Updated: Mar 14, 2019
Welcome to WeslieAshe.com, the place where I share information about me, my books, what I'm reading, what I'm thinking...gosh this sounds narcissistic. But with any luck, I'll give you some things to think about that you'll relate to, and this won't be all about me. For now, though, let me introduce you to myself by telling you about my logo, which represents the three things I want in a good romance:
(1) a heart-to-heart relationship
(2) feminine confidence
To me, the most important aspect of a good romance is a a heart-to-heart relationship. That's why my logo includes two hearts sharing a connection. It means that the love our two main characters share starts from the inside. It's not based on how great he looks without a shirt or what he thinks of her physical assets. If she thinks he's attractive, it's based on his behaviors, along with the thoughts and feelings he's shared with her, and the same goes the other way around. Does this mean they can't both appreciate aspects of the other's physical appearance? Of course not. It just means that love doesn't arise from lust. It comes from seeing something in the other person that makes your heart want a connection with theirs. It's heart-to-heart.
And by the way, if you're not comfortable with non-heteronormative relationships, then you might want to find something else to check out. What I write is sweet and sexy and, frankly, pretty vanilla, and if it weren't for the sex, I think I might even be able to call it "clean and wholesome." Most of the time, my main characters are a man and a woman. But I feel that hearts don't have genders, and I don't think they should be restricted that way (unless we're talking about heart transplants). Some of my favorite romance stories are very not heteronormative. You might see a story about two men from me, or two women, or some other combination from me (because why restrict love?).
Love is love is love is love. And it's beautiful.
Most of the time, I do write romance about a woman falling in love with a man, and one of the things that is most important to me about this is that the man not fall for the woman because she is meek and lacks confidence in herself. I like flawed characters, so my heroines don't need to think they're perfect. They can know they have some weaknesses, they can recognize body flaws, they can have self-image problems from time-to-time (not ALL the time), they can question whether the person they're interested in reciprocates the interest. But for the most part, I want them to know they are worthy of being loved by whoever they are attracted to and that they are capable of getting through life without that person if necessary.
To me, the worst romance trope is the one where the guy falls in love with the girl because he sees her as weak and in need of his protection. I love a protective male hero, as long as that man knows that the protection he's offering is complementary to the strength the woman he loves already has. He wants to keep her safe, but he appreciates that she can kick ass on her own. He likes to pamper her, but he doesn't love her because she somehow needs to be pampered. That's just icing on a love that exists for other reasons.
I am a feminist, but I think sexy IS confident. When you feel good in your own skin and you want to be visible because you love yourself, that's sexy as all hell and yes, you should flaunt it however you want. The sexy woman in my logo represents that to me. Feminine confidence.
Communication & Consent
Lastly, those arrows between the hearts in the logo represent the important of communication and consent in romance, especially when romance becomes physical. You know the sexiest thing on the planet? A woman who knows what she wants, knows how to ask for it, and wants you. But you don't get to that without communication and consent.
I believe strongly that our bodies are our own. We all have the right to experience pleasure, and we don't all experience pleasure the same. Lovers shouldn't assume they know what's best for each other unless that assumption has been discussed thoroughly between the two. We deserve the right to tell our lovers what we want, how we want it, when we want it, IF we want it, and we need to pay attention to what they're telling us, too.
Communication isn't all verbal, but when it comes to consent, verbal is the best place to start. The most romantic thing I can think of is a lover who knows his partner so well, and who has done such a good job building trust with that partner through solid communication throughout their relationship, that he knows by her breath what she's enjoying and what she's not. But the guy who assumes he knows that on the first date? Well, that guy doesn't belong in my world of happily ever after!
That's it. I have so much more to say on all of these topics, but that's the basics.
But what about the birds?
They're pretty. They make me happy and bring me joy. I hope that my romance stories make you happy and bring you joy.
Sweet, sexy fantasies, friends!