True Love & Biscuits

A love story…

This morning, I was craving a steak biscuit and some dirty rice from Bojangles’, so I went. As luck would have it, I arrived at the peak time to dine with the retired and elderly crowd, or as they’re known around here, the old coffee drinkers. What I didn’t expect was for one of them to remind me of why I write romance novels, nor did I expect for one of them to make me cry.

I was tucked away at a corner table playing invisible woman and tap, tap, tapping away on my tablet screen when I overheard one sweet little grey-haired man talking about the loss of his wife. I didn’t hear him say how long she had been gone. I didn’t hear what she died of. What I did hear was him saying, and I quote (I recorded it on my tablet so I wouldn’t forget), “You know, when my wife died, I actually though about pitching a tent up at the cemetery, up at the edge of the woods, so I could be right there with her.”

I’ve been writing some emotional stuff the last few days, so I’m sort of a wreck anyway. Hearing that sweet little man speak of his grief broke my heart right in two. I actually had to turn my head, so they wouldn’t see my eyes welling up. That’s right, I cried over what was left of my biscuit and dirty rice. Shoot, I’m getting misty-eyed now just thinking about it.

The rest of the conversation only drew more tears from me. One of the ladies at the table asked him what he does to keep busy during the day. Of course, he said he visits his wife’s grave every day, sometimes three times a day.

“Do you, really?” the woman asked.

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sometimes I stay up there for 30 minutes or more just talking to her. I know it’s just her body, not her soul, but that’s all I know to do. I just talk to her.”

I believe my unintentional eavesdropping this morning confirmed for me what I already knew—true love does exist. I would even argue that, aside from the need of food, water, and shelter, the human need to love and be loved is basic to our existence. This is why I write romance novels—because they chronicle the basic human quest of finding that one true and devoted love and overcoming adversity to make it work.

Naysayers of the genre speak of romance novels as if they are ridiculously corny, completely unrealistic, and not representative of real relationships. All I can say is, tell that sweet little grey-haired man that his devotion to his wife, a devotion that had him considering living in a tent in the cemetery just to be close to her, tell him that his love for that woman was/is unrealistic. And me…I cried all the way home from Bojangles’ because that sweet little man made me consider what it would be like to live on this earth without my husband of twenty-four years. Just the thought takes my breath and wrenches the heart in my chest.  The thought of losing him—my partner, my best friend, the love of my life—kills me. I’m sure I would be lost, just like that sweet little old man. Tell me the love I have for my husband is unrealistic?

When I write, it’s not from some fantasy land of emotion. It’s from a real place in my heart. I don’t pretend relationships are easy. Whether real or imagined, they take work. But to say that adversity cannot be overcome, to say that people cannot work through problems to achieve a real and lasting love is just stupid. So to the naysayers I say, it’s okay. Perhaps you are not emotionally ready to find meaning in my writing. Perhaps the current state of your relationships will not allow you to have hope in your heart. Don’t worry, when you’re ready, the romance genre will still be around.

My Review of…Perfect Plans by C.J. Wells

5.0 out of 5 stars 5-stars for Perfect Plans by C.J. Wells

Left me wanting more!  August 27, 2014

I think most women (and maybe men) can, at some point in their lives, relate to the plight of the main character in this book. I mean, who hasn’t dreamt of having the perfect life, the perfect love? Aby’s desire is a common one, but most people don’t have her bravery to give up everything to go after it. This makes her an interesting and appealing character, and it makes for an interesting book.

As for Alex . . . who wouldn’t find him attractive? He is literally every woman’s dream man. Sexy, sweet, beautiful, and, luckily for Aby, has his own perfect plan. The question is, can Aby allow herself to love him? I’ll not give it all away, but I will say that the development of their relationship involves some seriously hot sex—seriously hot!

This is a well-written, addictive romance. I loved this book, and I can’t wait for the next one! I’m dying to find out what happens with these characters.

My Review of…Wolf Eye Sly by Terri Lyndie

5.0 out of 5 stars 5-stars for Wolf Eye Sly by Terri Lyndie

A Lighthearted, Feel-Good ReadJune 20, 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It’s a lighthearted jaunt through the developing relationship of a made-for-each-other couple. There is nothing quite as sweet as a love that is meant to be. There is just one problem; these two lovers are surrounded by just about the craziest small-town inhabitants that one could imagine. The antics that ensue are hilarious–attack bats, an impromptu wedding, a politician who aspires to impersonate Johnny Cash–need I say more?

This one will have you laughing, and hoping, and cheering right up to the end. I also think the author does a great job of revealing enough plot details to satisfy the reader while still maintaining a few mysteries to be revealed later in the series. She even gives us a little jewel of a preview of the kind of side-splitting scenes we can expect from the next book. I can’t wait to read more.

My Review of…Fifteen Weekends by Christy Pastore

5.0 out of 5 stars 5-stars for Fifteen Weekends by Christy Pastore

I’m Hooked!August 16, 2014

You know how much fun it is to get lost in the interwoven lives of the great ensemble cast of your favorite television show? Well, reading Fifteen Weekends is just like that. Excited anticipation that builds for next week’s show is what I felt at the end of each chapter.

The book follows the love interests and life connections of three twenty-somethings named Ashleigh, Emily, and Amanda. With each chapter, the focus shifts among them. Pastore skillfully weaves an intricate web of carefully timed plot revelations and character details. It’s one of those books that you will want to go back and read again just to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

I have to say, I’m hooked! I want to know what happens next for these three ladies. (Not to mention the hot guy who shows back up at the end. Hmmm…intriguing!)

My Review of…Perfectly Imperfect by Fabiola Francisco

5.0 out of 5 stars 5-stars for Perfectly Imperfect by Fabiola Francisco

Interesting and UniqueJuly 24, 2014

This is an interesting book with unique pacing. Unlike some romance novels with only one pivotal moment, this one has several. In the epilogue, Grayson, the story’s hero, says, “The last year has been a hectic ride. Crazy ups and downs like a rollercoaster.” How right he was. This book takes the reader through quite the emotional journey.

Mia, the book’s heroine, is dealing with some serious hang-ups and issues with her past. She is damaged. There’s no doubt about that, and occasionally, I wanted to smack her for making terrible decisions (especially at those pivotal moments). But her imperfection makes her human and lends credibility to the story. Luckily, Mia has one smoking hot hero to help her deal with her issues. Grayson is dreamy and one can’t help but fall in love with him. He has some demons to deal with as well, but he’s loyal when it counts.

If you want a book that breaks from the tradition of sugar-coated fairy tales, this is the one for you. Real people come with baggage, and this author knows that. Her story paints a realistic portrait of two imperfect people working through their issues to find a perfect love.

My Review of…Electrified by Rachel Blaufeld

5.0 out of 5 stars 5-stars for Electrified by Rachel Blaufeld

Perfect Blend of Sweet and SexyJune 22, 2014

This book is a surprisingly tender tale about two lovers from rough-and-tumble lives. With alternating focus, the narrator reveals the innermost thoughts of Sienna, an exotic dancer in Vegas and Carson, an ex FBI agent turned private investigator. The author does something unique with that third-person narration by slipping in occasional first-person thoughts of her characters. It’s an interesting effect which lends to a slow, sweet build in plot.

Sienna is a sweetheart. She is literally the stripper with a heart of gold personified, but more than that, she is a woman hiding from an abusive past. One can’t help but love her. And Carson… I want him for Christmas. He is one capable and good-looking man who knows how to take care of his woman—in more ways than one.

This book is a nice blend of sweet and sexy. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read. I will certainly be reading more from Rachel Blaufeld.