Sunday, June 04, 2017

Film Review by Pamela Jaye Smith

Thanks to Pamela Jaye Smith, author of ROMANTIC COMEDIES: These Films Can Save Your Love Life, for the following review of the short film Cake: A Love Story.   

Want to watch a dramatic yet heart-warming romance? In Cake: A Love Story, Harry and Elizabeth are tentatively reuniting twenty years after their divorce after a twenty year marriage. The passing of years has brought their young idealism back to the fore -- and those early fires of attraction? They’re still there! It’s advance, retreat… advance, retreat… until both dare to cross the chasm of years on the bridge of forgiveness. Elizabeth and Harry renew their promises with new-found wisdom and the joyful realization that romantic miracles can happen at any age.

Ah…the one that got away. Most of us have regrets about the romantic past and desires for a do-over in love. When Elizabeth and Harry meet up again, we watch them go through those awkward first moments when dancing around the old feelings, testing the waters to see if they’re still even warm, and the glorious discovery that the fires – no matter how many years have gone by – are still hot. Given the past heartache, will both of them dare to try again? Cake: A Love Story is an encouraging film and an inspiration to those who still yearn after many years for that special Love that got away.

This short romantic film embodies the criteria for classic love stories in its Idealism -- former spouses still holding the youthful images of each other from the Summer of Love; Joy -- realizing that even a simple touch re-opens the gates of fond memories; Integrity -- treating each other with respect regardless of the differences behind their divorce twenty years ago; and Passion -- without that, it’s just friendship. With Passion, it is the cosmos in a kiss. So should you get together with your Ex? Cake: A Love Story shows how well that can work.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

From Page to Screen

It Had To Be Us, a romantic memoir by Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence, has been adapted for the screen in a short film titled CAKE: A Love Story. A private screening for cast and crew was held on May 21 at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. Filmmaker Misha Zubarev hosted the event. Zubarev wrote, produced and directed the film with V. Ulea as co-writer and co-director, and Vad Chariton composed the musical score based on Zubarev’s original song “Remember the Day.” This Ariella Media production is currently being submitted to national and international film festivals. 
Although the film deviates from the book, it pays tribute to the spirit of the original source. Richard Vernon and Debra Lord Cooke portray Harry and Elizabeth, who were married for twenty-four years before their divorce. Nancy Lombardo and George Bettinger play Elizabeth’s friends. 

In his review of this movie, film critic Richard Jack Smith writes, “As a hopeless romantic, I instantly warmed to the connection made by Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. Their stunning memoir It Had To Be Us took chances that traditional love stories don’t. For one, the characters come across as idiosyncratic and well developed. Also, there’s Misha Zubarev’s filmmaking sensibility in translating this narrative to the big screen.  A collaboration with V. Ulea on script and direction, Cake: A Love Story reveals hope at the end of a long breakup.”

According to film critic Nell Minow, the Movie Mom®, “This endearing love story proves that love is lovelier the second time around, especially if it is with the same person you loved the first time.”
Priscilla Leona, radio host of Question Reality, calls Cake: A Love Story “a charming, light-hearted, easy-going romantic comedy that delivers lots of smiles, a few good chuckles and ton of tears, for me, at the end.

 It Had To Be Us won First Place in the E-book category at the Hollywood Book Festival, where awards were given to books with the most potential to be transferred to other media such as film and television. The memoir also received a Five-Star rating from Romantic Times Magazine. The Lawrences donate their authors’ royalties to THE IMAGINATION LIBRARY, a children’s literacy project sponsored by the Dollywood Foundation.  


(Originally published by SANDS Publishing)
Extended Kindle E-Book published by Long Story Short Publishing Company, Inc.

Available at Amazon’s Kindle Store for $5.99

Press Contacts: 
Denise Cassino (

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Dare-Devil Artist

Burden shows an artist so rare.
His art at first caused quite a scare.
Dangerous things just spurred him on.
Like being shot. That’s not a con.

“Art Evil Knievel,” it’s said.
Was that thought really in his head?
But performance art called to him.
It truly was not just a whim.

Later, beauty his work enhanced.
Installations by him entranced.
Provoking some, his work will last
despite his quite jaw-dropping past.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cake: A Love Story Official Poster

Thanks so much to filmmaker Misha Zubarev for sending me a photo of the official poster for Cake: A Love Story, an upcoming short movie based on It Had To Be Us, the romantic memoir my husband and I wrote under the pen names of Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence. Thanks also to film critic Richard Jack Smith for this comment about the poster: 

"Beautifully composed. Made me wonder what Harry and Elizabeth could be thinking."  

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Going to the Movies: A Slapstick Comedy

Once upon a time last Thursday morning, an elderly couple named Betty Jo and Larry decided to see a movie at their closest multiplex. This was surprising since they hadn’t been to a big-screen theater for many months. They stopped at the concession stand, bought a large tub of popcorn, and received two courtesy cups of water. So far so good.

Then after entering the darkened theater, they found it difficult to walk up the ramp to the screen area, but they managed to make it to the end of the incline.  Hooray!

Next, they turned and saw foreboding stairs they would have to conquer to get to the seats they wanted. Bravely, Larry said, “You stay here at the bottom and I’ll take the water up to our seats and then come down and get you and the popcorn.”

Betty Jo agreed and watched Larry slowly accomplish that mission. Happily, he returned to her and took the popcorn, saying “Now you follow me – but be sure to use the hand-rail.”
She followed his instructions – all the time watching Larry to make sure he was okay. As she turned into the row where he had picked out the seats, she saw Larry sit down – and couldn’t believe the popcorn began to fall all over his head and chest! She hurried to him and salvaged as much of the precious popcorn as she could.

They both settled down to enjoy their treat and wait calmly for the movie to begin. A few minutes later, they heard a CLINKING sound. “What was that?” Betty Jo asked Larry. “Nothing – just my car keys,” he grumbled.

So for the next 10 to 15 minutes, they were on their knees trying to find those darn keys (remember, it was a darkened theater.) Finally the keys appeared and made their way back into Larry’s pocket.

All this happened before the movie even started! Larry said, “With our luck today, it will probably be a dud.”

Thankfully, the film was one of the most entertaining ones they had seen in a long time. It was Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.

I love a happy ending, don’t you?

(Dedicated to Donna Ware, my wonderful sister-in-law, who needs some cheering up right now.) 

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Saturday, April 08, 2017

What Is a Poem?

In honor of April, the Poetry Month, below is my little poem about poetry.

Rhythm and rhyme,
words keeping time
out of their cage
onto the page,
buzzing like bees
in lines like these.

Finding spaces,
scents and places,
longings and fears,
laughter and tears,
a poem must say,
“I live today!”

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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Cake: A Love Story Update

My husband and I are very excited the short film Cake: A Love Story, based on our romantic memoir It Had To Be Us, is almost completed. Co-director/writer (with V. Ulea) Misha Zubarev is finishing up with postproduction now and should have a rough cut for us to view soon. 

He has also posted about the film on the Ariella Media site. This is so exciting! Take a look at Debra Lord Cooke and Richard Vernon as Elizabeth and Harry (we wrote the memoir under the pen names of Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence) by clicking on the link below. 

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