Monday, January 29, 2007

Bethany True GuestBlog: Brains Are The New Boobs

Contest! Bethany's giving one lucky commenting Bella a signed copy of "Remember the Alimony!" Check back tomorrow to see if you've won.

I began reading Bethany True's debut romance, "Remember the Alimony" (Dorchester 1/30) and thought: there is no way in America this chick never walked a stage in a swimsuit. I mean, in "Remember the Alimony," she makes the uninitiated understand what it would be like to be a gorgeous blonde, blue-eyed Miss Texas, that most famed and fairy-tale-like of all Miss America contestants, a woman who will forever in her state be revered as having accomplished something akin to winning a Nobel Peace Prize, but while wearing better shoes.

"Remember the Alimony" isn't about pageants, per se. It's about about a woman trying to move forward after her billionaire husband trades her in for a newer model. From there, it's fun, mystery, and hawt romance. I know you'll enjoy Bethany as much as I do, so
please, offer her a warm Bella buongiorno...

I was raised with the media reinforcing the stereotype that guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses. Beauty and intelligence were seemingly fairly independent. Why? When discussing the brains-beauty correlation, people overwhelmingly assume that women who are classically beautiful glide through life using their physical assets instead of burying their beautiful noses in a book while women who are not work harder at being smarter to get ahead. Whether that is universally true can be argued until the apocalypse. The bigger issue, for me, is breaking down the stereotype on both sides.

Somewhere along the puberty path, women are divided into two categories – the beauty queen and the brain. We are expected to choose one and then cattily criticize the members of the other. Pretty girls are empowered b
y their sexuality, smart girls are empowered by their intellect and both are rather weak.

Women, especially our romance heroines, are finally starting to learn what men have known all along – that it’s okay to use a balance of brains and beauty to get the things you need to have a rich and fulfilling life. Making the choice to be a contestant in a pageant to win thousands of dollars in scholarship money isn’t demeaning, it’s smart. Spend two hours in the library reading sonnets about the loveliness of the female form and tell me you don’t feel sexier than after spending two hours in a beauty salon ogling “perfect” women in glamour magazines.

Beyond rejecting the idea that we have to be one or the other, women need to transcend convention’s definition of both. We are willing to accept the spectrum of sexiness in men from the absentminded lab geek to the Hollywood heartthrob. In a world where females are truly equal we are willing to accept the same range for ourselves. Sexy doesn’t only come
in a size six and a smart girl isn’t dumb just because she enjoys a trashy novel more than she does a Tolstoy.

She can be the beauty queen…with a brain.

When I tell people I write "Women's Fiction" I inevitably get the "But you're so smart…" response. Nothing makes my blood boil hotter. Romance as a genre doesn't have the best reputation with literary types – most willing to discount the genre as a whole.

Readers, writers and fans of romance – how do you answer the elitists? What, if anything, can be done to break down the stereotype that intelligent people don't enjoy well written romance novels?

56 comments:

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bethany! Great topic. I think it's interesting that in the drive to kind of revise historical romance heroines, the bluestocking is always seen as the underdog heroine who comes out of her shell to be seen as a bombshell by the reformed rake or duke, etc. But the gorgeous deb who uses her fragile beauty to snare a husband on the marriage mart is depicted as mincing, grasping, not genuine. (remember, I say interesting, not wrong).

One of the things I observe w/some smart women who love romance is a willingness to defend their predilection by accepting only the kick-ass or agressive heroine, while not accepting any other choices made. As if the mantra shouldn't be 'smart chicks dig romance,' but rather, 'smart chicks only dig certain kinds of romance. The rest truly is the anti-feminist dreck naysayers proclaim.'

That, girlfriends, raises my ire and protective instincts. Makes me just wanna defend every romance reader who ever loved a sexually harassing boss or doctor/nurse category romance from the 70s.

I'm proud that here at RBtheBlog, the Bellas give wide berth to anyone who digs any heroine's style w/in romance; they've got a tremendous willingness to listen to and learn about what women like to read.

So you're in the right spot with today's discussion, and it's particularly germane because of tonight's airing of the Miss America Pageant.

Looking forward to a fun day!

ev said...

Being a one of the brainy kinds, not the beautiful ones, I like almost all kinds of heroines, not just the kick ass ones. I love the ones who can do it with humor, or are total klutzs and everything they touch goes oops.

I got over worrying about what other people think of what I read a long time ago. I figure most of them don't even know how to read for enjoyment, and have been known to come back with a snarky comment or two when someone has said something to me.

I just graduated from college 2 years ago, and I would spend a lot of time at the library between classes. I would relax and read a good romance or sci-fi or something, while the snobs were reading their idiot artisty or psych(o) books or something else equally unenjoyable (to me). I got lots of sly looks and little snickers (heck, I was way older than most of them), but I know which ones of us were wearing honor cords when we walked the stage. And I used to watch some of my customers at the book store, hide their romance books amongst other stuff.

Why be ashamed or made to feel stupid becuase we like some romantic fantasy's? What's the difference between that and Sci-fi Fantasy? Talk about objectifying females. Have you ever read some of it? I do. LOL

I think it is time we all stood up for our choices wheter it is standing in the checkout line, or sitting at our kids games and not hiding what we read and not defending it either, but standing up for it.

Anonymous said...

YIKES..I can't sign into my account today. :(

I can't imagine hiding a romance novel in between other books either.

Nothing makes me more crazed than some narrowminded person who thinks Romance novels are porn.

For those that feel the need to comment negatively when they see someone carrying a Romance Novel obviously have NO CLASS or Manners! The first thing I was taught was is "If you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all."

But like Ev...I have learned not to care what people think about me. It wasn't easy...but after a while of being judged you just don't give a crap. LOL! People will think what they want of you no matter what you do, say or look like. It's their problem if they want to exist with a personality flaw of being judgmental. :)

Kelly F.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for having me, Michelle! I was surprised to see that "Brainy Girl" avatar! It is the same one on my myspace page. (cue Twilight Zone music)

hee hee

I get the same raised brow when I tell people what I write that I received when I told people I competed in pageants. Which is odd. I truly believe smart is synonymous with sexy (though not necessarily always true the other way around).

Reading is not only functional, educational and enlightening -- occasionally it should be just plain FUN. I challenge the people who look down on romance (and I will freely admit I was once one of those) to read at least one well written book. Never can they put it down without having giggled or smiled or sighed with satisfaction. Mission accomplished!

Bethany

amy*skf said...

Bethany, hello, and great discussion. I work at a library and used to hide the fact that I read and enjoyed romance (we're talking maybe 10 years ago)people would literally call it crap!

And I would hide. Now, not only do I not hide it--I recommend it, to co-workers and patrons alike. And not just the kick-ass heroines (LOL Michelle) although I do so love them. But I read 'em all--historical, funny, sweet, mystery, suspense.

I want to be happy when I finish a book. And not because I finished it. Because it was emotionally satisfying to me.

I don't know Bethany, be loud, be proud--be thoughtful and expansive. I guess the less we hide it and know who we are, the less of a stigma there'll be about it.

I'm just glad I don't hide it anymore.

MaryKate said...

Hi Bethany - First congratulations on your book, what a wonderful accomplishment, and we're thrilled you're here at RBtB!

Now, Michelle and the Bellas know this, I get *really* fired up at people who "yuck my yum." I read almost exclusively romance, and I find that generally people who say either "it's porn for women" or "it's trash" have never read one. For me, I always smack them with Nora Roberts' numbers: "Oh really? Did you know that Nora Roberts has sold over 280 million books? So, does that mean all of the women who buy her books are sex starved imbeciles?" Now, if someone actually has read romance and found that it didn't work for them, I'm MORE than happy to discuss what about the story didn't work for them? Was it that the hero was too alpha? Did the love scenes make them uncomfortable? Did the fact that the heroine had some childhood trauma? Be specific with me. Because, once I know your taste, I'll pretty much guarantee you that I can suggest a romance that WILL work for you. I promise you that.

*MK steps down off her soapbox sheepishly"

Maggie Robinson said...

You know, I used to be cute AND smart. If two girls had died (or had been unable to fulfill their duties...), I would have been May Queen at my college. I graduated at 19. I faced a lot of crap interviewing for jobs in the dark days before women's lib finally shoved discrimination into the court room. I love to read about blonde, boobalicious women now (like Joella in Patricia Rice's Small Town Girl)who are smart as hell and use ALL their resources to get what they want.

I've given up justifying my reading and writing habits, or, indeed, any facet of how I choose to live my life. For all that scoffers sniff at romance, it's a huge industry that brings joy to a zillion people. In this often wretched world, I'm not ashamed of my need to escape with a brainy ape-leader or a beautiful,shy virgin, preferably combined into one character who brings down the hottest rake in town!

Jennifer Y. said...

Hello!

I consider myself a brainy person and am proud of it. I was even known as "the smart girl" in school...people might not have remembered my name, but if you said, "the smart girl" they thought of me...which led to me being voted "Most Intellectual" in high school. I even graduated from college Magna cum laude.

I am not saying all of this to brag, but to prove a point...I am an intelligent person, IMO, and I love reading romances. I started reading romances when I was 13 or 14 and I still considered myself intelligent as did others. I love all kinds of romance stories and will read just about anything. I did have to put post-its on the covers in school so the teachers wouldn't say anything, but most of them didn't care as long as my work was done, which it always was.

As long as I am happy with my reading choices, I don't care what others think.

Stacy~ said...

I love all kinds of romance. The only types of heroines (and heroes) I don't like are ones that are abusive or too stupid to live. Other than that, she can be the CEO, a single mother, a waitress, an artist, a race car driver - you name it (I would love to see more occupational variety). At the same time, she can be drop-dead gorgeous or the plain Jane with the sexy brain. Just let her be interesting.

Personally, I'm not beautiful nor extremely smart, but if I'd have to pick one, I'd say I'd be categorized more in the brainy group. And I've discovered that after reading romances for 20+ years, that they have given me more confidence in myself, and that can make a person feel beautiful in a way.

Romances will probably never get the respect they deserve, but I feel like those of us who read it have been given a powerful tool to appreciate yourselves, our femininity, and our sexuality. It's more than okay to be smart and to feel sexy about it. It's awesome to be assertive about what you want out of a relationship. It's wonderful to NOT settle. And it's fabulous to enjoy the really hot, sexy, UATW stuff if that's what flips your switch. Thank God for romances *g*

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for the review of "Remember the Alimony" -- I really can appreciate one of the major plot issues. In my just completed contemporary romance novel (now in the final copy-editing stage), "If Ever Again... It'll be for Love," my heroine also is recently divorced, single mother, who had been married to a man who considered her "a hood ornament." (I also painted his ugly picture a bit richer -- while married, he emotionally pressured her to get beast implants, which she fortunately refused to do.) I also try to make sure that when my heroines experience emotionally abusive relationships they learn from them. To wit, one of mine said to her girlfriend when talking about their exes, "I defeat myself because I repeat myself."
Thanks again,
Bill

katie said...

I get so tired of people putting down romance books. I always like to tell them..one of my sisters in law who graduated with high honors from Stanford and is a lawywer reads romance books. To me, as a former teacher, reading is reading. However we practice the skill of reading, it is a good thing.

Playground Monitor said...

Bethany's book sounds great! I love the traded-for-a-younger-model premise.

I was one of the brainy girls. And 39 years later I still ache a little over the fact that my junior year the graduation marshalls were chosen by popular vote rather than using the top 12 academically ranked students. I would have been in that group as #9. As it were, I wasn't a marshall, something I'd been looking forward to throughout high school because it was something not based on looks or popularity. HA! They found a way to screw me out of that too. That's the only year to my knowledge the marshalls were chosen by popular vote.

Anyhoo, I went on to graduate college cum laude with a double degree and got married right afterward and have spent the majority of my married life as a SAHM. Was my degree wasted? It was in Psychology and German. We lived in Germany for 4 years so that came in handy. And I've raised 2 boys, a husband and outsmarted the cat last week. I rest my case. *g*

I think Eloisa James article in the NY Times did a lot to help romance but it still has a long way to go. Last summer a woman was by the pool at the campground reading a Linda Howard book and commented about reading a "trashy romance novel." I sat up, told her I happened to know LH personally and that I'm sure she wouldn't appreciate having her book called trash. Everyone at the campground knows I write and that I read romance all the time. Maybe I've changed a few opinions there. And if we change one here and one there eventually...

Off my soapbox too.

Marilyn

Playground Monitor said...

And duh! I just got the significance of her title.

That's what happens when your head's full of snot.

M

Playground Monitor said...

Oh... and Bethany, do you have a website? You mentioned a MySpace page. Can you give us the URL?

Patricia W. said...

I'm one of the brainy ones, although I never thought I looked bad. My sister is too. We both have master's degrees, as did our mom. And what are we doing with our lives? We're both aspiring romance novelists!

I've never hidden what I read, so I don't relate to that. However, from the way my husband looks at some of the covers, he may think there's something lurid going on inside the books. Since he doesn't read fiction, he'll never know! That makes it easier for to throw a few new moves that I've picked up through reading on him and get credit for my creativity!

Bethany's book sounds like a fun read.

robynl said...

What does it matter what one chooses to read? Reading is a part of our everyday life; we read instructions, the newspaper, books, cookbooks for a recipe, a map and on and on. Reading of any book will improve ones mind and open that mind to many avenues.

Karen W. said...

I'm just happy if people still read at all, but I do get annoyed with all the "trash" comments in connection to romance novels. (Since I work in a bookstore, I hear a lot of them!) I'm not sure there's anything to do to change people's minds if they're not willing to try romance fiction, but it's no secret that I read them AND I'm intelligent and well read in all genres. :-)
The book sounds great!

Maureen said...

I have a teenage daughter and I can't stand it when these smart teenage girls act dumb to attract a boy's attention. I tell them all the time, " You are smart and beautiful. If he doesn't see that then you don't want him."

It is hard to understand why someone would feel the need to degrade romance novels. It has to be what others have already said, ignorance. My mother always said that ignorant people aren't stupid, they just don't know what they're talking about.

alissa said...

I love reading anything that I can. It is not important what it is as long as I read and enjoy this as I find it fulfilling and entertaining.

sharon said...

I am an attorney and I love reading romances. They allow me to lose myself and just relax.

pearl said...

to me reading is so important whatever it is doesn't matter, as long as you enjoy the book.

joelle said...

I love the topic since it is close to my heart. I just read whatever I feel like and enjoy.

traveler said...

I love reading romance and have forever and will continue to do so. The books are fun, meaningful and full of great characters and life.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bellas for the congratulations and all the feedback.

And -- YAY! I'm so EXCITED to see so many brainy AND beautiful women who "get" romance. I think the bigger our army the stronger the fight!

I would love to say I have a webpage and had all intentions of having it up by today but my sister who is doing the coding came down with the flu mid week and got behind (and I can't yell at her since it is, you know, FREE). When it does hit the address will be: www.brainsarethenewboobs.com so I hope all of you will drop by.

Bethany

orannia said...

Welcome Bethany and HI Bellas!

Great topic Bethany :) It has brought up so many amazing points. Where to start... Unfortunately, I don't think I'm a brain (and I know I'm definitely not a beauty). Even if I do lean slightly towards the former, I'll admit that I don't really like reading about aggressive heroines, probably because I can't relate to them at all. They're as far from me as...well...the moon! OK, I can't relate to gorgeous debs either, but
I'm beginning not to like the bluestocking! I mean, does she always have to come out of her shell and be so stunningly perfect that she is an instant success with everyone? Why does she have to change? Will the hero love her any less?

Has anyone read Anne Gracie's The Perfect Rake? In it the heroine - Prudence - isn't gorgeous or tiny (especially next to four gorgeous sisters), she's just Prudence. There is an amazing bit in the book where the hero (a rake) is explaining to his cousin how beautiful she is...but he's the only one who sees it! She's beautiful to him just the way she is!

I will also admit to making excuses for my romance books when checking them out of the library until one of the local librarians told me not to be ashamed of my books...I'm not now...it's just the covers :)

Bethany - your book sounds amazing! I'm not sure when it will get to New Zealand, but I'm definitely going to keep a look out! Thank you and best of luck with it :)

orannia

MaryKate said...

www.brainsarethenewboobs.com

Awesome. So awesome.

Bethany, you rock!

Maria, Lover of All Things Romance said...

I have always been considered intelligent, a straight A student, articulate, always reading, a glasses-wearer. As I was growing up I used to think that because I was smart I had to read the serious books, classics, literary fiction. When I was about 18 I finally gave in. I love romance. I do. And I love to read romance novels. And that does not decrease my IQ. I think romance novels save me from becoming to cynical, they are one of the best methods of relaxation for me, and I often fid that it is romance novels that give me the most to think about when I've finished reading them.

Great post Bethany!

Mel Francis said...

yay Bethany! I'm so glad you're here!!!
xx!
-Mel

Mary J said...

I would tell all those 'intellectuals' to get over themselves. There are so many romance authors out there who can make you really think, and that makes a book worth reading

Gram said...

Hi all,
I do not think that it matters what "type" of book it is, it just needs to be well written. Romances are some of the best written books today.

Aisling said...

Great post Bethany!

MD said...

Gram is right, al long as a book is well-written, it should not be looked down on.

Nina said...

Bethany -
Love your post! I'm an intelligent person, college grad, former chemist and I now that I'm in my forties, completely unappologetic about everything....including my taste in books. I carry a book always - most often a romance, but I do love thrillers & legals as well - and don't hesitate to rave about my favorite authors if asked about what I'm reading. And I've turned on many former "snobs", including men, onto some great romance authors Suzanne Brockmann by loaning them items from my keeper shelf. To thy own self be true, - without apology, I say!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

It's so much fun reading everyone's posts! I'm laughing like an idiot here alone in my house.

The one thing I'm reading that disturbs me is this we're "either/or." Pretty or smart. Oh, yeah we understand intellectually we are all beautiful, but it's seems like we have a hard time believing it.

So when I read your "I'm smart but not pretty, " it makes me sad. I'd also feel bad if someone said the opposite. Yet, we all know our strengths. I just think beauty comes from within. (Can it be said that intelligence, however, is limited? I mean, sometimes I think I'm pretty brainy, then I read stuff others write and I'm like, sheesh, it's like I never went to school.)

That said, I don't always have a ton of love for myself. And I'm the first to say really quickly after the Miss America stuff comes up, that, I succeeded because at Miss A, smarts and talent give one a leg up onto the playing field with the gorgeous chicks.

That's what's cool about the Miss A organizition, that one can have a bit of everything -- or at least learn how to do a lot with whatever one has -- and do well.

But it's hard to talk about this beauty/brains thing in any gray area, no? And I'm also mighty protective of my Bellas, so when someone says, well, I'm not that brainy, I'm all, like, Oh, yes y ou are!

Isn't it funny how much the issues surrounding the Miss America pageant and the romance fiction industry have in common?

Playground Monitor said...

Love the website URL. That rocks!

Marilyn

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, Bethany! Maybe that Brainy Girl came from your Myspace acct. What a coincidence! I'll post your web site.

Anonymous said...

Michelle says: Isn't it funny how much the issues surrounding the Miss America pageant and the romance fiction industry have in common?

ABSOLUTELY!

And I think you touched on the core. Sometimes we let our self doubt sneak in and tell us that we can't be both. Or perhaps we let the media influence our ideas about one or the other.

But you know what? In our manuscripts (and probably in our lives) we expect the hero to be handsome and brilliant. Why don't we accept that we can be the total package, too?

(of course I say all this as I get prepare for the most grueling of spin classes and having just tossed out the ten pages I wrote today because they were...umm..."dumb.")

hee hee

Bethany

P.S. And a special "Heya!" and kisses to Mel Francis! We used to sell shower gel together and her vote was the casting decision on my jacket photo!

catslady said...

Some people are so insecure they have to make up reasons to feel superior. Small minded and usually intolerant. I think with age one learns to stand up to or ignore people like that. It's their loss. People who are open minded enough to read/think anything are the lucky ones :)

Rainy said...

It's true that romance books have come a long way. I think a lot of its criticism comes either from people who have never read any or from those who have read bad romance books. And just as in any genre, there are good and bad.
I've recently come to seriously read romances and found them to have depth of research, character development and intricate plots.
Years ago, women were told to dumb down. In other words, a woman should not appear smarter than a man if she had any hopes of "catching him."
Romances show you can be any kind of a woman to succeed in love and in life.....smart, pretty, not so pretty, rich, poor, whatever.
Rainy

Mel Francis said...

P.S. And a special "Heya!" and kisses to Mel Francis! We used to sell shower gel together and her vote was the casting decision on my jacket photo!

*snort*

Was it the begging and pleading for the outlawing of all hands under the chin head shots?

We've come a long way from BBW, baby!

Playground Monitor said...

Yo Mel! Howdy neighbor. I live in north Alabama. Is it colder than a brass commode seat over there in Mississippi too?

Marilyn

Mel Francis said...

The one thing I'm reading that disturbs me is this we're "either/or."

Michelle,

See, and I wouldn't qualify my self as either. I'm not particularly pretty and I'm really not that smart. Bright, but not brainy. And there is a difference.

I'm funny.

I'm the girl that had the great personality.

And it was hard to accept myself as that girl for a very long time. But once I did, I found a lot of happiness.

Yo Mel! Howdy neighbor. I live in north Alabama. Is it colder than a brass commode seat over there in Mississippi too?

Dear Lord yes. If we're gonna have temps like this, the least they can give us is a little snow to go with it! Grrrr. (or make that, Brrrr.)

RubyD said...

I have been reading romance novels for years . Just give me a good plot, some wit and humor, and a well written story, and I am a happy reader. Who cares what other people think about what I read? It is definitely their loss. They just don't know what they are missing.....

ev said...

Ok, I will send you guys what little snow we have finally gotten. at least it is no longer below 0 with a bigger wind chill.

Maggie-(I love to read about blonde, boobalicious women now) I have always been one of those, not blonde, but boobalicious (great word- from 6th grade on my chest got places 2 minutes before the rest of me. I still deal with it- but with a sense of humor. As I told my dr. I probably don't lose the weight I need to cause then I am better balanced and don't look like Dolly Parton. Being big boobed isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Vivi Anna said...

Well I'm a brainy and beautiful chick, as are ALL MY BELLAS here and I have to say I love all types of romance books. I NEVER hide what I'm reading.

principessa said...

to have the freedom to choose whatever you love to read is wonderful and I applaud everyone here for their high principles and values. Love to read romance and have always been a true fan.

Teresa said...

I have also been reading romance novels for years. I agree I don't care who sees what I'm reading. These books make me feel happy and take me to places I normally wouldn't be able to go. I say be proud to read romance novels!

amy*skf said...

Oh my--what great comments, wish I could have been on all day. I forgot to mention the cover and the title of your book too--I Love It.

Orannia, I loved The Perfect Rake--how she was so beautiful to him---sigh.

And here's something else, the more we all get seen reading romances and being our brilliant selves the better.

Can't wait for the websight Bethany.

Anonymous said...

I read all kinds of books - some I don't like so I don't finish, others I love. Personally, I don't care what others think/say about my choices. After all I am reading.....and that's a good thing!

Karen B

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, Bellas! Bethany's feature is up at Romance: B(u)y the Book! www.WNBC.com/romance.

You might wanna take a gander during commercial breaks during tonight's Miss America telecast.


I'm guessing our enjoying each other's e-company has a lot to do with the fact that we're all pretty much on the same page about this debate. catslady sort of sums up something nicely that you've all said, too: Some people are so insecure they have to make up reasons to feel superior. Small minded and usually intolerant. I think with age one learns to stand up to or ignore people like that. It's their loss. People who are open minded enough to read/think anything are the lucky ones :)

Of course I'm thrilled cause I agree, but we've often disagreed here, too, w/out rancor, which is very cool.

But I love what c=lady says about age giving us perspective. We're usually not -- at least I wasn't -- brave enough in youth to accept that our strong suits are enough to make us better than OK.

I so wish I could tell each of you exactly how meaningful your comments about beauty and reading are. But I have to get my daughter out of the tub, then do some work.

Have I mentioned how lucky I feel to hang with you, and to have Bethany here today to spark this discussion?

:)

Bethany said...

Michelle and Bellas (and I think your collective name speaks volumes)

Thank you so much for sharing your time and space with me. You are a fantastic group. It's been wonderful reading all your comments here -- and digging through past blogs to read some -- I feel like I've gotten to know a lot of you.

Now that I know you are here, I PROMISE I won't be a stranger. I've bookmarked the page as a favorite -- yet another addiction. And look! Brainy girl that I am, it only took me all day to figure out how to get my name at the top of my post

Best to you all and happy reading.

Mwah!

Playground Monitor said...

Well I am personally bummed that Miss Alabama didn't win but excited for her that she was selected Miss Congeniality and made the top 5.

Toward the end of the show I turned to the DH and said "They really should have the new Miss America take her first walk to a tape of Bert Parks singing the Miss America song." And damned if that isn't what they did!

Bethany it's been great having you here today and learning about a new author. When I'm over this darned cold I'll be heading out and looking for your book.

G'Night Bellas!

Marilyn

ev said...

but how did Mario look????

dd03 said...

Hi, just popping in to put in to say hello.

I have to say romance novels have grown on me. I've always read. Since I was a kid, I always had a book nearby me. When I was young, I loved fantasy and paranormal stories. Nothing like a good ghost story!! ^.^

As a teenager, my reading expanded a bit. I read romances here and there, as long as the story held my interest. It wasn't until I was 18 when I went to work at a nursing home as a nurse's aide, that I found what I suppose are regency romances. They had a library full of them....girls in the countryside coming out in London, trips to Bath, etc...Didn't have a clue as to what they were really talking about, but I did enjoy them!

As romance literature has evolved, so has my love for it. Now, my preference is paranormal romance....can't imagine why!! ^.~ LOL Of course, if you want to get looks at a books store...stand in the romance area for hours on end...and then pick out that paranormal...ya really get looks! LMAO

I still love my vampires, ghost and werewolves...and now I get to enjoy them with a great romance story line...the best of both worlds!!! Or maybe it has always been one world...and we're finally acknowledging they coexist. Whichever...works for me.

Toni Lea Andrews said...

Here's my prize-winning answer to the question "Why does a smart girl like you write smut/trash/romance?"

"I decided to write romance because I mistakenly thought it would be easier to write than a mainstream novel."

This, of course, leads to some sort of "Why were you mistaken?" or "Why isn't it easier?"

Because it's like writing three books. You still have to have all the elements of a literary novel: A protagonist people will care about, believable motivation, obtacles to overcome, a story that's unique enough to keep the pages turning. THEN you have to add the romance--an internal conflict, sexual tension, some reason these people aren't in love at the beginning and are at the end. FINALLY, you have to write terrific sex scenes--and it's darned tricky to say something new about sex!"

I like this answer because it aknowledges that romance novels have, well, romance, and doesn't sound embarrassed or apologetic about the sex.

Adriana said...

Wow. I was driving home in whiteout conditions yesterday and simply collapsed when we reached home (after hot tub, that is) so didn't even get to this blog page til this evening. I love that all this wisdom is sitting here as if it's waiting just for me -- what a wonderful group of posts, from a very wise group of sisters. Rock on!

Adriana