MJ’s Musings: SEP-Nobody’s Baby But Mine

Nobody’s Baby But Mine is a little creepy in that there is a slight stalker element. The heroine wants a dumb man to father a child for her, so she sets her sights on a football quarterback who says “ain’t” in a southern drawl and makes assumptions. Bad assumptions, all the way around.  The hero may be from North Carolina, but being from the south is the only assumption the heroine got right. Almost.

Tricking the football playing into getting her pregnant is morally wrong; the heroine knows it, but her longing for a child who won’t be a genius (the heroine is a physicist who’s always felt like a freak because she’s smart), but who will be normal outweighs her morals.  Twice.

There is a secret baby (for a couple of pages), a marriage that’s anything but convenient, and a truly lovely romance that unfolds as the hero and heroine get to know each other.

The cast of secondary characters is interesting. I adore the hero’s hillbilly grandmother. The secondary romance, between the hero’s parents is interesting, and showcases what a brilliant author Susan Elizabeth Phillips is. The subtleties tying the primary romance to the secondary is extremely well done. At first, I didn’t like the hero’s father, but with each re-read of the book and my own development as an author have made me appreciate exactly what Phillips did here.

Four stars.

 

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Heaven Texas

I really like this book. I love how the heroine is the only one who can see through the hero’s BS–and calls him on it. The hero is a lot deeper than many romance heroes.  He is a genuinely good soul all the time. Even at the black moment in the story, and events turn ugly, his innate goodness shines.

Some of the town folk and athletes are stereotypical, but I think the author does that to enhance the qualities of the hero.

The reason the book is so low on my list is because of the secondary plot/romance between the hero’s mother and the bad-boy who’d loved her from afar in their youth. I’ve read this book numerous times , and while that plotline is  not as creepy-icky as it seemed the first time I read the book, and is really handled quite well, I still find it creepy-icky. In this reader’s opinion, there’s a scene that occurs in a dark closet that should have remained in the dark closet and not on the page.

Overall: 4 stars.

MJ’s Musing: Word Nerd

There used to be a board game called PROBE. Used versions on Amazon are shockingly expensive. When my parents cleared out their games a couple of years ago, I “called” PROBE, but one of my nieces ended up with it.

The purpose of the game is to come up with a word (using letter cards, face down on a rack) and other people guess the word, letter by letter. There are blank cards, too, a player can add to the beginning or the  end of the word.

To this day, I will see a word and think, “Oh, that would be a great word for PROBE.”

Some of my favorite words are: gypsy; rhythm, awkward, squirm, swarm.

I confess: I am a word nerd.

 

 

 

MJ’s Musings-Book Bingo: Art for Love’s Sake

Art for Love’s Sake. I read Barbara Freethy’s Don’t Say a Word. and used it for this square.  Lots of art in this romantic suspense: heroine is a DJ, hero is a photographer and the son of a photographer. There are ballerinas involved in the story, too. The arts abound. The first clue is a photograph. Nothing is as it seems.

I really wanted to use Fiona Davis’s The Masterpiece for this square, but it isn’t a romance. It’s the story of two women, fifty years apart. Clara is an artist and teacher in the Grand Central Station School of Art (this was a real thing) in the 1920s; Virginia is a woman in the 1970s who is working to save the building from demolition. Both are hobbled in their pursuits by being women. In many ways, Clara was far more liberated than Virginia, but Clara had a clear sense of self and her goal. Virginia, a recent divorcee, was drifting. Having come of age in the 1970s, there were many times in the story when I wanted to scream at Virginia for her naivety. Wanting to scream means I cared.

Both books were good reads.

MJ’s Musings: The Creativity of Writers

Sometimes an author’s creativity isn’t in only her writing.

Twice a year, I go out of town on a long writing retreat. A fellow author’s family has a cottage on a creek in the woods they let us use.

The first time we walked in (and oohed and aahed )and noticed there wasn’t much shelf space–certainly not enough for the wine. One of my companions turned to me and said, “Did you bring a baby?”

“No.”

“Neither did I.”

I wasn’t sure what she meant–until I spied a wooden high chair in the corner. That became our wine bar. For many years.  I have  lost the photo I took of this innovation.

This year, we didn’t bring as much wine as usual for many reasons. We no longer needed the a wine bar. But I was deep into revisions and needed something to prop my printed pages so I could input my changes.

The high chair-wine bar became something totally different.

Wedging the bottom of my binder against the tray while using the back to prop it upright worked like a charm.

But the high chair isn’t the only thing with multiple uses.

The weather turned wonderfully balmy and most of the attendees opted to write outside. Most also prefer to stand as they write. Enter: the Grill.

That’s right. The arms on either side of the gas grill are the perfect size and height for laptops  and writing.

The heat of creativity isn’t only on the page.