Carla Neggers – The Joy of a Good Love Story

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

The Joy and Hope of Romance Novels

When I was a brand-new author, just a few years out of college, my publisher sent me to a suburban grocery store to give away books. I was paired with another author, a lovely,A Knight's Bridge Christmas smart, funny woman about thirty years older than I was. We had about 100 books each to give away. So much fun! My new author friend would greet everyone with her infectious smile. Most people were gracious and welcoming, pleased to chat and receive a free book…but there’s always one, isn’t there? I remember this one woman pushing her cart toward us, shaking her head in disapproval as she saw we were giving away romance novels. She sniffed and said, “I don’t read those books.”

I didn’t know what to say, and the woman humphed off, muttering to herself about romance novels. My writer friend turned to me with a smile. “Maybe she should read those books. It would improve her disposition.”

Her example of grace, humor and passion for her work and her genre has stayed with me. Her joy in everything about reading and writing romance novels was contagious. To her, there was nothing to explain. Who wouldn’t enjoy a good love story?

For me, part of the joy of writing and reading romance lies in the hope for the future I feel when I come to the end. It’s not that problems go away with a “happy ever after”—life doesn’t work that way—but that enduring love and commitment will make them easier to resolve or, if need be, to bear.

Since that early event at the grocery store, I’ve gone on to write many novels and meet Keeper's Reachcountless wonderful readers. I’ve thought about the sniffing woman and wondered if she was just having a bad day, or if she ever discovered a romance novel she liked, even if it was disguised as such. I’ve seen “I don’t read those books” quickly become “I love romance novels”! And what a happy day that is.

Carla recommends:

A newer author I enjoy is Kelly Moran  ( Wow, what an imagination. Her writing brims with her passion for her characters and stories. All of Me, her next Covington Cove novel, will be out in September. (See Kelly’s RARM post here.)

I’ve been on vacation and catching up on Jayne Ann Krentz  ( ).  I can picture a reader discovering Jayne in any of her current incarnations: Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle. Imagine the binge-reading ahead! Jayne is always fresh, fun and a delight to read. (Jayne did RARM posts in 2013 & 2014. Thanks Jayne!)

Questions for the Author:

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

A few years ago, I took off to Ireland on my own for a mini writing retreat in a tiny cottage on the southwest coast. It was magical. I took time for long walks, and one afternoon as I went around a curve on a ridge above the bay, a vibrant double rainbow arced across the sky. It was breathtaking. Sheer joy!

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

Lately I’ve often thought about family picnics at Quabbin Reservoir. There were picnic tables near the dam holding back the Swift River, allowing the valley to flood in order to provide drinking water for metropolitan Boston. With seven kids, my parents looked for outings that were inexpensive and could accommodate a crowd. We kids especially loved to roll down the steep hill created by the dam. They don’t let people do that anymore. Probably a wise decision! Our picnics are such a happy memory for me. My Dutch father, my Southern mother, my siblings and I together in this beautiful spot in our New England hometown.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

I love the sounds of ocean, seagulls and lobster boats awakening me very early on a Maine morning. We are frequent visitors to the Maine coast, one of our favorite places. Ahhh…I can hear the gulls, the wash of the tide and the putter of the lobster boats now.

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?

I just finished reading It’s the Little Things: Francis Brennan’s Guide to Life. Francis is the proprietor of a high-end Irish hotel and an Irish television personality, and he’s put much of what he’s learned about life, work and people into this gem of a book. As he says, “Spread a little sparkle dust and make the world a happier place.” The book is filled with Irish wit and charm, with many personal asides to illustrate his points.

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)

Don’t make this easy or anything! I’m going with Chris Pine…no, Chris Hemsworth…wait, Chris Pratt…but Chris Rock and Chris Evans are fun…and Christopher Plummer as stern Captain Von Trapp or a wild-eyed Klingon…Ha! One of those moments it’s fun to be indecisive. 🙂

Carla is generously giving away three copies of either Saint’s Gate, the first book in her Sharpe & Donovan series or Harbor Island, the most recent S&D release. Winner’s choice, two US readers and one international. (US readers enter the first giveaway form below, international readers use the second.) 

Carla Neggers pub photo_06-15Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 70 novels, including her popular Sharpe & Donovan FBI series and her Swift River Valley series set in a small New England town. Her books have been translated into dozens of languages and sold in 37 countries. A frequent traveler to Ireland, Carla divides her time between Boston and her home in Vermont, where she is at work on her next novel.

For more information, and to sign up for Carla’s newsletter, please visit



Buy Carla’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Bernadette Long

    I can’t wait to read the next Sharpe and Donovan book!

    • Carla Neggers

      Thanks, Bernadette! I had a great time writing KEEPER’S REACH, and now I’m loving being back in Emma and Colin’s world as I get rolling on the next one.

  • Kareni

    Thanks for a fun post and for the reading pleasure you’ve given me over the years. I like the reading chair you have posted on your Facebook page; it looks positively enticing!

    • Carla Neggers

      That chair cracked me up! Books tucked everywhere. Thanks!

  • Karen Mikusak

    Until a few years ago, I probably would have been that lady in the grocery store who didn’t read “those books”. Now I’m hooked and can’t get enough!

    • Carla Neggers

      I like to think that woman is hooked, too. 🙂

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I look forward to reading your books.

    • Carla Neggers

      Thank you, Dorothy! I’m enjoying all the posts this month on RARM.

  • What a great post and interesting story. I once had a bookstore refuse me a signing because I wrote “smut.” Whatev. Romance is the #1 selling fiction genre. Their loss. Love your books, but you know that. And thanks SO MUCH for the shout out. You’re the best. XOXO

    • Carla Neggers

      You’re welcome, and thank YOU.

  • alisha woods

    can’t wait to read next one

    • Carla Neggers

      Thanks, Alisha! I’m writing LIAR’S KEY now, next up in my Sharpe & Donovan series.

      • alisha woods

        love this series

  • Carla Neggers

    Thanks, all! Many of us come to “romance” by different routes. It’s fun.

  • catslady

    I’m going to guess she never even read a romance. Her loss!! When it comes to books, everything is acceptable. Some people are just so judgmental about things they know nothing about.

    • Carla Neggers

      The world of fiction has so much to offer, for sure!

  • Aye Lopez

    Thanks for the chance!

  • Dawn Anderson

    It can’t be easy to write books in a genre that some people don’t consider legitimate. I’m happy to hear that you and your friend handled that situation with grace. That lady, and many like her, don’t know what they’re missing!

    • Carla Neggers

      Fortunately I rarely run into that kind of attitude anymore, but I’ll always remember that story!

  • Linda Romer

    Hello Carla, nice to meet you. I’m looking forward to reading your books. Thank you

    • Carla Neggers

      Nice to “meet” you, too, Linda! I hope you enjoy the books.

  • LSUReader

    Great story about the book giveaway. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your Sharpe and Donovan series.

    • Carla Neggers

      Thanks so much!

  • Debbie Fuller

    I loved the Sharpe and Donovan book, Saints Gate. Would Love to get my hands on Harbor Island. Thank you for posting here.

    • Carla Neggers

      Thanks, Debbie. I enjoy writing about Emma and Colin, that’s for sure.

  • Carol Luciano

    Great post. I’m going to look aat Frances Brennan’s It’s The Little Things. Thanks for the recommendation.Thank you for the giveaway chance.
    Cairol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Julie Ford

    I love Christmas themed books. Thank you

  • Sheila M

    I loved the response to the woman who didn’t read romances. I often think that the world would be a happier place if more people read romance.

  • mariannewestrich

    I was a part of a book club that wouldn’t entertain reading “one of those romance books”. So, I no longer belong to that book club! 😎

  • Mj

    Great post, always looking for new books to read, so I will add yours to my list 🙂

  • Pamby50

    Love the post. I to wonder what happened to the woman at the grocery store. Any time you can book binge on Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick & Jayne Castle, is a good way to spend your time.

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    Love the new cover…bridge at christmas is a wonderful idea for it…snow…we have em around her and love em..

  • T. Rosado

    I think I was one of those naysayers, but I never would have turned up my nose at an author. Everyone deserves respect even if you don’t agree with what they write. My reason for avoiding romance novels was because my older sister would lock herself in her room with a Harlequin from the time she got out of school until bed – only coming out for dinner. What’s funny is now I want to do that, but I have kids to feed and bills to pay. 🙂 I just stay up way too late in order to get some romance reading done.

  • Linda Henderson

    I don’t know why people are so put off by someone reading a romance book. I can remember taking Harlequins to work back in the 70’s and 80’s and people would just stare. And that was the original Harlequin line. I just don’t care. I take my books with me and I don’t care what they think. I’ll be having some medical treatments in a few weeks and I’ll take my books with me and you know what, everyone there always asks me what I’m reading and want to know all about the author. I have recommended a lot of romance books and authors while sitting in the infusion room for hours on end.

  • Kathryn Trask

    Just reading/listening to actually Jayne Castle’s The Lost Night, because heard so much about the dust bunnies! Have put Saint’s Gate into my wishlist.

  • I hope that that woman has read some romance books and have changed her ideas. For her. All of us need a little joy and hope in different moments.

  • Angela H

    I am going to have to check out It’s the little things – it sounds like a book I would like – thank you for sharing

  • Diane Sallans

    that visit to Ireland sounds heavenly – I’d go with a pile of books to read!

  • Deana Dick

    I laughed when I read your story about the unpleasant lady who refused your books in the grocery store. Talking about judging a book by its cover!!! She really missed out on a great author.

  • Sue G.

    I love my romance books! I have some friends who will poke fun at it, especially the steamier stuff but I just reply that my hubby likes the results of my reading! 😉

  • Brandy Shawne Mesa

    I loved the perspective given about the the woman in the grocery! Just beautiful!

  • Kim

    Thanks for the post. Couldn’t the woman in the grocery store couldn’t just say no thanks? You can’t please some people.

  • Texas Book Lover

    Unfortunately romance gets a bad wrap when from people who would probably like if they gave it a try.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    What a wonderful post. Please don’t get me started reading more authors because I will binge read all of their back books and never get caught up with my other books. I really don’t understand people who look down on reading romance. They not only bring me enjoyment but I’ve learned a lot about people and friendships. In reading historicals I’ve learned about historical times and researched times described in those books. Thank you for sharing your post.

  • kirsten west

    So cool that you went to Ireland by yourself! I’ve often thought about doing that, but haven’t yet.

  • Jennifer C

    I love your books! Thanks for your recommendations!

  • Michele H.

    I was one of those who sniffed at romance, until my senior year in college. A friend handed me an Amanda Quick on a camping trip because it was raining and I was bored. Grumbling, I read it, loved it, and devoured the other 2 AQs she had with her that weekend. A year later, almost same scenario- I said I really didn’t read contemporaries, when she handed me a Jayne Ann Krentz and told me she was the same author I was already a big fan of. From then on, I have tried novels in just about every subgenre of romance, and surprised myself with new favorites.

    It was great to meet you at the RWA literacy signing- I have enjoyed reading the Sharpe & Donovan series!

  • Brenda E

    Love your books. Glad you had another seasoned author to encourage you, and so happy there are romance writers doing their thing, else what in the world would I read to make me smile?

  • Kai W.

    I love reading your romance suspense.

  • Mary McCoy

    Looking forward to reading more S&D.

  • Glenda

    Excellent post! I know plenty of people who “don’t read those kind of books” who either really do and just don’t want to admit it or who think they are morally and intellectually superior because they don’t read books with happily ever after.

    ” It’s not that problems go away with a “happy ever after”—life doesn’t work that way—but that enduring love and commitment will make them easier to resolve or, if need be, to bear.” — I love this! I couldn’t agree more!