Amanda Bouchet – Limitless and Welcoming

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!

If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!

#LoveRomance

Romance Makes Me Happy

Romance makes me happy. It’s as simple as that. Romance, not to be confused with a love story, will deliver Promise of Firethe happily ever after we all crave. Love stories can be beautiful, but so many of them are tragic as well, leaving me an inconsolable mess. When I have a moment to read, relax, and simply enjoy myself, I turn to a romance novel because I want to feel good. Getting to the happy ending is never an easy or painless path, but I know I will get there, that the journey will be satisfying, and that the author won’t leave me brokenhearted in the end. When I dive into a book, which I do a lot, I want to come out of it feeling good.

The same is true for me with cinema. I’ll go for romantic comedy, action, adventure, thriller, science fiction—really anything that doesn’t leave me miserable at the end. I live in France, and French cinema, while not limited to this, is notorious for ripping away the hard-fought happy ending at the last possible moment. After two hours of drama and emotional torment to finally get to a good point, a senseless drive-by shooting comes out of nowhere to kill off one of the lovers, or both. Flash flood—one drowns. An avalanche! While this kind of sudden, heart wrenching turnaround is fine for some people, it’s not my idea of a good time. On our very first date, my now-husband took me to see a film called The Barber of Siberia. He’d already seen it and loved it. A Russian love story! So amazing! I just had to see it, too! While the movie was undeniably well done, after hours of uncontrollable sobbing on my part, the poor man was sure he’d ruined his chances with me forever. Fourteen years of marriage and two kids have proved him wrong, but he’s never asked me to see another tragic love story with him. Romance, though, no problem.

There are so many sources of stress and trouble in the world. For a guaranteed few, I can simply turn on the Promise Fireevening news. On a lesser but more frequent level, I can chase my kids around with their pajamas and toothbrushes as they joyfully resist getting ready for bed. When it’s all said and done, in my entertainment hours, I want to be lifted up, made to smile, and filled with satisfied, happy feelings. Romance novels are a chance to be swept away into something wholly different—London ballrooms, a vampire’s wicked clutches, a Texas ranch, the Scottish Highlands, magic, intrigue, time travel, and so much more. The possibilities are virtually limitless. With bumps, twists and turns, action (in all senses of the word!), humor, and drama along the way, I can go for an emotionally charged journey guaranteed to leave me feeling good in the end.

My love for romance novels started when I was probably still too young for them. To this day, they keep me up far too late at night, make me laugh and cry, dazzle me with wit, keep me on the edge of my seat, feed my imagination, and make me fall in love with new heroes and heroines all the time. For years, I seemed to be the only one among my friends and family to have been bitten by the romance bug. Reading romance was something I ended up keeping mostly to myself to avoid the inevitable side-eye or casually thrown out, “You read that fluff?” from people who had never read romance and had no idea how intelligent, complex, and wonderful romance novels can be. It turned into a guilty pleasure when there should have been nothing guilty about it. Discovering that there is a vibrant and enthusiastic romance community was like opening the wardrobe to Narnia—pure magic!

Before I started writing seriously, I had no idea such an amazing community existed. Now that I’ve found it, it’s become my second home. There isn’t a group of people out there more supportive, fun, ready to share their favorite reads with the world and encourage their favorite authors, or more welcoming to newcomers like me. We cheer each other on in our love for romance, and that is something else that makes me incredibly happy.

Amanda Bouchet recommends: 

I love books that make me laugh out loud. Here are some authors that never fail to put a smile on my face.

Darynda Jones    –     daryndajones.com    (at Amazon)    –    with her Charley Davidson series. Part-time P.I. and full-time grim reaper, Charley is quirky, funny, and totally endearing as she helps solve crimes and bring closure to the recently departed. There’s emotion, adventure, a steamy romance, and the chapter headings are hilarious, too.

Kresley Cole’s     –    kresleycole.com   (at Amazon)    –     Immortals After Dark series has the best heroines! With their smart mouths, strength, and independence, they’re fresh and entertaining and definitely keep their alpha heroes on their toes.

Elle Casey     –      ellecasey.com    (at Amazon)    –     has a knack for laugh-out-loud humor. I laughed so hard I cried during her NA romance, Rebel. I also adore her new sci-fi series, Drifters’ Alliance, which has a kickass heroine, a little romance, and a big mystery going on in space.


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.

I got married in a small village in the French Alps in 2002. We’d had a cold and rainy summer, but on my wedding day, the sun decided to shine, it was warm, and tourists and locals came out in force. After weeks of terrible weather, people were practically flinging their arms wide and running down mountainsides singing, “The hills are alive…” Everyone was elated. We had a five minute walk to get from where we were staying to the town hall, where the legal part of the ceremony would be performed, so the whole wedding party struck out on foot. I was decked out in my wedding dress and accessories which, for reasons unknown to me now, included a pearly tiara and half gloves, and boy did we turn heads! As we walked, people clapped, cheered, whistled, and shouted, “Vive les mariés!” (“Long live the bride and groom!”). It was a fun and unforgettable romantic moment for me. 

Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.

While my mother and I only occasionally share the same taste in books, we both love to watch sweeping romantic sagas on television. Outlander, Poldark, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and similar series are constantly being passed back and forth between us. We get ridiculously excited about our favorite shows. To hear us discuss the characters and storylines, you’d never know we were talking about fiction!

 Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?

 Definitely! I equate Scotland with romance, and not only because my first romance novels were Scottish historicals! Tumbling-down castles, lochs and mountains, legends and misty glens, there’s an almost tangible, shiver-inducing richness of magic and mystery in the air that appeals to everything romantic inside of me. I’d be hard-pressed to name a more stirringly romantic moment in my life than when I was on a heather-clad hillside in Glen Coe, a gunmetal sky above me, a twisting, green valley below, and a lone piper playing Amazing Grace and turning the mountaintop into a cathedral for us all.

Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?

Beauty and the Beast! I love a tortured hero, especially one who’s gruff and with an air of danger about him, but who is really kind and generous underneath—or who at least learns to be that way as he opens himself up to caring for someone else. And Beauty, who can see beyond the physical to the soul underneath, is gentle and patient but no doormat, which is just what she needs to be to tame the Beast!

Tell us about your dream date. 

 Can Thor take me to Asgard? No? Well then, maybe something a little more attainable. I can see myself and Thor my husband on the patio of an Italian restaurant in late summer looking out over the Tuscan hills. The scene would be a patchwork of green and golden fields, with tall cypress trees, insects chirping, the grass swaying in a light breeze, and the smell of roasting garlic in the air. I would have a glass of red wine and enough antipasti to make three meals out of, bread and cheese, and absolute peace and quiet around us. Since this is my dream date, we’d have the whole restaurant to ourselves and a gorgeous painted sky summer sunset to watch while we ate.

Amanda Bouchet and Sourcebooks Casablanca are generously giving away 3 print copies of A Promise of Fire, one each to three lucky U.S. winners, and 2 e-book versions of A Promise of Fire, one each for two international readers. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST Aug 14, 2016. Good luck! 

***International friends, be sure to include your country in your comment so we know to include you in the international drawing.  Good luck!

(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. Also consider joining the Read-A-Romance Book Club page, where we discuss romance of all kinds and will have drawings and events throughout the year.)

#LoveRomance  #HappyReading

 


Bouchet Best-2 with copyrightAmanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

A French master’s graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

Learn more:

amandabouchet.com        |         Facebook         |         Twitter

 

Buy Amanda Bouchet’s books:

availableon-amazon       availableon-nook    availableon-kobo

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

  • Toni

    Romance makes me happy too. Thanks for your post! And your dream date sounds amazing.

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thank you! Too bad there’s very little chance of my dream date becoming reality 😉 Maybe someday… In the meantime, I’m very happy with simpler things, too!

  • Linda Henderson

    My kids like to give me a hard time about movies I watch. I love action adventure, romance, comedy, and really just about anything but I always asked them in advance if the main character dies in the end. Well with the exception of Braveheart because I knew he died in the end. Nothing makes me madder than to spend hours watching a movie, good or not, just to see one of the main characters die in the end. If I know going in it doesn’t matter as much. I’ve been reading romance since I was a young teenager starting with Emilie Loring and Grace Livingston Hill and graduating up to Kathleen Woodiwiss and her glorious The Flame and The Flower. I went to spend a couple of days with my sister last week and I took 5 paperbacks and a kindle with me, for a two day visit. I am a romance reader and proud of it.

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thank you for sharing this! We sound like sisters at heart 🙂

  • Pamby50

    The best thing about Read-A-Romance Month is that I get introduced to new authors. That first year I hadn’t heard of half of them. I was in my zone and didn’t step out. So much has changed. I look forward to discovering your books. Any hint as to where to start.

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thank you! A Promise of Fire is my debut, so that would be the place to start! Breath of Fire, my second book, comes out in January. If you do pick them up, I hope you’ll enjoy!

      • Pamby50

        I added it to my wish list. My kids gift me books all the time from my wish list.

        • Amanda Bouchet

          That’s great! Thank you! And that’s really sweet of your kids 🙂

  • catslady

    Sounds like something I would really enjoy and have to say I love the cover too!

    • Amanda Bouchet

      The cover is just perfect for the novel! It’s truly the heroine come to life!

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    Thank you for your lovely post. Oh to get married like you did, walking through town in all of your wedding attire. You are a new to me author and I look forward to discovering your books.

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thank you, Eileen! If you pick up A Promise of Fire, I hope you’ll enjoy it!

  • “When I dive into a book, which I do a lot, I want to come out of it feeling good”: really true! Thanks for your post. I hope your dream date will happen soon.
    A big hug from Italy

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Yay! I love Italy! I can’t wait to go back! One of my favorite memories is of a drive through the hills of Tuscany when there was a light dusting of snow on the ground and a red and orange painted sky from the sunset.

      • I love Tuscany too, because of Piero della Francesca, the villas, the hills, the beautiful little cities on the hills…Arezzo, Sansepolcro, Cortona, Firenze off course, Saturnia…I live near Rimini, on the other side of the Appennini, but It’s only three hours to Florence by train. (Italy is long but slim…). I hope you’ll get back in Italy soon and you’ll receive a wonderful welcome!

        • Amanda Bouchet

          I would love to go back to Italy! I live in France, so it shouldn’t be too hard, but with work, kids, etc. it just hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully soon!

    • Ada H

      Hi, this is Ada and I’m helping with the RARM drawings. You have been chosen as one of Amanda Bouchet’s winner. Please send a message with your email address to me at ada@readaromancemonth.com and we’ll put Amanda in touch with you. Please send a response by next Sunday, August 28/16. Thanks and Congrats!

      • Thank you so much! I’m very happy to have won a book by Amanda Bouchet!

  • mariannewestrich

    Would loved to have seen your wedding party headed down the street. I know you brought joy to many others that day just by sharing your love and hope for the future!

    • Amanda Bouchet

      I hope so! That’s such a wonderful way of looking at it! 🙂

  • Alex

    Amanda, I love, LOVE foreign film. I’ve only watched two French films on Netflix, Les Combattants and Populaire, but I’m looking for more! I love a good romance (of course), but I’m really not picky about genre and don’t mind unhappy endings. What I love is watching stories told through the lens of another culture, and I’m a language junkie to boot! Do you have any recommendations? French films or other favorites?

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Oh, that’s so great that you watch foreign films! I have a few French favorites – Un air de Famille is wonderful, and Le Gout des Autres is really good too. If you want comedy, there is Les Visiteurs, or tragic and lyrical there is the story of the lady sculptor Camille Claudel. If you know French, Le Dîner des Cons is a masterpiece of word plays and clever lines, but I have no idea how the subtitles might come out. I watched an Italian mini series that I ADORED many years ago, and I can’t remember the name (shoot!) but it told the story of siblings from their childhood to oldish age and was absolutely wonderful. I did cry though. A lot. And I’m a huge fan of Scotland and two of my favorite shows are Hamish Macbeth and The Monarch of the Glen. Maybe you’ll find something in those to tempt you!
      We’re in luck – my husband remembers the Italian mini series name: The Best of Youth (La Meglio Gioventu). I highly recommend it!

      • Alex

        Thank you so much for the recs! I’m definitely one for watching old episodes of Monarch of the Glen on lazy Sundays… Anyway, I’ve added them all to my library request list. The mini series looks amazing!

    • First of all, an obscure french film I loved years ago is called Angel A, and if you haven’t seen A Very Long Engagement, get it now! ;o)

      Second, you’re Amanda’s winner. Yay! xo

      I think I have your email from this comment, so I hope its correct and you’ll confirm soon.

  • Helen Scott

    I love the cover of your book! Also we have similar dream dates. I can’t wait to take my husband to Italy!

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Hi Helen! I agree – the cover of A Promise of Fire is just amazing! I have been in love with it since the moment I saw it 🙂 So cool that we have similar dream dates!

    • Hi Helen! You’re on of Amanda’s winners. :o)

      I think I have your email off this comment, so please confirm when you get a message from me. xo

      Bobbi

  • Heather Roach

    Great post. Your book is at the top of my TBR

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thank you, Heather! I hope you’ll enjoy A Promise of Fire!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Thank you for taking the time to post here. Great read.

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thank you, Debbie! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was really fun to write.

  • Karen

    Lovely post! I’ve read great reviews of “A Promise of Fire” and I’m looking forward to reading it!

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thank you, Karen! I hope you’ll enjoy it!

  • Meghan Stith

    I’ve heard so many good things aboht Kresley Cole, your recommendation, but have not reAd her yet! I have one of her books sitting on my massive bookcase just waiting to be read. Someday… Someday.

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Hi Meghan! Kresley Cole is one of my favorite authors. I read everything she writes – YA or adult (and it can be VERY adult!). I hope you’ll like it if you pick up one of her books!

  • Molly

    I will definitely have to try her books.

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thanks, Molly!

  • rebecca moe

    Oh my goodness, I don’t think I could sit through more than one of those tragic romances. Give me a rom com any day!

    My daughter and I are counting the days (too many, if you ask us) until the live action Beauty and the Beast comes out. I can’t wait to see “Matthew” finally do something romantic again! His latest projects have been anything but.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Hi Rebecca. I can’t wait for the movie, too! I think it’s going to be AMAZING!!

      • rebecca moe

        I know, right 🙂

        Counting. The. Days.

  • Mary McCoy

    Love your wedding story, great looking book cover!

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thanks, Mary!

  • Krysten Mich

    Completely agree, Beauty and the Beast is the best and great recommendations! Absolutely cannot wait to read this book, it’ll be my next beach day read 😉

    • Amanda Bouchet

      Thank you, Krysten! I hope you’ll enjoy A Promise of Fire 🙂

  • Bube

    One of my favorite Disney movies – Beauty and The Beast 🙂
    Thank you for the wonderful post 🙂
    Macedonia

    • Amanda Bouchet

      It was always my favorite too! …Until Rapunzel came along 😉