Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Blog Hop

A Blog Hop!
For more fun and adventure, and a chance to win a $50 gift card,
please visit the main page of the hop Here

Romance, My Way

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to share my favorite romantic books. I have a very wide range of things I love to read - mainstream fiction, memoir, women's fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, I love it all. And, of course ... I also love a dash of romance!

What are my favorites themes when it comes to romance?

#1 Castaway Survival

On a tropical Island, preferably. 

Remember "The Blue Lagoon"? It was the movie that started the whole "castaway lovers" thing for me, way back when I was still in middle school. Oh, how romantic it was! I erased Brooke Shields from the story and put myself in her place so that I could frolic on the pristine white beaches and build charming jungle huts with her teenage lover. (Funny, how sunburn and famine and sand everywhere never entered into my fantasies.) 

I recently read "On The Island" by Tracey Garvis-Graves. Yummy. It reminded me of "The Blue Lagoon", and that's a good thing.

#2 Time Travel

Two books stand out for me: the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon, and "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. Very different stories, yet compelling in their own ways.

I cried and cried at the end of "The Time Traveler's Wife", which is very surprising for me. I can count the times on one hand that a book has made me break down sobbing. 

As far as time travel ... I also have to mention the wonderful science fiction series "The Company" by Kage Baker. The first book in the series, "In the Garden of Iden", was especially wonderful because the love between the characters was so strong and the end was so heartbreaking.

#3 Doorstop Novels

You know what I mean...those huge books that go on and on and you never want them to end. One of the first romantic doorstops I read was "The Thorn Birds" by Colleen McCullough. There were many, many afterwards - because I always had my nose in a book. I've had a love affair with books almost as long as I can remember. The first romantic book (of sorts) I have a distinct memory of was the story of a girl and her love for her misunderstood pet dragon. If I had to choose a place to spend might be a library.

#4 Friends-to-Lovers

Probably my favorite trope of all. There's something special about people who have known each other forever, know each other's strengths and weaknesses and love each other anyway - and who find love with each other when they least expect it.

This is what happens between Leah and Benson in my first full-length novel, America's Darlings. They're athletes competing in the Olympic Games of the near future, and they've been partners and best friends for years. It takes a near disaster for them to discover the love that has been there all along.

America's Darlings is available at Ellora's Cave:

Blurb for America's Darlings:

Leah Collins is a sexual gymnast, a brilliant athlete poised to compete in the Mexico City Olympic Games of 2112. She takes pride in her advanced skills in the sexual arts, but performing Courtesan’s Treat and Raging Volcano in front of thousands of cheering fans is no easy task, especially when sexual malfunctions threaten.
At her side, a pillar of strength and compassion, is her best friend, Benson White. He is the one who scrapes her from the ground when her self-destructive tendencies surface. Benson is a talented sexual gymnast in his own right, the other half of America’s Darlings.

They hope for a gold medal. What neither of them expects is to fall in love.

An Excerpt of America's Darlings 
(taken from a scene near the beginning of the novel):
I looked at Benson, trembling.
“Can I trust you?”
“Yes,” I whispered, “you can trust me. You can trust me to do the best I can.”
After a while he nodded. “Good. That’s good enough. For now. We’ll discuss it again later. When we’re not just about to perform in the goddamn Olympics.”
“I won’t risk our partnership again.”
“I know. You didn’t mean to this time.”
“I didn’t.”
“You got in over your head with those asshole Russians.” He slid closer to me then patted the bench. “I need to help you relax now, don’t I? And here I am, making you even more upset.” He sighed. “C’mere. You’re still my Leah. You’re still my best friend. You’re still my partner.”
I leaned into him, afraid to speak. Too numb to speak.
He put his arm around me and we sat on our bench for a long while, watching the breeze shuffle the leaves. I closed my eyes. Forty-five minutes until we had to be at the arena. Just enough time to get my equilibrium back. Maybe. If I were lucky. Thank goodness for Benson. I didn’t take him for granted! If only he know how much I depended on him. He understood me like no one else. He could make me feel better no matter what was happening in my screwed-up head. He knew how.
He always did.
He turned to me. “I want you”


  1. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for joining the hop!
    Ashley A

  2. Thanks for sharing I to love the friends to lovers books one of my favorite's! Have a great day!

  3. This books sounds awesome, sexual gymnast! Thanks for being part of the hop!


  4. Sounds like a great read!!
    I love friends to lovers!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  5. My favorite themes are friends to lovers!
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. I don't really have just one favorite, but friends to lovers (or sibling's friend/friend's sibling, etc) definitely makes one of the tops of my list.
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

  7. I love the idea of a Sexual Gymnastics!! Sounds like an excellent story:)

    cc_clubbs at yahoo dot com

  8. I love paranormal romance.

  9. Great blurb! :)
    My favorite is enemies to lovers, though I enjoy most tropes.
    Thank you for sharing.
    trb0917 at gmail dot com


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