I think it’s pretty obvious that I love romance. I mean, how can a person write about romance without loving it? One of my favorite past time is curling up with a good romance novel or snuggling under a blanket while watch on television. And it’s fair to say that I love almost everything about romance. Yes, almost. There are some things that I don’t fancy—the biggest one being perpetually beautiful heroines. Now, I’m not saying that heroines can’t be beautiful, and I’m not hating on the pretty girls. And I’m certainly not saying that there is no such thing as natural beauty. However, most women I know put some effort into their appearance. No, I don’t mean facial injections, cosmetic surgeries/procedures, or slathering on layers of makeup. If a woman feels that she wants to do any of those things, it is certainly her prerogative. I’m referring to the heroine who dashes through an obstacle course of fire and water, tumbles down the side of a mountain, sprints ten miles to the nearest roadhouse in stilettos, downs half a dozen shots of premium tequila, hooks up with the local hottie for an evening of adult fun, and manages to look absolutely gorgeous the next morning with barely a hair out of place.
What is even funnier is when, in movies, the “ugly duckling” is beautiful from the beginning. Granted, it is difficult to make bombshells like Julia Roberts, Gabrielle Union, Scarlett Johansson, Ashleigh Murray, Keira Knightly, Zoe Saldana, or Megan Fox look homely or even average. However, it is not impossible. Just look how they transformed Charlize Theron in the movie Monster or Mariah Carey in Precious. One of the biggest criticisms of the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is that Hermione Granger’s transformation for the Yule Ball is underwhelming. That was due to Emma’s Watson’s stunning beauty never being downplayed. And no, I’m not suggesting a woman should have to downplay her physical appearance. The point is, most women that I know need to take a few minutes to make themselves look presentable. They don’t roll out of bed looking like a supermodel.
When I discussed this topic with a colleague who is single, she laughed and expressed her fear of what would happen if she got married or a serious boyfriend. She said, “I don’t know how my husband is going to react to sharing a bed with a sea creature. I sleep with a seaweed mask or facial cream nearly every night. I have extremely dry skin and tons of blackheads on my nose. If I don’t follow a beauty routine nightly, my skin looks and feels horrible in the morning. And it’s not in my head, either. Since I started this routine about three years ago, I began receiving compliments on my skin, even without makeup. I’ll be waiting in a checkout line, and a stranger will comment how even my complexion appears.”
Another colleague expressed the following: “It’s difficult seeing unrealistic expectations of beauty. I have a teenage daughter who compares herself with the images she sees on social media. I try to convey to her that most of these aren’t real images because the photos have been airbrushed and retouched. But when these are the images she sees on a daily basis, it’s hard for me to get through to her. I want her to feel positive about her body image, as she is.”
Yet, another colleague said this: “I’m not high maintenance and do the bare minimum. In the mornings, I shower and brush my teeth and hair. I wear comfortable clothes that may not be stylish but are clean and unwrinkled. I wear my nails short and natural but trimmed. I wear sunscreen as a preventive health measure to avoid sun damage and lip balm to prevent my lips from cracking or chapping. I make myself presentable for my job which is very laidback. I’m content that this is my aesthetic. My sister, however, does the most. She is in an industry where fashion matters. She doesn’t go a single morning without either curling or flat ironing her hair unless she has to wear it up. Her face is always beat to the gods. I don’t see how she does it, but she does. She puts a lot of effort into looking that way. But neither of us can hop out of bed and just go to work without doing any grooming. That’s not realistic.”
Realism is an element I want to see in romance novels. This is not a knock at romantic fantasies or science fiction romances. Even in those genres, I must buy into the characters and relate to them. And sorry, I just can’t connect with a character who awakes looking like Sleeping Beauty, and I like a reject from The Walking Dead. Therefore, I write heroines who need a little work. But I don’t stop at my heroines. My heroes are conscious of their appearance—some more than others. No one in my romances gets a free pass. However, I do like getting free stuff.
The only thing better than receiving is giving, and that is what I’m doing. So, in celebration of the release of Ice Gladiators, my latest sports romance in the Locker Room Love series, I’m giving away the Moon Child Glow Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. I picked this palette as a giveaway because it reminds me of many of the themes in Ice Gladiators. The names of the shades include Blue Ice, Star, Purple Horseshoe, Pink Heart, Blue Moon, and Lucky Clover. To enter my giveaway, go to my Instagram page for instructions. Details of the giveaway will be uploaded soon.
Coming February 15, 2020 … Ice Gladiators
Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.
Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Missed the first book in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.
Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.
Copies of my romance short stories, anthologies, books, and novels are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed on my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my stories or novels.
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Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou. New posts are made on Wednesdays, where no Creole, Cajun, or Louisiana topic is left unscathed. Plus, get how-to self-help tips, how to writing tips, and keeping the romance alive and fresh suggestions. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.
Finally, take the fear out of rush/pledging. If you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. In these posts, you will find information about both formal and informal recruitment for both NPC and NPHC organizations. Don’t know what NPC and NPHC are? No problem. It’s all explained in this series. This series also provides loads of information for parents who are unfamiliar with the processes, what is expected of parents, and how to be supportive. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.