Shawntelle Madison – The Joyful Reward of Romance

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


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   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

The Joy of Anticipation

The joy of romance. The word joy elicits such bubbly notions such as second chance reunions and two lovers coming together through difficult odds, but for me romance is Bound-to-You_Madisonmuch more. For me romance is about anticipation. The anticipation of falling in love, letting down barriers, and showing your true self to someone else. It’s rather magical, actually.

A great romance gives me joy. So what constitutes a great romance for me? It’s the month of romance, right? It’s pretty simple. No matter the circumstances, it’s about falling in love. For me, falling in love has several stages. Not every romance progresses like this, but many are similar. The first stage is when our couple meets. They exchange a brief glance. There’s a curiosity between strangers. Or, in some cases, outright hostility. (Oh, man I love enemies-to-lovers stories!) Even the bittersweet reunions get to me. I love tension and unrequited love stories. Give me a hero who is pining for the woman who got away and I melt like butter on burnt toast.

As the story progresses, I love anticipating what comes next. When the couple learns covetedmore about each other and a spark begins. One of them takes a chance to reveal their true feelings and touches the other one first. Many authors are so talented with that moment. I happen to be a huge LaVyrle Spencer fan. I grin like a fool every time I re-read THE ENDEARMENT. Spencer is a master class in characterization and romance. THE ENDEARMENT is the story of a mail-order bride heading to Minnesota in the 1800s. Anna, the mail-order bride, lied about fitting the hero’s expectations for his bride. So, in the very beginning, their relationship is built on lies. This makes the moment when they really fall for each other even more beautiful. Almost like a reward for them and me, too.

Karl takes Anna, along with her younger brother James, to his small farm. The two are married, but they’ve never had a chance to court each other. They’re not even friends. And yet, Karl is lonely and wants someone to share his life with. Anna and her younger brother are destitute. She’d give anything to make her relationship work with Karl, but the secrets she keeps makes it hard for her to open up. Instead of their relationship progressing quickly, they decide to court each other and I love the playful scenes where they tentatively touch each other. They’re inching toward the moment of being a true married couple. I blushed when Anna blushed and my heart sped up when Karl expressed how much he couldn’t hold back his desire for her. Good stuff!

All these moments in THE ENDEARMENT are glorious examples of what makes romance so joyful. That joyful feeling makes me so eager to pick up another book, sit back with a cool drink, and watch a couple fall in love again and again. Do romances make you feel the same way? What genre of romance gets you giddy, giggling, and swooning?

Shawntelle recommends:

If you haven’t read Kate Baxter/Mandy Baxter, you’re missing out on great romance. Kate Baxter is the pen name of urban fantasy author Amanda Bonilla and I love her work. She is so talented. Kate Baxter’s latest release is THE LAST VAMPIRE. If you love paranormal romance like I do, you’ll love her.  ~ ) 

Questions for the Author:

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

I’ve had many moments of sheer joy, but one of the joyous moments of my life was when I had my first massage. It’s hard to believe, but until a few years ago, I’d never pampered myself. I’d never taken the time to get a facial and a full body massage. Let’s just say after that first session I asked the husband for a gift certificate for Christmas.

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

A place that always takes me to a Zen place is a hot tub. I’ll be honest. After a hard day a hot bath is pure happiness waiting to happen.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Any time I hear Rimsky-Korsokov’s Scherazade or Luciano Pavarotti, the famous operatic tenor, singing Nessun Dorma, I just melt. For Scherazade, I’m taken back to the first time I heard it in high school. I absolutely loved it. The piece has its fast paced and tranquil moments, but the moment the solo violin steps in at the beginning, I just melt with how delicate and feminine the melody becomes. I used to listen to this piece over and over again reading books. The piece reminds me of my childhood.

My heart speeds up every time I hear Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma. The range and strength in his voice was epic.

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?

It’s hard for me to choose between LaVryle Spencer’s THE ENDEARMENT and MORNING GLORY. Can I choose both? I read those books so long ago, but the scenes still stay with me and I love reading those books over and over again.

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’d like a serving of Chris Pine, please. 🙂

Shawntelle is generously giving away signed copies of Coveted and Kept to one U.S. readers. To enter, leave a comment here or on the Facebook post (find it here) or both. Comments must be left before Sept. 4 at 11:59 pm CST

Shawntelle MadisonShawntelle Madison is a bestselling author of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and young adult science fiction. She is the author of the Coveted series that follows the adventures of a delightfully neurotic werewolf who will do anything to reunite with her pack and find the love she lost.

Learn more at or visit on Facebook.

Buy Shawntelle’s books:

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  • Anna

    I’ve never read THE ENDEARMENT, but I think it just got added to my my TBR pile!

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I so agree that romance is all about anticipation. It’s what makes for heart pounding fun of the read.

  • mariannewestrich

    So glad to meet another new-to-me author. I don’t think I’ll ever see the end of my TBR pile after this month! 😎

  • catslady

    Nothing like the stories that I call page turners, you can’t wait to hear whats coming next – ahh anticipation.

  • jcp smith

    I love Lyvrle Spencer’s writing

  • Molly

    I actuall haven’t read one of your books before but I am planning on it soon.

  • Carol Luciano

    Your a new Author for me Shawntelle and I look forard to your books. I agree with you about LaVryle Spencer. Great reads.Hank for your post.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Ren

    I am loving this month of romance and finding new authors. Can’t wait to read your books. Thanks for sharing

  • Karen Mikusak

    I don’t think I’ve read any of your books, but I’m always excited to find new authors.

  • Kerrelyn Sparks

    I adore LaVyrle Spencer, too! I remember both The Endearment and Morning Glory. She makes the characters and their love story seem so real! Take care, Shawntelle!!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thanks for the book/author recommendations and for posting here.

  • Pamby50

    New author for me. Great post. The art of falling in love. You and several authors this month have mentioned LaVyrle Spencer. I’m thinking I need to re-read some of her books.

  • Dawn Anderson

    The Endearment sounds like a fun book. I’ll have to look it up.

  • Kim

    I’ve only read Separate Beds by LaVyrle Spencer.

  • I love enemies-to-lovers too! Thanks so much for your inspired post.

  • Sue G.

    Nice write up. Love the cover of Bound to You!

  • Emmel

    Oh, man. Scheherazade and Nessun Dorma are both musical magic!

  • Carlene Reeves

    I must read The Endearment. I love those sorts of stories.

  • Heather Lane

    I too love LaVyrle Spencer. I was very sad when she retired from writing.

  • Karin

    I’m an opera fan too. It’s a tie between Nessun Dorma and E lucevan le stelle.

  • Connie Reynolds

    Shawntelle is new to me. I look forward to exploring her work.

  • Texas Book Lover

    Shawntell is another new author to me. Looking forward to reading her books.

  • Janie McGaugh

    I hadn’t run across Kate Baxter. I’ve put her on my TBR list.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    So many of you are recommending LaVryle Spencer that I’m guessing it’s time I read her books. I missed out on them when they first came out. I’m not sure how. Thank you for your essay, I really enjoyed it.

  • Carin Shaughnessy

    I have read a lot of Lavryle Spencer, but with you and others taking about her I am ready to start re-reading them. Thank goodness my hoarding kept me from letting any of them go!

  • flchen1

    I did enjoy both the Endearment and Morning Glory–thanks for the reminder to pick up more of LaVryle’s stories, Shawntelle!

  • kirsten west

    The Endearment sounds good. Thanks for the suggestion. We have a jacuzzi tub and I love filling it up and reading after work!

  • Thanks for the recs!! Will add them, along with Coveted, to my to-read list! 🙂