Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Perfect Day

I had the joy and the privilege of speaking with historical biographer Flora Fraser yesterday at Idlewild Bookstore here in New York. She was in town promoting her new biography of Pauline Bonaparte which was just released yesterday. I couldn't help thinking about the fact that not only is her mother Lady Antonia Fraser, noted biographer and mystery novelist, but that her grandmother Elizabeth Longford was also a biographer of some note. It must be in the genes!

Afterwards, I went up to have my copy of her book signed (I'd gotten a free copy from Random House since I'm reviewing it for Scandalous Women). When I mentioned that I had written about Pauline Bonaparte, Ms. Fraser said, "Oh, Scandalous Women! We were just talking about you last night!"

I almost started hyperventilating at the idea that Flora Fraser was talking about little ole me. We talked a little bit more about the blog and Pauline Bonaparte, and then she gave me her card with her email address. I fairly floated down the street after it was over.

Sigh! It was a perfect day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Behold the Oscars!

I know, I know, I've been a very bad blogger. I just realized that I have blogged since before Valentine's Day. Well in my defense, I've been very busy. I had to re-edit the first part of my book proposal for my agent which took some time. I'm still waiting her response to the sample chapters but I already know that I need to write a whole new chapter and cut the other two by at least 15 pages. All this before I leave for London in two weeks.

I went with the lovely Hope Tarr to see a mutual friend Leslie Nipkow read at KGB Bar here in New York on Valentine's day. Leslie read a great piece about how the actor Randolph Mantooth contributed to her awakening as a woman. It was nice to know that I wasn't the only woman who found her mother's copy of the Sensuous Woman as a kid.

Last night watched the Oscars of course. No real suprises what with the other 400 award ceremonies that came before. I was hoping Mickey Rourke would win Best Actor just so I could hear what he would say for an acceptance speech. The one he gave at the BAFTA's was hysterical.

Hugh Jackman, what can I say. I adore every hair on his Australian head. I think he is gorgeous, talented and witty and I hope they ask him to host again. I could have done without the middle production number directed by Baz Luhrmann, but all in all it was a great night. Jennifer Aniston and Angelina did not get into a cat fight but that might have been because Jennifer Aniston skipped the red carpet.

What was the deal with Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis not showing up to give out Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor? Isn't that usually tradition? Normally Best Supporting Actor gives out actor and vice-versa. Still I thought the idea of having 5 prior winners give out the award was kind of nice, although it would have been nice to see clips of the Best Actor and Actress nominees.

So what did everyone think? Any disasters? Any undeserving winners?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Soaps and Romance Novels

I was very interested yesterday to pick up the new issue of Soap Opera Weekly. In the letter from the Editor, news editor Mala Bhattacharjee wrote about how soaps could take a leaf from the romance novels about how to grow and change with the times. She used Harlequin as an example with their line of NASCAR novels and how successful they've been. She suggested that soaps should take a look at what romance is doing to keep their audience as well as attract new readers who may never have picked up a romance before.

It was really exciting to read the editorial because I have often thought that soaps should look to romance for a way of keeping their audience. When I first started watching soaps, they were all about romance. Greg and Jenny on AMC, Patch and Kayla on Days of Our Lives, Luke and Laura on GH, Tad and Dixie on AMC, and Erica Kane and all her many husbands. It was couples coming together and than being pulled apart. Now soaps are all about mob bosses and people coming back from the dead. Where is the romance?

I think that every soap should have at least one romance novelist as a consultant, especially one who writes romantic suspense, since the weakest thing soaps do is mysteries. Actually Another World had hired Katherine Sutcliffe to be a consultant on their show at one point. Every soap always does the "who killed so and so storyline." Recently on GH is was the Cellphone Stalker. Guess who the killer turned out to be? A guy who had been killed off the year before! Yeah, apparently he wasn't dead after all, although the audience saw his dead body on camera. Diego Alcazar patiently waited for over a year before coming back to Port Charles. His motive to revenge his father's death! And they pulled this same crap on AMC with the Satin Slayer. Again the killer turned out to be someone who was dead, who conveniently came back to life.

What soaps need are couples that people can root for, whose love story we have watched unfold. Give us lush romance, couples who have obstacles thrown at them, watch them fight those obstacles and come together. This what soaps used to do so beautifully before they started believing they had to do crazy stunts to get viewers. Romance is what viewers remember, not crazy storylines.

Bring back romance and hire me to write for you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Bachelor Conspiracy

Sorry I've been such a lazy blogger. Between looking for a job, posting over at Scandalous Women, and working on the changes my agent wants on my book proposal, I just haven't had the energy to blog regularly.

But The Bachelor has been pretty darn good this season. And now a certain blogger named Reality Steve has ignited a bit of controversy over on his blog. He claims that he has inside information about how the whole season went down and why Jason picks the woman he does and what happens afterwards. He's been threatening whether or not to reveal all before the season finale and the two After the Final Rose specials that ABC has scheduled.

Seriously I haven't seen so many theories since I used to read books about the conspiracies behind the assassination of JFK. People are going crazy leaving comments on Reality Steve's blog and on other message boards speculating on what really went down. Everything from Jason knew one of the contestants before the show started, he gets engaged to one woman, and then gets engaged to someone else, why Deanna has come back, one woman gets pregnant, no another woman gets pregnant, all the contestants are plants etc.

It is so fascinating to read, it's better than a thriller. I've never seen so much interest in a Bachelor before. For some reason, people are particularly invested this season, probably because Jason is a single dad and they feel for him. Ratings are up for this installment of The Bachelor after several lackluster seasons (Prince Lorenzo anyone?).

Personally, I'm rooting for Jillian but I suspect she gets booted next week, and he's left with Molly and Melissa. I already sense there is more to Melissa's story than we are getting, particularly since her parents didn't appear on the Hometown Dates. None of her friends seem to know her family and her brother didn't even show up. She mentioned that her parents never even went to a Dallas Cowboys game when she cheered for them. Also her friends seemed to indicate that she hadn't been truthful about her relationships, since she stated that she was with someone for 7 years but hadn't dated in three (she's only 25) but her friends made it seem like she'd dated alot of jerky guys.

Oh and interesting that Jason didn't mention to Naomi's dad when he was going on about Jesus, that he was Jewish.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Arrgh, Calgon Take Me Away!

So my new laptop has a virus! Despite the freezing cold temperatures, I schlepped all the way down to the LES (lower East Side) to have it repaired. Unfortunately, they are backed up and won't get to it until Monday, so I'm forced to find other ways to blog, like using the computers at the Career Center.
Then I schlepped out to Forest Hills, Queens, to audition for Princeton Review. Anyone who has teenagers who are about to take their SAT's probably know who they are. We had to prepare a 3-5 minute audition teaching something. I decided to teach astrology. Others taught how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, how to open a bank account, do improv, make pancakes and speak Filipino. Then we had to take a mini-SAT test, which was unfortunate because I suck at Math. Seriously if they didn't give you 200 points for signing your name, I would have been really screwed on the SAT's. And get this, teachers now have to teach both Verbal and Math! When I first taught for the company in the dark ages, you could teach one or the other, or both. Now its mandatory that you teach both. How can I teach something I don't even understand?
The biggest shocker? If you make it into the training program that starts on Sunday, you have to take a 4 hour SAT test and then bring into the Center today!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Disgusting Habits

I think this picture expresses exactly how I feel about the guy sitting in the cubicle behind me who is insisting on slurping his coffee. Not to mention the chick I had to sit next to on the subway who kept popping her gum to the point that I wanted to pop her.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lady Jane's Salon, a Triumph!

Last night was the first night of many for the new romance reading series, Lady Jane's Salon, at the sexy bar Madame X downtown in Soho. The decor lent itself well for the reading, imagine a Victorian living room in a bordello, and you'll get the picture, red walls, comfy velvet sofas, slightly erotic pictures on the wall. I think it is safe to say from the turnout that it was a smashing success. Andrea Pickens read from her latest book in her trilogy, The Scarlet Spy from Grand Central publishing, and one of the co-founders, the lovely Hope Tarr read from her latest Harlequin Blaze, Every Breath You Take.

The drinks were cheap but delicious. I drank several Indecent Proposals, a concoction of champagne, and peach schnapps. Katrina Tipton brought her adorable son, who I'm very much in love with. We drooled over co-founder Maya Rodale's hunky British boyfriend, who seemed very nice and very attentive to our girl.

Check out Barbara Vey's blog over at Publisher's Weekly for more, as well as the blogs of founders Hope Tarr, Leanna Renee Heiber and Maya Rodale for more dish as well as photos. The lovely ladies will be chatting over at Romance Novel TV this Friday as well. Also check out Kwana Writes for her take on the evening.

Next month, NYTimes bestselling author Lauren Willig and Jenna Peterson will be reading.

Hope to see everyone there.