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CTR: Today we are pleased to have Robin DeJarnett 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!

RD: Here’s the vitals on my debut romantic suspense, Whirlwind:
Love at first sight is a myth to aspiring journalist Melissa Williams, but when she meets Jason McAlister at a friend’s wedding, a Cinderella-like fantasy turns her no-nonsense world upside down. She sees in his penetrating blue eyes not just an evening, but a lifetime together that includes much more than a glass slipper and a kiss.
Realizing she shared a few salacious emails with Jason months ago, a humiliated Melissa loses herself in the crowd, thankful he doesn’t know who she is. But he does know—and with a gentle touch and a steamy kiss, he soon picks up their flirtation right where it left off.
As midnight strikes, Melissa succumbs to Jason’s sexy pull, unaware that a woman’s body has been discovered in the wake of the party. When evidence points to Melissa as the killer’s next target, the lines between fantasy and reality blur. She goes into hiding, charmed by one mysterious man and hunted by another.
Cinderella lost a shoe—Melissa could lose both her handsome prince and her life.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvJOyHMWtQ]

Heat level: Mature

Purchase from: http://omnificpublishing.com, Coffee Time, Amazon
ebook ISBN 1936305518; paperback ISBN 193630550X
Author website: robindejarnett.com.

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?

RD: To me, romance is the selfless, unconditional, and sometimes unexpected, demonstration of love. Romance can be found in a touch, a look, an act, or a gift, but there’s no expectation of a corresponding gift or touch in return.

Romance, like everything, has evolved over time, I think. The line between romance and passion has thinned, in literature and life. Where 25 or 50 years ago holding hands was considered romantic by most people, these days more graphic public displays of affection are the norm.

Some of the older ways are passé, I think, but under the right circumstances, the old ways can even more romantic now than before. Texting and email have taken the place of letter writing, and can be romantic if the “I love that the first thing I see when I wake is your face” note isn’t wedged between “Did you make the deposit at the bank” and “Pick up milk on the way home.” But the surprise handwritten note tucked inside your lover’s laptop is even more romantic.

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 !

RD: Something I’ve read about that I’ve always thought was super-romantic is the idea of a groom giving his bride the shirt off his back the night before the wedding. He has to leave, forbidden to see her until she walks down the aisle, but leaves a little bit of himself, his scent, with her. And no, I don’t mean a grungy, sweaty shirt, just what he’s worn for the day. It’s said that the sense of smell is most closely associated with memory, and this act is his way of reminding her that he’ll always be with her.

For me and my husband, romance includes a lot of humor and laughter, not just the occasional gifts and special dinners. We do enjoy traveling together though, and when my husband arranged a getaway weekend for just the two of us to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of our first date (without me saying a word about it), I was blown away.

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?

RD: I think romance doesn’t play as much of a role in relationships anymore, especially for young adults. The whole concept of ‘hooking up’ is anti-romantic to me. If you believe what you hear on the news, instead of the culmination of love and finding “the one,” sex for many has become just another date-night activity. “If I like him, I’ll have sex with him, and if it’s good, go out with him again.” No one has time to woo anymore – and I mean both women and men.

I suppose I sound a little hypocritical, since in my book, Whirlwind, the main characters do sleep with each other the first night they “meet” (more about that later ), but I think readers will agree that they don’t ‘hook up.’ There’s a difference between “love at first sight” and “lust at first gawk,” as my character, Melissa, would say.

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

RD: I love Sleepless in Seattle – and not just because of the relationship between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. When Tom Hanks describes how he loved his deceased wife…there’s the definition of romance, right there. In answer to the question, “What did you love about your wife?” Hanks replies, “It was a million little things.” The way he describes the way his wife peeled an apple, the pure love in his voice…has me sighing as I write this.

Musically, several of the songs I associate with Whirlwind are on the list. 100 Years by Five for Fighting, You and Me by Lifehouse, and several songs by The Goo Goo Dolls all have the ability to get me weepy. They all speak to of a permanent, “I can’t live without you” kind of love. As far as literature, I can’t pin down a specific book, but I love a happily-ever-after ending.

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?

RD: My favorite holiday is probably Halloween . My husband and I don’t do a lot for Valentine’s; we celebrate our love on our wedding anniversary, which is in the summer. The anniversary of our first date does fall on President’s day though, which is pretty close.

The memory of that first date is something I treasure. I was in college, and was going down my list of friends to find someone to keep me company while I studied. No one was around (they’d all gone home for the President’s Day weekend) except for my (now) husband. We met at the local Denny’s, but instead of studying, we just talked – for FIVE HOURS. Our waitress wasn’t particularly happy with us because we only ordered a couple Cokes and maybe french fries. It was after that conversation when I realized I had more of a connection with him than I thought. I call it “love at first know” because getting to know him was so easy and natural that I felt complete for the first time in my life.

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?

RD: No, I’m not a hearts-and-flowers romantic, but I do love some fluff once in a while. I keep a few sentimental reminders, but not many. I definitely believe in happily ever after, though, having been lucky enough to find my soul mate. Practicality may have brought my husband and me together that first date, but romance definitely followed.

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!

RD: Thank you for inviting me! I’d love for readers to visit my blog, robindejarnett.com. You can find more information about me, my writing, and a list of music (some romantic, some funny) associated with my book, Whirlwind. You can also find me on facebook, and twitter.

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