I've belonged to many messageboards over the years, some a bit harsh and others really fun. I happened to get asked to an invitation only board where initiates have to answer a series of questions in order to be accepted. It sounded daunting at first but as I made my way, I ended up gaining a whole lot of friendships along the way.
This is also where I gained the courage to not only become a better writer but to attempt a submission or two. While the whole board was private—and is you saw nothing unless you were a member—it also had forums within it that were invitation only. So, I could post my work in progress and get honest opinions from the small group.
That, my friends is where The Romance Novel Book Club was born. I'm a stickler for details for the most part. Not only do I write several different genres, I also read them. While on a romance novel bender, ranging from historical to futuristic, I began to see big gaps in credibility in the stories. I'm all for a good bend over in a book but when it loses me because I begin to think the heroine is a contortionist with eight limbs or a kick-ass chick becomes a mewling kitten in the face of danger then I begin to wonder. Perhaps I dream big or perhaps I have a high standard because I do read all across the board. Either way, I started poking fun at these gaffes. It was a story born out of sarcasm and a little bit of where my life was at that point.
Make no bones about it. I picked the hero's name on purpose. He's named after a very good friend of mine that, unfortunately, slipped into the void. A gentleman at heart, and someone I later found out adored me for more than a good friend, he walked away from our friendship slowly. First, when I got married and second at the birth of my one and only son. It was a joy to get a visit in the hospital from him. He even brought a cool tie-dye dinosaur plush for my boy. That squeaky toy went on to be one of my son's favorites. I miss Matt terribly to this day and truly hope he's found his happy ending.
Julie is also named after a good friend of mine. I met her at a gathering out in Pittsburgh of some gamers. She was fun and bubbly. What I didn't know then and later found out was she was going through a difficult time that ultimately caused her marriage to fall apart. Through her ups and downs, I was there—though long distance. We've even hooked up a couple of times when I go out to Pittsburgh. I could think of no better way to show her how much her friendship meant to me than to immortalize her in a book.
Now back to the parody of romance novels. I actually had the working title of the Anti-romance Novel when I was writing this one. In fact, the snippets I have in it of the novels Patricia reads are actually longer than represented in the book and ones from my head. When I started realizing I had a story of two people meant for each other blossoming within, the snark (for the most part) directed entirely at the 'poking fun at romance novels' died down quite a lot. Much like my own life at that point, it wasn't the glaring errors I was really mad at. It was the perfect happy ending. The formula of boy meets girl, fall in love, screws up with an ex or she's involved in some way, no communication to work things out, and then the blissful wedding followed by children. Each one of the stories I read seemed to follow that pattern. Tragic story of the heroine not being able to conceive a child? No problem! A doctor fixes it like new! Not that children are bad but for once I would have liked to see a little of "Let's adopt Short Round now that Indiana Jones left him at the terminal at the airport."
More than anything I wanted to show that it's okay to cook up a pound of bacon or drink wine straight from the bottle. Flatulence is a naturally occurring thing, people! Live it up! Most of all, stop looking at the flaws around you and the ones within you. They are nothing but anchors keeping you from realizing the most important thing in the world—that special someone who gets you for who you are instead of what they want you to be…
…and bacon. Lots of it.
From the legendary times of the Victorian Age to the rugged reaches of outer space, the romance novels have done nothing to spark Patricia’s want and hope of finding that one special man to call her own. She’s knee deep into her thirties, near depression, and drowning her sorrows in pints of premium ice cream. When she falls for a waiter named Matt in her favorite restaurant, her insecurities do their best to thwart her plans of true love. It isn’t until she picks up one last romance novel that she realizes life cannot be lived within the ink splattered pages of an author’s fantasies. She has one chance to set her life straight and snatch the one man who gets her: mind and body.
Will Patricia take it?
Be Warned: sex toys, multiple partners, spanking, light bondage, public exhibition
Want to know more? Check out the links below
Evernight Publishing | Amazon | All Romance ebooks | Bookstrand
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A big Thank You to Kastil for stopping and sharing her motivation behind The Romance Novel Book Club!