Anna Bradley – A Few Stolen Moments

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 Power To Take Us Away

After my first book came out, I used to get a lot of, “Oh, I don’t read romance” when I told people I’m a writer. It came mostly from casual acquaintances, like friends of friends, or neighbors, or the lady standing behind me at the grocery store. After a while I noticed it’s the most common first response I got, and usually they’re in enough of a rush to define their reading habits that I hardly get the word “romance” out before they rush to tell me they don’t read it.

I find this baffling, for two reasons. One, from a statistical standpoint, it’s suspect (someone has to be buying all those romance novels, right?), and two, because more often than not the phrase, “Oh, I don’t read romance,” really means, “I’ve never even given romance novels a chance.” Now, I’m not the romance novel police, and I’m not going to judge people’s reading choices, but clearly I’m sold on the power of romance, and don’t like to hear my beloved genre condemned without a fair trial.

Whether we’re romance readers or writers (or both!) at some point or other we’ve all found ourselves defending romance novels to someone who’s never read one. I can’t count how many times I’ve been the champion of the romance novel, and sometimes I’ve had my work cut out for me.

My most recent skirmish as a lover of romance came in the form of an exchange with another parent at my kids’ school, a perfectly nice lady who happened to have a high-pressure, demanding job as an emergency room doctor. The conversation started pretty much like many other conversations I’ve had about my chosen genre:

Doctor: “Oh, you write romance? I don’t read romance.”

Me: “Have you ever tried one?”

Doctor: “No. My mother reads them. She just loves those trashy books.”

Me: “Um, I didn’t say I write trashy books. I said I write romance.”

I was a little stunned by her comment, and she was a little abashed by my response, and the whole thing left me feeling upset, so the next day I brought her a signed copy of my book, and (smiling through gritted teeth), told her reading romance is recommended by 9 out of 10 doctors (hey, it could be true) for relaxation and lowering blood pressure, and suggested she give it a try.

I had my doubts she’d ever actually read the book—in fact, I pretty much expected her to spend the rest of the school year awkwardly avoiding me, but I was wrong. She did read it, as I found out the following Monday at school, when she ran after me as I was getting into my car to tell me she loved the book, and that she’d ended up reading the entire thing in the bathtub because she couldn’t put it down. Her exact words? “It was a real ‘Calgon, take me away’ moment!”

That’s what romance does—it takes us away for a brief moment, and there’s not a person in the world—no matter who they are, or what they do—who doesn’t occasionally need to be taken away.

So, is romance powerful? I’d have to say anything that can take us out of ourselves for a few stolen moments is powerful, so now when people say to me, “Oh, I don’t read romance,” that’s what I tell them.

 

Anna recommends:

 

Elizabeth Essex    –      www.elizabethessex.com       –    @Amazon

“Romance so good, it’s scandalous!” Strong heroines, witty banter, beautifully written! The delicious Reckless Brides series is a great place to start.

 

 

Claire Petretti-Marti     –       www.clairemarti.com       –      @Amazon

Fresh, fun contemporary romance! Second Chance in Laguna, which is the first book in her “Finding Forever in Laguna” series, is the ideal beach read!

 

 

Elizabeth Cole    –      www.elizabethcole.com      –     @Amazon

“Smart ladies, sensual heroes, and thrilling stories!” Intrigue, suspense and romance in historically detailed settings. Compelling, addictive reads!

 


Questions for the Author:

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

If romance is powerful, romance writers are even more so, especially when they’re talented, hysterically funny, and know how to mix a mean cocktail! I’m so lucky to be part of a small group of fellow romance writers who never fail in their energy and support for each other. Whenever I get the chance to spend time with them I always come away with boundless creative energy. Writer friends and pomegranate-lemonade martinis? That’s power, baby!

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

This is the corniest answer ever, but what can I say? The truth is often corny. My wedding bouquet, which is now a little bundle of dried white roses wrapped in a faded green ribbon, is the first object I thought of when I read this question. It has pride of place on one of my bookshelves in my bedroom, because I like to be reminded that nineteen years ago, I chose the right hero!

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Like most writers and readers I love words, so it’s difficult to narrow it down to just one, and I might change my mind tomorrow, but for now, today, I’m going with the word “hope,” because it’s a word from which so many other positive words come, and also because you know you have a powerful word when it’s opposite is unthinkable.

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

I don’t usually read a book more than once (too many books, too little time!) but this year I found a book I enjoyed so much I actually read it twice—Sally Thorne’s “The Hating Game.” If you haven’t read this, it’s on my “highly recommend” list! It’s funny and engaging, and that in itself is powerful, but the book also delivers a powerful message, which is that the last person you ever thought you could love might be the one person you need the most.

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

Before I became a professional writer, I spent eight years helping amass a rare book collection of works by pre-Austen English women writers. The visionary and founder of that project, Sandy Lerner, had an enormous influence on me. The collection I helped acquire ultimately became the Chawton House Library, a country estate which at one time belonged to Jane Austen’s brother, Edward Austen-Knight, and where Jane herself spent a significant amount of time. Sandy was a demanding boss. She could be difficult to work for, but she had the kind of incredible drive and vision that made it worth it. She undertook a massive project with restoring such a historically significant estate, and like most massive projects there were delays and difficulties, but she persisted, and in 2003 the Center for the Study of Early English Women’s Writing opened. The house, garden and library are incredible, and I’m so proud I got to be a part of it!

 

Main Drawing:

Anna is generously giving away  signed paperback copies of “A Wicked Way to Win an Earl,” and  “A Season of Ruin,” the first two books in the Sutherland Scandals series, plus digital copies of each of the 2017 releases,  (“Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor,” “Lady Charlotte’s First Love,” and Christmas novella “Twelfth Night with the Earl”) to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 22, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away more books as part of the US bundles. (more info. below)

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

Anna writes steamy historical romance (think garters, fops and riding crops) and squeezes in a few days a week of teaching writing on the side. She lives with her enormously patient husband, two brilliant and maddening children, and a variety of spoiled pets in Portland, OR, where people are delightfully weird and love to read.

 

 

Learn more:

www.annabradley.net     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @annabradley472

 

Buy Anna’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.

(Anna is contributing to the US bundles.)

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week3@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 Week3@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 3 contests are Aug 17 through Aug. 24

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

  • Michele H.

    When people tell me they don’t read romance (mostly in a judgemental way), I want to respond with “My condolences- you’re missing out!”

    • Anna Bradley

      Yes! Perfect response, Michele! They are missing out, too. The thing is, if they’d give it a chance, they’d probably love it. I read everything, and don’t believe in genre shaming!

  • Sue G.

    I love the story about the Dr. Too funny! I will get the same type of response from some people….who clearly have never read a romance….mommy porn is the biggest response and then they laugh. I just reply, well my hubby seems to benefit from it! That usually shuts them up! 😉

    • Anna Bradley

      Lol – that is AWESOME, Sue! My husband always tells people he “inspires” me, which is funny but kind of embarrassing too! I hate the term “Mommy porn.” Romance is about a lot of things besides sex!

  • Ellen

    My wedding bouquet is in a vase on one of my bookcases,too. (31 years in September.) So glad the doctor got her “calgon’ experience. (I love reading in the tub.) Thanks for sharing.

    • Anna Bradley

      It’s nice to have that bouquet where you can see it every day, isn’t it? Mine’s a little dry and flaky now, but still beautiful. I’m glad the doctor got her Calgon moment, too. I hope it makes her more open to different reads!

  • cheryl c.

    Great recommendation for The Hating Game. It has been on my radar for a while, but I just haven’t had time to read it yet. I must remedy that soon.

    • Anna Bradley

      Oh, you’re going to love it, Cheryl! I almost never re-read books, but I’ve read that one twice now, and I bet I’ll read it again.

  • Molly

    Great recommendation.

    • Anna Bradley

      Such a great group of writers! There are so many to recommend, but these three are my current favorites!

  • Megan

    Love your books!!

    • Anna Bradley

      Aw, thank you, Megan! So love to hear that!

  • Kathy Nye

    I’ve defended romance reading my entire life. It’s so nice when you meet someone who also reads romance.

    • Anna Bradley

      Me too, Kathy. I remember being shocked speechless when I told a friend I was writing romance, and her face lit up and she said, “I love romance!” So nice to hear, especially when you’re expecting the opposite reaction!

  • Tori Valenzuela

    I also have my wedding bouquet!!!! Love love its representation I’ve that day!!!

    • Anna Bradley

      I know just what you mean, Tori! I almost tossed mine on my wedding day, but I’m so glad I didn’t!

  • Claire PetrettiMarti

    What an amazing achievement–you should be so proud for the work on the library collection. Selfishly, I’m glad you write romance full-time now because I love your books!

    • Anna Bradley

      Aw – thanks, Claire! The library was amazing, and I’m so glad I got to do that project, but I love writing, and wouldn’t give it up for anything!

  • Ren

    Thanks for sharing. You are a new author to me so I can’t wait to check out your books. I’ll also have to check out your recommendation.

    • Anna Bradley

      Thank you, Ren, for the comment and for checking out one of my books! One of the reasons I love RARM so much is I find so many new authors!

  • MaryC

    I don’tr understood people dismiss romance novels that they have never read.

    • Anna Bradley

      I know, Mary – I find it weird, too. They don’t know what they’re missing!

  • Nicole Marie

    Great post, I really enjoyed reading your story.

    • Anna Bradley

      Thank you, Nicole! I love doing the RARM posts – such great readers!

  • Patty Vasquez

    I don’t have a job nearly as stressful as that of an ER doctor. However, I’m a teacher and some days certainly have their moments. I’m always thankful for the romance book waiting for me at home to give me my “Calgon moment”.

    • Anna Bradley

      I actually think being a teacher would be super stressful! I bet you’ve earned your Calgon moments, Patty!

  • Glenda

    I think everyone needs those ‘Calgon moment’s. I’m glad the ER doctor mom was willing to take a chance and read your book – for her sake.

    As far as a powerful object: I had friends help me make the flower arrangements for my wedding – including my boquet. I chose silk flowers so that I could keep it. It is on top of our entertainment center and has been for 25 years. 🙂

    • Anna Bradley

      I love that, Glenda, because your friends helped you make your wedding bouquet, and that makes it even more special. I was afraid my comment about my bouquet was going to sound corny, but I’m so glad I shared it because it sounds like a lot of us feel the same way!

      • Glenda

        Maybe it’s me, but I think a lot of the little romantic gestures can come across as being slightly corny or even clichéd until you think about the emotion and meaning behind them. Saving a wedding bouquet or any other momento from a date or event is a way of physically preserving a meaningful memory. Seeing the item can trigger the memories and the emotions of those days.

        • Anna Bradley

          You’re so right. I couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂

  • Kezia King

    I’ve had that discussion about romance with so many people I’ve lost count. It’s so crazy that people can dismiss it without even trying it! I don’t think there’s a genre I don’t read-only some I prefer and others I usually don’t enjoy, but I know for a fact that there’s something I can enjoy in each genre. Thanks for sharing! (Btw, The Hating Game is one of my favorites!)

    • Anna Bradley

      Thanks, Kezia! I don’t know what it is about romance that puts people’s hackles up, but I’d guess at least half the people who tell me they don’t read it have never tried it. I couldn’t agree with you more that there’s something in every genre to like!

  • Anna Bradley

    Isn’t it awesome? I love it too. I didn’t get any sleep the night I read that!

  • catslady

    Historicals are my favorite but I read a bit of everything. Your stories sound like my perfect read!

  • Pamby50

    I love reading romance books. A friend was visiting and a package came for me. I won a couple of signed books, a tote, pen and bookmarks. She asked what was the deal. I told her I won a contest. She liked the winning but not the romance. So I gave her one of the signed books. I told her if she didn’t like the book, she had to return it to me. I never received the book back and she has bought more by that author.

  • Sheryl N

    I love romance books and have been reading them since my grandma handed me a copy of A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. I love reading Regency the best