j. leigh bailey – Giving Hope

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

It Comes Down to Hope

I’ve thought long and hard about this for years. Why do I read romance novels? I’ve been reading them since I was ten years old, so there’s got to be a reason, right? And within that reason, lies the power of the romance novel, and then, ultimately, the power of romance as a concept. So did I come up with an answer? Sure. But I thought it was cheesy and cliché (and as an author, you know I’m supposed to avoid clichés). But honestly? No matter how much I delve into it to find something deeper or more profound, my answer is hope. Whether I’m talking about the reason I read romance novels, or the power of romance as a concept, it comes down to HOPE.

Whenever two people (or more, if that’s your thing) come together and they make a connection, there’s hope. Hope that the other feels the same. Hope that it might lead to something more. Hope that the something more might grow into something permanent. Hope for that happy ever after, forever and ever. We see this every day. From first dates to grandma and grandpa bickering over breakfast, this hope for a future together can be seen.

Romance authors have a singular superpower—they give hope. I love romance novels because no matter the conflict and tension and horrible things that might be happening, the characters WILL fall in love, and they WILL live happily ever after. And even better, it shows that ANYONE can and will get their HEA, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or even paranormal affiliation. And this kind of representation in literature provides hope to readers that, no matter their own age, gender, race, religion, or paranormal affiliation, a HEA is possible for them.

j. recommends:

Annabeth Albert   –  www.annabethalbert.com   –  @Amazon

I love all off Annabeth’s books, but her Out of Uniform Series just keep getting better and better. What’s could be better than sexy Navy SEALs with real-world problems finding love?


Santino Hassell  –  santinohassell.com  –  @Amazon

&  Megan Erickson  – meganerickson.org  –  @Amazon

are fantastic individually. But when they collaborate like they do in their Cyberlove (@Amazon ) series, they are phenomenal. Edgy and hot, current without being trendy. I devour these books, over and over again


Juliann Rich  –   juliannrich.com   –  @Amazon

Juliann writes rich, realistic, character-driven young adult novels. Her Crossfire trilogy dealt with the tenuous intersection between homosexuality and faith, and her Lambda-nominated novel Gravity, is an edgy lesbian YA romance set in the competitive ski jumping world.


Stephanie Scott   –  www.stephaniescott.net   –   @Amazon

Stephanie’s RITA-nominated debut YA novel ALTERATIONS is a fun, contemporary YA retelling of Sabrina that mixes the angst and worries of a modern teen with the nostalgic feel of the movie. So good.


Questions for the Author:

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

Before my grandfather’s death, he and my grandmother had been married for over 60 years. On my last visit to their home, I picked up on a few things I didn’t notice to an appreciable extent growing up. My grandpa was an affectionate, idealistic, bigger-than-life kind of person. My grandma was a practical, pragmatic, less demonstrably affectionate kind of person. Very much an opposites attract kind of couple. Grandpa always referred to my grandma as “hon” or “my girl.” On my last visit to them before my grandpa died, I remember him holder her hand, patting it, calling her hon, and telling me how lucky he was to have had her in his life. It was done in an offhand kind of way to made it all the more significant. He wasn’t making a point, just expressing something that was crossing his mind. Even now, more than 15 years later, I still look back at that moment and think, that is what romance, a life-long romance, is all about.

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

In 1989 my mom got me a typewriter for Christmas. It wasn’t anything special. I don’t recall the brand, even. But I was so excited to get it. I was 11 years old and was obsessed with that thing. I wrote letters on it

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

It’s more of a phrase, but one of the most powerful words for me this year is give-and-take. Or maybe closer to balance or compromise? The best romances are ones in which two strong characters have to give a little to take a little in order to be better people, both individually and as a couple. Along the lines of opposites attract. That conflict and tension between them forges a stronger relationship with greater stakes, and a greater satisfaction when they achieve their HEA. This is true in real life as well. Especially given the current strained political situation. There is room for a little give-and-take, a little compromise, in order to make us all stronger, both individually and together.

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

The book that’s had the biggest impact on me this year is one I almost didn’t read. Not because it didn’t sound good, but it didn’t sound like “my kind of thing.” By the end of the first chapter I was laughing (literally out loud) and clapping. Scared the crap out of my cat! It was THE LIGHTNING-STRUCK HEART by TJ Klune. It’s a hilarious fantasy/gay romance that was so over-the-top that it should have been ridiculous. Instead, it was over-the-top quirky, but also powerfully poignant and poetic. As many books as I read, as many wonderful books that I read, this was the first one in a long time that I wanted to buy a hundred copies and pass around to anyone and everyone I know, demanding that they READ IT RIGHT NOW just so we could all sit around and gush about the amazingness that is THE LIGHTNING-STRUCK HEART.

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

Everyone probably says their mom, right? I mean, it’s obvious, and maybe comes off as a cop-out. But I can honestly say my mother has been the biggest influence in my life in both positive and negative ways. She is, to this day, my best friend, my loudest cheerleader, my councilor, my sounding board, and my rescuer. There have been times when I was not an easy person to deal with, times when it felt like my life was falling apart around me. She came in, helped me sweep up the pieces, swept up the pieces I couldn’t get to, and using her special brand of practical mom magic, got me back on the right track. I would not be the person I am (quirks and all!) if it weren’t for her love and support.

Main Drawing:

j. leigh is generously giving away a prize pack including an autographed copy of Guyliner, non-paper swag, and an eye makeup (create your own “guyliner”) set.   To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 10, 2017. (US only)

She’ll also be giving away 1 autographed paperback copy of Guyliner or 1 autographed paperback copy of Do-Gooder; and 1 autographed paperback copy of Stalking Buffalo Bill (releasing Sept. 1, 2017) as part of the US bundles, and is participating in the international bundles, plus she’s sponsoring a 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.

#LoveRomance #ReadARomance


j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night.  She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending. She writes romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.

Learn more:

www.jleighbailey.net     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @JenniWrites


Buy j. leigh’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


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.

(j. leigh is contributing to the US and international bundles, and sponsoring a cup/tote giveaway.)

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week1@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 Week1@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 1 contests are through Aug. 8

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