As a writer, I get inspiration from lots of sources, but one favorite is films, and the actors in them. While writing a series of Pride and Prejudice continuation novellas, I had one actor in mind as “my” Mr. Darcy: Colin Firth. Below are my top ten Colin Firth movies, perfect for summer viewing (or anytime!).
10. The Secret Garden (1987): This may be my favorite adaptation of the beloved book, but I haven't seen it in so long, I can’t be sure anymore. Firth’s role is very small, but he’ll be starring as Lord Craven in the upcoming adaptation, which I’m excited about!
9. Circle of Friends (1995): I also haven't seen this in awhile, but I most remember Alan Cumming playing someone smarmy in it. Firth’s role is minimal, but it’s a solid film based on the Maeve Binchy book.
8. Mary Poppins Returns (2018): My son and I saw this in the theatre last year. While we didn’t feel it lived up to the original, it’s fun to watch—and see Firth play somewhat against type.
7. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001): It's been awhile since I’ve seen this, but I remember enjoying Firth’s performance as straightlaced Mark Darcy.
6. Love, Actually (2003): While I usually watch this every year, I have mixed feelings about it. But I love the cast.
5. What a Girl Wants (2003): Cute teen movie, with an enjoyable cast.
4. Nanny McPhee (2005): Emma Thompson. Angela Lansbury. Colin Firth. Need I say more about this magical movie?
3. The Importance of Being Earnest (2002): I enjoy this lovely adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic. Great cast, sparkling dialogue!
2. The King's Speech (2010): Excellent period drama about King George VI. Firth gives an amazing performance. I also love the brief reunion with his Pride and Prejudice co-star, Jennifer Ehle.
1. Pride and Prejudice (1995): To me, Firth is Darcy. This adaptation is one of my all-time favorite period dramas. Glorious set and costume design, wonderful cast and script. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it!
Are you a Colin Firth fan? If so, what are your favorites of his films?
Love at Pemberley
On sale for $0.99 through July 31, 2019
Find love at Pemberley in four sweet novellas continuing the beloved story of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In Most Truly, Kitty Bennet meets Colonel Fitzwilliam, who is most truly a gentleman, and truly knows he wants Kitty for his wife. Then Miss Darcy Decides for herself whether Sir Camden can be trusted. Miss Bennet Blooms finds Mary Bennet befriending botanist Nathaniel Bingley. And, it's Christmastide at Pemberley in Misunderstood—Miss Maria Lucas and Mr. Denny join the festivities as they all find their happily ever afters at Mr. Darcy's Pemberley.
Praise for the Love at Pemberley novellas
“A light and charming novella that impressed this Jane Austen aficionado.” ~M.E. Almaguer, Romantic Historical Reviews
“A wonderful afternoon read with a cuppa and a few iced tea biscuits....” ~Susanne Barrett of Meditative Meanderings
“It was a pleasure watching their romance bloom.” ~Long and Short Book Reviews
“The characters have the their true essence brought to life here. New characters are pleasantly complimentary to those existing ones as well. An easy flowing read that for any Jane fans is worth the time.” ~Margaret, Literary Chanteuse
Reina M. Williams writes sweet Austen-inspired and fairy tale romances. She loves period dramas, cooking, baking, and reading. She has a B.A. in History and did graduate study in English Literature. A California native, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her two sons, who hope to someday take a research trip to England with their mom.
Summer is finally in full mode and I couldn’t be happier. I’m a summer person; I need the sun to recharge once in a while.
I live in an area that is, most of the time, unaffected by heatwaves. Our summers are warm and windy, and with some luck, sunny.
To some, summer means barbecues, backyard parties, pool parties. To me, summer means less cooking, more sandals, beach readings, and bonfires with friends.
You read me right, less cooking. I love to cook but in the summer, I couldn’t care less about it. I don’t want to stay at the stove for hours unless it’s for a special occasion so I go out more. Drive thrus make a fortune with me!
While some are all about barbecuing and smoking, I’m an advocate of simplicity. There’s this recipe I got from a penpal I got years ago that I still make time for every summer. It’s cheap in cost, it’s refreshing, crispy, and full of flavor. The simplest recipe to make and it takes just about ten minutes to make.
The best thing about it is that you can play with the ingredients, add or remove to your liking. I personally love onions but there are limits to what my body can withstand. I put less than half what the recipe asks. I also add more bell peppers (different colors), and play with dressings. I’m not a huge fan of oil-based dressing like this one, so I just go with a sweet one that compliments the flavors like sweet mustard and honey, Catalina, or Russian (if you’re lucky enough to find any).
Here is the recipe for Summer Corn Salad! Enjoy!
1/4 - 1/3 sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
16 oz bag frozen whole kernel corn (thawed/drained) or you can use leftover corn on the
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 package cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped red onion
1 can of drained and rinsed black beans
Salt and pepper to taste
April 1, 2019 (paperback: March 13, 2019)
Romantic Suspense ~ Contemporary ~ Paranormal ~ Vampires
Every family has its secrets...
When Lena Bennett loses her father, she has to take over the family business. But with the business comes secrets. Deadly secrets.
What can she do when she's backed into a corner with no one to turn to?
About CM Peters
CM Peters would like to be ageless but hasn’t found the fountain of youth just yet. She works in the communications field but her true passion is writing. She hails from Québec and has been back at writing regularly after a long break since college. An eclectic writer, CM is equally at home penning short erotica, quality fanfiction, and elaborate sci-fi and fantasy novels. Whatever genre she is working in, CM always centers her stories around complex, relatable characters. At the moment, she's hard at work on a new novel while preparing another for publication. She’s been published in erotica and romance anthologies, a collaborative book with Gallery Books, and co-edited a few anthologies, one coming in 2019. If she's not furiously typing, you'll surely find her with her eyes staring at the chocolate-brown beam in her living room to organize her next outline before putting it down on paper.
Gwen is awesome! I've known her for a few years - we met as co-volunteers at the RITA awards at the annual Romance Writers of America national conference (like the Oscars for romance novels). She struck me then as a little on the shy side, intelligent, and very interesting with all the life-stories she had to tell. I admire the heck out of her both professionally and personally and I'm thrilled she could join us today.
Yeah! Your writing space!
Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
Gwen Hernandez. I currently live in Redondo Beach (Los Angeles), California and I write military romantic suspense.
But you've lived all over the pace haven't you? When we met a few years ago you lived in Virginia, I think?
I've lived in Germany, Arizona, Utah, Texas, California, Oklahoma, Ohio, Virginia, Alabama, and Massachusetts.
I moved around a lot as a kid, but it was all in the same state. I can't imagine what that military life is like...but that's a question for another day!
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I’ve wanted to write a book since I was at least 11, but I didn’t seriously give it a go until my oldest was in junior high and I had quit working as a manufacturing engineer—long hours and stress!—to be more available for my kids. (Side note: Trying to help with Algebra homework over the phone is...not fun.) In early 2009, I read a couple romances I’d found at the library and realized there was a place for the stories in my head. I started writing while the kids were at school and I haven’t stopped.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
I’m working on book 6 in my Men of Steele series, hopefully for an end-of-year release. Book 5, Blind Justice, released in March.
What is the most challenging part of writing romantic suspense?
Strangely enough for me, it’s the suspense part. I love it, and I always figure it out eventually, but it takes a lot of reworking to nail it. I have friends who can pull crazy-great suspense plots out of thin air. But then they often struggle with the romance part, so I guess we all have our strengths.
What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
It varies. I’ve done a lot of foundational research on special operations—especially Air Force pararescueman (aka PJs), which is what I usually write about for this series—but I always have to do more research that's specific to each book. Technology, locations, professions, real-life crime stories, weapons. I love to learn new things, so it’s easy to get sucked into researching when I should just start writing.
For Blindsided, I got to delve into the world of hackers through several books and lots of articles. For Running Blind, which has an amputee hero, I consumed many memoirs and videos, and spent time with a prosthetist to understand the technology and capabilities. I’ve also attended the 11-week Citizens Police Academy in Fairfax County, Virginia, participated in active shooter exercises with the SWAT team, and gone on field trips with a writing group to learn about combat medics, PJs, the Coast Guard, and firefighters. Probably 95% of my research ends up as deep background, but it’s part of what makes writing fun.
Do you have any work experience involving the elements of romantic suspense (such as working in law enforcement or in the military)?
Not work experience per se, unless you include a semester of ROTC and seven weeks of Officer Training. (I declined a commission because my husband and I couldn’t get stationed together.) But I was an Army and Navy brat, and married an Air Force engineer, so nearly my whole life has been “in the military,” and I love it.
Oh my gosh, the quintessential military-family photo! So it sounds like you write the fantasy side of the world you grew up and still live in?
They're definitely fantasies! I'm not sure how easy it would be to live with a special operator-type in real life, and I'd like to leave the danger to my books, lol. But, I have a deep respect for those who are willing to sacrifice for others and I try to honor that in my stories.
Who is a person you greatly admire and why?
My mother. She was a model of compassion and patience who faced every move to a new country or State with a sense of adventure, and gave me a passion for travel. She was quiet but strong, and didn’t back down when she thought something was important. She died at age 58, just seven months after learning she had cancer, but she left a massive, wonderful imprint on my life.
I'm so sorry for your loss. <<<Hugs>>> You look a lot like her!
What/who do you like to read and do you have a favorite genre/author?
I used to read thrillers and mysteries, but once I found romance, I was all in. My preferred sub genres are romantic suspense (shocking, right?) and historical romance, especially if it includes some intrigue. I suck at picking favorites, but Suzanne Brockmann is the queen of RS for me, and Joanna Bourne writes beautiful historical romance with kickass spies.
Speed round! Answer with the first thing that comes to mind!
City, suburb, or small-town?
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate?
Hot dogs, hamburgers, or tacos?
Boxers, briefs, or commando?
Cowboy boots, biker boots, or flip-flops?
Cake, cookies, or crumpets?
Any last words before we say goodbye?
Thanks for inviting me to join the fun!
March 25, 2019
Romantic Suspense ~ Military ~ Multicultural
A sexy bodyguard. A high-maintenance city girl. Sometimes opposites attract...a killer.
When Tara Fujimoto’s quest to avenge her sister’s death makes her a target, a sexy security specialist steps in to watch her back, but his quiet appeal threatens her carefully guarded heart. Can she resist their lightning-hot attraction, and stay alive long enough to expose her enemy?
Former military special operator Jeff Patarava has good reasons to keep his distance from his impossibly perfect coworker, but when her life is threatened, his resolve is shot to hell. Forced into close proximity, sparks fly as he learns she’s far more than her flawless appearance suggests. Now, he’ll put everything on the line to keep her alive.
Where to find Gwen
Now it's my turn to be interviewed!
At the end of May, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by none other than Terri A. Wilson. Terri is a romance author and she does a TON to support other authors, author service providers (that would be me, y'all!), and book lovers. She has a YouTube Channel (check below for links) that you have to check out!
Now, thanks to Terri, you get to hear me talking about why I started LoveRomanceReads and what all this website can offer to both authors and readers of romance. This was a ton of fun to do. Thank you, Terri!!!
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