Molly O’Keefe – Finding Joy in Romance Friends

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 of the Romance Community

I started reading romance as escape, as a way to find a happy ending in a time in my life Everything I Left U#2449548 (3)when there didn’t seem to be any. (Molly’s 2013 RARM post.)

Romance novels are still my best medicine (outside a glass of red wine, but that’s a different story) but I got older and found different ways to cope with grief and life and no longer read them just for escape.

I read them because they bring me joy. Not just a little either. Hard core joy. Like a blast of sunlight. Or the first riff of Springsteen’s Jungleland.

Because when I read a good one I get that giddy, laugh/sigh trapped in my chest feeling.  And I walk around my life feeling like I’m caught between worlds. Half in the grocery store, half in a regency ballroom.

But in the last few years that joy has been compounded by finding a romance The Truth O'Keefecommunity.

Back when I started reading romance there weren’t a whole lot of people I could talk to about them. My mom didn’t read romance. My friends weren’t interested. It wasn’t until I started to write romance and joined RWA chapters that I actually found a crowd of people that read romance.

I felt like I found my people.

And I would meet with my friends and we’d talk about writing but mostly we talked about books. Good ones. Terrible ones. The ones that made me swoon and cry. The one that made me launch the book across the room.  We talked about those books like they were friends.

When the Black Dagger Brotherhood series started my writer friend and I – who both had incredibly young babies and had no business staying up that late at night reading those books one after the other – would drive to each other’s houses to shriek about those books. To marvel and laugh and sigh.

Reading romance brings me joy but talking about romance is one of the best 51HDrPzx-gL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_things in my life.

Molly recommends:

Well, Carolyn Crane obviously.  (read Carolyn’s 2014 RARM post.) And Alyssa Cole wrote the best historical I’ve read this year with her novella Let It Shine in The Brightest Day anthology. I loved it. Relevant and smart and sweet – very good.

Questions for the Author:

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

I find that the joy I most appreciate comes after I’ve done something hard or difficult.  So the feeling I get after a long, grueling run or after I finish a book that’s been giving me grief. Or the first day of school when the kids leave the house without me and the long summer is over.  I am looking forward to that joy right now!!

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

We have a park near our school and on the first beautiful spring day all the moms and dads meet there with the kids and it’s just this happy afternoon. Kids are happy, parents are happy, sun is shining after a long winter – I love it!

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

I love the sound of women laughing. Like laughing hard. Smacking the table they’re sitting around so hard their wine glasses shake.  Women laughing with their whole bodies and all of their voice is one of my favorite sounds!

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?25414666

I’ve been on a Carolyn Crane glom for a while – her Behind The Mask gave me the happy book feeling for sure! It’s incredibly charged reading. Hot and intense. Tons of left turns and surprises. Characters that really push the envelope.

Also just finished The Vacationers (while on vacation!) So good. So funny and at the same time sad. Loved it.

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)

Oh my gosh – instinctively I went Chris Pratt because he’s so funny and everywhere. But Chris Rock is brilliant and handsome and consistently razor sharp. So I pick both, if it’s possible!

Molly is generously giving away two copies of Everything I Left Unsaid to both US and international readers.

Molly 014
M. O’Keefe can remember the exact moment her love of romance began—in seventh grade, when Mrs. Nelson handed her a worn paperback copy of The Thorn Birds. Writing as Molly O’Keefe, she has won two RITA awards and three RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two kids.
You can find her online at

Buy Molly’s books:

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  • Marissa Yip-Young

    I’m Canadian as well .

    • Molly O’Keefe

      Nice to meet you Marissa!!

      • Marissa Yip-Young

        Same here. I live nearby Brampton~

  • Melisa Safchinsky

    Ohh, Carolyn Crane. I’ve been meaning to read her books!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      They are fantastic!!!

  • Karen Mikusak

    Love your books!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      Thank you Karen!!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I enjoy your books!

  • Kim

    I just read two books from your last series and enjoyed them.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      That’s great to hear – thank you!

  • Seanna Yeager

    Chris Pratt!

  • Kareni

    I’ve enjoyed your books as well as those of all the other authors you mentioned. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      Thank you Kareni!

  • jcp smith

    Thank you for the recs

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I can’t wait to read your books. I must have had my head under a basket to have missed them.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      I hope you’ll enjoy them!!

  • Mary McCoy

    Love your recommendations, thanks for the Jungleland earworm :)!

    • Molly O’Keefe


  • catslady

    Always great to hear about new-to-me authors – thanks.

    • Molly O’Keefe

      It’s always great to spread the word on some of my favorite authors – hope you enjoy them!

  • Diane Blaser

    Thank you for the reading recommendations!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      I hope you check them out and enjoy them!

  • I love your books for the beautiful characters that you create! Thanks so much!

    • Molly O’Keefe

      Marinella – thank you so much!! What a lovely thing to say!

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    love chris pratt too!

  • Texas Book Lover

    Great post! I’m going to have to move up Carolyn Crane’s book on my TBR list with all those recommendations.

  • Sheila M

    Thanks for the Behind the Mask recommendation. I’m going to try that one.

  • Dawn Anderson

    I love your sound that brings you joy. It reminds me of holidays when my mom and aunts get togther. My cousins and I refer to it as the family cackle! I love that sound.

  • Debbie Fuller

    Loved the post. Thanks for sharing.

  • BookLady

    I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on romance.

  • Cindy A

    Thinking about my joyful moments! Thanks!

  • Linda Henderson

    I really don’t know where I get my love of reading from. My dad died when I was eight and I’ve never seen my mother reading a book. I started reading when I started school and haven’t looked back since. I’m so glad my daughters and all my grandchildren have a great love of books.

  • flchen1

    I agree–there is something very warm and lovely about women laughing together! We sisters of the heart need to make sure to indulge in time to share with each other our joys and sorrows! Thanks, Molly!

  • kirsten west

    My friends do not read romance, so I usually end up discussing them with my husband. He’s a good sport.

  • Sharon Forbes

    I enjoyed reading your post, would love to win your book!!

  • mariannewestrich

    I love the joy of romance, as well. But reading is still my number one way to escape the day-to-day. 😎

  • Carol Luciano

    I love reading Romance books. Taking the journey with the couple as they find their HEA. Loved your post. Would love to win.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Rochelle

    Romance novels do bring great joy and they are such a wonderful escape. I love your books and it was so fun to get to meet you at the RT Convention this year.

  • Sue G.

    I do love to read romances. I need that happy ending. Nothing is worse than reading a book where a main character dies in the end.

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I am a reader, not a writer, but I also love the romance community. There are so many genuinely nice people!

  • Glenda

    Most of my romance community interaction is online, but I do love how supportive all the writers are of each other.

  • Pamby50

    I love to read romance. Yes I have stayed up late reading. You would be amazed at how many romance readers are insomniacs. Thanks to facebook I have found some to say, did you read that book yet?

  • Marcy Shuler

    I love it when I accidently find one of ‘my people,’ 😀 The best was when I was reading a romance while waiting for surgery and the nurse was also a romance reader. The surgery was pushed back enough that I finished the book and left it for the nurse who had gone off duty. She was touched to get it when she came back to work.

  • Joan Varner

    I know the same feeling of finding “my people” because of so many nice authors and book lovers that I have “met” on Facebook. It brings me so much joy to check in every day and see what my digital friends are reading and their insights into those books.

  • Kristan Higgins

    Love your books, Molly! Am privileged to think of you as one of my people. xox

  • Erin F

    It feels like a cool kids club when you meet other people who read and love the same books as I do 🙂 thanks so much for sharing!

  • Michele Hayes

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

  • Lisa Hutson

    Congratulations on so much success!

  • Christyna

    “Hard core joy.” That’s it! That’s exactly right! Well stated, Molly!

  • Carol Opalinski

    I love all of your books, Molly!!!

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I’ve enjoyed your books. Thank you for sharing and I agree with why we read romance.

  • Betül

    LOVE Chris Pratt!!

  • Rhi

    my mom still doesn’t have an respect for romance novels. It’s kinda sad how much she dislikes them.

  • I love those covers–adding to my TBR right now!

  • Ellen

    Women laughing is a great sound. Thanks for sharing.

  • Molly, your “Crazy thing called love” is truly fantastic!

  • rebecca moe

    I loved Behind the Mask! And everything I’ve read by you, of course. (But I haven’t even seen your M. O’Keefe books, so obviously I’m behind, I’ll have to fix that ASAP.)

    Thanks for posting!