Celebrating the Joy of Romance

August is Read-A-Romance Month and I've been invited to join in the huge celebration. And when I say huge I mean MEGA. After you read my bit visit  the special website dedicated to this party. You'll find a list of 93 of your favorite authors. All of them will be featured and they're all hosting giveaways. Then hop over to Lorelei's Lit Lair where you'll find more participating authors. Lorelei is a huge supporter of the romance community. On August 1 you can read her featured essay here.

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?

Recommendations:

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! 

Zoe Archer (also writing as) Eva Leigh
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.


 Giveaway!


Bio:

 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

Comments

Bonnie Franks said…
I would have to say mine is from the fifties or so. The reason I say that is that falling in love was a little more respectable then. I know, my age is showing. The way I see it, and remember that these people were my parents and aunts and uncles and such, the romance was beginning to come out into the open a little more, but "stealing a kiss" was still stealing a kiss and not the PDA of today. The guys still called the girls. The guys still asked the girls out. Girls could still feel protected by their man without feeling guilty about it. Couples held hands and their faces glowed and their smiles showed the love they were feeling, not some inappropriate action in public. Don't get me wrong, I like the sexy stuff too, but I came from a time when people worked toward it. Work isn't the proper word, but I don't know what is.
Beth Ciotta said…
What a fabulous observation, Bonnie. I adore everything you said. A friend of mine would call that "the sizzle without the steak".
TarheelFIT1 said…
My favorite romance genre is historical. I loved everything Bonnie said, too! Great response!
Pamela Johnson said…
I would not like to choose but mostly I read Romantic Suspense and I like Military romance.
Beth Ciotta said…
Where is the LIKE button on this blog. LOL I'm spoiled by Facebook. thumbs up to Tarheel and Pamela!
Carrie said…
Mostly contemporary, but romantic suspense is high on the list too. The biggest must for me is if the story makes me laugh...good banter between characters or just little meta jokes thrown in by the author. I'm reading one now, not by Beth, and everything is so intense with no levity at all that I'm finding it hard to get through even though it's smack dab in the middle of my preferred genre...I might read something else by the author, but I won't revisit this series.
Beth Ciotta said…
I agree with you, Carrie. I like intense and I can even go a little dark, but at some point--here and there along the way--I need levity for balance. I remember super intense scene in one of the original Star Wars movies, where Hans Solo is about to get sealed up in this contraption. you think it's the end for him... and so does Princess Leia--"I love you," she says. So intense and to which Hans says, "I know." A perfect zinger to lighten the moment. At least that's how I remember it. :)
Sasha Casillas said…
I would have to say that paranormal is my favorite though it is a tough choice. Paranormal can encompass so much including futuristic, changelings, vampires, and steampunk. Jayne Castle is one of my favorite authors in this space although she also occupies a spot for my favorite authors of historical romance. Historical romance would be my second choice and Julie Garwood is one of the greats for me. But I love contemporary too. :) I love my romance books, all of them!

I remember that scene in Star Wars exactly the same Beth.
Diane Blaser said…
I'm a combination of genres, and they all have HEA in common! My first favorite is Historical American Romance. My joyful place is the period after the Civil War and through the 1880's. I love mail order brides, and marriages of circumstance as well as stories about pioneers, westerns, cowboys...you name it and I like it because I have a fixation with American history. I also love contemporary romance because it is, after all, the time we live in. I find great joy in reading about love. If the author is funny and quirky I have the best of both worlds!
Rhonda Gothier said…
Historic....you get history and romance!
Beth Ciotta said…
Sashsa, I'm a huge, longtime fan of Julie Garwood. I do enjoy her contemporaries, but her historicals slay me!

Diane, as someone who's a fan of american history, are you also interested in Victorian romance set on the American east coast? Or are you more interested in the west and south? Just curious?

Rhonda... Good answer! ;)
Beth Ciotta said…
Sashsa, I'm a huge, longtime fan of Julie Garwood. I do enjoy her contemporaries, but her historicals slay me!

Diane, as someone who's a fan of american history, are you also interested in Victorian romance set on the American east coast? Or are you more interested in the west and south? Just curious?

Rhonda... Good answer! ;)
Cathy Parisi said…
I like billionaires & military romances are my favorite!
catslady said…
I love romance and I love variety so although I pick historical first, I read a bit of most everything!
Kelli Jo said…
My favorite genre period has always been Romantic Suspense, but as I get older, I'm beginning to enjoy pure old Romance. ��
Beth Ciotta said…
Cathy, I am a huge fan of Suzanne Brockman's military romances. As for billionaires... have you tried the new series by Nancy Herkness? :)
Beth Ciotta said…
Cats Lady, I'm all about variety as well, but Historical was my first love.

Kelli Jo, I hear you on both counts! :)
bn100 said…
contemporary for the stories
Diana Tidlund said…
pratt , evans then Helmsworth…. though I do have to admit he was hysterical in the latest vacation being endowed with a huge penis and trying to flaunt it… I died laughing at the end credit and photos….it was hanging out the bottom of his pants…no wonder his wife stayed with him in the movie
Janice said…
My favorite romance genre changes frequently. Right now I am into romantic suspense. I also love paranormal, historical and contemporary. I just love a good romance with a HEA.
kaisquared said…
I cannot choose only one genre, but at the moment I really enjoy steampunk, including your Darcys series, because it combines historical, scifi, fantasy, suspense and paranormal, not to mention some killer clothes!
Sue G. said…
If I had to pick just one I guess it'd be contemporary...although I really do enjoy historical and erotic romances.
Beth Ciotta said…
And the fantastic comments keep on coming! Love reading everyone's reading preferences. It's interesting and inspiring.

Kaisquared, do glad you enjoyed the Darcy books. They were a challenge to write but a huge amount of FUN!
Nancy Jones said…
My favorite is historical and paranormal.
Robin Driscoll said…
My favorite is suspense. I love mysteries.
vvb32 reads said…
I lean towards historical. But love a mashup of historical and present via time travel so that I get a bit of both worlds ;-)
missmaria said…
I love contemporary romance! Reality based is best!
Christine B said…
I love paranormal romance and sci fi romance. I love when reality is turned on its head and shook up! I love the escapism and excitement of being swept away to another world.
NoraA said…
I'm a fan of Contemporary, Paranormal, and Sci-Fi Romance. Gini Koch rocks, and so does Susan Mallory, Jill Shalvis and too many others to mention.
Jess1 said…
I really like different genres, but I guess it would be paranormal/fantasy. I like the imagination involved.
Beth Ciotta said…
This is fabulous. Thank you to everyone who shared today! Love the mention of mashups. ;)
Di said…
I read all genre as long as there is romance with an HEA. But a particular favorite is Medieval Historical romance.
Rachel B said…
Thanks for the giveaway!

My favorite genres are two: regency and paranormal. Regency, because there are authors that I fell in love with due to their writing, and the families that they created, all of which make me want to read what happens to them down the line. Paranormal, in part, because it is tangentially connected to fantasy, which is my favorite genre of books to read.
Toni Whitmire said…
i like them all that I can't choose just one bibbiesparks@yahoo.com.
Susan said…
I love paranormal the best.
cheryl c said…
I love reading romances. In fact, that is all I read these days. My favorite genres are contemporary, historical, and lite paranormal.
Marianne said…
I love the romance genre as a whole. Whether it's paranormal, military, suspense ... as long as there is a HEA and a little romance along the way, I'm a very happy reader!
Diana Tidlund said…
love reading romance period! no genre I won't read just some I will read last...lol
Anonymous said…
Romance, Mysteries are my 2 favorites to read. kamundsen44(at)yahoo(dot)com. Kim
Missy Terry said…
My favorite genre is historical romance.
cindyr said…
Loved your Q & A. It was great!
Thanks for the chance at this, Beth!!!
I can't picK a favorite type of romance. I guess it's a toss up between Romantic Contemporary and Romantic Suspense.
Kelli Jo said…
Oh, Beth! You know you're one of my absolute FAVS!!! ❤️��❤️��❤️
Beth Ciotta said…
So great to see so many people chiming in! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm surprised by how many of you enjoy multiple sub-genres! I thought I was in the minority, but apparently not!
Lyn E said…
Romantic suspense and supernatural. Love a good plot and storyline. Grab my attention!!!
Jana B said…
I enjoy paranormal romance best. I like experiencing a different world. Thanks.
quinn fforde said…
I like lots of them, but I find myself the most swept away by a good historical.
Anonymous said…
I go back and forth, Beth... I think my first love will always be contemporary, but historical and paranormal run pretty close behind ;) Congrats on having knock-your-socks off titles in all those :D Write on!

--Fedora
donnas said…
I tend to go back and forth between paranormal and contemporary. Paranormal because anything can happen.
Alli said…
I love the steampunk. And I hope you continue the Glorious Victorious Darcys!! I LOVED that series and have been eagerly anticipating the next one!!!
Melody Stringer said…
I like them all

watching and download Box Office Movie here
Vix alexa said…
that's great, i proud of you...

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