Friday, April 20, 2007

Happily Ever After by Diane Gaston Perkins

This week in Virginia we lost 33 precious lives in a sleepy town in the Shenandoah, on the campus of Virginia Tech. Although no one I knew was personally affected, I grieved anyway, weeping for the loss of those promising lives. I know I am not alone in experiencing this collective grief. There are people all over the world whose tears have fallen because of this tragedy. I could go on and on about other tragedy and horror in our world, events that touch our empathy and compassion and make us grieve with those who must suffer the loss directly, but I want instead to talk about hope, about good, about love.

I am proud I write Romance. There is so much tragedy in the world that anything that counteracts it, that reminds us of good, of hope, of love, should be celebrated. Romance celebrates love. The love story that is the essential part of a Romance novel ends in happiness, not in loss. In a good Romance, the hero and heroine endure conflicts that threaten to tear them apart, but in the end they overcome all obstacles to be together. They don't die in the end. Nothing falls apart.

I love a Romance that begins with imperfect heroes and heroines who change and grow by the end of the book, because of the love they give and receive. This love may start out with selfishness, a need to possess, a desire to have one's own needs fulfilled above all else, but usually the journey the couple take teaches them that true love is selfless and means putting the other person's needs above one's own. What a great message that is.

I love it when by the end of a Romance, the hero and heroine are ready to give up everything for the other--and by so doing, they finally achieve togetherness. I love it when the characters learn that doing the "right" thing, the ethical thing, the good thing, gives them the ultimate reward. I love to close the book with a sigh and think for a moment that all is right in the world.

So who do you read when you need this feeling that all is right in the world? I usually turn to Regency Historical Romance. Whose books do you find to be the most uplifting?

Note: The male model in the above photo is Richard Cerqueira, whose hand appeared on the cover of my Diane Gaston book, The Wagering Widow. Richard is currently in the reality TV show on Spike TV, BULLRUN. To read an interview by Richard, go here and here.


k connor said...

This is for your other blog on Gerry B. I, too, just watched "Phantom" few weeks ago - didn't think any movie could match the play. Boy, was I wrong! Good thing I didn't see it on the big screen, however, as I no doubt would have been sobbing and trying to throw myself on the screen saying, "I'll live under the Opera with you." Just kidding. Just watched "Beowolf" - my daughter, knowing my secret obsession with all things Gerry Butler, just sent it out of the blue - I loved it! More lines shouldbe written where he laughs out loud - he has a great laugh. I'm going to order Atila on NetFlix now. Bye.

Judy T said...

Oooooo nice pic, Diane! I actually really like the pose on that one, though it had to have been difficult for Richard to have to lean back like that. After that interview, I have a whole new appreciation.

I've heard and read plenty of critics who decry the happy ending: "It isn't realistic." My life is reality, thank you very much, and I need some happily-ever-after. I read my favorite authors, which include Regency and Modern. Some woman named Diane Gaston Perkins, Elizabeth Rolls, Anne Gracie, Carrie Weaver, Lucy Monroe, Terry McLaughlin, and Sandy Blair, and I recently discovered Nora Roberts.

Lois said...

Well, if I need something to feel good or a pick me up, anything like that, I tend to go to a good old reliable reread of one that I just looooooooooved. And yep, for me most of those *are* Regencies. LOL :)


Diane Perkins said...

Hee hee, K! I'm glad you read my post and gave Phantom a try. Definitely not a "Happily Ever After" except for the joy in becoming a Gerard Butler fan!! Don't miss Dear Frankie (sigh) or Timeline (flawed but very Gerry worth it). And NetFlix The Jury, a BBC miniseries with a great ensemble cast and a truly wonderful performance by Gerry. And I LOVED 300!! Have seen it four times now!!! Can't wait for the DVD! (and the Leonidas action figure I have on order)

Ah, Judy T, you always do my heart good. I'm blessed to know you. And, Lois, you, too. It is so nice of you both to follow me here!

At times like this I appreciate good romance novels (aka Regencies!), Gerard Butler, and good friends. Hugs to you all!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah. There is that Diane lady. What's her name? Gaston/Perkins? And I'm a sucker for everything Jennifer Cruisie. I like my HEA with a bit of humor.

Thanks for the warm, thoughtful, very appropriate post. It made my day.

--Diana Holquist
Make Me a Match, in stores now
Sexiest Man Alive, coming Oct. 07