Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Secret Baby...Love or Hate?

Hola. Jolene Navarro here checking in from Canyon Lake in the Texas Hill Country. I just read a review of The Texan’s Twins that has me thinking about tropes.

Secret baby is a trope that can divide readers. Some of my favorite books are secret baby stories, but they are also the story I will put down the fastest if I don’t buy the heroines motivation for not telling the father. Really, nowadays it’s hard to pull off “I couldn’t reach you.”
Here is the start of a review on Amazon:
“It can be tricky to make the 'secret baby' trope work for me so it takes some fancy footwork for an author to convince me that I'm going to buy into the heroine's reasons for keeping her baby a secret from the father. I'm prepared to dislike said heroine from the very first page -- if I even end up reading the book! Yes, I'm that opinionated on the subject and I know a lot of other readers who are too.”

I’m well aware of this so I take on the trope with a lot of thought and planning.   
When I jumped into the secret baby world, I did it very carefully. My first secret baby storyline is in The Soldier’s Surprise Family (2016). Garrett, the hero, had an ex-wife that lived on drama and bad choices. After years of trying to be her hero, she leaves him for another man. Four years later CPS show up at his house with the son he didn’t know about because his ex-wife was killed in a murder/suicide. You don’t have to worry about liking her.

https://www.amazon.com/Texans-Twins-Lone-Legacy-Inspired-ebook/
But then my January release, The Texan’s Twins is a reunion story of second chances and secret twins. This was much harder to map out as I created Reid and Danica’s love story. Why didn’t she tell him? Why wasn’t he there? The inspiration for the story was “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree.” I knew my hero had been in prison, but why did he cut off communications to his new bride? And what made him do what he did?

I love developing character motivation and arch. This was an emotional story of mistakes, forgiveness and hope all wrapped up in love and faith.

But as an author, I worry that the reader will see the story that was in my head. So I attentively watch for reviews to see if I hit the mark.(I know you’re not supposed to, but I just can’t help myself). Not everyone sees the same thing, but when I saw the above review I knew on some level I had to succeed.

Here is the rest of the review from above:
 “But guess what? Jolene Navarro did a brilliant job winning me over! And she's a new-to-me-author to boot! So I guess the moral of the story is never say never -- there's an exception to every rule.
I totally get why Danica hasn't told Reid about their twins. That drama plays out quietly in the beginning pages of the book as Navarro delivers a deeply emotional insight into Danica's backstory. And even when Reid shows up on the scene and it would make total sense to tell him about their girls I understood why she held back. I didn't like it. I didn't agree with it. But I felt it. All the emotions that are hitting Dani fast and furiously. The way it all starts spiraling out of control until she can't seem to catch her breath. And neither could I.
This is a tentative second chance love story full of missteps and poignantly tender moments. It's about God's grace and the fact that forgiveness is an action. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to wring some necks, gag some of Danica's family members and purse whomp some holier than thou secondary characters. A totally awesome emotional roller coaster of a read!”

I love that she wanted to “purse whomp” some of the secondary characters. I did too. Lol.
Do you have favorite tropes? 
Do you try them out every once in a while or completely steer clear of them?   



22 comments:

  1. Reunion stories with or without secret babies are my favorite.

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    1. I love a good reunion story. The chance to get it right, and they already know each other so the emotional threads are there at the first page.

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  2. I love second-chance stories too. Congrats on the great review feedback, Jolene!

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    1. Yes - I'm drawn to second-chance stories too. <3

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  3. I'm with you Christine. I love second chance stories. Thanks for sharing, Jolene and congrats on the review.

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    1. I Love a second chance story. I'm working on one right now - well I just turned it in to my editor.

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  4. Jolene, this sounds like a wonderful story. They both do!!! It’s hard to impress our dedicated readers but you did it!

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  5. I love second chance stories because the characters bring along so much baggage that has to be cleared away before they can find love again.

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  6. Hi Jolene. Great post. I love your new cover for Texas Twins. They are adorable. Well, I did a secret baby story too and the reason I did it is because I wasn't fond of the trope. I wanted to challenge myself. I've grown to love secret babies. Congrats on your new release and the lovely review.

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    1. LOL - If you don't like it do it yourself. I like that way of thinking. Secret babies can be difficult to pull off.

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  7. I laughed so hard that you killed off a character, so you didn't have to like her. I've only done one secret baby story. They are just too hard to believe, nowadays. Great review! Can't wait to read it (and the cover is adorable!)

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    1. There is a solution to every problem. LOL

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  8. Excellent post, Jolene, and I agree completely. This story sounds wonderful, by the way. I've done just about everything in my nearly 4 decades of publishing, and secret baby is one of the most difficult to pull off. Congratulations for a job well done!

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  9. Congrats, Jolene! I've never done a secret baby story for the reason you mentioned. They're hard to pull off as being authentic in this modern day. Although, you've got me thinking! :)

    Great review!

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    1. Oh, you would do a great job at pulling off a secret baby story. :)

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  10. I love stories of 2nd chances, and I don't mind the secret baby. This story looks like a fun story. The kids are adorable!

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    1. I was so happy when I got the cover. :)

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  11. Great storyline. And the cover is beautiful!

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