Monday, April 30, 2007

Story: "For the Love of Max" by Karen Nikula from the May 8, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Lucy lost her heart to the beautiful golden retriver--and then to his owner...

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with a mind toward what works and doesn't work for me as a writer, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

Woman's World loves dog stories. This one is about a woman who is watching the dog of a soldier stationed in Iraq. It's got four acts, instead of three: Scene with sister, backstory, scene with sister continued, and then the climactic ending when the soldier comes for his dog.

As I've mentioned before, you usually don't get much physical description of the characters. In fact, we get nothing at all on Lucy, and Brian is only described as "better-looking than the picture he'd emailed me." So, if you're writing for WW, keep this in mind when trying to keep to the 1000 word limit.

Best Part: He knelt, giving Max hearty strokes as the dog wagged his tail furiously. Awww, that tugs my heart. A soldier coming home to his dog.

In My Humble Opinion: I wish Brian had been a little more alpha and indicated his interest in Lucy first, or at least didn't blush. This story was cute, but it didn't thrill me.

Grade: B-

Don't forget to enter the Bracelet Contest!

Come know you wanna!

Deadline May 29, 2007


Friday, April 27, 2007

Artist: Teo Alfonso

I'm so excited. I featured Teo's work on my blog a few weeks ago and the man was so appreciative that he offered to paint something just for me, no charge. And here it is!
The world is a very cool place.
Here is his home page.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Long Live the Epilogue!

Thirteen Reasons Why I Loved Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

1. This book, written by Linda Berdoll, is a continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. When I thumbed through it at the bookstore, the beginning grabbed me at once and had me cracking up.

As plush a coach as it was, recent rains tried even its heavy springs. Hence, the road to Derbyshire was betimes a bit jarring. Mr. Darcy, with all gentlemanly solictousness, offered the new Mrs. Darcy a pillow upon which to sit to cushion the ride.

It was a plump tasselled affair, not at all discreet. His making an issue of her sore nether-end was mortification in and of itself. But as Elizabeth harboured the conviction that she had adopted a peculiar gait as a result of her most recent (by reason of matrimony) pursuits, her much abused dignity forbade her to accept such a blatant admission of conjugal congress. Thus, the cushion was refused.

Elizabeth goes on to regret refusing, and spends a good amount of time gazing at the cushion wistfully.

2. Wry humor like this continues throughout the book. I laughed quite a bit while reading it.

3. I adore epilogues. It's like the whipped cream on the mocha of a book, and Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife was like a glorious epilogue, showing how happy they were.

4. But Berdoll did more than just tell the continuing story. She also backtracked and made up quite a bit of history for the characters. For instance, we get quite a bit on Darcy's and Wickham's growing up years and their rocky relationship.

5. I was also impressed by the realistic feel to the book. Sometimes Regency authors bring a 21st century viewpoint to their books and you have to forgive that and go along with the fantasy. But, Bertoll was able to spin the fantasy within a very accurate setting that included the norms and attitudes of their time, not ours.

6. Even though it has been many years since I read P&P, Berdoll did a wonderful job reminding me of everything I needed to know in order for her story to make sense.

7. She kept surprising me with plot twists that I won't go into here in case you want to read it yourself.

8. Some Jane Austen fans complained about the quantity of sex in this book, but I loved it. I think if Austen had been able to get away with sex scenes, she might have included them.

9. On that note, it's so delicious to see the staid Mr. Darcy become so undone behind the bedroom door.

10. The mirror under the bed. You'll have to read the book to understand.

11. I think she does such a wonderful job keeping Elizabeth and Darcy in character, as Austen started them, but giving them character growth, just the same.

12. It was 465 pages long. Oh, how I love it when a book I'm really enjoying is really long!

13. It was very clear at the end that there would be a sequel, which I'm reading right now and loving.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. If you participate, leave your blog link by clicking on the white box above. It’s easy, and fun! Update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well!

Don't forget to check out my latest contest.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Haiku: Chick, Where Are Your Brows?

I, Mona Lisa

a great book, but the portrait...

that ain't no smile.

Note: This may be one of the most recognizable works of art in the world, and much as been said about her enigmatic smile. My poem states what I think about that. She's wearing what we call in my family a "courtesy smile."

While this isn't a painting that I particularly like, I loved the novel by Kalogridis. I powered through it in three days. If you liked Girl with a Pearl Earring or In the Company of the Courtesan, you'll enjoy I, Mona Lisa.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Story: "All in a Day's Work" by Diane Crawford from the May 1, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Christine was so busy, she hadn't realized there was something missing in her life. Then Duncan showed up...

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with a mind toward what works and doesn't work for me as a writer, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

Crawford jumps right into the action of her story, setting up the situation--Christine provides daycare out of her home. As might be expected, the child turns out to be the unwitting matchmaker when he drags his grandfather back to Christine's house with dinner and ice cream. However, once "thrown together," the characters do an admirable job of taking things from there themselves. The bargaining of bakery goods for construction projects was cute, but otherwise, the story was your average Woman's World romance.

Best Part: I thought it was funny when Alex shows up with the table leg. I could totally picture that.

In My Humble Opinion: I did have a little trouble fixing Christine's age in my mind, since Duncan was the father of one of her clients. Maybe a reference to her graying hair or something would have given me a better idea of her age.

Also, Diane Crawford shared with me that they changed her ending, and in my opinion, they didn't do that great of a job.

Grade: B


Monday, April 23, 2007

My Woman's World magazine is late. Hence, I have no review today. :(


Friday, April 20, 2007

Artist: Fidostudio

Welcome to another Willoughby Weekend Web Gallery Showing. :) Today I'm showcasing Thomas Fedro. In his statement, he says, "As a painter I am interested in making the work of the soul more visible and real, enriching our everyday lives. It is in these moments when our soul speaks to us in a quiet, perhaps even a silent voice - wielding great power and influence at both a conscious and unconscious level."

This first painting is Comfort Zone . I love the fluidity of this painting and the colors. Last week I chose another painting with swirls (the one with the roses), and I think that shape just appeals to me. I also really love the luminosity of her skin.

On the other hand, this painting, Feeling It, is more angular. This guy's nose has such attitude. I wonder if he has a black eye and that's what he's feeling. And again, I love the ear swirls!

Finally we have Mr. Right Now. His hair seems to be at once beckoning and flipping you off at the same time. LOL.

Enjoy the art and your weekend!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday 13: The Fantastic Future

Thirteen Things I’m Looking Forward To

1. Reaching my goal weight.
2. Seeing my brother and his family in July. They moved to Dallas last year and I haven't seen them since Christmas.
3. Mother’s Day
4. Hearing from Woman’s World about my latest story, “Above and Beyond.” The story is special in that the main character is based on a chapter mate who recently passed away.
5. Being a grandmother (This should not happen for at least 7+ years.)
6. The release of my first printed book in September!
7. Tomorrow. I'm scrapbooking with a bunch of gal pals. We do it every month, and it's the only time I get to try to catch up on my scrapbook.
8. Tomorrow again. I'm going to treat myself to a matinee of 300. I hear there are some awesome displays of man meat in that movie.
9. Seeing my orchids bloom again. I'm not exactly sure if they will, but I have high hopes.
10. RWA National Conference - I'm going to be rooming with Loribelle, Romance Diva friend!
11. Also at RWA, meeting Mary Altman, my Ellora's Cave editor.
12. The fabulous Diva Dinner at RWA.
13. The Passionate Ink Luncheon at RWA.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. If you participate, leave your blog link by clicking on the white box above. It’s easy, and fun! Update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well!

Don't forget to check out my latest contest.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hello, My Name Is...

I got this book so that if I ever needed a topic for my blog, I'd have a resource to turn to. So, today's the day we break it in.

When I was about five years old, we were at the airport and my mother told me to go into this limo and ask the person for his autograph. So, not knowing any better, I strode boldly into this white car (without having to duck my head) and said, "Can I have your autograph?" The man smiled and asked me what my name was and signed a scrap piece of paper. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized what I had done and that the man was Johnny Carson.

So, the question to you is, who's the most famous person you've ever met?


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Punctuation Porn

Here's a brief video that made me smile.

Introducing the Comma Sutra...


Monday, April 16, 2007

Story: "A New Season" by Suzanne DuBois from the April 24, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Joni would never forget Ron. But her heart told her it was time to live again...

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with a mind toward what works and doesn't work for me as a writer, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

Notice how DuBois jumps right into the backstory after that initial short conversation. Unfortunately, it's a pretty unwieldly dump of information. I'm not sure whether to be thankful that she got it all in at once so I didn't have to deal with anymore after that, or think that she should have worked a little harder to break it up.

If you're an astute reader, you probably got the picture that the guy wasn't the gardener and were just waiting for the heroine to figure it out herself. This is a good way to get your reader involved with the characters. The intention is for the reader to experience the realization along with the character while at the same time feel somewhat superior that they were smarter than she was--a win/win situation.

There was no "black moment" in this story, where you or the heroine thought things might not work out because this was a case of mistaken identity. This was because she wasn't thinking about him romantically because she thought he was married.

Also, it took place pretty much all at once, with only a very brief introduction at Joni's workplace. So there was no three act structure. However, there was a major plot turning point, when the real gardener makes his appearance. That's when the story takes a complete turnaround, something you'll often see at the midpoint of novels.

I thought the fact that Jared saw Joni jogging (oy vey, the alliteration!) was a nice surprise. I hadn't seen that coming. It was a nice touch.

Best Part: "The big bush that's threatening to take over your house?" That was funny! I love a hero with a teasing sense of humor.

In My Humble Opinion This is very picky, but I think she should have picked surnames that weren't as similar as Smithson and Harrison. And the name Joni (even if it's spelled differently) will always bring Chachi to my mind.

Grade: B


Friday, April 13, 2007

Artist: Jamie Edwards

I know I'm a little late with this Easter image, Siamese Cat Dressed as the Easter Bunny, but it was too cute to pass up. I found this artist's work to be whimsical and fun, reminding me of those blue dog paintings by George Rodrigue.

Jamie herself says, "I believe that my art reflects my love for animals, children and bold, rich colour. I describe my style as a mix of folk and contemporary with a touch of whimsy. I strive to capture special moments and precious expressions in my work. If my art makes you smile then I am smiling too."

I'm definitely smiling when I look at Morning Coffee with Cats. The woman's hair/towel(?) looks like pink soft serve ice cream, and the orange cat looks like he's saying about the coffee, "Where's mine?"

Cat on a Hot Car Roof makes me smile, too. The colors, the style, the flowers, and the old-fashioned car all combine to lighten my mood. I really love the simplicity of how she depicts the roses, just a swirl in the middle and a wiggly line for the outline.

And finally, this painting, Siamese Snuggle, says to me contentment, peace, and relaxation. And here's something funny...I didn't realize until just now that she's reading a book. How wonderful. When I was choosing paintings for this post I was focusing on the cat around her head, but my subconscious must have recognized that.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Family Favorites

Main Dishes My Family Loves
1. Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy - My kids just raved about my mushroom gravy to a friend's mom and she asked me about it. I confessed with much laughter that it was just Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup.
2. Tri-tip - Just Lawry's Seasoning Salt and 50 minutes in a 375 oven.
3. "Crispy" Chicken - Chicken thighs with garlic salt and paprika, baked for an hour.
4. Sauteed Shrimp - I try to cook this when they're not looking because I use wine to deglaze the pan, and they usually turn their nose up at wine in cooking.
5. Grilled Steak - McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning and the Man's magic touch at the grill.
6. Fried Rice
7. Soy Sauce Chicken - This is just chicken pieces simmered in soy sauce, water, brown sugar, powdered ginger, and Chinese 5 spice.
8. Pasta - The Teen likes it with my homemade meatballs. #2 prefers just butter and salt.
9. Roast Turkey Breast - It's so easy to just buy the breast alone and not deal with the whole carcass, even if I like the drumsticks the best.
10. Grilled Salmon - Just dried dill and garlic salt
11. Grilled Teriyaki Flank Steak - I use Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce to marinate the steak in. It's fab!
12. Pork Roast - Another favorite. Just garlic salt and the oven. I use a meat thermometer with an alarm to tell me when it's done.
13. Baby Back Ribs - These are kinda pricey, but way cheaper than ordering ribs in a restaurant. Everyone loved these day before yesterday.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged. If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Heaven on a Bun

My family has begun a tradition called Guinea Pig Dinners. The idea is for us all to try out new recipes on each other. Since we're all trying something new, there is no pressure for it to be a fantastic dish. The first GPD was a great success, but my dish of zucchini bow tie pasta was only so-so.

At the most recent (second) GPD I think I really had a winner! Rachel Ray is one of my Food Goddesses. I tried her Salmon Burgers with Ginger Wasabi Mayo. These were TO DIE FOR.

Salmon Burgers with Ginger Wasabi Mayo

2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 3" piece of fresh ginger, minced or grated (I didn't use this much.)
3 tbs. tamari (dark aged soy sauce) (I COMPLETELY forgot this, but they still turned out!)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 red pepper, cored, seeded, finely chopped
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. grill seasoning (McCormick's Steak seasoning is GREAT.)

1/2 - 3/4 cup mayo
2 tbs wasabi paste (I found this on the asian food aisle. It comes in a tube.)
Juice of 1 lime

Your favorite kind of hamburger bun/roll.

Cube the salmon into bite-sized pieces and place in food processor. Pulse to coarse grind the salmon. It should take on the consistency of ground beef or turkey. Transfer the salmon to a bowl and combine with garlic, 3/4 of the ginger, tamari, scallions, red bell peppers, sesame oil, grill seasoning, and black pepper. Form 4 large patties, 1 1/2 inches thick. Drizzle patties on both sides with oil. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon burgers and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side for well done. (When I did these a second time, we grilled them outside and they came out great.)

While salmon is cooking, prepare wasabi ginger mayo. In a bowl combine the mayo, wasabi paste, lime juice and remaining ginger. (I forgot to put ginger in the mayo, too. It's a wonder this recipe turned out at all!) Serve on the rolls/buns with the yummy mayo and lettuce if you want.

This mayo would be killer with salmon tacos, I bet.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


To commemorate the one year anniversary of the release of Losing It, I'm going to hold a raffle to win this Italian charm bracelet. These are the coolest bracelets. They're stretchy, like a watch wristband, and the charms are interchangable, so if you win, you can personalize your bracelet with charms that you like. My favorite online store for this is Springhill Charms.

You can see that I've added a couple of charms to the plain ones. One is a heart on fire to signify my "smokin' hot romance" writing. The other is to represent Ben, the hero of Losing It, who is a contractor.

To enter your name in the raffle, email me the answer to this question: In the excerpt of Losing It (click here to read it), what part of Charlotte's body turns on Ben the most? My email addy is kate_willoughby @ (no spaces.)

The winner will be announced on the anniversary, May 29, 2007. Best of luck!


Monday, April 09, 2007

Story: "Lost and Found" by Susan Breeden from the April 10, 2007 issue.

Tagline: J.D.'s wrong turn turned out just right for Lisa

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with a mind toward what works and doesn't work for me as a writer, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

This story was well-crafted. Describing the physical traits of characters can be difficult in 1000 words, but she slipped in several references to J.D.'s appearance:

...confusion in his blue eyes.
...running a hand through his dark hair.
He smiled, and boy, did he have a gorgeous set of teeth! His puppy dog eyes lifted a little.

Also, she managed to tell the reader that Lisa is divorced while she described the situation with her gorgeous co-worker. Nicely done. And then, after quite a bit of narration, she brings us right back to the moment with a line of dialogue that reminds us what was happening when we left the action:

"I was going to throw in a piece of pie on the house, so there's no need for flattery."

Finally, there is a climax to the story when Lisa comes out of the bathroom to find J.D. has left. I think Woman's World stories always benefit from a climactic moment, even if it's low key. As I said, this story was well-crafted and even though I identified with Lisa, I wasn't particularly enthralled.

Best Part: "This seat offers the best view." Oh, I'd just melt if a guy said that to me. :) But as a lifelong wallflower, I'm a sucker for a compliment.

In My Humble Opinion I think this story deserved a catchier title.

Grade: B


Friday, April 06, 2007

Artist: Teo Alfonso

If you're a regular guest of my blog, you know I'm writing an erotic romance called ALL IN. It's to be the first of a series published by Ellora's Cave. One of the main characters, I.C. Tucker, is a professional poker player. I also love art and try to feature it here once a week.

Well, guess what! I found an artist who paints poker pictures! (Dig my alliteration, baby.) How awesome is that?!

Teo himself says, "I’m drawn to the range of emotions experienced in playing cards, from the fire and passion of a winning streak, to the cool calm of laying low and not giving away your hand. These emotions inspire me to create art for other card lovers who share the same passion, to decorate their homes or card rooms and maybe even bring them a little bit of luck!"

Here are a pair of pictures that showcase the name of the game that I have been studying and finally understand. I even watched two hours of the World Poker Tour the other night and was able to follow the action. It was surprisingly exciting. The no-limit rule allows the tables to turn on one card.

ALL IN is set, of course, in Las Vegas, and here is a depiction of that famous sign.

And finally, he had a painting that really appeals to me, because of the heart. He most likely meant it to be the suit of hearts, but it doesn't matter. I like the colors and the vibrancy and hearts will always say LOVE to me.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Losing It First Lines

I saw on someone else's blog that they had posted the first lines from the chapters of their book, and the result was so intriguing that I had to try it myself. It really made me want to read the book.

So here are the first lines from Losing It - 12 chapters, plus the epilogue.

Chapter One - “How much pain is there when you lose your virginity?”

Chapter Two - The next day, Charlotte put on some Chopin, got herself a tall glass of iced tea, and revved up her laptop.

Chapter Three - “Ow!” Ben cried. “What the hell was that for?”

Chapter Four - “Spill it,” Kerrie said to Charlotte as they set aside the finished seating charts for the wedding reception and reached for their reward of gourmet pizza.

Chapter Five - Ben cursed himself.

Chapter Six - On the big night, Ben poked his head out of the side door of his detached garage when he heard Charlotte pull up.

Chapter Seven - The next morning, Charlotte carefully slipped out of bed and headed for the shower.

Chapter Eight - Charlotte left her parents’ house as soon as politely possible.

Chapter Nine - Charlotte woke later that night to the phone ringing.

Chapter Ten - No way was Charlotte going to leave Ben out there with Nicolette sniffing around him like a hyena in Blahniks.

Chapter Eleven - Charlotte and Ben hurried to the guest bathroom near the front of the house.

Chapter Twelve - A knock sounded at the bathroom door startling them both.

Epilogue - Charlotte leaned against Ben’s truck, waiting for his signal that it was all right to go inside her—she corrected her thoughts with a smile—their house.

Now that I look at these, they don't seem all that grabby. Only 1, 2, and 10 seemed to pull me in. The other chapter openings either rely on the ending of the preceding chapter, or the next few sentences. :)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged. If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well!

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Author Spotlight: Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston is one of my role models. She has successfully written for many genres--time travel, fantasy, mystery, historical, suspense. Although I have stayed mainly within the paranormal and contemporary erotic romance genres, I can see myself someday attempting to write something historical. Currently, she's finding the most amazing success with her Kendra Ballantyne Pet Sitter Mysteries. Read on to find out more about Linda.

If any of Kendra’s stories made it to the big screen, who would you cast as the lead characters? Why?
I’d love for either Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon to play Kendra since they each do well playing both zany and serious characters, and Kendra’s a little of both. As for Jeff, I think Hugh Jackman would do just fine, combining serious hunkiness with a hint of humor, too.

Tell me about your writing routine.
I’m schizophrenic about it! I lead a double life. These days, I work a part-time law job in downtown L.A. 5 mornings a week, then come home and write. It’s a kind of routine, and it usually takes me a while to get centered and focused at my own computer, but when I do, I’m all about writing!

You once wrote historical and paranormal romance. Do you ever see yourself returning to those genres? Do you even want to?
As they say, never say never. I don’t have any historical or time travel stories in the works, but I’ve sold a Silhouette Nocturne that will be published in Spring 2008. Its working title is MOONLIGHT AND FIRE, and it’s about a lady veterinarian who meets a hunky werewolf.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
THE GOAT THAT WENT TO SCHOOL. It was a Little Golden Book, I think, and I still remember a line repeated over and over in it that’s been a sort of watchword through my whole life: “But Bucky was plucky. He still went on.” I even had an imaginary playmate who was a goat named Bucky, but he disappeared when my younger brother was born.

What are you reading right now? Are you enjoying it?
I’m reading a manuscript for a critique partner right now and love it! It’s very imaginative and creative. She hasn’t sold a women’s fiction novel yet, but I hope this one does it. I’m also reading a book by T. Jefferson Parker, Fallen, since he will be a speaker at the May Mystery Writers of America SoCal meeting and I’m eager to go hear him. The book is really good.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Who, me, do something crazy?

Is there a skill you don’t have, but wish you did?

What was your childhood ambition?
I wanted to be a veterinarian--until I took an advanced biology class and was supposed to dissect a live frog. Couldn’t do it. Now, I write about veterinarians and pet-sitters and other animal lovers.

What would your “I’d rather be…” bumper sticker say?
... playing with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

What was the worst job you ever had?
I spent part of a summer while I was in college doing telephone interviewing for a market research company. I wasn’t allowed to take no for an answer. To this day, I avoid talking on the phone whenever possible.

Hey, I hear ya on that phone thing. I cold called for an insurance salesman and hated it. Please check out Linda's website. And definitely read a Kendra book. They're a hoot!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dressing for the Cave

I think I have to get one of these shirts. Especially since ALL IN, the first EC novella in my Be-Wished series (*preens*), takes place in Vegas. Also, it's more circumspect than their GOT SEX? shirts, which I would never wear, not even at home, because of my kids. I may even have to buy another to use as a prize in a contest.

I'm off to Universal Studios Hollywood today with some out of town guests. I haven't been there since Jaws was the new attraction on the bus tour. Now, they don't even HAVE buses. LOL. Geez, I'm old.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Story: "Easter Morning" by Anna Jo Christopher from the April 3, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Fran realized that you’re never to old for surprises…

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with a mind toward what works and doesn't work for me as a writer, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

This was a good solid story that followed the “old flame” and “matchmaking” plots. I liked the characters and felt sympathy for Fran when her mom tells her that Nate is coming for dinner right before he arrives! No time to change clothes or anything. But then again, Nate didn’t seem like the type of guy that needed to be impressed that way.

Notice how deftly Christopher condenses time and hustles the plot along in the middle of the story:

An hour later, Fran and her mother laughed as Sophie searched for the hidden Easter basket. It wasn't until late that afternoon that Fran asked her mother about Nate.

Best Part: The ending was tight and satisfying.

In My Humble Opinion “…her heart stumbled.” For some reason I can buy that stomachs drop, tongues get twisted, but hearts stumbling gives me trouble.

Grade: B