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.

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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?

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.

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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)

Paper or Plastic...

How do you read?

I like paper. Not paper bags or cardboard, but paper. That smell when you crack the binding on a new book is kind of like that new car smell. Or for those old enough, the smell of dittos and fresh purple ink.

This last week I’ve been enjoying the fresh old dusty scent of a classic favorite. The pages are yellowed, and some are dog-eared. The nostalgia of this book lowers my blood pressure and sends me to far away places. “Almost Heaven” by: Judith Mcnaught. For me it is a little bit of heaven. I have the old cover version with a soothing picture of a meadow covered in purple flowers, maybe lilac. Reading this favorite is like meeting up with an old friend you haven’t seen in years. The conversation is reliable, just like the story.

I never thought I'd enjoy my e-reader. There is an advantage to electronic reading: No wasting money on book lights that don’t stay put or run out of battery. No waking up my husband. No corner dog ears. I can read in the dark, change the font, even change the background color. 

With change comes loss. I lose out on that paper smell, but I gain physical shelf space and I take my library with me wherever I go--Not to mention a built in highlighter and dictionary.

My favorite e-reader is my iPad. A downloadable app keeps me in kindle country and the book nook, but whenever possible I download an iBook. As a result I have three unlimited bookshelves and I couldn't be happier. 

To keep the nostalgia going, I'm often reading one paper book and one e-book. They both release their own kind of serotonin. 

How do you read?

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Time For a Change part II

Since the end of this month's Book Boudoir features a sci-fi romance by Lea Kirk, I thought it a perfect time to get a little crazy with hair color.

Join me the last 10 days of this month, and witness the debacle...I mean the incredible transformation. I may even pop some bubbly.

Drum roll…

The debacle is over and I had a great time! I even uncorked a bottle of bubbly. The talented Jessica Kellogg of The Spanish Fly, did a fantastic job of artfully weaving magenta into my natural hair. My daughter cheered me on and my hubby brought snacks for the three hour operation.

Now I feel well prepared for my romantic science fiction read. And I can’t wait to get back to the pages of Nick and his lovely Saku. Thank you all for joining me. Don’t forget to check out the Boudoir and keep in touch with Book Boudoir sign-up.

~Shannon

Before and after pics follow…

Time For a Change

Next up: Hair...

I've done some weird things. Not so strange to me, but things that have raised a few eyebrows. A dozen years ago I had my belly button pierced--and almost fainted, I might add. The tattoo guy and piercing person (these are my official names) didn't blink an eye when I asked if fainting would be a problem.

"No," he said. "We have smelling salts."

Somehow that didn't make me feel any better. But here I am, a decade later and I can't imagine my belly without the piercing.

And then there's the time I asked my amazing photographer daughter to take some artfully discreet pictures of me because I wanted to embrace the idea that all women are beautiful in nature's skin. She honored my request and snapped a few shots of me in a silly hat and made my mommy marks a thing to be proud of.

Few have seen these pictures, but I love them.

Now I'm thinking about my hair. It's the longest it's been since I was seventeen. Which creates a marvelous opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do: dye it an unnatural color. Either dip the ends in magenta pink, our dye a stripe. My son thinks it's time to go full unicorn. I do admit I'm a little tempted.

Since the end of this month's Book Boudoir features a sci-fi romance by Lea Kirk, I thought it a perfect time to get a little crazy. I may even film it! That is if I can figure out how to do it.

Join me the last 10 days of this month, and witness the debacle...I mean the incredible transformation. I may even pop some bubbly and get some new jammies.

***Two of these photos are from my infamous photo shoot with Amanda Rose Photography
 And Lookie Boo Blog with Tiffany Reese***

https://www.photobyamandarose.com/ https://www.facebook.com/photographybyamandarose/      http://lookieboo.com/about/