Monday, December 9, 2013

NaNoWriMo is Over -- Life Goes On -- With A Smile

I now live in San Diego, California. (Did you know there is a San Diego, Texas? I didn't until I tried looking up just San Diego.

The other day, I went to the park with my Daughter-In-Law and my youngest GrandBaby. He played on the swings.

"Play with me, Bubbi" he squealed. So I sat in a swing and swung. (No, there are no pictures of me swinging.)
          There was an amazing amount of joy in doing something so childlike as swing. I pumped my feet and pulled with my arms. I was lifted and enchanted. It was magical.
I also read a really fun book. GNOME ON THE RANGE
Gnome on the Range by Jennifer Zane
I write romances - albeit romances that are in fantasy worlds with powerful fantastical heroines. However, because I write romances, I read a lot of romances. Romances are fun escapism.
Gnome on the Range was no exception. It was fun escapism. However, it had one thing going for it that I find rare in the romance genre.
You see, most romances have the hero and heroine in an unconventional, threatening or scary situation. The heroes are hunks (and I have no problem with that. I love a good hunk.) The heroines are sometimes fragile, sometimes heroic, sometimes etc. etc. etc.  If you read romances you are familiar with the traditional heroine. The hero and heroine make it through the situation and live happily ever after. The background, the real life is barely a whisper. If the heroine keeps a shop, it is hardly mentioned. Restaurants are breezed through. Cars always work, unless it is a murder mystery then it conks out at the right time. If children exist, they are patted on the head or do a run through to remind the reader there are some.

Gnome on the Range did something different. It made the book a treasure to read. It was pure delight. Jennifer Zane put her heroine in real life. She ran a store - not a comfortable quilting or antique store but an adult store. She had kids, kids that tumbled, made a mess in a restaurant, came in at inopportune times and fought with each other. Yes, the hero and heroine were in a threatening situation - no I will not tell you what it is - that would be cheating. However, the wonderful thing about this romance was that no matter how scary the situation became there was real life around the corner. I could see someone really being in this predicament. I didn't have to pretend that the outside world was perfect with poor beleaguered hero and heroine running around in it. The world was messy and their problem caused more messiness but they managed it, both the worldly, normal messiness and the scary messiness.

Okay, so this review is a bit off kilter. But I really enjoyed the book. If you like romance, I would suggest you definitely pick it up. It is available at at      

Everyone is celebrating a holiday this time of year. So I wish you a very pleasant holiday season. Stay warm. Enjoy family. Read a fun book.

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