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!
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 romance 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). Personally, 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.
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.
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.
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.)
Jamie 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.
Buy Jamie’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!