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



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