Saturday, July 18, 2015

Love vs. Romance


I was thinking the other day about an article I read where children were asked the meaning of love. One said love was when her grandfather painted her grandmother’s toenails because she couldn’t do it herself anymore. Another said love was when his mother tasted his father’s coffee in the morning to make sure it wasn’t too hot.

And as I was writing one afternoon, I began to mull over the difference between love and romance. Love often comes in small, steady, predictable (but wonderful) ways. Romance, though, has the reputation of grand gestures and over-the-top overtures. But can’t romance make its way in the world like love does? I think so.

Sometimes we let the business of our lives overtake romance--the real-world romance, not the heart-throbbing, take-me-away stories we enjoy in books. I think we forget because the concept of “Romance” is so big that it seems insurmountable. But I believe that a small romantic gesture is just as significant as a big one.

When my husband cleans up the kitchen because he senses I’m itching to get to my computer, that’s love. When he surprises me after work with a single rose, that’s romance. Both have a place in my heart.

In Book One of “Finch’s Crossing,” my new sweet romance series, the characters’ romantic gestures are like a single note on a piano, but in their hearts, they seem like a drum roll. One character romances a shy friend with mulch and gravel. He romances her back with sweet potato casserole and snow removal. Another character uses technology in his romantic overtures. All are small, single actions that say so much…and also keep us guessing. And after all, isn’t that half the fun of romance? 

Excerpt from Autumn, Book One in the Finch’s Crossing series

Ethan wasn’t tired when he got back to the Manor, so instead of heading to his room, he took a detour to the bar, where he ordered a light beer, relieved to be doing something distinctly grown-up in a place with no glitter or stickers or markers. Or Barbies. He laughed out loud at the thought.

The man next to him asked, “Care to share the joke? I could use something funny just about now.” He stuck out his hand. “I’m Kyle Oswald.”

Ethan shook his hand. “Ethan Fuller.”

“Ah, you’re Heather Christianson’s new guardian,” Kyle observed.

“How in the world did you know that?” Ethan asked, incredulous. “It’s not like I’m wearing a sign.”

“Everyone knows who you are. The story of you and Autumn Hamilton in the pumpkin fight is legendary.”

“It is?” Ethan couldn’t believe it.

“Yep. The way it was told to me was that she broke the headlights and all the windows on your Mercedes by chucking those little decorative pumpkins at it.”

Ethan let go with a full-out laugh until he was shaking and almost crying. It felt good to let loose. He wiped his eyes and looked at his companion.

“First of all, it’s a Jaguar, not a Mercedes. And second of all, there was no smashing of windows or lights. Where did that come from?”

Kyle jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “Down at Hoffman’s Drugstore and the lunch counter. If you want to know what’s going on in Finch’s Crossing, that’s where you go.”
“I see. Well, Autumn and I have resolved our…disagreement.”

“Do you know her friend, Meg Overly?” Kyle asked casually.

Ethan shook his head. “Afraid not. Two Finch’s Crossing women is about all that I can manage at once, I think.”

“Two?”

“Yes, Autumn and Martha,” Ethan explained. “Or I should say three, if you count Heather.”

They laughed together. “You married?” Kyle asked conversationally.

“Nope,” Ethan answered. “Long-term relationship though.”

“I see. I thought maybe you and Autumn…” his voice trailed off.

“Nope,” Ethan said. “We’re just friends.”

About Katheran Allen
Katheran Allen's new romance series, “Finch’s Crossing,” was launched in April 2015 with her first book, “Autumn.” In the charming town of Finch’s Crossing in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, the four Hamilton sisters search for deep, sustaining love. Katheran wrote and illustrated her first, “Julie T. and Company, when she was eleven. She still has it, thirty-five years later. Today she lives in Minneapolis with her husband Leigh, who edits all her work. For more information visit her website and blog: http://bit.ly/1TSL4Qe

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