Jessica Scott – Romance Is Coming Home

August is Read-A-Romance Month


I hope you’ll visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about the Joy of Romance.

(Check out the calendar. And follow RARM on Facebook!)

Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

The Joy of Service and Purpose

When I tell people at in my day job (and usually this only comes up in the interest of Before-I-Fall-KindleThings Not To Surprise The Boss With) that I write romance, the conversation sometimes turns to “why romance?”  Some people struggle with that question but I’ve made my peace with how people view romance. Romance remains stigmatized in certain corners of the writing world and among some people who think of themselves as intellectual. Whatever the reason, the stereotype persists that romance is somehow unworthy of being a profession that one takes joy in.

Romance is my me time. Writing has been and remains a space for me to process everything I’d seen and dealt with as a soldier over the years since the war started. It’s a way for me to draw understanding from the terrible ways that people who claim to love one another will treat each other. It’s always a way to understand what motivates and drives people to the decisions they make. As an author, I have to make people’s decisions believable to me so I have to understand them. It helps me see leadership decisions from different points of view.

But romance for me is also about duty. You might not think of duty as something Homefront-iBooksthat brings about joy but it gives me a sense of purpose. We talk a lot in the military world about how we can bridge the civil/military divide. By writing my books set at Fort Hood during the Surge years of the Iraq war, I’m attempting to put a human face on the idealized soldier that permeates popular media. We say thank you for your service but we don’t actually consider what that means. I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve gotten from readers telling me they’ve learned something from my books about what soldiers go through as they’re either coming home from war or getting ready to go back. It fills me with a sense of pride that my books are making a difference. Sure they’re not changing the world but one reader at a time, I’m able to draw people into a world that is as foreign to most readers as any paranormal world out there.

I draw a tremendous sense of pride in writing the books I’ve written. They’re forged in firebooks I’ll be proud to show my grandchildren one day. I’ve received letters from Gold Star families, thanking me for writing because they feel closer to their soldier who they lost in Iraq. That gives me a sense of purpose and yes, joy in knowing my books have made a difference.

I had a commander once tell me that everything in leadership and life was about relationships. And he’s right. So it’s almost a natural fit for someone like me to transition to writing about relationships, just in another forum that won’t necessarily be read in professional development sessions.

Most importantly, though, I think the romance part of my books is about celebrating love during a dark time in people’s lives. A recurrent theme runningafter the war through my books is coming home from war. We see those iconic videos and images of a wife kissing her soldier or a soldier mom embracing her child after a year way but those images are only partial truths. Coming home from war is a process and one that we know is made easier when soldiers have a supportive someone standing with them. Romance is about finding that someone who will stand with you no matter what and in writing about ordinary soldiers, I’m offering hope for the men and women to my left and right. Hope that the darkness will end. Hope that there will be someone there for you when the lights go out.

That’s what romance is for me. It’s finding someone to share everything with. Laughter and joy. Sadness and sorrow. Good times and bad. Someone who will stand with you. Always.

Jessica Scott recommends:

You’ll notice a trend in the author’s I tend to recommend. They have to make me care and they get bonus points if they make me laugh out loud. Shawntelle Madison’s  paranormals are both funny and sexy. She’s got bite on several levels. (see Shawntelle’s post on 8/28)

I’ve always enjoyed Courtney Milan’s historicals but her contemporary Trade Me blew me away with its honesty and daring. She wrote outside the lines on that book and I think she did a brilliant job with it.

Laura Florand is another favorite. She writes contemporaries centered around chocolate and her use of language is damn near poetic. It’s pure pleasure to sink into one of her books with a glass of wine and some chocolate nearby. (Read Laura’s RARM post.)

Questions for the Author:

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

When I was deployed to Iraq, the thing I wanted most in the world was to come home and see my daughters again. It was a longing that remains really indescribable. All at once, you have to shut off the want in order to focus on doing your job and still, the want is always there. I redeployed but then had to wait two weeks before I could go to Maine and get our girls.

I’ll never forget walking into my mom’s house and hearing my littlest one cries of “mommy mommy”. They both fell on me. I was sobbing and all I could do was hold them tight. I was home. My husband was home. We were a family again. It was quite possibly the very best Christmas.

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

This is going to sound really strange to a whole lot of Army friends but Fort Hood is a place that holds a lot of really great memories for me. It’s where I married my husband, where my daughters were born. It’s the place where my husband and I both came home from Iraq to. It’s where I earned my stripes as a noncommissioned officer and where I commanded as a commissioned officer both times. It’s a place that, when I go back, it feels like I’ve come home. It’s where the Army fits me best.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

This is going to be a little weird but I really enjoy my alone time in my car listening to music. It’s one of the few times when I’m completely by myself, no one is tugging on me – not work, not the kids, not my husband, not anything. It’s just me and some tunes and it feels so good (in a seriously nerdy way) to crank up the stereo and just sing at the top of my lungs. It’s corny, I know. But it’s the one place I get to really just be me with no expectations from anyone else, you know?

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 have to say a book that really blew me away was Alexis Hall’s Glitterland. It came out back in 2013 but it really stuck with me. Alexis writes with such a biting, dark humor that is just brilliant. I really look forward to his books and I’m ashamed that I’m behind on them these days because of grad school and moving. The book really left a mark because he took one fairly damaged individual and brought him round to finding love with a partner who was willing to accept him for who he was. I think that’s really the heart of joy of romance: finding someone who loves you just for you. Someone you can laugh with even when you’re at your worst. 

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)

I’m kind of having a thing for Christ Pratt these days. He’s been in two of my favorite movies – Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. He’s funny and sexy – my absolute favorite combination.

Jessica is generously giving away 5 print copies of Homefront to US readers, and 1 copy of Homefront for an international reader. Separate entry forms below.

Jess at desk smallJessica Scott is the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is an active duty army officer, a veteran of the Iraq war, is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her.

She has written for the New York Times At War blog, War on the Rocks, PBS Point of View Women and War and has been featured in Esquire Magazine as an American of the Year in 2012.

She has published 11 novels and novellas about soldiers returning from war and has hit the USA Today Bestseller list twice. She has compiled two nonfiction projects about her time in Iraq and the return home.

She has recently completed a master’s Degree in sociology from Duke, a Masters Degree in Telecom Management from University of Maryland University College, BA in Cultural Studies from State University of New York. She is currently pursuing a phd in sociology. Find her online at

Buy Jessica’s books:

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