Good morning everyone!! First I’d like to introduce myself, I’m Shirley Damsgaard, the author of the Ophelia and Abby Mystery Series from
Avon Books, and I’d like to thank you for inviting me here today. Over the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking what I would say here today and my thoughts turned to why I read romance. (I know I’m preaching to the choir, but please bear with me!!)
First…a little backstory. I love books and I’ve been an avid reader all of my life. I read everything, but my first journey into the world of romance involved our local library and author, Noel B. Gerson, when I was about twelve years old. I discovered his books one day as I was perusing the shelves…I think the first one was about John Smith and Pocahontas…it looked interesting so I checked it out. Boy, was it! And that bring me around to my first reason for reading romance:
#1. You learn “stuff”! I learned a bunch of things about John Smith and Pocahontas that I’d never read in any history book! After that, I plowed through every one of his books, much to the consternation of our librarians! (I heard them whispering about children reading inappropriate material one day as I was checking out yet another of Mr. Gerson’s books!) But they didn’t realize, thanks to him, I learned about William the Conquer and his wife Matilda, the Bronze Age, and the Trojan War. Now even at twelve, I knew Mr. Gerson had taken historical facts and embroidered them to make a good story, but none the less, they inspired my imagination, and to this day I still love history!
#2. A good romance can take you away, can let you leave this world and all the problems behind, at least for a little while. And with the state of things today, who doesn’t need an escape now and again?? Really…is there any thing better than curling up with a box of chocolates and a good book on a rainy afternoon and reading until your eyes cross? Or staying up half the night because you just can’t put the book down???
#3. What would relationships be like if only men would read more romance? Wouldn’t everyone like their significant other to take few tips from the heroes crafted by their favorite author? Don’t we all have a secret desire to be swept off our feet by passion?
#4. Reading a good romance restores our faith in love. And it reminds us that relationships take work, whether they are between the pages of a book or in real life.
#5. They give us hope for our own happy ending! After all someone had to get the inspiration from somewhere, maybe it was from their life. Maybe the dreamy ending we all love carries in it a seed of reality. If so, then there’s a chance for us, too.
Those are just five of the reasons I read romance, how about you?? Why do you read romance? Post a comment and your name will be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of THE WITCH’S GRAVE! (See excerpt below)
Again, thanks for having me here today and I’ll look forward to your comments!!
Excerpt from THE WITCH’S GRAVE:
“I don’t know.” I shoved my hands into the deep pockets of my dress. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I’ve had plenty of dreams involving murder or mayhem, but these…” Staring off into the distance, I recalled the dreams. “We’re in this field of wildflowers, and I’m dressed in a long, loose dress. Bees are flitting from flower to flower, and the sky’s scattered with white, puffy clouds. He’s waiting for me at the top of a rise, and it’s like I can’t wait to be with him.” Another blush began to creep up my neck and into my face, and I stopped.
“Go on,” she prodded with anticipation, “what happens next?”
“Never mind,” I said, waving the images away. “Let’s just say for a witch and a psychic, these are pretty good dreams.”
She tapped a foot on the hard, cracked ground in annoyance. “Okay, if you’re not going to give me the details, at least tell me what this guy looks like.”
“He’s dressed in a white shirt, with billowing sleeves…” I paused. “You know like the ones pirates wear?”
Darci rolled her eyes. “Maybe you’ve checked in one too many romance novels and the cover art seeped into your sub-conscious.”
“Listen,” I said in a curt voice. “Do you want to know what he looks like or not?”
“Okay, okay,” she mumbled. “Sorry.”
“He’s blond, tall with wide shoulders, and his eyes are blue—an incredibly deep blue. As dark as sapphires. Eyes that just pull you in…” A softness stole over me as I imagined the man in my dreams. The way he made me feel, the way his arms…I shook myself out of my revelry, banishing the gooiness I felt inside. “That’s about it,” I commented, trying to put a hard edge back in my voice.
“Does he say anything?”
“No, he just smiles a lot.”
“Humph, I bet,” she said with a knowing glance.
I felt my cheeks bloom bright red.
“Okay,” she said, her eyes scanning the crowd. “Tall, blond—”,
“Yes, but,” I interjected swiftly before she jumped to conclusions, “he wasn’t the man arguing with Clair.”
“Okay, so blue eyes, wide shoulders.” Her eyes stopped. “How about the guy surrounded by all the women? He’s tall, has wide shoulders and blond hair, but I can’t tell if his eyes are blue. He’s wearing sunglasses.”
I spun around and followed her gaze to where it rested on a stranger. The man Darci referred to wore dark navy jeans and a bright, white sport shirt. From the side view, he fit Darci’s description—built exactly like the stranger from my dreams, but I wouldn’t know at this distance without seeing his eyes.
Feeling my stare, his head moved in my direction and he removed his sunglasses. A slow smile spread across his face, and, as our eyes locked, my heart almost stopped.
It was him—literally the man of my dreams.