My name is Anna James and I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense with strong heroes and heroines that conquer life’s trials and find their happy ever afters.
I’d like to thank Delilah for having me here.
I’m here today to talk about creating the “Meet Cute”. What’s the “Meet Cute”, you ask? It’s that pivotal scene where your characters meet for the first time. In a reunion romance it’s the scene where your characters come face-to-face again.
I love reading reunion romances as well as writing them. There’s something about getting a second chance at love that really gets to me, but crafting that “Meet Cute” for a reunion romance can be tricky. The characters already know one another. They could be friends, or enemies or somewhere in between. So, what crazy circumstances can bring them together in a memorable way?
In many reunion romances the hero and heroine were a couple at one time, but things didn’t work out.
This is the case with my novel THE BUSINESS OF LOVE – Book 1 Forevermore Series. I wanted a different twist for book 2. I wondered what would happen if one character couldn’t remember meeting the other. And voila, CHASING MEMORIES – Forevermore Series (book 2), came to life.
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
Lucas opened the door to the conference room and stepped in. Piercing blue eyes gazed up at him. His heart raced, pulse soared and the breath stuck in his throat. Shit. He knew India Leone, and not from pulling her from Grams’ car before it toppled over the embankment. No, they’d met in person. A couple of months ago, at an investment seminar in Los Angeles.
Tall, goddess-like, her voluptuous body and raven black hair had sparked his interest from the moment he’d set eyes on her.
She’d joined him for coffee after the seminar and they’d talked long into the evening, discussing the best restaurants to dine in, they both loved a little eatery on East Second Street in Los Angeles. Favorite places to visit, she loved Rome and he preferred Rio. Movies they found entertaining. She loved spy thrillers, which had surprised him as he’d figured her for one of those saccharine sweet chick flick types.
Not his typical first date scenario. He’d have chosen dinner in a quiet, intimate restaurant, not drinking an espresso in a coffee shop. Still, he’d enjoyed the evening. Enjoyed spending time with her. More than he’d thought possible.
He hadn’t made the connection until now, why would he? The woman he’d met in Los Angeles had been named Dee. Maybe it was short for India? Regardless, the beauty he remembered had glorious, long, silky locks that cascaded over soft, alabaster skin, blue eyes that gleamed like sparkling sapphires and a smile that could light up a gloomy day. Not short, wavy curls or a bruised, swollen face filled with cuts and angry scratches.
India stood and extended her hand to Lucas. “Hello, Mr. Walker. It’s nice to meet you.”
Mr. Walker? She thought he was Brett?
“I want to thank you for considering me for this position.”
Not a hint of recognition. Did she not remember him, or was this all part of a charade? “Lucas Morgan.” He shook her hand. Guileless eyes stared up at him.
CHASING MEMORIES – Book 2 Forevermore series
Trouble gets closer with every beat of their hearts…
Interested in winning an ecopy of CHASING MEMORIES?
I’m giving 2 away! All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter here: http://annajamesromance.com/?page_id=1437 between now and May 31, 2016 (new subscribers only). I’ll do a random drawing on June 1, 2016 and choose two winners.
If you haven’t read the first book in my Forevermore series, it’s a great time to get caught up. THE BUSINESS OF LOVE – Book 1 Forevermore Series
“Is everything all right? I heard—”
Sophia froze. That voice. Dear Lord, no. It couldn’t be.
“—the security alarm go off,” the newcomer finished tersely.
Her heart started to pound. Please don’t be him, please don’t be him. Slowly, stiffly, she turned around and faced the man who’d just entered and yes, Dante Leone stood in her kitchen, large as life. Her knees threatened to buckle. No! She wouldn’t fall apart just because he was here. She straightened her shoulders and lifted up to her full height.
So, he hadn’t been a figment of her imagination after all. She’d caught a glimpse of him at the church, but then he disappeared. When he didn’t show up at the cemetery or after the burial, with the other guests, she’d convinced herself he hadn’t really been there at all. Boy, had she been wrong.
Even from across the room, he was an imposing figure. At well over six feet he towered over her dressed in black trousers that fit his lean, narrow hips to perfection. His broad, muscled chest filled out a crisp white dress shirt and black suit jacket. His hair was shorter now than it had been when they’d last met. It suited him. The new style accentuated his high cheekbones and sharply chiseled jaw.
Lord, he was even more handsome than she remembered and, Jeez Louise, how pathetic could she be?
The man used and humiliated you, her brain screamed.
Yet there she stood, lamenting over his good looks and, my goodness, let’s not forget those gorgeous sapphire blue eyes and…
There you go again, her brain condemned scathingly.
What was he doing here? Okay, that was a silly question. Dante was second in command of Baker, her father’s financial investment company. It made sense he’d attend his funeral. But goodness, she wasn’t prepared to see him again. It had been six years since he’d burst into her life and then stormed out just as quickly, leaving her to cope with the damage and destruction left in his wake.
“Dante?” Was the croaking sound really her voice?
Trey gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze and she was grateful for his presence. He’d been there to witness the devastation that had followed their breakup. His friendship, like always, had been a lifeline.
“We’ve got everything under control,” Trey said curtly.
“I can see that,” Dante retorted. “Sophia, when you have a moment I’d like to speak with you.”
“This is not the time or the place,” Trey said, in a disgusted tone.
Dante’s lips tightened into a thin white line as he glared down at Trey. “I wasn’t suggesting we discuss business today.” He turned his attention to Sophia. “We can meet next week or the week after.”
Next week or the week after? Wouldn’t he be back in New York by then?
Trey opened his mouth to speak, but Dante held up a hand to silence whatever he’d been about to say. “I’ll be around, so whatever time is convenient for you. And Allen, of course.”
He’d be around? “How long are you planning to stay?”
“I’m relocating to LA.”
Her jaw dropped open and she couldn’t stop the gasp that came out of her mouth. “What?”
His eyes narrowed. “Temporarily. Until we sort out the business.”
Good god, no! Avoiding him when he lived in New York had been difficult enough. If he were there, in LA, she’d have to see him. Every day. A lick of heat raced through her and she had to clamp down hard to stop the excitement dead in its tracks.
She wasn’t interested in Dante Leone.
No way. No how.
Coming Soon: CHASING SECRETS – Book 3 Forevermore Series
The front door opened. A burst of light blinded him as someone walked in. A woman, judging by the silhouette, carrying something in her right hand.
“Maddie!” Pam squealed.
Wyatt’s heart pounded faster than a freight train traveling at top speed. The door closed, and Maddie Scott-Smith came into focus. He stared. Couldn’t take his eyes off her. If possible, she was more beautiful now than the last time he’d seen her. Tall and slender, with curves in all the right places. Her long wavy brown hair had been cut to shoulder length. He liked the new style. It suited her high cheekbones and heart-shaped face.
A loud squeal sounded. Maddie turned. Her lips curved up. Same smile, too. It could always light up even the gloomiest of days.
“Pam.” Maddie waved with her free hand.
She came to see Pam. He should have figured as much. They’d been best friends since high school. Now that Pam was back in town…His gut twisted. Fool. He should have known. What an idiot he’d been to believe Maddie was different than any of the other females he’d known, other than his family. The sweet, loving woman who’d sworn his scars didn’t matter never really existed. She’d been a figment of his imagination. The real Maddie had latched on to better prospects the moment they’d come along.
Pam rushed over and enveloped Maddie in a big hug. “I’m so glad you made it after all. Oh, look at this little angel. I’m so excited to finally meet him.”
Him. She’d had a son. Bryce Beaumont’s boy. To think he’d almost believed her when she’d come to him and divulged she was pregnant with his child. Like that could ever happen. She was engaged to Bryce, and the sob story about him blackmailing her into it was a load of crap that stunk worse than a skunk. Bryce Beaumont didn’t have to threaten anyone to get them to marry him. Why would he when a parade of women swarmed at his feet? Not to mention the massive trust fund he’d have access to in the near future. Well, at least he’d learned the truth about Maddie before it was too late.
Anna James writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels with strong, confident heroes and heroines who conquer life’s trials and find their happily ever after. While she’s been writing for years, her first published story released in 2010. Since then, Anna has penned six novels, seven novellas and one short story.
She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America), CTRWA (Connecticut Romance Writers of America), CORW (Charter Oak Romance Writers) and CR-RWA (Contemporary Romance – Romance Writers of America).
Anna is married to a wonderful husband who spends countless hours picking up the slack around the house so she can pursue her dream of writing, is the proud mother of five fabulous children, and a big, loveable rescue dog the entire family adores.
Although she’s lived in several locations throughout her life she now calls Connecticut home. When not writing, reading, or plotting, she can be found spending time with family and friends.
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