The theme for this month's celebration is "The Joy of Romance". Read on for my short essay, a fun Q&A, my personal authors recs, and a giveaway!
Love Knows No Limits
One of the things I love about romantic fiction is that love knows no limits. Romance thrives in every decade, every century. Love conquers in every world--real or imagined. Reading about, writing about, or watching a movie about a man and woman falling in love fills my heart with joy. I don't care where or when that story takes place. I'll follow a well-written and passionate hero and heroine anywhere. Whether it's the wild west, the Victorian Age, Medieval times, an alternate world or a modern-day small town. I'm there! I not only enjoy a good love story, but I'm also keen on a grand adventure. My reading (and viewing) taste also feeds my own writing. My imagination bounces all over the place and luckily, happily many readers are willing to genre-hop with me. Follows a peek into my various "joys".
Joy #1 -- CONTEMPORARY
Romances that take place in modern times are especially appealing because they seem so real. We can easily put ourself in the hero or heroine's shoes. We're more familiar with their challenges and surroundings than, for instance, a couple from the 15th century. For me contemporary romance is a comfort read and a pleasure to write. I've explored the worlds of CEOs, con-artists, bodyguards, librarians, entertainers, publicists, bakers, and shoe boutique owners to name a few. From small-town romance, to modern-day fairy tales, to romantic suspense--I dabble in it all because I find wonder in every facet of our modern lives.
Joy #2 -- HISTORICAL
My first love as a reader was historical romance. Westerns, Medieval, Regency, Victorian. I'm fascinated with the past--how we lived, what we wore, how we spoke. Living vicariously through the characters--without having to sacrifice modern conveniences--is a guilty pleasure I indulge time and again. Aside from reading historical romance, I'm addicted to period films and cable series. Last of the Mohicans, Braveheart, Shakespeare in Love, and Sense and Sensibility are just a few of my longtime favorite films. Current series addictions include: Downton Abby, Musketeers, Outlander, and Poldark. As far as writing historicals, the most daunting aspect is the research. It's intense, but it's also inspiring.Whether I'm writing straight historical or alternate history, fact-based research is key in transporting you to another time.
Joy #3 -- PARANORMAL
Ghosts, time-travel, reincarnation, steampunk, witches and magick... These are just a few other-worldly or alternate world aspect that appeal to me as a reader and writer. The ultimate make-believe for a happily-ever-after.
Keep scrolling for recs, a fun Q&A, and the Giveaway.
Also would love for you to chime in...
What's your favorite romantic genre and why?
There are a few authors who, like me, enjoy exploring various sub-genres. Authors I'd follow anywhere! If you're not already familiar with them, be sure to check them out!
Jayne Ann Krentz (also writing as) Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle
Questions for Author:
1 - Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
--This past spring my sisters (I have five) and I threw a surprise 75th birthday for our mom. We're scattered in various states and it is a rare moment when all of us are together. This was the first time in quite some time (except for a sad gathering). Seeing the look on my mom's face when she walked through the door--first seeing all the friends and family gathered in one place just for her... and then realizing ALL of her daughters were there... For me that was a moment of sheer joy.
2 - Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
--England is my happy place. I’ve been blessed and have traveled there several times over the last several years. The first time was my honeymoon. Naturally, I was extremely joyful. Deliriously in love, newly married and traveling overseas for the first time. We spent three short days in London and became instantly addicted. Since then we’ve also visited Bath, Oxford, Canterbury, York, Stratford Upon Avon… The list goes on and every single place filled me with joy. And contentment. Although I was born and raised in America, England feels like home. Perhaps it was… in another life.
3 - Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
--The sound of silence brings me joy. In my former life, I made my living as a performer. Music inspired me and made me deliriously happy. I still love music, but these days silence makes me joyful. It allows my imagination to run wild. Also makes me feel peaceful—a most splendid state-of-being.
4- What recent book have you read that brought you joy. Why?
I’m presently reading a biography—DREAM MORE—by Dolly Parton. It’s delightful! Entertaining, motivating, and inspiring.
5 - And for fun, the joy of choice. Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?)
Yikes. I have to pick just one? Okay. First thought. Gut choice. Chris Hemsworth. A talented actor who seems incredibly devoted to his wife and children. That's sexy and attractive. Like his smile.
Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed "fun and sexy" by Publisher's Weekly, Beth is published in contemporary, historical, steampunk, and paranormal romantic fiction. "I can't think of anything more fulfilling than writing stories where everyone (except the villain, of course) gets a happy ending!"
Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at www.bethciotta.com