When the call went out for RWA Chicago North members to participate in Read a Romance Month, I immediately wanted to join in.
What could be more fun, or easier, than reading a book (or two…or three) in my favorite genre, and writing a blog post about why I love romance?
Yet as I read the daily blogs posted on http://www.readaromancemonth.com ,reality set it. What could I add to the eloquent comments by authors such as Lauren Dane, Susan Mallery and Madeline Hunter?
That was when it hit me. The fact that our genre has such diverse writers is something to celebrate. Romance truly offers a story for everyone.
Love Alpha heroes, kick-ass heroines, action and suspense? We’ve got that. Or, if you’re like me, and get all gooey over handsome, gentle beta heroes, we have those too. (Just ask, I’m happy to recommend a few titles!) Big cities, small towns. Contemporary and historical settings. Sweet kisses, hot sex…set the pages on fire sex. Characters that are young, and not so young. Straight or LGBTQ. Shapeshifters, vampires, and ghosts.
Digital publishing has brought a host of new authors and stories to readers. It’s a great time to be a romance author and a romance fan. And as summer winds down, August is a great time to read a romance.
So charge up the e-reader. Head to the bookstore or library. Grab an old friend off your keeper shelf, or find a new favorite in that towering pile by your nightstand. Tuck it in your purse, briefcase or backpack and as you’re waiting for a haircut, or the subway, take it out and read a page or two. Get lost for a little while. Enjoy the ride, and know that the final destination will be a happy one.
Recommendations? So many books, so little space. But since we’re asked to include at least two, I’m happy to offer a newer digital author, and an old favorite, both with sweet, sexy heroes.
Fans of clean romance (no premarital sex) and figure skating, should try Jennifer Comeaux, either her “Edge” series (that’s skater-speak) or her new release “Crossing the Ice,” now available on Amazon. Sergei from “Edge” is indeed sigh-worthy and her new hero, Josh, sounds equally delightful.
An old favorite? Judith Ivory’s “The Proposition” is a classic, a reverse Pygmalion story starring a spinster linguist and a Cockney ratcatcher. Mick Tremore is one of the best heroes I’ve ever read, and when he buys Winnie a dress to wear to the ball…just lovely.
Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.
Daring things I want my kids to know about? Hmmm. Let me get back to you on that…
Seriously, I think the most inspiring thing I’ve ever done is to marry a fantastic guy and be a mom to two great boys. Tom’s unflagging support, kind heart and steadfast love are at the center of every hero I write. My two sons have unique talents and personalities, but both are kind, intelligent and make me very proud.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer.
I’ve always loved to read and when I discovered romance novels in middle school, it wasn’t long before I wanted to write my own. In ninth grade, I wrote a high school romance in which the smart girl lands the quarterback. It got an A and I was hooked. In college, I took creative writing classes and wrote angsty stories about sorority girls struggling to find themselves. My friends loved them, but my professors were less impressed. My post-college life in Chicago offered little time for writing, but provided plenty of inspiration, which I was able to put on the page after I married and moved to the suburbs. Though a decade passed between writing my first novel and my second, I never lost the desire, and I’m really glad I kept at it. This spring, I got The Call, in the form of a three-book deal to Carina Press. My debut novel “Falling Hard,” comes out in Feb. 2015.
Tell us about the book that changed your life, and why?
There are a few…Kathleen Woodiwiss’ “The Wolf and the Dove,” features one of my first favorite heroes who after being a brute (it was the Middle Ages, after all), comes to value the heroine as more than just a pretty face. Bettye Green’s “Summer of My German Soldier” a tender, heart-wrenching Romeo and Juliet story with a decidedly unhappy ending, cemented my love for the HEA. And Judith Ivory’s “The Proposition,” mentioned above, inspired me to return to romance writing and to strive to create heroes as captivating as that one.