Why I Write Romance

Don’t tell my mom, but I started reading romance at the age of ten. I’d worked my way through all of the children’s books available in the local bookmobile, so I turned to the adult section, where I spied a book with a woman in a flowing green dress on the cover. The back said something about a pirate. I was hooked from that moment on (and still wish I could remember the name of that fateful book!).

As a teenager addicted to historical romance novels, I often had to defend my reading material of choice, even writing an essay for my tenth grade English class explaining my love for the genre: I read romance, because no matter what happens (and some pretty crazy things happen), you know those two people are going to end up together.

For this anxiety-prone child of divorce, that was the ultimate comfort, the idea that two flawed people could encounter all sorts of obstacles and still stay together, still find everlasting love.

As to why I write it? Because as an adult, I continue to seek that comfort, that security, that promise every day. Also, I’m a bit of a control freak. Plus, I really love witty repartee between characters. So an encouraging, reassuring story (with funny/witty parts, or so I hope) dictated entirely by me? Sign me up!

Romance provides escape, yes, but it also provides hope, and reminders that no matter what obstacles may come, Happy Ever After might be just around the corner. I hope my books entertain, amuse, and give that sense of hope, that sense of promise we all need, that second chances are possible, and that when life seems its bleakest, a new chapter might be waiting to be written. Gosh, that’s super-corny, but it’s true.

Writing, I’ve learned, also allows me to explore my own thoughts and beliefs through watching/learning what my characters do.

In A Man of Character, I examined the ideas of fantasy versus reality, perhaps in part because people have long challenged romance as presenting impossible ideals.

In A Matter of Time, I delved into whether feminism is compatible with wanting to prioritize love and marriage. (For the record, I am an ardent feminist who happens to be madly in love with my husband and who finds my identity in that relationship, and I’m good with that. So my answer to that question is a resounding yes.)

In A Scandalous Matter, I switched up the feminist theme by asking if romantic relationships negate individual independence, through the eyes of a heroine and hero who believe the two ideas are incompatible. (Spoiler alert: I disagree.)

And in my forthcoming The Demon Duke, admittedly a bit of a Beauty and the Beast story (my favorite Disney tale!) I looked at how we judge others and how we judge ourselves, and how we must make peace with who we are before we can be truly happy.

In each of my books, a main theme is finding one’s place in the world. How ironic that in becoming a writer, I’ve finally done just that. I know where I belong now, where my heart feels happiest, and it’s in writing romance.

I’ve come full circle, and I’m incredibly blessed.

Now, to you: What makes YOU read (or write) romance? I’d love to know! 


An earlier version of this blog post appeared on Tina Glasneck’s Celebrate With A Book site. I’m grateful to her for being fine with me posting it here, as well.

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COVER REVEAL & Pre-Order: The Demon Duke

Don’t you just love this cover? Thank you a million times over to Lankshear Design for another stunning winner!


The Demon Duke debuts June 6th, 2017 (not quite 6/6/6, but that’s because Damon Blackbourne, Duke of Malford, is not quite the demon everyone makes him out to be.

Here’s the blurb:

Behind every good man is a great secret.

Banished to Yorkshire as a boy for faults his father failed to beat out of him, Damon Blackbourne has no use for English society and had vowed never to return to his family’s estate at Thorne Hill, much less London. However, when his father and brother die in a freak carriage accident, it falls on Damon to take up the mantle of the Malford dukedom, and to introduce his sisters to London Society–his worst nightmare come to life.

He never planned on Lady Grace Mattersley. The beautiful debutante stirs him body and soul with her deep chocolate eyes and hesitant smiles. Until she stumbles across his dark secret.

Shy and bookish Grace much prefers solitude and reading to social just-about-anything. Her family may be pressuring her to take on the London Season to find herself a husband, but she has other ideas. Such as writing a novel of her own.

But she has no idea how to deal with the Duke of Malford.

Will she betray him to the world? Or will she be his saving Grace?


Want to pre-order it for your Kindle now? Find it here: http://bit.ly/TheDemonDuke

Paperbacks available on release day!

RELEASE DAY for A Scandalous Matter + A Look Back and Ahead

Insta1What A Difference A Year Makes. 

When I mentioned to someone recently that my third book was about to debut, she looked at me with an astonished expression and said, “Isn’t that three books in a YEAR? That’s AMAZING!”

Close. Just over a year, since A Man of Character debuted at the end of May in 2015, and A Scandalous Matter arrived today (wahoo!). But still, her words made me pause. It IS amazing to realize how far I’ve come in fourteen months.

amanofcharactersmallOf course, I’ve been at this for far longer. I started writing A Man of Character in the fall of 2011. I likely would have published it sooner had I not let fear get in the way and shelved the whole project for a year. Even so, I worked on that book for four years. I worked on A Matter of Time for two, beginning it as a National Novel Writing Month adventure in the fall of 2013, and releasing it in November of 2015.

A Scandalous Matter fell together far more quickly – a bit out of necessity. It occurred to me while finishing A Matter of Time that the next logical book to give to my readers was not the book I’d written for NaNoWriMo 2014 (The Demon Duke), but rather Amara’s story. I realized this in October. I got busy writing in November. So all in all, I crafted A Scandalous Matter in eight months.

HandsonFace2

This is not nearly as fast as many of today’s authors, who are managing to produce new material every 90, 60, or even 30 days, just as the Amazon algorithm likes. That’s not me. In fact, I can’t believe I managed to get A Scandalous Matter done as quickly as I did – and my family will tell you it pretty much stole me away from them for quite some time!

amatteroftimesmallI love writing (editing, not so much, but that’s another story). I truly do. I finally feel as if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I look forward to bringing many more stories to the world. But until the kids are older and more self-sufficient (read: out on their own), I need to remind myself it’s quality, not quantity, I’m going for, and that while I could easily give this career 80-100 hours a week, I haven’t got that to spare. My wife and mom hats need equal space on my head.

If this sounds less than positive, I certainly don’t mean it to be. I’m incredulous at my own risk-taking (never one of my fortes), at my willingness to put these books out there – and at the wonderful reception they’ve received! I’m constantly chatting with the characters in my head, and have at least ten to fifteen tales waiting to be written. I just hope my readers will stay with me if it takes me a bit longer to get more books out. Because I love you, and you merit only the very best I can produce!

Having said that, looking forward, here’s what’s in (or will be in) the works:

  • A novella about the origin of Cat’s mysterious magical manuscript.
  • The Demon Duke, the first in my Put Up Your Dukes (non-magical) Regency series, about a duke with a dark secret, and a shy, reluctant debutante who could be his savior … or his undoing.
  • The Once and Future Duke, the second in the PUYD series, about James Bradley, Duke of Arthington, Deveric’s sidekick from A Matter of Time.
  • The Legendary Duke, the third in the PUYD series, based loosely on the legend of Gawain and the Green Knight.
  • The Irish Duke, the fourth in the PUYD series, featuring Deveric’s other sidekick, Morgan Collinswood, Marquess of Emerlin.
  • The Boy Next Door, a non-magical contemporary about Taylor Duncan, sister to A Scandalous Matter‘s Matthew Goodson, and what’s right in her face. Or who.
  • A Complicated Matter, book 4 in my Magic of Love series. After you read A Scandalous Matter, I’ll let you guess whose story this is.
  • A Matter of Chance, the story of Chance Mattersley, younger brother of A Matter of Time‘s Deveric Mattersley.
  • A Matter of Honor, Deveric’s younger sister Emmeline’s story.

Whew. Looking at that list, I’d better get busy!

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Thank You Word CloudThank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you, my friends, family, fans, readers (I still can’t believe I have the last two!). Your words of encouragement, your reviews, your invaluable support all have lifted me higher this year than I ever thought possible. I look forward to many more years together!