Monday, September 26, 2016

Guest Post: What is Love (chemistry?) by Lola Dodge


What is love? To answer this question, it’s easier to show examples from real life than from romance novels. The tropes I enjoy most in fictional love stories are the most overblown and unrealistic—the meet cutes, and half a dozen hot guys fighting over the same girl. Those don’t happen too much in real life and if they did I know I wouldn’t react the same as the heroines. (Like who is this big tattooed guy and why is he talking to me while I’m wearing sweatpants?? Why am I such a terrible person, stringing along a harem of guys?)

In real life, love is partnership. As a third party, you can tell when it’s there and when it’s not. Both partners work as a team. They respect each other’s needs and even when frustrations run high, they know when to apologize and make things right. The relationship is too important to lose over something petty.

One of the best ways to spot real love is to separate the partners. What do they say when their spouse or SO isn’t around? It’s a huge red flag when they start trash-talking as soon as their partner’s out of sight. On the flipside, real love compliments. I love hanging out with friends who have nothing but good to say of their partners. It’s the sweetest thing!

The beauty of a love story is watching two people come together and fight on the same side. The fighting might be a little more dramatic on the page, but whether I’m writing a dystopian story or a sweet contemporary, my goal is always to have the partners end up in a place of deep respect for each other.

So what is love? Teamwork, partnership, and respect. Leave the drama to the romance heroines ; )

<3 Lola

Title: Quanta Reset (The Shadow Ravens #3)
AuthorLola Dodge
Genre: YA
Release Date: September 27, 2016

Quanta has escaped her laboratory prison, but that’s where the good news ends.

Life at the Shadow Ravens’ compound is a disaster. She’s drowning in visions of the dark pasts and darker futures of her fellow Ravens and is plagued by her own panic-inducing memories, but Lady Eva still expects her to “train” and “participate in missions.” Plus, the food tastes like burnt plastic.

The only bright spot is her genetic pairing to the brilliant Altair Orpheus. As their relationship grows, she’s positive that chemicals aren’t the only things drawing them together—although chemistry is definitely involved.

While they test the limits of her game-changing new ability to reset time, word arrives from Eva’s agents: Doctor Nagi is still experimenting with her DNA. If he succeeds in duplicating her power…

Forget the Shadow Ravens. The whole world is toast.







Futures fizzed through my dreams.

Tair and me giggling and smiling. Then Tair and me running and dying. Tompkins staring blankly into space.

The Ravens and Eva and Nagi. Millions of possibilities swirled. The past tugged at me, too. Like an underwater cave of phantoms, dying to pull me in.

Darren’s chemical-green eyes bored into me while he cackled from the darkness.

I woke up panting. And on the floor.

Gulping deep breaths, I tried to concentrate on my stinging back, hoping the pain would push away the ghosts. There were a million and one terrible things in those dreams, but one image stuck out more than all the others:

A future Quanta on her knees, clapping her hands to her ears, surrounded by limp bodies.

So, so many bodies.

I pulled my blanket down around me and tried to even out my breathing. If my vitals spiked too much, Tair would come running, and I’d have to explain. I didn’t want to explain, even to him.

The nightmares didn’t bother me. Darren was dead, and he could laugh all he wanted now that he wasn’t breathing.

The past was like a bonfire I’d passed through. It couldn’t hurt me anymore.

But the future…

It’s just a possibility. I hugged the blanket tight. It doesn’t have to happen.

Either way, it sucked that reality was my biggest fear.

I couldn’t let myself kill that many people. I’d end it before it went that far.

And wasn’t that another chipper thought?

I grabbed the closest paper and pencil from the floor and started sketching. A timeghostly forest hovered at the edge of my vision, and I focused on it, losing myself in the shapes of the trees and mountains. By the time the paper was filled, my cold sweat was gone and panic had stopped making my vision shake.

Action. I had to do something or I was going to lose it.

But what?



Lola is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University—and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.

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