Miranda Neville – The Joy of the Bittersweet Journey

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


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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The Moments that Lead to Joy

Writing is not a joy. It’s hard and frustrating work. But there are moments of joy: a DDDphrase I love that seems to pop out of nowhere; the solution to a plot problem dredged from the subconscious; the satisfaction of being DONE DONE DONE with a manuscript. There is also sadness along the way. The best moments are when I make myself cry at the misery felt by the characters as they wend their way to their happy ending. And the happy ending is so sweet. Writing the last chapter is pure happiness. Everything is resolved and a couple finds joy in love and the prospect of the future beyond the page.

This parallels my experience as a romance reader. I know it’s going to end well but I suffer along the way. I also smile at a witty conversation, and feel my heart turn over at one of those moments. Every romance reader knows them and they usually combine recognition of and yearning for the loved one. I grind my teeth, wishing I’d written that sentence. And at the end I sigh with a great happy grin and read my favorite bits again.

Miranda recommends:

Carolyn Jewel’s ( carolynjewel.com ) historicals are outstanding if you like sexual tension DITDAand heroes who yearn—and let’s face it, who doesn’t? She also writes paranormal romance which I haven’t read but I bet they are good if that’s your catnip.

I’ve adored Jennifer Crusie’s  ( jennycrusie.com ) contemporaries for years—smart and witty. If you’re new to the genre and haven’t tried her, you can hardly go wrong.

Questions for the Author:

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

It’s an odd thing, but it’s been on my mind. My father died this year. After the funeral we went to dinner and ended up in his house with my brother, sisters, and sundry nephews and nieces, cracked open a bottle or two, and talked about how wonderful he was and all the happiness he’d brought us. Joy in the midst of sadness is poignant and piercing.

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

When I was thirteen I went on a school trip to Italy. I got off the vaporetto at St. Mark’s Square and burst into tears. The place was so beautiful it hurt and I remember thinking that I would never experience such happiness again. (Okay, thirteen-year-olds deal in drama.) I’ve been to Italy several times since but never Venice. I wonder if I would affect me so much now.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Last week I was listening to the news in the car, enraged by the state of the world. I flipped the dial and found the classical music station playing the last movement of Beethoven’s Emperor piano concerto. How bad can the human race be when it produced such a sublime work?  And speaking of Beethoven, he was not a happy man but he also wrote the Ode to Joy at the end of the Ninth Symphony. If you don’t know it, listen to 10,000 Japanese singers on YouTube. I guarantee it will fix the blues. 

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?

When I’m in need of a pick-me-up Loretta Chase (RARM 8/25) never fails me. If I have 51BiWU6eg4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_to pick one of her books, it would be Lord Perfect.

Chase’s writing is as witty, sexy, and just plain romantic as it comes. One of my favorite exchanges from Lord Perfect comes after Benedict and Bathsheba have almost (but not quite) succumbed to desire:

While he tied her petticoats, she swallowed and said, “I daresay proper ladies do not unbutton gentlemen’s trousers.”

“They do not do that,” he said as he tugged her frock straight, “nearly so often as one could wish.”

Every conversation between them is wonderful. The journey from instant attraction to profound love is charted through peerless dialogue with never a dull moment or a false note. Excuse me. I have to go and reread it immediately.

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)

Have admit I had to google half these guys (not Captain VonTrapp who never did much for me.)  Thank you very much. I’ll take them all.

Miranda is generously giving away a choice of any of her books to two winners, either print – depending on availability – or ebook.  (US only, apologies to international friends).


NevilleColorSmallerMiranda Neville grew up in England and studied history at Oxford University. After graduation she spent several years writing catalogues of rare books and original letters and manuscripts for Sotheby’s auction house in both London and New York, experience she drew on in her Burgundy Club series featuring Regency book collectors. She has also been a journalist and business owner and now writes historical romance for Avon. She lives in Vermont with her daughter and a cat of genius.

Find her online:

mirandaneville.com   |   Facebook   |   Twitter

Buy Miranda’s books:

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  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    Loretta Chase?! Never heard of her so now I have to go and find one of her books…great!

    • Miranda Neville

      You have a treat in store, Diana.

  • Molly

    I love your books

    • Miranda Neville

      I am so glad to hear that, Molly.

  • Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Schroedle

    My Dad passed away in 1998. He loved practical jokes. Whenever I think of him, I remember some of the ones that he pulled on me and how I got back at him for scaring me and giving me 20 more grey hairs. He was always full of laughter and a good man. That’s what I remember about him.

    • Miranda Neville

      You must miss your Dad, LIza, as I do mine. But they is always joy in the happy memories. Thanks for your comment.

  • I love your answers! Loretta Chase, Beethoven, Venice, joy in sorrow…Thank you so much!

    • Miranda Neville

      Sounds like we have similar tastes, Marinella.

  • sj1384

    There’s nothing quite like listening to a sonata to brighten the most grey of days. I have stopped listening to the news on the way to work and instead listen to classical music. It makes me much nicer when I get there. That and coffee. =D

    • Miranda Neville

      Definitely coffee 🙂

  • cheryl c.

    There IS joy when reading a couple’s happy ending after trials and tribulations. I refuse to read anything that doesn’t have the HEA ending.

    • Miranda Neville

      I know! The world is full of sad stuff. I want my reading to make me happy.

  • Karen Mikusak

    Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to win.

    • Miranda Neville

      Good luck!

  • Kareni

    Thanks for a thoughtful post. I’ve enjoyed reading your books as well as those by all of the authors you mentioned. Happy writing!

    • Miranda Neville

      Thank you, Karen.

  • Kim

    Thanks for posting. I just recently started reading your books. I picked up your last two and enjoyed them. It’s always nice discovering a new author.

    • Miranda Neville

      So glad to hear that, Kim. It’s always lovely hear about new readers.

  • catslady

    I love historicals and I’ve enjoyed your books! Thanks.

    • Miranda Neville

      Thanks, Catslady.

  • Christyna

    I know the part about “writing the phrase I love.” Doesn’t it just make you leap with joy–both inside and out–and you want to share it with the world?! It doesn’t happen often but when it does, whoa!!

    • Miranda Neville

      Not nearly often enough, Christyna.

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I have visited Venice more than once and you can trust me that it is emotionally overwhelming with its beauty each time. Go back again and get renewed.

    • Miranda Neville

      I will Dorothy! I love books (Donna Leon!) and movies set in Venice and I need to see it for myself again.

  • LSUReader

    Thanks for visiting today, Miranda. I enjoy your books.

    • Miranda Neville

      Thank you 🙂

  • Joanna Moreno

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that historicals, if well written, bring that sexual tension to the surface and leaves you yearning for more! Thank you for writing them =D

    • Miranda Neville

      Thanks, Joanna. I will love historicals to the end of time.

  • Sheryl N

    I love historical romance and I am a huge fan. Enjoyed the post

    • Miranda Neville

      Thanks, Sheryl.

  • Dawn Anderson

    I’m so happy someone finally recommended Jennifer Crusie. Welcome to Temptation was my first romance novel and she got me hooked on the genre.

    • Miranda Neville

      Great book! Bet Me is my favorite.

  • Marcy Shuler

    Many years ago my father passed away at the beginning of December. My mom was also terminally ill, so that Christmas we all gathered at her home (she was being cared for by family and hospice at home) and had pizza for our holiday meal. We spent the time visiting with my mom and each other. Others might not understand, but that was one of the best Christmas memories I have now. My mom passed away 6 months later.

    • Miranda Neville

      Thank you for that, Marcy. I understand how much that pizza Christmas dinner meant.

  • Diane Sallans

    Thanks for doing the hard work to bring us the joy of reading your stories!

    • Miranda Neville

      Thanks, Diane

  • Patty Vasquez

    Oh, I LOVE the eldest three Carsington brothers! I’m not sure which of them I love more; Alastair, Rupert, or Benedict. And you’re right, Loretta Chase’s writing is extraordinary; she’s always good for a pick-me-up.

  • Texas Book Lover

    I love that you had to Google the Chris. I find that I am so out of touch that I often have to Google things my daughters are talking about to get up to speed.

  • Erin F

    It’s definitely the journey to get to the HEA that makes all the difference 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Carol Luciano

    I really enjoyed your post Miranda. And I’ve enjoyed your books for quite sometime. Thanks for the giveaway chance.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at ) aol (dot) com

  • mariannewestrich

    Sorry for the loss of your father. We lost mine a little over 5 years ago. The memories are still a lot of joy amid the sorrow!

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  • alisha woods

    Chris Pine

  • Pamby50

    Sorry for your loss. I am glad you have wonderful memories of him. I love that you had to look up who all the Chris’s were.

  • Linda Henderson

    I think it’s better too to celebrate a life, that’s what I told my kids I wanted after I am gone. They will probably all get together and gripe about the amount of books I’ve accumulated since I lost all mine in the tornado here.

  • Michele Hayes

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

  • Glenda

    Love your books, Miranda. I understand what you mean about finding joy in the midst of sadness.
    I’ve read Carolyn Jewel and Loretta Chase – but not Chase’s Lord Perfect. I’m gonna have to get it!

  • LaurieL

    Okay, just added Lord Perfect to my re-read list.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Ah, Jennifer Crusie was one of my first author binges. I read Bet Me and then everything else she wrote that I could get my hands on. I will admit I’ve binge read some of your books as well and I enjoyed reading your post! My family has had some wonderfully joyous moments come out of tragic circumstances as well. I think that is the sign of a strong and happy family. Thanks again and I appreciate your dedication and hard, hard work!

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    It is because of Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me that I started reading romance again. I love her books and re-read a number of them whenever I need a pick me up. Her humor kept me going through some tough times. Sort of like Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins do now. I enjoyed your post and appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Thank you. You are a new author to me and I will be checking out your books.

  • Sheila M

    I love Lord Perfect as well.

  • Kai W.

    Venice, Italy is quite a wonderful place to explore. Yes, I did get lost but I had the bell tower in sight so I was able to get back to the Square.

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I was lucky enough to get a copy of Dancing in the Duke’s Arms signed by you & the other excellent authors, Miranda. Thank you again for that! I am also a fan of Loretta Chase & loved Lord Perfect!

  • kirsten west

    Thanks for the author recommendations!

  • Angela H

    My dream is to one day travel to Italy – glad you had the chance to do that many times