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Wed, Feb. 19

Romance novelist aims for the heart with her yarns about love, passion

"Bailey squeezed Steel's hand when the minister intoned, 'to love and cherish' and recited with him: 'from this day forward.'" A scene from the romance novel, "Winner Takes All," by Sharon Mayne

Romance novelist Sharon Moehn (pen name Sharon Mayne, owner of Page Turners book store in Chino Valley, has three successes under her belt.

She has written and published romance novels titled, "Heart Trouble"," "Winner Takes All," and "The Right Moves."

Review/Diane DeHamer

Sharon Moehn proudly displays her published romance novels.

Her books also have been printed in several different languages, from Polish and Greek to Dutch, German and Italian.

"I wanted to write a romance novel because I thought it would be easy, but it wasn't, because there is no formula" Sharon said.

Born in Washington, D.C. and brought up in the eastern seaboard area of the country, Sharon admits she began to read a lot after almost flunking first grade because she couldn't read.

"My older sister started teaching me to read, and when I went into second grade, I was in the fastest reading group," she beamed.

All the romantics of the world may be interested to know that statistics show that in the early 1990s, 48.6 percent of mass market popular fiction books were romance novels.

In 1985 Sharon and her husband Tom moved to Chino Valley. Tom teaches journalism at Chino Valley High School. That same year Sharon joined the organization, "Romance Writers of America."

She explained that the writer of a romance novel must research the story's setting, historical information and characters' occupations, must create believable characters that people like, and must have good dialogue in the stories.

"It amazes me that romance novels have less respect than other popular fiction books, because it's all entertainment," Sharon exclaimed.

"I think women should stop apologizing for reading romance; men don't apologize for reading westerns," she said.

"Yes, they all have predictable happy endings, but that does not mean the story and characters are all the same. Mystery and science fiction stories are all predictable too, because the mystery is always solved and the science fiction hero always fulfills his quest. All the elements of story telling are the same for every genre," she adds.

Sharon's first book was published in 1992, and although running her bookstore keeps her busy, her goal is to one day have a bookstore with a coffee bar.

"I love books and really enjoy working with people who share that love," she admitted.

She hasn't ruled out writing more in the future though, because it is something she gets a lot of pleasure out of.

"If I can bring someone to laugh or cry with my characters, and take them out of their own troubles for a few hours, I think I've accomplished something good."

(Contact Diane DeHamer at

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