Hi everyone! Thanks for having me!
I’ve been asked what characteristics are necessary in romance novels, and that’s a tricky question. The reason for that is because there are so many kinds of romance novels in the genre, and then you have books like mine that aren’t actually TECHNICALLY romance—even though they kinda are.
My book was originally pitched as romantic women’s fiction, was sold as contemporary romance that could ride the fence, and then coded as a romance while slotted in women’s fiction. It really doesn’t get weirder than that. Actually, it probably does, but I’m just finding all this out so it’s pretty weird to me.
In a romance novel, there has to be a romantic relationship, and there has to be a happy-ever-after-ending. It’s in writing, there is no way around it. In fiction, the rules are vaguer. There doesn’t have to be romance at all, but I personally have to have it. It’s key for me. In fact, it’s one of the first things I figure out when coming up with a story. I have to find the backstory on a couple first…a reason for chemistry. My favorites are old lovers that run across each other by accident. There’s already chemistry there, already a sizzle they are trying to ignore or forget. With new relationships, however, there’s also the magnetic draw of first everythings. First brush against each other, first touch, first kiss…and on and on.
And then, at least for me, there has to be the tease.
I’m not a fan of instant sex in books. I love the tease, the push and pull between people that leaves you wanting more. It doesn’t even have to be physical. Sometimes the most intense sensual experiences are scenes where two people are just staring at each other, hearts beating in their ears, feeling the pull but fighting it. Those moments, when written well, can be just as hot as wild monkey sex.
And then there’s that. Because the wild monkey sex is good, too.
For THE REASON IS YOU, I had two men stealing Dani’s heart. And both of them affected her physically and emotionally. Me being me, I had to build it slowly. Teasing with words, looks, and even the real-life aspect of awkwardness. Sometimes that endearing quality can be very sexy. I feel the build up worked well, you’ll have to tell me your thoughts on that after you read it. LOL.
Thanks for coming by, and I hope you all enjoy the book!
In the small river town of Bethany, Dani Shane never fit in. Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn't stop the talk. Now, with her sixteen year-old daughter Riley in tow, Dani is back in Bethany looking for a fresh start. Too bad her plans for staying under the radar are about to be thrown out the window.
Mischievous and sexy, Dani's old friend Alex still has the power to rock her world, but there's a big obstacle standing in their way—Alex has been dead for forty years. With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments and sparking conversations with her teenage daughter, Dani scrambles to find solid ground and get a grip—both on her sanity and her heart.
Review by Kate
THE REASON IS YOU, by Sharla Lovelace, is a lovely romance book with a small paranormal twist. Dani is a single mother who is forced to move back to her childhood home with her sixteen year old daughter after being laid off from her job. She falls back into the small-town gossip train with snippy straw dogs, and her past in speaking with ghosts comes back to literally haunt her (but in this case it's her hunky best friend Alex).
I absolutely adored this book. The writing was well done and the story was incredible and believable. Dani's feelings for her ghost friend are rekindled and through Lovelace's writing the paranormal didn't seem overdone or strange, it just was. I loved the relationship between Dani and Jason. I enjoyed the slow progress of their relationship through the ups and downs and appreciated it for its realistic approach. The secondary characters were quite developed as well. I liked Miss Olivia for her southern no-nonsense attitude and even the teen character's were well-rounded.
I liked how the different subplots weaved in and out of Dani's story and I felt extremely satisfied with the ending. Most of all, I enjoyed the mystery surrounding Alex and his relationship with Dani. It definitely came out of left field for me and I loved it for that. It added a twist that added to my love of this story! Overall, I think this is a fabulous romance book and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice snuggle-up-next-to-the-fire or beach read. I look forward to more by Lovelace!
Preface: Dani and her teenage daughter, Riley have arrived back in Dani’s hometown, and one of the first things Dani has to deal with is catching her daughter talking to her old best friend Alex in the front yard. Alex is a ghost…
My head said to walk forward, but my feet went numb. Then he looked my direction, and suddenly I was head-to-toe buzz with blood rushing in my ears. I took a deep breath and attempted normal as I made it down the steps without tripping.
Riley saw Alex. Riley wasn’t supposed to see people like Alex.
She had her usual folded-arms-with-one-hip-jutted stance, looking annoyed as hell, while Bojangles circled the yard in a frenzy with his nose to the ground. Alex slowly took off his glasses and locked his blue eyes in on mine with that arrogant little smile of his. I felt heat radiate from every pore.
“Dani,” he said, low and smooth, and all the breath left me. “My God, look at you.”
I opened my mouth to say the same thing, that after twenty-plus years he still looked exactly the same, hot enough to melt my shoes. But then the mommy gene stood up and waved and I remembered Riley was there.
He laughed, a deep throaty sound, as he pointed at Riley.
“I knew it had to be.”
A nervous noise squawked from my mouth. Nothing profound like I always imagined it would be.
“The eyes were the first clue,” he said with a wink.
Riley frowned, her expression a mix of disgust and wariness.
“God, you know this perv? He was here on the car watching me and won’t tell me who the hell
He smirked. “The sweet, gentle nature was the clincher.”
Now, she lives in Southeast Texas by the Neches River with her family, an old lady dog, and 19 cockatiels. If you wonder how she writes with all that noise--the birds actually have their own house outside. THE REASON IS YOU is her debut novel.
When she's not writing, doing the day job, or doing the family thing, she's stalking her Twitter feed.
Sharla can be found at her website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Goodreads.
GIVEAWAY: Sharla will be giving away a $20 Amazon or BN gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. CLICK HERE for more chances to win!