Saturday, February 20, 2016

How the World’s Least Romantic Woman became a Romance Writer

By Red L. Jameson (Guest Blogger)

Not too long ago billions of people celebrated Valentine’s Day. Gazillions of flowers and chocolates were sold. Restaurants dimmed their lighting all day long. And there were pink hearts and red ribbons everywhere. And every year, I kind of hate it. Please don’t kill me!

I do remember most birthdays, but I always forget anniversaries. I hate weddings. And, here’s something huge, I don’t believe in true love.

So how did I, probably one of life’s biggest cynics of love, become a romance writer, you might ask? Well, here’s how it all started…

My first taste of a romance book was when I was fifteen and at a boarding academy. One of the girls had a dog-eared, well-worn book that she’d read aloud to us when no adults were around. I have no idea what the plot was, but I think it had something to do with a pirate and a woman who fainted a lot. The parts that were read were the sex scenes. There was a lot of moaning, and I think the heroine flew. Being that I was so young and lacking any experience whatsoever, I wondered if really good sex would cause me to levitate. That sounded interesting, but I was pretty sure I would have heard about the good sex/levitation phenomenon by then. So I doubted and went on my merry way, not reading anything else in the romance realm for more than a decade.

I was bedridden, thanks to many complications of my first pregnancy. And, being forced to be so still, to not do anything except read or watch TV, had me begging for books. Luckily, I have wonderful friends who gave me boxes of them, and one of the boxes had two romance books. After reading everything else, I finally gave in and read them, expecting to find purple prose, flowery imagery, and something wholly unrealistic. (I’m not sure if it’s noticeable yet, but I was a literary snob.) However, both of the books did not meet my expectations. And one of the books was fascinating. I was hooked from the very beginning. The prose was lovely, not silly. The plot was realistic and heart-breaking. Everything about that book I adored. So I read it again.

However, once I had my son, I didn’t read any romance for another…well, lets just say it was a long time. And I wasn’t planning to read any other romance. But, I was making a change in my career. I had finally come clean to my friends and family members that I wanted to write fiction. And as chance would have it, I’d already written a book. Oh, it was a horrible thing—monstrously huge with so many mistakes it’s laughable. But it was finished. So it was time to learn how to get published. Along the way, I had a critique partner who informed me that I wrote the best romance she’d ever read.

Interesting, I thought, since that wasn’t my goal. And I was pretty sure I wasn’t writing romance. I wrote about love. Still, I decided to get to the bottom of this issue if I unknowingly wrote romance. Which meant, I’d have to read romance books.

I dove into my research, reading around twenty books per month for a year. I joined the Romance Writers of America organization and other romance writers’ chapters too. I studied romance writing how-to books—even took many classes. So, during that year I learned that, no, I was not writing romance, per se. But I discovered a plethora of books that I loved. And all my expectations of what I thought constituted a romance book had been left by the wayside.

Of the romance books that I loved, they didn’t write about romance but more about love. You see, I’m a pragmatic person, and sometimes romance feels…fake. But love…real love is messy and lovely, crazy and calm, beautiful and ugly. I may not believe in true love, but I believe there’s truth in love. There’s honesty and authenticity. And that, I realized during my year of research, was what I wanted to write.
So I did and still do. And I’ve never been happier—me, the woman who scowls at Valentine’s Day jewelry commercials, is happiest when writing romance. 


Book 1 of the Wild Love Series, an erotic romance

The fireman is hot—able to burn me. But still, I crave the singe.

The professor is cold—brooding with intrigue, making me yearn for more.

The police officer easily unlocks my laugh—something I thought was caged for life.

Two years ago, before my cheating husband died, he promised he'd right his wrongs—and there were so many wrongs. On his deathbed, he swore he’d send a slew of men to worship me and treat me like a goddess.

I don't know how, but my husband kept that one promise.

Unbelievably, I get to choose between three men—one’s perhaps too hot, another too cold, while the other might be just right. And faintly, I can hear my husband chuckling and whispering that I don’t have to choose.

Maybe—just maybe, they could all be mine...


Someone tries to take my shoulder and bodily move me. But I won’t have it. I need to keep Bethany in my view. I need to make sure she’s okay because I love her so much and if one more person dies on me I’ll buy a gun and…okay, not really. But I couldn’t stand life without her.

I fight strong arms, gripping me around my waist, pulling me away from Bethany. I kick, buck, do everything possible to get my body back under my own volition.

Whiskers rake my cheek. “Shh, shh, I got you,” a man whispers. His arms hold me even tighter.

That’s when I see the firemen around Bethany. Their royal blue pants, royal blue t-shirts, light blue gloves over large hands.

That’s it,” the man holding me says. “That’s it. You gotta make room for the men to work on your friend, baby.”


I’m breathing so hard my lungs feel like there are fissures in every inch of them. The man has me in a weird grip, almost cupping one of my breasts, and I realize the position of my hands are forcing him to hold me that way. But I don’t let go of him.

You saved her?” the man whispers into my ear.

Yes, she saved me,” Bethany says loudly, smiling at me, still so red-looking it scares me. “She did the Heimlich thing. That’s my friend, Jane, Jane Emory. She’s super smart and super fast and she saved my life.”

I want to laugh at Bethany’s statements, but I just can’t. I want to cry. However, my hands relax against the man’s iron-like forearms. I notice the striations of his muscles there. They twitch, still holding me in a firm grip. He has blond hair. Golden. It sparkles in the light. His chest encompasses me from behind. It’s so firm, and his heart is beating into my back. His whiskers are still against me. This is intimate.

Where you can find Shine:

Barnes & Noble –
All Romance –
And other retail book sellers

About Me

Red L. Jameson is an award-winning and multi-published author. She writes in many genres. Her pen name, L. B. Joramo, includes the odd combination of historical and paranormal for the Immortal American Series. However, it is under her “Red” name, her nickname too, where all her stories are strongly laced with love, including contemporary, historical, time-travel, paranormal, and erotic romance. Red lives in the wilds of Montana with her family and a few too many animals, and is currently working on her next novel that she hopes will make her readers laugh, cry, think, and fall in love.

She loves her readers, so please feel free to contact her at

You can find Red L. Jameson at . . .
Amazon Author Page:



Lisabet Sarai said...

Hey, Red!

Thanks for being my guest. Great post!

I never read any romance at all. I wrote my first novel completely blind. And yet my hero is a classic alpha. Not sure where I got that!

Anyway, Shine sounds like quite a romp. Good luck with it!

Unknown said...

Hello, Lisabet!

Well, I'm slowly catching up with my romance reading! I now love the genre and am a staunch defender of it.

Thank you so much for having me on your beautiful blog! Hugs!

Barbara Bettis said...

I love your post and the distinction you make between writing romance and love. Let me say, you do a dandy job of writing love! I, too, was that literary person, coming late to reading romance (except, of course, for Lady Chatterly's Lover, that once-upon-a-banned book, because---it had been banned at one time :> ) Of course that eventually changed. Thank goodness. Best of luck with your latest. Delightful excerpt!!

Alanna Lucas said...

I enjoyed learning more about you! The excerpt was awesome- can not wait to read it!! Congrats and many happy sales!

Angela Adams said...

I never think of the romance portion of your books being the priority. Of the novels I've read that your authored, I always considered the characters and their actions primary and any romance between them secondary.

gds said...

I've read Red (hmmmm, that is interesting...)for a long time now and Shine is a standout in her list of books. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE her other books -- they are fun and always made me smile, and sniffle (sorry, Red!) but there was always a fun story with lots of historical info to learn. Good combination for me! But Shine? It has an amazing love story, with some very different heroes, that had me SO invested I couldn't put it down. Jane's journey into love AND learning to love herself is so very touching -- and it is extremely well written. Great job, Red! Can't wait to read your next book.

Cecilia Dominic said...

Great post! I got into it accidentally, too. Good luck with your new release!

Lana Williams said...

Love learning more about writers and how they got their start! The book sounds awesome! Off to get it now!

Lane McFarland said...

What a wonderful post! I loved reading about your "romantic" side. :0) Thank you for sharing!

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