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!
Like most of you, I’m married, have a family and a job, and lead a busy life. I love to read romance novels too. It’s fun to recapture that first feeling of falling in love and to watch a hero and heroine fight the pull they feel and ultimately embrace their emotions.
My life doesn’t revolve around my husband saving me from harrowing situations, making grand romantic gestures, or whisking me away on whirlwind trips. But does that mean my life isn’t full of romance? No. If you aren’t married or don’t have a significant other, does that mean your life isn’t full of romance? Absolutely not!
For me, romance is about more than two people falling in love. Look up the word romance in the dictionary, and you’ll see the definition also encompasses fancy, daydreams, indulgence, and invention. In that case, why can’t every day be full of some romance?
I’ve been struck this year by the need to take a few minutes a day to unplug from the world. It might be five minutes of quiet or a half hour walk or twenty minutes to stare out the window. These breaks often seem like a waste of time to me when I have a long to-do list, but I’ve convinced myself of the importance of taking time out to daydream and indulge in frivolous thoughts. A walk can be a time to feel the breeze ruffle your hair or smell the blooming jasmine or enjoy the vibrant colors of a garden of flowers. That’s romance.
And of course, there’s invention. I’m blessed to have a career where I write romance stories. Inventing these characters and plots is such a huge blessing in my life. But even if I didn’t write for a living, I would enjoy inventing—whether it be new culinary creations, art, music, or crafts. Romance is so much more than just the love of two people. It can be a part of our every day lives.
I #LoveRomance because it’s free and accessible to anyone. We can all fancy, daydream, indulge, and invent. Take some time out of your day every day to experience romance in your life.
Shana Galen recommends:
I was able to read an ARC of her debut, The Beast of Clan Kincaid, and it was just amazing. Really emotional and passionate. You may have read her before under her other penname, Lily Dalton, but her Scottish historicals are a bit different and really exciting departure.
Her contemporary romantic suspense, Dangerously Yours, hooked me with its light paranormal elements. And she sets her books partly in Paris, which I love. These are really smart, sexy books.
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
A few years ago my husband and I took our daughter to DisneyWorld for the first time. She was only four, and the whole trip was so magical to her. One evening we let her stay up late and watch the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle. I held her in my arms so she could see better, and she rested her head on my shoulder, oohing and aahing at each burst of color. Over her head, I caught my husband’s eye, and we smiled at each other. For me, there isn’t anything more romantic than happiness, love, and the magic of family.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
My running buddies and I love to dissect romantic movies and books. On a long run, there’s plenty of time to discuss what makes a hero sexy or makes a couple’s chemistry work. Chatting with these ladies often gives me ideas for how to strengthen the romance in my books, and I know their husbands have come to rely on our friendship to make sure the guys get the romance right in their relationships. I often get calls and texts from my friend’s hubbies asking about anniversary and birthday gift ideas. I love that their husbands make the extra effort to make certain each gift is thoughtful.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
Oh, Paris is definitely the most romantic place in the world. I’ve only been once, but everything about it—from the winding streets to the artists on the bank of the Seine to the couples sharing coffee at the outdoor cafes—was terribly romantic and charming.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
My favorite romantic couple was Carson and Mrs. Hughes from Downton Abbey. I loved how their romance developed and matured. It’s so refreshing to see an older couple at the center of a love story. And I love how their adjustments into married life were both humorous and heartwarming.
Tell us about your dream date.
My dream date probably sounds boring if you’re not a busy working mom, but I like dates where I get to stay home. I’m all for a date where my daughter goes to grandma’s for the night and my husband and I can order take out and watch a movie in our own living room. Sometimes it’s nice to have the house to yourself and not have to run around getting ready to go out.
Shana Galen is generously giving away a full set of the Lord and Lady Spy series (Lord and Lady Spy, True Spies, Love and Let Spy) to one US winner (apologies to international friends).
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 18, 2016. 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.)
Shana Galen is three-time Rita award nominee and the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, “The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun,” and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching.”
She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.
Buy Shana Galen’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!