Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope everyone had a good weekend (I went to a friend’s annual Superbowl Party, but I ended up just eating too much junk food and then watching Puppy Bowl with their kids. I do love Puppy Bowl!). I dug out from under last week’s storm, but they say snow is coming back tonight and I’m headed to Target and the wine shop to lay in supplies.

But being stuck in the house is not so very bad. It makes me stop procrastinating and get productive on the WIP and the website (which has updates finally! Including some Behind The Book history on The Shy Duchess!) I hit the halfway point on the Mary Queen of Scots WIP, and this is about the time the characters start to get out of control, going off on plot pathways I did not plan. It’s also about the time (in this story anyway) that things start to really heat up for the hero/heroine, and I realized I actually have a few rituals I do before writing a love scene. A few possibilities that usually work well:

–Drink a glass of wine and watch a Vampire Diaries episode
–Do a little imaginary shopping on the Agent Provocateur website (and then taking my real budget to Victoria’s Secret)
–Listen to some Miles Davis or the Marie Antoinette soundtrack (depending on the mood of the scene)

These usually work wonders. They’re also good for getting in the mood for V Day. As probably every romance writer (and every poor husband/boyfriend who forgot to order flowers early and is now scrambling) knows, next Monday is Valentine’s Day! Flowers, candy, diamonds, and restaurants that are way too crowded and have overpriced prix fixe menus. If you’d rather stay home, order in and watch a movie, there are tons of sites out there with “top romantic” movies lists. Here are just a few sites I found if you’re looking for suggestions:

All Women’s Talk (50 Most Romantic)
Celebrate Love (100 Most Romantic)
Cinema Blend (15 Romantic Movies Men Should Like)
The Holiday Spot (16 Romantic Movies for Valentine’s Day)

And here are a few movies I find to be romantic (or at least have romantic scenes!) and that I would be happy to watch anytime. (I just stuck with feature films here, not BBC-type costume dramas or we would be here until the Fourth of July…)

Room With a View
Moulin Rouge
Persuasion/Pride and Prejudice (for the Austen crowd!)
Shakespeare in Love
Bringing Up Baby
Breakfast at Tiffany’s/Roman Holiday
It Happened One Night
Last of the Mohicans
Say Anything (one of my favorite movies as a teenager–I never did find a Lloyd Dobler though…)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
–The tango scene in Mask of Zorro
–The Pere Lachais scene in Paris Je t’aime
Bright Star
Phantom of the Opera

But usually I end up watching Romeo and Juliet (the Zeffirelli version) around this time of year! The costumes, the music, the balcony scene–sigh…

What are your favorite romantic movies? What are you planning for Valentine’s Day? And what are some of your favorite fantasy shopping places??? (Or any love scene-writing tips, if you’d like to share, LOL)