Sunday, April 17, 2016

Forced Proximity

With: A.J. Pine

Congratulations to "Samantha B.", the winner in A.J.'s giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

One of my favorite romance tropes is forced proximity. Throw a resistant couple together in close quarters for an extended period of time and watch the magic--or disaster--happen. I like to think there will be more magic than disaster. After all, we are talking about romance here. But bumps in the road, so to speak, are necessary to test the strength of any relationship. This dynamic was super fun to explore in my new release, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. Wonder if my hero and heroine would agree…

How far will one man go for the woman he’s loved since high school?

Jamie Kingston has been Brynn Chandler's best friend since middle school. Only once was their friendship tested—when Brynn gave Jamie a single kiss. Since then, they've had an unspoken agreement never to cross that line again, and she’s ready to let go of the past and move on.

But Jamie has loved Brynn for as long as he can remember, and now that he's ready to tell her, she has her sights set on someone else. Knowing this is his last chance, he asks Brynn to go on a two-week road trip. But their time alone brings old hurts to the surface, and Brynn has to decide if the one that got away lies at the end of the journey or if he's been by her side all along.

This book was so much fun to write because it gave me the opportunity to channel some of my favorite road trip movies for inspiration, so I thought I’d share a few. 

1.      When Harry Met Sally (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) is probably my favorite romcom of all time, and it starts off with a road trip.

Image supplied by guest author
2.      Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is the unlikely friendship between two strangers, Steve Martin’s Neal and John Candy’s Del. One of the funniest road trips ever.
Image supplied by guest author

3.      Seeking a Friend for the End of the World-This movie surprised me. It’s a strangely wonderful yet sad journey for Dodge (Steve Carell) and Penny (Keira Knightley).
Image supplied by guest author
4.      Leap Year. Amy Adams (swoon) as Anna and Matthew Goode (swoon) as Declan. And Ireland. Just too much to swoon over here!
Image supplied by guest author
5.      So maybe it’s not technically a road trip, but that’s only because there weren’t cars in whatever time period Tangled takes place. Suffice it to say, Rapunzel, Flynn, Maximus, and Pascal are the quintessential road trip crew.
Image supplied by guest author 
And because romance heroes and heroines tend to do things on road trips they wouldn’t do in their everyday lives, here’s an excerpt from when Jamie and Brynn arrive in Amarillo, Texas—penniless and starving without an ATM in sight, so naturally they crash a wedding and have a little bit too much tequila…
“You, Sleepy B, have had enough.”

“Jean,” she said.

“Who’s Jean?”

She shook her head. “I’m not Sleepy B, silly.”

Jamie chuckled. “I’m sleepy,” he said, his voice soft and warm, like Brynn could snuggle into it.

“Mmmm…” she said. “I wanna snuggle with your voice.”

Wait. What?

“You’re hammered,” he said, laughing again.

“You’re screwed,” Brynn countered, and then she laughed so hard she snorted. “Do you get it? Hammered and screwed? Now someone just needs to get nailed.”

More snorting ensued as Jamie’s eyes widened. She was hammered. Plastered. Screwed. Nailed. All of it—three sheets to the wind plus a pillowcase and maybe a duvet. She knew because even with her glasses on, Jamie was fuzzy around the edges. She knew because she didn’t normally
say things about snuggling with his voice, and she certainly didn’t have a habit of sucking fruit from between his fingers and wanting to devour him in the process.

So this was how it was going to be from here on out? Alcohol working as some sort of truth serum? Well, she was going to do something about that, and by something she apparently meant vomiting out more truth.

“James?” she asked, doing her best to fake composure. Because this was important.

“Sleepy Jean.” He nodded, seeming proud of his ability to overcome his own tipsiness to call her by the correct nickname.

“I think you should know that, mostly against my will, there were a couple of times in the past two days when I maybe, kind of, probably thought you were sexy.”

Good Lord. She was Mr. freaking Darcy.

AJ Pine  writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, the books she writes have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes). And a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. You’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago ‘burbs. AJ is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary.

A.J. is offering one U.S. winner a TOTGA swag pack that would include a bookmark and one item from her Kingston Ale House store on Cafepress: 

Author Website:
Author Twitter: @AJ_Pine
Author Facebook: AJ Pine-Author

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 18th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. US residents only.


  1. fun post
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  2. love this theme too

    alysap at yahoo dot com

  3. Love road trip romances! And the fact that Tangled got a mention as one because Flynn and Rapunzel are my favorite Disney couple. <3

    madjy2max at gmail dot com


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