Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SAVOR THE FLAVOR OF ROMANCE

Since we're celebrating Romance Awareness Month, I thought I'd write about one of my favorite topics: Romance novels. They are as varied and textured as the food we eat. Some are more wholesome while others contain a spiciness that may or may not agree with readers. Still others might be “too mushy” for some – and then there are those novels which are so addictive that, like potato chips, you can’t consume just one.

The inspirational historical romance, then, might be compared to a fruit smoothie that’s served in a lovely, long-stemmed glass. It’s refreshing and sweet, but sometimes tart too. It’s good for the body and soul, and very classy. There are no additives so sensitive readers can enjoy it. And it comes in many different flavors (a.k.a. time periods).

For instance my novel Unwilling Warrior (Realms/Charisma House) takes place during the Civil War. This part of history has often been romanticized in sagas such as Gone With The Wind and I have to admit to watching the movie at least twenty-five times. I’ve always been intrigued with the American South’s antebellum period. While I’m aware of the inaccuracies within the Hollywood adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel, I’m enthralled with the era all the same. The beautiful flared, silk gowns, the majestic plantation homes, and the gallantry of handsome beaus beneath towering oaks are the perfect ingredients for any sweet historical novel -- maybe even the chocolate-raspberry smoothie of them all! 

My latest novel, Undaunted Faith, takes place in the Arizona Territory. Gotta love that rugged Old West – even though I would never survived it. Sand, spiders, and snakes...OH, MY!! And the flavor...hot, spicy, and sure to get my GERD all worked up. Nevertheless, I loved the movie True Grit (the version with Glen Campbell is my favorite).

As for reading, one of my favorite stories is The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander -- an RWA RITA winner. I also enjoyed (and endorsed) Miralee Ferrell's latest book, Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming.  (Click on that book title and read my interview with Miralee!)

So what kind of romance novels do you like reading? Do you have a special "flavor" you enjoy the most?

9 comments:

Jannine Gallant said...

It's funny how we all have our likes and dislikes as romance readers. I started with historicals, moved on to suspense, and always loved the eeriness of a good ghost story. Now I read most anything that holds my interest. But I'm a fast paced girl. Keep the action coming!

Jerri Hines/Carrie James-Haynes said...

Andrea,
Your books seem very easy to savor. Would love to discuss history with you at some point. I'm revising a civil war manuscript.
I love True Grit also. I love the orginal the best. Can't beat John Wayne in a western.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Andrea,
I'm with you for Gone Like the Wind. I've seen it about 25 times, also. I love realistic westerns and so I'm more of a remake-liker on True Grit. As far as romance books, my taste is not too narrow but I prefer contemporary, suspense and western.

Christine DePetrillo said...

I love most any romance novel, but lately I've been favoring romances that have supernatural heroes in them. I will admit to loving vampires. I have a T-shirt that says so. Any supernatural will do though. Vamps, weres, wizards, fairies, shifters, mutants...I don't care. I love them all!

Chris
www.christinedepetrillo.weebly.com

Barbara Edwards said...

I love comparing romance to food. It opens all kinds of ideas in my mind.
Looking forward to tasting your books!
Barbara

Vonnie Davis said...

If we can have our comfort foods, then why not comfort reads? I read any kind of romance, but it has to be well written. No head hopping, limited use of the word "had," and fast paced. I've learned to get a better quality read, I reach for new authors. Their writing is crisper and more flavorful. No lumps in those potatoes!!

Laura Breck said...

Andrea, I'll read just about anything, but contemporary is my favorite. Your books sound wonderful, and as soon as I find time to actually 'read' a book for enjoyment, I'm going to download Undaunted Faith. Great post today!

Alison H. said...

I read most romance genres, although I "discovered" romance through historicals, so they have a special place in my heart, especially the post-Civil War and Westerns. The one thing I've never been able to get into is paranormal (non-human) heroes. They can have extraordinary powers, but I like my men essentially human.

Margaret Tanner said...

Ooh Andrea,
Nice blog. I have to say historicals, either sweet or saucy, are the romances that I love. I don't mind which country an historical is set, I just like the sense of history and the aura of a bygone era. My one qualification is, nothing turns me off quicker than historical inaccuracy.

Regards

Margaret