This weekend I learned a new word. One that totally describes what I feel when I read good romance: a heartgasm. It’s a perfect term for that feeling I get when reading about a loving relationship between the pages of a book. A relationship between equals, between two people who respect and love each other despite their differences.
Those of you who follow this blog or my Facebook page know that I have strong feelings about certain things that have became a part of the romance novel scene (some that have been around from the beginning, other things that came later but are just as insidious). In the heels of E L James’ success, a lot of other romance writers and readers were sold on the idea that disrespect can be sexy. I have quit reading many a romance book because of that idea. Including romances that have been international best sellers and critically acclaimed.
Outlander is such a book. After hearing my friends and acquaintances praising the series as the most romantic book in years, I bought and began reading it. At first I absolutely loved it. What’s there not to love? A strong woman travels back in time to Bonnie Scotland to find the love of her life in the shape of this amazing, hunky Scot. The best part about Jamie Fraser is that he is strong but sweet, respectful, willing to lay his life down for the woman he loves, and in total awe of her beauty and strength. Even though there is way too much unnecessary sex in the story (my opinion) it didn’t bother me–it was loving and mutually satisfying.
Until a scene about half way through the book when Jamie sort of forces himself on his wife to “show” her who the boss was. I couldn’t read anymore after that. Before that scene there was the whole issue of a beating to put her in “her place”. However historically correct that may have been, the Jamie that I fell in love with in the beginning of the story ceased to exist and was replaced by someone very willing to do the unthinkable to prove to himself and the other men in the clan that he was man enough. Disrespectful and power-driven. I was very disappointed because the book was well written and the premise for the story was just up my alley. After all the first full length novel I ever wrote, way back before the new millenium (yes, I’m that old) was a time-travelling romance set in beautiful Scotland. My hero was from the same era as Jamie’s but he would never, ever disrespect his girl.
So back to the heartgasm. Throughout the years there have been many novels in different genres who have given me one. There have been YA novels, science fiction books, fantasy, women’s fiction, classics, and of course romance. It so happens it is the feeling I want to give my readers with my heroes and heroines, with their relationships and the way they overcome difficulties and obstacles together. The way they love and support each other while tackling their day to day life with all its troubles. That kind of thing–not the tough sex, the hot billionaire or the sexy biker–never fails to give me multiple satisfying heartgasms. What about you?
A winner has been picked and contacted. Congrats Mary and thank you all who participated 🙂
We’re celebrating People of Color in romance and offering you a chance to discover new books and new authors, as well as giving you a chance to win prizes. We have 30 blogs participating this year, each featuring an interracial or multicultural romance book!
This year, we’re doing things a little differently. We’ve separated the cash and book prizes so more people can win.
Here’s what’s up for grabs:
We’re introducing daily book prizes. Be sure to comment on blog posts and join the conversation on our FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE for a chance to win one of our 24 book prizes.
Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win:
For Rafflecopter click here
MY BLOG PRIZE
She’s a princess. He’s an ex-slave. To survive, they must fight the all-powerful Elders, and Jaali’s demons.
She’s a princess in a world of lush jungles and hellish deserts where the modern mixes with centuries-old traditions and superstitions. Taking a husband at the age of eighteen goes against every fiber of her being, but as a future monarch, she must follow the rules, even if her heart already belongs to someone.
He’s an ex-slave who wishes to be invisible in a world where he can’t hide. Loving the headstrong princess may prove to be his demise. To win her hand he must survive a grueling trek through the desert. Will her love make him strong enough?
Desert Jewel is the first book in The Jewel Chronicles. A unique interracial romance set against a breathtaking fantasy world with complex characters and twists at every turn. Let Desert Jeweltake you to another world.
“It had the perfect mix of adventure, love, hate and mystery to keep you hooked.”- Amazon Reviewer
“Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis is a great read full of love, hate, hope, joy, devastation, fantasy and magic all rolled into one wonderful story.” – Amazon Reviewer
“I am so happy I had an opportunity to read this book. It really is a hidden gem!” – Amazon Reviewer
COLOR OF LOVE 2017 FEATURED BOOKS
Now hop on to the next blog:
|1.||Author Kiru Taye (INT)||11.||Georgia Lyn Hunter||21.||Tasha L. Harrison|
|2.||Author Nana Prah (INT)||12.||Sharon C. Cooper||22.||Kay Blake|
|3.||Author Empi Baryeh (INT)||13.||Reana Malori||23.||J.L. Campbell|
|4.||LBAS Book Blogs (INT)||14.||Elle Wright||24.||Sheena Binkley|
|5.||RWOWA (INT)||15.||Candace Shaw||25.||Bex n Books (INT)|
|6.||Sexy Romance Novels (INT)||16.||Author/Blogger Shonda Brock||26.||Natalina Reis|
|7.||Felicia Denise, Author||17.||L. Loren (INT)||27.||Dahlia Donovan (Int)|
|8.||Sharita Lira, Author||18.||Koko Brown||28.||Debra Elise|
|9.||Freddy MacKay||19.||Siren Allen||29.||Kim Golden|
|10.||Platypire Reviews||20.||Amaka Azie||30.||Kai Tyler (INT)|
Gwen Stevens had a privileged life until her father spoke three little words that turned her world upside down. “You’re cut off.”
Broke and desperate, Gwen is forced to accept a waitressing job, but this glimmer of hope has a price. As if being a cocktail waitress isn’t bad enough, she has to do it in a dive bar called The Den, and her bad luck doesn’t stop there. She also needs to deal with the new owner, a blue-eyed, self-righteous ass determined to make her life miserable.
Liam Sinclair walked away from the entitlement and obligation his family planned for him, vowing to make his own way in the world…
Adjusting to life as a new business owner, Liam has experienced more than his fair share of setbacks. When his only waitress breaks her leg, his sister takes it upon herself to hire a replacement—a spoiled, self-indulgent hothead with too much makeup and more than enough attitude. Gwen represents the world he’s trying to escape, a world of excess and greed that he was never cut out for.
Appearances can be deceiving, and first impressions aren’t always right…
Despite their apparent differences, the tension between them turns to a fiery passion that neither of them can resist. Together they find balance and learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. But Gwen soon discovers that old habits die hard, and one mistake is all it takes to ruin everything.
Forgiveness must be earned, but even a villain deserves a chance at redemption…
When he meets Caleb Pierce, Sky is immediately smitten. The problem is Caleb is the soul he came to earth to harvest, and saving him means breaking one of the most sacred angelic directives.
Already in too deep, Sky pushes aside the consequences and follows his heart. Danger and mayhem follow, but he will do everything in his power to protect his lavender-eyed man.
Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.
My fourth book will be released to the world next Saturday (July 15). If you follow me, you know I’m a sub-genre hopper–like a rabbit or a frog, I hop from one sub-genre to another for no rhyme or reason other than to write the story in my brain. Possibly not the best thing for me as I build up my platform but on the other hand, that’s who I am as a writer. Why not share it with my readers?
Lavender Fields is a M/M Paranormal Romance and had strange beginnings. Not unlike most of my books, this story started as a flash fiction piece written from a picture prompt, but took a whole unexpected life of its own.
Sky Heavensent was to be a girl alien at first (don’t laugh), but–pantser that I am–as I wrote the story she turned into a he, and the alien became an angel. By the time I was finished, the angel in my story grew to mean something much larger than just a character in a book. Thus the decision to turn a few pages of writing into a full-length novel.
Sky was born of some very deep beliefs I carry about humans and the way we relate to each other. It also embodies a lot of my hopes, fears, and emotional baggage.
As a character he’s not perfect. In fact, among his kind he’s an outcast ( know, I know. Another one), a very clumsy angel who seems to be an expert at making his boss, Gabriel, irate beyond what should be possible for an angelic creature.
But he is perfect in so many other ways. He’s color-blind, gender-blind, difference-blind. Like all angels he’s made of pure love but unlike the others he actually practices what he preaches. Sky is willing to do just about anything for what’s right even if that places him in all kinds of danger.
He has a big heart and he’s not afraid to use it.
Writing Lavender Fields was an amazing experience because it came from the depths of me, those corners of myself that remain under wraps most of the time. I’m a terrible introvert who is incapable of participating in a conversation involving more than two people. So, a lot of what I think, of what I feel, of what I believe stay buried deep inside. Writing this story was in so many ways a release because the characters (all of them but Sky in particular) spoke for me.They all have a little bit of myself in them (including Caleb’s foul-mouthed younger sister) but I dare anyone who knows me to figure out what.
In fact, I believe that Sky was indeed heaven-sent. Have you ever written a character who meant a lot more to you than all the others?
Romantic Fantasy (with paranormal elements)
Knocking was unnecessary since the front door stood ajar, but she still rapped her knuckles on it as a polite warning that she had arrived. From inside, she heard that gentle modulated voice that made her skin go all bumpy and triggered chaos with her matangazos.
“Come inside. The door is open.”
Hand on her ibhayi to make sure it was in place and not showing her unkempt hair, Milenda stepped inside, feeling her legs shaking beneath her. Why was she so nervous? It was not like they had never met before. They had been together just yesterday in the jungle. So, why all the jitters inside of her now?
Jaali did not give her too long to ponder. He took two giant steps and, before she could react, he was standing right in front of her, holding her small hands in his and drowning her eyes in the crystal lakes of his. “Msichana,” His gentle voice dropped an octave, and for a second she wasn’t even sure he had spoken.
Afraid that she would lose herself in his eyes, Milenda dropped her gaze to his full lips to confirm he had indeed spoken. They were moving again, but this time not in speech. He was going to kiss her.
A princess cannot allow a boy, of lowly or high birth, to kiss her. The old traditional directive came to her as a scream inside her head, making her wince and involuntarily step away from him, their hands yanked apart.
Jaali looked disconcerted, confused. There was a question in his eyes that she couldn’t answer. That kiss was so desired by her heart and by her lips, but a lifetime of etiquette brainwashing had taken its toll. It was too soon for her, no matter how much her body yearned for it. She dropped her eyes to her feet, which she belatedly noticed to be bare. What would her tutors say? Barefoot and alone in a boy’s house. Fodder for scandal, she was certain.
His hand, which had been raised slightly, fell like a deflated balloon along with his whole demeanor. “Nasikitika,” he whispered, “I shouldn’t have…”
Her hand shot up to grab his wrist and pull him closer to her. “No, I am sorry Jaali,” she said, her eyes pleadingly raised to his. “I have these voices in my head telling me what I should and should not do.” His peering eyes danced with amusement. “Well, not voices literally. That would be crazy.” She giggled and his face opened up in a smile.
With a gentle tug, he twisted his wrist in her hand and held it, palm against palm, fingers interlaced. Their bodies mere inches from touching, and his eyes glittering with excitement. “And what are those voices telling you not to do?” he asked, his voice low and meaningful. He tugged her closer to him, their linked hands now resting between them.
The strange hot/cold feeling she always felt when her matangazos were glowing spread from her face to her shoulder, as the heat from Jaali’s body seeped into her skin underneath her kanga. With a shiver, she lifted her head to meet his eyes. He was taller than her by at least a foot, and as they came closer to each other he had to bend down in order to look at her face and mouth.
Jaali’s head dipped lower and his lips touched hers. They lingered there as if asking for permission to go any further. Milenda reveled in the feeling, but was too afraid to move.
“Is it all right?”
She felt his lips move over hers and losing all control, she wrapped her arms around him and pulled him even closer. She had never kissed a boy before, but she found she knew how—or rather her body did. Instinct seemed to have taken over, and her lips latched on to his with a passion she didn’t know she had. Under her touch, Jaali’s lips opened, welcoming her exploration. Her legs gave up under her and she braced herself against him.
“Powerful, passionate, & epic.”
Rafflecopter Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ea80a6ed192/
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
As Sophia and Jackson find themselves in each other, they start to see redemption is possible. Trying to piece together a new life, they must answer the question: Should they forge a life together and say goodbye to their pasts completely, or should they loyally go their separate ways to avoid heartache?
If you are following this blog you know I have just returned from a trip to Portugal. I am a proud Lisboeta (native of Lisbon) and I didn’t move to the US until I was an adult. Leaving behind your family and friends is not an easy thing to do but until a few years ago I was always able to go visit them about once a year. Unfortunately with the prices of airline tickets skyrocketing (pun intended), my visits have become rarer and rarer. The last time I went to visit was over three years ago and it was not under the best circumstances.
My visit this time was very short but at least, I did get to spend some quality time with my mother, sister and nephews. I even got to see some family members I had not seen in over 30 years (yes, so I am old. Live with it!). And of course, I got to eat a LOT of the wonderful (underestimated) Portuguese cuisine (more stories to come on this). My expanding waistline is here to prove it.
The best part though (besides spending time with mom and sis) was getting to re-acquaint myself with my two nephews. These two guys are great. Smart, good-looking kids that can go far as long as they don’t sabotage themselves (which I hope they don’t). Here’s my dedication to my two super-awesome nephews!
The oldest one is a self-proclaimed nerd with enormous (albeit still untapped) potential and a heart of gold. The youngest one is a self-proclaimed ladies-man (LOL) with more energy than the Energizer bunny and also a heart of gold. They are both handsome (don’t let it go to your head) and very smart and I know that they will prove their father wrong by turning into amazing men and make their fantastic mother (my sister, of course. Good genes run in the family) very, very proud.
I had such a good time teasing the youngest and talking shop with the oldest (he is an aspiring writer, as well). My heart swelled to see how they both treat their mom who has gone through hell these past three years and support their grandma. I have no doubt they will both become great successes. They just have to believe in themselves and make it happen.
I hope to see you guys again soon. Make me proud grasshoppers, make me proud!