Melanie/ M.J. Scott – Keeping Hope Alive

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!


What’s Not to Love About Love?

From the time I learned to read, it’s been one of my favorite things to do. Open a book, Playing Hardclimb into the story and lose myself in the world the words created. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t love it as much as I do. Just like I don’t understand anyone who says that romance is shallow or silly or ‘fluffy’. Romance, or love, or connection is something that has driven people since there were people.

We are all very aware that real life is hard. That bad things happen. We get fed that message over and over. Know too much about the ways that people can hurt each other. Which is why I think romance is even more important than ever. Not just because it’s delicious to read about the rush of falling for someone (and hey, it’s pretty fun to read about hot guys in breeches or tuxedos or designer suits or jeans), but because romance reminds us that people are good as well. That there is hope in the world. And kindness. And loyalty. And courage. And acceptance.

Romance shows us that we can find a place where who we are is valued and understood. Romance shows us that we can be strong, we can survive the darkness, that we can overcome it and thrive. That love is there to help us be our best. Why is it silly to be hopeful? To read about people who go after dreams, who learn from mistakes, who fight their way to a happy ending? About women getting what they want. About people being Devil in Denimtreated well? Everyone needs some escape. Somewhere to go and refill and be reminded that life, can be good and happy (not perfect or never sad or never hard) and that you can find your way and that dreams can come true.

At my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary, my grandmother made a great speech about what being married that long means. She was a pretty pragmatic woman, my grandmother, and she said something along the lines that romance doesn’t last but that friendship and love and caring and respect does. That those are the important things. And I agree. But I disagree that those things are not romantic. Because though the romance we see in the pages of a book is just the start of that journey, that journey, that way of living life hopefully and caring for another person who stands by your side and cares back, is what we want.

I believe in love. I believe in hope. And if sometimes, real life means, for a time, that we need to escape back into a book world to remind ourselves of that belief and find a breathing space, to find a place to rest and make ourselves feel ready to go on again, then that’s perfectly okay. And vastly important. So go on, love romance. Let it make you laugh or make you cry. Let it give you what you need. Because you deserve it. We all do.

Melanie/ M.J. Scott recommends: 

Sarah Mayberry      (at Amazon)

Kelly Hunter      (at Amazon)

Sarina Bowen      (at Amazon)

(Read Sarina’s RARM ’16 post here.)

Kylie Scott       (at Amazon)

Questions for the Author:

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

When I visited Cornwall, one of the places I had to visit was Tintagel, which is where The Shattered CourtKing Arthur was supposedly born. Even though it was pretty cold and blustery, there was something about the coastline and the ruins that definitely conjured up a sweeping sense of…something mysterious. As someone who writes romance and fantasy, it was very easy to imagine knights and maidens falling in love in that spot.

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

I met one of my best friends, Robyn, at a romance writing conference, then she joined a critique group I was in and we decided to go to a Diana Gabaldon signing and lunch together. At the lunch we started talking like we’d known each other for years, discovered we’d read a lot of the same books growing up and were only born 8 days apart. In the fourteen or so years since then we’ve been laughing ourselves silly, having weird we’re both Virgos coincidences, and talking about our latest romance discoveries pretty much non stop. Which I’m very grateful to romance books for!

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

I blame watching too much English TV growing up maybe, but I’ve always loved the sound of church bells ringing a peal. I associate it with weddings and love. I used to work near one of the cathedrals in Melbourne and sometimes the bellringers would practice at the end of the day, which was always a romantic sound to leave work to!

Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?

This is always a terribly difficult question to answer…I have a few faves from different mediums. But ever since I first read Outlander back in the 1990s, I’ve had a very soft spot for Jamie and Claire Fraser and seeing as they’re currently being portrayed so brilliantly on TV, I’m going with them. Because it’s hard to go past a gorgeous Scot!

Tell us about your dream date. 

If I could have any dream date, it might be a guy taking me to his mansion and throwing open the doors to a massive library and saying “it’s yours” a la The Beast in Beauty and the Beast. And throwing in unlimited book funds to go with. That would be the guy who really got me. But in real life, a night in Paris, dinner at an amazing restaurant and then wandering through those beautiful streets together, sounds pretty good to me.

Melaine/ M.J. Scott is generously giving away five copies of Playing Fast (releases Aug 30), 3 to  US readers and 2 to international readers. 

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 3, 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

mjscott2_300_600wMelanie Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s.

Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, dark chocolate, paint and fabric. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Learn more:     |     Facebook     |     Twitter @melscott

She also writes fantasy as M.J. Scott.     |     Facebook     |     Twitter @melscott

Buy Melanie’s books:

availableon-amazon       availableon-nook    availableon-kobo


Buy MJ Scott’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!

  • Bube

    Fantastic What’s Not to Love About Love? Answer 🙂
    Thank you very much for the lovely post 🙂

    • Melanie Scott

      Thanks, Bube!

  • ohhhhhhhhhhh a man who offer me such a library and books funds is sure to win me over as well i was so jalous of Belle when i saw the film and that scenes
    hello from Belgium

    • Melanie Scott

      Hello back from Australia! I’m looking forward to the live version of Beauty and the Beast they’re making. Out later this year, maybe?

  • cheryl c.

    I agree that romance is the beginning of a life journey.

    • Melanie Scott

      Thanks for reading, Cheryl!

  • Debbie Fuller

    Loved the post and hopefulness, positive take you have on it. I haven’t read any of your books, yet, but will be looking for one soon as so many of your thoughts reflect mine. Thank you for sharing today.

    • Melanie Scott

      Thanks, Debbie! I think romance books are really important…like anything that makes people happy.

  • Kareni

    Thanks for your post, Ms. Scott. I’ve enjoyed books under both of your pen names. If you ever get to go on that mansion/library dream date and want a companion, give me a call! Until then, happy writing!

    • Melanie Scott

      Thanks! If I get the mansion and library, I will share 😀

  • Ann Mettert

    I enjoyed this post.

    • Melanie Scott

      Thanks, Ann!

  • Linda Henderson

    I have to admit, a man that would gift me a library full of my kind of books could win my heart pretty easy. He would be a gem. I guess I’ll have to keep looking for him.

    • Melanie Scott

      I haven’t found him yet either, Linda. But surely he’s out there…

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    When my husband & I were first dating we often frequented books stores, used and new. We still do now, 36 years later. Thank you so much for your post.

    • Melanie Scott

      Your hubby sounds like a keeper! Well done you for finding a book lover 😀

  • Pamby50

    I love that your grandmother told everyone the secret to making 60 yrs together. I agree that all the little things add up to romance. Next month it will be 35 yrs. I’ll add laughter to that list. So I have to ask you, What is butlering?

    • Melanie Scott

      Fulfilling all those feline whims. Food. Door opening. Belly rubs 😀

  • “Romance shows us that we can find a place where who we are is valued and understood. Romance shows us that we can be strong, we can survive the darkness, that we can overcome it and thrive. That love is there to help us be our best”. Great words! Thank you for your post.
    Marinella from Italy

    • Melanie Scott

      You’re welcome, Marinella!

  • mariannewestrich

    And if sometimes, real life means, for a time, that we need to escape back into a book world to remind ourselves of that belief and find a breathing space, to find a place to rest and make ourselves feel ready to go on again, then that’s perfectly okay.” That’s the perfect summation of reading for me!

    • Melanie Scott

      😀 I’ve always loved being able to escape into a book, knowing it will cheer me up.

  • Sue G.

    I love the Beauty and the Beast dream date idea! Great answer!

    • Melanie Scott

      Thanks Sue. I think guys could win a lot of readers’ hearts that way 😀

  • Connie Saunders

    I loved your grandmother’s thoughts about her long marriage. My 48th anniversary is in December and I think that being with my best friend for that long is Pure Romance!!

    • Melanie Scott

      Hi Connie (which was my great grandmother’s name), congratulations on 48 years. My parents just had their 50th earlier this year, it’s a great achievement. You’re lucky to have found your best friend!

  • KV

    I like romance because of the escape into a happily ever after story.

  • Kristine R

    Great post I love the Outlander books too (International-Trinidad)

    • Ada H

      Hi Kristine, this is Ada and I’m helping with the RARM drawings. You have been chosen as Melanie Scott’s winner. Please send a message with your email address to me at and we’ll put Melanie in touch with you. Thanks and Congrats!

      • Kristine R

        Thank you so much for picking me Ada. Emailing now. *hugs*

  • Ellen

    Loved your post, especially the library date. I agree, friendship, love, respect and caring can all be romantic.

  • Nicole Potter

    Books are such wonderful ways to escape! Not to mention the amazing characters, captivating stories and the happy endings!!