Marry On April Fool’s Day by @JoanReeves #mgtab

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Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day so here’s a question for you. Would you marry on April Fool’s Day? I think you’d have to possess a very good sense of humor to do that.

In light of our changing culture, perhaps the better question is, would you get married? Ever. I have a couple of friends who refuse to marry. Each lives with the man she loves, but they absolutely refuse to marry.

In today’s world where couples live together and often have children without marriage, getting married seems to have become the ultimate commitment if not the ultimate love story.Weddings are celebrated in ceremonies ranging from small, family-only events to splashy galas costing as much as a house.

Ancient People Knew What Was At Stake

It wasn’t always like this. Ancient history tells us that marriage was first a private, domestic affair.

According to Curious Customs of Sex and Marriage by George Ryley Scott (out of print but available at used book outlets), the basic function of marriage was to multiply. After all, the population was small. Disease was rampant. Under-population was the big problem. The planet needed more people. Marriages were simply a way of sponsoring procreation.Bride Cartoon

You may kiss the bride. Go forth and procreate.

Women Were Valuable–Commodities

It didn’t take men long to decide that the value of a woman–daughter, sister, or a female related in any way that gave them domination over the woman–lay in making marriage contracts that enabled them (the men) to gain more wealth and power.

Yet, marriage was a hard sell to most men. Those testosterone-fueled beings didn’t embrace the concept. They took persuading which is probably why the dowry played such a big part in landing a man who would enhance a father’s power and wealth.

Perhaps that explains why so many nations (remember, just about all society was patriarchal) experimented with Polygyny, a form of plural marriage in which a man is allowed more than one wife, and Polyandry, a form of polygamy whereby a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time. So they could have many wives and get many dowries in order to expand their power base.

Along Came Monogamy

Eventually, in most civilized nations of the world, monogamy was accepted almost universally, at least in theory, as the perfect form of marital union.

As we all know, nothing and no one is perfect, but monogamy was probably what kept the world rocking along for a couple of millennia—dragging all of the customs and superstitions created along the way into our modern world.

Customs Transform To Fit The Times

Many marriage customs continue, with some slight alterations. Although some may still practice Marriage by Capture, that’s usually performed in an altered version called Elopement.

Betrothal in Infancy and Arranged Marriages still survive as do matchmakers. Even Marriage by Purchase survives in other countries although cynics assert that Marriage by Purchase is alive and well in western civilizations too. Just look at all the wealthy sugar daddies–and a few sugar mamas–who are always looking for sexy young sugar babies. Of course, maybe they’re all just looking for love like the rest of us.

Marriage of Convenience

Another classic tradition in the wedding arena is the Marriage of Convenience in which an unwilling man or woman is forced into a marriage. Sometimes this is because of the need for protection or for economic reasons. This is one of the most popular themes in romance novels.

I explore that theme in my romantic comedy, April Fool Bride which is on sale for only 99 cents today through April 16. (Be sure the price is 99 cents before you click Buy.) You can find April Fool Bride at: Amazon * Nook * iTunes * Kobo (U.S.) * Smashwords.

Blurb

Is it a marriage of convenience or something more? Something that sizzles like steam heat between Maddie and Jake that neither can resist!

Oil heiress Madeline Quinn needs a husband by the time she turns twenty-five in order to claim her full inheritance. Mad Maddie, as the tabloids christened her, has learned the hard way that men only see dollar signs when they look at her.

Maddie decides a marriage of convenience is the only answer. She turns to the one man in the world she can trust, her housekeeper’s son who always treated her like a little sister when they were kids growing up together.

Jake Becker hasn’t seen Maddie since the night she tried to seduce him. Why should he help the woman who changed the course of his life? Simple. Revenge.

Review

This is a wonderful love story. April Fool Bride is well plotted and beautifully told. As the story came to an end I found myself wanting to read more. I read a lot of books, but I don’t read them all to the end, and I only write a review on the ones I love. I thoroughly enjoyed April Fool Bride. 5 Stars!! ~ Mary Adair, Author

A charming novella with romance, passion, humor. Maddie needs a husband by April to be able to control her inheritance. The only man she can trusts to help her without taking advantage of the situation is Jake who was her friend when they were both teenagers. His mother used to work for Maddie’s family until the night her stepmother caught Maddie in Jake’s bed and threw him and his mother out. Now Jake is a successful businessman and doesn’t need the money or the lucrative deal Maddie is offering for him to marry her on paper for a year. Yet he accepts because…[*g*] Funny and sexy is the trademark of Joan Reeves’ books, add emotion and passion. ~ Amazon Reader Review

I wish you a Happy April Fool’s Day. Play a corny prank on your kids or your spouse. This is a day made for laughter–and romance if you work it right. *g*

Joan Reeves writes sexy–often funny–Romance Novels. Her books are available at major ebook sellers with new print editions coming this year. (Audio editions available at Audible and iTunes.) All of Joan’s books have the same underlying premise: “It’s never too late to live Happily Ever After.” Joan lives her Happily Ever After with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan’s Mailing List/Free NL and get a free ebook. Connect Online with Joan: Blog * Facebook * Twitter * YouTube.

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GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY

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Skin.1000.1500Thinking there was safety in numbers, I made sure I didn’t go alone on my trip to a gentleman’s club as research for SKIN. In addition to my husband, I recruited a couple of other writers and another’s husband.
We had no idea what to expect.  Dark and seedy, perhaps? Poles on every table for table dances? Old strip club atmosphere?
To our surprise, the place looked like the night clubs I’d been to eons before. It was beautifully decorated, and the bouncers wore tuxes, the hostess and waitresses evening gowns. Along the walls were semi-private areas with luxurious booths for groups. But apparently those had been reserved ahead of time. We got to sit in the middle of the main floor at a long table with strangers. A little odd, but okay.
Many years ago, when I was in my early twenties, a group of us went to a couple of Rush Street strip clubs to see what they were like. Women weren’t allowed to be naked then. The wildest thing they did was twirl tassels that covered their nipples. But like everything else in the world, that certainly changed. In Chicago, “exotic dancers” have to wear g-strings if the club serves drinks – otherwise they can dance nude. This club served drinks, so they did have to wear g-strings, but that didn’t seem to matter to the sheer sexuality of the acts. Even more intense were the personal lap dances – and here I’d been sort of relieved there hadn’t been any poles on the tables.
It was really eye opening to see the intensity of the men who hired the woman for lap dances. And eye opening to see just how far those women would go for their tips. Men were not allowed to touch them, but I saw more than one woman whip both naked breasts into a man’s face while she was imitating the sex act straddling him.
The night took an amusing turn, however. The woman in our group who was alone had already been hit on by the hostess, who’d asked her if she wanted “company.” Of course, not being into women, she’d said no. That didn’t stop two of the lap dancers from soliciting her for dances. We all had a laugh about that one. And then the next act on stage started.
A more mature dancer, also a well-known “adult-movie” actress, did an old-fashioned strip routine, eliminating one piece of clothing at a time, including thigh high stockings that she rolled down her legs and then threw then out into the audience. Wouldn’t you know it – one of those stockings landed in my single friend’s diet coke. With a loud “eeeooowww” that got more laughs, she slapped it out of her drink. And then the guy next to me asked if he could have it. My friend said go ahead, and we all gaped as we watched him pick it up, smell it, then stuff it in an inner pocket of his suit jacked.
Eeeeooowwwwwwwwww!
An amusing end to the evening, one we all enjoyed. And one that provided me with a lot of ideas to realize the gentlemen’s club setting for SKIN.
I’ve said it many times – there’s nothing like personal research to make your story come alive 🙂

SKIN, a romantic thriller by Patricia Rosemoor

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Hot August Night by Joan Reeves

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TWL_2400px3200pI’m dating myself, but Hot August Night was the title of a bestselling Neil Diamond album in my youth. With the triple digit temperatures we’ve been posting in Houston in August, hot August night is the perfect title for our little chat today.

I think summer heat and a hot August night is the perfect backdrop for a romance novel, especially a sassy, sexy romance novel. I use the Texas summer heat in my Texas One-Night Stands series. (The one-night stands aren’t exactly what you might think. *g*)

10 Reasons Why Summer Is a Good Setting

1. Men with shirts off. Let’s be honest. Men tend to take their shirts off when it’s hot. Usually this won’t make a woman stop and stare. In fact, you may wish you could un-see some sights. (I’m thinking of my middle-aged, pot-bellied bachelor neighbor of twenty years ago who wore only a Speedo when he mowed his lawn. {shudder}) But then there are men like my husband who is still well-built and gorgeous. He does push-ups and sit-ups every morning.  (No, he didn’t pose for the cover of The Trouble With Love, but I tell him he could have.)

2. Women wear less clothing. That makes for a sexy situation for the hero of the novel. He can be enchanted by the curve of her…shoulder. Or the long lines of her legs. Less definitely equals more in a romance novel–at least when it comes to clothes.

3. People are more relaxed and casual in the summer.  Most of the working world and the student world look forward to unwinding in the summer. People automatically think of fun when it comes to hot weather: beaches, swimming, sunbathing at the pool, backyard barbeque, picnics, etc.

4. Summer is the season when people are more open emotionally. High temperatures translate to high emotion. Live Science looked into the theory of “Summer Love.” Did they find that there is a biological and a social science reason that people are more open to falling in love during this season? Apparently, they did if you believe their research based on pop culture. (Interesting article. Be sure and read it.)

5. People are more open to trying new things in the summer. That just might include a new romantic relationship. It’s as if people are in a box from September through May. Summer arrives and they want to not only think outside the box, they want to jump out of it and maybe into a new box.

6. Vacation time is the time to make a love connection. At least, that’s what this year’s Expedia article Romance on Vacation says. Again, read this if only for the statistics it quotes, i.e., 52% of respondents said they would be “somewhat or very likely” to propose on vacation. (Good news for long-suffering girlfriends. Get your sweetie to book a trip!)

7. Summer lowers inhibitions. The Expedia article cited stats from respondents who admit trying something that they’d never do otherwise–like nude sun bathing.

8. Summer food. You know the old axiom: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” I make fun of that truism in my romantic comedy, JANE (I’m Still Single) JONES, with one of the characters saying: “If you think that’s true, you don’t know much about male anatomy.” But there is a nugget of truth in that. I’ve never seen a man who didn’t like good food. Summer time is perfect for feeding your guy chocolate cake and ice cream, luscious fruit salads, Learn how to make homemade ice cream, and you’ll have a fan for life.

9. Summer movies. Yes, most of them are outrageous stunt-filled vehicles for aging action stars, but there are some romantic movies that are the perfect backdrop for cuddling with your sweetie.

10. Beach books. Need I say more? There’s an entire industry of publishers producing books set to tempt readers who make more time to read in the summer. I’ve even got a video about some of my beach books, HIT THE BEACH: Sand, Surf, & 4 Romances.
I’ve actually received fan letters from men who say after they retired, they started reading my books with their wives. Good for them. I always say if a man wants to know what a woman wants, he should read a good romance novel. I like to think that my books maybe helped ease the “OMG, my husband is driving me crazy now that he’s retired.” {LOL}

Giveaway

What do you think? Are there other reasons hot summer nights are good romance settings? Or do you think winter is better because it’s snuggle weather? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win the audio book edition of The Trouble With Love. (Ebook available at most ebook sellers including Amazon Kindle.)

Please enter our Authors’ Billboard August Giveaway!!

Prizes and free books…

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