Thursday, March 8, 2018

Real Love Moments by Dana Mentink | Guest Post

Real Love? Where are my chocolates and roses?

Ah romance novels! Don’tcha love them? I do actually, and I write them, too, but sometimes they can be a tad on the unrealistic side. Why is that exactly? In my opinion, it’s because we want our romance novels to be realistic enough to be believable, but sometimes real love isn’t all that flashy when you get right down do it.
In fact, real love is not about grand gestures, expensive gifts or passionate displays of affection. Those are things I craved as a young woman (bring on the roses and chocolates and jewelry) but as I grew and matured, I got a clearer picture of what real love looks like. Let me illustrate my point. Here are the three ways my hubby Papa Bear shows me he loves me (after 22 years of marriage.)

1. He goes to see movies that he knows he won’t like because I want to see them.

2. He arranges to have my car serviced because he knows I can’t stand dealing with car issues.

3. He covers my garden every winter with black plastic so I won’t break my back weeding in the spring.

None of these are particularly grand gestures, but they are real life expressions of devotion. The trouble is, that doesn’t make for a very memorable romance novel. The way to write a great romance is to find those tender gestures and mix them up with some more unusual expressions of love delivered by some deeply flawed characters.

For example, in my Cowboy Christmas Guardian novel, the hero Barrett, a strapping cowboy type, is an expert in making pickles and his proposal to his girl is accompanied by a jar of homemade pickles, (and a diamond ring of course!) Mix that in with some over the top romance moments (I won’t tell you what goes on down in that mine) and you’ve got a recipe for a great love story. Though the odd romantic grand gesture is wonderful, it needs to be tempered with quieter, down to earth moments which readers can relate to. Now that’s true love all wrapped up in a fiction bow!

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

Cowboy Christmas Guardian
by Dana Mentink 

Someone is dead set on stopping Shelby Arroyo from doing her job: assessing mineral rights in a mine in gold country. But after rancher Barrett Thorn rescues her from an attack, the handsome widowed cowboy seems to feel responsible for her. That is, until he discovers she's from the family that he'll never forgive for his wife's death. As the threats against Shelby escalate, cowboy honor and an unexpected attraction keep Barrett by her side, even at his own risk. And since Shelby won't back down, Barrett must protect the brave, loyal woman he has no business falling for…a woman someone wants to kill by Christmas.

Purchase: Cowboy Christmas Guardian

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