1-When I was in college majoring in English, one of my roommates used to skip doing her homework in favor of devouring endless Harlequin Romances. I used to tease her, telling her they were like cotton candy for her mind, and she'd never learn anything useful from them. She asked me if I knew what the word magnanimous meant. I knew it had something to do with big, but she gave me a definition and said she learned it from the most recent Harlequin she'd read. Enough said. I stopped teasing her and she kept on reading, but was magnanimous about not reminding me that I was a literary snob.
2-The very first romance novel I ever read was The Sheik, by E.M.Hull, a tattered, dog-eared copy published in the 30s, that had been passed around by Mom and my aunts, and is part of what I kept when Mom passed on. Not much actual sex, but has the immortal line spoken by The Sheik when the woman asks him what he intends to do to her. He laughs at her innocence and replies, "Mon dieu! Are you not woman enough to know?" That was the hottest thing I'd ever read when I was 12!
3-One of husband's favorite authors is the humorist Christopher Moore who crafts zany tales starring men that refer to themselves as beta males. That's when I realized I'd married one, and I write romances starring them.
4-One more: recently one son has been leading me through his collection of Kurt Vonnegut novels, and I love the line from Cat's Cradle, "No cat, no cradle." He uses it to talk about when people are bullshitting you and you know they are because you're just like a kid who thinks an adult is nuts when they tell him they're showing him how to use string to make a cat's cradle (remember those string tricks? Or am I showing my age?)...anyway the kid could plainly see there was no cat and no cradle. Politicians do this all of the time, pointing to things they've accomplished, while we can plainly see they've done nothing to justify their huge salaries from our taxes.
How about you? Any favorite phrases you've picked up from books?