Monday, February 8, 2010
Welcome, Christi Barth
As a romance writer, I leap at any chance to talk about love (so thanks, Ginger!). Have to admit, I don’t get that pleasure very often. When you get right down to it, people are squeamish about discussing love. Sure, they’ll talk about a recent date or an upcoming wedding, but only about the logistics of it. “He took me to dinner/brought me flowers/we’ll honeymoon in Aruba.” When was the last time you sat at a dinner party and heard someone wax poetic about their lover – something along the lines of “The sound of his voice makes my heart skip an extra beat. The strength of his love bolsters my self confidence by leaps and bounds. Every experience I have is made better by sharing it with him.”
But I believe in love wholeheartedly. I believe it really does make the world go round, that love is a many splendored thing. To quote Sir James Barrie, “If you have it (Love), you don’t need to have anything else, and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter much what else you have. How true! So as a writer, I get to spend every day forcing my characters into exactly these kinds of declarations. In my debut novel Carolina Heat, at the end of what was only their first date. my hero puts his heart on his sleeve.
“So before we’re interrupted, I need to tell you that you fascinate me. I also need to find out how soon we’ll repeat this evening?”
Annabelle put a hand on the railing and took comfort in its solidity to ground herself. The man spoke like a poet. As she listened to him, it was all she could do to not glance down to check if her toes were covered by a hoop skirt.
“As I said earlier, you certainly made an impression. In all honesty, I even enjoy arguing with you. Sounds silly, doesn’t it?”
“Not a bit,” Mark shook his head emphatically. “You spoke your mind, without a care as to the possible reprisals. I admire that greatly.”
Her guard automatically snapped back into place. “You’ve made it clear lavish compliments flow like water down here, and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but don’t you think you might be laying it on a tad thick? You’re making huge generalizations after spending a matter of hours with me. I’ll be gone in a few days.”
“Exactly the problem. I don’t have time for a slow, conventional courtship.” Mark wrapped his arms around her snugly. “And I won’t try to monopolize every minute of your day. I know you have work to do, and as a matter of fact, I have to work tomorrow also. But I’m thirty four years old, and you intrigue me in a way no other woman ever has. I don’t intend to miss this chance.”
Against all odds, he doesn’t scare her away with that speech. After a mere week together (albeit a week filled with drama, passion, being shot at and an attempted poisoning), he takes it to the next level.
He knelt in front of her, hands clasped around both of hers, and took a deep breath. When he spoke, his voice was low and sure.
“Annabelle, you are the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. We’ve run the gamut of emotions and experiences in a week that most people don’t go through after years together. You’re intriguing, compassionate, dedicated, feisty, and sexy as hell. I admit we’ve barely scratched the surface of what we know about each other, but I know enough to be one hundred percent certain I want to be with you. All I ask is that you give us a chance.”
Annabelle exhaled the breath she’d held through his entire speech. She knew she’d be playing back his words for the rest of her life. It was the most romantic thing she’d ever heard, and couldn’t quite believe it was really directed at her. Things like this happened to other people, not to a globe-trotting reporter on the brink of burnout. This was the moment. Not a typical hearts and flowers filled moment, but nothing about Mark was ordinary.
You can almost hear the violins begin the big love theme, can’t you? But the conversations he has with his best friend about her are considerably less, well, gushing. And if a character this eloquent can’t discuss love with his very best friend, what the heck are we to expect from real life?
Quite a bit, I say. Celebrate and share your love, and it will spread to others. I unabashedly tell people that I miss my husband Tom when I haven’t spoken to him in several hours. That when we’re dancing and we look in each other’s eyes, the rest of the world goes fuzzy, like the soft focus created by Vaseline smeared lenses in old Hollywood movies. And that he is my favorite person in the world, bar none. Sure, I get my share of smirks and odd looks when I say those things. But it makes me happy to think about Tom, and perhaps my pronouncements of love will end up influencing others to do the same. Because this is February, the month when lovers can wallow in romance without receiving a single cynical look. So jump in with both feet and share all the little things that make the special person in your life so special to you – and then ask everyone else in the room to pitch in their comments. Who knows, we might get people so in the habit of talking about love, they still do it when the Ides of March roll around! And be sure to stop by my website and let me know how it goes.
Carolina Heat is available now from Eternal Press.