posted on December 14, 2015 by Julie LeMense

The Gift of Love

by Julie LeMense

The holidays are many things to many people. For some, they’re a chance to reunite with friends and family. For others, they’re an opportunity to give of ourselves and to receive. I count myself lucky in that I usually get to do both. Yet I also find that I’m very reflective at this time of the year. I think of the changes I’ve seen in my three growing boys. I see the changes in myself as I age (sigh), and wonder if I’ve matured in equal measure. I remember both the happy memories of the past twelve months, and the sad. I think about what the coming year might bring.

And then after I’ve done my bit of soul-searching, and make promises to myself that I fully intend to keep, I give a gift to myself. Outsiders to our genre might not understand, but I think you will. I find myself a stack of holiday-themed romances, and I dive right in. Whenever characters are kissing under a sprig of mistletoe, taking sleigh rides in the snow, or linking hands together in front of a Christmas tree, I’m hooked.

I think it’s because romances are inherently hopeful, and especially at this time of the year, we are hopeful. Just like the heroes and heroines in the books that we read, we’ve come through everything this past year has thrown at us, and we’ve survived, right along with our capacity to love.

This year, that’s especially true for all those romances when a hero falls for a hero, and a heroine meets that one special someone in another heroine.

This is the gift-giving season, after all, and love is the greatest gift we can give to another person. Romance books aren’t afraid to acknowledge that. Indeed, they celebrate it, and it’s one of the many reasons I’m so proud to be a part of this industry. All of us are worthy of love, and as the new year dawns, the future is shiny, and full of possibility.

Julie’s newest book, Once Upon A Scandal, is a regency-set historical published by Crimson Romance. The sequel to her debut novel, Once Upon A Wager, is available at online booksellers everywhere.

Once Upon A Scandal

Once Upon a ScandalCaught up in a scandal of her father’s making, Lady Jane Fitzsimmons is now an outcast in the society that once prized her. So when Lord Benjamin Marworth offers to help redeem her good name, she leaps at the chance.

Too bad his plan requires her very public demise.

Benjamin, society’s darling, is actually a spy for the Crown, and important war communiques have been stolen. If Jane can carry off her disguise as the mysterious Madame Lillianne Fauchon, with close ties to Napoleon, she just might tempt the thief out of hiding.

If only Benjamin didn’t already find her so tempting…
Because the one thing he can’t risk is a chance at love.

Once Upon a Scandal can be purchased in eBook format for/from:

Julie LeMense

Julie LeMense

A Georgetown University graduate with a degree in English Literature, I have been a Regency romance addict since I read my first deliciously bad Barbara Cartland novel. These days, I prefer the complex characterizations and plotting of Julie Anne Long, Sherry Thomas and Meredith Duran, but I’m always excited to find new authors.

Once Upon A Wager is my first novel, and you might be interested to learn that other than the primary characters, most of the people in my book actually lived during the Regency. Dr. Robert Chessher, for instance, is known as the Father of British Orthopedics. Arbury Hall, the home of Alec Carstairs, my hero, is a glorious estate in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Lord and Lady Daventry currently live there, and open the home to tourists during certain times of the year. Astley Castle, where my heroine, Annabelle Layton lives, was a ruin until just a few years ago. It was recently restored, and is available for overnight stays. I can’t wait to go!

A member of the Romance Writers Association of America, I am currently working on my next two novels, as the ghosts who live in my old, gilded age-era home try to sneak their way into my stories.

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