Carolyn Crane – #LoveRomance & Hope

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!


Four scenes from the life of a romance writer


I’m scrolling through stock photo sites for cover images. We’re talking page after page full OffTheEdge-CarolynCrane-500x750of  photos of bare-chested muscle men. My husband walks by and sees me gazing at all of these endless man chest images and he makes a little joke.  I mumble something sheepish. And I have this wtf moment, like, what am I doing? All this man chest. It’s weird sometimes! These aren’t even like real guys.


I make this joke on social media somewhere that I need a spreadsheet for my hero injuries. It’s kind of true. Sometimes I forget I injured them. Sometimes wish I had a medical degree so I could be better at horribly injuring my heroes, but in ways that would not impede their ability to fight the good fight.

I watch a Tarantino movie where there is this guy shot in the belly and another guy says that a stomach wound doesn’t kill you right away, but it is painful. I give my guys a lot of stomach wounds. I decide it’s a sweet spot between horribly injured and still plausibly able to fight for the heroine. I like my heroes to make a huge, heroic effort in things.


I’ve been concentrating on writing books about hot criminals under my Annika Martin pen DarkMafiaPrince-500x750name this year. Some of these criminals are really dark and twisted, but I find nobility in them. I use my Tarantino injuries on them and them I make them do noble things. I find it deeply satisfying to make twisted criminals behave in noble ways.


I look at the news. I stupidly read a comment thread. I feel upset after that. I ask twitter why I read the comments. People heart my tweet.

I think about how they say a cynic is just a frustrated idealist. I know it’s true. Sometimes it hurts to believe the best is possible when there is so much evidence that the worst is possible. It’s sometimes easier not to hope. You’re never disappointed when you don’t choose to see the best in people. When you don’t choose to hope.

But romance hopes.

We work with a kind of outrageous toolbox, it is true. Instead of paint and canvas, we have mantitty and crazy plots and hot, hot sex, but out of these things we are fashioning something fierce. Romance sees nobility in heroes and heroines. It assumes nobility is possible in almost anyone. That’s what I love about it. I think it’s brave in that way.

Carolyn recommends:

Meredith Duran     (at Amazon)
There is nothing so wonderful as a historical by Meredith Duran. I could live and die in one of her books.


Shannon McKenna      (at Amazon)

She does a sex scene like nobody else can. And then wild danger. Romantic Suspense at its best!

(Read Shannon’s RARM ’16 post here.)


Amber Belldene     (at Amazon)

Amber is doing some really fresh, fabulous, witty work in the contemporary area that I am loving!


Penny Watson      (at Amazon)

Penny mixes humor with serious topics in such a gorgeous way, and portrays heroines of all ages with aching beauty mixed with quirkiness. HEART.

Questions for the Author:

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

I write in a coffee shop and I see people at all stages of romance, from flirty encounters to first dates to longtime couples at ease with each other. I love the real life romance of it.

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

It is bad to say my cat? He is just always there for me. Even when I’m crabby or sick, he never changes in his disposition toward me. We’re always happy to see each other.

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

I’ve never been to Paris, but I equate Paris with romance. I see the Eiffel tower and I think of flowers and chocolates and holding hands. Omg, Paris seriously has some amazing branding going on!! George Amal Clooney

Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?

I’m swoony over George and Amal Clooney.

Tell us about your dream date. 

Eating pizza and watching My Fair Lady.


Carolyn is generously giving away five e-books  —  two to international readers and three to US friends — winners’ choice of either Annika Martin’s edgy, dark DARK MAFIA PRINCE or Carolyn Crane’s RITA award-winning OFF THE EDGE. 

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 Sep 6, 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


annikapicCarolyn Crane is a RITA® Award-winning, USA Today-bestselling author of gritty tales of dangerous secret agents and urban fantasy about tortured masterminds.

She also writes about kinky bank robbers and other hot, dirty criminals as NYT bestselling Annika Martin.

Learn more:      |     Facebook     |     Twitter @CarolynCrane

Annika:      |     Facebook     |     Twitter @Annika_Martin

Sign up for Annika’s fun dirty quote newsletter here.


Buy Carolyn’s books:

availableon-amazon       availableon-nook    availableon-kobo

Buy Annika’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!