Some Lessons Randi Alexander Learned from Country Strong, and a #Giveaway
Thanks so much for hosting me today, Em. It’s such a pleasure to know you and to plot all kinds of crazy things to keep us busy!
Friday night, I gave in and watched the movie Country Strong. It’s taken me this long because I’m not a very tough cookie. I’m a soft, gooey cookie who gets emotional and leaks all over as I watch touching scenes in movies, or reads them in books. If I hear a movie is a tear-jerker, I put it off until I’m prepared to have a meltdown.
And that’s exactly what happened. The move is truly intense, and we had to stop it at least four times just to catch our breath (a couple of those times, it was my hubby, Kick, who needed a break.) About halfway through, (spoiler alert! skip to * to if you haven’t seen the movie yet) when Kelly went to visit the sick child, Travis, the emotions started bubbling up inside me. From then on, I was so deep into the characters, I couldn’t un-attach.
When Kelly tried to kiss her husband and he turned away, I knew she’d lost her true love. While both of them were sleeping with whomever they wanted, she never lost hope that he’d forgive her and come back to her, emotionally. But he never did. “Don’t be afraid to fall in love. It’s the only thing that matters in life.” Kelly spoke the words, and truly believed them. When she took her life, she was running from the pain of her addiction, her guilt over losing James’ baby, and the fear of living a life without love.
*(end of spoilers) So, what did I learn? Personally, I saw how forgiveness—especially self-forgiveness—can make or break your spirit. Professionally, a good old-fashioned emotion-packed scene delivers just as much, or more, impact as a really hot sex scene. Psychologically, I can see how we may need to view different types of movies and read different styles of books, depending on our state of mind.
In my story Chase and Seduction, I wrote a scene very similar to the one in Country Strong where Kelly sang to Travis. It’s one of my favorites, and after watching the movie, I now know why. Today, I’m including another of my favorite heart-heavy scenes for you. I hope you enjoy it.
Book Blurb of Chase and Seduction: Country music superstar/actor Chase Tanner has yet to be denied anything–and he’s never wanted anything or anyone more than gorgeous screenplay writer Reno Linden. So when the film they are working on is finally finished, Chase decides to turn up the volume on seducing Reno.
Reno Linden lived a quiet, rural life until she was thrust into the Hollywood scene when her book was adapted to film. Chase Tanner is larger than life, sinfully sexy and hell-bent on getting her into bed. Skittish after a failed wedding engagement, Reno risks the plunge into Chase’s arms, and is surprised that her good girl self can keep up with bad boy Chase.
Though Chase returns to his cowboy roots often, and Reno cherishes the time spent with him on his ranch, the two find their careers pulling them in different directions. Will their attraction survive the glitz and stress of fame?
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Chase and Seduction Excerpt: Chase finished the song. “Thanks again for letting me interrupt this great band.”
“One more! One more! One more!” The audience took up the chant.
“Uh uh. My girlfriend is sitting all alone at the bar, and what kind of a cowboy would do that to a beautiful lady?”
Reno glanced at her ‘bodyguard’, who grinned down at her. She felt her face warm at Chase’s words. “Girlfriend.” She whispered it, never realizing how one little word could made her feel so happy.
Chase jumped off the stage and sprinted through the crowd, high-fiving them and humbly accepting their praise with thank-yous. When he reached her, he shook her makeshift bodyguard’s hand. “Much obliged, sir.”
“Thank you for coming tonight. You’re as stand-up a man as they say you are.”
Chase winked at Reno. “Did you hear that, baby? I am a good cowboy.”
She stood and looped her arm through his. Singing to the children at the hospital, giving up his time to help neighbors. “You’re the best person I know, Chase.”
He stopped and looked at her, his face intent. “From you, Reno, that’s a high compliment.” He brushed her cheek. When camera flashes caught them, he pulled her along toward the other end of the bar.
They headed toward the couple who owned the horse rescue ranch. The two of them sat on barstools, looking dazed by all the attention. A crowd surrounded them.
Chase waited his turn, but whispers started, and in seconds, the group parted. He led Reno forward and they both shook the couple’s hands. “Good luck, and if you ever need anything else, you just call me.”
The man looked struck speechless, but his wife jumped off her barstool and gave Chase a huge hug. “You are our hero.” She started to cry.
Chase peeled her arms from around his neck. “No. All these people…” He gestured behind him. “They’re your heroes, ma’am. I’m just doing my part.”
The man opened and closed his mouth a couple times before he found his voice. “You don’t know how much this means to us. Thank you.”
“Can we get a picture?” a voice behind Reno asked.
Chase looked at the couple. “Okay with you?”
The woman squealed and her husband nodded. “Yes, of course.”
They posed for a dozen shots, Chase in the middle with an arm around each of them, his smile genuinely happy.
He shook both their hands once more then took off his hat and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a black indelible marker and signed the hat brim. “I hear there’s an auction later.” He handed the hat to the woman. “Would you include this? You might get a few dollars off it.”
The woman held it as reverently as a crystal tiara. Tears ran down her face, and she sniffled. “This is too much. Thank you. You’re a Godsend.”
Chase’s cheeks colored. He grabbed Reno’s arm and ushered her out of the building. As the door closed behind him, he took a deep breath. “I get damn uncomfortable when women cry.”
Reno kept her head down and wiped the tears from her cheeks.
He stopped and bent to look at her face. “Aw, not you, too.”
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Head to my website to read the entire first chapter.
Do you like a book that’s heavy on the emotion, do you prefer your romances ligher, or do you like to mix it up? Leave a comment for your chance to win an E-copy of Double Her Fantasy plus a trading card and some fun swag.
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“Rode Hard and Put Up Satisfied”
-Chase and Seduction is Book 1 of the Hot Country Series, and is available digitally at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks, and in paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Createspace