It’s simple. It’s easy. And yes, it’s a 12-step program.
Step 1: The Introduction. I was introduced to romance by mistake. Yep, a big fat mistake. I had started a new job and in an effort to "get to know" the ladies in the office I suggested we start a book club. This was around the time that Oprah’s Book Club was huge so everyone was receptive to the idea. Our book was chosen by random drawing of the top ten list that week. The random drawing winner was The Wedding by Julie Garwood. None of us knew it was a romance, let alone a historical romance.
Step 2: The First Taste. I began my journey of reading with an open mind. The first chapter was pretty good, and the second was even better. Maybe reading historical romance wasn’t such a bad idea. The writings of Julie Garwood drew me in slowly, but with a steady consistency.
Step 3: The Hero Appointment. Julie Garwood molded a wonderful hero in Conor. The more I read about the past and current issues in his life, the more I wanted him to achieve his goals and become happy with his life. And not only was emotionally drawn to the hero, but as most of you ladies know I love a sizzlin’ hot hero, and Conor is one!
Step 4: The Closure. I remember closing my first historical romance novel with a sigh. Not only were the hero and heroine happy and content, but so was I. And that feeling was wonderful. And now I knew I had to find another book by Julie Garwood.
Step 5: The Search. I have fond memories of dragging my hubby to the local bookstore and looking for all of Julie Garwood’s books. The first visit I felt like a tourist in a new country. The bookstore, and especially the romance section, was full of wonderful colors, fabulous titles, and some pretty interesting covers. That day I left the bookstore with three new books.
Step 6: The Pile Begins. Now that I have found this wonderful author and have started to buy her backlist, my nightstand seems to disappear under the small stack of books I have purchased to read. My excitement at my future joy brings a smile to my face.
Step 7: The Random Selection. I have finished the entire backlist for Julie Garwood. Now, in the isle of the bookstore, my eyes scan the titles of the books and I wait for something to jump out at me. And a new author does – Catherine Coulter. So I buy a few of her books.
Step 8: The Pile Grows. My nightstand is no longer in sight and there are a couple of small piles of books sitting on the floor next to my disappearing nightstand. My joy is multiplying.
Step 9: The Web Influence. To my delight and surprise, I find a website and a message board with other romance readers and authors. I had no idea there were so many of us out there.
Step10: The List. Since joining several message boards, I have received countless suggestions on books and authors and realized there is a cornucopia of authors that I would like to read. So now I compile a list of books and authors that I need to search for at the local bookstore.
Step 11: The Pile Grows. Yes, this is a repeat of Step 8, but now the nightstand has been trashed and a large bookcase has been squeezed into its place. And there are still piles of books on the floor. But as my grandmother always used to say "my cup runneth over".
Step 12: The Defeat. At this point, I have come to the realization that I will never finish reading all of the romance novels, as every day there are more wonderful authors that I discover through message boards and websites. It is great to know that my supply will never run dry!