Finding True Romance In Romance…

In my stories I mean.


I’ve been going crazy trying to get this new book off the ground. If you’ve been around for a while, then you know writing the beginning of a book is torture for me. I should be at least 30k words into this three book series that I’m writing and yet I’m only 7k words in and full of anxiety.

Why the anxiety? Why the unsettling feelings? Why am I not sure about this story?

About six months ago I decided to invest in a shrink of my own, basically a therapist. Listen, people, about 99.9% of the content in romance isn’t healthy love. And then on top of that readers REQUIRE a happily ever after, so generally we give these un-evolved folks marriages and babies in the end and everyone’s satisfied. Yikes!

No!!!! (Shakes head). I will not be part of that farce.

And so before the shrinking, I had wrote from a place of not knowing better. Today my therapist said something. I told her about this dream I had and one of her interpretations was that I was having problems creating because I was doing it from a dark place that was full of pain, rejection and anger. I mean dude, how did she know this!

“How did you know this?” I asked.

She said, she didn’t know, my subconscious told her, my dream did. Heavy, man… Therapy has been heavy.

It took a lot of angst for me to sit down and create Baron and Clarity and then Belmont and Daisy. For the past two years I’ve been in a relationship that was very interesting to say the least. Let’s just say that my picker was in the bag of that 99.9% of unhealthy romance. And in real-life, none of it has a happy ending. Even if the couple stays together, they’re not truly happy. They’re doing it for the kids, or because they don’t want to get a divorce, which can be costly, or their marriage has become part of their social circle, it’s how they survive from day to day, although miserably. I read the description of a book a few weeks ago and rolled my eyes when the male narrator said he was pursuing the female protagonist because she has “unicorn pu**y.”

Let me tell you, in real-life, any guy who’s chasing unicorn pu**y is JACKED UP in the head. He’s probably a sex addict, and because of the truth about pu**y, he will soon realize her unicorn pu**y is like that pu**y and then he’s tired of the same pu**y and that girl over there looks as if she has unicorn pu**y too. He’ll try some that too. He’ll then be consumed by so much emptiness that he’ll probably resort to porn, prostitutes, strippers, over-masturbating or just seeking new pu**y in general because being in a relationship with a real woman is too much work. After all, we ALL have personalties and that is what a man has to live happily ever after with not our pu**y. But script culture puts so much  value on the pu**y because it is their portal to the HEA. And I think that’s why the readership of romance is so high because in the sobriety of real-life, women want to see the fantasy working for these characters.

And so it’s so tough to create for the romance market when it is a very unhealthy bubble to reside in. A friend of mine, who was in a SA and SLA meeting with women said that recovering addicts were advised to stop reading romance novels. That’s how dangerous a lot of the content is.

So I’ve been trying not to do that. But I do love writing love stories. And I have lost a lot romance addicts in the LOVE in the USA series after they’ve read Know Her, Love Her. One reviewer said, “I wish I never read it,” in her whining voice. Belmont was cheating. Daisy was moving on with her life. Well… Listen, they met and basically made a commitment after a week of knowing each other. And that junk is real. I’ve known people have done that. I’ve heard of friends of friends who went on vacation and decided to stay because they met a man. Not even 35 year old people but 40 year old people! Gen X’ers, doing things our way! These are NOT script people of course but most of the romance demographic are scripters, so they don’t understand that Belmont and Daisy making some distance would be the natural progression of their relationship. They have to want to be together for real, and that would require figuring out how to merge their separate lives into one.

But I don’t think I made a mistake when it came to building the relationships of my characters in the LOVE in the USA series. My therapist once explained tribalism. How tribes have rules so that they can survive. And that’s why scripts are formed. In all civilizations across the world there’s basically the same script when it comes to men and women. Women are to attract a male, get married and have babies, in that she will find her happily ever after. A man is to be successful, provide for the woman and his children and in that will he find his happiness. In reality, God created Adam (the man and the woman) to till the Earth. Go back and re-read Genesis. God never called the woman Eve, the man did because he was pissed and blaming her for his sin. But in reality both men and women are born with gifts to do their part in making this world work. True happiness for both sexes is finding your Earth to till. What are your gifts? And you know what? Some of us will become parents and some of us won’t. To those readers who are always asking me to give my characters babies, please stop asking me to do that.  Listen… I’ve given my characters babies for YOU. But if I were to look at these people in real-life, Charlie and Angelina would pass on the opportunity and so would Maggie and Vince. Daisy and Belmont, well, Fate chose them to be parents. But I’m not doing that anymore, making babies to appease this unhealthy notion.



There’s this movie, you have to rent it, it’s called Cousins, starring Ted Dansen and Isabella Rossellini. There’s a line in it where Ted Dansen’s father says that Larry, played by Ted Dansen, is a failure at everything but life. Larry quit his high paying executive job to teach dance at a studio. Being a dance instructor made him happy. And Maria, played by Isabella Rossellini, married a man because he was the star athlete in high school and she wasn’t happy. Maria had lost herself. She and the star athlete had a daughter, who was acting out at school, and Maria was just going through the motions of life. And then Maria and Larry had found each other at the right time. They didn’t force their relationship, they met on life’s time table.  Then they became friends, and you must rent this movie to see what happens next. But how happy the world would truly be if we all followed our bliss and waited for life’s time table.

There are some things that I’ve learned in the last two years of being in this relationship. Two very important things actually. 1) A man who ISN’T making a life out of doing what he loves will NEVER be happy. 2) A man who isn’t BRAVE enough to make a life from doing what he loves will NEVER be happy. The same applies to women. That’s why if you ever read the FB comment sections under a post, you find the most miserable, immature and mean women–and there are LOTS of them. But the happy people, are loving life too much to spread misery.

But following your bliss and being brave are not written in the script. The script has lines of ticking time clocks, booking him with your pu**y by rationing it out, a man has to slog through sh** for it to be real work, and what it means to be a strong boy and a pretty girl. I was watching Dr. Phil a few weeks ago and these two twin girls were killing themselves with an eating disorder. When Dr. Phil asked the father to tell them what he loved about them all he could say was that he wanted his “beautiful girls back.” He just kept repeating how beautiful they were before the eating disorder, never understanding that’s the reason they had the disorder in the first place. He didn’t say they were smart, joyous to be around, curious, artistic, pragmatic or gifted. All they were required to be was beautiful–just like 99.9% of romantic heroines. And hey, I’m guilty, Daisy is beautiful. Maggie is beautiful. Angelina is beautiful. By the time I got around to Carter, I realized I had to make her more interesting than beautiful.

And then there’s Belmont… I mean, talk about a man who kills himself just to be wealthy. But Charlie is doing what he loves and so is Robert Tango. So I’ll pat myself on the back for that.

And so I thought, how do I not be part of the 99.9%  and still, well, make a living at this?

The answer is, I have to remember that a sexy man does what he loves. He’s found his bliss, the Earth God made him to till. The woman he’ll be attracted to has found her bliss too! And when they came together, they will merge into the Adam they were meant to be. I believe in Fate, even in real life. And listen women, in general, we’re braver than men! It could be the estrogen. We’ll take chances. We’ll change our lives on a whim. Listen to your hearts. You can do it!

Anyway so… I have to get cracking on this story. I’ve already created my female protagonist, who’s found her Earth to till but it’s the man who has been elusive. However, I’m starting to remember what makes a truly desirable and sexy man, and I will write him as my character’s love interest. But of course there has to be life lessons to learn so they won’t be perfect at first but they will be perfected by the end of the series.

Thanks for listening.

I think I’m less clogged than when I started writing this post.

Maybe not…

Well… I guess I am a little less clogged. 😉


If I don’t post before December 25th or January 1st of 2017, then have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



  • Sierra Brown

    I just finished reading about Charity and Baron, which sent me into a tailspin of grief, but its not your fault, its my own darkness, my tragic, horrid mistakes and pride that caused me to lose the love of my life. Then I read your post, and realized that you, like me, believe in realism, as much as I, at this current place in life, after a terrible divorce, only desire to disappear into a story where love conquers all, and there is a “happy” ending.
    But we, as women, must survive, after devastating heartbreak, and find a bigger cause, outside of ourselves to fight for, like Charity. Instead of giving into the temptation to throw herself into the abyss, she realizes that she can, and should help other people. But for tonight, Im going to wallow in my grief, knowing that the one man that I love more than all things, is married to another woman because I made the wrong choice. Then I will put my big girl panties on, strap up my combat boots, and finish my masters degree, so that I can help other women find strength and happiness after suffering devastating loss.
    On another note, I couldnt put your book down, I read it completely in one go, your characters are very realistic, the pain believable, and you paint a very vivid picture with your words. I already downloaded your next book in the series, but may have to wait a few days to recover fron Charity’s story.
    Thank you and Blessed Be, I look forward to reading your other stories.

    • ZLArkadieBooks

      🙁 Oh, Sierra… I’m so sorry to hear of your broken heart. It sucks but time will heal it. This is one thing my sister said to me when I had to get over a guy I thought was “the one.” She said, “One day, you’re going to look back and ask, ‘what was I thinking’ and feel nothing for him.” You don’t even know how right she was and I was still graduate school then too. You’re studying for your graduate degree 🙂 You’re not even there yet but when you arrive believe me real love will not be far behind–you may still have to kiss a couple of frogs first but the real one is sure to come. Believe me when we as women are happy, we’re like sticky, sweet candy to men and they’re the fly. We don’t have to take the first thing that comes. We must remember our standards and the sort of life that WE want to live for the rest of our days on this Earth. Then, one day, you’ll be somewhere and you’ll strike up the most interesting conversation with a guy and you will connect because you’re interesting and so is he. And he’ll truly become more than your love, he’ll be your best friend too 🙂 And thanks for reading about Clarity; she and Baron are meant to be–they’re bonded in mission and love so their love only goes up from here. Have a wonderful rest of the day and be blessed as well! All best, Z

  • Deborah Lamb

    Just think if life was like a book, we would all be in bliss, happy waking up with the love of your life by your side. I do dream big hun x

    Your books make me dream I love the ups and downs you put in them, life isn’t so good for alot of people that why books and films help. I love the characters in your books and miss them when I finish them looking forward to the next one. Merry Christmas to you hun xx

    • ZLArkadieBooks

      I would LOVE to create my perfect man and the go abracadabra and he just appears! Gosh… If only that could work 😉
      Thanks! And another Merry Christmas to you as well! 🙂