Where is the Love? How Writers are Forced to Cheat

Glorious-Sunset-front-final[1]I’m Ava Bleu, author of contemporary and edgy inspirational romance, and I just want to know why things have to be so hard for writers?

If you are a lover of romance novels you have probably heard more than one author explain that they still have their day job because it is terribly hard to earn a living income as a romance novelist.  And the fact remains that writers write because they must.  Day job or not, a writer is compelled to write. Alcoholics have their wine.  Food addicts have cake.  Writers have writing.  Okay, some of us also have wine and cake too, but that’s beside the point!

Writers need to live — pay mortgages, put our kids through puppy kindergarten, get our hair done — and these things cost money so we must work second jobs.  Yes, the nine-to-five is the second job despite the fact that it is usually the only job bringing an income.  The nine-to-five is not the job we love; it is the one that makes the job we love possible.

It’s much easier to understand when I put it in my own, personal romance novel terms:  My nine-to-five is the husband I have fallen out of love with but must stay with because of the needs of the children (and by children I mean food, shelter, puppy kindergarten, and those hair appointments).  The writing?  Clearly, Lady Bleu’s scandalous lover.  He’s gorgeous, he’s addictive, he’s a delicious, devilish rake. Sometimes he’s bad but he’s always good, if you know what I mean ;-).

I’m no harlot. I want to love my husband, but he doesn’t have my heart. The best possible solution would be if my scandalous lover could afford to keep me in the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed. Instead of buying him dinner and sustenance (paper, toner cartridges, time), maybe he could afford to feed me for a change.  Instead of paying to dress him up all pretty with a website and postcards and a fancy new logo, maybe he could afford to get me something nice like an electric stapler or a tank of gas or, I don’t know … a shiny new savings account.  An actual real vacation would look fabulous on me and would go a long way towards keeping my respect.  I mean, you’d think he’d get tired of being a “kept” career and have the dignity to contribute a little more.  Just sayin’…

But who am I kidding?  Despite all he costs me, I would pay anything to keep writing.  The joy it brings is priceless.  So I will bite my tongue and pretend to love my day job for as long as it takes.  And someday – one glorious day – my lover will find his financial legs and we will sail off into the great beyond leaving only a dear John resignation letter to end the nine-to-five commitment I once held so dear.

Yes, it seems cold.  Yes, it’s reckless and scandalous and wicked.  But let’s face it … the heart wants what it wants.

And when it’s all said and done, doesn’t everyone want just a little wicked?


Ava Bleu lives and loves in the Midwest, countering bitter winters with smooth jazz and tasty edibles. She can be found in bookstores and the public library camped next to the cookbooks and/or on the town keeping an eye out for hero-material.

Website: http://www.avableu.com/subscribe/

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Ava’s latest novel, Glorious Sunset (Blurb):

African King Taka Olufemi has traveled over four hundred years to find the woman who holds the soul of his murdered queen and he’s a little cranky.  With a ruby brooch as his vessel, the former king is forced to grant wishes to ungrateful mortals hoping to one day find, and win, the heart of his lost love.

But it will take more than good looks, superior intelligence and an impressive pedigree to earn the love of Violet Jackson.  The ambitious interior designer doesn’t remember Taka or their history.  Love—with its inevitable heartbreak chaser—has no place in Violet’s immediate life plan.  All the handsome “genie” can do for her is pony up on the three wishes he’s promised and try not to be a pain while he’s at it.

While the arrogant king is praying for his submissive queen and the faithless object of his affection isn’t praying at all, guardian angel, Aniweto, is praying for them both.  With Ani’s help, Taka and Violet’s epic love will be rekindled and this royal couple-behaving-badly will finally earn their happily-ever-after through the grace of the Almighty.

Buy: Glorious Sunset (Urban Books)

Review: The Rake by Mary Jo Putney

rake mary jo putneyHero: Reginald Davenport is the disinherited rake turned poor relation wastrel to his cousin the Duke, which is why Reggie is thrown for a loop when his cousin gifts him his childhood home, the most prosperous property the new Duke owns. Strickland brings back many ghosts for Reggie, but he is not prepared to meet with Weston, his steward… and a female!

Heroine: Alys Weston came to Strickland with a secret and a grim determination to succeed, reform, and raise a parcel of children not her own. It wasn’t in her plans to like the new owner of Strickland, a woebegone and restless rake, but she admits he does have his own charm.

Review: A heroine with a career and a hero who wants to keep her in the position? Very unlikely! Reggie keeps Alys on as his steward despite how unlikely it is for a (unmarried!!!) woman to hold the position.

What’s more is that Reggie is predictable as an unrespectable and indolent rake. Like other heroes of similar ilk in romance he is tired of the lifestyle and is looking for something to bring the joy of life back into his life. He also is willing to work hard and do jobs meant for menial labor, thus giving him a heart of gold underneath that tarnish.

Unlike the other rakes in romance who drink socially and never to often in books, Reggie is a functioning drunk. He’s an alcoholic and recognizes that his blackouts are a bad sign. But he can’t go cold turkey and he’s not sure he wants too, and really wants to stock his new home with all sorts of alcohol. Of course, Reggie must not stay a drunk, so much of the story is focused on changing that, but it takes up too much focus and pulls from the romance. It’s hard for me to buy the romance because of this.

Many people rank this book as one of the best romances written and on their favorite shelf. Are you one?


Buy: The Rake

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A Resume to Woo an Ex

by Phillipa Ashley, guest blogger and author of Wish You Were Here

Hi there, Keira kindly invited me to write up ‘a resume to woo an Ex’.

At the start of my new release, Wish You Were Here, Jack Thornfield opens an application for a job in the travel company where he is CEO. He has quite a shock when he sees whose resume it is. But not as big a shock as Beth Allen when she finds out who’s going to be her new boss.

So here’s the resume she could have sent…


Name: Elizabeth Allen

Age: 28

Location: Currently living in village in Lake District but prepared to move to London temporarily. I also have extensive experience of travel in Europe and beyond.

Education: First class degree in Modern Languages, MBA, Gold Survival Swimming Badge.

Experience and Achievements: Adventure travel consultant, big sister (and surrogate mum) to Louisa after our mum died suddenly a few years ago. I’m also helping to run a cycle hire business while my father recovers from a serious accident.

Dependants: Louisa, Dad and Marcus – he’s the owner of a posh used car dealership. Marcus isn’t really a dependant; he’s my sort-of boyfriend and very well off. He wants me to marry him which would solve all our family’s financial problems but I’m not sure yet. Marcus is kind but I like to be independent…

Job Requirements: I’m looking for a senior consultant’s job in the adventure travel industry with a great company.

Salary requirements: As much as possible because I’m the main family breadwinner right now. We need the money to send Louisa to a top performing arts school. She’s got a place but in the circumstances, we can’t afford to send her. That’s why I’m applying for this temporary job as a consultant in London.

Anyone we should avoid sending your resume to?

This is a long shot but… Jack Thornfield. I don’t know why I put his name because I haven’t heard from him for eight years. I’ve no idea what he’s doing now but he used to be an adventure travel guide and may still be working in the industry. Personally, I hope he’s disappeared off the face of the Earth. I mean, I don’t hope he’s come to any harm, God forbid – but if he was herding yaks in Outer Mongolia or surviving on bugs in the jungle, that would be fine.

I know that sounds bitter but I met Jack in Corsica on vacation 8 years ago. I was young, naive and a virgin. He was gorgeous and funny, strong and tender. I fell in love with him. Wham. He swore he’d fallen in love with me. He even proposed to me… oh wow, I was floating on air. I thought he was the one. I was wrong. When we got back to England, I never heard from him again. He ignored my calls and emails and just vanished. I’ve never forgotten him but I’ve had to move on. Since mum died and Dad had his accident, I’ve put my career on hold to look after him and Lou. Have I told you about Lou? She’s bright, cheeky and very talented but she does fall for bad boys – I suppose it runs in the family.

Any other information in s support of your application?

I’ll do anything to help my family. As long as it doesn’t involve Jack Thornfield.

Thanks for having me! Hope you enjoy the book and if there’s anything you’d like to say to an ex, then do tell!

Wish You Were Here

“ Ashley’s writing is deft, sexy and full of humour.”

Phillipa Ashley is a bestselling author in the UK with over 50,000 copies sold and the kind of funny, accessible British voice that U.S. audiences love.

Jack Thornfield, new CEO, is shocked to see his long lost love, Beth Allen’s resume come across his desk. After 8 years apart they have a second chance at happiness in this romantic story about love and secrets.

“Lovely books filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!”
—Jill Mansell

Buy: Wish You Were Here