Jessica Scott – Romance Is Coming Home

August is Read-A-Romance Month

Welcome!

I hope you’ll visit ReadARomanceMonth.com 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 jessicascott.net.

Buy Jessica’s books:

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

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  • jcp smith

    I’ll have to look for your books:)

    • Jessica Scott

      The homefront series and falling series are only available online. Coming Home books might be in store if you can find one!

  • Kareni

    I’ve enjoyed reading many of your books, Ms. Scott. What I particularly admire is the fact that you share both the positives and negatives of serving in the military. I look forward to reading more! Best wishes.

    • Jessica Scott

      Thanks Kareni. I think its super important to not portray just the idealized image of what our soldiers have gone through during the war.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I’ve never read one of your books but I hope to remedy that real soon.

  • Jennifer C

    Thank you for your service! What an inside, real perspective you must have in your writing. I am happy to have found you as a new-to-me author. 🙂

    • Jessica Scott

      Thanks Jennifer. I like to think I’m doing my part to bridge the civil military divide:)

  • catslady

    Sounds like something I would really enjoy – thanks.

    • Jessica Scott

      Hope you’lll check them out!

  • Mary McCoy

    Thanks for your service and your books. I love humor in my stories as well, and look forward to seeing Shawntelle in person next April at Barbara Vey’s luncheon.

    • Jessica Scott

      Shawntelle is one of my favorite people. She’s an incredibly talented writer and one of the few writers who can make me laugh out loud.

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    Thank you for serving our country. I would love to read your books.

    • Jessica Scott

      My pleasure! I hope you’ll check them out!

  • Thank you for your interesting words. I’ll check your books for the ideas about soldiers and army, so different from mine: I hope that I’ll learn a new perspective on things.

  • LaurieL

    Thank you for your service. And thank you for your stories which have made me laugh and cry. I really loved Before I Fall. The first book of yours I read was Back to You and the hamster scenes still pop up in my mind from time to time. 🙂

  • Carrie

    A BA, two Masters, and now working on a PhD. That’s amazing! Best wishes as you continue your educational journey.

  • Karen Mikusak

    Love your books. Hope I win!

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    love the books but love your chris pratt answer toO!

  • Texas Book Lover

    I’ve known your series was centered around the military for years but had no idea you were in the military. WOW. Thank you for your service as well as writing such a unique series.

  • Dawn Anderson

    I also love to get in my car and listen to music and sing really loud. To me, it has always felt like freedom.

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thanks for the post and looking forward to reading your books.

  • BookLady

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring post on romance. Your books sound wonderful.

  • Kathryn Trask

    Love your books, I have the first three in this series to read on my Kindle. Looking forward to them because I loved all the others I’ve read by yourself.

  • Cindy A

    I’m an Air force brat, my husband an Army brat (they were at Ft. Hood for awhile). This brings back memories when dad was on TDY.

  • Paula Robinson

    Hi Jess, you know I’m a fan. Your coming home theme is what pulls at me the most because it does bring hope. I also love the raw look at your characters…they exemplify the fact that there is more to the soldier than we we see. Thanks!!

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  • Linda Henderson

    I don’t know why some people think it’s odd to read romance books. I started reading Grace Livingston Hill and Emily Loring when I was a young teenager and I still remember my first real romance story as The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I’ve been totally hooked since then.

  • flchen1

    Jessica, thank you not only for you and your husband’s service to us, but thank you again for bringing some of that world to life for us ordinary folk in a deeply meaningful way. And thanks for the lovely interview!

  • Sheila M

    Thank you for your service and for sharing your experience through your books.

  • Suzanne Brockmann

    Beautifully written, Jessica! Thank you!

  • Pamela Johnson

    I am reading Before I Fall now and am enjoying it — I like Military Romance (new area for me) and am really wondering if I should have gone into the Military myself. Oh, well, too late now as I am almost 64

  • kirsten west

    I like how you incorporate the military into your books.

  • mariannewestrich

    Love your books! Thank you so much for your service and for sharing your stories with us.

  • Sharon Forbes

    Thank you for serving our country, I know it’s cliché, but it’s heartfelt. If I don’t win this contest, I will be finding a copy of your Homefront to read, it sounds so interesting!

  • Carol Luciano

    My first words are Thank You for your service. I have 2 sons who are career Army. When the come home I’m so overjoyed to wrap my arms around them and don’t think about their leaving again. Your stories are filled with much hope and faith that it eases my doubts as I read them. You do a wonderful service to our men and women through your stories. I’d love to read this book.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Sue G.

    When you first wrote about Fort Hood being your place of joy, I was like, huh? But then reading your comments it all made sense.

  • Sharlene Wegner

    Thank you for your meaningful post.

  • Nicole Potter

    I’ve been wanting to try Courtney Milan’s books for a while, but now I’ll definitely have to try one! Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  • Glenda

    I do love how your books humanize our soldiers. I am amazed at how you find the time to work, go to school, and write.

  • Kortney

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Pamby50

    I’ve read a couple of your books so far. They are amazing. Watching my friends pages to see when their sons were coming home. It is not all roses. Looking forward to reading the rest.

  • Marcy Shuler

    Thank you for your post. I love your honesty.

  • Joan Varner

    Your books are honest and emotional and I think that is wonderful. I have loved the insight that you give to readers of the “real” world that soldiers and their families live in.

  • Erin F

    thank you for such a thoughtful post! I’ve read such positive reviews for your books and I appreciate all of your romantic writing genius 😉

  • Michele Hayes

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

  • Lisa Hutson

    I have been a Jessica Scott fan for some time.
    Storytelling like no one else.

  • Christyna

    Romance as a sense of duty. I like that concept. And storytelling can be such a great avenue to let people peak in on the lives of folks they may not usually meet, such as soldiers. Or royalty. Or… 🙂

  • Bernadette Long

    Thank you for the stories that you tell.
    I live in the central Texas area so Fort Hood is a familiar place.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I love your books. Thank you for sharing your views on romance.

  • Diane Sallans

    Chris Pratt is a favorite of mine too!

  • Rhi

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on romance. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I added your book on Goodreads. 🙂

  • rebecca moe

    I’m woefully behind on your books, but I think I have them all, at least. Thanks so much for writing them, and for posting 🙂