Charm #5: Shooting Straight to the Heart #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #jewelry #research #relationships

My next book is Charmed Against All Odds, and it releases in 1 week! I’m really very excited about this story, which is Roxie and Leo’s story. Writing their story was a challenge since they must complete a quest spell in order to learn their true destiny. The challenge for me was that I had to figure out what the clues would be and what they would mean to my characters. Which meant lots of prewriting before I started writing the actual story.

It’s also one of many books included in the Common Elements Romance Project. More than 75 romances—historical, sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, suspense—which include the same 5 elements. Those elements are a guy named Max, a lost set of keys, a tall stack of books, a haunted house, and a lightning storm. Visit the website for a listing of all the books by subgenre and for monthly giveaways.

Now, on to the enchanted charm bracelet…

I’ve been talking about the charm bracelet featured in Charmed. Each charm represents a characteristic I feel is important in order to have a solid relationship with the one you love. I’ve shared the reasons for why I chose the first charm, an open book, the second one, a Friend charm, the third, a handshake, and the fourth, a Comedy and Tragedy Theater masks charm. The next charm they must find is an arrow.

Charm #5: Arrow

Why, you may be wondering. Well, I think it’s very important to be honest with everyone, including yourself. Definitely when you’re in a loving, long-time relationship you want to be truthful with your significant other. And yes, it can be difficult to be totally honest! But I do believe it’s important to speak the truth.

I’m not talking about being cruel with your honesty. Not at all. If someone asks your opinion, and you don’t like whatever it is they’re asking your opinion about, then please consider your response before you blurt out something hurtful. I’ve always tried to phrase my criticism gently or with some kind of suggestion for improvement (to my way of thinking). I expect my hubby and my loved ones in general to be honest in return.

Now, I will say that a very dear friend of mine once asked me while we were out shopping if I liked the hat she was trying on. I gave her my honest answer: it looked good on her but I wouldn’t buy it. She put it back and later told me she hadn’t bought it because I said I wouldn’t buy it. What she failed to realize is that I don’t wear hats. Not unless it’s in the single digits and I have to put something on my head or freeze. But decorative ones? No, thanks. But then I felt bad that she’d denied herself the hat she liked because of my inadequate response. I should have just said it looked cute on her and left it at that. I don’t recall now, decades later, if she asked me if I’d buy it, and then I replied I wouldn’t, so she put it back. That may be the case. Either way, I learned something that day as well about how to respond to such questions going forward.

One lesson I learned as a young woman is one that has stayed with me, and which has guided my choices on whether to delve deeper or not. You know, do I ask whether something I’m wearing looks nice? Or what hubby thinks of some other aspect of my person? Or even something about my stories, if I’m still working on something. Anything intensely personal which may sting if criticized. The lesson, or realization, is that if I think it will hurt to hear a negative answer, then I don’t ask the question. I keep my mouth shut. That way neither of us are put into an awkward situation when we want to share honestly with each other.

When my dear father started living with us (he did so for 17 years), he asked me to not tell my hubby something my dad had said about my husband. Since it concerned my hubby, I wanted to make clear to my dad that his unkind words were not appreciated. My response was, we tell each other everything. We are a team, partners in our married life. We are honest with each other to the best of our abilities. The message was hopefully clear to him. I do not keep secrets from my husband. Besides that, I could see how condoning or encouraging my dad to tell me such things would put me in the middle between the two men in my life. Not a place I ever wanted to be, even though there were many times I did find myself right smack dab in the middle. But that’s another story…

While I am open and honest with my husband, I will not reveal a secret to him which doesn’t concern him. I value my friends and family and their privacy, so if they ask me to keep something in confidence then of course I will.  That’s not the same thing as hearing someone disparage my husband and then ask me to keep it to myself. The decision as to whether to tell my husband rests with me at that point.

It’s my firm belief that if two people in a relationship don’t feel comfortable sharing their day-to-day stuff, their decisions, their futures, their lives, then they probably shouldn’t stay together. Honesty seems to me to be the foundation of trust. If you’re not sure whether your partner is telling you the truth, can you trust them? Without trust, how can you relax and be yourself with the other person? The rest of the characteristics I’m talking about all rely on each other.

So, that’s why I included the arrow charm, with the imagery of being honest and true with your significant other, your spouse, even your friend. It’s also vital that you are honest with yourself. Understand the impact and the effect of the decisions you make, both for yourself and those you love. Note that decisions can be as small as what you’re going to drink with dinner or huge like where you’re searching for your next job. The first choice may have no impact on others, while the second one could have life-changing ripple effects.

Five charms down, one more to go! And it’s a really, really important one, too.

So what are your thoughts on these characteristics? Do you disagree? Have others you’d like to add to the list?

As always, thanks for reading!


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

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One thought on “Charm #5: Shooting Straight to the Heart #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #jewelry #research #relationships

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