Friday, August 11, 2017

The Definition of Romance by Loree Lough & Cerella Sechrist

It’s no surprise, really, that someone (no one knows for certain who), somewhere (that’s a mystery, too), decided that August should be labeled as National Romance Awareness Month. We think the hot, steamy weather might have something to do with the designation, but what do two romance authors know about it!

The debate over an exact definition of romance may be found in literature and the writings of psychologists and philosophers who’ve studied relationship connections. As it concerns couples, romance has long been a key component of relationships. Fiction of all genres have dealt with unrequited love, second chance at love, first love, and naturally, lasting love, using situations that described it as comic, tragic, spiritual, or platonic.

According to Webster’s, romance can be a noun, an adjective, or a verb:


1) A novel, movie, or genre of popular fiction in which characters fall in love or begin a romance.

2) A novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting.

3) The colorful world, life, or conditions depicted in such tales.

4) A medieval narrative, originally one in verse and in some Romance dialect, treating of heroic, fantastic, or supernatural events, often in the form of allegory.

Classified within two basic categories—popular, and divine (or spiritual)—romance means very different things to people. “Falling in love,” for example, falls under the heading of Popular Romance. Idealistic and sometimes predictable, it encompasses the material and commercial, and physical or demonstrative affections. Divine romance, on the other hand, fixates on the theory that each person has a predetermined position in choosing a mate—or getting rid of one.

In an attempt at closing the gap between differing opinions and attitudes, we invited a couple of our most ardent reader-friends to comment on one of the following questions:





QUESTION: In your opinion, who (from history, the entertainment industry, literature, family/friends, or your own personal experience) should win The Most Romantic Couple award?


A. Terrill Rosado... "Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. It's been been 30 years since I read Pride and Prejudice the first time and I honestly have no idea what prompted me to read it without it being a high school mandate. I'm almost positive that it's the book that spurred my favorite romance sub-genre, romantic comedy."

A: Anni Anderson… “My knee-jerk response is to cite the story of Ruth and Naomi from the Bible. Their familial love goes beyond the typical MIL/DIL relationship. It reminds me of the love I had for my Grama, a wise woman without a mean bone in her body. If you messed up, she’d share her wisdom without condemning you. Someday, I hope someone compares me to her! To find acceptance like that in a man-woman relationship is, I think, what every human being yearns for.”

A: Cathy Mayfield… “A couple I know were missionaries to Japan. No matter how far they need to go, they reach for the other’s hand. When not together, their eyes seek out one another. They always speak softly and laugh together. Their gentleness with each other makes them the most romantic couple I know.”


QUESTION: What is YOUR definition of the word romance? 


A: Robert Crutchfield… “Romance is the process of giving yourselves to each other, not in grand gestures but tiny pieces, not for brief spans of time, but for the long-term.”

A: Travis W. Inman… “Romance is the journey of discovering each other, and it's a lifelong pursuit.”

A: Janet Marie Dowell… “My definition of romance is being reliant on God, and once He puts you together with your perfect ‘other half,’ being content no matter what you do together. Romance is not just roses and candy, it's about always being there for the good and the bad. Sometimes it means being goofy with each other, just for fun. Last, but not least, it should be based on mutual respect and trust.”

How about this for the perfect easy-to-prepare romantic dinner menu for two:

MENU:



<3 Maple-glazed chicken rollups
<3 Old-fashioned stuffing
<3 Carrots and snow peas
<3 Chocolate cake



Until next time, we wish you a happy what’s-left-of-summer!



P.S. If you comment below, we’ll add your name to our trusty winners hat, and you could win a free ebook download of HARPER's WISH or THE MAN SHE KNEW. Good luck!

***

About Loree:

With nearly 6,000,000 books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's titles have earned numerous 4- and 5-star reviews and industry awards. She splits her time between her home in Baltimore and a cabin in the Alleghenies (where she loves to show off her “Identify the Critter Tracks” skills). The release of The Man She Knew (the first title in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series for Harlequin Heartwarming) brings Loree’s number of books in print to 112! Loree loves to hear from her readers and answers every letter, personally. Visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and www.loreelough.com!


About Cerella:

 CERELLA SECHRIST lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. Inspired by her childhood love of stories, she was ten years old when she decided she wanted to become an author. These days, Cerella divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. She’s been known to post too many pug photos on both Instagram and Pinterest. You can see for yourself by finding her online at www.cerellasechrist.com. A Song for Rory, Book #2 in her "A Findlay Roads Story" series, is her fourth Harlequin Heartwarming novel.

26 comments:

  1. Great post, ladies! "Romance is not just roses and candy, it's about always being there for the good and the bad." So true!

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  2. Cerella, we'll have to meet for coffee sometime. I live near State College. Congrats to both of you on the release of your latest books.

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    1. Yes, T.R., we should!! I'm about 4 hours from State College, but my parents have a place in Juniata county which puts me a little bit closer to you!

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    2. When you guys do get together. I want to see pictures!

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  3. A lovely post! I loved “Romance is the journey of discovering each other, and it's a lifelong pursuit.”

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  4. Thanks for the conversational post, ladies. My mother defined love as not being able to walk away from the other.

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    1. Your mother sounds like a wise woman, M.K. -- one who understood love from the ground up.

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  5. I agree with Jill, being there for the good and the bad.

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    1. Yes, Pam! It's part of the vows of marriage, after all!

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  6. An incredible post, ladies. And makes me want to curl up with another Jane Austin novel during the last steamy days of August when it's too hot to do anything but read. For me, there is not enough romance. For me it is all those heroic little things that add up to a lifetime of wonder.

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    1. I love this idea, Catherine! It makes me want to pick up Jane as well!

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    2. You're so right, Catherine! If there was more romance in the world, maybe there would be more happiness, too! And yes, it's the little things that add up to one big "gotcha, forever!"

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  7. Nice post. Romance is one of those nebulous terms that means something different to different people because it's so important.

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    1. Thanks, Beth! I loved reading the different answers to these questions. :)

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    2. So true, Beth. The answers to the questions sure did underscore how differently we all view the subject!

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  8. Great information ladies. And yum on the food you always tell us about.

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    1. I think I have a romance with food, Roz...especially since I seem to talk about it a lot! Lol

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  9. Terrific post, as always, ladies. Just looking at the pictures of your romantic dinner menu is making me hungry! :)

    As for a famous romantic couple, how about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward?

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    1. They are such a classic couple, aren't they, Kate? Good choice!

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    2. Great choice, Kate. They met, married, and lasted. That in itself (especially in Hollywood!) is noteworthy!

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  10. Great article ladies! There are so many great examples of lasting true love....Sam Elliott and Kathryn Ross are one of my fav's. But In do have to fall back to the love Christ has for me. Never ending, without judgement, steadfast. Earthly....My relationship with my husband is one of joy, pain, trials, love. All experienced together with a commitment to each other that we will see each other through whatever is thrown in our path....with a firm belief that God is faithful to help us through it all!
    Thanks for all the good reading, thoughts, and recipes!

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