Angela Quarles – Heady 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

The Many Powers of Romance

The Power of Romance. That’s really the heart of it, isn’t it? Power. Unfortunate souls who’ve never read a good romance sometimes dismiss the genre as fluff. They could never be more wrong.

It’s Power.

Feminine Power.

Sexual Power.

Advocate Power.

To me that’s the embodiment of our genre and why I LOVE to write it. Love is powerful. Romance is powerful. And a good one can sweep the reader into the couple’s developing love and show the power of transformation, the power of respect, the power of consent, the power of agency, the power of healing, the power of vulnerability, the power of trust, the power of laughter.

It’s heady stuff.

When the world has so much that is negative, hurtful, misleading, hopeless, that’s when a good romance can provide an alternate viewpoint for the reader, another path they can take, if they too grab the power within them.

The Power of Vulnerability

So often, my books center around characters who must learn to make themselves vulnerable and take the risk of rejection for those who are worth their love. Through the story, they’ve come to have a better sense of their own selves and are ready to be vulnerable for the hero. Sometimes it’s the hero who has to take that step. Either way, that last wall protecting their heart from possible rejection has to crumble. Their HEA is in their hands if they have the guts to shed whatever fears are in their way.

The Power of Laughter

Humor is important to me and I instantly love a book if it can make me laugh out loud (or giggle-snort) while I’m reading alone in a restaurant. Because that’s something I value highly in what I love to read, I also try to infuse humor in my books. Sometimes, that giggle-snort of surprise and delight might be all a reader needs to make it through that day.

Feminine Power

Romance can also be an expression of feminine power in the sense that they show healthy relationship dynamics and a heroine who will not settle for anything less than what she deserves: respect.

Sexual Power

I write open door love scenes and one of the reasons I chose to do so was because I felt that it was an important part of showing the healthy relationship of the couple expressed in its most intimate terms. Far from being dirty or shameful, love scenes can also show that it’s okay to express your desires, it’s okay to laugh, it’s okay to talk dirty, it’s okay to be quiet, it’s okay to be loud, it’s okay to not know what you’re doing. :o) It’s okay to be you. At least it is, if you’re with the right man for you.

So yeah, the power of romance? It’s real.

Angela recommends:

Julie Anne Long     —    www.julieannelong.com    –     @Amazon

Both in contemporary and historical. I typically highlight gobs of her books because I just love how she writes!

Helena Hunting      –     helenahunting.com    –    @Amazon

For some great laughs and hot chemistry, check out her Pucked series of hockey players finding their HEA.

 


Questions for the Author:

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

My brother has recently found the love of his life, and this man who is typically close-to-the-vest about his feelings, made himself vulnerable at an important crossroads in their budding relationship. His courage to lay his heart out there, and his willingness to be open and honest with her, allowed him to be in a wonderful, supportive relationship and the happiest and truest version of himself I’ve ever seen.

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

Can it be a house? Because for me, all of my life, it’s garnered the most powerful memories for me. It’s been in the family since 1919 and we vacationed there every summer. It has ghosts, kooky furniture, unusual rooms, and as kids we were convinced it had secret passageways. As a child, I even thought it had a magic room that could only be accessed from a second-floor bedroom window, because when you went outside, there were no rooms of that size sticking out of the house. Hurricane Frederick in 1979 tore out the partition that had closed up the L of the L-shaped second floor porch and the magic of that room was revealed.  :o)

And everywhere are books.

The power of that house was such that when I turned forty, I moved from Atlanta to Mobile in order to be the fifth generation to live there. It was also one of the settings for my first-ever novel I completed, though it’s still sitting under the bed.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Positivity. For so many reasons, lol. I think it’s so important to have a positive attitude, about life, about yourself, and yet it can be one of the hardest to hold onto. As someone who won’t be procreating, believe me, I’ve wondered what my purpose in life is. Especially since so much of our culture can make me believe that as a woman, procreation is my only purpose. So I’ve chosen to believe that my purpose is to try and put out as much positive energy in this world that I can—that’s something I can contribute to. Negative is everywhere. Negative is easy. So I try to place positive deposits in the world’s “energy” bank. My books are part of that deposit.  :o)

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

Can I be cliché and say Jane Austen’s Persuasion? I never tire of re-reading that book and find some new nuance to treasure. The story of a second chance at love, when both have been stung and have reason to keep their hearts closed (especially to each other) and yet find the power to be vulnerable and find their happiness with each other always resonates with me.

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

Outside of family (and they have been the most powerful), I’d have to say James Scott Bell, even though I never met him in person. I was under the impression that writers were born with a natural gift. And maybe they are. But sometimes that gift can be hiding, unpolished for lack of practice. I didn’t naturally write beautiful passages of prose. I avoided creative writing classes in high school and college. Because of this, all my life I’d have ideas and then I’d say, ‘Oh, too bad I’m not a writer.’ Until finally, an idea just wouldn’t let go. So I bought a bunch of writing craft books, thinking that no one else would have to know of my poor attempt at writing. This was for me.

One of those books was James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure. One of the nuggets of advice in there that really struck me was that most of good writing can be learned. When I read that, I was like, hey, I’m good at learning! And off I went, gobbling up books on craft, attending classes, going to workshops and more. I’m constantly learning.

Main Drawing:

Angela is generously giving away one paperback copy of her RITA-winning novel, Must Love Chainmail.  To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 16, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away another copy as part of the US bundles, and is  supporting the tote & cup giveaway! (see below for more information)

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

 


Angela Quarles is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of time travel and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category.

 

Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.

 

Learn more:

angelaquarles.com     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @angelaquarles

 

Buy Angela’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.

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

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week2@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 Week2@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 2 contests are Aug 9 through Aug. 16

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

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I love that your object is a house. My grandparents house holds great memories for me.

  • catslady

    Love your power points! You are a new to me author but they sound like great reads.

  • cheryl c.

    Congrats on winning the RITA!

  • Pamby50

    I love the house that has been in your family for generations and that you are moving in.

  • Sue G.

    What a fun house! That would be awesome to live in a place that has so much history and ghosts!!!!

  • Patty Vasquez

    I love this: “…I try to place positive deposits in the world’s “energy” bank.” I like to think that I read romance to put happy thoughts into my personal cup when it runs low. So thank you for providing me the deposits I need!

  • Nicole Marie

    Great post, i loved reading your story.

  • MaryC

    Your family home sounds delightful.

  • Ellen

    Congratulations on your RITA. Your house sounds fantastic–all that history and books, too.

  • Kezia King

    You are absolutely right! Reading romance is so empowering. Feminine power, sexual power, the power to go through the worst and come out the other side. Great post! Btw, I love Julie Anne Long too! Everything she writes is just amazing. 🙂

  • Jodi B

    As a teenager (many, many years ago) I loved to read time travel books. I’m looking forward to reading your books.

  • Megan Finnigan Grimes

    I really enjoyed your writing about the power of romance. I have to admit that when I am reading something from the romance genre or a story with a romance at the heart of it, my mood and outlook on life is so much better.
    Persuasion has to be one of my favorite romances and dare I say, that there are days when I love it more than Pride and Prejudice. Mary Balogh’s supernatural twist on Persuasion, which is part of Bespelling Jane Austin, had my heart beating like mad and brought the story even more to life for me.
    I think that what you said about putting positivity in the world vs procreating was interesting, but aren’t they both the act of “birthing” and bringing forth something of yourself? I think we as women are made to create and share something of ourselves with the world, be that spiritual or physical. But I agree that our culture can often push that it should only be something physical in the form of another person, which is unfortunate. Sometimes I feel that since I have a child, society does not expect anything else from me and that I should be content with that being my only purpose in life.

    • I’ll have to check out Bespelling Austen, but man, Megan, I never thought about how society’s push could be flipped like that to make those women who do procreate feel that way. You made me tear up.