Romance Writers’ Weekly: Themes


Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Post! Did you pop over from Raine Balkera’s blog? 

This week’s topic: What is the theme in your novels, recurring or in one, that sends a message about an issue in society to help people? Was it developed by you intentionally, or did it evolve through the characters and plot?

After writing five novels and five novellas, I’ve noticed certain themes appear in my work time and time again, mostly in my romantic thrillers.

I often force characters to find their authentic selves. They can’t gain the title hero or heroine of a story if they haven’t grown comfortable with who they are as people by the end of their stories. They tend to begin as cardboard versions of either what they see about themselves or a facade that others push on that person.  through self discovery and lots of hardship, they all emerge as the person they were meant to be. And they are stronger and more interesting because of it.

Alex from “Untrue Colors” leaves home because her father doesn’t accept her version of herself. Once she fully accepts herself and all her amazing abilities, she flourishes in the art world. Regrettably, she needed to leave behind the people who would not allow her to expand into who she was capable of becoming.

Alex in Paris

Alex in Paris

Cassie from “True Deceptions,” on the other hand, has a certain image of herself that she’s fearful of changing. She’s conservative and timid and is easily manipulated. This is her image of herself at the beginning…

She wasn’t a threat to anyone. Even after months of intense training at a gun range, she still hesitated to shoot at inanimate objects and hadn’t developed the calm, cool demeanor necessary in undercover work. She acted like a spacey, schoolgirl from Southern California. No wonder he’d shown her no respect. 

Time and circumstances, however, force her out of her boundaries. Once free, her true colors emerge. She rises up to challenges that her old self would never have handled.

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” He reached to take the phone away from her.

“Can you disarm a drone packed with explosives and acid with a computer program that will cease to exist if you make one faulty keystroke?”

“No,” he growled.

“Then I have no need for you right now. Go check the motorcycle.”

Another theme that resonates through my writing is sexual consent. I will not allow an Alpha hero keep that title if he does not receive clear consent with a sexual partner. There are too many people today who feel they are obligated to give in to a partner when they in fact have the final word in saying yes or no. I don’t want to add to the confusion. ‘No’ means ‘no’ and a person should work damn hard to hear a ‘yes’ especially with a person they have never been with.

And on that note….Head over to see what J.J. Devine  thinks on this subject!

Romance Writers’ Weekly: Carpentry Flash Fiction


Welcome to Romance Writers’ Weekly. This week’s topic is from Fiona Riplee, Write a flash fiction of 250 words or less about a long lost love. Include the words: hammer, chisel, and coping saw. Did you come from Carrie Elks’ blog?

Welcome!! My attempt is a bit corny, but here goes…

Glen always hated power tools. The noise alone could drive a person mad. He brushed off the sawdust and looked at the decorative heart he’d cut in the back of the highchair using his coping saw. He’d chisel out the edges and then sand it all smooth a bit later. The design would be perfect whether his sister was having a little boy or girl.  

The door near the office opened and then closed. The clunk of heels echoed across the workshop. Glen turned around and saw the most beautiful sight he’d ever seen, Captain Holly Donahue. She wasn’t in the tan flight suit she’d worn when saying goodbye two years before. Instead, the sexy brunette seemed anything but military in skin tight blue jeans and black t-shirt with black biker boots.

“You told me you didn’t want a relationship with a small town bum with no dreams.”

“I was an idiot.” She stared at the highchair. Was that a bit of longing in her eyes or was he only hoping to see that. “How have you been?”

“I’m doing well. Shelby’s expecting any day now, so I thought I’d make her mini-me a place to hang out for a few years. And you? Still flying the skies?”

She stared down at the concrete floor. “I’ve been grounded. Permanently. Something about seizures in pilots being a risk.”

She’d rejected a relationship with him to pursue her career. And now? “So did they give you a desk job?”

“They gave me an honorable discharge and a decent pension.” A huge tear dripped down one cheek.

“If you ever need anything. You know I’ll be here for you.” He wrapped her in his arms and pulled her close.

“Good. Because right now you’re all I need.”

Head on over to see what Dani Jace wrote.