Friday, July 29, 2016

My Favorite Romances are Full of Curves by Mackenzie Crowne


As a reader, I love that moment when I first open a book, having no idea where I’m headed, but anxious to enjoy the ride. Let’s face it, in fiction, the unknown is an irresistible force. If you’re like me, you are full of anticipation as you turn that first page, settling in to discover the unexpected curves in whatever road the author has placed her characters on.



In real life, I can think of a few scenarios where unexpected curves could turn out to be a nightmare. Like all of you, I’ve rounded a few and thankfully, most have sent me on inconsequential detours; side trips on my daily drive that brought small changes to my existence, but eventually dumped me right back onto my familiar, comfortable course.


Like the day I answered the door to find a neighbor holding the cutest little ball of fur and a wagging tail. Explaining the toy Pomeranian was a stray and had wandered into his yard, the neighbor asked if I would keep the itsy bitsy cutie until his “people” were found—because the little guy was terrorizing his poodle. I snorted in disbelief. I’d seen bigger squirrels for crying out loud.

His "people" never did show up (personally, I think they hit the road for Canada the moment the door shut behind him) and I wasn't in the market for a dog, but I’m a sucker for bulging eyes and fluffy tails, and my neighbor knew it. So, I found myself on an unexpected detour with an annoying little yapper who never missed a chance to hump my blind cat, but it didn’t take long for the little demon to become part of the family.   

Then there are the curves that are less detour and more re-route. These curves leave you gripping the steering wheel and wondering if you’ve blown a tire. The most notable re-route for me happened on the day I learned I had become a grandmother—seven months earlier. Yeah, that’s not a typo. I found out about my granddaughter when she was seven months old. What can I say? My son rocks at keeping secrets. Either that or I’d taken a wrong turn and gotten lost in Peyton Place. Seriously, I thought this kind of thing only happened in soap operas… Or romance novels. Boy, was I wrong. But ultimately, the road straightened out and soon I was whipping along on a re-routed path. These days, my fabulous G’girl rides shotgun as we head down the road on our girl trip adventures.



Unfortunately, there are those rare curves that are not only hair raising, but potentially deadly. A stage III breast cancer diagnosis is like having all four tires blow out, in a blizzard, on a sheet of ice, on a hairpin curve, on the top of a mountain beside a five thousand foot drop off. That type of curve doesn’t lead to a detour or even a re-route. It’s a game changer. The game changer curve shoots you into the unknown on two wheels while you cling to the steering wheel with white knuckles. I highly recommend avoiding this type of curve at all cost. Then again, as with many traumatic experiences, travelling the game changer curve strips a soul down to the bare basics, allowing them to see what’s truly important in life without all the distractions that hold us back from achieving true happiness. 



They say life is stranger than fiction and as someone who has spent time in Peyton Place, I wholly agree, but I also understand it’s the curves that give life zest. The same goes for fiction. All good romances contain curves. Some are detours, some are re-routes, but the best stories include a game changer curve as the catalyst to a character’s growth.

I love a good game changer romance, don’t you? My most recent favorite is WRECKED by Sarah Grimm. Seriously intense. I highly recommend it. So, what’s yours? Come on, please share.


When Mac isn’t busy maneuvering her own curves, she spends her time weaving HEAs for her characters, like those in her Players series from KensingtonBooks.







18 comments:

Diane Burton said...

Wow, some curves, Mac. Life can bring heartache and heart-thrilling moments. We never know which is around a curve. Great post.

Alison Henderson said...

I've had my share of curves too, Mac, but (thankfully) none as dramatic as yours--at least, not yet. I'm glad your road has straightened out for the time being. I agree about the allure of the unknown, but some things are happier left to fiction.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

That's so true, Diane. And Alison, that's why I love fictional curves. They don't leave any marks. :-)

Jannine Gallant said...

Glad you kicked your game-changer's butt! I can't remember the last time I read a book like that--or any book for that matter that I wasn't editing. How pathetic is that!

Andrea Downing said...

Boy, you've had your share of curves on the road of life, Mac. I hope you'll be following a straighter highway for the foreseeable future.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I love the Peyton Place reference...it says a lot to me (our generation), but helps me understand you've got humor on your side. None of us recommend life-threatening situations to 'go to the core of life,' but if it happens, it's a fine by-product. Ask me about almost breeching in our boat...you find out what you're made of. What I love about you, Mac, is it becomes a story to tell and a place from which to move sprightly to the future. And that you give a shout-out to Sarah's WRECKED. Yes ma'am, you've got good taste! Loved that book...an almost breeching experience, I gotta say. Whew! Mush forward, my friend!

Brenda Whiteside said...

What a great post. Thanks Mac!

Chele m said...

Great post Mac. Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson and Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia are two books that after reading them, the characters left their 'foot prints' in my heart.
Many Blessings for you Mac. :D

Sarah said...

Mac --
I prefer my curves in fiction, but unfortunately life doesn't happen that way, does it? Stay strong. And thanks for the shout out. <3

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Jannine, I know right? It is pathetic that we get so strangled by life that reading for pleasure becomes a distant memory. I'm the same way, but I make a point of reading a book every couple weeks because it's one of my favorite self-treats and I firmly believe in self-treating. :-)

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Thanks, Andrea. My freeway has been relatively straight for a while now and I admit, I'm enjoying it that way. ;-)

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Oh damn, Rolynn. I'm afraid to ask. Yikes! Yeah, that kind of curve definitely teaches you what you're made of.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Muah, Brenda!

Mackenzie Crowne said...

"Footprints in my heart." I love that, Chele, and love when it happens. I'll definitely be checking out your faves.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Muah, Sarah. I'm still blown away by Wrecked and can't help shouting about it. ;-)

Barbara Edwards said...

I think in terms of roller coaster, but your curves work. Life is a ride.

Leah St. James said...

Oh my gosh, Mac...I always said I'd learn about becoming a grandmother when my son needed a baby-sitter! I thought I was alone! Loved your "curves" analogies. I haven't read Sarah Grimm's book, but I will now!

Alicia Dean said...

Oh my gosh, you have encountered some curves in your life. I have as well, but not all the same as yours. Yes, they are great in fiction, not always so in real life. Thanks for an interesting post!