How a Nerd Started Writing Romance – part of “Romancing the Hop” Blog Hop

I SO relate to this pic!
I broke my glasses
more than once as a kid
and had to wear them
repaired with adhesive

or electrical tape!
This may come as a surprise but in the beginning, I was not even a reader of romance.

A nerd by nature, I was (and still am) in love with science and history, literature and mythology. And my idea of leisure reading was science fiction, fantasy and horror. Authors Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Ann McCaffrey, and Mercedes Lackey were my heroes, and I have a collection of Ray Bradbury books that I will treasure forever.

I did not, I repeat, read romance. Ever. I had nothing against the genre – it just wasn't on my radar. But I ADORED the supernatural and every little thing that ever went bump in the night.

So perhaps it was the Universe giving me a shove in the right direction when in 2001 I literally stumbled upon the paranormal romance genre. That’s when I happened to pick up an anthology because it said something about vampires. What I discovered was a short story by Christine Feehan titled Dark Dream. Within 100 pages, I fell completely and utterly in love with the entire concept of mixing love and relationships with the supernatural. After that, I read every PNR I could get my hands on. My passion for the genre grew, and it wasn’t long before I was writing it as well.

For me, the most fascinating thing about romance is how people get together. It's an amazing process and different every single time. Each couple is unique and no two relationships will ever be the same – especially when hero and heroine are both strong people. And when you add a paranormal element to love, it brings complications galore!  In other words, PNR provides an endless supply of “what ifs” for my imagination, and I get a great deal of fun and satisfaction from both writing it and reading it.

Look for my current shapeshifter novels – Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream and Changeling Dawn – wherever books are sold. And watch for two new PNR series to launch soon! (I’ll be revealing details as soon as I can!)

See www.daniharper.com for more details on these books.

************************************************************ 

Romancing the Hop Blog Hop

August 31 - September 3

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

CONGRATS TO SHADOW


Shadow's name was drawn from the comments as the winner of my giveaway. She will be receiving a  signed paperback of my PNR, Changeling Dream, and a tote bag to put it in. 

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my post and enter my giveaway. I read EVERY ONE of your comments, and I love them!

Sincerely
Dani Harper
www.daniharper.com

PS - There were grand prizes associated with Romancing the Hop. The winners are as follows:


Grand Prize Winners:

Kindle Fire Winner:
Laurie Goudge
(from It's the Journey that Counts's Blog)

$130 Amazon Gift Card:
Ellie
(from Carrie Ann Ryan's Blog)

Swag Pack:
Cassandra
 (from Dana Delamar's Blog)

98 comments:

  1. A friend loaned me a copy of my first romance saying I should read it. I did and liked it, so I've read more.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Q: "How did you get started reading Romance?"
    A: Hmmm.. Let me think first.. My first romance book is Much Ado About You by Eloisa James. I bought just because I'm curious (the cover is good too) and after I read it, I recommended it to some of my friends. From that time, I've read a lot of romance books esp. Historical Romance =)

    saphire_sha[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  3. I can't 100% remember but I think it was similar to you! As a child and teen I always enjoyed reading myths and supernatural books so it was a natural progression to move on to PNR novels! I'm not even sure which could be considered my first PNR novel! I went from Tamora Pierce as a teen to reading Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong and then more recognised PNR novelists likes Keri Arthur and Sherrilyn Kenyon! Have to say it is one of my favourite genres now!
    suzi1811 (at) fsmail (dot) net

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  4. My mom loves romance novels and so she let me read one of hers when I was in high school: Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught. I was hooked on historical for the longest time after that but now I read all over the map. :)

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    Replies
    1. Ah, the email: jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com

      Delete
  5. Many many years ago I discovered my mum's stash of Mills & Boon romances as a teenager and I have read romance books in any form I can get my hands on ever since!
    International - I don't know if I'm eligible for the Grand Prizes.

    irgl7(at)bonzo15(dot)plus(dot)com

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  6. I used to read my older sisters romance books that she had lying around. I've been reading Romance ever since.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. One of my BFFs gave me a book to try and after that I was hooked!

    alinutza4u2004@yahoo.co.uk

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  8. Me, like many others started with Twilight! :-P I've been a goner ever since.
    -Jenese

    Be sure to visit my hop!

    Readers Confession
    www.readersconfession.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Started when I was in highschool.
    Always did like to read romance novels
    and that turned out to be one of my favorite genres.
    divaiaixenqueen(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think I started to read romance by accident, I think it was needing something to read and grabbing one of my aunts Harlequin's since then I have moved into some of every type of romance from mystery romance to sci-fi romance. I love the happy endings so I love to read romance.
    Carin myreadingobsession at hotmail dot com

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  11. I got started with the story of Anne of Green Gables.. and then it morphed into Laura Ingalls Wilder books. The stories and romances there were 'lifelong' and beautifully crafted. Now it's one of the many things I read... there are so many 'other' genres that have the core of a relationship in them that it's inescapable really

    thank you for participating ..

    glhince@gmail.com

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  12. I really don't remember when or how I started reading romance, probably picked up a Harlequin romance and went from there.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

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  13. I got started reading romance after college, I was working hard and it was a great escape from the everyday grind

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

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  14. I think I've always been a romatic at heart, a story isn't a story with out some romance to get your emotions going... caw130(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. I hadn't read for years, then one word-Twilight. I've been reading ever since.
    lfacchini(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

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  16. i started reading romance after i finished college and was looking for stuff to read once i was done with all my text books

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

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  17. You know, I've been thinking of writing paranormal romance myself. Like you, I never read any romance, and am a Horror/fantasy girl at heart. But this post has motivated me to maybe try my hand at it. I have a story on the back burner that is totally paranormal romance.

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  18. I snatched one of my grandmother's paperback romances when I was 14. I've been hooked ever since!

    Diana
    bookofsecrets(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  19. I think my best friend gave me one of her romance novels then from that point its pretty much all I read

    Liquiddemize(at)gmail.com

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  20. We moved around a lot in my teen years. When living in Wisconsin during the winter (nothing to do and not knowing anyone), I discovered Danielle Steel. I'd hit the library and check out the max at a time, which I believe was 6. Every 2 weeks my mom would take me and I'd get more. I will say that I haven't read anything from her in a very long time. Maybe too long....but since I've discovered PNR, I still can't seem to break away from that.
    Thank you so much for the chance Dani!!
    Sebrina_Cassity at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I started reading my mom's Harlequin romances as a teen.
    sqwalker2@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I started reading romance as a teen and have read it since then. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  23. I started when I realized I had a lot more para to choose from if I went to the romance section of the library. What a fun hop! delphinareadstoomuch at yahoo

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  24. I started reading romance in High School and never stopped. I read all genres of romance: BDSM, Paranormal, Contemporary, M/M, etc. I love the chemistry between the characters and that it is guaranteed to have a HEA!

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

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  25. I got started reading romance as a teenager. A friend showed me Danielle Steele's Palomino, and I read it, and I was hooked from then on. I started with her, and then it was Nora Roberts, now I read a lot of paranormal romance. I also like historical romance, just about any genre of romance. Though I'm not fond of menage or BDSM...the more hard core stuff.

    Barbara
    bbsbooknook@aol.com

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  26. I was 12 and started out reading romance by "borrowing" my mother's books. I read about 5 when she said I could stop sneaking them and read whatever I wanted. 14 years later I still read some of the same authors. lol I just love romance. All genres & sub-genres. Thank you for the giveaway.
    kaylyndavis1986@yahoo.com

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  27. I got started reading romance at age 12 when I started sneaking my mom's romances. Hehe!

    Thanks for participating in the hop and for the giveaway opportunity.
    sophiarose1816@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Dani.
    I started reading romances around 13 years of age. It was the old Harlequin Romances.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

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  29. LITTLE WOMEN was my first romantic book that I read, and was devastated when Jo let love slip away. I like the guy and the girl to find each other despite all the trials and tribulations.

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  30. It was Twilight that hooked me:)

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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  31. I started reading romance books (Harlequin) when I was a teen as well as Ray Bradbury, Piers Anthony, and other fantasy books. I think I read a McCaffrey book once.
    bituin76 AT hotmail DOT com

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  32. I read Harlequin books in my teens.
    bituin76 AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I don't really remember how or when I started reading romance, I just remember that I was looking for something new to read one day and I want to say it was some kind of paranormal romance. And ever since I've been hooked.

    Megblod@yahoo.com

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  34. I discovered romance book by my own. I've always loved reading and well.. I'm a girl, so romance flows in my veins :D
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

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  35. I discovered romance books from my mom's stash when I was 12, haha. I would sneak into my room to read them. :) Thank you for the giveaway.

    craigcrystal(at)ymail(dot)com

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  36. My first romance was Dark Lover by JR Ward, and I have been all over since then, with any kind of romance. Thx for giveaway.

    blinkysthebest at aol dot com

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  37. If that's your picture, you're a very cute nerd!
    I was always an avid reader reader when younger, but after marriage, a family and work, I didn't have that much time for it. After my DH retired, I also quit working and rediscovered my love for reading and have been indulging in an orgy of reading since. Especially romance.
    mcv111 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I've always been a reader, but it wasn't romance. I was into True Stories - mainly serial killers, cults, and paranormal. Horror & Steven King became a reading staple in my library.

    Then I slowly started reading books with romance elements. It wasn't until a few years ago that I really, really got into romance and erotica.

    Great post! I can relate to another nerd, though my nerdism falls along the tech side. :o)

    saewod at live . com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Nora Robert's Spellbound is what actually got me reading at all as a kid. I fell in love with the magick and wonder of it all. Your books sound really interesting!

    Thanks!
    Jesse
    jesse.kimmelfreeman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I started reading romances in junior high. I had read so many of the books in the library at school and was looking for something new and at that time I had the mindset that romances were for old women (no idea why) but I made myself pick one up and from there I was a goner :) Thanks for the awesome & amazing giveaway!
    cassandrahicks1989@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. My first "real" romance was Lady Blue by Zabrina Faire, a Regency romance, but before that I read Dean Koontz and enjoyed the romance he incorporated with his horror story, it gave the situation more depth and made it more imperative that the good guys win.
    qwilliarain(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  42. What a great hop! Grand prizes, old friends to visit and new ones to meet… and chances to win at each stop too. I’m in Blog heaven! :-}

    I started reading romances in high school. I remember picking up a Harlequin romance book at the library. It was short and I could get summer credit for my English Lit class by reading at least 10 books over the summer. Well I read those 10 books in a WEEK. I never looked back and have been reading romance ever since. I found Paranormal romance while in college and have been hooked ever since. I am ecstatic that there are so many PNR books out now.
    Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I've always preferred romance for as long as I remember. Unfortunately, Twilight was the series that got me out of my slump!

    reflectionsbylili@gmail.com

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  44. ^^ how i started , my latin teacher was angry to see me always studying during each break so he offered me "quo vadis" and i loved it so after that i tried to get more book because i wanted the happy end

    isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

    thank you for the international giveaway

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've always been into romance but I adore Paranormal Romance! A friend of mine introduced me to the Sookie Stackhouse novels and I fell hard. I love the supernatural twist to relationships and how compelling it can make a story :)

    mollylee14(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I got started reading romance when a friend of mine loaned me an old historical regency, lol. I was off to the races after that. My favorite genres now are paranormal shifters and highland warriors!

    Romance is all about building a lasting relationship :-)
    krystalshannan@yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I actually got started when my niece suggested I read Twilight. I read it and the rest in that series and looked for other romance books after I finished those. I've been reading romance ever since and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

    vadeluna07(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  48. Romance doesn't always have to be something elaborate. It could be having your loved one bump your knee with his under the table while you're at the restaurant with relatives.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I got my start by reading Barbara Cartland books.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I started reading many years ago, my mom would give me the books she finished..


    ronnkelly3@aol.com

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  51. I started when I was sixteen and have enjoyed many books.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  52. My cousin sent me Twilight and told me I HAD to read it. So, I did. I enjoyed it. After Twilight, she suggested the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I was in love. I haven't stopped reading ever since :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always forget this part! lol

      songbird1613 at yahoo dot com

      Delete
  53. I actually got hooked into romance after reading Twilight. Afterwards I wanted to check out other authors.

    mythic021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thanks for the awesome hop and giveaways! This is so much fun! Thank you! My favorite thing about romance is the romance. lol I love the characters, the plots, the HEA's, the love. I love it all!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations Shadow! You're the winner of my giveaway. I'll be emailing you shortly!

      :) Dani

      Delete
  55. I started to read romance in high school. A friend gave me Johanna lindsey's Malory series and I was HOOKED!!!

    thanks for the contest!!
    forettarose@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I believe I read my first Harlequin's romance in the 8th grade. Then I turned to mysteries. Then someone gave me a historical romance by Victoria Alexander and I have definitely been a romance junkie since then.

    sam1slim1@gmail.com

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  57. I used to read nothing but mystery and true crime until I read Twilight...I never looked back since, now I love all romance genres.
    Thanks for the chance :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. I started reading books on paranormal events when I was in high school (many years ago). I did not start reading true romance novels until last year. I finally had a few spare moments to actually read for fun again! Paranormal romance is my favorite.
    PhoenixCarvelli at gmail dot com

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  59. Thanks for being part of the hop

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I read Barbara Cartland as an adolescent and then got all "grown up " and embarrassed by it and read fantasy , sci-fi and mystery, until I discovered paranormal romance, which reeled me right back in to romance ... so many pnr writers also write or started writing historicals etc, and when I love an author I read all their books usually.

    maryjooller [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  61. I started with Twilight then moved onto other YA novels. Then someone recommended an adult vampire series to me. The first romance book I read was J.R. Ward's Dark Lover. I was hook from then on! Thanks for joining the hop and for the awesome giveaway!
    ehaney578 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. I read Linda Howard's White Lies first and then to Historical Romance Genre, Lisa Kleypas books. I really love these book and then i looking paranormal genre, My first red was Alexandra Ivy's Guardian of Eternity Series :)

    filiafantasy at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  63. I've always read since I was a little girl so I can't remember when I switched to romance from Historicals and nonfiction. I would have to say within the last few years when my daughter gave me Diana Galbadon's Outlander to read. It was the beginning of fantasy time travel and then I took off into all different subgenres.
    I'm definitely hooked now!
    edor628@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  64. I adore Christine Feehan's Dark Series and her Leopard Series!
    I got started reading romances when I was 11. Reading has always been my favorite past time. After reading The Princess Bride, I was hooked.
    Thanks for participating in the hop and giving us all a chance to win.
    bidelia78@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. I ran across Georgette Heyer's book in the library as a teenager, that's what got me started reading romance, and I never looked back. I've branched out into lots of sub-genres but the underlying commonality is always romance. :D

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  66. I have been reading from as far back as I can remember. My first introduction to romance; Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thanks for participating! Really like the hop so far!! I love reading, especially romance. I love reading contemporary, historical and erotic romance. I love the happy ending that is garenteed at the end. My favorite book is Lover Mine by JR Ward! I love John Matthew and Xhex. My favorite romantic moment was when my fiancé asked me to marry him! We meant two years ago right around when summer was ending when my friend and I went out for our last big night out before classes started again. I think it is romantic when he brings me flowers because no one else has ever done it! Thanks so much! Hope everyone else is having a great long weekend!!

    prettyunicorn78@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  68. a friend got me started on romance in junior high. havebookwillsurvive @gmail.com

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  69. When I was little I would read mysteries all the time and when I was a little older I was in the library looking for a new book to read and stumbled upon the romance section for teens and so it began :) Now any kind of romance books are the only ones I read :) Thanks for the giveaway!
    flava_sava_chick@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  70. I can remember reading books with hints of romance when I was younger. But my recent and full blown obsession started with my daughter encouraging me to read the Twilight series. From there I started reading more adult PNR books. And now I read any romance I can get my hands on.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    beckerjo at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  71. From one nerd to another, I know exactly where you're coming from. Oddly enough, my favorite McCaffrey novel is NOT her Pern books, but a little standalone called RESTOREE. I also loved (and still have!) all 3 of Meyer's books in his Dolphin series. Did you read by flashlight underneath the sheets after your parents sent you to bed? :D

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  72. I was never a reader of romance either. I occasionally read paranormal romance, but it was not the norm for me. I think what really made me start to read more of it was the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. It's still one of my absolute favorites.
    molly dot frenzel at gmail dot com

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  73. My aunt gave me my first romance novel when I was 13. I was always a reader but hadn't gotten into romance books yet. I haven't stopped reading them since. I love reading paranormals. I love shapeshifter books.

    amysmith98@gmail.com

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  74. Thanks tons for the hop! I only read romance. My fav is Lora Leigh! Going to parade Monday with brothers and sisters! Should be FUN!
    swkimbell@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  75. Well for me what started me into reading romance is because I don't have any of that in my life, no romance, no boyfriend. Nothing XD Thanks for the great giveaway!
    red_tigergirl2(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  76. I started reading romance when a friend gave me a copy of The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I fell in love with historical romance then.
    mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

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  77. I started reading Harlequin romance novels in high school, but I discovered PNR about 6 years ago and have been on love ever since
    sugerlady@aol.com

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  78. I have no idea how I got started. I'm thinking that it might have started as far back as Tamora pierce and then went into the YA romances but I do remember reading an adult romance in high school. . I'm not sure if it was because of the story or what but it expanded from there. and i believe that it was a Johanna Lindsey book but I'm not really sure. Thanks for being a part of the hop. I hope that you have a great labor day weekend!
    jessangil at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  79. A friend introduced me to it.
    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  80. Romance books mean everything to me! I've always loved to read! I was a quiet child - a loner - who found solace, friendship, and adventure in my books. When a classmate loaned me my first romance novel, "The Flame and The Flower" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss...I then found love and hope for my own HEA which I didn't think was possible considering I made nerds and geeks look uber cool. lol Even today, as a grown woman, when most men's idea of romance and foreplay is to ask,"Why aren't you naked yet?" - I can always rely on a good romance book to give me hope that maybe one day...a frog may very well turn into a prince.

    mommysreading at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  81. Why I like Romance Novels….The reason I like Romance Novels so much is because it is one place where I can be anywhere like England, Scotland, Rome, Ireland, or anywhere in the US. I can also be in any time like 1200’s Scotland, 1500’s England, 1900’s Chicago. I can be anyone like a princess, a servant, a werewolf, a duchess, a vampire, or a lost soul. But no matter what I get the privilege and the experience to overcome many different obstacles and find love. Let me tell you in this world, and during this time where life can have so many struggles it is great that you can be, have, and do so many things to find love and romance and still be yourself!

    angelheart618@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  82. i read since i was a kid, and i started reading romance since i found them in my school library :D

    smile_1773 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  83. I'm not sure when I started reading romance. I've always read a little bit of everything.

    snhoveln(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  84. I was like you, I started out reading Horror books and never even thought about reading a romance novel. That is until my mom brought over this huge box of books to give me...most of them were romance and after I finished all the Dean Koontz and Stephen King books that were in the box, I picked up one of the romance novels. It was Once In Paris by Diana Palmer.

    I loved the book. So I read a couple more of the romance books in the box and was just completely hooked on them. I found Paranormals a little while later and have been reading those more than others since then. I love Christine Feehan's Dark series...One of my all time favorites.

    miztik_rose@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  85. I started reading romance whenI was a teenager. I had to do a book report for school on any type of book but it had to be novel length. A romance novel attracted my attention with the title and the cover and from there I was hooked on romance.

    Thank you for being part of the blog hop and for the giveaway. :)

    yazmin.z.rangel(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  86. I don't even remember how I started reading romance. I think I've always been drawn to it and have always read books with varying degrees of romance in them. Anyways, thanks for participating!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  87. I was in my senior year of high school, and we had this huge winter storm come in out of nowhere, and school was shut down for 10 days. I had read all my library books, and the only other books I hadn't read in the house were in a bag of romance novels my Gram left for my Mom. I picked one up... and haven't looked back since!

    jochibi AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  88. I read some romances during my teen years but then moved to other genres. About 3 years ago I ended up off work due to an injury and that is when I became seriously addicted to romances :)
    Thanks for the giveaway :)
    June
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  89. My grandmother Harliquins ...

    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  90. my mother read Harlequins and I grew up to read everything from sci fi to historical romance
    tjandbcd at optonline.net

    ReplyDelete
  91. My sister read fantasy novels that hinted at romance. Then I stumbled on some of my mom's romance novels and just fell in love with the genre so to speak :)

    lindsayavalon (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  92. I started to read a few years ago never liked reading before then a friend got me into it started with Paranormal romance!
    Thank you very much for the great giveaway!
    tishajean@ charter.net

    ReplyDelete
  93. I started reading romance books when I was a teenager. One of my aunts had a lot of books and would let me borrow them.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

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  94. Awesome website!! I will be starting a contest myself pretty soon, looks like yours was successful. Will have to keep an eye out for more on this blog :)

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  95. I also wanted to thank you for following That Paranormal Blog as well. It is so appreciated. :-)

    ReplyDelete