RaeAnne Thayne – The Magical Journey of Romance

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

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Romance Novels – A Joyful Gift

I vividly recall the first real romance novel I ever read.EnchantedLandCover

I grew up in an old farm house in the northern Indiana countryside, outside Fort Wayne. Our nearest neighbors were half a mile away and no other kids my age lived closer than a mile away, too far to ride my bike on my own. As a result, I had close friends at school and at church but not the kind I could hang out with every afternoon. Instead, I would read voraciously, whatever I could get my hands on. Nancy Drew. The Happy Hollisters. The Bobbsey Twins. Anne of Green Gables. I loved them all. The school library was my very favorite place on earth!

One year for Christmas when I was not quite twelve, my older sister received a stack of romance novels in her stocking. It just so happened, northern Indiana was hit that year with a huge, record-breaking blizzard just after Christmas. We missed two weeks of school that January because we had snowdrifts over ten feet high in front of our house and buses in our rural school district simply couldn’t get through (no, I’m not exaggerating! We have the pictures!).Redemption Bay

Playing in the snow was fun for awhile but we grew cold and bored quickly and it wasn’t long before I remembered those books my sister received for Christmas. I sneaked in and grabbed one and can still vividly remember the cover. The book was Land of Enchantment by Jude Devereaux … and I read the entire 400-page book one glorious snowy day. I have vivid memories of huddling under a quilt in my little attic bedroom in our drafty old farmhouse, savoring page after page.

Over the years, I re-read it many times, until the characters seem like old friends –Morgan and Seth and Joaquin, the handsome but nefarious neighbor.

Each time I would relive that magical journey of the first time I read the book –the wrenching fear when the heroine crouched at her deathly ill child’s bedside, the stirring excitement when the hero chased her across the country to find her after she was kidnapped and the absolute thrill in my heart when Morgan and Seth finally found theirEvergreen happy ending.

I did not realize that winter I was a pre-teen that this single book would turn out to be a life-altering experience, making me fall in love with romance novels and eventually leading me to a wonderful career writing them.

I’ve had many fan letters over the twenty years I’ve been a published author but one in particular stands out. It was from a teenage girl who wrote to tell me that she used to hate to read and dreaded reading assignments in school, until she picked up my book FREEFALL, one of my earlier Silhouette Intimate Moments titles. She fell completely in love with the characters and the story … so much that she and a girlfriend read passages from it to each other on the phone. Now, she wrote me, she has picked up many other romance novels and absolutely loves to read.

As a storyteller, what more could I ask than for that precious gift of knowing my book had ignited a love of reading in someone?

This is what I consider the joy of reading romance novels. They deliver escape, they deliver comfort, they deliver heart-pounding journeys with compelling characters and unforgettable plots.

They deliver magic.

RaeAnne recommends:

Linda Goodnight lindagoodnight.com ) – her category novels are wonderful but her first single-title, THE MEMORY HOUSE, is simply beautiful.

Donna Alward ( donnaalward.com ) – I love the charming communities she creates, especially her Jewell Cove series.


Questions for the Author:

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

I have a son with severe disabilities who is nonmobile and nonverbal, as most of my readers know, and life with him is sometimes tough. He spends a lot of time in the hospital and even when he’s not sick, his daily care needs are challenging – yet he seems to be a conduit for sheer joy for everyone who works with him, with a giant capacity for love only equaled by his huge smile.

One particular afternoon stands out when he was about five. After a tough winter with repeated pneumonias and hospitalizations for him, summer was very welcome. My husband strung a hammock across a few trees on our property and I decided to cuddle with my son there one day, even though I was late on a book and had a million things to do. He loved it! We read stories from a stack of books for awhile then just listened to the various sounds of the neighborhood while I described the clouds, the sky, the sunlight gleaming on new leaves for my son who has very low vision. I have hundreds of memories like that with each of my children but that one is particularly special.

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

My entire family vacationed at a beachhouse in IMG_5025Hawaii this summer and the entire week was joy at its most pure – early mornings on a deserted beach with the surf and the seabirds, afternoons stretched out on chaises while we listened to slack-key guitar music above the soothing sound of the sea, evenings where we grabbed a meal of delectable garlic shrimp from a food truck and sat on the beach to enjoy every messy bite. It was the perfect vacation and I can’t wait to go back!

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Many sounds bring me joy – sweet, mellow jazz, the wind rustling the palm trees outside a beachhouse (see above!), my kids’ spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter. But one sound I really love is the click of my fingers on the keyboard. No other sound makes me happier, especially when the words are flowing and the story is coming together. I’m a very fast typist (100wpm, on average) so the keyboard can rock once I get going!

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’ve never forgotten the joy I felt reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time. I was ten years old and I read each page with such delight, completely enraptured by the story and the characters – and, of course, the growing romance between Anne Shirley and Gilbert. As soon as I finished, I immediately re-read 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)

My favorite Chris is … Chris Pratt. He makes me laugh every time he shows up in a scene, which is the most attractive trait a man can possess, as far as I’m concerned.

RaeAnne is generously giving away 3 copies of REDEMPTION BAY, as well as three hand-beaded bookmarks.

RaeAnne ThayneRaeAnne Thayne is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty books. Her books have won many honors, including four RITA nominations from Romance Writers of America, the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence and a career achievement award from Romantic Times magazine. Her stories – described as “poignant and sweet,” with “beautiful, honest storytelling (that) goes straight to the heart” have sold more than two million copies and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She finds inspiration from the beautiful northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her family.

Buy RaeAnne’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!)

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  • Marissa Yip-Young

    Nice interview

  • Melisa Safchinsky

    That first romance you read will always stay with you. Mine was Notorious by Virginia Henley

  • Linda May

    Love Romance stories, especially Rae Ann Thayne, thanks for the chance at this giveaway.

  • Molly

    I haven’t read any of your books yet. Do you have a recommendation of one to start?

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Hi Molly. All my books stand alone, though they’re in a series, but if you like to read books in order, you might want to start with BLACKBERRY SUMMER, since it’s the first of my Hope’s Crossing series, or SNOW ANGEL COVE, which was the first of my spinoff Haven Point series. Thanks for your comment!

  • Linda

    I love the sound of the waves, love your books.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thanks Linda!

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    I hope to visit Hawaii one day. It looks beautiful there.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      It’s amazing, Amy.

  • Kristan Higgins

    Oh, RaeAnne, your writing never fails to make me well up, and this post is no exception. Loved reading it!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thank you, my friend!

    • Agree! xo

  • Paula Osborne

    thanks for wonderful giveaway and reminding us of how hearing the joyful sounds give us much joy in our hearts.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      You’re welcome.

  • mariannewestrich

    Even a simple post is eloquent when you’re writing. Thank you!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thank you Marianne!

  • Susan Craig

    Thinking of the things that bring me joy is bringing me joy – thanks.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Perfect 🙂

  • Karen Mikusak

    Great interview. Love your books!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thank you Karen! I’m so happy you enjoy my books!

  • Jennifer C

    I loved the story of your son and the hammock! Beautiful!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thank you Jennifer. He’s such a sweetheart!

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    loved Anne of Green Gables when I was younger too

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      I still love it 🙂

  • Texas Book Lover

    The beachouse sounds very peaceful!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      It was wonderful! The most relaxing vacay ever!

  • Alyn Yang

    Jude Deveraux was one of the authors that started me off in the adult romance genre. For me, it was The Black Lyon.

  • Christyna

    My friend in college just happened to show me the book she was currently reading at the time and I became hooked to it and romance novels! Isn’t it interesting how one everyday event, such as a snow storm or a friend sharing a book, can change our lives forever? And for the better!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Love it, Chrystyna!

  • jcp smith

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Jen Callister

    What a great post. I loved Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins too!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you sharing and posting. I loved the post and I didn’t read or enjoy reading until late into my 40’s. Now I know that it was that I hadn’t
    found the genre that gave me hope and love and that happy-ever-after.

  • catslady

    Romances are just the best!

  • Dawn Anderson

    I had a friend who bought a romance novel, she read the first chapter, knew it wasn’t for her, and gave it to me. I found my love of romance novels from that book and I reread it every year.

  • Ren

    Love your books. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Pamby50

    I understand about the snow. The big snow of 67 in Chicago was a blast. Love Jude Deveraux. When I started reading her, people would ask if we were related. My last name is Devereux. I just laugh. I wish. I love you Hope’s Crossing series.

  • Sharon Forbes

    Thank you for your great post and the chance to win a copy of your book. I was especially interested in reading about your son, God bless you for all you do for him, I cannot begin to imagine what that’s like.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      He is truly a joy, Sharon.

  • CattleKate

    Thanks for the giveaway. Love your writing. Romance books are fantastic

  • Yaritza Santana

    Love your books thanks for chance.

  • kirsten west

    It was cool reading about the girl who found joy in your book.

  • Aleen D

    My mom got me started on Jude Deveraux. The first book I read by her was Knight in Shining Armor. Read that many times and will never forget it.

  • alisha woods

    chris pine

  • Julie Ford

    Thank you for the chance.

  • Anna

    Ohh, I love Hawaii! Which island?

    Looking forward to checking out your books!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      North shore of Oahu, between Laie and Kahuku. It was fabulous!

      • Anna

        Oooh, gorgeous!!

  • Carol Luciano

    After raising my seven children and finding myself with Time I picked up a Nora Roberts romance and I’ve been reading romance ever since. Thank you for your post aand the giveaway chance.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Marcy Shuler

    The first romance I remember reading as a pre-teen was Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. I still recall wishing someone would call me their ‘little cabbage’ in French. LOL

  • Rhi

    Anne of Green Gables is one of the books I remember reading very early on… That and watching the miniseries. Great books and a great romance too!

  • Kathleen Bylsma

    The sounds that bring me the most joy are the innocence of a baby’s laughter, a newborn pup or kitten squeaking for it’s mother, the first birds of the morning softly calling, fresh water tumbling over river rocks, the sweep of waves as they hit the shore…for starters 😉

  • Michele Hayes

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

  • Patty Vasquez

    I grew up in the country, as well, so books were some of my closest friends. One of the first romance novels that I remember very clearly is The Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow. There is a line at the end of the book when the heroine tells her erstwhile hero in a letter that “…she won’t have any lukewarm milk toast kind of marriage and I won’t have that kind of man.” He very promptly falls off his horse and hurts himself badly in his effort to get to her to show her just how lukewarm milktoast he really is. Their scene together, when she finds out he’s hurt and goes to his bedside, reads like a Tracy-Hepburn movie, all quips and sharp retorts and pure love. That scene has always stayed with me; I can picture is so clearly.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    My first teaching job was in the farming community outside of South Bend, IN and we had a similar snowstorm which closed school for close to 2 weeks. SO I know you weren’t joking. My daughters raided my collection of romance books when they were in junior high. I was so glad they enjoyed reading that the type of books didn’t matter. In fact when I was visitng my younger daughter a couple of weeks ago I had to comment that I noticed a few of my books in her bookcase! 🙂 Her retort was, “And I bet you didn’t notice they were missing.” Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on romance. BTW, I do enjoy your books.

  • Thanks for your words. I remember reading too, when snow was falling for days, when I was a child. A big big hug to your son!

  • Charlotte Litton

    RaeAnne, I love your books. My first romance book was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwess.

  • Betül

    Would love to visit Hawaii one day, such a beautiful place!

  • Lovely interview!

  • Texas Book Lover

    I never would of discovered my love of reading and romances of every other genre if it hadn’t been for my daughter and Twilight. I thank her all the time!

  • Lisa Hutson

    What a fun recalling of your first grown up romance read!
    It must have been amazing to hear from a fan in such a heart felt way!

  • LSUReader

    I love the snowy-day reading story. Isn’t it wonderful, years later, that we can still be so captured by a book that it sweeps us away from normal life for hours or a day? Such a great gift authors give readers. Thank you.

  • Diane Blaser

    I’ve been reading so long I’m not sure what book was my very first romance, but I know I loved Kathleen Woodiwiss from the very first book I read, and I was hooked!

  • marypreston

    My first belonged to my older sister. They were not my last.

  • Linda Henderson

    My first real journey into the romance genre, other than Emilie Loring and Grace Livingston Hill, was Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and The Flower. That book was like the pied piper leading me to my love of all romance books.

  • Jerry Marlatt Pierson

    You are a new author to me and then reading your story that you are from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I live in Hammond, Indiana and have been to Fort Wayne many times. I started reading Romance books with Barbara Cartland and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. They are amazing authors. Thank you for your giveaway and a chance to win.

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I read the Bobbsey Twins, too! And I am a fan of Donna Alward. It was great to meet her & you in NY last month! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Diane Sallans

    I started reading romance when my aunts gave my Mom a pile of Harlequins – I’ve been hooked ever since.

  • Debbie_K

    Love Read-a-romance month – would love to try some of your books

  • Kai W.

    First book I read for romance was Anne Mather’s Leopard in the Snow. I have been romance since.

  • rebecca moe

    Anne and Gilbert! One of my all time favorite couples 🙂

  • K Davis

    I agree, they do deliver magic. 🙂

  • Mary McCoy

    Something about snowy Midwest days is so conducive to romance reading.

  • Emily Baucom

    Love your books and that was a wonderful post!!

  • Bernadette Long

    I also believe in the magic of romance.

  • Sue G.

    What a wonderful memory with your son. And Hawaii for a week sounds heavenly!

  • Bernadette

    Love your post! You always have wonderful stories and your books are always captivating! =)