Gina Conkle – Head-spinning Romance, Empowering Love

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

 

The Power of Romance (or Who Needs That White Dress?) 

Romance makes a girl’s head spin, but love empowers her. Real love. The deep kind that makes a woman question who she thinks she is, pushing her in new directions she never thought she’d go and do things she never thought she’d do.

Case in point: Me.

When people meet me they generally think “goodie two shoes” or “conservative, quiet, professional.” The funny thing about quiet women is still waters run deep. And when love comes to town, those waters get stirred up fast. Nice imagery, but it doesn’t mean anything until you dig deeper.

So let me tell you a little story…

Growing up, I was your typical eldest daughter. Quiet. Responsible. Into school. I shirked boyfriends for books. Okay, there was one boyfriend. But, it was much better to pine for a guy (real or imagined) and dream of love and romance than actually put myself out there. Great training for a future romance writer. We conjure up men all the time.

Like a lot of young women, I dreamed of the day I’d wear that white dress and say I do to Mr. Right.

College came and went. I got serious about one guy and was unserious about others. I sowed my wild oats after graduation, which a lot of serious, responsible girls do at one point. And I kept dreams of that white dress day in the back of my mind.

More men and dating came and went. I dove into the working world (biotech if you must know). Things were humming. Life was good.

And then I met him. Mr. Wrong.

He was a party boy. I deemed him “too good-looking…never be faithful” the day we met. Other women were crazy about him. He made a general announcement once that he was never getting married. This guy had even told a story about a near-foray into modeling—until they asked him to wax his chest! Just not my kind of man.

But, you know what happened? We clicked. This guy who drank too much beer was smart, attentive, he cooked for me, loved to hang out, go running, and just be. It was wow.

Love came fast.

I stopped getting hung up on the exterior, the appearance of things and what I thought I wanted. I didn’t care. I let things be. Six weeks after we started officially dating, he told me he loved me. Three months after that he asked me to marry him (I said yes). Six weeks later, we were shooting pool in a dive bar, and he asked me (more like mouthed it across the table) to elope with him. *record scratch* Uhhh…hold on.

Poised to take his shot, he gave me that smile and waited.

You know what happens when the man you love gives you that smile. I mean the melt me, true love, charm-my-socks-and-all-my-other-clothes-off smile. It zings through your body and feels good.

Suddenly that white dress was dust in the wind. I didn’t care about it. Didn’t want it. I wanted him, and I wanted to have the same last name as him. Like yesterday.

Music blared on the jukebox. We were about to win our game of solids and stripes against another couple, and yes, there was a pitcher of beer involved, but I swear, we were sober. My love said, “If I make this shot, we’re going to Vegas.”

I nodded and smiled back. My quiet alpha male (as I’ve come to call him over the years) grinned big and made the double-bank shot.

We drove off to Vegas a little after midnight and got married first thing the next morning at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel across the street from Circus Circus. I’d found the man who stirred my deep waters. No white wedding dress needed. With him, the dream was complete.

So here’s to the power of true love and romance~  Gina

Now you tell me: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of love?

 

Gina recommends:

Cecelia Mecca   –      ceceliamecca.com     –   @Amazon

Cecilia writes medieval romance. Historical romance fans should check out her Border series.

 

Juliet Lyons   –     www.julietlyons.com     –   @Amazon

Juliet writes paranormal romance. Her debut series is “Dating the Undead.”

 


Questions for the Author:

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

Sixth grade. My crush on a boy named Shane. It was a suck deep into your chest kind of feeling, pining for him. Prior to that year, I didn’t know feelings could be that powerful.

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

My Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. It was a Christmas gift from my parents because of my insatiable questions about words. I opened it Christmas morning and started to read it, ignoring my other presents. That dictionary has a place of honor, facing out on my office shelf.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Forgiveness. It’s about returning a wrong done to you and putting back in the hands of the person who wronged you. Very powerful.

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

The Bible. I’ve read it three times. It’s profoundly life changing.

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

Mr. Tuttle (one of my English teachers in high school). He taught me a lot about writing. One of the things he said once has always stuck with me. He said, “Write what you feel passionate about.” I did!

 

Main Drawing:

Gina is generously giving away copies of her contemporary, Waiting for a Girl Like You and Meet the Earl at Midnight, the first title in her Midnight Meetings series, to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 27, 2017. (open to everyone)

She’ll be giving away more titles as part of the US and international bundles, plus she’s sponsoring 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.

 


Gina Conkle writes Viking and Georgian romance with a new dip into hot contemporary romance. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she’s known to occasionally garden and cook.

 

Learn more:

ginaconkle.com    |    Facebook     |     Twitter @ginaconkle

 

Buy Gina’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


MORE DRAWINGS!

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.

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

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week3@ReadARomanceMonth.com 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 Week3@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 3 contests are Aug 17 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 August@ReadARomanceMonth.com (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 ReadARomanceMonth.com.  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

  • catslady

    Probably getting married at 18 lol. It’s been 48 years – it’s always a work in progress!

  • Jodi B

    Just added Waiting for a Girl Like You to my wish list!

  • Sue G.

    I’m an oldest child like you, the goody two shoes, but not quiet….I like to talk! 🙂 My husband is the middle child, VERY shy, and not a talker. We met when I was 17, he was 18. Went to different colleges and still made it. When we got married (at 24 and 25), I really wanted to step out of my comfort zone, even for just a moment. We went to Antigua on our honeymoon and I wanted to find a secluded beach and have a “fun” 😉 memory of something that neither of us would normally never do. 28 years later it still brings a smile to my face and takes me back to that early love feelings and that by far is the craziest thing I’ve ever done!

  • cheryl c.

    I am happy that a teacher had a powerful influence on your life. I am a retired teacher

  • Joanna Moreno

    I’m the oldest child as well and it sounds like you and I have much in common 😉
    To be honest I’ve lived a pretty mellow life so no crazy stories to tell from me but I have to say your story is one of the most romantic stories I’ve ever heard *le sigh*

  • May

    What a story with your husband! 🙂 Gosh… you make me envious!

  • Ellen

    Had a long distance romance with a city boy. (I’m a small-town girl.) We’ll celebrate our 31st anniversary next month.

  • rebecca moe

    What an awesome story about you and your husband! Go, romance 🙂

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    The craziest thing that I have done was tell my now husband that I wanted to marry him after we had been broken up for over a month. Needless to say, he agreed but was a little wary at that moment.

  • Pamby50

    The craziest thing I ever did for love was go drag racing with my parents car. This guy in high school was it and he loved drag racing. So I snuck out with the car and I challenge him. I lost by a slim margin. Unfortunately my brother was out there. I was a goner but I got the guy. Fun times.

  • Glenda

    I did move halfway across the US for him.

  • Kareni

    Thanks for sharing the non-story of your white dress; I enjoyed it! I wish I had a crazy for love story to share, but I’m drawing a blank. Oh, well. Best wishes with your writing!

  • Audrey

    I love that your dictionary has a place of honor, GIna, on your bookshelf. That was my favorite part of your interview. What a wordsmith!

  • Kim

    Thanks for your post. I have a favorite dictionary, too. Even with Google, I still keep that dictionary around.

  • Sheryl N

    I loved reading about how you met and married you HEA.

  • Erin F

    thanks for such a fun post! I’m the most unromantic person evah… haven’t found my HEA yet, so I’m glad that I haven’t made a grant gestures yet 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Tori Valenzuela

    Forgivness something I am working on everyday from some situations in the past!