Wetsday: No More Florida Jokes

I am that rara avis in terris, a native Floridian. Not just a native, but in at least one strand of my lineage, a sixth-generation Floridian. In the land of retirees and military stations, there aren’t very many of us.

And on behalf of the couple of dozen of us who consider the Sunshine State to be our ancestral home, let me tell y’all: we are getting tired of this.

Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, the face-eating zombie … None of the morons who have gotten their fifteen minutes of fame lately represent the Florida I know and love. Go all the way back to the days of the hanging chads (remember those?) and you can see that the media feeds on stuff that makes my state look ridiculous.

So, in light of my recent excursion to watch a gripping dramatization of the lengths to which young men must go to make a living in this economy (aka Magic Mike), I thought I would give you an example of my Florida.

Remember, this is the land of football, beaches, and military guys. That’s why true Floridians know that our best home-grown product isn’t citrus or strawberries – its the Boys from Old Florida.

Without further ado, I give you the Pride of Tampa, Mr Channing Tatum!











A Totally Obvious Choice For Wetsday

Back to water-soaked gentlemen this Wednesday. I know, control your disappointment.

I recently went to the cinematic equivalent of an E.L. James book, the must-see movie of the year for middle-aged women who write romance novels – Magic Mike. And, to sum up the movie’s plot, direction, and cinematography:


It wasn’t a great movie. Part of the time I was thinking “I’ve seen this before” – then I realized it was basically Burlesque on testosterone. Part of the time, I was thinking “How long before Channing Tatum dances again?”. The rest of the time, was was thinking, “Mr. McConnaughey, meet shampoo. Shampoo, this is Matthew .”

So, no. Not a great movie. Sense & Sensibility and The King’s Speech need not fear the loss of my affections.

But (spoiler alert), I will share with you the best thing about Magic Mike:


I just saved you 9 bucks. Make your own popcorn.

Ever Feel Like You’re Rattling Around All Alone?

Where are all my Southern Sizzle gals hiding these days? Here’s a wet guy just to keep you all interested in coming back

I do. !

Wetsday: Becks!

I’ve not been good about posting, have I, dear ones? Between the writing and the day job and the family and the other things I simply have to do, things fall off the table.

But when I ran across the cover shot for this coming month’s Elle UK, I knew I had to share it with my fellow lovers of attractive gentlemen, water-logged variety.

So here he is (for once without Posh lurking about, looking pissed off about something): everyone’s favorite footballer, Mr. David Beckham!


Wetsday from Arabella

I don’t know, guys. Sometimes you just lose the Muse. And those of you who are familiar with my Muse, Dearest Bridget, know her to be one of the more flighty of the breed.

OmiGod, Bridget! Come back! I didn’t realize you were standing there. No, sweetie! I meant that in the most flattering of ways! Here, come sit down and get comfy. I’ve got something ofa treat for you today.

So, as I was saying: I just haven’t been feeling the inspiration here lately. Haven’t found nay thing that got me in the blog writing mood.

No, Bridget! I’m not blaming you for that! Of course the people know how hard you work on my stories. They love you for it … Yes, I love you too. Here, let me get you a cuppa that lovely Darjeeling.

Better? Ok, wait right there.

So. Where were we? Yeah. Right. Inspiration. One of the best ways to get your LOVELY AND TALENTED MUSE to her Happy Place is with music. So for today’s little Wetsday treat, I went back to an old favorite – It’s Raining Men.

You may be familiar with the Austen Heroes in Period Dress video set to this song – it’s a YouTube classic. But here it is, updated with some Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey) yumminess, plus some Firth, Depp, Gryffudd, etc.

So y’all enjoy!

Scoot over, Bridget! Jeez, give a girl some room here!

Hot, Wet, Silken Sands

So Silken Sands is this weekend – and its indisputably the finest beach-front Writers Conference around!

The Sizzlers have told you about the conference – that the winners of the Silken Star Self-Published Contest will be announced, that Editors & Agents will be taking pitches, not in a scruffy meeting room, but on a deck overlooking the sugar-white beach, that there will be a fabulous Come-as-your-Characters costume ball. But leave it for Romancemama to give you a heads up on the real attraction at Silken Sands.

I’m talking Navy. Marines. Hot young pilots relaxing at a beach bar in their flight suits. Husky, well-exercised young men playing beach volleyball in nothing but a pair of Navy bike shorts. Officers and gentlemen out on the town in Navy dress whites or Marine dress blues. Seriously, Pensacola and P’Beach are full of em.

The other day, Jillian Chantal and I met fellow author Micki Gibson at a sidewalk cafe in Pensacola. Whilst we sat there for an hour, a Navy Pilot in his olive-drab flight suit wandered by. Hardly had we tucked our eyeballs back into their sockets when here came a gorgeous Marine in his Dress Blues. And that is just business as usually here in Pensacola.

So if you like lovely, healthy young soldiers and sailors in various states of dress and undress (and, lets be honest, who doesn’t?) Silken Sands is the conference for you.










In Memory of First Love






Someone can be a part of your life, even though you’ve never actually met them. In these days of mass media and instant celebrity, a lot of us know more about the Kardashians than our own family, which is a tragedy, and something that I want to blog about. But that is not the point today.
Today, I am sad. A lovely little piece of my history came back to my attention last week, and I want to mourn, not only the loss of a pop idol, but the passing of my youth. Davy Jones, only 66 years old, died last week. I say “only 66,” although there was a time when Davy and I both thought that that was an incredible age, practically ancient, and certainly no longer entitled to the dreams and plans of youth. Now, getting well into my second half-century, I can see that 66 years is just a blink of God’s eye.
Davy was my first true love, and I adored him with every fiber of my elementary-school being. He was cute, he was talented, he was funny – and he was short! (I’ve always been vertically challenged.) He was the perfect fantasy, always cheerful, always understanding, always beautiful.
Okay, I don’t know. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he drank, had a bad temper, kicked small kittens for fun. But I never heard anything bad about him, and God knows, nowadays everyone will tell every filthy, ugly secret they have for a shot on Oprah. (I’m looking at you, McKenzie Phillips.) Davy was, and remained, a teenage girl’s perfect beau.
I took child and adolescent psychology. I can give you chapter and verse about why slightly-built, mild-mannered singers who do songs about daydreams and true love become heart-throbs for very young women who are still afraid of anything “other” – meaning masculine, aggressive, realistic. But understanding why I loved Davy, why my cousin loved Andy Gibb, why my daughter loved Justin – heck, why Marie Antoinette loved Mozart – does not diminish the feeling at all.
Davy, you were a lovely, talented boy who became a charming, talented man. While it hurt to see the grey hairs and the lines on your face, I’m glad we had you with us for as long as we did.

You were always too busy singin’ to put anybody down.


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