Flyleaf Books celebrated the romance genre by inviting two authors to discuss love over a cup of tea on Saturday.
The event was in celebration of Bookstore Romance Day — a designated day for independent bookstores to celebrate romance fiction and strengthen their relationships with romance fiction readers.
Authors Martha Waters and Sarah Grunder Ruiz had a casual conversation with guests about their experiences as both fans and authors of romance books.
Grunder Ruiz’s novel “Last Call at the Local” will be released on Jan. 2, 2024 and Waters’ novel “To Woo and to Wed,” the final book in the Regency Vow series, will be released on Feb. 6, 2024.
They spoke about the difficulty of coming up with titles, their mutual appreciation for the banter and dialogue of romance books and the changes they have seen in the genre over the years.
Both authors said they were glad they could celebrate the event at Flyleaf — an independent bookstore that embraces the genre.
Emma Holland, an indie bookseller and marketing and events coordinator at Flyleaf Books, said Bookstore Romance Day is a great way to promote independent bookstores and celebrate femininity in romance, which she feels has been looked down on for a long time.
Holland said that recent pop culture trends, like the movie "Barbie" and the popularity of Taylor Swift, have brought back an appreciation for "ultra-feminine things" like romance books and women's fiction.
“With romance, why has it been so looked down upon for years? Well, who is the audience? Women,” Grunder Ruiz said. “So it's also a celebration of women and everyone who identifies as a woman so I think that we can't forget that aspect of it too.”