It's All About the Love...

I don’t write romances for the sex. And, believe it or not, I don’t read them for it either.

What I look for is that feeling of falling in love. The chemistry. The heart pounding insecurity when you first meet someone you’d like to meet again and again and again.

I read them for the ultimate escape from reality. Because let’s face it, if you met one of these book boyfriends in real life, you’d likely never give him the time of day.

I write alpha-heroes with soft hearts. And soft women with stubborn resolve.

I write the kind of sex scenes that depict an affair of the heart and not a sleazy affair with the 2am bar drunk—not that a 2am bar drunk isn’t okay…when you’re married to him/her. (as long as my mother isn’t reading this, I’ll admit that I’ve been there) p.s. my mom just signed up for my newsletter.

When I first started reading romances I seriously skipped most of the sex scenes because what I craved wasn’t that skin to skin bond, it was all the tension that led up to it. I craved the relationship and banter and the quirky personalities. I craved to read the weird ways people meet and to discover what it was that makes us fall so deeply in love that we’ll never leave. I learned about struggle and conflict. I learned about places I’d never been and eras I’d never know. Most of all I learned what I wanted, and what I didn’t want, in a man.

I truly do give credit to romance novels for helping me recognize my husband when I met him. And no he doesn’t look like Fabio…thank the good Lord. But he loves me intensely.

blessed Jeff and I holding hands.jpg

The basic rule for writing romance is: 1. It must have a Happily Ever After 2. It must have sex, open or closed door (not my rule, this info came directly from an agent). Now, I will admit that the second rule has changed some over the years. We now have cozy reads and inspirational reads and reads with romantic elements, not to mention chick lit. So…yes, I could in theory, write a romance without sex, and I’ve fought the moral side of my upbringing for years trying to find the right balance. But I can’t do it. I can’t morally write these characters I love without giving them what they want.

These are not easy scenes to write, but I’ve found them to be important.

Truth: sex exists in more than just romance novels. It’s in almost every other book of fiction on the market. The romance genre is just an easy target for bashing it. And if we’re completely honest, it exists in our homes too. **blush** And thank you God it exists in the Bible.

My mom keeps asking to read my current book, but she doesn’t want to read a kissing book. Sorry, mom, there’s kissing, and sex, and body parts. When I hand over my precious cargo of words to a friend, I live in a little world of bashful denial. I simply ignore the fact that I wrote all those sexy parts. My characters have minds of their own and they write themselves.

So, fair warning my friends and family, I can’t stop you from buying my books when they’re published, but if you ask about the sex, I'll never admit that “Yes, I wrote THAT.”

Song of Solomon 1:2
Oh, how I wish you would kiss me passionately! For your lovemaking is more delightful than wine.        (New English Translation)

Paper or Plastic...

How do you read?

I like paper. Not paper bags or cardboard, but paper. That smell when you crack the binding on a new book is kind of like that new car smell. Or for those old enough, the smell of dittos and fresh purple ink.

This last week I’ve been enjoying the fresh old dusty scent of a classic favorite. The pages are yellowed, and some are dog-eared. The nostalgia of this book lowers my blood pressure and sends me to far away places. “Almost Heaven” by: Judith Mcnaught. For me it is a little bit of heaven. I have the old cover version with a soothing picture of a meadow covered in purple flowers, maybe lilac. Reading this favorite is like meeting up with an old friend you haven’t seen in years. The conversation is reliable, just like the story.

I never thought I'd enjoy my e-reader. There is an advantage to electronic reading: No wasting money on book lights that don’t stay put or run out of battery. No waking up my husband. No corner dog ears. I can read in the dark, change the font, even change the background color. 

With change comes loss. I lose out on that paper smell, but I gain physical shelf space and I take my library with me wherever I go--Not to mention a built in highlighter and dictionary.

My favorite e-reader is my iPad. A downloadable app keeps me in kindle country and the book nook, but whenever possible I download an iBook. As a result I have three unlimited bookshelves and I couldn't be happier. 

To keep the nostalgia going, I'm often reading one paper book and one e-book. They both release their own kind of serotonin. 

How do you read?

new books.jpg

Welcome to the Book Boudoir

Grand Opening...

I’ve been racking my brain for blog subjects. I have a section for Disney pins because I love my pins. I have a section for events because eventually I plan on having some. But right now, I just feel stuck.

Until today. Today I remembered what my characters are all about. They’re about falling in love. They’re about overcoming obstacles. They’re about the happily ever after. And that got me to thinking about my own happily ever after story.

I met my hubby in high school. That’s right, sickening though it is, we are high-school sweethearts. I blame romance novels on finding him so soon. My addiction started at fifteen, maybe even fourteen. Every paycheck went to books. Every book had a picture of a pirate or a castle or a flowing haired beauty with a dress worth destroying.

We married soon after I graduated. Had children. Had marital struggles. Financial obstacles. But above it all, we had each other. No matter what, he’s always been my prince charming. He’s cared about my dreams and taken care that I should be happy.

And the man has spent more on lingerie than he’s spent on my clothes. My closet is stuffed with silky sheer fabrics, stretchy lace, pretty patterns, polka dots and flowers. I love lingerie. It’s addicting. Sometimes I wear it just to lounge in. Don’t get excited. I’m not suggesting I look fabulous in it and my hair is often a mess. I don’t wear make-up most days and I’m not a size 0. Not even close. But every Friday night my mirror is his eyes. True story.

I do my best to let him enjoy what he sees and give up on my dreams of perfection (bubbly helps). My kids call before dropping by on the weekend (very wise of them).

So what does all this have to do with my books? My characters aren’t just happily-ever-after fairytale dreams. They’re women who wear naughty and nice very well. Who have men that appreciate them, love them, adore them, and allow them to be free.

Sassy. Annoying. Dangerous.

Free.

Obnoxious. Childish. Exacting.

Free.

They have huge dreams, big voices, and they bring out the best in their men. All the things my Friday night hubby makes me feel.

Desired, adored, beloved. He cherishes the woman in me.

Delicate. Strong. Fearless.

Free.

So, I’ve decided to add a section about lingerie. Because I believe that every woman can look delicious in the right clothes. And out of them too. ;)

Live free ladies.

~Shannon

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This week's book: Marrying Winterborne by: Lisa Kleypas / Jammies: Victoria Secret