Does eternity have a taste, let alone multiple ones? Is infinity the same thing as forever? Are everlasting and eternal synonyms? These are the questions that wake me up at five in the morning — trust me, it’s not my alarm clock. I prefer to not even know that there is such a thing as two five o’clocks.
Also, why can’t my romance stories come with normal titles? Ginger Solomon and Liwen Y. Ho both have written books called Love’s Choice (That’s Ginger’s — Liwen’s is coming). It’s a great title. It doesn’t allude to anything deep and mystical. Romances should be about two people making a choice to love each other. Slam dunk. Lee Tobin McClain wrote Joy of My Heart. Yes! Superbly romantic title. Marrying Mandy (or Raven… or Chrissy) — great title from Melanie D. Snitker. You know what you’re getting. Scan through the list on our BOOKS tab and you’ll find lots of really terrific titles.
And then you get Flavors of Forever, a title that seemed somewhat genius when I began planning out the Urban Farm Fresh Romance series two or three years ago. It follows the pattern: Promise of Peppermint, Secrets of Sunbeams, Butterflies on Breezes, Memories of Mist, Wishes on Wildflowers. It’s sort of whimsical, it’s alliterative, and bonus points!!! It uses a different letter of the alphabet. That was enough??? Someone clearly didn’t get enough sleep.
Oh, right. Five o’clock. Lack of sleep is A Thing.
So for the past several months, I’ve wrestled with the meaning of this innocuous (but whimsical) phrase as I (equally) wrestled with a difficult first draft, because my titles have to mean something. They aren’t words that can sit on the top of the story like a layer of cardboard. No, their essence must be stirred in, an inseparable ingredient in the story itself. Uh… lending flavor.
Back to that, are we?
Forever. It’s something we don’t ponder enough in our busy day-to-day lives. We understand time, sort of. We don’t understand unending time, but God lives outside of the convenience of clocks. (Does that mean 5 a.m. doesn’t exist for God? Hmm.)
I began looking at the love of God, which is foundational for a romance between two believers, right? Only… what if one isn’t a believer? What if this concept of God’s unending, eternal, everlasting, steadfast, relentless, reckless, unstoppable, unfailing, forever love needed to capture the heart of one of the characters before he or she was ready to embrace the romantic variation?
My readers were introduced to Kassidy North way back in the final Farm Fresh Romance, Berry on Top. Almost four years have passed in Story Time. Yes, there’s a spreadsheet for that. She was the Waterman twins’ Sunday School teacher back then, and is now an active member of the Bridgeview neighborhood (the setting for the Urban series) and the community church. It is safe to say she has experienced God’s love on some level.
I turn my attention to single dad Wesley Ferguson, the new, unknown resident of Bridgeview. Wait… side trip… what’s with Kass falling for a single dad again? She did that in Berry on Top, and it didn’t end well. What would attract a young, single woman to guys with kids? Knowing (or believing) she’s unable to have kids of her own seems so overdone. I need a fresh flavor here. #thinkthink
And so I pour over my Bible, thinking how this forever love of God might draw Wesley in while soothing some hitherto unknown pain in Kass’s life. I plug in one of my favorite worship playlists on YouTube, keeping an ear out for songs about forever love. And slowly, very slowly (trust me… extremely slowly) the story begins to shape up. The pieces sidle closer together until, one day, months later, there’s something resembling a whole. Even though it took writing on a camping trip to accomplish it because I was too far behind to take those days off.
I finished the first draft of Flavors of Forever the end of July, and it’s on track for a mid-September release once it finishes winding its way through beta reading and editing. The cover is complete — those on my newsletter list will catch the first glimpse soon, so if you’re not among them, you can remedy that AND receive Promise of Peppermint, the prequel novella to the Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, free as a thank you gift. Subscriber link here.
Next up in the series: Raindrops on Radishes.
Seriously? What do radishes have to do with anything? Are they as mystical as “forever?” I don’t think so, but I’m not sure. I need to mull that over sometime soon. Probably at five o’clock.
Meanwhile, I’ll leave this right here. THIS is amazing grace. THIS is unfailing love.
“Forever” images from Pexels and Pixabay.
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