Is Romance Enough?

A strange title for a blog post written by a romance author, right?

You bet.

Why even ask the question?

Because after eight years of writing, I’ve learned that romance isn’t enough for me when writing a tale. If there isn’t a mystery to solve along with the romance, I’m totally bored. So, every single one of my books has some sort of puzzle to solve.

Soul_Deep-Jianne_Carlo-200x320It was only when I first started spinning the White Wolf Pack stories that I realized how thoroughly I enjoyed having a murder/mystery to solve. Soul Deep, the first story in the series, sets the tone for the rest of the books.

My Alpha, Book#2, continues in the same vein. My Alpha chronicles the hot romance between Joe and Susie during the frenetic hunt for a pedophile and serial killer.

It wasn’t an easy tale to write because of the subject matter, and, since I wanted to inject humor into what is a morally deplorable topic, even more difficult to strike a balance between funerals and laughter. For those of you who’ve had loved ones leave, you know that the first time you laugh after death, guilt is all consuming. How can you smile when the one you love’s no longer there to share the joy?

My_Alpha-Jianne_Carlo-200x320Here’s an excerpt from My Alpha that explores this conumdrum:

In this scene, Joe’s best friend and his wife, (Kieran and Barb) are burying their only son, Petey, and Joe’s been asked to read W H Auden’s most moving poem, Funeral Blues.

***

The pastor opened the proceedings.

Kieran’s father delivered the eulogy. The only dry eyes in the house after his moving speech were Kieran’s.

Joe let the tears stream unchecked. Susie nudged him. It was time for his reading.

He hated public speaking worse than he hated crying.

Joe trudged to the podium.

Closing his eyes because he knew if his gaze met Barb’s or Kieran’s, he was done for, Joe said, “Barb asked me to do this reading. It’s a poem by W. H. Auden and is titled, ‘Funeral Blues.’ There have never been words more fitting.”

He took a deep breath then began to recite. “Stop all the clocks…”

His voice faltered when he heard the rustle of the mourners. Clenching his fists, he managed to croak out the rest of the verse, but had to swallow a few times after delivering the terrible line. “Scribbling in the sky the message: he is dead!”

The memory of Petey’s gap-toothed grin made his throat clog. He gritted his teeth and doggedly continued. “He was my north, my south, my east and west, my working week and Sunday rest.”

Barb sobbed aloud, a cry of anguish that sliced his heart in two, and he met her stare. Her cheeks were wet and glistening and she had bitten her lips raw, but she jerked her chin at him, demanding he continue.

“I thought love would last forever; I was wrong—”

His vocal chords refused to function and he just stood there holding Barb’s gaze for what seemed like an eternity.

All of a sudden Susie was right beside him. She grasped his hand with both of hers and squeezed.

Knowing he had to finish the whole poem for Barb’s sake, Joe concentrated on her and blocked out everyone else. “Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood. For nothing now can come to any good.”

***

If you haven’t read this moving poem, you should. I’ve found it comforting in my hours of grieving for a lost, loved one. Here’s a link to the entire Funeral Blues:

https://allpoetry.com/Funeral-Blues

Having a morose Monday today, but wishing you a marvelous one instead.

Cheers,

Jianne

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