Kathy Carlton Willis

Kathy Carlton Willis shines the light through her communications firm as writer, publicist, coach, editor, speaker, and more. She’s built a network of industry connections and is affiliated with Advanced Writers and Speakers Association as well CLASSeminars. Her columns and book reviews have appeared online and in print. Kathy is a contributing author for The Reason We Speak, It Happened By Design: A Series of God-Incidence Stories, and Groovy Chicks’ Road Trip to Peace. She is editor and writer for The Christian Pulse devotions. She’s enjoyed stocking empty church library bookshelves to equip readers with tall “to be read” stacks, and is always on the hunt for her next favorite read. Check out her professional blog at http://kcwcomm.blogspot.com and her Website at http://www.kathycarltonwillis.com/. KCWC offers a wide range of services at every price-point, with several new services added just this month, as Kathy’s husband Russ joins the firm to double the luminosity.

Fall in Love with Romance

Your one-stop CFOM resource—chock-full of how-tos and helpful hints—equipping you to get more out of your reading. Designed for the individual, libraries, and book clubs.

With Valentine’s Day falling squarely in the middle of February, let’s look at romance novels as this month’s focus. Not every reader enjoys a good romance, and, truly, some romantic works are directly opposed to Christian values. Inspirational fiction keeps the content pure while pursuing the intrigue of romance. Knowing there’s something for everybody, why not try romantic fiction for a February read? Here are a few categories to consider:

Historical Romance
Novels with a romantic flair written prior to World War II are usually categorized as historical romance. A common historical sub-category is Regency romance, set in England in the early nineteenth century. Another form of historical romance is early American, a blend of How the West Was Won with Romeo and Juliet. Historical romance uses landmarks in history (the culture, the location, timely news) as the backdrop of the story.

Contemporary Romance
Set after World War II, this sub-genre is typically staged in the same decade it is written. Women’s fiction is often considered a category in this genre. The story is issues-driven, tapping into current hot topics to ambulate the characters and action from scene to scene. More conflict is often built into the storyline and characters are complex. Some of the more literary versions of contemporary romance involve layering the story arc and character development.

Romantic Suspense
Romantic suspense solves a mystery or conflict. Flirtatious connections sizzle between two main characters as they pursue the clues. Often the heroine (usually the victim) works with the hero to find answers, and they fall in love along the way (usually after several obstacles). These are more plot-driven than other forms of romance, which are more character focused.

Amish Romance
Amish romance has been building up steam over the past decade. Perhaps its popularity is partly due to a curiosity of the culture, but also the readers’ desire for a purer form of romance. The code of conduct for this religious group allows authors to focus on “romance of the mind,” where the spark takes place, more than physical attraction. Amish fiction can be set in any age, from historical to contemporary.

Consider some of these recent releases for your next romantic read:

July 2010
A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini (B&H Books)
Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio by Serena Miller (Summerside Press)

August 2010
Love Remains by Kaye Dacus (Barbour Books)

September 2010
Simply Sara by Hillary Manton Lodge (Harvest House)
Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent (Tyndale House Publishers)
I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Julie L. Cannon (Summerside Press)

October 2010
Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker (Abingdon Press)
Love Is Grand by Annalisa Daughety (Barbour Publishing)

November 2010
Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck (Thomas Nelson)

December 2010
Destiny’s Dream by Delia Latham (White Rose Publishing)

January 2011
Caroline’s Choice by Martha W. Rogers (Realms)

Reading Assignment:
Select a romance novel to read in honor of Valentine’s Day. Ask your social network for recommendations. Swap books with friends. Request suggestions from your librarian. Then, whatever day you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, close the book and devote your loving attention to your target of choice. No cupid necessary! There are so many kinds of love that even if you don’t have a romantic interest, you can deliver your own valentine this year. Set the mood with a good book!


Kathy CArlton Willis