Thanks so much for having me. I'm happy to be here on this stop of my Beginnings Trilogy blogtour. Women who write romance are often looked at like smut peddlers. Sometimes they are treated as if the genre is not worthy of being next to some others on the shelves. I've even had a friend jokingly say that she'd never let her daughters read romance because they might end up with Cinderella complexes.
Despite all that, I write romance novels. I'm proud to call myself an author of such a beautiful genre. I believe romance does so much for the women who read it. It allows them a positive escape into a world where love blossoms and all things are possible. The reader lives a life in the span of 300 pages. They experience the ups and downs and all that comes with that life in all its emotional glory.
You, as the reader, can be who you want to be. Maybe a person you're even afraid to be. A shy and timid woman can read the story of a strong and confident woman and know, even if only for a little while, what it feels like to be outgoing, strong, and sexually powerful. A strong woman can get to experience those soft and quiet moments her life may not afford her. Conversely, these stories can remind the reader of their own experiences.
For example, in Dominated, the reader can get the chance to be dominated by a sexy fetish club owner. That's something you might never experience. Or perhaps you want to remember your first frat party. You can tag along with Erica, the heroine from A Librarian's Desire.
For me sex is an integral part of the story. It's not intended solely for titillation. At least not when I read/write romance. The sex is meant to heighten the romance and emotion of the moment. There's nothing better than a well-placed love scene, and there's nothing worse than a love scene thrown in for no reason and with no effect. It should always change the emotional tempo of the story.
For example, in A Soldier's Woman (coming 9/09) we see Janelle and Ron's relationship begin with an insecure moment in a closet during a game of spin the bottle, and each sex scene brings the two closer and increases Janelle's sense of self worth. Without those scenes, the changes in the character wouldn't have happened the way they did.
So, tell me why you read (or write) romance. Be sure to mention your favorite parts of a novel. Those parts that are indispensible to you as a reader/writer.