Cathy Lamb – The Joy of True Romance

August is Read-A-Romance Month.


I hope you’ll visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about the Joy of Romance. (Check out the calendar.)

Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

Romancing and Rollicking After 22 Years of Marriage

 So. I am supposed to write an essay on the joy of romance? Well, this one is coming to My Very Best Friendyou from a woman, sometimes cranky, sometimes not, who has been married for twenty two years.

 Let me first introduce my long suffering husband. I always refer to my husband in my writings, in my blog or essays, as Innocent Husband. Why? Because he is not to be held responsible for anything I say or do, poor man, and that holds true for today. 

 Heaven already knows that when that man reads my books his eyes bug out of his head like a toucan’s and he gets this shocked expression on his face as in, “What? You wrote THAT? You think THAT? WHO ARE YOU?”

 Innocent Husband had no idea who he was marrying twenty two years ago, or that I had such a bizarre imagination, I’m sure of it. I do think he has gotten to know his wife better by reading my books, and that has has been an unnerving and mind rattling experience.

 Again, poor man.

 But back to romance. The truth is that even though I love adding romance to my New What I Remember Mostwomen’s fiction books, and I like romance in my personal life, I can’t say I get all goofy – gaspy over it. In fact, sometimes – and this might make you not like me – I have to tell Innocent Husband to quit being so sappy. He rolls those toucan eyes every time.

 Dinners out with white linen napkins are lovely. Flowers are lovely. But what gets me going is what’s behind the romance.  The deep stuff.  The stuff that has held us together for over two decades, and it has not all been pretty.

 With no further yakking, this is what I have found romantic in my own life with Innocent Husband:

 1)      Raising kids together.  Our kids are 18, 18, and 21. Yes, we had twins, and yes we had three kids under the age of three at one point. Two words: Controlled chaos. It was like living with our hair on fire and not having time to stick our heads under the sink. 

 There’s nothing romantic about nursing two kids at one time at three in the morning in bed for months on end. But knowing that I could whack Innocent Husband in the shins and he would haul himself up, gather up two babies, and put them back in their cribs because I was too wiped out to move – now that’s romantic.

 Romantic is raising teenagers together – now that’s turned my hair white under the dye – and knowing that when tough stuff comes up we will talk out how to handle it, maybe argue, in private, but we will, in the end, present a united front to any Rebellious Teenagers living in our home to get them back on track because we both love and adore them. Romantic is doing what’s best for the family even when you both want to run away to the backwoods of Montana and live in a shack.

2)      Taking care of all four of our parents as they were sick, and dying, together. Candlelight casts cool shadows, but knowing your spouse is behind you, supportive of you, when you are gone, yet again, to take care of a parent, to take them to chemo or radiation, and you come home and they give you a hug, even though you look like you’ve been through a tornado, and your mental state is shredded, now that’s romantic.

 3)      Going through the ups and downs in life as a couple. Someone recently told me, in looking at my website, that it seemed I had a perfect life. I about died laughing. Anyone who I am really close to knows the truth.  In 22 years Innocent Husband and I have had twirly highs and murky lows. But we’re still here, still laughing, and I haven’t yet thrown anything at his head.  This is fortunate because head injuries bleed a lot and I wouldn’t have wanted the carpet stained.

 4)      Fishing on our drift boat. Well, okay. He fishes and rows. I read and eat chocolate.

 5)     Driving to the coast for clams because we feel like it. Clams. Butter. Garlic. Bread to help wash it down. Can’t move when we’re done, but YUM. 

6)     Chatting about little things that are pleasant, as “pleasant chat” can be so relaxing. Because, after all, not everything in life has to be serious, all the time.

7)     Laughing in the middle of the night. Our kids have told us that our laughter has woken them up at night.  But that’s what I want for them: A spouse they can laugh so hard with that the kids wake up.

8) Innocent Husband is huggable.

 Romance is fun. Exciting. Woo woo. But, after twenty two years, I know to my bones that true romance, the joy of romance, is found day to day, the good days and the lousy ones, the times of success and the pits of failure, the excitement and the grief.  When two people stick their heads up after dealing with whatever life has shoved or thrown or exploded or miraculously gifted to them and they instinctively reach for each other’s hand, that’s freakin’ romantic.

Some would say…smokin’ hot sexy, too.

Cathy recommends:

Kristy Woodson, Dear Carolina, up and coming author. 

Beth Hoffman, NY Times bestseller, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and Looking for Me.

Amy Sue Nathan, The Glass Wives. Amy also writes the popular Women’s Fiction Writers Blog. 

All of today’s authors, Amy, Cathy and Anita, are part of a group of great authors known as The Tall Poppies! A few of them did Read-A-Romance Month content, too.

Amy Impellizzeri – – Amy’s RARM post (thanks, Amy!)

Marin ThomasMarinThomas.comMarin’s RARM post (thanks, Marin!)

Sonjay YoergSonjaYoerg.comSonya’s RARM post (thanks, Sonja!)

Questions for the Author:

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

When did I feel sheer joy? Well, as I am writing this in the DMV, experiencing the hell of Scotland 079lines that never end, sheer joy will be experienced when we are released from this blocky prison. Where is Dante and his nine circles when you need to yell at him?

Other moments of sheer joy: Hiking in Glacier. A bonfire on Cannon Beach at night, alone to think as the waves rolled in.  Pizza/Pajama/Movie night with my kids and Innocent Husband. Reading on my back porch. Seeing two huge pink pigs in Edinburgh, Scotland, and a cow sticking out of a building. Scotland 053

 I also feel a deep sense of simple happiness when I see hummingbirds, chocolate, coffee, flowers, rivers, snowy mountains, and sunsets that look like massive sky paintings.

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

Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands always brought me joy.Beach Jan 2014 030

 The island was our family vacation spot for so many years. My parents are long gone, cancer being the horrible culprit, but one day I hope to get the courage to return, and stop being afraid that going back to Orcas will make me cry, as I remember our fun family vacations there, camping in a tent, lighting fires at night, hiking around a lake.

 I had some of the greatest moments of peace and happiness on that island with my gang.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Currently the “sound” that brings me joy is Beethoven’s fifth symphony. Every time I listen to it I think that it’s not fair that someone is that brilliant.

 How Great Thou Art, by Carrie Underwood brings me to tears each time.

 I am also a sucker for Back in Black by AC/DC as so many “younger and wilder” memories are attached to that. So glad they didn’t have facebook and phones that took photos when I was younger. I mean, how many of us cringe at the thought of our youth and people taking photos of all the stupid things we did? Yep. I’m talkin’ to YOU.

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?

Books that brought me joy? Let’s start from the beginning: The Narnia Chronicles.  It was in those books that my imagination took off.  I also related, big time, to Beezus of Beezus and Ramona fame.

 Other books that I’ve loved? The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff. The Color Purple. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. The Poisonwood Bible. Song Yet Sung. The Cellist of Sarajevo. Slaughterhouse Five. City of Thieves.

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)

I have to pick a “Chris?” Hmm. That’s hard. I will pick Keanu “Chris” Reeves. He’s my man.

Cathy is generously giving away 3 copies of her recent release, My Very Best Friend. U.S only, apologies to international friends.

nCathy Lamb has written nine novels and six short stories. She is currently working on her tenth novel and eating too much chocolate and drinking too much coffee. 

She has accepted that she is addicted to both and writes on with courage, fortitude, and a free roaming imagination from her home in Oregon.

Find Cathy online:      Facebook       Twitter       Pinterest 


My Very Best Friend, August 2015   |   What I Remember Most     

If You Could See What I See   |   A Different Kind Of Normal  

The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life   |   Such A Pretty Face   

Henry’s SistersThe Last Time I Was Me  |  Julia’s Chocolates


 Our First Christmas, with Lisa Jackson   |   You’re Still The One with Janet Dailey

Beach Season with Lisa Jackson   |   Holiday Magic with Fern Michaels

Comfort and Joy with Fern Michaels   |   Almost Home with Debbie Macomber

Cathy is generously giving away a copy of her recent release, My Very Best Friend to three lucky U.S readers. (Apologies to international friends) Entry below.

Buy  Cathy’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

(Please note that the Amazon button links to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks for your help!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Melisa Safchinsky

    Great recommendations! I’ll have to check them out!

  • Christyna

    Romance in all its splendor and horror. Whether real or in fiction, those are the stories I love to hear about! Kudos for sharing both!

  • Molly

    I would love to read it.

  • Jennifer C

    I am out on my porch watching the hummingbirds while I read this morning! Best part of my day. Loved reading your interview, Cathy.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    Beautiful testament to a happy marriage. Congratulations on making a good choice.

  • Diane Blaser

    My husband of 36 years and I have carried each other through many of the same things you and your husband have, including serious health problems and he has, and will always be, my rock! I am so blessed to be married to my best friend and my soft place to fall.

  • jcp smith

    Thanks for the recs and the giveaway!

  • Karen Mikusak

    Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to win!

  • Ren

    My husband and I have been married for 29 years. Our romance story is very similar to yours. He makes me laugh so much and that is one of the things I love the most about him. Thanks for sharing your romance story.

  • Kareni

    I too am fortunate to have a husband who brought the baby (only one) to me in bed some 25 years ago. Enjoy your Innocent Husband; he sounds like a great guy. Happy writing!

  • Sharon Forbes

    Your books sound really good, will have to add them to my TBR list!

  • sj1384

    Hubby and I celebrated 14 yrs yesterday and I concur on your romance views. It’s not always as traditionally thought. My current favorite: DH doing the dishes voluntarily so that I can concentrate on homework. THAT is romantic to me!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Loved the post and made my day!

  • Beth K. Vogt

    Love, love, love the honesty of this post — and I love hummingbirds too! And yay! for adding another Chris to the list! :O)

  • Patty Vasquez

    I agree wholeheartedly with your views of romance in a marriage. My husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary in September. We’re a blended family. We had 3 children and a former spouse to raise. And we survived. Two weeks ago we went on vacation, just the two of us, which never, ever happens. We found ourselves in the fishing boat: my husband fishing, while I read a book. That is our idea of romance, too.

  • Beautiful words and incredibly beautiful family!

  • Kathryn Trask

    I ‘found’ your books last year and now have read many of them. Loved My Very Best Friend too. Love women’s fiction stories the best and you write some great ones. Also loved Beth Hoffman’s Looking for Me and want to read Dear Carolina. Great recs.

  • Vickie P

    I have read all of your books, starting with What I Remember Most then reading all of your other books in backwards order (of when you wrote them). I finally received my copy of MY VERY BEST FRIEND, but now I’m almost afraid to start reading it. Because when I finish it, I know I’ll have to wait another year to read one of your stories! So totally crazy, I know!

  • BookLady

    Loved your post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on romance in marriage.

  • Aleen D

    I love that anecdote about you laughing with your husband and waking up the kids. My husband and I laugh a lot together too. It’s such a great bond.

  • LaurieL

    Really enjoyed your essay! My husband and I have been married 31 years and, yes, “pleasant” chat can be so relaxing.

  • Marcy Shuler

    I loved the humor in your post, especially how you relate to your Innocent Husband. LOL

  • I’ve been married to my husband for almost 15 years now, and without laughter we would be loony by now. I think it is awesome that he reads your books. He’s a keeper. 🙂

  • Texas Book Lover

    Great post…reminded me of my hubby and me. We’re at 18 years married now.

  • mariannewestrich

    Laughter just adds a depth to the feelings you have for someone!

  • flchen1

    What a lovely post, Cathy! You and Innocent Husband are blessed indeed, to share the laughter and hugs and passion as well as the enduring sense of family! Thanks for sharing a bit of that with us!

  • Sheila M

    I loved your discussion about you and your husband!

  • kirsten west

    Controlled chaos indeed! We thought we’d go crazy with two 8 week old puppies at the same time.

  • Bernadette Long

    I agree that there are many things we do together as a couple that do not appear romantic, but truly are. He still brings me flowers for our anniversary and Valentine’s Day and I let him!

  • Angela H

    I loved Ramona and Beezus – I loved reading about them

  • Dawn Anderson

    You essay made me smile. I’ve never cared much for ‘traditional romance’. Give me a guy who makes me laugh while fixing me coffee in the morning anyday!

  • Mary McCoy

    If you leave off the fishing and the clams, and substitute building robots and eating shrimp, you described my husband and our relationship to a tee!

  • Sue G.

    You hit the nail on the head with your list of 8 joys. We just had our 26th anniversary and I agree with them! We have 3 girls that are 22, 20 and 18! That’s 3 females who were teenagers at the same time! Empty nesters this year since all three will be in college. We both also lost our dads to cancer when we were in our 30’s. And I just love the laughing in the middle of the night…so true!

  • Linda Henderson

    I’ve always told my daughters that romance isn’t always roses and diamonds that it was the living together day to day and helping each other when you are down.

  • Pamby50

    In a month we will be celebrating 34 yrs. I always call him my better half. We have raised our kids together and now we reap the rewards. A good memory is that we came home from a Christmas party and he turned some music on. We were dancing and our son came home with his girlfriend. She said “How sweet. My parents never do anything like that.” He then proceeded to take her in his arms and dance right along with us. He was 19 yrs old.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I love your list of joys. Earlier this summer we celebrated our 33rd anniversary, so I can relate. We also raised 4 children (2 girls & 2 boys) who are now 31, 29, 26,& 23. The two girls (#1 & #3) are out of the house but the two boys still live with us. I’m not sure if I will ever have an empty nest. I so hope my kids understand how important laughing together is, no matter what time of the day.

  • Erin F

    awwww… your relationship sounds perfect and I know you don’t think so having lived it but the fact that you made it and are still in love and like with each other is admirable 😉 thanks for sharing!

  • Michele Hayes

    I love finding authors that are new to me. Thanks for the

  • Charlotte Litton

    I have not read any of your books, thanks for the chance ❤

  • Rhi

    Great essay. Sounds like you have a really solid relationship with your husband

  • rebecca moe

    LOL, your poor husband! Loved your post; thanks for writing it 🙂