Her Real Man
I’ve written about book signings before, mostly about how depressing these events can be for a writer who nobody really knows, especially one who writes romance–the most popular and yet, also most snubbed genre in literature.
I spent this weekend in a signing, except this time it was one exclusively for romance writers. What a difference that made. The fact that I’m not well-known didn’t change, but the attitude of the general public was definitely different.
How refreshing to be addressed and asked questions about your books instead of avoided or ignored. I don’t pretend to write high-brow literature and do not aspire at winning a Pulitzer prize, but I’m a good writer who writes fun and somewhat insightful stories that both entertain and excite the reader’s emotions. Very few people have read my books (a fact painfully evidenced by depressingly low royalties) and I don’t expect a horde of fans to descend upon my table at such events like a crowd of shoppers at a Best Buy on Black Friday. But I love being asked about my stories (the introvert in me won’t volunteer the information), having smart conversations about books (even about other people’s books), and generally just being acknowledged as alive and breathing.
Kudos go out to romance readers. They are amazingly welcoming and easy to talk to. They are also so enthusiastic about meeting authors, they make you feel like celebrities. I’ve been to quite a few events mostly attended by people who–by their own admission–only read “good” literature, or nonfiction, or–my favorite–anything but romance. Generally speaking, those crowds make you feel as if writing romance is some heinous crime for which you must feel terribly ashamed. They also lump all romance novels into one giant bundle of 50 Shades of Grey type stories when in fact the romance genre is widely diverse, both in styles, sub-genres, and quality.
At one point I was embarrassed to admit I wrote romance, but no longer. I’ve “come out” of that closet and I now proudly stand as a romance writer. If you’ve never attempted at reading a romance, you should give it a try. It is not everybody’s cup of tea, I understand, but with the overwhelming number of authors and books out there, there is a very good chance you may find a new favorite.
Yesterday, Blind Magic was released into the world of readers. I’m seriously pumped about it since Marcy, the main character, is one of my favorite characters ever. She was a favorite sidekick in Loved You Always and it still is now that she has her own romance.
I’ve written a couple blogs about this quirky witch and her winsome personality, but I’ve kept pretty much quiet about her male counterpart and love interest. There is a reason for that. I don’t know how to talk about Oliver without revealing some things about him that I would prefer to keep a secret, so I can surprise my readers.
But I decided to risk it and write this blog about wonderful, swoon-worthy Oliver. After you meet him you will totally understand why Marcy, an independent, free-thinking woman, falls in love hard for this guy.
Oliver is one of the cops who was shot in Loved You Always while on protection detail for Marcy’s friends, Emily Rose and Jem. Oliver seeks Marcy’s help with a vexing problem at her witchcraft store and the relationship hits the ground running.
Oliver was both a hard and easy character to write. He’s complex and charming, broken and brave, sexy and vulnerable…. I was terrified of writing him, of not doing him justice, of writing him in a way I would totally betray who he is. I think I may have done a good job since I’ve had great comments from readers so far. I’d love to hear from you if and when you read it.
His life has been far from easy and the ghosts of his past are still out to get him as he develops his relationship with Marcy. The little witch–like he likes to call her–is the light in his rather dark life and he is the missing piece in Marcy’s. He’s the classic type–organized, well-dressed, and reserved. She’s a free-spirit–open, quirky, and unconventional. On the outside they couldn’t be more different, but inside they are two peas-in-a-pod. Made for each other, true halves of one whole.
I love Oliver and I’m so excited to share him with all my readers. I can only hope they love him as much as I do.
***It’s been a while since I posted any flash fiction, so here it goes 🙂 Enjoy.***
“She wanted something else, something different, something more. Passion and romance, perhaps, or maybe quiet conversations in candlelit rooms, or perhaps something as simple as not being second.”
Nicholas Spark “The Notebook“
She had read that quote and it spoke to her. It gave words to what she had felt now for years. Too many years of analyzing, blaming herself, trying to make sense of what she wanted. Her husband, her friends, even her therapist often asked her, “What exactly do you want from your marriage?” Until she read that quote, she had no way of articulating how she felt, even to herself.
“Something as simple as not being second.” In her marriage, in her life in general, she had always come second. Or third. She couldn’t remember an instance where she had been first in someone’s life other than her own parents’. She was always the afterthought, the one who is useful but not fun or wanted.
When she first got married she found out quickly she was not at the top of her husband’s list of priorities. First came his own family, second his sports, third his career, and then herself. The wedding vows, for better or for worse, turned into maybe if nothing else more important comes up. Even in sickness she found herself a faraway second to career or family. Her needs were never met with a kind ear but rather a pointing finger at how inconvenient her requests were. Everybody, including neighbors she barely knew, were more important than her.
She made excuses. Things would get better later on, marriage was a new thing to him, he’d come around eventually.
There were big gifts on Christmas and birthdays, attempts at appeasing her once in a while. Big gestures instead of the little daily kindnesses she really was looking for. She had never been much of a material girl. Never one for diamonds, expensive clothes, or fancy gadgets. She wanted her husband to ask her why she was sad instead of getting mad at her because she was sulking. She wanted her husband to side with her–or at least support her–when she didn’t agree with his family or friends. She wanted a hand to hold on to when she didn’t feel well. An attentive ear when she shared something that was important to her. Instead she got irritated looks and sudden changes of subject.
As the years went by things didn’t change. In many ways it got worse. The career was replaced by a crowd of friends, concerts, bars, parties… She stopped going with him. She stopped trying to be there for him because he was not there for her. No one to share that trip of a lifetime with, or her joy and excitement at having accomplished a dream. No one to talk to.
She blamed herself. She had put on weight, she was boring, she was an introvert and was uncomfortable in social situations he thrived on. It was her fault he didn’t find anything attractive in spending time with her, in talking to her, in sharing those small moments a marriage is built on.
She was unhappy. She was lonely. Tears danced in her eyes as soon as she woke up in the morning and when she fell asleep. She envied fictitious couples in literature and TV and bitterness filled her heart like noxious fumes.
The truth was she didn’t want anything complicated, nothing expensive or hard to do. All she wanted was to be first once in a while. Something as simple as not being second.
Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of
life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers
have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming
from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the
tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look
at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and
powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that
novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing
a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That
could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows
she’s done her job.
Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of
her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants
them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of
the realm of possibility.
Me: Good to have you with us, Ms. Spellman. That’s an awesome polka dot dress you have on.
MS: Thank you, you can never go wrong with polka dots. But please, call me Marcy. I’m not one for formality.
Me: I understand you have a pretty unconventional job. Can you tell us about it?
MS: I’m a witch. A garden variety of witch. I own a witchcraft shop called Polka Dots and Eye of Newt just down main street in town. You should visit. I have just the thing for your droopy aura.
Me: My aura is droopy? Never mind that–I wanted to ask you a very important question.
MS: Go right ahead. I’ll try to answer it the best I can. (she stares at me with her big, smoky blue eyes)
Me: Why should I buy Blind Magic when there are so many other awesome romance books out there?
MS: Who told you Blind Magic was a romance? (she giggles) Just kidding… not totally though. It has so much more than just romance. There is mystery and intrigue, drama and heart-wrenching emotion. You gotta read it.
Me: Do you cast many spells in the book?
MS: I’m not that kind of witch. I help people in different ways, but I don’t have a cauldron or anything. (she stares bashfully at her polka dot high-heels)
Me: But didn’t you meet your man because of a magic potion?
MS: Hardly a magic potion. It was a simple tea, that’s all. A very efficient one by the way.
Me: Come on, fess up! You do cast a love spell in the story, don’t you?
MS: (blushing furiously) Yes, I confess. I did something very unethical for a witch: I concocted a love spell for myself. The thing is, I fell hard for Oliver right away. I could feel the connection between us as soon as I laid eyes on him. I couldn’t resist the temptation .
Me: Your face just opens up when you talk about Oliver. Tell me a little about him then.
MS: Oliver Dawson… there are no words to describe him. He’s my heart, my soul, that piece of me I didn’t know I was missing until I met him. He’s also handsome and sweet and has the most gorgeous blue eyes you can ever imagine. I go all gooey inside when I look at him.
Me: Last question for you. Hypothetically speaking, if I was to put a love spell together for me what ingredients would I need?
MS: (looking vaguely suspicious) Are you trying to trick me? (she relaxes) Rose petals and lavender. I’d throw an amethyst in there for protection and healing. You can never go wrong with amethyst.
Me: You drink that?
MS: Of course not, silly. You have to perform a little ritual with it. You really should read Blind Magic and find out (she winks at me again). I have to go now. My store is unmanned.
Me: Are you telling me you left the store open and alone? Aren’t you afraid of being robbed?
MS: (laughing) Who would steal a bunch of rocks, candles and teas? Besides I have a protection shield going while I’m gone. No worries. (her bright red hair bounces around her head as she nods)
Me: Thank you, Marcy, for coming and talking to us. A pleasure, as always.
MS: Well? Are you going to buy the book?
Me: I wrote it, so– (she gives me the evil eye) Okay, I will. I will most definitely buy the book. (she smiles) Be sure to tune in again later this month when we interview more characters from Blind Magic, releasing November 18 and available for pre-order right now. Thank you, Marcy.
P.S. Marcy just informed me that if you have any questions for her, she will be more than happy to answer them. Leave your questions in the comments. Thank you.
VOTE FOR JEM–YOU KNOW YOU WANNA!
Hiya! I’m JEREMY PETER but please call me Jem. I’ve always hated my name. That is until my best friend–and love of my life–began calling me that to annoy me, lol. I don’t mind so much now because every time I hear it I’m reminded of her. I get this funny fluttering in my stomach and I’m lost. Love that woman!
But I digress. Why should you vote for me for CLC HQ’s Book Boyfriend 2017? Let me count the ways:
To buy click here
Send your vote to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture of Parker Gregory by Mario Testino
Jessica Lu (photographer unknown)
“Celia”‘s picture by Pupulandia
Miss Pandora by Gardrop Kedisi
Ten years ago, Ellie Fairfield left Rocky Harbor brokenhearted and pregnant…
Trying to take care of her son the best she can, the single mother returns to the town close to her heart to run a local inn. Ellie knows it will be tough moving back to Rocky Harbor, and that old memories will haunt her. But the last thing she expects to find on her doorstep is the man who abandoned her when she needed him the most.
Angry at the war, the world, and himself, Colton Riley’s homecoming isn’t a pleasant one…
Being medically discharged from the Marines is one of many disappointments Colton has suffered over the years. A decade ago, he lost a chunk of his heart when the love of his life betrayed him. A year ago he lost his leg. Now, half the man he once was, Colton tries to put back the pieces of his life by accepting a construction project at the local inn, but he didn’t count on finding Ellie standing on the front porch.
The more time they spend together, the more they realize the love they shared years ago hasn’t died…
Even though Ellie is still hurt and angry, she knows her heart belongs to Colton. It’s not easy letting go of the past, especially with the secret she’s hiding from everyone. But when an illness puts her little boy’s life in danger, she has no choice but to tell Colton the truth—a truth that threatens to destroy their love once and for all.
With a past spun together in a web of lies, will Colton and Ellie be able to mend their wounded love?
MEET THE AUTHOR: Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.
by Marianne Rice
A Rocky Harbor Novel #2
After being rescued from an abusive relationship, Rachael is a shadow of her true self. The only place she manages to find some degree of comfort is in the kitchen, hiding behind her apron as she continues to shut everyone out. Her foster sister knows the real Rachael has been broken, and reaches out by signing her up for self-defense classes, hoping to get her outgoing, confident, and nosy older sister back.
Jake Morgan has done his time and is finally free of his past…
Teaching self-defense is Jake’s way of giving back, compensating for what was taken away from him years ago. He’s well aware that most women in his class have a backstory, and avoids getting emotionally involved—until a beautiful, blue-eyed woman walks in. Jake is instantly drawn to Rachael and sees the inner confidence she tries to hide behind her blonde bangs and hunched shoulders.
Wanting to know the story hidden behind those blue eyes, Jake sets out to break down every barrier Rachael has built…
As he helps Rachael find the strength she’d lost, teaching her how to trust again, a secret from his past threatens to ruin the safety they have found in each other. There’s more connecting them than just their mutual attraction. Once their pasts finally collide, revealing a devastating truth, Jake’s commitment to Rachael is put to the ultimate test.
There is no guarantee when it comes to love, but sometimes all a broken heart needs to heal are sweet strawberry kisses…
By:K.A. Ware & Cora Kenborn
Release Date: February 21st
Hosted By: Chance Promotions
Cover by: Bite Me Graphics
ADD TO YOUR TBR: http://amzn.to/2mgFg6z
They say you can’t go home again.
But when you’re broke, down on your luck, and wanted in two states…
It’s the only place left.
Adelaide spent high school dreaming of the day she’d lift a middle finger
to her small town life and watch it all fade away in the rear-view mirror.
After marrying a man who she thought was her prince charming, Adelaide had
finally gotten everything she ever wanted…until the silver spoon was ripped
from her mouth and her prince was revealed to be just another cheating
jackass. Suddenly homeless with nowhere else to turn, she must head back to
the one place she never thought she’d have to show her face again.
Savannah just wanted to see the world, but ended up a twenty-five year old
vagabond with nothing to show for her life but a string of loser
ex-boyfriends. Instead of saving the planet, she sells jewelry on the
internet and digs in the cushions for loose change. Making the decision to
cut her losses, Savannah packs up and hits the road. It’s time to go back
to the beginning and figure out where she went wrong.
Adelaide and Savannah couldn’t wait to leave the bayou. However, when
circumstances force them out of their self-imposed exiles, they have no
choice but to belly crawl back to the place they both turned their backs
on. The Dubois sisters find that sometimes you’ve got to uncover your roots
to find your future.
The good thing about hitting swamp bottom?
There’s only one way to go…
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
K.A Ware is an indie author living in Portland, Oregon. Her days consist of
working at her real life job in the financial field and taking care of her
young daughter. Writing is not her only passion, K.A. also serves on the
Board of Directors for a local non-profit and spends way too much time
reading. She believes in the power of words, alpha females, and that
special escape you get when you hunker down into a good book.
When she’s not busy mothering, working, writing, or reading she enjoys
spending time with family and friends and embracing the weirdness that is
Portland. K.A. loves music, so if you find yourself at a metal show in
Portland —take a look around— she’s the crazy redhead head banging at the
Instagram: https// instagram.com/authorkaware
Cora Kenborn writes contemporary and romantic suspense novels with strong
heroines, complex alphas, harrowing danger, and snappy dialogue. She loves
delving into the twisted mind of a dark villain as well as giggling while
writing romcom banter.
Cora lives in Eastern North Carolina and is a true Southern girl, who grew
up on sweet tea, front porches, and the simple life. She says “y’all,”
“fixin’ to,” and should you deserve it will “bless your heart.” She’s the
proud mother of three hyperactive and occasionally adorable children, and
wife to an understanding husband who tolerates her chaotic writer’s cave.
Although reading is her passion, she can usually be found watching true
crime shows and crafting inspiration for twisted new tales. Cora admits to
being a horrible cook, an even worse baker, and believes she’s more
dangerous with a hot glue gun than any weapon on earth. Oh, and she and
autocorrect are mortal enemies