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!
Why I #LoveRomance
I have loved romance, specifically romance novels, since the age of twelve. I purloined a copy of The Flame and the Flower, with its deliciously purple cover, from the forbidden tall shelf in our family’s little reading nook, and started the first page, and that was it. Kathleen Woodiwiss had created a dream world, so incredibly different from all the other novels I’d read. It was written with a mixture of emotion, intimacy and longing that was completely out there, blatant, as if Ms. Woodiwiss had somehow seen into my adolescent heart and written down all my emotions. I felt understood. Reassured. Hopeful.
#killingmesoftly, #fangirlforever, #thefeelz, #gimmemore
Many thousands of romance novels later, I love them just as much. I love finding one that’s so good it puts me in a reading trance, and I emerge with the deep, wistful satisfaction that’s like nothing else. Even though I would like the hero to fall in love with me, and I’d like all the adventures and amazing sex to happen to me, having it all happen to the heroine is almost as good. I love it that the act of turning pages covered with various combinations of alphabet letters can inspire such intense emotions. Even now, I can feel my heart beating faster when I’m reading something truly great. I blush. I laugh out loud. And the thing is, if it’s done well, it seems so easy and natural, as if it just poured out of the author’s fingertips, and you never have to think about all the painstaking effort required to make it so smooth. When I meet a romance author who’s given me hours of lucid dreaming, I turn into that twelve year-old girl again, awestruck and grateful . . . and standing on my tiptoes to see if there’s another potential keeper on that tall shelf.
#thanksforromance, #Icanteven, #sarahmaclean, #sarahmorgan, #eloisajames, #susanephillips, #tessadare, #julieannelong, #manymanyothers
Lisa Kleypas recommends:
. . . they both have magic. They both write with charm, passion and tenderness, and you’ll be so glad you tried their wonderful work!
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
Over the years, my definition of romance has become a lot more elastic, so I’ve become aware of it surrounding me on a daily basis. It lives in the small, private details of our everyday routines. Romance is the kiss at the back of the neck while I’m doing dishes at the kitchen sink. It’s when I make banana pudding because it’s his favorite, or the way he draws a tiny map on a post-it note so I won’t get lost when driving somewhere new. It’s watching Ancient Aliens together even though that’s really not my kind of show, and a Sunday morning hike on the trail, and when he brings a bouquet home for no reason, and being goofy with each other. I buy him books, many of which are used as coasters on his nightstand. He buys me gadgets that solve nonexistent problems. Like the special avocado slicer. Or the battery-powered soap dispenser, or the wire scalp massager that looks like a giant spider.
People do these things that signify connection and intimacy all the time, and don’t necessarily see them as romantic. But they are. Small gestures are the fuel of love.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
This sounds sort of facile, but it’s absolutely heartfelt—I share romance with my readers. They’ve guided and influenced me over the years and they continue to give me a better understanding of romance (both on the page and off). They let me know when something works, and when it doesn’t, and best of all is when they explain why. Writing romance is a intensely personal experience, and so is reading it. When someone reads one of my books, she (or he) brings her own expectations and insights to the process, and something unique is created out of our joint effort. I love it that you can give the same book to a group of people, and they’ll each have a different experience with it.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
The place?—anywhere my husband Greg is. The sound—I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more romantic than Kiri Te Kanawa’s yearning, opulent version of “O Mio Babbino Caro”—I must have listened to it a thousand times. (listen to it here on youtube.) I first heard it in the Merchant-Ivory production of “A Room With A View,” and I was thunderstruck. I’ve heard other singers perform it beautifully, but Te Kanawa owns it. There’s something about her voice—this rich, effortless power just pours out in a vibrato you can feel in your bones.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
I don’t even have to think about this one—Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Intensely devoted to each other. Faithful. Truly in love. People made the mistake of thinking he was the prize, because he was the most beautiful human on the planet, biggest movie star, yadda, yadda. But he knew he was the lucky one, and he said it often, and he was right. Only a woman as patient, smart, quirky, confident and talented as Joanne Woodward could possess a man like that so exclusively and thoroughly.
Tell us about your dream date.
Brief backstory: Greg and I went to France for a week on our honeymoon, and we loved every moment of it. We were on a tight budget, because we were young and didn’t have much money. One of the places we stayed was a bed and breakfast in the Loire Valley, and they had a special excursion available for purchase: They would arrange for a Silver Phantom Rolls Royce to drive you through the countryside, and stop at some scenic place while you had a fancy picnic. Oh, we wanted to do that so badly! But there was no way we could afford it. Twenty-one years later, I still wonder what it would have been like, and I wish we could go back there and do it.
Lisa Kleypas is generously giving away autographed copies of Cold-Hearted Rake, Marrying Winterbourne, Smooth Talking Stranger & a non-autographed Avon Coloring Book to one lucky U.S. reader. For international friends, Lisa will buy one lucky winner their choice of one of Lisa’s books in e-book format.
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 10, 2016. ***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.)
Lisa Kleypas is a New York Times bestselling author of both historical and contemporary romance. Her thirty-nine novels and four novellas have been published in twenty-four languages and are bestsellers around the world. After graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, Lisa sold her first book and made a full-time career of writing the kinds of romances she has always loved to read. Lisa is living her own happily-ever-after in Washington State with her husband Greg and their two children.
Buy Lisa Kleypas’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 and support!