Mary Jo Putney – Believing in Joy and the HEA

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 and Fear of Romance

Romance is joy.  Joy and fear and panic, actually, because falling in love is equally joyful NotAlwaysASaint--finished coverand scary.  Love, finding a mate, and building a foundation for the future are some of the most important issues in life.  The stakes don’t come any higher.  The joy is obvious: the excitement of a phone call, the first time holding hands, the first kiss.  The crazed way the object of affection hijacks your whole mind!

But the fear is equally powerful because falling in love makes us so vulnerable.  We care, we hope, we dream—and our hearts break if it doesn’t work out.  There is nothing quite like the kicked-in-the-stomach feeling of a bad break up.  And one tends to be just as obsessed with lost love as one was happily obsessed with found love! 

A great romantic novel has both the joy and the fear.  The larger and more challenging the conflict and the darker the Black Moment, the greater the joy when the characters NotQuiteAWifeMMwork out their love story to make a lasting commitment to each other.  Which is why we love reading, watching, and of course reading romance.

One of my very favorite joyous romantic scenes is at the end of the movie Ladyhawke, a medieval romantic fantasy set in Spain.  Beautiful Isabeau is the ward of a bishop who is obsessed by her, but she loves Navarre, the captain of the bishop’s guard.  The bishop lays a curse on them–by day, Isabeau is a hawk, by night Navarre is a wolf, and they can never be human together.  At the end, when the curse is broken, Navarre sweeps Isabeau up in his arms and whirls her around in the sunshine.  Pure joy. 

Any good romance has that moment of joy when two people commit to love, trust, and Ladyhawke joyous endinghonor each other forever.  And after we read and believe in that joy, we close the book with smiles on our faces.

Mary Jo Recommends:

Sarina Bowen is a wonderful New Adult author, and I love her “The Ivy Years” series.  Set at a small fictional Ivy League college in Connecticut, her stories are wonderfully plotted and intensely emotional.  Her young protagonists are very real and very likeable as they grow, face serious issues, and fall in love.  Most of the heroes play ice hockey. <G>

Sarina did a Read-A-Romance Month post too! (thanks Sarina xo)

Questions for the Author:

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

I love to travel, and it’s joyous to arrive at a place I’ve read and dreamed about.  When weGiant water lilies visited South Africa, I looked at the tawny lion colored plains with the dark elongated forms of the acacia trees, and I breathed, “Africa….”  Or in the upper Amazon, looking out at the lush jungle foliage and feeling far, far off the grid and thinking, “The Amazon…”  Joyous delight in sights long dreamed of.

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

The Chesapeake Bay divides Maryland into the larger, busier Western Shore and the quiet agricultural Eastern Shore, which lies between the bay and the ocean.  I grew in farm country, and the Mayhem Consultant has pointed out that whenever we drive over the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore, I give a happy little sigh of relief and recognition and I smile.  I didn’t grow up there, but something deep inside me recognizes the Shore and a kind of homecoming.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

I have a lovely little set of Woodstock chimes hanging in my garage by the short flight of steps leading into the house.  When I come home, I touch the chimes and the garage fills with clear, exquisite, beautifully harmonized notes.  Lovely.

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 love urban fantasy author Patricia Briggs and this year’s Dead Heat, the latest in her Alpha and Omega series, has made me fall in love with this series as much as I love her Mercedes Thompson series.  She’s a wonderful character-driven writer who is marvelously inventive and who writes great romantic relationships. 

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)

You’re going to make me choose between Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine and Chris Evan?  Thor and Captain Kirk and Captain America?  Nooooooooo…….

Mary Jo is generously giving away a copy of Not Quite a Wife to one domestic and one international reader. 

Mary Jo PutneyNew York Times list bestseller Mary Jo Putney was born with a reading addiction, a condition with no known cure.  Her entire romance writing career is an accidental byproduct of buying a computer for other purposes.  Most of her books contain history and cats, and there is always a happy ending.  Not Always a  Saint, #7 in her Lost Lords series, will be released on August 25th, and the Word Wenches anthology The Last Chance Christmas Ball will be an October release.

Find her online at and at the collaborative historical romance author blog, The Word Wenches.

Buy Mary Jo’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway