by Mary Margret Daughtridge
Beginning writers are often advised to “Write what you
know.” Beginning romance writers are told to “Write the book you would love to read.” If that wouldn’t be a romance, you’re out of luck, according to Donald Maass. "Romance," he says, "cannot be faked."Fortunately for me, romance is what I love, and today I launch my third: SEALed with a Ring.
A publishing contract usually specifies a number of copies of the book that the author will receive as part of the deal. Typically your author’s copies arrive a few weeks before the book goes on sale. It’s neat. You see it before anyone else does. You slit the brown tape on the box and are immediately transported by the heady zing of fresh ink, the clean, woody aroma of paper that hasn’t been touched. You slide your fingers over the cover, relishing the smooth slipperiness of plastic coated colors. And then you take the books out and line them up side, by side, by side, by side. Your book, infinitely replicated. This is what “published” means. One day, I might be blasé about it. I’m not yet.
My author’s copies came a couple of weeks ago. I felt the thrill and admired the beautiful colors of the cover—but there was one more thing I had to do. I had to find out if, now it has its final form, is it a book I would love to read? You’d think I would know—and I do know—and yet a book is different once it has solidified into the material world. It’s literally and metaphorically heavier. So I sat down and read it.
Y’all. It’s good. Romantic Times gives it four stars, so that’s not just my opinion.
I put in everything I like. It has (1)a hero who’s strong enough to have no need to hide his tender heart. (2)A heroine who needs to appreciate who she is. (3)A dog or two. (4)A family functioning and dysfunctioning through life’s challenges.(5)Liberal sprinkles of humor, and (6)some tears to keep it moist. (7)All wrapped up in a marriage of convenience plot. [sigh] What’s not to love?
What’s it about? Glad you asked.
Murphy’s Law is kicking Navy SEAL Davy Graziano’s butt. Nothing has gone right since the night he had mind-blowing sex with a woman so hot, introductions seemed beside the point—until she disappeared.
Suddenly, he must find the money to provide for his special-needs brother. On top of that, head injuries he’s hiding could end the One Good Thing—his SEAL career. And if life weren’t out of control enough, a beautiful woman will pay him to marry her in name only. He can have all the women he wants—just not her.
But Davy doesn’t do infidelity. And he doesn’t do celibacy either.
Responsibility defines JJ Caruthers. Because of her, a lot of people have food on the table. In this hard economy, every hour left over from keeping the family business afloat has to go to the charities she heads up. No matter what her controlling grandfather thinks, the lovely young CEO needs a husband like a pig needs roller skates.
If she wanted a husband, she wouldn’t choose the kind of man who has a one-night stand with a woman without even learning her name. In other words, the kind of man Davy is. JJ should know. He had one with her. That night showed JJ a side of herself she never wants to see again.
But she must marry--or else. He's available. And she's been trained by the best in the art of the deal.
When marriage is made at the bargaining table…
Sometimes you don’t get what you bargain for.
Sometimes…you get a lot more.
You might wonder what I do with the author’s copies—after I have lined them up and admired them. I make presents of them. They go to people who have helped me with research, fed me when I was under deadline, dried my tears when I got frustrated, and cheered me on. Since readers of this blog fit under one, or several of those headings, readers who comment today will have a chance to receive one of the three signed author’s copies I would like to give away. Here's your question: what ingredients always ring the bell on your romance-o-meter?