Posted by Jacie Floyd Mar 10 2017, 12:01 am in contemporary romance, emotional elements, favorite books, Jacie Floyd
No surprise here, but I have closets full of ‘keeper’ books that go back decades. Crisp contemporaries, crumbling high school favorites, bold and sweeping historicals, witty chick-lit, proper regencies, and romantic suspense. I love them all.
Early in my writing career, I studied my keepers to determine what—beyond plot—had me clinging to this particular assortment of books. Clearly, I gravitated to believable stories and relatable characters. Beyond that, no matter what the conflict, century, or setting, there were certain identifiable, emotional elements that kept me coming back. Now, when I’m revising a manuscript, I always make at least one editing pass that focuses on the basic elements that I call The Four Hs.
First, for me, there is Heart—the beating pulse of every love story. I need to know that the hero and heroine will ultimately care deeply about one another. That their emotional journey will touch my heart, and that whatever conflict might occur, they are the absolute match the other one needs to form a lifelong relationship.
Second, bring on the Heat. Whatever level of sensuality you’re comfortable with, there must be that initial spark of flirtation that kindles attraction and ends with a firestorm strong enough to keep them warm for a lifetime.
Third, there’s just something irresistible about Hope. I want my heroes and heroines to have a sense of optimism. Hope should live in their hearts no matter how dire their situations, how black the blackest moment. They will find a way to make it work, to figure it out… somehow.
And fourth, when in doubt, add a dollop of humor. There is nothing I like better than a wry aside, an amusing exchange, or dialogue that sparkles on a wave of witty banter. Characters or situations that make me smile, chuckle, or laugh go a long way in keeping me entertained.
So, there we have my four essential Hs: Heart, Heat, Hope and Humor. You could say Happily Ever After is the fifth H on the list of necessities, but that’s a foregone conclusion for a romance, now, isn’t it?
As a reader or a writer, what must-have elements put a book on your keeper shelf?
Jacie Floyd writes contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and emotionally-rich stories about strong women and bold men. While polishing her craft as an unpublished author, she was honored to be named a six-time Golden Heart Finalist and two-time Golden Heart winner by RWA. She has self-published seven books and a novella since 2014. Her eighth book, FACE THE MUSIC (Book 4 in the Good Riders series) will be available in April.
She loves hearing from readers and writers and invites you to contact her at www.JacieFloyd.com, https://www.facebook.com/JacieFloyd/, https://www.pinterest.com/JacieFloyd/, https://twitter.com/jaciefloyd
Posted by Jacie Floyd Nov 13 2014, 12:01 am in Cursed By Love, Jacie Floyd, superstition
Hurray! Today is the book birthday of CURSED BY LOVE, the second book in my Good Riders Series. While writing this book, I studied long lists of good luck/bad luck superstitions. And believe me, there are some odd ones out there.
In CURSED BY LOVE, the heroine, Molly Webber, is a superstitious schoolteacher who doesn’t walk under ladders or open umbrellas in the house. She wears numerous lucky charms on a bracelet, visits fortune-tellers, and she believes the piece of ancient Chinese erotica she inherited carries a curse.
But Gabe Shaw, the hero of the book, thinks you get what you earn through hard work and preparation, not due to the alignment of the moon and the stars, or because you hung a horseshoe above a door or kept a buckeye in your pocket.
Since my son recently got married, I know there are lots of superstitions about weddings. For instance, it’s supposed to be bad luck to buy the groom a watch. It’s an indication that time is running out for the relationship or something. And there’s the one about it being bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony. This one seems to have gone out of favor. Many couples have an orchestrated ‘first look’ early in the day, just so they can get the photographs over with—instead of making their guests wait for hours while pictures are taken. That seems like good luck for the guests.
Sports is another area where superstitions abound. Many baseball players seem to believe winning or losing depends on whether or not they’ve shaved that day, that week, that month. Or ever. My son believes if his favorite football team wins, he must wear the same shirt for the rest of the season or they will lose. If we have a certain food during a game and ‘our’ team loses, we can’t ever have that food during a game again. Sadly, we’ve had to banish chocolate soufflé from our football menu ever since the Indianapolis Colts lost the Super Bowl a couple of years ago.
Even though I’m generally not superstitious, I may have a few little things that I do in certain situations—just in case. Here’s one: Every March, on the day the Golden Heart/Rita calls are made, I always wear my Golden Heart pendants, believing that will somehow have an effect. Does it work? Sometimes it does.
Do you have any good luck charms or superstitions? Or what’s the craziest superstition you’ve ever heard of?
Find CURSED BY LOVE at Amazon. Learn more about Jacie Floyd at jaciefloyd.com.