Joanna Shupe – #LoveRomance Openly & Proudly

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!


Feel the #LoveRomance

“Love is the strongest force the world possesses.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Writing romance is THE greatest job. We get to write books about relationships and happily ever afters. (And Magnate compyes, kissing!) Don’t get me wrong: it’s not always easy. There are days I want to bang my head against my desk or run crying to the corner. Thankfully, those days are few and far between.

I hate when people disparage romance novels, as if these books have no redeeming worth. Love is not worthless. Relationships are not worthless. And sex is certainly not worthless. These are things that all human beings not just want, but need. I think this is why the romance genre is so powerful.

After I released my first book, I received a very lovely card from a reader. It turned out this woman’s long-time husband had recently passed away and she’d been searching for a romance novel to take her mind off the grief. She came across my book and really enjoyed it. She said it gave her a tiny bit of happiness at a very trying time in her life, and she was very grateful to me for writing it.

I cried when I read that card. (I’ll never throw it away.) Knowing that my silly little book provided escape from someone’s hard day (hard week, hard month) makes every bit of aggravation I suffered during the writing process WORTH IT.

I’ve read romance novels since my early teens, so I certainly understand the joy of losing myself in a story for a The Courtesan Duchess-1few hours. In college, I often skipped classes if I was really invested in a particular book. (Sorry, Mom & Dad. I blame Johanna Lindsey.) Even now, whether it’s job stress, financial troubles, kids driving me crazy, or laundry I’m ignoring, I can always count on a romance novel to provide a pleasant diversion.

And why should we be ashamed to need that? Romance novels bring joy. They bring hope and enlightenment. Why would those ever be things the world needs less of instead of more?

So #LoveRomance openly. Proudly. Prove that love is not worthless. There’s far too much hate in the world. Let’s balance the scales.

Joanna Shupe recommends: 

Michele Mannon   –    (at Amazon)  –  has a new anti-hero series coming out this month that I’m very excited about.

And I just loved Lenora Bell’s   –    (at Amazon)  –  debut Regency, How the Duke Was Won.

Questions for the Author:

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

I’ve never been a grand gesture sort of romantic. I never wanted a big wedding or a fancy ring hidden in a chocolate cake. To me, my husband’s little gestures have always been the most romantic. Like the time he bought me a winter hat in Times Square because I was cold. When he sewed the silk lining of my favorite coat back into place. Or when he surprised me by reorganizing my closet when I was out of town. Romance, to me, is made up of the little ways we improve each other’s lives every single day.

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

My mom was my gateway to romance novels, and she’s been my biggest champion. She reads everything I write before anyone else. (Her notes usually include, “There’s not enough sex!”)

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

The beach. My husband and I rented a condo on Fire Island the first few years we were dating, and I have fond memories of hearing water and seagulls.

Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?

Michelle and Barack Obama. There’s so much respect there. And you can sense they still enjoy each other after all these years together.

Tell us about your dream date. 

 A week on a private beach with my husband. And cocktails with tiny umbrellas.

Joanna Shupe is generously giving away three signed copies of MAGNATE, the first book in her new Gilded Age series, The Knickerbocker Club (US only, apologies to international friends).

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 August 26, 2016.  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

Joanna is generously offering three signed copies of MAGNATE, the first book in her new Gilded Age series, The Knickerbocker Club.

joanna_shupe_large_cropAward-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. In 2013 she won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She currently lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.

Visit Joanna:      |     Facebook     |     Twitter  @JoannaShupe


Buy Joanna’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!

  • Sue G.

    I love that your mom is so involved in your writing. My mom and I share a love of romance books!

    • Joanna Shupe

      That’s great! I hope to share books with my daughters when they get old enough to read romance. 🙂

      • Sue G.

        Me too! I have three daughters….23, 21 and 19. Maybe after the college years we can enjoy that!

  • Patty Vasquez

    My mom was my gateway to romance, also. Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney, and later Katherine Woodiwiss. Thank you for writing romance. I’m an escapist reader. I don’t think I could face the stress of my classroom without knowing I have an HEA to look forward to at the end of each day.

    • Joanna Shupe

      Hooray for mothers! I am also an escapist reader. 🙂

  • Linda Henderson

    I truly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my reading. I’ve been an avid reader since first grade. I taught myself how to read, my mother has never been seen reading a book. It was a great escape for me from a very unhappy home and family life. Then as I got older we moved closer to the library and I went there every day and checked out books. To this day it’s still exciting to me to go to the library. Although in the old days, before all the technology I found the library a much more peaceful place. I love the smell of old books.

    • Joanna Shupe

      I love a library, too! How inspiring that you taught yourself to read. That is amazing!

  • Debbie Fuller

    I didn’t start reading books, any books, until my late forties, but once I found romance in any form, I was hooked, especially while going thru menopause and depression. I truly believe that it helped me escape enough for me to pull myself out of the deep spiral I was in. It gave me the words and emotions to identify what I was going thru. Thank you for this post.

    • Joanna Shupe

      I’m so sorry for your struggle, Debbie. I’m glad romance helped you through that difficult time. Hugs.

  • Melissa Williams Herrin

    Just found a new author to read!!! Can’t wait!! Thank you for the giveaway!!

    • Joanna Shupe

      *waves* You are welcome!

  • catslady

    Looking forward to your new series!

    • Joanna Shupe

      Thank you so much!!

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    You are a new to me author and I will definitely be checking out your books. To me, the beach is one of the most romantic places to be. Although, just spending time and being with my hubby makes me happy. I love being able to show my love for him and the little things he does for me shows his love for me. Thank you so much for your post.

    • Joanna Shupe

      Aw, that is so sweet. And that’s how it should be with husbands, I think. I’d rather have consistent acts of kindness than a grand gesture every few years!

  • Pamby50

    Wonderful post. Love the part with the little notes from your mom. I agree with you about Michelle & Barack Obama. They still enjoy being with each other. Looking forward to reading this series. The golden age of riding the rails.

    • Joanna Shupe

      Thank you! It’s a fun time period, with so much glitz and glamor. I just love it.

  • Sandy Xiong

    My brothers somewhat know I read romance novels….they see the books on my shelf but they never comment on it. My friends are a different story, well, some of them know I read romance but others don’t. Since they are not so into reading, I just don’t talk to them about the books. I do let out my frustration to my friends that know I read romance; if a book ended and I didn’t want it to end then I would go all out on them and they let me since they don’t understand what I’m even saying lol.

    • Joanna Shupe

      That’s true! Some people will just never understand. But the internet is great for finding people with similar interests. 🙂

  • Kim

    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series. I enjoy the time period it’s set in.

    • Joanna Shupe

      Thank you! The Gilded Age is so much fun.

  • Ann Mettert

    I enjoyed your post.

  • Mary McCoy

    Romance is definitely a primal force.

  • Connie Saunders

    I agree that the authors of romance novels can give joy to their readers!

  • JenM

    I used to apologize for reading romance, but I don’t do that any longer. With the horrible tone of public discourse these days, people would be a lot happier if they were regularly reminded of the good in life rather than the bad.