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We All Need Romance in Our Lives

I don't think it hurts to be romantic - or read romance.

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I recently had an occasion (not a great one) to be at the hospital and while one of the aides was showing me how to get to where I needed to go, she asked me about my Area 51 handbag.

I told her I wrote scifi and no, I hadn’t stormed Area 51.

She said, “I used to read scifi but I outgrew it.”

While I was still trying to process the notion of outgrowing scifi, she went on, “I used to read romance but I got over that.”

Now I’m even more flummoxed and I’m trying to think of a response, but she doesn’t wait again.

“You don’t have to say anything. I know nothing good ever came of a romance novel.”

I might have gobbled a few times and then I said, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think it hurts to be romantic.” 

Before I could cite statistics or mention the empowering aspects of the romance novel for women, she had to leave. I wish I had been able to think faster on my feet, but yeah, stress of being in the hospital and not seeing it coming…

I know peoples’ reading preferences can change over time. Mine have for sure. I have devoured historicals, Gothics, mysteries, thrillers, women’s fiction—well, I’ve read a lot of genres. Some I’ve moved on from and many still reside on my bookshelves. I call them my comfort reads—and they include some books of my youth that I will never “outgrow.” 

But there is a thread that runs through the books I keep and what I read now. 

If you’re on my blog much, then you know I write scifi, mystery, suspense, Gothic—all with romance swirled through them. 

I think I started reading romance novels when I was…twelve? My grandma would hand me what she was reading. They were a mix of Gothic romances and Harlequins (back when they were all “sweet”). 

I don’t know if the books helped make me romantic, or if I was already inclined that way and they just reinforced it. 

I am a romantic and I’m glad I haven’t outgrown it! 

If you look at my list, you might notice that my romance all has a hyphen:

Romantic-suspense

Mystery-romance

Science-fiction-romance

Comedy-mystery-romance

When I first started trying to write stories, I wasn’t looking to mix my genres up. I wanted to write what I’d read and enjoyed: a romance. 

For the most part, I failed. I would think I was writing a romance and then bullets started to fly, or my heroine stumbled over a body. Clearly, I had also been heavily influenced by the Gothics and romantic suspense novels I’d read. 

There is, however, a few exceptions to my inability to write a romance. Through the years, I have managed to write eight short stories where no one died or got shot at. Lol

I fear these are it for me and straight romance—but you never know. I didn’t think I would write a second Gothic (though that is still in the planning stages!). 

Here’s the scoop on Let’s Fall in Love:

Do you need a little romance in your life? Browse eight romantic short stories featuring such classic romance themes as the billionaire who gets schooled by a short-order cook. Does the sheik deserve a second chance at love? Or the one with the secretary who dances her way into her boss’s heart. A Hatfield and McCoy retelling or the husband who learns, almost too late, what real love means. And what would a romance collection be with an arranged marriage…in space. 

Love, laughter and happy endings guaranteed in a collection that is “…unusual but delightful to read…”

This collection also got a new cover this year. It’s like spring cleaning for books. Lol If you’re looking for something to satisfy your romantic side, I hope you’ll check out Let’s Fall in Love.

Perilously yours,

Pauline

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