Binge-Worthy, Female Positive TV You Should Be Watching

I was binge-watching TV shows before it was cool. I know, I know–who cares? Now, it is the thing. one. does. But my baby girl is home from school this summer, which gives us a little more time in the evenings. I write in the mornings, do this sort of things on the weekend, but… evenings, I spend with my daughter (who is 14.833).

Miss P is a binge-watcher that can blow you away. Years of Grey’s Anatomy? Give her 10 days. We both knew she’d fly through Stranger Things 3 before I’d get around to it (and tBinge-Worthy, Female Positive TV You Should Be Watchinghen we’d rewatch it together). A weekend. (Still haven’t gotten to that yet. I know, I know–I should.)

What have we been watching? I’m so glad you asked.

  • Agen Carter. After she and I both binged the Marvel movies (I beat her this time and went to watch Endgame with friends, then when she finished, I took her. We cried. Like, a lot.) Which is just a lead up to why you should watch this show. Peggy Carter is a badass. A classy badass and Jarvis? He is such a good, decent, honest, caring man who plays her sidekick. Even after watching all the movies, this show rooted me in the MCU like nothing else. It is criminal that it only got two seasons, but I promise you–those two seasons are phenomenal.
  • Veronica Mars, season 4. Years ago, I fell in love with Veronic Mars–the character and the show. She was so tough but vulnerable with a lot of snark. Anyway, the show got three seasons. Then, a few years ago, a movie (set ten years later) was crowdfunded in hours. A movie. Was funded. By fans. In hours. That’s how devoted we Marshamallows are, and with very good reason. Somehow, the TV gods smiled on us again and Hulu took up the mantle for season 4, set 5-6 years after the movie. Kristen Bell (oh, did you somehow not know the Kristen Bell got her start as Veronica Mars?) said, “I want my girls to have this character in their life.” She added:

“Now I see why a lot of young girls and women said, thank you for doing that show. It wasn’t just because we entertained them, it was because she was a force in their life,” the Good Place actress went on. “She was an example.”

  • Wynona Earp, season 3. Ok, I’m going to be honest–we haven’t started this one yet. But now that we’ve finished Agent Carter, it’s next on the list. Did you know this show almost didn’t get a season 4? Disastrous. I love the strong women on this show, the LGBT representation, the sexy Doc Holliday who is immortal (or was?) in this incarnation. It deserves to be on your queue.

And that’s it from me. Looking back, I can see I’m encouraging you to add some strong female positivity to your viewing. And that might be the best reason of all to try these shows.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

5 Summer Date Ideas For Any Couple

Whether you’ve been together almost 25 years, as with my husband and me, or this is your summer of love after all the losers, there’s always room to add some fun and sparks to your relationship. Here are some date ideas to take advantage of the beautiful weather summer offers.

  • Go see an outdoor concert – Even in the most rural of rural areas, we do have summer concerts at fairs and events that go on all summer long. If there’s at least one close to me, there’s one close to you. Go enjoy some great music, an easy-going atmosphere, and a balmy summer evening. (Don’t forget the bug spray though–mosquitos don’t play.)
  • Go to the drive-in – When my husband and I first started dating, our first official date was at the local drive-in movies. That place is gone now, but there are some still within driving distance. There’s nothing like rolling down your window a bit and listening to the crickets chirp as ambient noise, a breeze move over you, while you and your love take in a summer flick.
  • Get out early for an outdoor brunch – Several weeks ago, my husband and I took a trip to Charlotte, NC, just to get away. While there, we had the most delightful meal out on the patio. It was just the two of us, the food was delicious, and we were very connected. Sometimes a single meal in a pretty locale can reconnect you in this busy world.
  • Watch the sunset – Get in your mode of transportation (I’m hoping you have a car since buses don’t really go to quiet, deserted areas) and go somewhere that you can be all alone. Put a blanket out, maybe turn on some tunes from the radio, and just be for a bit. Watch the sun go down over a mountain, the ocean, or just the horizon. It’ll be a beautiful moment for you both.
  • Daytrip somewhere new – There are lots of small but interesting communities within a fair distance from us. Pick somewhere you haven’t been or even one of your favorite places and go. You’ll talk in the car (because what else is there to do–put your phone down), you’ll see somewhere charming or artsy or fun, have a meal, and then discuss your day as you head home. It’ll be something special.

These are my suggestions and I intend to try every one of them. Except maybe the concert one–my husband would love it, but that sounds awfully peopley.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Guys & Galentines: This is For You

If the person you love literally looks like this (to the right), then you should be reading this post because I have some killer gift ideas for you for the month of love.

The Book Boyfriend candle smells delightfully “manly” scents of a light cologne, musky earthy notes, and clean cotton to remind you of the boys from your favorite books.

That’s a direct quote from the artisan’s etsy listing.  Who wouldn’t love to settle in with their favorite book (boyfriend) and light this candle? Boys in books aren’t just better, they smell better, too.

A beautiful vintage hardback book style e-reader and tablet cover handmade in England using 40 years of bookbinding experience.

Someone has taken their skills from the past into the next century to give us the ability to read any book, carry around hundreds in your pocket, all while looking like a beautifully bound cover of Pride and Prejudice (or what have you).

Any book reader will love the humor and your special appreciation of the joys a good book boyfriend can bring.

So, does your best friend/girlfriend take her book boyfriends seriously enough to wear this adorable t-shirt? Because, well, I do. “Try Living Up to My Book Boyfriend,” it reads. Try, indeed.

This is a small, easy reminder to love what you read and own it.

This may be my favorite (but in fairness, that could be because I collect coffee mugs). All the same, this is a winner for any romance reader.

This may be the best gift yet, especially if you’ve got the mouth of a well-educated sailor and (again) love coffee mugs and reading almost as much as I do.

In short, I hope my husband, daughters, and/or friends find this post because I basically low-key want every item shown here. Please?

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Playing with Passion

In our last post, Jennifer talked about her word for the year. Finding our words for the year has become a bit of a tradition with our crit group and I wanted to do the same. Something to pull into my life, every day, to shade all my interactions, to push me a little bit further, to give a little bit more.

My word for 2019 is passion. In the last year, I started a new day job and I love it. I have wonderful friends there, I feel good about what I do, and I’m damn good at it.  All the same, my crit partners can tell you, I all but disappeared. No new writing, no new crits, nothing. I was desperately trying to find balance and I think I’m getting there. I’m writing every day again–even if it’s only a little–and I’m prioritizing the things I let fall away.

But I want to do more than that. I want to approach each new project, each new day, each moment with passion.

Wish me luck! I’m hoping you have the very best year, filled with success in all your endeavors.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

A Day Late & Several Dollars Short

Hi, all! Lori here and I apologize for not posting this yesterday. Christmas is such a whirlwind of parties, and gift-wrapping, and tree-trimming–it’s overwhelming.

I’m going to tell you my trick for handling the pressures of gift-giving this month–online. shopping.

I don’t buy anything from a brick-and-mortar shop. Maybe that makes me a terrible person (because small businesses need our money so much, especially at Christmas). Here’s the thing: I live in the middle of nowhere. There’s nothing around. Tumbleweeds blow past. The reliable, brown UPS truck pulls up to the driveway and he or she emerges with a pile of packages.

I rely on two websites (mostly, mostly) to fulfill my shopping needs. The evil Amazon and Etsy.

First of all, they both have apps. It’s seriously easy to pick out the perfect present. Second, Etsy is packed with small businesses, so I’m still giving back to those companies that need every dollar to survive. Finally, well… look. I’m a busy person. I work full-time. I try to write, to be a good friend, to take care of my family. The thing is, having my purchases delivered to me, in boxes I can then wrap and regift, is the only thing keeping me sane right now.

Unfortunately, the other side of the coin: it’s so damn easy, I may have a spending addiction. 1- Need a thing, 2- open app, 3- choose your poison, 4- buy now, 5-it arrives in two days. So, maybe there’s a downside to all of this ease. But it’s one I’ll have to learn to manage because fighting the crowds in person–not for this chick.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Release Day: My Vegas Comeback

This month, my blog post just happens to coincide with my release day for the final Viva Las Vegas book: My Vegas Comeback.

In Vegas everything is a gamble, including love.

Ruby Kendall needs a chance to make a comeback. Her voice made her a legendary singer in Las Vegas, but a scandalous divorce from her scumbag manager has left her unemployable. She’s broke and desperate. But is she ready to take that chance with the man she loved but turned her back on eight long years ago?

Anthony Rosas lost the love of his life when he forced Ruby to choose between their love and her career. Now he’s finally ready to take a gamble on love. This time, he’ll support the very career that took her from him. But he wants to be more than just her manager. He wants back the dreams they lost.

They come together with a heated desire that the years couldn’t extinguish. But the odds are against them. In 1950’s Vegas, a divorced lounge singer is hardly suitable wife material.  Not to mention her abusive ex, his disapproving parents, and the fact that Ruby is all out of trust.

Can they beat the seemingly insurmountable odds and let true love win this second time around?

This is a story of reunion, of two people who have spent the last eight years knowing that they lost the love of their lives and feeling powerless to stop it. Ruby married her manager who became abusive and Anthony just became a playboy, trying to forget Ruby in the arms of woman after woman.

Neither were happy. Finally, Ruby found the strength and courage to leave her abuser, but he’s a powerful man in Las Vegas. No one wants to trifle with him by hiring the woman he refuses to let go of. When Anthony finds Ruby, drowning her misery in a cup of coffee, he goes all in. Oh, he knows she’d never make a suitable wife–she still wants fame, not keeping house and raising babies. And, the thing is, with his sister and brother in love and happy, Anthony wants to find a wife.

But, he just can’t seem to walk away from the only woman he’s ever loved. He entangles himself in her life in every way he can dream up and the explosions that lost love brings could destroy both their lives.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Come sing for me,” he said.

“Before we eat? I need to warm up.”

Shutting the door behind her, he took the bag and placed it on the table by the door where he kept his keys and wallet.

She shook her head. “What about our food?”

With a flustered sigh, Anthony took her by the arm and led her to the piano. He sat, ran through the keys quickly, then handed her the paper with the lyrics. He centered the staff sheet on his piano. “Sing that.”

“You wrote the music.” Her voice was breathless. If she were another woman, jewelry might elicit such a powerful response. But not Ruby—her heart lay with the melody. Settling on the bench beside him, she said, “Scoot over.”

He did, the two of them just fitting together on the seat. He began to play, and she opened her mouth, letting loose with the lyrics on longing for a man she could never have that she’d written days ago. The expected way to go would’ve been something fast, up-tempo, but Anthony knew slowing things down would make the song hit all the right marks.

When she finished she turned to him. Tears welled in her eyes before one plump teardrop coursed down her cheek. “You wrote me a song.”

“We wrote the song, Red. It was your words that made it beautiful. And your voice. I could listen to you sing all day.”

She tangled her hands together in her lap with a shake of her head. “Do you have any idea how much this means to me?”

So many things he could say. Something flippant, like, It’s no big deal. But it was a big deal. He didn’t share his songwriting with anyone, not anymore. “There’s nowhere for you to sing it, not yet. But I promise I won’t let you down. You’ll be playing your own songs in a packed nightclub before I’m finished.”

She lifted her head and gazed into his eyes. Her hand reached out to brush his cheek, and he went very still. “I believe you. More than that … I trust you. I always have.”

Saving him from having to come up with a response, she leaned into him and brushed her lips against his own. Her soft lips like a feather fluttered against his mouth, his cheek, his neck.

“Ruby, I didn’t … I wasn’t trying …”

“Don’t say anything.” She pulled back but took his hand. “You wrote me a song.” She said it again, as if the words held the secret to all the things between them, the things that had kept him from touching her like he’d wanted to since the first day at her apartment.

And because the song meant so much, she offered him everything, anything. Twining her fingers through his own, he took her mouth in a kiss. Passion flared between them like lighting a match, making him hard. God, how he wanted her.

Before he could think of anything, of the reasons this might be wrong, he pulled her onto his lap and trailed kisses down her swanlike neck. Her hair, when he pushed it over her shoulder, fell like a curtain to reveal the back of her neck. He placed kisses there with reverence. He could spend days worshipping her, and it wouldn’t be enough. As he brushed his fingers over her shoulders, he couldn’t be more grateful she’d bared them today.

Her eyes fluttered open, and she held his gaze. “Make love to me. Please, make love to me now.”

In a second, he was up, lifting her from his lap, an arm under her knees and one around her waist. He’d promised himself he wouldn’t touch her, wouldn’t push her unless it was her idea. Now, finally, it was, and all he wanted to do was stop time.

You can buy this book today online:

Amazon | iTunes | B&N/Nook | Kobo

Don’t forget: Book 1 is on sale now for only 99 cents!

My Fake Vegas Boyfriend can be found here, on sale, through the month of August:

Amazon | iTunes | B&N/Nook | Kobo

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading this far. I hope you find a book you love (even if it’s not mine) and have a wonderful time reading it. That’s what it’s all about.

 

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

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