Terri Osburn – Inspiring & 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

The Power of Romance Changed My Life

The power of romance has so many meanings for me, but first and foremost, it’s the power that got me through my teens. My family hit some hard times when I was eight, so by the time I was sixteen, I didn’t have a whole lot of faith in anything. Not a higher power or the universe or any sort of cosmic fairness. In my adolescent mind, life sucked and I wasn’t sure that would ever change.

But on those long nights when life felt heavy and suffocating, I had a friend. Her name was Judith McNaught, and, through her books, she provided an escape from reality. Ms. McNaught introduced me to women who faced challenges head on and never gave up. In the end, they found love on their own terms. And in those pages, I found hope.

Through the many years to come, there were other friends like Ms. McNaught. Jo Beverley, Johanna Lindsay, Dorothy Garwood, Mary Balogh, and Dorothy Garlock to name a few. These women made me smile and cry and dream. What I never imagined was how far that dreaming would take me.

In 2006, I was recovering from the toughest year of my life. In the midst of that recovery, I stumbled upon a bulletin board run by Eloisa James where her fans could not only talk about books, but share their lives in a safe environment filled with love and acceptance. Within minutes I knew I’d found my tribe. These fellow romance readers who were brilliant, highly educated, tenacious, and inspiring.

And some of them wanted to write books of their own.

Together, a bunch of us set out to do just that, and I had no idea where those early efforts would take me. The fact is, twelve years ago, I was a struggling single mother on the cusp of homelessness, with a truck in danger of being repossessed, and a first grader to feed. The idea of trying to write romance novels not only sounded daunting, but irresponsible. What were the chances I’d ever make a living writing books? How could I justify spending money on writing courses and conferences when I had rent to make and groceries to buy?

It all seems like a blur now. The late nights. The crippling doubts. (Those never really go away.) The rejection and naysayers. But in 2013, I did what I never thought I’d do—I quit my day job to write full time. Last year, I bought a new house, and recently, I was able to enroll my daughter in college without either of us having to take out a loan. At least not for the first semester.

That is the power of romance. It entertains us. It inspires us. And it can even sustain us. I’m thankful every single day that I picked up that first romance novel more than three decades ago. I don’t know where I’d be today if these books hadn’t come into my life.

 

Terri recommends:

And speaking of the women I’ve met along the way, I’m excited to talk about two of my best buds who also happen to be fabulous writers. Marnee Blake burst onto the scene by earning a RITA nomination for her debut release, Altered. She’s crazy talented with an engaging voice and style.

Marnee Blake    –     marneeblake.com     –    @Amazon

I also recommend Jessica Ruddick. She’s been kicking butt writing under both her real name, Jessica Ruddick, and her pseudonym Jessica Linden. Under Ruddick, she writes both the Love on Campus series, which are New Adult books, and the Legacy Series, which follows a teenage girl burdened with the task of locating pure souls to become angels, which means sentencing good people to death. Under her Linden pen name, she writes heart-stopping Romantic Suspense that turns up the heat and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

 Jessica Ruddick    –    JessicaRuddick.com    –    @Amazon

 


Questions for the Author:

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

The truth is, the power of romance is why I have this job at all. If I hadn’t found a group of fabulous, like-minded women on that Eloisa James Bulletin Board, I’d probably still be working in an office somewhere, buried under spreadsheets and being taken for granted. The books are the focus, but the people are really what make this community so special. Romance novels empower, engage, and inspire women from all walks of life, and that’s an incredibly powerful thing.

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

“If you look far enough…you will find what you are seeking” This is the inscription in a very special card that was given to me by an amazing woman in my life. I doubt she remembers me, or understands how much she influenced my life, but I’ve never forgotten. My first real job was working in a clothing store during college, and my boss was an extraordinary woman. She was hysterical, strong, grounded, and, for some unknown reason, believed in me. I was young and naïve and she shared her wisdom in patient and endearing ways.

It was as if Kathy knew there were big things in my future. When she decided to leave her position, I was crushed, but before we parted ways, she gifted me with a beautiful glass card. I’ve never seen another like it. The glass is painted with flowers and a butterfly taking flight, along with the inscription above. Through countless moves over nearly thirty years, I’ve managed to keep this card safe, and it always has a place of honor in my home. One day, I’ll pass it on, and I hope the recipient finds in the piece the same strength and encouragement that I have.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

For me, faith is everything. Not in the religious sense (though I have that, too) but in everything. Faith that things will work out. Faith that I can achieve my goals. Faith that I’m on the right path and that I’m in the right place. I grew up in a family that always expected the worst. A cracked windshield? A leaking pipe? A missed promotion? They were all more blows by the universe, who refused to give us a break.

But somewhere in my thirties, I changed my thinking. Thanks to advice from a close friend, I decided to stop expecting the worst and embracing positivity. It was work, and it still is, but having faith has turned my life around. It turns out that advice was right. Expect good things, and good things will come. Call it new age thinking, a self-fulfilling prophecy, or naivete, but it works for me.

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

Many years ago, I fell in love with the writing of Dorothy Garlock. All of her work is amazing, but one book in particular has always stayed with me. It’s called After The Parade and is the fourth book in her Dolan Brothers books, and in it Miss Garlock breaks almost all the rules for Romance. First of all, she breaks up the couple who received their happily ever after in the previous book. In fact, she puts the couple through hell. I’ve never cried so hard as I did while reading this book. Maybe because I’d already been through their initial fight for love, so watching them fall apart broke my heart. I think my chest physically hurt while reading some parts.

Though it sounds quite mean, that’s what we Romance writers dream of—evoking that much emotion from our readers. Make them struggle to see the words through their tears but also make it impossible for them to put the book done. Miss Garlock is a master, and though I’ve read hundreds (maybe thousands!) of books, that is the one I have never forgotten.

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

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about one of my high school English teachers. Sister Eleanor was a force of nature. I’m not even sure she stood five feet tall, and likely weighed ninety pounds soaking wet, but she possessed passion, charisma, and irrepressible power. When I had her for Freshman English, I was petrified of her, but looking back I realize how much she cared about her students and wanted us to be out best.

Our papers had to be written double spaced (this was long before everything was done on computers) so that she could make notes and we could do rewrites in the blank lines. And boy did we do rewrites. Over and over until she believed we’d done our best. In essence, Sister Eleanor was my first editor.

When I had her again senior year, she was a revelation. The woman had a wicked sense of humor that I’d failed to notice three years before. Probably because she scared the tar out of me. But by the end of that last year, she was my favorite teacher and I wish I could tell her how much she inspired me to be a better writer. I’m not sure Sister Eleanor is still with us, but I’m plan to do some research and find out. If by some miracle she’s still around, I’m hoping for the chance to thank her in person.

 

Main Drawing:

Terri is generously giving away a full set of signed Ardent Springs books (five books). To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 28, 2017. (US only)

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

She’ll be giving away a full Anchor Island set and an advance copy of Rising Star (releases Sept 12) as part of the US bundles, and is participating in 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.

 


Terri Osburn writes contemporary romance with heart, hope, and lots of humor. After landing on the bestseller lists with her Anchor Island Series, she moved on to the Ardent Springs series, which earned her a Book Buyers Best award in 2016. Her books have been translated into five languages and to date she has sold more than a million copies worldwide.  In September she’ll launch a new series set among the glittering and gritty world of the Nashville music scene with the release of Rising Star, featuring an up and coming country singer and the country radio DJ who wants nothing to do with him.

Terri lives in middle Tennessee with her teenage daughter, four frisky felines, and two high-maintenance terrier mixes.

Learn more:

www.terriosburn.com.     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @TerriOsburn

 

Buy Terri’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.

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

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

  • Jodi B

    Thank you for being a part of this. I have just added your books to my wish list.

  • Sue G.

    Congrats to you for succeeding! Such great will and determination….you must be thrilled! Such a great example for your daughter too!

    • Thank you. I pinch myself daily. lol And I do think my daughter has a stronger sense that she can accomplish absolutely anything if she’s willing to work for it. That’s a great thing to know at such a young age.

  • Ren

    I love your story. Romance has gotten me through tough times too. Yes it is mostly to get away from my problems but also the hope it gives you is undeniable.

  • cheryl c.

    I remember the old Eloisa James/Julia Quinn bulletin board too. I am so glad that romance novels and the romance community got you through tough times. (don’t enter my name in your giveaway because I already have ALL of your books)

    • There were so many amazing women (and men!) on that board. Big Bon Bon hug to you. 🙂

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    Great story! I’m so glad you found Eloise’s board.

  • Phyllis Wenzel

    I will start by saying if you haven’t read Terri’s books give them a try they are wonderful stories that will warm your heart and make you some new friends. Her Anchor Island series is my favorite of all series I have ever read. After reading this I have to say I am very thankful for that bulletin board and the people you met there. Without them I wouldn’t have found you or your books, and the world would not have such a wonderful romance writer. I’m happy that your struggles helped mold you into who you are today since she is such a strong and wonderful woman. I’m also happy that they led you to be the writer you are, that you didn’t give up and were able to make your dream come true.

    • Thank you, my friend. I’m so grateful these books brought YOU into my life. One of my tattoos is of books falling out of a broken heart. I guess this post explains why I chose that image.

  • Kim Castillo

    I am so incredibly proud of you, Terri! Much much love!

    • I guess we can say you facilitated the early years. 😉 Thank you!

  • Marnee Blake

    Oh my goodness, I’m incredibly honored that you included me here!! You know I love you. XO And, I still remember those first days, when we started writing. Look how far we’ve come. 🙂

  • alisha woods

    Love Terri and wound love to win

  • Santa O’Byrne

    Love ya, lady. Love your books! I always knew you had it in you and your success makes me so happy for you! But you know all this, right?

  • Kareni

    Thanks for an enjoyable post, Terri. I hope that you can connect with those wonderful women who had such a tremendous impact on your life. I’m familiar with all those author friends you mentioned but not with the two you recommended. I’ll be investigating them next. Best wishes with your current and future writing projects!

  • Ellen

    Great post–thanks for sharing.

  • Pamby50

    I understand about Sister Eleanor. Mine was Sister Victor Marie. She scared me so much that I was terrified to make a wrong move. I’m glad you found your tribe.

  • Patty Vasquez

    I’m so glad that every thing turned out okay for you once you turned your thinking around. Just imagine the difference that made in the life of your daughter. It also resulted in many wonderful books, which in turn, affected many more people in a positive way.

  • Kristine R

    The romance reading community truly is awesome with so much support and friends. “If you look far enough…you will find what you are seeking” love this quote and it is so true.

  • Glenda

    It is amazing how supportive the romance community is.

  • Audrey

    Terri, I love this line you wrote: “Romance novels empower, engage, and inspire women from all walks of life, and that’s an incredibly powerful thing.” What a winner! Thanks for a great interview.

  • Diane Sallans

    Wow – how did I miss this author – I’d love to start with this series of Terri’s!

  • Tori Valenzuela

    Beautiful quote! For me butterflys are a luck item and also a sign of peace. When I see one I know things will be alright

  • Kezia King

    What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing!