Saturday, January 10, 2015

Why Romance Novels Matter !!


 
Brought to you by Adam & Eve


What do you say when someone asks if you enjoy reading romance novels? Do you answer with a loud and proud “yes,” or do you hedge, saying you read them, but just for fun, as if being a serious enthusiast is akin to being a pervert? Do you, in other words, give in to the idea that there’s something shameful about loving a good romance story?

You’re not alone. The truth is, society has stacked the deck against those of us who love romance novels. There are still major misconceptions surrounding the genre, namely that it is a frivolous pastime enjoyed only by bored housewives. No other type of literature has endured the same level of malignant criticism or unfair categorization. The term “Harlequin romance,” which refers to one of the largest and oldest distributors of romance novels, has become shorthand for “trash” and “smut.” And all this hatred exists even while romance novels continue to be one of the fastest-growing and top-selling genres around. In fact, according to About.com, romance literature is a billion-dollar industry that’s a third larger than the inspirational book industry and about the size of the mystery and sci-fi/fantasy industries combined.

The fact that women make up the majority of romance novel readership is not an insignificant fact. While some may want to challenge this fact or minimize its significance, the truth is, the very fact that women are the major consumers of romance literature is perhaps one of the reasons the genre has been so unfairly maligned. Criticizing and ridiculing goods that are predominantly popular among women is a strong tradition in our society, which is ironic considering that women continue to be huge drivers of the economy.

Washington Post writer Alyssa Rosenberg recently responded to a male author who bemoaned the popularity of books like Fifty Shades of Grey. He criticized women who choose to read such “trash” rather than the classics, asking why women would decide to “participate in the abnegating of their minds and the debauching of English just to feel some twitching in their trousers.” In her response, Rosenberg points out how romance novels, written and read primarily for and by women, are “a tonic, a form of reassurance that someone is interested in ordinary women’s inner lives and is rooting for us to resolve our conflicts about work, love and what we deserve from our relationships.” 

Presented by Adam & Eve

She’s not saying the classics aren’t important or that the literary canon doesn’t offer anything of value, but she asks us to consider how many books in the literary canon provide plenty of wish-fulfillment for men and pay attention to their inner lives. So why not accept that women need this too and that the romance genre was doing this long before Anastasia Steel and Christian Grey came on the scene?

This isn’t to say that the romance novel is only about reassuring women that their needs and desires are important. The genre, indeed, is much more than just a tonic that helps us get through our challenging twenty-first century lives. As USAToday.com puts it, “These are books that highlight the very best of what it means to be human. Stories that speak of honor and sacrifice, of selflessness and love. We all need to be loved, to feel that we belong, and that's what romance novels give us. The sense of being loved.” No matter who reads them, romance novels are a celebration of humanity’s greatest and most powerful asset: love.

Also, it must be said that romance novels are often intellectually and philosophically challenging, as the romance novel, more than most genres, is perfectly equipped to explore the complexities of love and human sexuality. It offers readers the time and imaginative space to delve into issues that deserve more than just a cursory glance. The book Theirs to Treasure, for example, explores a polygamous relationship between three men and one woman in a future that isn’t quite so hostile toward non-monogamy. While critics of the romance genre may point to how romance novels do nothing more than lull women into the white-knuckled grasp of the “wedding industrial complex,” there are countless examples of stories, like Theirs to Treasure, that subvert social norms and challenge stereotypical concepts of love and marriage.

Of course, there is also a more basic purpose for the romance novel: sexual arousal. To dismiss this aspect of the reading experience is to deny women a very important and effective outlet for our sexual imaginations. Perhaps some of the hostility toward the romance novel has to do with this very concept of women being titillated in the privacy of their own imaginations.

In the past, the idea that a woman could be aroused by the written word was certainly an offensive idea. But even today there seems to be some discomfort with the thought of women openly reading and enjoying erotica. Reading a book, after all, is one of the few private acts that can be thoroughly enjoyed in public. Indeed, the popularity of the Fifty Shades series had many people, mostly men, musing about all these women around them secretly becoming titillated on the bus or at the office or, heaven forbid, while rocking their babies to sleep at night.

The Fifty Shades series has certainly done much to illuminate the pull that the romance and erotica industry really has. Whatever your thoughts about the series, one thing is for certain: Fifty Shades brought the popularity of the erotic novel out of the shadows and into the mainstream.

The fear of women openly accessing their sexual imaginations via romance literature is perhaps finally giving way to a wider acceptance and celebration of this centuries old activity. And it’s no longer an activity deemed only for women to enjoy alone. 

Adameve.com rightfully points out that while a titillating novel like Fifty Shades of Grey can certainly be enjoyed alone before turning in for the night, reading it aloud with a partner can be a very enjoyable form of foreplay.

With all that the romance novel offers, there’s no reason to be ashamed of what you love! 

Supplied by Adam & Eve

Monday, January 5, 2015

Winter Pick-me-up Giveaway Hop


Welcome to the 
Winter Pick-me-upgiveaway Hop
 This time around I'm giving away,  $5 Amazon GC.
All you have to do is leave your comment telling me what you do to get yourself out of the winter blues !!

**Don't forget to leave your email-address so 
I know how to reach you.**
Whenever I feel those blues coming on and 
need my pick-me-up, I grab some great reads !!  Wait, who am i kidding.  I read as often as I get the chance no matter my mood :)

AND... make sure you visit Roane Publishing,
for some great new reading material.  

My title from Roane is Harper's Wish


Blurb:


Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time of year, but for Harper Donaldson it’s just another day. Orphaned at an early age, she doesn’t have a single good memory of Christmas.

But, when a Santa’s Mailbox mysteriously appears in the lobby of the post office where she works as postmistress, Harper wonders what it could hurt to send her own letter to Santa.

Could he bring her the family she’d always wanted?

Buy Links:  Roane Publishing   Amazon   Amazon(UK)   
Barnes and Noble  Kobo   Smashwords    ARe



Here are some other great blogs to hop along with !!

Monday, December 22, 2014

~ Happy Holidays Blog Hop ~ #HHBH

Sorry for my lateless but so thrilled to be a part of the 
Happy Holidays Blog Hop !!!

I am giving away a Christmas Goodie Bag.

Rules are simple...
1.  Comment on this post (make sure to leave your email address)
2.  In your comment, share your favorite cookie for Christmas.
3.  Share a recipe of that cookie for an extra entry :)
4.  Make sure to hop to the other blogs too !!

******

and for your reading pleasure, the first Novella in my series from Roane Publishing :)




Harper’s Wish
A Montana Series Christmas Novella

Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time of year, but for Harper Donaldson it’s just another day.  Orphaned at an early age, she doesn’t have a single good memory of Christmas.

But, when a Santa’s Mailbox mysteriously appears in the lobby of the post office where she works as postmistress, Harper wonders what it could hurt to send her own letter to Santa.
Could he bring her the family she’d always wanted?


  

Buy Links:  Roane Publishing   Amazon   Amazon(UK)   





Excerpt:

“Why can’t one of these letters have my name on it?” Harper sifted through the mail one piece at a time, postmarking each envelope of blue, red and green. Funny how the holidays brought out every color of the rainbow, which was precisely the reason her special Santa stamp was black—so everyone could see it. As she inked each letter, Harper absently read the names, wondering what great news the sender was sharing with the receiver of their special once-a-year card. She’d started a tradition of feeling sorry for herself because she knew there would be no special cards for her. Harper didn’t even have a special somebody to spend the holidays with. “Looks like I’ll die an old post- marm.”
“Oh, heavens child, give yourself a break.” Harper jumped, scattering the stack of letters all over the counter and floor.
“Good Lord, Elsie! Couldn’t you warn me next time you sneak back in after hours away? You scared me half out of my wits.” Elsie Whiddamore, a spry woman in her mid-sixties, was born and raised in Holly. After losing her husband early on, she took over for him at the post office, doing the job of Postmistress and raising her four children as a single mom. With thirty-five years under her belt and retirement knocking at the door, Elsie had hired Harper to take over as her replacement, though she still came in a few days a week just to help pass the hours. The old woman laughed as she approached the front counter.
“My dear, you need to relax a little. You’re only twenty-four. Why be in such a hurry?”
 “I just feel like an old spinster working here at the post office.” When Elsie raised an eyebrow, Harper rephrased.



*****

Next in line is the Montana Series Short Story 
and it's FREE !!

Amazon    B&N    Roane Publishing    Smashwords



Happy Holidays to you all !!!