Amanda Bouchet – Vibrant, Verdant Romance

Hi friends!

Welcome to the 5th Annual Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate this awesome genre! Come back every day to read all three “Power of Romance” posts. Check out the full calendar of authors here. You can also find links to the last four years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook.

Happy August!

#LoveRomance #ThePowerOfRomance

A Giant, Splendid Tree

I see romance novels as a tree with so many branches all bursting with vibrant leaves that I could never begin to cover every glorious offshoot. It’s got good, old roots, established branches, and new boughs all set to bud with themes that are virtually limitless. Romance may be the only genre where there is truly something for everyone. You want it? You can find it. It’s somewhere on that giant, splendid tree.

I could narrow the power of romance down to something very personal and tell you that the only two times I can ever recall being in a reading slump, it was romance that got me out of it. Losing a taste for reading was dramatic (actually, rather traumatic) for me both times. Looking through a selection of books and thinking, “Meh, there’s nothing I really want to pick up” was a terrible feeling, because reading is one of my great joys in life. But then one day, there was Julia Quinn and her Bridgertons. Fun, witty, and wonderful, those historical romances not only got me out of my first ever reading slump, but turned me into a voracious romance reader and eventually led me to my own career as a romance author. More recently, it was also romance—and again Julia Quinn!—that got me back into reading after life, deadlines, pressure, and some personal unhappiness made picking up a book seem like more work than pleasure. While I don’t write historical romances, they are my go-to books when I need hope, happiness, and healing. And let’s not forget the simple joy of pure entertainment!

On a broader scale, which is where I want to take our romance tree now, one word comes to mind: inclusion. Romance readers are many, and they are varied. We have such a fantastic group of readers from all walks of life, and a love of romance joins us all in a community unlike any other. Supportive. Fun. Full of laughter and friendship. We are passionate about reading romance, and we love to share that excitement with other people who are just as passionate. We come together online, at conferences, at book signings, and just about anywhere that we can gush about books and our favorite authors. Lifelong friendships are made every day over a love of romance novels, a series, or a preferred author. We bite our nails together as we wait impatiently for the next installment in our favorite series. We cry together over characters’ fates. We dive into books with zeal, stay up all night to finish them, and then know we’re rejoicing with people all over the world when our beloved characters get their happily ever after. We are a group of readers supporting a genre that is a driving force in the publishing industry. Romance is mighty, everywhere, and for everyone—and romance readers make it that way.

Finally, I truly believe that romance novels change lives. If I hadn’t been a romance reader, I would never have become a writer. When my characters hit the page, all I want to do is get them together, and I have to force myself to slow down and build other aspects of the story. Romance drives my love of both reading and writing. My passion for romance set me on a path that unequivocally changed my life. But once again on a broader scale, there is a hopefulness and a healing quality to romance that cannot be equaled elsewhere. These books teach us that we deserve love and happiness, that we are worthy of it, and that we can find our happy ending, even if getting there isn’t easy. This is perhaps the greatest message we can take from the romance genre, and the true proof that romance is powerful.

Amanda recommends:

Julia Quinn —How can I not recommend Julia Quinn after saying that her stories saved me from my reading slumps? They are all fantastic, but I would start with the Bridgertons, who never disappoint. They might very well end up with a special place in your heart and on your bookshelf like they have for me.

Julia Quinn  –   juliaquinn.com   –  @Amazon

 

Adriana Anders—Adriana Anders’s debut, Under her Skin, deals with traumatic past abuse in an amazingly realistic and complex way. The writing is beautiful, lyrical, and sensitive when dealing with a delicate and difficult topic, and the power of romance is wonderfully apparent in this healing story.

Adriana Anders  –  www.adrianaanders.com  –  @Amazon

 

Kristen Callihan—Whether it’s her paranormal historical romances or her smoking hot new adult sports romances, Kristen Callihan’s writing is entertaining, sexy, and engaging. This is escapism at its best, with memorable characters and fantastic worldbuilding.

Kristen Callihan  –   www.kristencallihan.com  –  @Amazon

 

Grace Draven—If you are looking for fantasy romance with incredible worldbuilding and characters you can root for, then you should definitely try Grace Draven’s books. Her writing is magical and her romances are steamy and satisfying. Don’t know where to start? Try Master of Crows, which is a personal favorite of mine.

Grace Draven  –  gracedraven.com  –  @Amazon


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment when you felt or were aware of the power of romance.

This year I attended my first RT Booklovers Convention, and it was a blast. Readers and authors come together to hang out, laugh, chat, see old friends and make new ones, and simply share their love of books. But not just any books. It’s romance that brings this fun, vibrant, diverse, and welcoming group together, getting them to cross continents and even oceans to celebrate reading, and that’s powerful.

Tell us about an object that has powerful memories for you.

I’m not all that attached to objects, so this is a tough one. I guess I would say it’s photo albums, though, and photographs in general. I love seeing what life was like for my grandparents and parents, seeing moments from my own childhood, and now, preserving memories of (and for) my children. With digital pictures, though, I tend not to print out photos or make albums anymore, and it’s something I know I’ll miss and regret at some point if I don’t start doing it again.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Loyalty. For anyone who reads my books, this probably isn’t a big surprise! I put great store in loyalty and believe it’s something to be nurtured, preserved, and valued. More than just a word, it’s a concept that holds great power for me—and over me. It goes hand in hand with trust and is not something I take lightly.

Tell us about a powerful book you read this year (or one that’s so powerful you’ve never forgotten it).

Remember Me, by Lesley Pearse. I read this book quite a few years ago, but it still pops into my mind regularly, and it had a huge impact on me at the time. I couldn’t put it down. It tells the story of an eighteenth-century Englishwoman convicted of theft and shipped off to the first penal colony in Australia. It’s not a romance, but there is adventure, love, survival, and a passionate determination to make the best of terrible circumstances. It’s a fantastic book based on a true story.

Tell us about a person who’s had a powerful influence on your life.

I may never have started writing—something which drastically changed my life—without having attended a series of writing workshops led by Janet Skeslien Charles at a small Paris bookshop called Shakespeare & Company. She became both a published author and a friend over the course of the sessions, and her own success story, her support, and her workshop, which got me writing and meeting with other writers, gave me much of the confidence I needed to begin my Kingmaker Chronicles trilogy and see it through to publication.

 

Main Drawing:

Amanda is generously giving away a bundle of A Promise of Fire + Breath of Fire. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 30, 2017. (open to everyone)

She’ll be giving away more books as part of the US bundles, and is sponsoring the tote & cup giveaway (more info. below)

There are many more drawings too—including international book bundles! See the bottom of the post for more information.

 


Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

A French master’s graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

 

Learn more:

www.amandabouchet.com     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @AuthorABouchet

 

Buy Amanda’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!

 

#LoveRomance   #The PowerofRomance    #ReadARomance


MORE DRAWINGS!

Each RARM post will have one main drawing each day (posted above). Authors are also contributing to weekly (US only) bundles, which will be drawn at the end of the week. Each bundle will consist of at least five books and the amount of bundles will depend on the amount of books the authors contribute.

(Amanda is contributing to the US bundles, and sponsoring the cup/tote giveaway.)

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week4@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “Bundles” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

International friends!

Rather than individual drawings off posts, this year we’ll do sets of books, 3+, depending on how many authors contribute. To enter, send an email to Week4@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 4 contests are Aug 25 through Aug. 31

For the 5th Annual Read-A-Romance Month, many of the contributing authors  are supporting an extra-special drawing – high quality tote bags and mugs printed with a fun, pro-romance image (see below).

Read-A-Romance Month, through the generous support of many of the authors, is giving away at least 30 mug & tote combos.

Plus, at least two lucky winners will win a Read-A-Romance Month “Month of Books” Mega Bundle, consisting of 31 books!

To enter these exciting drawings,  send an email to August@ReadARomanceMonth.com (US only, apologies to international friends – though keep an eye out later in the month.

(US only, apologies to international friends – though keep an eye out later in the month. I may include an international cup/tote combo.)

You will not be automatically added to a newsletter, and I promise not to sell or give your email addresses to anyone. I do reserve the right to send you an invitation to sign up for my newsletter, which will also have opportunities to win more prizes and great romance reading tips!

 

 

Check out all three great posts everyday in August at ReadARomanceMonth.com.  Or you can find the posts on the RARM Facebook page.  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  #ReadARomance