Beatriz Williams – Beloved Romance and Glorious Joy

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.

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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

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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 ( meredithduran.com )


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:

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