Michelle Major – The Refuge of Romance

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2017!

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 three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook.

Happy August!

#LoveRomance

What Gets Us Through The Day

I know a lot of people—both readers and authors—who developed a love for romance early in their lives, either on their own or often from moms or grandmas handing down the books. I came to romance a little later – I was just turning thirty. But romance novels found me just when I needed them the most.

At the time, I was working in the corporate world, in a high-level Human Resources position for a corporate technology company with offices around the country. I loved the job until the dot.com bubble burst and my job quickly changed. The company went bankrupt so instead of hiring and training people, I was traveling every week to different cities to lay off our staff. In the course of six months, I delivered the news to almost 500 people that they no longer had jobs or insurance or severance packages.  As you can imagine, I hated it. I’d walk into a strange office and it was like being the angel of death. No one would even make eye contact with me. In that time, I developed a serious jaw problem, wrecked my car twice, drove away from a gas pump with the fuel nozzle still attached and was called every curse word you can imagine, plus having a knife pulled on me by one angry employee and needing to be escorted to my car every night for weeks. It’s no fun being the messenger when the message is awful.

I developed an overwhelming fear of flying and would white-knuckle my way through each weekly plane flight. On a whim, I picked up a romance novel in an airport bookstore (one of the early Julia Quinn Bridgerton books) and I got so carried away by the story that I didn’t even notice the flight taking off or landing. I was hooked and began reading romance obsessively. It was the ONLY thing that got me through each day. I took a romance novel with me everywhere, and the power those stories had to transport me out of how ugly my daily life was at that point was such a gift and a blessing. But anyone who has taken refuge in a book during a hard time in her life will understand. The hope and happiness in our favorite romance stories can help us get through almost any situation. Romance novels are a reminder of the power of love and that is quite powerful, indeed.

Shortly after I started reading, I realized that the little vignettes I had playing in my head were actually the start of romance plots. It felt like coming home – I finally had a good reason to have imaginary people talking to me! Throughout my journey as a romance author, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting women who would become some of my best friends—which introduced me to another powerful aspect of the romance genre – our community. So no matter where life takes me or what is thrown my way, I know that I can always count on the power of romance to see me through.

Michelle recommends:

 

Jennie Marts   –   www.jenniemarts.com   –   @Amazon

Lana Williams    –    www.lanawilliams.net   –  @Amazon

Selena Laurence   –    www.selenalaurence.com    –   @Amazon

Molly O’Keefe   –    www.molly-okeefe.com    –  @Amazon

All auto-buys for me!

 


Questions for the Author:

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

For me one of the most powerful things about romance is the tribe of people who are dedicated the genre. Who else but another romance friend can talk about tropes and why we love them – whether wallflowers or friends to lovers or second chances? No one in the regular world will understand why Nora is the be all and end all (you might even have to use her last name for them to recognize her!). If I meet someone who tells me they love reading romance, I already feel a connection to that person. And every time I go to a conference or reader event, I’m reminded of the power of romance. It’s not always perfect but we have something huge in common that binds us together. The romance community is really special, and the longer I write, the more blessed I feel to be a part of it.

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

As much as I love reading on my Kindle (which I’ve nicknamed Precious), there is something so powerful to me about holding onto a print copy of a favorite book. So much so that if I read something in e-book format that I absolutely love, I always then buy a print copy for my keeper shelf. So when I was cleaning out a closet at my parents’ house a few years ago and found my boxed set of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, it was so meaningful. I’d carefully written my name in loopy cursive in the front of each book, and you could tell which of the books were my favorites because they were the most ‘well worn’. I brought the set from Ohio to Colorado for my daughter and we read them together and now they sit on her bookshelf. Sharing a favorite book is powerful to me because I was a shy kid and the characters I loved sometimes felt like my best friends. It means a lot to me that my daughter has them now and I hope one day I’ll be reading those same books with my grandkids.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

The word ‘yes’. I’m not always the bravest person in the world so my first reaction when someone asks me to do something that’s out of my comfort zone (and I’ve got a pretty big comfort zone!) is to say ‘no’. But if I can take a breath and allow myself to say ‘yes’, it’s usually worth it and it helps me to tap into my inner power.

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

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I actually re-read the book this year with my youngest. I enjoyed the story as much as I did the first time, but I feel like now I know so much more about JK Rowling—her origins as a writer and the struggles she faced plus all the ways she’s used her power as a brilliantly successful author to champion the causes she believes in. Plus now that I’ve written multiple series, I understand how amazing her crafting of that series was in building that world and the arcs of those characters. That makes the book even more powerful to me.

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

My high school English teacher, Mrs. Dressman, had a quote on the long bulletin board above the chalkboard in her classroom (remember when classrooms had actual chalkboards?!). In big bubble letters were the words ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ Since that time, I’ve heard that quote attributed to a few different famous men, but the origin of it didn’t really matter to me. What did was the meaning. I’ve been given so much in my life – family, friends, opportunities to succeed and those words have always stuck with me in terms of giving back and helping others to have the same opportunities I’ve had. I think whether it’s big gestures or on a small scale, it’s so important to do our part to make this world the kind of place we want it to be. It’s a simple premise – like the golden rule – but the impact of it can be hugely powerful.

 

Main Drawing:

Michelle is generously giving away a copy of her latest release from Harlequin, Romancing the Wallflower and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, leave a message below by 11:59 pm PST August 6, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away another copy & gift card as part of the US bundles, and is participating in the international bundles, plus she’s sponsoring a tote & cup combo! (see below for more information)

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

#LoveRomance #ReadARomance

 

 


Michelle Major is the best selling, award winning author of over fifteen sexy and sweet contemporary romances. She loves second-chances love stories, smart heroines and strong heroes. A midwesterner at heart, she’s made the Rocky Mountains her home for over twenty years and is thrilled to share her books with readers.

 

(Michelle also won a 2017 RITA award for CHRISTMAS ON CRIMSON MOUNTAIN. Congratulations Michelle! ~ Bobbi)

 

Learn more:

www.michellemajor.com    |    Facebook     |     Twitter @michelle_major1

 

Buy Michelle’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.

(Michelle is contributing to all of the drawings below.)

To enter to win these US 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 (including 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. I may include a couple of international bundles.)

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.

    Love the nickname for your Kindle! LOL! I can’t even imagine having to relay that bad news to so many people! *hugs* to you! From a current Ohioian to a past one….O-H!

    • Michelle Major

      Buckeyes forever, Sue!

  • Sally Schmidt

    What a tough job that was. I was at a company that was downsizing all over the country and every time someone from Corporate visited we were sure they were the one going to lay us all off. Romance can get you through anything.

    • Michelle Major

      Anything, Sally!

  • Molly

    What a tough job and love kindle nickname.

    • Michelle Major

      Thanks, Molly!

  • rebecca moe

    Phew! Any time I start thinking bad things about my job, I’ll just re-read the bit about your time in HR and everything will seem fine again. I’ve got your newest on my TBR–really looking forward to reading it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Michelle Major

      Thanks, Rebecca!!

  • cheryl c.

    Yes, romance can be a refuge from worries and grief. I smiled at your story about a Julia Quinn novel helping you get through a flight.

  • Pamby50

    I’m glad you got out of the corporate world and found your new home in romance.I love all your recommended authors! Looking forward to reading Meant for You.

  • MaryC

    I also purchase print versions of books I love.

  • gamistress66

    interesting story on how you found your way to writing romance

  • Booklover

    I love that quote, too, and what you said about it.

  • Christina Gonzalez

    It’s nice to meet you. I like your optimistic word “Yes”

  • Nicole Marie

    That sounds like a really tough job, thanks for sharing your story.

  • Anna

    Wow, what a difficult job. I’m so glad romance was able to help you through that!!

  • BerkeleyHapa

    What a horrible job. I also loved the Laura Ingalls books as a child and could quote long sections on car rides! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Carol Opalinski

    I had such fun meeting you in Orlando!! Congrats again on your Rita! And I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who has bought paper copies of favorite Kindle books.

  • Ellen

    So glad to hear someone else likes hard copies of keeper books. Love my Kindle, but it isn’t the same as a traditional book. (I have a set of the LIttle House books at my house, too.)

  • Glenda

    Congratulations on your RITA, Michelle!

    It is amazing how great books – especially romance – help us deal with the not so great days in real life

  • Kimberly Johnston

    Thank you so much for sharing your books with us. Romance is all I read and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I enjoyed reading your story. I love how romance books can make all well in the world when we need it most.

  • Kezia King

    Romance has gotten me through some tough times too. Thanks for the great post!