Day 27 Meredith Bond – Relaxing into Hope & Happiness

Romance – Where Everything Works Out

I sometimes have the opportunity (necessity?) to attend dinner parties with my economist husband. Most of the people Magic In the Stormthere are highly educated (a good number with Ph.D.s in economics, anthropology, ecology and what-not), intelligent people. Invariably, after discussing the world’s ills and all that we wish we could do for it, the person I am speaking with looks at me, curiosity in their eyes and asks what I do. Do I, too, work in economics?  No, I say, I’m a romance writer.
The shock on their faces is fleeting, quickly replaced with a broad grin, and frequently the person leans in towards me and tells me, in a near whisper, that they love reading romance novels (both men and women have admitted this to me).

These are people who have devoted their lives to making the world a better place. To solving the world’s economic or social problems. And when they want to relax, they like nothing better than curling up with a good romance.

Why? Because it makes them feel good. Because they know that at the end of the book everything is going to work out.

They work tirelessly to solve problems that, more often than not, don’t work out. Or don’t do as much good as they had hoped they would. They need a place where they can escape from the world’s problems. They need that message of hope and happiness.

We all do. No matter what we do with our lives, we need that. Romance novels give us that. Everyone should read them.

Recommendations: If you too want to read a book where you can travel to a completely different world where everything works out in the end, I would highly recommend the book I’m reading right now – Lori Dillon’s Fire of the Dragon.


 Questions for Meredith:

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

When you walk into my house, you might feel as if you’re being watched. It’s because you are. My house is filled with masks and busts. I’ve got faces covering the walls and lined up on the mantle (where there aren’t faces, there are books, and, yes, they’re watching you too). My husband and I collect faces. We’ve got pieces from Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, India… all around the world. The scariest one by far (to me) is the Marti Gras mask from New Orleans. It’s a commedia dell’arte piece with a hideous large grin, hollow eyes and bells hanging over the and above the face.  I keep shifting this mask around my house trying to find the most hidden place to keep it, but it’s always there, grinning at me (shiver!).

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

A movie about my life would have to be called “Merry Me”.  It could be a romantic comedy about a nice Jewish-American girl who falls in love with a good Indian boy, and asks him to marry her. He refuses on the grounds that a marriage between people from two very different religious and cultural backgrounds could never work out. She, of course, convinces him to marry her anyway and they live happily ever after, but there has to be lots of funny scenes with cultural faux pas on both sides (and a great scene where the girl’s father says, “You know, he’s okay for a fucking Indian.” Because, yes, my father actually said that just before I married my husband!)

As for who would play me, I’d go for Emily Deschanel. She’s got the right color hair and big green eyes like mine – and I want her cheek bones and jaw line! LOL!

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

I don’t know about best, but certainly the most unique and interesting gift I ever received was a ship’s wheel. It’s about one to one and half feet across and was given to me as a wedding present from some friend of my in-law’s. In India, it’s traditional to give wedding presents to the bride. They heard that I was an American and probably had no idea what to give such a strange creature, so they gave me a ship’s wheel. It’s now become an idiom in my family – when you get a ship’s wheel, you get a totally useless present that you have absolutely no idea what to do with.

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?)

One of the most romantic scenes I’ve ever written was the temple scene in An Exotic Heir. The hero (absolutely one of my favorites – well, he is half-Indian with bright blue eyes), Julian has taken the heroine, Cassandra, to see a traditional Hindu temple on the outskirts of Calcutta (that doesn’t actually exist, but that’s okay, this is fiction. Temples similar to the one I describe do exist, just a couple hundred miles from Calcutta – now known as Kolkata). The temple is covered with erotic sculptures (giving them all sorts of ideas) – and then it begins to rain forcing them to take cover under a nearby banyan tree. Sigh… it’s very romantic, right down to them getting interrupted just as his lips brush against hers.


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.

Meredith is generously donating one copy of Magic In The Storm to give away to US residents (apologies to International readers). ***However, Meredith’s book Storm On The Horizon is currently free at Amazon! 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 27 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!

 


Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart”, her paranormal romances include Magic In The Storm, Storm on the Horizon, and the short story “In A Beginning”. Her traditional Regencies include The Merry Men Quartet of which An Exotic Heir was republished in March, 2013. Meredith also teaches writing. If you want a taste of her class in book form, Chapter One is available at your favorite e-retailer.

Come visit Meredith at her website, meredithbond.com (she blogs every Sunday on writing and self-publishing topics) or chat with her on Facebook (facebook.com/meredithbondauthor) or Twitter (@merrybond).

Buy Merry’s books at Amazon.

  • Jen C

    This is a great piece, but one of my favorite things you said was about the ship’s wheel becoming an idiom in your family. I love to study languages and when my daughter was young, I began to notice “familyisms” – language that only members of a family understood, and since then, I’ve always found it fascinating, so thanks for sharing that!

    • Meredith Bond

      Language is a huge thing in our house — my son is studying linguistics and my mother was a socio-linguist (studying the way people use language). And yes, we LOVE familyisms! And having a bilingual home, we’ve got a lot of them — mixing the two languages. Thanks for writing!

  • Patty Vasquez

    Working hard to solve problems at work and coming home to relax and escape to a happily ever after is exactly why I read romance.

  • Melanie Backus

    Hope and happiness, I don’t think anyone would ever turn that combo down. Thank you for what you do!

    • Meredith Bond

      And thank you for reading, Melanie!

  • Kim Cornwell

    I’ve never read any paranormal romances, but I going to check your out. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

    • Meredith Bond

      As they say, “try’em, you’ll like’em” 🙂 No, really paranormals are loads of fun — thinking about the way the world works, and then adding a twist of magic to it. For an easy entry, try my novella Storm on the Horizon — it’s free at Amazon and is basically a Regency romance with that little twist of magic.

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    I love all types of romance novels, but more recently, paranormal. I think I need to check out yours, I think I’m going to love them!

    • Meredith Bond

      I hope so, Tonda! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Anne

    Thank you for sharing!!

  • M Kuxhaus

    I sure hope your dad gets along with your husband!

    • Meredith Bond

      Thanks, M. Actually, he thinks of my husband like a son, now, but it took a little bit of time for them to get used to each other.

  • mariannewestrich

    It makes me happy to know that the poor economists who study and work so hard still get to escape with the rest of us in romance!!! 😎

  • Lisa Glidewell

    What a great post! I love the story about your dad. We could be related because he sounds just like my father! Lol!

    • Meredith Bond

      LOL! Fathers are odd creatures, but we love them, and they want only the best for us.

  • Laurie W G

    Romance books are definitely my escape. Glad to hear that men and women are owning up to loving and needing romance in their lives.

    • Meredith Bond

      It sometimes shocks me too, Laurie, when people admit they read romance, and grateful for their honesty. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Ann Mettert

    I love the ship’s wheel story!! 🙂

  • Kareni

    We have a lot of ‘familyisms’, too, so it was fun to hear of one of yours, Ms. Bond. I look forward to reading your books.

  • Valerie

    I love the idea of a ships wheel, and if nothing else you always have a story…

  • glittergirl54

    I love this post – the smile of the “intelligent” ones admitting they read romance. It’s why we all read romance “Because it makes them feel good. Because they know that at the end of the book everything is going to work out.” — YES-YES-YES. So much of life doesn’t work out but to escape into the fantasy is wonderful! Thanks for your post.

  • Joanne Ozment

    Great story.

  • Britney Adams

    We all need hope and happiness! Thank you for sharing yours!

  • Mary McCoy

    Maybe they will send you the rest of the ship for your anniversaries in installments… thank you for the post!

    • Meredith Bond

      LOL!! If only. It’s been twenty years, so I’m thinking that that’s not going to happen.

  • Beth Re

    Sounds like you have a great sense of humor 🙂

  • Larena Hubble

    I think romances are a great way to escape and knowing you get HEA at the end makes things even better.

  • Pamby50

    I love that you were given a ships wheel for a wedding present. The stories you can write with that for inspriration at endless. Looking forward to reading one of your books.

  • Marcy Shuler

    How funny that your dinner guests *whisper* to you that they read romance. LOL

  • Eileen Wetterstrom

    i enjoy the marriage of paranormal to romance. I haven’t read any of your books, yet. I’m glad I stopped by Read A Romance today and found your essay. I’m signed up for blogs and your newsletter. Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about writing.

    • Meredith Bond

      Great, Eileen! I’ll be getting a newsletter out very soon — big new a-comin’! Thanks!

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    I could not have agreed more with your blogpost today, Meredith. You are a new voice to me but I will be adding you to my TBR list with pleasure

    • Meredith Bond

      Thanks so much, Flora! And thanks for commenting!

  • Wonderful post! I haven’t read any of your books yet, but I definitely want to check them out. The cover has me hooked!

    • Meredith Bond

      Oh, thank you Brooke! I love hearing what entices readers to a book. Hopefully, the inside of the book will give you as much joy as the outside. 🙂

  • Ann

    Terrific post! Thank you!

  • Glenda

    By writing romances you are successful at making the world a better places — at least for awhile! 🙂
    And I hope your dad is happier with your choice of husbands now. My mother warned me about marriage to a predominately Italian man. She said I’d be a slave in the house because of the Italian machismo…. guess who ends up doing most of the cooking and cleaning? It’s not me. 🙂

    • Meredith Bond

      Yay! Good for you, Glenda! I was afraid of the same thing with an Indian, but my husband loves to cook, and when I cook he always cleans up. Gotta love men like that!

      • Glenda

        Guys who cook are great! Those of us who have one are very lucky!!

  • Meredith Richardson

    First of all I just want to say YAY it’s nice to meet another Meredith, especially one that uses the same spelling as I do. There aren’t a lot of us out there and it’s great to see that you love romance books too. You’re a new author for me so I plan on downloading your free copy of Storm on the Horizon (thank you by the way) and I can’t wait to see what you write next 😀

    • Meredith Bond

      Meredith is a great name isn’t it? I love it. Enjoy SOTH! And if you like it, it’s the prequel to Magic in the Storm which is loads of fun.

  • MooMoo Cake

    Since so much of life seems to not work out, I read romance to keep my hopes up and to find some joy in my day. Thanks for sharing and giving away a copy of Magic in the Storm! I’m going to go to Amazon to download Storm on the Horizon now 🙂

  • Sue G.

    What a funny thing for your dad to say! I think I’d have died!

  • Ketta Peters

    Thank you for Storm On The Horizon, I’ve already snagged it! Great post.

  • Brenda E

    Great post, Meredith. And I totally agree that we all need a message of hope and happiness. Yep, that works for me. 🙂

  • rebecca moe

    Thanks for the freebie! And you’re right, everyone SHOULD read romance!

  • BookLady

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on romance and thanks for the free copy of Storm on the Horizon!

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Great post…I completely agree that everyone needs the escapism and happy endings that are found it romance novels. They have certainly brought many many hours of enjoyment over the years. I’ve just downloaded Storm on the Horizon and I can’t wait to read it! Thank you so much 🙂

  • Janie McGaugh

    I agree that we could all use the escape into romance, as well as the hope for a happily-ever-after.

  • Marcia Berbeza

    OMG, I have GOT to get An Exotic Heir!! Your wedding sounds like it was a hoot! I actually have a ship’s bell hanging in my rec room that my husband CHOSE to get and hang. Hence the phrase, “Gotta love him.” Anytime he does something that I just can’t figure out, I remind myself that I “Gotta love him.”

    • Meredith Bond

      Oh, that is too funny, Marcia! I guess your husband likes boats? I hope you enjoy An Exotic Heir. A lot of the descriptions of Calcutta are taken from my personal experience in the city — because it hasn’t changed all that much in the last 250 years! It’s an amazing place (just very crowded). Thanks for writing and sharing!

      • Marcia Berbeza

        He’s an ex Navy man, so of course, we had to get the bell. When the kids were in high school, they were in crew, so we have all kinds of rowing memorabilia in the house as well. I married into a Ukrainian family with their own set of traditions as well.

  • Joan Varner

    I agree tht hope and happiness is what romance books are all about and that is the reason why I love reading them. Thank you for the free novella. I look forward to reading it.

  • Karin Anderson

    Yes! I love Bones. 😀

    I happen to collect Venetian masks, as well. I started in middle school after doing a marching band show with a Mardi Gras theme. We got beads for doing things well and it just got me into Mardi Gras in general. Then, two years later I went to Italy and we started in Venice. I was lost after that.