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Dangerous Books for Girls

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by guest blogger Maya Rodale, writer of historical tales of true love and adventure.

Fill in the blank: When my mom said she was really into __________, I laughed at her.
  • country music
  • yoga
  • romance novels
  • all of the above.
The answer is d) all of the above. When my mom discovered the amazing songs of country music and the awesomeness of yoga and the cracking-good stories of romance novels, she told me all about it, and I laughed. Awful of me, I know.

But she has had the last laugh, as now I have been practicing yoga for years, I wear cowboy boots and listen to country music so much I speak with a faux twang, and I write romance novels for a living.

But where did that ignorant laughter come from? How did I know to laugh when I had never listened to country music or twisted into one asana or read a romance novel? I don't have the answer for the first two, but I did my homework on the last one. In fact, I've spent two college degrees studying the matter of women and fiction and the often-derogatory attitude toward that combination.

The short answer: Because romance novels inspire and empower women to live and love to a higher standard. And because that's a threat to the status quo, we're taught to ridicule those who embrace that literature, that message, that vision of a life well lived and loved.

The 4:38 minute answer:

The other lesson to be learned here: My mom is always right. Ha-ha.

Maya Rodale is the author of numerous historical romance novels. She lives in New York City with a rogue of her own and their dog, Penelope. Find her on FacebookTwitter, or at www.mayarodale.com. Her most recent book is Dangerous Books for Girls.

For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com