Alyssa Alexander Ahhhh, Romance

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.

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Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

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The Joy of the Ahhh Moment

I love the Ahhh… moment in romance novels, as I believe most of us romance readers do.9780425269534_large_In_Bed_with_a_Spy I hold my breath through the conflict, the difficulties, and the black moment, knowing there must be a happy ending. Then, as a reader, I can close the book, satisfied all is now right in the romance world and I can let my heart can smile.

But someone once said to me she didn’t read romance novels because they’re not like real life.

That’s true. They’re not. It’s fiction. But we’ve all heard the phrase “art imitates life.” That is also true. It’s why there are true crime novels, whodunits, horror, dramas, comedies, paranormal—all of those genres mimic reality. (Well, maybe not the vampires.)

Romance novels can and do imitate life in a hundred small ways, and it is those small ways that build up to the joy of the Ahhhh… It isn’t only about grand sweeping romances where the girl gets the guy and they live happily ever after. The details of life are echoed on the pages. Making love for the first time and making up after a fight. Asking for forgiveness when necessary and being afraid of asking for help. The terror of being vulnerable and the wonder of being held.

More, there are the day-to-day details, such as the hero arriving with a carton of ice smugglercream to cheer up the heroine, and the heroine cooking breakfast when the hero had a long night. Or, the heroine calling the hero when her car stalls, and the hero contacting the heroine for a last minute birthday gift idea.

All of those and more occur in romance novels. They are the details the relationship turns on, the small gestures that mean so much and move the love story forward.

Those small acts and details also happen in life. No relationship is perfect, but the simple details of love can be the building blocks of romance—whether it’s between the covers of a book or in our daily lives. It’s not the happy ending on page 400 that brings joy, it’s every page before it and the moments created there. They build, one on another, so that we can close the book with an “Ahhh…”

Alyssa recommends:

I’m loving Erica Monroe’s ( ericamonroe.com ) BEAUTY AND THE RAKE, which is a twist on the class Beauty and the Beast tale. I love this heroine!

Vanessa Kelly’s ( vanessakellyauthor.com ) HOW TO MARRY A ROYAL HIGHLANDER has yummy hero and a feisty heroine, and you know I’m all about those! (Read Vanessa’s RARM post here.)

Jessica Peterson’s ( jessicapeterson.com ) third installment in the Hope Diamond trilogy, THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL, released just a bit ago. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the finale!


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

Believe it or not, I felt an absolute joy the first time I ran 1.5 miles. I know, I know, its running. I hate running too. Runners are crazy people. (Psst, yes, I know I’m a runner). It is something I never believed I could do. I have a number of bum body parts that should not allow me to run. But I had always wanted to try a 5k. That’s it—no marathon or Iron Man competition for me. Just a 5k. So I started walking fast, then walk-run-walking. I wore my yoga clothes, because I didn’t believe I was a good enough runner to spend money on real running clothes.

Then, one day, I went 1.5 miles, with no stopping and no walking.

I cried. Cried, and snotted all over, and sweated through my yoga clothes. But the joy of accomplishing something I never thought I could do was overwhelming. I actually did it. 1.5 miles—and you better believe it felt like I was going uphill both ways. Now, a year later, I’m running a 5k. In real runner’s gear!

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

The field behind my house. Absolutely. It’s a hay field, and there is a certain spot on my deck where the neighboring houses disappear and all I see is the sky, the field and the trees edging the far side. In the spring, the green is bright and fresh and brings the promise of sunnier days to come. When the clover grows taller, the wind over the field so it looks like waves flashing in the sunlight. And at some point every summer, the clover blooms purple while small white and yellow butterflies play between the flowers.

When I sit on my deck and watch my field, part of me thinks of the home and family behind me and all the comfort and love there, and another part thinks of the beauty and possibilities of that field. It’s one of my favorite places in the world (aside, perhaps, from a beach in Mexico).

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

I love the sound of a lazy summer day. It’s a compilation of sounds, to be truthful. Cicadas buzzing, distant lawnmowers, the whiz of bicycle wheels on pavement and the tapping of the neighbor’s basketball. They bring me back to my childhood, when it was midsummer, the hot days stretched out ahead of me and I knew it would be weeks before school started again. I still love those deep days of summer!

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

Many, many moons ago, (pun intended) I read ON THE NIGHT OF THE SEVENTH MOON by Victoria Holt. I was in my teens, and I remember the awful frustration of watching a heroine doubt her memories. She knew she had fallen in love, had married—and then was told it was all a lie. As a reader, I was with the heroine every step of the way, never doubting the truth. But when I reached the end, the absolute thrill was a moment I’ve never forgotten!

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

The joy of choice? I choose all of the above. True story. (No, really, Chris Hemsworth!)

Alyssa is generously giving away one copy of The Smuggler Wore Silk and a coffee mug (plus other swag such as pens, bookmark, etc.) to one U.S. reader, and one copy of In Bed With a Spy (e-book or print) and the aforementioned swag to one international reader. 

To enter leave a comment on this post, on the RARM Facebook post or both (you can find the FB post here) before Tuesday Sept. 2 11:59 pm CST. International readers enter through the form below.


Alyssa Alexander - Author PhotoDespite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn’t mind using a laundry basket for a closet, and a small boy who wears a knight in a shining armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes.

Find Alyssa at alyssa-alexander.com or on Facebook.

Buy Alyssa’s books:

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