Don’t worry.. I’ve rationalized why it’s okay to watch the Christmas movies… I’m not weird.

Image result for holiday popcornYes.. I will shamefully hang my head and admit that I love Christmas movies. Some of these movies I can justify watching without feeling too guilty. I’ve followed this genius’s list  and made my own notes and comments on whether or not I will watch it/maybe watch it/hands down gotta watch. Also… because we all know that during the holidays on TV it is truly a Image result for white christmas land out there.. I’ve put in a couple of POC alerts (persons of color… if I missed someone… or outed them…let me know) .. also… Rumor Has It… Hallmark is open to submissions. SUBMIT YOUR STORY

Grab your favorite snack food and let’s get on with this list. Image result for holiday nachosImage result for cookie butter snacksRelated image

November 11th (my B-day btw)

8:00 pm Hallmark  The Sweetest Christmas starring Lacey Chabert, Lea Coco and Jonathan Adams

9:00 pm HMM          A Song for Christmas starring Becca Tobin & Kevin McGarry.

 

November 12th

7:00 pm Up             A Very Country Christmas  starring Greyson Holt…. I’ll watch because he was totally hot in Bitten

  (yes, I am shallow)

8:00 Hallmark         Enchanted Christmas starring Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega

So I’ll watch this because, yay, POC! And also.. because I watched these kids grow up via my kids. So I’ll cry in my popcorn and feel old and cry because I love holiday movies and happy endings.

 

9:00 HMM                   Engaging Father Christmas starring Erin Krakow, Niall Matter, and Wendie Malick

This is the follow up to Image result for silver spoons erin greyErin Krakow reminds me of Kate (Erin Gray) from Silver Spoons and so yep.. that’s justifiable reason enough to watch this movie.

 

November 18th

8:00 Hallmark Channel Coming Home for Christmas starring Danica McKeller. I’ll watch because I am secretly waiting for Kevin to show up and sweep her off her feet. Yeah, I don’t care what Daniel Stern said at the end of the series.  Image result for winnie and kevin 

9:00 HMM         Christmas Homecoming starring Julie Benz Image result for darla and angel gif

November 19th 

8:00 Hallmark A Gift to Remember …. yeah… a bookstore worker… I like books. That’s reason enough!

9:00 HMM A Bramble House Christmas this was a book by a fellow Harlequin author, CJ Carmichael (although this book is not under them.. but if you didn’t know already, I write for Harlequin.. at least for now ->see me 

November 22nd

8:00 Hallmark With Love, Christmas

November 23rd

8:00 Hallmark  The Mistletoe Inn  Alicia Witt plays an aspiring ROMANCE NOVELIST HELLOOOOOOOOO that’s totally me! And her character’s last name is Rossi.. could it be.. as in Mr. and Mrs. Rossi (Special Tasks Bureau Series) by [Hector, Carolyn] .. just kidding! I kid! I kid! Unless you are interested, it’s available for your kindle at any of the following fine places

Amazon http://amzn.to/2cwSxpf

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2cZZMYr

KOBO Books  http://bit.ly/2djXvb2

iTunes http://apple.co/2cRcc4j

Google Play http://bit.ly/2dhAdzu

The Wild Rose Press http://bit.ly/2d4O3sO

 

Okay.. back to rationalizing why it is okay for me to watch these new Christmas movies.

8:00 PBS    Umm,… I hate to be the ignorant one.. but I never read a single page of these books. But I think it’s because in my building where I used to live, there was a girl with parents going through a divorce and everyone thought I needed to be nice to her and all she could talk about was this book while she had a bird she let fly around free in her bedroom as if it was a normal thing—which it’s not. Image result for the birds gif

*deep breath, Carolyn*

 

November 24th 

8:00 Hallmark The Christmas Train POC Alert! Danny Glover. And Dermot Mulroney is in here. How dare he still be sexy!  I remember his 1st movie Sin of Innocence Poster Sin of Innocence which starred Megan Follows.. who was also in the early versions of Anne of Green Gables

 

8:00 Hallmark Finding Santa this stars Jodie Sweetin. I didn’t like her on Full House but I love her on Fuller House. So.. I feel like I owe it to her to watch this.

November 25th

8:00 Lifetime  Wrapped Up in Christmas POC Alert!!!! Tatyana Ali aka Little Ashley Banks ..Brendan Fehr, Kim Fields, JASMINE GUY Joseph Marcell, JASMINE GUY, Dan Lauria, Jackee Harry, JASMINE GUY, and Mindy Sterling, AND JASMINE GUY

 

November 26th

7:00 UP  Christmas Solo POC Alert!! Nakia Toussaint is in this.

8:00 Hallmark  Switched for Christmas — twin sisters swap places. Twice the DJ Tanner?

8:00 Lifetime A Very Merry Toy Store Can I say POC Alert? Mario Lopez. Melissa Joan Hart stars in this… and I can almost give her a pass for maybe about everything because she did a movie already with Mario called Holiday in Handcuffs and she did Drive Me Crazy.

9:00 ION  The name of the movie is SNOWMANCE! WTF did I think of that name?! Now I HAVE to see it.

 

December 2nd 

8:00 Hallmark Christmas in Evergreen POC Alert!!! Holly Robinson-Pete. whhhat?

8:00 Lifetime Four Christmases and a Wedding..this stars Arielle Kebbel… I can watch this because I am mature and I can overlook the fact that she was the mean girl in Aquamarine (don’t judge.. I have kids, remember)… because she was the super cool BFF in Vampire Diaries. Image result for arielle kebbel vampire diaries

 

10:00 Lifetime –Lifetime seems to be doing these mini-movies. I have to mention this one The Ugly Christmas Sweater… only because in Image result for magic of mistletoe there’s an Ugly Christmas Sweat Party. If you haven’t read it…of course you should.. and you can get it at these fine places….

Amazon http://amzn.to/2cjSZHX

Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2cRNkaO

BAM! http://bit.ly/2d9kMZL

KOBO Books http://bit.ly/2d4LarL

Indie Bound http://bit.ly/2d4LE0Y

iTunes  http://apple.co/2cL253p

Google Play http://bit.ly/2dbsrex

Harlequin http://bit.ly/2dbtSK2

 

December 3rd 

8:00 Hallmark Christmas at Holly Lodge ehhhhhhh? it has POC i n it? Sheryl Lee Ralph

8:00 Lifetime My Christmas Prince   Eh, we’ll see if I watch it. The title reminds me of this new book by Alyssa Cole.  PrincessInTheory HiRes

9:00 ION  The Spruces and the Pines?  We’ll see.

December 9th

8:00 Hallmark Christmas Encore

8:00 Lifetime  Christmas in Mississippi starring Jana Kramer. Hated her in One Tree Hill until the last season.. so I may watch.

9:00 ION  Runaway Christmas Bride. It stars the girl who played in Unleashing Mr. Darcy… and that movie was cute. So… we’ll see.

 

December 10th 

7:00 UP  Christmas Princess — all I could find was ….Storyline Against the backdrop of Christmas in Southern California comes Christmas Princess, a heart-warming story inspired by true events about one brave high school girl who overcomes her difficult past to become one of the elite princesses in the world-renowned royal court of the Tournament of Rose Parade.

8:00 Sharing Christmas

9:00 ION  A Royal Christmas Ball  .. a 39 year old hero.. and a heroine with a 17 year old… might just check it out!

 

December 16th

8:00 Hallmark Father Christmas

8:00 Lifetime    Snowed-Inn Christmas um yeah.. so it has One Tree Hill’s Haley… Bethany Joy Lenz So I kinda gotta watch.

9:00 HMM Unbridled Love

9:00 ION  A Christmas Cruise POC Alert!!! Vivica A Fox and Kristoff St. John (are y’all watching Queen Sugar? Doesn’t the son remind you of Kristoff? I would totally cast them)

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December 17th

9:00 Fox A Christmas Story Live! Love the movie.. POC Alert.. Maya Rudolph!

December 18th 

8:00 The Great Christmas Light Fight  I’ll watch.. and maybe channel in my Christmas competitiveness… which I so won’t have because I am not about to let my electric bill get any higher!

 

December 23rd

8:00 Hallmark Christmas Getaway

December 25th

7:00 Up    Winter Wedding – or is the title Wedding Wonderland?

When Hallie and Lucas get engaged, they quickly begin planning the tropical beach wedding of their dreams. But the happy couple starts to get caught in family drama when both sets of parents can’t seem to agree on anything. Adding to the turmoil, their destination is completely booked and the next available spot is over a year away. Not wanting to wait, they decide to have their ceremony at Lucas’ mountain lodge in the snow. Their love is tested when the stress of keeping everyone happy gets to be too much.

December 30th

8:00 Lifetime A ROYAL NEW YEAR’S EVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of an RWA Virgin

That might be the last time you see my name associated with virgin…. but anyway…

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I attended the annual RWA (Romance Writers of America) this year. Prior to going I saw lots of comments and posts about attending and people saying how they looked forward to meeting people. I was so excited. I mean finally! I was going to get to meet these people that I became Facebook friends with and shared intimate details about my hectic life.

Like everyone else… I was excited… that quick-pulse excited feeling you get when you’re next in line at the county fair for the fastest right. And if this were a fair and a line … I did something I’ve never done before.Image result for scary roller coaster rides I chickened out.

Again… let me reach into my bucket of excuses.

I like to put things at school grade levels to give an idea. Y’all know the hierarchy I’m talking about.

I will equate RWA to my 10th grade year at boarding school—but for a moment just imagine RWA as the new school that goes 7th through 12th. When I first arrived at boarding school I remember seeing these really cool girls. We all had to wear uniforms yet somehow they managed to make their plaid skirts, penny loafers and cardigans look cool. So when I saw how awesome these RWA authors were together, I had them in my mind like the popular upperclassmen. Related image They walked around in their cool spiky heels and I kid you not… a heavenly clouds parted through the crowd. They were every John Hughes 80’s movie of cool crowds–the kind of people you wanted to hang out with, be friends with, or even be like. Related imageImage result for the craft gifRelated image

First day of the conference… The cool kids—I would put them at 10th or 11th grade with drivers’ licenses and being able to go off campus for lunch—sat on a welcoming committee in all fabulousity. Image result for fast times at ridgemont high  I lost my nerve to be like… “Hey! We are FB friends”…Because upon seeing them… I realized pretty much everyone on FB knew who they were.

But that was okay… some of the other folks I knew who were goingRelated image…. Well let’s just pretend we’d gone to summer camp together before I started this “new school” and we were all like.. yay! Cool! We’ll be at the same school.

<True story—I had the Joneses who lived across the street from me before I really did start 7th grade. I would hang out with them every summer when I came to visit my dad… and on the first day of school.. the girls did not acknowledge me at all. Strange… but I realized it was a their issue and didn’t want to be seen with me for one glaring obvious reasonImage result for iggy judy blumeImage result for sweet valley highImage result for sweet valley high the new girl>

Anyway-back to my tale of my first RWA. In no way do I mean to accuse anyone of anything. These are strictly my over exaggerated insecurities. But people drove to town together. They took flights together. They shared rooms! They had their own agenda and didn’t need me tagging along. Related image

I saw posts about “hey who wants to get drinks?” And me being my confident-internet-self agreed to drinks, meeting up, and lunch, and all other kinds of things. But when no one passed on any contact info & I saw these folks out and about with their new fabulous friends I was like.. Image result for invisible me“Oh, uh.. okay you wanted drinks or whatever with anyone else but me.”

Some of my friends stopped and asked how it was going ….sure I said I was horrified .. but left it at that because I didn’t want to be THAT girl. Image result for pity party gif

 

Image result for never been kissed gifI wore a tag that indicated I was a first timer… I was sure—thanks to the welcoming committee— it would be an ice breaker or conversation-starter for first timers. In my imagination someone fabulous would say.. “oh you’re new here, come sit with me” And then I would have lifelong friends…. But it didn’t happen like I imagined. I sat down Image result for writing and wrote—because this is an event for authors.

 

Image result for never been kissed gifI attended a pajama party and I wanted to wear my pajamas but chickened out because I would have to walk this long trek across the hotel. So I didn’t. I attended the party and no one else wore pajamas…whew! And then I saw her… a pretty blond in guess what?! Pajamas! I loved her instantly in the sense of… omg I could totally see myself calling you up and crying over a scene I’m trying to write… but of course I couldn’t tell her that.

By the 2nd day I was like.. whatever. I’m just here for the lessons, publishing houses and books (oh yes the books!Image result for books my precious gif). I sat in these workshops and listened to the authors on the panels and felt I finally found my friends. I wanted to be friends with THEM! They got me. They understood the anxiety of deadlines. They knew the guilt for feeding your kids pizza and the shame when the 5 boxes of pizza hit the curb for the neighbors to see. I took comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only one who is introverted and just wants hide in a room and write rather than socialize.

Image result for new kid in the lunchroom I skipped the luncheon (I paid for it in the registration) because the room was crowded… tables were shoulder to shoulder and there was no way I could possibly sit down at an empty seat next to groups of people who traveled out of state together for this conference. A few of the kids from my “summer camp” suggest I just sit down somewhere (which I interpreted as sit somewhere else just not near me). So I ate my hamburger by myself at a bar seated across from another author on one side and a group of more popular kids… let’s just refer to them as the Related imagemythical angel club to my left (editors—yes I eavesdropped—and you know good and well I wasn’t going to open my mouth and talk to them!)

Later on that evening after a pep-talk from my hubby who asked WWYCD (what would your character do) and I swallowed my pride, donned my long yellow gown and headed over. I didn’t let the broken escalator stop me. Although I was tempted to turn around.Image result for new kid I walked right into the room and found a table of ladies and asked if I could sit and they all welcomed me. They were from Dallas. One of them bought a bottle of champagne for the table and I started to feel a lot better and included.Image result for popping champagne gif Thank you for that!!

Back to the hierarchy of this event… There were the upperclassmen seniors (not age) I got to hug and talk to Ms. Bev Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, closeup and indoor and I got to see and hug RITA Finalist Synithia Williams  Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, selfie and closeup Oh! And let’s not forget Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, eyeglasses, indoor and closeup. BTW.. someone saw a picture of me at this party with Ms. Bev, Brenda, and Farrah Rochon and commented… “Three of my favorite authors”……. um Image result for chopped liver meme

 

lol

By Friday I still had the mentality of being here for the books and workshops  Image result for college classes gifBUT…I was able to smile and the now somewhat familiar faces. It helped to walk through the lines to get autographed books and talk to people who encouraged me. I developed a girl crush on another one of the ladies in the cool kids group simply by her to-die-for shoes (that’s normal, right?)

Image result for rush week gifI attended the publishing houses and looked at it like Rush Week (y’all know my Kimani line is ending the end of 2018).

 

I attended my current publishing house’s annual party Related imageand ran into a fellow friend from on line and was brought into the circle. Look…. We even did a group pictureImage may contain: 12 people, people smiling, text and outdoor I met up with other with the fabulous authors

Cathy Mann  Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup and indoor

Brenda Jackson Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup

Christy Jeffries Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoorYahrah St. John  Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup and indoor

Taryn Leigh Taylor   Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, closeup and Katie Meyer

Janet Lee Nye Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, eyeglasses, closeup and indoor

And I saw my in-my-head-BFF who said the magical three words …

Dance. With. Me.

Here is the in-my-head-BFF. Her kindness.. and my imagination really helped me overcome my insecurities and introvert-ism (that’s a thing, right?) Thanks Chica!!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, selfie and closeup Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, closeup and indoor

I danced until the end of the party.

By Saturday morning I entered workshops with a bit more pep in my step. I even had a few people tap me on the shoulder and say hey and sit down next to me like we’re friends (which by now we are).

Needless to say by the end of the conference I wasn’t as overwhelmed.  I survived and I came home with A TON OF BOOKSNo automatic alt text available.

New Knowledge

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And great places to look for dresses!

Image result for where did you get that dress gif Related imageImage result for where did you get that dress gifImage result for where did you get that dress gif

 

Until next time!