It’s always nice to see that even grumps can get their own day, but I do find it ironic that they call it Happy Curmudgeon’s Day
It’s always nice to see that even grumps can get their own day, but I do find it ironic that they call it Happy Curmudgeon’s Day
My heart is devastated.
Within the past half hour, I’ve heard of the news of actor, Alan Rickman‘s, passing. How does someone like me become an hysterical sobbing mess because of the death of a person she’s never met?
I’ll tell you why. Because when someone is truly great at what they do, no matter if it’s acting, painting, music, sports, law, medicine, etc, their affect on the world reaches far greater than they could even fathom. When they pass away, those they have touched with their skill, can feel such profound sadness that it brings on tears too fast to wipe away.
Alan Rickman has been one of those people for me. The cadence of his voice had always been something I anticipated in any movie he appeared. The smoothness of his dialogue, the all-knowing smirk, the eloquent eyebrow raise, were all what made Alan Rickman one of the most magical actors to watch.
I’ve never met the man in my life, but I followed him ever since that iconic role of Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
From his bad guy roles from there went from Quigley Down Under to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Although I’d learned to see him as the ultimate baddie, I loved the role in Truly, Madly, Deeply. There he plays the deceased husband trying to help his wife continue her life instead of staying stagnant in her grief. I liked the story and loved that he wanted to diversify his roles.
Audiences didn’t respond to it as well because they’d come accustomed to seeing him as anything but a loving spouse.
I didn’t see him much in film for a couple of years and I noticed his absence, but then he arrived again and oh my! how he arrived.
As the endearing and understated Colonel Brandon in the Oscar Award-Winning screen adaptation of Jane Austen‘s Sense and Sensibility, Rickman steals the audiences’ hearts before the heroine realizes just how amazing he is.
Here, he reads to a Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet), who’s recovering from pneumonia and shows us all that nice guys are truly worthy of a second, if not third (and many more), look(s).
His gentle way of speaking as he reads to her and the way his eyes light up when she asks him not to be gone long on his journey, is no less than swoon worthy.
A wonderfully different and loving role for Mr. Rickman and one that made me joyous of his return to the screen.
But the role he totally captured my heart in was Snape. Severus Snape. The teacher of the dark arts, the former Death Eater, the hater of Harry Potter‘s father and a most reluctant hero of the Harry Potter Series.
How I loved Snape and J.K. Rollins way of writing him. As beautiful of a character as she wrote, giving us Easter Eggs along the way of his potential goodness, it Alan Rickman breathed life into him on screen, helping him come full circle. For almost seven books she kept us guessing on who Snape really was.
SPOILER ALERT IF YOU’VE NOT READ THE SEVENTH BOOK–HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.
Again, I was reduced to tears while I read the iconic scene where Snape reveals all to Harry. All the while, I’m picturing Mr. Rickman in this moment, his tears streaming down his face as he he tells Harry to take them so finally Harry can understand all that has happened.
For seven and a half movies, I watched this character brood, storm around the halls of Hogwarts, defend the children (Prisoner of Azkaban) only to end with him dying, defeated and beaten, to give his last moments, his last breath to the young man we all thought he hated. Truly heartbreaking.
Even writing this, I am in tears. How brilliant you are Mr. Rickman.
Thank you for sharing your gift with us. You made the world a better place because of it and I will cherish the roles you gave us…always.
It’s the new year and today is National Weigh-in Day so before we all go screaming into the night or reluctantly walk back into the gym, I thought it would be fun to post a movie each Monday that I love that one y’all might find fun. One that you could look forward to watching after sweating your butt off on the treadmill or after you crawl out of that Zumba class you swore you’d try.
First up, one of my all time favorites: The King of Hearts (1966) or as it’s pronounced in its native tongue Le Roi de Coeur.
I saw this movie back in high school and absolutely loved it. I still understand most of it without subtitles which is nice that my four years of high school French haven’t been totally flushed.
Now back to the movie.
Set during World War I, the hero,Charles Plumpick, played by Alan Bates, is a Scottish solider who’s stumbled up on the town after the German army has booby trapped the place to explode.
Stay with me, I swear this is a romantic dramedy.
Before Bates arrives, the townsfolk figure out the Germans are up to no good (as Germans usually are in World War I movies), so they all book it and leave, but they don’t take everybody with them.
Up on the hill, sits the asylum. Yeah, they didn’t take any of those people. In fact, in their hurry to leave, the good people (including the nuns) left the doors wide open to the place. Seeing their opportunities for a bit more freedom, the patients begin to venture out into the streets.
Thankfully, none of the residents of the asylum are violent, which is nice because this is a romantic themed movie after all. Instead of vandalizing and hurting each other, they have a great big street party that looks something like present day Mardi Gras.
So when Bates arrives to defuse this bomb that’s supposed to blow up the place, he’s quite confused to find people partying it up and not worried about much of anything, much less war or a bomb.
He also sees the beautiful, Coquelicot, played by the gorgeous, Geneviève Bujold. Now he’s truly confused because he knows there’s a bomb in this town and now there’s a hot girl he’d really like to get to know.
Defuse the bomb? Hang out with the girl?
Bomb go boom. His heart goes BOOM! BOOM!
After talking to the people for a bit, it doesn’t take him to realize what’s going on, but by then, the townspeople think he’s quite amazing and crown him the King of Hearts (Le Roi de Coeur) and his queen is none other than the intoxicatingly beautiful (and “insane”) Coquelicot.
With his duty as an officer, he feels compelled to finish his mission and save the people, but what of his heart?
Does he succeed? And what happens when the “normal” people return to the town once the place is safe? Does he take her with him?
It’s really up in the air because it’s a French movie and they always do the unexpected so to know what happens, you’ll have to check it out.
The full movie can be found on YouTube. (I checked Netflix, it’s not there.)
So grab a snack and a warm blanket and snuggle in to watch King of Hearts or Le Roi de Coeur if your high school French is still stuck in your brain (or you understand French far better than I ever have).
And as they say in New Orleans: Laissez les bons temps rouler
(let the good times roll for those of you who didn’t take high school French or who’ve never been to NOLA.) 😉
I really love this time of year. It’s finally starting to get a bit chilly outside (well, chilly for San Antonio) and it’s perfect for curling up and reading a great book or two or three. Plus, with the holiday season, what better gift to give someone (or yourself) than a bit of downtime to read a story that let’s you escape from the real craziness?
My first pick is A Perfect Man for Christmas.
This project came about because of the imagination of San Antonio author, Laurie Olerich. She gave eleven of her favorite author friends a shout and asked if we’d all like to be a part of a very fun project with a Christmas theme and erotic scenes. If you wanted some visuals to go along with this erotic Christmas theme, I’m sure you could find some at websites like https://www.twinkpornvideos.xxx/. They have a wide range of sexy content on their website that can give you some visual ideas of how some of these sex scenes play out.
She gave us each a chapter and the beginning of the story and away we went. I got chapter ten and what a blast it was to write.
The entire story has been posted on author Bella Juarez‘s website and yes, it’s totally FREE.
Know this, this an EROTICA which means it’s got very saucy, explicit scenes and quite colorful language so be prepared.
And while you’re at it, check out the other authors in the group: Elaine Barris, Kitten J. Jackson, Rebecca Royce, Elle Boon, Elizabeth SaFleur, Isabelle Cate, Kay Manis, Riley Bancroft, and Brenna Zinn.
You might find a new author and what better gift than to find an entirely new series?
If you’re not looking for erotica, but a spicy read, check out L.M.Gonzalez‘s No Accounting for Romance.
What about a story that talks about second chances? Check out Emily and Einstein by Linda Frances Lee.
Got any requests?
Want to tell me about an amazing book you’ve read?
Let me know, I’d love to hear about it.
I’m pretty sure the rest of the world sees a 60′ morning is a great sign of fall. In San Antonio, we start pulling out our heavy blankets, coats, and think about starting a fire.
Seriously, we don’t do cold well here, but what we do very well here is find any excuse to curl up with our favorite blanket and read a great book.
I’ve got some great reads for you to start your “autumn” weather.
First, let’s start with school…ugh, yes, I know. All those research projects and reading, writing, and screaming (by kids, parents, and teachers). I’ve always found the hardest part of any major writing project is knowing where to start. This task can be daunting for a child, especially one who isn’t all that excited about the writing, much less the reading, but I found a trick to make this process far less traumatic.
Who am I/Who Was I books are a great place to begin for anyone who’s trying to write a paper on present day or historical figures, places, and past events. Think starting with a kids’ book is silly? Why? These books are a great and easy read and a great general overview of said topics, no matter if you’re a first grader or in college.
Do you think your child will be more receptive to a Google Search that brings up over 100,000 articles or a 60 page book they (or you) can complete in less than 30 minutes? A book that gives you a great start to knowing where to begin with the project. Plus, these books are about $6 at Barnes and Noble and the digital copy is the same price.
What about you lovers of sweet romance? I’ve got two wonderful stories for you, both by Annette Bower and I’d also check her short story, Good to Go, in Cup of Comfort’s Breast Cancer Survivors’ edition.
Want something a bit more saucy and on the edge of your seat thriller side? Check out three books by Angela Smith.
For those who want a sexy read on these “cold” San Antonio nights, check out Roe Valentine‘s Left to Forever. I mean, seriously, how can you not like this book? The cover alone is eye-catching.
As always, thank you Shelly Miles and the San Antonio Living crew for having me on today.
Now, school’s almost here and we all need some good reads to celebrate the close of summer.
I’ve got some great ones here for all of you. We’ve got a bit of fantasy, a bit of a thrill, and a group of super soldiers.
Third generation Marine Dylan McCall has only one goal in mind: revenge. Armed with a new, scientific enhancement, he won’t rest until he destroys Cyrus Matheson’s plans.
Geneticist Teague Hamilton wants nothing more than a healthy baby of her own. Raised in a girls’ home, she knows Cyrus’s genetic engineering technology is her only chance at gaining the family she wants.
Dylan can’t get enough of D.I.R.E.’s confident, sexy-as-hell geneticist, even though his gut tells him she’s hiding something. He won’t rest until he tames her and brings her deception to light.
When Cyrus draws Teague out of D.I.R.E.’s protective custody and takes her to the past, she uncovers lies that prove she’s never controlled her own destiny, while Dylan travels back in time to save her before its too late.
Can Dylan rescue Teague in time, or will he lose the woman he loves forever?
Think that’s cool? Check out Joni’s other books in the series.
Blushing yet or are super heroes not your thing?
No worries, I have an amazing thriller for you by Marjorie Brody called Twisted.
Sarah Hausman must hide a secret–even from herself. If she acknowledges the truth, it will destroy everyone she loves.
Timid fourteen-year-old Sarah wants her controlling mother to stop prying into what happened the night of the freshman dance. Confess to the police? No way. Confide in her mother? Get real. The
woman is too busy, too proud, and too jealous of Sarah to really care if her life disintegrates. Besides, her mother will say Sarah is totally to blame for what the boys did–which Sarah believes is true. So she doubly needs to shield the truth. Not just from Momma. But from everyone. Including herself.
Beautiful, confident, eighteen-year-old Judith Murielle lives the ideal life. She has college plans, respect from family and friends, and a fiancé she adores. But as a mysterious connection pulls her toward Sarah, Judith’s perfect world unravels. Acting as Sarah’s sole confidante, Judith gains the power to expose her secret. Will the truth be worth the sacrifice? Or will Sarah stop at nothing to keep Judith quiet?
Finally, from Sasha Summers, I have a trio of books that take a “What If” approach to some of Greek Mythology’s well known stories.
First up, Apollo: (out August 16th)
Followed by Hades and Persephone:
And finally Medusa, a Love Story:
As always, enjoy the reads and be sure to write a review for those authors who work so hard to get the words to the page.
Looking forward to next month, but until then, please let me know what books you’d like to see up on San Antonio Living.
What about good reads for your teens this summer?
I’ve got two great picks for all of you.
A Tale of Two Besties by co-founder of Hello Giggles, Sophia Rossi. It tells the story of two best friends who find out what happens when their best-laid plans are changed. For an excerpt, click here.
It tells the story of a sixteen-year old Navajo boy who wants to fight in World War II. When he discovers the Marine Corps is recruiting Navajos, he fakes his age and enlists only to find he’s being groomed to be a code talker. Before he knows it, he’s been sent into the thick of the Pacific side of the war and is responsible for sending code to help the US defeat Japan.
Author Joseph Bruchac has over 100 books to his name. If Code Talker isn’t your forte, check out some of this other books. They are fascinating.
Good morning my friends! It’s that time again, San Antonio Living has allowed me back in the building and letting me talk about book picks.
This month is Foster Care Awareness Month and if you’ve read some of my posts, you know this is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. Because of that, I wanted to find a series that emphasized these amazing kids as adults. My good friend, Jolene Navarro suggested I pick up Belle Calhoune‘s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers series. I’m so thrilled I did. I can’t read them fast enough!
Because of the abandoned baby found just south of downtown San Antonio earlier this month, I do want to emphasize the Safe Haven and Baby Moses laws.
If you’re pregnant and don’t think you can take care of your baby, the Safe Have Law allows you to take your child to a fire station, EMS station, or hospital and turn your under 60 day old child over without judgement. They may ask you a few questions about family and your medical history, but you can walk away without consequence. These laws are in affect for all 50 states.
There’s also an outstanding organization called Project Cuddle that also offers safe placement of children as an alternative to abandonment. Actor/Musician John Stamos is the celebrity ambassador for this organization and to date, they’ve saved close to 800 babies from being abandoned. All have found forever homes.
If you would like to donate to Project Cuddle and enter to win a Luxurious Weekend in LA along with lunch with John Stamos, check out World 143‘s campaign.
Thanks again to San Antonio Living for having me on today.
We all know the best-sellers and the writer’s works that reach the “must reads” lists. There are so many books out there, it’s hard to sort through them all, but I’m here to give you a few writers that you may not have heard of, but are certainly worth a look.
Want a great, funny mysteries series? Try Stephanie Bond:
What about a flirty, with a hint of fashion and laugh out loud funny? Check out Gemma Halliday‘s High Heels Mysteries:
Want something more romantic, historical, and saucy?
Try Renee Bernard‘s The Jaded Gentlemen Series or her Black Rose trilogy:
But if you’re more into futuristic suspense by a very well known author, go with JD Robb AKA Nora Roberts:
Now for the kids. What about a great young reader? Beverly Cleary is a wonderful choice. Can you believe this fantastic lady just turned 99 a few days ago?
For your middle grade reader, boy or girl, check out Gordon Korman‘s Unschooled, Ungifted, The 6th Grade Nickname Game, along with his multiple other series:
I’ll have more book picks throughout the month so hang tight. If I haven’t covered what you like to read, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll be glad to give you some suggestions. Take what you want, toss the rest.
Unlike so many other years, I planned to make 2015 a far more productive year when it came to my health and wellness. Like so many, I’d allowed life obligations to get in the way of putting me first for an hour a day and each time I ate something. Comfort food had become a staple and my children were more than noticing my inactivity.
No more! I told myself. This time would be different, so in early February, I signed up for the Lifetime Fitness 90-Day challenge and bought the book by always smiling personal trainer, Chris Powell.
I talked to my friend, Stefan Pinto, a former couch-potato turned model, to get back to center when it came to nutrition.
Now it had come down to me stepping out of my comfort zone and getting off my butt. Hence, why I chose a class I’d never been to before—A Barre Class.
Some would ask why I would even consider taking an exercise class that I’d never tried as a way to start off my better living.
Why not? I hadn’t done anything else since I’d signed up for the 90 Day Challenge two weeks ago, might as well do something new. It might kick start me into a new routine, a new journey. Also, a friend asked me to go and I figured we could keep each other in check.
This Friday morning, it’s only 32F degrees and it started to sprinkle. Certainly, they’d canceled class.
Nope. Maybe my workout buddy isn’t going…damn, she just texted me. She’s going.
Time to put on the big girl panties and just do this. On the way, I call another friend who’s taken Barre for a year now. She tells me after the first class, she couldn’t lift her arms the next day.
9:10—I enter the class. My workout partner isn’t here. Did she cancel and I didn’t see the text? Maybe I can go to Starbucks…oh, wait. No, she’s in the bathroom, asking if I’m here. Shoot, okay, gotta stay.
9:12—I wander around, trying to find the equipment I’ll need for the class. A very nice lady notices me looking clueless and offers to help. “Get the light ones (hand weights) because she has us hold our arms up for a long time.” Holy cow! What have I signed up for?
I grab the rest of the supplies: Mat. Bar. Ball. Slidy-circle thing.
9:13— My workout partner arrives and we look at each other like, “Are we really going this?” It’s too late to leave and neither of us want to be the one to say it. I remove my shoes and notice that I’m in desperate need of a pedicure. Or I could just take off the rest of the toenail polish from the last pedicure.
9:15—The instructor is a lovely woman named Brandi. She’s got a beautiful body and even lovelier smile. “Okay, let’s get started,” she cheers. With such a positive instructor, how bad could this be, right?
Bruno Marz Uptown Funk starts to play for our warm-up.
Nice music. Good beat. This class will fly by I’m sure.
9:25—We’re still warming up. I’m scared. Despite Brandi’s upbeat personality, I’m afraid because she hasn’t alluded to the fact we’re even to the hard stuff yet. She’s asked a few times if “we’re feeling it?” A few women give a “Whoop! Whoop!”
I hate those women.
9:30—Warm up complete. The girl in front of me has worked out so hard, the band of her panties has now crept up over her yoga pants. At least she’s not wearing a thong, but she’s far better at this class than I am so I have nothing to scoff at. I also realize I need to quit staring at her traveling underpants.
9:40—My thighs are screaming and the only other equipment we’ve used so far is the hand weights—-oh wait, now we get to use the bar for balance. More pliets. I’m crying.
9:53—Finally, we get to lay down on the mat…wait, it’s a trick. Now we’re doing crunches with the ball between our knees and Brandi hasn’t stopped smiling. Am I the only one in here who looks like a walrus undulating up the beach?
9:57—Oh, side lifts AKA Mermaids. Prop up on my arm and lift my entire body? No thank you, I’ll go with the modified AKA I’m-too-damned-tired-to-sit-up-any-farther version.
After catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, it occurs to me that this is about the most ungraceful I’ve ever been in an exercise class.
I’m afraid to look at the clock for fear it’s only ten seconds later than it was when I looked before. Am I the only one in this room who can’t lift her ass off the floor in a side lift?
10:00—We still haven’t used the slidy-circle thingy. As many muscle groups that we’ve used, I’m concerned about which ones are left to torture. Oh, crunches and now scissor kicks. I see which muscle groups we’re doing now—still no slide-circle thingy.
10:08—Cool down. Thank the heaves above, I made it. I’ve finished it without falling over dead or using my inhaler.
10:15—Through the entire class, she smiled and couldn’t have been more encouraging. When Brandi announces she has a class on Sunday, I raise my hand that I’ll be there.
Seriously, I do because I’m high from the endorphin release. Plus, the idea of pushing myself through a class I did poorly has appeal. I tell Brandi I’ll be there on Sunday. I might crawl in, but I’ll be there.
She tells me she likes how I modified the moves and that she wanted people to watch what I was doing, but she didn’t know my name. I think she was being nice, but I graciously take the compliment. I know I looked less graceful as the hippos from Fantasia.
I ask my workout partner if she’s coming back and she says she is. That we’re gonna look super hot for the summer.
Yeah we are, but first, Motrin and a hot shower.
Patricia W. Fischer is romance author, journalist, and retired pediatric/adult critical care nurse who’s made her homes in Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Missouri. She has written for many publications including iVillage, Hot Mom’s Club, Modern Mom, Dallas Child, American Journal of Nursing, The Writer’s Edge, Nursing Spectrum, and Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. Read More…