THE GAUNTLET

Really, most days I feel as if the gauntlet has been thrown. The challenge to write through anything and everything can be overwhelming. After all, I write happily ever afters and part of that is getting into the heads of my beloved characters. On days when the world is happening everywhere, it's doubly hard. And when I'm desperate, those are the days I remember why I love romance.

Prince Phillip fights through the bramble for true love’s kiss…

Prince Phillip fights through the bramble for true love’s kiss…

Unlike much of real life, in my books the ending is always good. The villain always gets his or her comeuppance. And the hero and heroine always get each other. It seems I've always needed this from the time I began reading romances, when I suddenly realized that real life can be mean and hurtful. But for the writer mean and hurtful does have its place. It's information tucked away for those bat crazy villains.

Link burns through the thorns on his quest to help Zelda…

Link burns through the thorns on his quest to help Zelda…

My strongest ally is my husband. Thirty six years of happily ever after is my sword and shield. I am Prince Phillip fighting through the thorns to get to sleeping beauty. In Zelda I simply set them aflame with my fire arrows. And just like that, the world melts away behind a bit of make believe, and once again my characters breathe. And so do I.

~Shannon

Mean Girls

Thoughts from a nice girl about mean girls...

There are days when I wonder “Why can’t I just be like the mean girls?” The ones who say whatever they think and feel without filter or tact. Or the ones who can mean mug you through a plate glass window and somehow make you feel like your sole purpose is serving them.

And then there’s the people, hundreds, maybe even someone reading this, who will either correct my grammar (no biggy) or correct my thinking with a happy quote like “No one can make you feel anything” Except that’s not entirely true.

Mind over feelings is foolishness. Feelings are important and valid and healing. Without them we aren’t whole. And let’s not forget that quotes from famous people aren’t necessarily true. They aren’t magic. They’re just something someone famous once said.

I do my best to live and be the best version of me since there is no other version out there. Apparently, I serve a purpose. I'm needed by the mean girls because without nice girls meanness would mean nothing.

And in the end when I have a bad day and I’m hurting because of a mean girl, I dream of things I’d like to say, mean things, and naughty things, and things with four letter words in them. But I don’t because, all in all, I’m relatively nice, and most of the time fair.

I do, however, have some plans for two mean girls. They will find themselves in a book that may never be read, but will definitely be published. And something yucky will happen to them. Not fatal, or maiming, just yucky.

Does that make me a mean girl? I hope not. Their names will be changed to protect their non-innocent mean mugging selves. So there's that. As for me it's a great real life lesson in body language.

Writers don't let anything go to waste. Somehow all feelings find their way onto the page.

~Shannon

Fairy Tale vs. Fairytale

I know in the proper vernacular fairy tale is two words. A fairy tale.  A fairy that tells tales. Tales as told by fairies. And so on.

But for me it can only be one word. Fairytale. The singular word embodies more than a story. It’s an entire fantastical life. It breathes a happily ever after. It’s the grown version of fairy tale. No longer a child’s dream and a frog prince, now it’s strong men and stronger women working toward the same happily ever after.

(Believe it or not, these lovely gowns are actually gowns! NightGowns. Or NightRails to be more precise)

(Believe it or not, these lovely gowns are actually gowns! NightGowns. Or NightRails to be more precise)

It’s more than a glass slipper and singing birds.

It’s a romantic interlude. A softly spoken declaration. An overindulgence of love.

It’s a romance.

night rail 2.jpg

It’s a dance. A kiss. A throbbing pulse. A reason to breathe.

It’s true in the moment and a healthy distraction.

It’s the best of fiction and non-fiction combined.

It’s word play and role play. Farce and fantasy. And sometimes in the best of times, it’s a true love story.

It’s why I write romance and why I read romance. Because I believe in the Happily Ever After.

The fairytale.

~Shannon

 

 

Come believe with me. Read from the book boudoir. Or share a shelf with me on goodreads. What’s your favorite love story?

Merry Christmas Book

End of Year Request

This month I'm asking a favor of my fans. As most of you know my Book Boudoir features not only books but lingerie. I try to match something I like about each book with something special to wear. It's all comfy. Some of it's sexy. Most of it's affordable. But this month I have a blank page. My last lingerie pick is pretty in pink and a little razzle dazzle, after all it is Christmas.

However, I'm missing a book title. I need a book to read that matches this lovely piece of lounge wear ;) If you have an idea that fits, please leave the book title and author's name in the comments section. A nice cozy Christmas read would be most appropriate.

Thanks

~Shannon

Stickers

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Doctor’s visits. The Dentist. The grocery store. Even Target. All places that little kids get free stickers just for showing up. When I was a kid we had treasure boxes with plastic rings, super balls, jacks, and tiny decks of cards. I don’t miss the treasure box, except maybe the tiny decks of cards. However, I find myself wanting to ask for a sticker and a snoopy bandaid every time I get a shot.

That little thing inside me that craves a surprise bonus never went away and, since I don’t have a paying job, there’s no one to grant me a yearend bonus of any kind. I guess I could ask my husband for a sticker. It would sure be a lot cheaper than all the mochas I buy during the week.

          One of my favorite bookmarks

          One of my favorite bookmarks

Writing is lonely and the kudos are either nonexistent or few and far between. For me, I’m in the nonexistent part of the journey and stickers would definitely cheer me on. Stickers, and coffee mugs, and bookmarks.

It’s the little things that keep me going.

And, hey, I have a NaNoWriMo hangover and I need a prize.

:D Shannon

 

Join me on Twitter @shanRpatterson

Friday and Things...

Laughter is carbonated holiness…. Anne Lamott

It's Friday. I look forward to Fridays, not because I work deathly hard all week and deserve a break--because truthfully I work almost every day of the month. Writing never really stops, and each day has little distinction except for Friday.

Friday my husband plays hockey well into the night and I get alone time. I do things like color my hair wacky colors, or play a video game, or watch my favorite old sitcom (Mary Tyler Moore) or binge watch Poldark. That last one I've been doing a lot lately. 

I check my calendar and pretend I've met my goals, and I never make my bed on Friday. Out of all the housework I do and don't do (mostly don't do) making the bed makes the least sense. It's kind of like bagging groceries that are already in a bag. ie. potato chips.

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Saturday through Thursday I live in the heads of people who only exist in my head. But Friday I live in my real made up world. I live it as me, but I pretend the world is a nice place where I needn't worry about anything, and I celebrate the good things like: my family, mochas, chip and dip...you know, all the important things. I let go of the things I have no control over and give myself permission to indulge in happiness.

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Then I do the best thing of all, I drink prosecco. Ice chilled almost frozen prosecco. A good movie, my coloring books, and prosecco. 

~Shannon

It's All About the Love...

I don’t write romances for the sex. And, believe it or not, I don’t read them for it either.

What I look for is that feeling of falling in love. The chemistry. The heart pounding insecurity when you first meet someone you’d like to meet again and again and again.

I read them for the ultimate escape from reality. Because let’s face it, if you met one of these book boyfriends in real life, you’d likely never give him the time of day.

I write alpha-heroes with soft hearts. And soft women with stubborn resolve.

I write the kind of sex scenes that depict an affair of the heart and not a sleazy affair with the 2am bar drunk—not that a 2am bar drunk isn’t okay…when you’re married to him/her. (as long as my mother isn’t reading this, I’ll admit that I’ve been there) p.s. my mom just signed up for my newsletter.

When I first started reading romances I seriously skipped most of the sex scenes because what I craved wasn’t that skin to skin bond, it was all the tension that led up to it. I craved the relationship and banter and the quirky personalities. I craved to read the weird ways people meet and to discover what it was that makes us fall so deeply in love that we’ll never leave. I learned about struggle and conflict. I learned about places I’d never been and eras I’d never know. Most of all I learned what I wanted, and what I didn’t want, in a man.

I truly do give credit to romance novels for helping me recognize my husband when I met him. And no he doesn’t look like Fabio…thank the good Lord. But he loves me intensely.

blessed Jeff and I holding hands.jpg

The basic rule for writing romance is: 1. It must have a Happily Ever After 2. It must have sex, open or closed door (not my rule, this info came directly from an agent). Now, I will admit that the second rule has changed some over the years. We now have cozy reads and inspirational reads and reads with romantic elements, not to mention chick lit. So…yes, I could in theory, write a romance without sex, and I’ve fought the moral side of my upbringing for years trying to find the right balance. But I can’t do it. I can’t morally write these characters I love without giving them what they want.

These are not easy scenes to write, but I’ve found them to be important.

Truth: sex exists in more than just romance novels. It’s in almost every other book of fiction on the market. The romance genre is just an easy target for bashing it. And if we’re completely honest, it exists in our homes too. **blush** And thank you God it exists in the Bible.

My mom keeps asking to read my current book, but she doesn’t want to read a kissing book. Sorry, mom, there’s kissing, and sex, and body parts. When I hand over my precious cargo of words to a friend, I live in a little world of bashful denial. I simply ignore the fact that I wrote all those sexy parts. My characters have minds of their own and they write themselves.

So, fair warning my friends and family, I can’t stop you from buying my books when they’re published, but if you ask about the sex, I'll never admit that “Yes, I wrote THAT.”

Song of Solomon 1:2
Oh, how I wish you would kiss me passionately! For your lovemaking is more delightful than wine.        (New English Translation)