Friday, February 14, 2014

Celebrating Valentine's Day

Happy  Valentine’s Day!  Today we are celebrating romance. But let’s go beyond that. Let’s   As long as people love romance, there will be readers and luckily, there will also be writers. Who doesn’t love a good story with a happy or sometimes a bittersweet ending? 
celebrate and toast those special people who read and write romance novels.

Romance novels and novels and novelists come in all shapes and sizes.  I would love to run a list of them all, but it would be too numerous.  In danger of missing some of my favorite fellow writers, I am not going to list them all either. 
From the first time I picked up Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in my teens I was hooked. My best friend and I went through Sense and Sensibility and then Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. We always had a library book or two in our locker with our textbooks and they were usually romances. I spent summers walking to the library in the eastern Colorado heat every single week just so I search out a new romance. Then I picked up a Harlequin Romance and I got hooked even more.  And now I'm still reading romance, in all shapes and sizes, in print or on my Kindle and Ipad. I listen to romances on audio. As long as there was a good love story involved I've always enjoyed the story.

But I also found I loved writing romance. By the time I was out of high school I had written my own romance short story involving a kidnapping, a small town girl, and a rock and roll idol! I still have that story floating around in the basement somewhere though the penciled manuscript has probably faded and I doubt I could read my writing.
It wasn’t until years later that I began writing romances in earnest and trying to get published.  But I also had a day job that was pretty demanding and after a couple of rejections I stopped submitting and focused on writing TV news scripts. I saved the romance writing for evenings and weekends, and I didn’t submit again for a very long time.

Now, with a number of suspense books on the market and a mystery to come, I find I still haven’t lost the taste for reading and writing romance. There are still plenty of great stories out there and  I keep finding new authors every day. And I personally keep coming up with my own stories as well.
But I couldn’t celebrate Valentines Day without a tribute to one of my all time favorite love, Home Fires Burning.  That was the story of a young girl who met the man of her dreams when she was ten and knew from the moment she saw him that he was meant to be her husband. My mother told us the story over and over about the handsome cowboy who came to work at her family’s Colorado ranch when she was young and how she spent years trying to get his attention. It took her growing up before he even noticed her, and then a world war came between them and when he finally came home, she had been sent to California to live with a brother. But she wasn't going to be denied -- she caught the first train home and they eloped to New Mexico. Eventually they got to spend 48 happy years together. 
stories—that of my parents whose story I sort of stole and used as the beginning of my book,

And to me that is romance. I love to read those stories and write those stories where true love wins out in the end. Whether there is a family conflict involved, or a murder to solve or the love is between a poor woman and a royal or a shapeshifter or a vampire and the girl or guy next door, a great romance is always a joy to read.
So here’s a toast to the romance readers out there and to the many writers who make those stories come alive! Who are your favorite writers and what are your favorite romance novels?


  1. Loved your post, Rebecca! Yes, I do believe in romance and the HEA. There are sooo many books and authors that I adore, but at the front is "Knight in Shining Armor," by Jude Deveraux. Absolutely one of my favorites and with an ending that will haunt you afterwards. In fact, I feel a need to re-read this...

    Happy Valentine's Day to you, too! :)

    1. Mary, thanks for the comment. Yes, Jude Deveraux has written some wonderful romances. And you make an excellent point. A great romance is meant to be re-read and re-savored.