Day 23 Gemma Halliday – A Few More Happy Endings

What Can I Say? I Love Those Kind of Books!

Being a fan of romance novels isn’t always easy. We get the looks, the sneers, sometimes even the leers. Case in point: when I was single and dating, I got set up on a blind date. I had high hopes for this guy – on paper he was perfect. We decided to meet up at a coffee shop, and, arriving a little early, I pulled out a romance novel to read as I waited. When he finally arrived, here’s how the conversation went…

Dream Guy: How’s that book you’re reading?Luck Be A Lady
Me: I just started it, but so far so good.
Dream Guy: (smirking) Aren’t all those kind of books the same?
Me: ‘Those kind‘ of books?
Slightly-Less-Dreamy Guy: Yeah. Those… (scrunching his nose up like he’s smelled bad cheese) … girly, mushy books?
Me (trying to maintain a poker face, vowing never to blind date again): You mean books with a happy ending? Books about love? Books where people are going on dates far more successful than this one?
Dud Guy: Come on, you know, those trashy romance kind.
Me (getting up from the table): You know, before you go any further, you should probably know that I’m a romance writer. I write those kind of books for a living.
Dud laughs. Then sees my deadpan face.
Dud: Wait, you’re serious?
Me: Like a heart attack.
Dud (red-faced, attempting to pull his size twelve boot out of his mouth): Oh. Well, uh, that’s cool. That’s… wow, you write books. That’s great. That’s…huh, you’re an actual author. I’d love to read one.
Me (as I leave): I don’t think so. You’re not man enough for ‘those kind‘ of books.

Needless to say, that was the one and only time I saw that guy. But the book I was reading? I still have it. I’ve read it almost a dozen times. Why? Because I know that every single time that hero will still be the Dream Guy at the end. I know he’ll only improve page by page, and that as I fall in love with him alongside the heroine, there’s no way he’s going to suddenly turn into a Dud and leave the heroine wishing she’d had the presence of mind to toss a latte in his lap before she stormed out.

What can I say? I love those kind of books. Frankly, they’re the best kind. I love knowing that as a dark as it gets, it’s all going to be okay in the end. As tortured as the hero is, he’ll always change. As sad as the heroine gets, she’ll always get her man. And it never gets old because there are a million different heroines and heroes… a pirate, a vampire, a regency lady or, like most of my books, a bumbling amateur sleuth on the trail of a killer.

Life needs a few more happy endings. Romance gives up the hope that we’ll get them, and the courage to continue trying no matte how many duds we encounter along the way.

(P.S. And I did eventually find my dream guy. And he’s total hero material. And he is man enough to read my books. Score one for Happy Endings!)

Recommendations: For anyone looking for a great set of short romance stories, Leslie Langtry‘s SNUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON is the perfect example of love and laughter going hand in hand. And if you love YA, Amanda Brice‘s CODENAME: DANCER series is a great peek into young love mixed with a little danger and intrigue.

 Questions for Gemma:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

My fuzzy pink slippers. Don’t judge. I can’t wear high heels all the time.

If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)

The Caffeinated Blonde. Think Reece Witherspoon hyped on non-fat lattes.

What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?

My seven-year-old son gave me a heart necklace with the words “I love you” inscribed on it for Mother’s Day. It was the best not only in that moment, but to hold and remember every time he screamed, “I hate you!” and slammed his bedroom door in the following pre-teen years.

If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be? (Any picks for romance novels in general?)

My favorite scene is in my first book SPYING IN HIGH HEELS, when my heroine Maddie and the hot cop, Ramirez, get physical for the first time. It’s hot, tender, and very real all at the same time.

Gemma is providing a FREE e-book of SPYING IN HIGH HEELS!

For a FREE ebook copy of the book, go to,  add the ebook format of your choice to your cart, then enter this code at checkout: MJ89A)


You are reading this essay at Be sure to visit the About Read-A-Romance Month to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are participating in celebrating the romance genre during the month of August.  Also visit the Awesome Contests page to see how you can register each week to win “A Month of Romance” (31 books), e-readers, and even the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!

Gemma is generously donating  one autographed copy of LUCK BE A LADY (U.S. and International readers eligible) International readers enter here. To enter the domestic contest, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both.  (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.)  Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 23 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.

Gemma Halliday

In her previous life, Gemma worked in such diverse jobs as a film and television actress, a teddy bear importer, a department store administrator, a preschool teacher, a temporary tattoo artist, and a 900 number psychic. Luckily, she sold her first book, Spying in High Heels, in 2005, ending her string of eclectic employment.

Since then, Gemma has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Reader’s Choice award and three RITA nominations. She now makes her home in the San Francisco Bay area, where she is hard at work on her next book.


Buy Gemma’s Books on Amazon and Barnes & Nobleicon


  • Nancy Huddleston

    Reading about happy endings never gets old. The hope and the belief that everyone can bee happy if we just keep looking. Love this story.

  • Beth Re

    Wow I hope the blind date guy learned a lot that day but somehow I don’t think so

  • Incomparable exit line to that man! And wonderful words in all your post. Thank you so much also for Spying in high heels, I have already downloaded it!! 😀

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    I love your last paragraph, they give us hope. That’s what I was thinking while I was reading your essay. 🙂

  • Kim Cornwell

    I love meeting new authors. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Laurie W G

    Romance books make me happy!

  • Sue G.

    Would have loved being in that coffee shop to overhear that conversation and see the look on that guys face! Too funny. Thanks for the free book.

  • mariannewestrich

    Thanks so much for the e-copy of Spying in High Heels. It’s been on my to-be-read list!!

  • Britney Adams

    Fabulous essay! Thank you so much for the ebook. I can’t wait to start reading SPYING IN HIGH HEELS!

  • Mary McCoy

    Thanks for the book! Sounds like you dodged a real dud. I love Amanda’s books and look forward to reading Leslie’s.

  • Rosemarie N.

    Love, love your books. I hope to see more High Heels series. Maddie and her BFF cracks me up. Thank you for Freebies Fridays, I look forward to getting the list. I always find a good book in there. Thanks for the free book but I bought it awhile ago. Have a good weekend. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • christinejensen

    LOL, I love how he tried, unsuccessfully to backpedal 🙂

  • rebecca moe

    Loved the “date” script! Too funny! (And sad. But mostly funny–especially since it wasn’t me ;))

    Thanks for the free book–can’t wait to read it!

  • Jen C

    Great piece! And thanks for the ebook!

  • Patty Vasquez

    I’m glad you found your dream guy. I feel the same way about my husband. Although he doesn’t read the romances I buy, he does check with me nearly every day to see if there is a new book out that I need to add to my collection. I love that he is a total enabler of my romance reading habit!

  • Nicole Fortuna

    Love those kinds of books too! The High Heel series is great. Such fun to read and I have most of them on my kindle. So great that you are offering Spying in High Heels for free.

  • Kareni

    Thanks for the fun post. I enjoyed Maddie and Ramirez’s story very much!

  • Anne

    Well, I must tell you that I smiled my way through your essay. I better go find some of your books!

  • Jessika Zee

    Happy Endings never get old that’s for sure! Thanks for the date story, funny but so true. It’s awful the looks given. Or the stereotyping as soon as someone sees me with my great books. Glad you showed him & found your real dream man. Thanks for the Ebook!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    The hope is the best part of Romance! 🙂

  • Gemma Halliday

    Thanks, everyone! Yeah, sometimes you have to have coffee with some frogs to find a prince. 🙂

  • Kristi Hauenstein

    I love reading a book that makes you happy. Comedy/romance/suspense always make you smile — that’s a good book!

  • Ann Mettert

    I love your books. 🙂 and so glad you put the Dud in his place.

  • Melanie Backus

    I loved your post and thank you!

  • Meredith Richardson

    Thanks so much for sharing that blind date with us, most guys I’ve talked to about romance books don’t understand them or make fun of them. It’s annoying because most of those guys will go to romance movies and love them.

    Also, you’re a new author for me so thank you so much for providing a copy of your first novel! I can’t wait to check it out!

  • Pamby50

    Love you high heel series. I was first introduced to the series at christmas time with your Christmas in High Heels. It was wonderful. I knew I had to read more.

  • Vonda M. Reid

    Great post. (Sent a copy to my cousin who rolls her eyes at my reading choices.) Also, thank you for the book ‘Spying In High Heels.’ I haven’t read any of your books, but I do love romantic suspense and humor so will do so now.

  • Hannah Roberson

    That is so funny, it amazing how you can instantly change your opinion of someone by what books they read. The only thing similar to that I have ever experienced is a date I went on with a guy I meet online. Online he said all the right things, sent an “old” picture of himself that was just fuzzy enough. and when we go out he revels just how much of an ass he really is early in the date, I plead headache and make him drive me home. shortly after I met my now husband who doesn’t mind that I read those kind of books.

  • Becky Rabalais

    Thank you for the free ebook of Spying in High Heels! Happy Weekend!

  • Marcy Cordova

    That’s what I love about e-readers…nobody can tell when you’re reading “those kinds” of books. 🙂
    I’ve read your Jamie Bond books and would love to try out your High Heel mysteries!

  • M Kuxhaus

    Thank you so much for Spying in High Heels! I just downloaded it! 😀

  • Laura Randall


  • Glenda

    Wow lucky for you Mr Dud showed his true colors early in the date. Life is to short to waste on losers. 🙂 I can’t eough of the happy endings …. some days I need to read them more than others. I’d say thanks fornthe free ebook, but I’ve already got it — sadly it is still in the reading queue.

  • Kristen Pfister

    How funny! Love the essay. Lol caffeinated blonde I would totally read that no wait I am living it!

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Your description of that blind date had me roaring with laughter, Gemma! I know I’m going to love your books just from that little sample. So glad you finally did find your dream guy.

  • Awesome post! Glad you found out he was a dud. 🙂 Thanks for the free ebook 🙂 Just snagged my copy. I love being a read of ‘those kind’ of books!

  • Marjorie morris

    Thank you! Now I can add you to my to-be-read list! You may be my next favorite author.

  • Stephanie M.

    I love your story. It’s funny how he changed his tone once he realized you were serious. Glad you eventually found your dream guy. I can’t wait to read your book, thank you.

  • Ann

    Thank you! Love the story!

  • leah g

    I haven’t read Luck be a Lady, yet, but I love your High Heels series.
    Spying in High Heels was on my Kindle for a while and I just hadn’t gotten to it for whatever reason. I ended up traveling a lot for work and was super stressed and homesick and exhausted. I finally got to it in a hotel in Florida. I was immediately hooked. I spent every free moment of that trip and the whole flight back reading the whole series. read them all in a row at a low time, they were so funny and Ramirez is of course hot and sexy. They definitely helped make all the travel a little more bearable for me.

  • Cindy A

    Great blind date story! That’s why I read romances – happy endings and adventure. I can get the other kind in real life.

  • BookLady

    Loved your blind date story! It’s nice to know you found a wonderful dream guy for your own happy ending. Thank you very much for the free copy of Spying in High Heels.

  • Heather McCoubrey

    Loved your story about your blind date! I think it’s fun when guys get squeamish about chick lit books, and rom coms. They’re like little boys who think girls have cooties. 🙂 Love, love, love! your High Heels series!

  • Brenda E

    Absolutely loved what you had to say about your dream guy being man enough to read your novels. I’ve not read your books before but you can be sure I’ll be taking a look now. Thanks.

  • Kim

    Thanks for free book! I picked up Spying in High Heels! I loved the story about your blind date! I love reading about how a couple finds their HEA.

  • Larena Hubble

    I love the run down on the date. If he didn’t remember it had the latte ended up in his lap that would have definitely made sure he never forgot. And just maybe he learned something for that.

  • Joan Varner

    I enjoy reading your books. They make me laugh and love. Thanks, Gemma!

  • Toni Linenberger

    I love your books!

  • Karin Anderson

    Everyone must have a pair of comfy slippers. Even if they are pink and fuzzy. 😉