Day 8 Molly O’Keefe – Connections and Reminders

Celebrating Romance

NEVER BEEN KISSED_cover_hires (3)Yes! Let’s celebrate romance! I have two reasons I think romance should be celebrated!

I love reading romance because it helps me celebrate my own real-life romance. I’ve been with my husband for close to twenty years and anyone in a long-term, committed relationship knows, it’s not always easy to keep the romance alive.

And I’m not just talking about sex. I’m talking romance. About glances across a room that convey “I still choose you” as opposed to “can you stop our daughter from trying to punch our son into the ground, in front of all these people?” And hand holding without my daughter in between trying to get us to swing her. And affection more involved than exhausted hand squeezes at the end of the day. And mystery!

After twenty years and endless underwear folding – there is so little mystery.

And I don’t love romance novels because in real life I substitute those 30 year old bikers or dukes or billionaires for my husband – I love romance and celebrate nearly every day because when I read a good one, I’m reminded of falling in lust and love over and over again.

And these reminders are not vague. Not at all. Most of the romances I love with all my heart remind me of what it felt like specifically to fall in love with my husband. To have sex with him. To want him to want me in his life as much as I did him. The anguish of uncertainty. The pain of those moments when we failed each other, acted selfishly, or negligently. The relief of getting back together and trying harder.

This is no small thing. It’s nothing that should be diminished or marginalized. It should be celebrated.Between The Sheets

My career started writing for Harlequin and when I told women what I did for a living and who I wrote for, many of them would tell me about their mom, or their grandma, or their best friend’s mother, or their own sister – who used to LOVE Harlequins. And how they had boxes of them under their bed, or stacks of them beside their favorite chair or beside the tub. And how they would curate books for their friends and relatives, handing over well-worn favorites to create new fans of the genre.

This kind of connection between women is really special thing and also, very much worth celebrating.

It’s nice to take a break from defending this genre we love so well from the people who would denigrate us for loving it – and instead to look at all the ways these books enrich our lives. Once again, Bobbi, thanks for giving us a reason to celebrate!

Recommendation:

Recently I have been indulging in  the newest trend  like everyone else, New Adult, especially Robin York’s Caroline and West Series – Deeper and Harder. I highly recommend it!


Questions For the Author

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

Oh, taking a two year old and a five year old to New Zealand in a camper for 8 weeks is pretty high on that list. So is gettingmollyo fam married and moving to Canada from the States. But I think the most adventurous thing I’ve done – with tons of crucial support from my parents and my husband – is follow my dream of writing.

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 think between my fifth re-read of the Little House on The Prairie Books and being introduced to the Emily of New Moon books, I knew I wanted to be a writer. As I got older I studied journalism and speech writing, but I have always loved romance. After college I decided to try writing one, it took me a few tries, but eventually I sold to Harlequin and have been working steadily ever since.

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

The Emily of New Moon books by L.M. Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables is more popular, but Emily’s quiet intensity won me over. She also wanted to be a writer when I was just sort of realizing that myself.

Molly is generously giving away one set of the BOYS OF BISHOP SERIES (Wild Child, Never Been Kissed and Between The Sheets) to one U.S. reader (entry form below) and one international (enter here).


Molly 126

Molly O’Keefe is the two time RITA award winning author of over 15 books including the Boys of Bishop series from Bantam. Her latest release BETWEEN THE SHEETS is out now. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, two children and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America. You can find her online at www.molly-okeefe.com or on Facebook.

 

Buy Molly’s Books:

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  • TrishJ

    I “discovered” your books last year and gobbled them up. I celebrate romance daily. Like you said, with looks across the room, making time every day for a little special connection or consideration. It takes little time, but leaves a warm fuzzy feeling. Love the Bishop series.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      Thanks Trish!

  • Tammy H

    I enjoyed your post and I love your books!

  • Sue G.

    Loved this post! LOL, I burst out laughing at this : “And I’m not just talking about sex. I’m talking romance. About glances
    across a room that convey “I still choose you” as opposed to “can you
    stop our daughter from trying to punch our son into the ground, in front
    of all these people?” And hand holding without my daughter in between
    trying to get us to swing her”

    This was my life when my kids were little, but it was with 3 daughters. The middle one was always the troublemaker.

  • Martha B

    True confessions,I have not read your books. That said, even before this blog post, I decided to read your book(s). I saw you won a RITA at this year’s RWA conference for Crazy Thing Called Love. After reading that list, I decided it was way past time to read you (and that book). Now, after reading your essay, I’m even more convinced! Would you recommend I start with another book? Let me know, I am still a newbie (to contemporary romance books in the past year). Thanks.

    • Toni Linenberger

      I’m clearly not Molly, but as a huge fan, I recommend starting with Can’t Buy Me Love. That is the first of the Crooked Creek series and a FABULOUS book. I’m also a big fan of reading things in order. Then when you’ve glommed those, move on to the Boys of Bishop. Ty… ::sigh::

      • Martha B

        Toni…. Isn’t that one of the reasons we love the romance community? We’re so helpful to each other. We’re really nice people. LOL. I appreciated your comments very much. Thanks.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      All of my books can be read as a stand alone. So go ahead and jump in with Crazy Thing Called Love – the book out a few days ago – BETWEEN THE SHEETS is my favorite that I’ve written

  • Michelle Harlan

    “The pain of those moments when we failed each other, acted selfishly, or negligently. The relief of getting back together and trying harder.”
    Yes, yes, yes! This is why I read romance. This is why I love authors like Molly O’Keefe and Robin York/Ruthie Knox (she recommends her & I whole heartedly agree!) Thank you, Molly, for sharing such fantastic stories with your readers!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      Ruthie/Robin is amazing!!!

  • Mj

    Now I know two of the reasons I love your books – a fellow Canuck who moved to the US and you loved Little House on the Prairie and LM Montgomery books 🙂 I have thoroughly enjoyed them and cannot wait for the next ones to come out.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      These are the ties that bind!!!

  • Debbie Oxier

    Love it!

  • Jen C

    I love the connection too! — in real life and online! I mean, look at all these blog posts, comments, facebook/twitter connections with authors, etc. It’s like a family.

  • Anna

    I also loved L.M. Montgomery, although my favorite of hers is really the Blue Castle. Talk about adventure!

  • rebecca moe

    I knew there was a reason I loved your books! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read the Little House books. The first thing I ever wrote (that I remember writing, anyway) was a play dramatizing a trip they took on a train…somewhere. I was in third grade, I think. The most vivid thing I remember about it is my teacher made me be Laura when we put it on in class, and I always identified more with Mary. She was totally inflexible about it, and I still haven’t forgiven her.

    The Emily books are on my “must re-read” list. I know I enjoyed them way back when, though Rilla was always my favorite LM Montgomery book. I’ve re-read it to pieces.

    Thanks for posting–can’t wait to read the Boys of Bishop books! They’re on the list–hopefully I can get to them before the TBR pile crushes me beneath it 😉

    • Molly O’Keefe

      I Would love to read that play!!!

  • Erica H

    I loved swapping books with my sister in high school. We still do it today.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      That’s awesome!

  • Patty Vasquez

    With every essay I’ve read since Read a Romance Month, I’ve been reminded of the walks my husband and I took along the water, the romantic dinners we had, the little coffee shop we used to go to, and the way he’d help me survive our daily runs during the early days of our relationship. I’ve fallen in love with him many times over!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      that’s beautiful!!

  • Krysten Mich

    I love when someone recommends/lets me borrow books! A few friends and I pass books back and forth between us as often as we can.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      I only read new books from recommendations by trusted friends – I don’t know what I’d do!

  • jroz64

    Loved learning more about you

    • Molly O’Keefe

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Toni Linenberger

    I love that photo of your daughter and husband! thanks for the Little House and Emily reminder. I loved those books. The best was when Laura and Almanzo fell in love!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      For some reason what I remember most about Alonzo is when he walked out to the barn with the pie in his pocket…

  • alisha woods

    I like that writing for HQ opened doors for discussion with people

  • Kelly

    Connection — yes! I have made many a friend over a well-loved romance novel.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      isn’t that the BEST!!!

  • Kim

    Moving to another country must be such a cultural shock

  • Linda Dunn Chilson

    I have made some great friends on Facebook who also love romance books and authors.

  • Kylan Alexander

    I haven’t read Molly yet but have a couple in my kindle 🙂

  • Jennifer Schultheis

    Such a great writer…loved reading about how you started writing.

  • Kathleen O

    Anne of Green Gables has always been a fav of mine.. I loved the books and adored the series.

  • Ann Mettert

    Never heard of the Emily books. I’ll have to look into that. My gdaughter just got into Little House & her mom wants her to try Green Gables.

  • Mary Minjares

    Molly, your explanation of how and why reading romances is helpful to your 20+ year relationship with your husband was wonderful! It put into words some thoughts and feelings I was having some trouble articulating. Not to “bash” other books, writers, and genres…but I just can’t classify the bondage & S & M books as romances. Sorry to offend, but, “Ick!”.

  • LisaVH

    You summed up why I read this genre. The setting may be nothing like my day to day life but the journey of falling in love is universal.

  • Stephanie M.

    Thank you for this great article. I find it really hard to be imaginative after 19 years of being together (8 of those being married- this month). That’s why I love reading romance. I get lots of ideas, some work, others don’t, while some I’m not sure I’d ever try. I’ll have to add Robin York to my TBR list.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I agree that romance novels can remind one of why we chose our partner. After being together for 34 years, married 32, and having 4 kids together, there’s no mystery. But that’s okay because we still love being together, holding hands, kissing each other good bye when we leave & saying I love you, kissing in public & saying I love you for no reason. My daughter who’s been married 2 years now, together for 8, said we are her role model for a perfect marriage. I hope her children, someday, say the same to her. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I love your post today! I’m an avid romance reader and I think my husband only benefits from it 🙂 Most of my closest friends are also romance readers and I’ve really enjoyed interacting with other readers and authors on social media, blogs and forums such as these. I have been anxiously awaiting RARM for months now so I can go into romance overdrive and geek out over my favorite authors. And the best part of all is discovering new authors to add to my enormous to-be-read list. Can’t wait to read your books and thanks again for your great essay!

  • PEGGY ALLEN

    Loved your post today. I am a reader of Harlequin too.

  • Judy Goodnight

    If there’s one thing that I truly like about social media, it’s the chance I’ve had to meet authors online and ‘hear’ their personal voice. It makes me all the more eager to read their books to hear their storytelling voice. Adding you to my to-read list, Molly!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      thank you Judy – I hope you enjoy them!!

  • Emmel

    What a great way to present long-term relationships! That romance novels remind us of how we fell in love is so true.

  • Brenda E

    Wonderful post, Molly. I really enjoy reading books that remind me of all those nice squishy feelings I felt (and still sometimes do feel) in my lifetime journey with my hubby of 35 years. Glad I’m not the only one!

  • Ellen

    It is always fun to share books with family and friends. Yes, some of Molly’s books have been passed around in my circle of book friends.

  • Gina Burgos

    Great post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Quinn Fforde

    I just explained this same thing to my husband the other day. Romances turn me toward him, not away. I remember and think, “Let’s do that again!” Thanks, Molly!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      toward him and not away – so TOTALLY TRUE!!!!

  • donnas

    Great post. It really is about so much more and congrats on finding your own real life romance. Hoping to find my own one day

  • Marcy Shuler

    I can relate to your post, Molly. It’s hard to keep any form of mystery going since I’ve been married 23 years. LOL

  • Molly, what a beautiful explanation of the special value of writing and reading romances! I related to every word! And a special thanks for mentioning Emily of the New Moon. I’ve never read that series, though AoGG is a special favorite, and now I’m so excited to try it out!

  • Glenda

    Wonderful post, Molly!! Having been there before I’d say any extended travel with young children is adventurous!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I have been married for 23 years & it is tough keeping the romance in the marriage! Especially when there is a plumbing leak or the washing machine breaks! Ack! I find reading romance books at least puts me in a better frame of mind!

  • Rochelle

    Loved this post. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate romance. I am currently in the middle of your Boys of Bishop series, finishing up Never Been Kissed. I am loving this series and the characters.

  • Pamby50

    It is the little things when you’ve been together for a long time. It will be 34 yrs next month. He can still make me laugh & smile.

  • Gretchen Miller

    So very true

  • Linnea Bassin

    It is so true it is hard to keep romance alive. I am glad you have managed to keep up. I have been married for almost 14 years and we have been together for 18 years.

  • mariannewestrich

    Love your books!

  • Diane Sallans

    I’ve always enjoyed Harlequin romance, and have found that often those who disparaged them had never read one.

  • My husband and I are 34 years. And it is not easy.
    We have talked about these things of course. Counting our blessings, mostly.
    But we also feel like its important to LIKE and TRUST the person you choose to be with. When you go on a two week vacation to a foreign country with one person, you better like them! And when you must be a joined force against a teenager. You better like and trust that person.
    Congratulations on your 20 years. Hope you have many more to come.

  • Erin F

    Emily of New Moon!!!!! I’m gonna have to reread that trilogy 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Stephsco

    I love this post. I’m 10 years into marriage and sometimes people are shocked by that becuase we still hand hold, act silly, and sometimes do kissy things in public that probably annoy others, but hey, it’s my life. Not to say there weren’t some brutal times in there. I also love that romance books celebrate that, and how some books show that internal pain in a real way I can relate to, but still wrap things up at the end. We need that in our lives.

  • Peni Anne

    I loved the Anne of Green Gables stories. Never heard of Emily of New Moon. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Bridget C

    I’ve just started reading your books after I won this one on the Romance Dish and I loved it. Now in the middle of Wild Child… Lovely writing, thank you.

  • Cheryl Hastings

    Yep, thats what romance is…the hand holding, and neck rubs, the snuggles in bed!

  • Ruth

    What a touching post. I also adore Robin York!

  • Ellen

    Just finished reading Between the Sheets. Really enjoyed it. Looking forward to your next book.

  • librarypat

    8 weeks in a camper with a 2 and 5 year old is certainly an adventure. The 2 weeks we spent in a camper with our 8 and 9 year old daughters, 11 year old nephew, 1 year old son, and my 59 year old aunt is high on my list of interesting adventures (that I am glad we won’t be repeating). The kids were easy, it was my aunt that gave us a hard time.