Today March 8, 2021 is International Women’s Day! As a woman’s fiction and romance writer I love writing books featuring strong women leads. Romance books are a great way to celebrate women and the challenges we all face in our lives. My two recent romance books The Fall In Love Checklist and Hero Ever After are books featuring strong women who face seemingly impossible situations, yet they push through to not only survive but grow and thrive.
Every year International Women’s Day has a theme and this year’s theme is “choose to challenge”. Challenge can mean different things to each of us. Challenging one’s self to grow and be your best self every day is a great place to start.
There are so many inspiring women writers who have touched our lives and here is a list of 15 inspiring quotes from great women authors as mentioned on the International Women’s Day page. How will you challenge yourself today, and tomorrow and everyday after that?
It’s no secret. I love libraries. In fact, one of my upcoming books features a librarian as the heroine. Libraries are awesome. I love that you can get romance books in libraries. The first romance novel I ever read I picked up on a whim off a public library bookshelf. It was Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught. That book was like a gateway drug. I got sucked into historical romance, then I crossed over to paranormal romance, then contemporary romance, then, well, I kept going. I had to read them all.
All thanks to browsing at a library.
Libraries are such an amazing way to discover new books, new authors and new worlds. We’re very lucky that libraries support romance authors, romance books and carry our work in both paperback, hardback and ebook format.
In case you didn’t know, you can grab The Fall in Love Checklist and Hero Ever After in public libraries (on OverDrive and other platforms). If it’s not available you can request it through your librarian. Because librarians are awesome.
If you want to celebrate Valentine’s week or Valentine’s month you could go on a romance novel reading binge. If I were to do that I’d go back and read some of my old favorites. Here’s my top 5 romance novels for valentines week!
Isn’t It Romantic – When you know and love the genre so well you can poke fun at all its ridiculousness.
What’s your list of top 5 romantic movies and top 5 romance novels? After reading and watching all the old favs, I’d eat a bucket full of dark chocolate (because dark chocolate is delicious). And that would be an amazing Valentine’s day/week/month. I hope yours is just as fabulous.
Because of that he is super excited for the release of this book (awwww, right?). When Mr. Ready and I were discussing cover ideas kiddo said that he had the perfect cover in mind. Then he opened up his drawing app, drew the cover and said, “this is what it should look like.”
So, I sent on our ideas to my amazing cover designer and here is the final product. Pretty darn close to kiddo’s adorable cover art.
I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to read book excerpts because I don’t like any spoilers at all. Sometimes (frequently) I won’t even read the description! I’ll just pick up a book based on the cover and the title and let myself be completely surprised. But sometimes I’ll be so excited, so crazy excited for a book, that I have to read an excerpt in advance. 🙂 If that’s you…you love contemporary romance, friends to lovers, single mom romances, what have you…and you are crazy excited to read Hero Ever After, then this excerpt is just for you! Enjoy! xx
I look at him, and he stares at me. His dark stubble lines his jaw and his eyes search mine. There’s something unspoken here between us. This quiet awareness that both of us are too scared to admit. Neither of us makes the first move. But the tension between us grows thick and heavy. His eyes flick to my mouth. My lips tingle under his gaze.
“You don’t want me,” he says.
“No,” I say.
His eyes stay on my lips.
“Not for a husband.”
“Not for a substitute father.”
“Not at all.”
“You just want to train.”
I swallow as his eyes go darker and his lids lower. His hands curl and my skin tingles as I imagine him touching me again.
“There’s nothing here,” he says.
“Nothing at all.”
He studies me for a moment. The only sound is a woodpecker tapping at a tree. I stand still under his gaze. Then, “I have to kiss in my movies.”
We’re both crazy. There’s no other explanation. Because I’m not surprised at all that he said this.
I nod, and it feels like I’m moving through syrup, the air is thick and sweet. It’s only natural that he’d mention kissing. His eyes go heavy and dark as he watches my mouth.
“I might need to add it to my training. Kissing.”
“Mmmhmm,” I say.
“Because you don’t want me. There’s no risk of misunderstandings.”
“Not at all,” I say.
He leans forward and I lean toward him.
“How would I do it, if we were in a scene together?” he asks.
I look at his mouth, the dip in his lower lip, and his strong chin.
I clear my throat. “You’d put your hands…”
He steps only inches from me and I feel the heat coming off him. “On your shoulders?”
“This isn’t a junior high dance,” I say.
He smiles and I tilt my head up to look at him.
“You’d put them on my hips.”
He reaches down and presses his fingers into the curve of my hips. “Like that?” he asks.
His palms spread out and he rocks me closer. “Perfect,” I say. My voice is throaty and I sway toward him.
“Then what?” he asks.
“Then you’d brush your lips over mine. Lightly. Just a taste.”
He bends his head down and runs his lips over mine. I open my mouth to him and lick at the salty flavor of him.
“Like this?” he whispers.
I trace my lips over his and he pulls me closer. “You open my mouth with yours and—”
He doesn’t let me finish. His lips close over mine and he teases my mouth open. He sucks on my lips, and runs his hands over my hips, and sends his tongue into my mouth and I’m breathing hard and my hands are on his bare shoulders and I’m not standing anymore but pulled up against him and I wrap my legs around him and I’m…he carries me over to a tree and pushes me against it. Then he starts to move over me and I’m pressed between the tree and the hardness of him. I kiss him and kiss him and kiss him like I’ll never ever kiss anyone ever again.
It’s really interesting where ideas for romance books come from, or really, books in general. Some ideas brew for a long time (months/years) in the back of your mind, others just smack you upside the head and say “write me! Write me right now!”
Hero Ever Afterwas one of those romance books that appear out of nowhere and then jump up and down and demand to be written.
It all started innocuously enough. I was reading the children’s book Homer Price to my kiddo for a school assignment (side note: this book is by the author Robert McCloskey who wrote Blueberries for Sal, one of my favorite children’s books ever – I used to pick blueberries just like this as a kid (and my adventures also sometimes included black bears)). One of the stories in Homer Price was about a little boy who was obsessed with a comic book/movie star super hero. The boy insisted that the super hero was the real deal. Homer insisted he was a fake. The super hero visited the town and sure enough, he was a dud.
This little story in Homer Price caught my imagination and held on tight. I started writing Hero Ever After that very afternoon.
I had two characters cemented in my mind. A failed, washed-out Hollywood “super hero” named Liam Stone and a little girl who believed he was the real deal. The idea for the little girl, Bean, came first. Her mom, Ginny, came next. Most parents will probably agree, one of the scariest things you can go through as a mom or dad is your kid being sick and not being able to do anything about it. That’s Ginny’s story. She is willing to do anything to help her daughter, and that’s where Liam Stone comes in. Love is the happy consequence of their struggle.
Beyond love, I always want my hero and heroine to be better off than when the book began, so even if they don’t end up together they are still better for having known each other. The point isn’t to fall in love, the point is to grow and become a better person – love helps us do this.
I hope you enjoy reading Hero Ever After. I really enjoyed writing a book with so many wonderful characters. I fell in love with them and I hope you do too!