Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The Notebook
Love is the foundation of most books. A bold statement. It is though. In most books whether mystery, fantasy, science fiction, mainstream, historical, paranormal, etc…somewhere in the book there is a romance or lack there of that is the driving force behind the book. People need love to thrive. So romance will always thrive.

We dream of it when we don’t have it. We dream of it when we do. From ‘You had me from hello’ to the final scene of the Notebook where Allie asked “Do you think that our love can create miracles?” Within each of us is a desire to find that kind of love. Is it real this kind of love?

I contend it is. I’m a romantic. I always have been. I believe in love at first sight and happily ever after. Growing up in the hill country of northeast Mississippi, I spent a great many days and nights reading about that love. I fell in love with the classics, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. I snuck into my mother’s closet and read books she would never have approved of for me. Does anyone remember The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodwiss?

The Flame and the Flower
Ah, Kathleen Woodwiss a pioneer in romance writing. I love her books. Another favorite, Ashes in the Wind! She turned the romance writing world around to where writing sex scenes weren’t taboo anymore. Though I don’t believe that love scenes have to constitute sex scenes, but the way Ms Woodwiss wrote them you believed they were love scenes.

Romance books allow us to live our fantasies. For a brief moment in time we escape. Can you imagine how many governesses after reading Jane Eyre dreamed of marrying their employer?  Probably not a reality to most, but a brief reprieve from their own lives.

Everyone needs to believe that they can obtain that love. Romance novels allow us to hold to that belief.

Oh, I have problems with some romance novels as do we all. I have been known to point out a few discrepancies on historical romances. Then there is that romance formula we are suppose to follow when we write romances where alpha male meets damsel in distress. I admit I have problems following the formula at times. I believe love comes to my characters in different ways.

Is there a difference, though, between romantic love and true love? With romantic love it’s the emotion that follows a narrow path leading to only one thing…passion. With this passion emerges only one thought. When we are in romantic love we will sacrifice everything for that passion. Does it wane over time this passion? It’s my belief that is a question to be answered by an individual. This I will say- to evolve to true love you have to go down the path of romantic love.

I think back to an incident in my life that weighs in favor of an evolving romantic love. Once when I was a child of no more than nine or ten, my grandmother had a heart attack. It was bad. All of us cousins were brought to one of my uncle’s who lived close to the hospital while our parents were at the hospital. We were outside playing when I wanted a drink. Running back into the house, I paused at the patio glass door. Sitting at the kitchen table alone was my grandfather. The sadness in his eyes couldn’t be denied. He sat quietly staring down at his wedding ring turning it over and over. Even at my young age I comprehended clearly the pain he felt and why. Is it not what we truly strive for? For that kind of love when you truly are one person.

Our job as romance writers is to create a world that draws the reader in, to connect our character to their life, to feel their emotions, to experience their love and perhaps at times imagine our love in real life as the perfect hero.

My true love (hubbie) is at this moment in the bathroom putting down a new floor. Maybe not the most romantic thing in the world to some, but as I sit at my computer my hero is racing to save the love of his life. Comparable? 

It shouldn’t be surprising to know that all my heroes are in some form or fashion formulate from the love I share with the love of my life. After over twenty-five years he still makes my heart flutter. Writing and reading romances helps bring me back to the time when we first met, to the time when we couldn’t keep our hands off each other.
Patriot Secrets
So the question remains. Is Romantic Love Real? Simply put…yes.

You will find my next release, The Judas Kiss, out this coming January with Whiskey Creek Press. A historical romance. I’m excited because it’s the first in the Tides of Charleston series. You will find my other books, Dream Walker and Patriot Secrets, at most ebook stores. Follow me on Facebook- Novel Works is my fan page where I recommend books, authors, blogs… I’m also on Twitter  @jhines340. 


Victoria S. said...

The Notebook is my all time favorite! Yes, I read romances because I believe in love. Great blog!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Lovely blog, Jerri. True love, love at first sight - yes to all of it!

Laura Breck said...

Jerri, great post. How sweet that you and your hubby are still so in love! *sighs* I had the privilege of meeting Kathleen Woodiwiss in the '90s when she'd was living part-time in Minnesota. It was at a farmer's market, and she was just trying to shop, but I recognized her and went all 'fan girl' on her. She was very gracious and encouraged me to keep writing. Aren't authors wonderful people?

Colleen Connally said...

I'm a firm believer in love at first sight. Fell in love with hubbie at first sight over twenty-seven years ago.

Colleen Connally said...

Laura, I'm so envious you got to met Kathleen Woodiwiss. One of my all time favorite authors. Authors are wonderful people!

Colleen Connally said...

I agree with you about the Notebook. Such a touching story.

Barbara Edwards said...

What a romantic post. I'm looking forward to reading your books and getting that romantic viewpoint.

Alison Henderson said...

Hi Jerri,
The Flame and the Flower was the very first romance novel I read, and what an introduction! I was completely swept away and have been addicted ever since. Everyone who knows me (family included) thinks of me as "the practical one" or "the sensible one", but romance novels let me express and enjoy the emotional and romantic side of myself. Great post!

Jannine Gallant said...

Loved the story about your grandfather. When you see love like that after years and years of marriage, it renews your faith in the whole concept of ever lasting love.

Have to laugh. I still have battered copies of The Flame and the Flower and Shanna on my bookshelf!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Love, we all crave it. Babies need it to thrive and mature into loving, giving adults. We need it to feel complete. Having lived a singular life for over ten years, I much prefer having that special someone who makes me smile and sigh and try harder. Love, a singular syllable with infinite emotion. You've captured it all in a few well-written paragaphs. Great post.

Colleen Connally said...

Romantic love is alive and well even for us pratical ones. Don't know if anyone would call me the sensible one, though.

Colleen Connally said...


Somehow I had forgotten about Shanna! Oh, I have to go back and reread that one. I loved it.
As for my grandfather, I'll never forget that look in his eyes. Bitter, sweet...

Colleen Connally said...

Love does add another dimension to our lives. We all need to believe we can find that love. It does give us hope. Thanks for the kind words.

B. J. Robinson said...

Romantic love is real when it's a love like theirs. I loved The Notebook, and I'm a fan of Nicholas Sparks. Barb

Colleen Connally said...

Nicholas Sparks is a great author. He has a new one coming out, The Best of Me, this October. Sounds really good.

Margaret Tanner said...

Great post Jerri, nice to know you have your own real life hero. Sounds like a rel gem.



Colleen Connally said...

Wouldn't trade him for the world!