Kieran Kramer – Love Will Save Us

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Romancing the Sparkle

Considering the crazy, mixed-up world we live in, joy isn’t exactly easy to come by these days. Not unless you’re one of those rare people who wakes up every day and grins 12_10_TroubleWhenYouWalkedIn (1)widely, no matter what, and says, “I’m happy to be alive!” then leaves sparkles in your wake as you flit across the kitchen floor like you’re a fairy or something similarly sickening  err…wonderful while the slouches among us cling to our turbo-cups of coffee—which you don’t need.

Sometimes I wish I were one of the Joyful People—if it meant I could leave sparkles–but I keep forgetting to be. When I wake up in the morning, I might push a cat out of my face and think, “Oh, my God. Jack forgot to sign up for soccer camp. We’re screwed. And I’m still twenty pounds overweight, and I have to go to a conference in a month and I have no clothes that fit. F***!”

Yep, I’m one of those people, the ones who might go to hell for having a bad attitude. I was taught by (mostly scary) nuns, so I try very hard to be nice on the outside. But I find lots of things to complain about secretly, like the gum I stepped on in the parking lot or the price of gasoline or the mean girls at the PTA or the state of the world in general.

It’s because of this tendency toward crankiness that I need the joy of romance. When I read a romance, I go deeper. I remember that the truth is, I actually rock. Yes, me. The one who’s not the Joyful Person most of the time. Why do I rock? Because I know the most important thing: Love wins. That’s it. And it’s all I need to know.

Love will save me from my worst self every time. Love will save us all. We simply have to SweetTalkMe_KieranKramer_300stop and remember. We could stop right now…but it’s kind of boring to remember this way, right? Like it’s a lesson from the Barney show or one of the nuns (bless their hearts, they tried their best with me!).

Here’s the truth: I’d rather remember that love wins with some kind of excitement involved. Give me drama. Laughter and the good kind of tears. A hot sex scene!

The joy of reading and writing romance jolts me back into being the rocking Kieran who can put aside her nitpicking and focus on what’s really important. 

So thank you for making me a better person—thank you to everyone who celebrates with me the joy to be had in opening a book and reading a story in which love rules in a splendiferous way, a way that makes you sigh, chuckle, cry, and sometimes yell things out loud like, “Kristan Higgins, I love you!” or “I want this man!” or “Please, please jump in the sack, you two!” because yes—some romances are that good. Some romances bring that much joy, the kind that leaves sparkles all over us, sparkles we’ll leave in our wakes until we run short again and pick up another romance to replenish.

Sparkle on.

Love, Kieran

Kieran recommends:

Elizabeth Bemis – – Liz is so funny. I love her writing, and LOVE AND OREOS, the first in her Sudden Falls series starring the Mendoza sisters, is a great place to start!

Dorothy McFalls  –  – Dorothy write sensual Regencies, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary cozy mysteries. She’s a really clever, emotional writer! Start with THE MARRIAGE LIST (Regency) and FLOWERBED OF STATE (contemporary cozy mystery).

Kim Boykin – – Kim is a fun Southern writer, someone you go to again and again for upbeat romance with lots of feeling. Her latest women’s fiction novel is the luscious A PEACH OF A PAIR. She also writes contemporary romance. Check out STEAL ME, COWBOY, part of the Copper Mountain Rodeo series!

Leah Marie Brown – – Leah makes me laugh. Her character Vivia–who fakes being a virgin in FAKING IT, the first book in Leah’s It Girl series–is hilarious. This is truly chick lit at its best.

Questions for the Author:

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

Jamming with the siblings and all our kids at family get-togethers with guitars (and piano, if we have one). That’s a HUGE joy, especially when we sing the Beatles. The last time was in December of 2014 at a niece’s wedding. I’m one of seven siblings born in nine years. As kids, we spent a lot of time just singing together. Our voices blended so well, my parents were often told to send us on the road like the Partridge Family or the Von Trapps, haha! As much as I love singing with my brothers and sisters, the biggest joy is to see that our children love music as much as we do. At an impromptu post-rehearsal gathering the night before my niece’s wedding, seeing my son play guitar with his musically accomplished uncles—and keeping up with them, and loving being in the moment with the music—brought me tons of joy, as did just chilling with the family.

Here’s that very session (ignore—or laugh at–the semi-drunken sound of my voice at the beginning, and forgive the dark, cave-like atmosphere). If you watch it, you’ll want to sing along, and please do! This link works even if you don’t do Facebook.

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

My dock on Johns Island, SC, where I grew up. It was buckled and splintery. But if you sat on it carefully, you were in heaven. The sun would warm you, the fiddler crabs would rush around and make their little noises in the marsh grass and pluff mud, and every once in a while, a fish would jump or a shrimp would skim across the water. And all the while, the wind would blow softly, and you were lulled into peace. Life didn’t get any better than that, and it still doesn’t. I get back to the dock as often as I can.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

The sound of all three of my children laughing together on their own. It makes me happy knowing they have such a strong bond that will last even after their parents are gone. That’s true joy, knowing that love lasts.

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?

A book every dog lover should read: The ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein, which is told from the viewpoint of the dog. It’s poignant, funny, and just plain beautiful. It brought me such joy that I fan-girled all over Stein on his Facebook page and Twitter.

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)

The old me would have said Christopher Plummer. He was a hottie. But I’ve outgrown that sort of remote Alpha guy crush and am more into guys who are sexy and funny, like the adorable Chris Pratt. I love him both from PARKS AND REC, where he plays a goofball, and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, where he got buff and superhero-like but also treasured his mom’s ‘70’s track tape. In real life, he also loves his funny wife so much that I would vote for him for that alone!!! P.S. I hope to see him in JURASSIC WORLD soon.

Kieran is generously giving away four paperback copies of TROUBLE WHEN YOU WALKED IN for US readers, and one paperback copy for a drawing through The Book Depository for international readers.

KieranHeadShotKieran Kramer, a double Rita finalist and USA Today bestselling author, just finished her tenth fun romance for St. Martin’s Press. An avid people watcher, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer, she lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with her family.


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  • Marissa Yip-Young

    My mom’s 90th birthday gathering

    • Kieran

      Wow!!! Ninety years old!!! I hope I can make it that far!!! Good for your mom, Marissa!!! 🙂

      • Marissa Yip-Young

        Actually she turned 91 this past Valentine’s Day~

        • Kieran

          Wow!!! God bless her!!! That’s awesome!!!

  • alisha woods

    first Chris Pine 🙂 we also celebrated a 90th birthday here for my grandmother. Furbabies make me smile

    • Kieran

      Alisha, happy birthday to your grandmother! What a wonderful milestone!!! And I don’t know what I’d do without my furbabies!!! 🙂

  • Christyna

    “It’s because of this tendency toward crankiness that I need the joy of romance.” YES! I couldn’t always articulate my love for romance but that sentence just did. Especially the older I get. 😉

    • Kieran

      Yes, Christyna, we girls who need occasional attitude adjustments are the PERFECT readers of romance!!! It’s such a fun way to remember that everything’s all right, as long as there’s LOVE.

  • Judy C.

    Wonderful and insightful blog. I would have thought you one of those that wake up happy and ready to tackle the day! You sure seem that way! I loved the sing along, thanks for including that. Just finished Trouble When You Walked In. It was a wonderful story. It made me laugh, blush and remember that Love Changes Everything.

    • Kieran

      Oh, Lawd, Judy, those sex scenes!! Haha!!! I think I’m good at writing them, but after I’m done, I have to fan myself and ask, “Where did that come from?!?! You went to school with nuns!!!” Some people think the sex scenes are too hot, some think they are too sweet. Some readers think they’re too long, some think they’re too short. Some hate them, and some love them. All I know is that I write them fully immersed in them, then it’s like I wake up and wonder if I was channeling Mae West!!!! Or someone much more recent who’s super hot, like Sofia Vergara.

      WAIT. *I’m super hot.* To heck with channeling anyone!!! I will claim my super hot sexiness. You, too, Judy! You have loads of steamy hotness down in Louisiana!! 😉

  • Great blog, Kieran! Love the jam session too. Sadly, only two of us were born with the good voice gene. I’m not one of them. lol

    Looking forward to reading TROUBLE WHEN YOU WALKED IN!

    • Kieran

      Thank you, PJ!! I don’t have a great voice, just a passable one, haha! But no matter what we sound like, WE SHOULD ALL SING ANYWAY! Life’s too short not to.

      • Oh, I still sing. Just ask anyone who passes me on the highway! 🙂

  • Quinn Fforde

    Your post and video made me laugh! I get more fairy-like as the day goes on, but how can people wake up like that? I’ll never know.

    • Kieran

      I know! Those morning-sparkly people are maddening, haha!!! Glad you laughed!! 🙂

  • Leah Marie Brown Author

    I have the distinct honor of being able to call you my friend. I am so glad to have known you all of these years and so proud of your hard work!

    • Kieran

      Leah, dear, you are MY FRIEND, too. I’m so proud to say that! We go way back! We lost each other and then we found each other again. Fate has been kind to me in that regard!!! You are a beautiful writer who will go very, very far!!! XOXO

  • Sue G.

    Mmm…I think you may be on to something….my hubby went to Catholic schools and was taught by nuns and he tends to be more negative. I tend to be the optimist (I do love sparkles!) but went to public schools. Together we balance out well!

    Nice write up…..thanks!

    • Kieran

      Haha, Sue!! I’m a cockeyed optimist most of the time, but I have a streak of Eeyore in me, too, that I try very hard to suppress. I’ve found as I get older it’s healthier to express that stuff rather than keep it down, and the best way I can find to do it is through humor!!! I think I should have been a crusty old New Englander instead of a Southern gal, but this sun and relaxed atmosphere down here have rubbed off on me!!!

      • Sue G.

        LOL….my mother-in-law is a negative nelly. My family secretly calls her Eeyore! 😉

  • cheryl c.

    You are right. Joy can be hard to come by in this world that we live in. I often find escape in the joy of reading a good romance.

    • Kieran

      Cheers to that, Cheryl! Here’s to a great romance!!!

  • mariannewestrich

    I recently found your books and am now a huge fan!

    • Kieran

      Marianne, I’m thrilled!! Thank you so much!! 🙂

  • Karen Mikusak

    Loved “You’re So Fine”!

    • Kieran

      Karen, thank you!! I love hearing when readers enjoy my books. Did you have a favorite character?

  • LSUReader

    Your books are a lot of fun. I enjoyed your blog post, especially the sections on the sounds and place that bring you joy. Thanks for visiting.

    • Kieran

      Go, Tigers!!! Thanks, LSUReader. I had fun with that part, too. We need to remember our joy more often, don’t we? And we can. We don’t need money or status or a unique opportinity to identify our joys. We can do it every day, no matter what our circumstances.

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    loved the sound of music

  • catslady

    I really love books that make me laugh and cry – it means I’m totally involved emotionally.

    • Kieran

      Me, too, catslady!!! I have to have the whole spectrum of emotions in there, but heavier on the hope and optimism…only a few tough moments of intense despair, thank you very much!! 🙂

  • Kareni

    Thanks for your light hearted post. Happy music making and happy writing!

    • Kieran

      Hey, thanks, Kareni!!!! Have a great day!!!

  • Bernadette

    I loved your post, it was sweet and uplifting! I loved that you mentioned Kristan Higgins and while reading your post I couldn’t help but think that YOUR books are also the type of romances that bring pure joy to readers! So thank you!! I love your books and I can’t wait for more! =)

    • Kieran

      Bernadette, what a sweet comment. Thank you so much! If I can bring anyone one-tenth of the joy Kristan or Susan Elizabeth Phillips have brought me, I’ll be a happy writer. 🙂

      • Kristan Higgins

        No, I’m with Bernadette! I absolutely love your stuff, Kieran!

        • Kieran

          Aw, thank you, Kristan! That means the world to me! 🙂

  • jcp smith

    I need more hours in the day in order to try your books:)

    • Kieran

      JCP, I hope you get around to it! I really do!!! If you like to laugh at all, these books are for you. But they’re also heavy on romance and sexiness and community. I love community. We are all in this together!!! My books will remind you of that!!!

  • Kieran

    Melissa, it makes me super happy that you enjoyed TROUBLE. And yes, we are not alone, those of us who need a little time in the morning!

  • “It’s because of this tendency toward crankiness that I need the joy of romance”. Oh my God, a revelation! It’s the same for me!! Romance as crankiness-killer, well said! Thanks so much for the funny and wise post!

    • Kieran

      Haha, so glad that you “get” me, Marinella!!! Thanks so much!!! (Pssst…we can be cranky together on Facebook!!!) 🙂

  • Aleen D

    Great post! Although, I agree with your choice of Chris Pratt, I don’t think I can ever outgrow Alpha male sexiness lol

    • Kieran

      Yeah, maybe “outgrow” was a bad choice of words, haha!! I’ve “transitioned,” probably because Christopher Plummer is now such a distinguished older gentleman and I’m still crushing on the younger ones! I’m naughty, I know! 🙂

  • Julie Ford

    Kieran, I love your books. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

    • Kieran

      Julie, you’re very kind to say so. Thank you for the lovely compliment!!

  • Eve Mardis

    When I’m feeling down, a romance will make me feel better; when the world around me is in turmoil, a romance makes everything seem insignificant; and when my life falls apart … a romance helps me put things back together again. Especially if he looks like Hugh Jackman … and with the accent. Oh, and I had a “Sound of Music” crush on Christopher Plummer too ….

    • Eve Mardis

      Oh, and The Beatles! My sister was around 14 when the boys hit U.S. soil, so even though I was only about 3, they were my lullabies growing up. Half of my family, okay 4 out of 6, were musical too!

      • Kieran

        Eve, we have a lot in common!!! Thank you so much for being such a supportive romance reader. Y’all are the best part of this whole gig!!! 🙂

  • Sheila M

    I loved your phrasing that love will save you from your worst self. That speaks to me.

    • Kieran

      Yep, the nuns (and my parents) never allowed me to get on my high horse. I had to admit I had flaws and DEAL with ’em!!! So the best way to deal is to pour love all over them and then things get better, every time!!

  • Texas Book Lover

    Books that make me laugh out cry are the best…even if I do get strange looks from everyone around me.

    • Kieran

      Those people don’t know what they’re missing! You keep laughing out loud and wiping away tears! Maybe they’ll get so jealous they’ll pick up a romance in secret sometime and read it!! 🙂

  • Martha B

    I love that you wrote “LOVE wins. That’s it. That’s all I need to know”
    Amen to that!

    • Kieran

      Martha, thank you for noticing that. I really believe it. I’m glad you do, too!!! 🙂

  • Laurie Skinner Gray

    Loved your comment about the joy of romance saving you from your crankiness. When I get filled with the nasties of life, I need romance books to get me back to center. Something my husband doesn’t always understand because he’s not a reader. Thanks for writing such great books, I love them.

    • Kieran

      Laurie, thank you so much!!! And yes, those “nasties of life,” as you put it so well, need to be balanced out with some awesomeness–namely our beloved romance novels, which make us feel better!!!

  • Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Schroedle

    Whenever I am sick or stressed, I always pull out a favorite romance novel to re-read. I feel much better and ready to go back to the real world and deal with stuff.

    • Kieran

      I do, too, Liza! I love MISTRESS OF MELLYN by Victoria Holt and have read it a thousand times. And then I pull out old Susan Elizabeth Phillips books, too. I have a lot of favorite authors–too many to name!!! But they have enhanced my life over and over again. I feel blessed to be able to hang out in this community filled with loving, smart readers and writers!

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    Kieran, I first found you on Reinventing Fabulous and your wonderful comments. I knew I have to find your books and boy am I ever glad. My family is scattered across the country so we don’t get together as often. I miss that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on JOY.

    • Kieran

      Hi, Eileen! It’s so nice to meet up online with people I’ve hung out with at ReFab!! I sure do miss it when it was really going strong!!! So many fabulous women!!! I learned so much and was inspired by everyone there. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I miss seeing my family, too. We are spread up and down the East Coast, pretty much. But we do try to see each other all at once in a family reunion once a year, and we do a pretty good job. Not everyone can make it every time, but we stay consistent. 🙂

  • Marcy Shuler

    Romance books gives me joy and that brings the sparkle to my life. 🙂

    • Kieran

      Me, too, Marcy!!! BTW, Marcy is the name of the main character in my very first chick lit book (which is still sitting under my bed). I love my Marcy and I want to get her out again to see if I can update her story. 🙂

  • Lorelei

    Kieran, great post! I’m a mix of both types, but more of the joyful kind or at least I try to be 😉 and while all 3 of my kids are musicians, I lack that particular gene, though I love dancing, always did since elementary.
    Oh, I’d probably yell Kristan Higgins, I love you, too! ♡ because I do! You’ll know it if you read my post! She’s amazing! Thrilled you’re featured and happy to recommend you over at Lorelei’s Lit Lair on Facebook♡

    • Kieran

      Lorelei, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who talks to my favorite authors out loud when they’re not there (giggle!!). Thank you so, so much for being a big voice for romance. We need you!! Thanks again!!! XOXO

  • Linda Henderson

    I try very hard to find a little joy in every day. Some days are harder than others. Right now I’m having a severe RA flare up and my daughter is going through a medical crisis so it’s harder to find joy right now. I woke up early this morning and reached for a book because I knew I needed an escape before the day gets going and I always find it in a book. To me, reading is vital to my piece of mind.

    • Kieran

      Linda, I hope everything gets better for you and your daughter soon. Sending bug hugs to go along with that book you’re reading!!! XOXO

  • Linda May

    Love Romance & what they bring into my life, a place to disappear to & becomes friends with people & place I wouldn’t normally have a chance to see. Thanks for this awesome giveaway, I do appreciate it.

    • Kieran

      My pleasure, Linda! My readers are the best part of my writing life!!

  • Jennifer C

    I loved your essay! Your memory on your dock in St. John’s took me right back to my family’s dock on the Bogue Sound a couple hours north of you in North Carolina. Awesome memory!

    • Kieran

      Did it, Jennifer? I’m so glad! I just have to think about the dock and my mind eases. We’re blessed to have that space in our lives and in our memories, aren’t we? 🙂

  • Molly

    I love romance books

    • Kieran

      Molly, I do, too! My very first book stars a woman named Molly! WHEN HARRY MET MOLLY. It’s zany. It’s sexy and sweet and funny and crazy. I smile just thinking of it!!!

      • Molly

        I know that is one of my favorite books I think it is because the Molly in the book does things that I would probably do in that situation.

  • Pamby50

    I loved the video. Was smiling the whole time. I also loved that the sound of your 3 kids laughing together on their own. I does bring us parents joy to know that our children will be close even when we are gone.

    • Kieran

      It does, doesn’t it? It’s one of my all-time greatest joys!!! Thank you so much for watching my video and smiling the whole time!!! My readers are the most supportive, wonderful people I could ever ask to write for. <3

  • Kai W.

    Happiness is romance. I like to go through a day smiling after reading a romance book.

    • Kieran

      Me, too! Hey, that would make a great bumper sticker: Happiness is romance. I love it, Kai!!!

  • Dawn Anderson

    Your family can really sing. It was a fun video to watch (and I did sing along). 🙂

    • Kieran

      You did? That makes me happy, Dawn! Thanks for your sweet note. 🙂

  • marypreston

    I’m not a morning person & so can totally relate. I hit my stride by mid-morning – down hill all the way after that.

    • Kieran

      Girl, we’ve got to find a way to help you get your energy back in the afternoon! Haha!!! I totally relate. I get that feeling about an hour after lunch when I just want to put my head down and take a tiny nap. I started walking a little bit around that time, even when I felt sleepy, and sure enough, it took that “nappy” feeling away. I’m not against some shut-eye, though. Heck, Europeans have figured out how awesome it is to get an afternoon sleep in. So sometimes I’ll take a ten-minute power nap around 3 or 4. And it really helps!!! I don’t even need an alarm. I shut my eyes, fall right asleep, and ten minutes later, I wake up!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    Hi Kieran! Sorry I’m late! I have met you & my memory of you is as of very upbeat! Love the video, too!

    • Kieran

      Thanks, Sharlene!!! And I love meeting readers I’ve gotten to be friends with on Facebook!!! It’s awesome. It proves that social media can be a good thing: it connects people with the same interests, and that’s so nice. Those FB friends feel like real friends–and they are!!!–when you see them face-to-face.

  • T. Rosado

    I absolutely loved your “Romancing the Sparkle” post. I smiled, laughed and concurred. Why have I not discovered you before now? I immediately went to Amazon and added to my tbr.
    I am not a vibrant morning person either, but the motto in our home is “Choose Joy” and I have to remind myself sometimes after continually drilling it into my kids.

    • Kieran

      T, I relate completely about trying to instill in our kids that true joy is a CHOICE. Every day we have to make that decision…choose to see the good stuff and focus on that? Or sink low with the bad stuff? I’m so happy you enjoyed my post, and I hope I get to see you sometime on Facebook!! I’m there every day. XOXO

      • Terrill Harris Rosado

        I will absolutely follow you on facebook. 🙂

        • Kieran

          I’m so glad!!!

  • sj1384

    OH! The Art of Racing in the Rain is marvelous! I also have to say that I am by nature a cranky, introverted, people-avoiding individual O:-) but considering that I cannot live on a remote island by myself…books and coffee make me a nicer person to assimilate into society. LOL Great post!!

    • Kieran

      Haha, thank you, sj!!! You look like a perfectly lovely person! We all have the right to have our occasional moods and desire for solitude!!! 🙂

  • Diana Giote

    The best interview I have read. Really enjoyed this post!!!!

    Raffle name: Artemis Giote

    • Kieran

      Diane, I’m so flattered you said that. Thank you so much!!! 🙂

  • Lisa Hutson

    Oh I feel the same way! I am not the ray of sunshine in the morning! I can be grumpy and crabby and menopause sucks. But a good book can be the fixer upper. At least for that time. haha

    • Kieran

      Yes, it can, haha!!! Books take away the grumpies!!!

  • Angela H

    Thank you for the author recommendations – I am going to check them out

    • Kieran

      Thanks, Angela!!! I love enthusiastic romance readers!!!

  • Diane Sallans

    Thanks for the author recommendations – I didn’t know about three of them.

    • Kieran

      Diane, good!! I’m glad I could steer you to them!!! 🙂

  • kirsten west

    I have two dogs, so I definitely will check out Art of Racing in the Rain!

    • Kieran

      Kirsten, it’s very poignant. It will also make you laugh. It’s a keeper book, for sure.

  • Mary McCoy

    Sparkle on, Kieran!

    • Kieran

      Mary, thank you!!! I need that sign above my computer!! 🙂

  • Kieran

    I adore that man…I can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet. I’ll have to watch it on DVD!!!