CTR: Today we are pleased to have Rae Lori with us as we talk about all things romantic! We’re featuring the most romantic novels we can find and talking about romance in general, not just the kind on pages! After all, Valentine’s Day is almost here and it is “the day” for love and romance!

First, please tell us a bit about your book. A blurb, buy link, ISBN, and heat level are especially good to know!

Rae Lori: My book is Voice of Abandon. It’s available at major online bookstores including Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and All Romance eBooks just to name a few. You can check out more about the book here: http://www.raelori.com/voiceofabandon
And here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00322OOOG

His music inspired her to live again. His heart inspired her to love again.

Voice of Abandon or, The Princess and the Violinist is a sweet, classical novella that proves life and love can begin after loss. Especially when you least expect it.

After losing her husband to a fatal heart condition, Her Serene Highness Julianna DeWinters falls into a depression. She lives her life on auto pilot, making preparations and setting things in order for her country but not for herself. Assisted by her in-laws on an evening visit to a classical concert, Julianna hears the most beautiful sound that awakens her to life once again. The violinist’s passion through his music not only livens her will but also her heart as she finds the ability to love. If she allows herself the possibility…

Andrew Graham never settled down and loved again after losing the love of his life. Throwing himself into his music, he fuels his passion through the strings of his violin. Once he stops in Welshire to play for the royal family, a beautiful princess captures his interest and his heart. Soon he finds himself on the edge of a romance that will test his ability to trust and love once again.

CTR: How do you define romance and romantic? Do you think these concepts are different today than they were say 25 or 50 or even more years ago? Is our parents’ or grandparents’ version of romance now passé?

Rae Lori: To me, romance is when two people share a connection that urges them to be better people to put themselves aside while helping out the one they love. ‘Romantic’ are the gestures from which that show of emotion grows and I think it’s more than just a physical connection but a deeper understanding residing in mind, body and spirit with the person they love. I think nowadays romance a little different because the focus is on the physical relationship and the deeper emotional connection may come later. The media likes to focus on temporary relationships whether its through people we meet, the things we buy or what we see and a little bit of that seems to have fallen into people’s connection. The cool thing is there are shades of old fashioned romance in people who do the little things that show their loved ones they care. I notice this in passing and it’s always heartwarming, especially when I see it with my parents or older couples who have been together for a long time.

CTR: What is the most romantic gesture or moment you ever witnessed or were involved in? Please share as much as you feel you can—no private secrets required if it is embarrassing but you are welcome to dish at least to the PG-13 level !

Rae Lori: This may be small, but one of my friend’s husbands hates to do the dishes or cleaning of that type. One evening, seeing how tired my friend was, he took it upon himself to clean up knowing she needed the rest. Despite not liking to do them, he did because he cared about her well being. That to me is really romantic. 🙂

CTR: Do you think “romance” is dying out, and by this I mean the traditional “hearts and flowers” kind of romance? Even the chivalric sorts of romantic connections featured in some –particularly older—novels? It sometimes seems like young people now are more interested in ‘hooking up’ fast and easy via the social networks and high tech devices and that “romance” does not play a big role in the changing pattern of today’s relationships. Do you agree or not? If so, is this a good thing or maybe not so good?

Rae Lori: I think it is to an extent or else it wouldn’t be so popular to read and write! I find myself reading some old stories where the heroines are swept off their feet by very strong and masculine men and the focus is on the emotions and romance. There’s a sort of high you get that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and with the world and the news (not to mention life itself) being rough at times, you want something that’s a sure thing to sweep you off your feet.

There was a book I read not to long ago called the Unhooked Generation and they mentioned that hooking up is fast taking the place of actual dating and getting to know one another. That mixed with the high divorce rate and the fast changing environment makes me see why there are so many historical romance fans that long to imagine a calmer time when the social mores were focused on people making connections with each other. Today, it seems like a more hedonistic lifestyle is encouraged, leaving connections with people seemingly fleeting. Still, there are a few couples and people out there looking to make a genuine connection with one another and to make a long lasting relationship.

While overall romance seems to have fallen by the wayside but the cool thing is you see it in places that you wouldn’t normally expect it. For instance, I’m a huge fan of Sci-fi Romance and Romantic SF and a big fan of the recent Avatar. James Cameron makes wonderful love stories which is why he keeps scoring the big hits. 😉 Avatar had an awesome love story in the midst of its action, futuristic sci-fi tale of redemption and change and some of my favorite love stories are in the sci-fi and fantasy contexts (like Appleseed and The Fifth Element to name a few). So I think romance as a whole may seem like it’s disappearing but if we look closer, we can find it in the most interesting places which is always a plus!

CTR: What is your favorite romantic book, movie and/or song and why?

Rae Lori: Hmm, that’s a toughie because I have so many! I think my fave romantic song (and my favorite jazz number) is My Funny Valentine because it’s a song about an imperfect person who is loved because of those imperfections.

CTR: Is Valentine’s Day one of your fave holidays? Do you have a happy memory to share or a funny story? Some of us have one about our school days, a gesture by a special someone we once dated, etc. How do you plan to celebrate this year with your SO, spouse or partner or are you on your own?

Rae Lori: I love the candy *laughs*. Seriously though, I love how the romance genre gets an extra special spotlight around this time. I always equate the day with those yummy candy hearts we always used to pass around when I was in school. I loved the little sayings they had on the front and whatever crush I had that year, I made sure to slip them one, if I could! Now I’ve graduated to chocolate covered cherries (my fave) and spending time with my good friends while sharing some me time. 😉

CTR: Do you consider yourself a sentimental (romantic) person? (i.e.) Do you save all sorts of little souvenirs and use them to bring happy times to mind? Do you have the corsage from you big prom pressed in an old book? Still remember ‘your song’ with your first serious love? Do you moon over chick flicks with sweet and happy endings? Do you think happily ever after is really possible? Or is it maybe better to be more cool-headed and practical instead? Does the kind of Victorian ruffle and flourishes attitude really fit in our modern world?

Rae Lori: Definitely! I love saving romantic cards and cards from my friends. I used to write in a few journals when I was growing up, starting a new one after I finished a book. Sometimes I would stuff petals and things in the pages to remember things. Although I love the action and futuristic stuff, I still love romances with happy endings and the journey to get there.

I think happily ever after is definitely possible with the right person! My parents are proof of that after about 35 or so years of marriage. They’re a real inspiration to me. I think it’s better to have a bit of both depending on the situation. Be open to the possibility of happily ever after but also keep a cool practical head especially when meeting someone for the first time so you can gauge the situation and make the right decisions. I can tell it’s tough because the beginning of a relationship has that awesome high that you can’t get enough of!

CTR: Thanks so much for sharing with us today and I hope our reader visitors will be inspired to visit your blog, web site, social networks and other connections to learn more about your and your books. Please give us some ways to contact you!

Rae Lori: Thank you for having me! This was great!
I love to hear from readers and chat about books so feel free to drop by my networks anytime!

Website: http://www.raelori.com
Blog: http://raelori.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RaeLori
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RaeLori

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