Beatriz Williams – Beloved Romance and Glorious Joy

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

Joy is Good for You!

Ah, the joy of romance! I’m sure many of you read that piece in the Atlantic some time ago, denouncing the beloved genre, which I’d Google for title and author if I could be bothered. I don’t remember all his cunning turns of phrase, but I do recall my mental impression of a pale and angular twerp, consumed by joyless smuggery as he stabs away at his keyboard, whose wife probably keeps a stash of romance novels hidden under the bags of organic potting soil in the garden shed.

Anyway, the gist of the piece was something about how there’s no point in reading anything other than Worthy Books, the classification of which must be strictly defined by joyless twerps who write literary criticism for the Atlantic, and I just felt so sorry for this poor man, who says up front that he can’t tell the difference between Fifty Shades of Grey and, say, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, mostly because he hasn’t read either one. Or any romance. Ever.

I mean, dear me! Where does that kind of thing end? Do you pass up the chocolate, too? hundred summersDo you never know the difference between dark and milk, or dark with sea salt and dark with dried cherries, or dark with 80% cocoa and dark with 66% cocoa? And then you write an article for the Atlantic about how you think it’s much more wholesome to eat nothing but kale and quinoa salads (no dressing, for the love of God!) and therefore everyone should always eat kale and quinoa, because they fight cancer and give you regular bowel movements, and if you chew long and carefully you’ll understand the rare pleasure they confer.

Well, I say to the devil with that. (And I say this with authority, because I do sometimes eat kale and quinoa salads—with dressing—and even like them.) I say, let us eat a varied diet of fruits and vegetables, meats (if you’re a meat person) and fish and fragrant French cheese. Let’s eat sweet potato fries with maple dipping sauce. And let’s eat chocolate, all kinds and all flavors, because it turns out chocolate is full of hidden worthiness, too, and brings you joy.

Let’s read from a varied shelf. Let’s read biographies and plays, historical fiction and contemporary, mystery and thriller and—above everything else—let’s read romance, the beloved genre, the oldest and best story in the world. Because romance brings you joy. And joy, my friends, is good for you.

Beatriz recommends:

Mainstream: Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes by Jules Moulin (Jules on facebook) 8/25 

Genre: Anything by Meredith Duran ( )

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

Every year, my husband and I take our four children on a three-day hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a place of extraordinary natural beauty…and some of the worst weather in the world. Last year, as we climbed up the challenging Ammonoosuc Ravine the southwestern slope of Mount Washington, conditions began to deteriorate. Rain poured down, the rocky trails grew treacherous. The water crossings turned to raging torrents, and my husband had to carry our six-year-old daughter across many almost impassable sections. Meanwhile, my thirteen-year-old son teamed up with another boy and went on ahead, out of sight in the rain and the blistering mountain wind. The climb was endless, our pace slow, our boots and socks heavy with water. Then the rain turned to hail. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the pure joy of rounding a boulder and catching sight of the corner of the Lakes of the Clouds hut—our destination that day—and then opening the door and finding my son safely inside, drinking a mug of well-earned hot chocolate, having led his less experienced buddy to shelter. (The boy’s parents, held back on the trail by a younger sibling, were pretty grateful, too!) It was the joy of massive relief, and also the joy of accomplishment. And it tasted like instant coffee. Cups and cups of it.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

So my parents raised me on opera. That was their thing, and it became mine, and when I moved to New York City after college, the first sight that made me gasp was the gold-lit fountain of the Lincoln Center plaza, glimpsed through a taxi window on my way up Broadway. Two years later, as my boyfriend led me through the plaza on the way home from dinner, he stopped by the fountain and dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. Because he knew. And that’s my place of joy, now and forever.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Well, continuing on the theme in the previous question, the sheer exuberance of Mozart has transformed my day more than once. The overture to The Marriage of Figaro once solved a severe case of afternoon mom-taxi road stress – it just bursts with joy and verve.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

Those early Amanda Quick Regencies gave me so much joy in college! They were the perfect antidote to a perfectly unsatisfactory love life, accompanied by too many mint Ghirardelli chocolate squares to count.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Christopher Plummer (as Von Trapp!) is my nostalgia choice, but my kids will tell you (rolling their eyes) that I’ve recently developed a wholly unsuitable crush on Thor.

Beatriz is generously giving away a bundle of A Hundred Summers and The Secret Life of Violet Grant (both in trade paperback) to both U.S. and international readers.

BW jacket photoBeatriz Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels, including A Hundred Summers, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, and Tiny Little Thing. Her next book, Along the Infinite Sea, appears in November. As Juliana Gray, Beatriz has written six historical romances, including A Lady Never Lies, winner of RT Magazine’s Best First Novel award. She lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children.

Buy Beatriz’ books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

(Please note that the Amazon button and most cover images link to an affiliate page that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!)

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  • Marissa Yip-Young

    Interesting recommendations.

  • Dear Beatriz, well said! I’m so disappointed by critics who are talking bad about romances, but always well on other books (that don’t ever fit the term “well-written”) only because they are dramatic or published by famous editors or written by some dude-actor-turned-writer. And I wonder: why romantic comedies are so universally loved also by critics and romantic books not at all?

  • Anna

    Well said! I too have fond memories of Mozart’s overture to The Marriage of Figaro, since my grandfather loved Mozart and would often have it playing when we went somewhere together. I still think of him every time I hear it.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I really enjoyed the Secret Life of Violet Grant. I look forward to reading AHundred Summers.

  • Karen Mikusak

    Although you are a new author (to me), I would love to try your books. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Lisa Hutson

    What interesting covers. I am completely swayed to or away from a book by its cover and these would get me to check them out!

  • Patty Vasquez

    With every essay I’ve read, I’ve wondered how I would answer the question about a time I felt a moment of sheer joy. You’re comment about the joy of relief triggered my own joy of relief memory. My then 12-year old daughter was in the hospital after being sick for 3 weeks with a persistent fever and cough. Every medical person who came into the hospital room had to wear a mask because of her cough. They drew blood and took her blood pressure every 4 hours, even through the night. It was awful. After every test imaginable, a pediatric rheumatologist walked into the room after dinner one night. He was in the requisite mask. He took one look at her swollen fingers and joints, removed his mask and said, “Oh, you’re going to be one of my patients.” I wept with joy and relief just to have a preliminary diagnosis (a form of juvenile arthritis) and to know there was a way to go forward.

  • Molly

    I will be reading one of your books soon.

  • Aleen D

    I enjoy Amanda Quick’s novels too! You are definitely on my TBR list 🙂

  • catslady

    You are a new to me author but I love finding new stories to read – sounds good!

  • Christyna

    O.M.G! Love this post! All the different chocolates. Love them all and they are all yummy!

  • Susan Illis

    I love your books and cannot wait to read Tiny Little Thing!

  • mariannewestrich

    Love reading all types and genres. It keeps everything fresh!

  • Jennifer C

    I love your books! Truly great stories! I loved what you said about reading and enjoying different genres, too.

  • Kareni

    I’m for chocolate of all types (Fifty shades of chocolate?!) but am also known to eat Kale. Thanks for a fun post.

  • I agree to read widely. I just read a book that was outside of what I typically read. Then that book inspired me to read more books in a different direction that I might not have found otherwise.

  • Carol Luciano

    I love, love your books. Thank you so very much for all the hours of reading enjoyment they’ve given me. I enjoyed your post.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol ((dot) com

  • Dawn Anderson

    I like variety in the books I read, but I always return to romance.

  • Rhi

    variety is certainly the spice of life! I remember reading that Atlantic article and being very annoyed.

  • Michele Hayes

    I love finding authors that are new to me. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Erin F

    Oh… that is totally it! You need a well rounded diet of everything and books are very high up on the list. Everything can bring you joy if you let it, and boo on those who feel that they can condescendingly tell you otherwise 😉 thanks for sharing!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Your a new author for me, thanks for sharing and posting.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    You are on my must read list of authors after being recommended by many of my favorite authors. My husband loves Opera and introduced me to it. I can see how the Marriage of Figaro can soothe a hectic mom day. I’m looking forward to reading your books. Thank you for your post. I really enjoyed your commentary on that Atlanta writer.

  • Joan Varner

    I don’t remember that writer in the Atlantic either and I don’t care to remember. It’s a typical opinion that all of us romance readers have heard over the decades. It’s sad but old and archaic. Thanks for your post.

  • Pamby50

    I remember that article. I thought what a jerk. I feel sorry for the people who can’t read a romance book. They have no idea what they are missing. I see you like Ghirardelli chocolate but I grew up in Chicago and swear by Fannie May. Looking forward to reading something by you.

  • marypreston

    Nothing better than reading across all genres.

  • Linda Henderson

    You are a new to me author but I’ll definitely be checking out your books. I love discovering new to me authors.

  • Diane Sallans

    Beatriz is a new author for me – thanks for the intro!

  • Letty Peña Blanchard

    Would love to win!! Thanks for the chance!

  • Kathryn Trask

    I enjoyed A Hundred Summers on audiobook and look forward to reading more by yourself!

  • Kai W.

    What a wonderful post. I haven’t read any of your books. You are a new author to me.

  • K Davis

    I’m excited to find a new author, and some new books. I’m adding both books to my wish list. 🙂

  • Texas Book Lover

    I was not raised on Opera but I had the greatest English teacher in 7th grade who took us to see one and I remember absolutely loving it. Unfortunately I have never been back…maybe one day!

  • Mary McCoy

    Yes, let us read the whole menu of categories of books.

  • kirsten west

    Your take on joy brought a smile to my face and made me laugh!

  • Bernadette Long

    I enjoyed your comments:)

  • Sue G.

    Oh my, your 3 day hike sounds like a suspense story in the making!

  • Sheila M

    I loved those early Amanda Quick books as well.

  • Rochelle

    Loved your post. I get so tired of people berating romance novels. Reading, no matter what the genre, is such a pleasurable treat.

  • Chanpreet

    I’ve never seen the opera live, but a close family friend introduced me to The Phantom of the Opera as a child and I totally fell in love with that story! If you think about it, operas are a visual form of romance, There are both the heights of love and then the absolute lows too.