Day 20 Darynda Jones – Forever A Hopeless Romantic

Love Can Conquer All

Fifth Grave Past the LightI was born a romantic, I’m certain of it. Even if it didn’t manifest fully until the first time I saw Disney’s Cinderella, from that moment on, I was lost. Forever a hopeless romantic. Forever a glass-half-full kind of girl. And I believe that line of thinking is very much at the heart of all romance. That positive message that says “No matter how bad things get, love can conquer all.” Cliché? Yes. But also true.

Romance has always spoken to me in a way that nothing else does. What other genre evokes such hope? Such strength? Such autonomy? And don’t we need that in our lives? That knowledge that love can overcome? That love can bind, make us stronger, forgive, and heal? It is universal. It spans continents and cultures. There is no age limit. And, most importantly, it gives us the warm fuzzies. Who can resist the warm fuzzies?

But it goes much deeper than that. Jane Austen said, “There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.”

And therein lies the key: forms.

Anyone who actually reads romance (as opposed to those who sit back and judge it based on the fact that physical intimacy makes some people uncomfortable) knows that there is so much more to it than just physical attraction. Romance teaches us that love is to be cherished and shared. That it lifts and edifies. That it never degrades or belittles. It is not jealous or manipulative. And isn’t that a lesson we WANT our sons and daughters to learn? Don’t we want to give them the strength to not only become successful and autonomous, but the power to pass that on to their partners? To their children?

Death and the Girl He LovesI honestly believe that anyone who reads romance is a better person for it. I hope you agree. If you are anything like me, you look for the romance in everything you read. Everything you see. Take, for example, the movie Aliens. It’s a romance! No, really! Admittedly I have a broad definition of romance, but if there is even the slightest hint of a romantic relationship forming in anything I read/watch/hear, it’s a romance, by gosh. And there was a romance blooming between Hicks and Ripley that kind of took my breath away. That could be why it’s my favorite out of the entire franchise, second only to AVP, which also has a romance. True, it’s between a gorgeous woman and an alien, but it’s there, I tell you. And it made me love the movie all the more.

Think about it. Where would we be without a little romance sprinkled into our daily lives? For one thing, we wouldn’t have eighties love ballads. (Come on. You know you like them.) So I challenge you to go forth and spread the word: Romance Rocks!


I would love to recommend a very new author named Lorenda Christensen. Her debut Never Deal with Dragons is terribly cute and creative. I really loved the story!

Questions for Darynda:

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

I have a small knickknack that was made from the vertebrae of an animal I dare not name. It is odd and fascinating and looks like a psychotic version of a ferret. I keep it because it’s cute as all get-out and my father-in-law made it. I adore my father-in-law and keep everything he makes.

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

It would be called, Living with ADD: One Girl’s Strug…LOOK! A chicken!

I’m fairly certain Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts would fight tooth and nail for the part, but it’s late and I tend to get delusional when it’s late.

What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?

I get them everyday when a reader writes to tell me how much she enjoyed one of my books. There is nothing greater!

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?)

Since I am mostly known for Charley and Reyes from the Charley Davidson series, I’d have to go with them, though Lorelei and Jared from the YA Darklight Trilogy are fun too. As for other writers, I am torn between Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I and JR Ward’s Lover Awakened. (Zsadist anyone?) As you might can tell, I fall for the tortured heroes.

You are reading this essay at Be sure to visit the About Read-A-Romance Month to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are participating in celebrating the romance genre during the month of August.  Also visit the Awesome Contests page to see how you can register each week to win “A Month of Romance” (31 books), e-readers, and even the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!

*** Sorry for the mistake earlier! So many details, and I sent Super Tech Guru the wrong email. Darynda is generously donating one hardback copy of Fifth Grave Past the Light.copy ( U.S. readers only, apologies to international fans). U.S. 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 11:59pm EST Aug 20 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.

Darynda JonesNYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal.

As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at

  Buy Darynda’s Books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble


  • Melanie Backus

    You would be a new read for me and I would love it!. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  • Lorelei’s Lit Lair

    I totally agree on that romance makes you a better person. Loved your post and answers!

  • Peggy Edge

    I love Charley & Reyes. I can’t wait for the next book!

  • mariannewestrich

    Love Charley and Reyes! Thank you for sharing their romance and giving us that escape!

  • Meredith Richardson

    Hey Darynda 🙂 you’re a new author for me but I’m looking forward to checking out your books. I love finding new authors… As you read more romance books over the years it feels like I’m slowly working my way through them all but this month has shown me that I was wrong… There are tons of new authors and books coming out each day 🙂 it’s like discovering an endless supply of Starbucks coffee and chocolate hehe

  • Britney Adams

    Thank you for the introduction to Darynda Jones!

  • Ketta Peters

    I bought the first 4 Charley Davidson books when you had them on sale at the end of June, and I’m so glad I splurged, I *LOVE* them! Keep writing, I so enjoy your books.

  • sin

    I just love the Charley Davidson series. I am on book 4. I hope you continue. Think I have a soft spot for the Son of Satan 🙂

  • aqrose

    love Darynda! That was an excellent essay or being a romantic! <3 I knew I liked her! 😉

  • Mary Rogers Breneman

    Reyes has to be the hottest fictional character ever 🙂 !

  • Dear Darynda, thank you for your amazing essay and for the international part of the contest! I have read in italian the first and the second book in Charley Davidson’s serie, but I think I’ll try to read the others in english because I CAN’T WAIT all this time!!! Beautiful characters, amazing story,a lot of humor…Thanks a lot!!! 😀

  • Renee Sass

    Love your books! Thanks for writing such great characters!!

  • Kim Cornwell

    I’m finding so many authors I’ve never heard of on here. I would love to read your books and will be looking for them! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kim

    I have First Grave in my TBR pile and hope to get to it soon. I’ve heard good things about the series.

  • Valerie

    I share the love of Cinderella and the history but my version is the Rodgers and Hammerstien with Leslie Anne Warren

  • Marilyn White

    Darynda, I love your “graves” series. I have Fifth Grave Past the Light waiting for me on my Kindle. Charley makes me laugh out loud, she is the best grim reaper ever. 🙂

  • Mary McCoy

    Thank you for your books, and I look forward to reading Lorenda’s books!

  • Krysten Michelsen

    Just finished Fifth Grave yesterday, and I absolutely loved it! Can’t wait for the next one!

  • Marie Brown

    I LOVE Charley Davidson! These books along with Darynda Jones’s Darklight Series have made me rethink the term romance and what it means to … broaden the search on romance books. Thank you so much for the chance to win. 🙂

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    Wow, I get it now! When I was a kid, I watched The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella every year. I always preferred Cinderella, but I could never figure out why! Both were great, both were musicals (which I love)… I already knew there’s no place like home, but Cinderella had the romance I loved! Thank you!

  • Pamby50

    I never thought of Aliens as a love story but now that I think of it, you’re right. You can find romance in anything. Looking forward to reading one of your books.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Haha, love to hear someone else is always looking for (and finding) romance everywhere. Some of my favorite movies/books are not traditional romances but I love them because of the slightest bit of romance “sprinkled in” as you put it. I am super excited to check out your Grave series…sounds right up my alley!

  • Larena Hubble

    I love your books. I think romances definitely inspire hope that love does conquer all. It also helps you get lost in the story and shows that anything is possible.

  • Sue G.

    I love your funny sense of humor! I have a daughter who is borderline ADD. We always joke with her……squirrel, instead of how you used chicken!

  • QuenKne M

    i, too, am a romantic through and through. I absolutely love Jane Austen’s saying that “there are as many forms of love as there are moments in time” – how true that is!!! Now we just need to get more people to understand and believe it.

  • MaryC

    Love the post!

  • Heather @ Redheaded Bookworm

    I love both of Darynda’s series!!! Great questions!

  • Cheryl C.

    Great post. I’m always so thrilled to hear of a new “Grave” book coming out. You have some of the most interesting and unforeseen plot lines I’ve ever come across. Truly diabolical. I approve. I’m not sure how I managed to miss your YA trilogy, but I’ll be certain to look them up. Thank you.

  • Mo

    Wonderful post. Life is too short not to be a glass half full person and enjoy all you can.

  • Kristen Pfister

    Love the title! You have peaked my interest! Adding to my reading list!

  • Ann

    Charley & Reyes ROCK!!!

  • leah g

    I just recently started reading the Charley Davidson series, as in I am halfway through book one. I have no idea how, but I didn’t realize it was romance, I am quite enjoying it!

  • Raine Dawson

    Romance does rock! Her books are ones I never tired of-and she’s my kind of girl: Zsadist?! YES! Until Reyes he was my guy-but hey in my world of romance who says I can’t dream of 2 hot bad guys!!! Thank you for featuring her and thanks to Darynda for (writing) the post and q & a.

  • Stephanie Fredrick

    I completely agree about romance. It does teach us so much and I believe people who believe in it and read are that much better for it. I also believe it comes in many different forms.

  • Christina Crihfield

    I love these books, and I think Darynda killed me with the post-it notes in books 5–killed me! LOVE IT!!!

  • Glenda

    Veryntruenthat romance can conquer all. Love the Jane Austen quote too.

  • Beverly DeeAnjello

    I’ve enjoyed the Grave books and the Death books. I always look forward to a new installment.

  • Mya Pinion

    I love Reyes so very much! Charlie is so awesome, too, lol. She’s really one of my favorite characters, and I love re-reading the books before each new release. It stinks that I have to wait so long between books, but it’s always worth the wait!

  • Laura Z

    Really enjoyed reading the 1st Charley and Reyes book, have book 2 waiting on my Nook to read. Really enjoyed reading your essay on romance,

  • BookLady

    Love your Charley Davidson series! I have read the first three books in the series and look forward to completing the others. Charley and Reyes are a great couple. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on romance.

  • Barbara E.

    Lovely essay Darynda! I agree, romance does rock! I don’t know what I’d do without my romances to read, at this point that’s pretty much all the romance I get. 😀

  • The first few sentences of your essay say it perfectly! And I love the covers of your books!

  • LaniM

    You just defined why I have loved romance for so long! Your essay was a pleasure to read. 🙂 I love both your adult and YA books. All the best.

  • Karin Anderson

    Hi Darynda! I totally agree with you. Romance is all around if you look for it. 😀

  • donnas

    I completely agree. Life is better with a Romance in it. And Im still hooked on Cinderella and dreaming of finding my prince soon

  • Kim

    I agree with all of your reasons for loving romance! I also am a big fan of the Charley Davidson series! Charley is a great heroine!

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    “Some day my Prince will come…” Yeah that’s me too, Darynda. We’ve been married 35 years now and I credit a lot of its success to marrying a romantic and to the reading of a lot of Romance

  • rebecca moe

    Great post! I’ve got Never Deal With Dragons sitting on my Kindle, and am planning to read it soon (and get caught up with Charley Davidson too!)

  • Nancy Huddleston

    I believe in romance. I believe in happy endings. I believe in hope for a better tomorrow.

  • Tina Hansen

    Great post!

  • Chelsea

    Love DJ!!! She is awesome and her books are amazing! I enjoy reading romance and I really love falling in love while the characters do also!

  • Jen C

    I definitely need to read these posts today. I just listened to my colleague go on about how awful romances are. Dumb fool!

    Keep up the great writing and we’ll keep up the reading!

  • Stephanie M.

    Cinderella was it for me, too. Thanks for your essay. I enjoyed it.

  • moonlightfan78

    I definitely consider myself a “glass slipper” kind of girl. I believe that love and romance are important in our lives, too bad so many of us lose it in the everyday hustle and bustle