When Love Songs Butt Against Reality, Don’t Hate on the Scribe

Source: Pixabay

As a person who writes romance novels, I happen to love  love songs. I think they’re great because they say in really simple terms really powerful emotions. The best love songs tell us a story, with a catchy refrain thrown in between. The best love songs make us feel those emotions.

The best love songs are best viewed as songs, not as an extension of the artist who penned the song. While it’s hard to separate the song from the song bird, we really should. Some of my favorite love songs are written by people who experience the highs and lows of love with great exuberance. And like most people, they experience these highs and lows with different people. It takes a while to find a love that lasts.  And for some people it never happens. That’s life.

Yet, in this day in age of the spoof, there’s a certain meanness lobbed at artists who are more successful with love songs than they are with love. And while we can kid because we love, I have to admit, I don’t like the underlying message that the fact that you have loved and lost means you can’t write about the love.

One example is an oldie, but one of my faves that I heard on the radio the other day: Hey There, Delilah by the Plain White Ts.  It’s a song about a guy in love with a girl named Delilah and he’s singing about all the plans he has for them as a couple. The song was written by one of the band members who was in love with a girl named Delilah. And it’s an awesome song. And it’s an awesome sentiment. And if it had worked in wooing her, it would be the awesomest love story ever. Only, as things were, nothing happened between the two of them. And as such, all these stalker parodies emerged, accusing the songwriter of being a creepy stalker.  I admit, I laughed, but I feel bad, because I’m a romantic. And I love the idea of this guy putting his heart, his dreams (even if they were unrealistic) and his passions into this song all in the hopes of impressing Delilah. It’s romantic and fabulous, and if it didn’t work out, there’s no shame.  Because some lady is going to be romantically impressed beyond belief.

While that one’s an oldie, Taylor Swift is more current.  And for whatever reason (possibly jealousy, possibly because she seems lighthearted enough to laugh at herself), people say horrible things about her willingness to share the emotional ups and downs of love in her songs.  I’m sure Taylor is a strong woman and is not so bothererd. But, I still find it a little sad that people find the notion of falling in love and having it not work out be something to jeer at. That you can only write about a great love if it lasts forever, seems to be unfair.

Now, as a romance novel writer, I get to make the romances end well. But in real life, we hit some toads, and we learn from those mistakes, and we’re better for it. This notion of deriding that learning process, of saying, you can only write that if it worked out, otherwise you’re just some type of drama queen, seems really wrong. It seems the antithesis of love.

I love love songs, and I’m happy to separate the artist from the song. I love when artists write about the heartbreak or the happiness.  It doesn’t matter if it worked out in real life or not, because I hear everything I need in the song and I’m perfectly happy with that.

FREE Books Galore!

Like free books? Check out these books that are free April 28-30. You’ll find the complete list at Love Books.

In addition to the free books, you can enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card (scroll to the bottom of the page). Many of the books are free with no strings attached. Some of the books are free on Instafreebie, requiring mailing list sign up.   There’s  a big selection of romance books, so something for every taste.  So be sure to check it out. Happy reading.


Romance: Trysts Collection Paperback Available

I finally completed the paperback version of the Romance: Trysts compilation.

This anthology combines all four Romance: Trysts stories in a single book.  The ebook has been available for a while, but I hadn’t taken the time to get the paperback formatted. I went ahead and did that this weekend.

If you haven’t read the series yet, check out the first short story in the series for FREE. Dr. Carter & Mrs. Sinn, the first and shortest story in the series, is available free at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo and Apple.

Of the four stories in the compilation, my favorite is Tristan & Blair, which is a great little story about love at first sight. It’s probably my favorite because it reminds me of something that happened in my real life.  I remember, when my daughter was little, just about 3, she was with me in the store, sitting in the shopping cart, and this little boy, who was a tad older, maybe 5 or 6  was just staring at her, so intently, as she was the loveliest thing he’d ever seen. As if he were committing her to memory, and I thought as I walked away, wouldn’t it be interesting for someone to fall in love with a girl they just saw as a child and years later still remember.  Tristan & Blair isn’t quite as straightforward as that, as there’s a sister involved. But, I do like this notion that we can feel a connection with someone after one viewing, and we can forge ahead with this vision of who they are, of what they are, even if it’s not entirely true.

Anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent, so to get back on track, Romance: Trysts (Volumes 1-4) is available in paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

P.S. As an aside, the incident with my daughter happened while we were traveling, so it seems unlikely that the smitten six year old will find her again.

Give Me a Break on These Breaks!

It’s April, which should be leading to that all consuming television time of May sweeps. And while I suppose May sweeps still exist, I’m getting a bit miffed at all my fave TV shows taking extended breaks.

On the bright side, this gives me time to read more and write more. Woohoo! But, it really disrupts my show flow, and makes me feel like that hollaback girl. You know, the chick you call when you want some loving, but not any other time. I mean, I show up for these shows every week, and they show up for me, um… when they feel like it. Seems a bit one-sided and irritating.

I’m particularly miffed at the Flash, which I have been totally into. Like, this show is the highlight of my week. My only must-see TV. I  am on pins and needles to find out who Savitar is (I have read the fan theories, and if they’re true, whoa! And if they’re true, I have an inkling of how Iris can be saved and it would be totally awesome). Given my excitement for the storyline, I was so ticked off last week when I learned the show wouldn’t be back until  after a three-week break.

I suppose television tries to avoid times people might miss out (Easter vacation, Christmas holidays, etc), but sometimes I feel like they just like yanking my chain.  I’m such a fan when I’m a fan, so I hate–really, really, hate–waiting once the storyline has begun. I totally show up every week. I just wish the shows would make the same commitment.  I used to be a total Scandalista, until one too many breaks followed by some “meh” episodes made me say, I really don’t care what happens.

I’m not suggesting they don’t take the occasional break, but I’d really like them to run straight through once they start. I’m all for a season that goes Jan-May uninterrupted, as opposed to Sept-May with several 4-week breaks.  It just so interrupts the momentum for me, and frustrates me if something has been really good. Alas, sometimes absence can make the heart grow fonder, and other times, out of sight, out of mind.

So, what’s your take on all the TV breaks. Just par for the course. You hate it and only do Netflix nowadays. Or some other cooler, blended answer?

I’ll be Online Chatting Tonight!

I’ll be online chatting tonight at Barb’s PJ Party! The chat starts at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT, and lasts about an hour. I’ll be on with several other authors, and will be giving away an ebook copy of Beauty & Her Beastly Love.  If you’d like to grab it, it’s on Amazon as both a print and ebook version.

If you’ve got a moment, I love it if you’d stop by.

May your love remain in bloom,


How do you like your retellings?

The new Beauty and the Beast film slayed at the weekend box office. It became the biggest March opening ever, bringing in $170 million. Kaching!

It seems that everyone loves that tale as old as time. I took my daughter to see it and we loved it, too. We’d recently watched the 1991 cartoon version, too.

While this film’s success is awesome, it’s not the first retelling to do well. People have been rebooting , retelling, or adjusting old stories for quite a while. I’ve got the Passion-Filled Fairy Tales, which add some steam and spice to the old stories.  Lots of authors do these (including May Sage, Demelza Carlton and Erin Bedford, whom you may want to check out if you’re looking for a new author). So do lots of films. But how is always interesting.

Same Characters. Different Scenes.  In 2009, Star Trek refreshed its classic series with what they called a “reboot.” Same characters, different actors, with a cool twist on the story (an alternate timeline that rewrites events we knew and loved from the old show). Now, some fans loved it (Me, me, me!), while others have made JJ Abrams their personal anti-Christ, saying he ruined their favorite show (my friend Mike).  I’m not sure if I just don’t get Trek on the same level as Mike or if being an adapter myself, I’m more lax about change, but I enjoyed the reboot version. I think what I loved about it is it added something fresh that allowed all new adventures, while maintaining the core of the show–the characters. Fundamentally, James Tiberius Kirk, Cmdr. Spock, Lt. Uhura, Sulu, Chekov and Scotty were fundamentally the same.  All that’s changed is their circumstances. And the new cast is absolutely endearing. So, I like this kind of retelling, generally.

Same Story, New Actors. With Cinderella and Beauty & the Beast, Disney simply decided to take a tale it had already added its own spin to in cartoon form and make it live action. Ultimately, if you enjoyed the cartoon version, you will likely enjoy the live-action,  because it follows pretty much the same spirit and script. There were some minor additions, but it stayed fairly close to the originals. And this kind of retelling can be adored. Some people may ask why it needs to be retold when it’s so great as is, and to that, I say, a good story is always worth hearing again.

Character of the Same Name, but Fundamentally Different.  Disney’s Maleficent was a tale of this nature.   Disney attempted to look at this fairy tale character from another angle. While I’m cool with other angles, I was not a fan of Maleficent because it didn’t feel true to the original as I recalled it. While I’m totally cool with understanding why Maleficent is a villain, I didn’t like the rewrite that she wasn’t a villain, and that the king was the villain. The total juxtaposition of the fundamental nature of both characters really threw  me.  I know tons of people enjoyed the movie, and I’m not saying it was a bad film. However, that was one that I wasn’t fond of because I liked the original version of events better. I’m definitely not saying that these kinds of retellings don’t work. But, for me to enjoy them, they’ve got to hit perfectly. Otherwise, they just fall flat.

Interestingly, there’s another show that does a similar thing, that I’m loving.  I may be loving it because I was never a big fan of the original. That one is Riverdale. I know what you’re saying: “Riverdale is a Remake?”  Yeah, it actually is. It’s Archie, as in the redhead of the comic strip.  I watch The Flash and the The Arrow on the CW, so I kept seeing ads for Riverdale, which appeared to be about a teenager who was killed, and the other teens in town are suspects. Seemed semi-intriguing, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sold based on the trailers. However, my daughter was like, “You want to watch this with me?” (We watched on the CW site after three episodes had aired–a mini binge). We were about 10 minutes in, when I realized the main characters were named, Archie, Betty and Veronica.  I was like, is this Archie? I Googled it, and sure enough, it was. But it’s not classic 1950s, everything is awesome Archie, and my biggest problem is two girls fighting over me. It was, Archie meets Pretty Little Liars. Murder,  teachers and students sleeping together, cliques, mean girls. I was like, “whaaaaaat?” I’m totally hooked and totally love it.  And Luke Perry plays Archie’s dad! (I’d initially thought of saying it was like Archie meets 90210, but I think that’s just because of the Perry connection. 90210 was juicy, but not particularly dark. PLL could get pretty heady, and Riverdale seems to go that way, too).

Anyway, I am totally loving this show. But, I’ve never been a huge reader of Archie comics. Sure, they’re so part of pop culture that I’ve seen the main characters (Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead), but I had no idea what they were really like. I can’t say I’ve read more than a dozen panes over my lifetime.  So, for me, I like what’s being done. However, I have no idea what a true fan of the comics would think. My impression of the characters was that they were completely wholesome, and this show is anything but wholesome, so it is at odds with my impression. However, my impression could be completely wrong.  Perhaps this begs the question of who you should make reboots for: old fans or potential new ones. Though, I fall squarely in the camp of loyalty to old fans, with a bonus of drawing in new ones.

So, it looks like I’ve rambled on a tad too much.  That’s it for my musings on retellings. What are your thoughts on retelllings? Do you like them close to the original? A bit of variation is cool? Or you want to see the tale flipped on its head? Any favorites? Any that just completely missed the mark with you? (I loved Jem  as a kid, but heard the movie version was so completely different that I couldn’t bring myself to see it, and tarnish my happy memories).

Check out Rosetta Bloom’s fairy tale retellings here.

In honor of Retold Fairy Tales, Beauty & Her Beastly Love is 99 Cents

It’s all about those adaptations,  retellings, or even reboots, depending on the lingo you prefer.  Disney has released its  retooled, live action version of its 1992 version of the classic tale Beauty and the Beast.

Fairy tales, which are all in the public domain as they were first published hundreds of years ago, are popular fodder for retelling.  While Disney has given the moniker “tale as old as time” to Beauty and the Beast, any of the old fairy tales are deserving of the label.

In honor of the new movie and all things retold, this weekend, my adult retelling of the story,  Beauty and Her Beastly Love, will be 99 cents.  The price will go back up to $2.99 on Monday, so grab it now.  Like all the passion-filled fairy tales, this is a grown-up version of the story, and not for kids.

If you’re considering going to see the live-action Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson (LOVE her!), then refamiliarize yourself with the original cartoon with these two hilarious videos about them.

Honest Trailers:

Everything Wrong with Beauty & the Beast:

Paperback Writer!

book-419589Happy Sunday to you. I hope you’ve had a great week.

This was an exciting past week because Ravishing Rapunzel finally released and  I had a couple of sales going on. Those all ended this morning, and things are back to normal.

But one thing I did last week that I didn’t discuss much was ensure that I have paperback copies of all the ebooks in my fairy tale series. I went in and added paperback copies of Dream Trysts, Finding Bliss and Ravishing Rapunzel. Given the price differential and the ease of ebook reading, most people buy electronic copies of my books. However, for those who love paper, the option is there for all the fairy tales.

The short stories are too short to make paperbacks of the singles, but I’m going to work on the compilation paperback this week, and with luck, this time next week, I’ll have a post about it.

Rapunzel Available Today!

06_ravishing-rapunzel-bMy newest passion-filled fairy tale, Ravishing Rapunzel, is available today on Amazon. The book is available as an ebook and a paperback (though I sell mostly ebooks). If you’re in Kindle Unlimited, you can read the ebook free. If you want to buy it, the ebook is just 99 cents today and tomorrow. I’ll go in and raise the price  to $2.99 Saturday night, but it likely won’t take effect until sometime Sunday.  (Changes have sometimes been very quick, at 4 hours, and other times, have taken almost 24 hours, so I can’t give you a time when the price will change).

Here’s the blurb for Ravishing Rapunzel:

Rapunzel is a sickly child, according to her mother. Forced by her mother to hide from the world, the only thing Rapunzel wants is connection to another human being.

Stuck in a life of the royal court, all Prince Bradyn wants is to meet someone real, someone who’s only goal isn’t to curry favor with his parents.

When Rapunzel gets a rare day out without her mother, she stumbles across Bradyn in the woods and the two pleasantly get to know each other. Unfortunately, shortly after Rapunzel’s mother spirits he away to a tower in the woods, a place she tells Rapunzel will keep her safe.

Bradyn is devastated when he realizes his friend is gone. He searches for her for years to no avail. One day, when hope is lost, he happens to spy a tower in a clearing, and sees an old woman call, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair.” Now that Bradyn has found her again, he intends to do everything in his power to make Rapunzel his.

Check out this steamy retelling of the fairy tale classic. Getting to happily ever after is always sexy and fun in the Passion-Filled Fairy Tales series. You can purchase it on Amazon:

Amazon US * Amazon Canada * Amazon UK * Amazon Australia

99 cent books + a chance to win a $25 gift card


You can win a $25 gift card and get some cool books for 99 cents. The Treat Yourself  romance book event is going on now here.  Check out all the books that are just 99 cents and enter a raffle for a $25 Amazon gift card (scroll to the bottom of the page for the raffle).

And while it’s not featured in this sale, Ravishing Rapunzel is just 99 cents while it’s in pre-order. Go ahead and grab it if you’d like. There’s no look-inside for pre-orders,  so you can sample a few chapters on wattpad if you like.