Huge shout of thanks to Bobbi Dumas for organizing RARM (click here to see the full calendar) and to Lorelei's Lit Lair for recommending me.
Falling for Romance:
The summer before 6th grade I discovered boys and romance. I know what you’re thinking, no way does a 12 year-old boy know anything about romance, but you’re wrong. See back then, it was still innocent puppy crushes.
I was at camp (no, not band camp either) and we had the sweetest and cutest junior counselors ever. We sat next to each other around the campfire and secretly held hands. We flirted during activities (and maybe, just maybe I already knew how to shoot a bow and arrow, but it was thrilling when Jack put his arms around me and helped me pull back the string). We had chaperoned dances and the boys were shy and unsure, but their smiles when you said yes would light up the room. It was the first stages of being aware of each other and that we were “different”. It was fun and sweet and there was a simple joy in the newfound knowledge.
The following summer while spending time with my grandparents, I complained about being bored. I didn’t want to ride horses or go swimming or shoot bows and arrows and I was out of books. I’m still not sure how my grandfather came to have a box of Harlequin books, but he did and he gave them to me. Oh, Penny Jordan, how I love you and the joy you brought me that summer.
I learned about billionaires falling in love with their secretaries, and Greek tycoons, Arab sheiks, romance between adults, love and I traveled the world that summer. It was heaven. Sheer bliss. And maybe, just maybe I pictured myself in the heroine’s role and Jack from summer camp as the hero (he was quite swoon-worthy in his John Deere tractor hat). I don’t know how many Harlequin romances I devoured that summer, but I was hooked. They got me threw some tough times in junior high and high school. They were my escape from reality’s pressures and a broken heart or two.
To this day, I still read romance for the escape and the joy the stories bring to me. I can’t ever imagine not reading this genre.
1 - Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
I was at my chapter’s conference, Fiction Fest, and during lunch my first page (of my very first story) was chosen and read aloud (anonymously) in front of all the attendees, as well as the editors and agents. The crowd’s reaction was everything I could hope for and more. To top it off, my hubby was there and got to experience that moment with me.
2 - Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
Disneyland. Yes, the “happiest place on earth” is my happy place. It’s not just about the rides and the magic, but this is a place that I visited as a kid with my mom and grandparents. Then I got to experience it again as a parent with my kids and their grandmothers. It was so fun to see not only their smiles, but to know they’d have those happy memories like I did.
3 - Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
Well, my kids’ laughter tops the list, but outside of that it’s the sound of the ocean’s waves crashing against the shore. I don’t know why, but it brings me peace and makes my heart smile.
4 - What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?
It’s not recent, as a matter of fact, I read it over 25 years ago, but it’s stuck with me all these years ~ SKYE O’MALLEY by the lovely Bertrice Small.
I was young, newly married, feeling very overwhelmed and alone when I picked up Skye’s story. The author threw so many obstacles in the heroine’s way, but Skye never gave up. She overcame, adapted, proved women could be whatever they wanted and not lose themselves in the process. We could be strong, and still loving and find our happy ending.
5 - And for fun, the joy of choice ;o) ~
Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) - trying for a little diversity! ;o)
Ooh, tough choice, but I’m going to have to go with Chris Pratt. He’s cute, funny, and in a recent interview he said he was: keeping his eye on the prize, his wife and son and looking forward to someday doing normal things with them like coaching his son in football. Total swoon-worthy. Although, none of the Chris' top this guy (My hubby):
Drawing - In celebration of RARM, I'm giving away three copies of my debut, BACHELORETTE FOR SALE. You can enter 1 of 3 ways: comment below and tell me a favorite author of yours; go to my Facebook page and tell me your favorite romance author; or like my Facebook page. Winners will have their choice of Kindle or Nook copy of the book. And yes, you can do all three and be entered all three time.
Recommendations - So many great choices, but here are a few of my favorites I know you’ll love:
Jesse Hayworth (http://www.jessehayworth.com) Read Jess' RARM post by clicking here.
Laura Moore (www.lauramoorebooks.com) Read Laura's RARM post by clicking here.
Erika Kelley (www.erikakellybooks.com). Read her RARM here.
For more great author recommendations, check out Lorelei's Lit Lair (
www.facebook.com/loreleislitlair) or read her RARM post here.
About Gail Chianese: