I am, like, so psyched right now because I have the totally rad authors of The 80s Rom-Com Club here today for a chat! Mikal Dawn, Bell Renshaw (aka Emilie Haney), Jennifer Rodewald, Betsy St. Amant, Teresa Tysinger, and Jaycee Weaver are, like, major awesome, and I’m legit stoked to talk with them today!
Sorry about that… I suddenly went back to the 80s myself. 😛
THE 80s ROM-COM CLUB
AUTHORS: Mikal Dawn, Bell Renshaw, Jennifer Rodewald, Betsy St. Amant, Teresa Tysinger, and Jaycee Weaver
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance collection
RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2022
Is there, like, anything more totally awesome than the fun, feel-good blockbusters of the 1980s? The women who make up the online Just Another 80s Rom Com Lovers Club don’t think so. Join these digital friends as they each live out their own swoon-worthy love stories, minus teased bangs and mini skirts, reminiscent of some your favorite romantic comedies from the most righteous decade.
The Fix Up by Mikal Dawn: Henley Morris and Not-the-Movie-Star Brad Pitt are teamed up on a home renovation show with tools, limited time, and a budget. The home they’re assigned to renovate is a money “pitt” and they’re sure it’s out to get them. So is the general contractor. And don’t even get them started on the family of squirrels living in it…
Falling For a Price by Bell Renshaw: Amie Lewis prefers writing about the escapades of others, but when a mysterious note arrives, it’s time to start her own adventure. Hiring Malcom Price, a handsome but obnoxious guide, is her first mistake. Being caught in the middle of his feud with Russian treasure hunters is the second. The third? Falling for him.
Lake Shore Wandering by Jennifer Rodewald: Hazel Wallace is working on a plan to keep her peaceful, remote life. When Bennet Crofton shows up pretending to be something he’s not, she knows she’s running out of time. Luckily for her, he hit his head and can’t remember a thing. With a sudden inspiration thanks to an 80’s RomCom, she’s got a whole new plan.
Evie Tyler’s Day Off by Betsy St. Amant: When Evie Tyler plays hooky on her 30th birthday to complete the remaining 9 items on her “30 Before 30” bucket list with her best friend, she never expected her childhood crush—her BFF’s brother—to tag along. Red convertibles, impromptu concerts, and a hilarious comedy of errors collide into one day off Evie will never forget.
Just Like That by Teresa Tysinger: New York City-based influencer Jane Holland is about to reel in the biggest partnership of her career. Life takes an unexpected turn when she’s needed in North Carolina to care for her niece. Will Jane find where she truly fits in her rural hometown—and with Andrew, her all-grown-up crush? Or, will opportunity draw her back to the life she always thought she wanted?
Sure About You by Jaycee Weaver: Editor, foodie, and 80s movies lover Isley Bradford lives by her trusty planner. Securing her dream job means traveling to a conference with the too-charming coworker she loathes. But with each bump in the road—some literally—he challenges her perceptions and makes her laugh. She’d had her future perfectly planned. Now? She’s not so sure.
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Hi ladies! Welcome to the blog! Let’s start with an 80s fast-four!
Fast Four: Scratch-n-Sniff stickers or Snap Bracelets?
Mikal: Scratch-n-Sniff!! Because snap bracelets snapped and the stickers smelled chemically delicious. LOL!
Teresa: Snap bracelets! I had a zebra-striped one that I decorated with Lisa Frank stickers that I painted over with clear nail polish when the shine wore off.
Betsy: Scratch-n-Sniff. The snap bracelets kinda scared me!! LOL
Emilie: Snap Bracelets all the way! They were usually holographic and just so fun.
Jennifer: Must it be a choice?
Jaycee: Decades later I’m still a sucker for scratch-n-sniffs. LOL! I can’t pick a new Airwick without scratch-n-sniffing all the labels.
Carrie: It looks like scratch-n-sniff stickers eke out the win here – Teresa & Emilie were the risk-takers haha
Fast Four: Side ponytail (with neon scrunchie) or teased bangs?
Mikal: Oh girl. Teased bangs. You should have SEEN my “waterfall”! If I had the digital photo to prove it, I would’ve sent it. I was proud of that baby.
Teresa: Totally side pony with scrunchie! Though I’ve got a pretty epic Glamor Shot that expertly shows off the teased bangs!
Betsy: Side pony with neon scrunchie! I loved all the bright colors, and honestly, my hair doesn’t tease.
Emilie: I rocked the side pony occasionally and a good scrunchie was a must.
Jennifer: Teased bangs—although I have a lot of photos of me wearing side ponytails in the old album, so . . .
Jaycee: I had serious bangs game!
Carrie: i clearly should have demanded photographic proof for this question 😉
Fast Four: Leg warmers or Jelly shoes?
Mikal: Why is there an “or” here, Ducky?!?!? BOTH. Because. No explanation needed.
Teresa: Jelly shoes. I still remember the purple sparkly pair I wore with my Wuzzles t-shirt dress to my 6th birthday party at McDonald’s!
Betsy: Jelly shoes. Even though they hurt OH SO BADLY.
Emilie: Jellies! I still remember running around in the grass of my Grandparents backyard with them.
Jennifer: SIGH! I wanted both. But money. ☹ Apparently, I survived 😉.
Jaycee: Leg warmers all the way. I never could stand the feeling of dirt inside sweaty, perpetually-too-small jellies.
Carrie: Jellies are the clear winner here, even though as Betsy said they HURT. And they made my feet smell quite ripe. Why did we torture ourselves? (And I’m so glad Teresa mentioned a birthday party at McDonalds – because was it really the 80s without one?)
Fast Four: Big League Chew or Fruit Stripes gum?
Mikal: What’s Fruit Stripes gum? Is that an American thing? I don’t know if I remember it from Canada. If I’m misremembering, any Canucks out there can correct me. So my default answer here is Big League Chew.
Teresa: Fruit Stripes, though my mom usually only let us chew the sugar free Carefree gum. Boring! LOL
Betsy: Definitely Fruit Stripes! Even though the flavor vanished after .7 seconds, it was the best .7 seconds of your LIFE!
Emilie: 100% Fruit Stripes gum with those little white paper wrappers and the taste that was gone in less than a minute LOL.
Jennifer: Big League Chew (three brothers.)
Jaycee: Fruit Stripe, baby! I think my mom bought it at the warehouse store we chewed so much. Haha!
Carrie: Oh Mikal, my Ducky, you really missed out. You can still buy Fruit Stripes at Cracker Barrel, I think. At least you can here. Go. You’ll thank us for that brilliant .7 seconds 😀
Q: Would you go back to relive the 80s, if given the chance? Why or why not?
Mikal: Umm…I mean…probably not. I miss not having responsibilities and I miss the TV shows and not having the internet (though it introduced me to all these ladies!!), but let’s be honest: I do not miss shoulder pads (even if they may be back in or making a comeback), acid wash jeans, jelly shoes (they always rubbed my pinky toe wrong), and the Iron Curtain.
Teresa: Looking back, I had the absolute best childhood. The 80s had the best toys, best cartoons, best movies. I’m terribly nostalgic for the FEEL of being a kid in that decade. I guess it would be nice to get that feeling of a simpler time back for a while, but I also try to live life looking forward so I don’t think I’d want to relive it.
Betsy: I was born in 1984, so I only experienced about 6 years of the 80s. But hey, I had a great childhood, so sure! Let’s do it again! 🙂
Emilie: Time for honesty here – I only lived 4 years in the 80s so most of that has been relived through pictures of baby Emilie. I’m more a child of the 90s so maybe I’d say no? Now, if we’re talking the 90s that’s another thing… 😉
Jennifer: NOPE. So many reasons, but they all come to this: my life now is awesome. #noturningback
Jaycee: No thank you. The 80s were filled with many tears and playground bullies for me, and I’m not big on looking backward. The best of the 80s is still around (if only in our hearts)!
Carrie: I’m with Jaycee on the bullies 🙁 but I also agree that the 80s had the BEST cartoons! In the early days of the pandemic my husband and I binge watched Gummi Bears – he’d never seen the show but quickly loved it as much as I did!
Q: What is your favorite 80s rom-com and how did it influence your story in The 80s Rom-Com Club?
Mikal: Ooo…So my story was inspired by The Money Pit, but my favourite movie is actually The Princess Bride followed closely by almost any movie with The Brat Pack in it—you know, Emilio Esteves, Anthony Michael Hall, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, and Demi Moore. I just couldn’t figure out a way to translate The Princess Bride to a contemporary rom com. But it does make a special appearance, so keep your eyes peeled. 😉
Teresa: When we brainstormed the concept for this collection, I immediately knew I wanted to tell my version of Baby Boom, the 1987 movie starring Diane Keaton. I was enamored with her strong personality and professional life, and how she discovered—even if reluctantly—the strong sense of purpose within family. In a sense, it showed me how a woman can pave her own way with the opportunities she both earns and is gifted. I couldn’t resist to tell a new audience a version of that truth in my novella about Jane (and cutie pie veterinarian Andrew)!
Betsy: I really like the Money Pit movie, because I adore Tom Hanks, and so I love how that movie inspired one of the novellas in our collection! I picked Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to base my novella from, and had so much fun getting to twist it around and make it my own. Instead of a teenager playing hooky from school with his best friend and love interest, I had a woman turning 30 playing hooky from work on her birthday and getting into shenanigans with her best friend and love interest as they race around town, trying to check off the last few items on her 30 Before 30 bucket list. It’s a hoot!
Emilie: Maybe you expected it, but Romancing the Stone really is my favorite 80s rom-com. It’s got the romance, the action/adventure, and the humor I love out of a movie. Parts of it are a little rough around the edges, which influenced how I saw my main character Malcom, but I also wanted to show the heart there – maybe a little more so than Michael Douglas’ character. In my novella, Falling for a Price, I really wanted to capture the humor and the adventure. This was harder than I thought, having never written a rom-com adventure, but it was sure fun to work on!
Jennifer: Overboard, which is why I borrowed the plot for Lake Shore Wandering! We watched Ferris Bueller several times more (we must have rented a VCR from the local Albertsons to do so, because we didn’t have one back then!) but to be honest, one of my older brothers looked and acted WAY TOO MUCH like Ferris for me to really love the movie (living with the guy is not nearly as funny as you would think 😉).
Jaycee: I can’t choose a favorite, and I mean that honestly. I love (or loathe) too many of them to choose or rat myself out LOL! A lot of my favorite 80s movies were chosen already or were a lot more sexual than I remembered them, so it was really hard to pick! I tried to capture the essence of my chosen movie, The Sure Thing, because I love enemies-to-lovers and the chemistry that develops from forced proximity situations.
Carrie: ahh i can’t wait to read this collection and see how y’all have tied in these movies with your own twists!
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from your story in The 80s Rom-Com Club, and why do you love it?
Mikal: You know, that’s just too hard to answer, so I refuse. I plead the Fifth. That’s it. The end. Love you. Mwahahahaha!
Teresa: My favorite quote from my novella Just Like That is an easy pick. What did Jane do with this aged-like-a-fine-wine, way-more-kind-than-she-gave-him-credit-for version of the boy she’d once crushed on? I love this line because who doesn’t SWOON over a childhood crush all grown up to be even better than you remember? Sigh….
Betsy: My favorite quote from Evie Tyler’s Day Off is a bit of a culmination of several short lines: I’d always wanted it to be him. I knew it never could be. And yet, here we were. I adore those lines because so many of us relate to unrequited love – that pining away for someone who might never realize the other is falling fast, the fear that it’ll never be acknowledged, the friends-to-lovers trope and all its messy, real life glory. I love when unrequited love is, well, requited! hehe.
Emilie: “…[He] wasn’t about to explain that he’d spent most of [the money] on hospital bills for a teen girl who had been collateral damage on a mission.” It’s an odd quote to be a favorite, I realize that. It’s not something you’d go around quoting, but I remember writing this part and realizing that Malcom wasn’t so much irresponsible with his money but was actually too giving. I just loved uncovering that about my character and what it says to us about not judging someone based on just one thing. From the outside it would look as if Malcom is just a jerk, but there’s a lot more under the surface.
Jennifer: This one comes near the end of the story and strikes an honest chord in me. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost, and hard to see your way back . . . “How crazy is it that I had to forget everything in order to see the truth of who I had become? To remember who it was I wanted to be?”
Jaycee: “This airport feels like a zoo and a maze gave birth to a shopping mall designed by Barnum and Bailey.” It has nothing to do with their romance or anything else significant, but I love it because hyperbole is my FAVORITE. It’s also exactly how I felt the first time I went to the Denver airport. From the weird white circus-tent exterior to the insanity inside, I can totally relate to Isley’s attempts to quell her anxiety.
Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military (retired) wife. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters. Mikal lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two teenagers (she’s super proud that her adult child is adulting nicely in his own home nearby). Visit her at mikaldawn.com.
Emilie Haney grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has a love for the outdoors that matches her love for the written word. Writing as Bell Renshaw, she publishes sweet romance. Under her own name, she writes fiction with strong themes of romance and suspense and believes that–no matter what–love fights for what’s right. Visit her at emiliehaney.com.
Jennifer Rodewald/J. Rodes lives on the wide plains somewhere near the middle of Nowhere. A coffee addict, a chaser of teenage activities, and a storyteller; she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see others fall in love with Him too. She would love to hear from you! Please visit her at authorjenrodewald.com or at www.facebook.com/authorjenrodewald.
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of over twenty romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her hubby, two daughters, an impressive stash of coffee mugs, and one furry Schnauzer-toddler. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored to truth. When she’s not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can be found somewhere in the vicinity of an iced coffee. She writes frequently for iBelieve, a devotional site for women. Look for her latest romance novel, Tacos for Two, and more at betsystamant.com.
Teresa Tysinger writes contemporary romance inspired by grace on the fringes of being a wife, mom, and full-time public relations professional and graphic designer. With a master’s degree in editing and book design, she enjoys working on many facets of indie publishing. She loves coffee, traveling, and of course reading. Born in Hawaii, raised in Florida, and educated in North Carolina, she now resides in Texas with her husband, daughter, and dog. Look for her 4-book Laurel Cove Romance series and more at teresatysinger.com.
Lover of Jesus, family, books, coffee, music, and crafting (in that order), Jaycee Weaver is perpetually pursuing at least one of her passions. She writes contemporary Christian romance stories featuring realistic characters in everyday situations where God is at work in big ways. She appreciates books where the characters face shortcomings, temptations, and adversity but always get their happy ending, so that’s what she writes. Visit her at jayceeweaver.com.
The authors of The 80s Rom-Com Club have a super fun release week giveaway going on through Monday, May 2! Enter HERE for details and your chance to win a totally nostalgic 80s-vibe movie night prize pack.
BUT before you head over there, chat with us here for a minute! What was your fave part of the 80s? Your fave 80s rom-com? What makes you want to read The 80s Rom-Com Club by these fabulous authors?