Alyssa Goodnight's 5 BEST EVERS

Book  Austensibly-Ordinary by Alyssa GoodnightOur guest today: Alyssa Goodnight Why we love her: We adore her Jane Austen AWESOMENESS.

Her latest: Austensibly Ordinary

The scoop: Cate Kendall is no stranger to daydreams of brooding men and fancy parties--after all, she teaches one of her beloved Jane Austen novels in her English classes every year. But as for romance or adventure in her own life, the highlight of most weeks is Scrabble with her cute coworker, Ethan, and he draws the line at witty banter. But Cate is ready for a change. When she finds a mysterious journal that seems to have a link to the soul of the great Jane Austen herself, she knows it's her chance. And she grabs on with both hands...

Before she knows it, Cate has invented an alter ego with an attitude, attended some seriously chic soirees, and gotten tangled up with a delicious mystery man. And she's uncovered enough unexpected secrets about Ethan that her Scrabble partner has taken to brooding looks and unfathomable silences. It's a positively Austenite predicament, and Cate is sure she'll land in hot water and heartbreak--but maybe not with Jane herself to guide her...

Our thoughts: Crawl under the covers and dive into this one-you'll love it!

Giveaway: FIVE copies!  Leave a comment here and you'll be entered.  We'll choose the winners after Sunday January 27th at 3pm PST.

Fun Fact: Check out her best life moment below--but WARNING!  It may make you hate on what your hubs did (or didn't do!) for your birthday last year.

Where to read more about Alyssa: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.


AlyssaGoodnight_cropBEST SONG:  "Right Back Where We Started From" by Maxine Nightingale  This song never fails to put me in a good mood, and I admit to breaking out in a little impromptu boogie every time I hear it.  (The name Maxine Nightingale gives me a little burst of happiness too.)

BEST BOOK: Before last summer, I think I would have said This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart, which is a classic romantic suspense from the 60's and my favorite comfort read.  But this summer, I read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and was blown away.  This book is historical and important and intense and heart-wrenching.  My heart was in my throat through at least half of it.  I've never read anything quite like it, and I have every expectation that memories of it will stay with me for a long time to come.

BEST MOVIE: This one is really tough for me, because there are movies that I will watch over and over and over again, but faced with this question, I'm not convinced that I'd really consider them 'Best Movie' material.  I mean, that's a serious accolade.  I think that if pressed, I would have to say The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Yes, I know it was three movies, but it's one story!  They broke it into three movies as a concession to the limitations of the human bladder.  I'm typically not a big fantasy fan, but there is just something magnificent about that story: the quest, the heroism, the battles, the humor...  It is simply epic.  (It has its share of hotties too.)

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE:  "Don't forget to be awesome!"  I first saw this as a poster/piece of artwork on Pinterest and immediately pinned it, thinking, that about sums it up, doesn't it.  Since then, I've seen it in various other incarnations and decided that it sums up all the other bits of advice quite nicely.  The big thing to remember while you're busy being awesome: It doesn't matter that no one else may be convinced of your awesomeness.  They'll figure it out eventually.  I love this sentiment so much that I recently created a framed reminder for myself to sit on my office desk.  I've (only somewhat jokingly) suggested that my two boys tap the frame everyday from now on.

BEST LIFE MOMENT: The moment it became clear that that my husband had pulled off my crazy 40th birthday wish.  I'd wished for a flash mob--not one I was dancing in, mind you, just one to watch.  And I got one!  I walked into our local Main Event, thinking I was going to play a round or two of birthday laser tag (which I LOVE) with a couple of friends, and instead a really impressive group of friends was lurking, in jeans and black t-shirts, waiting for me to arrive.

Getting over the initial shock, I was pressed into a front-row seat as Thriller was pumped out of the intercom system and everyone slid into rows.  It was an impressive, unbelievable thrill to watch as my friends hunched and twitched to that cult favorite.  And the surprises just kept coming!  As the songs changed and dancers switched in and out, my sons, along with clips from Muppets grumps Statler and Waldorf, commentated, and snapshot photos of my life were displayed on screen.  It was AMAZING.  They even managed to include me for a couple of dances, including, crazily enough, All the Single Ladies.  It was epic, and I will never forget it.  My husband never fails to impress.

Thanks Alyssa!  xoxo, L&L