What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Thanks to Rebecca Waters for providing this guest blog, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”. She offers a different angle on writing romance. Great to have you back, Becky!

What’s love got to do with it?

Nothing. And everything.

When Jenn asked me to write a post for her blog, I was delighted. I write contemporary Christian fiction. Then she said she wanted an article about romance. Hmmm….

I met my husband when I was sixteen. I started dating him when I was seventeen and married him when I was eighteen. The steamiest our relationship ever got before we married was a goodnight kiss at the front door of my parent’s house. Not romantic by the world’s definition of romance.

So what do I know about romance? 

Nothing. And everything.

Though I don’t write the kind of romance the world defines as physical, characters in my books have been hailed as romantic. I believe it is because true romance is tender and mysterious. True romance expresses care through thoughtful and selfless acts. 

And romance isn’t unique to the young. 

Characters in my stories are often between thirty and fifty-years-old. They are married or have been. They understand the depth of true love and care and have learned how to express it. The women in these stories have learned to appreciate those small acts of thoughtfulness more than a bouquet of red roses or dinner at an over priced restaurant. 

Breathing on Her Own is the story of a family dealing with a terrible accident that leaves one woman dead and the other paralyzed. There is nothing too romantic in that scenario. There is a time when Molly’s husband takes her away for a few days. Away from the intense pressure the accident has brought to all of them. A getaway alone may sound romantic. However, the real romance here is when Molly pours out her heart to her husband. She shares her innermost thoughts and fears and weaknesses as well as her discovery of her relationship with God with Travis.

The romance? Travis listens. Travis cares.

Here is an excerpt:

To his credit, Travis listened. He listened on the long boat ride back to the docks. He listened, her hand in his as they sat in one of the little cafes drinking coffee and sharing a piece of the sweet baklava. He listened over the strains of Greek music playing at one of the outdoor courtyards as they walked back to their bed and breakfast. He put his arm around her as if to protect her from her uncertainties and fears. 

The air conditioner in their room was running and the cold air assaulted their sunburnt skin. They turned it off and sat on the loveseat in front of the window, wrapped in a blanket. 

Travis asked a question here or there. He offered a word of encouragement when Molly’s strength seemed to waiver, but for the most part, this was Molly’s story. 

They talked, they laughed, they cried. And they prayed. They didn’t move to turn on the light even when the shadows of twilight engulfed them. Eventually, the moon crept across the treed lawn and made its way through the blinds covering their window, casting lines of moonlight across their faces. 

Spent, Molly and Travis climbed into bed and the two of them, wrapped in each other’s arms drifted into a peaceful sleep.

There you have it.

So what makes up true romance? I believe it consists of behaviors that demonstrate you are cherished, valued, and respected. So what’s love got to do with it? Nothing. And everything.


Molly Tipton and her husband have finally arrived. Their daughters are grown. Two beautiful grandchildren delight their hearts and retirement is within sight. Molly’s life spirals out of control when her older daughter is involved in a terrible accident. 

Losing control of a car is one thing, but when had Laney lost control of her life? How could God let this happen? Gripped with fear, shame, and doubt, Molly questions her own beliefs. Can her relationship with her daughter be restored? How about her faith in the God who allowed all this to happen? 


Rebecca Waters is an author, speaker, and writing coach. She is the author of two novels, Breathing on Her Own and Libby’s Cuppa Joe. Rebecca’s novella, Courtesy Turn appears in the anthology From the Lake to the River. Rebecca’s stories have appeared in many of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul collections. Her freelance work has resulted in articles for The Ohio Reading TeacherLanguage Arts, The Lookout MagazineChristian CommunicatorChurch LibrariesSquares and Rounds, and the Home Health Aide Digest. Her latest release, Writing to Publish is a compilation of presentations, blog posts, and journal articles offered to help writers reach their publishing goals. Follow her at her website A Novel Creation, on Twitter @WatersAuthor, and to sign up for her newsletter, rebecca@waterswords.com.

Writing Tip — Guest Blogger, Rebecca Waters

BeckySo happy to have author Rebecca Waters guest blogging again. This time, she isn’t here as a novelist. She’s discussing writing advice from her book The E’s of Writing. Good to have you back, Rebecca!

Exercising the Writing Muscle

There is a difference between being a writer and being an author. Writers may write as a hobby or as a therapeutic measure. The casual writer may share his or her compositions with family or friends. An author publishes. An author expects a much wider audience.

It is an important distinction. If you are seeking to be a published author, you need to view your musings as a business instead of a hobby. And while, yes, I recognize that yours may be a “non-profit” business by choice or not by choice in the beginning, it is a business.

A business offers a product or service. I often meet people who want to talk about the book they have in mind. But they don’t write. They don’t have a product to market. That movie based on the best seller they are certain they could write will never happen because they don’t take the time to sit down and do it.

In the handbook, The E’s of Writing, I outline five healthy practices or habits for the soon-to-be-published author. The first of these “E’s” is Exercise. To get you started, I am sharing a brief description here of three exercises to build your writing muscle. These three you can start doing today. Note, to be effective, you need to exercise your writing muscle at least four days a week.

Think of it as training to be a world class weight lifter. In training a lifter starts with small weights to build those muscles needed to lift more. The same is true in becoming an author. You must exercise your writing muscle. In the process, you will create a product worth marketing; Words worth publishing.

Start with these three exercises:

  1. Use writing prompts. One way to warm-up or get your writing brain in gear each writing day is to use a prompt. Write for a sustained ten to fifteen minute interval. You can download prompts, start with a book of quotes, or write about a calendar photo. One author I know writes her way through the alphabet, choosing a word for each letter of the alphabet and crafting a story around the word. When she finishes with Z, she starts back at A. I’ve seen bloggers take on a similar challenge.
  2. Craft a query letter. This exercise is particularly helpful if you want to write non-fiction. You can start to build your audience by writing for a magazine or journal. Research a topic, outline the main points of the article and craft a letter proposing the piece to a magazine or journal you think would find your work interesting. If you’ve never written a query letter before, you may need to do a bit of online research to see what an editor needs from you. And if the editor offers you a contract to write the piece, you’ve already done the research!
  3. Writing contests. Every year journals, editors, agents, and conferences offer writing contests. I encourage new writers to download the guidelines and spend their exercise time working on an entry. Judges will often offer feedback to you to help you improve your writing. Some may require you to attend the conference for them to even read your entry, but the exercise of following the guidelines, crafting a submission, proofreading, editing, and revising helps build your writing muscle. And if you are interested in crafting a novel, one “contest” you may find challenging is NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. One month to draft a novel. Now that is heavy lifting!

Ready, Set, Go! Exercise that writing muscle!

I like writing prompts, which is why I offer Monday Sparks once a week. Thank you for describing those three writing exercises. Great ways to stay in creative shape.


writing with e's Edd 3A writer writes. An author publishes. If you want to be a successful writer you need to first learn to exercise the writing muscle, learn to self-edit, seek to educate yourself about writing, engage with others in the writing community, and regularly engage in self-evaluation. Successful writers become published authors when they turn these practices into highly productive habits.
In the third book of the Writing to Publish series, author, educator, and speaker, Rebecca Waters offers new writers practical strategies to employ these five practices in sustainable ways.

Click here to go to Amazon.


Rebecca Waters has been a writer most of her life. Her first published work was a short story in the school newspaper she wrote in second grade. For many years Rebecca used her stories as illustrations in school and church settings or to entertain her own three daughters. Her professional writing included educational articles and research. Following her retirement as a professor of education from Cincinnati Christian University, Rebecca turned her pen to the world of fiction. Her latest novel, Libby’s Cuppa Joewas released in March 2019. Her Writing to Publish Serieshelps beginning writers become published authors.

Visit her blog, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.

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