Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Little Book That Could by Betty Jo Tucker (guest blogger)

Thanks to Linda Barnett-Johnson for the opportunity to blog about IT HAD TO BE US, the award-winning romantic memoir my husband and I co-wrote under the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. Romantic miracles do happen in real life! 

After being divorced and estranged from each other for nearly two decades, we accidentally met again and began a journey to rediscover our lost love. In IT HAD TO BE US, we use a “Harry Remembers/Elizabeth Remembers” format to share our feelings about the poignant -- and often humorous -- events that brought us back together.

Much to our surprise, this memoir received rave reviews and is now in the early stage of film adaptation. It also won first place in the E-book category at the 2006 Hollywood Book Festival and a coveted Psyche Award nomination from The Romance Studio the following year.   

Entertainment journalist and publisher Diana Saenger calls IT HAD TO BE US “the little book that could.” I think she’s referring to the way this short romantic memoir keeps getting a new life. Diana’s company (SANDS) first published IT HAD TO BE US as a paperback in 2001, then Laura Mills-Alcott of The Romance Club turned it into an award-winning E-book. And later  Denise Cassino’s Long Story Short Publishing company released the expanded KINDLE version, which includes the recipes already mentioned, a new honeymoon revelation (with Elizabeth ending up on the roof of a famous hotel!), and a section devoted to some of our favorite romantic movies.  

Nancy Lombardo, host of Comedy Concepts on BlogTalkRadio, calls our story “A Recipe for Love” in her enthusiastic review of the E-book. She also says the book is “a wonderfully touching homage to love -- sweet, honest and filled with hope.”
Because I don’t like to eat anything that once had a face, I added some yummy vegetarian recipes to our book, and that’s probably why Nancy used “Recipe” in her review title. As a movie addict, I gave most of the recipes film-related monikers, such as “Oscar-Worthy Nachos,” “4-Star Vegetarian Chili,” “Technicolor Rice Surprise,” “Thumbs-Up Spaghetti,” “Frida’s Bean Burritos,” and “Miracle Dessert.” However, my hubby is still a carnivore, so he fries up a bit of hamburger and mixes it into his own servings of “4-Star Chili” and “Thumbs-Up Spaghetti” -- which proves that vegetarians and carnivores can live together in harmony, at least at our house.

About those romantic films, I know many are highly predictable and not very entertaining, but my hubby and I still have a lot of favorites. In IT HAD TO BE US, we’ve included reviews of several excellent ones, such as Love Actually, Serendipity, Down with Love, Pride & Prejudice, Two Weeks Notice, Beyond Borders, The Fountain, Music and Lyrics, and Kate & Leopold. We really enjoy watching movies like these together. It was fun compiling our list of favorites, even though we frequently disagreed while making the selections.  

IT HAD TO BE US is available for $5.99 at the Amazon KINDLE store, and we happily donate our author royalties to the IMAGINATION LIBRARY, a children’s  literacy program sponsored by the Dollywood Foundation.
LINK to the Sizzle Reel by Misha Zubarev:

LINK to more information about IT HAD TO BE US:


Betty Jo Tucker serves as editor/lead film critic for ReelTalk Movie Reviews. She also writes film commentary for the Colorado Senior Beacon and is the award-winning author of Confessions of a Movie Addict and Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick. She hosts a radio show, “Movie Addict Headquarters,” on BlogTalkRadio. Betty Jo helped found the San Diego Film Critics Society and is a member of the Online Film Critics Society.  More information can be found at her website by clicking on

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