Writing About Second Chance Romances…
There is something about opening a book and finding yourself immersed in the story of how a couple met and fell in love. Love weaves its magical spell and you fall in love with the characters as they fall in love with each other.
But what if this couple had fallen in love before? Did they simply fall out of love or was something else, something tragic or possibly traumatic responsible for the devastation of a love that had once been true? And what if one of them had been betrayed by another…and not sure that they can trust their battered and bruised heart’s judgment again? Can someone who had been badly burned by someone they trusted move on with their life and fall in love with somebody new?
These are the kinds of stories that I have always enjoyed reading. They are also the kinds of stories that I enjoy writing. Novels about people who are forced to overcome something in their past before they are able to build a future with the one that they were meant to be with.
Then the wheels in my head started turning.
What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?
Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.
She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is
make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?
Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.
She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.
* * * *
Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.
Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.
The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?
His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.
She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.
His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.
“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.
That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for
years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.
“Scott,” she whispered.
* * * *
Buy If Only
The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age; she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written, but Lisa was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.
A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.
Frustrated with books that merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.
Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be reached at P.O. Box 9643, Tulsa, OK 74157-0643, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. She can also be contacted on her website, http://www.lmowens.com/, https://twitter.com/_lisamowens, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-M-Owens-Author-Page/401065116637549, or on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6884569.Lisa_M_Owens
Please gather round as fellow WRP author Alana Lorens joins me on the Ranch today to tell us about not one, but TWO, fabulous books! I’ll turn it over to Ms. Lorens now. Grab a drink and Li’l Smokey and settle in!
When I met my husband, I was almost exactly twice his age. He was so young in fact, that when I picked up my daughter from college, the girl at the front desk turned to her and commented “Go, your mom!” Talk about an ego boost. J
We met by chance on the internet and in the forum where we both hung out, there was no discussion of age and it didn’t really pertain to the conversation. By the time we were in love, it was too late to matter.
All the same, over the years we’ve been married, many people have found it necessary to comment on the difference in our ages, much more so when he was 24 and I was 44, than now, twelve years later. That societal bias that makes it “dashing” for a man to date a woman half his age and makes a woman doing the same a “cougar” does carry an impact. Hasn’t changed how my husband and I feel about each other, of course, and the older we get, we’re both just getting old. *LOL*
But in Second Chances, middle-aged Inessa Regan, disastrously married in the past, has no intention of falling for the twenty-something Iraq veteran who becomes a friend when she feels she can find no one else – and then becomes more than that. The perceived taboo resonates within her, but Kurt himself dispels her misgivings with a poignant explanation of where she finds him in his life:
What she’d read in his eyes wasn’t professional in the least. What burned there was a passion–and very personal. But what could he possibly see in an overweight, insecure, rut-bound legal drudge on the wrong side of forty?
She cleared her throat. “I suppose I should be getting back to the office. I’ve interrupted your reading.”
Kurt picked up the book to reveal the James Patterson mystery she had just finished. “This is my second time through. Sometimes his chapters move so fast I miss things, especially when I’m not feeling so hot. But I know how it comes out. Not nearly as interesting as this…you.” His smile hadn’t faded.
She resisted the flush that crept up her skin.
“Look, Kurt, I—”
“Inessa. I know you think I’m moving fast here. The normal conventions of such things require what? Phone calls? Four-point-five dates? A couple of bouquets of flowers, a box of chocolates, a night on the town? Weeks and months of playing games?” He shoved the afghan aside and leaned forward, close enough to take her hand. But he didn’t. “Honey, I don’t know if I have months. Or weeks. The only bouquet of flowers I’m likely to get is the one my mother puts on my grave. I don’t have time to waste. When I see what I like, I’ve got to move on it right then or risk missing the chance forever.”
Speechless, unable to find her voice to interrupt and feeling a bit like she was falling from an airplane without a parachute, she listened helplessly as he pushed on.
“Now, if you’re not interested, say so. I won’t waste your time, either. And let’s not have any stupid argument about how much younger I am, or the fact I’m dealing with the damned cancer, or any kind of ethical mumbo-jumbo about lawyers and clients. We’ve moved past that. Your legal work for me is done. We’re more to each other than that now. No excuses.”
He paused, studying her.
“You’re bright. You’re funny. You can be a real blast when you let yourself go. Which you don’t very often, and I don’t know all the whys yet. I may not—ever. Trust me, I’d like to. But I’m willing to take the chance because I want to get to know you better.”
Another long pause. Inessa was overwhelmed and unable to reply, almost blindsided by his declaration of feeling. He must have detected her inner whirlwind, and he chuckled, breaking the tension.
“Wow, look at me. Smooth, huh? It takes me this long to even get you to step foot in my apartment, and the first time, I drop all this on you. I’m sorry. Really, I am. I mean, sitting up here alone, I have too much time to think about things.” He sat back, his features morphing into a puppy-dog expression. “Can you tell I rehearsed that? Over and over. I know it’s sudden. I wanted it to sound at least halfway sane. Did it? Halfway?”
His face finally suffused with red as she tried to think of some reply, and he stumbled on.
“See, I knew you’d back away as soon as I said it. I mean, what do I possibly have to offer, a guy chewed up and spit out by the army, dying of cancer, with a psychotic sister that I—” He coughed, visibly got hold of himself, rubbed his face as though he wanted to erase himself from her view. “Look, my problem, okay? I’m sorry.”
Inessa wasn’t sure what she found more surprising, his sudden declaration of interest or his assumption he was the one who was unworthy. Her heart went out to him.
“Don’t be sorry,” she said at last. “I understand what you’re saying. I can’t possibly understand what you must be feeling with the last ten years hanging over you—the hospitals, the treatments, the war. All of it. None of us know when we’ll die, but I expect you have a better idea than most.” She nodded, trying to put her words into coherent order before sharing them. “It’s just—”
He held up a warning finger.
DUAL BOOK/BLOG TOUR!!
CONVICTION OF THE HEART (available NOW!) BUY: http://www.amazon.com/Conviction-of-the-Heart-ebook/dp/B0089PTPAO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340681262&sr=1-1&keywords=alana+lorens
And SECOND CHANCES (release date July 2012) BUY: http://www.amazon.com/Second-Chances-ebook/dp/B008CVY09Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340681117&sr=1-1&keywords=second+chances+alana+lorens
The first and Second books of the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer Series!
Come by the following blogs or live booksignings and leave a comment to be entered in a drawing—at the end of the tour, Alana will give away one ebook copy of each book and one paperback copy of each book—Four lucky winners! Check out all the websites athttp://alanalorens.com
Inessa Regan, a 10-year associate at a Pittsburgh law firm, gets a pink slip when the economy tanks. Insecure, her pride wounded, she flounders helplessly until she meets Kurtis Lowdon, a man 15 years younger than she, an Iraq War veteran with cancer. He helps her take the first steps back from the pit of despair after she loses everything that defines her.
First as her client, then as her landlord, then as her partner, Kurt shows her the power of believing in oneself. Their journey is tainted with secrets from Kurt’s own past, as well as some of the horrors of war that have followed Kurt and his friends home from overseas. When his cancer returns, she must take control of her own life and fight to survive. His battle teaches her how to live; and she risks everything she holds dear to save him.
Alana Lorens (aka Barbara Mountjoy) has been a published writer for over 35 years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at the South Dade News Leader in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications includes the non-fiction book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, published by Impact Publishers in 1999, stories in A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women, in December 2008, and A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Parents, in June 2009. Her Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series (as Lyndi Alexander) is available from Dragonfly Publishing; THE ELF QUEEN in 2010, THE ELF CHILD in 2011, and THE ELF MAGE in 2012.
Her newest release (as Alana Lorens) is SECRETS IN THE SAND, in the Crimson Rose line from The Wild Rose Press. CONVICTION OF THE HEART is her sixth published novel, which will be followed in July 2012 with SECOND CHANCES, a women’s fiction with romantic elements story. The Wild Rose Press is also publishing her contemporary romance novella THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE later this summer.
When she’s not busy writing, practicing law or teaching, she takes care of a husband and a bunch of kids and blogs on a variety of subjects, including autism, science fiction and life at Awalkabout.
And what lovely book cover you’ve been graced with, Alana!!! Congratulations!