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Sunday Snippet: The Eeek, I Need a Break Edition and a Question

I’ve been working and writing pretty much nonstop for… well, for the last five years for sure and probably longer and I need a break. That’s not a whine…well, okay, maybe a little bit of a whine, but the fact is, I need to get away. Thankfully, I am getting away in about about a week! YAY! Liz and I are going on retreat for four days and I can’t wait.

Retreat doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing. As a matter of fact our retreats are all about writing, but it does mean I’ll set my editing gigs aside for four days and focus entirely on the current WIP. Plus I need to write a proposal for the next River’s Edge series, which my editor and I have already discussed. I’m excited about it, but it feels far away and it should. I need to be in the here and now and in Cam and Harper’s story, which is, thankfully, coming along well.

Otherwise, a quick heart update--the meds continue to work well and I’m being amazingly compliant after a bit of a sugar binge over the holidays. It always surprises me how crappy I feel when I do a sugar overload–why doesn’t that realization ever stick? You’d think after 70 years of living with this body, I’d know that I simply can’t eat a bunch of sugar. But–and this isn’t an excuse, merely a reason–I love sweets and I love to bake at the holidays and I love to eat what I and my friends and neighbors bake. Putting the stuff away in the freezer doesn’t help because I will eat Christmas cookies and fudge thawed or frozen. As a matter of fact, I like them better frozen. But I am exercising (treadmill in this bitter weather), back to watching what I eat, and doing what I must to stay healthy.

Now for the question part: Liz and I are talking about redeeming bad guys in our stories–hmmm…now I’m wondering if readers would be put off if I tried to give Ryan “Tuff” Tuffington a second chance at love in the next series. Remember Tuff? He was Jenny Weaver’s ex in Christmas in River’s Edge. Tell, me, my dear readers, could you love a hero who was the bad guy in a previous story but turned his life around and is now working hard and wishing he had a love as real as his ex wife’s? Thoughts?

Gratitude for this week: Snow–the world is blanketed in white and looks lovely; my warm little house; a new haircut that I really like; WIP is moving along–finally! Got to spend time with the kids last night, always a treat!

Stay well, stay safe (masks in a crowd are a good idea right now), be kind, and most of all, mes amis, stay grateful,


  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    I already saw Tuff trying to come around in _Christmas in River’s Edge_, so you were already trying to redeem him earlier. I agree with what several of the commenters have said. I’d like to give him a second chance, but he needs to work through his stuff first. Maybe that could be all outside of the romance. I’ve definitely read of romantic heroes to whom readers get introduced AFTER they’ve worked through their issues. The working through could be “off screen,” so to say, definitely before he’s mature enough to be a good romantic partner. Good to hear about the heart. And everyone should be able to cheat now and then. What would life be without Christmas cookies?

    • Nan

      Hey Roseann, thanks for coming by. You are so right–his work can’t be part of the romance, although him sharing how he did the work could be a way to “show” it. It would have to dribbled in. We’d have to see him living the new life. Wonder if a hero going to meetings would work… Yeah, Christmas cookies are mandatory, but not well into January. 😉 Hugs, baby!

  • Kimberly Field

    I do believe in 2nd chances. I am glad you are feeling better and the heart is doing well. Enjoy the retreat.

  • Latesha B.

    I think it would be good to show that Tuff can redeem his ways after being such a schmuck in the past. Hope you have a great time on your getaway. Love your new haircut.

    • Nan

      Hey Latesha, thanks for stopping by! Thanks for the hair compliment–I’m learning how to dry it, but I really like it too. Okay, whether as a main character or as a secondary one, Tuff will find love…

  • Valri Western

    I’m struggling with answering your question regarding Tuff! Not that I don’t think people can’t change because I do! I just don’t really like the fact that he would live in River’s Edge with Jenny and his son there too. I know it happens in “real life” all the time! In fact we have friends in our area where that is the case right now! However, it is hurtful for both parties involved all the time and I see how hard it is for both families, even though both families try on a weekly basis to try to make it work. If Tuff found love and then moved away, I might be ok with it! LOL!!!!!

    • Nan

      Val, I appreciate your input. I’m taking note of everyone’s reactions to share with my editor as I put together a proposal for the next series. Thanks for chiming in!

    • Nan

      Okay Janine, thanks! I kinda think he does, too, but we’ll have to see what the editorial team at Tule thinks. Hugs, sweetie!

  • Kathleen Shaputis

    Yes, this 70s decade is a bit more challenging, I must say. I have an annual cardiology appointment on Wednesday. Glad to hear your meds are doing well. Hmm, bad guy turned is a strong possibility. I agree, you’d have to show the changes in character and proof of goodness – which wouldn’t be hard in your capable hands.

    • Nan

      Thanks for your faith in me, Kathleen. It would be a tough (no pun intended) call to redeem him because although he started on a good path, folks may not want to know a whole story about him. His newfound redemption might work as a secondary story… hmmmm…

  • Karen Buys

    If it’s done well, it could work. His change of heart, change of mindset has to feel sincere and real and lasting. I’d like it but I would have to see him work through some of his issues to have it feel real enough. I do think you can write that.

    • Nan

      Wow, writing him work through his issues would be a big job for a romance novel… hmmmm… maybe though… thanks for your input, Karen! Hugs!

      • Karen Buys

        It’s one of the things that I tend not to like about most romance novels is how easily people work through their issues, but I do get it. It’s not really the genre for that. But you may be able to find some middle ground between the fluffiness of romance and the seriousness of someone doing real, hard therapeutic work. But then again, it would be a departure for you. Do you want that challenge? Because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying, hey that might be interesting and a stretch for me as a writer, but it’s not really where i want to go.

  • VickiB-Calif

    I think a book/series starting with Tuff turning his life around and finding love again would be a great storyline. Also, glad to hear the heart is still going strong as you are my friend.

    • Nan

      Me, too! Already getting some good feedback! This will definitely be a conversation you and I will have to continue on retreat, my friend!