Susan Donovan – Joyful & Entertaining

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


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Joyfully Entertaining

Real life can throw us some nasty curve balls. (Sing it, Beyoncé — “… I went to bed on topmoondance beach of the world. Today the world’s on top of me.”) That’s one of the reasons I find reading romance novels to be a joyful experience. No matter how hairy things get in the plot, somewhere in the back of my mind is the knowledge that everything’s going to be all right. No matter how gut wrenching the conflict is between the hero and heroine, I carry the little nugget of comfort with me that they’ll find a way to get through it, together.

The result is a joyfully entertaining experience. When the emotional rollercoaster ride we take with the characters ends with a deeply satisfying and positive outcome, we share in their joy. And we want to start the journey all over again.

The modern romance novel is about family and personal evolution as much as finding the right guy, so I believe happy endings can be affirming for the reader. When I finish a romance novel, I feel stronger and more hopeful as I go off to face my own challenges.

Susan recommends:

Shelly Alexander, author of “It’s In His Kiss.”

Beth Ciotta, author of the Cupcake Lovers books and many other novels. (Read Beth’s “Joy of Romance” post.) 

Crystal Hubbard, author of everything from delightful children’s fiction to hot and sexy contemporary romance.

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.  Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

Putting these two together:  About six months ago when, after two weeks of living in my new house, I realized I wasn’t on vacation! It hit me that this beautiful, tranquil, positive place was now my home.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

For me, the most joyful sound in the world is the laughter of the people I love. It’s powerful music.

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?

Many books bring me joy in that the story allows me to feel connected to something greater than myself. “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd is one of the most joyful, affirming novels I’ve ever read. For me, it was a reminder that a vast mystical world exists just below the surface of our everyday lives.

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, boy! (No pun intended.) I’ll answer this like the dirty-old-woman I’ve clearly become and say Chris Pine. That hunka-hunka could pilot my starship anytime, anywhere.

Susan is generously giving away signed copies of the entire “Bayberry Island” series to one lucky US reader (apologies to international friends). The include:

SEA OF LOVE  |  THE SWEETEST SUMMER  |  MOONDANCE BEACH And the novella “A Seaside Christmas,” in the CHRISTMAS ON MAIN STREET anthology.

To enter leave a comment on this post, on the RARM Facebook post or both (you can find the FB post here) before Thursday Sept. 3 11:59 pm CST.

publicity glassesSusan Donovan’s novels have won accolades for being witty, sexy, and entertaining. A former newspaper reporter with journalism degrees from Northwestern University, Susan is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller whose novels have been translated into dozens of languages. Susan is a two-time RITA Award finalist, and her novel TAKE A CHANCE ON ME was named Best Contemporary Romance of 2003 by RT Book Reviews Magazine. She lives in New Mexico with her family and assorted dogs.

Find Susan at or on Facebook.

Buy Susan’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!

  • Thank you for stopping by today. I look forward to chatting with you and answering any questions you might have. Hit me up!

  • Linda Henderson

    What a beautiful cover. I do admit, I love series books. I have a tendency to get attached to characters so I love to find out what happens to them in later stories. I obviously read romance for the happy ending but since real life has twists and turns I think a good romance story should have the same. Otherwise it would be totally unbelievable. I’ve been reading romance for more years than I like to admit, makes me feel really old. And I can’t see myself changing anytime soon.

    • I love the cover, too! In fact, the covers for the whole series have been lovely. Thanks, Linda.

  • Sue G.

    Love your Chris answer! LOL!

  • catslady

    I must admit I’ve not read her as yet but I enjoyed hearing about her and her books. Who doesn’t want a HEA.

  • Kim

    I didn’t think anyone could play Captain Kirk except William Shatner, but Chris Pine did a great job.

    • The Young Mr. Pine certainly rose to the occasion. I found myself a bit overheated watching that movie.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    We all end up with the “world on top” once in awhile. Thank goodness for escapes like romance novels to get us back on top.

  • Kareni

    Enjoy your new beautiful, tranquil and positive home; it sounds enticing and welcoming. And happy writing!

    • Thank you, Kareni. Much appreciated. My new home is a writer’s dream. I’m very blessed.

  • Dawn Anderson

    Thanks for the giveaway, I would love to win this collection of books.

  • Karen Mikusak

    What a great prize! Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Katy Lee

    Enjoy your new home.

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    i’m dirty middle aged and I say PRATT

    • We dirty-old-women can choose whomever we want to be the object of our inappropriate ogling. Rock on!

  • Texas Book Lover

    How nice of a feeling to come home to everyday!

  • Rose K

    Been a fan ever since Knock Me Off My Feet! Out of all your books, do you have a favorite heroine or hero?

    • Hi Rose — thanks for being a fan! As far as favorites go — ACK! That’s like asking me to pick a favorite of my children. I have to say that Duncan Flynn and Adelana Silva from MOONDANCE BEACH are right up there at the top — both complicated and deep people.

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you for posting and inspiring me. Today’s posts are giving me the courage to tackle something I may have been putting off for far to long. Cryptic? Yes, but I’ll leave it at that.

    • I hear you, Debbie. Sometimes it takes a while to muster the courage to tackle the big things. Good luck. to you! 🙂

  • Quinn Fforde

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Carol Luciano

    I’m going to have to read The Secret Life Of Bees. Thanks for your post.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Sharing in joy…good words. To go off to face one’s challenges more hopeful and strong…awesome!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Marinella. No such thing as TOO hopeful or TOO strong. 🙂

  • Ellen

    Congratulations on your happy home. Chris Pine….mmmmm

    • Ah, yes. If only Chris Pine shared my happy home . . . it would be even happier.

  • Aye Lopez

    “When the emotional rollercoaster ride we take with the
    characters ends with a deeply satisfying and positive outcome, we share
    in their joy. And we want to start the journey all over again.”

    You couldn’t say it better!

    Thanks for the chance 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Aye. Good luck with the prize drawing!

  • Ren

    Good Luck in your new home. It sounds wonderful.

    • Thanks, Ren! It is wonderful. This is the view from down the street.

  • Pamby50

    You were a new author to me a year ago. That all changed after reading your post last year. Ain’t To Proud to Beg was the first book I read and continued on. Loved the dresses on the covers.

  • Molly

    You are a new author to me.

  • T. Rosado

    Since I wasn’t reading romance 5 years ago or even 2 years ago (reformed romance snob,) I have had the pleasure of finding some of your older books in second hand shops. Since my snobbery subsided, my favorite genre within a genre is romantic comedies. I love the dose of humor you put into many of your books. One of my favorites being He Loves Lucy.

  • Jami B.

    I’ve read many of your older books, but this is one series my library hasn’t ordered. Thanks for the chance!

  • Emmel

    Love the Beyoncé lyric. There are many days like this!

  • Erin F

    Sooo true!!! Reading is such an escape from the bummers of real life 🙂 thanks so much for sharing!

  • Aleen D

    I agree, reading is like a rollercoaster, I never want to disembark.

    • And you don’t have to — there are so many good romance novels out there!

  • Gretchen Miller

    So very much so

  • mariannewestrich

    Love that the romance novels I read provide an entertaining escape from the day-to-day!

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    I am in love with the cover of Moondance Beach.

    • Thank you, Amy! I hope you fall in love with the story inside, as well. 🙂

  • suepeace

    I am not entering (I’m in Canada) but love this post and your books! I’m looking forward to picking up Moondance Beach 🙂

  • kirsten west

    Enjoyed your post! Sometimes, the HEA is the only thing that keeps me going till the end.

  • Jennifer C

    I love how much you love your new home! That is the best feeling (to be right at home, at home. :)) I read for escape, too, so love the happily ever after.

  • Diane Sallans

    I’m starting to think about where to relocate to a tranquil home – I’m thinking something near water – lake, river, ocean or bay.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    You book Public Displays of Affection is on my keeper shelf (as are others) but one I return to again and again!! It’s a comfort read. I have yet to discover your series books but will be looking ofr them. I really enjoyed your essay and agree about the journey.

  • donnas

    Thanks for sharing. Its great to hear about how romance effects everyone.

  • Glenda

    Part of the joy of romance is definitely knowing 100% for sure that things will work out and the characters will get their happy ending.

  • Carin Shaughnessy

    Romance novels do make me feel better and happier, but the best thing is it makes me feel anything is possible. I don’t have to wait for the guy to make the first move, I can. It it’s up to me to create my future.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I’ve read a few of your boos but I’d love to read more! I am definitely adding your Bayberry Island series to the top of my list. Great post and I completely agree with your thoughts on how affirming happy endings can be for the reader. I love romance because I know I won’t finish a book depressed because of no happy ending. Although, I am sometimes sad to finish a book just because I don’t want it to end, haha. Thanks for the great giveaway and I look forward to exploring more of your backlist!

  • Rachael Brown

    I read The Sweetest Summer and loved it! I would love to have signed copies of the entire Bayberry Island series. Thank you for the chance.