Romance on the Mind.

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s the annual holiday that people across the country either love or loathe, celebrate or curse- I happen to be a fan of the day. Everything associated with the Hallmark holiday is so cutesy, I just can’t help myself. My affinity for this day also most likely has something to do with my love of romance in general. I write romance, I read romance, and I love to watch romance.

Reflecting on this love I have for love I decided that the most appropriate post for today would be a list of my Top Ten favorite romances, from all sources of media, and ranking them from “gets me every time” to “forever in my heart”. Let’s start the countdown, shall we?

10. Audrey and Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors: This is definitely a ‘last but not least’ situation. Seymour is an orphan that has grown into a nerdy, poverty-stricken adult that is so desperate to make his way out of his life-long rut that he feeds an alien plant chopped up humans, and Audrey is a ‘cocktail waitress’ turned flower shop employee with a penchant for abusive bad boys. He doesn’t feel good enough for her because he can’t offer much and she doesn’t feel good enough for him because of a less-than-innocent past. Add in puppy-eyes, musical numbers, and cleavage for days, and you have the foundation for an out of this world romance.

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9. Stef and Lena Adams-Foster from Freeform Television’s The Fosters: Two beautiful actresses starring as two women in a long-term committed relationship turned marriage. With more kids than I have shoes, Stef and Lena are constantly struggling to focus on themselves and their relationship, but they never lose their sense of humor. They have chemistry and heart which project onto the screen as one of the most believable relationships on television.
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8. Dellon Mitchell and Sandy from Radclyffe’s Justice Series: The first pairing from a book that made it onto my list and they earned the spot. Dellon is a rookie cop and Sandy is an official Confidential Informant for a detective on the force. Complicated enough, but I’d also like to add that Sandy is a prostitute. These two are secondary characters in Radclyffe’s series, but their stories and chemistry allow them to stand out and have a storyline of their own worth following. The balance of innocence and darkness makes for one hell of a ride.
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7. Baby and Johnny from Dirty Dancing: I’m pretty sure every romance lover from my generation would put these two crazy kids on their lists. Baby is a fresh, delicate flower and Johnny is a bad boy dancing king that gets Baby bumpin’ and grindin’ in no time. But I’m still left wondering what happened next. Was it a summer fling? Did Johnny hang up his Kellerman’s issued dancing shoes and follow Baby to South East Asia to help fight hunger? We’ll never know.
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6. WE HAVE A Julia Roberts TIE! First, Vivian Ward and Edward Lewis from Pretty Woman: A millionaire (billionaire?) falls in love with a prostitute and they rescue each other. It’s an iconic movie with an abundance of quote-worthy lines. If I didn’t put it on this list it’d be a big mistake, HUGE.
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Secondly- Anna Scott and William Thacker from Notting Hill: A world famous movie star falls for a regular Joe that owns a travel book store. Who hasn’t had a fantasy much like this one?? (Sorry, Sandra Bullock, but I’m taken now!)

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5. Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison from Fried Green Tomatoes: These two are on my list because of the book, not the film. Their story warmed my heart, made me laugh, and damn-near made me cry. If you’ve only ever watched the movie and had foregone the book, do yourself a favor and pick it up ASAP. You can contact me via email with your thanks.

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4. Root and Shaw from CBS’s Person of Interest: These two…boy oh boy. I’ve recently been introduced to this show and they’re already nearing my top three, and it’s not just because Sarah Shahi is a stone-cold fox (never forget her days as Carmen on The L Word) but the chemistry was there from their first scene together and it was a surprise to everyone. Root is a brilliant, borderline psychopathic, hacker and Shaw is a former military operative with an Axis II Personality Disorder- that means Shaw is incapable of feeling, but it’s fairly obvious that’s not true when it comes to Root. It’s a love/hate partnership with plenty of heart-eyes and flirting. Shaw’s harsh disinterest in Root’s blatant attraction to her makes for the best foreplay on television.
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3. Alice Pieszecki and Dana Fairbanks from The L Word: Speaking of The L word… I’m still bitter about this one. They were OTP before OTP was even a thing. Ugh! The wound is still too fresh to talk about it, so I’ll just move on.
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2. Elle Graft and Hunter Dyson from Eliza Lentzski’s Winter Jacket Series: Eliza Lentzski is a brilliant author. She crafts a first-person story better than I could ever imagine doing myself. Winter Jacket became one of my favorite books before I even finished it. The taboo attraction between a professor and a former student, an odd obsession with one specific article of clothing, and an age difference that portrays wisdom and naivety in refreshing ways come together to make an incredible romance. I cannot say enough good things about these characters and the journey they go on- both individually and together. I’m impatiently waiting for the release of book four!
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And now, my number one favorite romance pairing/story of all time is…

  1. Kylie Mackenzie and Blair Spencer from Suzan X. Meagher’s All That Matters: What a book! Blair and Kylie will never leave my heart. Blair starts out happily married to her husband and looking to conceive, but their struggles in that department lead them to visit a fertility specialist. At their first appointment, the couple is introduced to another doctor at the practice: Dr. Kylie Mackenzie- gorgeous, lesbian, single and ready to mingle. Kylie and Blair hit it off as friends, but as the road to conception and the start of a pregnancy gets shaky, Kylie becomes strong support system for Blair. Lines get blurred, curiosities get peaked, and hearts go against their better judgements. The unravelling of their tale is beautiful and both of these characters have a wicked sense of humor. Just writing this is making me want to go give the book another read!
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Please Note: Each movie, show, or book mentioned are property of their original creators, networks, production companies. My use of their titles and character names are for non-profitable blogging. These mentions are just small shout-outs, with all due respect.

A Little Taste of “Fortunate Sum” and an Exclusive Offer!

We’re just outside of one month until the release of Fortunate Sum. I’m so excited to share this little creation with you all that I decided to share an excerpt from the book. This little bit is where Catherine and Imogene first meet eachother, and oh what a meeting it is.

 

More and more guests filled the living area and large kitchen within the next half hour. Catherine hadn’t had the chance to manage even a small “happy birthday” to Alice before someone dragged her away to greet her guests. She hadn’t even caught a glimpse of her. Catherine remained tucked away with a glass of the wine she brought and found herself somehow having a one-on-one debate about the Super Bowl with a man she believed was named Eric. Catherine hated sports. Thankfully, she was part of a family that enjoyed entertaining and worked in a field that required her to address large groups of people at a time. Catherine managed to handle herself just fine. She only caught herself wishing the kids were there to take her away from the stifling adult once. Finally she couldn’t take it anymore.

“I’m sorry, Eric,” she held up her glass, “too much wine on an empty stomach.”

“It’s Jeff. My name is Jeff.” She flinched at her mistake.

“Excuse me, Jeff.” She slithered away, feeling guilty, bored, and tired. Deciding she was ready to leave, Catherine scanned the large crowd in hopes of finding Alice. No such luck. Instead of weaving in and out of bodies to find her, she decided to fill a plate at the impressive buffet. She had a lot of work waiting for her at home, but at least this way she’d get to it with a full stomach while avoiding another sodium-packed prepared meal.

As Catherine grabbed a plate, a redheaded woman who seemed more eager to get to the shrimp cocktail than any other partygoer bumped her. Catherine stumbled back a step and almost dropped the dish. Just as Catherine was about to bite off a remark, the redhead turned around to offer an apology.

“I am so sorry! I probably look like some sort of fool, stumbling over myself just to get to some food!” A megawatt smile spread across her beautiful face, rendering Catherine speechless. “I didn’t get a chance to eat all day, and I have been waiting patiently for an opening to get at least a little something to nibble on.” Catherine tried to follow what she was saying, but the other woman gripped Catherine’s shoulder to steady herself as she slipped back into her runway heel. “When my opportunity came, so did you. That’s when I forgot how to put one foot in front of the other without losing a shoe and, well, crash.” Giggles fell from her full pink lips.

Catherine couldn’t stop staring at her, even though she hadn’t heard a word the woman had said. Her thick, long, auburn hair framed her face well. She looked so young and yet so mature. She possessed a timeless, old-Hollywood beauty Catherine thought magnificent. The sprinkle of freckles across her pink cheeks added to the charm she saw in the woman’s large, crystal blue eyes. She took her hand off her shoulder, and Catherine realized she should say something.

“Me either.” The woman looked confused, and Catherine thought to elaborate. “I haven’t eaten much either.” When the redhead smiled brightly, Catherine’s stomach did a little, unfamiliar flip. She swallowed hard as the other woman looked her up and down. The movement was subtle, but she felt as though it was a physical caress. Catherine reached over and grabbed a large platter overflowing with peeled shrimp. “It’d be a shame if we both starved. Shall we?” Together they walked toward the empty couch.

The two women sat, laughing and joking as they ate. Catherine learned quite a bit about the bubbly redhead beside her. She knew she liked shrimp immensely and could spot a finely tailored shirt a mile away. Though her red hair fell in waves, she was jealous of naturally curly hair, she had a love for heels but couldn’t quite master anything higher than two inches, and she absolutely adored parties and white wine, but not as much as her Aunt Rita. She was everything Catherine wasn’t and enjoyed all the things Catherine shied away from. Thankfully, she was so talkative, Catherine didn’t have to share anything too personal.
Without prompting, the crowd shifted to the perimeter of the room, clearing space in the center for a woman with blond, chin-length hair. She was slim and tall, authoritative in posture and air. She waited patiently for the quiet murmurs around the room to die down.

“What’s this all about?” Catherine whispered, leaning in closely. She wouldn’t let herself acknowledge the dizzying feeling that accompanied the scent of the other woman’s perfume. It was a delicate, addicting scent.

“That’s Sophia Glass. She’s a psychic,” the other woman offered. She never took her eyes off the blonde as she started speaking, opening up to the crowd.

“Hello, everybody. My name is Sophia, and I’ll be your entertainment for this evening.” A few men hooted at the idea and Sophia laughed. “Not that kind of entertainment, although it would probably increase my pay rate.” The rest of the room joined in on the laughter. “I’m a psychic, and I’m here to talk to the believers and possibly even intrigue the skeptics.”

“A psychic? Are you kidding me?” Catherine could barely contain her disbelief and giggles. What was Alice thinking?

“Sophia has a large following and a very well-respected practice in town.”

“A practice? She’s not a doctor,” Catherine said. “She may be a quack, though.”

“She’s not a quack.”

“You believe in this stuff?” Catherine pointed toward Sophia. “That woman is here to make money. She’ll tell these people anything they want to hear.” She shook her head and laughed again as she looked around at the interest on everyone’s faces.

“You should be more open-minded,” the redhead whispered.

“I am open-minded, but I’m not stupid.” Catherine looked into the blue eyes suddenly boring into her. Gone was the laughter, gone was the light, gone was the magic and the connection that had no name. Before she could ask why, the psychic started talking again.

“I’d like to call up my dearest friend to assist me. Imogene, come up here.”

Catherine realized she had put her foot in her mouth, and she didn’t like the taste of it when the woman next to her rose and joined in the spotlight at the center of the room. She sank into the plush sofa and waited patiently for an opportunity to escape with her tail between her legs.

 

Want to read more? Drop by here or here to preorder the paperback or head on over to Bold Strokes Books to preorder the ebook and receive it March 1st! This offer is EXCLUSIVE to ebook preorders on the Bold Strokes Books website. Take advantage now!  March 16th cannot come quickly enough.