Adding Conflict to Romance (+ A Sneak Peek at My WIP’s Cover!)

It’s been raining a lot here in California, and with the wetness comes a lot of allergies. I’m not sure what was in the air yesterday, but I was sneezing almost non-stop. By the end of the evening, C said my face looked burnt, and I was ready to crawl into bed and hibernate.

I hoped some sleep would help, but I woke up this morning with another sneezing fit. After I had ah-chooed a big one, I turned to hubby and exclaimed, “What is wrong with me?!”

He grinned and replied (a little too) quickly, “That’s what I’ve been wondering, too, for a long time.”

Hardy har har. ūüėõ

Okay, I admit I totally set the stage¬†for hubby’s punchline, but most of the time he doesn’t need any¬†help from me to mess with my head. ūüėČ Take the instances when he’s in the shower (and I’m on the porcelain throne) and I wonder why in the world I’m getting rained on … until I notice hubby oh-so innocently throwing¬†water over the glass door in my direction. Argh! ūüėČ Yup, as I’ve said before, he’s the sand paper to my sharp corners, and I’m the hole in his bubble. The very things we love about each other are also the very things that can drive us craaazy.

But what romance would be complete without some conflict? When I read or watch love stories, I do so¬†to feel the push and pull between characters and to virtually experience the highs and lows they¬†have to go through to find love. It’s much more exciting when you have some kind of obstacle (ie. a comatose brother or a scheming family friend) on the way to happily ever after. Wouldn’t you agree? And as a writer, I want to provide that entertainment in a meaningful and believable way (always with humor of course!).

I think this is why I’ve been struggling so much with the third book in my “Taking Chances” series. I have been working on this WIP (work-in-progress) for nine months now and it’s been, in one word, hard. Like this kind of hard:

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Hahaha!

Ever since I got feedback on my first book that the story lacked conflict, I’ve been trying to make life harder for my characters, which in turn is making life harder for me, too. It got to the point where I vowed to never write another romance book (after I finish this one of course) because people and love can be so complicated. That lasted about a day though because I realized the conflict I’m having with writing conflict is¬†something I can’t escape from. Like my characters, I need to struggle through the trying, heart-wrenching, angsty¬†times in order to earn the right to type¬†“The End” on the last page of a book. Isn’t it ironic, that the one thing I’m forcing my characters to face¬†is the one thing I don’t want¬†to deal with. ūüėČ

So, that’s where I am, struggling to write¬†this book that so far is my favorite one that I’ve written. Now if only I could¬†get it finished and published so you can enjoy it, too. ūüôā But in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek.

Drawn to You_peek

When I showed hubby the cover, he said, “It looks like the girl is upset and kneeing the guy.”¬†Haha!¬†Yup,¬†there’s a lot of conflict in this story. ūüėČ

Alrighty, I’ll¬†end here with a¬†sassy song by Walk The Moon that my sassy main character reminds me of, “Shut Up and Dance”. ¬†ūüôā

How has conflict made your relationships more interesting?

True To You: Cover Reveal & Book Release Day!

Penny pinchers and tofu and arranged marriages – OH MY!

Welcome to Melanie Koo’s world, as revealed in my second novella¬†True To You.¬†If you read my first book Straight To You, you’ll remember Melanie¬†as Ashlynn’s sister-in-law. I loved her character and that of Ben Peters so much that I wanted to tell their story, too. But as most romances go, there are some hurdles Mel and Ben have to overcome first in order to find their “happily-ever-after” (aka. one traditional five foot one Chinese¬†mother).

I had such fun writing this book and incorporating parts of my culture into it. As expected, it includes some classic Chinese stereotypes that will make you say aiya!, as well as some sibling rivalry scenarios that will make you laugh and want to go call your sister or brother.

I hope you all enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Without further ado, here’s the cover reveal! (A special thanks goes to Deborah Bradseth of Tugboat Design¬†for her fabulous work. The original picture had the girl wearing shorts, but Deborah did her magic and turned it into a skirt!)

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True To You

Wanted: A man with the four C’s (Chinese, Christian, Cash and Career). Ability to cure hives a definite plus.

Melanie Koo may be a physician skilled in helping others, but the one thing she can’t fix is her own love life. That’s why her mother comes up with the perfect remedy-an arranged marriage. Being the dutiful daughter that she is, she agrees to this loveless match … until a chance meeting leads her straight to the cure for her hopeless heart.

Ben Peters is everything Melanie was not looking for in a guy, but she can’t help but be drawn to his passionate and kind nature and, not to mention, those adorable dimples. For once in her life, she considers breaking parental expectations to go after what she wants. The only thing standing in her way is a five foot one traditional Chinese mother and her scheming ways.

Now Melanie has to make the biggest decision of her life. Will she stay true to her family or will she choose to believe that true love can be colorblind?

The book is now available in both paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon.com. If you have Amazon Prime, you can borrow it for free. For a sneak peek of the first chapter, check out my True To You page on this blog (click here).

So treat yourself and grab a copy to read¬†this weekend!¬†And I’d appreciate you leaving¬†a review on Amazon when you’re done to help spread the word. Thanks!!

Now available on Amazon.com: Paperback or Kindle

P.S. Both Straight To You and True To You are part of the Taking Chances Series, but each book can be read as a standalone. In case you haven’t read Straight To You, you’ll have a chance to get the Kindle version¬†on Amazon.com for FREE (I love that word!) on May 5 – May 6, 2015 in celebration of my and hubby’s 14th anniversary (and also Cinco de Mayo)! ūüôā So remember to grab your free copy on those two days and feel free to let your friends know, too. Click here¬†for the link to Straight To You!