Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Romance Defined with Guest Blogger: Margaret West

Chat with author Margaret West today at the Book Boost!

She's here to help us define Romance...what is it anyway? Here's what she had to say...

If I had to define it, I’d say that romance is the very essence of life. Without it you will forever miss out on an essential component which makes you whole. It brings identity to your relationship. Distracted and occasionally jaded from the daily grind of life, it is quite possible to forget that your partner ever had feelings. The flame that once seared your veins with passion, filled your heart with bliss, begins to diminish into a pale glow of insignificance. Complacency sets in. The silent and fatal murderer of relationships.

So where does romance come from? Extravagant gestures, flowery words? No, that is just a tiny part of it. Romance comes from the heart. William Shakespeare once wrote, "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." Hence the saying, love is blind.

To hold onto love there has to be romance and that’s why I became a romance writer.
When the real world gets too much to bear, sometimes it’s nice to slip into a fictional reality. Become a silent observer in an unfolding romance. Feel the characters pain; become involved in the twists and turns, as the story unfolds. My life is full of romance every day because my husband and I put ourselves out to make sure it’s like that.

The most romantic thing he ever did for me was when we were first together. We had been dating a month. My car was clapped out and dead on its wheels and I was struggling to get the children to school on time as it kept breaking down. One morning he posted an envelope through my door and inside was a key and instructions to walk up the road and take the first left. I did as I was told and parked up was a little blue mini, covered in flowers with a huge pink bow on top. It wasn’t brand new, it wasn’t pristine, but it was like a Rolls Royce to me. He had spent all his free time fixing it up (he was a mechanic) just so I would have a car that was safe for me and the children. Inside was so full of flowers, I couldn’t get in to test drive it lol That memory has stayed with me for sixteen years and it never fails to make me smile.

Not all romances are great, some end bittersweet. But I hope yours is always filled with flowers and grace.

A Note from the Book Boost: I love this post, Margaret. It is so true. This week, my hubby and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary and romance will blossom. But it is important to keep this feeling shining through every day of the year. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Please tell us more about your latest book.


Justin stood in the lounge, oblivious to the cobwebs that covered the ancient furniture and the smell of decay caused by the rotten timbers which held the two hundred year old cottage together. This was his home now. The mansions and servants were long gone, along with his money and title.

When Abbey had failed to
return to him on her sixteenth birthday, despair had swallowed him into a terrifying darkness. Days, months and years turned into one long torment, with only Adrinia for company. If it hadn’t been for the reveal spell on the coin, she would still be lost to him.

He knew she was different from birth. She had a light in her sapphire eyes that all
the others lacked. Hiaxzel, the demon of subterfuge, saw Abbey was different too and told him to get her mother to make a will and enclose the coin with the reveal spell on it. Nothing stayed lost forever if the reveal spell was used. All he had to do was make sure that the will reached the right legal man. He would then make sure Abbey got her inheritance – and him.

Adrinia was right too, not that he’d admit it to her. Over the years, the previous
Abigail’s he’d spell bound had begun to change. They were too promiscuous, hard and unfeeling. Nothing like his dear wife, whose gentle nature had charmed him from the start. He tried so hard to get her back. But each time was a miserable failure. He knew there was a penance to pay for altering the laws of nature maybe that was it. All the other Abigail’s, made in her image, were his cross to bear along with the cruel fact his wife would never return to him. How deep that loss rankled him. But now he had Abbey. Someone to love and who would eventually grow to love the real him, without all the spells and potions.

Her body was unsullied. He felt a warm flush of lust envelop his body at the
thought. A virgin. Something he had never experienced, even with his wife. There would be no other man’s child in Abigail’s womb when she came to him. He would never be second best again.

Justin grimaced with distaste as he looked out of the grimy window. It was a long
time since he had touched anyone clean. He had to make do with slaves sent by Agrat-bat-mahlaht when the need took him. She might be one of Satan’s wives, but she wasn’t one for cleanliness with herself or her offerings. Abigail’s virginity was like a cleansing balm to his festering body and he wanted her desperately.

Abbey had to love him. The alternative of spending eternity with Adrinia sent a
shiver of horror down his twisted spine. She wasn’t even real to the touch. Her body was just a vague shimmering darkness, which possessed a sharp tongue that cut deep into his patience. She may be a queen, but Abigail was a goddess.

Nothing Adrinia did could match that. Justin took a deep breath and released it in a
loud hiss. The curls of air which followed reminded him how cold and empty the cottage was. But Abigail would soon bring the warmth back. To his heart as well.

Justin turned and faced the empty room, his smile sly and insidious as he gazed at
the squalor around him. The cottage needed more up to date, comfortable furnishings. A larder full of fresh food and most importantly, a bed fit for a queen. His forked tongue flicked out of his mouth salaciously. Silk sheets. Her body looked soft and delicate. It needed gentle persuasion to give up its secrets. His loins began to ache when he thought how close he had come to possessing her. Before the light had almost blinded him. “Soon my love,” he whispered. “Soon you will feel me within you and you will cry out my name in ecstasy.”

Justin staggered slightly and gripped the rotting window frame as the ground below
his feet heaved. A terrific crack rented the air as the floor imploded and filled the room with sharp wooden splinters. Then, like poison spewing from a canker, a stream of shadow demons poured from the hole.

“Welcome, welcome, welcome,” he greeted, throwing his bony arms wide. “It’s
time. My queen’s arrival is imminent and there’s much to do.”

Adriana, hidden in the darkest shadow of the room, sucked in her breath and
exhaled in an angry hiss of injustice at Justin’s words. “I’m the only queen here, Justin Montgomery,” she whispered. “I think he needs a reminder of that, don’t you Aslow?” She stroked the dark shape nestled in her arm and smiled. “It was hard enough getting rid of Justin’s slut of a wife. The soul seekers asked a high price to entomb her soul. I wonder how much they’ll want for his precious Abigail.”

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Monica Marlowe said...

This is a wonderful post and I agree with it wholeheartedly! I also would add that romance is a frame of heart; fall in love with love! I'm single and not in a relationship right now, and interestingly, have more romance in my life than ever. Love surrounds us everywhere ... in the sky ... the moon ... and the stars. A great romantic read is a wonderful reminder to believe in the power of love.

Margaret West said...

Thanks for having me here today. xx

sissy said...

Romanve is in the eye of the beholder. Thats what i think. Abigail cottage was scarey, but a great read. I highly recommend it.

Lucy said...

I think romance died a slwo death. Nowadays me think romance is a kebab and a quick 'wotsit' afterwards. if you get my drift lol
I love Abigail Cottage too. Shadows will never seem the same again lol

Peggy said...

Lovely post mags. Read this book, its not for the faint hearted!!

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

I agree with your views on romance, it's a very important element of life and it isn't just candy and flowers, but the every day things, the little things, that make it live between two people. Yes, love is blind, but I think that when you love someone your love makes them beautiful to you. Too often we say to ourselves what does he/she see in him/her? Something that you never will.

That's why I write about people in love too, because love is the glue that binds us together, it's what keeps us going - the search for it, and the possession of it, the giving and taking of it. It truly makes the world go round.

Good blog!

Unknown said...

Romance is very hard to keep in a long, long marriage. Funny though, I still know people that have been married for years that still have it. I think it all boils down to always having a solid friendship and respect for each other. Then the romance stays with that, for then you always enjoy each others company. What more could you ask?

Great novel, Margaret. It has to do well.

Fiona McGier said...

I have heard it said that when you fall in love with someone, you think they have no faults.
When you move into loving that person, you love them despite their faults, you figure you can live with them.
But when you REALLY love someone in the "forever" kind of way, you love them BECAUSE of their faults, because they wouldn't BE the person you love without them.
Great post! Thanks for sharing.

Margaret West said...

Wow, I'm so pleased to be nominated. I'll be hopping on and off all day, feel free to post a question or anything you like readly. xx