This week I’ll be reading an excerpt of Fabulously Tanked at The Philly Loves Romance meet and greet.
I think it’s a great choice for the event simply because this story was written from the heart. Yes, it’s a romance. Yes, Poppy and Taylor’s story is the perfect combination of sweet and laugh-out-loud fun. And yes, it’s a great story to help you escape the snow, ice, and chilly air.
While I love Poppy and Taylor, Fabulously Tanked offers more simply because of Tank.
When I had the opportunity to write a short story with a Hollywood theme, I was excited and ready to flex my writing muscles.
I also had no clue what to write.
I knew there had to be an element of glamour, a glitzy sparkle that I’ve never incorporated into anything I’d ever written before. I started with some hard-hitting research … by watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I figured if anyone was good at Hollywood, it’s that crew.
I started forming ideas and began to feel more comfortable with the story. Then I looked down at my feet and inspiration struck. My lightening muse didn’t come in the form of rockin’ shoes. It was a big brown hound named Swiss.
I adopted Swiss a year ago from a local shelter. He was transferred from a shelter down South that was preparing to destroy him. I saw his goofy face on Petfinder.org and I had to meet him.
The shelter was loud. His fur was dull. He looked incredibly sad. I put the back of my hand against the chain link door of his cage and he licked me.
I knew with that little kiss, he was mine.
A week later, I brought him home. The transition was not smooth. He struggled with separation anxiety. Swiss was unbelievably skinny and he didn’t know how to play with toys. I know now that he was in a home where he witnessed and suffered physical violence. I also know that Swiss is a big baby and happy with his new family.
He knows love and loyalty and how to generate more than a few laughs. He adores my son and seeing them interact is worth every blunder that has occurred.
I thought about a Hollywood powerhouse trying to wrangle Swiss when he sees a squirrel and goes bonkers on a walk. I imagined someone getting ready for a gala event and having a disgustingly sloppy wet chew toy dropped in their lap as makeup crews were shellacking on foundation.
When I started writing Poppy, I knew she had an amazing heart. She could love an underdog like no other. It’s her nature, her calling. Despite the razzle dazzle of movie star life, Poppy is a down-to-earth chick that could be your BFF in an instant.
Poppy knows Tank’s potential. She’s able to look past the gaffes and love with her whole heart. Poppy adopted Tank with the knowledge that he might struggle in his new home. But, no matter how many couches he chews or coffees that are sloped on her coat because he yanks her too hard, Tank is her forever pup.
I also knew she’d be a perfect fit for Taylor – a recently dumped farm boy creating a buzz at the local farmer’s market. He loves dogs, using part of his farm to house and rehab pooches that would otherwise live life in a cinderblock shelter. Taylor is respected in his community and he loves his family. The only little blip comes when the paparazzi catch him off set with Poppy … but that’s for the book!
As I wrote Poppy and Taylor’s romance, I thought about how real they both are. There are celebrities who contribute generously to needy causes, just like Poppy. I thought about the people who don’t have massive bank accounts and still do amazing work for their hometown, like Taylor. I thought about all the pups who were given second chances and were finally able to feel the love of a true home, like Tank and Swiss.
Life with Swiss is funny. It’s frustrating at times when he struggles with manners (he runs across yards to greet unsuspecting neighbors). He breaks my heart when I see him cower if my husband cheers at a football game. But Swiss starts every day right when I find him curled up next to my side of the bed. I was away this past weekend and he tried to lick me through FaceTime.
Love comes in all forms and in all ways. Poppy fell in love with a man who held all her values, with none of the Hollywood glam. Taylor risked his livelihood for Poppy and her wild puppy. And I fell in love with a skinny mutt I met on the Internet.
On this Valentine’s Day, share your heart with those you love. I hope you feel all the love they have for you. <3 If you would like to hear me read an excerpt from Fabulously Tanked, I will see you at the library. If you need more info, here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/PhillyLovesRomance/
If you can’t come to Philly, I’d still love to hear from you! Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram.
Fabulously Tanked in currently available in the Glitz, Glitter, and Fame Anthology. Grab your copy at all e-retailers: https://pipermalone.net/#books
Thanks for reading!