Kelsey Browning – Kinda Like A Train

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 Might Just Save Your Life

When I read the phrase “The Power of Romance” in my head I immediately heard Huey Lewis and the News belting out “The Power of Love.”

Go ahead. Admit you’re hearing it too. (And feel free to cuss my name because that earworm is gonna stay with you all damn day.)

So maybe Huey and his buddies didn’t croon out the most tender of lyrics, but if you take a closer look, they’re pretty on target.

The power of love is a curious thing

Make a one man weak, make another man sing

Romance isn’t predictable, and no two romance novels ever bring the hero and heroine to their Happy Ever After the same way. Think of the difference in the characters in a sweet contemporary romance and a dark, gritty paranormal. Although they ultimately fall in love, the path of their romance twists in very different ways.

The chorus of Huey’s song says:

You don’t need money, don’t take fame

Don’t need no credit card to ride this train

It’s strong and it’s sudden and it’s cruel sometimes

But it might just save your life

That’s the power of love

Yeah, I can totally warble out Don’t need no credit card to ride this train at the top of my lungs while driving windows-down. But it’s these two lines that really hit me:

 It’s strong and it’s sudden and it’s cruel sometimes

But it might just save your life

They sum up what I think most romance authors are trying to communicate in their books. Love and romance hit the hero and heroine kinda like that train you don’t need a credit card for, and often, at the time, none of it feels good. But what neither character realizes until the end of the story is that the other person’s love is necessary for emotional survival.

And so romance novels are powerful because they dare to tread deeply where no other genre goes. They attempt to describe and define a concept that’s unexplainable. Ask ten different people what love is and you’ll get ten different answers. Yet, in a romance novel, we try over and over to show the core of love: vulnerability, fear, desire, frustration, tenderness, and hard work it takes to love another person.

And the fact that neither love nor romance is easy makes their power all the sweeter.

(Trivia extra! “The Power of Love” was written for which movie??)

Kelsey recommends:

My first love is contemporary romance and each of these women delivers a delicious story with intricately drawn characters.

 

Caro Carson    –      www.carocarson.com     –    @Amazon

Caro is able to pack fascinating and complex stories into the shorter category format, which is special and so rare.

 

Liz Talley   –      www.liztalleybooks.com      –    @Amazon

 

Liz is one of my go-to Southern writers. She gets the culture and the characters right. Every time.

 

Kelly Moran   –     www.AuthorKellyMoran.com     –    @Amazon

Kelly creates the kind of characters I love. Everyday people who live everyday lives but must overcome the kind of challenges we all face in order to say yes to love and romance.

 

Wendy S. Marcus   –          wendysmarcus.com          –    @Amazon

Wendy tackles some touchy subjects (like hoarding and cyberbullying) and still delivers an incredibly uplifting story.


Questions for the Author:

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

For me, the power of romance—particularly from romance novels—came the day my aunt gave me a trash bag FULL of old Harlequins. From then on, romance was my preferred reading genre. Although I knew a HEA was guaranteed, I could never guess exactly how the hero and heroine would get there.

Over thirty years later, romance novels still provide me with that same powerful magic.

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

Many pieces in my jewelry collection hold powerful memories.

My sapphire-and-diamond wedding set. A malachite ring my husband bought me in Denver. Another he had made and stamped with the longitude and latitude of a little café in the South of France where we sat, sipped beer, and gazed at the Mediterranean.

But possibly the most powerful memories come from the ring I inherited when my mom died. It’s her Mother’s Ring, the most unusual one I’ve ever seen. It’s shaped like a small bunch of flowers with a stone for my mom, my dad, my two siblings, and me.

I wore it the day I married my husband. I wear it during May, the month my mom died. And I wear it whenever I want to feel close to her even though I can no longer reach out and touch her.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Ooh, such a hard question for a writer! All words have power.

But if I have to pick one, I’ll choose creativity. Creativity is powerful because if you ask a room full of adults how many consider themselves creative, few will raise their hands. Ask the same question of kindergartners and hands all over the room will shoot up and wag like dogs’ tails.

I want to encourage and help people—women especially—to rediscover and recover the creative impulses they may have lost somewhere in their life journeys. As we become adults, often marrying and having children, we put many of our own wants and needs aside. One of the first things to go is our creative outlet.

That’s the reason I’ve recently created two courses: Collaging for Creative Discovery and Recovery and Complete Your Big Creative Project in 30 Days. I want women to realize that claiming their creativity and taking time for it isn’t selfish, and it isn’t optional.

Creativity is an incredible human gift and yet we often deny ourselves of its power and pleasure. I would love for more women to finally write the play, finish the book, take the photographs, make the heirloom quilt, or pursue whatever creative dream they’re scared to start or finish!

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

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. Brené is a Texan and a professor at the University of Houston. She’s so amazing that I want to be her best friend. Except she probably already has one and would be alarmed if I showed up at her home—wearing PJs and bearing snacks—asking to come in for a slumber party.

Brené is also a shame researcher.

Whoa, Kelsey. Shame ain’t romantic!

No, it isn’t. But by studying shame, Brené has made a life’s work from helping people lean into their vulnerabilities. Encouraging us to let other people see us for who we truly are. Teaching us to stay open and experience the joy that only comes from being authentic and believing we’re enough, just as we are, warts and all.

Think about your favorite romance heroes and heroines—what did they have to do to earn their Happy Ever After? They had to be willing to risk letting themselves be seen—truly seen—and believe they’re worthy of love regardless of their flaws.

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

My sister has had a powerful influence on me. When we were younger, I always thought of her as the scattered little sister. She’s six years younger than me, which consistently placed us in different life stages until we were both adults.

She married only a year or two after I did and had her first child three and a half years before I had my son. Suddenly, she was “ahead” of me!

Some of those years weren’t the easiest for her, and she discovered what all adults do—that the life you planned is rarely the life you live. She could’ve allowed life to just happen to her, but she’s too strong (and stubborn!) for that.

While raising a family, she went back to school to get her nursing degree and graduated at the top of her class. Then, while working full-time and single parenting her two boys, she completed her master’s degree. Every time I would wonder how in the world she wasn’t buckling under all the pressure, she would come out on the other side. So these days, when I feel like buckling, I think about my sister and remember that she helped me see that we’re both made of strong, resilient stuff!

Main Drawing:

Kelsey is generously giving away winner’s choice of 1 Kelsey Browning ebook.  To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 15, 2017. (open to everyone)

She’s also taking part in the weekly US bundles and international bundles! (see below for more information)

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

 


USA Today bestselling author Kelsey Browning writes humorous Southern women’s fiction with a sprinkling of mystery, sexy contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. Her Georgia-set, co-authored G Team mystery series is described by readers as “The Golden Girls meet Dirty Harry.” Her single title romances garner reviews that call her writing funny, sassy, and full of sizzling chemistry. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she makes her home in northeast Georgia with her tech-savvy husband, her smart-talking son, a rescue dog from Qatar, and her (fingers crossed) future therapy pup.

Learn more:

KelseyBrowning.com      |    Facebook     |     Twitter @kelseybrowning

 

Buy Kelsey’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.

(Kelsey is contributing to the US and international bundles.)

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

    Thank you for the ear worm! Lol! I enjoyed reading your story.

    • kelseybrowning

      LOL – I’m now in the mood to put Huey on Spotify myself! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Melissa!

  • Kelly Moran

    I adore your guts, Kelsey. I adore all of you, actually. Thanks so much for the mention. That was so sweet of you. People, you MUST read her books. She’s beyond a fabulous writer and really sucks you into her stories. Go romance! xo

    • kelseybrowning

      Kelly, you’re a sweetheart! I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to find authors I adore these days. The virtual bookshelves are crowded with so many writers who just fling a story together. Girl, that ain’t you. Thank YOU for taking the time to write stories readers will fall in love with!

      • Kelly Moran

        Aw. Thank you. That means a lot, especially coming from you. Thank you. xo

  • Carol Opalinski

    Great post and if I had to have an ear worm, that’s a good one to have!

    • kelseybrowning

      I so agree, Carol! Writing this post took me back to my high school days. LOL

  • cheryl c.

    Catchy tune, thought-provoking lyrics!

    • kelseybrowning

      Who knew Huey had it in him, huh? I have an obsession with song lyrics, and it’s amazing what you uncover in them when you start to read them like poetry.

      So glad you stopped by, Cheryl!

  • Nicole Marie

    Great post, thanks for sharing your story!

    • kelseybrowning

      Thanks bunches for stopping by, Nicole!

  • Pamby50

    I’ve never thought about the lyrics to that song but so true. I have it playing in the background on Youtube. Wonderful post and kudos to your sister.

  • Patty Vasquez

    I agree; the path to love and romance (and continued love and romance) can be cruel and difficult. But it is so worth the effort, just as it is for the heroine and hero in a romance novel.

    • kelseybrowning

      Patty – I don’t think you get through loving someone–anyone–without life’s cruelties and difficulties encroaching. My husband and I have weathered the death of three of our parents together. We haven’t always grieved the same or reacted the same, but death is a devastating experience that, when shared, somehow makes it bearable.

      Thanks so much for your comment! <3

  • Sue G.

    I love how your mom’s ring makes you feel close to her. I lost my brother when he was 38 and drove a Harley. I have one of his Harley Davidson t-shirts and I’ll put it on when I’m missing him! 🙂 <3

    • kelseybrowning

      Yes – sometimes it’s the simplest things that make us feel close to them again! Thanks for sharing, Sue. <3

  • Glenda

    I’ve been singing Huey’s Power Of Love to myself all month! 😉 Wasn’t it written for Back to the Future?

    • kelseybrowning

      Ding, ding, ding – yes, Glenda – you got the trivia question right. Whoop!

  • MaryC

    When did begin collaging?

    • kelseybrowning

      Mary – I started collaging several years ago when my writing wasn’t going well. It’s helped me find a new creative hobby and work with my hands when my brain is overloaded. 🙂

  • Ellen

    Thank you. I have been humming Power of Love all month whenever I read the Read a Romance posts. (I’ve always liked Huey Lewis and the News.) Enjoyed reading about your special jewelry. (Especially your Mom’s ring.) Thanks for sharing.

  • Kezia King

    Wonderful post! I agree, love is complex and romance authors take that on. It’s no easy task, I’m sure.

  • rebecca moe

    Surely someone else said Back to the Future already? 😉

    Another trivia question might be “Who played the opening bars of that song in a scene of that movie, and who cut him off?” (Michael J. Fox, and Huey Lewis, as a judge, cut him off by saying, “I’m afraid you’re just too darn loud.” Or something like that. It’s been a few years…but I might have seen the movie once or twice. Or a dozen times…and yeah, the song’s been in my head for years already, so why not another month straight?)

    Thanks so much for posting, Kelsey!