Monique Flasch – The Joy of a Good Book Buzz

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.

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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

Today is Romance Librarian Day! We love librarians. They can have such a great influence on what we read. In the case of romance, it’s a great opportunity for librarians to let readers know they won’t ever be judged for their choices. Thankfully there are some pro-Romance librarians in this world, and today we have three! If you’re a librarian who loves romance (or a reader or writer who knows one who does), then I wanted to let you know there’s a facebook page where pro-Romance librarians share thoughts about publishing, libraries and romance.  You can find it here. Please share!

The Joy of a Romantic Buzz

I have drunken deep of joy, and I will taste no other wine tonight.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

When I recently read this quote I thought, who would have known that Shelley did a great job of describing a book buzz? A book buzz is a blast of emotional joy that is guaranteed to give an eager reader a boost of energy. It usually takes place after finishing an enjoyable book. And for me, it comes quite frequently after reading a great romance title.celebrate-romance

Why romance? What about other genres? Mystery titles can be satisfying with good triumphing over evil, but many times the ending is not firmly resolved, and the outlook is cloudy for the detective. Fantasy can show us other fantastical worlds with vibrant characters that astound us. But many of the world building that occurs in these tomes, reflects the problems and challenges of our own reality. Thrillers can take us on a fast ride with characters that will save the known world in 24 hours, and be at their boring old desk job tomorrow. But it might be the sense of optimism that is inherent in the romance genre that takes the book buzz joy to a higher level.

Yes, there are tropes within the romance genre. The joyous optimism of the characters keep calm RARfirst meeting each other, with the heroine and hero who have no idea that they are practically perfect for each other. They are the one! The friendly or unfriendly (depends on the story) but amusing banter of how they get to know each other. The obstacles that are laid in their path – whether it be an evil villain or internal emotional strife.  But then there is the fulfilling resolution of the characters’ hopes and dreams to a glorious future together down a path of love. A talented author can turn these well-known themes into something the reader finds to be witty, charming and damn brilliant fun.

In libraryland, we have a readers’ advisory saying about ‘the right book for the right time.’  What is going on in your life can reflect on how you respond to a book title. The readers bring their experiences, emotions and mindset to the subject matter. And for many readers in times of stress or uncertainty, a romance can bring a powerful lift to their not-so-bright and festive reality. Romances can comfort those who need to know that things will be alright by the end. But what about those readers who are already in a good place? Ah, then the book buzz is even deeper and stronger. This blast of joy gives the reader the vigor to stay up to 2 a.m., to write a review for the title at their favorite online book spot, and to share with every single person they know that this marvelous romance was the best thing ever. Then they immediately check to see if there is another book written by this wonderful and delightful writer.

In the right hands, this merriment and book buzz can last for a few days. It can inspire Sanctuary Islandexuberance and animation in one’s daily tasks. And then when the emotions wind down, there comes the anticipation of choosing the next romance title for another round. So go ahead and try it. Take the challenge. Choose your title and get ready for that book buzz joy.   

Monique recommends:

Lily Everett ( lilyeverett.com ) writes contemporary romance about a lovely isle with wild horses that is off the coast of southeastern Virginia. The setting becomes a character in itself as the first book in the series, Sanctuary Island, introduces us to the residents in this small community. It’s a heartfelt story of a couple that is not perfect, but who learn to overcome their difficulties and to love each other. Definitely for the fans of series that feature small town romances with strong secondary character.  It will lead you to other titles in the series. Lily also writes a fantastic ‘hot chef’ series under the name Louisa Edwards.

Jennifer McQuiston’s ( jenmcquiston.com ) book Diary of an Accidental Wallflower is a charming historical romance. I loved the hero who is an up-and-coming doctor and Diarythe heroine who is trying to find her place in society but gets sidelined by an injury. McQuiston’s medical background makes this book authentic and gives the historical romance fan a new perspective of the era. As a history fan, I love new twists and unique characters in a time period. I can’t wait for the next title in the series. (Don’t miss Jennifer McQuiston’s RARM post, with bonus Q&As by Julia Quinn & Meredith Duran.)

Elizabeth Hoyt ( elizabethhoyt.com ) is a historical romance author whom many readers may already know. I finally have started to devour her titles in the Maiden Lane series. While the latest one (Dearest Rogue) is fantastic, I have fallen in love with an earlier title, Dearest Beast. It combines several of my must- read themes: a challenged hero, a witty heroine, actors and actresses in early theater houses, and pleasure gardens.  A great addition to the ongoing series, and a book you can read on its own. But be warned; it will probably lead you to reading the whole wonderful series. (EH will be at RARM 8/28.)


Questions for the Author:

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

I’m going to talk about book joy – the elusive moment when a new title you have been wishing / waiting for has come into your hands. Early this month, I had a librarian friend attend the American Libraries Association Conference in San Francisco.  She is kind to indulge me at conferences by bringing back some advanced reading copies of titles that I request. I saw on the advanced author signing list a NY Times bestselling romance author who does not do national tours that often. She was actually signing at ALA! I took a leap and asked if there was any possible way that my friend could fit this signing into her busy conference schedule. I knew I was wishing and tossing a penny in a fountain. Imagine my great surprise when I received an email saying that she had received the ARC and had it signed! A squeal went up in my quiet department and, yes, it was me.  When I received my book, my friend told me that she had shown the author a copy of my email requesting / begging for the book. My friend said the author smiled.  Yeah, it may not be world peace, but one must take one’s book joys and good book pals when one finds them.  They will sustain us in later trials and tribulations.

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

A specific place that can bring me joy year round is the Chicago Botanic Garden. As I go through the paths, greeting old acquaintances –the trees, bulbs and perennials – I smile at the current bloomers, and make a note to come earlier next year to visit the ones that have finished. The lush greens of spring and summer make way to the essence of a crisp autumn with sharp colors and breezes. And in the winter, you can see the bare bones of the garden, the original plan laid out before the visitors. Then in spring, depending on the temperature, you can travel the trails to see the new sprouts peeking out of the soil.  The gardens here remind me – much more than New Year’s Day does – that everything can come back anew. Just wait, have patience and wait for the new birth. 

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Certain songs to me can trigger a memory or a place in time, and quite recently that joy came back to me when I attended a recent U2 concert. With this Irish group, this long time fan has had many life experiences set to a soundtrack of their music in my head.

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?

Oh, goodness! Decisions, Decisions. I’m going to go with Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me. I kept thinking while reading my copy – this author gets it. She understands the comradery of friends. She understands the pressure of dieting on women. She has a real heroine and hero on her hands, and they are not perfect and their “village” doesn’t care. And then there is all that good storytelling and witty dialogue stuff, too.

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)

I’m thinking it might be a tie between Chris Pine and Chris Pratt. It’s that sexy scoundrel thing. But I must say, Chris Evans as the clean cut Captain America, is not too far behind those two.

Monique is giving away a box of mixed of romance titles (contemporary and historical), goodies and chocolate from RT 2015 and the Barbara Vey Readers Luncheon to one U.S. winner (apologies to international friends). 


mflasch headshot2015 (1)Monique Flasch is a librarian who’s worked in the Reader Services Department at the Glenview Public Library for more than 15 years. She does selection for the Romance and Mystery sections, and runs the Much Ado About Mysteries book discussion group. She has a prior management background in book store retailing. She is an eclectic reader who reads across the spectrum in non-fiction, history, mystery and romance fiction. She finds herself continually reminding fellow staffers that a book is not a “real” romance unless there is a HEA! She writes for her library blog, putters around at her personal blog Fun Frothy Reads, and has recently created a chatting and idea sharing environment for librarians who enjoy and promote romance on the Romance in the Stacks Facebook page. Engage her on Twitter.

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  • Great post, Monique. On my way to check out *Wallflower*. 🙂 The Chicago Botanic Garden sounds amazing. I wish I’d known about it last time I was there. Guess I’ll just have to make another trip! 🙂

    • Monique Flasch

      Thank you! The garden is sneaky, it really is north of the city limits. But it is worth a look.

  • mariannewestrich

    We have the Norfolk Botanical Gardens here and I love to take a book and sit surrounded by the beauty!

    • Monique Flasch

      Isn’t it fun? Just to sit, read and see the beauty? Enjoy your garden time

  • Christyna

    Book buzz. Great term! Love it!

    • Monique Flasch

      I use it all the time!

  • Katherine Cummins

    Yes!! Book buzz; it’s one of my very favorite feelings, and now I know what to call it. Thank you 🙂

    • Monique Flasch

      🙂

  • Sheila M

    Thanks for the book recommendations!

    • Monique Flasch

      Hope you like them.

  • Patty Vasquez

    This is so funny. I’d read Elizabeth Hoyt’s other historical romance novels, but I hadn’t read her Maiden Lane books, until I happened upon Dearest Beast. Well, you called it. I read Dearest Beast and then promptly went in search of all the other Maiden Lane titles! Jennifer McQuiston’s books I’ve read, but I’ll have to check out Lily Everett. Of course school starts in 10 days.

    • Monique Flasch

      Yes, I started them backwards too. But that’s okay, they are awesome. Enjoy.

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    looking forward to reading Diary of an Accidental Wallflower

    • Monique Flasch

      You’ll enjoy it! 🙂

  • Texas Book Lover

    I’m going to use the term Book Buzz! So fitting!!!

    • Monique Flasch

      Doesn’t it just fit? Use away!

  • Erin F

    awww… the joy of a great book buzz.. which leads to book binges 🙂 I remember discovering Julie Garwood and binging on all her back titles. It’s an awesome feeling, discovering a new author and a fantastic story. Thanks for sharing!

    • Monique Flasch

      Thanks for reading! Enjoy the buzz.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    Thanks for the recommendations! I enjoyed your essay.

    • Monique Flasch

      Thank you for reading. 🙂

  • Pamby50

    Love the Chicago Botanical Gardens!! That is why spring is my favorite season. Who doesn’t love some Jennifer Crusie.

    • Monique Flasch

      When the CBG does tulip time… it is lovely! Agreed.

  • Marcy Shuler

    I like your three recommended authors. Now I’ll have to check out Jennifer Crusie. I think I’m the only person who hasn’t read her books yet. LOL

    • Monique Flasch

      Nah, there are other folks too! But have fun with discovering them.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    Oh how I wish I lived near your library! I live in a large metro city (St. Paul, MN) and my librarians are not always friendly or helpful. I loved Bet Me!!! It was the book that got me back to reading romances after having four kids, being a full-time teacher and having a husband who worked evenings. I so missed my romance novels. Now they bring me so much joy and chances to imagine and travel. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on JOY. BTW, I grew up on the south side of Chicago then moved to NW Indiana. As a young teacher I would escape to the gardens by LIncoln Park Zoo, & the zoo, for a quick recharge.

    • Monique Flasch

      Be kind but persistent at your library – you’re the patron and you can request titles you want. And you want romance. Some libraries don’t know that they have a lot of romance readers – they may not be paying attention. Ah, the Lincoln Park gardens – I was just thinking that I have not been to that conservatory in a long time. Glad that you have more time for reading romance.

  • This box of mixed romances seems so good…now I’m really weeping for not being in USA. 😉 Thanks for your words!

    • Monique Flasch

      Sorry! But thanks for reading!

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I’m rereading BET ME right now. I’m loving it all over again.

    • Monique Flasch

      It is one of my yearly re-reads – completely understand.

  • Sheryl N

    I enjoyed the post. I loved going to the library when I was a teenager because that is where I got hooked on the historical romance section. I have already read 2 of the recommendations and I am going to look at Jennifer Crusie and see what that book is all about. Thanks

    • Monique Flasch

      oh, you will have some fun.

  • Linda Henderson

    I have always enjoyed Louisa Edwards’ books and I recently discovered her new writing as Lily Everett so I’ve been gathering them too. I also read a lot of genre’s but romance is at the top of my list.

    • Monique Flasch

      She’s great!

  • Karen Mikusak

    This sounds like an awesome prize! Romance and chocolate – two of my favorite things! Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Monique Flasch

      Good luck!

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    Thanks for the chance!

    • Monique Flasch

      😉

  • Kim

    I’m lucky that the library system where I live carries a large number of romance books.

    • Monique Flasch

      And tell them that you enjoy them. It helps when fighting for collection money.

  • jcp smith

    I need to read Bet Me soon

    • Monique Flasch

      You will like it!

  • Jennifer C

    Bet Me is such a great book! I enjoyed reading your essay. I also love visiting my local botanical gardens. I get a little exercise and all the beauty really leaves me at peace after. 🙂

    • Monique Flasch

      Exactly!

  • LSUReader

    Thanks for the post. What great recommendations–Hoyt, McQuiston, and Everett are among my favorites, too.

    • Monique Flasch

      Excellent taste! 😉

  • Deana Dick

    Thanks for sharing about yourself. I love gardens also. I love the beauty and tranquility of the surrounding and all the brilliant colors .

    • Monique Flasch

      Tranquility is a great word to use about it. It can give you the feeling that all is right with the world.

  • catslady

    Libraries have always been my lifeline. With a not so great childhood, escaping into a book brought me so much joy. After moving I depended on a bookmobile for many years – they were wonderful and my two girls fell in love with books too (although one more than the other lol). Thanks for all you do!

    • Monique Flasch

      I’m glad libraries give you joy! You’re welcome. We love eager patrons.

  • Quinn Fforde

    I love a good book buzz! My best ones recently have been from Penny Reid and her quirky sense of humor. I thought I was the only one who loved Bet Me until recently. It has been coming up a lot since that NPR list. So great!

    • Monique Flasch

      Ooh, I’ll have to try her out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Debbie Fuller

    I love your post. I agree with you on so many levels. Thank you for taking the time to post here.

    • Monique Flasch

      Thanks for reading!

  • Kai W.

    The library was my favorite place when I was little. It has so many books and it was the perfect place when the weather got hot.

    • Monique Flasch

      😉

  • Dawn Anderson

    Elizabeth Hoyt ‘ s Maiden Lane series is one of my favorite group of books. I try to reread them once a year.

    • Monique Flasch

      Ooh, good idea. Not sure if I can add to my re-read pile.

  • Kareni

    The possibility of winning romances AND chocolate? That would be joyful indeed! Given your interest in mysteries, I’d love to hear your recommendations for a favorite mystery with a romantic element.

    • Monique Flasch

      What time period do you like? Sometimes I think the romantic element is done a bit better by the historical mystery writers.

      • Kareni

        Any time after the 1700s would be of interest, up to and including now.

        • Monique Flasch

          Okay – here are some to get you started… Regency – C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series. These are not your “pretty” regency – they are gritty and dirty and the bad side of town. Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Jane Grey – Victorian. Elizabeth Peters’ Ameila Peabody – Victorian lady traveling to Egypt. A must for those who enjoy Egyptology. Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily – Victorian. Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Whimsey and Harriet Vane books. Harriet is in the last 4 or five – 1920’s. And these are not romantic with a couple but Lady Phryne Fisher is in 1920’s Melbourne and is extremely independent & loves them and leaves them. Very James Bond-like that way. See if any of these will work for you…

          • Kareni

            Many, many thanks, Ms. Flasch, for all of the suggestions. They are much appreciated!

          • Monique Flasch

            The Phryne Fisher books are by Kerry Greenwood.

          • Kareni

            Thanks for the added information!

  • Aleen D

    A book buzz to me is when I can’t stop thinking about the story after putting it down. If the characters are still in my head or I can’t help thinking about how it will end. If a book is really good, I don’t want to leave their world, I want to go back in it and stay!

    • Monique Flasch

      Exactly!

  • Chelsea B.

    Jennifer Crusie is boss. All of her novels are SO on point!

    • Monique Flasch

      She’s the bomb. Cherry bomb.

  • Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Schroedle

    Whenever I am feeling stressed or under the weather, I always pull out one on my favorite romance novels to re-read. Always puts me in a better and calmer mood.

    • Monique Flasch

      Exactly!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I was lucky enough to attend the literacy signing in NYC last month. I find that the romance authors are very genuine & accommodating! So glad you got your book signed by a favorite author! I am also a fan of Jennifer Mcquiston. I have books by the other 2 authors you mentioned in my TBR stack!

    • Monique Flasch

      Don’t we all have to read faster? Sigh. Hope you enjoy them.

      • Sharlene Wegner

        LOL! Too many books, too little time.

  • Sue G.

    You sound like such a fun librarian! Thanks for the fun write up.

    • Monique Flasch

      Thanks for reading.

  • cheryl c.

    I like Jennifer Crusie’s books too. She is so witty that each book is a joy to read.

    • Monique Flasch

      And re-read. 😉

  • Joan Varner

    I agree with you that Jennifer Cruise’s BET ME is a book that brings me joy every time that I read it. I love the characters and the banter.

    • Monique Flasch

      Excellent taste!

  • Lynne Oberdieck Ernst

    Need to try Lily Everett. Enjoyed your view.

    • Monique Flasch

      Glad you liked it!

  • Angela H

    Thank you for the author recommendations – I am going to check them out.

    • Monique Flasch

      Hope you enjoy them…

  • Diane Sallans

    someday I’m going to get to a romance book conference too!

    • Monique Flasch

      They are fun! And some of them move around from town to town, so keep an eye out.

  • Alyn Yang

    I’ve been craving romance books lately. I have one more Fantasy YA book to go through, but I think I might just pick up one of my historical romance books instead. There is nothing like being swept away in a romance novel.

    • Monique Flasch

      Indeed!

  • Glenda

    So jealous of an excellent library! I do love both Elizabeth Hoyt and Jennifer McQuiston.

    • Monique Flasch

      When you have a good one, it can be a life saver.

  • kirsten west

    I love when I get the book buzz!

    • Monique Flasch

      Ditto!

  • Mary McCoy

    I love the idea of a book buzz. I got one when I went to the author panel recently at the RARM sponsored event at the Schaumburg Public Library.

    • Monique Flasch

      Wasn’t that a great day? Such fun authors.

  • Seanna Yeager

    I am a librarian at a community college, which a is a lot of fun. Although we do not carry many pleasure reading books.

    • Monique Flasch

      Some academic libraries have more fun fiction than others. It is hard if you don’t have the budget for it.

  • Violet Bick

    I think having friends who share book love must be one of the joys of life. I have friends/family who enjoy reading but just don’t get my love of romance novels, so I’m so grateful to websites like this where I find like-minded romance readers.

    • Monique Flasch

      I know what you mean. I might have more FB friends who like romance than in the “real” world.