What the world needs is more romance! The thing thatbothers me about genre romance is the same thing that makes genre romance soappealing. Somehow everything in my life compares to food, but indulgeme, please. You've got your standard genre romance which comes indifferent flavors: historical, contemporary, fantasy, apocalyptic or dystopian,steampunk, chick lit, etc., which are kind of like different flavors of popcorn. And who doesn't love popcorn, whether it's kettle corn orbuttered or toffee or caramel. It's all good, and any time's a nice timefor popcorn. I certainly feel more intellectually full after reading a good book then articles about celebs. Articles about celebs tend to give mea headache. They are these ongoing stories with no climax, no resolution,just one ongoing beginning with no end.
I've got to admit I'm one of those people who are suckered into buying thebooks that these titan publishers push at you so hard you can't get away fromthem. I went to an elementary school book fair and bought a bunch ofmainstream stuff to support the school. Problem is, with a lot ofliterary books which fancy themselves "high art", there are theseengaging characters that I can really get into, and then something really awfulhappens to them, things involving female circumcision, starvation, and/or evenworse. Then the character and reader are completely messed up from there,and I hope there some sort of change in the end but really someone just ends updying or having a baby, or I close the book wishing I was dead because the maincharacter is so very unhappy. Then I have a gut bomb and wish thatinstead of eating that fatty laden stuff I should have had some popcorninstead.
I haven't picked up a straight romance novel, one with the happily ever afterending and the greatest challenge being the romantic tension between thecharacters, in ages. I guess I'm afraid to because I'm worried that I'llforget all about the story as soon as I close the book. Romance is thisamazing genre which has been over-manufactured like the food on the shelves atour neighborhood grocer. It is the bestselling genre, but I want to makeit meaty. I like to think that's my job now. Meaty, filling romancethat makes you feel like you've learned something after you've closed the book,besides that your husband wants you to shop more in the lingerie department andthe logistics of how to make a baby. Somehow I need to incorporate thatinto a platform.
So why does the world really need romance with a little something more? Iwent to a Halloween party in Vegas last weekend. Somehow, ladiesunderwear has now become a very hip and now costume. Some people werejust wearing a corset bra, panties, and some garters. Undies.
Yep,underwear. That was a costume. I mean, at least spray on some bodypaint or something so I don't feel like an old school marm in my Mad Hattresscostume with fishnets. For men, it seemed the popular costumes wereemasculated cartoon characters such as Sponge Bob, Mario and Luigi, HarryPotter, and whatever other pansy you can imagine.
I eavesdropped on a conversation between Mario and Luigi as they checked out acouple of undie clad gals and they sounded eerily like an episode from the 90'sshow.
Mario: Howare we gonna get in there? I got two words for you: Im-possible.
Luigi:Nothing is impossible, Mario. Improbable, Unlikely, but never impossible.Anything is possible, Mario, you just gotta believe in it.
I imagined what my fellow party goers woke up to the next morning, as theyslipped on their Luigi costume and said, "Remember, trust the fungus"as they waved their big white gloved hand goodbye. Or as they put ontheir underwear costume, and did that walk of shame down a hotel roomhallway. Where's the romance in that?
The world needs romance not just so we can indulge our fantasies of charactersnamed Kate, Sal, Striker, Edward, Ash, Katniss, (if these names sound familiaryou're reading the right books, wink) but so we can put our reality of whatlove should consist of into check.
Life really should imitate art now, don't you think?
Liz R. Newman's newest work is The Movie Star's Wife, coming soon from Breathless Press. Read an excerpt and pre-order the book at http://www.breathlesspress.com/movie-stars-wife
The book trailer can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoOkYs9tTUg&feature=plcp
The Movie Star’s Wife
Liz R. Newman
Juliet James, aka Julie Streets, is a former starlet married to one of the biggest action stars in history. He’s handsome, sexy, and her best friend. There’s only one thing keeping them from falling in love. Enter a world of glamour and riches where all of the indulgences of heaven are there for the taking, but the trappings of a marriage of convenience have made life a living hell. A chance meeting prompts Juliet to change her situation when she comes across a romantic interest she just can’t stay away from.
"This doc covers everything, from maid service to housekeepers to even just close friends. He can't imagine exactly what this can cover as well," I lied. "I mean, what transpires between you and I." Tiny droplets of sweat formed at my hairline. "You and I work together. We've formed a friendship. He'll think it pertains to whatever happens or is said on set. The entire crew will have to sign one as well if the pilot becomes a series."
Gavin placed the document on a teak side table. Lifting up my chin gently, he caressed my cheek with his hand. "This doesn't work for me, Juliet."
I stared off into the moonlit seascape, watching the waves lap upon the shore. The ocean held as many tears as were prepared to fall from my eyes. I closed them as I breathed deeply, listening to the sound of the waves pounding, and the crickets chirping at the sight of the moon. The nearness of him, combined with the romantic setting, seemed to be a stage set for a joke, a parody of forever unrequited love. I felt the weight of his body upon mine, as his lips pressed against mine, opening them in a passionate kiss that ignited my very soul from where his lips touched me in a secret place that had been treated as an affliction for far too long.
"I have a suggestion of my own, that I want to run by you." Slipping off the hammock, he disappeared down the stairs, coming back up with one hand behind his back. "Juliet. I know you are another man's wife, and under any other circumstances I would have nothing to do with you. I can't stay away. I won't. Unless you ask me to." He waited as he searched my eyes. He bent down on one knee and brought a box from behind his back. "Perhaps this is not as extraordinary as the one you already own. If you don't like it, I can find you a different one more suited to your taste. Juliet James, will you marry me?"
"Yes!" I blurted. Then just as quickly, "No! I mean... I have to ask Steven."
"I can't explain. I'll try. When you live with someone for so long, you owe them an explanation."
"Do you want to marry me, Juliet?"