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James DiBenedetto: Art Imitates Life Imitates Art
Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Long before I published my first book (way back in 2013), my wife turned me on to classic movies, and, specifically Turner Classic Movies. The channel is on in our home most every night.

Several of my novels reference classic films – in my first novel, DREAM STUDENT, on her first date with the man who will one day become her husband, our heroine goes to a screening of THE THIN MAN. In the first Jane Barnaby Adventure, FINDERS KEEPERS, there’s an extended joke where the punchline is from the classic GOODBYE MR. CHIPS.

But in my newest book, a romance novella that’s out today, in fact, the whole plot revolves around classic movies. In A REEL CHRISTMAS IN ROMANCE, our heroine, Marianne Carter, is the owner of the only movie theater in the town of Romance, Oregon. The theater is an old-time movie palace, built in the 1930’s, and, following instructions laid down by her grandfather, it doesn’t play any movie made after 1955 (because that’s the year James Dean first appeared on the silver screen, and in Grandpa Carter’s words, “That’s when the world started to go to hell.”)

Marianne is carrying on an email correspondence with a well-spoken man whose real name she doesn’t know, and a flirtation with a man she keeps bumping into on the street. Not much of a spoiler alert: those two men are one and the same! So she’s playing out the plot of THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, and poor Marianne doesn’t even know that she’s taken over the role of the heroine in one of her favorite movies…

Owner of the lone movie theater in Romance, Marianne Carter loves the old movies she shows on the big screen. She’s just struck up an email friendship with a newcomer to town. Unaware of his identity but feeling loyal to him, she fights her attraction to a handsome man she keeps bumping into around town.

Under a false identity, Jack Nelson comes to Romance to investigate the historic movie theater and decide if it should receive the status of a historical landmark. Little does he know the woman sending him charming emails is the same one who owns the theater.

While Marianne’s theater plays the old classic film The Shop Around the Corner, Marianne and Jack unknowingly play out the same story in real life. Will they figure it out in time to write their own happy ending?

Get your copy here!

It’s a fun, funny, breezy romance, and I hope you’ll enjoy it! And what’s really cool is that it’s only one book out of a collection of six Christmas in Romance novellas. You can find them all at:

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2 comments to “James DiBenedetto: Art Imitates Life Imitates Art”

  1. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · November 4th, 2018 at 7:46 am · Link

    Great post, James. With the exception of Christmas in Connecticut and The Shop Around the Corner I saw those classics on my old black and white TV as a kid in NYC watching the Million Dollar Movie on channel nine and channel two’s late show and late late show. I’m Love your graphic. How’d you make it? A Reel Christmas sounds great. Running over to Amazon now to get it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Delilah
    · November 17th, 2018 at 10:23 am · Link

    Love the blog. Thanks for being my guest! Loved the Many Moods of Marianne graphic! Very nice!

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