Jamie Beck – Hope, Joy & All the Senses

Hi friends!

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!

#LoveRomance

I #LoveRomance for the Sensory Overload

Anyone following the Read-A-Romance-Month posts is likely a fan of romantic fiction, which means we have something important in common. We #LoveRomance! And if you’re a hardcore romantic like me, you seek BeckJamie-SecretlyHers-21913-CV-FT-v2romance not only in the fiction you choose, but also in everyday moments.

Romantics like us appreciate the possibility in everything. We look for hope, beauty, and significance in elements of the world around us. In fact, I’d argue our senses crave these things like a drug—a love drug. And like a drug, it can be addictive.

To #LoveRomance is to engage all of the senses, adding a bit of enchantment to any given day. Need proof?

Sight: Gazing at a star-filled sky or across a glittering sea is dreamy, especially if done with someone special. Whose chest doesn’t expand at the mere suggestion?

Sound: Your beloved’s voice probably brightens your day. Perhaps, like me, you sing along to love songs that tug at your chest. Maybe a baby’s coo makes your heart smile? There are an endless number of romantic sounds in the world, each of which inspires love.

Smell: Does the scent of your partner’s cologne get you hot and bothered? Maybe, while hiking through nearby woods, your mind relaxes a bit when you smell the loamy aroma of dampened earth and flora? And I bet your heart and soul leap when you catch a whiff of suntan lotion, right?

Touch: Obviously a partner’s touch can set off a range of responses, and lead to all kinds of pleasure (ahem). 513sFbMvIZLPersonally, I also love the feel of silk-satin, my children’s hugs, and the velvety texture of a rose petal.

Taste: Ever taste the wine or chocolate in your lover’s kiss? And if you’re between beaux, wine and chocolate are also pretty good all by themselves! Does a certain food remind you of your honeymoon, or a childhood memory, or just simply satisfy you at a deep level? Each of these examples is a sensual experience, perfect for conjuring romance.

Yeah, yeah, you’re thinking, but what do the senses have to do with romantic novels? Well, I’ll tell you. When you read a great romance, it should put you right in the middle of what the characters are feeling by engaging all of your senses, enabling you to vicariously experience the hope and joy of finding new love.

That’s one of the best reasons to #LoveRomance, because few things in life feel better than falling in love.

Jamie Beck recommends: 

I’m a huge fan of historical romance, and my longtime favorites include

Lisa Kleypas, Sherry Thomas and Julie Anne Long.

 

Liz Talley    liztalleybooks.com    (at Amazon)

In terms of contemporary novels, there are so many wonderful authors, but I’ve recently discovered a fellow Montlake author, Liz Talley  and her feel-good, heartwarming romance, Charmingly Yours.

 

Gail Chianese     gailchianese.com   (at Amazon)

And if you like everyday heroes and heroines, pick up one of Gail Chianese’s West Side Romances (Bachelorette for Sale is the first one).


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.

I recently returned from a fabulous trip to England. Each day I felt as if the pages of all of my favorite books sprang to life. I strolled through Hyde Park, gawked at the former mansions in Mayfair, visited the 12th Duke of Marlborough’s family seat, Blenheim Palace in the Cotswolds, and toured Bath. Oh my! I would love to have had more time (and less rain) so that I could’ve sat on a bench in any of those places while reading some of my old favorites. 

Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.Meet my Aunt Teeky!

I almost feel guilty picking just one person, but I’m going to go with my Aunt Teeky (yes, it’s a nickname with a long story). My mother was never much of a romantic so, back when I was in high school, I turned to my aunt for romantic advice. She was a fun co-conspirator, helping me navigate the highs and lows of teen crushes and unrequited love. These days, she’s a fan of romance novels, too (especially mine).

Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?

Italy! I’m blessed to have visited that country several times throughout my life. Everything about it screams romance: the divine food and wine, the gorgeous and varied landscape, the sound of the language, the heat, the smell of fresh basil and tomatoes (see why those senses matter so much?). Also, my husband and I married in Rome and honeymooned all over Italy, so there’s a fondness that goes beyond the norm.

Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?

At first this seemed like an impossible question to answer, but honestly, almost immediately thereafter, I thought of Beatrix Hathaway and Christopher Phelan from Lisa Kleypas’s Love in the Afternoon. I think Beatrix is one of the best heroines I’ve read, and her and Christopher’s letters were lovely. It’s a tender, aching story, so if you like that tug at the heart, read it!

Tell us about your dream date. 

I’m probably a little odd because my dream date would have very little to do with the where and when, and everything to do with conversation. To me, the best date involves an endless and interesting exchange of ideas. I suppose a “dream date” would involve attending some kind of speaker symposium and then going to dinner afterward and discussing what we learned (while enjoying a great meal, of course). Get my mind fired up and I’m yours!

Jamie is generously giving away a signed copy of any of her books (reader’s choice) to three domestic readers, and a digital copy of any of her books to three international readers. 

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 25, 2016.  ***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.)

#LoveRomance  #HappyReading

 


jamie-beck-2013-newJamie Beck is a former attorney with a passion for inventing realistic and heartwarming stories about love and redemption, including her popular St. James and Sterling Canyon series.

In addition to writing novels, she also enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking, and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

Learn more:

jamiebeck.com    |     Facebook     |     Twitter @writerjamiebeck

 

Buy Jamie’s books:

availableon-amazon       availableon-nook    availableon-kobo

*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!

  • cheryl c.

    I have traveled to England and Scotland, and like you I have felt “as if the pages of all of my favorite books sprang to life.” It was a wonderful experience.

    • JABinCT

      I truly wasn’t prepared for how exciting it would be to see the places some of my favorite characters “lived” and loved! Never been to Scotland yet, but if I get there, I wonder if I can find the rocks and transport to wherever Jamie Fraser (from Outlander) now lives! 😉

  • Sue G.

    Italy and England are both on my bucket list! I love to people watch and think those places would be just awesome to watch!

    • JABinCT

      I hope you get the opportunity to go visit both. If forced to choose between them, I think Italy is the call. Especially if you have time to travel from the Lakes region all the way down to Sicily. I could go on and on about my favorite cities and sights!

      • Sue G.

        Italy is definitely higher on the list! I would love to spend about 2 weeks there. Someday….:)

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    I love the idea of romance in the 5 senses. A very interesting approach and way to look at it. Someday I will visit Italy, my husband is working on us doing that in a few years. Thank you for your post.

    • JABinCT

      If and when you go to Italy, let me recommend a couple of must-see places: Pompeii (amazing), the many ancient ruins in Rome, Florence (with a day-trip to Lucca, a gorgeous little walled in village), and the lakes district (the town of Bellagio on Lake Como is magnificent, although I’ve never been lucky enough to see George Clooney there..LOL). For me, Venice is not worth all the hype (it is pretty, but not as friendly, the food isn’t as good, and it is SO crowded).

  • Linda Henderson

    I think a dream date should include great conversation. To me it would be hard to have a relationship with someone that you couldn’t share your thoughts with. I’ve been there and done that twice.

    • JABinCT

      Twice!? LOL Yes, I definitely love a good debate and spending time with people who challenge me. I’m on a never-ending quest for growth!

  • Pamby50

    I love how you go down the senses as it relates to romance. As I was reading them, I was thinking of how they related to me and my husband. The sound of his voice as he comes through the door. Sitting out on the patio in our rocking chairs. Wanting it to cool off some. I miss that when it is so hot in the summer.

    • JABinCT

      Thanks. By the way, I’m totally jealous of your porch and rockers! I love that (reminds me of the South). September is just around the corner, so enjoy!

  • “When you read a great romance, it should put you right in the middle of what the characters are feeling by engaging all of your senses, enabling you to vicariously experience the hope and joy of finding new love”: it’s so true! Thank you for your interesting post!
    Thank you so much for your love for Italy, too. If you have not yet visited them, please visit Trento, Arezzo, Sansepolcro, Urbino, Perugia, Matera…all beautiful and ancient cities with great tipical food! 😉
    (Marinella from Italy)

    • JABinCT

      Oh, thanks for sharing some of those other places. I have marked them down for the future. We will definitely go back one day. I’d love to rent a villa for a month some summer. We’ll see. 🙂

    • Ada H

      Hi Marinella, you have been chosen as Jamie Beck’s winner. Please send a message with your email address to me at ada@readaromancemonth.com and we’ll put Jamie in touch with you. Thanks and Congrats!

      • Thank you so much! I’m very happy to have won a book by Jamie Beck!

  • mariannewestrich

    So excited to see you pick your Aunt as someone to share romance with. I don’t have any children of my own, but I have three wonderful nieces who have gifted us with 8 (#9 is on the way) great nieces and nephews. I enjoy them so much and hope I’ve been an influence in their lives!

    • JABinCT

      My aunt and my step-father have been as important and influential in my life as my parents, for sure. The fact that you are so over-joyed to have them and their kids in your life pretty much tells me that they must feel the same way. 😉

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you for the great post.

    • JABinCT

      Thanks for reading!

  • Louise Foerster

    Now you’ve got me thinking about the tiny, tiny town where we’re staying this weekend — and how it’s the person that you’re with (and the conversation you share) that makes for a great evening! An Adirondack chair looking at a lake, a warm breeze, and a glass of chardonnay are helpful as well……

    • JABinCT

      Great answer! People will always be more important than place. 😉

  • Ann Mettert

    I liked your ideas.

    • JABinCT

      Thanks, Ann!

  • Kareni

    Thanks for your post, Jamie. I’m also a fan of Lisa Kleypas’ Love in the Afternoon. (I have a definite fondness for epistolary novels.) And I’m in agreement about eating chocolate with or without the beau! Much success with your writing!

    • JABinCT

      Thank you. I wish I could write something epistolary, but I feel that talent eludes me (as does an ability to write poetry). I am not a “pretty” letter writer (sadly). But I sure do appreciate one when I read it. 😉

  • Mary McCoy

    The world needs more Aunt Teekys!

    • JABinCT

      YES!! Although she’s one-in-a-million. I’m not greedy, though. I can share.

  • Connie Saunders

    I agree that the scent of your spouse’s cologne can be very exciting!

    • JABinCT

      Yes! Sadly, my husband no longer likes to wear cologne. He didn’t wear any when we first met, but I like it, so I bought him some. He wore it for a few years, but then kind of stopped. Now he will on special occasions. Compromise…the stuff of lasting relationships! LOL

  • Dawn Schroeder-Hauser

    I love learning more about you, so thanks for some more insight on you yourself. I love the wilderness so If I were in the Smoky Mountains hiking with my husband and we stop at a waterfall and just sat there I would feel very loved. That would be a romantic place. The critters, the trees, the water, and the love in my life. All my favorite things.

    • JABinCT

      Thanks, Dawn. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful (spent 28 days there in July 1988 on an Outward Bound trip). I second your sentiments…woods and waterfalls are very romantic. 😉