Shannon here: Today, I’ve invited my book sharing buddy, Tina Radcliffe to be my guest here at Inspy. So take it away Tina:
There is nothing more satisfying than falling in love with love as you read an inspirational romance.
These novels provide a romance arc that is a fluid journey from hello to I love you. It’s what you the reader expects and if done well, is what you turn pages for. Emotion and a real love story.
Dr. James Dobson explains the romantic arc nicely in his book Love for a Lifetime and calls it bonding.
“Bonding refers to the emotional covenant that links a man and woman together for life and makes them intensely valuable to one another. It is the specialness that sets those two lovers apart from every other couple on the face of the earth.”
In a true romantic arc, the hero and heroine go through the stages of intimacy on the path of falling in love.
How exactly do writers write falling in love? We write a story that parallels real-life romance in every way.
The Stages of Intimacy were identified by Dr. Desmond Morris and are also found in Love for a Lifetime by Dr. James Dobson.
- Eye to Body.
- Eye to Eye.
- Voice to Voice.
- Hand to Hand
- Hand to Shoulder
- Hand to Waist
- Face to Face.
- Hand to Head
It’s a process and it shouldn’t be rushed. The slower the journey, the more emotion the writer can wring from the pages for readers to enjoy. In fact, in inspirational romance, authors slow it down, even more, to bring you the most satisfying emotional response possible, because we understand the importance of anticipation and the value of emotional romance versus the physical.
Here’s an interesting note. Ever wonder why in those Hallmark movies, the kiss is only at the end? Note they usually include stages 7, 8 and 9 at the culmination of the story. I recently attended a Hallmark workshop, and the reason was explained. According to marketing, when there was a kiss in the middle of the movie viewers turned off the movie having assumed that HEA was a given. Kisses are now reserved for the end.
Now for a few examples of the journey to I love you.
In the first three stages the hero and heroine have a growing awareness.
“I like rain. Don’t you?” Drops of moisture clung to her long black lashes. She pushed a wayward lock of dark hair into the hood of the slicker, waiting for his response. Joe stared, entranced, as the rain moved leisurely down her face, landing on her lips. “Joe?”- Rocky Mountain Cowboy
Stages 4 and 5 demonstrate growing intimacy as they involve physical contact. This is very important as it implies consent and goes from perhaps simply helping a woman from a car to touching in gesture. It can also include the wonderful almost kiss.
When Joe gently wrapped his fingers around her wrist to examine the wound, she stilled at his touch. “It’s healing.” He met her gaze, his eyes tender with emotion. “Like you and me. We’ve reconciled the past. Maybe it’s time to talk about where we go from here.” His words were a soft murmur.-Rocky Mountain Cowboy
And of course, the last stages bring us closer and closer to the finale of our journey. Note that hand to head is a huge step of emotional closeness. In our society we rarely let someone touch our heads unless they are family or we have a romantic relationship.
I can’t possibly show you the ending of Rocky Mountain Cowboy… we don’t want any spoilers.
Instead, I’ll give you the opportunity to win your won copy today.
So readers, what do you think?
What’s your favorite part of the romance journey in inspirational romances? The first meet? The almost kiss? The final admission of love?
Do you have any authors you recommend who really know how to provide that SWOON factor? Do share.
Thank you to Inspy Romance for inviting me to your home.
Enter the Rafflecopter for the opportunity to win a copy of this two-in-one reissue featuring myself and Shannon Taylor Vannatter. Reuniting with the Cowboy & Rocky Mountain Cowboy are a fun and romantic read that I know you’ll enjoy. Drawing ends on Friday, June 14th at Midnight EST. Three winners will be emailed. You can pick up your own copy here.
Tina Radcliffe is an RWA and ACFW Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, and a three-time ACFW Carol Award nominee. She is a 2018 ACFW Mentor of the Year recipient and a 2014 Carol Award winner. Additionally, she is a 2019 ACFW Mentor of the year finalist. Her 11th book for Harlequin Love Inspired, Her Last Chance Cowboy, released in February 2019, and she has a new four-book series with Harlequin debuting in 2020. Beside novel-length fiction, Tina has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A former library cataloger, Tina is a frequent presenter on writing topics and an online instructor. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance. Visit her on the web: