So without further ado [what? ... ya gotta have The Bard mentioned somewhere], take it away ... Willa!
Why I Love to Read Romances
Over the two years I’ve been a published romance author I’ve spoken a lot about why I write romance. There are many reasons why I love to write romances. Because I believe in love. Because I love getting to know two characters in and out (In my opinion there’s no genre that focuses on the back story and motivations of the characters than romance. How else would you believe these characters are falling in love). And because I love happy endings.
But I’ve never written about why I love to read romance. I think every romance author was a romance reader beforehand. I don’t think you could seriously enter into this genre without being an avid reader first. Due to the vast rules of how a romance can be structured (it has to have a happily ever after, a hero and heroine with their own journeys, vulnerability and obstacles) and also because there’s far too many negative opinion and all out untruths out there about this genre to ever approach it, without first loving the genre. I know I had a lot of untrue preconceived notions before I started reading romance. That romance novels are easy to write (biggest lie in the industry), that all they were was sex (that’s erotica, not romance or even erotic romance, though I enjoy well written erotica there’s no denying romance and erotica are two completely different genres).
I stumbled across my first romance novel far before I realized I wanted to write romance, even though I’d been writing all my life, and looking back on those older works I see the strong romance themes in everyone of those stories. As I said before, you can’t really think of being a romance writer until you’ve read several. I picked up my first romance novel by accident. Really. I thought it was a historical novel. But once I started reading I was hooked. I picked up few more, and soon was reading several a month.
Don’t get me wrong I loved the stories, from medievals, to westerns, to paranormal regencies I was enraptured. The characters were real to me. They’re a great escape from the hum drum of the every day. But that’s not what actually made me love reading romances. It’s the hope that’s written into each romance novel that I love so much. Not only hope for true love and a happily ever after (and some great sex, if you’re reading books like mine). It’s the hope that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. When you accidently cross the street and almost get run over by a bus, it’s going to be your dashing prince charming that will save you. When you lose your job, you’re going to end up finding the job you really wanted and be much happier with the man of your dreams. Romance novels give us hope that all the obstacles we suffer through will move us towards the place we’re meant to be. Romance novels give us hope that everything will end happily, and we’ll all end up exactly where we want to be.
Though I know it’s true that sometimes bad things just happen, and often there’s no prince to save you and just have to do it yourself. I rather like hoping there’s a happily ever after in my future. In a world of uncertainty, where people are losing their jobs and homes, I think a little hope is a good thing. So I’ll keep reading my romances, feel that hope for a little while longer. I hope you all will too.
Here’s a little snippet of my latest release, Snow Day. I hope you enjoy it.
Michaela is thrilled to get home after the tense drive from work on the snow covered highway. And she may be just a little bitter that her boyfriend and teacher, Ben, spent all day in bed, on a snow day from school.
But she's relieved to be let out of work at least a few hours early. That is until she hears noises from her bedroom, that in no way resemble monster trucks or football announcements, and sound way too close another woman's moan.
Michaela can't help but investigate. She never could have guessed what she finds in her bedroom would be just as stimulating to her as it is for Ben. With a little bit of sexy help, Michaela plans to show Ben exactly who he belongs too, and make him wish every day could be a snow day.
Michaela dropped her purse on the small cherry entranceway table. Slamming the door shut behind her to keep out the fierce chilly winds, she let out an exasperated sigh, enveloped by the warm heat.
“God, it’s good to be home,” she whispered into the empty mudroom.
She shucked off her jacket and scarf, thick with the moisture of melted snow. Her nerves still jangled from the slow, slick drive home from the plant. Everyone moved at a crawl, each one increasingly afraid of what could be under the thick, fluffy, white layer. Could it be black ice? Or slush? Anything could send their cars careening off the side of the road into the imposing bank. It was enough to set anyone on edge.
The whole ride she’d been petrified of the same thing, sliding off the road, getting stuck in any of the number of ditches and sloped banks beside the twenty-three miles of highway she drove each day home from work. Most days, the long stretch of highway appeared benign, lulling her into a hypnotic state till she reached her door, but today it had been ugly, angry, hungry, and malcontent.
Lucky Ben got to stay home today. He didn’t have to brave the roads at all, or worry about the possible risk of property, life, or limb. She should’ve listened to her mother and become a teacher. She could’ve been a good math teacher, found a school where Ben and she could both work, and spend their snow days at home, together.
They could have stood by the radio this morning, like kids, anxiously awaiting the name of their school to be called. Instead, she’d quickly slurped down her coffee, with no solid food to accompany it, and ran out the door, already late. They could’ve returned to bed together, as Ben no doubt had done after she left, instead of racing down the slick roads to arrive at her desk, before her boss noticed she’d appeared twenty minutes late.
“Ben, I’m home,” she called up the stairs, only to be met by silence.
No, she had to rebel against her mother’s advice. She’d gotten her engineering degree instead, and spent most of her days fighting the arrogant male chauvinists working next to her at the electricity company, instead of helping teenagers learn the quadratic equation.
She placed her thick winter jacket and scarf on the coat tree next to Ben’s unused one, her lips turning up in a slight snarl. Even though she’d gone to work, and put in almost a full day, leaving two hours early due to the road conditions, Michaela knew Ben had spent his day sleeping and watching TV.
From the corner of her eye, she spied a used cereal bowl sitting on the living room coffee table, the spoon lying ajar across the lip. “At least he managed to get himself a bowl of Cocoa Peebles,” she whispered sarcastically.
She slipped her snow-caked boots off her feet, placing them on the rubber, winter mat to prevent a large puddle from forming in her newly tiled entryway. She paused, debating throwing the snow she’d tracked in with her boots back outside to prevent too much from melting on the tiles. She should, to maintain her brand new slate floors, but she loathed opening the door and braving the harsh winds or whipping flakes again for a few snowballs.
Amidst her quandary, a soft foreign noise prickled her attention, emanating from up the stairs. A muted, feminine moan appeared to come from the region of her bedroom. Her entire body froze, colder with fear than the temperature outside. Her mind swirled, the possible reasons for the noise coming from her bedroom coiling in her stomach, tightening every nerve in her body.
Was there another woman in her house? In her bed? With her boyfriend? Michaela's body clamped down with rage, her hands balled in tight fists, all thoughts of slate tiles and snowballs vanished from her mind, and far scarier images took their place.
Ben and Michaela had been together for seven years, since their freshman year of college, and they’d never had any problems in the bedroom. Both of their creative and open attitudes led to many satisfying nights. But like all relationships, over the years those explosive crazy nights drifted further apart, a pleasing consistency taking its place.
She still enjoyed every moment with him, their lovemaking fulfilled Michaela to heart-pounding, earth-shattering pleasure, but what if Ben wasn’t as satisfied? What if he’d grown tired of fucking the same woman every night?
Ben never seemed the type of guy to cheat. Steadfast and constant, Ben preferred the same routine, rather than the excitement of something new. Surely a guy who ordered the same turkey sandwich at work every day, couldn’t be searching and desperate for something new?
Even if he wanted to leave her, which Michaela hadn’t noticed, she was sure he’d tell her. He’d face the conflict with the same respect he did every aspect of his life, from the cable guy to the kids failing his class, and tell her the truth, instead of screwing around behind her back.
Except for the complication of this monstrous house they’d bought together, a house neither of them could afford on their own, especially with all the upgrades and renovations they’d done since buying it. With the housing market crash, they’d never get the same money out of it they’d put in. They’d never discussed what to do if their relationship ended when they’d started looking for a home or picked this house. At the time, it hadn’t occurred to Michaela to have an exit strategy. She never thought she’d need one.
She hadn’t been upset by the downturn, she’d planned on being here a long time, but she did remember Ben being bothered by it. Was it possible he’d been thinking of leaving her then? That he’d only stayed because they couldn’t sell the house without ending up with a mountain of debt? Would Ben stay with her because he didn’t have the money to start over?
In her stocking feet, Michaela slowly made her way up the stairs, trying not to step too hard on any tread and give away her presence. Her approach undetected, the soft moans and groans of another woman in her bedroom continued, uninterrupted.
She’d always wondered why women walked in on their lovers in the throes with another, why they seemed so intent to catch their man red-handed, or inside a redhead, whichever maybe the case. Now, actually in the situation, she understood. She had to witness it, had to see the evidence right in front of her face, to truly believe it.
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