Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Day Seven of #TemptedToWrite

Day Seven:  It's Valentine's Day - What Do They Do?

Valentine's Day.  That one day in the year that fills people with dread and/or joy.

But Valentine's Day isn't the only event/occasion that merits a Modern Tempted novel.  Weddings, Christmas, even a birthday can all be really good ways of bringing your character together or causing more conflict.

I like to see books and plotlines that take me somewhere I'm not expecting - it's Valentine's Day but the couple break up; it's Christmas, but she hates the holidays - so jazz up your occasions and do something unexpected!

Example Number One:  Cassie and Tuck in Amy AndrewsGirl Least Likely to Marry

Cassie crossed her arms and waited for their frivolity to wane.  She could not entertain such unscientific mumbo-jumbo.  Love was a fiction perpetuated by romance novels and Hollywood.

"It's not love," she said frostily when the last smile had fallen beneath her uncompromising glare.  "Just because you're seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses, Reese, doesn't mean I've taken leave of my senses.  You know I don't believe in that voodoo.  It's his pheromones - that's all.  The man smells incredible..."
What makes this stand out? Amy Andrews sets her novel at a wedding, but all that happens is a hook-up which the heroine puts down to lust.  There's not even the slightest inclination on her part that it could be anything more.  I love the fact that Andrews' takes the wedding hook-up and plays with our expectations of it!

Example Number Two:  Ryder and Nadia in Ally Blake's The Dance Off

The music swelled around them, all harp chords and piano keys, and the singer's husky voice crooning about spinning round and round, moving so fast.  Nadia moved Ryder forward, and then he moved her backward, the rhythm so natural she let him.  He slid her hand an inch further around her back until her belly met his, and she let him do that too.  He tucked their arms nearer their sides, which wasn't classic dance hold, but even while it made Nadia's breath swell she didn't put a stop to it.  The rhythm had other ideas as the dance swirled around and through them, binding them together and shutting out the world.

It was bound to happen, considering the way their bodies had fitted together in that kiss.  That mind- blowing kiss...
What makes this stand out?  Nadia and Ryder also meet due to a wedding, though this time it's in the lead up to it, as Nadia's supposed to be teaching Ryder how to dance.  Blake's twist on the normal here is that the wedding itself is immaterial to the events leading up to it.  And even when the wedding happens, it's not a climax for our couple.  It's all about using events in ways that you wouldn't expect.

So, my favourite response was Donna Mee's, as she went for the unexpected:
For as many years as she cared to remember, Jackie worked on Valentine's evening as it was a big date in the charity event diary. This year in Las Vegas she had organised her biggest wildest do ever, which she told herself was all for the love of her work, but she knew it was also to keep busy on this god awful day of utterly no romance coming her way. 
However Lady Luck was smiling on her this year as she caught her first glimpse of Bailey Baxter in a sharp black three piece suit, sauntering in her direction from across the casino floor. 
Having only met a few nights before, when the hotel fire alarm rudely threw them together in the small hours of the morning, in minimal clothing, the date had been set but Jackie did not think he would really show up. But show up he had and she was reminded of his devilish good looks as the gamblers seemed to part as if directed by Moses as he came ever closer. She became aware of her open mouth and clasped it shut. Would she be able to work and have a date? Sure, she had the perfect plan to ensure this guy stuck around and got involved with the party, after all it was for charity. 
How was this date going to end? She simply hoped it would be attached to his lips.
What makes this move stand out?  She surprised me.  Everyone went for the romantic option, whereas Donna decided to start her story with V Day, as opposed to making it the pinnacle.  I like it when a book challenges my expectations!

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