Day 8: Brenda Jackson – Keep Romance Alive


I am a romantic and I love every minute of being one. I love watching movies with happy endings that also shows a Brenda Jackson - A Mans Promiseblossoming romance between the characters, and I love reading books that depict strong heroes and heroines who fall in love and have a happy ending as well. For that reason I am so proud to be a part of the August Celebrate Romance event.

I began entertaining my classmates with innocent and sweet love stories at fourteen because I felt there were not enough of them out there to read for teens my age. There were Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but their emphasis was on solving a mystery not on showing a blooming adolescent love affair. I got hooked watching the Gidgit and Moon Doggie movies and decided to write my own love stories for classmates to read. My short stories became a big hit around school, thus launching what I consider as my first career as an author, entertaining my first readers. Many of whom still read my stories today.

I think one of the reasons I am such a die-hard romantic is that I was blessed enough the same year I wrote my first love story at fourteen, to meet my own “Moon Doggie”, a boy by the name of Gerald. I knew the moment I saw him that he was the one. We dated all through high school and got married a year after I graduated. After five years of courtship and forty-one years of marriage I know what true love is about. You will have ups and you will have downs, but the main thing is to always remember you’re in the relationship together and never forget the vows you exchanged. Another thing I will definitely add to the list is to always keep the romance alive in your marriage or relationship.

While recently attending RWA in San Antonio, I took time out to go to a movie and saw Sex Tapes, which starred Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. I really enjoyed the movie because it showed all the things that can happen in a marriage when you GERALD AND BRENDA - KISSput the romance on the back burner. There are days you get caught up with work, kids, family, community activities and such, and forget how important it is to continue building a loving and romantic relationship with your spouse.

Gerald and I would often have date nights, long before the President and First Lady made it fashionable. The two of you deserve to steal away (without kids) and watch a movie while holding hands and eating popcorn; look into each other eyes over a candle light dinner; or just hold hands while taking a walk in the park. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with going away for a romantic weekend, just the two of you. A change of scenery can make a world of difference. On occasion Gerald and I would take off and spend the weekend at a hotel on the other side of town. The important thing was that it was a different place and we were together. It was “our” time. Not only did we believe we deserved it, we were convinced we owed it to ourselves to have it.

No matter how busy my schedule got, I thought it was important for my husband to always know he was number one. I told him often and I showed it. Let’s face it, when doing the romantic things most women take the lead before the man. That’s fine. Doesn’t matter who makes the first move, as long as a move is made. I would buy him “thinking of you cards” just because…I was thinking about him. I would plan romantic weekends without him knowing about it because I liked the element of surprise. I would hide things around the house with promises of what he would get when he found them.

I believed it was important to keep the romance alive in my marriage and I encourage everyone to do the same in theirs. There was a reason you married your mate. The two of you were in love. You still are. But we often get caught up in our day to day lives that we forget how important we meant to each other. I often hear couples say, “we’re getting a divorce because we’ve grown apart.” I’m eager to ask them why. Why grow apart when you can grow together? You are two different people. Always have been and always will be. The key is to embrace those differences, grow with them, love them and respect them. And never forget how you fell in love despite those differences.

I lost Gerald nearly eight months ago to cancer. Although there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him and wish he Brenda-Jacksonwas still here, I have tons of romantic memories to sustain me. I was blessed to experience forty-six years of true love and a romantic relationship. I can write my love stories with a smile knowing I’ve been there and done that. If I had to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing…except for maybe squeezing in more romantic weekends.

You never need an excuse for romance, but if you think you do, then here – August is a month to celebrate romance. Do a date night, a hot romantic weekend or both. Or simply send him or her an “I am thinking of you card”. Remind the person that you love that he or she still has your heart. Because you and I both know that they still do. So let them know in the most romantic ways possible.

(Bobbi here ~ Brenda loved the idea of questions so much that she did some bonus ones about romance in general. Don’t you love these?)

Some General Questions on Romance for Brenda:

What is your favorite romantic movie?

I have several but at the top of my list would be Sooner or Later. That would be followed by an An Officer and A Gentleman

What do you think is the most romantic book you’ve written?

I think all my books are romantic, but the one I think is probably the most romantic is Delaney’s Desert Sheikh.

What is the most romantic book you’ve read?”

I would have to say Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

What is the most romantic place you went with Gerald?

For our 40th anniversary we spent a week at a resort in Las Vegas. In addition to seeing the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, the best part was celebrating our anniversary night with dinner at a restaurant in Caesars Palace followed by a Celine Dion concert. That week was wonderful.

After such a long and success marriage, what advice would you give newly married couples?

Keep the romance alive.

Questions For the Author (though more details are integrated into the above text)

Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

I went on a safari in South Africa a few months ago.  I loved it and would do it again.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I enjoyed entertaining my classmates in high school but my dream in life was to become part of corporate America.  I succeeded and began writing again as a way to relax.

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

I read Shanna and it made me want to write a love story of my own.  It was such a beautifully written love story. Reading Bridges of Madison County changed my life in that it reinforced my desire to write love stories with happy endings, something I felt that book lacked.  In fact, I found myself rewriting the ending.

Brenda is generously offering a surprise giveaway to be sent to one lucky winner. Entry form below. (Domestic only, apologies to international friends.)

BRENDA IN TURQUOISHaving sold over 3 million copies of her romance novels, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Jackson continues to garner trailblazing recognition. She was the first African American to publish a book under the Harlequin Desire line and the first to make the New York Times Bestsellers List under the romantic genre. She was also the first African American to have a romance novel appear on the USA Today Bestsellers List. She is a NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her novel A Silken Thread. She has written over 100 novels and all are currently in print. Her books are translated in over 34 languages and constantly appear on the USA Today Bestsellers List. Two of her novels have been made into movies and a third, Silken Thread is planned for 2015 with Debbie Allen directing. She is known for writing the popular Madaris Family and the Westmoreland Family Series and credits Gerald for being the kind of hero every woman should have, which is why she write her romance stories. In 2012 she received Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and is proud to say Nora Roberts is her hero.

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