Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Things I’ve learned from Reading Romance Novels

Winner! Winners!

Okay the winner of the copy of WWW is MsHellion. However, because I still have a few ARCs left of the book, I'm going to give away two second place winners. And the Krisgils33 and Refhater. Send me your snail mail address at Christie (at) christie-craig.com

Oh...go check out
http://www.wildwickedwacky.blogspot.com/ My friend won over 60 books at the Brenda Novak auction. She's giving a lot of them away. Pop over and get your name in her hat.

Friday, June 18th, was the official release day for WILD, WICKED & WANTON: 101 WAYS TO LOVE LIKE YOU’RE IN A ROMANCE NOVEL, the humorous self-help/relationship book I co-wrote with Faye Hughes. We really enjoyed writing this book, and I can honestly say that I embrace its message that real women can learn a lot about men and relationship from reading romance novels.

I recently ran a contest through Dorchester Publishing for the release of my sixth humorous romantic suspense novel SHUT UP AND KISS ME. I’d asked readers to send me a short essay describing what they had learned from reading romance novels. Today, I’m posting the winning entry and the honorable mentions. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Winner: Virginia C

Romance novels offer the hope that true love is attainable, and "Happily Ever After" can be ours. They also provide an escape from everyday life. We can view the romantic entanglements and sensual experiences of the characters and imagine ourselves in their place. Some "romance stories" go much further. They present a more realistic look at characters with physical and emotional problems, financial difficulties, abuse situations, unplanned pregnancies and so much more. Sometimes, I want to read about life scenarios which are similar to my own. Other times, I want to be completely involved by characters and life stories far outside my everyday world. You can find all of these things by reading romance novels. Whether you search for the familiar or the exotic, chaste love or deep sensuality, you will find it all in "romance novels".

Honorable Mention – Zita

From romance novels I have learned that love is universal and worth fighting for. I have learned that showing someone you love them is not an embarrassment. And that it’s okay to love, even if it’s not returned. In fact, I have learned that love doesn’t need reciprocation at all, it just is, and it’s a good thing. I have learned that loving myself is vital to being loved, which only makes sense. I have learned that sex is not necessarily love and vice-versa. I have learned that love comes in all shapes and sizes. And that romance can be funny, sweet, serious, painful, hard, easy, emotional, dreadful, heart-breaking, renewing, rejuvenating, justifying, and the biggest mistake of your life. It can also be the best thing that’s ever happened to you, and that is the lesson I learned the most from romance novels: that happily ever after exists and to not be afraid if it comes knocking at my door. No matter how many romance novels I read, I will cheer for the spunky heroine and the misunderstood hero. I will root for their relationship through all the trials and tribulations authors force them through. I will laugh with them, cry with (and for) them, and celebrate their victories, because I have learned that life really does imitate art and the more romance novels are written and read, the more romance is released into the world. And there ain’t nothing better than that!

Honorable Mention – Joy

What I learned is some of what I learned in kindergarten:
1. Play fair.
2. You had better share your feelings.
3. Clean up your own messes and sometimes those of others.
4. Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody and forgive yourself.
5. Have a good sense of humor and forgive yourself.
6. Have fun and laugh a lot.
6. Judge others by their actions and not their words.
7. Love can hurt.
8. Don't be afraid of the dark-you can have a lot of fun in it.
and I learned that I need to read faster-too many books and not enough

Honorable Mention – Michele

I have learned that when you sit down to read a Romance Novel it takes you to another place, you can put aside your troubles. I’ve learned that lost love is not always lost. I’ve learned that the hero always has chiseled features and rock hard abs. I’ve learned that either one or both characters first fight or hide the attraction then the sexual tension builds things go well before things go wrong then things work out. I’ve learned that the “ordinary” girl can get the hot high profile guy. I’ve learned that someone always seems to have money. I’ve learned one or both characters will have another conflict besides their love life to overcome. I’ve learned that the guy always gets the girl in the end or the girl always gets the guy. I’ve learned that if there are interesting enough they will get their own book and finally what I’ve learned is that there is always a happily ever after

Honorable Mention – Colleen

Romance Novels, The one thing that stands out most for me is that I am addicted to Happily Ever Afters. No matter what romance genre, what type of hero or heroine there are, the settings or situations, I want to go along with the characters' journey to find their Happily Ever Afters! The variety of characters and their situations create a world in which I can follow along and experience their pain, anger, misunderstandings, adventures, and learning experiences all to lead to their Happily Ever Afters. The whole journey is a wonderful way to see a character develop and grow, but oh my should I even say it again, I WANT THE HAPPILY EVER AFTERS! ;)

Honorable Mention – Carolyn

What I learned from Romance novels is: The man that I most hate will be the one I end up with. I am most likely to meet him either when I look the worst or am in dire need of life saving. He will have a name like Dirk Bensen or Sir James Winchester. Our relationship will just be getting good, when we will have a huge fight due to the fact that I appear to be more interested in his best friend, who is a loveable rake, or due to gossip given him by my seductive female rival. He will apologize to me just as I am about to flee the castle for parts unknown. We will live happily ever after!

Congrats to all the winners!


I’m also running two contests right now – one is at www.WritewithUs.net to celebrate the release of Wild, Wicked & Wanton. It’s an essay contest in 250 words or less about the craziest, zaniest or worst romantic disaster you've ever had and what you learned from the experience. One entry will be drawn at random and will win the following: $50 Visa gift card (use it to pamper yourself with a pedicure/manicure/facial), a $10 gift card at Victoria's Secret (treat yourself!), a massage oil set (treat you and your special someone), a copy of Shut Up and Kiss Me, some chocolate and more. The deadline is August 31st. You can read more about it here.

The other contest is open to everyone who comments on today’s blog. To win, just post a comment and tell me why you enjoy reading romance novels. Do they uplift your day, make you smile, make you feel sexier? What’s the appeal? One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Wild, Wicked and Wanton, so don’t be shy. Post away.



Refhater said...

To be honest, I read romance novels as an escape from reality. To get away from the stresses and drama of day to day life. (The broken pipe that caused a flood and the ceiling to collapse, Heartburn from hell, needy family, annoying coworkers, etc...)

Sitting down to read for an hour or two gives me that little break I need to keep my sanity. And Romance novels are fun and usually have a happy ending. Plus the murder/suspense books were giving me too many good ideas on how to kill people. (LOL... just kidding.)

Edie Ramer said...

Great essays. I read romances because it's about the greatest emotion of all: love. In the end, love conquers all. At least in my choice of fiction.

krisgils33 said...

it's the escape into the perfect world where true love can conquer all. life (and relationships) aren't always perfect and, in a romance novel, I don't have to work at it for there to be a happy ending (if that makes sense)!!!

krisgils33 said...

BTW, those were wonderful sentiments expressed by your winners!!

Keena Kincaid said...

Great essay, and what a great idea to ask readers what they like. I love their reasons, and it reinforces why I wrote romance. I want to help people escape to a world where love conquers all.

Christie Craig said...


We all need to escape, girl. Life can bite sometimes. And about this killing people issue you have?Hey . . . why do think I add a little murder to my plots? LOL.

Thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Edie,

Yup, love does conquer all. Oh, it can't solve every problem in real life, but it sure as heck can make those problems easier to deal with.

Thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...


You are so right. In our romances we can experience the emotional highs and just let the characters deal with the lows.

And I loved all the essays I got. It was soo hard to pick the winners.

Thanks so much for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...


As romance writers I think it's our job to offer that escape and hopefully in the process to reconfirm the belief in love.

Thanks so much for stopping by.


MsHellion said...

The romantic disaster contest keeps saying I'm over 1000 characters and I'm not. Goofy thing. It's fine. I tried to whittle down that bad date to 250 words and it's just not as funny under that limitation.

I love the essays. I'm with the winner: I do think romance novels give us hope that true love is available to all of us.

Christie Craig said...


I'll have someone check on that blip in the contest. Thanks for letting me know.

And yup, love is like air, we all need it to live.


Teri Thackston said...

Great column, Christie. You are a wonder!

TerriOsburn said...

There's just something about reading about people falling in love. I got addicted at a very young age. Twenty-some-odd years later and I'm still addicted. They make me smile, make me laugh, make me cry, and make me smile. Plus, I get to travel to places like Ireland and Australia, and Prague without ever leaving my house.

The bonus would have to be reading about a man who says the right thing at the right time. Or gets it wrong the first time but eventually gets it right. That never happens in my reality, so I have to get my fix somewhere. :)

TerriOsburn said...

That last one should be "make me sigh." LOL! But they've been known to make me smile twice. Especially yours.

catslady said...

Romances tell stories of how I think life/love should be or at least what I would want it to be. Real life is rarely HEA. It's also exciting and most of all, it takes me away.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Teri!

Thanks for stopping by. You are a wonder, too, girl.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Terri O,

Romances are indeed like little vacations. As fo the men saying the right thing, ahh, yeah, we all love that, don't we?

And girl, we can smile twice anytime. I'm tickled I get to give you a couple of giggles.


Christie Craig said...


Don't you just love those happily ever afters? And the excitement...hey it good we can read about it, experience the highs and not ever really be in danger.

Have a good week. And thanks for dropping by.


Sandy said...

I thought all the essays were interesting but the first one was the best and deserved to win.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Sandy,

Thanks girl. I thought they were all good, too. Some very great points about my favorite genre.


Carolyn said...

Thank you for the book! I just received it and am looking forward to some enjoyable summer reading!

MsHellion said...

Thank you! I just got the notice and haven't been near a computer since Wednesday--or actually Tuesday night. :) I look forward to reading WWW!