Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Love Inspired Assistant Editor Giselle Regus, Welcome to Seekerville!

For me, reunion romances might just be the most romantic of romance themes! From that boy you could never tell you had a crush, to the first love you’ve lost touch with along the way—how beautiful it is to imagine what they’ve been up to and to get a chance with them again—or for the first time.

My love for these stories began with what many consider to be the ultimate romance novel, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; a story about misunderstandings, letting our own judgment cloud the way we see others, and almost losing out on love because of it. This two act story allows the readers to first see the unsuccessful courtship between the hero and heroine, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. We see why they’re perfect for each other, but also what ultimately keeps them apart. In the second act we get their reunion. While apart, they’ve learned more about themselves and each other, and have grown into their better selves. This growth is what allows them to see each other clearly and in the end be together.

This is the heart of reunion romances and why I think they are so successful with readers. It’s not just about finding “the one”, but also about finding oneself. It’s this level of character development that makes these stories rich and interesting. And when it comes to romance novels, the set-ups for reunion romances are endless. An author can choose to write about characters who were just friends, but reunite romantically, it can be about first love, high school sweethearts, former husband and wives, children who meddle in their parents’ lives to get them back together, secret babies—and so on! And another reason why these are great stories to write is because they fit in any genre. In Love Inspired, we have a steady stream of reunion themed romances in our contemporary, historical and suspense lines.

This month for example, as part of our Heart of Main Street series, we have a reader favorite: a 

friends-to-romance storyline, in Lissa Manley’s Storybook Romance. 
In the ten years the heroine, Allison True, has been away from her hometown, she’s never been able to erase her feelings for her best friend's brother, Sam Franklin. Growing up, Sam only saw Allison as his little sister’s best friend. But sparks fly as they get to know each other again, and they soon realize they may be meant to be.

Next month Love Inspired Historical will have Renee Ryan’s Finally a Bride, where the heroine, Molly Taylor Scott, is recovering from two failed engagements; broken off after her would-be grooms realized her heart still belonged to childhood sweetheart, Garrett Mitchell. When Garrett returns to town, Molly wonders if third time’s a charm for her and her first love. 

Also next month, in Love Inspired Suspense’s High-Stakes Holiday Reunion by Christy Barritt, we’ll
have the story of ex-fiancés Christopher Jordan and Ashley Wilson reuniting to find her kidnapped nephew—who’s no nephew at all, but Chris’s secret son!

The success of these stories comes from the reader being able to walk alongside the character. They get to experience first why the characters are emotionally withdrawn, and then the character’s journey as they let down their barriers and grow into their true selves. Through faith, the hero and heroine find a way to overcome what drove them apart, and earn that love again. And, who doesn’t want to experience another chance at true love?

Ruthy here! Giselle, thank you so much for hanging with  us in Seekerville today! And, editor dear, are you totally prepared for the 112 reunion romances which will show up on your desk next week???


Giselle has graciously brought along this month's Love Inspired Suspense novels as giveaways, so we'll draw names out of the cat dish to find a bunch of lucky folks who can look forward to getting a free book in the mail! SWEET!  (Not quite Derek Jeter sweet, but great nonetheless!!)

And for those of you who want to really impress Giselle, she is a Yankees fan, loves Don Mattingly ("Donny Baseball, be still my heart!) and isn't afraid to hang in the bleachers with the famous Yankee "Bleacher Creatures".  Clearly we were MFEO.

(Think Sleepless in Seattle, cute kid line: "Made For Each Other".)  :)

Come on inside I've got Starbucks ready to load up the coffees...
 Murray's bagels, 

sandwiches from Bits, Bites and Baguettes and sugared nuts from "Nuts 4 Nuts" my favorite roadside vendor in Manhattan!

Food's ready: Let's talk with Giselle!


  1. Thanks for being here Giselle.

    Have a cup of coffee. There's a great big pot brewing.

  2. Hi Giselle:

    What I like very much is a reunion story that takes place because of a need for the couple to form a marriage of convenience. I like this to be a Christmas story. Reunions are best around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Do you have anything like that coming up?


    P.S. Were your parents fans of the ballet? Giselle is such a classic name. It must have a story.

  3. Hi, Giselle, welcome to Seekerville.

    I love reunion stories. I've always played around with them but have never fully committed to writing one until recently, and I'm loving every bit of writing it and it's a contemporary. Totally out of my box.

  4. um, my eyes glazed over there for a moment with the baseball mumbo-jumbo paragraph that I didn't understand a bit of, but then thankfully starbucks was there to jolt me back to awake...though I don't drink coffee, not even sweet Helen's virtual coffee.

    I'm working on a proposal with 2 reunion stories in it and one that's maybe not a reunion since neither liked each other way back when....that makes it not a reunion story, right? I've never written one before, I've always gone with strangers.

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Giselle. Sounds like some really fun stories are headed our way. :-)

    I had a funny thing happen at the library today... A patron came in looking for romance books by "Harold Quinn."
    I told him we didn't have anything by that author, nor was it a romance author I had ever heard of, but we had a lot of titles by Julia Quinn. He said, "Oh, yes. That's who I'm looking for."
    It wasn't.
    He was back at my desk two minutes later--on his cell phone. "She says to tell you the author's name is Harley Quinn."
    Light dawned.
    I showed him the rack of Harlequin paperbacks. :-)


    The only blog of writers dedicated to the Yankees. Ruth wouldn't have it any other way!

    There are reunion stories and there are reunion stories.

    Interestingly enough, I'm batting two out of four. The first two were and the next two were not.

    Must come up with a reunion story for book five since you are now my editor.

    I like to keep editors happy.

  7. Clari, that's just hilarious.

    Good old Harley Quinn!

  8. Please enter me I am loving the LIS books. I am finding I am reading more of them than others which is interesting.

    reunion books can be fun Like the idea of the story where the hero looks on the heroine as a little sister then sees here all grown up years later.

    Have to say not as mad on the secret baby stories. I think I read to many in a row last year and a few were a little unrealistic and a few seemed to be the same.

    Melissa my I tended to glaze over the baseball also. if it was cricket that would be different.

  9. Jenny Blake!!!! This is only because you have not seen Jeter close up, my darling. One look into his Marc DeHollander (my first hero, a Jeter look-alike!!!!! No surprise there, LOL!) eyes and he'd have you at "G'day, Mate!" :) But we sports lovin' women must stick together which is why I knew Tina and Giselle would be a great match... reunion stories and New York sports equates happiness!!!!

    I love reunion stories THIS MUCH. I think I've shown that lately. And the fact that Giselle loves them too is evidence of readers embracing them. Editors love strong sales.

    Me, too!

  10. Clari, dying laughing here! Can you just see that guy half-listenin' to his wife, thinking "Oh, the librarian will know this guy."

    SO FUNNY!!!!!!!

    Melissa... you are sleep deprived. That is the only reason you don't understand the full sadness of the Yankees not making it into the playoffs... and our love for them regardless... It's been a while since I had to wait FIVE MONTHS for spring training.

    Ridiculous, I say. (grabs more coffee)

    (And chocolate....)

    But I will wait and abide, a true fan.

    and post Jeter pics to remind us all of what could be!

  11. Vince, I agree, Christmas + Reunion = happy-ever-afters!!!

  12. Hey, Giselle, a question for you: When does Love Inspired Suspense begin publishing SIX BOOKS/MONTH?????

    (I'm excited just writing that, another two great reads per month!!!! How totally awesome!!!!)

  13. So Ruthy I just pretend Jeter plays cricket and I am there. Im sure if I was American I would love Baseball just like if you were am Aussie you would love cricket. (oh and we have some really cute looking players.)

  14. Good morning, Seekerville. Welcome, Giselle. I really enjoyed your post. I adore reunion romances, but I've never really considered why. Your theory sounds great.

    Clari, your story started me day with a smile. Love it!

    No comment on Ruthy's baseball mumbo jumbo. Well except to say NYC does have another team. *cough cough*

    We're used to long off-seasons and no respect. *sigh*

    I do have a partially completed reunion romance gathering dust. Now I want to go work on it. I love that story.

    But come to think of it, my WIP is too. It's just overshadowed by the suspense part.

    Oh happy day.

    Off to claim some coffee before hitting the subway.

  15. Love, love, love reunion stories. They are some of my favorites. I especially love the whole "secret crush way back when" kind, where sparks fly when they come back together. And I love the "hated you first, loved you next" stories (think When Harry Met Sally).

    Thank you so much for the wonderful post!

  16. Thanks for being here, Giselle.

    I have to give a shout out to the art department of all the gorgeous covers. What wonders!

    Baseball. Orioles. That is all.

    Peace, Julie

  17. This is exactly why I love Persuasion by Jane Austen.
    Good thing we like them because there is likely to be a flush of them coming through LI in the next few years!

    Great coffee! Thanks Helen!

  18. Good morning Giselle, welcome to Seekerville.

    I always enjoy reunion stories. Our God is the God of second chances, and I think that's one reason I like reunion stories so much.

    I hope you all have a good day!

  19. I love reunion romances!!! They're very romantic. :-)

  20. Good morning, Giselle! Thanks so much for coming by to hang out with us. This is a great way to give everyone a glimpse of the fun, talented people in the romance industry who make our books everything readers want them to be.

    No need to enter me in the drawing-- just wanted to stop in and have a cup of Helen's yummy coffee :)

  21. I love reading about the books that are due out. All of these sound great! Reunion stories are the best. Would love to be entered in the drawing. I am a Braves fan. Enough said about that. They played late last night so I only got to watch a part of the game. It is such a long time until I get to see them play again. Happy birthday Seekerville! This has been such a fun month so far! I love all the great posts filled with so much information!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  22. Welcome to Seekerville, Giselle! You're so right about how much fun reunion stories can be! Having that previous relationship can raise the stakes at their re-meeting, plus it allows hero and heroine to already know a bit about each other and their past on page one. :)

  23. Hi Giselle,

    Thanks for sharing your love of reunion stories! Like several other people, I'm working on one for a proposal.

  24. 112reunion books across Giselle's desk? Whoopsie! Hopefully that means 112 reunion books on the shelves! I'm always up to win more books. Thanks for the coffee and chocolate. Early morning cause I couldn't sleep!

  25. 112reunion books across Giselle's desk? Whoopsie! Hopefully that means 112 reunion books on the shelves! I'm always up to win more books. Thanks for the coffee and chocolate. Early morning cause I couldn't sleep!

  26. Welcome to Seekerville, Giselle! I love reunion romances! It's fun to root for the hero and heroine's second chance at happiness. Always interesting to see their reactions when they first meet on the page.

    You said: It’s not just about finding “the one”, but also about finding oneself. A terrific reminder of why romance novels matter.


  27. Hey, Giselle -- it's ALWAYS a real treat to have LI in Seekerville, so WELCOME!! And a big atta-girl for Ruthy for inviting you!!

    You know, I'm ashamed to admit that I have never, EVER thought of reunion stories as ... well, reunion stories! Or at least I didn't realize it was a sub-genre of its own. Not until I read Ruthy's ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL Try, Try Again and Dan Walsh's equally fabulous The Dance -- THEN the light bulb when on and I thought, "Gosh, I just LOVE reunion stories!!

    The whole idea of a DO-OVER in romance is SUCH a fun concept that I scratched my head and wondered just why in ten books I have never written one. And then I realized I'm writing one right now ... DUH ... where an "ugly duckling" girl goes to Paris for her senior year and comes home a swan, only to confuse the heart and hormones of her best friend, a brotherly mentor ten years her senior. I guess that would be a reunion of sorts, right?

    And THEN I realized my 8th novel is ALSO a reunion story (who knew??) with kind of the same theme -- a girl comes home to Boston after five years in New York, only to be pursued by the rogue brother of her best friend she's always had a crush on and his handsome sidekick who didn't give her the time of day back then.

    So, YAY, I guess I DO have my share of "reunion" stories after all, which makes me very happy in light of this wonderful post.


  28. i love reunion stories - throw in Christmas and that's BONUS. i think ones where they didn't like each other way back when count as reunion stories as well. heck, my younger brother and his wife DID NOT like each other after a bad first blind date. fast forward about a year or two later - they became high school sweethearts and been married 20+ years.

    i'm a Colorado Rockies fan (rock-head). not much to say there, except we've got pinstripes too...

    trying to connect with a lost love can be dangerous. i tried looking up an old flame. We'd had that zing connection you read about in books, but we were Spiritually incompatible and thus, the relationship never blossomed. When I tried looking him up about 15 years later, I found his obit (dated nine months before i looked for him). He'd never married. Made me wonder...

    Oh, and the name Giselle is so pretty - just like you.

  29. Thank you all for the lovely welcome - it's great to be here! I'm enjoying some coffee and a New York style bagel while reading all the wonderful post. Clari the story about Harold Quinn made my morning! I'm so happy to see there are so many reunion romance fans out there. Glynna I completely agree, the stakes seem higher in "re-meetings" which is why I think I enjoy them so much. And yes, go Yankees! Jenny I'm not sure about cricket, but I'm also a big rugby fan.

    Good luck to everyone who's currently writing – hope to see some of these soon!

  30. How exciting to have you with us today in Seekerville, Giselle! OMG, with your love of baseball and everything NY, I can see why Ruthy is in Yankee heaven, LOL!

    I love reunion stories! I'm glad they're so popular with readers. There's just something about characters waiting for their HEA that makes finally getting there so sweet -- for them and the reader!

    It's going to be a wonderful day exploring reunions and what they mean to different folks : )

  31. Clari, what a hoot! Sounds like my husband!

  32. Put me in line for the reunion romance. Got one brewing in the back of my mind. High school sweethearts I think. Thanks Giselle. Yep - you and Ruthy were definitely MFEO

  33. So did the lot o' youse figure out that "Gigi" is Giselle???

    When I first "met" her through e-mails I had to tell her that Enchanted is my favorite Disney movie!!!!

    Robert (stodgy NYC lawyer, don't tell my son I said that!!!):So, what's the deal with this prince of yours? How long you been together?

    Giselle: [wistfully] Oh, about a day.

    Robert: You mean it feels like a day because you're so in love.

    Giselle: No, it's been a day.

    Robert: You're kidding me. A day? One day?

    Giselle: Yes. And tomorrow it will be two days.

    Robert: You're joking.

    Giselle: No. I'm not.

    Robert: (looking dumbfounded and very McDreamy-like. It does not hurt that the hero is played by Patrick Dempsey. I'm just sayin', that's not a DETRIMENT to the movie.) Yeah, you are.

    Giselle: But I'm not.


    (Ruthy rolls on the floor and dies laughing because the idea of being in love for a DAY stymies Mr. Litigator in his Fancy Suit.)

  34. Christy Barritt is my very first Critique Partner. Cool that she's included in this.
    She taught me how to write!!!

    (so blame her!)

  35. Harley Quinn...I bet that is a librarian story that survives and is handed around for all time. LOL

  36. a great posting...thanks for sharing, Giselle :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  37. When I saw that picture of Mr. Darcy, I knew I would love this post. Last weekend, I watched that movie version of Pride and Prejudice for the first time--and loved it because it sticks so closely to the book! And yes, I consider it the greatest romance novel, and Mr. Darcy the greatest hero.

    Gotta love it!
    Courtney-- alwaysreadingblog.blogspot.com

  38. Clari, that is hilarious!

    Giselle, are secret babies too cliche for reunion stories? I am considering adding one to my story, but it seems most reunions have babies.

  39. Not to distract from the daily fun here, but, tonight is the Webcast we're doing for Fired Up.
    I have a feeling people are going to be talking about it tomorrow. In hushed, funereal tones, but still......
    You can go sign up to attend if you want by clicking on

    I've adopted a new slogan as I struggle to try and figure out what in the world a webcast is.

    My fears rise and my hopes for success sink as the zero hour of 7 pm central grows near.

    Here it is.
    The slogan..........

    Just because it's a disaster, doesn't mean it's not epic.

    You don't want to miss that, now do you. Think of it as having front row seats at the sinking of the Titanic.....from a nearby ship of course......unlike me. I play the Titanic in this story. :(

  40. Giselle, so nice to have you join us in Seekerville today!

    My favorite thing about reunion stories is that the couple starts out already having a history. From the author's perspective, you don't have to belabor the "getting acquainted" scenes. It's more about rediscovering each other and finding out what's changed--and why it might possibly work this time around!

    Oh, and I LOVED Enchanted! It was just so . . . enchanting!

  41. I've never considered Pride & Prejudice to be a reunion story--but the analysis makes sense!

    I like reunion stories for novellas because the built-in background works well in a shorter word count.

  42. GISELLE, thanks for this post. The book I'm shopping around now is a reunion romance. The heroine gave herself to the love of her life (obviously before she was a Christian), and was pregnant with his baby when he took off to seek his fortune and see the world. She lost the baby, and just about everything else. They reunite when she signs on as a cook for a wagon train bound for Oregon, and learns that he is the scout. They have a lot of issues to work through before the happy ending, including her forgiving him and him forgiving himself. "Secret baby" is a common theme, unfortunately, but I don't know how I could have done this without it...I needed something Really Big to cause her deep sorrow at how things turned out. Oh, well, we'll see how it plays in Peoria.
    I have never written a Reunion story with that as the goal, but have had it rise naturally from my characters and their situations.
    What I do think is a cliché is reuniting at the High School Reunion. Come on, people. It's high school, get over it. I can say that because I don't go to mine. The only guy I would want to reunite with died in a logging accident when we were 19, and anyway, I'm married. What Ever.

  43. Giselle, welcome to Seekerville!!!

    I love reunion stories...and movies. "Sweet Home Alabama" is my all-time favorite flick!

    The three books you mentioned look like great reads, but the suspense writer in me is reaching for High-Stakes Holiday Reunion. You hooked me with "...Christopher Jordan and Ashley Wilson reuniting to find her kidnapped nephew—who’s no nephew at all, but Chris’s secret son!"

    Talk about conflict!!! Can't wait to see how Christy resolves all that tension with a happily-ever-after!

    Thanks, Ruthy, for the yummy treats and for hosting Giselle!!!

  44. Sorry about the rant, I just don't get high school. I didn't even get it when I was in it.
    CLARI, that is the funniest library story EVER. I can just see that poor man's face - and that librarian's.
    JANET, I agree with the principle that if you find your true love, you find yourself. Because that is the mirror you look in to see your most authentic self (courtesy of Oprah or someone). More important, with Christianity it's the whole "iron sharpening iron" thing. And it's an object lesson of Christ's love for us.
    RUTHY, I adore Central Park. (From a distance, I've never been there.) Love reading about it. Just finished reading a secular murder mystery about it. Jackie Onassis used to take her children sledding there. It is a jewel and a wonderful resource for residents and visitors. It was co-designed by Frederick Law Olmstead whom I believe did several of the park scapes in Boston. A true genius.
    MARY CONNEALY, I will try to tune in tonight. I'm not too good at that kind of thing but will give it a shot.
    I am always up for Colin Firth.
    Kathy Bailey
    Proud and Prejudiced in New Hampshire

  45. Hi Giselle,

    So nice to see you here in Seekerville!

    I remember when I was first interested in writing for Harlequin (for another line). The editor told me in a pitch meeting that people want to see the first stirrings of romantic interest between strangers, so reunion stories were a no-no for that line.

    However, it is a lot harder to have strangers fall in love, and in other lines, get physical with one another and have it be believable. All in 50k. Is this why Nora Roberts (I think it was her) said that writing category romance was like dancing Swan Lake in a phone booth?

    Reunion stories make so many story elements easier to believe, so I am glad to hear that LI lines are open to them.

  46. Ooo, a woman after my own heart! Pride and Prejudice IS the ultimate romance story! And I love reunion stories too. Ruth Axtell had a wonderful one that I still remember, A Man Most Worthy. It was a Love Inspired Historical from 2008 (I had to look it up. I didn't actually remember the date!) There was such an amazing spark there, and then he had to go away and "earn" the right to court her. And when they got back together--I think it was at least 15 years later--Wow.

    In my Cinderella story, the heroine has had a crush on the hero for 10 years, but he doesn't even remember her. But I love that "I've loved you since I was a child and now I'm grown up, so what do you think of me now?" kind of thing. Haha!

  47. And I love your name, Giselle, BTW. :-)

  48. MARY CONNEALY, what time is that in Eastern time?

  49. Hi Giselle!

    Oooh, I love a good reunion story - my own life is one of my favorites :)

    Yes, my dear husband and I dated, broke up, and dated other people.

    And then I went to Europe, came home, toyed with taking a job a thousand miles away...but then we started doing things together, like walking my dog and going to the mall, and the rest is history.

    Thanks for stopping by - and I just heard that we're going to be working together! I'm looking forward to it.

  50. I am guessing reunion stories never become unpopular, unlike some story lines. I know they don't for me. I think my favorite is friends that become more.

  51. My all time favorite romance ( of course ) is Pride And Prejudice. :-)

    This is a great post, Giselle. Thank you. :-) Reunion stories are always fun.

    I spent the day in bed yesterday—sick, sick sick! But I did read yesterdays post—good one, Audra! :-)

    Recovered, but wobbly. :-)

  52. Giselle:
    I love reunion stories.
    My debut book is a reunion story!

    I'm still laughing about Harley Quinn.

    I just make the coffee. I've never drank a cup in my life. :)

    This old gal gets the baseball--just not the Yankees. Go Cardinals!

  53. Giselle here! Sorry about before, Gigi is a college nickname I sometimes go by ;-) Thank you for all the name love--you're all so sweet!

    I'm enjoying reading the comments and seeing all the stories that are in the works. Secret babies, friends who become more, first loves reconnecting - reunion romances have room for all kinds!

    And speaking of in the works, Ruthy our hopes for the LIS expansion is for midyear 2014 (fingers crossed)!

  54. Baseball Reunion Analogy For Ruth

    I can still remember and still feel some of the emotions of attending the one baseball game a year I would never miss. Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium.

    As I kid I got to see many baseball greats who retired before I was born. What a thrill to see all these heroes paly again – if only for three innings. People cheered as if it were a World Series game. Many adults had tears in their eyes. Got to love baseball.

    Sometimes one of the ‘young’ Yankee Old Timers would even hit a home run and the crowd would shout…”Put him in the line up for today’s game.”

    Reunions have their own power over and above what romance brings to the table.


  55. Hi Clari:

    If that story really happened to you, you need to send it into Woman’s World or other such market that buys “Life in America” type features. It is as good as any I’ve read before. I’ve received up to $200 for stories that were not as good.

    BTW: I am going to use the name Harley Quinn for the county commission whose wife is the romance fan from hell in my “Stranded in a Cabin with a Romance Writer”. Her name will be Hailey Quinn. I wonder how many readers will ‘get it’.


  56. Jan, what a fun peek into your courtship! Thanks for sharing.

    Mary Hicks, sorry you were sick yesterday. I'm sending chicken soup and hugs!

    Piper, love the Nora quote...Swan Lake in a phone booth! She's right!!! (Isn't Nora always right?) But I love tight writing.

    Maybe that's why I love LI and LIS!!!

  57. I just ordered a to-go sandwich from Bits, Bites and Baguettes. Thanks, Ruthy! :)

  58. kaybee, 8 pm eastern.
    but central time is the real time, you know that right?

  59. Hi Giselle:

    I think one of the most powerfully ‘reunion’ stories is the amnesia theme romance.

    This is a ‘real time’ reunion situation in which the past becomes the present. A marriage that was about to break up because one side was a terrible spouse for years returns back to the happy beginning – as long as the good spouse still has amnesia.

    It’s always a race: can the bad spouse make things better before the memory comes back. Few themes allow for such introspection.

    I don’t think editors like amnesia stories. I have not seen one Seeker book on this theme and I can’t remember ever reading a LI amnesia theme over all these years. Is there a rule against them? Lots a drugs today can cause amnesia so I don’t think such books would be all that far fetched.

    I think the amnesia theme is the ultimate second chance romance.


  60. Is that what Vince is doing with this new COVER HIS FACE phase? I thought he was in some new shy, modest mode. Figured it'd pass.

  61. Welcome, Giselle! We're so glad to have you on the blog today.

    I'm actually working on a reunion romance (friends to "lovers") right now! It's due to Emily in November. I'm having so much fun with it! :)

  62. I just re-read Pride and Prejudice. Honestly I think it needed more gunfire and screaming. Action, you know. Other than that, it's okay.

  63. Vince, the Howard/Harley Quinn episode really did happen to me yesterday. :-) And because the library had gotten a bit chaotic when it happened (yes, libraries can get chaotic), I didn't realize how funny it was until I got home and took a breath. But then again, it's probably a good thing I didn't start laughing at him. The patron is always right, you know. ;-)

  64. Vince, I had the same thought about the name Harley Quinn--that it would be a humorous tongue-in-cheek one to use in a romance story. :-)

  65. Hi Giselle,

    It was nice learning about some of the things you like, especially when it comes to books. I like reunion stories too, but I haven't written very many of them so far. I hope you're having a great week.

  66. I adore the Love Inspired books. Sweet, quick reads that guarantee a happy ending. The reunion ones are always fun- the one by Lissa Manly sounds especially good! Thanks for the giveaway!

  67. I adore reunion stories. Always have. A past relationship, disastrous or not, makes a love story more believable when happening in the confines of a 50,000 word novel.

    Debby, “Sweet Home Alabama” is my favorite, too, and the only movie I’ve watched more than three times.

  68. Hi Giselle! Thank you for sharing with us. I'm a big fan of LIH and LIS... oh and LI too :)

    Love Harly Quinn. I've been reading him since I was in High School... many many years ago.

  69. Hi Giselle, welcome to Seekerville. Hope you enjoy your day here!

    I'm working on a reunion storyline that invoives a kidnapped child, so I'm definitely looking forward to Christy Barritt's book.

  70. This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. Hi Vince,

    You’re right, amnesia stories can be tricky.

    Ideally, the characters need to know the errors they’ve made and show character growth through change. With amnesia they’re forgetting who they were and the things they did; it’s taking the easy way out of their struggle, and often times the moment of redemption isn’t as fulfilling for readers. Also, the complicated part about a story like the one you mentioned is making sure the romance is still there; that the hero and heroine are building that spark and those butterflies as they get to know each other. This is sometimes difficult to capture, and can seem one sided, if one character already knows the other one.

  72. Debby, “Sweet Home Alabama” is a favorite of mine too. Hearing those charming southern accents and getting to see dreamy Josh Lucas on screen - swoon!

  73. Great to see you here, Giselle.

  74. I love reunion romances. It's fun to watch a couple embrace their second chance at a HEA--and succeed. Sigh!

  75. I love getting free books in the mail. Please count me in. Not a book, but a movie, I have always enjoyed the original Parent Trap when the twins push the parents back together again.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  76. Hi Giselle,
    Thanks for sharing your insights today. You've sent my mind churning on some new ideas!

    Ruthy, you lost me at baseball. If you ever jump to football, I'm in!

  77. My favorite line: It’s not just about finding “the one”, but also about finding oneself.

    I love reunion stories, which is why my novels have been reunions of sorts. :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Giselle.

  78. Oh, Lyndee, my pet, I can talk Pigskin with the best of them but not in October.


    Never in October. But well, maybe THIS October since my team's home, washing their tights and A-Rod's suing the world while sunbathing on a yacht in the Caribbean with YANKEE money....

    But I'll say nothing more about that I'll just make a really scowling face at the camera


    And that's all you'll hear from me about guys who don't have a clue how blessed they are.

    OH! SWEET HOME ALABAMA!!!! Love it! Love both heroes. Love the movie. Love Reese! Great story.

    My "Reunited Hearts" was a great reunion story. With a secret baby... and it's one of my top sellers, still, people are finding e-reader editions and buying them every month so YAY for reunions!

    And my Christmas story for 2014 is TINA MARIE'S story, and of course you're all gonna love TINA MARIE!!!! And it's a reunion story with the Campbells adopted son Max... Dark, brooding, a patriot, brave and true, special ops... and to die for. Max comes home and the fireworks begin because TINA MARIE is stubborn... and Italian... and did I mention stubborn?????

    But smart, savvy and not willing to cut old Max much slack...


    I love, love, love reunion stories.

  79. Hi Giselle:

    I didn’t consider all the problems you mention with the amnesia theme. The few I read must have been exemplary. One very good one I remember was when the husband had badly neglected his wife because of business and his greater love of money and power. The marriage was going to go into divorce when the wife was in a car wreck going to see her lawyer. (she had tears in her eyes).

    The thought of losing her shook him up. He goes into the hospital chapel to pray and ‘sees’ how mistaken he had been. He vows to change. When his wife wakes up she does not know who he is. At that point he sees his chance to make things right and goes on a full romantic campaign to win her back. She gets courted like few women ever do.

    He discovers that love is not just about finding the right person – it is also about being the right person. From then on he strives to be the right person.

    He gets a second chance and she gets a fantastic courtship that she didn’t get the first time. He’s a changed man. For the first time in his life he is experiencing what it is to be truly in love.

    This story stands out in my mind like few romances I’ve ever read. I think it may pass all your tests. But it sure took a good story to do that.


  80. Hello Mary:

    I actually agree with your critique of P&P. For most of the years Jane Austen was writing there was a world war going on – the biggest war in history up to that date. But Austen’s fans may have loved her books precisely because it was a way to escape the war.

    BTW: Did your hero in “Petticoat Ranch” get amnesia when he fell off the horse and into a creek during a flash flood in a thunder storm with a posse after him trying to kill him? The heroine was once married to his twin and she drags him out of the flood water and I think he may have lost his memory. I know something strange was happening in those first few pages.

    That may be my favorite start to any romance – except maybe for that wide-ranging gunfight that opens “Wrangler in Petticoats” with lots of people being shot and the hero falling off a 400 foot cliff – and the poor guy is just a western painter wanting to paint the Yellowstone area because those paintings sell very well back in New York City. That may be the only literal cliffhanger I’ve read that opens a story.

    About my shy picture: I though it was apropos to read a book titled, “Point of View” while giving my point of view in comments as Julie looks over my shoulder (in the background) and I wear a Boston hat because Ruth said supporting Boston would be a very nice thing for a Yankee fan to do this year. Nevertheless, I’ve changed the photo to something you might like better. : )


  81. Welcome Giselle (I love your name, by the way) and thank you for sharing with us today!

    I've always enjoyed reunion stories and since my own high school reunion is coming up, I'm thinking I just might get some ideas while there. ;)

    Ruthy, thanks for being a wonderful hostess today (would love a nice, big mocha from Starbucks, please).
    And since baseball was mentioned--I have to be loyal to my Atlanta Braves! :)

    Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

    p.s. OOOPS! Almost forgot to leave the Peach Pie I just baked--help yourself! Still warm from the oven. ;)

  82. Love a good reunion story! The ones coming up from Love Inspired sound great! :)

  83. Hi, Giselle.

    I love reunion stories. It occurred to me reading this that all three in my current series are reunion romances. Didn't really intend it that way, but it's fun writing them. :) Thanks for coming to Seekerville and sharing with us.

    RUTHY! Sleepless In Seattle is one of my favorites. My sister and I say "MFEO" all the time. ;)

  84. I love reunion stories because somehow they seem to be more exciting. Higher stakes, you know.
    I have a reunion story that does not end happily kicking about in my head but I may never write it. Not enough time.
    Speaking of P and P clearly Charlotte Bronte agreed with you, Mary. She called them all but stuffy.
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is also a reunion story but I like it better. It has more realism. I have a problem with the movie though. That ending scene just bugs a history nut like me and makes me want to scream. The ending in the book is way better.
    Amnesia stories seem to come and go. I do remember a Julian Hart book a few years back having that theme. They can be unrealistic if the author isn't careful so I tend to avoid them as a reader. But if I know the writer I'll trust their judgment. But now I have an idea for a story. I must stay off of Seekerville or I'll procrastinate studying for my history midterm.

  85. It's nice to meet you, Giselle.

    I choose Reunion, MOC and Secret Baby stories before any others when I'm standing in front of a row of books wondering what to read.

    I've written the first 2, but not the latter yet. I think because when you write a Secret Baby story where one parent misses out on all those growing years it hits too close to home. It would be more of a cathartic exercise than a romantic story. Maybe someday when the right story comes along and the only way to stay sane is to get it down.

    And for the record, Love Inspired books are the favorite reading pleasure in our family.

  86. Piper!!!

    That Swan Lake comment made me cackle!!

  87. Hi Giselle!

    Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and how you started working with LI?

  88. Hi Virginia!

    I actually worked in finance for a few years, and when one day the light bulb turned on in my head and I realized publishing was where I was meant to be, I went off to get my publishing M.A. Soon after graduation, Harlequin single title became my home, working with Margaret Marbury (MIRA) and Natashya Wilson (Harlequin TEEN). I then started working with Joan Marlow Golan on Sherryl Woods titles, and got to know more about Love Inspired through Joan. And now I’m here—enjoying every minute of it!

  89. Hi Giselle! Lovely to meet you here in Seekerville!

    I love re-union romances! There's just such an instant level of conflict that adds delicious layers to the characters' thoughts and actions!

    Ruthy mastered it perfectly in "Try, Try Again!" which people must read, btw. SO GOOD! Loved her hero!


  90. Oh my! 91 comments to read ... must return later to catch up.

    Giselle I have never heard the heart of 'reunion romance' expressed so concisely "It’s not just about finding “the one”, but also about finding oneself."

    And apparently I am that one person in the universe who has not read Pride and Prejudice ... blame it on the Seekers and their unrelenting determination to keep my 'to read' stack at a teetering height.

    Nancy C

  91. OH, Nancy, I'm laughing at that statement! You know I didn't read Pride and Prejudice until about 7 years back. I can't believe I escaped so long, because I'd read Bronte and somebody else whose name escapes me and loved them....

    How did I miss Jane's work????

    Dolt! Clearly I was a dolt. But having read it now, and fallen head over heels in love with Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy, I'm fully cognizant of my youthful lack of wisdom.

    LOVE IT!!!!! Therefore, my dear Nancy friend, it is never too late. And seriously, you'll love it.

    I'm grinning thinking about how much you'll love it!

    And Sue, thank you for the shout out for Try, Try Again!!!! I loved writing that story and it just sang to me as I constructed it... so fun, NYC/Princeton/Rich people/Same problems.... Blame it on Trans-Siberian Orchestra which I'll talk more about on Thursday!

    (Don't run and hide, it's not polite. Sheesh.)

  92. Giselle, in finance... that beautiful, creative, literate mind being squelched by rows of figures????

    That's because you're so stinkin' smart AND creative. I'm so glad the book bug bit!!! And what I wouldn't give for a Starbucks right now. Like this very moment.

    There are no Starbucks in Hilton.


    We do have cows. And apples. And a cute coffee shop that closes at 7:00.... which means when my work day ends at 6:15, I better hustle if I want fancy coffee... But that would waste writing time so I grab my humble Keurig and we create together!

  93. Hi Giselle! Thank you for your insight. I hadn't ever really thought that the time apart is often necessary in reunion romances for the characters to grow and change and learn about themselves. It makes sense though. (Duh, Dianna!)

    You can rest assured that I won't be sending you any sweet reunion romance stories. My stories tend to involve danger and other suspense-type stuff.

    Ruthy- great buffet layout. You sure do know how to cater an event.

    BTW- although I don't follow sports, my husband- a Brooklyn-born guy- is a loyal Yankees fan.

  94. I'm doing a happy dance out in California that is so vigorous I might just throw my back out of whack. And why is that, you ask? Because my 2008 GH inspy category finalist Sue Mason just posted the following on Facebook:

    "I am so excited to announce that I have signed a contract with White Rose Publishing of Pelican Book Group for TWO contemporary Inspirational Romances!! I'm so happy to be a part of this team and look forward to exciting things to come! Woo-hoo!!"

    Congratulations, Sue!!! I'm thrilled for you. And readers, get ready to enjoy her stories. I've read Sue's work in contests. She tells a great story.

  95. Nice to meet you, Giselle!
    My first novel for LIH was a reunion romance and so is the one I have awaiting approval now :)
    I never actually thought of Pride and Prejudice as a reunion romance, but I see it now! I'm enlightened :)

    And congratulations, Susan!!! YAY!!!


  96. Hi Giselle,

    It's nice to meet you. I am a huge fan of reunion romances. My first Love Inspired "Reunited with the Sheriff" was a reunion romance. I grew up reading them and have always been fascinated by that theme. There is something romantic to me about two people who never stop loving one another. Sigh.

    Belle Calhoune

  97. Late to the party but here!

    Thanks Giselle for a great explanation. I'd not thought of the term "reunion romance" before. Duhhh.

    It might have been mentioned, but While You Were Sleeping is a kind of spin off of the amnesia aspect. Plus I like just about anything Sandra Bullock. :)

  98. All of the stories look & sound just so wonderful. I always enjoy re-union romances.

  99. I loved the post Giselle. Thank you. I'm a day late...computer roaring like a lion and couldn't use it. Sad.

    I just want to say I LOVE the Love Inspired Line of books and I appreciate all the authors who write for the line.

    Have a blessed week!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  100. I'm a day late as well, but thanks for sharing. I have a reunion romance finished, just waiting to be pushed up. Maybe I need to do revisit that. And do I dare admit on Seekerville that I'm a Redsox fan?

  101. Giselle, I really enjoy Love Inspired books. The characters are always interesting and the story lines are great. For me I love when characters get second chances! Thanks for your insight. Looking forward to reading these new books!

  102. Hi Giselle! Because of Pride and Prejudice I now download every version and take on the story I find. I think I am obssessed! LOL Thank you for the great post and the generous giveaway. :)

    Wanda Barefoot