Racy Romances and a Scandalous First Lady

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I just told a male co-worker not to buy my new book.  “Thanks for the support,” I said, “But it’s a racy romance and I don’t know if you would be comfortable reading it.”  He looked around and whispered, “Are you embarrassed about it?  Is it like a Penthouse letter?” To which I replied, “I don’t know. I haven’t read Penthouse.”  After I told him that it was no sexier than anything else on the market right now, he said he would still buy it for his wife.  And I felt bad that I was almost embarrassed I wrote such a story.

Because I’ve also told my parents not to buy it.  And a couple of friends.  Why would I do that when they are all very pleased for and proud of me?  While I would appreciate the sales, I don’t want them reading my book.  Unfortunately I keep falling into the trap of thinking it’s because it is not a nice girl book and I’m supposed to be a nice girl.

And then a former First Lady whispered in my ear.

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do. – Eleanor Roosevelt.

I wrote a romance novel.  My friends and family are happy for me.  I should be celebrating with them.  I am not refusing to let them read it because it is a dirty book.  It’s hot but not bad.  I’m asking them not to read it for the same reason I ask them not to read other books.  I don’t think they’d enjoy it.  I have some religious friends with whom I am very careful with it comes to book recommendations.  I wouldn’t lend them any of the edgier romances in my library.  I wouldn’t lend them any of my horror or occult books either.  I wouldn’t recommend science fiction or racy romances to my father.  My book just happens to fall into those categories.

As for the guy at work, I may have misjudged.  After all, he has apparently read Penthouse. In general – and this is an assumption on my part – I think he (as a man) would be embarrassed to read it.  Although I’m not sure because when he asked if it would put his wife in the mood if she read it, I grinned and nodded.  I may have found a new marketing ploy.

In the future, I may have a sweet romance published that I would happily recommend to everyone.  But for now I wrote a racy romance.  I’m not ashamed of it.  And I won’t let anyone make me be.  I can certainly write hot scenes in 2012 if a First Lady who passed away half a century ago said:

Once I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered.  But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: “No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

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This article is also available at Romance Divas.