ARE YOU ADDICTED TO ROMANCE?

Today’s Reading

by Stephanie Queen

Don’t ask me. So you binge read romance books. So what? I’m right there with you. You say you’ve been accused of being addicted to romance books? Don’t worry–it’s them, not you.

I looked into it (not that I’m worried) and here’s what I found out.

For All the Romance Binge Readers

According to an article on Women.com, though the addiction label is being tossed around carelessly by some advice gurus, experts Dr. Amy Muise and Dr. Bjarne Holmes state that “just because something is pleasurable (and releases pleasure chemicals in the brain) does not necessarily mean it is addictive – despite what any “Guru” might claim.”

I think Dr. Amy is right. We deserve to indulge and enjoy our books. Although it’s possible, in a very few cases, just maybe, some readers go too far.

What’s too far you ask?
The Top 5 Hints You May Be Addicted to Reading Romance:

 

  1. You call your husband/significant other Rafe in bed. His name is Ralph.
  2. You waited for two hours before Barnes & Noble opened to be the first in line to get the new release from E.L. James. There was no line.
  3. You got a second job so you could afford to buy every one of the top 100 romances on Amazon’s list. Your second job is at a book store.
  4. You argued for five hours driving in a car with your sister over whether enemies-to-lovers is a better trope than friends-to-lovers. You were on your way to a Nora Roberts book signing.
  5. You pull your back out carrying your stack of books from the car to your house after your visit to the library. It was your third visit this week.

Never mind the list, you’re fine. But in case you need something to read, something that will last a while–like maybe a whole day–there’s this new box set…

Available on Amazon. Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Thank me later.

BMOC Box Set

P.S. The winner of the argument is Enemies-to-Lovers of course!

What do you think? Enemies 2 Lovers or Friends 2 Lovers?

Facing Life’s Challenges Head-On- #amwriting @mgtab @jacqbiggar

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

No one said it would be easy…

Why is it some people seem to breeze through life as though they’re blessed by every good luck charm known to man? Gorgeous, popular, healthy, rich, if you want it, they’ve got it.

Obviously, there’s more to these divine beings than what we lower humans see, but it’s hard to believe. They’re just so… perfect.

For the longest time, romance writers focused their H/H on these imaginary deities, the dashing earl or beautiful movie star. But as the industry grew, readers demanded more. They wanted relatable characters. One who go through real life traumas and come out the other side stronger, wiser. It’s not enough anymore to have a meet-cute relationship ending in a happy-ever-after. Writers need to dig deeper, make readers gasp, cry, and swoon as they follow the protagonist’s journey of growth and personal awareness. We want to share their pain, laugh at their blunders, and celebrate their successes.

Romance is still an important component of these books, but not as necessary as knowing in the end, the H/H have overcome their internal crises and vanquished personal demons in order to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with the less-than-perfect love interest.

Because life is real, and while we might dive into a book to escape to an imaginary world for a few hours, we crave a deeper connection and count on our favorite author to make our emotions sing.

The story I’m working on will hopefully achieve this goal. It’s based on the true story of a little girl’s life-changing battle with cancer. I met Luna on Instagram and was immediately taken with her warm spirit and positive attitude even though continuous chemo treatments are ravaging her body. She works hard to stay strong and her beautiful smile is never very far away.

If you get the chance, follow her. She’s an inspiration!

https://www.instagram.com/luna_perrone/

Love, Me

Will a Christmas wish bring two lonely hearts together and give a little girl the family she’s always wanted?

Single parent, Grace Donovan arrives in the small town of Emerson with the hope a trial program at the local cancer clinic will be the answer to prolonging her young daughter’s life. She doesn’t expect to fall for her handsome boss.

As principal of Emerson Elementary, he is aware of the students’ medical issues and his heart goes out to little Cassie Donovan and her mother. When he learns Grace is in need of a job, he fabricates a childcare program, and is pleasantly surprised by its success. Now, if only he could help Cassie’s recovery and get Grace to give him a chance before she learns of his duplicity.

Cassie Donovan barely remembers the father who died when she was just a toddler, but she does know her mother is sad. Even though Cassie wants a puppy more than anything, she gives up her wish to ask for a daddy from Santa Claus, that way if she gets sick again, Mommy won’t be alone.

This Christmas, two families are brought together by a Christmas wish and a child’s need for a miracle.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iZ5SJv

Universal: https://books2read.com/Love-Me-A-Christmas-Wish-Novel

bookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-me-a-christmas-wish-novel-by-jacquie-biggar

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58805215-love-me

What do you look for in a romance novel?

Travel to Seychelles

When people ask me about the most interesting thing I have ever done in my life, I can’t help smiling as I answer without hesitation, “Traveling.”  I visited over hundred countries on vacation or business trips. 

One of my most memorable trips was to the Seychelles in the nineties, after my husband and colleagues sold the first Boeing 767 with GE engines to the Republic of Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa, where natives speak English, French and Creole. The spouses were invited to accompany and cheer the hardworking and successful delegation on the delivery trip, or virgin trip as the officials called it.

On the tarmac of the Boeing airport in Seattle before boarding.

The night before the actual delivery trip we arrived in Seattle, home of the Boeing Co., for a reception and the next day we headed to the Boeing hangar where we boarded the brand new airplane. After a takeoff closely monitored by the engineers, the plane flew directly to a freezing airport somewhere in Newfoundland to refuel, then crossed over the Atlantic Ocean, transited in Paris for two hours, and continued to Kenya where it had to drop boxes of medication as part of an international aid program. The Kenyan minister of tourism received us with drinks and snacks and then led us to a tower for a panoramic view of the area surrounding the airport. He kindly invited us to come back for a safari–still on my bucket list.

Map and general view of the Seychelles.

The plane landed in the largest island of Mahé, home of the capital Victoria, to the sound of music. Young girls welcomed us with flower leis. The president himself shook hands with each one of us, and toasted the arriving guests with glasses of palm wine Kalou and coconut water. 

L- Arrival at the airport. R- In downtown Victoria. In January, it’s summer in the Seychelles.

We spent our first afternoon in Mahé, and couldn’t wait to run to the Beau Vallon beach and experience the white sand and turquoise water of the Indian Ocean. The evening gathered our delegation for a dinner of local fish and seafood cooked with rice in a Creole style and the delicious octopus and palm salad. Let’s not forget the mouth-watering exotic fruits that appeared at breakfast, lunch and dinner: mango, papaya, passion fruit, guava and a few I didn’t recognize.

The next day the Minister of Tourism invited us on a submarine tour to admire the underwater life, flora, corals and colorful fish; later we swam and snorkeled in the area.

On day two, we flew to the island of Pralin in a twelve-seat plane. In Pralin we visited the rain forest called Vallée de Mai, home to famous—or infamous—Coco de Mer, a huge coconut, for the female fruit, and an… hum… extra long penis for the male fruit. Seriously, you have to see it to believe it. These fruits grow on the tallest trees in the world. We had a fantastic day, but we were eaten alive by hundreds of mosquitoes guarding the rainforest. Back in the hotel, we spent the evening rubbing our legs and arms with a soothing cream made with the oil of Coco de Mer.

In the left top picture we are standing in the Valée de Mai, home of the Coco de Mer. On the right is a picture of the male nut.

On day three, we used the same small plane to go to La Digue island. It landed on a gorgeous white-sand desert beach with black granite rock shining in the sun—in my humble opinion, it is the most beautiful beach in the world. In La Digue, we also visited a park housing giant turtles. On the way back we had a bad surprise. Our small plane sank into the sand. We had to go down and push to get it out!

Over the years, I accompanied my husband to the Seychelles three times and enjoyed the islands tremendously: the beaches, the activities, the food. A perfect place for a honeymoon.

I wrote about the Coco de Mer in my book, THE GODS OF DARK LOVE, a sensual romance based on the legend of the gods, Isis and Osiris, in the Egyptian mythology. On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076K8442S/

Chapter 15 is set in the Vallée de Mai, home of the Coco de Mer.

“This forest is Gehanna created by a devil,” Shafika grumbled. “It has the most indecent fruits I have ever seen. I want to go away from here.”

“Stop it,” Isis ordered. “It’s the wrong time and place to whine.”

The girl pouted. “But my lady, look at those fruits. They must have been created by—”

“We have already seen so many of them at sea. Stop acting like a child.”

“But my lady, I am not talking about the Sea-Cocos.” She pointed to the top of a tree. “Look at these donkeys’ things.”

Exasperated, Isis exhaled and raised her gaze to where the girl pointed. Her breath clogged her throat. “Oh, oh. Osiris, look.” She caught his arm and shook it.

Osiris stared at the long fruits, shaped like a phallus as long as his arm, as long as a donkey’s penis. He swallowed hard and counted a dozen such cones on that tree.

Moving along, very slowly

So 2020 is over, but the new year didn’t start on the right foot and the level of stress hasn’t decreased at all. Talking about stress, how do you cope and survive? How do you deal with that unbearable itching that seems to eat at your heart?

Last year I locked myself at home, avoiding public places since March 2020: no supermakets, no restaurants, no hairdresser, no dentists, no ophthalmologist, no mall, no retail stores,…

The doctors’ appointments were all postponed until further notice. My hairdresser went out of business. Our ophthalmologist died and our dentist moved to another state.

My husband handles the grocery shopping and I haven’t seen my friends in ages. After avoiding the grandchildren for a couple of months, now we meet them on the beach–one of the benefits of living on the ocean.

I learned to overcome my fear of height and walk for hours on the terrace of our high-rise where no one ever comes. My biggest problem is nibbling non-stop, mostly on dry fruits and frozen fruits, since I don’t like chocolate–dried plums with breakfast, dried figs and dates for snack, dried mango with a 5:00 o’clock tea at 4 pm, dried apricot for dessert with frozen mixed berries. The only dried fruits I threw away were the gingers. After I opened my mouth to scream at the bitterness, I couldn’t even close it. But the ginger chews are delicious and excellent for the stomach.

Writing helped me keep my sanity. Between September and December 2020, I published the following books: Sunshine Over Snow; His Son, Her Daughter; Half a Dozen with Love; Love in the ER; Love on the Slopes.

Secret Kisses is released today, and Between Babies and Girlfriends will be my Valentine book.

In addition to the above, there are five books that were part on ABB boxes and will be published later in 2021: Dalia’s Christmas Wish, Baby Plans, Rescue Plans, Sailing Away Plans, Flirting Plans.

SECRET KISSES: Love You Doc Series, book 4

Katy Mahoney, Hoda Seif, and Sarah Kohn. Three girls from different backgrounds and religions pledged to maintain their friendship forever.

Worried that their daughter Hoda might adopt the behavior and habits of the Western world, her parents choose an Egyptian fiancé, eager to immigrate to the United States. Too young to know any better, Hoda agrees, until she meets Katy’s cousin, the handsome medical resident, Liam Olson, and receives her first kiss. With Katy’s help, Hoda stays in touch with the man of her dreams.

On high school graduation day, things get complicated when Hoda’s fiancé shows up to claim his reluctant bride. and doesn’t hide his concern about her negative attitude, especially once he notices her lovely friend, the bubbly Sarah, and falls in love with her.

Meanwhile Katy meets Hoda’s oldest brother Tarek, a dark and handsome medical graduate who can’t take his eyes off her. The graduation weekend ends with Hoda and Omar breaking off their engagement, Omar renting a room in Sarah’s house, and Tarek and Katy going on their first date. Three best friends, three secret and forbidden romances. For five years, the three friends meet and exchange confidences and advice.

Will the three friends manage to convince their families to let them marry for love or will tradition tear the lovers apart?

SEXY and SEDUCTIVE HEROES!!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MWK9PCT/