Monthly Archives: March 2015

Do Romance Novels Hurt Society?

As a romance writer, I’m constantly creating tales of “predestined” love. In other words, I’m propagating a romantic fantasy time and again with the goal of entertaining (and sometimes arousing) others.

But after reading Great Expectations: The Soul Mate Quest, I have to wonder whether my genre might be hurting people. How could a romance novel hurt anyone, you ask? Answer: in the same way the beauty industry makes people feel insecure about their appearance.8623514_s

San Francisco psychologist Joshua Coleman suggests, “[c]onstant cultural pressure to have it all—a great sex life, a wonderful family—has made people ashamed of their less-than-perfect relationships and question whether such unions are worth hanging on to. Feelings of dissatisfaction or disappointment are natural, but they can seem intolerable when standards are sky-high.”

Based on that declaration, one could argue romance novels, which are often based upon the concept of a soul mate, contribute to this cultural pressure. Thus, I must ask whether an avid romance reader might question the “rightness” of his or her relationship if it is not in perfect harmony at all times more often than someone who doesn’t read romance. And if so, what do they do about it?

According to Coleman, “[P]eople are made to feel that remaining in a marriage that doesn’t make you blissfully happy is an act of existential cowardice.” Thus, it is possible, if not probable, that a person whose relationship compares unfavorably against the idealistic relationships in his or her beloved romance novels might start looking elsewhere for that illusory soul mate.

That idea not only troubles me, but it also presents a quandary. My genre dictates a happy ending and a swoon-worthy hero, so if I were to write a more realistic romance novel, it probably wouldn’t sell.  I suppose I will keep writing romance and hope that readers recognize them as a fantasy, but enjoy them all the same.

XO-Jamie

Book Release–Worth the Wait

St. Patty’s Day is the release date for my sophomore novel, Worth the Wait.

Beck-WorththeWait-19274-CV-FT-V7_miniI adore everything about this story:  the setting (Block Island), the heroine (Vivi, who maintains a sunny outlook despite a heartbreaking childhood), the hero (David, an introvert who’s brooding over a damaging secret he’s being forced to keep), the unrequited love/friends-to-lovers tropes, and the overarching theme of the power of forgiveness.

As with In the Cards, I’m donating 25% my early sales proceeds to New Canaan CARES, so if you buy the book this week, you’ll also be supporting free programming for children and parents.

If you’re curious to see how I envision David, Vivi, and the rest of the characters and other things in the story, check out my Pinterest Board for this novel.

If you haven’t signed up to attend the Lucky in Love Facebook Launch Party, with lots of guest authors and giveaways, including the Kindle grand prize, do it now!  It’ll be fun, I promise!

xo-Jamie

Virtual Launch Party

My next novel, Worth the Wait, releases on St. Patrick’s Day (less than two weeks from now).  Like before, I’m donating 25% of my proceeds from the first week of book sales to New Canaan CARES.  Unlike before, I’m not hosting a live book launch.Beck-WorththeWait-19274-CV-FT-V7_mini

This time I’m co-hosting a virtual book-launch party on Facebook with two awesome writer friends, Jeannie Moon, and USA Today best seller Jamie K. Schmidt, each of whom also have new books releasing on March 17th (Until You and Fever, respectively).

At this point you may be wondering, what happens at a virtual release party?  Let me tell you: fun and giveaways!  Guest authors will interact with fans and give away free signed books.  There will be contests for other prizes, like exclusive “book jacket” chocolate bars, and a grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite.  You can expect authors and fans to post lots of man-candy pictures and off-color humor, too.  This is, after all, a romance event!

We’ve line up a roster of amazing guest authors including, among others, fellow CTRWA members Regina Kyle, Sugar Jamison, Erika Kelly, and NYT best seller Kristan Higgins, as well as fellow Montlake authors Sheila Athens and Sandra Owens.Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.43.18 AM

The party takes place from 7-11 pm on St. Patty’s Day, so click on the launch party link above to join.  You don’t have to stay the whole time–pop in and out throughout the evening.  But it will be a fun chance to meet some new authors and possibly win one or more prizes!

Hope to see you there!

xo-Jamie