Celebrating Romantic Love
I didn’t discover romance until my mid-thirties—pretty unfortunate for a girl with the heart of a romance writer. And, as much as I loved literary fiction, it all too often left me frustrated and sad.
At this point in my life I read romance almost exclusively.
Honestly, it nourishes my wounded spirit. It’s not a fairytale, where a prince finds a slipper and the princess finds true love. It’s about people working hard for their goals. It’s about failing and never giving up. Even when they’ve lost everything, heroes and heroines stand back up. With renewed purpose and a better plan, they go tearing after their goals once again. And they win. What a life lesson that is: hard work and determination pays off. That feeling of hope empowers me.
Romance inspires. It puts us in the hearts and minds of winners. Of people with integrity and honor. Of people who are broken, yet strive to be and ultimately become better.With everything coming at me from news and social media, I need to be in a world with good people.
And romance heals. It shows us healthy relationships. With every book, we immerse ourselves in courageous people who dare to trust each other and reap the reward of intense intimacy and unconditional love.
Romance makes sex feel normal, healthy, and beautiful. When lovers delight in each other’s bodies, when they let themselves go to enjoy the natural expression of their physical love, sex feels wholesome. Like a celebration. And isn’t that what sexshould feel like?
I write passionate love stories about people finding their one true love. My stories celebrate healthy romantic relationships. I want to live in the worlds I create.
I read romance because it makes me swoon. And that’s a good place to be.
2015 Read-A-Romance-a-Month Questions:
1 - Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
December 11, 2012. My oldest son returned from Afghanistan.
Every day of his nine-month deployment we waited for a sign from him. Whenever he could, he’d send a text, an email, or—if we were really lucky—he’d Skype with us. Even a simple “like” from him on a Facebook page gave us breathing room. We lived for those moments to know he was okay.
And then it was time for him to come home. We joined the hundreds of other families at Fort Carson in a joyful day of celebration waiting for the plane to land. As much as they did to keep us entertained and fed, every moment felt like an hour. All we wanted was to get eyes on our boy.
Watching the soldiers stream into the room and line up in formation made my throat tighten so hard it hurt to swallow. All around me families fidgeted excitedly, many holding posters and waving flags. Most of us working hard to blink back tears.
When we saw him, he wore that smile he always fights to hide, and my heart squeezed with so much joy I could barely stand it. There was a brief ceremony, but oh, man, did I want to get my arms around my boy.
That moment? Him in my arms after a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan? That was the most joyous of my life.
2 - Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy:
With a total of 22 moves, I’ve lived in 2 countries, 7 states, and 9 cities. So every day in my home brings me a quiet and profound joy. Home. Where I’ve raised my four children the past fifteen years, written my books, and hosted my son’s return-from-Afghanistan party. This is where I find my peace.
Honestly, not a day goes by that I don’t take a moment to appreciate it.
3 - Tell us about a sound that brings you joy:
Music transports me. It has the power to alter my moods, and it sets the tone for my novels. My first profound experience came with Elton John’s song Friends. It utterly swept me away. From that moment on, I hit the road to discovery. Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, The Babies. So many musicians have had an impact on me. From Jackson Browne to Guns N’ Roses to Stevie Ray Vaughan, my taste runs wide.
Music brings me joy.
4 - What recent book have you read that brought you joy:
I can’t say Me Before You brought me joy, because I cried great, racking sobs, but I chose it because I can’t think of another book in recent years that has affected me so deeply and lingered for so long inside me. It destroyed me, but there is a kind of joy in falling so deeply into a novel that you become part of the story world and are invested so intensely in the lives of the characters that they cling to you for months after reading it.
5 - And for fun, the joy of choice:
Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer:
For me there’s only one Chris. And his name is Robert Downey Junior.
I love so many authors, but if I had to pick a few to mention, I’d have to say Kristen Ashley, Sarah Mayberry, and Laura Florand.