Kristy Woodson Harvey – Real-Life Heroes

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

True Romance

In the acknowledgments of my latest novel, Slightly South of Simple, I told my husband that he is always the hero I write. Of course, that may only be partly true because he doesn’t embody every single characteristic of every single character, but I love how our relationship and romance have evolved over the years. As we are coming up on our ten-year wedding anniversary, it seems like a great time to reflect.

I have always been a hopeless romantic, and I somehow instinctively understood, from the time I was a little girl, that when I met the man that was meant for me, I would just know. Maybe it’s because I believed it for so long, but one night I was out with a group of girlfriends—proclaiming that I wasn’t going to have a serious boyfriend all year—when a group of guys came walking into our restaurant. I looked at my husband and he looked at me. Our eyes met for the briefest second. I turned back to the table of girls I was with and said, “My husband just walked in the door.”

They all thought I was crazy, obviously, because it was a crazy thing to say. Looking back now, I wonder how that could possibly be, if it was because I was only twenty and too naïve to question how much I loved him from the start or if that was always how it was meant to be. But, either way, we married two years, two months and two days after we met and, ten years later, I still feel perfectly convinced that that moment was one of the most profound of my life.

That beginning is, to me, romantic in the typical hearts and flowers type of way that you read about in romance novels, but I think the way our life and relationship have evolved since is even more romantic. I didn’t know I wanted to be an author. In fact, I didn’t think I wanted to work at all once I had children. It had always been my dream to be a stay-at-home mom, something that my husband was completely on board with.

When the writing bug bit—hard—I knew it was something to pursue, and I could scarcely believe it when I got my first book deal with Penguin Random House for Dear Carolina, a novel I had written in the middle up the night while I was up nursing our baby.

I love writing and my job more than I can express, but one of the unexpected parts of this amazing dream come true is that I travel around the country all year round for speaking events. Meeting readers is one of my favorite parts of this gig, but leaving my family is my least favorite. I am fully aware that many men would feel a certain level of disdain for their wives springing this new career on their families, for their new role as sometimes single dad, especially on the prolonged month-long tours I go on when a new book releases.

But my husband has never complained, not once. In fact, quite the opposite. He is my biggest fan. He always reminds me that this is my dream, and now I am living it.

When I was younger, I thought that when your heart pounded and your stomach was full of butterflies, when you got surprise flowers at work or an unexpected piece of jewelry, that that was romance. Now that I’m older, I think it’s more than that. I think that true romance is finding someone who understands you so well that they know what you need even when you don’t, that they support you unflinchingly in even your craziest whims, that they value your happiness so much that they will sacrifice some of their own.

I launched Slightly South of Simple at the 92nd Street Y in New York followed by a huge party at Society Social, one of my favorite furniture showrooms. It was a dream come true on top of a dream come true, but it was the middle of the week so my son and my husband stayed home. While I was gone my son got a stomach virus. My husband didn’t tell me because he knew that I would fly home and that this great moment for me would be over—or, at the very least, even if he could talk me into staying, I would be worried to distraction.

My son was fine in a day, and I never knew until a month later that he had ever been sick to begin with. My husband didn’t complain about staying up all night or changing sheets or putting cold washcloths on foreheads or doctors’ visits. He did it for my son and for me so that I could get my dream. Maybe it isn’t as glamorous as the champagne and caviar visions I had as a child. But that, to me, is true romance.

 

Kristy recommends:

Natasha Boyd   –    www.natashaboyd.com    –   @Amazon

Cathy Lamb   –    cathylamb.org    –   @Amazon

Kaira Rouda   –    www.kairarouda.com   –   @Amazon

Brandi Grannett   –    www.brandigranett.com     –   @Amazon

Katie Guest Pryal  –   katieroseguestpryal.com   –   @Amazon


Questions for the Author:

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

As the world spins faster and life gets busier, I think we long for stress-free escapes more and more. Even six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by more than two thirds and romance novels in particular are a fun way to get away without leaving your couch! There are newer ways to spend time, but newer, as we all know, quite often doesn’t mean better. I live at the beach and when the summer rolls around, I think that’s when I really remember the power of romance. As you walk down the beach everyone is relaxing with a great book. It’s a powerful testament to the power of story in general!

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

My husband gave me a bracelet for my birthday, six months after we were married that I wear almost every single day. It’s a beautiful antique gold bangle that had never been engraved, and he had it engraved with my four initials, KEWH. It’s absolutely stunning, but, more than that, it was a combination of who I was and who I had become, a realization that just because I had a new identity I didn’t have to leave my old one behind. It reminds me of all the wonderful things that happened in that year and the family that we have created since.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Limitless. That was my word for 2017, and a reminder to dream more, aim higher and play bigger. It’s so easy to put ourselves in a box, get in a rut, or think about all the reasons we can’t. But when we push all that aside and focus on how we can things really start to change.

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

Amy Impellizeri’s Lemongrass Hope is one of my favorite books that just so happens to incorporate romance in an unexpected and unforgettable way. I don’t want to give the story away, but it’s a book that proves that true love knows no bounds, not even those of time or space.

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

My high school history teacher. He was an incredible teacher in general, but he always made me do my best. I remember getting a B- on a paper one time, which was very rare. I was an A student. I went to talk to him about it and argued why I should get an A. He smiled the entire time and said, “I would have given plenty of other students an A on this paper. It may very well be an A paper. But it isn’t your A paper.”

I’ve never forgotten that. It was a lesson to always do my best, not just what I needed to do to get the result I wanted. There’s a big difference in those two things!

 

Main Drawing:

Kristy is generously giving away a copy of Slightly South of Simple to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST September 2, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away more copies 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.

 


Kristy Woodson Harvey is the national bestselling author of Dear Carolina (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2015), Lies and Other Acts of Love (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2016) and the Peachtree Bluff Series, beginning with Slightly South of Simple (Gallery/Simon & Schuster, 2017). She blogs with her mom, Beth Woodson, daily on Design Chic, (www.mydesignchic.com) the inaugural member of Traditional Home’s design blogger hall of fame, about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at kristywoodsonharvey.com. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and websites, including Southern Living, Traditional Home, Parade, USA TodayDomino, Houzz and Our State. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five-year-old son where she is working on her next novel, The Secret to Southern Charm, book 2 in the Peachtree Bluff Series, which will be released Spring 2018.

Learn more:

www.kristywoodsonharvey.com    |    Facebook     |     Twitter @kristywharvey

 

Buy Kristy’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.

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

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week4@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 Week4@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 4 contests are Aug 25 through Aug. 31

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