MJ Rose – Reading, A Joyful Romance

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

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Bringing Romance Alive Through Reading

On the way home from a recent research trip to Paris, I made love to three men, gave birth to two children, survived a war and suffered quite a few tragedies and experiencedWOPS wild joys.

I started out at the Charles de Gaulle airport young and impetuous and  married the wrong man. By the time the wheels left the ground I’d found out he was a drunk and philander.

Flying over the English Channel I tended to my broken heart and the  reality of my mistakes. As we began to cross the Atlantic I met another man, fell in love and then watched and waited as he went off to war. Would he come back to me?

Halfway across over the ocean I found out he was missing in action. Three quarters of the way back home, I discovered he’d been found but was near death. 

Over Canada he died.

As we flew over Maine, even though I thought I never would, I met someone new.CODB

By the time I reached NY, I’d reached my happily ever after.

Writers make magic for readers. And even though I’m a novelist myself, I was a reader first and am always still surprised and delighted and in awe of the power of a well crafted story. Time is suspended. You live out the characters plight and plot. You don’t just scan the words – you feel the attractions, cry the tears, catch your breath waiting for the first kiss, you experience the lovemaking.

The romance between the reader and the book is one that is as great as any other love affair.  And best of all it always has a happily ever after because you know the book is there, waiting for you if you want to slip inside its world and live in its pages again.

M.J. recommends (i.e. some recent love stories I’ve loved):

Christopher Rice – The Surrender Gate – this is erotica at its best. Emotional, great character development, sex that takes your breath way. Rice’s prose is both beautiful and gritty.

Lucinda Riley – The Midnight Rose – Not a traditional romance but so romantic and beautiful. A bittersweet story of lovers who are doomed yet overcome all odds to form a lasting bond. Guaranteed to make you weep.

Sara Gruen – At  The Waters Edge – Again not in the romance category but a powerful, compelling coming of age story of a woman who marries badly because she doesn’t know her self at all and then over the course of a  trip to Scotland during WW2 finds herself… and love.  Just beautiful.

Questions for the Author:

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

I walked into a room at the Monet Marmaton Musuem in Paris expecting to see yet more beautiful paintings by the artist but not expecting to look at one and begin weeping. I love art – wanted to be a painter – know more about art history than English lit and spend hours in museums yet I was still overwhelmed with sheer joy looking at one of Monet’s wisteria paintings. For the moments that I stood there and soaked up the beauty there was nothing in the world but his interpretation of nature, his expression of beauty and my joy.

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

Continuing the theme of all my answers  – I’ll say Paris. My great grandmother was born there and lived there as a child and I figure its either in my blood or in a past life I lived my best life there. Whichever it is, the city of lights is my city of delight. Just walking down small street on the Rive Gauche or standing on a bridge watching boats go down the Seine… it never fails to enchant me.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

My husband’s music. He is a singer /songwriter.

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?

The Secret Garden which I read when I was in grade school. The magic of the garden, the transformation and the resolution made me so happy. I re-read it every few years just to experience the satisfaction and wonder that the book delivers.

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 Rock – I love to laugh.

MJ is generously giving away 3 e-copies of The Witch of Painted Sorrows, two to US readers and one to an international reader.

lossy-page1-220px-M.J._Rose_(2009).tifNew York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose is the founder of AuthorBuzz.com – the first marketing company for authors and also one of the founding board members and current co-president of International Thriller Writers.

MJ online:

mjrose.com   |   Facebook   |   Twitter

Buy MJ’s books:

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  • Paris is so wonderful! All those beautiful museums, streets, parks…But as you say, a book really can make also the trip very interesting and adventurous!

  • Jennifer C

    I loved reading your essay! You helped me re-live some great memories – I loved The Secret Garden, I love Lucinda Riley (relatively new to me), I cried when I viewed my first Monet painting, and when I went to France for the first time (where my grandmother’s family was from), I felt a true sense of going home like I have never felt before. It also made me cry. I haven’t been to Paris yet, but I am so ready to go! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I live how book allow you to live other lives and experiences.

  • Raquel

    I enjoyed This post. I am in total agreement about Paris. I must have had a past life there as well because I felt so at home when I visited.

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    Love your book excerpts! Thanks for sharing some tidbits about you.

  • cheryl c.

    I read The Secret Garden when I was in grade school too. I haven’t thought about it in years, but now I want to reread it!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you for taking the time to be a part of this site and sharing your views.

  • marypreston

    Reading does transport us in many ways. Gives us so many experiences we would miss out on otherwise.

  • Dawn Anderson

    The Secret Garden was my favorite book as a child. I’ve even gifted it to a couple of nieces hoping it would spur a love of reading.

  • Christyna

    Lovely piece. Janet Fitch said something to the effect that reading allows us to have more than one life. How exciting was blessed is that?! Thanks, MJ, for reminding of us this.

  • Pamby50

    That is exactly why I read romance. I can go anywhere I want, be anything I want to be and fall in love with whomever I want. Thank you for taking me to Paris.

  • Erin F

    Reading romances is like living sooo many different lives!! I totally agree 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • K Davis

    Both book covers are lovely.

  • Michele Hayes

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

  • Rhi

    secret Garden is one of my favorites from childhood. Always makes me smile and cry.

  • mariannewestrich

    Love disappearing into a book. The ability to travel while remaining in my living room is priceless!

  • Glenda Hefty

    I love reading romances although I also read a lot of other genres. Romances can be a wonderfull break after reading a thriller.

  • Mary McCoy

    The places I have gone and lives I have led through books are too numerous to count.

  • Texas Book Lover

    Couldn’t agree more. Thanks

  • Linda Henderson

    I am not familiar with your work but I am looking forward to reading your books.

  • kirsten west

    I agree that The Secret Garden is a wonderful book. Cute dog on your profile picture!

  • Joan Varner

    For me it’s not only experiencing the HEA in a book but meeting new people and watching them grow that always captures my imagination.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I too love Monet’s paintings. You are a new author to me and I will be checking out your books.

  • Sheila M

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Deana Dick

    Another new author to read. Yeah! I love getting lost in a book thst takes me to different places.