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:

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