Keeping the magic of #romance alive – Sally Cronin @sgc58 #Inspiration #WritersHelpingWriters

Keeping the magic of romance alive – Sally Cronin



My thanks to Jacquie for inviting me to share my views on romance. It is one of the elements of our lives which is universal, and much sort after. People often ask what the secret to a happy relationship is… darned if I know. All I can offer you is some of the little things I have come to appreciate over the last 50 odd years of dating and relationships. Make that 55 as I had a crush on Peter Birch at primary school age ten which resulted in my first broken heart!

Because many of you who are reading this are writers, I thought you might be interested in a few statistics on the billion-dollar-a-year Romance book industry via Romance Writers

  • The annual total sales of romance novels per year is in excess of a billion dollars.
  • Romance novel share of the U.S. fiction market is 34%.
  • 82% of romance readers are women.
  • Average age is 35-39.

What interested me about these statistics is that romance is a hot ticket item. It is also evident that romantic stories are very much sought after by women, but clearly not as high on the list for men. Something that those who feel men are sometimes not as romantic as they might be, would find interesting!

Another statistic is that the average age of those seeking out romance stories is between the ages of 35-39… which begs the question… Do women in their 40s, 50s, 60s give up on romance, or they are simply not catered for by the romance writers?

Like most young girls of my generation, I was infused with the myths surrounding love and romance at an early age. Between fairy tales and my mother’s desire to make the goal of romance clear cut in my mind, I surmised that at some point a Prince Charming, on a white horse, would sweep into my life, whisk me off my feet, and we would ride off into a future of bliss, children and Happy Ever After.

I was encouraged to take the available wisdom to heart, and with hopes and dreams of my own, embarked on my own dating adventures. The trouble with ingrained expectations is that they are not always as revered by others, particularly the opposite sex.

However, after some false starts, at the age of 20, a more mature Prince Charming of 26 did arrive, in uniform and driving a classic American sports car. It seemed that expectations had been met and exceeded, and it was crowned with a spectacular wedding with matriarchal approval on both sides. We drove off into the sunset with clanging tin cans behind the steed… which proved to be tolling bells of doom!

Trouble is what you see is not always what you get! And when compounded with differing expectations of what a relationship is supposed to be, and a lack of commitment of one of the participants, things tend to fall apart. After four years, some interesting life lessons, and an expensive legal intervention which took three years, I finally managed to extricate myself with a vow to never marry again.

Then wouldn’t you know it, six months later, into my life walked a softly-spoken, unassuming guy who took me out on a date and asked me to marry him before the night was over. Five weeks later, without any ceremony, and with just our parents in attendance, we exchanged rings and our own vows.

The last 38 years have taught me that romance is not one-size fits all, is unique to two people who love each other, and is not always about red roses and chocolates.

Some of the elements that spell romance for me.

As Jeremy Taylor quoted ‘Love is Friendship set on Fire’. Of course there is that initial, and amazing firework display of hormonally induced physical attraction, which then evolves over the years into a familiarity that can still be breathtaking. However, without the essential elements of like-mindedness, shared moral code, sense of humour, and appreciation of another’s unique personality, the fire of romance slowly dies down to embers.

An analogy I often use for romance between two people, is that it is like an extended ballroom dance that flows and whirls with two partners in perfect sync. Always staying within the limits of the dance floor, allowing other styles come into play, with fiery tangos and playful sambas as the tempo of the music changes. Even when there is a momentary loss of connection, there is a coming together again, and the dance always finishes in a firm embrace.

Whilst there may be the occasional extravagant gesture when a special event warrants it, mostly it is the small things that keep romance alive and flourishing.



Red roses are wonderful, and we all love to receive a bouquet on Valentine’s Day or an anniversary. But it is the odd flower brought in from the garden and laid on a breakfast tray, a small tree planted in the garden that blossoms every spring, or the paper flower, misshapen and oddly coloured that appears by a bedside, that really help to keep romance alive.

Romance is waking up on every birthday to find cards hand-made from images of sea, sunflowers, cats and dogs, golden sunsets with handwritten verses inside that come from the heart. It is also those few minutes on your wedding anniversary when you sit silently, holding hands and remembering that special day and the people who are no longer there to share the memories with you.

True romance flourishes when you are unwell and scared and a strong hand holds yours and a voice close to your ear, tells you that it will be alright, that you are safe. It is when you suffer a loss and cry together and heal together. It is when you walk through the door and someone says, ‘hi love, how was your day?’

Romance is when the last words before you go to sleep are ‘I love you’


Romance does exist after 39 years old, whatever the statistics might say.

Romance and love go hand in hand, and as I watch very old people together, you can tell the ones who still adore and respect each other. It is easy to still see that spark and twinkle in the eyes, the small touches of a hand or brush of lint from a shoulder. That unity has been welded from years of life, laughter, sadness, joy, disappointment, excitement and love. Thousands of cups of tea, breakfasts in bed, dances in the kitchen, date nights, holding hands in the movies and vigils by a sickbed, have gone into the rich tapestry that is romance. There might be a faded red rose pressed between the pages of a diary, or a diamond ring that comes out on special occasions, but it is these small daily gestures that will have kept the romance alive and will continue to do so long after one or both of them dies.

Romance is also about the things we don’t do in a relationship.

We don’t belittle someone we love in public and then say ‘But you know I love you’.

We don’t bully them and then say we are doing it ‘Because you know I love you.’

We don’t marry who we believe is Prince Charming or the fairy princess, and then set about changing them by saying ‘You know it is because I love you.’

We don’t take the actions of those we love for granted, and saying ‘thank you’ for a meal, a wardrobe full of clean clothes or for being a great mum or dad, goes a long way to keep romance alive.

Romance is not about making someone happy or expecting them to make you happy. Your happiness is your responsibility and choice. Putting the onus for your happiness on someone else is a very quick way to lose them.

I will leave you with one of my favourite poems on romance from Elizabeth Barrett Browning courtesy of The Poem Hunter

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Most of my stories have an element of romance.. and with my latest book, I have even got a Prince Charming (the good kind).


About Tales from the Irish Garden

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature. Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.

As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell. This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..


Here is a selection of my other books… an amazing gif designed by Paul Andruss… thanks Paul


All my books in Ebook are available: Amazon UK

And Amazon US: Amazon US

You can read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: Goodreads

Please connect to me via my Blog

Thank you Jacquie for or having me over and for allowing me to share my thoughts on Romance..♥


109 Replies to “Keeping the magic of #romance alive – Sally Cronin @sgc58 #Inspiration #WritersHelpingWriters”

  1. So many wonderful takeaways in this, but “romance is not one-size fits all, is unique to two people who love each other, and is not always about red roses and chocolates” is one of my favorites. Great spotlight!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This is such a wonderful heartfelt post—not only speaking TO the heart but FROM the heart. Inspiring and beautiful, Sally. Wishing you all the best with your latest release.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Dear Sally, That is the most beautiful thing you have ever written! You brought me to tears as I know how heart-felt it is. It is the little kindnesses and unselfish gestures, the impulsive pecks on the cheek, the real friendship which lies comfortably alongside the love. The mad dance in the kitchen, shared singing (off key of course), the loud silences….the shared experiences, and – for me – the laughter and humour. Long may it last. I wish such happiness on everyone. Hugs xx

    Liked by 4 people

  4. A fabulous post, Sally. I love this, Romance is when the last words before you go to sleep are ‘I love you’. So true. I also agree that a sense of humour is important for enduring romance.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. A Very thorough review from A thru Z. I like all of the specifications and ramifications shared here. Anyone in, seeking or gas had a relation (goid or bad) would enjoy this read. The author really knows how to introduce. ❤❤❤❤😊☕

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed she did! She is obviously a wonderfully skilled author (so are you). I really enjoyed the read. Please excuse the errors in the response: “gas” is to be “has” and “goid” is suppose to be “good”. The editor is crazy with errors. Anyhow, Sally has impacted me! 😊☕💕

        Liked by 3 people

  6. So lovely to see Sally here, Jacquie. I must say I’m not very romantic in my everyday life, but I do enjoy a good romantic story and I love Sally’s books. Great post! All the best. ♥

    Liked by 4 people

  7. What a beautiful article from Sally. Great idea to have her here, Jacquie.
    I’m the least romantic woman in the world… but I still enjoy reading about it.
    I liked the Jeremy Taylor quote ‘Love is Friendship set on Fire’. I haven’t heard that before. I can see so much of Sally’s personality in that quote.
    Hugs to you both.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. You don’t leave much to say Sal. You’ve covered the spectrum of love beautiful with so much truth. What a most beautiful post! And lovely of you to have Sal over Jacquie. Hugs! ❤ xxx

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Lovely post, Sally! You are right, Love is not ‘one size fits all.’ There are so many ways to express one’s love for another. You have encompassed many of them so beautifully.

    So happy for you and David that you have a wonderful life together. It’s the best feeling in the world to love and be loved. I feel truly blessed to have a wonderful husband too. He is always there for me in good times and in bad.

    I look forward to reading your book soon with all its romance, magic and fairies.
    Much love & hugs!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Norah,
      I agree. DH has this knack of making me laugh when I’m upset and it always lightens my mood. Sometimes we take stuff for granted while it’s those very things that keep a marriage/relationship strong.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jacqui.. I sense it in your writing anyway.. I am about half way through Born in a Treacherous Time and even though the mating rituals were so very different to ours today.. it is nuanced in the protectiveness of the males such as Raza for Lucy. And a subtle touch can be very effective and even more romantic than an extravagant gesture..

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful moving post, Sally. I didn’t know I was going to need tissues! Gah. I think you did find the fairy tale, after all; it just looks different than the original expectation. Thanks for sharing this heartwarming post, and thanks to Jacquie for bringing it to us.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Not many men commenting here! I am not afraid to. That was a truly beautiful and moving post Sally. It made me feel inadequate – and grateful that my marriage has survived 55 years despite my many failings. I promise to do better in whatever time is left to us.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Jacqui, it’s a delight to read Sally’s article here on your blog.

    Sally, wow! This has made my day! Your beautiful reflections on romance takes us from the personal, and how I smiled at your memory of Peter Birch! Those first flush of infatuations are never forgotten. Then just after you vowed never to marry again, your quiet unassuming fella proposed on your first date. Congratulations on a warm and loving marriage … your analogy of a ballroom dance is one I will keep in mind. Those last words at nighttime of ‘I Love You’ are so important and how true that your happiness depends on oneself, not to seek it from others or blame others for its absence! The final poem is exquisite as only Elizabeth Barrett Browning can be! A treat of a post and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Annika,
      When I first married DH (thirty-five years coming up!) the best advice I received was to never go to bed angry at each other. We’ve tried, and mostly succeeded, to follow this wisdom and I believe it made our relationship stronger.
      This is reflected in Sally’s lovely post. Sometime’s, it’s the little things that count the most.
      Thanks do much for stopping by the blog!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Romance means so many different things to so many different people. I’ve been married for 28 years to an incredibly romantic man; me compared to him not so much in real terms. That however doesn’t mean I love him less or that I don’t try to show it – my romantic gestures are just different to his. Maybe that’s why we are still together. I do know that I love him more now than ever before and am thankful that he’s in my life everyday – is that romantic ? X

    Liked by 1 person

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