Valerie Bowman – Swept Away

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

Romance Makes Everything Better

My dad died when I was nine years old and my mom was alone for many years. Mom used to take me to the mall every Friday. Mom used to take me to the mall every Friday night. There was a store there called Walden Books. I would browse through the children’s section while my mom spent her time in an area called Romance. She would leaf through a mostly black and white paper copy of a magazine called Romantic Times Book Reviews to find the very best romance novels and then she would purchase her stash for the week. Before we left the mall, we’d usually get a new-fangled thing called frozen yogurt. I loved those outings.

My mom’s bedroom was full of romance novels. Bookshelves lined three of the four walls and they were stacked to the brim with titles of books like While Passion Sleeps and The Windflower. I would pull them out and stare at the covers and imagine myself living in England or the Caribbean or wherever the characters in the novel lived.

When I was thirteen, my mom gave me my first romance novel to read. It had a purple cover and was called The Flame and the Flower. I began reading it and was hooked almost immediately. After that I read book after book from my mom’s romance library. I couldn’t get enough Historicals were always my favorites.

As I got older, any time anything sad happened I’d grab a romance novel. It always made everything better, if only temporarily. When I went away to college my mom said to me, “If you get homesick, remember, read a book. If you’re reading a book it doesn’t matter where you are.” That was some of the very best advice I’ve received in life. When you’re in the pages of a romance novel, it doesn’t matter where you are physically because you’re swept away in space and time living vicariously through the heroines. I adore romance novels and have since I was probably too young to read them. I know they helped my mother overcome the pain and loss of my father’s death. The power they hold for me has always been the ability to lift my spirits and make me feel home. Even when I’m not.


Valerie recommends:

Anna Bennett  –  –  @Amazon

Joanna Shupe   –   –   @Amazon

Maya Rodale   –    –  @Amazon

Questions for the Author:

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

Getting my first fan letter in which a reader told me that she stayed up all night reading my book because she couldn’t put it down. There is no greater compliment as an author as far as I’m concerned. That was a very powerful moment.

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

I am the opposite of someone who likes or collects knickknacks or figurines but I have a ceramic frog on my front porch. Knowing my personality, my friends are often surprised when they see it. My mom bought it for me when I was a toddler because I liked it at the store and one day when I was making it hop, it broke into a dozen pieces. I cried so long my dad promised to fix it. He painstakingly glued the frog back together for me. I can still see the marks where it was pieced back together and I still love that frog.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Valor. When I was a kid, I looked up what my name means: Valerie . . . virtuous and strong. Sometimes when the going gets tough, I have to remind myself that my name means strength. It actually helps.

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

My favorite book (that’s not a romance) is Dr. Barbara DeAngelis’s Ten Secrets About Life Every Woman Should Know. I was going through a tough time in my early 20’s and was lucky enough to walk into a bookstore and almost directly to that book. It was a very powerful set of lessons to learn, especially as a young woman.

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

My oldest sister Janet. We are two of seven daughters. Janet is the oldest and I am the youngest. I was born two days before her 15th birthday. We were inseparable from the minute I came home from the hospital. I considered her my second mommy. When she went off to nursing school, I got in the car every weekend to go pick her up and bring her home. She has always been supportive of both my writing and my crazy imagination. I can’t imagine life without her.

Main Drawing:

Valerie is generously giving away a copy of her book Never Trust a Pirate to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 9, 2017. (US only)

She’ll also be giving away three more copies of the book as part of the US bundles. (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


Valerie Bowman’s books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.

Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven). After earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, and watching crazy reality TV.

Learn more:       |       Facebook     |     Twitter@ValerieGBowman


Buy Valerie’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


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.

(Valerie is contributing to the US bundles.)

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to 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 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  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 (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  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