Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss


July 7, 2010


Welcome to Susan’s Money, Honey Blog Tour in which she will heroically address the Top Ten Responses Commonly Heard when An Ill-Groomed Stay-at-Home Mom Announces her Secret Career as a Romance Writer.

(If you’re dying to see all ten responses, check out my website.)

Hello, Fresh Fiction! Welcome to the blog tour! Today we’re discussing Response #9: The dreaded “Don’t you get tired of writing the same story over & over?”

Okay, this one kills me. Really, it does. People who don’t read romance seem to have this incredible misconception about the genre. It’s like they think that because romance novels feature a love story and a happy ending, they’re all the same book. This is like saying all detective novels are the same because the plot revolves around a crime and we get to find out whodunit at the end. Or that all thrillers are the same because the hero gets to foil a Plot to Destroy the World As We Know It.

That’s not a formula–that’s a contract with the reader. It’s the reason we read genre fiction in the first place. If I want a happy ending, I read romance. Exquisite world-building? Science fiction. A near miss with a nuclear holocaust? Thriller. Good genre fiction doesn’t defy expectations; it satisfies expectations. Great genre fiction does it in fresh & unexpected ways.

Now I can’t say Money, Honey is great genre fiction, but I did make an effort to deliver the unexpected. For example, I love the romance stereotype of the dazzlingly beautiful heroine with the troubled past and the self-esteem issues but it’s a little shopworn. So I applied it to my hero. Patrick O’Connor is astonishingly beautiful, exquisitely dressed and dangerously charming. He’s also remote, detached and secretly in love.

With who, you ask? Why, with Liz Brynn, FBI agent extraordinaire. The only woman in the world who can–and has–slapped a pair of handcuffs on Patrick without thinking salacious thoughts. Well, okay, maybe she HAS had the odd salacious thought. Or two. She’s only human. But she’s not interested in romance. Particularly not with Mr. Reformed Jewel Thief, thank you very much.

Money, Honey is a classic crime caper complete with a no-nonsense cop with rock-solid values and the beautiful outsider who challenges every one of them. Switching the gender roles created a powerful, rigid heroine and a slinky, gorgeous hero. A female The Man & a male Femme Fatale. But it also set up some sizzling chemistry & a dynamite happy ever after, if I do say so myself.

Expectations met, with a twist.

So tell me: What’s your favorite twist on the genre? The freshest take on the good ol’ happily ever after? What have you read lately that defied expectations while completely satisfying? Don’t be shy–five lucky commenters will win their very own copy of Money, Honey!

To comment for a chance to win on Susan’s blog please click here.

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