Love Makes the World Go Round
Have you ever had that moment when someone defines a word in such a beautiful way that it changes how you see the world? For me, it happened when my husband (AKA Big Sexy) defined what romance meant to him. Now, my hubby is a big, Italian, teddy bear so romance is his first language. He knows the key to romance with women is listening and paying attention, so when he said he knew the secret to romance I listened. What I heard forever changed the way I viewed romance, and how I wrote romance. So when Lorelei’s Lit Lair asked me to be a part of the amazing Read A Romance Month, I figured it was the perfect time and place to share the secret. Ready? Get your pens and notepads out…
“Romance is the daily nurturing of love.” ~ Big Sexy
He was speaking to the small things we do every day to show our loved ones that they are adored and appreciated, things that make their day easier and bring them joy. And it isn’t exclusive to couples. Romance extends to family, friends, even our furry four-legged pals.
That’s right, love might make the world go round, but romance fills it with joy. And romance novels celebrate romance and joy in way that warms hearts and, most importantly, redefines the way we see the world. Romance novels highlight the very best parts of human nature. Every happily ever after is as unique as the couples in the story, and every time I reach the heartwarming end where the world stops and the hero whispers those three little words the heroine has waited her entire life to hear, it reconfirms that love does exist…and that romance is what makes it last forever.
Writing about romance, and the small details that make the biggest impact, is the most fulfilling career I could imagine. Which is why when I’m not writing it, I am reading it. Romance novels are little love notes to my soul, a reminder to check the big “yes” box in living love. Here are a few romance authors who make me laugh, cry, and experience all the shades of joy.
Suzanne Brockman, Julie Garwood, and Christie Craig write characters who are fabulously flawed and real, in stories that balance humor and the tender moments in a way that tugs at my heart. For more amazing romance, check out Lorelei’s RARM Essay, which highlights 31 amazing romance authors!
Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
It was the day I brought home my first kitten. Her name was Miss Peepers and she was a big ball of white and grey fluff, with the biggest blue eyes you’d ever seen. I had just transferred to a new school, was going through a particularly hard time at home, and felt completely lost. As if I were invisible to the rest of the world.
I was lying on my stomach in bed, crying when I felt a little nuzzle on my cheek. I lifted my head and Miss Peepers crawled into the curve of my arms. I rested my cheek on her side and she began to purr. Loud and content. A rush of warmth filled me and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone. In that moment, with her, I felt as if I were enough. Which is why I think that I am so drawn to writing animals in my stories. Animals give love in a way that is pure and open and so wonderfully special.
Tell us about a place that brings you joy.
Main Street, Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. I can sit there for hours, people watching, sharing a cone from the Carnation Cafe, listening to the Main Street parade go by—it reminds me of being wide-eyes and pint-sized, spending time with my grandma.
Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
Music moves, touches me, and inspires me. In fact, every great romance starts with a song. Not just any song, but THE song. Before I plot or outline or even type a word, I make a playlist comprised of music that conveys the kind of emotional struggle my characters are going through.
Wanted by Hunter Hayes actually inspired my Sugar, Georgia series. With the different hats women are expected to wear, the need to feel wanted runs deep in society. Women want to be wanted, not for what they can give or what they look like, but for who they are at their core. And that is what this song is about. The lyrics represent both the kind of love and relationship my heroines aspire to create, as well as how the heroes eventually grows to see the heroine. It helped me create stories where small town girls learn that even in Sugar, Georgia they can experience big time love—and the kind of forever that doesn’t require conditions.
What recent book have you read that brought you joy. Why?
I recently re-read Honor’s Splendor by Julie Garwood and the scene where she warms his feet will forever make me grin. There is something so innocent and vulnerable, and incredibly sensual about this moment.
The joy of choice: Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?)
Christopher Plummer. I do love a man who can dance!