Saturday Night Serenade–Tell Me About It, Stud!

I’m finding it hard to believe that the movie Grease came out FORTY YEARS AGO today.  How is that even possible?

I was in junior high (remember when that was a thing?) and I went to see the movie with my cousin, who was a year older than I.  Before that, my understanding of  movie musicals was based on my parents’ collection of LPs (remember when that was a thing?)–South Pacific, The Sound of Music, The King and I.

All of those are great shows, but I was blown away by the idea that an entire musical could be based on rock and roll.  And I loved it.  I marched right out and spent my allowance on the album, and to this day, I can sing every song by heart.

Now, there’s Rock of Ages, based on 80s music (and simply rocks) and American Idiot, a punk opera from Green Day’s album of the same name (which is outstanding), among others.

Here in the context of the ‘enlightened’ 21st century, I don’t want to delve into the socio-political issues of whether a Good Girl should have to change to keep her Bad Boy boyfriend.  Or vice-versa.  Because that’s crap.

What I know is that Grease is a fun, nostalgic trip to the 50s full of songs that are just enjoyable, both to listen to and sing along with.  A couple of years ago, Fox aired a live production of the show.  At the end of this article, I’ve posted Greased Lightning from that performance.  Just because I can, LOL.  (By the way, NBC is planning a live production of Hair in 2019.  Just saying…)

If you’re curious, here’s a Time article that talks about where the stars of Grease are today.

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

 

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Saturday Night Serenade–Left Asking Why

It was a rough week.  We lost two creative souls to the private demons we had no idea they battled.

Kate Spade created, among other things, handbags I’ve always admired and been too poor to own.  She always seemed hip and funky and carefree.  Who knew that she suffered from bipolar disorder and depression?

I’ve been a fan of Anthony Bourdain for a long time.  In fact, one of my characters mentions him in my first novel, Luke & Bella.  In the book, they create a travel program very loosely based on Bourdain’s Travel Channel show, No Reservations.  He always seemed to be an asshole, frankly, greeting the world on his own terms.  But he always conveyed a deep respect for the people and cultures he visited.  To hear that he’s gone, and by his own hand, is simply shocking.

We’re left with the inevitable question, why?  Why did two people who seemed to have everything just quit?  The fact that they each left a young daughter behind is heartbreaking.  That’s not something you get over.

Which brings us to this point: We have to start a conversation about mental illness.  Not talking about it is toxic.  It’s not some dirty, shameful secret.  Struggling does not make you defective, it makes you human.  Talk to someone.  Tell them what’s going on.  Seek professional help.

If you had heart disease or diabetes, you’d see a doctor.  Illness is illness, physical or mental.  There are those who will criticize.  Fuck’em.  Take care of yourself.

If you or someone you love needs help, please call this number.  I’ve been through some shit in my life.  But the thing I’ve noticed is that the sun still comes up every morning.  It’s a sure sign that you are loved, you have value, and you have hope.

I needed a little Sweet Baby James tonight.  I hope you enjoy.  Be sure to hug those you love this weekend.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Welcome Summer!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  It’s the unofficial start of summer.  Nevermind that we’re having a tropical storm here in the Sunshine State.

I’m in the mood for long hot days, lazy afternoons at the beach, cookouts, and tall fruity drinks with lots of rum.

I’m starting out with my favorite summer song, Raspberry Beret by Prince.  The video is a little weird, but with enough rum, it kind of makes sense.

I hope you’re having a nice long weekend, spent with those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Perfect

Who doesn’t love a royal wedding?  Today’s ceremony was absolutely perfect!  I’m the dork who was up before the sun to watch the whole thing live.  Wasn’t it just beautiful?

So now I’m in the mood for pure romance.  Do you wonder what song Harry and Meghan will use for their first dance?  I have an idea.  You know how I love Ed Sheeran, and this version of Perfect he did with Andrea Bocelli just gives me goosebumps.

I found a love for me
Darling, just dive right in and follow my lead
Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet
Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me

‘Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow
Your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you’re holding mine

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
When you said you looked a mess
I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it,
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Well, I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I’ll share her home
I found a love to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own

We are still kids but we’re so in love
Fighting against all odds
I know we’ll be alright this time
Darling, just hold my hand
Be my girl, I’ll be your man
I see my future in your eyes

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
When I saw you in that dress
Looking so beautiful
I don’t deserve this
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
I don’t deserve this
You look perfect tonight

I hope you’re having a magical weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Royal Romance

Because who doesn’t love a
modern-day adult fairy tale?

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Have you enjoyed the royal wedding as much as I have?  It’s so romantic, right?  Every girl’s fantasy!

And now that you’re in the mood, CHASING ORDINARY is my modern-day adult fairy tale.  Here’s what it’s all about.

Sculptor Petey Cavanaugh is too busy with her art and her work on the family sheep ranch in Montana to pay attention to celebrity gossip.  Which is why, when she meets the crown prince of Beruvia one rainy Manhattan night, she has no idea who he really is.  As far as she knows, he’s just Nik, wealthy Eurpoean businessman.

Nik is enchanted with her from the start.  She’s smart, funny, gorgeous, and she treats him like a regular person.  Petey’s his first ever taste of ordinary, everything he ever wanted.  If he doesn’t blow it.

How about a little teaser?

The moment Petey closed the apartment door behind herself, she burst into hot tears. Jules, who had been relaxing in the living room with her Kindle, immediately jumped up and came over to her.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, reaching for her hand.

“I’m just so…fucking stupid,” Petey growled through her tears.

“But what happened?” Jules frowned deeply. “Did Nik hurt you? Because I will kick his ass!”

Petey was crying too hard to answer, so Jules put an arm around her and led her to the kitchen counter. While Petey settled onto a stool and continued to sob, Jules poured them both a shot of Cuervo Silver. “Here,” she said, handing a glass to Petey, “suck this down and tell me exactly what happened.”

Sniffling, Petey tossed back the tequila and coughed as it hit her throat. Jules downed hers quickly, and repoured for both of them. “So talk,” she urged her friend.

“H-he lied to me,” Petey stuttered, trying to calm her voice.

Jules gasped. “He’s married! That son of a bitch.”

Petey shook her head miserably. “No. That’s not it. He told me he was in international business.”

“And he’s not?” Jules asked.

“No! He’s the fucking prince of Beruvia!” Petey’s tears started anew.

Jules blinked. “He’s the prince of Beruvia? Nik?” She shook her head. “Pete, that doesn’t even make sense. The prince of Beruvia is Prince Stefan. He’s all over the tabloids all the time. Here, I’ll show you.”
Cueing up Google Images on her phone, she chose a headshot of a handsome blonde man with stormy blue eyes, and she held it up to Petey.

“Hon, this is Prince Stefan of Beruvia.”

Petey peered at the image and bawled anew. “I know! He lied to me!”

Realization began to dawn on Jules. “This? This is your Nik?” Her eyes widened. “You fucked the prince of Beruvia in my guest room?”

She watched as Petey crossed her arms on the counter and rested her head on them, her back shuddering with sobs. Jules rubbed her back soothingly. “Petey, seriously, how did you not know he was a prince? I mean, everybody knows who he is. He’s like, Europe’s most eligible divorcé.”

Petey raised up her head slightly to scowl at Jules. “Well, thanks, because I wasn’t feeling stupid enough already.”

Jules shook her head and gazed out over the living room. “Geez, Pete, he’s always in the tabloids and on the gossip shows.”

“I live on a sheep ranch. In my spare time, which is precious little, I work on my sculptures. I don’t have time or patience for stupid celebrity gossip.”

“So how did you find out?” Jules wondered.

Petey, calmer now, sat up and swiped at her face with her hands. “We were jumped by a bunch of photographers outside of Paddy’s. Nik’s-” She paused, scowling. “Whoever’s people, they pushed us into a car and drove us away.”

“Paparazzi?” Jules glanced at Petey. “You realize you’re probably online right now.”

“Stop it!” Petey gasped.

Pushing away from the kitchen counter, Jules padded into her bedroom and retrieved her laptop. She returned to the counter and fired up the device. “Let’s see,” she murmured.

Watching over her friend’s shoulder, Petey watched as Jules entered Prince Stefan into the search bar. Immediately images of the man who’d introduced himself as ‘Nik’ filled the screen. Jules refined the search to ‘most recent’ and there she was, Petey Cavanaugh, gaping wide-eyed as she and Nik were pushed into the back of a black Mercedes.

“Motherfucker,” Petey breathed.

From deep within her purse, her phone began to ring. Jules glanced at her. “Are you going to get that?”

Petey shook her head. “It’s probably him.”

The ringing continued. Jules pursed her lips. “I think you should get it.”

“I’m not answering,” Petey said, crossing her arms defiantly.

“Then I’m going to get it.” Grasping Petey’s bag from the floor where she’d dropped it, Jules rooted around until she found the device. She showed Nik’s image to Petey before swiping to unlock the phone. “Hello?”

“Oh, thank God, Petey, I’m so sorry. Please allow me to explain,” pleaded a deep voice with a British accent.

“No, this isn’t Petey, this is Jules. Petey’s very upset. She doesn’t feel up to talking right now.” Quietly, Jules pressed the button for ‘speaker’.

“I beg your pardon,” replied the voice. “I know she’s upset, and I know she feels that I deceived her, but I need to explain everything. Is there any way she’ll talk to me?”

Jules looked to Petey, who flashed double middle fingers and mouthed a silent, “Fuck you!”

She frowned into the phone, “Yeah, Nik, that’s not looking too good right now. Tell you what, give me a few minutes and I’ll see what I can do.”

CHASING ORDINARY is a 5-STAR reviewed contemporary fairy tale for grown-ups.

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Live the fairy tale!

Get CHASING ORDINARY
at your favorite online bookseller.

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy Mother’s Day!

So many moms are on my mind this weekend.

Obviously my mom, who raised me, taught me right from wrong, and continues to love me to this day.

And I’m the mom of two tall, red-haired men, one who recently fulfilled his commitment to the U.S. Air Force, and the other, happily married and working for a software company.

I think of my friend Jan, the single mom of three, including a teenager with profound autism.  I call her the most bad-ass mom I know, and she is.  I don’t know how she does it.

Then there’s Lynn, whose son died on her sofa from a drug overdose a year ago to the day.  I can’t imagine her pain as she continues to mourn.  I don’t think you ever recover from that.

I believe our friend Eric qualifies.  His wife died after a courageous battle with breast cancer when their daughter was three.  Eric stepped into shoes too big for anyone to fill.  He deserves Mother’s Day AND Father’s Day.

Our good friends Susan and Lori just adopted a beautiful baby boy.  We had lunch with them recently, and they recounted the story of how Freddie became theirs.  They’d adjusted their expectations, looking forward to adopting an older child, when fate intervened, bringing them this gorgeous blondie with huge blue eyes.  It will be a happy Mother’s Day at their house.

And my niece Lauren just had a beautiful baby girl, Riley.  Which is crazy, I remember Lauren was born.  Now she’s planning a wedding for herself and her fiance in the next year.

Families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  I think the defining factor is love.  Which we need more of in this world.  So it’s good to celebrate mothers.

Tonight’s serenade is Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion.  It’s meant to be a romantic love song, really.  But I’ve heard it in the context of Mother’s Day, and I think it fits.  I’ve included the lyrics below, and full disclosure, I changed a couple of babys to Mamas.   So sue me.  Not really, I’m poor.  All you’ll get is a mountain of debt and a floppy-eared German shepherd.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love, especially all the mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day!

“Because You Loved Me”

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful Mama,
You’re the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You’re the one who saw me through through it allYou were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved meOoh, Mama

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand, I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love, I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You were always there for me
The tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life
You’ve been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
(My voice.)
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Walk of Life

May 5, 2018
It’s such a busy day today!

It’s Cinco de Mayo.  Just like everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s day, don’t you just have to have a margarita (or three) on May 5th?

Only this year, you have to choose between a margarita and a mint julep, because it’s Derby Day.  It’s the 144th Run for the Roses at the Kentucky Derby.

I must confess a little fondness for the races.  Mr. R and I have been to Gulfstream Park a couple of times, and it’s lots of fun.  I have a scientific method for picking winners–I pick the names that jump out at me.  It’s 2:26pm as I’m writing this, and I’m all in with #10, My Boy Jack.  He’s currently 18:1, but I don’t pay attention to odds.  I’m the proud mom of a 7-year-old German shepherd named…Jack.  It’s kismet.

But tonight, I will be curled up on the couch with popcorn and a glass of wine to watch the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on HBO.  This year’s honorees are Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  I can’t wait to see the show, and I’m bringing a little preview for tonight’s serenade.  Dire Straights has a lot of cool songs, but I’m choosing Walk of Life.

Here’s wishing you felicitaciones, may your horse come in first, and I hope they play your favorite song.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!