Susan Mallery – One Heart At A Time

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

Making Lives Better One Book At A Time

Most of the time, I love writing and in particular, writing romance. It’s the best thing ever, joining a couple on their will-they-won’t-they journey to a happy ending. (They will. In my books, they always will.) I spend my working life laughing, sighing, loving every moment.

Almost.

There are days when writing is painfully hard. On those days, it can feel like I’m dragging the words out one at a time. I think longingly of all the other things I could be doing—dusting the ceiling fans, cleaning the grout, ironing the sheets—anything other than sitting at my desk waiting for the words to come.

One thing keeps me in my seat: the knowledge that somewhere out there, someone needs this story.

I hear from readers all the time who tell me that one of my books came at the exact time they most needed a mood boost. One woman had just moved across the country with her husband and two cranky kids. The movers had “misplaced” the truck that carried almost everything the family owned. She was hanging on by a thread, so her husband volunteered to run to the store for dinner. He surprised her with one of my books, then told her to take a bath and read.

When she returned to the family an hour later, she felt rejuvenated and better able to face life’s little challenges. My book had made her life better and because of that, her husband’s and kids’ lives, too. It wasn’t a serious “learn a lesson” book. It was a warmhearted romance. Her husband said he could hear her laughing in the bathtub and that it made him smile.

The books in my new series, the Happily Inc romances, are like that. The love stories will carry you away and at the same time, they’re going to make you laugh until you don’t remember you ever had anything to worry about. The first scene of You Say It First is one of the funniest opening scenes I’ve ever written. You can read it at HappilyInc.com.

Romance novels change the world one heart at a time. They change lives. Not just the lives of the (mostly) women who read them, but all the lives those women touch.

I don’t take that responsibility lightly. That’s why I keep writing even on days when it’s tough going. Fortunately for me, those days are few and far between. Almost always, there’s nothing I’d rather do than escape into my fictional worlds. And when the book is done and I read it through, I can never tell which pages were challenging to write.

 

How have romances made your life better?

One random commenter will win a signed copy of Best of My Love, the last book in my Fool’s Gold series.

 

Susan recommends:

I’m delighted to recommend Alexis Morgan, whose Sergeant Joe’s Boys trilogy has some of the most appealing heroes ever. These wounded warriors can only be healed by the love of a good woman. These are heartfelt books told with skill and passion.

www.alexismorgan.com     –     @Amazon

 


Questions for the Author:

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

I recently heard from a reader fighting breast cancer, who said she brings my books to all of her treatments so she can escape from the hospital to a happy place. Notes like this from readers are deeply meaningful to me.

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

My dad worked in television, and I have his Emmy award. Every time I look at it, I think of him. Whenever I visited him at work, I was so proud that he was my dad. I got my work ethic from him, and he was the person who most encouraged my love of reading.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Compassion. I always try to remember that every person I meet is the hero of his or her own story, and that everything they say and do is motivated by something that’s happening in their lives. If they’re not behaving very nicely, I try not to take it personally. I try to think of what might be causing them to act in that way, and to respond with compassion.

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

Sadly, I’ve discovered that I can no longer read romance and women’s fiction while I’m writing it, so I have to save those for the precious time when I’m between books. This has led me to read more nonfiction, and I just finished a wonderful look at all the First Ladies since Jackie Kennedy—First Women by Kate Andersen Brower.

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

My friend Debbie Macomber told me one day that instead of writing another trilogy about a family, I should write about a town so that I wouldn’t be limited to three books. That conversation sparked the idea for the Fool’s Gold romances, my most popular series to date. Thank you, Debbie!

 

Main Drawing:

Susan is generously giving away copies of Best of My Love, the last title in the her wildly popular Fool’s’ Gold series. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST Sept 1, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away more books as part of the US and international bundles.

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

 


#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. She’s best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur.

 

Visit with Susan:

SusanMallery.com     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @susanmallery

 

Buy Susan’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.

(Susan is contributing to the US and international bundles.)

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week4@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 Week4@ReadARomanceMonth.com 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 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

  • Nicole Marie

    Great post! I am a big fan of your books, thanks for sharing your story.

  • Jodi B

    Romances bring laughter, love and sometimes tears into my everyday world. I love your books and you are an auto buy for me.

    • Oh, thank you, Jodi. I’m honored! <3

    • Read-A-Romance

      Thanks Jodi! I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the other posts too! xo #LoveRomance

  • Sue G.

    I love the escape that romances bring. The happy ever after that isn’t always around in normal every day life.

    • I think love is all around us in everyday life, but in our books, it’s condensed. 🙂

  • Sally Schmidt

    Romances always bring hope, and the reminder that a happily ever after is possible. Nothing better than getting away from it all for even a few minutes with a sweet romance.

    • Well said, Sally! People say that romances are unrealistic, but they’re no more unrealistic than any other genre of book. In fact, I know a lot more people who have fallen in love than people who have solved a murder. LOL

  • Laura

    Romances allow a person to escape their life for a little while. Always making are day brighter and happier

    • Romance readers are happier people, for sure! Our books reinforce the “world is good” point of view.

  • Mary Meyers-Mannella

    I love the escape that romance books bring. It takes you to another place & I am able to relax.

    • A relaxing escape… sigh. 🙂

    • Read-A-Romance

      #LoveRomance :o) I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the other author posts too! xo #LoveRomance

      • Mary Meyers-Mannella

        “unsubscribe”

  • Kathy Setter

    I love reading authors like you where I can depend on the happily-ever-after. I’ve been an avid romance reader for almost 40 years. Thanks for all you contribute to the cause!

    • 40 years of happily ever after–I love it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Read-A-Romance

      Love this! Hope you’ve had the chance to check out some of the other posts, too! xo

  • Dawn Anderson

    For me, reading romance has given me something to look forward to every day. I live with a lot of pain and romance novels take me out of my world and place me somewhere else. I thank you for writing all of your books, but especially Fool’s Gold because I loved that town and all of its quirks. I’m looking forward to reading about Happily, Inc.

    • I’m so sorry you have to live with pain, Dawn. That must be so challenging. It means so much to hear that my books have helped to take you to a happy place. I hope you enjoy Happily Inc! I’ve been hearing from a lot of Fool’s Gold fans who were wary of giving the new series a try, but then were happy they did. I promise, you’re going to get the same upbeat, deeply emotional stories you came to expect from Fool’s Gold.

    • Read-A-Romance

      xoxo

  • alisha woods

    I her books and used to be one of her Susan Mallery Cheerleaders .

    • Hi, Cheerleader! <3 🙂 <3 I love my cheerleaders!

    • Read-A-Romance

      xoxo

  • Karen Fasczewski Graziano

    I love reading a great novel. I love to escape to a place and visit with the people in the story. I enjoy learning about all the characters and places. My favorite pastime is to curl up with a blanket on my hammock, glider, or couch and get immersed in a book! Thank you Susan for providing me with many hours of my favorite pastime!

    • Aw, what a nice thing to say! Thank you, Karen. I’m honored that you’ve spent so much time with my books.

    • Read-A-Romance

      Thanks Karen! I hope you’ve enjoyed a few of the authors’ posts! xo #LoveRomance

  • Becky Rabalais

    I especially love the characters/people in romance novels. They become friends. I find their I interrelationships inspiring.

    • “Inspiring” is the perfect word for it, Becky. I want women to know there are good men out there, honorable men. No one should settle for someone who doesn’t treat her well.

  • cheryl c.

    Compassion is definitely a powerful word. We are seeing so many wonderful examples of compassion in Houston right now.

    • I’m having a hard time tearing myself away from the news, Cheryl. I was just watching regular people with inner tubes and pool floats going in to save their neighbors.

  • Jo Ann Allen Burrow

    Love your books and love to read….:)

    • Thank you, Jo Ann! <3

    • Read-A-Romance

      I hope you’ve been able to check out a few of the authors’ posts! xo #LoveRomance

  • Sherialyse

    I love to read books. I especially love RomCom. Sometimes I just need something lighthearted to think about in my day!

    • Yes, we all need that mood boost sometimes, don’t we?! I’ll quote Susan Elizabeth Phillips here: Life is too short for depressing books.

      • Read-A-Romance

        :o)

    • Read-A-Romance

      I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the authors’ posts! xo #LoveRomance

      Who are some of your RomCom faves?

  • Amanda Rollins

    I love romance books they have been a way to escape and have brought me happiness I love them I love your books they are awesome

    • Aw, thank you, Amanda. Your comment is awesome. 😉

    • Read-A-Romance

      I hope you’ve enjoyed a few of the authors’ posts! xo #LoveRomance

  • Kareni

    Thanks for an enjoyable post, Susan. Romances make my life better all the time ~ they make me smile, they make me cry, they touch me.

    • Great point, Kareni. With romances, we’re safe to feel everything deeply because we know it’s going to end well for the characters. They’re going to take us through some painful moments, but we know that when we reach the end, they’ll be in their happy place–and so will we.

  • Yes, you can always count on a happy ending from me! I’m never going to end on a depressing note. Just not the kind of book I want to read, and not the kind of book I want to write. I hate that–investing hours and emotions, and then have the story end badly??? NOOOOOOO!!!

    Thank you for your nice comment, Maggie.

  • Tressa Russell

    I love being able to open a book and “travel” to a place where I know I’m going to meet characters that I would love to hang out with. I also really enjoy watching two deserving people get over their fears, fall in love and find their happily ever after. Thank you Susan for writing books us readers can fall in love with!

    • Yes, Tressa–a vacation of the mind. A bookcation?

    • Read-A-Romance

      I hope you’ve had the chance to enjoy a few of the authors’ posts! xo #LoveRomance

  • Tori Valenzuela

    My mother took books I would recommend with het to her chemo treatments. She enjoyed focusing on something different than the pain and worry surrouning her cancer.

    • Those are the kinds of stories that really keep me going, Tori. Thank you for sharing.

  • rebecca moe

    I agree, the opening to YOU SAY IT FIRST was very funny! Thanks for writing–I’m excited about the new series 🙂

  • Karina Thibodeau

    I love how romance books take you out of everyday life and transport you to places where there is a happily ever after. They make you feel so good.

    • That’s a nice way of looking at it, Karina. I agree!

  • Pamby50

    No matter what is going on, romance can take you away. They can make you laugh, cry and sigh. Going through physical therapy and pneumonia, romance has picked me up. Looking forward to your new series!

    • Oh, pneumonia is so draining! I hope you feel better soon, Pam.

  • Marie Andersen

    I live with a LOT of pain. Reading helps me to focus on other things than pain. It helps me to laugh or cry at the seemingly impossible situations that characters in the books get into, and how they solve their problems.
    Thanks to Susan for helping me get through some of my pain filled life.

    • Read-A-Romance

      I hope you’ve enjoyed a few of the authors’ posts! xo #LoveRomance

    • Thank you for your nice comment, Marie. I hope you can find some relief from the pain. HUGS

  • Chris Ann Simek

    I just finished “Secrets of the Tulip Sisters” , and loved every word!

  • Cora Hannold

    They calm me down. They take you out of the every day craziness and pull you into a world where things go from being mixed up & confusing to going right. You can go through all your emotions with one book. The best is at the happily ever after endings.

    • Read-A-Romance

      I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the authors’ posts! xo #LoveRomance

    • I so agree, Cora. It’s the guaranteed happy endings that make us feel safe when we’re going through the other emotions. We know any sadness will be temporary because these people will find their way together at the end.

  • Ellen

    Reading romances relax me. Sometimes they make me laugh, sometimes they make me cry. ( I prefer the ones that make me laugh.) They provide an oasis in a busy world. I read First Women, too. (Enjoyed it.) Thanks for providing many hours of enjoyable reading.

  • Patty Vasquez

    I’m impressed that the husband of the woman whose story you told, knew to buy her a romance novel and send her off for some quiet time. That lucky woman found her hero!

    • I know! Such a good man. And smart, too, because the old saying “happy wife, happy life” is true.

  • Eileen Aberman Wells

    Reading romances is my escape. I’m impressed that husband knew what type of romance to buy his wife and gave her time to regroup. It doesn’t always happen like that in everyone’s life.

  • Read-A-Romance

    Thanks so much Maggie! I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the other authors’ posts too! xo #LoveRomance

  • Brenda Rumsey

    I’ve been reading romances since I was 14 years old and loved sharing the happy ever afters with the author. When my husband died last year after 43 years of marriage, it was so hard to read all the way through a romance book, though I tried several times. But you write with such compassion and insight….yours was the first I was able to finish. Thank you for that.

  • Kathryn Nation

    When I read these books I am transported from my busy life and hectic schedule to a little town where all the people become treasured friends. Love my reading times!

  • Courtney

    When reading a series like Fool’s Gold, I am able to escape from my reality for a little while and enjoy connecting with old “friends.”

  • Glenda

    Reading helps me relax and decompress after whatever the day throws at me. I’m impressed that the reader’s husband not only knew what she needed but also was man enough to buy it for her. 🙂

  • mariannewestrich

    Love your books! I’ve read and re-read the Fools Gold Series so much that each re-read feels like visiting old friends. Thank you for the hours of escape!

  • sasper5

    I love your books Susan. I just finished reading the Daughters of the Bride…it was so good, so far my favorites are the Mischief Bay series. I can’t express how much your books bring so much joy to my life. My husband would always go to the store and get Harlequin books for me. Thank you for writing great books.

  • flchen1

    Reading romances restores hope and reminds me of the power of love to transform us. I love Debbie Macomber’s stories as well as yours, Susan–how wonderful that she helped inspire your Fool’s Gold series!

  • Kezia King

    Reading romance has gotten me through countless tough times. When I had my first kid we were stationed in Japan (army). My husband was deployed 6 weeks after I have birth and I was all alone with an infant in a foreign country. I was stressed and exhausted and I cried quite a bit. Somehow I stumbled onto romance. The little bit of time I found to read (usually while breastfeeding) saved me. Maybe it sounds crazy, but I know it is what got me through that time.