The Meet Cute

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Have you watched The Holiday where Cameron Diaz swaps her Hollywood mansion for Kate Winslet’s cute little Surry cottage? If not and you love romcoms then you must. It’s two hours and ten minutes ( according to my DVD) of gorgeousness. My favourite character in the movie (and story line) has to be Arthur played by one of Hollywood’s golden greats, Eli Wallach, you know from The Magnificent Seven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Misfits to name but a few of his great movies.

 

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TL: With Marilyn Monroe, filming The Misfits. BL: The Magnificent Seven. R: As Arthur in The Holiday

In The Holiday, Arthur meets Iris, played by Kate-there’s-not-enough-room-on-this-piece-of-wood-for-you-Jack-Winslet, and he introduces to Iris the phrase, ‘meet cute‘ where the  future romantic couple meet for the first time.

 

As a romantic comedy writer, the meet cute’ is pretty important. Finding different and interesting ways for your romantic couple to meet isn’t as hard as you think either and they come from the most surprising of places when you’re not expecting or looking for it.

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Quote from Random Hse, Inc. via wikipedia. Image my own.

 

Recently, a question was posed on social media about the percentage of time thinking about writing and actual writing. I’ve found myself thinking about writing all the time because out of the blue will be a gorgeous ‘meet cute’ moment. Seriously, they’re everywhere.  I’m not looking for it and it doesn’t develop into anything other than in my brain, the story mapping out in front of me. Here’s some examples just from this week alone.

Meet Cute 1

Earlier this week, I had a day trip to London with a friend. We’re busy chatting away whilst coming down the rather long escalator on the London Underground when a man hurries past us only to stop abruptly. The loop from my friend’s cardigan had caught in the zip of his bag. A chance in a million encounter. The bottom of the escalator approached and there was nervous laughter as they tried to unhook each other with comments like ‘what are the odds?’ as others tried to get by. Once off the escalator, they managed to separate. He smiled and said his goodbyes to us then hurried on his way. That was the ‘meet cute’. He was rather cute too. 

In my head, it continued and I shared with my friend that despite him hurrying off to catch his train, he would end up on the same train, in the same carriage and he would smile on seeing her and give up his seat for her. She would smile back and they would laugh about their little entanglement. And chat until she would get up to leave and it’s his stop too. What are the odds? Definitely a ‘meet cute’, all from a tangled cardigan in a zip.  

Meet Cute 2

Whilst walking to the shops, I had to cross over and saw a man walking towards me. unfortunately, the path narrowed due to overgrown hedges and he ended up having to walk on the grass. I apologised babbling about not wanting to get caught in the no doubt beast infested (read little creatures with more than four legs *shudders*) brambles. He smiled saying it was okay. Not really much of a meet cute but then  . . .

In my head for the romantic couple to meet, she would have snagged her clothing on the brambles and he would have stopped to check she was ok. Or he wouldn’t have moved, maybe too busy on his mobile phone and having nowhere to go, she gets knocked into the bushes and falls over. Either way, it’s a ‘meet cute’ moment of the classic boy meets girl. Girl hates boy but you know what happens in the end.

Meet Cute 3

I recently found out that a pharmacist from one of the many chemists in town is really cute. He’s going to make handing over copious amounts of cash for medicines rather easy. Anyway, there was a problem with one of the prescriptions and he put it right. The end.

In my head . . . the problem isn’t resolved easily and the pharmacist asks her questions, trying to get to the bottom of it. She is polite, answering his questions and sees he’s really handsome. His whole face lights up when he smiles and he does smile a lot as he talks to her. A quick scan from her reveals he doesn’t wear a ring.  She doesn’t want to leave. He doesn’t seem in too much of a hurry either despite the queue forming behind her. Could this be love at first sight? He finally sorts out her prescription and hands it over with an accidental slight brush of his hand against hers. And  . . . she  has to leave but they will bump into each other that night in a pub etc and . . . who knows.

So whilst my percentage of thinking about writing is much higher than actually doing it, sometimes the thinking comes out of know where,  from a ‘meet cute’ which inspires the inky fingers to get busy. 

Do you have any ‘meet cute’ moments you’d like to share. You never know, it could appear in a future novel. 

Love Lizzie

 

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Find out Katie’s ‘meet cute’ moment in The Adventures of Katie Button, my first romantic comedy. It’s a ‘meet cute’ with a difference. The story continues in Dreaming of a Happy Ever After.  Click the link to see what others are saying in their reviews  . . .  Whaaat?! ‘Bridget Jones’ You Say!

Thanks for reading. x

Whaaat?! ‘Bridget Jones’ You Say!

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RomCom Gold

 

I’ve caught up with my reviews for my latest release. Yes, I know I should have been all over it but there was this little pesky maths test that consumed my entire being for several weeks which I wrote about here: When you’re alone and have no one to share your news . . .    

Anyway, I caught up with them (more than one – woo-hoo!!) because my gorgeous readers have been kind enough to leave their thoughts for everyone to see. I’m over the moon which is massive understatement. They’re amazing!!!!!

Two readers have mentions the BJ word.

Of course I mean Bridget Jones!!

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              What BJ word did you think I meant??”

I adore writing chick-lit. I love reading it and love watching chick-flicks; Bridget Jones up there to watch again, again and again. So to have Katie Button, my protagonist, compared to Bridget is one of the best compliments a chick-lit writer can have, I can have! Thrilled to bits. I love Bridget! I believe there’s a little bit of Bridget in all of us.

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‘Movie gold’ ?? Screenshot_2017-04-05-09-44-00-1

What a compliment. As to who I would love to see play Katie and her love interest(s), I’ll leave that for another blog but would love to hear your suggestions. I’d also love to read your reviews so if you’ve read (and enjoyed) my novels, please leave a few kind words. It means the world to us authors.

Thank you, lovely readers,

Love Lizzie xxx

Amazon for your ebook or paperback copy of Dreaming of A Happy Ever After 

Amazon for your ebook or paperback  copy of The Adventures of Katie Button

You can like my facebook author page here. xx

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re alone and have no one to share your news . . .

 

Reading the first word on the letter; ‘Congratulations,’ and immediately ignoring the rest as all the stresses and emotions of the past several weeks exploded into a mass of tears and whoops.  Yep, that was me last Friday as I sat in a quiet park in Croydon to read whether I had passed or failed the ridiculously hard (to me) Maths skills test.

It was a big moment. If you failed the third attempt, that was it for another 24 months!

Anyway, as you know, parks are public places. This one was no exception especially as it was lunchtime. All the office workers were enjoying the high temperatures and glorious sunshine as well as the quiet . . . until I opened my letter. I think I jumped up, squealing. I must have as I wasn’t sitting down anymore.  I know I was crying and laughing and not giving a thought to the many people enjoying the park and peace and quiet.

I did shatter it.

Big time.

Then, from behind me a voice called out, “Good news?”

I turned to see two lads grinning madly, phoned poised.

“Yes!” and then they asked what? So I told them, blurting out a thousand words a second.  It felt good to share this! I was bursting! Yes, they were complete strangers. Yes, one had his phone out, videoing. But I really didn’t care. It was a moment that had to be shared. And I was on my own so random strangers it was. They offered their hands in congratulations and I shook them vigorously. Human contact was soooooo good.

I then skipped away, clutching the crumpled letter.

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Things I learnt from this:

  1. Londoners are friendly and ready to celebrate with you.
  2. I love speaking with/to complete strangers.
  3. I hate maths.
  4. I think I might now be good at maths.
  5. I still hate maths.
  6. There’s a video out there somewhere of a crazy, mad woman sharing her success and relief at passing the maths test.
  7. And I would love to see it!!!
  8. Not only was I stressed but my friends, colleagues and hubby were also stressed – I just hadn’t noticed.
  9. It’s been a long couple of months.
  10.  Southern Rail are rubbish and multiplied my stress levels. If it wasn’t for friends and cake, I think I would have spontaneously combusted.

Now back to some quality reading in the sun, and catching up on my writing . . . which will include reading the 50k I’ve already written as I may have forgotten most of it due to having to fill my fluffy, scatty brain with maths.

Normal service will resume. xxx

Love Lizzie

 

 

 

 

 

Horror Bites Challenge #6

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Josh raked a frustrated hand through his hair, watching Felicity shovel in a handful of chocolates. “You lose the weight, feel good then stuff your face. Will anything stop you?”

     She rolled her eyes. It was worth going the whole week without, just to taste the delectable little spheres of chocolate as they melted in her mouth, titillating her tastebuds. Closing her eyes she leant back on the sofa and let out a small moan. Josh slammed the door behind him.

    The following week, sitting on the sofa with her bag of chocolates ready, Felicity studied the coffee table. There was something different.

  Josh stood against the doorframe, eyeing Felicity. “My treat as an apology.”

   “What are these?” She pointed to the transparent spheres nestled on top of darker ones.

    He shrugged. “Came with the jar. I thought if I buried your chocolate underneath, it would take you longer and you might not eat as much. I want to help you.”

   Touched by his thoughtfulness, Felicity’s heart swelled. With gentle fingers, she began scooping out the smooth, cool beads until a few of the darker ones showed. Shiny dark orbs enticed her, cool in her mouth, then tickling her tongue. She bit down, surprised by the crunch and burst of liquid. A bitter taste filled her mouth. She spat it out, once, twice, losing count as her fingers swiped frantically at her tongue. Staring wide eyed, the contents of her mouth scurried on the carpet. The untouched spheres burst and came to life, crawling up the side of the jar, spreading across the coffee table in a black wave. On invisible threads, they abseiled down, landing on the carpet, a thick, moving blanket towards Felicity. Her mouth crawled as did her insides, from her throat to her stomach. Tears streamed down her face, black, tears that crawled into her ears, her mouth, her hair.

   “I knew I’d find a way to stop you eating chocolate,” said Josh.

   It took longer than necessary for Josh to tell Felicity that the clear beads would rid her of the spiders.  

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Thanks to my buddy, Laura over at Getwordy, creator of #Horror Bites. Visit her blog for more tales of horror and creepiness, and catch up with her on Twitter.  

Under The Spotlight

Jane Bwye

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I know there is a slight greenish tinge on some of us, but at least it was colourful at the Eastbourne Book Festival on Saturday 19th November. Five Crooked Cats were given prime position at center stage. With me, were – from my left  – Lizzie Koch, Jeff Gardiner, Susan Lodge and Sarah Stevenson, and there was another feline colleague at stage left, (or is it right?) Marcia Wolf, manning her own table. If you follow the links, you’ll see that we are a healthy, eclectic group.

We delighted in getting to know, and learning from, each other. Lizzie, on my left, taught me a thing or two about selling. She never stops talking, she admits – except when she’s nervous – and successfully drew people in with her animated pitch, then passed the punters along the line. Jeff provided the colourful posters which we tacked…

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My First Book Festival

 

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With the Cats and our novels; LtoR- Jane, me, Jeff, Susan  (Sarah taking pic)

 

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a teeny bit nervous about attending the book festival with my novel. The fact that I sat in silence on the way to Eastbourne was enough to convince my Hubby; “I know you’re nervous as you’re not talking,” he said. This was true as my stomach was churning and I always have something to say. Talking is a skill of mine so the silence was unusual but I think a blessing to Hubby and his ears. I think the silence made it worse as I kept looking at the clock and worrying I would be late every time we stopped at traffic lights. It was a stressful journey.

But I wasn’t late and  I needn’t have worried about anything. Upon arrival, I met my fellow Cats and immediately felt myself relax as they were extremely friendly. We chatted like old friends and laughed lots especially under the lighting that gave  us a green tinge in photos (until a nice man sorted it).

But best of all, I met new readers for my book. I don’t mind admitting it was a buzz talking about and selling my book if a little nervous signing it in front of them. I loved chatting to them about Katie, writing and what’s next. Their enthusiasm was contagious. I hope when Christmas morning comes, people are thrilled with their gift.

I loved the experience but there’s plenty to improve on for next time.

Good ideas for the next Book Event

  • Business cards
  • Complement slips inside novel
  • Book stands
  • Leaflet/info about publisher. (A fair few asked about Crooked Cat and where to find those all important books)
  • Let people know I’m attending in advance of the actual day (sorry friends for not being so vocal about it but I was really nervous, I mean REALLY nervous)
  • Have a float for that all important change!!!!!
  • Believe in myself and my novel – I really thought no one would be interested hence the keeping it quiet
  • Have a steady hand when signing

Thank you to all those who stopped by and chatted with the Cats and purchased our novels.

If you’ve had experience at a book event, what’s your top tips for a successful event?

 

 

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For more information on the South East Crooked Cat gang of authors, click on links. x

Jeff Gardiner      Jane Bwye       Sarah Stephenson      Susan Lodge      me, Lizzie Koch  and Marcia Woolf who had her own table at the event.

 

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Love Lizzie x

 

Horror Bites

Written for Horror Bites over at Office Mango hosted by my friend and fantastic horror writer, Laura Jamez

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Walking down the high street, Jemma might as well have been invisible as people barged past her. If they could have they would have walked right through her, never lifting their heads as they chatted on mobiles. Couples didn’t even drop their hands, expecting Jemma to move because she was on own; a lesser human being because of this. To rub salt into her already smarting wounds, she saw, through a cafe window, friends all huddled around a table, laughing and chatting over their lunch. With her ex. She must have missed the invite for that, knowing full well there wasn’t one. Her insides knotted in betrayal.

She arrived at her uncle’s house, drenched in anger. It dripped from her like water from a tap, seeping into the wooden flooring. The walls loomed high around her as the room darkened and was suddenly cold.

“Keep your emotions in check,” her uncle Peter shouted from the basement. Jemma stomped down the wooden stairs doing no such thing. “The house is responding to your mood, Jem. Negative energy is building. You know what happens when negative energy builds.” All the time he spoke, he never looked up from his task, polishing a caliper with tiny circular movements. Satisfied, he placed it back in the display case, alongside other weird looking implements that Jemma thought wouldn’t look out of place in a demonic dentist’s lair or in a sadistic surgeon’s theatre. She imagined segments of skin being peeled carefully from the restrained, very lucid and alive body. Uncle Peter turned and faced Jemma, a frown etched deep across his forehead. “You want it to return don’t you?”

“He, not it. He doesn’t like to be called it. He has a name. He understands me. He doesn’t let me down. He notices me, cares what I feel and think.”

It feeds off your emotion, Jem. It does not care for you. You can’t control it once it builds his strength. Come back to me, Jem, come back to the now, think of a happy time, a happy place.” As he spoke the room grew dark as the glaring strip lighting flickered. “Come.” Uncle Peter placed a hand on the small of her back, leading her to the stairs. But the door above them slammed shut. Still the lights flickered, casting jumping shadows across the walls.

“He’s here.” Jemma stood firm, raising her head, stiffening her body in a show of strength and defiance. She refused to be afraid, clinging to her words of trust for the visitor.

“What’s it saying?” Jemma’s uncle seemed to shrink next to her as he clung to her, his eyes darting around the room that now was unfamiliar to him.

“He said he understands my desire, understands my needs. He says he’ll make it all better.”

“Jemma, please, stop th-” He flew across the room, hitting the wall where he crumpled.

Jemma didn’t run to his aid. “He says he won’t hurt you if you leave me alone. You must leave me alone, Uncle.”

“But Jemma. Your heart is good. Please stop the darkness before it consumes you.” Uncle Peter’s display case of polished tools rattled above his head sending vibrations through the wall into his body. He huddled, covering his ears from the deafening noise, then his head as his fears were realised. The case crashed down. Splintered shards of glass pierced his shirt then his skin, drilling deep into muscle, then bone. But it wasn’t enough to kill him. That was the display case, balancing precariously on his head, the corner buried deep in his skull as the contents spilled around him. A lone trickle of blood picked up momentum as it reached his forehead, running down his nose, his lips and dripping from his chin onto his shirt.

Jemma tilted her head as she studied Uncle Peter. “I thought there’d be more blood.”

“You want more?” His voice was clear now, not just in her head.

“You know what I want. Are you strong enough to leave the house and do it?”

“I am now, thanks to the sacrifice of your Uncle. I’ll miss him but we were never going to get along. He was too pure of heart. I think I’ll find a good use for his tools though.”

“Good. I want you to make them suffer, make them hurt like I hurt, make them swim in their own blood. Make the selfish bitches scream and beg for you to stop. Then go after him. He wants to have my friends, well he can join them.”

The black mass was now human form, sweeping across the room, picking up the calipers, jagged scissors and pliers. He then stood before Jemma. “I will never leave you. I will do as you ask.”

“That’s what I was hoping.” She watched as he disappeared through the wall, her heart completely black and now completely his.
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