Selena Laurence – Everything Under the Sun

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 Bond of Romance

As romance writer I spend a ton of time online talking to people—readers, bloggers, authors, aspiring authors, cover artists, editors, agents, publishers—pretty much anyone and everyone involved with romance novels! Over the five years I’ve been doing this I think the thing that stands out most to me is the range of lifestyles, personalities, and interests I’ve encountered.

 The Romance Writers of America (RWA) conducts surveys and keeps statistics on who the “average” romance reader is, and it’s always interesting to see the data. However, if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that the romance community has everything under the sun. We are every race, every religion, every age and gender. We are athletes and housewives, lawyers and teachers, moms, singles, husbands, and partners. I have readers in wheelchairs, readers who are deaf, readers who love animals, readers who are soldiers. Romance has fans who are teenagers, fans who are grandmas, and fans who speak multiple languages.

 And somehow, no matter what the political climate, no matter what the economy is doing, no matter how different we might be, romance brings us together, gives us a reason to interact, and a common ground from which to speak. Year after year, all around the world, online, and in person, romance bonds people who might otherwise never meet or get to know one another.

 There are very few other things in this world that can manage to draw such an amazingly diverse audience and keep them engaged, bonded, and excited year after year.

 To me, that’s power. That’s a unique and special influence most of us probably don’t stop to think about too often. But it’s amazing, and it’s inspiring, and it’s absolutely the thing that I love most about my job and my community.

 That’s the power of romance.

 

Selena recommends:

Delancey Stewart   –    www.delanceystewart.com   –   @Amazon

and Julie Johnson   –    www.juliejohnsonbooks.com     –    @Amazon


Questions for the Author:

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

As an author you get a variety of messages and emails from readers. Most of them are lovely, occasionally some are not. But the ones that make me stop, take a deep breath, and find such gratitude for the job I have, are the ones from readers who are ill and write to tell me my books made them feel better. I’ve had several such messages during my career, and to be told your story provided comfort to someone who is suffering is humbling. It’s a testament to what stories of love and a Happily Ever After can be for people, a real example of the Power of Romance. I’m honored to be able to provide romance fiction to readers of all types, but especially to readers who find them a comfort during difficult times.

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

Several years ago I had a charm bracelet custom made. It’s sterling silver, and on it are the birthstones and initials of my husband and four children, as well as the Chinese symbols for peace, love, and family. There’s even a little paw charm for my pets. I don’t wear it daily, but I always wear it when I travel and when I do things that push me out of my comfort zone like giving a speech or attending a conference. That bracelet is the physical manifestation of my family’s love, when I wear it, I feel them with me. I know they believe in me, and that gets me through most anything.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

The word effort might not seem like a powerful word, but it carries a lot of weight in daily life. Putting out your best effort means no matter what the outcome, you can be proud of yourself. Putting out continuous effort almost always results in some amount of success, and the right kind of effort can be the difference between getting what you want and not. I’ve always told my children that effort matters, and their efforts have always been rewarded.

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

When I was in high school I read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. It had a powerful impact on me and in an odd way I think it set me on a course to write romance fiction (even though it isn’t a romance novel). The story is a tragic showcase of how women suffer in a patriarchal culture. Beautiful, bright, vivacious Anna is nothing more than a pawn between the men who control the society in which she lives. They strip her of her friends, her home, her dignity, her child, and finally her sanity. And after you read it, you’ll want nothing more than to write and read stories about women who aren’t the victims, but the winners. Women who have agency and power and get the happy endings that heroines like Anna Karenina never did. So I read Anna Karenina…and now I write romance.

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

When I first started writing I went online with a local fiction writing group and requested a critique partner. I was matched with two and for several months we met once a week and exchanged pages of our books. One of them, Jamie Raintree, was young enough to be my daughter. She was only twenty-six, already married with two little girls, and she was one hundred percent committed to her dream of becoming a novelist. Jamie was also an amazing critique partner, and cheerleader. She helped mold my words and brainstorm my career. Over the next few years, I started publishing, choosing the route that suited my objectives. Hers were different, but she never failed to cheer me on, and she never once gave up on her own dreams. Jamie has her debut novel releasing this fall, but she still spends a huge part of her time working to support and coach newer writers. I know I wouldn’t be doing what I do today if she hadn’t encouraged me.

Jamie Raintree     –     jamieraintree.com     –     @Amazon

 

Main Drawing:

Selena is generously giving away a copy of Cade’s Loss (California Cowboys) as well as a swag pack. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 24, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away more books copy as part of the US and international bundles, plus she’s sponsoring the tote & cup giveaway (more info. below)

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

 


Selena Laurence is the award-winning and USA Today Bestselling author who loves Putting the Heat in Happily Ever After. Her books can be found almost everywhere, from libraries to Barnes and Noble bookstores, online in four languages, and as audiobooks as well.

Selena lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her kids, Mr. L, Goldendoodle, and Demon Cat. When she’s not writing, she can be found at soccer games and tennis matches, and when she is writing it’ll be at one of her favorite coffee shops.

For all the information on her books and where to buy them, go to: www.selenalaurence.com.

 

Learn more:

selenalaurence.com     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @selenalaurence

 

If you want to get to know Selena better, join her reader and reviewer group, Selena’s Squad, on Facebook. You can win advance reader copies of her upcoming releases, as well as other fun prizes like swag and giftcards.

 

Buy Selena’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.

(Selena is contributing to the US and international bundles, and 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

  • Sue G.

    Love the idea of your charm bracelet! My sister and I had gotten our mom a Pandora bracelet one year for Christmas and we each picked charms that we thought best represented ourselves and our mom!

    • Selena Laurence

      Yes! The Pandora bracelets are amazing! I bet she loved that gift! <3

  • Mary Jo Toth

    Thank you for taking the risk and sharing your talent with us.

    • Selena Laurence

      Thank you for all the reading over the years! <3

  • cheryl c.

    Yes, reading romance is a bonding experience. I have online friendships that grew out of a shared love of reading.

  • Patty Vasquez

    When I think about the people around the world with whom I’ve talked about romance novels, plots, characters, and authors, I’m amazed. Social media has been very good for our community.

  • Glenda

    I do love how you were inspired by a negative book (Anna Karenina) to write postifive ones!

  • Selena Laurence

    Thank you! Read A Romance month is such a fun project. I really appreciate Bobbi letting me be a part of it 🙂

  • Audrey

    Your charm bracelet sounds so beautiful, Selena! And I love the special meaning behind each of the charms. I think that would be a neat inclusion for a romance heroine in a book.

  • Tori Valenzuela

    I love charm bracelets as well I have a few that have special meaning and currently putting one together that I call my mom bracelet, things that represent my two little girls

  • Ellen

    I like your charm bracelet story. I have some jewelry that I wear when I need a confidence booster. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamby50

    I love your word effort. If you’re going to do something, give it your best effort. Otherwise you’ll never feel good about it.