About Stephanie Queen

About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she's lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.

Why Do We Love Bully Romances?

I know, I know. Not everyone loves bully romances. But in spite of the evil, un-romantic sound of the genre niche, it’s grown in popularity in the past few years. This niche takes the bad boy hero a step further into the realm of vicious. These days you can find a half a dozen bully romances in the top 100 romances on Amazon at any given time, with titles like Angry God by L.J. Shen.

The extreme bad boy trope has not only spawned the high school/college bully romance niche, but has expanded into other dark romance sub-niches such as the mafia romance and the motor cycle club romance (MC romance).

Why all this popularity with evil heroes, from high school and college bullies to professional criminals? On the surface, these horrible men hardly seem appropriate heroes for a happy-ever-after romance. The cruel bully seems antithetical to everything a romantic hero should be, right?

But like the pirate romances of the past, these romances thrive because they represent the ultimate conquest of love over evil. Redeeming the worst possible man with the power of romantic love, plus the right heroine, is an irresistible idea. Not to mention very romantic.

The strong heroine is central to these new dark bully bad boy romances, differentiating them somewhat from the pirate romances of the seventies (though you could prove me wrong with some examples, most of the pirate heroines seemed to be cast as victims needing rescue.)

The irresistible appeal of the-darker-the-better hero comes from the satisfaction of that redemption, so much more powerful when the hero is finally led to the seemingly impossible happy ending. The stakes of saving the extreme bad boy in a romance is the equivalent of saving the world in a thriller or fantasy novel, allowing the heroine and romantic love to achieve the ultimate victory.

Needless to say, these stories are not easy to pull off! I love reading them, getting drawn in by the raw and extreme emotional stakes, but writing them? That takes some doing. Hopefully, I’m up to the challenge.

How do you find these crazy monster bad-boy romances? They’re often labeled as bully romances, dark romances, mafia romances and MC romances. Sometimes enemies-to-lovers and hate-to-love romances can feature evil heroes. Also, vampire romances often feature the similarly extremely dark heroes transformed by love.

A few of my favorite dark/bully romance authors are L.J. Shen, Meagan Brandy and Ilsa Madden Mills.

You can also look for my Feb. 26th release, Big Man on Campus featuring a bully hero on the mend in this enemies-to-lovers college sports romance.

Pre-Order BIG MAN ON CAMPUS now on Amazon

What it takes to warm a cold heart

What it takes to warm his cold heart?

Even a cold-hearted confirmed bachelor has to react to this sad letter to Santa...

In truth, Dylan Jones is more numb than cold. He self-anesthetized himself to survive after his heart and soul were ripped from him when Junie left town with another man. He’d been a young fool back then and yes, now he’s a confirmed bachelor.

And yet, why has he never been able to get her out of his head as the standard for all other women? Why does no other woman–and he’s met more than his fair share as a pro hockey player–capture his interest? Why can’t he feel that same kind of soul-deep connection, that kind of elemental attraction with any other woman?

No matter. In some mix-up of fate or the post-office, and he ended up with this Dear Santa letter from a very sad kid named Nicky.

And now he has to do something about it…

He Has Santa by Stephanie Queen tells the story of what Dylan Jones does about the sad Dear Santa letter. It’s the kind of story that will tug at your heart, make you cry, make you laugh and then warm you in that soft wool blanket of holiday romance goodness. You can read the story in the Dear Santa: A Christmas Wish anthology from Authors BillBoard soon!

The set is available for pre-order at these e-retailers:

AMAZON APPLE B&N KOBO GOOGLE

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Happy People

If you’re over 50—or if you’re currently enrolled in kindergarten—you’ll  know the title is from a song. Although whether we’re really happy or not may not be a simple thing to know, we all clap our hands anyway.

But how do we know if we’re happy, technically speaking? Well that’s a matter for experts to examine, including Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and bestselling author on the subject of living long, healthy & happy. I’ve read Buettner’s articles and many others about happiness—took a whole college course in psychology focusing on what makes happiness tick—and I’ve come up with my personal best list.

Top 7 ways you know if you’re happy:

  1. You laugh a lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. Sounds simple, right? But really think about this one before you answer it for yourself. How often do you laugh? (Also, how often do you cry?)
  2. You like going to work every day. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s no surprise that a long commute can be a big negative in people’s lives according to Buettner. It’s also no surprise that liking your job can make you happy.

    But did you know that you don’t even have to like your job to be happy  if you like the people you work with? 

    In fact, according to Buetner and others, liking your fellow employees and having friends at work is more important than making more money. I can personally attest to the truth of this!

  3. You have a great social network and get together with friends/family often. Everyone agrees about how important the people in your life are to your happiness, right? Maybe it’s hard to put this into practice in  every day life, but those who do are happiest.
  4. You are healthy. While it’s not something we think about, according to statistics, it is harder to be happy when you’re unhealthy. So don’t take this one for granted.
  5. You make a decent living. No need for riches. But just in case, I did buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot went to $625 million yesterday. It would be a kick to play Santa Claus with all that money. Which brings me to the next tell for happiness.
  6. You focus on others with acts of kindness, helpfulness, care, donating and/or volunteering. Or maybe you’re there for someone with a shoulder to cry on in a tragedy. Of course, you probably already know how these things can make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
  7. Life Balance. You have the right amount of work, socializing and sleep—and all those other personal care things to keep you healthy, like staying active. This is no news for anyone who spends too much time at work, or too much time sitting around. Or not enough time sleeping!

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

I’m going to work on getting more sleep!

Tell me what you’re going to do to improve your happiness.

 

Something About a Holiday Affair

by Stephanie Queen

Let me tell you a little something about Holiday Affair, the movie and my new novella available now in Love, Christmas 2.

Old Black & White Movies Bring the Holidays Home

My story is inspired by an old black and white holiday movie I’d seen for the first time last year. Holiday Affair, the movie, hasn’t left me since then. It’s set in New York City, as many of my all-time favorite Christmas movies are. It’s essentially about a young woman who chooses an inappropriate stranger who speaks to her heart over a practical old acquaintance who speaks to her head.

In my story, Melissa, who’d been financially successful and living her dream, finds herself suddenly penniless and homeless in New York City on Christmas eve. She’s proud and determined to do anything to claw her way back until a chance meeting with a heart-throbbing Uber driver (got to have the modern twist!), a completely inappropriate man, changes everything.

Of course I added to and subtracted from the original story. In my version, Melissa doesn’t have a young boy but she does have wealthy friends, although she’s too proud to ask them for help. She’s a little too materialistic and a lot of fun in a new adult woman in New York City way. The story is part of my Margo & George hot new adult romantic comedy series.

A Sequel Will Be Coming After the Holidays

But the most important thing I want you to know about this story is how incredible an experience it was to write. If every story I wrote was this exciting and enjoyable and easy to write, I would have written a hundred novels by now. There was something magical in the experience of writing this one for me and so I am dying to write the sequel about Melissa and her inappropriate Uber driver.

I hope the story is as magical an experience for readers when they read it in Love, Christmas 2.

Make sure you get your copy now while it’s only $.99!