Sassy & Southern

Reading Romance for a Vocabulous You! and a Giveaway

Thank you so much to Casey for having me back on her blog and for the opportunity to talk about something that you rarely (if ever) hear about in romance discussions: vocabulary.

I’m a college English professor and nonfiction author in my “real” life. Soon, I hope to finally finish one of my many fiction projects and finally branch out to be a romantic suspense/paranormal romance author. In the meantime, I read a lot – if you couldn’t tell from the title of this post.

However, to the chagrin of my many colleagues (should they ever inquire about my reading habits), I am an avid consumer of paranormal and romantic fiction. I go through novels and novellas like I go through laundry. Though such books are not considered literary by academic standards, I think they are excellent resources for building vocabulary.

Available through and Smashwords. Perfect for students and adults alike -- anyone who wants to boost their verbal skills.

For example, I am listening to Karen Marie Moning’s The Immortal Highlander right now in my car. In the 30 minute drive from school to my house this afternoon, I heard the following vocabulary words: vainglorious, diminutive, aquiline, brazen, omnipotent and opulent.

The context in which these words were used makes it easy for the reader/listener to figure out their meanings. And because you now have an association between the word and a subject, scene, person or circumstance that is of interest to you, the likelihood of actually acquiring and retaining that knowledge is all the greater.

I go through this experience with every book that I read and listen to, and I have to say that my vocabulary has significantly improved over past six years of my reading addiction – in ways I neither expected nor even realized in some cases. In fact, I’ve found this technique so effective not only for myself but for my students as well, that I’ve written an interactive e-book to help people find the connections they need to grow their personal lexicons in ways that make sense to them.

Vocabulous You!: An Interactive Guide to Building Vocabulary for Standardized Tests, College, On the Job and Everyday Life is designed to empower high school and college students, professionals, parents – basically anyone who is looking to boost their verbal abilities for any reason – to figure out how they learn best and turn to sources that they like and understand to achieve their goals.

Try it out for yourself. The next time you pick up a romance novel and lose yourself in the world the author is so wonderfully creating with her words, take notice of those words you may not recognize or easily define in your head. Pause a moment to look at how the author uses it, the circumstances of the scene and sentence, the characters involved. Then, when you have time, go look up the word and see what it means. And after all is said and done, just see if you don’t use that word in conversation or immediately think of its meaning when you hear it in the future.

To get you in the right mindset, I’m giving away 2 copies of Vocabulous You! to 2 commenters who share what their favorite romance books are because of the language the author uses to weave her tales. Winners will be chosen on Leap Day, 2/29.

Happy reading!

11 Comments to “Reading Romance for a Vocabulous You! and a Giveaway”

  1. Casey Crow Says:

    Welcome Robin! Is is bad that I’m hoping only one other person comments? Because I so want this book! It sounds amazing and just what I need.

  2. Dana Says:

    I have a pretty extensive vocabulary, but I know that I often revert back to the same words! I guess I’m in a southern dialectic rut. LOL!! So, yes! I’d love a copy! :-)
    And, looking forward to your fiction work.

  3. Siggy Buckley Says:

    I’d like to think I have a pretty good vocabulary even though it;’s not my first language: “Next Time Lucky:Lessons of a Matchmaker.” Daredevil that I am I even published my first book in English. It’s a Story on Dating, Sex and Relationships. Certainly sassy, saucy and salacious at time. (reviews from Amazon.Good luck, maybe you can check out my sites and like them? Many thanks,Siggy,(English teacher & German adjunct professor).

  4. Millie Farrell Says:

    It is always necessary to build vocabulary skills when writing to avoid monotony. I am an avid reader myself and agree with you. The more I read, the better my vocabulary becomes. Especially when reading Old English texts or verse. I would love to see your book published and available for purchase. I’m working on a fantasy book myself and need to find ways to express emotions without using basic verbiage repetitively. Good luck Robin.

  5. Gerri Bowen Says:

    I would say Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm, and Judth Ivory’s Submit.

  6. Robin Kaanagh Says:

    I love Laura Kinsale. Talk about a vivid writer!

  7. Casey Crow Says:

    Thanks again, Robin, for being here! And thank you everyone who stopped by. Always love hearing from readers so please come back anytime!

  8. Mel K. Says:

    I’m an aspiring author so this book would be very valuable to me. I enjoy the writings of Caroline Linden. She inspired me to write a screenplay for WHAT A GENTLEMAN WANTS. No, I haven’t written it yet…
    I like so many authors! And while reading romances I often find words I don’t know *yes, I look them up* and words I really like that others don’t know. I love when I come across a word I use all the time. Thanks.

    Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

  9. Casey Crow Says:

    Good luck in your writing, Mel!

  10. Robin Kavanagh Says:

    I’ll add in my 2 cents, too. I terms of really great use of language, I love Lara Adrian. I’ve learned so many new words from her Midnight Breed stories and they’ve really stuck with me.

  11. Casey Crow Says:

    Thanks again, Robin, for sharing your wisdom. Congrats to Mel K. and Gerri Bowen – winners of Vocabulous You! Hope everyone will check back next week. I’m giving away copies my debut CAN’T FAKE THIS!

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