On Tour with Prism Book Tours
She wants a temporary fake romance
Can he make it real…and forever?
Driving across the country in an RV with her terminally ill godmother was not Daphne Merlotte’s idea. Nor was crashing the RV into a small-town coffee shop, nearly hitting local good guy Mel Greene. Now Daphne will do anything to keep her godmother from continuing the trip–even asking Mel to be her fake boyfriend. But there’s nothing fake about Mel’s intentions–he wants a real romance!
Romance with All the Feels
COMING HOME TO YOU, is another story that delivers a huge emotional punch. So says my editor, and I trust her explicitly. It’s why romance readers choose this genre, right? Everyone thinks they are just love stories, but we know they are stories that plow through the entire field of emotions, unearthing the metaphorical dirt on our hero and heroine.
Along the way, I rake over your emotions too, dear reader. It’s a weird sort of masochistic-sadistic relationship in which you knowingly embark on an emotional rollercoaster designed by me to elicit as much fear, excitement, joy and triumph as possible so that when you glide to the finish, shaking with relief, you immediately shout out, “Again!”
I’ve decided that four emotions always arise in romances: whatever makes you cry, whatever makes you laugh, whatever makes you makes you want the story not to end, whatever makes you want it to end.
I’ll explain using COMING HOME TO YOU and my previous stories.
- Whatever Makes You Cry
I received the highest compliment from my editor about COMING HOME TO YOU, when she reported in a margin note: I’m BAWLING here. Then, in our next round of edits, she confided that she cried again in the exact same spot, even though she knew what was coming.
I won’t tell you where she grabbed for her box of tissues, but I can tell you that this scene was key to figuring out what made my hero, Mel, tick. Writers call it the wound—the childhood trauma or early horror that shapes their adult beliefs. Until they face up to how it has atrophied or destroyed their relationships, they can’t move forward.
I’ve written a few stories that have caused the words to suddenly blur for my readers. I’ve read a whole lot more that set off my waterworks. Haven’t we all? Sometimes, you know why. It’s a story about a bully or the loss of a parent or a fire that destroys memories. You’re crying for your hero or heroine, but you’re also crying for yourself because on some level it speaks to your deepest fear, desire or sorrow.
- Whatever Makes You Laugh
Humor is tricky. One can burst into laughter, while another thinks it’s the height of cruelty. The safest kind of humor evokes a gentle smile and then sails on. I must admit that I’m no good at that. I love zingers, comebacks or the slow, self-deprecating boomerang remark that makes the reader laugh and then suck it back as they realize its impact on their poor hero or heroine. Back in my first book in the series, A ROOF OVER THEIR HEAD, a naked boy jumps into my hero’s truck. There is the usual comical fallout from that as he tries to simultaneously ignore and address the boy’s state, but underneath all that is the very real societal concern of a naked child alone with a strange male in this day and age of ‘blame now, justify later’.
My favorite kind of humor unrolls over an entire scene, the ever-complicating scenario that drags in more characters and plays out natural consequences to their hilarious end. I had loads of fun writing a scene in COMING HOME TO YOU where Mel tries to teach Daphne how to drive.
- Whatever Makes You Want to Read More
Yes, that’s the suspenseful, exciting, ‘will-they-or-won’t they’ range of emotions. It could be the car chase, the meet-up, the clash between hero and villain, the race to find the missing child, the full-on argument between two characters who’ve been dying to lay a tongue-lashing on each other. BUILDING A FAMILY, the second in my series, has all of the above with the biggest rise from my readers coming from scenes where it’s a regular mud-slinging fest of words.
- Whatever Makes You Want it to End
Hopefully it’s not bad writing! I mean here that cringe-y set of emotions: shame, embarrassment, acute anxiety. You know the feeling when your favorite character is about to do something incredibly stupid because they feel compelled to do it, something you know will have an undesirable outcome. How many of you out there are like me, have had to physically leave a room during a movie at those excruciating moments? What, only me? I admit that my daughter has had to order me back into the room to watch the scene play out. If I’m watching alone, then I desensitize myself by watching just a few seconds at a time or pacing while I look away and listen to the audio. Yes, I know. I need therapy. In COMING HOME TO YOU, Daphne first meets Mel, while in a diaphanous, over-the-top nightgown. Sorry, Daphne.
Can you relate to these feelings? What other emotions would you suggest? Do you have go-to books that evoke these emotions for you?
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
M. K. Stelmack writes contemporary romances set in Spirit Lake which is closely based on the small town in Alberta, Canada, where she lives with pets who outnumber the humans three to one, and where dust bunnies run unchecked. She aims to tell stories that don’t shy away from the tough questions but still leave readers feeling uplifted. She is the author of two previous Harlequin Heartwarming titles, A Roof Over Their Heads and Building a Family. She loves hearing from readers. Find her at her website or on Facebook
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