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Simply Solo Spotlight: I’ve Kissed A Lot Of Frogs

June 7, 2011

book cover for Starcrossed, Josephine AngeliniToday we have a real treat. Josephine Angelini, author of Starcrossed, is our guest blogger! Starcrossed is the first book in a teen trilogy that debuted U.S. this month by HarperCollins Publishers. I first came across Josephine when I was reading this article in The Daily. The article described Josephine as “an out-of-work bartender who came out of nowhere to sell a seven-figure book deal — and now she’s being touted as the next J.K. Rowling.” After reading her story of success (which is extremely inspirational to any aspiring author), I was hooked. Within an hour I’d read her blog, followed her on Twitter and checked out her Facebook page.

I jokingly told Chef that I bet Josephine would have a great guest post for my blog, and he said, “Well, why don’t you ask her?” Umm, of course I wasn’t going to ask “the next J.K. Rowling” to write for Simply Solo. That’s crazy talk. But then he said, “Well, what do you have to lose? What’s the worst she can say? No?”

Damn it, he was right. So I asked her. And she immediately agreed! Chef now claims this as the biggest “I told you so” win since we’ve been dating.

After reading this post and commenting, please check out her book (available many places, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble). It’s gotten rave reviews and it’s an enthralling read!

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: 

I’ve Kissed A Lot Of Frogs

I write YA supernatural romance. Part of what I do is I take gorgeous young men with inhuman abilities and have them fall madly in love with a young woman. I’m fairly good at writing this, so you’d think I know a lot about dating and love and what makes a perfect man, right? Well, if you look at my over-all track record you’d know …

I’ve Kissed A Lot Of Frogs

One of the questions I get asked the most in interviews is: Are any of the characters in your books based on people you know if real life? Translation: Who the heck is your drool-inducing protagonist, Lucas? And did you ever date this guy, for realz?

My honest answer: I based Lucas on my husband, Albert.

No, Albert can’t fly, and despite his epic body, he is not a demigod. What I mean by “basing” Lucas on my husband has more to do with the relationship that Lucas has with Helen than anything else. The respect, the support, and the laughter that this couple shares is based on us. Since the day I met Albert I knew that the way we were together was the stuff of romance novels. But Albert is not the only guy I’ve ever dated.

Like the title of the piece says, I’ve kissed a lot of frogs.

Don’t get me wrong—I’ve dated some wonderful men. I’ve dated guys that, on paper, were like a laundry list of awesome. And, oh yes, I used to have an actual list of all the qualities I wanted in a man. This list was long. I wanted Mr. Perfect, and there were a couple of times that I thought I had found him—at least as far as satisfying the list was concerned. Granted, there were plenty of Poindexters mixed in with the Perfects, but all in all I have to say I went out with some stand up dudes.

So why wasn’t I ever happy with any of them?

What I didn’t know then and what I know now is that there is a big difference between perfect, and perfect for me. A guy could offer me the moon, and a few of them did, but what was more important than what he offered me was what we offered each other.

It wasn’t enough that he made me laugh—I have to be able to make him laugh too. I finally realized that in order for me to be happy in a relationship I had to know I was giving just as much to my partner as he was giving to me or I would never be satisfied.

This lesson took forever to sink in. I was caught up in this romantic notion that some ideal guy existed, just like in a YA novel, and I jumped from lily pad to lily pad looking for my prince.

Then I met Albert, and I realized that I wasn’t looking for a prince (or a demigod) to come and sweep me off my feet and save me from the frog-infested swamp that surrounded me. I was looking for someone who I could save, as much as he could save me. I was looking for someone who could I enrich as much as he enriched me. To me, that’s love—and it might now always be perfect.

But it is perfect for me.

And THAT’S more romantic than any book I’ve ever read.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2011 8:38 am

    In enjoyed your guest post very much. It makes so much sense.

  2. June 7, 2011 10:03 am

    “I was looking for someone who I could save, as much as he could save me. I was looking for someone who could I enrich as much as he enriched me. To me, that’s love”

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experience. Do you think you would have appreciated Albert had you not kissed the other close-but-no-cigar types? I sure hope that these mis-steps are leading me to my Albert!

  3. June 7, 2011 12:11 pm

    I loved this post. Thanks so much for taking your time to write for my blog. I too have a list, and it’s funny how if you try to stick to the list and ignore your heart, you may miss some really great guys. Likewise, you could find someone that meets all the criteria on the list, but find yourself missing that feeling of butterflies. Hopefully we’ll all find someone that meets… say… 80% of our list (and definitely the most important things, like giving and loving)…. and we make up for the 20% with the feeling of having found someone really special.

  4. June 7, 2011 12:27 pm

    Thank you so much for inviting me on your site, Catherine! ❤

  5. natasha permalink
    June 7, 2011 12:30 pm

    Don’t we all get a little stuck in the notion that there is some perfect guy for us out there? I gotta get your book – sounds great!

  6. Becky permalink
    June 7, 2011 1:26 pm

    I looked at the Daily article, and wondered the kind impact you both being out of work had on your relationship. Was it hard? Albert must be stoked to see it pay off for you!

    • June 7, 2011 2:18 pm

      @ Becky We were both very stressed, but we stayed vigilant about not putting that stress on each other. There was no blaming, no taking out our frustrations on each other. One of the things that helped was talking about it, constantly. Even though we both knew the other was stressed about money, sometimes it just helps to say it, acknowledge it, and share the burden, rather than trying to “take it out” on the other. And yes, he is stoked. 🙂

  7. June 7, 2011 2:23 pm

    Catherine, this is such a great example of whatcanbe! So exciting! Best, PT

  8. Random Cook permalink
    June 7, 2011 2:48 pm


    I really was excited to see that you agreed to write on Catherine’s blog today! She gave me way too much credit, I just mentioned half asleep that it could be a neat way for you both to help eachother. I loved reading the article in the Daily about your story. It was very inspiring and uplifting. I wish you success.

    I really enjoyed your post today as well. I feel sometimes that I am just another average guy when all women are looking for the perfect man. But sometimes it’s not what’s perfect in the world of Calvin Klein and Hollywood, it’s what’s perfect for your heart and soul. That we sometimes forget that no one person is perfect is a shame, but I do feel that we can come together like puzzle pieces and make a perfect fit. I am at a spot in my life where the realities of owning a restaurant are very harsh and sometimes I feel I don’t have a lot to offer someone. Maybe that’s true, maybe not, but I at least go to sleep at night knowing that I can offer someone my heart. I feel that I can make anyone truly happy and not based on income, stature or chiseled features. Thanks again for your inspiring post and good luck with the future.



  9. June 8, 2011 9:46 pm

    “A guy could offer me the moon, and a few of them did, but what was more important than what he offered me was what we offered each other.” Wise, true words. Nice post, I’m sure we can all relate. Fairy-tales introduced to us the idea that men are either frogs or princes, but the truth is, most of them are somewhere in between, and they *become* princes to the women who love them for who they are.

  10. June 8, 2011 11:27 pm

    Actually, I liked this post so much that it inspired me to blog about the subject as well.

    “Between a Prince and a Frog, There’s a Human Being”

    Thank you!

    • June 9, 2011 12:28 pm

      I’m glad I wrote something that fired up your creative juices! Great post, Larissa!

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