Saturday, October 14, 2023

Trope-licious! A Mega List of Romance Tropes

Time for list-making again...and it's trope-licious!

Love 'em or hate 'em, tropes are those common, overused themes you find in stories and are well-known in the romance genre circles. I'll seek out or avoid books based on tropes, as I'm sure others do, too. Sign me up for road trips, fake relationships, enemies to lovers, and going undercover. So fun! But please don't put books in my Christmas stocking with wedding, age-gap, or fairy-tale retelling themes, or anything set in Nantucket. Lol. Weird, I know! But I'm pretty sure I already know the tone. Of course if I visited there, my mind could be changed. Until that day, I'll stick with my tried and true.

Now you, go forth and enjoy your tropes!

Tropes for Hanging Around for You by Stacia Leigh
Young Adult Romance

A newly abandoned girl hides the truth about a fatal accident, a grizzled biker she calls step-dad, and how she really feels about the new boy at school, a low-life spy! But really, who's spying on whom? 



Friends to Lovers
You've Changed / Love on the Rocks
Belated Love Epiphany
Brother's Best Friend
Best Friend's Sibling
Marriage of Convenience / Marriage Pact
Pretend Relationships
Best Friend's Ex
Roommate Romance / Innocent Cohabitation
Secret Admirer


Enemies to Lovers
Pen Pals
Love / Hate
Not Good Enough
Forced Proximity / Stranded


Suddenly a Parent
Single Parent
Widow / Widower
Forbidden Love

Tropes for Burnout by Stacia Leigh
Young Adult Romance

"Suspended in grief, a down-and-out teen is forced on a therapeutic road trip. How can he hold onto the past when a feisty biker girl has him hanging on for dear life?"



Opposites Attract
Age-Gap/May to December
Bad Boy
Celebrity/Actor/Actress/Rock Star
Rich vs Poor / Unequal Social Status
Different Worlds
Want Different Things


Lovers in Denial
Sworn Off Relationships
Lost Memories / Amnesia


Secretly Rich
Secret Identity
Unrequited Love
Dark Secret
Mistaken Identity
Secret Baby
Is All as It Seems?
Love Triangle
Workplace Romance


Wedding Planner
Jilted Groom/Runaway Bride
Arranged Marriage
Soul Mates
Destined to Be Together

Tropes for Dealing with Blue by Stacia Leigh
Young Adult Romance

When quiet good-girl Suzy Blue plays "pretend" with the charmer next-door, she risks exposing a mortifying family secret.


Love Potion
Second Chances
Love at First Sight / Insta-Love
Holiday Flings


Wounded Hero/Heroine (Emotional or Physical)
Sleeps with Everyone but You
Playboy/Rake in Love
Back with the Ex
What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas
One Sided Romance
Afraid to Commit
Can't Say "I Love You"
All Grown Up
Long Distance Love


Plus Size
Alpha Hero
The One That Got Away
Loveable Rogue
Ugly Duckling
Men in Uniform
Broken in Some Way
Blind Date
Fish Out of Water


Fairy Tale Retelling
Road Trip
Time Travel
Small Town


Slow Burn
Matchmaker Gone Right or Gone Wrong
Against All Odds


Historical / Regency
Comedy / Drama
Spiritual / Inspirational
New Adult / College
Young Adult (Ages 14+)


Evie Alexander: 150 romance Novel Tropes
TCK Publishing: 14 Popular Romance Tropes
Brewing Writer: Ultimate Romance Tropes List: 28 Tropes + Book Recs!


“The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.”
― Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!

Sunday, October 01, 2023

October 2023 Reading Challenge: Picture Book BINGO

Since my picture book entry was a finalist for the PNWA conference this year, I decided to immerse myself into picture-book reading with a hefty stack checked out from the library.

A Hefty Stack of Picture Books

What's a better way to deep dive the genre than to play a game of reading BINGO? A quick win is reading five-in-a-row, but why not go for the gold? Read all twenty-five for a solid blackout win and find your next favorite book, author, illustrator...or maybe even a new series!

Stacia Leigh's October 2023 Reading Challenge
Picture Book BINGO!

Ready to read along? Print the BINGO card if you're able, otherwise the list below sums it up nicely. I will post Amazon or Powell's Book Store links for the recommended reads I want to share (regular links are a 4/5 star read, bold links are 5 stars). From left to right, here's the breakdown: 

1.) Collage Pictures: Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer

2.) Award Winner: Watercress by Andrea Wang

3.) Retelling: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

4.) Two-Word Title: Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor

5.) Set in the Forest: Little Witch Hazel a Year in the Forest by Phoebe Wahl

6.) A classic: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

7.) Non-Fiction: I Was Born a Baby by Meg Fleming

8.) Reptile on the Cover:

9.) Blackout Poetry by Stacia Leigh: Sounds Complicated by Stacia Leigh

10.) Hide & Seek: Where's the BaBOOn? by Michael Escoffier

11.) A Number in the Title: The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz

12.) Title Starts with Letter "F": Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel

13.) Free Space: Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson

14.) Green Cover: Evergreen by Matthew Cordell

15.) Little Free Library Find: Georgia in Hawaii by Amy Novesky

16.) Book with Bugs: Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite by Ashley Spires

17.) Underwater Setting: Out to Sea by Helen Kellock

18.) Book with Robots: The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld

19.) A Holiday Story: Creepy Crayon! by Aaron Reynolds

20.) Sports Theme: H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers

21.) A Cultural Read: The New Rooster by Rilla Alexander

22.) Back in School: Sector 7 by David Wiesner

23.) Learn Something New: Share a Scare: Writing Your Own Scary Story by Nany Loewen

24.) Rhyme Time: Frog on a Log? by Kes Gray

25.) Based on Actual Events: Ida, Always by Caron Levis


“Reading one [picture] book is like eating one potato chip.” — Diane Duane