Monday, February 3, 2020

The Purrfect Romance - Why Romance?

Pepper Basham here! And guess what?

It’s February.

And you know what that means?!?


Of course, as many of you know, I’m a big fan of romance-talk all year long, but February gives me a little extra excuse to celebrate big time! 

Speaking of big…the romance genre is the largest selling fiction genre out there – mainstream or Christian. So…maybe there are lots more people than just ME who find romance fascinating all year round too 😊…(Yes, I’m looking at all of you people who keep the Hallmark channel on 24/7 😉 #mypeople

Have you ever wondered WHY romance is such a "hot” commodity?

Well, here are a few of my thoughts, but I’d LOVE to hear yours too!
1.     We love STORY. It’s in our genes. For millennia, story has been the way to captivate, explain, inspire, capture memories, provide encouragement, and offer hope. Histories are made up of STORIES. Jesus used stories to teach deeper truths in a winsome way. So, while romances are stories about relationships, growth, and love…at the heart, they’re stories.

2.     Relationships without the everyday commercials - Most readers of romance are women…and we enjoy watching relationships happen. Even moreso, we like to see things turn out well (thus the reason why most romances are happily-ever-afters- HEA). If you’re like me and want to ‘fix’ everything, but know you’re human and haven’t been bitten by that radioactive spider yet, fiction provides a wonderfully condensed way for us to see broken people in broken relationships find fulfillment, community, and love within a few hundred pages and everything is FIXED (with all the mundane laundry, vacuuming, and toilet cleaning taken out to keep the pace going). 

3.     Escape – Stories provide a way for us to travel, experience, enjoy, and learn from worlds, people, and places that we’d never see in real life. And, most readers aren’t looking for a ‘real’ escape from their lives, but, similar to a vacation, romances provide a little bit of ‘magic’ in the everydayness of life. Instead of turning on the television to escape into a sports game, romance readers flip open the page. (or maybe they do both. Touchdown!)

4.     HEA – let’s go back to that for just a minute because there’s something to this! According to Psychology Today, readers of romance novels are not a population of women who are pining away for unrealistic or unmet expectations, but in fact, are people who are “happier overall” ( Why? Because, as Peter Pan so wonderfully pointed out to Wendy Darling…HAPPY THOUGHTS make you fly!!  So…in other words, the way of our thoughts goes the way of our behavior and perspective (hmm…that sounds Biblical! Philippians 4 for a start) 😊

      So, let’s get those thoughts shifted in a happily romantic direction!

We, here at The Writer’s Alley (affectionately called Alleycats), are so excited to celebrate this month of Purrfect Romance with you!! In fact, you’re so important to our celebration, we want to make sure you get involved. How, you might ask?

Let me count the ways 😊

1.     This Thursday we’re going to have our first Instagram Slam. What is an Instagram Slam? Well, it’s when we take over Instagram to post your FAVORITE romance books of all time!!! (okay…or of the last 6 months. “Of all time” is too big for some of us to handle). We’ll spend all day on Thursday, February 6th, ‘showing the love’ of romance books that have left us feeling all the wonderfully romantic HEA feels. Don’t forget to tag the featured author, share it with us (@alleycatwriters), AND use some of the hashtags #PurrfectRomance, #AlleyCatWritersSlam or #InstagramSlam. We also have a graphic you can grab from down below to add to your post!!...check it out:

2.     Next week, we’re talking KISSES and I plan to host a FB LIVE, so bring some of your favorite fictional kissing books to the table for some lipsmacking conversations. You know I’ll bring mine 😉

3.     The week of February 17th, AlleyCat, Angie Dicken, will be chatting about top romantic heroes and why we love them, following with a FB live later in the week. 

4.     And the last week of February, Angie will bring to light some fantastic romantic heroines and the two of us (Angie and Pepper) hope to offer a FB live together later in the week to discuss YOUR favorite heroines in romantic fiction.

Icing on top of the love cake?

We have an awesome giveaway planned for those who participate. All you have to do is comment on this post to be added to the drawing…and each additional comment you make on the other posts throughout the month will be an additional entry for you!

Now, let's talk! Why do YOU read romance?

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and family history, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

Pepper loves getting to know readers and other authors through social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You may also learn more about her on her website at


Anne Payne said...

I don't usually read 'just' a romance (I'm too much of a suspense lover for that). I like it to be woven into the story naturally because after all, it's part of life.

Deb Peck said...

I love the previous comment! Reading a novel that has an engrossing plot with some suspense that is NOT repetitive with speculation about what the leads are thinking is definitely my favorite, with a healthy dose of authentic romance, of course ;)

Angie Dicken said...

Anne and Deb! Thanks for dropping by! I do love a romantic thread in any genre and love what you all said! What books have you read lately that do this well? I loved Allison Pittman's The wasn't really romance, but the romance woven into it was outstanding.

Pepper Basham said...

I love romance being woven in - though I really enjoy romance being one of the main parts of the story too :-) But I definitely want it to feel organic to the story and the characters!

Joy said...

I think I read romance for the hope! Because who doesn't hope for someone to see you for who you are and love you despite all those flaws they see? And the hope that comes from watching two people weather whatever comes their way and not give up...

Unknown said...

I always enjoy the tension as the relationships develop in a romance. Love tri-angles are fun also, but only if they turn out the way that I want!!!

Caitlyn Santi said...

Awesome post! I totally agree, Pepper! Everything you said are exactly the reasons I love romance so much! God never fails to use Christian romance novels to speak to my heart, through the faith story of course, but also because the unconditional love the hero and heroine have for each other is a small echo of how much Jesus loves us! I love this beautiful reminder of how Jesus never stops pursuing us! ❤️

Court. said...

I read romance because I'm an emotional cheese puff who genuinely adores that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach when people realize they're loved. Even if they're fake people, the happiness is real.

Megan L. said...

I read romance for the happy ending. Life can be hard, so it's nice to have stories where things work out ok in the end.

Susanne said...

I love anything with suspense and the romance is an added bonus.

kaybee said...

Oh, glory. Okay. What I love is the idea of two people finding the one and only person who can help them get through the thicket of life on this earth, and God making it a threesome. Christian romance, and Christian fiction in general, kicks it up a notch. Love the idea of two people ordained from the beginning of time to Be Together despite the odds (and in good fiction, there will be odds).
This could be fun.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

So many elements here. Could it morph into a conference workshop?

Caryl Kane said...

I enjoy suspense with light romance.

Angie Quantrell said...

All the good reasons to love romance! Nice post! Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Anne Payne said...

Angie Dicken: I think the one that I've read most recently that completely and unequivocally had the suspense and romance seamlessly intertwined was On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna White. It will be one of my top reads this year, I'm sure.

Pepper: You do romance so well! A Match for Emma is definitely my favorite!!!

Pepper Basham said...

That would be super fun! Talking about Romance for an entire workshop!!?! Count me in!!

Pepper Basham said...

Courtney, you are hilarious!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Ah, amour et suspense. (I'm learning French). Les meilleures qualités d'un livre. Love and suspense. The best qualities in a book. :)

Pepper Basham said...

Anne! You are the sweetest!! Thank you for loving Jon and Emma!!

Mammafox5 said...

I have always loved the first meeting between the main characters and the happy ever after at the end.

Winnie said...

I love a happy ending. I enjoy a bit of romance in the books I read. Okay, a big slice of romance!

Shelley said...

I love when romance is woven into whatever I'm reading; historical fiction or suspense. Love a good love story

Ian said...

Oh how this made me smile, Pepper. And just think a week of talking kisses. Only you, Pepper could lead that. Fantastic.

Romance. Why romance? Because we live in one, don't we. Our loving God is continually wooing each one of us into His BIG romance. The Bible is the greatest romance ever written (as well as those other genres it features).

I still hope to write a romance story. One day. Ahhh ... so I keep reading romance novels for research. Ha.

Fabulous post, Pep. I'll try to hop on to your FB Lives next week to check out all that kissing action. LOL.

Pepper Basham said...

Ian, I just love you so much!!! You're just fantastic!! YES! What a great reminder of the Ultimate Romance!!

Pepper Basham said...

You and me, girl! You and me!!

Teri DiVincenzo said...

Oooh, I love romance! Going back to Anne of Green Gables I loose every step in the dance (na yes, I’m one of those Hallmark people). I just love that happily ever after and knowing that all things work for good (even when you’re not completely sure about that, God’s got you!)
Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com