Nancy: Love for the Long Haul

kiss-on-windowBecause most of us here on the blog write (and read!) a lot of romance, the week of Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity to talk about that core component of a romance story: love. More specifically, believable, happily ever after (HEA) love.

I thought about HEA love this past week when Maria V. Snyder posted on her FB page about the need for Valentine’s Day cards for 25+-year relationships, cards along the lines of “you annoy me and drive me crazy but I’m still willing to put up with it” or “we worked hard to mesh and I don’t want to train anyone else”. Yeah, those aren’t quite the messages we tend to read or write in our romance novels, but they are tongue-in-cheek reminders that there are real-life HEAs.

Back in the fiction world, though, that ‘believable HEA’ part isn’t always easy to write, and doesn’t always resonate with readers. For example, Continue reading

Michaeline: How Do You Know?

Is it in his protective stance? Is it in his quick thinking? Or is it in that adorable curly hair? How do you know when it's love? (Via Wikimedia)

Is it in his protective stance? Is it in his quick thinking? Or is it in that adorable curly hair? How do you know when it’s love? (Via Wikimedia)

One of the fun things about blogging is hearing different points of views. When I did my piece on Groundhog Day, I got to see that in action, and I could “see” from those points of view for a little bit. A nice little vacation from my own brain!

I had to agree with Kay that Andie MacDowell is not my favorite actress, and that her character, Rita, was a bit dishraggy. Ie: limp and wet, without much agency. I think Jilly pointed this out, too. It’d be a better story (maybe) if Rita had more power and characterization – but it also might be a different story. The point of Groundhog Day is that many of us live the same days over and over again, without much satisfaction. How can we break that cycle? Rita was part of the cycle, not part of the solution. And I think that’s the way this story has to go. Change must come from within, at least in this story.

I did learn a little bit about love, though, from Rita. Continue reading

Jilly: Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Are Two Heads Better Than OneAssuming you’re a romance reader or writer (and if you’re reading this, there’s a decent chance that you are), do you think it’s better to know one character deeply than two superficially, or would you say books that let the reader into both the hero’s and the heroine’s head have a better chance of delivering a credible happy ending? Of course both can work if the writing’s good, but I suspect most of us have a sneaky preference one way or the other. And if, like me, you’re in the Two Heads Are Better Than One camp, can you drill down further to figure out what style of double-header you enjoy most? Continue reading

Michaeline: That Romantic Spark

Love that Lasts with a Touch of Magic

Love that Lasts with a Touch of Magic

I spent some of last week looking for what makes a “happy ever after”. The internet seems to love stories from older couples about how they kept the spark alive, so there were plenty of resources. I couldn’t help thinking, “What makes a couple really work?”

A lightbulb came on for me when I read this from the Huffington Post:

“As one 87-year old told me: ‘Think back to the playground when you were a child. Your spouse should be that other kid you would most like to play with!’”

My hero Hadiz and my heroine Perz don’t share a background – they are from different cultures, are different ages, and heck, they are even different species. But what they love best is Continue reading