In case you missed it last week, Veronica Scott, one of the USA Today Happily Ever After columnists, asked me and a bunch of other authors to name three of our most memorable books from 2016. Read our answers here.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a sluggish start to the New Year. I took some time off over the holidays to hang with my family and visit a friend who wasn’t feeling well. And then I returned to a gazillion emails and the need to pick new, more ambitious goals for 2017. (I won’t bore you with specifics; they’re fairly predictable: write more, read more, bike more… I will measure this year’s success based on words, books, and miles…)

In the meantime, I spent a lot of time over the break watching movies. All of these have been extensively reviewed, and many of you have likely seen them already, so I’ll just add my thoughts below, along with a recommendation to watch if you haven’t yet had a chance.

Rogue One: Craig, Penny, E, and I saw this on December 27th, which made the Carrie Fisher CGI cameo more jarring than the filmmakers intended – and sad. Plus, the movie was emotional, full of sacrifice, death, and hope – themes I’d already spent a lot of time thinking about in December. So when the lights came on and we got up to leave, my eyes were a bit glassy and E was like, “Are you crying?!” Lesson: Crying might not be okay in baseball, but it is at the end of Star Wars movies. At least, it was last week. 😦

La La Land: Whimsical and romantic. It’s pretty much everything everyone is saying it is. I LOVE Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. They’re like Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Or Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds (Carrie Fisher’s mom! 2016, you were a real bitch, you know?). Some onscreen couples have the best chemistry, as if they’re each others’ muses. As you’ve no doubt heard by now, it’s a musical. Which is exactly why I wanted to see it. It sounded different, and yet I wasn’t exactly surprised by how well it’s being received (if a woman-helmed movie about an all-girl a capella group found success, then why not a song and dance ode to old Hollywood?)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: I’m an admitted Tim Burton fan and I loved Eva Green as Miss Peregrine, but I liked the book better. I still remember stumbling across it in a little bookstore in Stone Harbor that’s no longer there. I was immediately smitten, bought it, read it, and reviewed it here on this blog as my very first blog post back in September of 2011 when my only follower was my then agent (who I think still follows me, but may not read every post – Happy New Year, Lois! 🙂 )

Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life: What the hell was up with the Summer musical?! Penny and I fast forwarded through it. I couldn’t take it. Sorry. La La Land worked. The Stars Hollow musical didn’t. But, other than that, the revival was terrific! By Spring, the rapport between Lorelei and Rory and Lorelei and Emily was so good, it was like all of them had never stopped acting together. Rory made some spectacularly bad decisions. And Richard was mourned in a way that was both humorous and touching. Those last four words? Meh. I guess life goes on. 😉

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall: I didn’t actually watch this over the break, but I did find my old Netflix DVD. It was buried in a stack of papers in Craig’s office. (Yep, I’m blaming its lack of return on him.) I’m sure we paid for it long ago, before we switched over to the streaming service. Penny and E got a kick out of hearing about the switch. “You mean they used to mail you movies?!” As if waiting a few days to watch a movie was the same as waiting a year. I wonder what Anne Bronte would think of DVDs? Or streaming?

So, how about you? Did you watch anything interesting over the holidays? Did you have a nice New Year’s Eve? Did you make any resolutions? Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think?

Wishing everyone a great start to the New Year!

My Stats So Far

Words: 228 (go ahead, laugh. I told you I took some time off! 😀 )

Books: 1 (although I read 11 books from Nov-Dec last year, which isn’t too bad considering it was the holiday season and I also released a book of my own in Dec)

Miles: 6 (it was freezing! And E forgot to wear the right gloves! So we both decided a couch marathon was better than a biking marathon that day)

Movies: 7 (but only if you count each of the Gilmore Girls seasons as a movie and Rogue One, which I actually watched in 2016, so “7” is cheating — but I’m not tracking movies, so who cares?)