Love is Easy….Guest post from author Irene Preston plus a giveaway!
Hey there lovely peeps! As you know I’m always thrilled when I’m honored enough to have a fabulous author here on ye old blog with an interview or a guest post and today is no exception because after much coaxing (don’t believe what she tells you) I am finally able to welcome my friend Irene Preston on ye old blog. I was lucky enough to meet Irene when I found out we would both be writing for Crimson Romance. Later I became a huge fan of Irene after reading her fantastic book, Infamous. What a well written, sexy, adult love story. I’m so happy to have her here guest posting today. And now Irene ye old blog is your old blog (I do reserve the right to chime in here and there though. Be warned) …
Love is Easy….
Well, this is the month of love. Valentines. Cupids. Be Mine Forever. So when Kwana invited me on the blog (okay, I begged) (see I told you don’t believe her LOL) , I thought I would do a little post about, you know, that ‘Forever’ part.
Here’s a little secret from the old married folks. Falling is love is easy. There’s a sweet little chemical cocktail (adrenaline and dopamine with just a hint of serotonin) that makes the whole thing very dreamy and swell. There are dates (where you both clean up to the best of your ability). There is a lot of being on your best behavior and sucking in your tummy. There might be chocolate.
Yep, falling in love is just dreamy.
Being married is hard. (true that) That’s the real secret us old married folks don’t tell you when you’re floating around on that haze of serotonin.
No matter how much you love someone, maintaining a daily relationship with them is hard. Let me prepare you right now. You are both going to do stupid stuff. Not stupid like accidentally letting slip out that yes, those pants do make your partner’s ass look fat. Trust me, anyone who’s lived together five minutes can patch over that little slip. I’m talking Relationship Armageddon level stupid. You will BOTH do those things.
Kwana recently released Bounce (love it, love it, love it), which addresses a major stupid moment as well as a host of other things. I wish I’d written it. Instead I wrote a flighty little book called Infamous. (A fantastic book mind you!) It’s sort of a ‘what if Paris Hilton fell in love with Mr. Super Conservative Soccer Dad’ type thing.
You know what happens? It’s all dreamy (Serotonin! Dopamine!) right up until real life blows up in their faces (or the dopamine levels dipped, whatever).
Now comes the fun part. Can we put this happy couple back together? To be honest, I love stories that start after the ride into the sunset. That’s when the real challenges start. That’s when the serotonin wears off and we’re left with non-chemical-enhanced life (okay, maybe there’s a little wine with dinner). And if we are very, very lucky and willing to work very, very hard – that’s when love deepens into something truly lasting and beautiful – when we don’t give up, when we fight to keep our happily ever after.
I hope you’ve read Bounce, because Kwana gets the whole thing exactly right. (Kwana inserts snort) If you’re looking for another after-the-sunset read, I hope you’ll give Infamous a try. (Yes, do!) It’s a little fluffier, but the message is the same. Love is easy. Marriage is hard. The rewards are worth it. (So very worth it!)
Here’s the blurb:
Four years ago, Morgan Riley and Jessica Sinclair’s love affair was pure Hollywood–the windswept beach, the whirlwind romance, the runaway marriage. Unfortunately, the ride into the sunset didn’t survive the publication of the bride’s tell-all book two months after she said, “I do.” Now, for their daughter’s sake, Morgan agrees to give his notorious wife another chance to be part of their family. But can a party girl be content with a quiet life in the suburbs?
As a Hollywood insider, Jessica has spent her life partying with A-list celebrities, shopping on Rodeo Drive, and living through scandal after scandal. When her estranged husband offers her a second chance at a “normal” lifestyle, she can’t pass up her shot at real happiness. Soon Jessica’s spending her days attending P.T.A. meetings and burning cookies, and her nights in sexy role-play, hoping Morgan will overlook her deficiencies as a homemaker. But what will Morgan do when Jessica winds up back in the tabloids–with his teenage daughter right next to her?
And, I’ve brought a little sample for you :
She took a deep breath and turned around.
The site of him hit her right in the gut. He was standing in the wide doorway that separated the kitchen and living room. He had just come from the shower and his dark hair was still damp and glistening. He was wearing a faded polo shirt that stretched over his broad shoulders. A pair of well-worn jeans clung to his lean hips. He hadn’t bothered with shoes.
She set the plates on the counter before she dropped them. The casual clothes were a dirty trick. She had been prepared to greet him in his usual business suit–but somehow the bare feet and damp hair seemed far too intimate. Which was silly, wasn’t it? Because the situation wasn’t nearly as intimate as it was going to get later tonight.
Morgan crossed the room to drop a kiss on Kinsey’s forehead.
“Miss me, pumpkin? Or have you been too busy spending all my money?”
His dark eyes met Jessica’s over Kinsey’s head and he gave her a slow smile. It was not a businessman’s smile. It was a lover’s smile. It reminded her of all the things they had been to each other and done to each other in this house. Despite the heat glittering in his eyes, it reminded her that in this house Morgan ruled with his cool and logical mind and he would not be swayed by her passion.
Well, she had come of her own free will.
She lifted her chin a little and gave him a smile of her own.
“Wine or soda?”
It was the start of an evening that was terrible in its normalcy. It could have been the happy family scene in any Hollywood movie—pizza and sodas consumed at the island in the kitchen, sharing the cleaning up, then popcorn and a pay-per-view movie on T.V. in the family room. All evening, as they played their happy parts, Morgan’s eyes followed Jessica. All evening she smiled and smiled—the suburban wife and mother, home with her family. All evening she knew with awful certainty what a fraud she was—the jarring note in this otherwise perfect family setting. The words from the Sesame Street song echoed in her head, “One of these things is not like the others; one of these things just doesn’t belong.”
To put the final, humiliating touch on the evening, she was hyper-aware of every move Morgan made. The three of them sat on the long sofa in the den. Kinsey was in the middle, but it was Morgan who was crowding her space. He lounged against the far armrest, his bare feet propped up on the coffee table during the movie.
She couldn’t take her eyes off his feet. Good grief, when had she ever found a man’s feet sexy before? Maybe it was because she wouldn’t let herself look directly at him, and his feet were the only part of him solidly in her peripheral vision. If she let her gaze wander just a little farther up, she could see the outline of his strong legs under the jeans, and then her imagination would take her even further, to where the denim clung lovingly to his hard thighs and the slight bulge at the very top of one of them.
She didn’t want to watch the movie. She wanted to watch Morgan, to drink him in and store him up. She very much wanted to keep this casual and relaxed Morgan that she had thought never to see again.
She still wasn’t sure why he had let her come back. Sooner or later, maybe even tonight, he was going to realize she could never fit in here. The scene was all perfect except for the cookie-cutter wife. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how many strands of pearls she bought, she was never going to fit into that June Cleaver role. When Morgan came to his senses, she was going to wind up ruthlessly evicted again. She would be sent back to Hollywood with all the other glossy, plastic people who played happy families on the screen and made train wrecks of their personal lives.
Hmmm…is marriage getting easier or…erm…harder here. I can’t quite remember.
You can get a longer sample (the full first chapter in fact) on my website.
Now, it’s your turn. Do you like books that start after a couple is already in a relationship? What about reunion stories? Or do you prefer first meetings and that super-sized seratonin cocktail? What’s your favorite example of either?
Since it is almost Mardi Gras – in honor of my cover, I’ll send a couple of Mardi Gras masks to one commenter.
Irene Preston has to write romances-after all, she’s living one! As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.
Visit her online at IrenePreston.com. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, GoodReads.
You can get Infamous on-line at Amazon.com for only $1.99 (Sale ends Feb. 28)
Infamous is also available at Barnes and Noble, I-Tunes, and Kobo
As of this week, you can also find the paperback at Barnes and Noble and other local booksellers.
Thanks so much for being here today Irene and thanks for your too kind words about BOUNCE.
Don’t forget folks to comment for you chance at those cool Mardi Gras masks and please leave your contact info so Irene can get in touch with you if you win! Thanks.
All the best,
Thanks so much for having me on the blog today and for your kind words about Infamous!
You are such a great author and I am so happy to read your post today!
Excellent blog! I love reading about all the stages. It’s great fun to watch people fall in love, go through their first big crisis and see how they come through it. Then how they adjust to normal life. It’s all fascinating to me 🙂
Great post, Irene! I am guilty of liking the first-meetings with the fluttering eyelashes and baritone singing (a la “Thoroughly Modern Millie”), but reading a reunion story or seeing someone in a whole new light is an opportunity to dig deeper into our characters and their emotions.
Chandra – you are right – I am a sucker for romance at any stage, too!
There’s nothing quite like that first meeting, is there?
I’m going to work on getting my voice down to baritone – maybe then I’ll be able to scare up a first meeting story!
Great post! Absolutely fabulous and true. I prefer the first meet or even a reunion, but I love all types!
Angela, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Great post Irene! I love the first meet too, especially subtext when the conversation says one thing, but the characters emotions run wild! And so nice to have a dream man who insists you wear rose colored glasses! I love that! : )
Awww – aren’t we all so insecure at that first meet, too? You are totally right – subtext is everything. I love *reading* that scene because we are all in on what’s really being said. Living it?….so much angstier!
“Love is easy” = amen! The mutual respect required for a lasting relationship is much harder to achieve than the blood-pumping swoon of first-crush. I loved Infamous, by the way, and am totally buying Bounce. Great post, both of y’all.
Can I also just say that I LOVE the cover for Bounce? Didn’t I see it on BookBub a couple weeks ago? Hope lots of folks are buying it!
Viv – you are going to love Bounce. Such a good book. Couldn’t put it down.!
Thanks so much to Irene once again and for the kind words about Bounce. Viv Thanks on the cover. Bounce was not on Book Blub but it was on Bookblast. I had it on sale a few weeks ago 🙂
Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by, and of course to the beautiful Kwana for hosting me!