Blog Article: This or That? by K.L. Ramsey #amreadingromance #Takethepoll

This or That?

By K.L. Ramsey

What is it about the hot, bearded met that are currently taking over Pinterest? You know the ones- sometimes they are covered in tattoos and perched on the back of a motorcycle or they are going for a stroll through the woods, in a flannel shirt, carrying an axe and giving off the whole mountain man vibe. What do women find so appealing about them? I guess the better asked question is why these bristly blessed, chiseled gods differ from the men we call our better half?

I’ve been playing a few rounds of “This or That” on my reader’s group page, trying to find the perfect man to fit into my current work in progress (WIP). Hours have been spent, on Pinterest, scouring pictures of hot, sexy men that I could see as my hero, and the possibilities are endless. I’ve noticed a trend lately, of men with beards and shorter haircuts, dominating the boards and I must admit I see the appeal. Every time I start scrolling through, I end up pausing at the burley looking mountain men and hot, motorcycle riding bad boys, that get my girl parts all tingly.

What is it about these men? For so long, the trend was clean cut, clean shaven guys, splashed on the covers of GQ and Men’s Health and Fitness. Now, you can’t walk down a magazine aisle without seeing bearded Adonis’s clad in distress jeans and a worn t-shirt or flannel- and they are HOT! Posting two bearded men for a “This or That” contest usually earns me hundreds of comments, within hours. Women are drawn to these men and who can blame them? It’s crazy to see some of my real-life girlfriends’ comments, usually choosing the guy that is the exact opposite of their significant other. Throw in a few tattoos and they get a little crazy, often posting GIFs of animals licking the computer screen, which is always good for a laugh.

The crazy thing about this whole trend is that, for me, I married the total opposite of these beard-clad men. My clean shaven, not a single tattoo, stud muffin is still my absolute favorite guy on the planet. So why am I, like so many of my friends, drawn to the bad boy, motorcycle riding, tattooed, bearded hottie on the Pinterest boards? Maybe it’s the element of fantasy or wanting what you don’t have waiting for you at home. Maybe I just like to change things up and keep things interesting in my own little made-up worlds, that I enjoy creating. Either way, I’m a huge fan of this new trend and can rest assured, knowing that I will be able to find loads of inspiration scrolling through Pinterest, on any given day. For now, the mystery of this new beard phenomenon remains, but honestly, who cares? As long as we have such intriguing inspirations, there are stories to write and “This or That” contests to conduct.

K.L. would love for you to take her poll on this subject in her Facebook group. Click here to be redirected to her Facebook poll.

Untitled-1K.L. Ramsey was born and raised in Maryland. As a child she struggled in school, having to attend speech and reading therapy. Her teacher told her that she would never be a very good reader; that English was just not her thing. She continued to struggle until eleventh grade, when she signed up for a Creative Writing class. Her high school teacher saw her potential and submitted a short story, that K. L. had written for class, to a local literary publication. The story was not only published but won an award for best short story. Knowing that someday she wanted to become a writer, K. L. received her BA in English from Salisbury State University.

K.L. Ramsey currently resides in West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!). She lives with hunky scientist, two now not so little people, and six fur babies. In her spare time, she likes to read romance novels, attend WVU football games and drink wine with girlfriends.

To connect with K.L. visit her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/k.l.ramseyauthor/

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Romance Heroes Are Real… 

Romance heroes are real, aren’t they? We at Crave think so!

Romance Heroes: Fantasy vs Reality by K.L. Ramsey

I was talking to a friend, a few days back, and she just finished reading one of my books. The first thing she wanted to know was if any of my characters are based on real life people that I know. Every time someone asks me this question, I want to tell them yes, just to see their expressions. How many hot, built, alpha males do you know? I know that my honest answer is zero. Although occasionally, I stop at a red light, look over into the car next to me and swoon at the guy driving. But, I digress.

The question of how real my characters are always makes me wonder what they think my life is truly like. Sure, we all know a guy who likes to work out and is easy on the eyes. Some of us have that gorgeous girl friend who makes guys a little tongue tied. But the characters in a romance novel are a lot to live up to, for us real life, plain old humans, that are just trying to remember to brush our hair in the morning before heading out the door. And, isn’t that the point? What hard working mom wants to sit down to read a romance novel about a new mother who hasn’t showered for three days and has baby spit-up on her shirt? We want to be swept away by the characters in a romance novel and escape from reality, for at least a few hours.

I’ve recently started listening to country music and my favorite songs are by men who sing about women being their angels, or these mythical, perfect creatures who don’t exist in real life. While my teen son sings along to the lyrics, I try point out that what these men are looking for is a perfect woman, and they don’t exist. It’s a lot to live up too and a whole lot of pressure for us regular, non-angelic females out here, just trying to get by. Of course, the same could be said for the alpha male hero’s that romance writers love to come up with, to make our female (and male-hey guys!) readers swoon.

Maybe we have some unrealistic expectations when it comes to imagining the perfect male or female lead, to swoop in and sweep us off our feet, but why not? So, the next time one of my readers asks me if my characters are real, I’m going to tell them that they are. They are real to the readers who are looking for an escape from reality, if only for a few hours. They are manifestations of everything we think that we want in our significant other. Because, lets be honest- a sweaty, smelly guy from the gym, is only sexy on paper.

K.L Ramsey’s story Untouchable will be featured in the upcoming anthology, Craving Forbidden releasing September 25, 2018.

K.L. Ramsey was born and raised in Maryland. As a child she struggled in school, having to attend speech and reading therapy. Her teacher told her that she would never be a very good reader; that English was just not her thing. She continued to struggle until eleventh grade, when she signed up for a Creative Writing class. Her high school teacher saw her potential and submitted a short story, that K. L. had written for class, to a local literary publication. The story was not only published but won an award for best short story. Knowing that someday she wanted to become a writer, K. L. received her BA in English from Salisbury State University.

K.L. Ramsey currently resides in West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!). She lives with hunky scientist, two now not so little people, and six fur babies. In her spare time, she likes to read romance novels, attend WVU football games and drink wine with girlfriends.

To connect with K.L. visit her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/k.l.ramseyauthor/

Got Romance?

#crave (41)There has never been a time in my life, since age 4, when I wasn’t an avid reader. Of course, a reader’s tastes change with time, and I’ve gone through a lot of phases over the years.

Back in the late 1980s, I began working in the Indianapolis Public Library system, which opened up a new world of constant and endless reading options. It was interesting to see the trends develop and evolve. There was a time we couldn’t keep any vampire books on the shelves, along with gothic horror. At one point, I read every single time travel romance I could find. For a while, it was historical romances involving pirates, cowboys, or Scottish lairds.

In recent years, I’ve gone through times when I read sexy ménage erotica, shifter romances, or post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. I’m currently deep in urban fantasy, a longtime favorite.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]

No genre has more sub-genres than romance, though. If a person can fantasize about it, it’s out there. Clean, steamy, erotica, bad-boy, second chance, young adult, new adult, chick-lit, dark, suspenseful…you name it, someone is writing it.

The variations seem endless. Stepbrother, May-December, reverse harem stories in which the heroine is involved in a consensual relationship with three or more men, even male-male alpha romances featuring male pregnancy!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]Some of the popular recent trends include mafia/organized crime romantic suspense, rock star romances, sports romances, and motorcycle clubs.

I still love a good paranormal romance, or urban fantasy with romantic elements. How about you? What have been your favorite past trends, and what romance sub-genre are you binge-reading right now?

Lori Whitwam, Managing Editor, Limitless Publishing, LLC