Day 2 – Joyce Lamb

Saving the World, One Romance at a Time

Hi, everyone! Joyce Lamb here. Thank you so much, Bobbi, for inviting me to participate in Read-A-Romance-Month with all these amazing authors! What a wonderful event you’ve put together, 31 days of reminding us all why romance matters. (*Happy to have you, Joyce and thanks for all you do at the HEA blog! ~B)

Personally, I believe that if more people read romance novels, the world would be a much nicer place. Like the old “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” ad, I’d hand a romance novel to every driver who’s freaking out from road rage, every impatient co-worker, every rude person I’ll meet this week. Nothing like a happy ending to cheer up a cranky soul.

Plus, there are these benefits:

Resolving conflicts: Like life in general, romances are packed with conflict. Usually, the hero and heroine are at such intense odds that it seems as though they’ll never work it all out. But they do. Every time. And it takes compromise and acceptance on both their parts, the ol’ two-way street. It’s never easy, but it’s always worth it.

Getting over it: Heroes and heroines always, always have baggage. Lots of it. So much of it, in fact, that Bill Gates would have trouble paying all the checked-bag fees. To get their happy ending, they usually have to get over something, or at least learn how to cope. We could all use some help in that department.

Learning how to say you’re sorry: Heroes and heroines often do and say horrible things to each other over the course of their romance. When all is said and done, though, they say they’re sorry. “I’m sorry” can heal myriad emotional wounds. I’m thinking the world needs a whole lot more “I’m sorry.”

So the next time someone gets cranky, consider handing that person a romance novel. (And if it’s a road-rage-y driver, try not to throw it at them.)


Since we’re all always looking for good books, I’d like to recommend new author Ana Barons, especially for anyone who loves romantic suspense.  Her first book, Wrongfully Accused (Carina Press), came out in January, followed in July by Son of the Enemy (Samhain) and Betrayed by Trust (Carina Press). Sizzle-y, suspense-y and sexy … it’s there in all three books in spades.


Questions for the Author:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

I have a white, life-size ceramic cat that doesn’t go with the décor yet sits in a prominent place of honor. I keep it because it was my grandmother’s, and I think of how fun she was every time I walk by it.

If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)

Happy Ever After, because that’s the name of the romance novels blog I do for USA Today.
Betty White would definitely play me, not because I’m in my 90s and have white hair, but because I adore her and she’s so funny. I’m sure she’d agree to star in a heartbeat.

What is the best non-monetary gift you’ve ever been given?

The book Boo: The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog. Because it sits on my desk at work, and when I get stressed, I pick it up and flip it open to a new page. Instant relaxation! (Always accompanied by a heartfelt “awwww, so cute!”)

If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be? (Any picks for romance novels in general?)

I would recommend Sam and Mac from True Shot, the third book in my True trilogy (you can read it as a stand-alone). Sam’s a super spy and Mac’s a snarky journalist. She’s alpha, and he’s beta (at least in the beginning of the story), and I love the back-and-forth between them. And when Mac’s inner alpha comes roaring to the forefront to protect Sam – kills me every time.

For romance novels in general, J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas and Roark are my all-time favorite couple. They’re the perfect combination of heat, conflict and swoonworthy schmoop.

Joyce is generously donating a copy of True Shot to give away (U.S. only, apologies to international readers.) To enter, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both.  (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.)  Comment entries must be posted by midnight EST Aug 2 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.


Joyce Lamb is a three-time RITA finalist for romantic suspense and curator of USA Today’s Happy Ever After (HEA) blog devoted to romance novels, their readers and their authors.

You can find out more about Joyce and her books at or connect with her on Facebook ( and Twitter (@JoyceLamb).

Read Bobbi’s post on the USA Today HEA blog here. (If you love romance, you should keep an eye on that blog!)

Search for Joyce’s books on Amazon.

  • Thank you so much, Joyce, for taking part in R-A-R M and for having me on HEA yesterday! You’re such a wonderful spokesperson for romance, and I truly appreciate all you do!

    • JoyceLamb

      Thank YOU, Bobbi, for putting this all together — I know it’s only day 2, but it’s amazing already! : )

  • Jen Ferraro Stepke

    I do like your idea of giving everyone a romance novel, especially the road rage-y drivers ha ha ha but I would probably be the one to throw it! 😉

    • JoyceLamb

      Heh. Me, too!

  • Ana Barrons

    Thanks, Joyce! And by the way, I also love Sam and Mac but let’s not forget how HOT Charlie and Noah were in book #1 of the True series!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Ana! xoxo

    • JoyceLamb

      Thanks, Ana! Yep, I had a tough time choosing, but I love Mac’s sarcasm, so he and Sam won. It was close. : )

  • Tory

    Great post! I really enjoyed the first 2 books in the True series! I didn’t realize the 3rd was out.

    • JoyceLamb

      Now you know! : ) I had an amazing time writing Sam and Mac’s story. They were a lot of fun. And I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the first two Trues!

  • Bette Hansen

    thanks for recommending Ana Barrons always nice to learn of new talent to watch out for

  • Diane Giarrusso

    Wise words, indeed! Thanks for your post!

    • JoyceLamb

      You are very welcome! I enjoyed writing it. : )

  • Meredith Bond

    Love, love, love Joyce! She promotes romance like no one else (except maybe Bobbi), is a great writer and a really nice person (what’s up that?). Thank you!

    • Agreed! xoxo

    • JoyceLamb

      Back at ya, Merry! : )

  • Amy McKechney Lang

    Love the fact that your grandmother’s ceramic cat has such a place of honor in your home! My bookshelf & desk belonged to my grandparents and are the major pieces of furniture in my den.

    • JoyceLamb

      Yep, my other cats (the real ones) used to get jealous, but they seem OK with it now, probably because the ceramic cat doesn’t get any of the real cats’ treats. : ) A bookshelf and desk from your grandparents — that’s awesome! What a nice reminder of their love every time you sit down to write. : )

  • Britney Adams

    Great thoughts! Thank you for sharing!

    • JoyceLamb

      You are most welcome! : )

  • Carla Michelle Peavler Alcorn

    I am so excited to discover you as a new author! This is what’s so great about women coming together for romance :o)

    • YAY, Carla! What I hope this month is about! xoxo

    • JoyceLamb

      Most definitely — and it’s why I love doing the Happy Ever After blog. The romance community of readers and authors is so very awesome. : )

  • Briana Hammonds

    Loved your take on romance & totally agree with the Roark & Eve comment. Love them!

    • JoyceLamb

      They need their own TV show. I mean, come on, Nora’s already written the first two seasons of episodes!

  • Melanie Backus

    Happy endings are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!!!!

    • JoyceLamb

      You are so very welcome! I’m thrilled that Bobbi put together this amazing month!

      • Aww – thank you! I love HEAs – and HEA! xoxo

  • brhill2010

    Your books sound really good, wonder why I have never read one?? Hmm.. going to have to go to the library and get one!! Betty White is hilarious. Thanks for sharing your views on romance!!

    • JoyceLamb

      It was my pleasure! Wouldn’t Betty White be SO fun to hang out with?

      • brhill2010

        yes she would be!!! she is one of the funniest people on tv!!

  • Michelle Zappitelli

    I completely agree with you on Eve Dallas and Roark. They are my all time favorite couple. I’ve read every single “In Death” book and it kills me to have to wait for the next one!

    • JoyceLamb

      I know! I even get early copies because of my blogger role, and I’m STILL impatient for the next one!

  • Hannah Weitzman

    I would love to see Betty White as you. That’s hysterical!

    • right?! ;o)

    • JoyceLamb

      Heh. Me, too!!! I wonder if she’s reading this … : )

  • suepeace

    Love your books!! Great and true post!! 🙂

    • JoyceLamb

      Thanks, Sue! I love writing romance — it’s great therapy. : )

  • Morgan

    Yay for cats and Betty White! And maybe I should keep a romance read in the shotgun seat for all of my road rage moments…

    • JoyceLamb

      Me, too! Some days it seems I’d need a whole pile of romances sitting there at the ready.

  • Ann Mettert

    I love that she wants Betty White to play her. 🙂

    • JoyceLamb

      And I bet I’d get to meet her, too, on the set. When they make the movie …

  • Ruth

    I’m an historical romance gal, but historical or contemporary, your three points are universal. And brilliant. Thanks! Romance does indeed rock!

    • JoyceLamb

      And matters! 🙂

  • christinejensen

    I totally agree! I am a much happier, less stressed person when I am/have finished reading a nice romance book. Happily ever after always makes me want to try harder to work on making my own happily every after out of what I already have 🙂

    • JoyceLamb

      Great outlook! I’m all for writing our own happy endings. : )

    • love this, thanks Christine! xoxo

  • I really enjoyed your post. Explaining to people why romance is lovely can be so difficult sometimes, but all the reasons you listed above are perfect! They’re satisfactory in a way real life rarely is, and give us something to strive for. Thanks for sharing!

    • JoyceLamb

      I know what you mean! I love that when I’m writing I have control over what happens to the characters. Every time I do something terrible to them, I remind myself that they’ll be deliriously happy with each other by the end. : )

  • tonda hargett

    I love the way you connected with the Coke ad! 🙂

    • JoyceLamb

      Thanks! That’s always been one of my favorite ads. I’d change it today to: I’d like to buy the world a Coke Zero. : )

  • TrishJ

    I am such a fan!!! I picked up Found Wanting at my local library, and then glommed everything you wrote. I wish everyone would read at least one romance book. they leave such a happy memory when you finish. I am finding new authors here, so this month promises to be great. thanks for recommending Ana Barrons, I will check out her books.

  • Kim Cornwell

    Love finding new authors! Thanks for your time !

  • Kim

    Great post! You wrote about some of the very things I love about romance novels. True Shot sounds like a really good book and something to add my to TBR list.

  • QuenKne M

    I’m already so excited about “Read A Romance Month” and it’s only day 2!! I would never have discovered you, Joyce, and that would have been a shame since your books sound awesome – I’m headed to check out your website now.

  • Cheryl Hastings

    New author for me, I am so excited!! Loved your post 🙂

  • Jen C

    “I’d like to buy the world a coke”! That cracks me up! I think you post goes really well with Krentz’s post about the variety of romances. I get something different from each one, but at their core, they have these basic elements. How each author puts them together so differently is really fascinating.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    What a great outlook on romance and how it can impact life–I know I’m a generally upbeat, happy person and I am a romance junkie so there you go. I’m thinking that you’ve got a great idea here and maybe I’ll start carrying around paperbacks to give to disgruntled people as I see fit 🙂 Love your thoughts and looking forward to adding your books to my to-be-read list!

  • Pamby50

    I have to thank read a romance. I have never heard of you but have added you to my list of new authors to check out. I look forward to reading the trilogy you listed in the question/answer section.

  • Ann

    Love the idea of “Giving the world a Romance”!!!

  • leah g

    I will admit I don’t read much romance but I am getting into it more lately because my friends tell me I need to read more ‘fun’ stuff and less serious science . Definitely checking out your books now. They sound like they would definitely fit the bill.

  • erom13

    I agree that the benefits are pretty great. There’s nothing like a good romance to calm the mind and get to a happier place.

  • I think you could sum up your reasons why romance is so important in a single word: optimism. Or maybe hope.

  • Laura Z

    The True Trilogy sounds good, I am going to have to go find those books to read. I also am a huge Eve and Roarke fan, love those 2 characters and wait impatiently for the next book to come out.

  • Niki Rittenhouse

    I think boys should read more romance novels. I think that it would allow them to be more realistic about live and love!

  • It’s PERFECT that you speak of the benefits of reading romance! My co-blogger and I think exactly that! It’s why the name of our blog is “Books with Benefits.” It’s also the reason we talk only about romance. We think, as you do, that romance novels make the world a better place. Some of the benefits we talk about most are… let’s see… Reading a romance is Compassion 101. All reading requires adopting a POV that is not your own and that teaches empathy, but romance novels so often feature two strong and different points of view–and all the troubles and miscommunications that happen because of misunderstanding. So there’s no better textbook for a lesson in empathy. We also talk a lot about the feminist nature of the genre: its strong heroines, its female-centric stories, and the entrepreneurial nature of the authors themselves. So glad to find so many other like-minded folks!

  • Linnea Bassin

    I love Betty white, she reminds me of my great-grandmother who would say what she was thinking and didn’t care if you were offended. If you were offended get over it. She always had me laughing. I like the idea of handing out romance novels to people. If only I could get my husband to read them. He might be happier.

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Tell it, Joyce! Life is too short; I want my HEA’s!

  • Lisagk

    I’m impressed by your ceramic cat. Thanks for the post.

  • Jenny Martin

    Ooh I love finding new authors–and spy books are great!