Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I Learned by Reading Romance Novels by Syndi Powell




Rula Sinara recently commented that she learned about how to repair a tire with Fix-a-Flat by reading a Debbie Macomber romance. And that got me thinking... What have I learned by reading romance novels? Here is a short list that by no means exhaustive:

1. Adding pickle juice to potato salad gives it a tangy taste and makes it fabulous (courtesy of LaVyrle Spencer's "Family Blessings").

2. Sailing terms (thanks to Nora Roberts' Chesapeake Bay trilogy).

3. How to deliver a baby when you can't get to the hospital in time (according to Marie Ferrarella's "The Baby Mission").

4. The prejudice against women riding bicycles in the 1890's (Deeanne Gist's "Courting Trouble" and "Deep in the Heart of Trouble").

5. Love transcends even time (Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series).

6. Wishes are meant to be shared (Debbie Macomber's "Twenty Wishes" is a MUST read. Go get it now!!!!)

7. Love conquers all (every good romance novel reminds us of this).

On the list, you'll find some things that are practical, others that deal with the heart which romance novelists love to do.

So now I'll ask all of you: What have you learned by reading a romance novel?

Think I'll go learn some more and pick up a new romance!

18 comments:

  1. I love this topic, Syndi! I learned a lot from romance novels too. However, the one that kept me from dating awkward, manhandling boys in high school, was how a man should treat a woman he loves- what I should expect from a truly loving relationship. It kept me single for a while. When I did date and it wasn't working, I'd go back to my Harlequins and remember, perhaps, the greatest lesson of all: there is a perfect someone out there for everyone and to never give up hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good lesson, but so hard to learn! I used to get called picky because I had higher standards for dating. Good for you for sticking to your guns!

      Delete
  2. What a great topic. Years ago, I first learned about Seasonal Affective Disorder in a book by someone whose name I absolutely cannot remember. The same person also wrote a book in which a child died of cancer and even though I was destroyed and cried buckets, I learned that such a subject could be handled--and well--in category romance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how romance novels deal with so many different issues. Like how beautifully Karen Rock deals with a cancer diagnosis in her "Wish Me Tomorrow". Thanks for sharing, Liz.

      Delete
    2. I finally remembered! Jackie Weger authored both books I mentioned, though even looking at her website, I can't figure out which ones they were. http://jackieweger.com/

      Delete
    3. Liz, thanks for sharing that. I'm looking them up!

      Delete
  3. Ha, Ha, Syndi! I was hoping you'd pick this topic up ;). My Fix-a-Flat education came from Debbie Macomber's 'The Manning Sisters'...specifically the story called 'The Cowboy's Lady'.

    I love picking up interesting facts or learning practical things from romance novels...especially when the author is a great researcher or, better yet, is writing about something they 'live' and know authentically. For example, I've learned a lot about Nevada cowboys and ranchers and how life really is there from Superromance author Jeannie Watt.

    Oh! And I remember reading about tomato soup cake in a novel. I can't remember the title or author, but I remember looking it up because it sounded so outrageous. Sure enough, there's such a thing as a tomato soup cake recipe!

    Historicals are another great place to learn about details from an era.

    And btw, for those of you who missed the Harlequin forum comment on my flat tire...Debbie saved the day and the fix-a-flat did its job so that I could drive to the auto place for a full repair :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tomato soup cake recipe? Now that sounds interesting, Rula. I may have to look this one up. And thanks for inspiring this topic.

      Delete
  4. Syndi, What a great topic. The thing that has always drawn me to romance novels has been the settings. As someone who grew up in a small town I felt as if I could see new and exciting places. After I left home and did get to visit some of the great places I'd read about, I knew facts about them and was at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz, I am a sucker for a great setting. I'm thinking places like Cedar Cove, 17th century Scotland, and Chesapeake Bay.

      Delete
  5. I'm with Roz. Settings amaze me. I half think I'm in Arizona because of a book I read in my teens LOL

    I did once take my class on a field trip to a farm where there were baby chicks. I'd read in a Karen Robards about that if you picked up the chick by one leg, upside-down, the boys would try to peck at you and the girls would just hang there. The farmer didn't think much of my knowledge. LOL He basically said, "Nope, not true."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam, I think I remember reading that in Karen Robards' book. How funny!

      Delete
  6. I began reading books about Oregon when I was ten and living in Southern California. Kid-adventure things about traveling West on a wagon train, then, eventually, The Egg and I (that might be about Washington) where an easterner marries a Northwest farmer - jeans never dry on the line because the air is always damp, clothes can mold in your closet. Then I met and married a man who longed to live in Oregon. I must have had a premonition and was preparing myself to be home when I got here.

    AND, I learned that fried pickles are fabulous, thanks to you, Syndi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muriel, I always say things happen for a reason so it must have been fate that books about Oregon intrigued you! And you're welcome ;)

      Delete
  7. My favorite was one of Debbie Macomber's holiday titles where the heroine had to interview finalists in a fruitcake baking contests. The recipe for each cake was posted at the beginning of the chapters and some of them sounded delicious. Of course, I don't bake...but if I did try-I'd try baking those lol:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, I remember that book! I was tempted to try some of those recipes, but.... I'm not a fan of fruitcake. LOL. I have tried recipes in some of the culinary mysteries though, especially Joanne Fluke's cookie mysteries.

      Delete
  8. S. I'm with you on fruitcake. Eeeeeeeuuuuuuu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, usually I'd agree:) but these were so out of the ordinary. One was even made with chocolate...I'll see if I can find it:)

      Delete