Megan Crane – Finding Ourselves in 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

I Believe in Romance

My name is Megan (and sometimes Caitlin) and I believe in the power of romance.

I believe in hope.  I believe that all broken people can be redeemed and that love can heal almost anything if you let it in.  I believe that sex can be communion and communication, sacred and profane at once, because humans aren’t only made of words and intent and sometimes sex is the one place we can’t hide.  I believe we are humbled, exalted, and made brand new in intimacy.  And I believe that there is no better way to exult in all these things than losing ourselves in a good romance novel… or five.

I could go on about the medicinal qualities of romance forever—and frequently do!  Come sit next to me sometime and we’ll compare our favorites.  Because romance has other magical powers too.  It brings people together wherever they go.

No, not that way.  Well—yes, that way.  Of course that way!  But also:

I can’t tell you the number of times in my life I’ve bonded with perfect strangers and made new friends thanks to romance novels.  Maybe we’re sitting next to each other on a plane.  Maybe one of us sees the book the other is reading in a café somewhere.  Sometimes the world feels scary and remote and overwhelming, but there’s nothing easier than walking up to a person reading a beloved book and saying I love that book so much.

 

 

Then comes the instant, happy recognition of a kindred spirit.  Author names are bandied about. Have you read her?  YOU HAVE TO.  We discuss our favorite stories.  The paperbacks we’ve read so many times the spines are white from overuse and the pages fall out.  The books that kept us up all night, hollow-eyed but unable to put the books down and who cared how awful the morning was going to be because of it.  The books that changed us.  Humbled us.  Left their fingerprints all over our hearts.  The characters we carry with us, like old friends who live far away but are forever with us, even so.  Series that we inhaled, book after book, either impatiently waiting in between publication dates or all at once in a glorious, careening sort of binge that leaves us uncertain what’s real when we’re done—the world of the books or the one we live in.  Our voices rise, maybe get a little high-pitched.  We wave our hands in the air to underscore the best parts of the books we’re recommending.  We write down titles, authors.  We pull out our devices and buy books on the spot, delighted by each other’s joy in and passion for these books we love above all others.

Is there anything better than meeting another voracious reader?  I’m not sure I know what it is.

When we go our separate ways again, we do it knowing that once again, romance has helped us find our people.

And better yet, ourselves.

Book by marvelous book.

 

Megan/Caitlin recommends:

I’m currently/still obsessed with pretty much anything Nicole Helm writes.  Whether it’s Montana cowboys, Colorado mountain men, or books set at an antique airfield, I find myself mesmerized by the complex family dynamics, the sparkling sentences, and the swoon-worthy romances that make me laugh, cry, and smile myself silly.

Nicole Helm   –    www.nicolehelm.com     –     @Amazon

 

If you like it hot, you need Zara Cox’s Dark Desires series RIGHT NOW.  Nothing I could say can possibly do these twisty, suspenseful, deliriously erotic books justice—just get out there and buy them!

Zara Cox    –     www.zaracoxwriter.com    –     @Amazon

 

I feel as if Nora Roberts is so omnipresent that people forget to talk about how absolutely great every single thing she writes is, so let me remedy that.  SHE’S GREAT.  Whatever you could possibly be looking for in a romance, she’s probably written it—twice.  And well.  If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you sit down and treat yourself to a tour through her backlist.  Try a few trilogies.  Try a few single titles.  Make sure you read her category books.  Lose yourself in the best ongoing romance of all time in her JD Robb series.  I have my favorites that I reread all the time and yet I’m still blown away by her new stories.  I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Nora Roberts    –   www.noraroberts.com     –     @Amazon

 

Jennifer Robson is more properly known as a historical fiction author, but I’ve fallen off a cliff into her glorious, wonderful, captivating books anyway.  (It helps that they have hopeful, happy endings—something I didn’t know when I read my first!  I was terrified she was going to rip my heart out!) Her books are so good it makes me a little glassy eyed just thinking about them.  I sobbed.  I laughed.  I was cranky all day because I couldn’t wait to get back to the story.  Her characters are heroic and human, flawed and delightful, and I honestly wish every book was about five times as long.  I never want them to end!  She’s my new find this year and I want to shout about her everywhere I go!

Jennifer Robson     –      www.jennifer-robson.com     –     @Amazon

 


Questions for the Author:

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

A friend of a friend found out I wrote romance novels and she sought me out to tell me that when her father had died, the therapist she’d seen to help her deal with her grief actually prescribed romance novels.  I loved that.  Romance as actual medicine—because no matter how dark and bleak things get, romance shows you how to turn on the lights.  Romance leads you back to hope.

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

Some months after my beloved grandmother died, I got a package in the mail from my mother, who’d been cleaning out my grandparents’ house with my aunts.  It was a delicate pair of silver tongs.  And they brought me straight back to my childhood, when I would sneak into my grandmother’s kitchen and sneak sugar cubes out of the little pot where she kept them—with those very same tongs.  I could taste the sugar cubes again, the sharp edges of the squares as they dissolved in my mouth.  The odd, almost slate-like taste when I sucked on them a little to make them last.  The rough, grainy way the sugar felt in my mouth when I grew impatient and chewed.  The hit of all that sweetness on my tongue, so sweet it almost tipped over into something else.

I miss my grandmother every day.  I keep those little tongs, meaningless to anyone but me, where I can see them and remember whenever I like.

And I still eat sugar cubes straight.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

I choose a word every year on or around New Year’s and use it as a kind of talisman to take me through the year.  This year’s word is TRUST.

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

Jennifer Robson’s AFTER THE WAR IS OVER just about killed me.  I couldn’t put it down.  It made me cry.  It made my battered contemporary heart feel full and something like healed.  It made me think about the world differently.  I adore it.

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

I met Jane Porter at a book event in 2005.  We shared an editor at the time and went out with that editor for dinner.  I remember the weird Belgian restaurant in Manhattan’s meatpacking district.  I remember parts of the conversation.  But I had no idea that I’d just met one of the most important people in my life.

Our friendship grew as the years passed.  We read each other’s books.  We visited.  We loved the same kind of writing, which helped.  But Jane is so much more than a friend to me.  She’s mentored me and encouraged me.  She cheered me on when I wanted to try something new after I’d written a bunch of chick lit novels, and that was how I ended up submitting a manuscript to Harlequin Presents and becoming, shortly thereafter, Caitlin Crews.  Years later, I was one of the three authors she reached out to when she had an idea to play around with the newly wide-open digital publishing landscape.  We sat in a cottage in Montana and sowed the seeds for what would become Tule Publishing.

Jane has always been my biggest fan, the big sister I never had, and truly, one of my favorite people on earth.  I would love her for that alone, and do.  But the fact that she’s also opened all these doors for me in my own writing—whether by encouraging me to follow different paths than the ones I’d found myself on or, you know, founding a publishing company where I can play with all kinds of stories I can’t do anywhere else—well.  I’d call that a pretty powerful influence.  Lucky me!

 

Main Drawing:

Megan is generously giving away two copies of any of her available titles, winner’s choice (e-books if the winner is international) to one lucky reader.  To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 25, 2017. (open to everyone)

She’ll be giving away more books as part of the US bundles, and e-books for the international bundles.

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

 


USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than seventy books. She’s won fans with her women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance from small town heat to international glamor, cowboys to bikers, and beyond – including her take on futuristic Vikings. She sometimes teaches creative writing classes in places like mediabistro.com, UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, and assorted workshops, where she attempts to utilize the MA and PhD in English Literature she received from the University of York in York, England. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with a husband who draws comics and the odd animation storyboard, and their menagerie of ridiculous animals.

 

Learn more:

megancrane.com       |       Facebook       |      Twitter @megancrane

 

Buy Megan Crane’s books:

availableon-amazon       availableon-nook    availableon-kobo

 

Buy Caitlin Crews 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.

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

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

  • Sue G.

    I love the story of your grandmother’s silver tongs! My grandma always had a candy bowl with red and white mints in it. My girls knew when we were going there that they were going to get mints. After she passed away, my mom took the bowl and now keeps it stocked with candy (usually Hershey Kisses) for the grandkids. They are all adults now but when they see that bowl, they can’t help themselves!

    • Megan Crane

      I love that we carry our grandmothers in our hearts– and in a few bowls of sugary things!

  • cheryl c.

    I have enjoyed your books, as well as your buddy Jane Porter’s.

    • Megan Crane

      I’m so glad to hear that. Isn’t Jane great??

  • May

    Oh… I love your books. Thanks.

    • Megan Crane

      Thank you for reading!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I love your stories!

    • Megan Crane

      Thanks so much for reading!

  • Love the Edge series so much

    • Megan Crane

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Patty Vasquez

    I love this phrase: “…romance shows you how to turn on the lights.” It’s absolutely true. And at the present time, we need to be turning on a lot of lights!

    • Megan Crane

      Absolutely!

  • rebecca moe

    Every August, I’m amazed that there are still new authors that I haven’t heard of! Thanks so much for the recs, and for the great post! (And no, I don’t mean Nora Roberts/JD Robb. Her I know! ;))

    • Megan Crane

      You’re welcome, Rebecca! Thanks for reading!

  • Glenda

    ” I believe in hope. ” Sometimes, hope is all you need to make everything better. 🙂

    • Megan Crane

      YES! 🙂

  • Megan Crane

    Isn’t it gorgeous??

    • Eileen Aberman-Wells

      It is!!! But it was too foggy today to see Los Blancos lighthouse when we got there. Brandon was nice.

      • Megan Crane

        The smoke has been awful this year. Glad you got to Bandon–it’s one of my favorite places!

  • Latesha Ballard

    I love how you draw the reader into the story and you feel as if you are experiencing all the emotions that they are. Keep up the good work, Megan.

    • Megan Crane

      Thanks so much, Latesha!

  • Emmel

    Romance is medicine. I’ve worked many used book sales, and I asked what they do with the books they don’t sell. In the majority of cases, the books are donated to hospitals, the military, or homes for the aged. And in all of these places, bleak moments happen. So it doesn’t surprise me that romance novels help bring light into those dark places.

    • Megan Crane

      They help heal hearts. I believe that.

  • Booklover

    That’s so neat that you built such a friendship with Jane Porter. She was one of the first romance authors I read.

    • Megan Crane

      She’s one of my favorite writers ever! Getting to be friends with her is icing on the cake!

  • Tori Valenzuela

    Love it! I love having that one meaningless thing to everyone else that will just transport you back in time to a wonderful memory . mine isnt so much a specific object as it is an action. Every once in a while when the sun is just right and I get in the car to go somewhere, I am transported to a trip a month before my mom passed, she was feeling down, exhausted and sick from the chemo. So I went to the store grabbed the foods that she was able to snack on and still taste. Loaded her up in the car and we just drove, we talked laughed and enjoyed the day. We pulled over into a park area I helped her out into a picnic table and we had us a little picnic. It was the most I had seen her smile and laugh in a long time , was just what we both needed at the time, a beautiful memory for just us both.

    • Megan Crane

      That’s beautiful, Tori. I’m so glad you get to keep that memory in your heart.

  • Swinging by to say hello, Megan! LOVE your work 🙂

    • Megan Crane

      Hi, Jan! Thank you!! 🙂

  • Ellen

    I like the idea of romances as medicine. I guess this is one time when it is okay to self-medicate. 🙂 Your sugar tongs story is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Megan Crane

      The great thing about romance medicine is that there’s no such thing as an overdose! 🙂

  • Megan Crane

    Hooray! I hope you find something you love!

  • Pamby50

    I love that a therapist suggest romance books to help her deal with her grief. Love the tongs. Unfortunately I never knew my grandmother but I wanted the hand painted cookie plate that was hers.

    • Megan Crane

      The only thing I’ve ever known that eases grief is hope. Bit by bit, it helps.

  • Kareni

    Thanks for an enjoyable post, Megan. I was touched by the story of your grandmother’s sugar tongs; I have an embroidered tablecloth and a letter from my Oma (grandmother) that I value. Happy writing!

    • Megan Crane

      I’m sure you treasure them!