Kathryn Falk – Amazing, Empowering Romance

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!


The Heroines of Our Own Stories

Why do I #LoveRomance?

Escapism and entertainment, definitely. But isn’t that true of reading in general? We want to live in a different angeliqueworld, experience a different life—maybe the past, maybe the future. Something that, at some level, we relate to, but something that we may never get a chance to do. Of course, I’ve lived a rather romantic life—probably why I was always drawn to the genre—I’ve travelled the world, met a lot of people, kissed a few frogs as well as a few princes. Literally. 

I #LoveRomance because this genre, despite the bad rap it sometimes gets (mostly from people who probably have never read one), empowers women. That’s the way it’s been since I started RT as a newsletter back in 1981. Although no one would have dreamt of the success of a novel like 50 Shades then, they still were definitely not the type of books our mothers had read. Romance novels were some of the first to show women making choices for themselves. Strong, powerful women who sometimes chose lust over marriage and family. And made all of us feel okay about that. 

Really, deep down, that’s why I #LoveRomance. Yes, it’s about love and, sometimes, ripped bodices, but more than that, it’s about empowering women. From the beginning, this genre always been the new frontier for us. staying one step ahead and showing us our potential. Recently, we published an article from a literary agent who grew up in Taiwan and learned about the birds and the bees only because a Harlequin salesman came to the door one day when she was thirteen. Whether you are a teenager reading an illicit book with a flashlight under the covers, a businesswoman devouring a chapter on your lunch break or a mother waiting for the children to go to bed to find out whether the lady indeed ends up with the duke, we all could use a little devils-cubromance in our lives.

I’m glad to be a part of such an amazing genre. Across time and age it shows women that they could do whatever they wanted, and sometimes provides the push they needed to realize they could be the heroine of their own, real-life, story.

Kathryn recommends:

(A few classics and a few who should be on your radar!)

Anne and Serge Golon    –   Angelique series, husband and wife author team 

(Bobbi here – fascinating history on Anne. Read about her on Wikipedia. Plus Anne was at the first-ever Paris Romance Readers’ Conference last year. It was an honor to meet her. The books are out of print in English, but you can find them on Kindle in French and German.

Anne Golon and Agnes, one of the co-creators of the Romance Book Festival in Paris, April 2016

Anne Golon and Agnes, one of the co-creators of the Romance Book Festival in Paris, April 2016

Anya Seton   aka Ann Seton Chase   (at Amazon)   (at Wikipedia)

Georgette Heyer    (at Amazon)   (at Wikipedia)

James Clavell (particularly Tai-Pan)    (at Amazon)   (at Wikipedia

Bertrice Small     bertricesmall.com     (at Amazon)   (at Wikipedia)

(especially The Kadin – which is out of print, though many of her books have been released in e-form)

(Bobbi here – I was honored to write a tribute to Bertrice Small for NPR, if you’d like to read it:
Remembering Bertrice Small – One of the Original Avon Ladies  )

Lauren Layne       laurenlayne.com      (at Amazon)

(read Lauren’s RARM 2016 post here)

Katie Lane     katielanebooks.com       (at Amazon)

Aleatha Romig      aleatharomig.blogspot.com      (at Amazon)

Questions for the Author:

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

When I was kidnapped by my Hungarian driver. I had hired him from the concierge at my hotel in Vienna, he was attractive and we started talking about music…long story short we ended up in Hungary at a Sándor Lakatos concert (one of a famous gypsy violinist family). Funny thing, a while after that, they came to play Carnegie Hall, and I brought champagne and went backstage. None of them spoke English, but I pantomimed how we had met in Hungary, and they played for me all night. 

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

I only had boyfriends…I had so many.

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

My farmhouse in Austria. The people who live in the village are really nice—everyone is always singing and drinking.  People still milk cows, it’s like time travel, and just so magical.

Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?

Ilsa and Rick from Casablanca.

Tell us about your dream date. 

A private jet to Paris, dinner at Tour d’Argent.  (  www.tourdargent.com  )

Kathryn is generously giving away the following books, one title each to three US readers (apologies to international friends.) Deception by Aleatha Romig, Waking up with a Billionaire by Katie Lane, To Have to Hold by Lauren Layne 

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 22, 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

kathryn falkKathryn Falk, Lady of Barrow, is the founder of RT Book Reviews Magazine and the RT Booklovers Convention. RT, now a fully online publication, began as a newsletter called Romantic Times in 1981. Kathryn divides her time between a carriage house in Brooklyn, New York and her organic working farm in Alvin, Texas.

Connect with Kathryn on Facebook  and find RT online:  rtbookreviews.com


Buy Kathryn’s recommended authors:

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!

  • Linda Henderson

    I never read Georgette Heyer, I started with Emily Loring and Grace Livingston Hill. Then my sister got me started on Barbara Cartland later on. I think she still has her whole Barbara Cartland collection.

  • Linnea Priest

    Georgette Heyer started me off. I still re-read her books.

  • cheryl c.

    Your idea of a dream date sounds absolutely perfect!

  • catslady

    I loved James Clavell stories – back when I read the thickest books and got totally lost in the story!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Great post. I love you saying that reading romance is a way to empower women. I’m a mother of 4 daughters and it’s not easy to talk about some subjects with them, but reading about them and discussing the books is an easier in. I don’t want them to be afraid of their feelings, their bodies or sex. Yeah for romance books.

  • Michelle Hebert

    Love Heyer too! Devil’s Cub is a favorite

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    Thank you for your post. I love that you shared that reading romance is a way to empower women. My daughters also love to read romance. They started with my collection of bodice rippers from the 70s.

  • J Anna Ludlow

    Thank you for mentioning the Angélique series by Anne and Serge (Sergenne Golon). Many years ago the late Harvey J Adkins started the first Internet discussion group which still runs on Yahoo as ‘Friends of Angélique’. We have also migrated to FB and have a thriving international community there for fans who do not speak/read French.
    We had a sanctioned (by Anne herself) website ‘The World of Angélique’ which was lost. I have tried to resurrect some of the information and have reconstructed the page, created by Harvey, that brought us all together. I note that a Wiki link has been added on this discussion, for anyone interested in knowing what has been happening to Anne since the books disappeared from our shops please visit my tribute page and check out the News section as well as the various specialist pages – thank you.

  • Molly

    Thanks for your post. I love that you said reading empowers women because it is so true.

  • Sue G.

    How fun to have been involved in romances for so long! Lucky you!

  • Ann Mettert

    Casablanca. That’s a good one.

  • Pamby50

    Never heard of Anne and Serge Golon yet I named our daughter Angelique. Loved Bertrice Small. I have read everything she wrote. So many of her books were are the public library yet when we moved, they were not available in this state. What a shame. Such wonderful books.

  • Kim

    Thanks for the post.

  • Kareni

    The Angelique books are the only books I was ever forbidden to read by my mother. I was about eleven when I picked the first one up from a shelf at home. When my mother saw me reading it, she told me I could read the books when I was sixteen. I promptly started reading the next time she left the house. I’ve been an avid romance reader ever since! Thanks for sparking some fun memories with your thoughtful post.

  • Mary McCoy

    Bertrice was such a wonderful lady and excellent writer!