Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Are You Reading Thursday - Hooked On Harlequin Romance!

Please welcome Romance author Susan Meier to the Pink Heart Society today!  Susan's here to chat about her first love - and a love that has definitely weathered the test of time!


I’m not going to tell you the year. I won’t even tell you how old I was. But the summer I fell in love for the first time, it wasn’t with a boy, but with a book. A Harlequin Romance.


My family wasn’t poor, but we weren’t wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. I have ten brothers and sisters. We grew up on a small farm too far out in the country to get cable or the Internet. Winters were cold, but summers were long and boring. Tuesdays I’d walk to the bookmobile and usually pick up a biography. One day I casually grabbed a paperback on my way to the checkout desk. After my chores were done the next morning, I took the Harlequin to a shade tree and that began an adventure that continues to this day.

Except today Harlequin Romance authors don’t write about downtrodden heroines. Our heroines are women of the twenty-first century. Educated. Talented. Their troubles aren’t financial. They’re deeper, richer. The ordeals my heroines face are the same trials faced by modern women. Broken marriages, miscarriages, widowhood, abuse, betrayal. My heroines have already gone through the wringer. They aren’t searching for someone to take care of them. They can take care of themselves. They’re searching for someone to share their journey.

Our heroes aren’t overbearing wealthy guys willing to step in and save the day if only our heroine will submit to them. Nope. They might be rich. Some might even be Alpha males. But they quickly recognize our heroine doesn’t want to be saved. She wants to be considered an equal. Which usually throws the hero for a loop. It’s easy for a rich guy to provide a bit of cash. But give his heart? For real? Forever? That’s usually a deal breaker.

And that’s also what makes the journey to real love in Harlequin Romances so interesting and so diversified. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no formula for getting a hero and heroine together. Just as in real life there is no one way men and women fall in love, there is no way to predict or formulize how our strong-willed, sometimes broken, always determined, big-hearted heroine will fall in love. No way to predict or formulize how our equally strong-willed, sometimes broken, always determined hero will allow himself to be vulnerable enough to find real love.

But when they do, ah, when they do, it’s magic. Your heart lifts. You realize that happy endings can be found. You’ll smile. There might even be a spring in your step. The world won’t change, but you might see it through a happier perspective.

So take a Harlequin Romance to the beach this summer. Hey, take one of MY Harlequin Romances to the beach this summer -- MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE or MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD. Lift your heart. Inspire your soul. Make yourself happy on vacation this year. Come home rested, happy you took a journey with two people on their way to destiny.


I'm giving away a copy of MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD this month - post in the comments for your chance to win!


Susan Meier is the author of forty-plus books for Harlequin and Silhouette. You can follow her on twitter http://twitter.com/susanmeier1 or read her blog (and get her family’s recipes) at susanmeier.com.

18 comments:

  1. Hellooooo. Thanks for posting about strong, independent women.

    I remember back in the seventies when I would read Harlequins featuring women in clerical or nursing/caregiving roles. There were also the "rich women" who didn't work or fell into working for Daddy.

    Yes, women's roles have evolved through the years. And I am thankful. Very thankful.

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  2. I love that observation 'They’re searching for someone to share their journey.' So true, and that's what makes the stories such a compelling read.

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  3. A wonderful post, Susan. And Liz, in Maid for the Millionaire, is a perfect example of the strong heroine you describe here. Yes, she's been through the wringer and suffered a trauma, but she's not exactly sitting on her duff, waiting for someone to come along and take care of her. But when Cain re-appears in her life, wow! Love that book. And Maid for the Single Dad is next on my list to read.

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  4. Thanks, Laney! I was a big reader when I was younger and I have to admit I adored the 'submit' romances! LOL (I was just a kid...what can I say?)

    but today the books are just so much richer!

    susan

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  5. Allison, I think it took me several decades (of changing diapers and rushing kids to baseball practice) for me to realize life isn't a series of unrelated events designed to drive a woman totally insane...but a journey.

    Once I realized that personally, it made comming up with plots so much easier! LOL!!!!

    susan

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  6. Leigh, I loved that book too. I loved every second of writing it mostly because Liz was such a wonderful, determined heroine and Cain was such an interesting hero.

    There he was, in a place in his life when he could have simply said, Oh, well, that marriage was a failure, and walked away. Instead, he had loved her enough that he felt he had to make it up to her.

    So touching! What a great guy!

    I may just read that book again tonight! (I do that sometimes. Reread my own books. Yes, I'm insane.)


    susan

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  8. Hi Susan,
    I love to hear stories about how/why authors started writing romance. Thanks for sharing your story.

    I remember when I was younger reading those 'submit' romances and wondering why the heroines were letting the men push them around! I guess that's why I started writing...to write heroines that meant business, LOL.

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  9. Gotta say, I do like the stories more now that they have less MCPs and doormats.

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  10. Great blog Susan. There is nothing better than escaping with a good book IMHO. Caroline x

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  11. Chey, doormats always got to me too. I was definitely one of those teenagers agreeing with the burn your bra movement! LOL

    susan

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  12. Caroline

    I spent the weeks before my vacation rereading an old Nora Roberts series so I could read the fourth book that was a follow up!

    Only a truly devoted reader does that kind of homework before a vacation! LOL

    susan

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  13. winner of MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD is...

    drum roll

    Chey!

    Please email me through susanmeier.com (contact) and provide your snail mail addy!

    susan

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  14. Susan, I always count on Harlequin Romance when I need a little boost. :)

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  15. Just wanted to say congrats to Chey, so ... without further ado ... "Congratulations, Chey!!!"

    Thanks also to Susan for offering up your book to us, and to Donna and the gang for posting about this (and other great books) for us!

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  16. Hi Susan,
    I really liked what u said. My own story is rather similar. My sister and I used to horde all our pocket-money to buy our favourite MBs.& Silhouettes. Our father used to be away and Mom always busy in work so we had no outtings or entertainment like other kids. We weren't allowed to go and befriend other kids, so we used to spend all our time reading MBs. It was really great fun. My first MB was 'The silken web' by Anne Mather. Even my English wasn't that good at that time...I'm from India....but still I enjoyed reading it so much that I was hooked to reading romance for life.

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