Tag Archive: romance


Remember when I said I was participating in a reading Challenge from ChickLit Plus?  The rules are that I have to read a book of Chick Lit once a month and review it on the blog.

I think I picked a good one this month.

Book Cover Image from barnesandnoble.com

I went for a historical fiction romance novel called The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig that I found in Paperback Reader in Kankakee. This is one of those stories that is a book within a book, a story within a story. The overlying story is about a history graduate student going to England to research a historical figure known as the Pink Carnation. This takes Eloise to London and the home of a grande dame as well as in the way of a handsome lord.

The second story is set in the Regency period during the semi-peaceful era between France and England, this book sets to tell the tale of the Purple Gentian and the Pink Carnation.

These are fictional spies in the manner of the Scarlet Pimpernel who foiled the French as they try to kill off their aristocracy. In this book, the Purple Gentian takes over for the Scarlet Pimpernel, rescuing English aristocracy accused of being spies.

That means we get cold-war type action, gothic Parisian houses and maidens looking for action. Not sexual but as spies. Our heroine, Amy, gets both but not before she before she brings in an entire family when a rescue is needed.

The hero of our story, Richard, is a complex character who is trying to remember all of his duties to God and country while his mother is trying to find him a wife. His work is as a scholar with the French government, placing him in Paris most of the time.

Amy is the daughter of an English woman and a French Duke who lost his life to Madame Guillotine. But now her brother is grown up and needs a ‘lady of the house.’ So Amy plans to find the Purple Gentian and join his group to save her beloved France from Napoleon.

While Amy can grow tiresome – I swear the girl has ADD or at least too much energy and enthusiasm – other characters spring into action to bring reason and a plan into action. That is what keeps the book interesting. The story with Eloise could be interesting but it is really a wrapper for the Purple Gentian. By not giving it enough depth, I found I was not really interested in Eloise and her battles with the lord who did not want her looking at family papers and solving the mystery.

I think I would read this book again and I am currently thinking about getting the sequel, The Masque of the Black Tulip, which I also saw at the Paperback Reader.

Do you have any Chick Lit suggestions for my challenge?

TV Comfort with Glee

Family Movie Night

This past week was open house night at schools across the country. My friends on Facebook have all talked about meeting teachers and seeing classrooms.

Picture by K. Conners

I love this part of open house night. I like peeking into the rooms where my kids spend most of their day, seeing the special areas for reading. The science room had the new smart board which can print off what the teacher writes up on the board. Very cool.

Learning and finding out new factoids is one of my joys in life and I am glad that my kids get excited about doing that everyday. It is something that I wish more adults felt excited about as well. There is always something cool happening in the world and maybe knowing that little thing doesn’t change your whole world. But it can expand your thinking and how you do things on a daily basis.

That is what teachers do for our kids everyday.

I could talk about Mr. Holland’s Opus or Three Cheers for Miss Bishop or Goodbye, Mr. Chips or Music of The Heart as movies that honor and applaud teachers. I might have forgotten other good movies about teachers who strongly touch kids and make them better.

However, on September 14th the complete first season of Glee comes out on DVD and Blue Ray. Man oh man there is going to be a Glee marathon at my house. Every episode has a show stopping number that takes your breathe away while running chills up and down the spine.

When it comes to television that is like comfort foods, this is it for me this year. One of my favorite talk show hosts talked about how a Leave It to Beaver marathon on Nickelodeon got him through 9/11 in 2001. For me, it doesn’t get any better that seeing Sue Sylvester work her magic of evil and win or get burned. Jane Lynch deserves every accolade in the book for her performance.

But there is more than that to my love of Glee. I will admit to getting into the baby drama created by Finn, Puck and Quinn. I am glad that the focus is not always on Rachel and Mercedes knows how to push back. I am watching Kurt and hope that life doesn’t turn him into an evil manipulator. The love between Will and Emma is developing, showing the kids that life is messy no matter how old you are.

I am enjoying seeing Mike O’Malley and Charlotte Ross as parents who are making mistakes and trying to fix them. The guest stars have been great. Neil Patrick Harris, Molly Shannon, Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth were FAb-u-lous.

At this point I have two favorite perfomance pieces. Amber Riley was awesome when she performed “You’re Going to Love Me.” But the group performance that rocks beyond anything is “Bad Romance.” I can watch it over and over and over again.

Now the big sticking point in our house is just how appropriate is this show for kids under the age of 12 or 13. At first I let my 9-year-old watch it. But now, I am beginning to think that there is just enough adult drama and sexuality to ban it from that younger age group. Let me know what you think on the subject.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a suggestion below. Become my friend on Facebook.