Guest Blog Post
The Nurtured Lure of Romantic Suspense Novels
by Karen Tjebben
The love of literature is built in children’s early years. As toddlers, children pour over the pages, admiring the pictures that capture their attention and letting their imaginations create the story. As children grow into adolescence, books are an easy way to build connections from one world or time to another. The magical pages transport children to different times and cultures. They get to swim with mermaids or travel through rough waters in rickety boats with explorers. There is no limit to the adventures children can enjoy through books.
And who doesn’t like a little romance? Without realizing it, our culture has provided literature with hints of romance to young children for centuries. Some of the timeless classics woo young girls with the delights of love and protection. As a child, what are some of your favorite books? Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, or The Princess Bride? The underlying current of friendship and love cannot be denied in these stories, no matter how innocent and subtle. And you cannot forget the amazing effect Disney has had on children. Disney is just now creating stronger, independent female characters who don’t wait to be rescued, but who slay their own villains and overcome their problems.
Parents have used literature sprinkled with fear to teach their children about the dangers in the world around us. The Brothers Grimm wrote classics so troubling that they have been altered recently to soften the horror for children and lessen the nightmares that surely result. Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood taught the dangers of trusting strangers and making bad decisions. And for adolescents, the riveting true events portrayed in Number the Stars and Stella by Starlight frighten and inform young adolescents of the true evils that lurk around them. There’s an excitement and rush of adrenaline that suspense or horror books provide to the thrill seekers.
It’s no surprise that the romance genre is a billion-dollar industry. People have been conditioned to love happy endings and the occasional fright. So, the blending of the romance with suspense delivers an incredible pull that keeps readers turning the pages long after lights out.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Young Adult Supernatural Romantic Thriller
Date Published: November 2013
Kate Archer is instantly drawn to Nick. He's handsome, smart, and interested in her - perhaps a little too interested according to Kate's brother. It's a good thing Nick is interested, or Kate would have died the night of the football game. Nick may have rescued Kate, but he can't stop the inevitable. Kate is changing; she just doesn't know it. She can't explain the visions and sensations affecting her body, but she can enjoy the pleasure of Nick's kiss - that is, until she learns the real reason he is with her. Betrayed by her genetics, Kate begins a metamorphosis that forces her to confront an unseen reality and claim her true destiny.
Nick picked up my brown leather coat. “May I,” he said. He gently raised the coat into place, slipped his hand along the back of my neck, and lifted my hair so it hung over the coat instead of uncomfortably down inside of it. “You were fabulous tonight, and you haven’t even begun to reach your potential.”
I chuckled as his breath and lips tickled my neck. “Nick, not here. We’re in church.” I turned and promptly ended his kisses.
“I’m sorry. You’re right. You just have this aura about you that gets me going. I can’t help myself. When you smile, laugh, or get excited, you scintillate.”
“I scintillate!” I burst out laughing. “That’s ridiculous.”
“You see. You’re doing it now.” He stared at me. It felt like he was looking into me, examining my soul. “Your face is radiant. I wish you could see it.”
“We should get going before I literally grow wings and become your personal angel,” I said sarcastically. I picked up my bouquet of flowers and deeply inhaled their floral scent. “Having you for a boyfriend would either help a girl’s self-concept or make her really self-conscious.” I playfully touched the bouquet to his chest.
“Huh,” Nick looked at me incredulously. “Did you just refer to me as your ‘boyfriend’ and not as your ‘really good, special, guy friend’?” he asked as we entered the crowded hallway and headed towards the exit.
“Pfft, don’t let it go to your head.”
“Wow, I’m moving up in the world,” he said. “I guess that necklace is working its magic already.”
I slipped my hand under my leather coat to search for the ornate chain and butterfly. It was still there, resting against my sweater. “Thanks again for the necklace. It’s beautiful.” I looked at him as we stepped into the cold night. Stars twinkled, and his warm hand took mine.
“I’m honored that you’d wear it.” We stopped under the portico, oblivious to those around us.
“Please wear it at all times,” he urged. “The lady who designed and forged this necklace is very… how can I put it? Religious.” I raised an eyebrow and gave him a crooked smile. “Bear with me,” he said as he ran his fingers through the loose ends of my hair. “She put an enchantment on it. That necklace will help protect whoever is wearing it.”
“I’m religious, not superstitious.”
“That doesn’t matter. Your beliefs are inconsequential. The miraculous in this world is not dependent on us. Humans, we, are too weak to control such power. Besides, sometimes faith gives people great comfort. In ancient Greece, they believed that butterflies were the souls of their loved ones. So you can see why the butterfly is important to Greeks.”
“Since it is from you, I will never take it off.” I rose up on my tiptoes, placed my hands on his face, and pulled his lips to mine. We kissed a simple kiss in the lights under the portico.
About the Author
Story time always captivated Karen. As a child, she fell in love with books that transported her to different worlds and introduced her to new creatures. As a teacher, she encouraged her students to explore different times and new worlds through literature. Now, when Karen isn’t living in reality with her husband and daughters, she can be found creating an alternate reality filled with creatures and worlds that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers.
Where to buy Karen’s books
Where to find Karen Tjebben