Lorraine Heath – Surrounded by Romance and Joy

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

ReadARomanceMonth.com   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

I love the theme of this year’s RARM: the joy of romance. DLINR-lowresJoy is such a wonderful word that lights me up, makes me smile, and … well … brings me joy. Plus my New Year’s resolution was to make 2015 a year of joy and to surround myself with the special people, activities, and items that cause me to swell with joy.

Romance novels fill me with joy. Big time. All the time.

I write romance because it brings me satisfaction to weave stories about characters who triumph over adversity and obstacles to find love. Certainly there are moments when I question my sanity thinking that I can tell a particular story, hours when the right words don’t come or the conflict strays or the challenge of getting from point A to point B in the plot seems overwhelming. But when all is said and done, when everything finally comes together, I feel as triumphant as my characters.

I read romance because it brings me joy to share the journey of couples discovering the power of love. I’m drawn into their struggles, witness their missteps, and root for them when they accomplish their goals. For me, though, the most appealing aspect to a romance novel is that it always gives me a happy ending. What could be more joyful?4101429

Earlier in the year, as part of my goal of surrounding myself with what brings me joy, I cleared some space on my bookshelves. Then I went into my closet and pulled out my box of keepers, the books that I love so much, I wanted to ensure that I never accidentally gave them away. I thought of all the joy they had brought me, all the hours of reading pleasure, all the laughter, tears, and sigh-worthy moments. And yet I had exiled them.

With affection, I removed them from the box and placed them on the empty shelf, a place of honor for those stories that touched me so deeply they became a part of me. Now when I look up from my computer, I can see them neatly lined up, providing inspiration and reminding me how much romance novels influenced my life. These were the books that drew me into reading romance, the books that spurred me to begin writing romance, or provided motivation to continue writing and reading romance.

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer, Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught, Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney, Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts, Paint the Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman, Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas, Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase—to name a few. I keep them close because they brought me the most joy. Simply looking at them rekindles the memories of that long-ago joy. Although there are times when I walk by the shelf, take one of the books in hand, randomly turn to a page, and take a moment to once again experience the pleasure these words first brought me.

When I’m not writing or visiting with my keepers, I’m reading first-time-for-me books, discovering new authors, new characters, new keepers. Romance novels. They are part of my life because of the joy they bring me. This year I thoroughly enjoyed Kathleen Baldwin’s A School for Unusual Girls and Allie Burton’s Atlantis Riptide. Both these books are classified as young adult but they appeal to any age group.

Questions for the Author:

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

I experienced sheer joy at the RT conference this year when I headed to the elevators to go down to the awards ceremony and discovered Sandra Brown standing there waiting for the elevator. I had, what I hope, was a somewhat dignified fangirl moment as I gushed about how much I enjoyed her books. She was so gracious.

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

Corrydon Lodge in Perth Scotland. I spent a week there last year with Cathy Maxwell and seven other writers. While we went sightseeing during the day, the evenings were spent sharing wine, sampling cheese, and talking writing. It was a truly magical time.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.Heath-musicbox

The music of a carousel brings me joy. I love carousels and just hearing the music reminds me of the joy of riding on a wooden horse, going up and down, and pretending it was a real horse when I was a child. To this day, I seldom pass a carousel without taking a ride on it. My husband has surprised me with a trip to a carousel museum, a ride on the carousel in Central Park, and carousel music boxes.

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 My Duke to Keep Me Warm by Kelly Bowen. I finished it last night, actually, and absolutely adored it. It left me smiling, filled with joy, and so glad that someone had recommended it to me.

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)

Chris Pratt, which astounds me because I thought he was such a loveable dufus on Parks and Rec but I had no idea he had the abs—I mean the chops—to handle a leading role in the movies. As my husband says, “Guess that’s why they call it acting.” I’ve enjoyed everything that CP has appeared in.

Lorraine is generously giving away 5 copies of THE DUKE & THE LADY IN RED to US readers.



Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since.

Buy Lorraine’s books:

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  • Anna

    I’ve been to a lot of random museums, but I didn’t know there was a carousel museum! Where is it?

    • Lorraine

      Just realized I can reply to the individual posts. It’s in Sandusky, OH.

  • Jennifer C

    I love a carousel, too! Thanks for sharing with us! Great interview.

    • Lorraine

      Thank you, Jennifer.

  • Karen Mikusak

    Would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Lorraine

      You’re welcome, Karen.

  • Lorraine

    Thank you all for stopping by! The carousel museum is in Sandusky, Ohio.

  • Molly

    I love your books

    • Lorraine

      Thank you, Molly!

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    I love carousels as well. They are so pretty.

    • Lorraine

      I love the artistry that goes into them. One of these days I want to write a book about a carousel maker. 🙂

  • LaurieL

    I recently moved keeper books and author signed books into my home office so I could have them nearby. When I am having a tough day working, I can glance over for some good memories. Enjoyed your essay!

    • Lorraine

      I love the sentimentality that we can associate with books, that they can brighten our day.

  • jcp smith

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    • Lorraine

      Thank you for stopping by.

  • Kareni

    I’ve already read and enjoyed

    so I won’t be entering the contest. I do want to thank you, Ms. Heath, for all the reading joy you’ve given me. A number of your keepers are amongst my favorites, too. Happy reading and writing!

    • Lorraine

      Thank you, Karen, for enjoying The Duke & the Lady in Red. I’m glad my books have brought you joy.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Phenomenal post! I’m so building a keeper shelf for my favorite books. I love this idea 🙂 I have enjoyed all of your books that I’ve ready so far and I’ll plan on working my way through the rest of your backlist! Thanks for the post and giveaway!!!

    • Lorraine

      Courtney: Thank you! So glad you’re enjoying my books.

  • Joan Varner

    I love my “keeper” shelves, yes shelves. So many authors have brought joy throughout the years that I just need to keep them nearby.

    • Lorraine

      They’re like dear friends, aren’t they?

  • mariannewestrich

    So glad to meet another lover of carousels!

    • Lorraine

      There is just something magical about them.

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    mom loves em so much she’d have one in her living room.. working….lol

    • Lorraine

      Bless your mom!

  • Texas Book Lover

    I too have a special shelf of my very favorite books!

    • Lorraine

      Just love that!

  • Kathryn Trask

    Loved any of the books I have read that you have written. I love the idea of an honour shelf for the keeper books. Just went across to my TBR to check that I had Wild at Heart. Moving it way up the list now!

    • Lorraine

      Hope you’ll enjoy Wild at Heart as much as I did. The hero, raised by wolves, stole my heart in the first chapter.

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you for posting and the author recommendations. Oh My, there really isn’t enough time in a day to read all the books I’m adding to my TBR pile.

    • Lorraine

      I sympathize. My pile is practically a tower these days.

  • cheryl c.

    Chris Pratt would be my choice too!

    • Lorraine

      Isn’t he yummy? He just seems like a fun, down-to-earth guy in real life.

  • Julie Ford

    Thank you for the chance, I love your books.

    • Lorraine

      Thank you, Julie. I appreciate it!

  • Erin F

    Definitely the joy!!! Thanks for such a fun post and congrats on the new release!

    • Lorraine

      Thank you, Erin.

  • Pamby50

    I haven’t heard LaVyrle Spencer in a long time. Thank you for bringing back good memories.

    • Lorraine

      Besides Morning Glory, I love Hummingbird. The hero gets shot on a train and everyone thinks he’s a train robber.

  • Rhi

    what a great post! It’s funny, how many of those books you’ve listed bring me joy as well. It really tells the story of how I got into romance and what keeps me reading them

    • Lorraine

      I’m in a book club and at our Christmas party, everyone brings a new copy of their favorite book and talks about it. Then we do a little round robin book exchange. I love the excitement in people’s voices when they talk about their favorite book.

  • Marcy Shuler

    I enjoyed the post! LaVyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught books have also brought me many hours of joy.

    • Lorraine

      I’ve missed them writing.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I really enjoyed your post. I too have a keeper shelf with some very special, to me, books. Although I have found a few that were once on that shelf in my daughter’s own bookcase. As she said, you hadn’t missed it before. Oh well, as long as she loves them as much as I did, I didn’t mind sharing. I’ve enjoyed a few of your books and hope to read many more. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Lorraine

      Eileen: Isn’t it nice that your daughter knows where to go to find books she’ll enjoy reading?

  • Laurie Skinner Gray

    I have some of the same books on my keeper shelf.

    • Lorraine

      Thank you, Laurie.

  • Sandy Xiong

    Right now, my book case is full of my college textbooks; all my books that I love are in boxes up in my closet. I gave a lot away because it started to get crowded but I did make sure to keep all my favorites and the ones I enjoy reading over and over.

    • Lorraine

      The advantage to keeping the books in boxes is that don’t yellow or fade as much.

  • Lorraine

    There is joy in giving away/sharing books. Hope you had a good move.

  • Lorraine

    It’s such a lovely feeling.

  • The Duke and the Lady in Red knocked my socks off! I adored Rose and Avendale’s passionate romance! Thanks for a very this sunny and lovely essay!

  • Quinn Fforde

    I moved my keeper books out of their box last year. Why did I wait so long? I love how they make me feel.

  • LSUReader

    I love the carousel story. It’s so sweet that your husband helps you along with rides and visits. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

  • Kelly

    I did the nursery in carousel horses when I had my son. I still love carousel horses and always ride one when I can.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    My joy is reading your books. Thanks and keep writing.

  • Dawn Anderson

    My favorite books are also in boxes. Maybe it’s time I cleared some space and made room on a ‘keeper’ shelf for them.

  • Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Schroedle

    I don’t have just have a keeper shelf, I have keeper bookcases.

  • Michele Hayes

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

  • Linda Henderson

    I’m gradually replacing some of my keeper books, although I’ll never be able to replace them all. When I lost my home in the tornado here in 2011 I lost all my books. I felt so guilty about missing them that I tried not to talk to much about it because so many people didn’t survive it. So a loss of books was minor in comparison. So I’m doing my best to recover some of my favorites and start building a new keeper collection.

  • Jerry Marlatt Pierson

    I have 4 bookcases of books and a lot of boxes. Now I have a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 so I have all the room I need for a lot of books. My favorite romance books are Historical Romance and I love your books. Thank you for your giveaway and a chance to win.

  • Claire Gilless

    I’ve just started reading your books … first because of a Facebook reading group and now I’m trying to collect them in series … love your writing style.

  • I’ll totally have to read your books!

  • Aleen D

    I don’t think I could ever part with my beloved books and that’s all of them!

  • Kim

    Judith McNaught and Sherry Thomas write wonderful stories full of angst and romance. After reading The Duke & the Lady in Red, I have to add you to that list. That was a very special book.

  • Diane Sallans

    I’ve read most of your favorites except Paint the Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman – thanks for the recommendation!

  • Kai W.

    I love this year theme for RARM. It is my main escape from life craziness.

  • rebecca moe

    It *is* a great theme–thanks for sharing!

  • K Davis

    I’ve loved all your books, and I’ve been reading them for many years. I’m hoping that you will write some western themed romance again. 🙂

  • Glenda

    I love reading about when authors run into their favorite authors and go fangirl (dignified or not). It makes me smile. Love your books! 🙂

  • Mary McCoy

    I love how you honored your keepers.

  • kirsten west

    I feel the same way about carousels! I’d love to own a wooden horse one day.

  • Sue G.

    Fun write up! Love hearing how authors fangirl over their own faves! I can’t even imagine ever meeting my favorite authors in person!

  • Range Girl

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I love your New Year’s resolution and plan to steal it for next year. And since I only started reading romance in 2011, I’ve only read one of the books you’ve listed as your keepers, but I’m adding the other to my TBR list.