The fictional boys I’ve fallen for…

We’ve established that I love love. And romance. Which means I’ve been crushing on fictional characters for as long as I can remember. Here are five that stand out in my memory…

Randy Taylor- Home Improvement

If you’ve read my about me page, you know that I was in love with Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a kid. He was my favorite ’90’s heartthrob, and because of this, I fell in love with Home Improvement and Randy Taylor, played by JTT was the first fictional character I ever remember crushing on. Now, I can’t lie, I had to go back and look up the name of this character, but at the time I was obsessed and most definitely found myself swooning over him plenty of times.

Nathan Scott- One Tree Hill

I could sing my love for One Tree Hill forever. I love this show so much. I grew up with those characters and I was a little bit in love with James Lafferty. But really I loved, loved, loved me some Nathan Scott. He was a little bit of an asshole/bad boy but had such a big heart and would do anything for the people he loved (like get caught up with a loan shark– okay I did not love every plot that happened in this show). He was sexy and sweet, he learned and grew with everything that happened to him, he was a loving husband and great dad. Needless to say, I stan Nathan Scott as the best Scott brother and I always will.

Logan Huntzberger- Gilmore Girls

Yes, I am proudly #teamLogan! I mean, don’t get me wrong I could see Rory ending up with Jess (not Dean, never Dean), but I always felt like, while Jess got her, Logan knew parts of her that no one else did. Plus as we’ve established, I have an affinity for the asshole with a good heart types and Logan definitely fits the bill. But also, he was protective of Rory, saw her brilliance but didn’t worship her, and could fit into both of her worlds easily. Plus he had that sexy, charming grin nailed.

Cooper Cartwright- Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells series

I think Cooper Cartwright may have been the first book boy I ever fell in love with (though he would not be the last). Tall, sexy body. Protective and charming. The good guy but also tough. He’s the perfect combination of sweet and caring and manly. He was the first book boy to make me swoon and his love story with the main character was the first to make me plow through a book, desperate to know when they would finally get together.

Danny fucking Diamond! – Jillian Dodd’s That Boy series

Danny is my favorite, favorite, favorite. I love him so damn much. If you aren’t familiar with Jillian Dodd’s That Boy series, go read it, please. While I love the other (very) swoonworthy boy in those books, Phillip, it’s Danny who wins my heart every single time. He checks all of my boxes. A little cocky and a touch of an asshole but with a big, big heart. He loves his friends and family and would do anything for them. Plus he’s a hot quarterback and an awesome dad. If I had to pick anyone off this list to date it would be Danny Diamond every time.

What’s up this week…

Happy Monday! Thought I’d give you all a little glimpse into what’s happening with me this week!

What I’m working on:

  • I am reading and editing the first two books in my series Friends Like This. And also working on the third book in that series.
  • Starting a new contemporary romance standalone (that will be the first in a 3 book series of related standalones).
  • Prepping an announcement about a Kindle Vella project, so stay tuned for that!

What I’m listening to:

I’m writing a lot of break-up/angsty things this week. You can look at my Instagram to see what is on repeat for me today, but in general, lots of sad, break-up, broken-hearted music. There’s some Taylor Swift in there, some Yellowcard, Where I First Found You and Wish I Knew by Forest Blakk, Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo, No Right to Love You by Rhys Lewis and what’s currently stuck in my head, which is I Lied by Lord Huron.

What I’m reading:

This week I’m rereading books from one of my favorite series, That Boy from Jillian Dodd. I love this whole series and the next book comes out in two weeks so this week I’m rereading That Love and That Ring. They always make me feel so cozy. Plus Danny Diamond is my book boyfriend and I love him.

What I’m watching:

I really only watch TV when I’m folding laundry. Given that is getting summer-y here in the southern tier of NY, I’ll probably be watching Royal Pains, however, summer always puts me in a One Tree Hill mood, so I might be watching that. I almost never watch new shows, although I may be rewatching the series finale of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. That depends if I’m prepared to sob (again).

What else?

Being a momma as always and hopefully some chill time this weekend.

What are you up to this week??

Let me know and don’t forget to like, subscribe, comment, and follow me over on Instagram!

Music inspiration: Magic by Ben Rector

Hey everyone, today I wanted to give a shout out to an album that has been on constant rotation for me as I write my series, Friends Like This. It’s a story about six best friends who grow up together and the misadventures and romantic entanglements that come with it. It’s full of nostalgia and friendship and love and this album connects so strongly with those emotions.

Because of that, Magic by Ben Rector has a tight hold on my heart.

I’m not someone who easily falls in love with musical artists and especially albums. I might love a song or two but it takes a lot to make me really love an album or artist. But boy do I love this album and it made me a fan of Ben as well.

Read on to find out where that love came from and why it means so much to me.

Back at the end of 2018 (? I think), I kept seeing a recommendation on YouTube for the song Old Friends by Ben Rector. I finally clicked on it and immediately fell in love. I’d recently turned thirty and this song and video screamed nostalgia. I’m a ’90’s kid and by nature I think we’re a nostalgic bunch, but I am particularly so. Naturally this song hit me right in the feels.

It became part of my regular rotation, showing up on multiple playlists of mine. It made me think of my childhood, my senior year of high school, while connecting with where I’m at now.

I’m listening to the album as I write this and the song just came on. And it made me smile like the cheesy idiot that I am. Okay, moving on.

Skip ahead two years and I’d started writing Friends Like This about a group of six best friends who grow up together from age five on. Naturally, Old Friends was a song that really resonated with me when I started writing it, so I was playing it nonstop. YouTube then recommended the second song off this album I Will Always Be Yours. I listened. And I realized it totally represented a major arc for the central love story in the book. Then I heard Love Like This (which has become one of my favorite songs ever) and it felt like that couple’s song.

I think I heard Kids next, which was also resonates with that series. And then another song off the album popped up and finally I sat down and listened to the whole thing. Not only did much of it connect with the series, it also resonated with me.

This album makes me feel all the things. It hits all my soft spots:

  • Nostalgia.
  • Friendship.
  • Love. Love. Love.
  • Cozy feelings.
  • Awesome music to listen to in the car.
  • Heartache (Sometimes makes me cry every time).

If you love any of those things, go listen. Right now. Seriously. This album is great. These songs are Magic (yeah I had to do it). Even my kids jam out to it.

If you haven’t yet, go check out this album and don’t forget to like and subscribe here so you don’t miss any of my random thoughts and tangents and more behind the scenes on music that inspires me as I write.

I hope you listen to this album if you haven’t before. If you do, let me know what you think of it. If you already have, let me know if it makes you feel all the things too!

How quarantine helped me fall in love with writing again

The year was 2020. Wait, am I allowed to even say that? Is it like a Bloody Mary or Beetlejuice situation? Because I do not want that year back. It can stay down in the fires of hell where it belongs.

I have always loved writing. I’ve loved creating stories and I’ve done it since I was young. Long before I knew what I was really doing. They were just there in my head. Eventually I started writing them down but I struggled to find the right way to write my stories. I went from book to screenplay and then back again. Each time learning more about how to write but feeling more furstrated and less creative. Honestly, it felt like a passion that was going nowhere.

Then I had my second kid and when you have a newborn, you achieve nothing. I focused on him. And then when he was just five months old, lockdown happened. Quarantine. I already had anxiety. The world was getting more chaotic by the week and I was stressed trying to handle raising a baby and a six year old who was suddenly relying on me to be his teacher, occupational therapist, physical therpaist, speech therapist, and mom. All while my husband was working from home in our open den two rooms away.

I was burnt. I was longing for stress relief, but writing didn’t feel like it used to. And because it was the year that shall not be named, the hits just kept on coming. I lost two grandparents (neither to covid) without the proper way or space to mourn them. Life just kept tumbling on and as election season came through, I was on Facebook and news sites constantly. My stress levels were high, I was still homeschooling a child who desperately needed to be in a classroom, and my infant was rapidly turning into a toddler.

I sought comfort in my favorite TV shows but ultimately nothing really provided what I was looking for. That soul-swelling story that sucks you in and makes you feel like you’re home. I’d watched all my favorites so many times, they’d lost some of that feeling. I wanted that again. I wanted that inspiration.

So, after Facebook and news overload, I saw a Black Friday deal for Kindle Unlimited and decided to do it. That would be a much better way to spend my free time, especially all the nights up late with my little one who never wanted to sleep.

I read the first few books in the Sweet Magnolias series since I’d become obessed with the TV show and wanted to know what happens (even though the car accident thing is not in the books so I’m still on the edge of my seat about that). And then I kept seeing this other book recommended: That Boy by Jillian Dodd.

Finally I gave in to my Kindle’s recommendations and started reading it.

And suddenly, I was in love.

And inspired.

I was reading a book that gave me that soul-swelling feeling. But I was also reading a book that felt like me. It felt like the way I write. With characters who feel like they’re your best friends. They feel real. I connected with that. And suddenly I was writing again… I actually stopped reading it a few chapters in because I was so inspired to write.

Then I picked it up again and kept reading, lost in the story, which is not always easy for me. And just when I thought I knew where the story might go, the twist happened. And if you’ve read the book, you know the massive shock that happens. It totally changed my perception of the book and I loved it more.

I kept reading, plowing through the book and then onto the second in the series, That Wedding, which has become one of my favorite books ever.

Then I thought… I want to write a friends to lovers story. So I did. And it flew out of me. The first iteration, anyway.

Now it’s blocked out to a multi book series with the first two written, the next two half-written, and the rest all blocked out.

Finally I not only started feeling like myself again, but I started seeing a path toward writing as a career. And then I learned about self-publishing. And because I’m controlling with what I create and a glutton for punishment, I decided hey, that could be a thing for me to do.

In the last five months I’ve written four books, started three more, and have many more blocked out. And though it won’t be easy, I’m ready to jump on this path, more ready than I’ve ever been. So, that’s what I’m gonna do.

I’m not sure when I’ll self-publish the first book or which one it will be, but the first thing I launch will be a story told in “episodes” on Amazon’s new Kindle Vella service.

More to come on that when I know it! Look for announcement on the title and a teaser for what to expect soon.

Until then, check back here for my random thoughts and recommendations, behind the scenes and teasers of what else I’m working on, and maybe some free fictional content.

If you want to keep up with me, follow me over on Instagram

And if you’re curious about me, you can read more here

As for what to expect from my writing… true love, epic romance, friends who are always there for each other, complicated families, and lots of cozy, warm feelings that will hopefully make you feel right at home.

Hope you’ll join me on the ride.