I love how fate works sometimes. Today’s guest blogger contacted me just minutes after another author contacted me about delaying the post originally scheduled for today saving me a whole lot of trouble trying to line someone else up. Talk about serendipity. So please welcome fellow Samhain author, MJ Fredrick!

Writing “Beneath the Surface”
with MJ Fredrick

I love reading reunion romances–the hero and heroine had a romantic connection when they were young, one of them did something stupid, and they come together years later, older and wiser.

WRITING reunion romances is a whole different ball game. Yes, you have the instant connection built in there. Yes, you can get to intimacy that much quicker. BUT you have to have a strong enough reason for these two people who loved each other to walk away from each other, but it can’t be so strong that they can’t find their way back together.

I think one of the considerations has to be how long the hero and heroine were together. I think the longer they were together, the harder it is to break them up. Also, if they have kids (that they both know about), it would have to be a doozy of a reason to break them up. Also, you couldn’t let a lot of time pass before they saw each other again, because a hero would want to see his kids.

In the very first romance I wrote, the hero and heroine were cops. They broke up when he was accepted into the FBI, and he left her and their four kids. Um. I think I know why this one didn’t sell.

In a later version of the novel, I took away their kids and they split up because they lost a child. Heavy. And realistic. I do want to go back to that one, though.

In Beneath the Surface, in print July 6 from Samhain Publishing, I went through several reasons to break up Mallory and Adrian. It wasn’t easy. She’d loved him since he’d joined her parents’ archaeological dig when they were both in college. They were wild for each other and married young. Adrian was very dedicated to his job, and Mallory, who’d been raised by nomadic archaeologist parents, was ready for a home. That had to be a consideration. But was it bad enough to split them apart?

I toyed with the idea of her having a miscarriage when he was on a dig, and not telling him, but that didn’t make either of them very heroic.

I toyed with the Big Misunderstanding, but could that drive these two passionate, smart people apart?

So I ended up giving them both a reason to leave, his guilt, her resentment and frustration, and I gave them some time apart before they confronted each other. She’d walked away from every aspect of the life they’d shared, and he dove in head-first, determined to prove himself to her.

See if this is something you’d like to read:

In retrospect, perhaps archaeologist Mallory Reeves shouldn’t have delivered the divorce papers to her estranged husband mere weeks before her marriage to another man. She knew seeing Adrian again would stir up memories, but she didn’t expect so many of them to be good, not after the mess they both made three years ago.

She also didn’t expect to want to stay at the dig site on the Yucatan Peninsula. But the lure of the ancient ship and, yes, her sexy ex provide more of a draw than the white picket fence she thought she wanted.

Marine archaeologist Adrian Reeves has good reason to trust no one. His former partner—and former best friend—made off with his last archaeological find. And his wife left him, frustrated by his obsession for professional revenge.

Now both Mallory and his nemesis have returned, and it can’t be an accident that they’ve turned up in the middle of the most important excavation of his career. Seeing her again unearths old pain—and rekindles never-forgotten desire. Now he has to decide if he can trust Mallory again. More importantly, if he can trust himself with her.

What are your favorite romance themes? What’s your favorite reunion romance?

MJ Fredrick

MJ Fredrick knows about chasing dreams. Twelve years after she completed her first novel, she signed her first publishing contract. Now she divides her days between teaching 4th grade students how to write and diving into her own writing, traveling everywhere in her mind, from Belize to Honduras to Africa to the past.

To learn more about MJ, please visit www.mjfredrick.com or
www.marywritesromance.blogspot.com. You can email her at mjfredrick13@gmail.com or join her Yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mjfredrick. She’s also on Facebook and Twitter under MJFredrick.

Interested in MJ’s Beneath the Surface? You can buy it through Samhain, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Writing “Beneath the Surface” with MJ Fredrick
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8 thoughts on “Writing “Beneath the Surface” with MJ Fredrick

  • June 23, 2010 at 6:31 am

    I do love reunion stories and this one sounds very intriguing! Who doesn't wonder about "the one that got away?" I will definitely check it out, MJ!

  • June 23, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Thanks, Liz! I really had fun writing it once I decided on the conflict. Adrian's one of my favorite heroes.

  • June 23, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I've heard so much about this story it's great to see it out, Mary!!

  • June 23, 2010 at 10:46 am

    LOL, Toni, you have pretty much been here from the beginning! Thanks!

  • June 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Hi MJ,
    Congrats on the upcoming print release of "Beneath the Surface." I love revenge stories. I also enjoy reunion stories and one of my favorites is Lisa Kleypas' "Again the Magic" and

  • June 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks, Jane! You know, I only started reading Lisa Kleypas last year and I LOVE her. LOVE LOVE. I'll have to check that out!

  • June 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Hi, MJ! Some of my favorite themes are plain-Jane gets the hero (preferably w/o the help of any magical makeovers), friends-to-lovers, and reunion/second chances. I'm drawing a blank at the moment on favorite reunion story, but my mind is definitely on the sieve side today!

    Beneath the Surface is on my TBR–gotta unearth it and get reading!

  • June 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Yes, yes, LOVE the plain-Jane gets the hero. You're right about preferring them without makeovers. I remember being disappointed at Grease when she changed so much for him. (And I was only 9!) And I'm revising a friends-to-lovers as we speak 🙂

    One I don't like is when a character takes on someone else's identity. It makes me so nervous waiting for them to be discovered.

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