Posted by Jo Robertson Apr 29 2013, 11:58 pm in 99 cent book sale, Guest Jacqueline Diamond, Indie Book Blowout, Jo Robertson
Today I’m joined by bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond to talk about the upcoming Indie Book blowout Sale where every e-book is priced at 99 cents and there are many gift card prizes for those visiting the site and leaving a comment. We hope you’ll you’ll join Jackie and me, along with a host of other independent authors in this event!
You know plenty about me as one of the founding Romance Bandits, but here’s a bit about Jackie: She’s published more than 90 novels and is a two-time finalist for RWA’s prestigious Rita Award. Jackie received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and is a former reporter and TV columnist for the Associated Press. Jackie currently writes the Safe Harbor Medical miniseries for Harlequin American Romance. Visit her at http://www.jacquelinediamond.com. Take it away, Jackie!
Our Indie Blowout Sale starts tomorrow, May 1 and runs through May 3. A group of authors who write in many genres – mostly romance — have lowered the price on our ebooks to 99 cents. These include the books pictured here, and many others. We hope you’ll stop by our blowout sale site and stock up! http://www.bookloversbuffet.net
As a former Associated Press reporter, I’m curious by nature. I thought I’d put myself in your shoes—or seat—and answer the questions I’d pose if I were you.
1) What’s the regular price of these books?
The seven books I’m offering during the sale are regularly priced at $2.99.
Jo: My books are generally priced at $2.99 and $3.99 or $4.99 for a collection of books — a real bargain! All of my books are available in e-book formats and five also are in print.
2) Why are you putting them on sale?
My main goal is to attract new readers. When I publish with Harlequin and other houses, the publisher markets, distributes and promotes my books. Now that I’m revising, updating and reissuing some of my old favorites, I have to do this on my own, as do other independent authors.
Jo: As independent authors we rely on “discoverability,” which is why we’re grateful for blogs like The Romance Bandits to get the word out about our books.
3) Do you make a profit on the sales?
Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com pay us about a third of the selling price for a 99-cent book. When the price is $2.99, we earn a larger percent.
4) Are you getting rich out of this?
While some authors hit the jackpot on Amazon, most of us bring in a modest supplement to our income. We work without advances and with no guarantee that our many hours of writing or rewriting will pay off even at minimum wage. Although I’ve sold many novels to established publishers and therefore have some wonderful, loyal readers, I still have to reach out to let people know about my ebooks.
Jo: Having never been traditionally published, I feel fortunate that I’m making a decent income on my books. I got into this business later in life and feel very lucky!
5) Why is the sale only three days?
I do occasionally offer books at sale prices for longer periods, and I’ve posted one of my Regency romances, A Lady’s Point of View, permanently at 99 cents as an introductory title to my six Regencies. But the idea of a sale is to attract attention, generate excitement and motivate readers to buy ahead for the summer.
Jo: At a profit of 35 cents per book, we’re not making much money for the time and hard work it takes to produce a completed novel. We try to be competitive in an always changing market.
6) What’s the quality of these books?
Before revising and updating my older books, I look them over to see if they meet my current standards. As a result, I’ve retired a handful of them—you won’t find them in this sale. The ones I’m offering are lots of fun, and so are the ones that I’ve read by other participating authors.
Jo: The major difference between an independent author and a traditionally published one is that the indie author must contract out all of the work she cannot do for herself: cover artist, content and copy editing, promotion and marketing.
As in all products some are excellent and others not so much, which is why we rely on word of mouth to advertise our books — thanks to our lovely Bandita Buddies for their generous support.
7) How do all these authors coordinate a project like this? Are you friends? Most of us have never met. We got together through an email loop for independent (indie authors). This is cooperation at its best. Authors donate time to set up the website, help each other post books, and contribute money for prizes. We’re offering numerous gift cards as prizes during the three day sale.
Jo: Be sure to drop by and check out the titles. There are over 100 authors participating and plenty of prizes to go around!
I’m on several indie author loops and, like Jackie, have found these men and women amazingly generous with their time and support for a new author going it alone.
8) If I love an author’s books, is there anything I can do to help her?
Absolutely! Those reviews posted on Amazon, BarnesandNoble and Goodreads make a tremendous difference. You’d be amazed at how much potential readers are influenced by what readers say and by how many stars they give a book.
You can make an author’s day or (sometimes) make her cry—what you write about her work has real impact. I’m grateful to everyone who posts a positive review.
Jo: I’m so grateful for an honest review of my work. I’m sure readers don’t realize how much it means to us writers to share our labors of love with our audience.
Thanks to Jackie for visiting us in the lair today and be sure to check out the Indie Blowout Sale starting tomorrow, May 1. http://www.indieblowoutsale.com
By Leaps and Bounds: She used to be a ballerina. At the height of her success, Kerry Guthrie’s career was cut short by an accident. Now she’s on her feet again, teaching young dancers and hoping for a comeback…until she butts heads with the father of her star student, and feels a new kind of spark.
One Husband Too Many: Magic sends Jana Edwards back in time to the wrong man…or could he be the right one? On the verge of a divorce, Jana wishes to go back to a time before she met the rogue she impulsively married, and into the arms of a different man. She should be careful what she wishes for…
Yours, Mine and Ours: She’s the new nanny to her own triplets! Lighthearted dance teacher Robin Lindstrom donated eggs eight years ago, but never knew whether any children resulted. Now, out of work, she takes a job as nanny for a widower whose mischievous triplets bear a startling resemblance to Robin.
Do you love a sale as much as we do here in the Lair? What’s your favorite kind of sale? Groceries, books, clothes or (and this one’s for Anna S. and Tawny) SHOES!!
Do you have many authors on your auto-buy books? Do you look out for book sales of your fave authors or do you enjoy browsing the brick and mortar or e-store?
Posted by Jo Robertson Apr 3 2013, 11:45 pm in April Newsletter addition, Jo Robertson, Members Only Prize Winner
I forgot to add the name of the winner who receives March’s Members Only prizes to our April Newsletter.
Check out the fabulous prizes donated by our Banditas and their guests! If you haven’t already signed up for the Newsletter, do so; you could be the next winner!
March’s winner of the Members Only Prize is . . .
Janet, please furnish your email and snail addies to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your prizes and a huge congratulations!
Posted by Jo Robertson Apr 1 2013, 12:05 am in April 2013, coming attractions, guest bloggers, Jo Robertson
Spring has definitely come to the western part of the U.S., the cherry blossoms have popped out on the trees like popcorn, and our Aussie friends are already experiencing autumn.
All is right with the world. We have a wonderful lineup of guests, Bandita blogs, giveaways and general fun in the Lair for the month of April, so grab your fave beverage (from Sangria to Pepsi to iced tea) and relax while we tell you what’s heading your way this month.
On April 2, Kris Fletcher will join us as Trish’s guest. Kris is launching her debut novel from Harlequin Superromance, A BETTER FATHER.
On April 3 Beth talks about the launch of her new In Shady Grove series from Harlequin Superromance. Come join us in celebrating TALK OF THE TOWN. Yay, Beth!!
On April 4, Jo Davis returns with Suzanne. She will be launching her new series — Sugarland Blue, based on a group of sexy cops – with a novella titled ”Armed and Dangerous.” She’ll also be talking about her full length book, “Sworn To Protect,” coming out in May.
On Friday, April 5, lair favorite Kylie Griffin (http://kyliegriffin.com/Home.html), hosted by Foanna, will visit to talk about the third book in her Light Blade series, ALLEGIANCE SWORN. You won’t want to miss this!
On April 11, Christina’s guest will be the lovely historical romance author Heather Snow, who will chat about her April 2 release, SWEET MADNESS.
Nancy welcomes M.J. Scott to the Lair on April 16 to chat about Iron Kin, the latest installment in her Half-Light City series.
On April 18, a familiar face in the Lair joins Nancy to unveil a new identity. We’ll learn why Jessica Andersen became Jesse Hayworth and get the deets on her new series.
Suzanne hosts again on April 19 with Karilyn Bentley (love the spelling of her first name!). Karilyn returns to chat with us about her latest Dragon-shifter book, Warrior Lover. “As a Watcher, a guardian warrior of the Draconi, Enar has never fit in with his kind. When he sees Lily–the ideal Watcher’s woman–he instantly claims her, believing she will bring him the acceptance he craves. Falling in love with her was not part of his plan.”
On Wednesday, April 24, an author new to the lair is visiting to talk with Anna Campbell. Aussie author Alison Stuart (http://www.alisonstuart.com/index.html) writes unusual and intriguing historicals. Her latest is SECRETS IN TIME.
On April 28, as a guest of Suzanne and Lorraine Health, Rafe Easton will grant his first ever interview and give readers a glimpse into his past and his wicked plans for Miss Evelyn Chambers, an earl’s illegitimate daughter. LORD OF WICKED INTENTIONS—only one woman can break through his heart of stone.
Tawny will be celebrating the release of her 19th Blaze, MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, on the 29th. Not only is the hero a sexy FBI Agent, but for the readers of her Undercover Operatives series who have been clamoring for his story… It’s sexy FBI Agent Hunter!!!
On April 30, guests from the Book Lovers Buffet will talk about their 99 cent book blowout on May 1-2-3, hosted by Jo Robertson, with guest Jackie Hyman.
Anna Campbell Contest:
To celebrate the release of THESE HAUNTED HEARTS: A REGENCY GHOST STORY, Anna Campbell is giving away FIVE downloads in her current website contest. All you need to do is tell her the name of the hero and heroine of the story. You may just find the answer here: http://annacampbell.info/hauntedhearts.html
Just email her on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) with your answer and you’ll go into the draw. Contest closes 30th April 2013. For more information, please check out Anna’s contest page on her website: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
Don’t forget to go to our Member’s Den and sign up for our monthly newsletter! Each month, we select a winner from among those who OPEN and READ our e-mail newsletter. You get all the latest gossip on what the Banditas are doing, find out more about one of you favorite Bandita Buddies, and get the inside scoop on who is the Bandit of the Month (interview posted in the Member’s Den) and who has posted an exclusive excerpt from an upcoming release (also in the Member’s Den). You may even win the monthly bundle of goodies. What are you waiting for? Sign up today!
Posted by Jo Robertson Mar 29 2013, 11:55 pm in behind left behind, Don't Leave Me, Jo Robertson
My husband and I have a running joke when one or the other of us is leaving town alone. In saying our goodbyes, we always add, “Don’t leeeaaavvvve me!”
The implication is that if we’re going to go in a horrific catastrophe, we want to make the great journey into the unknown together. We’re kidding, of course, since I’m always bopping off to the east coast, and he’s always taking off on golfing trips.
But the sentiment is — it’s no fun being the one left behind to deal with all the problems and general mess of family life.
My daughter Shannon was in the shower preparing for a trip to New Jersey (read New York!!!) to visit her sister Kennan, along with her younger sister and her sister-in-law. The girls have planned this special celebration for a long time.
When Shannon had nearly finished packing, got out of the shower, and walked into the bedroom, the picture above is what she saw – her youngest, Annie, curled inside the giant a$# suitcase. Shan laughed and said, “What are you doing?” to which Annie replied plaintively,
“TAKE ME WITH YOU!!”
Like I said, it’s no fun being the one left behind.
When my husband and I visited the Middle East, back when situations weren’t so hot (although we were body searched every time we went from an Arab county into Israel), we had to divvy up our six children among various friends. No one in his right mind wanted to take all six children and our parents weren’t able to tend them in our home. It was hard to divide the kids up, even for the month we were gone. But it was harder on them.
We sent the two older boys to friends’ houses, one who were health-food fanatics (Lance says he nearly starved to death); the other to a more lenient home where he filled up on junk! Shannon, being the most flexible of our children, went to a home where she was afraid to speak up about what she wanted in her daily packed lunch. So she threw away the peanut butter and butter (wth???) sandwich my friend made for her to take to school. She insists she nearly starved, too.
The baby (then two) and the four-year-old fared well among a family of eight (bless their hearts for taking them in) because there were lots of older kids to tend to their needs. My most clingy child went to the home of a girl who babysat them often and loved her to pieces.
Still, it’s never easy to be left behind.
Our pets often have the worst time of it. They miss their human parents so much! Either they’re very lucky and go to the home of “family,” or they’re kenneled. Not the best situation. Animals seem especially sensitive to being left behind.
Even our houseplants have a hard time of it. I can’t say how many plants I’ve accidentally killed because I didn’t think to have someone come in and water them or didn’t plan to set the house temperature correctly.
It was different when I was a child. My parents never left us and went off by themselves. We went on every trip to visit relatives in Kentucky and West Virginia; we made the Sunday-visit rounds with our parents, and tried to behave while the adults chattered away.
Sometimes, being a child, I wanted to be left at home to indulge in my own games, but actually, I can’t imagine anything more traumatic than to be severed from your family, whether for a brief time or for eternity.
I guess families really are meant to be forever. See some of my family in the Big Apple?
What about you? Did you ever get left behind, abandoned, or left out of something? What happened? How did you feel? Did you ever leave a pet or child behind when you went on a trip? Or a long stay in the hospital?
Posted by Jo Robertson Mar 17 2013, 11:55 pm in Being forgetful, Dumb and Dumber, Jo Robertson, Silly Things
I know. It’s silly.
But I love Dumb and Dumber, that ridiculous Farrelly Brothers comedy with Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels. My favorite part among their madcap shenanigans is when Harry sticks his tongue to the pole.
It’s an old sight gag, but hilarious because the whole time you’re thinking, “Don’t. Do. It!”
I’ve done quite a few stupid things in my life and if I can’t laugh at myself, life would be depressing. As I get older I find myself succumbing to more and more forgetful or embarrassing things.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve locked my keys inside the car or lost my glasses. Now it’s a running joke in my family. I used to say a little prayer for God to help me find them. Then I realized He doesn’t care much about my car keys or glasses. He’d probably rather I worried him with more important matters.
When I was eighteen and worked for the government, I broke my right forefinger. When I told people it’d happened during a balloon-popping game and they ribbed me about it, I decided to make up a more exotic story.
I said I was locked out of the house, climbed in through a window, and it came slamming down on my finger.
Somehow I felt braver and stronger telling that story.
When I was a young mother, we attended a brand-new church one Sunday, and I accidentally left one of the children behind at the church. Kennan won’t forget the experience to this day. The sad part is I didn’t notice she was missing until a strange woman knocked on my door and said, “Does this belong to you?”
Four-year-old Kennan stood there with her knuckle in her mouth. Talk about stupid things! After that I always counted heads when I left somewhere with my kids.
I’m not the only one in my family who does dumb things, though. The other night I caught my son putting the ice cream away in the cabinet instead of the freezer!
My little brother was one of the worst. He would call his escapades daring, but when he jumped out of a two-story window with a towel tied round his neck and pretended to fly like Superman, I just thought he was an idiot.
But I felt terrible the year he ran with an axe in his hand, fell, and cut his knee quite badly. And one summer he fell into an open sewer. I told him not to play down by the railroad tracks!
One of my worse fears right now is that I’ll step on the gas instead of the brakes while driving. Hey, my daughter Megan did it when she was 16 and took out a neighbor’s entire fence!
I hope someone takes my car keys away before I do that.
What about you? Any careless, forgetful, stupid, or just embarrassing acts you’ve committed? Dish. We all want a good laugh today!
Posted by Jo Robertson Mar 14 2013, 11:55 pm in Jo Robertson, messy kitchens, organization, Where Does It Go?
My mother always said the key to keeping your space efficient, house, apartment, room, or automobile, is the old adage: “a place for everything and everything in its place”).
I’m not the best follower of this excellent advice – I love to scatter too much, especially on desk tops and coffee tables and counters – but I do want everything in the kitchen to be in its proper place.
Why? Because I’m the cook. Or, I should say, I’m the only one who prepares food in something other than a microwave or a toaster oven.
However, I live with grown men – the testosterone fairly flings itself on the walls of my house. I’ve learned to live with intermittent and totally unexpected shouts – actually, very loud screams – of “Go 49ers!” or “Stupid call, ref!”
Even toilet seats left raised.
But I cannot understand why items that always and very clearly come from a definite place in the kitchen often find themselves, for example, outside — in the back yard.
Or in a bedroom.
Or, when it’s obviously an eating utensil, in the drawer with the towels and dishcloths.
Why, when it’s so obvious that measuring cups are made to nestle, are they tossed willy-nilly into a draw where they won’t fit, eliciting yells of frustration from said men.
And don’t even get me started on the whole bowls-and-their-lids thing!
I’ve lived for 47 years with the same man, and four other men at various stages of their lives. I’m 5’4″ tall; they are all over 6 feet. Isn’t it clear that I cannot reach the top shelves in my cabinets like they can? Why, oh why, do they always place often-used items where I cannot reach them unless I risk life and limb and injury?
I’m not a fussy person. Truly, I’m not. You cannot raise seven children, work full time, and be fussy. Like the picture below from “Grumpy, Grateful Mom” Blog, there are times when the mess prevails.
But, please, once before I shuffle off this mortal coil, I’d love to see the dishwasher items unloaded and put away where they’re supposed to go.
Where they were found.
What about you? Frustrations in your house with organization and storage? Are you a neat-freak or a take-it-easy type? What’s the one thing you insist be done your way? What do you always put back in its correct place? What’s the one thing you never put back right?
Posted by Jo Robertson Feb 26 2013, 11:55 pm in inherited from family, Jo Robertson, the Dust Bowl
Last year I watched this incredible PBS special on the North American Dust Bowl and the subsequent tragedies that ensued from that disaster. If any of you saw it, you know it was quite informative. I thought I knew a lot about that time period, being a one-time history major and hearing my parents talk about first-hand accounts of their hardships and the Depression of 1929.
But I was fascinated – and horrified – by the tiny details that brought about that entire period of history. Being a Californian and having read Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath, I knew about the migration of “Okies” into California, but there were small facts I did not know.
I didn’t know that those immigrants often had to prove they had employment before they could enter California to work.
I did not know that the dust was so fierce women had to sweep their floors of mounds of dust constantly.
I did not know that many children died from the constant inhalation of dust particles, from what they called “dust pneumonia.”
I’ve acquired habits from my parents that I’d never really analyzed before. You know how you tend to do certain things the way your mother or father did. I always put my glasses inside the cabinet top side down as my mother did. I noticed the other day that my son unloads his dishes and places them right side up. I began to remember how my mother instructed us to set the table with the plates upside down, as well as the glasses. I never thought to ask her why.
I suddenly realized she’d learned that from her mother who’d lived through storms where the dust particles were so fine, so minute, that they sifted through the very walls and literally filled up every corner and space of the house.
My grandmother always swept the ground in front of her house. It was a hard-packed dirt, but she swept it every day the way you and I now sweep our kitchen floors.
I have a habit (annoying to my husband) of ekeing the last bit of whatever – hand lotion, toothpaste, dishwasher detergent, shampoo – out of the bottle before discarding it. This involves a complicated procedure of balancing the container — or several of them — upside down until I manage to use every last drop, often employing a cue tip to harrow out the final dollop.
My husband thinks this is crazy. I think he is wasteful. We’re not financially strapped; there’s no money-motivated reason for my parsimony; but to me it seems terribly wasteful – and disrespectful – to throw away even the smallest smidgen of the liquids — or of anything.
I think about those American and Canadian ancestors in the 20′s and 30′s who scrabbled for every ounce of life to make ends meet, abandoning homes and dead relatives to find a better life for their families.
My mother taught me lessons I didn’t even know she was dispensing, advice that seems very practical and somehow comforting to me as I grow older.
What about you, Bandita Buddies? What habits or traditions or lessons did your family pass on to you that you still value today?
Posted by Jo Robertson Jan 29 2013, 11:55 pm in erotic romance, guest Temple Rivers, Jo Robertson
Today we have erotica author Temple Rivers returning to the Lair to discuss her latest release, erotic novella, “Improper Seduction.”
Temple: Hi, Jo, and thanks to the Romance Bandits for having me back.
Jo: I’m curious, and I’m sure our readers are too, about how and why you came to write erotic stories.
Temple: That’s a good question. In one word: money. Sex sells and modern women seem to like more spiciness in their romance novels. Witness the popularity of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy by EL James.
Jo: What distinguishes erotica from plain old smut, though? Isn’t this just glorified pornography? By the way, we’re a PG-13 site, so we’ll have to use lots of euphemisms today.
Temple: In a way, yes, it is. But at the heart of good erotica is a romantic story to tell. At least that’s the way I look at it. If I just wanted smut, I’d watch a video.
Jo: What distinguishes your novellas from the other erotica in the publishing industry today?
Temple: Both my novellas are historical erotica, so it plays sexier just because it involves acts and words that have a forbidden quality to them, especially in the Victorian period. I don’t seek out erotica in general – I know, isn’t that strange? But I like the kind of ramped up sensuality that can get a women (or man) turned on for her partner. I don’t write kink or fetishes or perversions, although I realize those are individual tastes. I write what I think people in a committed relationship might try out in their own bedrooms.
Jo: So, like classed-up smut?
Temple: (Laughing). I guess you could call it that.
Jo: Tell us about your soon-to-be-released novella, “Improper Seduction.”
Temple: First, I love the cover design. The release date is February 1, and it’s a cougar story – younger man, older woman, but since it’s set in 1890 England, the age difference between Baroness Charring and Thomas, the stable master, is less than 10 years.
Thomas is actually the son of a duke, but born on the wrong side of the sheets, as they say, so he has no money or title. He’s attracted to Chastity, the married lady of the manor, because she seems lonely and unfulfilled, and he’s drawn to her vulnerability. He also likes the maturity of “older women.” They’re like fine wine that’s seasoned with age, he says.
Of course, when the Baron returns to Charring Manor, there are bound to be fireworks.
Jo: One reviewer said that you write “sweet erotica.” Can you comment on that?
Temple: Well, I try to make the romantic elements as tender as the erotic elements are spicy!
Jo: Here’s a comment from a reviewer of your already released novella, “Willing Seduction”:
“The book description says it’s an erotica novella, and it really is, hence making this book Rated M for Mature. What the description failed to mention is that it is also a historical romance that actually turned out to be a sweet one.”
Thanks for visiting with us today, Temple.
Readers, you can find Temple Rivers’ books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords in e-book form. Here’s the link for “Willing Seduction” and watch for the release of “Improper Seduction” on February 1:
Temple is giving away to one lucky commenter a free ebook of “Willing Seduction” or “Improper Seduction,” when it releases.
Temple, do you have a question for our readers?
Temple: Thanks for having me, Jo. I’d like to ask your readers how much sensuality they like in their romance novels. Are you going for a hot, hot read, or do you prefer sweet and closed-door romances? Do you enjoy reading novellas or are they too short for you?
Posted by Jo Robertson Jan 17 2013, 11:55 pm in Dreams, Jo Robertson, Le Miz, Les Miserables
“I dreamed a dream in time gone by, / When hope was high, and life worth living.
I dreamed that love would never die, / I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid, / And dreams were made and used and wasted.
There was no ransom to be paid, / No song unsung, no wine, untasted.”
Okay, I confess. I’ve just seen the film musical of Les Misérables, and while it wasn’t as stirring as the two stage productions I’ve seen, nor the vocalists as powerful, it had a certain tenderness and emotion and intimacy that the former lacked.
I admit to bawling during Fantine’s solo, weeping when Éponine and Jean Valjean died, and even tearing up a bit when Javert (ineptly played by Russell Crowe – sorry, Crowe fans, he’s got a great choir voice, but couldn’t pull off Javert) threw himself into the Seine.
I realized as I discussed this movie version with my daughter that Les Misérables is not a romance of the kind we read and discuss here in the Lair, but it IS a romance in the literary sense of the word. It’s the story of redemption and the overwhelming power of love – love of all kinds.
Students of literature are taught in college that art, books, and culture are one of three styles: romantic, realistic, and naturalistic.
Stories in the Romantic period are utimately optimistic; the writer and characters view the world through rose-tinted glasses, as it were. They’re highly emotional and approach life with grand idealism.
Realism is the style in which man and nature are shown in their elemental facets, in plain language and ordinary events, while Naturalism is the study of the world as if one were looking through dirt-smudged lenses – a study of man, nature, and the world’s gritty underbelly.
While Les Misérables is affectingly realistic and has strong naturalistic elements – simply the scene when Fantine sells first her locket, then her hair, her teeth (her front teeth in Hugo’s novel), and finally her body is so gripping that one could consider it a study in Naturalism. She’s pitted against a larger malevolent force over which she has no control and which ultimately destroys her.
But the play IS in the romantic vein for many reasons: at the end of the story, Fantine ushers Jean Valjean into heaven. He saved her child from a life of poverty and degradation. Lovers Marius and Cosette reunite. Valjean refuses to kill Javert. The story is highly idealistic, and for the most part, shows the world and man’s actions as we would want them to be rather than what they really are.
The most romantic element is Jean Valjean’s decision to sacrifice himself at the end. He asks an age-old question: “Who am I?” and redeems himself by the continuum of his actions since he left prison.
“Who am I? /Can I conceal myself for evermore?
Pretend I’m not the man I was before?”
He makes a deliberate choice to be a better man, to save Cosette, to rescue the innocent man whom Javert and the courts believe to be the runaway convict from all those years ago. He risks his life for Marius, who becomes in his heart the son he never had, and releases Javert when he could’ve killed him.
Finally, in the stage productions I’ve seen, I never paid much attention to Éponine, but in the film her role is exquisite. She plays a true romantic character – a woman whose unrequited love for Marius becomes the means of her redemptive nobility.
If that’s not romance, I don’t know what is.
What about you, readers? Have you seen the film musical of Les Miserables? What did you think of it? Have you read Victor Hugo’s very long novel (one of the longest novels ever written!). What’s your favorite musical?
Which of your favorite romance novels do you see being made into a musical?
Posted by Jo Robertson Jul 6 2012, 11:59 pm in busy women, Fathers Day, Jo Robertson, preparations
Let’s face it! Some of us run our lives by the calendar or appointment book and some, like writers, are seat-of-the-pants kind of people.
Here’s the thing, though. I’m usually quite organized, I like to plan ahead, and I make myself little notes on my bathroom mirror (in dry erase pen, works wonders for organization!), but my very best designs always seem to be at the mercy of someone else’s very worst.
For example, for this year’s Fathers Day celebration at my daughter’s house, all I had to do was make my famous baked beans to go along with the barbecued tri-tip and chicken my son-in-law Steve was cooking. Megan’s brought what she calls “funeral” potatoes — a kind of cheesy potato casserole that always seems to show up at funeral receptions. Go figure, but they’re delicious.
All I needed from the store was onion and green pepper. I had all the other ingredients. BUT — and here’s the big deal — it was 100+ degrees outside and I was exhausted, so I played on my son’s good nature to make the grocery store run. “After I finish this project,” he said, “just a few more minutes.”
Five hours later, no onion and bell pepper. Okay, I’m flexible. I’ll take a good nap and stay up late. My son finally made the run at around 8:00 at night and by midnight I was chopping and stirring and mixing. Got the beans cooking in the crock pot. Turned on the oven, mixed the cake, baked it and heated the house to an ungodly temperature. Was very glad Dr. Big was asleep so he couldn’t complain about the AC running all night.
Cake baked, beans cooking, set alarm to get up at 3:00 am and turn off the crock pot.
I could’ve saved myself all this stress by simply preparing everything on Friday. Duh, why didn’t I think of that?
Preparation — yeah, my dad always said that was the key to success. Why didn’t I listen?
What about you, readers? When have you thought you had everything under control and it just slipped out of your hands? Any total disasters as far as food or holiday preps? Summertime is the perfect season for outings and family gatherings, picnics and camping at the beach. What are your plans? Are you the organized, make-a-detailed-list person, or are you prone to put things off until the last minute?