Day 6 Cathy Maxwell – Love, The Everyday Miracle

Pity the Non-Reader

I will never understand the non-reader. I do understand not having enough time to read. Anymore, I need a hunk of attentiveness to settle my mind and truly sink into a book. When I was younger, I could pick a book up and—bam—I was in the story. Now, it is more difficult. Life is filled with distractions.

Still, to not WANT to read? To dismiss stories? To only drink them in through other people’s vision via television or screen?


Cathy Maxwell book coverReading is the most intimate act we humans perform. No two people could ever read or experience a book the same way. It is impossible because when we read, we don’t just process words, our minds bring them to life. The characters take on depth based upon our individual life experiences. I’ve returned to books I read thirty years ago, and they were completely different reading experiences because I know more now. I understand and have compassion and, hopefully, the wisdom that comes from living well.

And using my mind this way makes me feel more alive. More aware.

I’m an evening reader. I need the mini-vacation a book offers to settle the day.

My book of choice is a Romance and always will be.

First, no other genre has the wide breadth of stories. There are so many delicious reads. Characters come in all shapes, sizes, and walks of life. There is humor, tenderness, heart-breaking despair, and victorious elation. Even if the heroine is a shape-shifter or a vampire or a street weary cop, there can be love, and acceptance.

Furthermore, after a day of tasks that never end, with the promise of another day and another of the same treadmill, I need the adventure a Romance novel offers. The story of discovery and commitment never fails to remind me that life is more precious when it is filled with people, places, and actions I love. Whether the heroine is struggling to save the family winery or fighting pirates in the Caribbean or plotting the local dance in small town America or a British ballroom, she knows, and my imagination agrees, that it is an every day miracle to love and love well . . . and that the words “happily ever after” should never be taken for granted.



I adored Jenn LeBlanc’s ABSOLUTE SURRENDER (Read Jenn LeBlanc’s RARM post here.)

and Katharine Ashe’s MY LADY, MY LORD (RARM 8/1).

Right now I’m devouring ONCE UPON A PRINCE by Rachel Hauck.

Questions for the Author:

1 – Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

I traveled to Australia alone. I started off with a group of friends who wanted to join me, but as the date of the trip came closer, they begged off. I went anyway. What fearless words! And I was afraid. But the Aussies are the most generous folks in the world and I quickly lost the fear. It was the trip of a lifetime and I am glad I didn’t miss out.

2 – Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I’ve always been a storyteller. I believe that characteristic is a gift just like some of us are born with athletic talent or math skills or musical ability. But even though many of us dream of stories, just a few of us have the discipline it takes to write, rewrite, and rewrite again a novel.

3 – Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

The book that changed my life was FIERCE EDEN by Jennifer Blake. It completely captured my imagination and opened me to just how involved and brilliant a romance novel could be. I’d always yearned to write book, but I didn’t have any clear-cut desire. That changed after I read FIERCE EDEN.

Cathy Maxwell is generously offering five complete sets of The Chattan Curse series to five U.S. winners (entry for the domestic drawing is at the bottom of the page), and one complete set to an international winner (international readers enter here), or a comparable prize at her discretion. 

Cathy MaxwellOver the course of the past two decades, Cathy has written thirty historical romances, hit the New York Times and USA Today lists, been nominated for or won some nice awards, made dynamite writing friends, and has had the time of her life.




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  • Anna

    Romance novels do offer wonderful adventures, and I love to escape from my prosaic every-day life by reading!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Love is the ultimate adventure, no?

  • Deb Hinshaw

    I agree with about life being precious and that love prevails. I read in the evening, too, to wind down after a day that may be long, or not. I romances with humor, and you write witty stories, Cathy. Thanks for being here today.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you for the compliment, Deb. This is a great place to be. I’ve loved all the blog posts I’ve read this past week.

  • Judy C.

    I agree totally. I love to read and can’t understand why anyone would not want to. It’s my escape from life into another world and then I can come back to my life refreshed! Enjoyed your blog.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thanks, Judy. Reading is an escape into another world but many times, I learn great truths about myself through other’s lives.

  • Nicole Fortuna

    Wonderful post. Enjoy your books.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you! And another great name–Fortuna!

  • angryreader

    I have loved your books for years, and will read them for as long as you write them Thank you for the reading pleasure you have given me and so many others.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you! I’m happy to have “angry reader” for a fan. I bet there is a story behind your name. I pray I never disappoint you.

      • angryreader

        I am going to have to update my name! I joined disqus during the Prop 8 ugliness, when I was SO angry that civil rights were being denied to all citizens based on their sexual natures. I have kept it to remind me that there are still states where the fight is not over. When it comes to my books, rather than political arguments, I am really a peaceful Happy Reader!

        • Cathy Maxwell

          Whew! 🙂

  • Kathy Nye

    I love that you travelled alone and loved the trip. I have been doing more of that myself. We can’t miss out on experiences because of the fear of being alone. Thanks for sharing.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Plus life is meant to be enjoyed! Thanks for pat on the back, Kathy. Good to meet a fellow traveler.

  • Cathy Maxwell

    Don’t forget the giveaway! I’m excited to have an international drawing. Let’s make it fun!

  • Joyce Rajnyak Burkhardt

    I so agree about reading. The enjoyment of letting your imagination soar and letting an author create a new world for you, with your own twists, is so exciting. You are one of the authors who helps me end the day on a great note. So looking forward to The Groom Says Yes! (Thank you for sharing your talent with us.)

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Ah, Joyce, you are very kind! BTW, I’m excited about The Groom Says Yes. I believe it is the strongest of the series. I’m very proud and hope you enjoy it, too.

  • Kim

    I agree! I read every single day, I would be lost without my books 😉

    • Cathy Maxwell

      GMTA, Kim. 🙂

  • Christi Marriott

    You are my go-to Romance author every time I need an escape. I loved your comment about being a storyteller. I’ve been told all my life I need to be a writer… And I AM, just not a published one (yet 😉 ). Once my babies are no longer babies and can entertain themselves without me pulling dust bunnies from between their fingers or chasing them away from the cat litter pan, I fully intend to sit down and do it. There are so many stories inside my head just waiting to be told. How do YOU decide which ones get a voice first?

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Christi, What a wonderful compliment! And how do I decide which one to write first? I pick one and go. I commit to it and make it happen. My toughest moments are the first chapters. A story can start a zillion different ways and I don’t have time to try all of them. So I try about ten. Yes, I am a little crazy. Thank you for noticing! 😀 (BTW, there is time for everything we want to do in life. Someone gave me that advice when my kids were babies. She was right. Enjoy the journey and trust the process–that’s my motto.)

  • Martha B

    Loved your very first sentence (I will never understand a non-reader…). Neither will I. I can’t imagine people who go through life without reading. Books transport me to another world (which I love,) and help me visit places I may never see. The world imagined by an author enriches my life. Thank you for doing that for me.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you for your kind words. I am never lonely when I can read. it really is a gift. I worried my son would be a non-reader but all those years of bedtime stories finally paid off. Now I have a family full of readers and a reading grandbaby, too!

  • Sheila M

    I can’t imagine not reading either. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      You are welcome!

  • Rebecca Rybinski Salomon

    As all who are reading this, I, too, love to read. I join book clubs to force myself to read other genres, and I do enjoy them, but my first choice is always romance. I “found” you, Cathy, just this year with the Chattan novels. I have since sped through all the connected books on your book list and now only have a small handful left of the other books. Soon, I will be forced to wait for new ones to come out. Thank you.

    (and in case this appears more than once…third time trying to get it to post….just think of it as “trying different beginnings”) 😉

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Ha! I understand, Rebecca! Glad to have you on board as a reader.

  • Hi Cathy!!! I can’t image not taking time to read. Whether it’s every night or a couple times a week. I feel sad for people are non-readers.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Ah, Kati, Kati! I don’t know what they do with themselves. I get my best ideas from books and I’m talking about ideas for living life.

  • Glenda

    I’m with you on not understanding those who do not read. I’ve never understood them — which caused lots of trouble for me in school!

    Thanks for the recommendations. I loved My Lady, My Lord so I’ll probably enjoy the other books.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Katharine Ashe is wonderful! And just a fun person.

  • cheryl c.

    I agree with you, Cathy, that love is an everyday miracle.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      High five!

  • Linnea Bassin

    I love romance, but my huband who was not a big reader is finally starting to read. He just finished the Hunger Games. He is on to the second book in the series. I know why he didn’t read be fore because he is a slow reader but watching our daughter who is dyslexic struggle to read has given him a new desire to read. She loves to read and she is 9.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Our kids make us change. What a wonderful husband you have. He wants to set an example and had discovered he enjoys it!

  • Sue G.

    Nice write up. I’m a night reader too. Helps wind me down before bed.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Provided we keep our eyes open! 🙂

  • Carrie

    I couldn’t imagine not reading. My husband also loves to read and our house is filled with books. Not long ago we spent most of the day reading. Nothing got accomplished but it was a very enjoyable day. When we eventually buy our own home a library is going to be a requirement 🙂

    • Cathy Maxwell

      I have friends who turned their dining room into a library. We eat amongst their books.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I am a every chance I get reader. The job that I have allows for reading in my down time. I enjoy the face that reading allows you to feel so many things.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      I love recognizing myself in books or some knotty problem I’ve been wrestling internally over.

  • Giveaway of the complete set of the Chattan Curse?! Wonderful!! Thanks so much for this, but most of all for your inspiring words!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      You are welcome!

  • Mary Dieterich

    Those people who don’t read must have plenty of time for everything. I never have enough time to do all the reading I want to. Love reading romance for the HEA and the generally positive tone, even in the face of adversity.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      My TBR pile is as high as the ceiling. I am forever hopefully I will get through it.

  • Stephanie M.

    I used to only read at night to help settle my mind before sleeping. Now, I read in the morning during my commute and still read at night. I love being able to start and end my day with a great story (or two). 🙂

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Lucky you to have a commute and no other choice but to read!

  • May

    I love Once Upon a Prince too! Love happy endings!

    • Cathy Maxwell


  • Patty Vasquez

    My job is to teach kids to want to read. Some years I know I’ve made an impact and other years, I wonder… but I always, always tell my students I read romance books. I tell them I love to read stories that have a happy ending. They always think that’s pretty cool. Then they tell me about their books with happy endings. It turns out love is a universal theme!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Patty, you are the teacher I wanted for my kids. Reading fiction helps engage the imagination which impacts every other endeavor your kids attempt.

  • Jen C

    I didn’t start reading avidly until my 30s. That’s when I picked up a romance. And I’ve been reading voraciously since. In the car, the grocery store, whenever I’m in motion by myself, I’m even listening to audiobooks! I love the joy and excitement that these books bring to my life.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Have you ever reached an appointment but sit in your car listening because the audio book isn’t finished? I’m guilty!

  • Emmel

    Romance is one of the great stress relievers out there. I love that it can give you a break from cares and concerns!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      You are absolutely right. And we all need a break.

  • Glittergirl

    It was so nice getting to know you Cathy. I’ve heard so much about your stories but I’ve never read one yet. It would be wonderful to win here and get started on your books. I’m a Scottish historical romance lover so this is a good series to start with. Thanks for being here 🙂

    • Cathy Maxwell

      I hope you love my books, Glittergirl.

  • Barbara E.

    My book of choice is romance too! I like all sorts genres, but the thing they all have in common is that romance and happily ever after. That’s what’s always drawn me to romance, because I want to believe things will always turn out wonderfully in the end. 😀

    • Cathy Maxwell

      I used to read Tony Hillerman for that one line or two about Jim Chee and Mary. The mystery took up too much story for me! 😀

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I’ve always wanted to go to Australia! I took trips alone when I was younger, but it was always to visit a friend who was an officer in the Air Force. The furthest I went was Hawaii. (I’m in NY.)

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Go, Sharlene, go! They have a great Romance readers organization that holds conferences every other year. You might fly over their alone but you will quickly find yourself surrounded with wonderful new reading friends. Here is the link because i love you–

      • Sharlene Wegner

        Thanks! Need to win lottery first! I will keep it in mind, though! 🙂

  • Ellen

    I read to help me wake up in the morning and I read to settle myself at bedtime. I could read all day if I had the time. I love HEAs and romances. Thanks for sharing, Cathy.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Ellen. I’ve been trying to read an hour in the morning. It is tough to limit to an hour!

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I just recently started getting up early before my husband, dogs and cats are up and enjoying my coffee and book out on the back deck. It is the most amazing way to start the day and I’m pretty sure my entire day is better when I can do this 🙂 I should also mention I read myself to sleep every night and had to give up reading on my lunch break because I couldn’t stand to put my book down to go back to work. So…my name is Courtney and I have a reading addiction. I love your essay and I definitely want to check out your books…I’ve just started reading historical romance again and it seems like I’m finding a lot of authors here on RARM to get my fix 🙂 Thanks for having to discipline to write stories for all of us readers out there!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Courtney. I have the same addiction and it is wonderful. I never want a cure. BTW, just how EARLY do you get up so that you are awake before the dogs and cats???? Mine never seem to sleep. If I move, they are bedside, ready for anything.

      • Courtney Cogswell

        If I wake up around 5:30 or 6 and give them all a quick snack, then they get lazy and go back to bed with my husband. Then, and only then, do I get the nice peace and quite reading time by myself. So there is a little bit of work required on my part, but the payoff is worth it…although some days I will admit that I choose sleeping in a bit 🙂

  • Julie

    Cathy, I love your books. Thank you for sharing your talent

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Julie.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I had lunch yesterday with my closest girl friends & we were discussing reading & how important it is to us. Realize that 2 of the friends are retired English teachers, the other is a retired History teachers & I’m a retired math teacher. It was interesting how important reading is to our well being & balance of life. Were there years where we didn’t have the time or energy to read? Yes, those child raising years while teaching full time. But we sure make up for it now!!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      My least productive reading years were in my twenties before children. They were the years when I was trying to build a career and life was confusing. I’m amazed when I meet writers who writing then and there are a good number of them. Julia Quinn, Sophie Jordan, Courtney Milan and many others.

  • Janie McGaugh

    Great essay! I’ve never been able to understand the non-reader, either. I may vary in what I read or how much time I’m able to spend reading, but I always read.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Janie. Life does challenge us all, but we must always carve out room for ourselves.

  • alisha woods

    I drove from Arkansas to Louisiana alone

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Ah, driving! When I first came to the East Coast I did it alone and driving a long distance doesn’t bother me, but you are right–it is an adventure. Driving can be one of the loneliest activities. Then again, there are audio book tapes. And car dancing! I’m a great car dancer. 🙂

  • Meghan

    I MAKE time to read. There are always a few minutes to read 😉

    • Cathy Maxwell

      That’s what i had to learn. At one point, I was so busy writing, I wasn’t reading. I think that is a deadly place to be for a writer. It is important to be in touch with other people’s words.

  • Geraldine Pierson

    I love to read romance and especially historical romance. My husband was not happy about my reading so I got him interested in reading but he only liked real ghost stories, train books, bathroom readers. Then about 2 years ago he picked one of my books only because it had the word ghost in the title. It was a romance novel with suspense theme by Kat Martin and now he only reads my books. He thought romance books would not be for him but he said that he could not believe how well written they are. I was getting to wonder what he thought I was reading. We had to go out and buy another Kindle Fire so we could each have our own.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Ha! Love this. I also love Kat. She’d adore this story. Some of the best writers today are writing Romance. Many of the top sellers in other genres started in Romance. My sister is convinced I am the best Romance writer in the world because she likes my books and she believes she is too intellectual to enjoy Romance novels. Therefore, I’m the best. And heaven forbid she picks up someone else’s book to test her theory. But she is an avid reader and one day, she’ll pick up another writer’s Romance novel, maybe by mistake, maybe out of boredom–AND THEN SHE’LL BE HOOKED!!!!!! 😀

  • Brenda E

    Great post. Love your books, Cathy. I think my favorite so far is When Dreams Come True. Haven’t read any of the Chattan Curse series yet.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Brenda. The Chattan Curse is a bit different for me. Start at book one and have all three handy.

  • Tina Rucci

    Thanks for sharing details about yourself with us.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      My life is an open book!

  • Gretchen Miller

    Yes there is nothing like reading. There is always something awesome and most lovely that I can always find to read.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      I need the mental world of reading. A phrase or thought will catch my attention and then my day is graced.

  • Joan Varner

    Since I was old enough to read, it has been the best entertainment I could find. I have been all over the world, in different time periods and fell in love. Reading is my escape and my joy.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      High five. Well said!

  • Judy Goodnight

    I totally agree with you on how we, as readers, interact with and bring books to life. That must be why I re-read a portion of my personal library each year along with extending my list of authors to read by trying new-to-me books.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      If a book has completely captured my imagination, I keep close to me. I’ll walk around with it and open the pages to read snippets, and relive the whole experience of reading the book again. The other day I was with Sarah Maclean and she recited the last page of Sandra Brown’s HONOR BOUND, a book she read when she really was in her early teens. And after reading it two weeks ago, I can, too.

  • Karin Anderson

    I love Jenn LeBlanc! I met her at RomCon a few years ago and immediately bought her illustrated book The Rake and the Recluse.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      There is a growing number of Jenn LeBlanc fans out there, Karin. We shall be hearing more from her.


    Need to add this author to my reading list. Great author post

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Please, do, Peggy. I’m happy to meetcha!

  • Pamby50

    I couldn’t agree with you more. When you read a romance book, it takes you everywhere. When you finish the book, you still want to know more. I know what you mean about Jennifer Blake. Thanks for sharing.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      I love meeting other Jennifer Blake fans. I have quite a collection in paperback and e.

  • Laurie Skinner Gray

    I agree with your thoughts on Romance novels. They aren’t the waste of time and fluff most people think they are. Love your books, they’re all on my keeper shelf!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Laurie. I bet my books are in good company. I was so happy when my kids took to books. I have so many wonderful ones to share.

  • Ann Mettert

    I’ve never understood people who say they don’t like to read either.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Puzzling. But people love video games which are so limiting!

  • Sheryl N

    Great author, one of my faves. Thanks for the great post.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      You are welcome, Sheryl.

  • mariannewestrich

    Reading is like breathing … must have both to live! 😎

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Amen. Plus, the first thing I do when confronted with a problem is head to the library.

  • Anne

    Thank you for joining RARM this year. I don’t understand non-readers either. With all the different genres written, how could they not pick one their interested in and read? Thank you for your essay!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      You are welcome!

  • Laurie W G

    I haven’t read any of the three authors you recommended. I will check into their books.
    I’m glad you were brave enough to go to Australia alone. I don’t think I could have done it alone. I know I couldn’t have.
    I believe the first book I read of yours was YOU AND NO OTHER.
    I’ve gotten behind lately due to my 90 yo mom’s fall and my daughter’s recent high risk pregnancy. Luckily both are doing well now.

    I’d love to read your Chattan Curse series.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      I’m so glad to hear your loved ones are doing better. Now for a little “you” time!

  • Angela H

    I have to agree with you that I do not understand people saying they don’t have time for reading. You have time for whatever you want to do so just say you don’t want to read not you don’t have time. Off my soap box now, lol

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you!

  • LSUReader

    “I will never understand the non-reader.” YES! I have often felt that same way. I am a reader in a family of non-readers. “You read too much,” they often tell me. How is that even possible? It’s so good to be here, surrounded by other folks who read not “too much,” but just enough! Thanks for the post, and your wonderful books, Cathy.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      You are welcome, LSUReader. Books have helped given me a vision of what my life could be, plus a game plan to make that happen. Hooray for readers!

  • Erlinda Mejia

    My family used to say I wasted too much time reading…can you believe it? Now who do they call first because Erlinda knows a little about everything because she read about it…Lol. I love your work, thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Erlinda. Let’s face it, with books, we will never grow old or bored.

  • Erin F

    as the only reader in my family and circle of friends, I often felt like the odd man out. But they never gave me too much flack for it… unless I was way late for something… they always knew I got lost in a book 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      I must confess, I don’t understand video gaming. Why would I want a virtual life compared to a real one. Sims really makes me scratch my head. Then again, I’m up to my eyeballs in the Game of Thrones books and isn’t that a virtual life of sorts??? I’m mulling this all over. Haven’t reached a decision.

  • Adaffern

    I can’t imagine not wanting to read, I’ve read my whole life.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Did you read the back of cereal boxes over breakfast? Can you read upside down? I just have to have my eyes and brain busy.

      • Adaffern

        I still read the back of cereal boxes and I can read upside down, I have to stop myself from reading things on other peoples desks.

  • librarypat

    Like you, I do not understand someone not wanting to read. One of our daughters is not a big reader, but we discovered she is dyslexic. Her frustration has not held her back. We just find books she is really interested in and she reads at her own pace. It may take her longer, but she can still enjoy them.
    One thing I enjoyed about working at a library, was being able to introduce people to new authors and books.
    I have enjoyed your books for years and look forward to reading many more.
    Patricia on rafflecopter.

    • Cathy Maxwell

      Thank you, Patricia. My son was a non-reader. Too much work. I struggled to find a topic that would catch his interest. Now, understand, he didn’t mind my reading TO him. I guess he was avoiding eye strain! 🙂 However, now, as a young adult, he has discovered history and he can’t read enough. One never knows . . .

  • Elizabeth Brockway Gray

    I read every day! I can’t remember a day I don’t read. I remember reading under the covers with a flashlight as a kid because I couldn’t go to sleep until I finished the book!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      My sister and I would fight over who got to read the new book first. She usually won because she is the faster reader and has sharper elbows.

  • Gretchen

    I definitely don’t have enough time to read. Every time I finish one book, there are 10 more in my TBR pile!

    • Cathy Maxwell

      And may it always be that way, Gretchen. Whenever I’m troubled or disengaged in life, a good book seems to settle me. I nurture my TBR pile! (And use it for end tables!)