Saturday, August 16, 2014

Why I Read Romances

#1 - I was programmed that way

I grew up reading fairy tales, and not just the Disney versions. If ever characters had to achieve true love by overcoming all obstacles, those stories are the ones to tell the tale. Those with good hearts, who are kind and generous, eventually win—however modestly—and those who are selfish and greedy lose—often spectacularly—just like in romances. Fairy tales are cultural behavior lessons, meant to teach us how to conduct ourselves in the world. I like to think some of the lessons stick.

#2 - The horse and dog stories I loved as a youth—they’re really about relationships. 

A boy and his dog, a girl and her horse—when you think about it, they’re about building solid relationships based on mutual respect and loyalty. So are romances. The main characters have to learn to respect and trust each other for the couple bond to form and the romance to last. Commitment—that’s what I love about romances.

#3 – I’ve got a thing about justice

My romance reading bent runs strongly toward romantic suspense and mystery. I’m a huge fan of mysteries in general, always have been since I found Agatha Christie’s A MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES. What draws me to both genres is the sense of justice (See #1) in both. No matter how many challenges and near death experiences the hero and heroine have to overcome, they ultimately win. Justice prevails. This may be a fantasy, but it’s a fantasy that I find myself returning to book after book.

#4 – I like happy endings

Day to day life is full of unhappy situations, and I’d get awfully depressed if I didn’t have romances to remind me that love is better than war, partnership is better than conflict, truth is better than deception, and true happiness comes from sharing with others.
So, yeah, that’s why I read—and love—romances.

If you’re not celebrating Read-A-Romance Month, you should be. There’s half a month left to check out what 100 romance authors have to say about romance at these two sites:

I'm guest blogging this week on fellow Wild Rose Press author Brenda Whiteside's Muse Monday:
Stop by and see how travel translates to story.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Be My Guest--Mary Hughes, author of hot, humorous paranormal romance

Today for Read-A-Romance Month, I’m featuring the latest release by friend and fellow WisRWA author, Mary Hughes. Mary’s given me promo help when I’ve asked for it, advice when I needed it, and cheerleading all the time. Go Mary! Take it away with…

Murder at Chipmunk Lake

A Nixie and Julian Story.
Nixie's lost her mojo!
Amazon UKAReiTunes

Nixie Emerson, punk rock musician and first-time mom-to-be, has a stalker. Her band Guns and Polkas has gone national after their big stage debut, but the price of fame is the stalker trying to scare her into leaving the band.

Her husband, master vampire Julian, whisks Nixie away to the Wisconsin north woods--where they meet the stalker on the pier of their cabin and he again threatens Nixie.

Julian punches him out and the couple walks away thinking the problem is over. But when the next evening the stalker is found dead, they find out the trouble is only starting.

Warning: contains a cranky pregnant lady trying to control her swearing, a master vampire appeasing his wife with food and creative sex, murder, mayhem and several arguments over what to name the baby.

Read-A-Romance Month! What does it mean to be a couple? Mary’s tips for long-lasting love here:

As a girl, Mary Hughes spun romantic, happily-ever-after stories to get to sleep. A husband, family, two degrees and a blackbelt later, she's delighted to spin them for readers.
She's lived with love and loss, in bright times and dark, and learned we can all use a break from reality every now and then.

So join her for action, sparkling wit and red-hot love. Strong men. Stronger women.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August is Read-A-Romance Month!

Join me during the month of August to celebrate Read-A-Romance month.

Authors participating in the celebration are asked to first answer three questions and then spread the word about our personal favorites.

Describe the most daring, adventurous, or inspiring thing you ever did.

That would be travelling almost 1,000 miles towing a U-Haul containing all our worldly goods to a small town in Montana we’d never heard of and without a clue as to where we’d find housing. Fortunately, it was just the two of us, and we were young and eager to embark on the first great adventure of our married life. I’ll never forget Forsyth, Montana, but it was a shock to the system for us Midwesterners.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I always knew I was going to be a writer. From my earliest memories, I was creating stories in my head and writing some of them down. I put it aside for college, but I picked it up again when my children were small and I started reading Harlequin romances. “I could write better than this,” I decided. Of course, I couldn’t—not at first—but I persevered, and look where it’s gotten me.

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

The first romance I read was Mary Stewart’s AIRS ABOVE THE GROUND because it had a horse on the cover. (I loved horse books.) That led me to her NINE COACHES WAITING, a gothic suspense/Cinderella romance that whetted my appetite for more such stories. Then Nora Roberts’ IRISH THOROUGHBRED came along and I was hooked on romantic suspense and adventure.

Of course, now I’ve broadened my reading, but I still seek out a great romantic suspense like that currently being dished up by Shana Galen (LORD and LADY SPY series) and westerns by Lori Handeland/Lori Austin (BEAUTY and the BOUNTY HUNTER) and regencies by up and coming author Amy Sandas (REBEL MARQUESS). For a laugh, I’ve got to have something by Christie Craig (DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS series), Lani Diane Rich (THE COMEBACK KISS) and Mary Hughes (BITING NIXIE).

If you’re wondering how other authors have answered these questions or just want to discover more fabulous romance novels and new authors, check out these links:
Curious about the paranormal/humorous side of the romance genre? Check out what Mary Hughes is posting Tuesday, August 5th, about her new novella MURDER AT CHIPMUNK LAKE, featuring my favorite Meier’s Corners’ residents, punk musician/civic savior Nixie and her hot lawyer/vampire husband Julian:

Give me a shout back. I’d love to hear what you’ve put on your romance reading list!