Sunday, September 25, 2011

It Started with a Whisper

It started when my friend Denise whispered, “I’m going to write a romance novel.” Story snippets of dashing men and valiant women have always raced through my mind only to fade when the phone rang, the traffic light changed, or the kids got loud. I thought I was a real Walter Mitty. But Denise’s whisper made me stop and think. Could I write a book, I mean really, write a story and get it published?
How many times had I enjoyed reading a story so much that when it was over I would ‘write’ the epilog. I wasn’t willing to say good-bye just yet. Just one more … well, just more. My friend’s whisper raced around my head for days. My romantic daydreams have plots and my characters have their goals, motivations, and conflicts. Dare I commit my story to paper? I didn’t decide to write. I needed to write, a compulsion that turned into liberation. How empowering for my stories to come alive, to give my characters breath, and watch the words fill page after page. But that’s only part of my adventure. The genre surprised my family but oh how well it fit.
For me the lure of time travel has led to many wonderful stories filled with adventure and romance. My early favorites included Rip Van Winkle, A Connecticut in King Arthur’s Court, The Time Machine, Outlander and Knight in Shining Armor and, as I read more, I’ve added others to the list. What is it about time travel that readers find it so compelling? Time travel stories provide a unique writing devise where characters can reunite with someone they’ve lost, they can fix a past mistake, or they can look into the future. I was interested in looking at the past. Contemporary really didn’t interest me but the past was a treasure trove to me. My debut story, Knight of Runes, is a historical time travel.  
In my time travel story, the conflict centers around the very different attitudes of a woman’s place in society, the disenfranchised woman of the 17th century juxtaposed against the liberated woman of the 21st century. How she faces the attitudes and how she and the people she meets learn to deal with each other are a big part of the story as well as adventure and romance.
What genre do you like to read? What are your favorite stories? Wait, let me get a little closer. Whisper it in my ear …

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Romance of Time Travel

I was doing research for this week’s blog on time travel and found a wonder post from Jody Beck’s Women’s Forum. I was excited to see authors that I know and admire on Jodi’s lists.

Here is her post. I've added it here below for your convenience.

Time travel romance novels writers have carved out their very own genre of romance novels. These splendid stories are romance at the core and they appeal to a wide variety of people because they carry aspects of a few other beloved genres. Some people think of time travel romances as historical romances because time travel means going back in time.  In reality they are far more variegated than that.  Time travel romance novels are one of the more exciting genres within the romance genre. Time travel books can also be part of another genre such as futuristic, science fiction, Dungeons & Dragons, or paranormal romance. Women who like other aspects of romance novels beyond just the romance typically love time travel romance novels.  You'll be hooked before you know it.  The following novels come highly recommended for a "far out and away" trip to anywhere. The following novels come highly recommended for a "far out and away" trip to anywhere.

Take a little trip this summer, the options are many...

Books That Time Travel to Old England
There are many time travel books that take either the male or female character back in time. It seems that traveling back to England in the 15th century or later is the most common location of time travel romances. A few of these books are listed below.

Books Within a Series With Time Travel
Some book series have characters that time travel in only a couple of books. This is perfect for the reader who is wondering if they would enjoy time travel romance novels. A couple of different series and the time travel books within them are listed below.  From the Dark-Hunter series:

  • Dragonswan by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

From the Viking series:
  • The Reluctant Viking by Sandra Hill
  • The Outlaw Viking by Sandra Hill

Time Travel Series
There are also full series of books that are considered time travel romance series. These books are for people who love the time travel romance genre. The nice thing about reading a time travel series is that the author is familiar with switching time periods and it is often easier to read than authors who write a time travel novel once. A few different time travel book series are listed below.

Time Travel to Modern Times
Although time travel romance novels typically travel backwards, some of them bring a character forward in time. These books are set in today's world but one of the main characters will have to learn to deal with things like cars, TVs, and other modern inventions. The fun thing about these books is that the time traveling characters have to deal things that they never even imagined could be invented. A few different romance novels that bring characters ahead in time are listed below.

Futuristic Time Travel
Futuristic time travel books take the reader to new worlds that are created completely from the author's imagination. These books are exciting because the reader gets to learn about the characters as well as the new world. Some futuristic time travel romance novels are listed below.

What’s your favorite time travel story?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

       My tradition encompasses all of life, day and night, light and dark, even in the most difficult of situations--the imminent and then actual loss of a loved one. My beliefs are there to give me strength, to guide me, and to help me grow and see beyond the loss.

       It is my hope that you use whatever words and ideas are helpful to you as we pay honor to all those lost on September 11 and to their survivors who need our support. 

       If you would like, please share your thoughts, feelings, where you were ten years ago. Sometime the burden is just too heavy to shoulder alone.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Romance Over the Centuries

This week I found a great post on Sapphire Phelan’s Passion Center. She had a great overview of the history of romance over the centuries. She provided insight into the etymology (origin) of words, history of romantic practices, and how love and marriage has changed over the centuries.

The need to procreate and to be close to another person hasn’t changed over the centuries. It's part of who and what we are. What has changed is how we go about it. The romance of it all.

Sapphire’s post starts with the Greek explanation of the four types of love, philia, brotherly or familial love, eros intimate or romantic love, storge an affection or fondness and agape a selfless or spiritual love.

The definition locked down, she begins her march through time. This is what I found so intriguing. She acknowledges the brutality of the ancients raiding villages to capture wives, and moved on to the Medieval custom of arranged marriages for property, monetary and political alliances. She also provided the origin of honeymoon.

I hadn’t realized that today’s courting rituals was rooted in medieval chivalry. “The importance of love in a relationship emerged as a reaction to arranged marriages. Still, it was not considered a prerequisite in matrimonial decisions. Suitors wooed their intended with serenades and flowery poetry… Chastity and honor were highly regarded virtues. In 1228, women first gained the right to propose marriage in Scotland, a legal right that then slowly spread through Europe.”  This era saw the rise of romance in literature and on the stage, albeit only men performing.

Loves spoons were all the rage in 17th century Wales as a way for a suitor to state his case. In England, chivalrous gentlemen sent a pair of gloves to the object of their affection hoping they would wear them to church on Sunday as a sign of their acceptance. The Renaissance had its own customs keeping in mind that the main goal was to produce children.

During the Victorian Era courting was very formal and controlled. As Sapphire mentioned, “It became a sort of art form among the upper classes.” There’s a great web site by Michelle J. Hoppe that gives all the particulars for Courting the Victorian Lady.

Today, romance still blooms. Many of the traditional methods of dating are no longer of much use to either sex these days. Though some of even the oldest ideas are still considered romantic in our times, many are not practiced simply because they do not seem to fit in our modern world. 

To me romance is soft and tender quiet words spoken, small things done without asking, it’s time alone as well as time with friends. It’s a touch, a kiss, a whisper, and sometimes even silence.

How do you like your romance?