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!
I’m a Romance Reader—and Proud of It!
I love to read romances, and I’m proud of that fact. But this wasn’t always the case. For more than a decade, I devoured romances as though they were a guilty pleasure, a treat to be enjoyed behind closed doors but never discussed in public for fear of ridicule. Back then, reading romances was a source of embarrassment. Now I live with a different shame: the knowledge that for too long I failed to treat my beloved genre with the respect it deserves.
So what led to my epiphany? I’ll explain.
When I rode the D.C. Metro to work years ago, I was never without a romance to get me through the arduous commute. If the Green Line experienced a delay (read: often), I’d whip out a book and get lost in the wonderful worlds of my favorite characters. Here’s the rub, though: I hid the covers of those wonderful stories from passengers’ eyes by placing the books within the pages of a legal binder. Occasionally, I’d find someone who shared my love of romance, and a flurry of excited conversations (and lots of whispering) would follow. More often than not, however, reading romance was a solitary—and hidden—activity.
When I began to travel for work, I spent more days than I care to remember living out of hotel rooms. At the time, business trips took me away from my husband and two young children. I missed them, and not seeing them for several days—and in one instance, weeks—was almost unbearable. Then I discovered Kristan Higgins. And her backlist. Suddenly, the extra nights I had to stay in Minnesota because a snow storm shut down all airline flights to the East Coast weren’t the worst thing in the world. Yes, I still missed my babies, but I had Chastity and Trevor to keep me company until I could return home. Kristan Higgins’s stories lifted my spirits and made me laugh. Her books gave me exactly what I needed when I needed it: a way to forget that my family wasn’t within arm’s reach. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
But wait, there’s more: I met Kristan Higgins at this year’s Romance Writers of America Annual Conference. I might have lost it. I might have begged her for a photograph. And I might have dashed into the restroom to dispose of a lollipop while she waited patiently in the hall for my return. She was gracious and appreciative of my blubbering, and that experience makes me doubly mad at myself for not realizing sooner how much romance reading has impacted my life.
Today I can’t imagine hiding my love of romance—ever. Romance writers and readers are some of the smartest, kindest, and funniest people I know. I’m proud to be among them, and I’m proud to hold a romance in my hands. Because nobody puts Kristan Higgins in a corner—or behind a legal binder, as it were.
I have several long-standing favorites: Kristan Higgins, Brenda Jackson, and Lisa Kleypas, to name a few.
In the up-and-coming (and fabulous) authors category, I’d recommend:
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
The first moment that comes to mind is my wedding day. The day couldn’t have been more special, and nothing could have brought me down from my high. Not even a wardrobe malfunction. When I arrived at our reception and exited the limo, the bustle on my gown ripped. The wedding coordinator cringed (probably because she was expecting Bridezilla to emerge), but I laughed it off and danced the evening away.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
One of my law school friends, Cynji, loves reading romance novels as much as I do. We quickly discovered our mutual love of romance reading when I spied a set of historical romances on a bookshelf in her apartment. I gasped in excitement, knowing I’d found another person who understood that reading romances was more interesting than studying contract law (or property law) (or trusts and estates).
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
My husband wooed me with the able assistance of jazz greats Miles Davis and John Coltrane, so whenever I hear jazz, I immediately think of romance.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
Michelle and Barack Obama. No explanation needed, really.
Tell us about your dream date.
For my dream date, my hubby and I would eat at one of my favorite restaurants in New York, Aureole, and then attend a musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton. Not sure if such a Broadway show is out there :o), but if it is, I’d love to see it. *crosses fingers that hubby is taking notes*
Mia is generously giving away two prizes to US readers (apologies to international friends):
A trade paperback or Kindle copy of Unbuttoning the CEO (winner’s choice) and a $5 Amazon e-gift card to one US winner and a trade paperback or Kindle copy of One Night with the CEO (winner’s choice) and a $5 Amazon e-gift card to another.
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 28, 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.)
Mia Sosa is an award-winning writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. She writes contemporary romances that are funny, flirty, and a little dirty. Ahem. Her first novel, Unbuttoning the CEO, was published by Grand Central Publishing’s Forever Yours imprint in December 2015, and her latest book, One Night with the CEO, released in May of this year. A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia now spends most of her days writing love stories about smart women and the complicated men who love them. Okay, let’s be real here: Mia wears PJs all day and watches more reality television than a network television censor—all in the name of research, of course. She’s represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.
Buy Mia’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!