First of all, I want to thank Amy for hosting me today. It’s such an honor to shine a light on my latest novel The Flower Bowl Spell on this awesome blog! Also, thanks to ABG Reads Book Blog Tours for arranging it all. My heart feels all warm and fuzzy.
Speaking of warming my heart, I bet there are a lot of readers who love a good romance. Am I right? I know I'm one of them. Whenever there’s a decent rom-com on cable, I’m there. And even though The Flower Bowl Spell is not strictly a romance novel, there are certainly romantic elements—a bit of a love triangle, flirtation, taboo behavior, sex dreams. I did a reading and Q & A of the book last week, and the audience absolutely grilled me on writing sex scenes (I honestly think they had a bet going to see who could get me to blush first). I admit, I like to read a well-written sex scene, but really, it’s the romance that gets me hooked and makes me fall in love (lol) with a novel. When I’m writing about love, sex, or attraction in my stories, I like to find inspiration from books I’ve read that really stick with me. There are several novels that have great love stories, and below are the five that stand out for me.
One Day by David Nicholls. This is one of my favorite novels of the past few years. The relationship between Emma Morley and Dex Mayhew is funny, romantic, sexy, and real. A great read by a terrific “lad lit” author who portrays soul mates stunningly.
The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan. Not precisely a romance, Egan’s debut novel addresses themes that she revisits in all of her work, including the Pulitzer Prize winner A Visit from the Goon Squad, about idealism, politics, and love. In The Invisible Circus, Phoebe tries to find out the truth surrounding her older sister’s death years before. This leads her to seek out her sister’s boyfriend, Wolf, which leads to an affair that’s hot and intense for all the wrong reasons. But that’s what makes it so fun to read, right?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I could probably include this book or the characters or the author in every one of my Top 5 lists (maybe not paranormal fiction, but I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies yet). Ah, the beautiful, blooming romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. He falls for her utterly, would do anything for her even when he’s almost sure she won’t love him back. So frickin’ romantic!
According to Jane by Marilyn Brant. OK, this has a tiny paranormal element to it, and it does have Jane Austen’s ghost as a character, so I take back what I wrote above about Austen and paranormal lists, maybe. Inspired by Jane Austen’s work, as many, many novels are (even one I'm drafting now, ahem), Brant’s novel follows the up-and-down romance of Ellie and Sam. Although a bit meandering over Ellie’s “relationship” with Jane, who speaks to Ellie through her thoughts, the scenes between Ellie and Sam crackle, especially their “first time” encounter.
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. I'm a big Emily Giffin fan. How does she make writing upmarket fiction/chick lit look so easy? Still, her first novel, Something Borrowed, is my favorite. You’ve got your love triangle. You’ve got your forbidden, taboo attraction. You’ve got your sneaking around. You’ve got another romantic lead named Dex (by the way, there’s a Dex in The Flower Bowl Spell, but he’s evil). It’s a fun better-them-than-me concoction.
So, let me know about your favorite romances. I’m always looking for a good lead. And thanks again for reading!
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