When I first saw that the topic of this post was my favorite HEA, I was frozen with trying to pick my favorite book HEA. So many choices! But after thinking through it, I realized that my favorite HEA is the one that I believe made me a romance writer. But it’s not a book. It’s a movie.
When I was around ten, I watched Dirty Dancing for the first time and fell in love. You can question if that was a wise choice of movie for a ten-year old, but I can confirm that I had no idea what was going on with the Penny storyline or even the sex. All I knew was that there was good music, great dancing, and romance with a capital R. I was instantly obsessed. New Kids on the Block posters were rearranged, and this poster promptly went up on my wall. I had a new crush.
I obviously didn’t realize it at the time, but that movie planted the romance seed that would eventually grow into the career I have now. I had never been swept away by a story in that way. And at that time in my life, there was a lot of transition, so the idea of a happily ever after really resonated with me. Without realizing it, I experienced for myself what kind of comfort a fictional HEA could provide in a time of stress. I’ve never lost that love for an HEA since.
And the movie keeps on giving me things even all these years later. Recently, I’ve started teaching online romance writing courses (Rock That Romance Novel: The Beginner Course and the How to Write Love Scenes course), and when I was writing my lectures on romance structure, I realized that Dirty Dancing is the perfect example for demonstrating romance story structure. (The 1987 version. Do not get me started on the remake.) So now I get to use the movie in an academic way and break down the beats of the story for new writers. Dirty Dancing is homework, y’all. Ask me how much I love my job, lol.
Most of our Viking mythology comes from the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda that were both written in Iceland during the 13th century, several years after the actual Scandinavian Viking age. Sometimes people refer to the Edda’s as part of the Icelandic Sagas, which technically is not correct because the Sagas are strictly about Icelandic history. However, since Snorri Sturluson—a famous historical Icelandic poet, historian, and politician—is the author of the Sagas and the Prose Edda, you can’t blame people for being confused.
In my Viking Warriors series, I keep things simple and refer to the historical texts that the Vikings and Valkyries sometimes turn to for information as The Sagas. I am originally from Sweden and the term works for me since “saga” in Swedish means “story” or sometimes, “fairytale.” Little kids in Sweden ask for a “saga” to be read to them before bedtime. When I was a kid, I usually asked to be read to from a book of Norse tales. Here are three of my favorites.
Wolf Rebel is the story of SWAT Officer Rachel Bennett and the vicious attack that turned her into a werewolf and left her with nightmares, not to mention the crazy sensation of constantly being watched.
And who might be watching her? That would be former Navy SEAL Knox Lawson, the werewolf hunter who showed up at the SWAT compound trying to kill Rachel and her pack mates, then got turned into a werewolf himself. Whoops, that’s going to be difficult to explain at the SWAT Christmas party!
But since everyone knows the best way to make friends with a pack of hangry werewolves is to feed them, let’s help Knox figure out what holiday goodies he needs to bring to the party. If he gets it right, they’ll probably forgive him. If not…well…it could get ugly fast.
Holidays are a great time to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life to spend time with family and friends! Many people have traditions--both longstanding and newly created--that remind us of the spirit of the Christmas season.
To help get us excited for the holidays, we asked our Casa Christmas authors to share their favorite Christmas traditions (or things they can't live without during the season)! Keep reading to see what they said...
October is a great month! With the fall colors and changing weather, it's the perfect opportunity to curl up with a nice warm drink and a really great (and spooky) book!
With Halloween right around the corner, we're recommending 6 great romances to read to get your heart pounding!
We're celebrating the release of Terry Spear's Silver Town Wolf: Home for the Holidays! We asked Terry to share where to start if you’ve never read one of her books. Keep reading to find out more!
Have you ever wanted to get away from it all? Live among people that have your back? Party with the best of them? Go for a run on the wild side? Have a whole pack of friends, loyal to the core?
Come join the fun in Silver Town, where the gray wolves rule. Starting with Destiny of the Wolf, you’ll get an introduction to the pack, family dynamics, pack dynamics, mystery, suspense. And of course, romance.
In celebration of the recent release of Diana Munoz Stewart's The Price of Grace, book 2 in the Black Ops Confidential series, we asked Diana to share her favorite romantic suspense novels! Check out her favorites below.
As an author of romantic suspense, I read a lot in and out of the genre, and while I could do an all-time must-read list, that list would undoubtedly contain books you have already read. I would rather introduce you to some newer amazing books that I’ve read recently, say within the last year. I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my favorite books from this past year. These books are well-written, powerful, and suspenseful. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!
In no particular order...
We're celebrating the release of Lucy Gilmore's Puppy Christmas, book 2 in the Forever Home series! So we decided to ask Lucy about her favorite dog breeds! Here's what she had to say...
I’ve never met a dog I didn’t like. Granted, some are a little bit harder to love than others (I’m looking at you, dog next door who barks every morning at 6:00 am), but if I have my choice between spending time with a canine or spending time with literally any other living creature, I’m picking the dog.
I like them big. I like them small. I like them long-haired. I like them short-haired. I like them sweet and composed, and I like them full of yapping energy. Basically, I’m a sucker for a wet nose and a wagging tail.
Although it’s tough to pick five favorites, here’s my list:
We're excited for the release of One Dark Wish, book 2 in Sharon Wray's Deadly Force romantic suspense series! To celebrate, we asked Sharon about her favorite HEA. She surprised us with not one...but TWO favorites! Keep reading to learn more.
My favorite HEA is Jane Eyre. But since most romances authors choose Jane Eyre or Pride & Prejudice as their favorite HEA, and I’m a commercial fiction author who writes novels for contemporary romance readers, I’d like to write about my second-favorite romance novel HEA: Lover Eternal.
I have to admit it’s hard not to write about Jane Eyre. I read it when I was fourteen and it had such a profound effect on my life that I blame it for the reason I became a librarian. The reasons I love Jane Eyre are mostly due to my age when I read it. It was the first true romance I’d ever come across and all of those emotions—some of which seemed forbidden—carved themselves into my heart, helping to form the woman I’d become. But the reasons I fell in love with J.R. Ward’s Lover Eternal, the second book in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, are more important. Where Jane Eyre made me feel all sorts of new, emerging emotions, Lover Eternal validated all of the emotions I’d dealt with as an adult.