Day 19 – Art, Books, & Coffee Celebrates Romance!

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Hi friends ~ It’s Blogger Day at Read-A-Romance Month!

I’ve invited some friends of Read-A-Romance Month to do their own posts on why we should Celebrate Romance. Hope you love the posts on Day 19 of the calendar and here, where you can find more friendly bloggers I’ve met through the RARM Facebook page sharing their thoughts.

Happy Blogger Day – Celebrate Romance!

(Art, Books & Coffee is the book blog started by Victoria, the woman responsible for creating all the amazing images and logos attached to Read-A-Romance Month. A talented artist and a joy to work with. You can see some of her design work and other book services at her professional website, www.vmc-artdesign.com — and you should look, because she’s awesome. Though I might be slightly biased. RARM would not be what it is without her. ~ Bobbi)


 

… A little Romance in my life.

Until a few of years ago, I was one of those people who hid the fact that I was a Romance reader. Don’t get me wrong, I haveabc never been ashamed of anything I have read, but I found that justifying what I wanted to read annoyed me. Then one day, I started working with Romance writers on design for their books. What an awesome group of people! I love working on the layouts, designing the covers, and staring at countless sexy men with no shirts doesn’t hurt either. They made me realize that I didn’t need to justify anything. I just needed to read and enjoy.

Now, I proudly state that I read Romance novels. I celebrate them in every way I can. This is partially why I started my blog, Art, Books, & Coffee. I know it is not original to start a blog, but by entering this world, I have been able to read so many more books. Between the technology and social media, authors and publishers are able to get the readers much more than they use to. We get teasers, short stories, and excerpts that hook us instantly. I love it … and you know you do too. 

Now, let’s take a moment and talk about the authors. There are so many talented authors out there! I will admit, I have several author crushes that have developed since my reintegration into the Romance world. My iPad and Kindle are filled with books by Codi Gary, Julia Quinn, Jasinda Wilder, Kresley Cole, Virna DePaul, Stacey Kennedy, Rebecca Shea, A.L. Jackson, and many more. However, what I really love about these authors is their love for each other and their willingness to share books from authors other than themselves. This is a bit of a rarity in the publishing world, but they are fans just like us. These authors have developed a community that loves them just as much as they love us. You can see it here with Read-A-Romance Month. These authors are taking part in an event that celebrates what they love and what they have dedicated their careers to. facebook-coverphoto-blog

So lets give back and celebrate Romance in all the ways possible. Celebrate the fact that there are strong women who are the masters of their own destiny. Celebrate the true-to-life relationships between characters that the reader can relate to. Celebrate the possibility of the Happily Ever After. …And, yes, celebrate those sexy men with perfect abs and their Uber Hotness! 

I say, raise your glass (or cup of coffee) and let’s hear it for the authors, the books, the characters, and our fictional boyfriends! However, I don’t want us to celebrate Romance just for this month. I want the party to last all year.

Recommendations:

My Top 5 Romance Author Crushes
1. Codi Gary – Her Rock Canyon series is awesome & I read all of her books in one sitting. Cody’s website and at Facebook 
2. Rebecca Shea – Her Unbreakable Series is another one that I would recommend to anyone. She also has the next book in the series UNFORGIVEN coming out Sept. 22nd! Rebecca at Facebook.
3. C.D. Reiss – If you haven’t read S.O.S. (Songs of Submission) and you like erotic romances, you NEED to read her books! Warning: These books will jump start your obsession with the author and may cause the purchase of all of her books at one time.  C.D. at Facebook.
4. Jasinda Wilder – Any book by Jasinda is always on my to read list, but I am most excited about her new release of Captured! (…and Beta is coming soon too!) Jasinda at Facebook.
5. A.L. Jackson – This author is just amazing. I absolutely love her books, but her latest, Come To Me Softly, left me breathless & wanting more! A.L. Jackson at Facebook
Want to find out what exactly an “Author Crush” is? Read more about it here.


The Book That Changed My Life

Truthfully, I don’t think that there is one book that truly changed my life. It has been more a progression of books that have ushered me into who I have become today. When I was very little my father use to read to me Uncle Wiggly stories. I loved them, but more importantly I loved the time that I was spending with my Dad. My nightly stories started my love affair with books. As I got older, I found that Nancy Drew Mysteries became my obsession. I looked for every book I could find and desperately wanted to fill my shelves with the yellow spines. And then, in seventh grade, I read Jane Eyre. If there was any book that changed my life, I think you could say that this is it. I read the book in about two or three days and loved every minute of it.  I can still smell the pages of the new book…and yes kids, we read paper books back in the day. It introduced me to the classics that now fill my bookshelves. It is because of this book that I know I was destined to work in publishing. Though I didn’t know it at the time, reading Jane Eyre may be one of the leading reasons by I started reading Romances. 

Since that time that I first sat down and flipped the pages of a book, I have wanted to read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Of course, there have been good books and bad. There have been fun reads and more serious ones. The characters have been with me at various times in my life, through the moments of boredom, happiness, and sadness. Escaping into these stories, if only for a little while, has changed my life by leaps and bounds.

Victoria is generously giving away an Art, Books & Coffee Book Bundle to one lucky U.S. reader (apologies to international friends.) Entry below. She would also like to invite you to join the ABC Summer Reading Extravaganza and enter to win the Grand Prize here: artbookscoffee.com/giveaways.

Happy summer, and happy reading!


VictoriaColottaI am a book lover & a coffee addict who also loves to bake & cook. Most of all I am an artist, graphic designer, & owner of VMC Art & Design.

In recent years, I have been able to work with a great group of authors, consultants, and small publishers. It is because of this that I have started “Art, Books, and Coffee.” (www.artbookscoffee.com) I wanted to be able to share books, art finds, great quotes and anything that has to do with the three things in my life that I could not live without…art, books, and coffee. It is my hope that Art, Books, & Coffee will become a place where everyone can come and talk about literature and art. And if we are all highly caffeinated while doing it…then so be it!

I love to hear what people are reading, what they think of the books that I am reading, and their opinions on art. So… Keep in touch! You can follow me on  Twitter  •  Goodreads •  Facebook  •  Pinterest  •  Instagram 

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  • Catherine Suzanne Crook

    I have only read Codi Gary from your TOP 5! Excited to check out the others!!!

  • Catherine Suzanne Crook

    Oh, my author crush? Can I do my TOP 5 Romance?
    1) Codi Gary
    2) Candis Terry
    3) Dakota Cassidy
    4) Jodi Linton
    5) Sydney Landon

  • Krissybrett Maul

    My author crush would be hands down Jasinda Wilder!! We share the home state of Michigan, although I have moved to New York. I enjoy reading about my home state in each of her books. I came across Jasinda through ibooks by chance with Big Girls Do It Better series, I have become hooked and a loyal fan ever since!!

    • Yeah! Another Jasinda lover!!! And anyone who posts a photo of their dog gets bonus points from me!!! 🙂

  • Debbie Oxier

    I have so many authors but the ones whose books I can never pass up are 1) Marie Force 2) Lori Foster 3) Lori Ryan 4) Christy Reece 5) Laura Griffin. I have other I read, of course, but have never passed on any of the above. Now I will probably have to add Laura Kaye, Norah Wilson, Barbara Longley, and Anne Marie Novark to my list.

    • Lori Foster keeps popping up. I am going to have to read something by her. You know what that means…a trip to amazon.com!

  • Sue G.

    My crushes?

    Carly Phillips (own every book proudly on my shelf)
    Roxanne St. Claire – love her contemporary romance books
    Alannah Lynne – newer author, great contemporary, slightly sexier
    Sabrina Jeffries – favorite historical author

    Nice writeup. Thanks!

    • Love Carly! I have to say that The Chandler Brothers hold a special place in my heart. 🙂

      • Sue G.

        Yep! Roman’s story was the first Carly book I ever read!

        • The series was my introduction to her too. I remember when Kelly Ripa had a book club and it was the first book she chose that summer. I was hooked.

          • Sue G.

            I didn’t find it until a few years later. Our local library was showcasing it with other new romance authors. I liked the cover and was curious…then I was hooked. I got every book she wrote and read them all. Since, I have bought every one!

  • Anna

    Cheers! 🙂

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I love all of your graphics on the RARM site and I just popped over to your website as well. I am excited to check it out and start following your blog posts. I am a huge fan of romance and always have been, with the occasional foray into other genres but always right back to romance. I have so many author crushes (as well as book boyfriends) that I don’t know where to start. I have to say that the tasty ab-filled covers definitely don’t hurt either 🙂 Thanks for your contribution today and I look forward to checking out your website and finding new authors to crush on.

    • Thanks! If you love romance, you should check out the posts by the Loveswept authors all this week. Great group of ladies and they are each offering a free eBook for people who enter the giveaways!

  • LisaVH

    My current author crush is Lori Foster. I just can’t seem to get enough. I have bookmarked the author’s you listed and have already started planning my next read!

    • Let me know what you think! Currently I am addicted to Codi Gary, but I love to hear what other readers have to say too.

  • Erica H

    I am impressed with your graphics on the RARM site. I am looking forward to exploring your blog.

  • Debbie Fuller

    Not far that one person can be so talented! You have a wonderful way with words and love your art!

  • Sheila M

    Thanks for sharing your talents with us all! I have too many crushes to name but my most recent is Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I’ve been reading through her backlist this month. But next month there will be someone new 🙂

  • Quinn Fforde

    Great post! I look forward to exploring your blog.

  • Tammy H

    Great post!

  • mariannewestrich

    My current author crush is Lexi Blake!

  • TrishJ

    I love that romance authors are one big family and support each other. I follow my favorite authors through their own blogs, and what I find fascinating is that they include us readers in that close family. I am a lurker, rarely post anything on their blogs, but I will occasionally. I love Jill Shalvis, Julie James, Kristin Higgjns. They are auto buys for me. I recently added Virginia Kantra and Juliana Stone to that list.

    • I am a blog junkie too! Though, recently I have been getting hooked on the author Facebook groups. Addictive.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I too love how romance authors are one huge supportive family. It gets me excited to see or learn that my favorite authors are friends. My current crushes are Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, Julie James, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Robyn Carr, Susan Andersen, Carly Phillips, & Janelle Dennison/Erika WIlde. I know there are some new ones that I am just getting introduced to & will be added. I never seem to take an author off my list.

    • Isn’t it great! The community is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I am a big fan of a lot of your author crushes too. Jill Shalvis is amazing. I can’t wait for her new book coming out next week.

      • Eileen Aberman-Wells

        You will love it!! I somehow received a paperback arc and am working on the review. She never fails to make me fall in love with her characters/

        • I have the arc too. I am hoping to start it in the next day or so. Would love to read your review when you post it!

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    Art, Books and coffee, all of my favorite things. Reading Susan Vreeland’s Lisette’s List which combines the art and book in a nice package. Drinking coffee and wine while reading. Got to cover all the bases here.

  • LSUReader

    You mentioned how much you like Julia Quinn books. So–which is your favorite Bridgerton novel? I know it’s hard to choose! (Mine is When He Was Wicked.)

    I like a lot of authors. Here is a baker’s dozen of some favorites in romance: Grace Burrowes, Tessa Dare, Jennifer Estep, Laura Griffin, Kristan Higgins, Julie James, Julia Ann Long, Sarah MacLean, Courtney Milan, Kate Noble, Jill Shalvis, Julia Quinn and Sherry Thomas.

    Thanks for the post.

    • How can you ask me to pick a favorite Julia Quinn book?!? If I have too…

      I guess I would have to pick Romancing Mister Bridgerton or When He Was Wicked. Though I do really like The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever.

      • LSUReader

        You’re kidding! I LOVE The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda
        Cheever! “Today, I fell in love…”

        • That is it. I am going to have to do a Julia Quinn blog post. 🙂

  • Martha B

    Oh, my. How have I missed you?! I’ll start reading your blog from now on! I’ve already gone to your web site to investigate further. I can see me losing track of time while I go down the rabbit trail…..Later!

    • That is too sweet! I am a new blog, but I have big plans so stay tuned. 🙂

  • Fantastic graphics on the RARM site! Wonderfully done! And thank you for your suggestions! My crushes are Lexi Blake (Masters and Mercenaries series), Kresley Cole (IAD), Sherrilyn Kenyon (DH), Shelly Laurenston (Pride), Samanthe Beck and Molly O’Keefe. Bye!

    • Thanks! I love Kresley Cole too and will be sure to check out Lexi Blake.

  • Ellen

    So many author crushes, so little time. My current crush is Kristan Higgins. (Really enjoying the Blue Heron series.) Too many favorite authors to mention, but I see a lot of their names mentioned in earlier posts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Chelsea B.

    Oh, goodness. Let me think… I’d have to say Tessa Dare! Heart her books!

  • Emmel

    I love the concept of author crushes. What a great way to express it! I’d say mine are Mary Balogh, CL Wilson, Sarah Mayberry, and Shannon Stacey.

    And thank you for the lovely graphics!

  • Tin

    *Raising my cup of tea with you* — yay to strong women, not just in our romance books, but in real life!

  • Kathryn Albright

    Hi Victoria! So nice to meet you here. Bobbi has mentioned you a number of times–all in a very good way. Thanks for all your wonderful RARM designs. I need to check out your website. I have to say that I have not read a one of the authors on your list of Five. Kind of nice to have some new authors to check out. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • Nice to meet you too Kathryn. Depending on what you like to read, each one of the authors represents a different type of romance. They are a great group of authors.

  • M Kuxhaus

    I’m excited to try out the new (to me!) authors you mentioned.

  • donnas

    Loved your post. Yes we need to celebrate

  • Stephanie Fredrick

    Loved the post.
    So many authors I’m crazy about but a long time favorite JD Robb. Love Jasinda Wilder too.

  • Gretchen Miller

    Yes many authors to love and many books to catch up with

  • Janie McGaugh

    My favorite author crush is probably Ilona Andrews (Ilona & Gordon!)

  • Joan Varner

    Thank you, Victoria. There are so many books to dive into and love and orten so little time to read. My TBR pile continues to grow and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • rebecca moe

    Kristan Higgins. I do a happy dance every time a new book by her shows up on NetGalley 🙂

  • Adaffern

    My author crush is Diana Gabaldon.

  • Kristen Kocher

    Colleen Hoover! She’s so great!

  • Toni Linenberger

    Count me in for the party all year!

  • Toni Linenberger

    Allison Brennan

  • Stephanie M.

    Thank you for the great post. I will add your recommendations to my TBR list. My current author crush is Lori Foster. I also have crushes on Tiffany Snow, Maya Banks, and a number of others.

  • Julie Nieves

    I am so fickle! I have a new author crush every week it seems. Current favorites are Claire Cook and Eloisa James.

  • Michelle Fidler

    Romance author crush is Amanda Quick.

  • Cheryl Hastings

    Author crush….it’s a tie between Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins!!

  • Julia Quinn

  • Marie

    I’m a big fan of Tessa Dare. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for the chance to win!

  • Mrs.Soule

    My author crushes are Jill Shalvis and Nalini Singh.

  • Judy Goodnight

    Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare, and so many more!

  • Thanks to everyone who commented and participated in the giveaway.

    Debbie Fuller is the winner. Along with Krissybrett Maul who won the super secret Jasinda Wilder giveaway! Ladies if you haven’t received my email, you can contact me through my facebook page or at info@artbookscoffee.com.

    Thank you to everyone!