I Need a New “Novel Romance”!: Hallmark Channel Movies and Craving Books for Pleasure Reading Again

On a lazy Saturday, I did something that I haven’t done in a while: watch an original movie on the Hallmark Channel. For many reasons in the past year, I haven’t given myself time to relax and enjoy one of their many inspirational films. Today, that changed with a sweet, heartfelt and funny Hallmark Channel Original Movie called “A Novel Romance”:

Credit: Image from Amazon.com

Starring Amy Acker (Person of Interest) and Dylan Bruce (As the World Turns and Orphan Black), the film centers on bestselling romance author Liam Bradley who uses the pen name Gabriel August and whose true persona is mysterious to his fans and readers; and honest and wary of new love book reviewer Sophie Atkinson. The main protagonists meet on a flight to Portland, OR where Liam goes for inspiration for his next book and Sophie returning to her hometown. Throughout the film, Sophie wrestles with her prior hurt from an ex and budding feelings for Liam while he contends with the inevitable reality of having to reveal the man behind Gabriel August and completing his next book to please his publisher.

I write this post a few hours after watching the film, flipping through various crime shows and parents watching NFL playoffs (the Patriots v. Texans game just starting). The film stuck with me, one being because books were a part of the story and the other because I guess the originality made me feel good…it was something I’ve missed lately. When I entered my third year of college, I didn’t have a lot of time to read books or watch films because of the amount of schoolwork that I had. When I came home for break, it was a nice change to relax on the couch and watch a Hallmark movie, particularly the Christmas ones. Some of my favorite Hallmark Movies include “The Nanny Express”, “Catch a Christmas Star”, “A Country Wedding”, “I Married Who?”, to name a couple.

The debate over book verses film adaptations is a topic of discussion for another post, especially because some become films that are shown on Hallmark as well.

My love for books waned a lot during and after college and as I struggle to get more work out there and build my publication credits. I admit, there is nothing wrong with analyzing a book so you can learn and better understand how your favorite authors work. But, even writers need to have some fun and relax too!

“A Novel Romance” served as that reminder for me. As a writer, the work is critical and you should try to work as best you can. Yet at the same time, a writer needs to read for fun and pleasure! You should read, or reread, a book and fall in love with it!! Maybe I took the romance thing too literally (haha!), but hey even the best writers need to enjoy things and be merry!

It will take time, but I hope to find my love for books again. I hope you will too.

Happy reading for pleasure and content!




I Will Never Be Perfect: My Changes for 2017

First Full Week of 2017! My new desk calendar

Happy New Year everyone! I’m sure, like me, you are all relieved, cautiously optimistic, hopeful and relieved that 2016 is finally behind us at last! A full week has officially gone by in 2017 already…

I hope if you are dealing with today’s snow, like I am even though we will be expecting less in accumulation, that you are warm and safe!

Anyway, how many of you have and/or do New Year’s Resolutions? I have done some in the past, but like many, always gave up on them after a while. The last time I had a resolution on hand was a few years ago where I wanted to write in my journal every day. For about four months, I did just that.

Until I missed a day and was really hard on myself about it. The resolution wasn’t the same after that, so I stopped focusing on it and just wrote in general when I felt like it. The thing is, I was a teenager then.

Now, I am in my early 20s. I didn’t wait until the 1st day of the year to start my resolutions and some much needed cleaning. I actually started the final week of 2016 as a way to leave things in the past: did some cleaning when junk was piling up in my bedroom, took time to clean out my emails, kicked drama out of my life i.e. fansites and took a couple days off from the job search so I could chill out and try to find my encouragement again.

As the ball dropped in Times Square on TV, I had my new Booklover’s desk calendar that I received for Christmas in front of me. As the seconds ticked down, I took a deep breath, exhaling when midnight struck. I then threw my arms in the air and ripped off my calendar to show Sunday January 1, 2017. Instead of resolutions, I am making changes: trying to sleep better, finally try to eat healthier, make time to write and finally find that job.

This first full week didn’t go well, but it didn’t upset me. Because it made me realize I will never be perfect. Sometimes I need a day where I want to stay in my pajamas and curl up with a book. Sometimes I need to put something off for a day to ease my anxiety and worries. Other times, I just have to be alone or be with friends. As long as I get back up and try again, the changes are worth fighting for.

I am trying to remember what makes me happy for 2017; remember how I got to where I am now, my strengths and that I am a good writer. That I will find that job.That, after seven long years fighting for this, I will finally see and meet David Archuleta in some shape or form.

Change is never easy, and change stinks sometimes. But, we need it to get where we want to be, and find out who we really are.

What changes do you have in mind for 2017?