Cristin Harber – Strong Women, Strong 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

Powerful Heroines of Romance

One of my favorite things about writing romance novels is penning the women. When I first published, I started to hear readers say things like, “That’s Titan Strong!” Or if they saw a badass video floating around Facebook, I’d see a comment like “That is SO Nicola.” Even when a smoking hot muscle car made it into romance readers feeds, and most of the post likers and commenters had been men, there suddenly was an onslaught of Titan readers tagging me with comments like, “Sugar would drive the heck out of this one!”

And they were right. My heroines have no problem with their heroes saving the day. I mostly write military romance and romantic suspense. Often there is a scene (or, I don’t know, five) where someone has to kick a bad guy’s butt and the couple can share a hot and heavy thank-god-we-lived moment. But, it’s not always the guy doing all the butt kicking. My women like to have a helping hand. They’re not helpless—and, wait for it, my heroes absolutely appreciate that too.

I find when I’m writing romantic suspense, one of the sexiest things I share between the hero and heroine is the couple’s trust and mutual understanding. That’s the basis of their partnership, and from there, no matter what bomb I throw at them, physically or metaphorically, their relationship will be able to withstand the test of three hundred pages, three story arcs, and a dark moment.

When I write my Titan women, they’re likely former military, intelligence, or something along the lines of a CIA-trained operative. Basically, she knows how to kick some serious booty. It would only be respectful for her partner to stand back and let her do what she does best.

Now, if she gets into a pickle, I’m sure she would love for him to be a helping hand. How else can we have those moments where his muscles ripple and flex? (I tease) But they are partners, and by the time they are more than that on a job, for example, they’ll have had a meaningful love connection. Though… it’s always good, clean plot point fun to test that love once it’s been established. *grins* Literary devices of love torture aside, the respect and strength of the heroines makes the couple’s relationship that much more fulfilling for the reader.

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Cristin recommends:

 

Nikki Sloane  –   www.nikkisloane.com   –   @Amazon

 

Amber Addison   –     facebook.com/AmberAddisonAuthor     –    @Amazon

 

Anna Bishop Barker    –    annabishopbarker.com    –    @Amazon

 

Sharon Kay   –   www.sharonkaynovels.com   –   @Amazon

 

Jessie Lane   –   jessielanebooks.com    –   @Amazon


Questions for the Author:

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

I’ve always talked about the power of a story, and even given speeches on it. But I wasn’t necessarily aware of the power of romance novels until I wrote two horrific, but sadly, relatable scenes in two different books. One was a rape scene and the other was domestic violence, spousal abuse.

I was shocked by the amount of feedback I received. Some of it wasn’t pleasant. But so many readers contacted me because I provided a happily ever after to women who had been through hell.

One email in particular will always bring me to tears. She told me that she re-read the book where the heroine was in a domestic abuse situation. That from the outside, everything looked amazing, and like the character, this woman was powerful and influential within her industry. She recounted to me little “accidents” from her husband that turned into full-fledged, regularly occurring “incidents”, and she couldn’t see how she allowed the abuse to happen until she read a character with the same thoughts. Together, this woman and the character realized a future was possible where love didn’t mean violence.

The last paragraph of her email was a thank you because the romance novel she picked up with no expectation had changed her life and view on love. She also said she was emailing me after she left her husband who beat her. That is the power of a romance novel.

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

There’s a painting of three mountain peaks in my living room. It’s called Three Sisters after what locals called the three mountain tops that lean close together where the next closest ones are further away and not as steep. When I was in my twenties, I used to sit outside, especially as the sunset, and free write the start to short stories while staring at the Three Sisters. I’m not sure why they could leave me so mesmerized. I was surrounded by a beautiful landscape anywhere I turned. But now, that painting is displayed quietly, though prominently, wherever I live.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

No is the most powerful word I am aware of, and it took a long time before I was aware of its power. No allows me to ignore what I’m told I have to write to stay relevant and stay true to the story the characters want me to tell. No gives me the strength to politely decline things that don’t bring me closer to my priorities: my children, my health, and my career. No gives me strength, and it is hard to harness it, but when I do, no lets me be the best mom, author, and person I can be.

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

Not knowing what I had picked up, I read Story of O when I was in high school. No book has had more of an impact on me in any way in terms of opening my mind and learning possibilities of genres existed that I was very much not aware of.

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

Karen Danca was my high school English teacher. She knew I loved to write, and was well aware that I could but that the stories I penned weren’t typical topics. I took on subjects that were apparently taboo (AIDs stands out in my memory) and relationships that “shouldn’t” have been written about for the topics assigned. I pushed the line. Instead of lecturing me, she helped me focus on my craft, honing my talent by learning to develop the words, how they flowed and their sequence. She encouraged me to keep writing no matter what hurdle (and there were many) slowed me down. Even if she didn’t agree with me, she never let me stop, and I hope everyone has a teacher like that when they need it most.

Main Drawing:

Cristin is generously giving away a gift basket that will include TITAN swag, two autographed books (1st in series Winters Heat and Delta Retribution) and a code for a free audio book (Sweet Girl). To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 20, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away more books as part of the US bundles, and is participating in 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.

 


Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes steamy new adult, romantic suspense, and military romance.

Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and military romance bestseller.

Learn more:

cristinharber.com       |    Facebook     |     Twitter @cristinharber

 

Buy Cristin’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.

(Cristin is contributing to the US and sponsoring the cup/tote giveaway.)

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