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Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Check out the party over on Backwards Momentum all day tomorrow, Feb. 14! (The site is adult content, so I'm posting my story here along with my giveaway details.)

Be My Valentine

Valentine's Day is a special one for me - it's my wedding anniversary. We rarely celebrate on that day, though, because we're mostly cheapskates and hate crowds. Our latest romantic date involved taking the dog to obedience class without our kids. Not what most people would consider romantic, not in the least. And yet, it was.

Romance really bothers me because I can't quantify it or measure it. I'm a science nerd, I want to take things apart and figure out the nuts and bolts. Romance in life and writing doesn't lend itself to logic or scientific inquiry.

What makes something romantic? Is it flowers and music and chocolate and sexy waiters with bedroom eyes serving bubbly drinks with umbrellas? Or does it have more to do with the relationship between the two lovers?

I don't write Romance, I write science fiction adventure with romantic subplots. For me, the romance is not the physical relationship between the characters, but the emotional. Nexus Point contains exactly one very short, chaste kiss. The sequel (which is in negotiation with a publisher, long story) contains a lot more kissing but less romance. The main character, Dace, has no idea what relationships are all about. She's been abused and neglected most of her life. When Tayvis, the hunky lead man in Nexus Point, takes an interest in her, she has no clue how to handle it or even what it means. A major theme of the books is the question, what is love and what does it really mean? For someone who's never experienced it, the question is a tough one to tackle.

Most romance stories deal with the initial falling-in-love stage of a relationship. It's exciting, it's sexy, it doesn't involve the day-to-day drudgery of life together. How sexy is a ratty flannel nightgown when you're seven months pregnant and feeling like something the cat chewed up, barfed out, and left on the front porch for a week? According to my husband, very sexy. That moment is real, and it's one of my precious memories. I was brushing my teeth in my decrepit flannel nightgown, feeling like a beached whale with my pregnant belly (number six, if you want to know), my hair a mess, and feeling like the cat toy, when my husband looked at me with that light in his eyes and said, "Do you know how beautiful you are?"

That, my friends, is real romance.

Giveaway! Want to experience my kind of romance? I'm giving away one ebook copy of Nexus Point (international). And since life isn't romantic without chocolate somewhere, I'm giving away a bag of Dove chocolates (US only, please). Email me at jaletaclegg@gmail.com with your idea of a romantic moment and you could win! I'll pick winners randomly on Feb 21.

~Jaleta Clegg writes science fiction adventure with plenty of romance and silly horror stories without romance, although it leaks out sometimes when she's not looking. You can find links to her books and stories at www.jaletac.com