she opens the window to shoo him away, he enters her room and leaves an unusual pin in the shape of a crow. The pin is the sign of a mysterious club called the Carnelian Crow. With Evaline’s help, she discovers various clues leading to the club. In the meantime, Evaline deals with her own private crisis: her brother and sister-in-law are in dire straits, and unless Evaline marries well, they’ll need to sell their family home and move to Ireland and live in obscurity. While Evaline meets spends time with prospective suitors, Mina discovers Inspector Grayling’s interest in her is not only for her deductive abilities. The dynamic duo infiltrates the Carnelian Crow, run by the mysterious villainess known as the Ankh. While some questions are answered, including the identity of the Ankh, others will hopefully be found in Book 5!

Posted in book review, book series, cozy mystery, Goodreads Challenge, Patricia Kiyono, reading, steampunk, TBR List, YA | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Warm and Fuzzy Movies

We are asked about our favorite ‘feel good’ movie.

“MOVIE?” As in ‘singular’?

I am a real movie hound. I have been pondering the topic and  how to choose just one?

Then I lit an idea: I would choose one favorite feel-good movie in several genres.

Yeah, right; that proved to be very difficult as well.

There are too many that I like to choose my favorite  in each category,  so I struck on the idea that since I have mentioned many of my absolute favorites before in posts, I would try to avoid those. Most of the movies listed below are not my ‘all-time favorites’ in each category, but mostly less famous ones which you may not know or have not seen, yet make me happy each time  that I watch them. (All, until the last, are at ‘worst ‘ rated PG-14 for themes, most of  them are probably PG.)

Feel-good drama: “All About Eve” The classic movie of theater people and how very human people can keep (or return to) values, after temptation and doubt. (And the connivers  reap what they sow.) Whenever ‘best movies’ movies were rated, this movie was usually #1 for decades, (or #2, if they decided to be artsy and go with Citizen Kane), but you never even see this on a list anymore. I hope that is never totally forgotten.

Feel-good musical: “Gigi” I am not a huge fan of musicals, but the dialogue and a few songs are truly cleverly written, (and admittedly, a few of the songs are truly annoying), but the story of a young girl who is from a long line of courtesans makes me cry happily. Her grandmother gave up the life long ago; her negligent mother became a (bad) opera singer instead of following in the family trade. If nothing else, the scenery and the comedy are worth your time, and the ending is sweet beyond words.

Feel-good adult family movie: “Donavan’s Reef”.  An anti-racism, pro-family comedy/drama  movie about doctor who left his motherless daughter with his wealthy family in New England while he stayed to administer to the South Sea island people where he served with his WWII buddies. The doctor’s now-grown daughter arrives and does not know that he remarried and that she has half-Polynesian siblings. (Again, I cry happy tears near the end every time.)

Feel-good rom-com: “Arranged”. Two young women teachers, one an Orthodox Jew and the other a devout Muslin, form a deep friendship as both try to maintain their lifestyles  in spite of  social, (and their principal’s), pressure. Both of their families are trying to arrange marriages for them, and for one, it isn’t working well. This has become one of my absolute favorites.

Feel-good foreign film: “After the Wedding”. This is a Danish film stars Mads Mikkelsen, who is a fairly unknown and unappreciated actor here in America. In this movie, he’s an ex-hippy who had gone to India for all the wrong reasons, but when he straightened up, found meaning in life by running a home for orphaned boys. When a rich industrialist from his native Denmark offers him a chance at a desperately-needed grant for his boys, he travels with the man to his mansion for his daughter’s wedding and finds that the man seems to have been misleading him. The ending will have you smiling, happy… and in tears.

Feel-good Christmas movie: “Christmas in the Clouds”. A lovely resort built by reservation Indians struggles for recognition and is besieged by a number of comedies of errors. Graham Green as their vegetarian chef is a true gem, along with many other incredible performances, (and a running joke about a western bodice-ripper making its way around the staff is very funny).

Feel-good animated movie: “Meet the Robinsons”. This is a lesser-known Disney film about an orphan who uses a time machine to find out about his mother.  It had a number of good messages about all aspects of the meaning of family and has a great, heart-warming ending.

Feel-good movie set in war: “Vacation From Marriage”. In WWII England, a frumpy wife and milquetoast husband separately enter into service and both grow as individuals. Ably played by Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr, the ending is better than you would ever expect.

Feel-Good supernatural: Here’s perhaps the hardest to choose, but I pulled out “Stranger Than Fiction”. A nice man with a quiet life starts hearing his life being narrated at the same time that we see an author with writer’s block trying to write the story of the man, whom she has no clue is real. Sometimes Will Ferrell is over-the-edge, but he plays the hapless man here with great restraint and the ending is incredible.

Feel-good horror film: Yes, it’s possible. Maybe I chose to list a horror film because next week is Halloween. Some would question my choice, but it’s “John Carpenter’s Vampires”. It’s raw, it’s not for kids, but it has its elements and a few surprises. Nice to believe that if there would be vampires, that there would be strong, brave people to do the work of getting rid of them. And, unlike most horror films, the ending leaves me hopeful.

I could have chosen more, like those of faith, mystery, fantasy, costume epics, and more, but I will stop at 10, (which is cheating terribly anyway!)

Do you like my choices?  Are there any that you do not know?  Have I sparked interest in any of them for you?


 

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Films That Make Me Feel Good

These Are A Few of My Favorites

By Jeff Salter

This week’s topic is feel-good movies… and, as usual, I cannot decide among many. As I pondered this subject, I realized there were a few categories of films that give me that “feel-good” sense while watching.

Though not all are featured in every title, the common elements are:

Overcoming obstacles / limitations

Fighting back against oppressors (of various types)

Asserting one’s unique personality

Navigating adventuresome / dangerous situations

Finding a romantic partner

Reaching a satisfying conclusion (of the plot threads and character developments).

My List:

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain (1995) — love the music, setting, story, and characters. Even though we were told (at the time of the film’s release) that the movie was based on a “true” story… it was later stated that the original story was not as true as we were led to believe. So, this is one of those flicks that we can say was “inspired by actual events” (or something like that). But it’s one of those stories that you WANT to have been true.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) — he’s so charmingly irreverent and irresponsible. Despite the fact that he’s USES people (even his friends) and deceives everyone (including his parents), we’re rooting for him to enjoy his day and escape unscathed. And we want his enemies to suffer… which they do.

Back to the Future (1985) — has everything: teen angst, time travel, adventure, danger, etc. And the outcome relies on the resourcefulness of a teen with low self-esteem.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) — my favorite of all the Christmas movies. For most of the movie, we’re doubting that the old man is really Santa Claus… but we WANT him to be. And we want the adults to believe in him… even as the little girl slowly becomes convinced.

Big (1988) — What kid has not wished he/she could suddenly leave all the limitations of childhood behind and become a “grown-up”? This is a terrific study of how that could play out… and what that individual may find along the way.

Home Alone (1990) — one minute you’re cringing, then you’re crying, then you’re cheering. I love seeing that resourceful kid conquer everything that comes his way… including those two inept burglars.

My Cousin Vinny (1992) — even though I cannot (for a minute) see why Marisa Tomei would find (much older) Joe Pesci romantic or attractive, I love their interaction. And it’s a treat to see how a yankee city boy adapts to the people and culture of the deep South.

Sixteen Candles (1984) — everybody was a teenager once… and every teen has felt left out, overlooked, marginalized, etc. The characters are great and the situations are hilarious.

Goonies (1985) — Lots of adventure… with treasure, pirates, and bad guys trying to capture them. Not to mention their village is being yanked out from under them. So it’s up to those misfits – the “goonies” – to get themselves to safety and save their community.

It Happened One Night (1934) — Despite being some 86 years old, this film still plays well. In the beginning, I have no sympathy for the spoiled, self-centered, rich girl… but I love the way she comes to her own while under the care of Gable. And, of course, Gable himself changes a lot!

I’ve only listed 10 titles here, but there are many more. I love movies and I can watch them over and over.

Question:

What are some of YOUR feel-good movies?

[JLS # 511]

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Crazy From the Heart

This week we’re talking about our favorite feel good movies. I have one that I watch periodically, but I bet you’ve never heard of it. The name of the movie is Crazy From the Heart. It was filmed in the late eighties I think. I first watched it on TV, and I loved it so much I bought a copy at Amazon.

Our heroine Charlotte Bain is the principal of a high school in a small, conservative Texas town. Secretly, although it really isn’t much of a secret, she’s dating the football coach. She lives at home with her mother and would really like to get married. After all, her biological clock is ticking.

Things come to a head when her best friends’ daughter gets pregnant. Charlotte is confronted by the fact that her friend will be a grandmother while she herself has no children. She asks the coach to marry her, but he refuses. He’s comfortable in his life and doesn’t want anything to change.

At this point Charlotte goes crazy from the heart. She agrees to go out with the new Hispanic janitor Ernesto, mostly to spite the coach, but to her surprise she and Ernesto are great together. They’re so great in fact that they drive to Mexico and get married.

But the course of true love never runs smoothly. The whole town is up in arms about the principal and the janitor. Her job is in jeopardy, and the coach even proposes to her. Now Charlotte has to decide what to do next. Will she stay married to Ernesto, or will she get a divorce and marry the coach.

You’ll love this movie. It’s funny, touching, and full of great acting. It also isn’t afraid to touch on social issues such as racism and economic prejudice, but you’ll never feel like you’re being lectured to.

If you’re interested in a great feel good movie, I highly recommend it. You can buy a copy at Amazon if you’re interested.

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The Go-To Movies Are…

This week we’re discussing out favorite feel good movies. Most of the movies that I watch could be considered a feel good movie, I love a happy ending. The world can be too dark at times so why would I want to spend time watching something that isn’t going to bring a little sunshine into my day? I’m not sure that I have a favorite feel good movie but I do have several that are on a list. It really depends on what’s going on at the moment.

A few years back I was going through a rough time. I was incredibly sick, the doctors didn’t know what was going on. I was in and out of the hospital, back and forth to doctors, getting labs several times a month, taking multiple prescriptions, and not sleeping much because of it all. I’d switch the tv on and put a movie in. Eventually, I would drift off to sleep to the familiar storyline. A lot of these movies were Christmas movies. The Holiday starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, and Jude Law was often played on repeat. I love the story of these two women who are going through heartaches who decide to get away from their lives by swapping houses for Christmas. One ends up in LA and the other in England. Their journeys are so beautiful and uplifting for me. I love how they find themselves and that leads to their happiness.

Another one that I watched often was White Christmas. That is probably my most watched movie. I don’t remember ever seeing it when I was younger. The first time I recall seeing this movie I was 30. Wyatt was a baby and he was teething. It was the winter when my kids and I were living with my parents while waiting for the house we were going to rent to finish getting remodeled. My dad had broken his wrist and was off work after surgery. Wyatt couldn’t sleep because of his gums hurting him so we would go down to the living room and my dad would be watching White Christmas. It was showing on AMC every night (between midnight and 2am) that December. We watched it nearly every night while Wyatt played with his Grandpa and tried to fall back to sleep. Since then it has become my favorite Christmas movie and one of my favorite feel-good movies. There have been times when my kids have looked at me and said “You need to watch White Christmas.” It is such a delightful film and it really just picks a person up. Even my kids will have days when they will ask to watch it.

Do you have certain movies that you watch when times are a little difficult?

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A Feel-good Movie? Elementary!

Image retrieved from imdb.com

Our Wednesday Fox asked, “What’s your favorite feel-good movie?”

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m not a movie watcher. I’ll stop what I’m doing when a movie clip is shown on tv or online, but I don’t often choose to spend two hours or more watching an entire story unfold when I could be doing something productive (on my to-do list). But every now and then – usually as a social outing with grandkids or as a break during an intense weekend of writing – I’ll put the devices away and indulge. I don’t normally watch the movies that collect awards and accolades for addressing social issues. Like the stories I write, the ones I watch need to have a happy ending, so almost every movie I see would qualify as “feel-good.”

This said, I don’t like to rank the movies I watch, as so much time elapses between them. I’d say I sit through an average of one or two complete movies per year. So I’m going to say that my favorite feel-good movie is the last one I’ve seen. And since hubby and I are not eager to join movie-goers at the theaters, we’re limited to what is available on the small screen.

A few weeks ago, my hubby was complaining (as he zipped through the hundreds of channels available on our cable plan) that there was nothing good on. I asked for the remote and was pleasantly surprised when he handed it over. A week or two prior to this, I’d seen an ad for a Netflix movie called Enola Holmes, based on the book series by Nancy Springer featuring the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes, and since I’d begun reading the Stoker and Holmes steampunk series that I featured last week, it caught my eye. So I took the remote and switched over to our Netflix account and found the movie. 

Since hubby doesn’t often enjoy shows with historical settings, I fully expected him to fall asleep while I watched, but to my surprise, he enjoyed the story and watched the entire movie. There is definitely a “feel good” vibe to me, as Enola finds her happiness in a non-traditional way. 

Here is the storyline, from IMDB: England, 1884 – a world on the brink of change. On the morning of her 16th birthday, Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) wakes to find that her mother (Helena Bonham Carter) has disappeared, leaving behind an odd assortment of gifts but no apparent clue as to where she’s gone or why. After a free-spirited childhood, Enola suddenly finds herself under the care of her brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin), both set on sending her away to a finishing school for “proper” young ladies. Refusing to follow their wishes, Enola escapes to search for her mother in London. But when her journey finds her entangled in a mystery surrounding a young runaway Lord (Louis Partridge), Enola becomes a super-sleuth in her own right, outwitting her famous brother as she unravels a conspiracy that threatens to set back the course of history. (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7846844/, retrieved 10.14.20)

The cast is wonderful: Millie Bobby Brown is well-cast as the resolute and resourceful Enola. Henry Cavill, as Enola’s brother Sherlock, is no hardship to watch. He shows a softer side of the detective, not usually seen in other portrayals. Sam Clafin is believably distant as Mycroft Holmes, and Helena Bonham Carter is wonderful as Eudoria Holmes (Enola’s mother), although most of her scenes are flashbacks. Louis Partridge as Lord Tewkesbury is a little too pretty for my taste, but I’m sure he’s eye candy for the younger set.

My favorite line in the movie (and the reason this is a feel-good movie to me) has to be toward the end, when Sherlock Holmes walks into Scotland Yard and explains how he solved the mystery, and Inspector Lestrade asks the great detective, “How did your sister get there before you?” To me, that lines speaks volumes – the Inspector sees Enola as a skilled investigator in her own right. Sherlock’s reaction to that knowledge is equally telling, as he leaves Scotland Yard with a smile and a cheer for his sister’s success. 

Posted in movies, Mystery stories, Patricia Kiyono, reviews | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments