Roxanne St. Claire – Joyful Tears, Great Romance

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

Tears of Joy

Truth be told, I’m a crier. Almost any heartfelt emotion – from sadRoxanneStClaire_BarefootwithaBodyguard_HRness to surprise, from anger to angst, even a moment of holding someone dear in my arms — can have me reaching for the tissues and hoping I wore waterproof mascara.  My mother used to say that I cried every day of my life until I was fourteen, and then I may have only skipped a few days in between then and now.  I’m so used to the lump in my throat and the dampness in my eyes, that sometimes I don’t even notice if a poignant TV commercial or a heart-wrenching ballad has me blinking away the tears.

Despite hundreds of studies, no one has really discovered a definitive reason why we cry, but no one disputes the therapeutic benefits of a good cry.  It’s said that tears actually contain a painkilling substance and are closely linked to chemicals like serotonin in our brain, and one Yale scientist claims crying is a natural function to restore emotional equilibrium.  But the tears that confound science the most are the ones I treasure so much that I actually anticipate shedding them – tears of joy.

Joyful tears have a different feeling and flavor, I think, than any other kind of tears.  They Barefoot Whitewell up from a place of promise and hope, as opposed to most crying, which is our human reaction to sadness and frustration.

I relish tears of joy, and I’m sure this is why I write romance for a living.  It’s certainly why I’ve read romance novels since I was about ten years old.  Because  sweet, satisfying, soul-twisting happy tears are the reward for suffering with two people who have battled their way over a mountain of conflict have finally won the love war.  If I don’t wipe a tear (or ten) at that Happy Ever After promise, then the author, I’m sorry to say, hasn’t done her job for me.

And the same is true of my own books.  I better get a little choked up while writing that emotional climax and not JUST because The End is near!  If I’m dry-eyed during the ultimate declarations of love between a hero and a heroine, then something isn’t right. Either the scene is set up wrong, the dialogue isn’t ringing true, or the love just wasn’t hard-won enough.  I often write, rewrite, re-rewrite, revise and even polish an entire book many times before I even tackle that all-important HEA scene.  Because I know, once I get the 99% of the story taking us up to that point just right…then the tears of joy are inevitable.  I want to shed them, and I want my reader, no matter how hard-hearted she thinks she is, to at least see the words blur before her eyes during that cherished moment.

So, what about you? Do you shed a few tears of joy at the happiest lines of a romance novel? Can you think of one that just *slayed* you? Please share so we can all have a good, and I do mean good, cry.

Rocki recommends:

Authors who guarantee tears of joy: 

Lily Everett ( who writes a deeply emotional and cry-worthy series called Sanctuary Island;

Rachel Hauck  ( books are inspirational, gorgeous, and weepy; 

Leigh Duncan ( a brilliant writer who always has me running for tissues on the closing pages.

Questions for the Author:

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

We were given a hint *not* to talk about babies or weddings for this question, but I simply can’t come up with a moment  that rivals the day I was wheeled out of the hospital carrying my daughter. Just a year earlier had been told my chances of having another baby were next to none. I had a healthy son, and I should call myself fortunate.  But God had a different plan and I finally got the daughter I’d dreamed of my whole life.  I remember being pushed down the hall holding a bundle of pink and blubbering like a fool.  “I have my girl. I have my girl.”  I was vibrating with pure, unadulterated joy.  She leaves for college in less than two weeks, so…there will likely be more tears in my very near future. Maybe not so joyous.

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

positano picThis past summer, my family and I took our first overseas vacation, and spent two weeks in Italy.  I’ve wanted to make this trip my entire life – it was the one and only item on my personal “bucket list” – and the entire vacation was made up of one joyous day after another.  On our penultimate night in Positano, we opted for something simple and decided to have room service…on our balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  The Amalfi Coast sealed itself as a magical place that night, and will always be the site of the best family dinner we’ve ever had.  Just the four of us in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  No makeup or fancy clothes, no restaurant, just us on a night I’ll never forget as long as I live.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

The sound of my kids coming home from school and calling out to me, especially on their last day of the year.  When my son was in kindergarten, he burst through the door on that last day and announced, “Your fuwst gwader is home!” It became a tradition and every year, he’d announce the next school year’s level.  This past May, I was hard at work in my office and he was on his way home from college a few weeks after graduation.  When the door opened, he called out, “Your law student is home!” and  — shocker! — I burst into tears!  It was like I blinked and he went from kindergarten to law school.

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’m going to go back in time a bit to one of my all-time favorite Linda Howard novels, CRY NO MORE. Honestly, were they kidding when they gave the book that title? It should be called CRY FOR DAYS. This book has one of the most emotionally wrenching (and joyous!) endings I’ve ever read. I’m a little choked up just thinking about it. Tears of Joy fans should run for this book.

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 Pine, hands down!! Those blue, blue eyes and that sexy half smile. Yum!

Roxanne is generously giving away Books to Bring Tears of Joy: a full set of The Barefoot Bay Brides trilogy to one U.S. reader and one set of the Barefoot Bay Billionaires trilogy  to another (apologies to international friends). 

For bio pageRoxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of about forty romance, suspense, and young adult novels.  A six-time RITA nominee and one-time winner, she has also been awarded the National Reader’s Choice Award three times, the Booksellers Best, Bookbuyers Best, and many others.  Her novels have been translated into dozens of languages, optioned for film, and appear regularly on a number of bestseller lists.

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