Sunday, March 11, 2018

SUCH a Good Book!

To me, the hallmark of a good book is that it does not let me go: I keep thinking about the lives of the characters long after I've read the final page and closed the book. 

And The BestMan by Annabelle Costa definitely fits the bill for a good book! 

For days I have been daydreaming about the lives of Kirby and John - their hopes, their dreams, their careers, their future. The book begins like many chick lit books ... 

Kirby is tired of being single. So when Kirby’s long distance boyfriend Ted pops the question, her answer is an eager “YES.”

Then Kirby meets Ted’s best man, John.

But then Costa throws in a twist:
John is obnoxious, he’s opinionated, and he uses his disability as an excuse to keep everyone at arm’s length. 

Then Costa's brilliance takes off as she weaves a love story with humor, wit, and boundless depth.

But as the wedding planning proceeds, Kirby gets to know John better and realizes she’s never met any guy she’s connected with more—not in her entire life.

What do you do about your wedding when you’re falling in love with the best man?

Here are 8 things that I absolutelt ADORE about this book:

1. I love that the chapters jog between the heroine and hero's perspectives. After the first meeting, John comes off as SUCH A JERK, but then we get his perspective which is so humorous and eye-opening.

2. This is a love story in its truest form - like a flower blossoming, this story unfurls the deepening friendship and romance petal by gorgeous, sometimes thorny, petal.

3. This book is so funny! I laughed and guffawed out loud at some points at Costa's way of turning a phrase!

4. The view into John's life as a paraplegic - a young man injured in a car accident at 25 - is soulful, enlightening, and sometimes, heart-breakingly shocking. And I read in Costa's bio that she is a physical therapist so I know she knows what she is talking about.

5. I love the way John loves Kirby. He adores her fuller figure, he totally supports her in her career, he loves her quirky take on life.

6. I love the way the story unfolds through point and counterpoint in the different perspectives. Ex: Kirby keeps thinking about how much weight she has to lose before the wedding, but John thinks she is so gorgeous exactly as she is. John knows he will never have a snowball's chance in hell with someone as amazing as Kirby, but Kirby just keeps thinking about John more and more.

7. So sexy and romantic! The friendship develops with such a brilliantly paced slow burn that the culminating moments are just so good!

8. I love stories that show the difference between picture-perfect romance and, well, love.

If you indulge in The Best Man, I hope you enjoy it!

* The text in red is taken from the book's description on Amazon.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Oscar Threads

I've won many awards for my books, but I always find out I've won online. But in 2009 I attended the Los Angeles Comedy Short Awards because my husband TV writer Ron Corcillo had a short film up for Best Comedy Short. His category came up, presented by comedic actresses Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers) and Wendy McClendon Covey (Bridesmaids). They did some comedy riffing ... read the nominees ... and then ... announced that Ron's film Daryl From OnCar was the winner! I never screamed so loudly in my  life!  So, I am always happy for people who win Oscars because I kinda have an inkling of what that moment feels like. And  I am always even happier for the winners if their work through the years has touched me in some way. Hey, if their work has made me happy at some point, I am doubly happy for their success.

So, every year I look at the list of winners and it gets me thinking about all the ways they've delighted me through the years. Certain wins just tug at threads, reminding me of some cherished entertainment.

So what threads am I tugging at today as I look at last night's Oscar winners?

I've seen Sam Rockwell in so many wonderful movies through the years, from Confessions of a Dangerous Mind to Frost/Nixon, but as soon as I saw that he won, I shouted to Ron, "Someone from Galaxy Quest won!" Galaxy Quest is a wonderful movie that pays off in absolutely every respect. Has-been actors from a cult sci-fi show get called into space by  aliens who've seen their show, think it's real, and want the actors to use their space-fighting prowess to help them save their planet from evil monsters. This hilarious movie also subtly and brilliantly touches on ideas of romance, friendship, loyalty,  hope, determination, hero worship, what it means to be a hero. I remember when I first saw it, I had NO IDEA what  it was about or anything, but man, if blew me outta the water. And Sam Rockwell is perfect as Guy, the "nobody" on the show so he is sure he is doomed to be killed off first.

Gosh, I am so happy for Jordan Peele. I especially love it when someone who's known for one thing goes and wins an Oscar in something different - like when Keith Carradine won the Oscar for Best Song for writing I'm Easy for the 1975 film Nashville. Peele won for Best Original Screenplay, but like many people, I know him from his comedy team Key and Peele, along with Keegan-Michael Key -- I found them both especially delightful in Keanu, a comedy about two middle class guys who have to track down gangsters in order to get back Keanu, Peele's kitten who is kidnapped by drug dealers. Keanu also stars Nia Long, who I first came to adore when I saw her in the movie The Secret Laughter of Women with Colin Firth.  And Jordan Peele is married to Chelsea Peretti, who I love on the TV show Brooklyn 99!

Frances McDormand! Yay!!!!!!!!!!! What an amazing actress! On my very first date with Ron, we rented the movie Frances McDormand won her first Oscar for, Fargo. Oh, and she was just too delightful in Almost Famous: "My son has been kidnapped by a rock and roll band!"

And Allison Janney! In most things I see her in, she plays a supporting role. But no matter how small the role, she makes whatever she is in just that much more AWESOME! The romance novel-writing guidance counselor in 10 Things I Hate About You, the prudish Prudy in Hairspray, the tell-it-like-it-is mom in Juno (where she co-stars with J.K. Simmons, who won an Oscar a few years ago), the divorced mom to Mandy Moore's angst-riddled teen in the wonderful movie How to Deal and as the literature professor who doesn't think much of Hugh Grant and his Hollywood ways in The Rewrite - a quiet little movie that stars a bevy of Oscar winners: Janney, J.k. Simmons, and Marisa Tomei. A has-been screenwriter who takes a job teaching a screenwriting class at a small college on the East Coast -- oh, it is so delightful!

What delighted you at this year's Oscars?

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Fortysomething Heroine? Mmmrrh...

Second Guessing by Gail Ward Olmsted chronicles the romance of rock and roll widow Jill and her new ex-boy band love, Ben. This new release is the sequel to Guessing at Normal, but this book totally reads as a stand-alone novel as Jill navigates her way through family, career, and love challenges. 

Second Guessing begins as an exciting and indulgently satisfying romance. Jill Griffin – after a lifetime of riding a roller coaster of love with the ultimate bad boy – finds a second chance at love with a sweet and sexy good boy – go Jill! And Ben is adorably charming. Following their unfolding romance as it tries to hide from the glaring lights of the paparazzi is pure delight. And Jill’s relationship with her daughter Carly serves as a strong backbone for the story of Jill’s life. But the path of true love hits some bumps, and the ending ramps up to an exciting and suspenseful finish! Hints of menace are cleverly planted throughout the book so that danger to both body and soul keeps you turning the pages! Second Guessing is a must-read for anyone who’s enjoyed Guessing at Normal, and it serves as a wonderful stand-alone story even if you haven’t read the first. What an enjoyable read!

And you will love Gail's other books, too!! 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Pure YA Delight!

Mmmrrh... I love sharing the joy when I have read a wonderful book! Senior Week Crush by Maggie Dallen is a story I know I will read again and again, as my go-to when I need a feel-good story that delights with every word, every plot point, every snippet of dialogue.   

Layla James has been waiting her entire life for a chance to get close to her crush, Dylan. Now that moment has arrived. Dylan is finally single and he's started to notice her existance. He even asked if she was going to Senior Week, the last hoorah at the beach before graduation day. Of course she's going, this was destiny calling. The only problem? She doesn't have a ride. Enter her arch-nemesis Jack...

Here is my Amazon Review of this book: I Loved Every Word - Ten Stars!!!!!!!! This book is romantic, empowering, funny, clever, charming and totally satisfying! I looked forward to every event in the story, every next snippet of dialogue-- and the prose is so delightful! Reading this book is just sheer pleasure. This is a wonderful story where everything pays off. Sure, some call it a typical YA romance, but it is done VERY WELL -- superior relationship development. This is totally the kind of book I will re-read when I am in the mood for an comfy favorite that delivers pure joy!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Enjoy a Valentine's Day story for FREE on Kindle!

Everything I write is romantic comedy, but one particular story, "Miss Understanding in the Ballroom with the Wrench," actually takes place mostly on Valentine's night.

Jesse and Peter meet at a Valentine's Day party, and they hit it off. But each is hiding the one thing that they think makes them undateable. Will the secrets and misunderstanding put out the spark before it gets a chance to ignite?

You can find out for free until February 16  on Kindle. 

"A unique premise with unique characters!"

"One of my favorites because the chemistry between the two leads in undeniable."

Sunday, February 4, 2018

18 and 1 : Remembering an Iconic Super Bowl

Ten years ago, I wrote this piece on Super Bowl 42: the scrappy wild-card New York Giants vs. the undefeated New England Patriots who were one game away from a never-before-acheived 19-0 season. As a New York Giants fan, I cannot think of this past season without steam coming out of my ears. But this Super Bowl weekend, I will indulge in thinking about one of the greatest upsets in sports history. This is the post I wrote 10 years ago...

The Perfect Climax
by Geralyn Corcillo
Every few years or so I dust off Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart and reread it, just so I can get to page 227, when Bryony runs out into the moonlit orchard and well, I won't tell you – but it's the best part of the story.
And I'll bet that everyone knows the feeling I'm talking about: reading a dog-eared book or watching a favorite movie just to get to that scene that makes you go mmmrrh! We don't skip ahead to the incandescent chapter, or fast forward to the culminating scene, because without the build up, the climax is a let down. Captain Wentworth’s striding in and asking for Anne in front of everyone wouldn’t grab you by the guts and never let go without that preceding heartbreak, betrayal, belittling and loneliness.
Build-up, climax, bliss -- it's the pulse of romance . . . and sports.
I watch sports to feel the thrill when that 3-point shot at the buzzer wins the game, when that amazing catch in the end zone defies physics, when that guy nobody ever heard of knocks out an invincible champion, when that bunch of college kids ices a communist powerhouse.
A romance writing friend once commented, "Geralyn, that's why there are highlights."
But come on! Highlight reels provide no more than superficial thrills. But when you know what's at stake in the contest, and when you sweat as you watch the fight, the pay-off is visceral.  Mmmrrh . . . 
Why else was this past Sunday's Super Bowl XLII the most watched thing ever on TV, second only to the final episode of M*A*S*H? Are there so many Patriots and Giants fans out there? Maybe, but I suspect the game’s popularity was due to not just the foreplay, but more significantly, the guarantee of an explosive climax.
As Sports Illustrated so succinctly said of Sunday's game, “The Super Bowl would be either a CORONATION or a COLOSSAL UPSET.” In one corner is a smug, undefeated, championship team who wants to make history by becoming the only NFL franchise to go 19-0 in a season. In the other corner is a scrappy wild card team who had unexpectedly beaten redoubtable play-offs rivals to become the second-worse franchise ever to make it to the Super Bowl. New York's Plaxico Burress predicts a 23-17 Giants win. Tom Brady laughs at a press conference at the notion of his Patriots scoring a mere 17 points. Can the New York defense stop the locomotion of the New England offense? Tom Brady looms infallible – can Eli Manning, league leader in interceptions thrown during the regular season, step up?
As it turns out, Plaxico is wrong. The Giants hold the Patriots to 14 points, not 17, thanks to a defense that sacks Tom Brady 5 times and breaks up the Hail Mary. And in the last 2 minutes of the game, Patriots on top by 4, young Eli steps up. Courtesy of an offensive line that wouldn’t quit, he breaks out of a near-sack to throw to third-string receiver David Tyree who makes one of the most amazing catches in NFL history. Seriously, who catches a football with his head? A final pass to Plaxico in the end zone, and the Patriots end an 18-1 season. Those scrappy Giants won the Super Bowl.
It was the perfect climax.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Arlen Black - the hero voted Best Book Boyfriend of 2017 - wants to be your Valentine...

This month, for 99 CENTS, you can spend Valentine Season with Queen of the Universe hero 


Best Book Boyfriend 2017 WINNER!

And what makes him so delightfully swoon-worthy? Well...

From the "I'm Trying to Stay Sane" journal of Arlen Black
Why does he need to stay sane, you ask?

From Arlen's journal: Ray said I should do this, keep a journal. That it helps take off the pressure. The show, the media, my crazy-as-a-duck co-star. But the thing is, nothing about playing this part stresses me out. Are you kidding? After everything I've lost ... the kids ...  saying a few lines on camera isn't about to faze me.

Lola is the one driving me nuts, plain and simple. I said I'd be on her show - and I don't regret it. She all but tricked me into it, but to say no would have been to crush her dreams. And I couldn't do it. I WOULDN'T. I wasn't about to let someone else feel  that kind of screeching pain - not when I could stop it. 

So no, I don't regret it. But why did she let me get so close to her?
And why did she get so close to me? She says she thought it was all her and she had no idea I was feeling the attraction, too. Seriously? After that kiss on the very first day ... and on her patio? Man, it's a good thing I walked out - well, stormed out - when I did.

But I came back. Just to do the show. Nothing else. Because now I know that Lola is a liar and a manipulator and ... God, why can't I stop thinking about her? And why does it keep happening? Every time I'm near her, she makes me feel ... God! Even knowing what I know about her - even after everything I lost ... Damn it!

She makes me feel alive again.


When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. She lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her TV writer husband Ron, a guy who's even cooler than Kip Dynamite.
Corcillo LOVES connecting with readers, so feel free to get in touch with her on facebook and twittter.