Has there ever been a story you’ve wanted to tell — one that hovers on the edges of your imagination for years and involves characters you feel you already know — but you just didn’t have quite the right setting or atmosphere or je ne sais quoi for them yet? For me, You Give Love a Bad Name started as one of those stories.
I knew Blake Michaelsen, the local, radio DJ, very well. I knew Vicky Bernier, the high-school French teacher, too. And I sensed, like one of the matchmaking aunties in my family, that “they would be perfect together.” I just wasn’t sure which story world I wanted them to inhabit or what might realistically bring them into contact.
And for the longest time, there’s been a dog named “Winston” — one inspired by a real Havanese/Cockapoo puppy belonging a friend — that I longed to include in a book as well (cue the entrance of that adorable floppy-eared furball on the back of the paperback cover), but it wasn’t until I realized that Blake was his ideal owner and that Mirabelle Harbor was the ideal setting, that this story, its characters, and their conflict all came together. It was as if these players were meandering around in my mind…until they just so happened to cross paths in my fictional community and needed to start telling their tale.
Writing fiction can be like that—not all the time, but certainly sometimes. It’s almost like a slot machine with an unknown number of cherries, bars, bells, or sevens. We might test out different combinations or just hope for a lucky spin, but when we can get a good set of images to mentally line up, we hit a narrative jackpot of rightness — a spot where the separate elements coalesce into a complete story. For me, once a magical moment like that happens, I can never imagine pulling the pieces apart again. The formerly individual entities — in this case, Blake, Vicky, Winston, and the town of Mirabelle Harbor — locked into place like a row of 7s. And that cinched the direction of the novel.
I really hope you’ll love reading You Give Love a Bad Name as much as I loved writing it! Has there ever been a novel you had in your hands where — once you started reading it — you couldn’t imagine any other characters or setting for that particular tale? I’d love to hear about that ;). Wishing you a wonderful week!
Title: You Give Love a Bad Name (Mirabelle Harbor #3) by Marilyn Brant
Publication date: January 24th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“Nothing but love, 24/7” is the slogan of Mirabelle Harbor’s only radio station, 102.5 “LOVE” FM. On the verge of turning thirty-five, local DJ Blake Michaelsen is well-known for several reasons: his very sexy on-air voice, his omnipresent family, his eligible bachelor status, and his reputation as one of the most impulsive men in Chicago’s northern suburbs.
High-school French teacher and lifelong romantic Vicky Bernier is not at all wild about people who exhibit reckless conduct. (Blake.) Or men who have gigantic egos. (Blake.) Or grownups who still act like teenagers. (Blake, again.) She deals with enough adolescent behavior during the school day. Unfortunately, she’s the staff advisor to the Homecoming Committee, and they’ve chosen him as their DJ for the big fall dance.
What happens when a man whose job it is to play love songs for a living is forced to admit his deepest secret—that he doesn’t believe in true love—only to discover that the one woman who might capture his heart is the same woman who distrusts him the most?
No matter what you call it, with love there’s an exception to every rule. You Give Love a Bad Name, a Mirabelle Harbor story.
**Note: You Give Love a Bad Name is Book 3 in Marilyn Brant’s Mirabelle Harbor series, but this story and all of the contemporary romances in this series can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels.
Other Books in the Series:
Take A Chance On Me (July 2015)
The One That I Want (July 2015)
You Give Love A Bad Name (January 2016)
Stranger On The Shore (Coming Spring 2016)
Going For It (novella, coming May 2016) Trevor & Tina Marie’s story – Mirabelle Harbor series crossover story set in Erin Nicholas’s Sapphire Falls Kindle World
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About Marilyn Brant
Marilyn Brant is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction, romantic comedy & mystery. She won RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart Award (2007) for her debut novel, According to Jane, and was named the Author of the Year (2013) by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She loves all things Jane Austen, has a passion for Sherlock Holmes, is a travel addict and a music junkie, and lives on chocolate and gelato. The Mirabelle Harbor series is her latest project.
Marilyn Brant is also part of the author collaboration series on Plain Talk. Marilyn shares her thoughts on Writer’s Block.