Sunday, September 22, 2019

Say Yes to Romance by @JoanReeves #RomanceGems

Pop-up Giveaway Today!

Have you noticed that some people like to judge a person based on reading choice?

When this first happened to me many years ago, I was taken aback when someone asked me when I was going to write a "real" romance.

I'd thought this mindset had changed, but you still hear the romance genre denigrated on movies and television and in real life too.

I really thought that was all in the past, but it happened again.

Someone asked what I "do." I replied that I was a writer. Of course the next question was what did I write. My answer—romance—was met with a choked laugh and, "Oh, I don't read those kinds of books."

Too many people think those who read romance are lacking in intelligence, maturity, and question our grasp on reality. As to what they think of those who write romance, well, it's not much better. They say we write formula books that anyone can write.

Back in the "cocky gate" trademark uproar earlier this year, the judge who rendered the decision that the woman who had successfully filed for protected trademark of the word "cocky" didn't have the right to sue anyone who used that word in a written work because, I'll paraphrase here, he hadn't read those kind of books but was certain they were written in the romance genre which was simplistic and formulaic, blah blah blah.

I don't know how many times I've been told or read from critics that we write about unrealistic people in unrealistic situations—as if writing about a man and woman seeking love in a committed relationship was something that happens only in an alternate reality, which would make it more suitable to science fiction perhaps.

If these naysayers were correct, there would be no long-term happy marriages. I have one of those, and know many other women who do also. Just about all my friends—especially those who write—have that kind of relationship too.

Ever Loved?

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence know that love is worth having, and it can still be found in this crazy world.

We know it's not easy. We know it requires work and commitment, and we are willing to make that investment in a relationship.

We like to read romance, not because it's fantasy, but because we believe in the power of love, and in a book—particularly a romance novel—we know that wrongs will be righted, good will prevail over evil, love will prevail against all odds. We like that optimism and want to find it in real life even though we know good doesn't always win because we are smart and in touch with reality.

We who read and write romance are not hopeless romantics but hopeful romantics. Always hopeful that love will prevail in this crazy, war-wracked world of ours where there's so much hate that fills the headlines.

I feel sorry for anyone who reads only "real" books—usually meaning a sad, dramatic tome with a depressing ending. I read widely in every genre, but romance offers something most stories don't. Hope. Optimism.

I love what Sandra Cisneros said in an article about what literary lions read: "I never feel guilty about reading any kind of book. Books are medicine, each one a specific prescription for whatever ails us."

Bottom Line

Never be ashamed of your reading taste. Love is empowering.

At the end of life, love is the only thing that remains.

I've sat a death vigil, and I know that in that last breath of life, the dying person wants only to whisper words of love to those who remain.

What Do You Think?

Leave a comment with your email address and tell me what you think about romance and the naysayers.

I'll choose a random commentator with email Sept. 23, Monday, 8pm CDT to receive a free copy of April Fool Bride, a romance guaranteed to leave you with a smile. I'll notify by email and here on this post in Comments.

Remember to Enter the Rafflecopter

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The kids are back to school. Now it’s time to pamper yourself a little. September’s Giveaway features Winner’s Choice of Amazon Gift Cards or Gifts for Reading and Pampering.

The Rafflecopter runs through Sept. 27 so there's still time to enter.

The prizes are listed on our Monthly Giveaway page, along with the entry form. Or click here to go straight to the entry form!

21 comments:

  1. I think if more people read romance, the world would be a better place!

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  2. Love, hope and happiness - I've been addicted to the romance genre for decades! BUT I've had it all said to me too. I'm sorry for those who don't understand the power of a great romantic read.

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    1. I guess we've all heard that at one time or another. Best response ever was the woman who said, "I don't read those trashy books." To which, Nora Roberts replied, "What kind of trashy books do you read?"

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  3. Everything you said is exactly what I think. We're hopeful romantics, and we work hard to find exactly what we want. We don't settle. I know it's scary and hard, though, and you let yourself think true love won't happen to you. I remember that fear. But, I stuck to my guns and looked for what I wanted. It was lonely for a little while. I love romance. In my opinion they are real books about real life. I hope others find their way to them because they will bring joy to your life! They're just nice. Nice books in a sometimes not so nice world. kara@karaoneal.com

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  4. Joan, as usual, words of truth and wisdom. So appreciated. I guess we should feel sorry for all the non-readers of romance. They have no idea what they're missing.

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen. I was updating some old statistics about who reads romance. About 7 years ago, men were said to make up 16% of the reading audience. I think that percentage has grown with the popularity of ebooks. Maybe men are taking the advice I've written before, i.e., if they really want to know what women want that they should read a good romance novel. *g* I'll let you know when I have those stats updated.

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    2. Joan, I have always told men the same thing. and I have had men thank me (with a smile) after their wives read a book of mine.

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  5. I think people who put down romance books are snobs! I live in the "bible belt"and back when the "50 shades" books came out, my library wasn't going to get them. They had so many requests from people that were church goers and people that put down romance novels, that they wound up buying about 15 copies of each book!! I'm an avid romance reader and I read them for the escape and the happy ever after. I love that these books are well researched and deal with every day topics. BTW, my husband reads western historical romances all the time!

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    1. Totally love your comment and you—and all readers like you! You didn't leave your email addy. If you'd add that, I'd love to have you be entered in my random drawing giveaway.

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  6. I always say reading romance novels is a feminist act (and I've been an ardent feminist since before the term was widely used). I read the Jayne Ann Krentz-edited "Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women" way back when and have kept these words close and available: in a romance novel, the woman always wins and how could that be anything but feminist! (That is, the hero doesn't want to fall in love and change his life but he does anyway.) Nobody picks on mysteries where the murder is always solved by the end or action/adventure where the hero overcomes the bad guys as formulaic but because of misogyny or perhaps fear that maybe women could get along just fine without men, they feel free to denigrate romance novels and those who read and write them. I am comfortable with my reading choices and while I will point out the error of their ways to those who try to put me down, I don't waste my time trying to fix stupid either (ignorance is fixable and I will help with that). Karen H near Tampa, kesh307 at yahoo dot com (I also love good looking men without their shirts on my covers, too)

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    1. Wonderful comment. I totally agree. I'm a feminist in every way and raised my daughter that way too. I still have Jayne's book in my library. You're entered in my giveaway.

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  7. I read what I want to read period. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Good for you. I've never understood why it's "bad" to read romance but acceptable to read serial killer books where women are sliced and diced.

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  8. I love the fact that romantic fiction doe its share (and more) to promote the empowerment of women. It's far from the only reason to embrace the genre, but it's a big enough one for me. Great post, Joan.

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    1. Er...DOES its share. Unfortunately, writing it still hasn't made me a good typist. :-)

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    2. Thanks, Liz. I think we writers are the only one who get upset over typos. I find the older I get, the more typos. *LOL* maybe that's one of those rules of life.

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  9. People are missing out when they limit themselves.

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  10. Thanks for all the wonderful comments. Three readers left an email with their comments. Using RANDOM NAME PICKER, the winner of a free ebook copy of APRIL FOOL BRIDE is--kim hansen!

    Congratulations! Look for my email so you can claim your free copy.

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