by Naima Simone
Several months ago, I had the opportunity to “speed date” with local librarians at my local library. Yup. Speed date. Now, this wasn’t some sort of Match.com gimmick. I attended a librarian conference. Well, let me tell you, librarians are a cool group to hang out with. They’re funny, laid-back, knowledgeable, have a surprisingly in-depth appreciation for Shemar Moore—and did I mention funny? Drinks weren’t even involved!
One of the questions Date #1 asked me was, why do you write romance over all the other genres that are out there? You would think I’ve been asked this question a lot, but surprisingly, that’s not the case. I guess because many of the people I connect with are already lovers of romance, this doesn’t come up too often. So, I took a moment to think before answering because this particular date/librarian wasn’t a romance reader, and he didn’t work in that area of his library. One of his previous questions had broached the evolution of romance books from “bodice rippers” to what they are today, so his idea of romance books wasn’t negative. Yet, if I and the few other romance authors in attendance were the only ones he would have up-close-and-personal conversations with, I wanted him to walk away with an altered, or even expanded view, of the genre than the one with which he’d entered.
So here’s the answer I gave him…
I write romance because there is nothing in the world more powerful than love. It has united nations and ripped them apart. Started wars and ended them. Saved lives and took them. Elevated people to influential positions and toppled them to the ground. It is potent, fierce, consuming, and whether it’s right or wrong, people use love as their motivations for committing the most miraculous, wondrous, and even the most heinous acts.
Consider books that are considered literary classics. Love is woven into the fabric of many of the stories. Take Lord of the Rings, for example. The unlikely and seemingly doomed loved story between Aragorn and his elven princess, Arwen, runs through all three books that make up this epic tale of good versus evil. She forfeited her immortality to spend a shorter, mortal life with the man she adored, and he was willing to forfeit a future with her so she could live a long life with her people. What about the Bible—the bestselling book of all time? It includes accounts of men and women who sacrificed, murdered, labored and laid down their lives in the name of love. Ruth and Boaz. David and Bathsheba. Solomon and the Shulamite girl. Jacob and Rachel. Jesus and the world.
Love battles evil and hate, and if it’s a good romance, love conquers and wins. This is why I write romance. Because love heals, redeems, empowers, transforms, delivers, forgives, forgives, and accepts. What more relevant and important subject is there to write about? As I spoke, a slow smile spread across his face, and he nodded several times. And at the end of my explanation *cough* dissertation *cough* he said one thing: Wow.
How apropos? Because love does that, too. It wows.
WITNESS TO PASSION is my newest love story with murder and hot sex thrown in for good measure. It is available now from Entangled Publishing! Fallon Wayland’s having yet another lousy birthday. Fired from her job, dumped by her boyfriend, and oh yes, witnessing the murder of a high-ranking lieutenant in the local crime family? Yeah, birthdays suck. Up until now, soldier-turned-security specialist Shane Roarke has avoided his baby sister’s reckless—and gorgeous—best friend. Now he insists on protecting her. But as layers—and clothes—are peeled away, danger closes in. And Fallon and Shane might have a chance at love…if they can survive. *cue Thriller cackle now*
Witness to Passion
Under his protection and in his bed…
For Fallon Wayland, birthdays are just another reminder of her looming spinsterhood. This year is shaping up to be no different. Unfairly fired from her job, dumped by her boyfriend, and oh yes, witnessing the murder of a high-ranking lieutenant in the local crime family… Yeah, birthdays suck.
Ever since a disastrous, hot-as-hell kiss years ago, soldier-turned-security specialist Shane Roarke has avoided his baby sister’s reckless—and gorgeous—best friend. Yet when her life is threatened after she witnesses a gang hit, he insists on protecting her…even if she objects.
The two are forced to hole up in a safe house. Alone. Passion long denied erupts between them, burning away their inhibitions. But even as layers—and clothes—are peeled away, danger closes in. Shane and Fallon might finally have a chance at love…if they survive long enough to see it.