Here’s how it usually goes for me at a social gathering, where the attendees are often distant business associates of my husband’s. For some reason, some people are fascinated by my profession. Hmm, wonder why? Who knew writing love stories could be so intriguing!
Here’s usually how it goes:
“So, what do you write?” is often the first question someone asks me. (And I am NOT sexist, but this type of dogged Question Griller is usually male.)
“I write romance,” I say.
“Ooooh,” comes the reply. “You mean like Fifty Shades?” (This is usually followed by elbow nudging and eyebrow wailing in my husband’s direction.)
“Um, that’s erotica,” I say. “Sorry, I don’t write erotica.”
“Oh! I know! You mean like those Harlequin books my mom used to read?”
“Um, yes, sort of. My books are about love and families and heartache and struggle…”
(Cuts me off.) “Are your books like those ones with Fabio on the cover?”
“Well, Fabio hasn’t been on a romance novel cover since the early 90’s. They’re a little different now.”
“Oh.” (Disappointed.) “Well, do they have sex in them?”
“A little. But mostly they’re about love and families and heartache and struggle…”
(Completely uninterested now and turning to my husband): “I bet you’re the one she does her research on, huh?”
My husband has heard this question at least a hundred times (and I’ve only been published for two years!). So in good humor, he usually says something ridiculous like, “Well, if she used me for research, her books would be Triple X.”
To which I usually roll my eyes, and he smiles, and the person finally stops asking questions.
I don’t often get on my soapbox. I don’t say how wonderful romance novels are, or why I read them and write them. God knows I’ve tried, because many poor souls need educated about what a romance novel is, but the truth is, this type of person doesn’t really want to know. Or should I say, isn’t very open to learning.
Good thing my husband has had a good woman to show him the way. He’s so much more enlightened than those other folks 🙂
I did just give a fun library talk this week, where I talked about all these things. Too bad that guy from the party wasn’t there, huh?
Fun fact: Did you know Fabio wrote some romance novels of his own in the 90’s? Go Fabio! Brains and brawn! 🙂
My first 3 Mirror Lake books are on sale this month for just 99 cents each!
I absolutely loved watching Season 1 of The Crown on Netflix, the drama about the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. One of the things that was total eye candy for me was her gorgeous wardrobe from the 1950’s, including the hats.
I’ve never worn hats–(and I’m now talking about the utilitarian kind, not the pretty kind). Partly because as a kid, my parents were constantly telling me to not go out without one and partly because I have the kind of hair (curly) that develops instant HatHead on wearing one. I do wear one at the beach or disaster ensues (I pretty much go straight from pale to burn). But I’d love to imagine living in an era where you get to wear hats for fun–the artistic, cute kind.
There is a display called One Hundred Years of Ladies’ Hats in Savannah, Georgia, in the lobby of an iconic hotel called The Mansion across from Forsyth Park, with its famous fountain and huge live oaks and its Civil War monument. (You can read a bit more about the exhibition here.) I discovered this exhibit by accident on a recent visit to Savannah when we sort of randomly walked into the fabulous lobby of this historic hotel.
I could have stood there for hours reading about all of these hats but here are just two that caught my eye. In the first photo below, all the hats are lovely, but take a look at the hat with tiny yellow flowers hanging down simply from a leafy top. Simple, whimsical, and bright. I love this hat! In another life I would wear it to church on Easter Sunday.
In the next photo, take a look at the biggest hat. This beautiful lace-covered hat in the center of this case came with a story. It was made for a “Northern Lady” for her wedding to a “Southern Gentleman.” The lace is very fine, high quality, and handmade. The two colors of blue ribbon are symbolic of the North and the South. I was very touched by this symbolism and stared at it for quite some time. Like maybe if I stared at it long enough I would feel whether or not they got their happy ending, that Northern Lady and her Southern Gentleman. I sure hope so.
I’ve been waiting for months to binge watch the rest of the Netflix drama The Crown, the lush, lavish period drama about Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Finally, finally this week I was able to when I was visiting with my oldest daughter.
We began it back in the fall when she was home from grad school on a visit. At that time we made a pledge to wait for each other to finish watching.
I think we snuck an episode or two in over Christmas, but that was a busy time and I was also on deadline.
So when we got to spend some time together this week, we greeted each other with a “Netflix!” cry and got busy.
I remember hearing stories when I was young, mostly from my mom, about some of the big things–namely, Elizabeth’s coronation being watched on television, King Edward’s abdication for Wallis Simpson, and Princess Margaret’s struggles. But this drama showed up close the incredible circumstance of having a young queen–who was also a mother enter the world stage in the 1950’s when women had barely begun their struggles. And the difficulties of an entire family having to live their lives under a magnifying glass at all times.
Anyway, it got us discussing all this and looking up Wikipedia facts right and left. Not to mention loving the gorgeous outfits and let’s face it, Claire Foy is luminous. And my favorite part, watching with my daughter, so much fun!
The only melancholy part is saying goodbye to her today, always bittersweet. But great news…Season 2 is coming later this year!
It’s release day for CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING!
I hope you’ll enjoy Maggie and Drew’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Read the entire first chapter for free here.
Amazon buy link here.
NOTE: This is the second book in the Spikonos brothers series, the brothers of Greek heritage that got separated when they were children, and return to the small town of Mirror Lake, CT, to find their lives and loves…and each other!
Each can be read as a stand alone, but the first book, Can’t Stop Loving You, is on sale this month for just $1.99 here.
SHE WANTS TO MOVE ON…WITH SOMEONE BLAND AND BORING.
Widowed psychologist Maggie McShae is ready to find someone who won’t make her heart beat fast, her knees grow weak, or her body go hot and cold at the same time. No one she can really love, because love brings too much pain.
Drew Poulos, son of a billionaire, is hiding out in Mirror Lake, working at his brothers’ brandy company. He inspires those very feelings Maggie’s determined to avoid. The hunky businessman, who left his high society bride at the altar, is the last person she’d ever seriously date. But he might just be perfect for a fling…
HE NEEDS A DATE FOR HIS BROTHER’S WEDDING…WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN CALM HIS QUIRKY FAMILY.
Drew’s too heartbroken to ever trust any woman again, but the sexy psychologist is the perfect person to deflect his family’s attention as his brother marries the woman Drew once thought was his.
As sparks fly, two injured hearts might just find that true love can be even better the second time around.