Deeanne Gist – Contemplating Romance

Hi friends!

Welcome to the 5th Annual Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate this awesome genre!  Come back every day to read all three “Power of Romance” posts. Check out the full calendar of authors here. You can also find links to the last four years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook.

Happy August!

#LoveRomance #ThePowerOfRomance

 Is Romance Dead?

“Romance is dead.” According to my twenty-six year old son, anyway. “Girls in my generation don’t want to be romanced.”

He’s a Texan who five years ago moved to a city far away from home. Shortly after arriving in his new locale, he took a young woman out and showed up at her door looking nice, smelling nice and holding a small bouquet of flowers. He handed them to her.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” she said. “That’s too much.”

He blinked. “Um … okay.”

She tossed the flowers on a table and walked out to the street. He opened her car door.

“What is it with you?” She gave him an irritated glance. “I can open my own door.”

At dinner, he didn’t dare pull out her chair. He called me the next day completely baffled. “She took all the courtesies I performed as slights when I intended them as gestures of respect. I wasn’t diminishing her. I was putting her first—before me and my needs and comforts. I, in no way, meant to insult her or insinuate that she was inferior—just the opposite.”

Over the course of the next five years, he learned that opening a door, allowing a female to precede him on or off an elevator, or offering assistance in carrying groceries is unwelcome, and, by some, viewed as demeaning. Proof that there is quite a bit of power in these age-old gestures. For him, though, the power came via negative reactions.

I know a lot of women in all walks of life and in all regions of our country who appreciate and even find it romantic when a man performs courtesies for them. So where is the disconnect? Why do some women equate gentlemanly courtesies to insults while it makes others feel cherished, respected and special?

My son no longer performs these gestures until he knows the young lady well and can gauge how she’ll feel about them.

“Except for the elderly, Mom,” he assures me. “I still do all those things when I encounter an elderly woman.”

So, what do you think? Do you find gentlemanly gestures romantic or insulting? And why?

Deeanne recommends:

Kristan Higgans     –     –      @Amazon

My I-buy-without-reading-the-blurb author is Kristan Higgins. If she writes it, I love it.


Kellie Coates Gilbert     –     –    @Amazon

An up and coming author to keep your eye on. Her new SUN VALLEY SERIES transports you to America’s original ski resort located in the mountains of Idaho. Her LOVE ON VACATION STORIES feature shorter stories with characters who vacation at the iconic Sun Valley Lodge. The books are packed with tales that keep both your emotions and your funny bone engaged.


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment when you felt or were aware of the power of romance.

One of my favorite things about the wooing stage of a relationship is that our men will do just about anything to win our favor. My man was no exception. When we were first dating, he wanted to teach me how to play to golf. I, however, was much more interested in being romanced than learning to play the game. So I told him I’d go to the course with him if we could take a few pictures to commemorate the event.

Below are the pictures we took. They are both testaments to the power of romance because if my man were not powerfully motivated, there is no way he would pose for these kinds of pictures. (Note the golf ball over his eye in the second one. LOL.)


Tell us about an object that has powerful memories for you.

A few years back my man offered to buy me a bigger diamond for the wedding ring he put on my finger thirty-five years ago. I gently, but firmly, told him no thank-you. He’d worked all summer long when we were in college to buy me the diamond on my engagement ring. No other diamond in the world could ever mean as much to me as that one does.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Cherish – \ˈcher-ish, ˈche-rish\  to keep or cultivate with care and affection

When you cherish someone you put them before yourself. You show them in countless ways the value you hold for them, the adoration you hold for them, and the love you have for them. One of the brightest moments of my wedding day was when my man promised to cherish me for all the days of this life. And you know what’s really powerful? He didn’t just say the words, he put them into action.

Tell us about a powerful book you read this year (or one that’s so powerful you’ve never forgotten it).

I read a book this year called Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman. It said the average woman speaks over 20,000 words a day—and that excludes the ones she types online. It offered techniques for checking your impulse to speak when the temptation to gossip arises or when you’re ticked off and might say something that will cause permanent damage you’ll later regret. Made me squirm. Very humbling.

Tell us about a person who’s had a powerful influence on your life.

I have dyslexia. During my growing up years, I was in the “Blackbirds” reading group. I failed all the standardized tests. In high school my dad was still reading my textbooks to me because I couldn’t read them by myself. Yet I was smart enough to know I was stupid because I couldn’t do what my classmates could.

My parents vehemently denied my claims. “You’re not stupid, Deeanne. In fact, you’re probably smarter than the other kids because you’re passing and you can’t even read!”

I smile just thinking about that statement. It was what got me through, though. I never, miraculously, had to repeat a grade. Then, my senior year of high school, something fused in my brain and I was able to read without assistance. When I graduated from Texas A&M with a 2.3 there was much rejoicing.

I am still extremely slow at reading and I often have to read, re-read and re-read again the pages of the books I’ve grown to love so much. I can’t imagine what would have happened to me if my parents hadn’t believed in me, encouraged me and insisted that I was far from stupid. So … yeah. Clichéd though it is, my parents by far had the most powerful influence on my life.

Main Drawing:

Deeanne is generously giving away a hardback copy of the 2016 RITA Award winning novel in Long Historical, Tiffany Girl. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 20, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away another copy as part of the US bundles, and is participating in the the tote & cup giveaway (more info. below)

There are many more drawings too—including international book bundles! See the bottom of the post for more information.


With a million copies of her books sold, international bestselling, award winning author Deeanne Gist has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her original, captivating historicals. Her latest release, Tiffany Girl , was touted as a “Must Read of the Year!” by USA Today  and one of the Top 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2015 by Huffington Post.

Published by Simon & Schuster, Deeanne’s awards include a RITA for Best Long Historical of the Year, National Readers’ Choice Award, Best Historical of the Year (by RT Reviewers), Librarians’ Choice, Book Buyers’ Best, Golden Quill, Books*A*Million Pick of the Month, Seal of Excellent and Award of Excellence.

Deeanne lives in South Carolina with her husband of thirty-five years.


Learn more:     |     Facebook     |     Twitter@DeeanneGist


Buy author’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!

#LoveRomance   #The PowerofRomance    #ReadARomance


Each RARM post will have one main drawing each day (posted above). Authors are also contributing to weekly (US only) bundles, which will be drawn at the end of the week. Each bundle will consist of at least five books and the amount of bundles will depend on the amount of books the authors contribute.

(Deeanne is contributing to the US bundles, and sponsoring the cup/tote giveaway.)

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to with “Bundles” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

International friends!

Rather than individual drawings off posts, this year we’ll do sets of books, 3+, depending on how many authors contribute. To enter, send an email to with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 3 contests are Aug 18 through Aug. 24

For the 5th Annual Read-A-Romance Month, many of the contributing authors  are supporting an extra-special drawing – high quality tote bags and mugs printed with a fun, pro-romance image (see below).

Read-A-Romance Month, through the generous support of many of the authors, is giving away at least 30 mug & tote combos.

Plus, at least two lucky winners will win a Read-A-Romance Month “Month of Books” Mega Bundle, consisting of 31 books!

To enter these exciting drawings,  send an email to (US only, apologies to international friends – though keep an eye out later in the month.

(US only, apologies to international friends – though keep an eye out later in the month. I may include an international cup/tote combo.)

You will not be automatically added to a newsletter, and I promise not to sell or give your email addresses to anyone. I do reserve the right to send you an invitation to sign up for my newsletter, which will also have opportunities to win more prizes and great romance reading tips!


Check out all three great posts everyday in August at  Or you can find the posts on the RARM Facebook page.  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  #ReadARomance

  • Jackie Bevilacqua

    I love a smart romance, one where the heroine knows herself and the hero is a little frustated by this intelleigent woman. I like it when they can laugh together and love those around them as well as their growing relationship. Romance is still on my reading list and always will be.

    • I’m right there with ya, Jackie. I’m a romantic at heart and love all the trimmings that go with it!!

  • Jennifer Kracht

    I love Deanne’s writing! That woman can sure write a romance but I especially enjoy the humor along the way. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

    • Thanks so much, Jennifer!! You’re the best! <3

  • Linda Atchley

    I read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers years ago and it is one of my favorite books. Really teaches you about truly forgiving and loving. I highly recommend it.

  • Sue G.

    I’m 52 and I do not find those romantic gestures insulting. There are many times where I will hold the door open for my hubby! Most times he’ll just walk through, once in a while I catch him off guard and then he’ll insist I go first! I also loved that your hubby would take those pics early on in your dating. Not sure mine would have…he does not like attention drawn to him.

  • Sue G.

    LOL! That sounds like something my hubby would say!

  • cheryl c.

    Wow, I can’t imagine not appreciating gentlemanly gestures!

    • Me neither. I’m hoping someone who finds them offensive will stop by. I really want to understand why they feel that way.

  • Tori Valenzuela

    Love when I encounter those gentlemanly gestures. Especially when its second nature to the man to,do it !

  • Michelle Houtz

    I think our society has tainted the ideals of gentlemanly gestures. When a little boy holds a door open for a woman, the woman views it as “so cute”! “What a little gentleman!” they’ll exclaim. Even when they are in their preteen years it’s considered cute. But as they get older, views of this gesture (and others) change. Why? I think it all comes from upbringing. If you weren’t brought up in a household where manners are taught, I think when something like this is done, it’s disconcerting. I, quite frankly, don’t mind a man who comes to me on the first date and shows such manners. It’s refreshing and shows that there ARE gentlemen left in this world! Granted I would be a little taken back by someone who shows up with flowers on the first date but what a thoughtful thing to do! The gracious part of me would thank him as that’s good manners! Placing the flowers in some water also shows you appreciate the gesture!! I think today’s youth have this idea that such gestures are either insulting, demeaning, or trying to send their feminitity back into a place that once belonged to the grandmothers or great-grandmothers time. Sorry, but there is NOTHING old-fashioned about respect and treating ANY one with respect. As a mom to a young son who is on the verge of considering a first date at the age of 14, I’ve been drilling into his head for the last two years that good manners and treating his young lady with respect is of utmost importance. He’s already practicing on me what he wants to do or say on his first date and whether or not certain behaviors are okay. I can only hope that he grows up to be a kind and considerate young man to any young lady he wishes to see because I find there aren’t enough gentlemen out there in the world. But when you come across one in daily life, I think as women, we should appreciate their gestures and thank them for being kind and considerate to us.

    • Well said, Michelle. A very thoughtful post. I almost think our girls also need to be trained up the same way you are doing with you son, so that the girls too can tell the difference between being demeaned and being respected. Our son called his older sister before he took those flowers to see what she thought, and she encouraged him. She thought it was terribly sweet and thoughtful. You just never know. Needless to say, he’s never done it again.

      • Michelle Houtz

        I feel badly for your son that his kind gesture wasn’t welcomed. Yes, I agree, our daughters should also be reminded on the importance of being a young lady. Lessons need to be taught on both sides.

        • I admit, I was a bit disheartened, but he’s still as sweet as can be. 🙂

  • Hi Deeanne, thought I’d “jump the fence” and say hello! Love your photos of you and your hubby 🙂 As for me, I love men with manners and brought my son up to do the same. Fortunately, he found a woman who appreciates this (and who I adore!) As for me–looking for that special person again–if a man didn’t have good manners, I have to admit it would disturb me. Just the way I was brought up, and it is ingrained in me. However, I support women who don’t see it that way and understand their reasons. There’s certainly room for more than one school of thought. As for me, I’ll continue opening doors for men and enjoying it when they open them for me. Litle niceties and mutual respect sure lift the spirit–and that’s contagious 🙂

    • Here, here! *insert clinking glass* 🙂 Glad you popped over!

  • Patty Vasquez

    I love and appreciate good manners in anybody. If a man chooses to respect me by opening a door, helping to carry my groceries, or a large bag of dog food I would thank him and know that eventually what goes around comes around. Good karma will be his. This world needs a large dose of kindness.

  • Ellen

    Romance isn’t dead. People just aren’t used to being treated with kindness and courtesy. I’m used to whoever gets to the door first holds it for the next person.

    • I love that you do that. Good for you! I hold the door for others, but hardly ever if I approach at the same time as a man. You’ve given me food for thought!

  • Glenda

    I’ve lived my whole life in the south and to me holding a door for someone is nothing more than being polite. I think girls should hold the door open for guys too, but I’ve had ‘discussions’ with older men who feel like it is their duty to hold the door for a female. (I’m in Texas BTW)

    I know a lot of younger women have had experiences with guys who make a big deal over the polite gestures – including those who have expectations of payback. They now discourage any of those actions – especially on the first dates because of the jerks who inflate those actions that should be considered good manners.

    Of course, a guy giving flowers is romantic in my opinion. 🙂

    • Entitlement is a messed up thing. Such a shame! :-/

  • Laura Lee

    I think we need more men out there who give gentlemanly gestures. A couple of years ago I went camping with my son’s Boy Scout Troop. Of course I overpacked and when I got there, I was worried because there was quite a hike to our campsite. My son’s troop leader had all the boys carry my gear both to the campsite and back to my car 2 days later. The boys didn’t even question it. They just pitched in and helped. I’ll never forget that. Character.

    • Love that, Laura Lee! What a great role model that leader was. And I’m sure those boys didn’t forget it.

  • Audrey

    I love historicals, and Tiffany Girl sounds great! Thank you for the great interview, Deeanne. Those golfing pictures also made me smile!

    • Thanks, Audrey! They bring back fun memories.

  • Oh, wow, Kezia. You are better off without that guy!!! And I agree 100%. Their motivation has to be true, otherwise it totally defeats the purpose! … And thanks! 🙂

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I like gentlemanly gestures.

  • MaryC

    Gentlemanly gestures are always welcome.

  • Emily Werger

    I LOVE romance. I look back at the courtship my husband and I had and I still get swoony. We we’re best friends as kids and then we’re highschool sweethearts. For prom (which he did not want to go to at all) he showed up in a borrowed tux with silk corsage and boutinere Because he knew I’d want to keep it. He also posted for tons of photos (which he also hates doing)
    I have a box that has love letters, rocks, movie ticket stubs etc. From our different adventures. He is my best friend. Even through the hardest times we are able to laugh together. Going to celebrate our 3rd anniversary in October. Romance isn’t dead, you just need to find a guy who was raised to treat women the right way. I certainly did.

    • Oh, Emily. He sounds like a keeper! So happy for the two of you. 🙂

  • catslady

    Being nice to another human being is always welcome!

  • Pamby50

    The one thing my son does no matter how long he has know the girl is that he walks closest to the street. That is something my husband taught him. Also it is something my daughter uses to rate a guy who wants to date her.