Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Why Happily Ever After Is Messier Than We Think

If you were expecting Jaime today, you're in for a little surprise. I, Laurie Tomlinson, friend of Coffee Cups & Camisoles and writing sister to Jaime and Anne, have hijacked the blog. And I'm geeking out SO HARD because I've wanted to do this for so long! Thanks for having me :)

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One thing you should know about me is that all of my childhood, I was a hopeless romantic. Starting with Prince Philip of Disney's Sleeping Beauty lore, my love for stories with happy endings grew with me. This is a good thing, I suppose, for someone who writes romance! 

But somewhere along the way, I learned that the best kind of romance looks different than your garden-variety fairy tale. 

With the dust settled and Maleficent vanquished, Princess Aurora and Prince Philip probably discovered some differences they didn't have the chance to learn in their short courtship -- during half of which Aurora was asleep, mind you. After her own happily ever after, I can also imagine Cinderella having very real issues she didn't know how to process when the roles were reversed and a servant arrived that first morning to bring her breakfast and help her dress. 

That's why my favorite fictional romances these days are built in the messiest of trenches -- maybe stronger than they would have been were it not for those struggles. 

While I love being taken to faraway lands, wooed by a couple falling hard for each other, and enchanted by sweeping rescues, there's another side of romance that just doesn't compare. Give me a hero who puts everything on hold for a while to support his heroine in her professional dreams, knowing she'll do the same for him in a heartbeat. Give me toes touching at the foot of the bed after being up all night with sick kids. Give me couples who face loss and pain and heartbreak and lean in -- couples who lean in even further when one of them starts to fade away. 

When circumstances and attitudes and other human things threaten to pull them apart, the best romances are forged by what's worth fighting for, both in real life and on the page. So even though there's so much life and story after happily ever after, I love stories that let me witness the characters' arrival to the place where they learn about each other deeply and consequently grow in their understanding of who God is.

What story comes to mind when you think of your favorite fictional couple? What is it about them that does it for you?

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Laurie Tomlinson is an award-winning contemporary romance author, freelance editor and PR consultant, and cheerleader for creatives. She believes that God's love is unfailing, anything can be accomplished with a good to-do list, and that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles. 

Her debut contemporary romance novel releases in May 2017 from Harlequin Heartwarming. 

You can connect with Laurie on her websiteFacebook page, and Twitter 




12 comments:

  1. Well I know they're not technically a book but I have to say Lucas and Peyton from One Tree Hill. Best couple ever! (okay maybe not ever but they are one of my favourites). And I wish I could tell you exactly why but they just had X-factor that wouldn't let me go. See, I'm still thinking about them how many years after the show finished?!

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    1. Kara, I could say the same about Nathan and Haley from that show <3 I totally understand what you mean!

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  2. YAYYYYY!!! So glad to have you Laurie-girl!!! And you know I love the same gritty hero-heroine types that forge through the tough stuff!

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    1. YES! You write some amazing ones! Thanks for having me!

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  3. Philip was my first crush!!! I still place him in my top 3 Disney heroes :)

    Loved the heart of this, Laurie!!! Great post

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    1. He will always be my top Disney hero, followed by Flynn Rider. Maybe Kristoff, too. I have a four-year-old girl, so I have had to think about such things!

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  4. Ack! Phillip and Charming. *sigh* Love those two. But I'm with you on my current hero-love.

    Loved this post, Laurie!! Especially that last paragraph. <3

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    1. Thank you! Can't wait to see you soooon!

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  5. How true that fictional "real life" is much more charming than the happily ever after. The Baxter patriarchs in Karen Kingsbury's series were an amazing couple. He helped her through breast cancer and then again when it came back and she passed away. I was reading about this shortly after my breast cancer diagnosis, talk about timing!
    My husband was my rock through it all and I'm so thankful everyday to be a survivor!

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    1. Gail! What an amazing story of the truest kind of love. I loved the Baxters too, but you all are real heroes!

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