Monday, August 24, 2015

For the Love of Romance

Hello Lords and Ladies, welcome to the world of fairy tales and grand balls and gents misbehaving in the closets and out in the gardens and hoping not to get caught with the innocent maiden for fear of having to get leg shackled for the rest of their lives.  Not all romance books deal with that particular idea but there are adventures to be had and far away places to go and dream of traveling back in time and be dressed in beautiful gowns and jewels and also dealing with the reality of the bad things that can happen but are never mentioned in the books because that takes away all the fun of the story line.

For me my love of reading started when I was seven and went to live with my dad and my first step mom. Before this time I really hadn't read too many books beside the Dick and Jane series that we had to read in first grade. I wonder if Spot is still running around town.

I remember seeing my room for the first time and looking over to the furthest wall and seeing a bookshelf full of books. I walk over and I see that there were a lot of the Dr. Seuss books and some other children's books and I was so excited to delve into the world of make believe and they were mine to own and read to my heart's content.

I dove right into them and then for my birthdays I would get to go on a scavenger hunt through the house and I would find books hidden either in plain sight or very well hidden. I was so excited to find them all and then there were times when I would get gift certificates to a local bookstore and I felt like I was a kid in the candy store and the books were my candy.

The local bookstore was renovated from a normal cottage style house and I would bee line for the back room where I knew the Nancy Drew series was housed. I would run back there and find the next book I needed in the series. For a long time I had all the books in order and then I moved on to other series and read them all. I miss those days of being an innocent child and reading about solving mysteries and having friends who helped. I remember reading the Canby Hall series and wishing I could be in a boarding school and having friends like they did.

When I was in elementary school I loved the trips to the school library and pick up a book to read. I loved to read all the Boxcar children series and the Hardy Boys and ghost stories. I can remember picking books that were above my grade level and I would be told you shouldn't read those you might not understand all the words. I did anyway and if I wasn't sure of a word then I would look it up in the dictionary so I could understand what it meant, since that's how we learn.

As I got older I would read the teen romances such as Sweet Valley High and the Lake Valley High Experiment, P.S. I Love you. I guess I was a sophomore or junior in high school when I first discovered the adult romance novels.  My step mom would leave books in the bathroom and I would pick one up and start reading it and curiosity got the better of me so I started borrowing from friends and buying my own. When I read my first one, naive me didn't know what half the scenes meant but I got educated really quick and so I hid them under my mattress or under the bed so she wouldn't know I had them.  One of the girls I babysat for when I was about sixteen had the entire Harlequin series so I started with number one and read all the way through, now I haven't read them all because there are tons of them now but for a while I went number by number and then came to realize that I didn't have to because they were all different stories with different characters but I still read them today and I have branched over to the American line and Historical line. Now, I focus mostly on my favorite authors and sometimes I actually discover new ones.

I even looked for the Zebra logo and read all those books, I remember reading Johanna Lindsey's  Love Only Once and how much fun the Mallory family was and still is. Another author I read was Kathleen Woodwiss and The Flame and the Flower. Then I went to authors like Bobbi Smith and her westerns and Leigh Greenwood and his Seven Brides series. Norah Hess was another one I loved and I read all of her books and I was determined to own them all. I had the whole set for a while until we moved and I ended donating all of them to the library so now I hope to one day have the collection again but maybe on the Nook or Kindle so I won't have to worry about storage or getting them destroyed.

As the years went by I found authors such as Sophie Jordan, Mary Jo Putney, Barbara Dawson Smith, Ava Miles, Jennifer Bernard, Katherine Ash, Mary Bologh, Victoria Alexander, Eloisa James and others. I have discovered a lot of new authors and have fallen in love with their books and look forward to new ones coming out all the time.

I love modern stories but my true love is historical especially Regency and Victorian. I love the idea of dukes and lords and the adventures they get into and the thought of grand balls and house parties and seeing someone across the room and the world stop for just a moment and your heart skips a beat because you know he's the one or sometimes you get spitting fire mad because there is just something that gets on your last nerve and eventually you come to realize that you are falling in love.

That may be why I like to write romances, although I have tried my hand at horror. Although my love life is true horror story, I still believe in the happily ever after story and the prince riding up on a horse to save the day although I do love it when the heroine proves she can take care of herself.

I live writing about independent women who didn't need a man to take care of them. It shows that women are quite capable of being strong and independent and making their own choices in life. I like the idea of a strong hero because he lets the heroine be herself and just wants to help her along the way and protect her from whatever bad things might happen. Oh to go back and see the world of jewels and glamour and hope that your prince charming shows up to whisk you away to his castle. With my luck, I would be the chamber maid hiding on the stair case watching the festivities from a far.