Author Guest Post
Why am I Ashamed of Romance?
I will admit up front, I am a romance junkie. I love to read it, I love to write it, and I love to indulge in the fantasy that romance represents. Do I love to tell people I write romance? Oddly, I love telling people I’m an author (which I can actually DO now), but when they ask, “What do you write?” I always feel a little awkward. Why is that?
I suppose part of it is the stigma that people who write romance aren’t real writers (to which I say, pffft! YES, we are.). Part of it could be my “prudish” American view of sex and sexuality (nah, my hubby says no, wink, wink…). Still, when my publisher told me I write romantic suspense I was SO relieved and sort of excited. That sounds much better than “I’m a romance novelist.” Why? Why am I, for lack of a better word, ashamed of writing romance?
It really makes no sense when you think about it. Romance is the second most popular genre in the publishing marketplace, and even the most popular genre, thrillers and mysteries, often have romantic elements in them. The search for romance and love is a common and popular theme in movies, television shows, and there are dozens of magazines devoted to helping women find their perfect mate, or spice things up in the bedroom. Romance is a very important part of life.
One plausible explanation is the oft-heard, “that romance stuff isn’t realistic.” To which I say, “DUH.” That’s the whole point. I read to get away, to escape the world not immerse myself in it. Reading, for me, is like watching a movie in my head, only I’m the director, the producer, the editor, the sound engineer, and sometimes I even play a starring role. Does romantic fiction give people a distorted view of love and relationships? Perhaps, but there is a reason it’s called fiction. It’s not real. I think most people who read romance know and understand that you’re not going to meet and fall in love with your soul mate in 24 hours, but books have limits. Unless you want to write an 800 page tome you have to move the story along. Romantic fiction isn’t supposed to be a “how-to” manual or a relationship guide. It’s supposed to be like mental chocolate. It’s something to indulge in, but that can’t be all you eat (darn the bad luck!).
Maybe it’s my own personal issue. I would like to know if any other romance authors out there have ever seen the barely repressed eye-roll however. You know the one. That look of thinly veiled disdain some people get when they find out you write what my husband affectionately calls “trashy slut novels.” I know I have. Maybe they think I’m depraved in some sort of way, or not smart enough to write anything more intellectual. Maybe I’m not, but you know what? They’re not published authors, so maybe it’s more their problem than mine. Maybe it’s time I stop being embarrassed to tell everyone that I WRITE ROMANCE. After all, there’s a reason it’s the second best selling genre of fiction. I’ll bet every one of those people who looked down their nose at me have read at least one bodice-ripper in their day (the women, anyway). And you know what? It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
So, I write romance. I love romance. My characters love romance, and so do the readers. I know it’s mostly fantasy, but it also gives us something to hope for. It’s an ideal, perhaps an unrealistic ideal, but an ideal nonetheless. It can be sweet, steamy, or downright erotic, but love is at its core. To coin someone very famous, “All we need is love.” Oh, and chocolate…. :)
About The Author
Leslie is a war-veteran who served with the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War, and she was among the first groups of women to work the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. During her five years tour she was stationed at NAS Miramar and was an F-14 Tomcat mechanic and plane captain. While in San Diego she spent time on the carriers USS Independence, USS Ranger, USS Lincoln, and the USS Nimitz. The final two years of her enlistment were spent on Guam and her squadron frequently deployed to Japan and the Middle East.
She learned everything she knows about firearms and tactics from her police officer husband, who is a weapons expert, range master, and firearms instructor for one of the most highly-respected law-enforcement agencies in the world (and one he wishes her NOT to disclose). He is her biggest supporter and her unpaid consultant on everything law-enforcement and weapons related. She has three boys who keep her very busy and contribute daily to her growing number of gray hairs. Her oldest son is a United States Marine and the younger two have vowed to follow in their brother’s footsteps (OOH RAH!). She spends her off-time kidding...WHAT off-time?) reading, taking pictures, and sending lead down range (that's shooting, for those who are unfamiliar). One of her favorite scents is the smell of gunpowder in the morning....
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
Accidental Affair by Leslie McKelvey ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Goddess Fish Promotions
Accidental Affair by Leslie McKelvey
Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions
Publication Date: October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback - 308 pages / Kindle - 485 KB / Nook - 848 KB
Genre: Romantic Suspense
BUY THE BOOK: Accidental Affair
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.
Jack Vaughn is sure his life is over as he tumbles down the wooded hillside onto the deserted two-lane stretch of asphalt. Years of work ended with a single gunshot. Yet, it’s not over.
A good Samaritan stops to help him, despite the danger he poses to her.
Laine Wheeler knows better than to stop for strangers on the rural Montana highway near her home, but her conscience won’t allow her to leave an injured man behind.
What she doesn’t know is the man is an undercover ATF agent tasked with infiltrating a domestic terrorist group. His cover has been blown and helping him will put her life in danger.
Though there is an instant attraction, Jack knows that beginning a romantic relationship with Laine would be both unfair and unwise. Yet the farther they run, the harder it gets to ignore the feelings that are surging between them.
My Book Review:
Author Leslie McKelvey's debut novel, Accidental Affair is an intense romantic suspense story that hooks the reader from the beginning and takes them on a non-stop action packed thrill ride.
Written in the third person narrative and set in the small town of Evergreen Springs, Montana, this intriguing tale follows the suspenseful adventure of undercover ATF agent Jack Vaughn, who has spent the last eight years infiltrating the domestic terrorist organization known as CAG, Citizens Against Government. When Jack's cover is blown, he barely escapes with his life only to tumble down an embankment in front of Veterinarian Laine Wheeler's SUV. The dangerous game of bringing CAG to justice puts Jack and Laine's lives at stake as their adventure takes them to Denver to meet up with FBI Special Agent Ted "Bear" Bristol. Along the way sparks fly between them as danger lurks around every bend in the road.
This romantic suspense story has a great mixture of intriguing adventure, drama, action, and exciting romance that grabs the readers attention and doesn't let go until the thrilling conclusion. The characters leap off the pages, you can't help but feel for Laine, Jack, and Bear, these compelling characters are realistic with flaws, secrets, and desires, it's easy for the reader to connect and embrace them. This richly descriptive story has it all: witty dialogue, an action packed and intense storyline with a lot of surprising twists and turns, and a steamy romance added in the mix.
Accidental Affair is one of those romantic suspense books that is pure excitement and intrigue that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seats. It's the type of book that you won't be able can't put down until you find out how the story ends!
This is a wonderful debut novel for author Leslie McKelvey. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
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Author Leslie McKelvey will be giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter during the tour.
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