RaeAnne Thayne – Sustaining 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

Hope for the Hurting Heart

The summer I turned thirteen years old, my family moved across the country from our Indiana farmhouse where the closest neighbor was a half-mile away to a town of about 14,000 people in northern Utah. Thirteen is a difficult age to move, a time of discovery and growth and rampaging emotions anyway. Throw in a major move, having to say good-bye to lifelong friends and the only community I had ever known, and it became a pretty traumatic situation (or at least I thought it was at thirteen!).

Because we moved at the beginning of the summer – two months before school would start and provide more opportunities to meet other friends my age – I might have felt isolated and lonely those first few weeks. Except I didn’t. At all! Joy of joys, our new home was only about four blocks from our town’s excellent library. For the first time in my life, I was within walking distance (or bike-riding distance, anyway) of stacks and stacks of adventures, just waiting for me.

I had always been a voracious reader, poring over every book in the house, from the Encyclopedia Britannica to the Readers Digest Condensed Books my mom received in the mail on a regular basis. We didn’t live close enough to a community library and I don’t remember going to one on a regular basis. I did check out books regularly from my school library but we could only have one out at a time, which wasn’t enough for someone who could finish a book in an afternoon.

Now, though, as I rode my bike to the library two or three times a week, I felt as if I had the universe at my fingertips.

While I had read the occasional romance novel pilfered from my mom’s closet or my older sisters’ bedroom, this was the summer I truly fell in love with them. I went to Egypt with Elizabeth Peters, I stood in a Regency ballroom with the other wallflowers in Georgette Heyer books and watched breathlessly as the hero twirled the heroine in a first waltz. I vacationed in the Cotswolds and visited Outback cattle stations and floated the Grand Canal in Venice with various Harlequin Romance authors.

When I was immersed in these stories, I didn’t mind so much that all my friends were now 1500 miles away or that I would be starting a new school in a few months where I wouldn’t know anyone. I was too busy relishing every word – safe in the knowledge that when I finished one book, there were plenty more from which to choose.

This was the first time romance novels healed my lonely heart but it would be far from the last. Throughout my life, through heartache and loss and sadness, romance novels have lifted and empowered me. The books I truly came to love that summer I was thirteen have reminded me no happy ending comes without struggle first and that the strongest, best heroines are those who shake themselves off after something difficult happens to them, lift their face to the future and keep going.

That’s the power of romance novels to me. Each time I pick one up and lose myself in the pages again as I did that summer, I am reminded that though life can be dark and ugly and unimaginably hard sometimes, love wins. Every single time.

 

RaeAnne recommends:

Nancy Naigle  –    nancynaigle.com     –  @Amazon

Caro Carson   –   carocarson.com   –  @Amazon

Katherine Garbera   –    katherinegarbera.com   –   @Amazon

 


Questions for the Author:

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

Our middle child was born with multiple disabilities and developmental delays. Because of his neurological difficulties, he cried all the time until he was about eighteen months old, unless I was holding him. He would only sleep in my arms and would wake the moment I tried to put him in his bed, so I spent many nights trying to catch a few hours of sleep curled up in the rocking chair in his nursery. It was a tough few years, which is an understatement. I remember many afternoons holding him in the crook of one arm while he finally napped for an hour and holding a romance novel in my other hand. In these books I love, I found peace and comfort and the hope of happily ever after. They truly sustained me through one of the most difficult periods of our lives. In the years since, as he has undergone surgeries and procedures and some truly scary hospitalizations, romance novels by my favorite authors have lifted and empowered me.

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

I have an early 90s laptop that is heavy and clunky and wholly unusable now but I will never get rid of it. It was a cherished gift from my husband during the above-mentioned difficult time with our son. He surprised me with it for Christmas the year our son was about eighteen months old. When I say I was surprised, I mean completely gobsmacked! I did the family budgeting and absolutely knew we had no money to spend on a laptop, even a used, refurbished one. I had quit my job as a newspaper editor when our son was born so I could write full time. Throw in our son’s extensive medical expenses and the fact that even though I had sold five books, I had just lost my publisher (Bantam Loveswept) and things were dire. That Christmas morning, I learned my husband had cashed out all his vacation days in order to have enough money to buy me a laptop so I could try to write while taking our fragile son to his appointments. It was an act of love and sacrifice I can never forget, proof that he believed in me back when he had no real reason to. I still cry when I look at the laptop.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

The word compassion holds tremendous power for me. I think if we each tried to have compassion for the difficult journey someone else might be struggling through, the world would be a much kinder place.

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

THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristan Hannah was probably the most powerful book I’ve read in the last few years. I was completely wrung out after finishing it and had to just hold the book and sob for a few moments! Not only was it beautifully written with a powerful message about courage and strength but through it, I was completely immersed in an era and place I hadn’t given much thought to before, occupied France during World War II.

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

Besides my wonderful parents (including my mom, who loved romance novels!), my husband and my children, I would have to say my darling friend Angela has had a truly powerful influence on my life. She is one of those people who makes the world better wherever she goes. She is kind and intuitive and always seems to know when I need a phone call or a visit or some of her fabulous homemade strawberry freezer jam. She doesn’t take no for an answer and inspires everyone around her to try a little harder to be a little better.

 

Main Drawing:

RaeAnne is generously giving away the most recent three books in Haven Point, RIVERBEND ROAD, SNOWFALL ON HAVEN POINT and SERENITY HARBOR to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 21, 2017. (US only)

She’ll also be giving away a copy (ARC or author copy, if she has it) of her September release, SUGAR PINE TRAIL as part of the US bundles.

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

 

 


RaeAnne Thayne is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty books. Her books have won many honors, including seven RITA nominations from Romance Writers of America. She has also been named a Romance Pioneer of 2016 from RT Book Reviews.

 

She finds inspiration from the beautiful northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her family.

 

Learn more:

www.raeannethayne.com     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @raeannethayne

 

Buy RaeAnne’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.

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

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

  • Kelly Jetzer

    Your husband sounds like a wonderful partner for you! I can see why you won’t part with that old laptop. What a sacrifice he made to support your writing.
    I look forward to reading your books!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thanks Kelly!

  • Sue G.

    How great that romance helped you through such tough times. I got a little teary eyed about your old laptop! Such a sweet guy!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      He really is amazing.

  • Toni Tuve

    I’m glad to see that romance is still around. It seems as though the world needs more love, understanding, and romance

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Completely agree, Toni.

  • jill

    I love RaeAnne’s books!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thanks!!

  • Dawn Campbell Nicholson

    Thank you for telling us about yourself! I enjoy reading your books!!! 🙂

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thanks so much, Dawn! Happy reading 🙂

  • Trude Jacobs Vandine

    I love RaeAnne’s books! I always end up with happy tears ❤

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thank you, Trude! XOXO

  • Carol Opalinski

    I admit I was teary eyed reading about your old laptop. And I could relate to your joy at having a library close by. I still recall lining up in elementary school for a visit to the bookmobile that came once a week.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thanks so much, Carol!

  • Vicky Collins

    I had a sad home life growing up, but we always had books and my sweet Grandmother introduced me to romance (Emilie Loring and Geogette Heyer). I’ve been hooked ever since. RaeAnne’s stories always remind me of a hearth and home I never really had until I married my dear husband 🙂

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      I’m so sorry about your childhood but grateful you found happiness and books and later I life. Thanks so much for sharing!

      • Vicky Collins

        Thank you RaeAnne, my powerful word is Hope 🙂

  • Doris Marie

    I love reading romance books and RaeAnne’s are some of the best. My favorite place to go is the library where I know I can find books that will make me happy.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Love this, Doris. Thanks for sharing!

  • Wendi Rogers

    I can understand your feelings for your old laptop. My late 1990s model will stay where it is. It contains all my Master’s field data and statistical analysis. I had no business buying it, but I did. The laptop did its job, and desearves a good retirement.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Such good memories 🙂

  • Rebecca Dudley

    I was lucky enough to live close to my library growing up. I went a lot. I still go there. They have remodeled so the main entrance is different, but I still use the old door. I found you on those shelves and I’m very grateful.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thank you Rebecca!

  • cheryl c.

    This has been a wonderful series! I have read all of them, so don’t enter my name in the giveaway.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thanks so much, Cheryl!

  • Sarah

    A wonderful friend with freezer jam? That is a friend to have. You are a lucky person!

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Right?! And you should try her cinnamon rolls. They are heavenly.

  • Tori Valenzuela

    I have the same attachment to my old first laptop but it was my mother who bought it. We didnt have the money for alot of things, I wasnt sure I’d have a cake for my 16th birthday but she pulled through got me a cake and amazingly an laptop. To this day I still have it and use it on occasion even though I have a newer one

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Ginger Cromeans Bearden

    Love your books.

    • RaeAnne Thayne

      Thank you!

  • RaeAnne Thayne

    Thanks so much, Donna. And I so admire those who teach our kids. Thank you!

  • Joann Lowe Hunter

    I love Raeanne’s books!

  • Ellen

    The library has always been one of my happy places. I’m glad it made your move easier. A friend who makes strawberry jam–definitely special. Thanks for sharing.

  • Patty Vasquez

    The world right now is tending toward dark and ugly. I have to say that romance novels are sustaining me right now, because love does win. I have to believe that. All of the romance books on shelves are proof that lots of other people feel the same way.

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    I have many of your books, not all have been read I am sad to say. More to look forward to. What a wonderful husband you have to gift you that laptop. Having a challenging child makes one look at life a little differently and appreciates so much more of the world around them. Speaking from my experience. Thank you so much for your post.

    I have to add that I too moved to a new city at age thirteen. I moved from the big city of Chicago to a smaller town, about 14,000 people, in northwest Indiana. It was a huge adjustment and it was difficult making new friends. My books were my saving grace too.

  • Judi Radtke

    I have always enjoyed romance books starting with Georgette Heyer and Louisa May Alcot. I moved a lot during my younger years some times twice a year my father was in the service. Books and the library were my best friends and they still are. I have enjoyed all of your books and can not wait for the next. thanks for writing such great books.

  • Ren

    I love that your word is compassion. It is what the world needs more of. Thank you for sharing your story. Love your books

  • Michele H.

    The magic that is a library. It never gets old.

  • Sally Schmidt

    Your husband is a keeper! My mom and grandma were readers, and I had access to whatever was on their shelves early on. Then the bookmobile came and I was in heaven. Even more so when I could go to the library and my mom told the librarian I could check out anything I wanted, that I wasn’t restricted to the children’s sections. I loved reading everything – still do – but romance has a special place because of the hope.

  • Audrey

    What a beautiful paragraph about the power of romance reading through the challenges of motherhood! Love that, RaeAnne. You are a strong woman and a strong writer!

  • MaryC

    Thank you for sharing the story about the Christmas gift from your spouse.

  • Glenda

    I love that you read the encyclopedia and those Reader’s Digest books. I read and re-read every book in the house that I could get my grubby paws on. My mother was very inventive when it came to hiding books she didn’t want me to read.

  • Kezia King

    Ah the joy of living close to the library! As a kid, the only things I ever need to stay busy during the summer were a bike and a library card. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Pamby50

    I absolutely love your books! I have to agree with you about Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. What an amazing book.