Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Why I Write Romance by Kathleen Bittner Roth

Welcome back to History Undressed our monthly author and blogger, Kathleen Bittner Roth! Today she's giving us some insight into the genre she writes--and I'm so glad she pens such riveting romantic tales!


Society rewards us for practiced thinking by handing us diplomas to tack on our walls. But what of our important feeling nature?

Thinking is what brings about clarity and objectivity in our lives, but only feeling can bring a sense of value and worth to a person. Our self-esteem comes not from what we think of ourselves, but how we "feel" about ourselves. Feeling is the sublime aspect of a man or woman that brings warmth, gentleness, relatedness and perception to a relationship. Feeling is the sublime art of having a value structure and a sense of meaning and belonging. It is the magnetic part of us that attracts love.

We’ve paid a high price for the precise, scientific world we live in where romance novels are often scorned as unrealistic fluff (yet murder mysteries where people are hacked to death or buried alive are considered acceptable, thrilling reading). We’ve ended up with nations of wounded beings where men and women suffer their wounds differently. Typically, men drink or overwork. Women eat and overwork. Men war and abuse. Women retreat and isolate. Research indicates that scientifically-oriented countries are more likely to break out in ecstatic disorientation if the people do not balance their lives with ecstasy through their feeling natures via such endeavors as poetry, music, creativity and romance.

Oops, did I just use that nebulous word romance again? 

The first romantic notions of love in western society originated in 12th century France when a new religious movement anointed a female as a religious godhead. The religious observance of the goddess was suppressed and forced underground. Eventually, the movement resurfaced in the courts of kings and queens, where evidence of it could be found in the chivalric reverence for women. Those chivalrous knights of old often fell in love with their queen or princesses, but this romantic love was never consummated because it was considered the myth of love. 

Romance had its purpose—it became the first step of the evolution of the spirit of man to truly understand the energy of divine love. Romance in relationships allows us to touch the face of God. Romance and ecstasy mixed, allows us to touch the face of God in stereo!

What mentally healthy person isn’t attracted to love? It is the grand intangible. Romance, ecstasy and love, are so powerful a human drive that they have kindled wars, created works of art, consoled the dying, driven kings mad and bankrupted nations. Love is the vital, pulse-beating feeling nature within us that gives us creativity and a sense of joy. Ultimately, love is the most important aspect of our lives.

My late husband held a double PhD in political science and economics. He spoke six languages. He was quite the intellectual, but he was also an artist and thus, more open to his feeling nature than a lot of men. I asked him to read a romance novel (Joanna Bourne’s The Forbidden Rose). He thought it well written. He said that if men would include these kinds of novels in their reading material, they would understand what women want and how to please them. Yes!

One of the greatest joys a man can experience is honoring a woman by escorting her out of her head, her thinking nature, and into her body, her feeling nature, so that he can pleasure her. One of the many differences between men and women is that a woman needs to feel good to do good while a man needs to do good to feel good (think about that for a while). 

Years ago, I founded a successful wellbeing center where I created seminars and retreats to help people live more satisfying, self-empowered lives. I thought that when I finally got around to transferring my works onto the written page that they would take the shape of tutorial-style textbooks, hopefully spiced with a bit of humor. What a surprise when I was finally able to focus on writing, only to dream an entire historical novel one night. What an incredible experience! I realized then that what I really wanted to do was write humorous, sad, sensuous, romantic, ecstatic stories (The Seduction of Sarah Marks, the book I dreamed in its entirety, became my first published novel).

When I began to write historical romance, I discovered that I had unknowingly laid out all that I had been teaching in my wellbeing center about heightened senses, the purpose of our lives, destiny, self-empowerment, and the act of loving ourselves and others. Writing romance gives me the perfect venue for expressing the full spectrum of the human condition. 

Kathleen Bittner Roth thrives on creating passionate stories featuring characters who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota. A member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Find Kathleen on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest and www.kathleenbittnerroth.com.
Check out Kathleen's list of books on Amazon!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Words in History

Words in History
  •  bully
    • then:  a good fellow or a darling
    • now:  someone who harms those who are weaker
  • brave
    • then:  showy or gaudy
    • now:  courageous
  • artificial
    • then:  artful and skillfully constructed
    • now:  false or pretend
  • wench
    • then:  female child
    • now: wanton woman
  • girl
    • then:  young person of either sex
    • now: female

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 27th thru May 3rd

What Happened This Week in History?
  • April 27, 1981-  First female soccer official is hired by NASL
  • April 28, 2003- Apple Computer Inc. launched the iTunes store
  • April 29, 1429- Joan of Arc leads Orleans, France to victory over English
  • April 30, 1808- First practical typewriter finished by Italian Pellegrini Turri
  • May 1, 1971- Amtrak Railroad begins operation
  • May 2, 1536- King Henry VIII accused Anne Boleyn of adultery, incest, and treason
  • May 3, 1965- "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs was released

Friday, April 24, 2015

Words in History

Then & Now:  Word Definitions
  • backlog
    • then:  the biggest log in the fire during colonial times
    • now:  pile of work that you are behind on
  • rubber
    • then:  boots that slip-on to cover shoes
    • now:  slang for condoms
  • fantastic
    • then:  existing only in one's imagination
    • now:  something really amazing
  • sick
    • then:  not feeling good, ill
    • now:  slang for something astonishing
  • awful
    • then:  something that inspired awe
    • now:  means something bad

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 20th thru April 26th

What Happened This Week in History?
  • April 20, 1996- Chicago Bulls win record 72 games in a season
  • April 21, 1509- Henry VIII ascends to the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII
  • April 22, 1970- First Earth Day held internationally to conserve natural resources
  • April 23, 1348- First English order of knighthood founded named Order of Garter
  • April 24, 1907- Hershey Park, founded by Milton S. Hershey for the exclusive use of his employees
  • April 25, 1928- A seeing eye dog was used for the first time
  • April 26, 1977- Studio 54 opened in New York

Friday, April 17, 2015

Words in History

Then & Now:  Word Definitions
  • spam
    • then:  compressed mystery meat in a tin can
    • now:  unsolicited message via email
  • stream
    • then:  body of water with a current that's confined within a bed
    • now:  constant flow of updates, photos, images, on social networking sites
  • troll
    • then:  to circulate or move around
    • now:  someone who intentionally provokes others into an emotional tizzy
  • stumble
    • then:  to lurch, walk unsteadily
    • now:  to discover, recommend, and rate Web pages
  • feed
    • then:  to give someone food
    • now:  place where everyone you've ever met posts pictures of their food, babies, and vacations

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 13th thru April 19th

What Happened This Week in History?
  • April 13, 1796- First known elephant arrives in the United States from Bengal, India
  • April 14, 1939- "The Grapes of Wrath" novel by John Steinbeck is published
  • April 15, 1983- Disneyland in Tokyo is opened
  • April 16, 1999- Shania Twain became first woman to be named as songwriter/artist of the year by the Nashville Songwriter Association International
  • April 17, 1937- Cartoon characters Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, and Petunia Pig debut
  • April 18, 1775- "The British are Coming!"  Paul Revere rode from Charlestown to Lexington to proclaim this famous saying during the American Revolution
  • April 19, 1927- Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex