Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!
If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!
What is Romance?
A mix of chemicals, emotions, a blur, a flicker, and a light that is so bright it filters through the smallest cracks and illuminates the darkest of rooms or parts of our inner selves that had otherwise been tucked away…that’s what romance is.
It’s a mix of fire, the slow ignite of a flame that can burn deep in our souls and suck the oxygen from our lungs to where we feel like we can’t breathe. How can we get through the day without a text or any type of response? Something, some form of notification is necessary- no it’s required to be received from that one person. We want to be the one to have the words “read” show up on their screen. Technology can bring us so much closer but yet it can push us farther apart. We are separated by letters, numbers, and emoticons to describe what we are feeling. An actual phone call is such a rarity. Instead we send back our own thought out message to the one that struck the match for us. Will the fire grow or be a puff of smoke in the air? Little moments, little actions, little side steps, we try to be cool. To seem aloof or semi-interested. Just let them know, yes we got it. Received. Opened.
Devoured. We devour these little texts and let our hearts skip a beat with the simplest of hello gorgeous. Waiting in silence for it to appear to see the characters form words in our phones or emails takes a level of internal strength that we don’t want to flex. We want it easy, but not really. Because super easy is not what makes us guess what makes us wonder in those first moments and the ones that follow. No games, but the whatifs…this is how you know if you’ve gone under. Beneath the waves of romance and love, given if it’s requited or not will determine if you are able to come up for air.
It’s painful when you’ve got it so bad. It’s like you are addicted in the worse way and you have no idea how to act. Is this okay? Is this too much? I don’t want to scare them away. Oh no, they’re coming on too strong now. I take a step back. They take a step in closer. And then a kiss. A kiss that sinks in deep. Past lips beyond the taste of another person’s physical sense. Something that swirls into an emotion that wraps around your heart and stitches itself along the edges of your feelings and you can’t hold back anymore. The hem has been formed. Either you let go of your guard and let someone in or you step back and withdraw entirely. If you choose the latter than the unraveling begins. Little threads of hope and happiness begin to pluck away at everything you thought was sealed in for the long haul. But instead your world is fraying at the edges. Sparse and bare you begin to lose sight of yourself and the road you were traveling.
But this person, this other human being is there and they pull away the curtains and take the bricks down one by one and you have no wall. Nothing to hide behind. No more barriers. Every single brick of self-doubt and relationship cynicism that you created has been removed. This person knows you better than any before and they pick apart your arguments with small movements, they know you were hurt. They see through this, they see past your insecurities. They want to undress you for what lies underneath your skin not your clothes. Something deeper than one night of physical activity. No, they are interested in lasting longer than daybreak. A person that cares is willing to wait. Time is not ticking, the candle continues to flicker the flame grows stronger and trust is built up.
A small wounded heart is given a burst of red deep pounding emotion that is delivered in a four letter word that can’t be said and ever have the same connection as when it is shown. The display of true love is not something that is ever delivered via words, not spoken or in writing. One person to another it is always movements, motions, emotions, gestures, details, and effort. Effort. A word that does not need to equate to the Eiffel tower and a moonlit sky, but when it is given it is truly delivered. This is romance.
Subtle clues are given each day in conversations in simple objects people keep at their place, cues, it doesn’t take a sleuth to uncover someone’s interests. The slightest interest or acknowledgement from one person to another is enough to let a person know where they stand. They are either number one in your life or not even on the line up. Romance is not a multi-player game. It’s a match.
When you’ve found your pair it’s better than a deck of aces. Shinier than fireworks on the Fourth of July and tastes better than a freezer full of ice cream. Romance is always followed by love and when the two meet is when the hearts have joined for more than a candlelit dinner. Romance that is accompanied by love is a feeling that transcends time and will live on forever.
For romance my favorite authors are as follows in no particular order:
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
I write fiction and sometimes I draw upon my own personal experiences to connect with my character’s emotions and to truly dive into a story. Yet, often I can imagine a moment without it correlating to anything that has ever happened to me and the words flow freely onto the paper. When I think of romance, I feel that it is always present, whether we recognize it or not. There are little moments of each day that have an air of sweetness or mystery, something that makes someone catch their breath. We look for direction in all avenues of our lives, which draws the question of whether or not there is such a thing as a romantic compass and if so is it your heart?
Can you map out each romantic point in your relationship? Draw a line from A to B of when you meet and at what point something really swoonworthy happened? Can you map out a line of romance to your heart that connects with another person? What if a person were to make you little maps to show you where you parked and text them to you? To help you find your car when you are out and about? Little gestures to show they care. They want to make sure you find your way back. To your car and maybe to them. Maybe it’s a slight step towards the idea that the path they are drawing is so you return to the what if and maybe this could be.
What if your relationship consisted of a bunch of misdirections and misguidance…so many intersections that halted, red lights that said wait-stop don’t go. But despite it all the conversations continued. So many misunderstandings and then what if they said “ you were too perfect” and thus suggested they could map it out for you- if you didn’t understand what they meant. They wanted to ensure there wasn’t anything lost in translation. They would draw it out for you. In fine print. Red ink over your body. To show you, what they felt, no misunderstandings or confusion.
A photo you had sent of yourself is returned with an oval over your entire body “complete package” is typed in red text. Arrows are pointed at various parts of your body: eyes, hair, brain, gut feeling, face, legs, hands, heart…etc.
Followed by a text message: Complete Package: – I couldn’t ask for anything more! And then an itemized list of each arrow and what they meant. Full of genuine descriptions of your internal package but a slight nod to your physical exterior as well. That is romantic. A map of how they feel. A technical poem if you will. This is effort that is delivered on a level of uniqueness that will surpass a bouquet of flowers any day of the week. A moment when romance has literally surrounded you.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
I share romance on the daily with Kierney Scott. We “met” online as we share the same publisher. It was through a spiral of Twitter banter that we decided to write together. Four books later and we took a break from the fiction and dove deeper into ourselves. I’ve never been closer to any other person on this planet than I am with Kierney. We share things that transcend boundaries and physical distance, she has been there for me in my darkest of moments and guided me towards the light of day, she has become more than my beacon of hope but my life partner in a non-sexual way. 😉
We share romance in what we write separately and plot out together. As well as with our daily lives her with her husband and me in my newly single world. We swoon together and sizzle together. It’s truly a beautiful relationship and I feel like I won the life partner lotto to have her at my side.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
I would say the ocean, not just because I love it, but because I think it breaks away from superficial surroundings and really connects the souls. It is a step away from a fancy table setting and artificial lighting. The ocean no matter what time of day has the best glow, no need for a stereo with the roll of the waves against the shore or lapping softly along the sides of your boat. There is always a slight breeze and the water whether you are in it or admiring the magical moment it creates the ultimate experience to awaken all your senses. The beauty of the blues mirrored by the light of the sun or the moon, the scent of the fresh sea air, the breeze as it whisks through your hair and the saltiness of the ocean and deep . You find yourself able to sink deeper into your thoughts and connect on a level that will last longer than a bouquet of fresh flowers.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
One of my favorite couples is Damon and Elena from The Vampire Diaries because no matter what he always loved her. From the beginning and all the way through as he struggled with his own personal demons but did not lose sight in the idea of her happiness. It was really beautiful. I love the idea of true love in that one person cares more about the happiness of someone else than their own personal gratification. This to me is real love. Because it surpasses self-love and though I think that is important as well, I think it’s beautiful when someone puts the happiness of someone else over their own. Like in The Gift of the Magi. This is a pure example of it.
Tell us about your dream date.
A dream date for me would involve the ocean, a boat, chess, and wine. It might begin with the idea of a guy knowing how important Shark Week is to me and thus inviting me out on his boat to kick off Shark Week in the most appropriate way- on the ocean. We boat out against the waves and lo and behold a chess board is brought out to play as the sun is setting and we’re sipping on some wine. I have discussed this with my life partner Kierney, who stated that the only way it could be better is if sharks jumped up out of the water and my dearest friend Mika Jolie added in “slow motion” these ladies truly “get me”. To end the date, we would watch fireworks from the bay while enjoying wine. Fireworks above and deep within…create the ultimate dream date for me.
Gina Calanni is generously giving away an audiobook of How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie to one US friend and and an ebook of Dream Come True to an international reader (as long as you can accept via Amazon).
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the *Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST August 21, 2016. Good luck!
***International friends, be sure to include your country in your comment so we know to include you in the international drawing. Good luck!
(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. Also consider joining the Read-A-Romance Book Club page, where we discuss romance of all kinds and will have drawings and events throughout the year.)
Gina Calanni currently resides where bluebonnets line the highways in the spring, but she prefers the rock flower anemone from under the sea.
Above the ocean’s surface, Gina likes to bake with her three boys and run like the ground is crumbling beneath her feet while being dragged along by her pooch, Schatzi.
Music is the backbone of each one of Gina’s books and her favorite button to press is repeat. At the end of the day Gina’s glass of wine is always half full. Check out www.ginacalanni.com to keep up to date with the latest scoop in her life.
Buy Gina’s books:
*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!