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!
It’s all Georgette Heyer’s fault, the little vixen.
There I was, all of twelve years old and living in the wilds of Tennessee. Earlier that day, I’d begged my dad to stop at this tiny library on our way to my grandmother’s house. My grandmother, bless her heart, believed in the old ‘children should be seen and not heard’ adage, and so I was facing HOURS of fidgety silence. My dad complied, but I was told to ‘be quick.’ So I ran into our tiny library, raced to the fiction section, and then froze there.
There were SO MANY BOOKS and I only had A VERY FEW MINUTES to pick JUST ONE.
I went to the closest shelf and began reading titles. “I’ve read that one … and that one … and that one … and I’ll never want to read that … but I’ve read that one … and that one …” The clock was ticking and I was getting nervous. Finally, it dawned on me that while I’d read most of the books that were at eye level, I had no idea what treasures lurked on the very bottom shelf.
Needless to say, I had a BLISSFUL time at my grandmother’s. Plus, I made my dad stop at the library on the way home, too, so I could check out more Heyer books.
Why romance, you may ask? Because of the following:
- Happy endings! There are enough wretched, horrible endings in real life to satisfy the darkest of souls. But happy endings? Ah, those are special. Give me that magic in my books, please.
- Family focused! Romances focus on finding a love strong enough to build a family upon. That’s the foundation for a solid, enjoyable romance, and always has been.
- Entertaining! Want to travel to London? Scotland? The American West? India? Russia? I’ve read romances set in each one of those. Want to foil an abduction? Win a sword fight? Catch a smuggler? Solve a mystery? Save a life? Then read a romance.
LOVE! Because seriously, it’s that what life’s all about.
Karen Hawkins recommends:
Oh my, so many WONDERFUL books!
She’s my favorite conference roommate, but she’s also a fabulous writer whose writing makes me both sigh and grin. She writes the sexiest Scots, too.
for thrilling drama and amazing sensuality,
for her fresh and light and delightfully rom-com romances.
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
About ten years ago, when I was recently divorced and living in Tennessee, I was interviewing policemen via email and phone interviews for a contemporary novel I was writing. I asked them all the same questions – what are the stressors of your job, what do you love, what do you hate, what are the dangers, the pleasures, what incorrect assumptions do people make about your profession, etc.
One interviewee stood out; a policeman from Orlando. His answers were thoughtful, well reasoned, and oh so funny. I wrote him a thank you note and then scheduled the follow-up phone interview. Not expecting anything more than an informative interview, I called, and when he answered – oh my gosh, his VOICE. I was instantly enthralled. It was caramel on chocolate cake, rich and decadent. THAT was the moment I was surrounded by romance.
Still, I kept the conversation professional, and he shared some fascinating insight on the life of a policemen. At the end of the conversation, I thanked him profusely and hung up.
And then I just sat looking at the phone. He was so … everything. I knew it would be the last time I called him, though, because although he was divorced (ironically, one of his comments was that the divorce rate for cops was super high, and it is), he lived far, far away.
So I went on with my life, and tried to put all thoughts of him away.
About two weeks later, I got a text from an unknown number. A funny text. And then another. And then yet another. I asked who it was and … yup. It was that hot sounding cop. He texted. I texted back.
He made me laugh. I made him laugh.
He said he couldn’t stop thinking about me, and wanted to know if he could call once in a while … the rest is history. It took several years of long distance dating, but we are happily married and live in Orlando.
(YAY – It’s the Hot Cop backstory! So awesome. ~ Bobbi)
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
My mother loves the works of Stephanie Laurens, Suzanne Enoch, Nora Roberts, and Victoria Alexander – and I know this because she’s stolen all of their books from MY shelves.
We’ve had words over this, but it WILL NOT STOP.
I’d lock her out of my house but she’s my mom and she’s so adorable when she’s trying to stuff one of my books into her purse thinking I don’t notice. SO CUTE.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
Scotland. All of Scotland. Every blessed inch, every magnificent castle, every glistening loch, every green and purple moor – all of it. Hot Cop and I go at least every other year because it calls us.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
Well, Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy, first and foremost. That’s self-explanatory.
Second, I would say Prince Nikolai and Lady Ailsa from my coming book, MAD FOR THE PLAID (August 30th). I love how, like Lizzie and Darcy, at first Nik and Ailsa didn’t like one another (and for good reason, too). They had to overcome their own prejudices and mistrust, even when circumstances were against them doing so.
Tell us about your dream date.
The last time Hot Cop and I went to Scotland, we paid for a guided fly fishing tour. Now that may not sound romantic, but you have to understand a few things – we were in beautiful Scotland wading the crystal depths of the gorgeous River Spey, the sun was shining after a few days of rain so everything was fresh and green, our guide knew the history of the area to a remarkable degree, we had delicious fresh sandwiches and cookies in our pockets, and we were grinning at each other from across the river from ear to ear.
Karen Hawkins is generously giving away a copy of MAD FOR THE
PLAID and a silver charm of a castle. (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 Sep 4, 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.)
Karen Hawkins is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author adored for her humorous and charming Scottish fairytale themed romances. She is a harbinger of out-of-date fashion, a lover of all things Hugh Jackman, and one of the most famous authors to ever live on Central Wisteria Street in Orlando FL!
(also @TheKarenHawkins at Instagram)
Buy Karen’s books:
*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!