Monday

Chemistry

I write romance. I read romance.* From both points, it’s all about that undeniable chemistry between the two main characters.

There are arguments spread out across the board on novels:
It’s about the plot!
It’s about the prose!
It’s about the characters!

Thing is, it’s all of those rolled into one. Each of the above needs to be present, whether or not one element stands above the others, and each of them stems from one thing:
The writing.

The character chemistry is no different. And it isn’t always about meeting the hottest guy/girl in the entire town. Nor does it have to be about a literal jolt of sparks, or amazing monkey sex.  But it has to be something. 

Chemistry also has to be shown quickly. It can be something small that sets it off, like a shared interest in music or hobbies that gets them talking and ignites it. Or it can be that literal jolt from touching. But if something doesn’t gel, from early on, the reader won’t feel much of a spark when, all of the sudden, out of nowhere, two people are in lust then, ultimately, love. 

There are tried and true tropes: hate to love, where the initial chemistry is shown through aggression of some sort before boiling over to desire; friends to lovers, where long-term friends already have a camaraderie that builds through a slow burn; long-lost lover, where old flames reconnect with an immediate reigniting of the old spark… and so on.

My favorite thing, which isn’t necessarily a trope—but can be, is a meet cute. I am a sucker for a, um, cute meet-cute. Do you have a favorite romance trope?

*I read lots of genres, but not in the vast quantities I consume the lurve stories. 



LAST CALL (Tara Watson)

meet-cute

[My ex-husband hung up and I lifted the phone to text my older kiddo.]
Scott was probably out with his girlfriend by this time on a Friday night. If I called, he’d be sure to give a lecture that would put his father to shame. Another future lawyer: just what our family—and the world—needed. I tapped Tyler’s name instead. At the same time, the sticky mat under my feet vanished. Both of my heels slid over the slick tile, my left not stopping. I twisted my right ankle, tumbling backward and flailing out to grab hold of some anchor.
I sunk fingernails into something soft and warm.
“Crap.” The word huffed out as my back hit the ground and I lost half my breath. A weight crushed my chest and claimed the rest of the air from my lungs. My head hit the rubber floor mat and bounced. Smack into a very hard part of the thing that had landed on top of me.
My hand flew to cover my stinging nose and I squeezed down the tears that leapt into my eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” said a deep male voice from above.

Titles

They are hard, y'all.

I love simple, with a splash of double entendre. Knowing what I love, however, does not make it easier to conjure. A working title always jumps out at me from the get-go, but once the story is finished it doesn't necessarily still match well. Then again, there are always those times when a working title that sounded kitschy or cliche ends up being a great fit for the end product.

My next release has had about four different names. The one I liked best was also the title, when googled, of about 900,000 other romance novels. (I may be exaggerating slightly.) Not good for SEO, and a total bummer because it fit so, so well into my preferred simple-with-double-meaning category.

Anyone have any fun methods they use to come up with a title?


Sex, Publishing, and Contests

I’ve been away from the blog for a long time. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. There have been multiple stories floating around Word, which are now in various stages of completion, a couple even finished. Okay, as finished as it gets for an author, considering every time I open an MS it gets fiddled with. There is always a stronger verb, or a funnier one-liner, or tension to be added, or words to be slashed, or a way to make that kiss steamier, or… (If there is a help line for this affliction I’d love the number. <cough>)


Meanwhile, a friend shared a blog that's hosting a sex-scene contest and has encouraged me to join. I thought it might be a good way to wade back in. Then I figured, heck, why not plunge head first, right? So I will be entering a scene from the next in line for publishing. Then I will publish that story. I’m excited. And nervous. But it will be fun. 

The contest is being hosted by Scorching Book Reviews and there's plenty of room to wade, dive, plunge, whatever you're preferred method. I'd love to see my fellow writers join. And lots of sexy snips to read is never a bad thing. 

Tuesday

Gone To The Dogs

My house that is. Well maybe I should say animals. After all, we do have 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 sugar gliders, and 8 chickens. Thankfully the chickens are not among the other hordes who dwell inside. And while all our animals have... interesting personalities (to say the least) it's the dogs' that shine through most often.

Said pooches sleep in the laundry room overnight, which--with 3 large food bins, a washer, dryer, & freezer--has enough space for their beds and not much else. This is mostly because they have to have 4 beds for the three of them--to prevent fights (most of the time). Somewhere down the line, they've also acquired a pillow in the mix. And none of the humans in the house care to have it back.

Last night (okay, when this posts it won't have been), we put them to bed and headed upstairs. There was some grumbling among the natives. Girl-Child told them what-for then there was silence. Five minutes later a turf war erupted. These wars, between a chihuahua who rules the house with an alpha fist, a chiweenie, who thinks he's a rottweiler and bosses the cats & largest dog around like our own resident Tough Guy, and the largest dog, a very tiny pit bull mix who thinks she's a chihuahua, sound like the turf is going to implode, or someone is going to be eaten whole. We hadn't forgotten to give them their extra bed so I was baffled at the cause. We all shrugged it off in their quiet and adjourned to our rooms.

Round three came shortly after and I put on my Mean Mom Pants and stomped down the stairs. There was silence. I was pretty sure they were curled in balls, shaking in their fur boots at the thought I was on my way.

Thing is, the pibble has adopted the pillow. And the pillow had been somehow shoved halfway under the alpha-chi's bed (probably as I climbed over/stepped on dog beds while attempting laundry--I really have some nerve invading their space that way, I know). For reasons I will never know, this situation did not deter pibble--who is terrified of alpha-chi--from curling up onto her beloved pillow. Nor did it hinder alpha chi from climbing into her bed, now halfway on top of pibble. I can only assume that every time one of them moved to get comfy, the other took offense and started the low growl that always leads to the other trying to out-growl them, that leads to full-on growls of "who can growl the meanest," at which point, our very "special" chiwee likes to jump in the competition, and that usually causes pibble to begin her high-pitched shrieks of half bark, half cry as if she's whining about being ganged up on.

I swung open the door--well as much as one can swing a door that is already butted against a large fluffy dog bed--and stomped a foot for emphasis to my loud, "What is going on in here?!" The answer was unanimous. Three sets of sweet little dog eyes peering up at me from their sleeping positions as if to ask whatever did I mean by that.

I pulled beloved pillow so it was no longer even touching alpha chi's bed, shook a finger at them and shut the door. Not another peep was heard all night.

I'm going to pretend it was the horror of rousing Mean Mom from her warm bed that silenced them, and not the fact they got one of their humans to come downstairs at midnight and arrange their sleeping quarters to their comfort.


One day we we will finally convince pibble she's not a chihuahua. Maybe. 










Monday

While I Was Away

This happened. That's right, my second book, GOING BACK, was published. Although, this one was written first, by over a year. I figured before it had been published for over a year I should let folks know it's out there. Alive and available.




Blurb:

After the meltdown of her marriage, Jessica Pierce is ready to get on with her new life. She moves to Pax Island, where she spent carefree childhood summers, in hopes of creating some waves in her flat existence. Kissing a mysterious stranger before speaking to him adds a nice ripple. Falling into bed with the guy before knowing his name is closer to a tsunami. 
There’s something so familiar about the man, even after she learns his unfamiliar name. He makes her comfortable in her own skin. He makes her laugh. He makes her feel. 
But these new feelings rouse old nightmares. And the nightmares reveal memories of a boy with Teegan’s face and a different name, in a past Jessica wishes she hadn’t buried so deep.