venerdì 21 agosto 2015

The joy of romance #5


 From the amazing Read a romance month!



Deeanne Gist

TG_final-400

So when I was writing a scene in my latest release, Tiffany Girl, where an elderly character was, with some authority, to reveal the secret of a happy marriage, I called my dad and asked him what the secret was. He didn’t even hesitate with his answer.
“It’s when your spouse loves you more than he loves himself.”
I hung up the phone and sat in silence for a long time after that. So simple, and so complex. 



DiningwithJoy
Rachel Hauck

I love this genre because it inspires women to love well. To wait for the good guy, you know?
“You’re worth it.”
The exchanged affirmed in me again the power of story and the power of romance.
I hope that young lady waits for her prince. I hope she chooses an honorable, good, hard-working man of faith. A man like the princes my stories.
Authors never really know the impact our stories have on others. But that day, I was blessed to have an up-close glimpse.
So enjoy the romance in your life. Search for the joys! And love well. It’s worth it.


12_10_TroubleWhenYouWalkedIn (1)

Kieran Kramer

Sometimes I wish I were one of the Joyful People—if it meant I could leave sparkles–but I keep forgetting to be. When I wake up in the morning, I might push a cat out of my face and think, “Oh, my God. Jack forgot to sign up for soccer camp. We’re screwed. And I’m still twenty pounds overweight, and I have to go to a conference in a month and I have no clothes that fit. F***!”
Yep, I’m one of those people, the ones who might go to hell for having a bad attitude. I was taught by (mostly scary) nuns, so I try very hard to be nice on the outside. But I find lots of things to complain about secretly, like the gum I stepped on in the parking lot or the price of gasoline or the mean girls at the PTA or the state of the world in general.
It’s because of this tendency toward crankiness that I need the joy of romance. When I read a romance, I go deeper. I remember that the truth is, I actually rock. Yes, me. The one who’s not the Joyful Person most of the time. Why do I rock? Because I know the most important thing: Love wins. That’s it. And it’s all I need to know.
Love will save me from my worst self every time. Love will save us all. We simply have to
stop and remember. We could stop right now…but it’s kind of boring to remember this way, right? Like it’s a lesson from the Barney show or one of the nuns (bless their hearts, they tried their best with me!).
Here’s the truth: I’d rather remember that love wins with some kind of excitement involved. Give me drama. Laughter and the good kind of tears. A hot sex scene!
The joy of reading and writing romance jolts me back into being the rocking Kieran who can put aside her nitpicking and focus on what’s really important. 
So thank you for making me a better person—thank you to everyone who celebrates with me the joy to be had in opening a book and reading a story in which love rules in a splendiferous way, a way that makes you sigh, chuckle, cry, and sometimes yell things out loud like, “Kristan Higgins, I love you!” or “I want this man!” or “Please, please jump in the sack, you two!” because yes—some romances are that good. Some romances bring that much joy, the kind that leaves sparkles all over us, sparkles we’ll leave in our wakes until we run short again and pick up another romance to replenish.
Sparkle on.

giovedì 20 agosto 2015

The joy of romance #4, Katy Lee


Words from Katy Lee!

Grave Danger


When someone gives us their trust, we tend to want to live up to it, but we also take joy in being the one who has received it and want to give back. However, when trust is withheld from one person to another, they both lose in the end. By my hero not giving his trust to the heroine, her hands would be useless to help him. But for her, her spirit could be broken by not having her man’s trust. There is no joy in either of those scenarios.
And a reader would find no joy in reading about them, either.
The reader knows that love is hard, they know the characters in the story will have some obstacles to hurdle before they can claim their Happily-Ever-After, but the reader also knows it is coming. That may not be the case in real life, but it is for a romance novel. The characters will overcome their obstacles and joy will be waiting for them in the end. The reader can count on it.
But the fun part of reading romance is that the joy found in the characters’ love doesn’t wait until the Happily-Ever-After. It is experienced right along in the story throughout the book—even when the characters look like they might maim one another. This is why I enjoy and write romance novels. It’s the little jokes the characters share with each other, or play on each other. It’s the sacrifices we see the characters make for one another, even when it hurts. But those sacrifices aren’t meant to keep the characters down. They’re meant to bring them to a higher standard of living and make them a better person, a better partner, and give the couple a stronger future. The grand gestures and pledges of love at the end of the story spread huge smiles on readers’ faces and have them sighing with contentment. These are the final promises to the reader that the characters really have earned their happiness. The reader can believe it, and they can also believe that maybe, just maybe, a love like this can happen for them, too.

mercoledì 19 agosto 2015

The joy of romance #3, Grace Burrowes


Traggo da
http://www.readaromancemonth.com/2015/08/grace-burrowes-writing-for-the-joy/
questo splendido post di Grace Burrowes, che traduco (senza dizionario, quindi perdonate le imprecisioni...).

C'era una volta la gioia...

Uno dei primi acronimi che ho udito come aspirante autrice di romanzi  è stato BBM. Ho quattro fratelli, e così ho pensato : "Il che?!"
In parte avevo ragione. L'acronimo sta per Big Bad Moment (il grande, brutto momento) e si riferisce al punto della storia in cui ogni speranza è perduta. Il vero amore - dopo 330 pagine di fatiche, estasi, e ancora fatiche - si trova ferito e solo in una fossa oscura e fangosa. E' il punto in cui il lettore squadra metaforicamente l'autore e dice: "Questo è un romanzo. Non dovevi permettere che succedessero questi casini a due persone che finalmente si erano guadagnate il loro lieto fine!"
Dato che il vero amore non deve MAI essere lasciato nella fossa oscura e puzzolente, il lettore continua a seguire la storia e il lieto fine arriva quaranta pagine dopo, nonostante tutte le difficoltà.
Molte scrittrici dicono che quando riescono a "vedere" il Big, Bad Moment, hanno in pugno il libro. Sanno verso quale traguardo stanno muovendosi, sanno come tirare le fila della storia, hanno in mano il libro. Nondimeno, è una scena difficile da scrivere. Di solito è la scena in cui piangi con i tuoi personaggi.
Perché?  Perché avere a che fare con la perdita è uno dei segreti del romanzo. Pensiamoci. Ogni protagonista che amiamo ha sopportato dure perdite - dell'innocenza, della dignità, della sicurezza, di persone amate, di un mondo in cui si stava a proprio agio. Come noi, questi personaggi fanno quello che possono, ma le loro vite sono colpite dalle perdite patite e dal dolore sofferto. Fanno meglio che possono, ma spesso non hanno più il coraggio di rischiare, evitano perciò i legami, controllano tutto ciò che possono, tengono basse le loro aspirazioni.
Poi arriva l'amore, nella forma di qualcuno che può vedere il dolore, e vedere quanto stia costando al protagonista vivere nel dolore o nella paura. Spesso, i due (o più) protagonisti hanno a che fare con ferite simili, ma hanno reagito alla sofferenza in modi diversi...e nessun modo è particolarmente riuscito. La ragazza da festa è sola, il lupo solitario è solo pure lui. Il duca guerriero è stanco, la zitella peperina anche.
Ma l'amore arriva, e così in una vita sicura, limitata, solitaria, stanca, giunge un soffio di qualcosa di dolcissimo - l'accettazione.  "Io ti vedo" è il sottotesto di ogni scena d'incontro. "Io ti vedo davvero, vedo te". Così attraenti sono le persone che ci vedono e non distolgono lo sguardo, che l'intimità può tornare ad essere accettata anche in un cuore che aveva deciso di abbandonarla per sempre.
Il coraggio e l'amore sono due facce della stessa medaglia, e nello sviluppo del romanzo l'amore chiede sempre più coraggio, fino a quel momento, in cui anche il coraggio sembra non bastare più. In quel buio momento sono perduti sogni, preghiere, desideri, il ricordo di una vita vissuta col cuore, e il pericolo non è solo il cadere nella fossa di una vita piccola e limitata, ma una tenebra ancora più profonda perché ora anche l'amore è in pericolo oltre alla sicurezza.
Chi sano di mente vorrebbe scrivere storie così terribili? Chi vorrebbe leggerle?
La mia risposta: Tutti coloro che hanno un cuore possono innamorarsi del romanzo, perché la tenacia, l'ingenuità, la determinazione, la resistenza - tutti elementi rivelati da amore e coraggio - porteranno la storia, e le nostre vite, al di fuori di quella fossa. La vita, alla fine del libro, non sarà perfetta, ma sarà piena di amore e accettazione di sé, e da qui viene la vera gioia.
Il romanzo non parla di gente felice nella terra dell'arcobaleno, ma di persone coraggiose nella terra in cui ci si vuole bene. Che ci può essere di più gioioso di questo?
Perciò io scrivo per la gioia, e spero che voi leggiate per la gioia, perché è la gioia che conta.


Once Upon a Joy…

Tremaine final cropOne of the first acronyms I heard as an aspiring romance author was “the B-B-M.” I have four brothers, and so my mind went to, “The big WHAT?”
I was partly right. The acronym stands for the Big Black Moment and refers to the point in the story when all hope is lost. True love—after 330 pages of struggle, bliss, and more struggle—is left bruised and alone in a deep, muddy ditch. That’s the scene where the reader glowers at the author, figuratively, and says, “This is a romance. You weren’t supposed to let this nasty business happen to two people who have finally, finally earned a happily ever after.”
Because true love must NEVER be left in the stinky old ditch, the reader hangs in there, as do the lovers, and the happily ever after arrives forty pages later despite the odds.   
hello_450x2Many writers say when they can “see” the Big Black Moment, they have the book. They know what goal they’re writing toward, they know how to wrap up the loose ends, they have the book. Nonetheless, it’s a hard scene to write. If I’m going to cry with my characters, this scene is usually the one that gets to me.
Why?
Because dealing with loss is one of the secrets to romance, and to a happily ever after. Think about it. Every romance protagonist we love has been handed difficult losses—of innocence, of dignity, of security, of loved ones, of a world that worked well for them. Like us, those characters muddle on as best they can, but their lives are diminished by the loss they’ve endured and the pain it still causes. They do the best they can, usually playing it safe, either by avoiding attachments, controlling as much as they can, or keeping their dreams small.
Then along comes love, in the guise of somebody who can see the hurt, and see how much a life lived in fear of more pain is costing the protagonist. Often, the two (or more) protagonists are dealing with similar wounds, but they’ve each tried a different means of coping with the hurt… and neither one is especially successful. The party girl is lonely, the lone wolf is lonely too. The tireless warrior duke is exhausted, the spunky spinster is so sick of being spunky she’s ready to say a lot of very bad words.
Scot Ties the Knot DAREBut love has arrived, so into that safe, small, lonely, tired life, comes a whiff of something intoxicatingly sweet—acceptance. “I see you,” is the subtext of every meet scene. “I truly, truly see you, bad words and all.” So attractive are the people who see us and don’t look away, that intimacy can now come stealing back into a heart that had decided to never permit that folly again.
Courage and love are two sides of the same coin, and as a romance develops, the stakes for keeping the love demand more and more courage, until that miserable big, black moment, when even courage won’t seem to be enough. What’s lost in that moment is every dream, prayer, wish, and memory of a life lived from the heart, and what threatens is not simply the deep, slippery, stinky ditch of a small life, but a darkness all the more profound because now love is jeopardized along with safety.
Who in their right mind would write such hard, hard stories? Who would READ them?
My answer to those questions: Anybody with a heart can fall in love with romance, because tenacity, ingenuity, determination, and resilience—all wheels turned by love and courage—will get the story, and our lives, up out of the impossible ditch. Life at the end of the book won’t be perfect, but it will be filled with love and self-acceptance, and those are the sources of all true joy.
Romance is not about happy people in Happy Land, but courageous people in We Love Each Other Land. What brass ring could possibly shine more joyously than that?
So I write for the joy, and hope you read for it too, because the joy is what matters.

domenica 9 agosto 2015

The joy of romance #2


As always in August, some words from Read a romance month!

One of the largest lessons the characters learn is to put another person’s needs ahead of their own when the situation calls for it. Even more amazingly, they discover that someone else will do the same for them. 
Ultimately, our hero and heroine discover that love cannot survive behind the barricades they have built around their hearts. Love is expansive. It makes their souls unfurl and reach for the light. It throws open closed doors. It leaves the past behind and marches boldly into the future.
Nancy Herkness


Back when I started reading romance there weren’t a whole lot of people I could talk to about them. My mom didn’t read romance. My friends weren’t interested. It wasn’t until I started to write romance and joined RWA chapters that I actually found a crowd of people that read romance.
I felt like I found my people.
And I would meet with my friends and we’d talk about writing but mostly we talked about books. Good ones. Terrible ones. The ones that made me swoon and cry. The one that made me launch the book across the room.  We talked about those books like they were friends.
When the Black Dagger Brotherhood series started my writer friend and I – who both had incredibly young babies and had no business staying up that late at night reading those books one after the other – would drive to each other’s houses to shriek about those books. To marvel and laugh and sigh.
Reading romance brings me joy but talking about romance is one of the best things in my life.
Molly O'Keefe

One of my favorite hobbies is travel.  I love seeing historic sights and beautiful natural settings.  And I love experiencing different cultures.  But who can afford to travel all the time? The remedy for that– books!!  You can even travel through time!  Romance books have allowed me to experience different places, customs, and time periods.  My imagination has been fed and encouraged to blossom, and that, in turn, has inspired me to pen my own stories.
What else brings me joy in a romance book?  Strong, honorable heroes and CrouchingTiger mm cheroines.  I love a hero who respects and admires a woman for having the same mental strength and determination that he has.  Who doesn’t love a sexy, smart, strong hero?  And I adore the heroines who stand up to them, take charge of their life, and make their own choices.   
Romances, in general, give us honorable characters with enough integrity to face their challenges and enough courage to fight the odds.  In turn, they inspire us to respect ourselves and never give up.  For dreams do come true.  
Kerrelyn Sparks




The joy of romance comes from the sweetest, simplest places. So the next time you read a romance that moves you, do the author (and maybe yourself!) a favor and write to her. Share her book with your neighbor, your sister, your friend.
Because readers embody the true joy of romance. One happily ever after at a time.
Kim Kincaid


DBG-COVER-BIGHere are just a few of the little moments of joy I get from reading romance novels:   
  1. After the wonderfully maddening anticipation of waiting for a new book from a favorite author, that moment when you FINALLY have the book in your hands.
  2. That moment when you settle into your favorite reading spot after a loooong day with a romance novel.
  3. Or that moment of rebellious joy when you say to hell with homework, or the dishes, or the job or whatever and just lose yourself in a romance novel.
  4. While reading the story, there are all those feelings to feel…good, bad, sexy, funny, scary, sad and happy all at the same time…which I allow myself to fully feel because I know it will end well. 
  5. And then there’s the HEA joy, that moment when All Is Right In The World or at least that fictional world.
  6. And then there is the joy of sharing a beloved book with a friend and getting to relieve the story when you chatter and squee all about it.
Maya Rodale


A good romance might make me laugh and cry, smile and cheer, angry and even annoyed. However, I know—no matter what happens throughout the story—that in the end, the characters will get their happy ending. I finish every book feeling good and hopeful and that’s the outlook I want to have about life. I believe in love and happy endings and romance books reinforce this simple, but often forgotten, ideal.
After all, what other genre can you read where you cheer for love to come for a vampire or werewolf or reformed drug addict or sex worker or whoever. Love truly has no boundaries in romance. In many ways, each of these different love stories gets us to open our minds and hearts to other possibilities. They expand an often limited world and let us explore without leaving our house.
Lynda Aicher

The truth is that even though I love adding romance to my New What I Remember Mostwomen’s fiction books, and I like romance in my personal life, I can’t say I get all goofy – gaspy over it. In fact, sometimes – and this might make you not like me – I have to tell Innocent Husband to quit being so sappy. He rolls those toucan eyes every time.
 Dinners out with white linen napkins are lovely. Flowers are lovely. But what gets me going is what’s behind the romance.  The deep stuff.  The stuff that has held us together for over two decades, and it has not all been pretty.
 With no further yakking, this is what I have found romantic in my own life with Innocent Husband:
 1)      Raising kids together.  Our kids are 18, 18, and 21. Yes, we had twins, and yes we had three kids under the age of three at one point. Two words: Controlled chaos. It was like living with our hair on fire and not having time to stick our heads under the sink. 
 There’s nothing romantic about nursing two kids at one time at three in the morning in bed for months on end. But knowing that I could whack Innocent Husband in the shins and he would haul himself up, gather up two babies, and put them back in their cribs because I was too wiped out to move – now that’s romantic.
 Romantic is raising teenagers together – now that’s turned my hair white under the dye – and knowing that when tough stuff comes up we will talk out how to handle it, maybe argue, in private, but we will, in the end, present a united front to any Rebellious Teenagers living in our home to get them back on track because we both love and adore them. Romantic is doing what’s best for the family even when you both want to run away to the backwoods of Montana and live in a shack.
2)      Taking care of all four of our parents as they were sick, and dying, together.Candlelight casts cool shadows, but knowing your spouse is behind you, supportive of you, when you are gone, yet again, to take care of a parent, to take them to chemo or radiation, and you come home and they give you a hug, even though you look like you’ve been through a tornado, and your mental state is shredded, now that’s romantic.
 3)      Going through the ups and downs in life as a couple. Someone recently told me, in looking at my website, that it seemed I had a perfect life. I about died laughing. Anyone who I am really close to knows the truth.  In 22 years Innocent Husband and I have had twirly highs and murky lows. But we’re still here, still laughing, and I haven’t yet thrown anything at his head.  This is fortunate because head injuries bleed a lot and I wouldn’t have wanted the carpet stained.
 4)      Fishing on our drift boat. Well, okay. He fishes and rows. I read and eat chocolate.
 5)     Driving to the coast for clams because we feel like it. Clams. Butter. Garlic. Bread to help wash it down. Can’t move when we’re done, but YUM. 
6)     Chatting about little things that are pleasant, as “pleasant chat” can be so relaxing. Because, after allnot everything in life has to be serious, all the time.
7)     Laughing in the middle of the night. Our kids have told us that our laughter has woken them up at night.  But that’s what I want for them: A spouse they can laugh so hard with that the kids wake up.
8) Innocent Husband is huggable.
 Romance is fun. Exciting. Woo woo. But, after twenty two years, I know to my bones that true romance, the joy of romance, is found day to day, the good days and the lousy ones, the times of success and the pits of failure, the excitement and the grief.  When two people stick their heads up after dealing with whatever life has shoved or thrown or exploded or miraculously gifted to them and they instinctively reach for each other’s hand, that’s freakin’ romantic.
Some would say…smokin’ hot sexy, too.
Cathy Lamb

sabato 8 agosto 2015

100 romanzi da urlo







Su NPR hanno pubblicato la classifica dei 100 romanzi "meritevoli di svenimento". Bene, come molte espressioni inglesi la traduzione letterale non rende, perciò diciamo...cento romanzi da urlo.
Sappiamo che sono operazioni discutibili perché è impossibile che ci sia un accordo tra i lettori, per le varie tipologie di romanzo e le loro differenti caratteristiche e anche perché ovviamente non si potrà essere tutti d'accordo sui criteri usati.
Tuttavia sono anche operazioni utili.
Si scopre che ci sono libri che più o meno tutte (noi lettrici) abbiamo amato.
Si scopre che alla fin fine le autrici meritevoli le sappiamo riconoscere, quindi il gusto letterario femminile non è abissalmente retrogrado e non evoluto come certi critici sostengono.
Si scopre che ci sono caterve di libri belli ancora da leggere, e questo è consolante.
Si scopre che ci sono tanti generi letterari quanti mondi, e tanti mondi quante persone, e che a volte questi mondi si incontrano con singolari sinergie di passione, comprensione e affetto.
A me non sembra poco.

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/426731847/happy-ever-after-100-swoon-worthy-romances

Romanzi storici

Loretta Chase, Lord of scoundrels
Beverly Jenkins, Indigo
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander series
Lorraine Heath, Texas destiny
Judith Merkle Riley, The serpent garden
Jennifer Ashley, The madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie
Mary Balogh, The Bedwyn saga
Amanda Quick, Ravished
Lisa Kleypas, The wallflowers series
Julia Quinn, The Bridgerton series
Courtney Milan, The brothers Sinister series
Sarah MacLean, The rules of scoundrels series
Laura Kinsale, Flowers from the storm
Tessa Dare, Spindle Cove series
Elizabeth Hoyt, Maiden lane series
Julie Ann Long, Pennyroyal green series
Julie Gardwood, The bride
Lauren Willig, The pink carnation series
Jude Deveraux, A knight in shining armor
Sherry Thomas, Not quite a husband
Eloisa James, Desperate duchesses series
Judith McNaught, Something wonderful
Laura London, The windflower
Joanna Bourne, The spymasters series
Meredith Duran, The duke of shadows
Judith Ivory, Beast
Patricia Gaffney, To have and to hold
Grace Burrowes, The captive
Jeannie Lin, The lotus palace series
Connie Brockway, All through the night
Susan Johnson, Blaze
LaVyrle Spencer, Morning glory
Pamela Morsi, Simple Jess
Eva Ibbotson, The morning gift
Cecilia Grant, A lady awakened
Kate Noble, The summer of you
Mary Joe Putney, The rake.

 

Classici

Victoria Holt, The India fan
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South
M.M. Kaye, The far pavilions
Jane Austen, Price and prejudice
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Georgette Heyer, Venetia

Young adult

Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park
Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the french kiss
Megan Whalen Turner, The queen's thief series
Simone Elkeles, Perfect chemistry
Caridad Ferrer, Adios to my old life


Suspense

Pamela Clare, I-Team series
J.D. Robb, In death series
Mary Stewart, None coaches waiting


Science fiction and fantasy

Nalini Singh, Psy/Changeling series
Meljean Brook, The Iron seas series
Ilona Andrews, Kate Daniels series
Bettie Sharpe, Ember
N.K. Jemisin, The inheritance trilogy
Lois McMaster Bujold, A civil campaign
Sharon Shinn, Archangel
Johanna Lindsey, Warrior's woman



Paranormal

Darynda Jones, Charley Davidson series
J.R. Ward, The Black Dagger Brotherhood seris
Kresley Cole, Immortals after dark series
Karen Marie Moning, Fever series
Susanna Kearsley, The winter
Patricia Briggs, Cry wolf
L.A. Banks, Vampire huntress series
Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dark hunters series

  


LGBTQ

K.J. Charles, The magpie lord
Radclyffe, Fated love
Damon Suede, Hot head
Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux, Cut and run
Amy Lane, Keeping promise rock
Deirdre Knight, Butterfly tattoo


Inspirational

Deeanne Gist, Maid to match
Francine Rivers, Redeeming love


Erotic romance

Joey W. Hill, Natural law
Anne Calhoun, Liberating Lacey
Robin Schone, The Lady's tutor


Contemporary

Jennifer Crusie, Bet me
Francis Ray, Heart of the falcon
Julie James, Something about you
Laura Florand, The chocolate kiss
Sonali Dev, A Bollywood affair
Kristen Ashley, Dream man series
Nora Roberts, Chesapeake Bay series
Jill Shalvis, Lucky Harbor series
Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Chicago stars series
Suzanne Brockmann, Troubleshooters series
Robyn Carr, Virgin river series
Linda Howard, The MacKenzie family series
Kristan Higgins, Blue Heron series
Brenda Jackson, The Madaris family series
Christina Lauren, Wild Seasons series
Donna Hill, Intimate betrayal
Molly O'Keefe, Crazy thing called love
Julie Ann Walker, Black knights Inc. series
Jojo Moyes, The girl you left behind

Category

Sarah Morgan, Doukakis's apprentice
Kathleen O'Reilly, Sex, straight up
Carla Kelly, Her esitant heart



I titoli in grassetto sono quelli che ho letto. Ventuno su cento, non è male.
Prossimamente la mia Lista personale dei cento romanzi più belli!
















giovedì 6 agosto 2015

The joy of romance

From the beautiful Read a romance month! http://www.readaromancemonth.com/




You may enjoy the sweet kind of romance novels, with kisses that melt your heart or those where passions ignite the pages in flames.  It’s not a one-size-fits -all kind of genre. I quickly discovered the difference when I went from the Twilight Saga to books by Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Cherry Adair and Lisa Kleypas, just to name a few. Yes, there’s drama, action, suspense and happily ever afters, yet the love stories all unfold in very different ways.  While I now know where my comfort zone lies, my book choices satisfy what I’m in the mood for, whether it be for historicals, contemporaries, YA, mysteries, paranormals or military romances. So, whether you prefer reading novels that are one, ten or fifty shades of romance, there’s a book for everyone.



Lorelei 


rarmLLLsm2



“So what does all of this have to do with reading and writing romance?” you ask. Well, true joy, the kind that bursts in your heart and makes you want to throw open your arms and spin around singing, is a form of love. You can’t feel joyous if you don’t feel love: love for yourself, for the world you live in, for those around you, for your puppy, for the things you do. Love begets joy. See where I’m going with this?
And no, the romance genre might be set within the structure of romantic love, but it really is about love in all its many-facetted glory. The best kind of romance novels aren’t about hooking a guy or a girl (sorry, critics of the genre). What they are about is learning to love yourself, learning to find healing, and learning to make the choice to love when you could hate, to stay calm when you could get angry, and to forgive when you could be stuck in an endless cycle of repeating the mistakes that keep you from finding happiness. And no, I’m not boiling down the journey of finding happiness into the act of finding love. What I am filtering it down to is finding joy. Coming a step closer to our natural human state by reconciling/rejecting the struggles our inner selves get mired in and finding a state of joy where it becomes possible to love and be loved.
This inner journey is why I read romance, why I write it, why I love it with such passion. Other genres focus primarily on the fight between good and evil outside of ourselves. And that’s all good and dandy, but romance novels zero in on the building blocks of the larger worlds other genres are working to save. They focus on saving hearts, one at a time.
Ubiquitous as joy is,  pinning it down when our world spins past us with such purposeful speed isn’t easy. The opportunities to stop and soak up all that is joyous as we chase joy seem ironically sparse. When I read I’m allowing myself a moment to pause, to let myself fall- into joy, into pain, into all the things that make us human. A really good book layers the characters’ experiences on top of my own and makes me aware of how I process them. It becomes not just about the words on the page, or the story those words spin, but about all that it invokes inside me, all the emotions it touches, all the questions it raises, all the beliefs it challenges or reinforces.
A really good romance takes me through the experience of overcoming adversity to heal all that keeps holding me back from joy and helps me grow within myself that which is needed to let love in. Those who don’t get Romance, or don’t see it as anything but escapism, miss the point of it by miles. Romances are relevant at the most personal level, because not everyone can catch killers, win wars, or save planets, but every single one of us, wants to, needs to, and can find joy and consequently love.
Sonali Dev

Bollywood-Affair

I believe our experience of the world is formed by that to which we pay attention. Our attention is energy that feeds its subject. Bad things happen, but if you do your best to focus on the things that bring you joy, you’ll live a happier life.
So go forth. Read romance, then share the joy.
Susan Mallery

They complete each other in ways they could never expect, and at the end of the book they are no longer alone, unloved and unloving, but have crossed over that great gap that seems to separate us all from each other at times, leaping across it, building a bridge across it, doing whatever is necessary to find love and happiness.
And the fact that the romance genre is such an extraordinarily popular one, on an international scale, shows what a powerful and universal story this is. The story of falling in love is vital to us. We love it. We can’t get enough of it.
Laura Florand

searching always
That’s what romance novels do to us. They help us not break. They take us away from the pain of life for a few precious hours, and give us hope, peace, and some happiness. Oh, and so much joy.
Do romance novels change the world? Will they ever be touted as magnificent masterpieces, and pushed in our schools to be read, or 
held up in the loft NY Times Book reviews?
Probably not. But as I tell people about anything they do in this life or experience, it’s still just as powerful.  Why?
Because romance novels change one woman at a time. A few hours of joy must negate many hours of pain, right?

Jennifer Probst

lady's tutor
I want reality in my romance. I don’t believe that reality—surviving abuse, turning fifty/sixty/seventy/eighty, enduring hardship—strips us of the ability or the right to experience happiness. If anything, it makes it that much sweeter, because it’s not handed to us on the proverbial silver platter. Even Cinderella suffered before finding her prince.
The essence of romance is very simple: it’s not fantasy, it’s not joy, it’s…love. And that is the conundrum. In life and literature we are taught that romantic love is secondary to family and social responsibility. Look at what happened to poor Anna Karenina, Amber St. Clare (Forever Amber), and even Juliet. They died. And why? Because they chose romantic love that made them laugh with life and burn with happiness and hopefully fueled a few good orgasms along the way, instead of engaging in staid, proper, family-and-societal sanctioned behavior. If scholarly literature had a logo, I’m sure it would read: the only good love is a dead love.
So really, in conclusion, I think romance is negated (aside from the fact that it’s mostly written by women, but that’s another battle) because it’s conceived by naysayers as being joyfully unrealistic—like billion-dollar commercials—because our characters find lasting love. Yet many, many people…average, run-of-the-mill people like you and me…find enduring love with a companion (Don and I just celebrated our 40thanniversary), so to claim that “happy endings” are unrealistic is, well, unrealistic. 
Robin Schone




Some complain that because of the happy ending, romances are all alike!  But the end product is not the full story.  It’s the journey that is so intriguing.  It’s the process that starts with a secretive glance and hesitant first touch, the tiny steps that lead to total trust, intimacy, and the commitment to grow old together—this is the journey that romance celebrates.  And it never fails to give me joy!

Kerrelyn Sparks




So when you get to that moment in a romance—you know the one, where that squadron of butterflies in your stomach take a dive bomb or your pulse rate shoots into the stratosphere or you just think, “yeah, that’s what I’m talking about”—know that you’re sharing that experience with the author and a bunch of fellow readers. Joy is contagious; let’s make romance just as infectious.

Kate Meader

Meader Even the Score



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