Here is Shelly's post! :)
When Anne Browning Walker wrote her article for Publishers Weekly titled Why Smart Women Read Romance, I’d like to think she was talking about women like me.
I started reading romance in middle school. Every week, I spent my allowance on young adult category romances-the overweight girl who lost weight and ended up with the most popular guy in school; the rocker chick who got the boy and won the Battle of the Bands; the girl whose boyfriend helped save her from a possessed doll. Any of those sound familiar? Then of course, who can forget Sweet Valley High?
While other kids were climbing trees, I’d curl up under one with a romance book. I’ve studied the classics and great works of literature, but I always loved the romances the best. In high school, I adored the assigned Shakespeare’s comedies (because I need that happy ending), Bronte, and Austin. I graduated from high school with honors, went to college and then graduated from law school. Guess what? When I wasn’t studying for class, I was reading a romance novel.
I’ve practiced law for fifteen years and I read a book a day- mainly romance. Hey, maybe smart girls do read romance!
My mom (sorry if you read this) is a literary snob. She is not a fan of genre fiction. For years, she’d recommend books to me saying I just had to read it. I rarely enjoyed the books she recommended. She’d tell me I was turning my brain into mush. I politely disagreed. When I read, I want to be transported to a different reality. I don’t want to think too hard, and I absolutely want the happy ending. The hero and heroine must catch the killer and admit they love each other.
My mom changed her tune this year when I wrote my book, A Year to Remember. She loved it! While I hope the book is romantic and entertaining, it is in no way a great piece of literature. She loved it because I wrote it, and she loves me. She has stopped complaining about the type of books I read, especially since everyone and their grandma has read Fifty Shades. She still recommends depressing books that I’ll never read, but at least now that I’m ensconced in the writing world, I’ve heard of them.
This year, I’ve proven reading romance doesn’t turn your brain to mush, smart women do read (and write) romance, and mothers can admit they’re wrong once in a while!
A Year To Remember Blurb:
When her younger brother marries on her twenty-ninth birthday, food addict Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to find and marry her soul mate within the year. After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend, Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool. Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart's desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps toward recovery from her addiction to food.
Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS
Review: On a happy day for someone else, Sara decides to make a vow. Realistic? To some, perhaps not. But this woman is determined to make a change, and to go after and get, what she wants.
A Year to Remember is Sara's journey to finding love. There's p plenty of ups and downs as the book continues Sara's ventures in the dating world. The characters are memorable, the dialog is witty and fun, and all around this book captured my heart ant attention. It's light, fun, and full of charismatic characters.
Shelly Bell started reading at three years old. In elementary school, the librarian gave her books to test out for the school library. As a teenager, she spent her allowance each week on romance novels, enjoying both young adult and adult romance.
Married to Jason in 2003, they have two children and reside in the metro-Detroit area, where she reads on her Kindle each night when her family falls asleep.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America and writes both women’s fiction and paranormal romance.
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