Joanna Shupe – Community and Comfort

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

Romance vs. Mashed Potatoes and Kit Kats

Let’s face it. Life is rough. It seems the older you get, the more stress in your life. (Or is that just me?)

Romance novels are the comfort foods of entertainment. They feature a compelling story, one where two characters fight to overcome steep odds and arrive at a happily ever after. You feel satisfied at the end, all those endorphins happily swimming around in your brain as your main characters ride off into the sunset together.

The good news? Romance novels have fewer calories than Kit Kats and mashed potatoes. (I’m no scientist but I swear it’s true.)

But I don’t need to tell you romance novels are awesome. You already know that or you wouldn’t be here. What I wanted to talk about is the romance community.

I’ve been a part of many communities over my (very brief, ahem) lifetime. I’ve lived in many different cities, switched jobs, become a parent, and so on. Nowhere have I encountered such amazing people as in the romance community. Are they giving? You bet. Intelligent? Without doubt. Supportive? To a staggering degree.

No other community can beat our enthusiasm. Where else could you spend hours discussing the Immortals After Dark universe? Want to pick apart the finer points of Eve and Roarke’s relationship? Or maybe argue about which Bridgerton is your favorite? Your romance pals have got your back. See, we feel heavily invested in our favorite characters, emotionally connected to them in ways that non-romance readers have a hard time understanding.

No other community can beat our generosity. We share books and reading recommendations with anyone who will listen. We support libraries and librarians. We helped crowdsource the first all-romance bookstore in California, The Ripped Bodice.

And we helped fund a movie about the romance community, “Love Between the Covers.”

So let the haters hate. We know the power of romance.

The power of romance is the inspiration for our own lives and relationships.

The power of romance is the healing during the tough times.

The power of romance is Justin Trudeau pics and GIFs whenever you need a pick-me-up.  (Let me stress, there can never be enough of these.)

Most of all, the power of romance is in our community.


Joanna recommends:

Alyssa Cole     –     –     @Amazon

I loved, loved, loved An Extraordinary Union. This was beautifully written and completely enthralling.


Amanda Bouchet     –      –     @Amazon

Her Kingmakers Chronicles series is absolutely outstanding.


Damon Suede     –      –     @Amazon

Everything he writes is super sexy and compelling. (And if you get the chance to hear him read in person….GO!)


Cat Sebastian     –      –     @Amazon

Her Regency male/male romances are fantastic reads.


Kresley Cole     –    @Amazon)

Every word, every sentence, every book… all genius.

Questions for the Author:

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

When my first book was published, I received a very lovely card from an older woman who’d discovered my book in the store. She wrote to thank me for writing it, because my story had given her a brief respite from her grief after losing her husband of many years.

All the toil and aggravation of crafting that story was well worth it, if only for that one woman. To give someone joy, a tiny ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark moment, is what makes being a romance author rewarding.

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

My husband and I married at NYC’s City Hall the week my first daughter was born. (I know, not very romantic.) I didn’t want any jewelry, so my husband and I never traded rings. My mom surprised me not long after, though. She had my dad’s original wedding band resized for my finger. Engraved inside are my parents’ initials, as well as my and my husband’s initials.

The ring always reminds me of my parents and their strong bond. They met at 18 and married not long after. They’re still happily married, all these years later.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.


Writing is so much about moving forward and never giving up. We suffer through self-doubt and bad reviews, lackluster sales and loneliness, all to send these hopeful stories out into the world. And the word applies to much more than writing. It’s about life and love, everything in our world.

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

My favorite read of 2017 is Sarah MacLean’s Day of the Duchess. I love everything Sarah writes, so I knew I would adore this story as a fan. But the writer in me couldn’t help but be impressed by her research, her prose, and the recurring themes in the book. Reunion stories are hard because the reader needs to like the characters…not judge or blame them for the previous breakup. Nothing was as it seemed in this book and it kept me absolutely riveted. That’s the sign of a truly powerful story.

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

My husband. Without his encouragement to dust off an old romance manuscript (that he helped me edit!), I never would have pursued a career as a romance author.


Main Drawing:

Joanna is generously giving away a signed copy of MOGUL, the last book in her Knickerbocker Club series.  To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 25, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away another copy 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.



Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. In 2013 she won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She currently lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.


Learn more:     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @joannashupe


Buy Joanna’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.

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

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to 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 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 (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  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