Sabrina Jeffries – For the Love of Romance

August is Read-A-Romance Month!

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In Love With Love

I’ve been in love with romance since I was seven. That’s when I saw my first romantic movie, The Sound of Music. To this day, I swoon whenever I hear the song, “Something TAoS final coverGood.” You can’t top these lyrics for romantic effect: “Somewhere in my wicked, miserable past, there must have been a moment of truth/ For here you are standing there loving me, whether or not you should.” I heard them, and I fell in love with romance.

Isn’t that kind of young, you may ask? Truthfully, I’m not sure. All I know is that I was so swept away by the movie that I made my three-year-old brother practice running across the lawn and into my embrace over and over and over. Which is pretty weird, considering that there’s no such scene in the movie, at least not between Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews. Maybe I thought there should be, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I probably warped my little brother for life (ah, the joys of being an older sister).

But it does seem to me that girls fall in love with romance before we even reach puberty, and WAY before boys do. I remember getting my girlfriends to act out romantic scenarios when I was eight or nine. They never complained. And even before that, I subconsciously chose which books to read by whether they had just boys in them or both boys and girls. If there was no chance for interaction between the sexes, I wasn’t interested. At ten, I was thrilling to the stories of Emilie Loring and Grace Livingston Hill, both romance novelists back in the day. I was also reading Nancy Drew in eager anticipation of the parts with her boyfriend Ned.

Was it just me? Or is a love of the romantic tale hardwired into some girls? After all, RegencyKenBarbie smallthere’s got to be a reason we gobbled up fairytales with our mother’s milk and coveted Barbie and Ken dolls practically from the time we were old enough to lisp “Barbie Beach House” (or, in my case, stole my brothers’ G.I. Joes for Barbie’s dates, so she could have a more macho guy to go out with). I was drooling over cute boys from third grade on, while said boys were still perfecting farting as an entertainment.

I just want to know why. Is it social conditioning? A primal instinct? Genetic?

What age were you when you first showed interest in the opposite sex? Those of you with kids of each flavor, am I right that girls get interested much earlier? I guess what I’m asking is, am I a freak who got boy-crazy way too soon? Or does it just mean I was destined from birth to be a romance writer?

Sabrina Recommends:

Ava Stone – historical and new adult, but previously historical paranormal (the other half of Lydia Dare)  avastoneauthor.com (Check out Ava’s RARM content here. I peeked at the post and it looks like she has a free book download in there.)

Caren Crane – contemporary small town romance and women’s fiction  carencrane.com

Claudia Dain – historical and women’s fiction  claudiadain.com 

Deb Marlowe – historical romance debmarlowe.com (Deb did RARM content here.)

Tammy Falkner, new adult exclusively now, but previously historical paranormal (the other half of Lydia Dare)— tammyfalkner.com


Questions for the Author:

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

We were in the midst of a really hard time with our autistic son as he went through nickpuberty, and Christmas was challenging for him. It was challenging for us as well since it was very hard to know what he might like for Christmas without just buying it and seeing how he reacted. Now, you have to understand—my son does not communicate at all and he’s echolalic, so he mostly only repeats what you say to him. I can count on both hands the number of times he has spoken a spontaneous phrase, much less a whole sentence. But that particular Christmas, we apparently did something right, because he opened his present (I don’t even remember what it was), and then he looked at me and said, spontaneously, “I love you.” You have no idea how huge that was. I’ve always known that he loves me by the way he lights up when we come in a room, but to have him say the words was the most amazing moment in my adult life. He’s never done it again, except to echo it when I say it, but that one spontaneous “I love you” will sustain me for a very long time.

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

The mountains. We spent our vacations in the mountains of Malaysia when I was growing up in Thailand, and I always found great pleasure just in looking at them. When we moved to North Carolina, my husband and I went to the Smokies for vacation. It was my first time near mountains in years, and I started crying from the sheer joy of seeing those majestic peaks. I would live in the mountains if I could.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Any kind of music, but especially Celtic and certain classical pieces. I cannot hear Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony without tearing up. The same for  Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. I loved that last one for years and years, and one time I mentioned to my Mom that it always made me feel warm and cozy, and she told me she played it constantly while I was a baby. No wonder I love it!

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

There are too many of those to count, but a recent one would probably be The Iron Duke, by Meljean Brook. It had amazing world building and an intrepid heroine, and the hero was awesome. It’s hard for me to be swept away by a book anymore, but that one reminded me why I read romance and that I could still get caught up in a book. It also hooked me on her series!

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 pick Chris Rock. He always makes me laugh, and he’s cute besides.

Sabrina is generously giving away an entire set of the Duke’s Men series, to one lucky reader, five books total—’Twas the Night After Christmas, What the Duke Desires, When the Rogue Returns, How the Scoundrel Seduces, and If the Viscount Falls. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.


SJ-03Sabrina Jeffries (The Art of Sinning) is the NYT bestselling author of 40 novels, most of them historical romance, and 10 pieces of short fiction. With over 8 million books in print, the North Carolina author never regrets leaving her budding career in academics for the joy of writing romances.

You can find Sabrina online at sabrinajeffries.com.

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