Hi, Café denizens! I’m rom-com author Lucy Woodhull. I’ve stopped by before to talk about my Dimple book series (book one, The Dimple of Doom) starring my hapless heroine, Samantha Lytton. Well, book two in her saga, The Dimple Strikes Back, is out, and I want to tell you about Samantha’s daydreams. One of the conceits of this series is that Samantha is an actress, and her mind wanders off in a very specific way — movie scripts of the way she wants life to unfold, or imaginative ways of dealing with a reality that often is crappy. A Dimple may be hot, but the dude it’s attached to can still make you crazy.
We all daydream about how we’d spend that lottery loot, the insanely hot movie actor we drool over, or the conversation that went sour. The perfect retort usually comes to us in the shower later that night, far too late to tell our smug coworker where he can put his stupid opinions, amIrite? (I have a theory that all of us would be Nobel laureates if only we could stay in the shower all day. Although pruning would become a national health concern.)
Here’s a blurb for the Samantha Lytton series:
Obviously, the solution to a failed acting career and depressing dating desert is to take up with a dimpled art thief, get chased by thugs, lie to the police and almost die.
That’s not what Samantha Lytton thought would happen when she kissed the guy who said he was an accountant at the office Christmas party. But in her defense — it was an amazing freaking kiss. The kind of lip-lock that frustrates you in the wee hours.
Turns out, thinking with your nether regions can lead to poor decisions. Or perhaps…fantastic ones. Samantha and her burglar travel from Los Angeles to Vegas to Paris to London on adventures that bring Samantha’s wildest dreams of stardom to fruition. After spending years falling on her face, she learns to fight for herself and her heart’s desire. You can’t choose who to love, but you can try to keep his cute butt out of jail and in your bed.
No matter where in the world you go, or how many hot movie stars you kiss (um, professionally), you never forget your first criminal. Hopefully, only criminal. Although bad boys with dangerous dimples are nothing but trouble, a relationship can still work as long as the goons don’t get you. And if they do, well, at least an actress is good at improvisation.
In THE DIMPLE STRIKES BACK, Sam and Samantha run into more criminals; they drive a wedge between the two lovebirds, as criminals are known to do. At this point, Samantha has a blossoming film career and is working on her first starring role in Ye Olde London Towne, so she has a lot to lose by cavorting with a sexy art thief. After they have a traumatic split, Samantha stars in her very own “sad movie montage” during which she contemplates the meaning of life.
* * *
Ext. Hyde Park, London—day
Angle On: Our heroine Samantha Lytton walks along the banks of the Thames.
Music Score Plays: The new, hit single from the group Whiny Boy Band Popular With Your Twelve-Year-Old.
Samantha takes stock of her life in a touching montage.
Samantha Lytton: I thought we’d be together forever.
Nearby Rollerblader: Are you talking to me?
Samantha Lytton: I’m talking to the romantic comedy gods.
Angle On: Samantha continues her slow walk, past the picturesque trees filtering a dappled sunlight, past the cafe where she buys a seriously large ice cream cone, past the garbage can she runs into accidentally while trying to take a bite of her ice cream, past the laughing group of twenty-somethings who capture her every move on their cell phones.
Angle On: A wet, spreading chocolate stain on Samantha’s white T-shirt.
Samantha Lytton: Oh, my tit! Fucking seriously?
Twenty-Something: Keep filming! It’s Michelle Williams.
Other Twenty-Something: Damn, she’s short.
Samantha Lytton: I’m not Michelle Williams! Why does everyone say that?
Twenty-Something: Beige American actresses all look the same, innit?
That actually makes Samantha feel better, as she’s usually cast in a role labeled ‘ugly friend’ or ‘goofy sister’.
Angle On: She ditches her disintegrating ice cream cone in favor of a drink at a nearby pub. It seems a more suitable spot in which to pause and consider her life choices. After knocking back a couple—FYI, when you ask a blunt-nosed English bartender for a dirty martini, he may give you the stink eye and just pour you a beer—she weaves into the street at three in the afternoon.
Angle On: A police horse Samantha befriends, his magnificent brown hair the same color as the deuce he leaves in the street.
Samantha Lytton: If this were a movie, I’d clumsily step in a pile of horse shit. I’d probably be the pile of horse shit.
Pile of Horse Shit: There are worse things, Samantha Lytton.
Samantha Lytton: You can talk!
Pile of Horse Shit: We of the horse shit have many secrets.
Samantha Lytton: Tell me what to do, oh wise, yet stinky one.
Angle On: Samantha lets out a very ladylike burp.
Pile of Horse Shit: Perhaps that smell is the mess you’ve made of your romantic life. You must decide if you’re going to trust Sam. Trust or trust not, there is no try.
Samantha Lytton: You’re cribbing advice from Yoda?
Pile of Horse Shit: You’re the one talking to a pile of crap in the dirt.
Samantha Lytton: Fair enough.
Pile of Horse Shit: You’ve fought thus far for your one, true love. Await his call this evening tide and work things out together. Communication is the key.
Samantha Lytton: Thanks, Mr, um, Shit.
Angle On: A copper joining his horse.
Police Officer: Do you require assistance, Miss?
Samantha Lytton: Nope! I wasn’t talking to—I mean, I don’t like crap. I mean cops. I mean, have a nice day. I’m sure you’re very nice. Taxi!
Angle On: Samantha takes a cab back to her apartment. She presses her face to the glass as the city rolls by, reflected in the window. The music swells. Samantha then considers that the window of a cab is probably filthy, and jerks away. Gross.
* * *
One of the themes I wanted to convey with these books (the third and final is coming out this summer) is the idea of being the heroine in your own story. I think we could all do worse than to sometimes imagine ourselves the star of the film of our lives — it can help us feel like we’re the ones running the show, even during events beyond our control. Samantha helps me to remember that, and that’s why I love her cinematic brain wanderings so much. Plus, if fantasizing that Mads Mikkelsen is my pool boy is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
I’m giving away copies of both THE DIMPLE OF DOOM and THE DIMPLE STRKES BACK to one lucky winner! Leave a comment to win, and thanks so, so much for reading.
Thanks, Contemporary Romance Cafe, for having me!
* * *
Lucy Woodhull has always loved le steamy romance. And laughing. And both things at the same time, although that can get awkward. Her motto is “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you’ll short-circuit your Kindle.” That’s why she writes funny books, because goodness knows we all need to escape the real world once in a while. She believes in red lipstick, equality, and the interrobang. Hailing from Southern California, she daydreams with her husband and a very fat cat who doesn’t like you.