Are you the kind of person to turn lemons into […]
I think it’s important to understand that although I write fiction, there is power in words. How we show our main characters, how we portray the way they handle conflict, the way they step up or slide away from problems in their world is important. To not just show true characterization but also offer a way forward in real life situations.
It’s important to give the characters values that leave a positive impact on the reader and their view of the world around them. It’s a tough world out there right now. And most readers dive into books in order to escape their troubles. They don’t want to be hit over the head with someone else’s moral or ethical compass but they need to see the character’s potential. And see her struggle. See her climb up and over what nightmare has happened in her world. So that they can see their own world might get better one day too.
Step one: Eat your body weight in brownies.
Step two: Throw yourself into your dreams of becoming a famous writer.
Step three: Beg your (hottie) ex-neighbor to act as your fake boyfriend.
Step four: Skip step three unless you’re ready for some serious fallout.
After being dumped and humiliated over the summer, Cat Turner does what any sane girl would do. She asks bad boy Alex Locke to be her fake boyfriend and show the world (and her editor at the school newspaper) that she’s fine. Problem is, the more time she spends with Alex, the more she risks getting her heart broken. For real this time.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a swoony bad boy who will melt your heart, brownies, and witty banter. One, two, or all three might prove addictive…
What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?
Sense & Sensibility
The following excerpt is from The Birthday Gift by Abigail Barnette.
My husband—and, as of two minutes ago, the birthday boy—Neil, blinked up at me in the dim light of the bedside lamp.
“What’s wrong?” He rose on one elbow and reached toward his nightstand, groping around for his glasses.
Each couple I worked with had a unique love story. Whether they met online or at the corner coffee shop, or if it was a first marriage or a third, their tales were romantic and inspiring. Some had crossed oceans and continents to be with their special someone, overcome deep family feuds, and blended cultural differences into a beautiful and bold exchange of vows. Each had been brave enough to take a chance at happily ever after.
My favorite love story though is my parents who have been married for over thirty-five years and still every morning my dad tells my mom she’s beautiful in some variation (my favorite is ‘you look wild’). My mother, a teacher, would walk through town on her way home and my father, a firefighter, would run outside to water the flowers so he could say hello to her. This continued on for months until they finally went on their first date.
Early on in their courtship, my dad agreed to go skiing with my mother. He’d never put on a pair of skis in his life, let alone go down a mountain in them. The date ended with my father whizzing right through the fence at the bottom of the trial (needless to say, my mom caught on that his skiing skills were slightly horrifying). Isn’t it crazy the things we’ll do in those early stages of a relationship?
I lived in a city but I always dreamed of living by the water. Being a Cancerian, water is my element and as I wrote my stories, water always inspired my creativity. I loved that scene in Grease where Sandy and Danny got together at the beach, just like From Here to Eternity. So I read sweet romances, dreamed of holidays by the ocean… and watched those boys.
On to university and sitting in lectures, my head was still full of sweet romance stories and not the heavy going stuff I was studying in English literature. I studied the period called the Romantic era which was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement. Was it this study that instilled a love of romance in me… to appear later in life in my published category romances…or was it the reading of my mother’s romance novels throughout my teenage years that inspired my desire to write of sweet romance?
Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading the classics and more literary works and I did write a brilliant thesis on stream of consciousness. But when I wasn’t studying I would read any sweet romance I could get my hands on.
What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare in Love
(Scary how fast I typed those out)
Describe your favorite scene from each one:
Oooh!!! Titanic: I think it’s when Jack pulls Rose’s dress sleeve into the secret room and confesses how much he loves her.
R+J: kissing under the water in the pool. Come on!
Shakespeare in Love: when he’s so in love and inspired he can’t write fast enough
While You Were Sleeping – A sweet-natured romantic comedy with a subtle tenderness, this film features Sandra Bullock as Lucy, a lonely woman who is drawn to an ultra-hot nice guy played by Bill Pullman. There’s only one problem—his family thinks she’s his brother’s fiancée. Set during the Christmas season, I adore seeing Lucy and Jack weave their way toward a heartwarming happily-ever-after.
Love, Actually – I must confess, I cannot get through this movie without shedding a tear. The interconnected stories feature such diverse characters as a bachelor-in-love prime minister portrayed by Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson as a grieving widower with a young son, and Colin Firth as a swoon-worthy writer touch my heart with a blend of hope and love.
The Holiday – In this sweet-natured romantic comedy, an Englishwoman and an American swap houses for the holiday season, discovering unexpected love in the process. This film is both tender and funny, and the leads (Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and a dreamy Jude Law) bring great likeability to their characters in a light-hearted love story.
Scrooged – I adore this movie. Bill Murray brings a snarky sensibility to Frank Cross, a television executive who has the Scrooge-experience through a series of ghostly encounters, including one with a fairy-like apparition who likes “the rough stuff”. Through these encounters, he reconnects with the love of his life, and he learns that love is what is important as he makes his way to his own happily-ever-after.
Elf – The most whimsical film on this list, this movie is more comedy than romance, but the romantic elements and message of hope are a vital part of the film’s charm. Will Ferrell’s football-player-sized Buddy the Elf is hilariously naïve, but his tender heart and genuine caring for others leads him to love with a department store co-worker played by Zooey Deschanel and to form a heartwarming bond with the father he never knew as a boy. It’s a feel-good movie that never fails to make me smile.
What are some of your favorite holiday movies that have a touch of romance?
Thank you to EverAfter for hosting me today. Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season.
About Lady Evelyn’s Highland Protector:
A Highlander’s vow…Scottish spy Gerard MacMasters never expected to be playing bodyguard in his mission to catch a killer. Stunning English beauty, Lady Evelyn Hunt, has witnessed a merciless assassin’s escape—now, she’s in danger, and it’s up to him to keep her alive. Yet, he is drawn to the tempting woman. Passion flares, but he knows better than to fall for her. He’s already lost one woman he loved—never again will he put his heart on the line.
She shields her heart…After a crushing betrayal at the altar, Lady Evelyn wants nothing to do with love. Kissing a gorgeous rogue is one thing, but surrendering her heart is another matter. When she stumbles upon a mysterious crime, nothing prepares her for the dashing Scot who charges into her life. The hot-blooded Highlander may be her hero—or her undoing.
About the Author:
Award-winning author Tara Kingston writes historical romance laced with romantic suspense and adventures of the heart. She lives her own happily-ever-after in a cozy Victorian with her real-life hero and a pair of deceptively innocent-looking cats. When she’s not writing, reading, or burning dinner, Tara enjoys movie nights, cycling, hiking, DIY projects, and cheering on her favorite football team.
You can connect with Tara on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at her webpage, www.tarakingston.com. If you’d like updates on new releases, historical romance, and contests, please sign-up for Tara’s newsletter.
I read my first romance book in middle school. I checked Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret out from the library no less than a dozen times in sixth grade. I was enthralled and scandalized by the kissing in the closet scene! Then, my mother gave me another book by Judy Blume. Forever.
My mother, ever the teacher, handed it to me the summer before tenth grade with the words, “We’ll talk about it when you’re finished.” I read it in one day. For those of you who haven’t read the book, it’s a great story about a teenage girl’s first time. After I finished the book, my mother asked, “What did you learn?” I said, “I learned that if you really love someone, it’s okay to have sex.” My mother said, “No, you learned you should wait until after marriage.” The fight that day was epic and in the end, my mother didn’t try to instruct me with books after that. Now, as adults, we still laugh whenever that story is told!
Of course, when I look back, I realize both my parents were instrumental in guiding my future career as a romance writer. My father was a HUGE fan of romance books (and shhh…even the erotic ones). I stealthily lifted his copies of Jackie Collins’ Lucky Santangelo books all the time. He caught me reading one once and after the initial shock wore off, he simply said, “Don’t let your mother catch you with that.”
I read for pleasure…I read to escape…I read to imagine. And at the end of the story, I always wanted to know that the couple was together. No matter what they had to face, they would be together. When I began writing romances, it’s no surprise that, while each book is unique, they all end the same way…Happily Ever After!
Now I have readers who contact me to tell me that they enjoy my stories and love the way they end!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
With the threat of terrorists developing means of biological warfare, retired Navy SEAL, Logan (Preacher) Bishop jumped at the chance to run a mission in Alaska, monitoring the activities of a newly established ISIS cell.
Assigned to work with an agent on a cell in Alaska, biologist Vivian Sanders was stunned to find she was being paired with a security specialist and he knew nothing about their cover—living next door to the terrorists and pretending to be married.
Learning to work together, Logan and Viv discover opposites do attract. But the secret Logan carries is one he is afraid she won’t be able to accept. When the chemicals created by the terrorists next door are threatened to be tested on a small town in Alaska, they fight to save their lives…and hope their love survives the battle as well.
ABOUT MARYANN JORDAN:
As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap! I love to hear from readers, so please email me!
Without Griffin—and apparently a few meddling Gods—to push me along, I’d still be telling fortunes at the circus, lying about my past, ignoring my future, and living as far away from my tyrant mother as humanly possible.
True understanding thuds into place. Hope isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s me. Flesh and blood me. Griffin knew it all along. Probably everyone did. I’m an idea in human form._
I have the power of the Gods at my fingertips.
The only thing ever stopping me has been me.
The riveting conclusion to The Kingmaker Chronicles, HEART ON FIRE, releases January 2018! Check out our exclusive excerpt below!
Griffin’s hand tightens on my arm.
I roll my eyes. “I’m not going to fall in, you know. The cliff is all the way over there.”
He loosens his hold. Sort of.
I glance up at him, trying to tame my sudden smile. Domineering and overprotective doesn’t even begin to describe my husband. There’s also deliciously jealous, but that’s another subject all together. The black stubble framing his mouth makes his full lips look impossibly kissable. It’s been hours since they were last on mine. And I love to kiss the hawkish curve of his nose. So strong and masculine. I adore that nose. And the rest of him. His powerful body. Muscle. Sinew. Bone.
I gaze up at him, nearly sighing. “I love you.”