Jillian Neal – A Perfect Antidote

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

No Force More Formidable

I slunk out of Algebra class with an envelope clutched in my hand. The sense of dread that can only come from holding a sealed letter addressed to your parents absorbed me. Far too much of a rule-follower to have ever tried to see what the letter actually said, I was certain it read something like – Jillian is hopeless in math. We’re not certain she can even count using her fingers. Please do something about this. The situation is dire.

So lost in my own mathematical misery, I gasped when the strap of my training-bra slapped against my back. There was already a raw marking there from the same torture I’d been given the day before. Turning to glare at my own personal nemesis, refusing the tears that welled in my eyes, he laughed in my face and assured me that I was too short and too ugly to ever get more action than that.

I wanted to crawl inside my locker and never come out. Instead, my best friend thrust a novel into my hands with a firm, “You have to read this!” We’d been sharing books since elementary school. None of them had ever had a shirtless pirate gracing the cover, however.

Certain that anything was better than being me right then, I took the novel, tucked it inside my World Geography book, and read for the rest of that day. The fierce pirate and the willful heroine fought each other and then joined forces to conquer all of the trials and tribulations thrown their way. The dashing pirate threw the depraved bra-popper off of his ship at the point of his sword. Or maybe, it was the antagonist, trying to kidnap the heroine and force her into a marriage for money that he drowned. I’m pretty sure there’s room for interpretation, and either way, I was in heaven.

If the heroine had the guts to stand up to her captors and even argue with her pirate when he deserved it, perhaps I could at the very least tell a teacher about my bully. In a moment when I felt utterly hopeless, it was a romance novel that yanked me from my reality, soothed my invisible wounds, and ultimately eased me back into my life with a plan.

It gave me hope. It showed me that there is nothing more worthy of fighting for than love. I am quite certain there is nothing more powerful than the belief that against all odds love will always win. And if love feels a little too far away, romance tells us to keep our eyes on the horizon. Hope is the ship love voyages upon.

Today, this world is often heavier than it felt the day my teacher handed me that envelope. I still can’t do math, and yet, that isn’t the biggest problem any of us face. Occasionally, the bullies are circling, the mortgage payment is late, and the headlines are gruesome. To trade all of that in on a poor math grade seems like a good deal. And yet, at the end of the day, there are always novels ready to whisk us away on an escape where love will always be victorious. Sometimes a certain ending is the perfect antidote to life’s uncertainties.

Romance will always be here to offer us hope. It will deliver time and time again. Because those of us lucky enough to get to write it don’t believe that hope only exists on the pages we script.

I, personally, got to marry my own romance hero, a man who may not drive bratty bullies off of our ship at the point of his sword, but who does fold me into his arms and promise me that no matter what happens he will always be there to help me conquer the cold, cruel world. I’ll take him over a sword-wielding pirate any day. I believe in the power of love because I live it every single day. I write about it because I want to give the world the love and the hope it so desperately needs.

Sometimes, I think about that girl with the envelope, the one who felt so powerless. I wish I could go back and tell her that someday she’ll get to deliver hope to readers across the world. She would know what a tremendous gift hope is. I’d tell her that her heroes and heroines will prove the power of romance, and that there is no force more formidable than love.

I’d also tell her that Algebra doesn’t turn out to be all that important. And to pay very close attention to the guy who keeps staring at her in class, the one who told the bra-popper to back off or else, the one who ultimately helped her pull a B in algebra. He turns out to be the best husband and father she could ever have dreamed of.

 

Jillian recommends:

Lili Valente     –      www.lilivalente.com     –     @Amazon

Roni Loren       –      roniloren.com     –     @Amazon

Kelly Elliot      –    www.kellyelliottauthor.com     –     @Amazon

Annabeth Albert      –      annabethalbert.com     –     @Amazon

Cora Seton      –     www.coraseton.com      –     @Amazon

 


Questions for the Author:

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

I would have to say the first time I truly understood the power of romance was at my first Romance Writers of America conference. I stepped into this room, packed with lovely people, who had stories of love to share with the world. Hope was in the air. I listened to speakers share what romance had done for them. Eventually, I worked up the courage to share what romance novels meant to me. I was met with a dozen nodding, smiling faces. Our paths all look different, but at our core I believe romanced writers write because the world needs the love in our stories. We believe that at such a profound level we write because we must.

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

Aqua Net hairspray! Kidding, I’m kidding. This actually goes back to that girl with the envelope. When my first novel was published, my husband got me a used copy of the novel with the pirate on the cover, the one I’d read all those years ago.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

I love all the words! I believe it was Dumbledore, via J.K. Rowling, who said they are our most inexhaustible source of magic. He was right! If I have to choose just one, I’d go with hope. If you have hope, you have everything you need to keep going.

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

Fiction – Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Non-Fic – Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

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

There have been a few people in my life who love to inform me that I write so well I don’t have to write romance. They insist that I should choose another, more respected genre. Can you feel how hard I’m rolling my eyes? Someday, I plan to dedicate books to all of them. Their words only make me more determined to write the literature of hope.

 

Main Drawing:

Jillian is generously giving away a signed paperback copy of Un-Hitched from the Camden Ranch series. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST September 3, 2017. (US only)

(And heads up that you can get a free e-copy of a Jillian Neal full length title by signing up for her newsletter at her site.)

She’ll be giving away more copies as part of the US 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.

 


Bestselling romance writer, Jillian Neal wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of nine, a riff on the beloved mouse and cookie tales. Since then, her writing has definitely improved. Sadly, her drawing skills have not. When her best friend snuck her a sultry, Fabio-clad novel when she was thirteen, she was sold, no going back. A vehement lover of love and happy endings she found her home between the pages of romance novels.

Her caffeine addiction is quite possibly illegal in several states as are a few of the things her characters do. When she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you’ll find her reading, indulging her unhealthy addiction to all things Sephora, or thinking up perfectly good reasons to perk yet another pot of coffee.

Though she’ll always be a Bama girl at heart, Jillian lives outside of Atlanta with her own handsome hero and their teenage sons.

 

Learn more:

jillianneal.com     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @JillianNeal_

 

Buy Jillian’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.

(Jillian 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

Delancey Stewart – Life Changing 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

Romance = World Peace?

My headline could be a little over the top, but when I sat down to really think about the power of romance in

the world, I came up with some pretty earth-shaking thoughts about the power romance has in our lives. Romance has shifted social mores, changed the direction of history and influenced political movements.

Since politics aren’t my game, and I don’t want to stir up controversy, I’ll stick to examples in my own life, and leave you to ponder some of those age-old romances that changed the world as we know it (Cleopatra and Mark Antony? Ferdinand and Isabella? Henry and Anne Boleyn? Mildred and Richard Loving?)

My own first romance led me to build a life in San Diego… That relationship was my first taste of romance (older man, fancy dates, flowers, etc…) and it taught me a little about what I wanted in a partner. It was that initial fire of romance—the excitement, the feeling that anything that happened must be right if it was inspired by such powerful emotions—that changed the course of my life. I had a job offer after college in Los Angeles, but I turned it down and forged into the unknown because I was in love…

Another romance a few years later in New York City blossomed in a different way. We were a friends-to-lovers story. This man was charming, sweet, and thoughtful, and we were good friends long before he ever convinced me we could be more. It turned out he was right—we were great together romantically. The power of that relationship, that romance—and it was romantic, right up to the end—got me through 9/11, through the devastation of a city I loved and a life I thought I had nailed.

My last romance changed my life again…I met my husband through an online dating site soon after moving back to San Diego. My hesitation about meeting online was made easier by the fact that he was a military aviator and was deployed when we “met” – so we were pen pals first! We fell in love through email. He is an incredibly talented writer, and I found a kindred spirit in so many ways with him. The first time we met in person he was home on leave, and he stood at the bottom of the elevator at the San Diego airport as I flew back in from a ski trip on New Year’s Day, 2003. I was nervous, but the coolest thing happened—our hearts already knew one another. We got married 18 months later. If that isn’t a romance, I’m not sure what is…

The power of romance changed my life many times, and I bet it has changed yours. Since we only get to experience a few of these earth-shattering emotions ourselves in our lifetimes, romance novels give us a vicarious path to sharing that elation over and over again, through the characters. Romance on the page is a force to be reckoned with—one that brings joy and excitement, as well as conversation and friendship to those who share their love of romance novels with others.

I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than writing about the incredible connection that happens between people as they find romance!

 

Delancey recommends:

Selena Laurence  –  selenalaurence.com  –  @Amazon

Writes contemporary romance that always has a fresh edge or twist!

 

Sierra Simone  –   www.authorsierrasimone.com  –  @Amazon

This woman has a way with words—her solo-written books are literary in prose and so, so hot! The co-written books she’s done are full of quick-witted banter (and are also super hot!)

 

Kayti McGee     –     kaytimcgee.com   –    @Amazon

Hands-down hilarious books that bring the snorting laugh into the hot romance!


Questions for the Author:

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

I have a couple readers who have made a point of finding me at events I’ve attended who have told me stories about the way books like the ones I write have changed and improved their lives. These are rabid romance fans, people who choose this genre over all others, and I’ve begun to see that part of the reason they’ve chosen to give us their time is because in the world of romance, it isn’t unusual for authors to give that time right back! We tend to be accessible, available, and (in my experience) enthusiastic about meeting the people who read our books.

The last time one of these readers sought me out to thank me for the books I write, I was humbled. And I realized that this is the power of romance—that my words could bring so much joy to someone that she would feel compelled to make a personal connection with me to tell me. Romance brings people together in so many ways beyond the obvious!

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

I don’t know if it qualifies as an object exactly, but my family has a cabin. It’s in the Sierras, in Kings Canyon-Sequoia National Park. My great grandfather built it in 1921, and my grandfather grew up there with his brothers. He died before my mother was born, but his mother made sure she spent her summers at the cabin, running in his footsteps and learning the things that were important to him. My mom did the same for my brother and me—we slept in the one place that has always held the echoes of family for us (we don’t have much family otherwise…) Now my boys spend part of their summers there, climbing the rocks their great-grandfather climbed, sitting in front of the same fireplace where he grew up… Everything about the cabin holds memories not just for me, but for generations of my family.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

“Maybe” … I’ve never been one to take no for an answer. I believe that life is what we make it, that we create our own opportunities and our own luck. And I’ve spent my life trying to create chances for success. When I want something, when I’m trying something new, if I can get past “no” and arrive at “maybe,” it means there is room for success. Maybe usually leads to “yes!”

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

Maybe it’s because it has the word “Power” in the title… But I have read The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay numerous times. It’s about apartheid, and love, and struggle – and it was the first book I read as a child that I felt really changed the way I thought about something.

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

During my college internship, I worked at a PR firm for a woman named Tara. The job was supposed to be a lot of database maintenance and behind-the-scenes help, but she identified early on that I enjoyed writing, and she gave me a couple little assignments. She encouraged me and told me often that writing was a great strength of mine, and in so doing, she built me into a confident professional writer. I haven’t had a job since that didn’t incorporate writing, and I’ve developed a lifelong love for using words to inspire, influence and inform. I don’t know Tara anymore, but I think of her almost every day.

 

Main Drawing:

Delancey is generously giving away an ebook copy of Mr. Big.  To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST Sept 3, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away another copy part of the US 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.

 


Delancey Stewart is an award-winning writer of contemporary romance.

She has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She’s been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a direct sales representative for a French wine importer. But she has always been a writer first.

A wife and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler and story reader. She tackles all these efforts at her current home outside Washington D.C.

 

Learn more:

www.delanceystewart.com  |  Facebook  |  Twitter @DelanceyStewart  | Instagram

 

Buy Delancey’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.

(Delancey 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

Sara Flynn – Lessons In 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 Relief of Finding Romance

I came from a challenging childhood. Abuse of all kinds was rampant. My yardstick of what to expect from a man was extremely low.

If a man said he loved me, didn’t hit me too often, didn’t chase me around the living room wielding an axe or a butcher knife, I was trained that I should be grateful that he saw something worth loving in me.

Then I had children. First, a beautiful daughter with brown eyes, with flecks of green. Then, a baby boy whose brown eyes were so dark they almost looked black. And they would look at me, their faces tilting toward me, like buttercups to the sun.

I would watch them sleep, their thick, dark lashes fanning across their flushed, plump cheeks, so innocent, so trusting. Trusting me to create a home of safety for them. One filled with peace and kindness.

The weight of that responsibility sometimes felt crushing.

When I read the newspapers in the mornings, the world seemed such an unforgiving place, full of meanness and cruelty and vice. The bad news was overwhelming, and more often than not I wanted to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head.

I didn’t, of course. I was a mother. My children didn’t ask to be born, and it was my responsibility to be there for them.

Quite by accident, while I was in an airport enroute to or from a movie location, I stumbled across an Amanda Quick romance novel, Mistress.

Well, what a relief.

I stopped reading the newspaper daily and started reading romance novels instead—romance novels with strong, opinionated heroines, with men who valued them, not in spite of, but because of the women’s strength and uniqueness.

In the beginning, I was especially partial to romantic suspense, I think because bad things would happen, but love and kindness would always triumph! I could relate. Now I’ve branched out and also enjoy other romance genres.

Romance novels taught me that it was okay to expect more from a relationship. They helped get me started on the journey to my own personal Happy-Ever-After, and my children brought me the rest of the way. In protecting and defending them, I learned how to protect and defend myself, how to stand strong, how to say no and how to leave a challenging marriage.

Some people say that romance novels give women unrealistic expectations of what life has to offer them.

I disagree.

I think romance novels educate women like me. Let us know we have a right to be treated with respect and love. We have a right to be an equal voice in a relationship. We have a right to enjoy our bodies and the act of making love. We are given the tools, a yardstick with which to evaluate the men we decide to allow into our lives.

This, to me, is the true power of romance novels. And it gives me great joy to add my voice to the vast array of romance novels out there, available to be savored and enjoyed.

 

Sara recommends:

Clearly, I recommend Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle

Jayne has a zillion books that have been on the New York Times bestseller list, and I’ve read them all.

jayneannkrentz.com    –    @ Amazon

 

I also enjoy Eloisa James, especially her, Desperate Duchesses, Essex Sisters and Fairy Tales Series.

www.eloisajames.com   –   @Amazon

 

Sherry Thomas’s The Fitzhugh Series is wonderful.

www.sherrythomas.com   –    @Amazon

 

Sarah MacLean’s The Rules of Scoundrels Series is a great group of reads.

www.sarahmaclean.net   –   @Amazon

 

And, of course, I love Lisa Kleypas, her contemporaries and historicals. I’m especially fond of her Bow Street Series.

www.lisakleypas.com    –   @Amazon

 

I also recommend L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. (I know this is six authors, but I couldn’t resist!)

 


Questions for the Author:

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

I attended the RT Booklovers Conference for the first time this spring. It was a revelation. The entire hotel was filled to the brim with romance readers, romance writers, romance audio artists, cover models. I loved the joie de vive, how we all were loud and proud about our affection for all things romance. One of my favorite memories was the Smart Bitches Trashy Novels session. (smartbitchestrashybooks.com) It was like a noisy slumber party with gummy bears and a room stuffed to the gills with passionate romance readers, all of us calling out the titles of our favorite books and why we loved them. So many genres I never even knew existed. And, oh my, how everyone’s face glowed when they spoke about the books they loved.

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

My mother, who recently passed away, gave me my grandmother’s engagement ring. I wear it every day, and I feel her love and presence with me.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

One of my favorite words has always been the word cozy, and it’s been a lifelong goal to create and relish the luxury of a cozy life.

There was a man in my past, with whom I was passionately in love. My heart broke a little when he informed me that cozy was his least favorite word in the English dictionary. For him the word meant suffocation, lack of air, loss of freedom, musty old ladies and tea. “No,” I said, feeling quite desperate. “It means a warm house and tasty food in your belly, and love and laughter, and safety and comfort and money coming in to pay the bills!”

“Bah,” he said. “I hate the word.” To my much younger self, hearing that was like a blow to the belly, as if the essence of me was what he hated.

Now, my beloved husband, Don, he loves the word cozy! And we are heading toward our seventeenth year of happy-ever-after.

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

Things touch us for different reasons. What I flashed to when I read this question was Lorraine Heath’s When The Marquess Falls (A Hellions of Havisham Novella). I read it on the plane to the RT Convention and found myself crying. The reason this novella sprang to mind is because I disliked Marquess of Marsden in the previous novels, quite strongly, actually. I didn’t like the way he talked to his son or his son’s fiancée. I felt he shared inappropriately. I almost didn’t purchase the novella because it was from his POV, but I needed something to read to take my mind off the fact that I was in a plane hurling through space.

So to find myself, not only caring about the Marquess, but crying over his loss was a weird sort of happiness after I had dismissed him. I loved being surprised. Love it when such a surprise happens in life, or in books.

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

My acting teacher, Peggy Feury, changed my life. She saw something in me and believed in me, and gradually I began to see something in myself. She passed away in 1984, and I still miss her.

Main Drawing:

Sara is generously giving away a copy of SOLACE ISLAND to one lucky reader (winner’s choice, e-book or paper).  To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST Sept 3, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away more copies as part of the US 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.

 


She may be best known for her acclaimed Golden Globe-winning lead performance in the movie “Agnes of God,” but Meg Tilly is taking on an exciting new persona these days, as debut romance novelist Sara Flynn.

After successfully publishing six standout young adult and literary women’s fiction novels, the Canadian American actress/author decided to write the kind of books she loves to read—romance novels. Her first romance, SOLACE ISLAND, debuted at the 2017 RT Booklovers’ Convention in Atlanta, where Meg, as Sara Flynn, co-emceed the popular romance fan convention’s awards ceremony.

Set on an island in the Pacific Northwest, SOLACE ISLAND tells the suspenseful story of a woman, dumped by her business partner/fiancé during her bachelorette party, who discovers a rewarding new career, romance and threats on her life in an idyllic vacation community. Two more Sara Flynn romances set on Solace Island will follow.

At the age of 14, the multi-talented Tilly started dance lessons and developed into a gifted ballet dancer. After she danced in the movie “Fame,” a serious back injury forced her to give up ballet, and she turned her creative energy to acting. Moving to Los Angeles and studying with renowned acting teacher Peggy Fuery, she subsequently landed television roles and then her first film, “Tex,” opposite Matt Dillon. Shortly thereafter she booked the role of Chloe in “The Big Chill.” Then came her performance in the title role of “Agnes of God.” Tilly’s portrayal of a novitiate nun who confesses her involvement in a virginal conception, opposite Jane Fonda and Anne Bancroft, garnered that Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.  Other film credits include “Valmont,” “The Two Jakes,” “Leaving Normal” “Masquerade” and “Body Snatchers.”

In 1994, Tilly decided to take a break from acting to focus on raising her children. She continued to study and grow as a writer. SINGING SONGS (Penguin/Dutton, a Barnes & Noble Great New Writers Selection 1994) was her first novel, followed by another adult novel, GEMMA (St. Martin’s Press).  Her first YA novel, PORCUPINE (Tundra Books), was shortlisted for a BC Book Prize, The Canadian Libraries Association Best Children’s Book 2008, Foreword Magazine Book of the Year, Ontario Library Best Bets 2008 and was a finalist for the Sheila A Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. Next came FIRST TIME (Orca), a 2009 Golden Eagle Award Nominee, a 2009 YALSA Quick Picks and 2010 CCBC Best Books. Her fifth novel, A TASTE OF HEAVEN (Puffin Books) was shortlisted for the 2014 Libris Young Reader Book of the Year, a 2014 Diamond Willow Award and won the 2014/15 Chocolate Lilly Award. BEHIND THE SCENES (Puffin) was published in 2014

Tilly has sold screenplays to MGM/UA, Sony Pictures, NBC, Kidro Productions and ATO Pictures.

When her youngest child went off to college, Tilly decided to dip her toe back into the acting world. She landed the role of Lorna Corbett in the popular Canadian “Bomb Girls” series (2012-2014), which won the Gracie Award for Best TV Drama.

Tilly has been seen most recently opposite Brad Pitt in the 2017 Netflix feature film “War Machine.”  Directed by David Michod, the film is a satire of America’s war with Afghanistan and the people running the military campaign.  Tilly plays the role of the almost-too-patient wife of the General (Pitt).

Tilly has three grown children and resides with her husband in the Pacific Northwest. She is currently at work writing that second Solace Island novel.

Learn more:

saraflynn.com     |    Facebook     |     Twitter @SaraFlynRomance

 

Buy Sara’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.

(Sara is contributing to the US 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

Nancy Herkness – The Mighty Romance Novel

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 Force of Romance

I’m tired of romance novels being dismissed as fluffy, trashy, or trivial. I’ve been reading and writing romance for many years and the lack of respect for our beloved genre continues to shock me. Because I know that it is a powerful force to be reckoned with just by reading the emails I’ve gotten from readers.

A couple of years ago, I received a message that included a photograph of a well-worn original mass market paperback edition of my first novel, A Bridge to Love. The photo came from the wife of a now-retired soldier; she had just found me on Facebook and wanted to tell me how much the book had meant to her. Turns out she had bought it shortly after it was published (in 2003) at the PX on the base where her husband was then stationed. At the time, she had two very young children, their little family moved quite often, and her  husband was frequently away on dangerous assignments. Whenever the stress and loneliness threatened to overwhelm her, she re-read A Bridge to Love, both for escape and for comfort. She said it had gotten her through many difficult times. I cried.

Another reader emailed me to say that she was battling cancer and her niece offered to read to her. They found one of my books on Amazon, bought it, and “giggled like teenage girls” as the niece read it aloud. They finished it in one night. The reader thanked me for giving her and her niece some time when they did not dwell on the future; when they were just happy. She said that she hoped her niece would carry that wonderful memory with her always. Tears were streaming down my cheeks by the end of that email.

My books are far from unique in this. Many other romance writers I know have received notes from readers in equally difficult situations who have found strength and solace in our stories. Which leads me to wonder…

How can anyone dismiss romance as being unimportant or insignificant when it has the power to bring comfort and even joy in times of stress, loneliness, and serious illness? What could be mightier than the ability to lift the spirit, to give the gift of laughter, to make bright, vivid memories when all seems dark and hopeless? That is one heck of a super power!

 

Nancy recommends:

I just discovered Elicia Hyder’s Soul Summoner series and gobbled all the books up one right after the other.

Elicia Hyder  –  www.eliciahyder.com  –  @Amazon

 

I’d like to give a shout-out to my three wonderful critique partners and recommend their fabulous books:

Miriam Allenson’s delightfully funny For Love of the Dame with its perfectly incompatible opera singer heroine and baseball player hero.

Miriam Allenson   –  www.miriamallenson.com   –   @Amazon

 

Lisa Ann Verge’s lushly romantic historical adventures, the latest of which is Wild Highland Magic, which features a heroine with faery blood and a hot Highland warrior hero.

Lisa Ann Verge   –   www.lisavergehiggins.com   –  @Amazon

 

Jennifer Wilck’s new release, the warm, emotional Addicted to Love, whose damaged hero struggles with a tragic past. He won my heart in a big way.

Jennifer Wilck  –  www.jenniferwilck.com  –  @Amazon


Questions for the Author:

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

Since my essay basically answers this, I’ll refer you back to it. :o)

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

I love my little slice of a pallasite meteorite. My husband gave it to me when my second novel, SHOWER OF STARS, was published because the book features a meteorite hunter hero (no, it’s not science fiction, LOL). I’ve been fascinated by outer space ever since I was a kid and got addicted to Star Trek (the original one!). I loved the concept of this ship, filled with people from all nations—and a half-alien!—who banded together to explore the vast universe. The vision of Earth as a unified whole was such a happy one that I found it irresistible.

Now every time I look at my real live rock from outer space, it reminds me of the wonderful, hopeful idea of all Earth as one peaceful, unified planet. It’s an idea that I find especially necessary to hold onto in these dark, difficult days.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Hope—the thing with feathers, as Emily Dickinson calls it. The only thing left in Pandora’s box after she released all the evils into the world. Without it, how could we face the days when nothing seems to go right in our personal lives or on a larger stage? How could we get up in the morning if we didn’t hope that today would be better? “Hope” is right up there with “dream” and “love” for me, as a necessity in everyone’s life. Without it, there is no progress, no resiliency, no future.

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

Jane Eyre is the book that started me down the path to writing romance novels. I read it when I was very young, and I was enthralled by the emotional intensity of the story. I know everyone loves Mr. Darcy but he will always play second fiddle to Mr. Rochester in my heart. To this day, I still love a dark, powerful romance hero in historical clothing.

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

I owe Maxine Kumin, my creative writing thesis advisor at college, a huge debt of gratitude. I had never considered writing as anything more than a fun hobby. She was the first person who treated me as a serious writer, so I began to believe that I could be. She also asked me why I never wrote about horses since I loved them so much, a question that eventually led to my Whisper Horse series. Although she was a Pulitzer-prizewinning poet, Maxine cheered the publication of my romance novels with great enthusiasm. I mourn her passing.

 

Main Drawing:

Nancy is generously giving away an autographed copy of THE VIP DOUBLES DOWN. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST September 2, 2017. (US only)

She’ll be giving away more copies as part of the US bundles, and was particularly generous in sponsoring the tote & cup giveaway – thanks so much, Nancy! (more info. below)

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

 


Nancy Herkness is the author of the award-winning Wager of Hearts and Whisper Horse series, published by Montlake Romance, as well as several other contemporary romance novels.  She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award.

Nancy has received many honors for her work, including the Book Buyers Best Top Pick, the New England Readers’ Choice award, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.  She graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English literature and creative writing.

A native of West Virginia, Nancy now lives in a Victorian house in suburban New Jersey with her husband and a goofy golden retriever.

For more information about Nancy and her books, visit www.NancyHerkness.com.

 

Learn more:

www.NancyHerkness.com   |  Facebook   |   Twitter@NancyHerkness     |   Pinterest

 

Buy Nancy’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.

(Nancy 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

Lucy Parker – Humanity At Its Best

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

Taking The Best Parts With Me

I grew up with romance. I ‘shipped characters before I knew what that meant. I had decided opinions on whether Mary Anne and Logan were right together, or if Elizabeth could do better than Todd, or if Kwame and Gi on Captain Planet might make a better couple than Linka and Wheeler. I devised epic love stories for my dolls. My one Ken doll in a sea of Barbies might have lost multiple body parts thanks to my older brother performing emergency surgery, but an anatomically-incorrect, headless man with one leg has never been so popular with the ladies. As I got a bit older, I moved on to teen romances and then, with an introduction to Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, and the discovery of a pretty racy Mills and Boon that I read under the covers and found fantastically scandalous, it was straight into adult contemporaries and historicals, and I never looked back.

One of the derogatory comments that I sometimes see leveled against romance novels is that they give young minds a skewed perception of the world, that a person who grows up reading romance will have unrealistic expectations and expect everything to be hearts and flowers and a happy ending. Romance novels have shaped the way I see the world, but they’ve helped to open my eyes, not clouded my vision with a rosy filter. These books have influenced my passions and my knowledge and my sense of self on a fundamental level. I’ve learned about history from romance novels, about human nature, and different cultures, and disabilities, about prejudice and hate, and love and grief. I’ve seen parts of the world and sides of humanity, both beautiful and intensely ugly, that I would have been blind to without authors letting me borrow their thoughts, feelings and experiences through their words.

When things in the world, in your house, in your body and mind, are bleak and challenging, the relief of enveloping yourself in a comfort read is indescribable, but it’s not necessarily about escaping into a fantasy world. We see universal truth in fiction, and that’s partly why it’s comforting. Romance novels are not only a celebration of the romantic love between two people, or three people, or five shape-shifters, they’re a celebration of humanity at its best, a much-needed reminder when in life we’re so often faced with humanity at its worst. To love another person more than yourself, to sacrifice, to want to give up but to persevere anyway, to forgive, to hold on to hope when all else is gone: that’s the powerful message in romance, and it’s one we all need, now as much as ever. I don’t read romance and then walk through life looking for the fairy tale; I read those stories and I take the best parts of them with me, a thousand fictional voices opening up new ways of thinking and seeing.

 

Lucy recommends:

Robin D. Owens   –     robindowens.com     –   @Amazon

The Celta’s Heartmates series is one of my favourite fated-mate series, and just romance series in general. Awesome, multi-layered world-building and great romance; there really isn’t a book in the series that I wouldn’t recommend. Also, people have telepathic animal “Fam” companions, that are sometimes adorable and sometimes annoying as hell, and live in sentient houses, and I like it all. (www.robindowens.com)

 

Julianne Donaldson   –      www.juliannedonaldson.com     –   @Amazon

Julianne Donaldson’s “Edenbrooke” is one of my favourite historical romances. It’s not a steamy romance, but it’s such an intensely romantic romance. (www.juliannedonaldson.com)

 

Laura Florand –     lauraflorand.com     –   @Amazon

Laura Florand has a writing style entirely her own; it’s lyrical and gorgeous and paints such vivid pictures of the French settings that you can almost smell the flowers and taste the chocolate and see the sexy Frenchmen. She has two main series, but my favourite is probably the Chocolate series, because—well, chocolate. And brooding chocolatiers. (www.lauraflorand.com)


Questions for the Author:

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

For about a year in my early twenties, I struggled badly with depression. I felt like I’d lost myself, lost all sense of passion and enthusiasm and humour, and everything that made me me. It was like I’d fallen into a black hole and I couldn’t imagine ever being able to climb out again. But there is always a flicker of light in what can seem like relentless darkness; there’s help and there’s hope. In Kresley Cole’s book “The Master” (a fave!), the heroine and hero say to each other when they’re hurt: “Better things await you”. That reminder that good things are still yet to come, however bad it seems right now, is something that I think everybody should hold on to. I don’t remember the moment I realised I was climbing out of that black period, but I do remember, with crystal clarity, the day I was able to pick up one of my keeper-shelf books again and see the story, not just words on a page. I didn’t so much lose myself in the plot, then, as find myself. I loved—and still love—those characters so much that it was like reuniting with old friends, and being able to actually feel the emotions with them again was a gift that I haven’t taken for granted since.

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

This would literally look like a case of one’s (wo)man’s trash being another (wo)man’s treasure. In the top drawer of my jewellery box, I have the pink foil wrapper from a Barbie chocolate lollipop that I ate a long time ago. It was a Valentine’s Day present from a so-called anonymous admirer — a.k.a. my Grandad. From the time that I was very small until the year that he died, my grandfather would deliver unsigned cards and chocolates to my cousin and me on Valentine’s Day. He had a Santa Claus level of stealth going on; neither of us ever caught him doing it, but the gifts appeared every year without fail. And when I look at that wrapper, I remember him, I hear his voice, and I see the twinkle in his eyes when he blandly denied all knowledge of where that lollipop came from. And for the rest of my life, that love is what Valentine’s Day will mean to me.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

“Believe.”  To believe in yourself, your goals, your dreams, your loves, that you’ll reach where you want to be, that there will be amazing times, that you’ll get through the bad times, that things will be okay. Believe.

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

Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of the books that’s stayed with me the longest and the hardest. I read it at school when I was a child, it profoundly affected me, and I’ve never forgotten it.

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

There are so many people I could credit here, but in the spirit of books, I’m going to go with J.K. Rowling. In my teens, the Harry Potter books gave me my first experience of having so much anticipation waiting for a book to be published—and it was such a global phenomenon; there was really nothing like the build-up to each HP release. But more significantly, to me, was that Harry Potter was my first real fandom; I made a group of online friends who still offer me incredible support today. I’ve written stories since I was little, like most writers, and, also like most writers, I wanted to be a published author from a very young age. However, there’s a huge jump between wanting that in theory and actually finishing a full novel and putting your work out there, and the friends I met through J.K. Rowling’s books played a huge part in giving me the motivation to try.

Main Drawing:

Lucy is generously giving away a signed paperback copy of Act Like It for the main drawing, (open to everyone). To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST September 2, 2017. 

She’ll be giving away e-copies as part of the the international bundles.

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

 


Lucy Parker lives in New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes, and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and art galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer’s block. When she’s not writing, working or sleeping, she happily tackles the towering pile of to-be-read books that never gets any smaller.

Thankfully, there’s always another story waiting.

Learn more:

www.lucyparkerfiction.com      |     Twitter @_LucyParker

 

Buy Lucy’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.

(Lucy is contributing to the 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