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

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