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I had wanted to catch the BBC versions of the Jane Austen movies when they were on Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Unfortunately, I missed a couple. So, at my first opportunity, I rented Persuasion from Netflix. I had seen an earlier version, but I think this(2007) was far superior. My romantic inclinations were definitely satisfied.

I’ve been told to study movies and their structure to help in the writing of fiction because you can watch them in a shorter time than reading a novel. And let me say my day was an enjoyable one “researching”.

The second time I watched it, I convinced my husband to watch it with me. Of course, he did not appreciate it nearly as much as I did. At the beginning of the DVD there were a few trailers of other BBC movies that I thought looked interesting. I found one of them on Netflix for immediate play. When I started it I didn’t realize it was a 4 hour movie. But once I started it I couldn’t stop.

What was the movie? It was one I had never heard of before–Daniel DeRonda written by George Eliot. And may I say it was one of the best movies I’ve seen. I loved every minute of it. Hugh Dancy, the actor who played Daniel DeRonda, was perfect for his role.

I watched another movie today called North and South (not about the U. S. Civil War Movie, but a British movie). I loved it so much that I stayed up until 12:00 am watching it (another 4 hour movie–and I like to go to bed at 9:00 pm).

What do these movies have in common:

Set in England

Great Romantic Stories


Great looking men.

If you like romance from the 1800s set in England, then certainly watch those movies.

At His Command by Brenda Coulter – Homecoming Heroes- Book 3

Jake Hopkins gave up flying after his helicopter crashed. Now as an attorney, he faces survivors guilt and finds himself in the same town as his former co-pilot’s baby sister who has loved him since she was a girl.

Brenda Coulter has written an entertaining read. She starts off her book with a great hook:

Texas attorney Jake Hopkins was severely allergic to two things: peanuts and a sweet young army nurse named Madeline Bright…

All he had to do was clap eyes on the chestnut-haired, blue-eyed beauty and his pulse raced, his throat closed up and his brain stalled out. Since that was pretty much what happened whenever Jake got too close to a peanut, he figured the evidence spoke for itself.

The author continues her witty phrasing of words throughout the book. A truly enjoyable read.

Watch the author’s book promotion video:

Rekindled by Tamera Alexander

Rekindled was a book I had in my “To be Read” shelf for over a year. I regret that it took me this long to read it, because it is a great book.

I can’t even begin to summarize it or do it justice in the way of review.

When Larson Jennings returns homeĀ  after months being away and recuperating from a brutal attack and subsequent fire, he sees his wife (shockingly and obviously pregnant) standing over a grave. At closer inspection, he finds his own name engraved on the headstone.

If you study great literature to learn the art and craft of writing, may I suggest In High Places by Tom Morrisey. When I wrote a previous post on the book, I had not read it yet. I had just heard the author speak and had a chance to talk to him. Now that I have read it, I am in awe of this man’s writing.

The story is narrated by a man remembering when he was sixteen back in the 70’s–the tragedy in his life, how his father reacted to the tragedy and how it changed the young man’s life.

Here is an excerpt of what the 16-year-old(or maybe it was the adult) thought about critiquing The Great Gatsby :

Literary criticism has always seemed to me like the sterile dissection of a flower, the careful segmentation of pistil and stamen and petal: when you’re finished, you may understand it better, but it won’t be beautiful anymore.

Don’t read In High Places to dissect it, read it for its beauty.

Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt

I’ve been reading some excellent books lately and I want to share them with you during my great books week.

Christy Barritt’s sequel to Hazardous Duty, Suspicious Minds, is even better than the first.

I’ve said before, I like quirky characters. And most of those quirky characters are detectives of some sort like Monk and Psych.

The heroine in Suspicious Minds is a student of forensic science. To earn money she opens a crime scene cleaning business which I think is an extremely interesting job. One that I would not like to do. She is hurled into another investigation when she discovers a dead Elvis Impersonator (make that tribute artist) under a job site she was inspecting.

I like to think of the book as a cross between CSI and Monk/Psych. If you love those shows you’ll love Suspicious Minds. Christy Barritt writes with humor and wit and manages to keep me turning the pages.

I can’t wait for the sequel. I’ve gotta know which guy the heroine ends up with. Great romantic conflict.

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