Romance Tropes

I saw this post over on Mindy Klasky’s website about romance tropes.   “Merriam-Webster gives a definition of ‘trope’ as a ‘figure of speech.’ In storytelling, a trope is just that — a conceptual figure of speech, a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly.”  (source tvtropes)

That’s a  lot of words to say that they’re commonly used devices or story lines.  It all goes back to my post about there not being any new ideas — but there are a lot of ways to spin them.  I thought it would be fun to try to match up the list to my own books.  So, here I go…

Alpha heroes —  That would have to be ALL my books.

Billionaire — Solace in Scandal

Class warfare — Again, Solace in Scandal

Fake engagement — Maxie

Forbidden love — Private Dancer, Hell to Pay, Blade of Moonlight

Kidnapped — Manhunt (oh, I haven’t thought about that story for the longest time)

Law enforcement — Tiger Lily, On The Prowl (another oldie), Wanted

Office romance — Lexie, Fever

Orphan — Roxie

Reunion — New Year’s Bang, Everlasting, and oooh, Going Deep

Revenge — Tiger Lily (in a big way)

Siblings ex-spouse — Unrequited

Unrequited love — Unrequited (duh)

Those are my thoughts at first glance.  Do you think any more fit those tropes?  I was kind of surprised at how many of my stories didn’t fit.  I’m kind of proud of that.

Release Day – A Matter of Sin by Jess Michaels

Congratulations to Jess Michaels who has a new release today titled A Matter of Sin.  Jess was in Secrets Volume 11 with me.  If you like erotic historical romance, you really should try her books!

MatterOfSin-A300-200x300Scandal between the pages…surrender between the sheets.

The Ladies Book of Pleasures, Book 1

The widowed Lady Isabel Avenbury has one remaining younger sister to shepherd into an advantageous marriage, and then she will be free. Free to take a lover to fill her lonely nights—the only option left for a woman on the delicate edge of a certain age.

Except when she chaperones her sister to a country house party, she is taken aback by her sudden, undeniable attraction to the host. And deliciously scandalized when she finds a copy of the notorious, much-gossiped-about Ladies Book of Pleasures in his library.

When Seth Rowland, Marquis Lyndham, notices his book is missing, his interest is piqued as to which of the potential young brides at his party has absconded with it—and he’s shocked to discover it’s Isabel. Though older than the women he’d planned to court, the powerful beauty exudes a sensuality he cannot ignore.

The book inspires them to begin a desperate, passionate affair. But their time together is running out and they must choose. Follow society’s rules, or take a chance at love.

Warning: Found within are highly scandalous books that trigger passionate desires, surrender in the orangery and possibly true love.

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The Tricky Aspect of Series

Series are fun.  Readers love them.  Writers like being able to dig deeper into worlds and characters.  It’s a win-win, except for those books that readers are really looking forward to.  That’s where the pressure comes in for the writer.   We want to write the best book that we can, and we don’t want to disappoint.

That was the case with ROXIE.  Everyone told me they were looking forward to her book, and that they wanted to read about her happily-ever-after.  She’s become a favorite character to some (and to me).  Readers wanted to meet her hero, and they wanted to learn the answers to all the questions that have built up over the course of the trilogy.  The pressure was on.

I wrote the story that’s been in my head for years, just trusting my gut.  Happily, the response so far has been hugely positive.  I’m so relieved and happy that my readers are satisfied.  High fives all around!

Roxie Release Day!

Roxie is now available in online bookstores.  Get your copy now!

Triple X, Book 3

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

It’s time for this identical triplet to meet her match.

Can a wild child ever really be tamed? Growing up in foster care has made Roxie Cannon tough and self-reliant, but being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’s finally found family. Is it time she met her match?

Roxie should be on top of the world. She’s formed bonds with identical sisters she never knew she had, and she’s buying the bar she’s managed for years. The feisty brunette has everything she’s ever wanted. Almost. Two things still elude her: answers to why her family was split apart, and a man with whom she can share her passion. Seeing her sisters with their mates has made her aware she’s still the odd one out. Yet that all starts to change when a rough-and-tumble hottie from her past walks in The Ruckus’ door.

Billy knows trouble when he sees it, and Roxie is commotion in motion. They’ve always set sparks off one another. This time, he’s promised himself he won’t get burned. Yet things get serious when he learns of Roxie’s quest to find her parents. Can he save his hot-blooded lover from being hurt? Or will the wounded little girl inside her never trust him again?

Roxie excerpt

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Keeping Those Plates Spinning

This weekend I’ve felt like one of those clowns at the circus who spins plates atop of sticks.  I’ve got so many things twirling right now.  ROXIE releases on Tuesday, so I’m all excited about that.  I’ve been loading books at all the sales sites so they’re ready for readers.  I’m also writing  blog posts and running contests, because MAXIE will be available in print on August 5.  Then there’s COURTING TROUBLE.  I’m still writing that one.  I need to be in a certain head space when I write, and all this chaos isn’t helping. I managed to do some quality work yesterday, but did I mention it’s a holiday weekend?  With the 4th falling on a Friday, I’ve had a hard time remembering what day it is.

As a result of all this, my brain is spinning, too.  I know that everyone multitasks, but I’m seemingly at my limit.  All my plates are slowing down and wobbling terribly.  So how do you manage your busy life?  Does anyone have any tricks or suggestions on how to keep things moving smoothly?

1 week until ROXIE

Only one week until Roxie will be available in electronic format.  I’ve already started loading the book to stores.  I’m trying to account for the holiday weekend.  If the book isn’t available on the 8th, it should be on sale soon thereafter.  I’m also working on making the book available in print through CreateSpace.  I hope to have those books available before the end of July.

Also, you might have noticed that I’m running a contest through Goodreads for print copies of Maxie.  I got my author copies and decided to share.  See the link in the right sidebar to enter.

They say there are no original ideas, but…

I stumbled across a television series this weekend called Orphan Black and ended up binge-watching all of Season 1.  The show airs on BBC America, and it’s – in a word – fantastic.  The show starts with a woman running into a look-alike at the train station. Just as the main character, Sarah, realizes she’s looking at herself, the other woman jumps in front of a train. Sarah steals the woman’s purse and impulsively takes over her life.  This leads to other doppelgangers!

As I was watching the show and becoming more and more engrossed, I kept having this vague sense of deja vu.  It wasn’t long before I realized that Orphan Black had a ton of similarities to my Triple X series. (duh!) When Sarah and Beth met, it was like Lexie and Roxie meeting for the first time. (Although neither of them jumped in front of a train!)  Then there was a scene where Alison, another look-alike, pretends to be Sarah.  It was similar to the scene from Maxie where the identical triplets pose as one another at the magic show. Then there’s the scene where Sarah jumps the bones of this impossibly hot guy. It’s a page right out of Roxie’s book where… Oh yeah, you haven’t read that yet.  ;-)

Anyway, in the television series the women look alike, but their styles are very different.  I’m not just talking about hair and clothes.  They have different lifestyles and priorities, but at the heart of it, they’re one unit.  They care about each other, and they’re all working together to get to the bottom of their mystery.  (Well, except for maybe Helena.  She’s nuts.)  Does any of that sound familiar?  Once again, it was my Triple X trilogy.

They say that there are no original ideas left anymore, and maybe the similarities between the television show and the books are an example of that.  Yet I still think there are countless ways to make ideas unique.  Orphan Black and my books might start out with the same basic premise — how would identical women react to one another and how could their lives intertwine?  After that, though, the ideas spiral off to very different quarters — and that’s what makes things exciting. Maybe we have to start out at the same place, but I think there are a gazillion original ideas left to be found.  How could there not be?

So I can’t wait to watch Season 2 of Orphan Black, and I hope you’re just as excited to read Roxie’s story.  It will be here soon.  Just one more week!