Nancy Herkness – The Mighty Romance Novel

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

The Powerful Force of Romance

I’m tired of romance novels being dismissed as fluffy, trashy, or trivial. I’ve been reading and writing romance for many years and the lack of respect for our beloved genre continues to shock me. Because I know that it is a powerful force to be reckoned with just by reading the emails I’ve gotten from readers.

A couple of years ago, I received a message that included a photograph of a well-worn original mass market paperback edition of my first novel, A Bridge to Love. The photo came from the wife of a now-retired soldier; she had just found me on Facebook and wanted to tell me how much the book had meant to her. Turns out she had bought it shortly after it was published (in 2003) at the PX on the base where her husband was then stationed. At the time, she had two very young children, their little family moved quite often, and her  husband was frequently away on dangerous assignments. Whenever the stress and loneliness threatened to overwhelm her, she re-read A Bridge to Love, both for escape and for comfort. She said it had gotten her through many difficult times. I cried.

Another reader emailed me to say that she was battling cancer and her niece offered to read to her. They found one of my books on Amazon, bought it, and “giggled like teenage girls” as the niece read it aloud. They finished it in one night. The reader thanked me for giving her and her niece some time when they did not dwell on the future; when they were just happy. She said that she hoped her niece would carry that wonderful memory with her always. Tears were streaming down my cheeks by the end of that email.

My books are far from unique in this. Many other romance writers I know have received notes from readers in equally difficult situations who have found strength and solace in our stories. Which leads me to wonder…

How can anyone dismiss romance as being unimportant or insignificant when it has the power to bring comfort and even joy in times of stress, loneliness, and serious illness? What could be mightier than the ability to lift the spirit, to give the gift of laughter, to make bright, vivid memories when all seems dark and hopeless? That is one heck of a super power!


Nancy recommends:

I just discovered Elicia Hyder’s Soul Summoner series and gobbled all the books up one right after the other.

Elicia Hyder  –  –  @Amazon


I’d like to give a shout-out to my three wonderful critique partners and recommend their fabulous books:

Miriam Allenson’s delightfully funny For Love of the Dame with its perfectly incompatible opera singer heroine and baseball player hero.

Miriam Allenson   –   –   @Amazon


Lisa Ann Verge’s lushly romantic historical adventures, the latest of which is Wild Highland Magic, which features a heroine with faery blood and a hot Highland warrior hero.

Lisa Ann Verge   –   –  @Amazon


Jennifer Wilck’s new release, the warm, emotional Addicted to Love, whose damaged hero struggles with a tragic past. He won my heart in a big way.

Jennifer Wilck  –  –  @Amazon

Questions for the Author:

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

Since my essay basically answers this, I’ll refer you back to it. :o)

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

I love my little slice of a pallasite meteorite. My husband gave it to me when my second novel, SHOWER OF STARS, was published because the book features a meteorite hunter hero (no, it’s not science fiction, LOL). I’ve been fascinated by outer space ever since I was a kid and got addicted to Star Trek (the original one!). I loved the concept of this ship, filled with people from all nations—and a half-alien!—who banded together to explore the vast universe. The vision of Earth as a unified whole was such a happy one that I found it irresistible.

Now every time I look at my real live rock from outer space, it reminds me of the wonderful, hopeful idea of all Earth as one peaceful, unified planet. It’s an idea that I find especially necessary to hold onto in these dark, difficult days.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Hope—the thing with feathers, as Emily Dickinson calls it. The only thing left in Pandora’s box after she released all the evils into the world. Without it, how could we face the days when nothing seems to go right in our personal lives or on a larger stage? How could we get up in the morning if we didn’t hope that today would be better? “Hope” is right up there with “dream” and “love” for me, as a necessity in everyone’s life. Without it, there is no progress, no resiliency, no future.

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

Jane Eyre is the book that started me down the path to writing romance novels. I read it when I was very young, and I was enthralled by the emotional intensity of the story. I know everyone loves Mr. Darcy but he will always play second fiddle to Mr. Rochester in my heart. To this day, I still love a dark, powerful romance hero in historical clothing.

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

I owe Maxine Kumin, my creative writing thesis advisor at college, a huge debt of gratitude. I had never considered writing as anything more than a fun hobby. She was the first person who treated me as a serious writer, so I began to believe that I could be. She also asked me why I never wrote about horses since I loved them so much, a question that eventually led to my Whisper Horse series. Although she was a Pulitzer-prizewinning poet, Maxine cheered the publication of my romance novels with great enthusiasm. I mourn her passing.


Main Drawing:

Nancy is generously giving away an autographed copy of THE VIP DOUBLES DOWN. 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 was particularly generous in sponsoring the tote & cup giveaway – thanks so much, Nancy! (more info. below)

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


Nancy Herkness is the author of the award-winning Wager of Hearts and Whisper Horse series, published by Montlake Romance, as well as several other contemporary romance novels.  She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award.

Nancy has received many honors for her work, including the Book Buyers Best Top Pick, the New England Readers’ Choice award, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.  She graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English literature and creative writing.

A native of West Virginia, Nancy now lives in a Victorian house in suburban New Jersey with her husband and a goofy golden retriever.

For more information about Nancy and her books, visit


Learn more:   |  Facebook   |   Twitter@NancyHerkness     |   Pinterest


Buy Nancy’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.

(Nancy 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 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 (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