Monday, October 5, 2020

All the Romance Tropes (that I can think of)

*** Most books contain several or many tropes ***

Accidental Cuddling (see also Only One Bed)

Accidentally falling/tripping into one another

Accidental text / email or phone call

Adopting a baby/child


Alpha Hero

Amnesia/Fugue state


Arranged Marriage

Avenging a Death


Baby On The Doorstep: this might be an actual baby left for hero or heroine, or someone close to the hero/heroine leaving them unexpectedly in charge of a child

Bad Boy / Rebel

Bachelor Auction

Best Friend’s sibling

Books Ends (location): have the book start and end in the same place, but the hero/heroine are drastically different from the start of the book

Boss/Employee: must have explicit consent – no dubious consent, the subordinate has agency

Billionaire (Golden Sand by C.J. Miller)

Bodyguard Romance

Bridesmaid / Groomsman Affair 

Broken Hero/Heroine: may feel unworthy of love


Bullying Support / Bulling in the Past


Camping: great outdoors, sleeping bags zipped together - the modern version of sleeping in a tartan

Cinnamon Roll Hero: a hero who will take care of heroine

Christmas/ Holiday theme

Chef / Food  (Exquisite Sand by C.J. Miller)

Childhood sweethearts

Chronic Illness

Cowboys / Westerns: quiet confidence, wild and untamed


Dad’s Best Friend or Best Friend’s Dad

Dancing: one cuts in on another's dance

Damsels in Shining Armor / Dudes in Distress

Destined to be Together: imprinting

Destructive: hero or heroine thinks they are too garbage to be loved

Disasters: snowstorm, blackout, tornado

Drinking: hero/heroine drinks or is destructive, doesn't feel good enough for the heroine, self-loathing

Drunken mistake: tries to go into the wrong house, Vegas wedding


 Enemies to Lovers


 Fairy tale retelling: giving someone an apple, dress makeover, escape from the wicked stepmother

Fairies / Fae

Fake Engagement

Fake Relationship

Falling for Friend who was helping with a makeover to win over another

Falling in Love with Family’s Enemy

Family Reunion with Secrets Reveals (wedding, funeral)

Famous Person falls for Normal Person

Fated Mates

Forbidden Love

Forced Proximity

Friends to Enemies to Lovers


Grand gesture

Groups of men/brothers/ friends: often each given their own book and HEA

Groveling/Begging for Forgiveness: in proportion to the size of the screw-up


Handcuffed Together

Healthcare Workers / Medical

Hidden Baby


Hometown: returning to a hometown to reclaim a lost love

Home: orphan, foster care, never felt at home, or home was abusive and terrible. Finds home in the LI


Immigration Status: marriage due to this, but then becomes more

Insomniac: he can only sleep when she is with him

In Uniform: military, police, firefighter


Kidnapped /Captive 


Learning at the Feet of the Master

Left at the Altar

Let’s Just Get it Out of Our System

Love Triangle

Longing: aching to reach out, but holding back


Magic Dress: Putting on this dress makes the heroine feel beautiful and everyone sees her as beautiful (like in Cinderella)

Mail-order Bride

Masks / doesn’t recognize, only HE recognizes: masquerades 

Marriage in Trouble

Marriage of Convenience

Match Making gone wrong

May-December (age difference)

Medical or Sickbed: hero/heroine nursing the other back to health

Mistress Contract

Military man/man in uniform

Missing Someone They Claim They Don’t Love

Mortality Chain


Mutual (but secret) Pining



Next Door Neighbor 

Nickname: calling LI first name while others use title, calling hero/heroine by their last name when everyone else uses a title, a nickname no one else uses, use their name when everyone else uses a nickname

Not Like All the Others: the hero/heroine is different in the eyes of their beloved


Only One Bed

One Night Stand Shows Up Again

Opposite Attract

Opposite Occupations: arsonist / firefighter, environmentalist/oil executive, country/city 

Orphan: aunt or uncle caring for orphaned niece or nephew


Parenting: struggling, divorced, blended families

Partner in Danger

Pining hero/heroine


Point of View: hero/heroine sees the other as no one else does

Poor as a child, Now Rich



Rags to Riches

Reformed Rake

Road Trip

Rock Star (Starlit Sand by C.J. Miller)

Rogue Cleaning Up : changes to win over the heroine


Runaway Bride / Groom


Sarcastic banter

Scottish hero - kilt-wearing

Secret baby

Secret Identity

Second Chances

Sexual Concerns: hero or heroine need something specific for sexual satisfaction that only that person gives them


Sibling's Best Friend 

Starchy Hero gets Unstarched

Sunshine and Grumpy (opposites attract)

Surprise Baby (Midnight Sand by C.J. Miller)


Switched / Swapped babies


Time Travel

Traitorous bodies

Transformation: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast



Ugly Duckling

Up Against the Wall (kissing)

Unintentional Touching: hands brush and there’s a spark


Virgin or Never been kissed



Wagers: to date or sleep with the other person

Wedding: someone needs a date for a wedding, hiring an escort or pretend boyfriend

Will: has terms and conditions

Workplace: boss suddenly sees his/her assistant in a new light (The Maestro by C.J. Miller)


Zip: Will you zip me up?

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Tiny Library Story

 My 100-word tiny library story was posted to the Enoch Pratt Library blog.

Let me know what you think! 

What's the shortest story you've written?

Monday, August 17, 2020

Homeschooling Resources: Best Educational Shows on Netflix

Our Favorite Educational Shows on Netflix for Elementary aged Students:

1. Brainchild

2. Sid the Science Kid

3. If I Were an Animal

4. The Magic School Bus and the Magic School Bus Rides Again

5. The Who Was? Show

6. Disney Nature Oceans 

7. Growing Up Wild 

8. Leap Frog: Letter Factory, Number Land, Phonics Farm, Sing-Along, Read-Along

9. Ask the Storybots 

10. The Cat and the Hat Knows a Lot About That 

Homeschooling Resources : Websites Where Kids Can Listen to Stories for Free

Websites where kids can listen to stories for free: 

 The Good and the Beautiful Bedtime Stories

Audible Stories for Kids 

Story Online 

Homeschooling Kindergarten on a Dime

Like many American parents, I find myself unexpectedly homeschooling. My oldest children will be distance learning with their school (that's a whole separate post) and I will be homeschooling my kindergartener. 

In my state, I need to provide rigorous, thorough instruction in 8 subject areas:
  1. English
  2. mathematics
  3. science
  4. social studies
  5. art
  6. music
  7. health
  8. physical education

My highest priorities for kindergarten are math and English/Language Arts (ELA). I want my daughter to have a strong foundation before moving into 1st grade. I also did not want a fully online course, as she seems to prefer working on paper. 

Reading : I taught my daughter to read using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

The Good and the Beautiful: I chose this curriculum for Math and ELA. Right now, the first four weeks are free via PDF from The Good and Beautiful website so you can try it out or get started right away. We tried both courses, scrolling through the PDF on the computer and loved them. The math course uses a box of manipulatives for hands-on learning. I've ordered Level K for language arts and for math. Not surprisingly, many of their courses are out of stock at the moment, but they expect they'll be available in a couple of weeks for shipping.

Discovery K12: The basic courses are free, all 180 days. This program covers Reading/Literature, Language Arts, Spelling, Math, History/Social Studies, Science and Visual/Performing Arts. I will be using their History/Social Studies and Science program.

Easy Peasy: A full, free curiculum, but for kindergarten, it's more limited in that it doesn't have instruction in all 8 areas at her level. My daughter found the Science and History programs too difficult, but my older students tried EP and loved it. We will be using EP for PE and health.

We pick a few songs from the Waldorf School of Songs and follow along with the notes.

The BCPL gives patrons access to , which has instruction on singing and many other skills. Find it under Books and More --> Research Databases.

I'm not sure if my 5-year-old is ready to learn piano yet, but my older children are learning to play piano with Hoffman Academy (free 30 day trial).


That's our plan to start the year! I'm sure it will change as it already changed several times over the summer, but that's the beauty of homeschooling - the flexibility to meet your child where they are!


Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Maestro by C.J. Miller

Cover Art: Sweet and Spicy Designs
Editing: Linda Edits

Amazon: Get it now!

Maestro Kieran Gallagher is a symphony brought to life.

Hauntingly beautiful.

Filled with breathtaking talent.

And tragically untouchable.

Rae Davis considers it the opportunity of a lifetime to work as the assistant to the virtuoso, until her feelings for him swell into an unrequited love. Unfortunately, the Maestro lives for his music, leaving him oblivious to all else. Pained by his clueless rejection, Rae throws away her dream and walks away.

Only then does Kieran realize the passion to compose left with her. Without Rae, both his music and his life are barren and empty. Can he orchestrate a way to win her back? Or will the melody in his heart be silenced forever?