As a romance author, I find inspiration in just about anything. Something overheard when I’m running errands, something I see, and of course you know there’s music, books, television shows, and movies.
A Hero For Holly, the second in my Coach’s Boys series, started out as a result of a teenage crush on a boy two years younger than I was – my sixteen to his fourteen. But hey, he was mature, a lot bigger than me, and really cute. Nothing ever came of it, except the original, very immature story whose characters later morphed into adults with different names. And then I heard Brad Paisley’s ‘He Didn’t Have To Be,” fell in love with that idea, and suddenly Holly became the divorced, single mother of two young sons. And Sam… What can I say. He was still basically my crush as I imagined him to be today.
Erin’s Christmas Wish was another story inspired by a futile crush on a neighbor who lived down the street. I spent hours sitting by my bedroom window waiting for a glimpse of him. In all honesty, the final version of the story didn’t change much from the original, though as I learned and matured, the quality of my writing improved dramatically.
Through the years, my mother and her siblings have laughed about an ornery horse on a neighboring property – one that would chase an aunt if he could get loose. I found a way to use that scenario to torment Marcus in Enza. And Adam’s fear of snakes in Reluctant Guardian? The inspiration for that came from none other than my dad, who was afraid of snakes for as long as I can remember.
So I can use just about anything for a story, from the very basics of a plot, to a great scene. Listening to romantic music often helps me think of something to move the writing along when I’m stuck.
But sometimes, I just need to watch a chick flick (or few) to get into the mood to get BIC/HOK (butt in chair/hands on keyboard). And I have a list a mile long of favorites, but I’ll only share the top ten with you today.
These are in no particular order – except maybe the first is still edging out the rest by just a teensy, tiny little bit, as it has since I first discovered it last year.
1. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
2. Late For Dinner
3. 17 Again
4. The Lake House
5. The Proposal
6. P.S. I Love You
7. A Walk To Remember (pretty much ties with My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend)
8. Two Weeks’ Notice
9. The American President
10. While You Were Sleeping (yeah, I like a lot of Sandra Bullock movies)
11. Armageddon (yeah, I know, this is kind of an honorable mention because I love Bruce Willis and I love the movie)
So there you have it. The list of my guilty pleasures. What are some of your favorite romantic movies?
Laying Low in Paradise
The Casteloria Series
Kristy K. James
Number of pages: 191
Word Count: 56,661
Cover Artist: Vila Design
He's hiding out because someone wants him dead...
Cameron Rafferty is keeping secrets. Dangerous secrets that could endanger the lives of everyone around him. His plan was simple...keep a low profile until the would-be-killer was found. And it was working - until an accident changed everything. Before he knows it, he finds himself becoming more involved with the family next door, and wishing for things he shouldn't. Things that will put their lives in jeopardy, too.
Her summer plans didn't include secrets and danger...
Spending summers on Bois Blanc Island was a tradition for author Laura Keane and her young son. Filled with special memories of the husband she'd lost to war, she looked forward to days of reminiscing, playing, and working on her newest novel. She didn't expect this year to be any different - but that was before their sexy neighbor came to her rescue like a knight in shining armor. Will that armor be tarnished when she finds out what he is and why he's living next door?
Laura watched Cameron walking toward the water’s edge, wearing the brightest, loudest swimming trunks she had ever seen. He hadn’t wasted any time in changing, given the fact that they hadn’t been home a full five minutes yet. She saw him wade out to his knees, hesitate briefly, then dive head first under the water. She shivered at the thought of how cold it must be, and her lips curved in a tender smile.
If only it were so easy for a woman. Instead, she knew she was going to be cleaning the chalet from top to bottom, hoping against hope that she was so exhausted by the time Sam lit the fire tonight, that holding hands with Cameron wouldn’t bother her at all.
“Yeah, right,” she thought, shaking her head as she watched him swimming hard along the coastline. “And the man in the moon is going to float down and deliver some cream cheese, too.”
“What?” Sam asked, walking into the living room. “I didn’t know you were back.” His gaze followed hers, and his chin dropped a little. “Is that Mr. Rafferty?”
“Why is he swimming without a wetsuit? Man that water is cold.”
“Maybe it’s a guy thing. We saw a few of them swimming on our way back to the island. Maybe he wants to prove to himself that he’s as tough as those younger guys are.” It could have been the truth. They had seen some guys swimming without suits. And he could have been trying to act young and stupid, but he wasn’t.
“I think I’ll head out to the beach. In case he winds up needing some help.”
“You do that. I think I’m going to wash the windows today.”
Sam looked at her, brows raised, and reached for the handle on the French door. He paused, looked out at Cameron, then back at her.
Laura knew the exact moment when he put two and two together. As a look of pure disgust crossed his face, she wished for the non-existent hole to open up and swallow her.
“Ew! That’s just wrong. You guys are way too old to be thinking about stuff like that,” he muttered, hurrying outside and slamming the door behind him.
Turning quickly, in case he looked back at her, Laura laughed uproariously. Too old? So not.
About the Author:
Kristy K. James' first goal in life was to work in law enforcement, until the night she called the police to check out a scary noise in her yard. Realizing that she might someday have to investigate scary noises in yards just as dark as hers if she continued on that path, she turned to her other favorite love...writing. Since then her days have been filled with being a mom and reluctant zookeeper (7 pets), creating stories, and looking for trouble in her kitchen.
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