Robinne Lee – Intoxicating 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

Caught Up In The Elixir

It’s a magical thing, falling in love. The push, the pull, the tension, the uncertainty. The pivotal moment when you close your eyes and jump and just allow yourself to fall. It’s terrifying, really. It’s terrifying, because it feels so good and anything that feels that good can’t possibly last. Or can it?

I write love stories because I am still, several decades in, consumed by this idea: that when two people find each other and against all odds fall hopelessly, completely, immeasurably in love, it’s this very rare and precious thing and there are no guarantees. There is no certainty of forever. And yet, as I look around me, it’s everywhere. People in love, sharing their lives, their dreams, their souls, their hearts. People who know this precious thing can disappear at any moment and still take the risk. Dive in. No safety net. And I think they embark on these journeys, even knowing it can all fall apart, because the romance is so intoxicating. It is supreme and otherworldly and in the throes of it, nothing compares. It is that powerful. It is why we do it time and time again. The romance is the elixir.

I write fiction. Genre-bending fiction. More accurately Women’s Fiction with a healthy-dose of romance and while some might argue it strays from traditional romance, for me the romance aspect is always the most special part. The part I most enjoy recreating and experiencing for myself. The heady, swoony, ‘I will follow you to the ends of the earth,’ exhilarating free-fall. In real life, we are lucky if we find ourselves there once or twice or three times. But as writers, and readers, we can capture it and experience it over and over and over again. On cue, even. Today, I will curl up in a blanket with a cup of Earl Grey tea and I will fall in love. And I will allow someone to woo me. This writer. This protagonist. This hero. I will allow them to lead me off this very safe precipice and open up my heart. I will follow this journey and enjoy the ride, wherever it may take me.

The beauty of losing ourselves in these stories and these worlds is that there is much less risk with reading, with writing. There can be the high, and the magic, the flirtation, the passion, the giddiness, the rush. But if a story shatters us, it is only for a day, or two. A week. Maybe it lingers for months. Maybe we can’t stop thinking about it years later. Those are the best ones. But still we can get off the couch and function. We can pour ourselves another cup of tea. Open a new book. Start the ride all over again. And know that we are all the more rich, because we allowed ourselves the experience, the high and the low. We got caught up in the elixir, the power of the romance. And oh, what a journey it was!

Robinne recommends:

Tia Williams     –     www.shakeyourbeauty.com      –      @Amazon

Kristin Rockaway     –      kristinrockaway.com     –      @Amazon

Mary Ann Marlowe      –        www.maryannmarlowe.com      –       @Amazon

Ann Marie Walker      –        www.annmariewalker.com        –       @Amazon

 


Questions for the Author:

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

A few weeks after I gave birth to my daughter, now eight, I came to the realization that being our second and likely last child, she was the last person I would ever fall in love with and that made me incredibly sad. The idea that the magic and joy of discovering someone new and being intoxicated by their mere presence was something I would never experience again hit me hard. Like, ‘okay, so I guess that’s it then. I’ve got all the people I love in my life, and unless we get a puppy, my heart will never again be turned inside-out. So, that’s that.’

And then, when my daughter was five, I started writing the story that would eventually become The Idea of You. From the beginning I had a very specific idea of who I wanted my protagonist to be; someone sophisticated, elegant, smart, cultured. And then I worked hard to craft a twenty-year-old boybander who could hold her attention for more than five minutes. I needed him to be confident and charming and articulate and witty. I needed him to be creative and an artist. I wanted him to be self-assured and comfortable in his skin. And then on top of all that, I needed him to be vulnerable and real, and believable as twenty. And in doing so, I created a kind of romantic hero. A modern day Mr. Darcy. And then, something completely unexpected happened: I fell in love with him.

Those first few months were filled with wonder. There was that immeasurable joy of discovering someone new that I didn’t think I would ever feel again. I remember going to a department store and trying on a plethora of different men’s fragrances to choose the one I wanted this character, Hayes Campbell, to smell like. And at some point the saleslady asked me for whom I was buying the cologne. And I hesitated and blushed and then sputtered, “my husband.” But I knew she could tell I was lying, and she just nodded and smiled at me knowingly, and I thought ‘Crap. She thinks I’m having an affair.’ And in my head, maybe I was. I was having an affair with Hayes Campbell. And the idea that he had become so real to me, so tangible, struck me deeply. The idea that I’d created someone out of thin air, and had become completely besotted with him. That, I think, is the power of romance.

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

During my college years I had an internship at ELLE magazine in New York. I worked there every summer and Christmas break through graduation. I loved the art, the culture, the fashion, the ability to practice my French. But I especially loved the people, particularly the Publication Director, Regis Pagniez who was responsible for bringing the magazine to the U.S. It was Regis who hired me and to whom I reported. I spent my junior year in Paris and had the opportunity to work for their French offices. I was the only one in my study abroad program who was regularly attending fashion shows and photo shoots. It was, in every way, a magical year! It was the year I truly came into my own. The week before I left to France, Regis approached me with a box from Tiffany. “It is a little something to remember me,” he said in his thick accent. Inside was a small gold frog pin. The British have longed call the French “frogs.” It is not exactly a compliment. But I loved that he embraced it and was passing it on to me. It made me feel like an honorary French person, and that year in Paris, I wore it often. To this day, I have ma petite grenouille. And whenever I set eyes on it, I smile and remember Regis and that very special life-changing year.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

I never gave much thought to the word “mom” before I became one. And then almost immediately, it was loaded. I love the idea of being someone’s mom: the soother, the provider, the booster of confidence and giver of kisses, the milk-factory, the cuddler, the backbone, the cheerleader, the teacher, the everything. I love hearing my kids call it. I love answering to it. I even love when I accidentally answer to someone else’s kid. Which is why it’s so peculiar that sometimes when said the wrong way by the wrong person it just makes my skin crawl. When I’m at a child’s birthday party and the hired clown/prince/wrangler addresses us en masse as “mom.” As in, “Moms, please make sure your kid only takes one piece of pizza.” Or “Hi Mom, you can place your gift on this table.” Or a coach at soccer practice, “Hey Moms, can one of you bring orange slices to Saturday’s game?” Or “Hey Mom, Timmy was late today. Can you make sure that doesn’t happen again??” Then. Then I want to throttle somebody. And if a word can both infuriate me and bring me boundless joy, sometimes within moments of each other – I’m going to say it’s pretty powerful.

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

Two summers ago I had the pleasure of reading Tabitha Suzuma’s Forbidden. I’d just completed the first draft of my novel and I was looking for something to help me decompress for a few days. The story was described as “a taboo romance as compelling as it is controversial.”  I thought I was diving into some hot and sexy, twisted, brother/sister, fantasy scenario that would take my mind off of my own writing and the weight of everything around me. But oh, was I wrong!! Forbidden was a heartfelt, emotional, nail-biting, gut-wrenching love story that tore me to pieces and left me sobbing for days. Days. I am still not over that book. I can’t recommend it enough. I was so drawn into those characters. To that family. Their story. Their lives.  Forbidden wrecked me. And I loved every bit of it.

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

Charles Deahl wore cowboy boots, a ten-gallon hat, corduroy blazers, blue jeans and a handlebar mustache. For a high school English teacher in Westchester County, New York, in the 80s, he stood out. Mr. Deahl taught my Creative Writing class and was a huge fan of my work, way back when. He encouraged me to stretch myself. To not be afraid to take on unpopular or darker and controversial topics. He saw me as an artist before I saw myself as an artist, and he insisted I apply to his alma mater, which was Yale. Although on my radar, I’d never taken the school seriously. I didn’t think I’d get in, for one. And I also thought it was solely populated with nerds. The creative smart people went to places like Brown and NYU and Harvard, or so I thought. They did not go to Yale. But along with my parents, Mr. Deahl convinced me to apply. I did. And got in. And it changed the course of my life. It opened me to a world I’d only ever read about, and introduced me to the most exceptional people, including my future husband. Sometimes I look at my kids and think, if I’d never sent in that application, they would not be here. I have a handful of teachers I will always think of as extraordinary, but Mr. Deahl very much set me on the path to the life I have today. And for that, I will always be grateful.

 

Main Drawing:

Robinne is generously giving away a copy of The Idea of You.  To enter, leave a message below by 11:59 pm PST August 7, 2017. (US only)

She is also giving away another copy in the US bundles and sponsoring a tote & cup combo! (see below for more information)

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

#LoveRomance #ReadARomance

 


Robinne Lee is an actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds.

Her recent credits include Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

The Idea of You is her first novel.

Learn more:

www.robinnelee.com     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @robinnelee

 

Buy Robinne’s book:

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.

(Robinne is contributing to the cup/tote combo and the US bundle.)

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week1@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 Week1@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 1 contests are through Aug. 8

For the 5th Annual Read-A-Romance Month, many of the contributing authors (including 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 mug/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

  • Kelly Jetzer

    What an amazing experience you authors have – to invent characters you actually fall in love with! Thanks for sharing your amazing life stories with us!

    • Robinne Lee

      Thank you for reading!

  • Sue G.

    How fun that you went to Paris for study abroad! Sounds exciting!

    I’m sure the day you have grandchildren you will find love all over again too! 🙂

    • Robinne Lee

      Ah yes, grandchildren!! But my children are still quite young! That seems thirty years away!

      And Paris is magic. Always. 🙂

  • Judy C.

    Wonderful blog and interview! Beautiful thoughts written so well. Enjoyed it so much.

    • Robinne Lee

      Thank you!!!

  • cheryl c.

    It’s the sign of a good writer when you can make me fall a little in love with the hero in your book.

    • Robinne Lee

      Thank you so much!

  • Anna

    What a fun story about your character – I’m excited to pick up your book now!

    • Robinne Lee

      Thank you!! I hope you enjoy it!

  • Pamby50

    I have to agree with you about the word “mom”. My kids both took Spanish in high school so they both starting calling me Mami. My son still calls me that and he is 32 but my daughter will use it when texting me.

  • Sally Schmidt

    If you the writer fall in love with your hero, how can we not do the same? That’s what makes romance so wonderful, you can just fall into the story.

    • Robinne Lee

      Agreed!!

  • Nicole Marie

    Great post, thanks for sharing your story!

    • Robinne Lee

      Thanks for reading!

  • rebecca moe

    You’re so right about being called “mom”! It can be wonderful, or terribly annoying when used in the second context. Thanks so much for posting 🙂

    • Robinne Lee

      Isn’t that bizarre??? I’m working on a TV show now and my character is a mom and all the guys on the crew have begun referring to me as “mom” and I want to strangle someone.

      • rebecca moe

        LOL, I hear you–my husband was “dad” in his unit in the army, because he was the oldest (by like 3 years, but whatever…) and it just wasn’t the same as when he got home and our 2-year-old called him Dad!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    You are a new to me author. I look forward to reading your book. I enjoyed reading about you.

    • Robinne Lee

      Thank you, Melissa! xo

  • Laura Anderson Kinney

    Loved your book! Love your writing style! So, smart, sexy and sophisticated! Looking forward to your next!

    • Robinne Lee

      Thank you so much, Laura!! Glad you were able to read it! And LOVE that you enjoyed it!!

  • Kezia King

    Lol! You are absolutely right about the word “mom”. I used to cringe everyone I dropped my son off at daycare and the lady at the desk would call me mom. Thanks for sharing!

    • Robinne Lee

      Lol. Yep!