Excited to be taking part in the Read-A-Romance month this year, courtesy of my Bloomin’ Warrior, Lorelei of Lorelei’s Lit Lair! This year, the program calls for sharing the joy of romance. For me, the joy is endless. Not only in my writing, but in my life.
I’ve found that love tends to sneak up on you in the dark of night and shout: hey, it’s me! (Better than a dark alley, right?) It finds the most unexpected of venues and brings together the most improbable of mates. Ask my heroine, Lisa Richardson, in NOT WITHOUT YOU. How many women find their soul mate on the top of a mountain in Colorado?
Probably few. Very few. Now me, I happened to find mine at the base of said mountain. Yep, picked my dream hubby up in a resort village bar, but I can blame the entire event on a match-making friend (God bless her) because I can tell you—I was not even remotely looking at the time! *sigh*
That’s what I mean about sneaking right up on you. But it wasn’t love at first sight. (Ahhh…the plot thickens.) Briefly married early on in my life, I had grown somewhat skeptical of finding the perfect mate. Did that creature even exist? Many of my contemporaries were looking for men equally or more successful than themselves, which these days, can limit your pickings rather quickly. Women have become very successful and independent, you know. Why, it can be downright difficult to find an equally and compelling man under these circumstances! (Hence, the mountain.)
But no matter how difficult the search, we do strive. HEA is what dreams are made of. It’s the fuel for our hearts, the pull to our soul. Now granted handsome, smart and successful didn’t work so well for me the first time but I didn’t want to give up. Like everyone else, I wanted it all. I had kids on my horizon (already named my daughter!) and I wanted to be whisked away by tall, dark and handsome, darn it.
Which is why I read romance. Stories of love, journeys of persistence against the odds and the promise of a lifelong devotion filled me with hope. It reminded me that a man was out there waiting for me, looking for me. He existed. And he could be anywhere—across the backyard fence, one aisle over at the grocery store, or waiting for me at the top of a mountain. All I had to do was believe in him and carry on. With romance novel in hand, of course.
Yes, reading romance is a joyful escape. Even once you’ve found Mr. Right, delving into the lives of others and vicariously experiencing their first kiss, first secrets, first love reminds you of your own. It’s a guilty pleasure, a stress-relieving escape. It exercises your heart muscle and reminds you how wonderful life can be. Whatever you do, don’t put down that novel! Your spirit depends on it. *smiles*
Ask Lorelei–she discovered romance novels and it changed her life. Read how here.
Recommendations: Some of my favorite romance authors include the giants, Nora Roberts and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but I’ve also found some new authors to enjoy like Christy Hayes, Tracy Solheim and Sharla Lovelace.
Questions for the author:
1 – Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
This might sound odd, but I experience sheer joy when fishing with saltwater reel. There’s nothing like catching the “big” one that fires adrenaline through your limbs and joy through your heart. It’s exciting! It’s mysterious. You don’t know what you’ve snagged, but you know you’ve caught something and it’s time to reel it in. Focused, you struggle to bring it in, worried you might lose it. It’s you against the fish. It’s intense, exhilarating! And when you finally haul that bad boy onto the boat, the gratification streaming through you is amazing. It’s a win!
Then, you release the fish back into the ocean and try again. Could be hours before you get another bite, could be minutes. One never knows and that’s half the thrill!
2 – Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
The mountains. Whether it’s North Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado or Wyoming, I love being in and around the mountains. It smells different, feels different. It makes me want to be outside and in the thick of it. Guess that makes me a nature girl, but I can honestly say, I love the wild outdoors.
3 – Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
Spanish Flamenco music brings me joy. It unwinds my mind, unleashes my spirit and allows my heart to fly. The rhythmic sounds, the pulsating drums…images of dancers and abandon take over and I’m gone. Done. If you need me, I’ll be in my happy place!
4 – What recent book have you read that brought you joy. Why?
Wow. That’s a tough one. I read a lot and across genres, fiction and non-fiction, there are so many that fit this question. For fiction, I’d choose Gone With The Wind due to its sheer volume of experience, its slate of characters and depth of history. Scarlett O’Hara isn’t a heroine most authors would write due to her obnoxious personality, yet she carries the novel through sheer determination and willpower. You gotta like that in a gal!
5 – And for fun, the joy of choice ;o) ~ Pick your Chris!
Chris Pratt ~ the primary reason I enjoyed the latest Jurassic Park movie!
Dianne lives in Central Florida with her husband, two children and part-time Yellow Lab–Cody-body! When not whacking away at her keyboard crafting her next novel you’ll find her in their organic garden chasing grasshoppers and plucking hornworms all while drawing wild analogies between kids and plants and men. Definitely men.
A girl’s gotta have fun, right?
When she’s not knee-deep in dirt or romance, Dianne contributes garden advice for various websites and volunteers in school gardens (a crazy existence to be sure). But at the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses–or rosemary!—kiss their child and spouse good-night, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she’s done all right.