I was asked to participate in the “Blogger Day” for Read-a-Romance month (http://www.readaromancemonth.com/). My essay, interview, recommendations, and bio are listed below.
What does romance mean to me…
I like to think that I am romantic in nature. Romance really is essentially thinking about the person you love, and thinking about what you can do to make them happy. It’s not rocket science and it isn’t really a difficult thing. I believe that through the years, romance is the glue that holds a relationship together. It’s not necessarily about the grand gestures, but about finding time to care about one another in little ways every day. Through the month of August so far I have been reading the essays from different romance authors on the readaromancemonth.com website, and I have found that a number of the essays have had a common theme – that romance isn’t always the dramatic, over-the-top gestures that we see in some novels but the little things that people do every day to show their love for you. Especially when you consider your partner of 30 years, something as simple as holding their hand becomes meaningful and romantic. As you grow older things are constantly being added to your life; more responsibility at work, kids, pets, house, etc. This leaves less and less time for you to think of your spouse and of the things that you can do to make them happy. There is no longer time to plan a romantic 3 day getaway weekend, you’re lucky if you can find 5 minutes when you can be not only together but also alone. And not only that, but after dealing with all of the problems and issues you encounter during the day, there isn’t always a lot of energy left to think about the other person in your relationship. I really believe that it is important to take those 5 minutes every day to really focus on your spouse and think of something nice you can do for them, even if it’s as simple as vacuuming the house. Those little things can really mean a lot to the person that you love. I have found that romance novels really both remind and encourage me to think of my spouse. I read about these great loves and these dramatic romantic overtures and I think that the least I can do for my husband is something little, like making him his favorite dinner or picking out a movie to watch that I know he’ll like even though I won’t really.
I get asked a lot why I bother reading romance novels. Many people say that they’re just trash and that they have no real substance. Every book is different though, and while I agree you could argue some items are missing from romance novels that you might find in a book of “substance”, I believe that romance novels have a great deal of substance. They have a never-ending depth of human emotions. Great authors will draw you into the story and trap you there, make you feel what the hero and heroine are struggling through together. You get to personally experience their happiness at the end of the story when they discover love.
One of the books that I most remember losing myself in is Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James. At the time I read that book I was going through a difficult point in my marriage and I very much related to the heroine in the story and her struggles with the hero. I can distinctly remember getting lost in that story and connecting with the heroine at such a depth that I couldn’t distinguish her emotions from my own because they were one in the same. I would stop reading to get a snack or something and my mind would still be stuck in the story.
Getting to the ending of that story and finding Edie and Gowan’s happy ending gave me hope for my happy ending. That’s what I really love about romance novels, that there is always a happy ending and the readers are always left with a deep sense of hope. Life can be really tough sometimes, and there are days that I come home from work feeling defeated and beat down. Life can be overly depressing when you think too hard about how much you work and how little time there is to actually do the things you like to do. Romance novels help me to escape that. Instead of my life, I’m suddenly dropped into London society in 1810, in the midst of a torrid affair between a rogue and a daring young miss. Having that escape is a form of relief for me. It helps me to be better prepared to deal with the rest of my day when I can have that half hour at lunch to go into a different world.
I have been an avid reader my whole life and enjoy reading a multitude of genres. Through the years though, romance novels seem call to me in a way that no other genre really has. The romance niche has it all and has a genre for everyone: suspense, paranormal, historical, contemporary, cowboys, pirates, there is absolutely something for everyone. And I think everyone needs a dose of love and of hope in their lives to get through the day.
1 – Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.
Probably the most daring thing I ever did was fall in love with a Marine who lived 3,000 miles away from me. We met at a graduation party of a mutual friend and exchanged phone numbers. From there we became good friends and correspondents. And from there we fell in love. Before I met my now husband I never knew I liked to travel or that I was slightly adventurous. I ended up driving cross-country to CA for a summer and that was probably one of the most adventurous experiences of my life thus far.
2 – 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 have trouble thinking of myself as a “writer” even though I end up writing a blog post almost every day some weeks. Compared to the authors I read though, I couldn’t imagine writing something as interesting as they do. My journey as a blogger began this past year. My mom and I both set goals for this year (hers was in quilting, mine was to read 60 books). I suggested that my Mom start a blog on her quilting to help her keep track of her completed projects through the year (you can see her blog at http://joanne94w.wordpress.com/). And in about February of 2014, my husband also suggested that I start a blog for my book challenge.
3 – Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)
It’s hard to pick one. Romance novels have gotten me through some tough points in my life and I’ve loved a good variety of genres. I think if I had to pick a book I would have to say that I was really drawn into the world of romance novels when I started reading Linda Howard’s romantic suspense. Now You See Her and Mr. Perfect both drew me in and I think were the first books that I really got caught up in the emotions and the drama of the heroine. Both are great romantic suspense novels.
I’m new to the world of blogging so I haven’t been able to explore other blogs as much as I would like yet. I do really enjoy the Rakes and Rascals blog (http://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com/) which also features mostly romance novels.
As for authors, I probably have too many favorites to name. Stephanie Laurens, Jennifer Ashley, Elizabeth Hoyt, Julie Garwood, Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Jayne Ann Krentz (and all her other pen names), Kristan Higgins, Meg Cabot, Nora Roberts, Vicki Lewis Thompson (the nerd series is one of my absolute favorites) are some of my all-time favorites.
I’m becoming more interested in different authors lately as well: Elizabeth Lowell, Elizabeth Boyle, Jane Graves, Eloisa James.
I could probably keep naming but you get the idea 🙂
Rebecca Lyman began blogging in February of 2014. Since then she has posted a total of 83 blog posts, including both book reviews and articles on other book-related topics. By day she works as an accountant at a national auditing firm. She has been an avid reader since she was very young and always has at least one if not two books with her at all times. She is well known at her local library and worked there during her high school years. She hopes to someday return to working at a library as an accountant.