Friday, August 10, 2018

Flaws and All

Congratulations to "Jcp", the winner in Maggie's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

Sometimes, I write women readers fall in love with on first sight. Other heroines, they can never quite warm to. I get that. And, believe it or not, I’m okay with it.

Because who we are shapes our humanity. There are a multitude of factors that play into our chances for success. Genetic traits passed on at birth, family ties, friendships and support networks. Then we add in education, environment, romantic and sexual identity, career choices…It goes on and on.

Every one of these factors force us to confront and adjust who we are and what is important to us.

Yet, we like to try to fit our fictional heroines into tiny little molds. We call them archetypes, because that sounds cooler and more writery, but basically, they are character sketches. We want them to be relatable. As a writer, I want the words I write to mean something to someone. Even the silly jokes.

Because I never know who is reading.

That person may really need a laugh that day. Or, perhaps, a reader sees something of herself in a character someone else might see as tragically flawed. This is why it’s important to me to write women who don’t always fit the mold. Maybe they didn’t spend their childhood playing with baby dolls and dreaming of their wedding day. Maybe, like me, they did, but that family life didn’t unfold the way they originally envisioned.

Doesn’t make it better or worse, just makes us different.

Our life stories can be plotted using two simple markers—decision or indecision. Of course, as a writer, I tend to write action more than inaction. No one wants to read a story where life simply happens to a person, right? But we all know inaction can have as potent a result as action.

Personally, I’d rather see my heroine make the wrong choice than no choice at all.
As romance readers, we forgive an awful lot in our heroes. I know I do. But when will we start extending the same level of understanding to our heroines?

I am a work in progress—as a person, as a writer, and as a reader. I love characters who refuse to stop evolving. When I started writing the Play Dates series, I wanted to women who happened to be hitting some of those critical moments of decision/indecision of life.
I'll tell you a secret, most of us don’t have it all figured out. So, when do we start accepting ourselves as flawed, but still pretty damn awesome? At what point do we start cutting women—real and fictional—a break?

Check out the latest in my Play Dates series featuring hot single dads and the women who love them: A RING FOR ROSIE

Here’s a taste:
The icy January wind sliced through the worsted wool of her coat. Once again, vanity had led her down the primrose path. But her down-filled puffy jacket looked silly on top of a pencil skirt, and the lining on her trusty trench coat was no match for a Windy City winter. Clutching the lapels together, she gulped icy air and nearly choked on the frigid lungful.
As soon as she caught her breath again, she smiled. “Hey.”
“God, Rosie, you are the best.” A whoosh of vapor trailed after him as his long strides ate the ice-crusted pavement between them. He came straight at her, his arms extended, and she braced herself for the hug. Not because his embrace wasn’t welcome, but because it would never be what she dreamed being held by James could be. Lord help her, she stepped right into the hug anyway.
But before she could tip her face up and away, his lips touched down. Not on her cheek or her forehead, temple, or any of the other seemingly innocuous places a kiss could land. No, he kissed her mouth. Square on the mouth. Not at the corner or slightly off on the chin. This kiss wasn’t one of those head-turning mishaps she may or may not have attempted to orchestrate over the years. No, James Harper was kissing her freely and willingly.
On. The. Mouth.
An honest to goodness kiss, if a brief one.
Her euphoria turned to mortification when she noticed the saucer-like circumference of his bright blue eyes as he straightened. The kiss might not have been an accident, but judging by the shock on his face, he hadn’t actually planned to. But he did.

How about you? What’s your fatal flaw? Tell me your kryptonite in the comments below, and I’ll give away one digital copy of the first book in this series: PLAY DATES
Once burned, this father of twins is twice shy until he realizes the right woman is the charm . . .

James Harper is a great dad, but a lousy judge of women—as evidenced by his twin boys’ flighty mother, who walked out when the babies were just six weeks old. He’s got fatherhood down, but dating is another story—especially when the twins’ mom shows up any time she needs something. His office manager, Rosie Herrera, is the one woman he can count on, actually talk to, flirt with, and . . . come to think of it, has he been overlooking the perfect woman all this time?

Rosie’s been in love with James since her first day on the job, but she’s certain he only sees her as a reliable employee—until one heated kiss changes everything. And then James’s ex shows up, and walks right into his life again. Determined to move on, Rosie tries to forget everything she feels about James—by doing her best to fall for someone else. But James isn’t about to make the same mistake twice. To woo Rosie this time, he needs to prove they’re made for  each other . . . forever.

About Maggie: 
By day, Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. At night, she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. Maggie has a passion for college football, processed cheese foods, and happy endings. Not necessarily in that order.  

More Maggie: 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Aug. 11th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 


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