Rachael Herron – Getting Us Through

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

Transporting Us Away

I came to writing romance out of the academic tradition. With a masters in writing, people would often ask me, “Why romance? Why don’t you write the Great American Novel, or something serious?” [Insert eye roll here.] I had a good answer, but sometimes I was a little embarrassed about saying it.

I write romance for this reason: To help other people get through a rough time.

I had a rough few teen years (didn’t we all?) but what got me through them were the romances that my best friend’s grandmother gave to me by the grocery-bagful. In bed, hiding from the world, I could read three or four (sometimes more) a day, and every time I got to that happy ending, I had hope again for the world, and for myself.

When I was first starting to write, I loved to imagine that someday, someone would be in a hospital, either stuck in a hospital bed themselves or waiting for someone they loved to be treated. They would be having a terrible week, maybe an awful year. Then they’d open my book and for a few moments or hours, they’d be transported away.

I thought it was an okay goal, but it wasn’t until I started getting letters from women who’d read my books in hospital waiting rooms that I understood it was a really good goal. Romance can lift us from the dark places and show us light, and love, and respect, and truth.

Most of all, romance offers all of us hope, every day, that things will end with a happily ever after. There’s nothing better than that. Now I’m proud to tell people why I write romance.

Rachael recommends:

Rachael Johns  –  www.rachaeljohns.com  –  @Amazon

Jasmine Haynes  –  www.jasminehaynes.com  –  @Amazon

(aka  Jennifer Skully   –     www.jenniferskully.com   )

 


Questions for the Author:

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

My mother-in-law just passed away after a long and miserable 20-month fight with cancer. My father-in-law, Tony, read romances to her every single day. He’d never been a reader before, preferring to watch TV, but he grew to love the Georgette Heyer novels that were her favorite. Right before she died, a friend came to visit her in the hospital. The friend heard four men in the hospital room, all talking. She thought they were doctors conferring, and waited outside, but then realized they just weren’t going to stop. Finally, it became clear that Tony was doing all four voices, acting out the brothers in the scene.

At her funeral, Tony said that after 52 years of marriage, he fell in love with her all over again while taking care of her every day for 20 months, and I have to think that reading nothing but love stories to his bride out loud had a little something to do with that.

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

I wear a tiny map of Venice, Italy, on a necklace that a dear friend gave me. I first went to Venice as a student backpacker, years ago. I fell in love with the city, and when I was single, I’d blow every tax refund on going. I’m still in love with the gorgeous town, and recently, I taught a writing retreat there, bringing all my dreams full circle. The beauty of Venice is in my soul and spirit, and the fact that I can wear the map over my heart means everything to me.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

The two words that have the most power for me are: CREATE and TRUTH. Put together, “Create truth” you don’t get “tell a lie,” although that’s what it looks like at first. No, you get what writers do. We make things up out of our heads, make up characters and places and situations, but the closer we get to telling actual truth with fiction—the truth of the heart—the more strong and believable our fictional worlds become. We are creators of truth.

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

I loved Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert! It’s a book on creativity, and the magic (and responsibility) that comes with being a creative person. Even if you never got on board the Eat, Pray, Love train, this is worth reading. It’s lovely.

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

L.M. Montgomery! She wrote Anne of Green Gables, and a million other books I have memorized. She made me into the writer I am today, or rather, Anne did. Anne had passion and spirit and hope and lofty goals that she brought to fruition, all while continuously getting into incredible scrapes that were hilarious and goofy and tender, too.

Just this month I got the chance to go to Prince Edward Island in Canada to visit her birthplace, and I got to touch the postal desk she worked from, where she’d receive her rejection notices (since she worked at the post office, no one else had to know when her manuscripts were rejected). I burst into tears, being in the exact same spot, touching something she had touched. It was a gorgeous moment, and I’ll always be grateful to her for writing someone like Anne.

Main Drawing:

Rachael is generously giving away a copy of her most recent title, The Songbird Sisters.  To enter, leave a message below by 11:59 pm PST August 6, 2017. (US only)

She is also sponsoring a tote & cup combo! (see below for more information)

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

#LoveRomance #ReadARomance

 


Rachael Herron is the bestselling author of the novels The Ones Who Matter Most (named a 2016 Editor’s Pick by Library Journal), Splinters of Light and Pack Up the Moon (all from Penguin), the Darling Bay and the Cypress Hollow series, and the memoir, A Life in Stitches (Chronicle). She received her MFA in writing from Mills College, Oakland and she teaches writing in the extension programs at both UC Berkeley and Stanford.

She’s proud to be a New Zealander as well as a US citizen, though her Kiwi accent only comes out when she’s very tired. She’s honored to be a member of the NaNoWriMo Writers Board. She is currently a Writer in Residence at Mills College*.

 

Learn more:

rachaelherron.com   |    Facebook     |     Twitter @rachaelherron

 

Buy Rachael’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 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.

(Rachael is contributing to the tote & cup combo and the US bundles)

To enter to win these 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.

    Aww…your father-in-law sounds like a hero to me! How awesome!

  • Kelly Jetzer

    The story of your in-laws just about had me in tears. What a powerful love story!

  • Sally Schmidt

    What a sweet story about your mother and father-in-law. Never underestimate the power of romance. And those eye rollers need to tell us just what’s wrong with hope and happy endings.

  • Molly

    What a sweet story about in laws.

  • rebecca moe

    Okay, I need to stop reading these at work–that story about your in-laws! Very awkward when someone walks into the library and the librarian is blinking back tears for no apparent reason. Even my extreme jealousy over your going to PEI wasn’t enough to bring me all the way back from the edge so I could appear composed for the next patron 😉
    Thanks so much for posting!

  • cheryl c.

    I love Venice, too. It is such a beautiful and unique city. Sadly, I think tourists are ruining it.

  • Jasmine Haynes

    Thank you so much for the recommendation, Rachael! I love your books! And what a wonderful story about your mother-in-law and her husband Tony. What a powerful message about love. Thank you for sharing that.

  • Pamby50

    I love the part where you father-in-law read love stories to your mother-in-law. That he was doing the voices from the different brothers is amazing. The power of love.

  • MaryC

    Thank you for sharing the story about your In-laws.

  • Rachael Johns

    Great blog – I’m so glad you write romance!! And thanks heaps for recommending my books as well. Mwah! x

  • Nicole Marie

    I really enjoyed your post, thanks for sharing your story.

  • Anna

    What a lovely story about your mother- and father-in-law!! Thank you so much for sharing that!!
    And thank you for writing romance!

  • Ellen

    Your in-laws story touched my heart. Thanks for many hours of reading happiness. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Glenda

    “To help other people get through a rough time.”

    Sad that so many people underestimate the value of helping other people. I for one appreciate your work!

  • Kimberly Johnston

    I started reading your books on my lunch break. Problems arise when I got so into your books I forgot to keep track of time. Oops

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I really enjoyed your story.

    • Read-A-Romance

      Hi Melissa!

      You’re the winner of Rachel’s main giveaway!

      You should be hearing from me via email later today at the email address you signed in with here.

      Congratulations! xo

      Bobbi
      
RARM

  • Patty Vasquez

    Your Songbirds of Darling Bay stories sound really good. Exactly what I need at the end of a difficult day of teaching. Thank you for your essay and your book recommendations.

  • Kezia King

    The story about your mother in law and father in law is so touching. Thank you for sharing.