Day 26 Ann Aguirre – A Romance Reader for Life

A note from Bobbi: There are a few writers in this set of 93 whom I have not read. Ann Aguirre is one. As some of you may know, I review for Kirkus, so most of the reading I do now consists of trying to keep up with the titles they send me. For my own “reading” pleasure, I listen to audiobooks, and they are usually light women’s fiction, and contemporary or historical romance. I love most well-written romance, but romantic suspense and sci fi are not my first choices, and so I don’t pick them up so quickly. However, I did want R-A-R M to represent a broad spectrum of genres. So I went to my Charming Coffee Critique Circle – one of them especially is into romantic suspense, sci f and urban fantasy. She came up with a list of authors to look into, many of whom are here this month  – like Ann. Then, in June, Ann took on the worst elements of the Science Fiction world when she was first attacked by and then stood up to them. (She wrote a great blog post about it. Though be warned, there’s some horrible and graphic language in some of the hate mail she quotes.)

So of course I wanted Ann to be part of R-A-R M. Because she rocks, and she’s redefining her chosen genre simply by writing and integrating what she loves: Romance. I honor her choices and her success and her courage. (And I promise, when I have time to breathe, I will pick up an Ann Aguirre book. I’ve been a little busy…).

 

Romance – Fantastic and Empowering

When I was nine years old, I spent the summer in Kentucky with relatives, and there wasn’t a whole lot to do. I was an avid reader, but my family wasn’t, so I sat in the backyard quite often, feeling sorry for myself. One afternoon, I was carted over my great aunt’s house. She was a church lady, very prim and proper, and she didn’t have much experience with children, but my parents needed a sitter, so I was stuck. I Hordethink she was knitting and she said I could have a look in her jewelry box. I’m pretty sure she had visions of me quietly playing dress up and leaving her alone. Being a nosy kid, I didn’t stop my rummaging at costume jewelry. I pretty much went through her whole room.

And I found a box of books hidden beneath her bed. What’s this? I asked myself. For a bookworm, it was like unearthing buried treasure. These were battered paperbacks, broken spines and dog-eared pages, in bright hues with titles like The Honey is Bitter and The Girl at Goldenhawk. Curious, I picked one at random. It was Black Ingo by Margaret Way. And I devoured it. I didn’t stir until my aunt came looking for me hours later. Fortunately, she was old and slow and I was able to shove her guilty pleasure under the bed without being found out. By then, I had finished my first romance and started another. The rest of that trip, I tried to convince my parents to let me go back over there, and since my aunt said I was no bother, I devoured a bunch of them before I went home.

After that, I was a romance reader for life. Through my teens, through college, through my married life, I’ve always read them alongside literary classics, mystery, fantasy and science. When I need cheering up, I go to my romance shelf and re-read old favorites. For me, bronze-gods_smromances aren’t a guilty pleasure. I don’t keep mine in a box underneath the bed. They occupy pride of place on my shelves. The genre is important because it represents and addresses female fantasies. In fact, it’s the only one that does.

Moreover, the books empower women sexually, showing heroines who aren’t afraid to ask for what they want. There should be no shame associated with enjoying stories where love is the driving force, and I’m extremely proud of the romances I’ve written. Furthermore, my books will always have a relationship component, regardless of genre, because I think it’s important to highlight emotional development as much as physical action.

Recommendations: I point readers to Moira Rogers for great romance and Kit Rocha for steamy, erotic adventures set in a dystopian future. The Kit Rocha books are like crack.


Questions for Ann:

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

I’m probably the craziest thing in my house. And I keep myself because I can cook. 😉

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

Love in the Time of Neurotic Fretting. Obviously I’d be played Rebel Wilson.

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

A shiny new car.

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?)

The first love scene in my book, Skin Game. It’s pretty freakin’ hot. I think Cecilia Grant is writing some of the most unusual historical romances on the market today, and they’re lovely. Definitely check them out.


 

You are reading this essay at ReadARomanceMonth.com. 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.

Ann is generously donating one copy of Perdition and one copy of Bronze Gods to give away to US readers, and one  copy of Perdition for International readers. 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 26 to be eligible, though winners will be announced at a later date.

Also visit the Awesome Contests page to register this week to win a Kindle Paperwhite and “A Month of Romance” (31 books) from Amazon Montlake, or  the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!


 

ann-smallAnn Aguirre is a USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens. You can find her online at annaguirre.com.

  • Lisa Glidewell

    Thank you for being here today! I think I was about the same age as you when I found my firsy romance novel only it was shoved back on an old, dusty shelf at a library near my grandparents house where I stayed during the summer days while my folks were at work. It’s funny how we can remember those events in our lives that bring us to the things we grow to love most!

  • Allison Siegel

    I read both your essay for read a romance and your blog post on your website. I have to say you are one tough lady. I’m emotional enough as it is, I would probably cry if those SF guys started bullying me. You sound strong, fearless, and able to speak your mind; anything any great Sci-Fi/Romance heroine should be. I love both genres and to get to read them melded together is a treat. I can’t wait to pick up one of your books!

  • mariannewestrich

    Thank you so much for bringing SF and romance together. I’m proud to be a Trekkie and a romance junkie!!! 😎

  • Thank you a lot!! i enjoy your grimspace series!

  • Nancy Huddleston

    Although I haven’t read you yet, I will.

  • Evelyn S

    Just found a new author I want to try!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • MK

    I love the picture of you reading instead of playing dress up with her jewelry!

  • Kim Cornwell

    I loved sneaking my moms romance books. My favorite is historical and anything with cowboys! Thanks for sharing and stopping by!

  • CYP @ A Bookalicious Story

    I’m a romance junky too, and I do love my gutsy heroines who aren’t afraid to ask what they want and to voice their own opinions. 🙂 I haven’t read books by Moira or Kit yet, but I’ll go check them out!

  • rebecca moe

    My daughter loves Rebel Wilson! We’d be in line to see that move 🙂

    I don’t read a lot of sci fi, but your post here and the one Bobbi links to are definitely convincing me that I need to read yours. (I agree about Kit Rocha, though. I’ve read her first book and have the other two in the TBR)

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Diane Giarrusso

    Love your books, Ann! Thanks for sharing with us today!

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    I’m convinced I’m going to love your books! And thanks for mentioning Cecilia, you’re right, her books look very addictive!

  • Cheryl C.

    I haven’t read your books but, now, I’m definitely gonna find one.

  • I’m not much a zombie apocalypse reader, but I am eagerly awaiting The Horde! (pre-ordered already…)

    • Ann Aguirre

      Wow, that’s amazing! And flattering. I hope you like it. (You could’ve asked for an early copy. I’d have sent it along.)

  • Mary McCoy

    Thank you for your posts here and on your blog. Anything that gets that much protest from Neanderthals must be on the right track… I have to check out Grimspace now. I enjoy Cecilia, Kit and Moira’s work as well.

  • A little late here – I’m very distracted today – but huge thanks to Ann Aguirre for posting here and for all her work in the sexist trenches. :o( So glad you’re part R-A-R M. xoxo

  • Valerie

    I love that you “keep” yourself because you can cook. What is your favorite thing to cook?

    • Ann Aguirre

      I answered above about the variety of things I cook but I really love baking. My sweet tooth will do me in.

  • glittergirl54

    I loved your story about finding your Great Aunt’s book stash. I remember hiding my books I found in high school. I’ve got to look up your books because I loved your quotes –“The genre is important because it represents and addresses female fantasies. In fact, it’s the only one that does. Moreover, the books empower women sexually, showing heroines who aren’t afraid to ask for what they want.” –So VERY true! Then again –“my books will always have a relationship component, regardless of genre, because I think it’s important to highlight emotional development as much as physical action” –YES! Thank you and by the way I love steampunk =D

    • Ann Aguirre

      You might want to start with Bronze Gods, then, which I wrote with my husband. It has a relationship but it’s a very slow burn.

  • Larena Hubble

    I enjoyed reading how you got started reading romances. I love them though I do read a of other genre of books romances are still my favorites.

  • Kareni

    I’ve enjoyed your Sirantha Jax series as well as Skin Game and Skin Tight, Ms. Aguirre. I look forward to more of your books!

    • Ann Aguirre

      So glad to hear this.

  • Pamby50

    I can honestly say I never thought to read SF romance. The question should really be, why not? So I look forward to reading one of your books.

  • Stephanie M.

    Thank you for your essay. I have added you to my TBR list. :0)

  • Patty Vasquez

    I found the sub-genre of romantic science fiction one day when I was looking for something different to read. I happened to come across a list of RITA winners and a book titled, Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair, was listed as the winner of the SF category. I was intrigued and bought the book. It opened up an whole new world of empowered women- and romance- to me. Your books, Susan Grant, Catherine Asaro, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe, and Linnea Sinclair, just to name a few authors, write terrific romantic SF. I hope you continue to break down the barriers in the genre.

  • MooMoo Cake

    I’ve always loved science fiction and fantasy. And I’ve really learned to love romance (since I found the genre as a teenager). I’m really looking forward to trying one of your books (and also something by the authors you recommended). Thanks!

  • Hi Ann. Thank you for stopping by! Romance and sci fi is a genre I haven’t read yet, but it sounds too intriguing to miss!

  • Melissa Sullivan

    Hi,
    Nice post. I agree i like emotional development as well as action. It keeps the reader from wondering “how did that happen” or “when did they start feeling that way”. I’ve never read one of your books, but they do look interesting. I’m going to have to check for them at my library.

  • Nancy

    Thanks for combining sci-fi and romance. I’ve been interested in trying the former but know it’ll be a more difficult entry without the latter. You’ve been on my TBR, but I’ll be sure to move you up.

  • M Kuxhaus

    Thanks for all the new author suggestions. 🙂 My poor Kindle is going to be overloaded with samples.

  • leah g

    Thanks for your post. I completely agree that its the only genre that represents women and what we want! I look forward to trying out a couple of your books.

  • Janie McGaugh

    I love your books under the bed story. I wish I’d had an aunt like that!

  • Jen C

    What a great story! I love hearing how the authors got started with Romance. 🙂

  • Ann

    Thank you, wonderful post!

  • Jen C

    Um. Wow. I read your blog post about your experiences at the Sci-Fi conventions. Those comments were really hateful and misogynistic. I can’t even imagine how horrible it felt to be in those rooms. Keep pushing! More power to you!

  • Tin

    Hi, Ann! I love how you emphasize that books are valuable and that discovering a boxful of them is like finding a treasure trove. ^_^

    I lol-ed at your answer to Bonnie’s first question. And I would like to know what your specialty is in cooking. 😉

    • Ann Aguirre

      I cook a variety of dishes. My soups are good; I often invent them. I do Italian well. I can make some Japanese dishes; frex, made a really delicious shrimp yakimeshi with fried egg on Saturday. I also make a really lovely high tea. (see photo: http://t.co/IhnFuiFWoX ) I make quiche. I’m a good baker, breads and desserts. I can also do traditional American comfort food. I can cook Mexican as well.

  • BookLady

    The combination of sci-fi and romance is an interesting combination. I look forward to reading some of your books and have added them to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing your books under the bed story.

  • Glenda

    You go girl! Kick some misogynistic jerks where it hurts! There’s a reason I’ve read less SciFi over the years…. the attitudes of the male authors often come through in their books. I’ll have to check out your books. Thanks!

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I’ve just started exploring the Sci-fi genre and since I love romance, it seems like you may be the author for me. I look forward to checking out your books…especially since they apparently contain kick ass female characters. Those are always my favorite 🙂 Thanks for your great post!

  • Brenda E

    Enjoyed your post. Empowered women as our heroines is important to me as well, and you are so right that there has to be emotional development by the end of the story… and if there isn’t, then the story’s just not over.

  • Meredith Richardson

    Your books are new to me but look really interesting, I’m looking forward to checking them out.

  • Barbara E.

    I have adored everything I’ve ever read by you Ann, and I’ve read quite a lot although there are a few stories for me still to read. I discovered romance as a teenager in the library when I stumbled across Georgette Heyer’s books. I was hooked and I’ve never looked back. I love so many of the romance genres, and I really enjoy the chance to change things up, from historical, to paranormal, to SciFi, and steampunk romance. Keep writing all those fabulous stories and I’ll keep reading them.

    • Ann Aguirre

      Thank you. <3

  • Marcia Berbeza

    You are an eclectic reader! Like me! 🙂 I love my murder mysteries, fantasies, science fiction, adventure, etc. But my favorite is romance!! Your story of the box of books was hysterical. For me, it was my Grandma’s house. We would go to Michigan every other year and at that point Grandma would give my mother a brown bag of books that she had read and she usually had several more stashed away. I think her favorite was a book called “The Hepburn”. I have no idea who wrote it, but I found at least 3 different copies at different points in time in Grandma’s house. Somehow that book never made it into the bag! Eventually, I’d sneak books in and out of that bag and I got hooked. I must say thought, for a nice little old lady, Grandma a racy taste in books! 😉

  • Ketta Peters

    loved the blog post, you’ve gone on my wish list

  • Kim

    I love how you found romance novels! I also love Kit Rocha! Those books are crack-tastic and I can’t wait to read Beyond Pain.

  • Ann Aguirre

    Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments. I hope you enjoy the Jax series (all the books are out) and Perdition, which comes out today. Which is also my birthday!

    • Barbara E.

      My copy of Perdition should be here tomorrow, yay! And a very happy birthday to you Ann!

    • Tin

      Happy birthday, Ann! And happy release day! Congratulations on Perdition!

    • Happy birthday Ann! Thanks so much for the lovely article and being a part of R-A-R-M! xoxo

  • Karin Anderson

    I love Cecilia Grant’s books! I, also, love your choice of the actress. She’s fantastic!

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Like, Bobbi, I have not read you yet, but I’m getting there!