Wednesday, June 18, 2008
How romance novels changed my life
Regina's contest winner is Cynthia Eden! Regina's favorite male body part is his brain. Please email her at rita thedford @live.com (no spaces). Congrats!!
I have a secret to tell you. One I'm not very proud of, but hey, if I can't share my secrets with my fellow wicked writers and my wicked friends who can I share with? So, here goes...I used to be one of those people who scoffed at romance novels. Of course I'd never actually read one when I felt that way, but I was one of those people who "judged a book by it's cover". I had this picture in my mind of what romance novels were (which couldn't have been farther from the truth) and assumed that they weren't my thing. Now I realized I wasted a lot of time that could have been spent with a fantastic book in my hands!
It started with a move. My husband, daughter and I moved from a tiny town in Southern Oregon to Southern California. I went from a town where I knew EVERYONE to a town where I knew no one. I went from a full time, working mom to a stay at home mom and I was lonely. I loved spending the time with my daughter but I craved more adult contact. I'd always enjoyed reading but I wasn't the avid reader that I am now. On one of my boring days at home I picked up a Nicholas Sparks book, one I'd read before and one I truly enjoyed but this time, in the end I was a little bummed about because there wasn't an happily ever after. Sure the couple got together but after the fact the heroine died and that left me feeling more lonely than I did before. So, I loaded my kiddo into the car and made a trip to the bookstore and *gasp* headed straight for the romance section! I had no idea what to look for, what authors I might enjoy but I was determined to find what I needed. A happy ending. I ended up going home with, A Soft Place to Fall by Barbara Bretton and guess what? I LOVED the book. It was set in a friendly little town that reminded me of home. I bonded with the characters and in the end I got the happily ever after that I needed. When I closed the book I felt great. I know it sounds crazy but it was like I met a knew friend. Someone I could go to any time I needed an escape. From then on Sunday's were my bookstore day. I'd go by myself when my hubby could be home with our little girl and I'd pick up a couple books. I went from Barbara Bretton, to Lori Foster, Lucy Monroe, Erin McCarthy, Toni Blake and more. My books started to getting hotter and hotter. I discovered vampires, and shifters. I found out about erotic romance, and like Regina mentioned in her post yesterday it opened my world up to another sub genre of books. I devoured every book I could for two years before my old love of writing started to reignite in my body. I loved reading romances, I've always been a romantic (don't ask me why it took a romantic at heart like myself so many years to actually read a romance novel but it did) and I couldn't help but wonder if I could write one. And the rest is as they say, history!
Now my writing and reading give me so much that I wonder how I ever made it without them. I can't go without reading at least one book per week and I try to write everyday. With two little ones now, that isn't always possible but I do the best I can and I miss it when I can't. Romance books gave me a friend when I needed one and they also helped my marriage as well. Not that we had problems but like everyone else we let the romance part of our relationship suffer because of responsibilities. Now we work at keeping the romance alive every way we can. Romance books changed my life in so many way. They helped me accomplish my dreams of becoming a writer, helped me in a hard spot in my life and so much more.
For my contest today I'm giving out a free download of my novella, The Emperor: Trenton's Terms. All you had to do is tell me your history with romance novels. Did you sneak them from your mom when you were a kid? Start reading later in life like I did? What is it that keeps you coming back for more and more each time you finish a book? I'll draw a winner tonight and Anne will have the winner posted in her Thursday post.