Day 27 Megan Mulry – A Cause for Celebration

Celebrate Romance!

roulette
Whee! This is like rolling off a log! I have so much to celebrate when it comes to romance novels. I never really thought of myself as a very effusive or sentimental person, but I tend to get all sappy about how romance novels have totally changed my life. Here’s how it happened:

I have always been a very late bloomer and romance is just one more example of it. In my late 30s, I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (also known as a molar pregnancy, when the sperm and egg join, then decide to be a disgusting cancerous mass instead of a baby—it’s kind of grotesquely interesting). Anyway—setting aside my weird fascination with medical anomalies—my doctor caught it right away and took it out and that was that. Moving right along.

Wait. What? Talk about a wake up call! After that happened, I looked around at my life and I wanted to LIVE IT! I wanted to have fun and enjoy every minute of my life. And I realized that all the books I was reading were depressing, gripping, painful narratives. Beautifully written, yes. Fun, no. I felt like Rex the dinosaur in Toy Story. I didn’t need to read about near-death experiences, or cancer, or the sadness of life, “I lived it!”Dinosaur

My friend Dorothy was like, “Seriously! Enough with the suicidal literary fiction! Here! Take these romance novels!” Little did she know she was changing my life. I can still picture the small bag on my front bench in my former house…where it sat untouched for many days. I was pretty snooty about the whole thing. I was too smart for trashy books, doncha know. (Too clever by half, more like it.) Whitney, My Love was in that bag. I get chills just typing that. WHITNEY MY LOVE WAS IN THAT BAG! I mean? What the hell? It’s just a romance novel, right? No big deal. Whitney is selfish and immature and Clayton is autocratic and overbearing and HOLY HELL I could not put that sucker down! Some sort of floodgate opened and I was a ravenous beast of romance-novel-consumption. Julia Quinn? Yes. ALL OF IT. Amanda Quick? Yep. MORE MORE MORE. Eloisa James? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. I was hooked.

Over the next few years, I basically ingested book after book after book until I had one of those Malcolm Gladwell saturation moments and realized I quirkyhad internalized all of these tropes and story arcs and plot devices and character conflicts. Then I realized I had about a million stories in my head. And then the top of my head sort of blew off like one of those Monty Python/Terry Gilliam illustrations:

Since that moment, romance novels have permeated every aspect of my life. I have some of the closest friendships I’ve ever experienced because I read a book and wrote a fan email and ended up meeting the person in real life and *POW* next thing I know I’m actually FRIENDS with people like Miranda Neville and Anne Calhoun. All these wonderful writers are also real people and—*cue spinning and singing “Love is all around” and quoting lines from Love, Actually*—it’s amazing.

Anyway, there’s a lot to celebrate! I’m finishing up my tenth book (or so) right now, and have also tried my hand at shorter form novellas and that sort of thing, so I have this incredible sense of artistic expression and transformation on a daily basis. I’m getting PAID to do this thing that I just…love. That’s crazy talk, right? But beyond all that, there are (drumroll please) readers. OH. MY. GOD. I get emails (I’m not inundated or anything, just saying) from people who have actually read my books and loved them and told me why they loved them and how my books made them HAPPY. See where this is going? It’s actually within our power as human beings to elevate someone’s mood, to make someone else—someone we’ve never even met, someone who might be going through a really shitty time—happy. I’m not sure I can think of a greater cause for celebration than that.

Thank you so much, Bobbi, for organizing this annual celebration so we can all remember why and how we came to this incredible genre!
Recommendations:
Instead of recommending new authors, I thought I’d recommend some of my old skool favorites. When I first came to the romance genre a few years ago, I was so grateful for reader-friends who directed me to these classic romance writers.  

Anne Hampson wrote the very first Harlequin Presents, Gates of Steel. Hampson, Anne Mather, and Violet Winspear are the holy trinity of vintage steelHarlequins. In some respects, these early books feel very much like cultural artifacts, but in other ways they are fresh and brisk: the language is incredibly spare and beautiful; the stories are told almost entirely from the heroine’s point of view; and they offer a soupçon of emotional cruelty that appeals to my more, er, twisted proclivities.

 

Betty Neels is what I like to think of as a rom palate cleanser. Her stories are squeaky clean on the surface, but the emotional depth and underlying power exchange between hero and heroine are subtle and satisfying.

 

Carole Mortimer…is my hero. I sat next to her at the big book signing at the Romantic Times convention in New Orleans in May and everything about her is charming and wonderful. After I meet writers in person, I always want to run out and read one of their books. OH MY GOD! Mortimer has written over 200 (and is still at it!), so there is a wide scope to choose from. Most recently I loved Uncertain Destiny (aka Eyepatch Hero, recommended to me by Jennifer at Romance Novel News). In some way, Mortimer’s books bridge the emotional gap between the early Harlequin Presents of Hampson/Winspear/Mather and the contemporary romances we enjoy today.

 


 Questions for the Author:

Describe the most daring, adventurous, inspiring thing you ever did:

I think by conventional standards of “daring adventure,” skydiving was the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done. I highly recommend it. Nothing in my life will ever match the rush of slowly-slowly-slowly leaning out of a propeller plane at 15,000 feet and then—WHOOSH—plummeting headfirst to earth. When death and life are that intimately entwined, it makes for a very inspiring experience. Oh, and the first time I let someone read my first manuscript—same feeling of terror and exhilaration.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer (did you always know or was there a specific moment):

A little of both I guess. I always knew I wanted to spend my life with the written word, but it took me a while to get around to fiction. When I was younger I wanted to be a restaurant and movie critic (because of what I imagined to be all the free eating and movie watching, of course. Protip: Nothing is free.). Then I wanted to be an editor, thinking that would be a cool way to be a part of the whole creative process (it was). Then I got into the physical reality of books and did a fairly intense bookbinding course and contemplated applying to a book arts graduate program. Then I decided I didn’t like having my true love (books) being a part of my occupation (dirty money). Cue hysterical laughter. So I got a business degree and worked for an investment bank. But as far as the actual writing of romance (after all the groundwork that I didn’t even really know was groundwork at the time: the reading, the editing, the books, the business degree) there was a specific moment…an ah-ha second when I was holding a beloved romance in my hand and thought, “I can do this. I want to do this. This is what I am meant to do!”

Tell us about THE book or A book that changed your life.

There were academic books that opened my mind (Virginia Woolf), changed the way I looked at the world (Alice Walker), made me feel things I never thought I could feel (Lionel Shriver)…but the book that actually changed my life was Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught. That was the book I was reading when I fell in love with romance novels—head over heels, palm tingling, heart racing, falling in love. I fell in love with reading them, fell in love with the idea of writing them. Now, whether Whitney was responsible for that epiphany or just the last straw tossed upon a lifetime of events that were quietly leading me there, I don’t know. But it was the actual reading of that book that somehow crystallized the realization in my mind. I no longer wondered what I would be when I grew up. I knew. I was a reader and writer of romance novels.

Megan Mulry is generously giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a hard copy of the first Harlequin Presents, Gates of Steel by Anne Hampson.


mulryMegan Mulry writes sexy, stylish, romantic fiction. Her first book, A Royal Pain, was an NPR Best Book of 2012 and USA Today bestseller. Before discovering her passion for romance novels, she worked in magazine publishing and finance. After many years in New York, Boston, London, and Chicago, she now lives with her family in Florida. You can find her online at meganmulry.com

 

Buy Megan’s Books:

 

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day 25 Megan Hart – Something For Everyone

Whatever Blows Your Skirt Up

Ahhh, romance. Rippling muscles, wind-blown hair, bustles getting rustled and hey, is that a billionaire over at the next table? Maybe. In the great wide world Flyingof romance novels, billionaires abound.

But so do cowboys, doctors, military guys, firefighters, airline pilots, librarians, nannies, scoundrels, ladies of the manor and accountants. Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance with an accountant as the hero or heroine, which only means that it’s time someone writes one. Because here’s the thing about romance — there’s room in our beloved genre for all sorts of stories.

Long past are the days when bodices were merrily ripped hither and yon. Lovers of historical romance will tell you, however, that while other subgenres might be taking up more slots on the bestseller charts, stories of days gone by are still popular. The difference? Now instead of being limited to merry olde England or maybe the highlands of Scotland or the American Wild West, historical readers are as likely to find stories set in the Roaring Twenties or against the backdrop of World War II.

Likewise, while the days of “no really means yes” have also gone (fortunately) by the wayside, romance novels have continued to tempt their readers with all levels of heat from sweet to steamy. Erotic romance, stories in which the sexual situations and language are an inherent part of the plot, are still romances. So are stories in which the hero do no more than kiss or hold hands before closing the bedroom door firmly and taking their intimacies off the page.

In other words, these days, there’s something for everyone.

So to those who claim they don’t read “those” kinds of books, I say, what kinds of books, exactly? Romance encompasses so many time periods, storylines and COSMO_1114_9781460332924_LettingGoheat levels that there’s really no way to lump them all together. Sure, there are cliches and tropes, but show me a genre that doesn’t have its own set of time honored plot contrivances or shortcuts. Go on. I’ll wait…

I thought so.

If you haven’t read a romance, or you haven’t read one lately, there’s no better time to start. Maybe you want a super sexy tale of passion in a contemporary setting with realistic situations but a guaranteed happy ending — give Lauren Dane and Jaci Burton a try. If you’d like to dive into the past, Stephanie Draven’s 1920s erotica might be for you, or Tessa Dare’s Regencies. Fans of science fiction and fantasy adventure settings don’t have to feel left out, either, not with Kit Rocha’s dystopian novels or Natalie J. Damschroder’s excellent adventure stories that often feature a paranormal twist. You can even slake your thirst for comedic mayhem with Misty Simon’s Poison Ivy series.

And if you simply can’t find the kind of romance you’re looking for, maybe now’s the time to start writing one of your own!


Questions for the Author:

Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

The most daring, adventurous and inspiring thing I ever did was to become a parent. It seemed like a swell idea at the time — get married, have some kids. It’s the thing people do, right? So I did it. And believe me, I’m not one of those moms whose children became everything. There were many times I spent time locked in my closet screaming into an armful of clothes in order to keep my sanity (which inspired me to write Precious and Fragile Things.) My children are the most important and wonderful thing I have ever done. They continue to awe and inspire and infuriate me every single day. I don’t recommend children, as a whole, but mine are pretty fantastic.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

When I was twelve, I figured out that people wrote books for a living. I’m not sure why it suddenly become so clear to me at that age, when I’d been an avid reader since age four or so. But suddenly I realized that not only could I make up stuff for a living, I could possibly be paid for it! From then on, I knew I wanted to be a writer.

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

The Stand, by Stephen King. I read it when I was twelve. It was the book that made me realize that people wrote books as their jobs.


MeganMegan Hart writes books. Some of them use a lot of bad words, but most of the other words are okay.

She can’t live without music, the internet, the ocean or her iPhone. She can’t stand the feeling of corduroy or velvet, and modern art leaves her cold. She writes a little bit of everything from horror to romance.

 

Buy Megan’s Books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day 16 Lisa Renee Jones – Dare to Believe in Romance (and Yourself)

Romancing Storage Wars and Indie Publishing

My real life STORAGE WARS story, and how confidence and indie publishing changed my life….

Back in Austin, Texas my husband was going to school while I had left the corporate world behind. The Physical Therapy No In BetweenClinic he was a PT at had gone under and we both knew to chase our dreams (his to be a doctor and me to keep writing) we had to find another way to make money.  Keep in mind this was YEARS before the Storage War type shows. So, I stumbled onto an article about buying and selling storage auctions. So hubby decided to go for it and so it began for us….

Hubby (Diego) bought a unit and I just knew he paid too much.  I was furious. We were broke. How could he spend that kind of money? Oh yes. We had a battle. It was an icy afternoon at our house. Well, he was right and I was wrong. Turns out we netted great money from that unit in two weeks. We were lucky and we needed that money desperately at the time. All units are not that good though and surely not that good that fast. Needless to say, he was hooked and we dug into the biz. Thus the joys of leaving a corporate CEO job like I did to chase a dream. And it’s dirty work these storage units. Really dirty. You go through these units and find disgusting things and try to figure out what is worth money. Well, we ended up with our house and garage filled to the rim constantly.

One unit came along when Diego was feeling sick. So he stumbled onto a journal in a box and snuggled onto the couch while I was writing. From there it was pretty funny. He’d sit up suddenly and say ‘Someone died next door and the police are there!’. Then later, ‘Oh my God, she’s pregnant again.’ We did a lot of laughing. Well, Diego decided I HAD to write a story about a storage unit with a mystery. He bugged me for YEARS to do it. Well, finally I wrote a proposal. The proposal was loved by one of my editors but her boss had to read it. It took a year and though her boss liked it — the line it would fit was closing. So that left me with a decision. What to do? I I belong to youended up talking to a couple of editors I knew and one who I quite like a lot offered me a deal. I really felt I clicked with this editor but…it didn’t feel like the right deal. There were changes talked about and despite a very fast release date I just didn’t feel good about the changes. It was also a low offer and I had been making a lot of money in indie. Since indie had been kind to me, I felt I had a good grip on how to reach out to readers and share with them a story that was special to me. So that’s how it became self-published. I dared to say — I’m going on my own.

From there I sought out an agent who had a strong foreign rights department to help me sell those rights. Louise Fury read the story and immediately asked if she could take it to some top people in publishing. I agreed but I’d planned a August 24th release and advertised and spent money on promotion. We agreed I’d go ahead and release. Before I did we had interest but the deal wasn’t closed as we had numerous publishers involved. So I released on my own August 24th and the talks with multiple houses continued. We closed verbally ten days after release and they took over not long after that. The offer was about 500 times the offers I declined before going indie.

Louise had already gotten the book to the film/TV agent so that process moved quickly since she also really was (is) behind the series. We then had movie interest that went far enough to have talks with producers but the TV deal we ended up with is what worked for this series. Had I not believed in myself and taken that first deal I do not believe I would have ended up where I am now. The changes would have changed the very thing the TV folks love about the series. I can also say that having an agent/s passionate about this project made all the difference in the world. My advice to writers is find that shared passion with an agent and find an agent who is ambitious and savvy.

And there you have it. My real life Story War story!

Read all about the TV deal and INSIDE OUT SERIES HERE.

Recommendations:

I adore Karen Marie Moning. She writes such depth in her characters and her world building is amazing. Love her alpha men.

Lauren Hawkeye is an indie author who also writes for NY as Lauren Jameson. I love her characters and her range.

Galen Foley writes beautiful historicals with the most amazing prose.


 Questions for the Author:

Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

I went to a Swingers Club in Paris when I’m SO far from that it’s like a kid in a tofu factory. It was research and the good thing about this was I could write my characters genuine shock when she’s tricked into entering very realistically.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I started out acting but life got in the way. When I decided I was crazy for leaving my dreams behind I started acting again, and ended up doing some script writing. That inspired me to write a book, since I am a huge reader, and love books.

I remember working on a script and the next day I was in an airport and grabbed a book. I thought — THIS is how I can express myself without having to relocate.

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

Two answers:

WHO MOVED MY CHEESE —  it talks about how you have to continue to grow and change to evolve or you’ll self destruct. It tells the story in a fun, laughable way and it’s a profound message told in a simple way.

IF I WERE YOU — It’s book 1 of my series that has changed my writing life and is in development for cable TV. It changed my life.

Lisa is generously giving away a complete set of print INSIDE OUT novels for U.S. readers (entry form below) and a set of ebooks for International readers (enter here).


 

lrj smNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, now in development for a cable television show, to be produced by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland). In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists.

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned a multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing woman-owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on twitter and facebook daily.

Buy Lisa Renee’s Books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aug 31 Read-A-Romance Month Comes To A Close!

The End of the Beginning

Wow! This month went so quickly!

And so, here we are, on Aug 31, 2013 – the last day of the first-ever Read-A-Romance Month! I think it went pretty well, and I hope you do too.  I couldn’t have asked for better content; for more wonderful authors; for a better start to this amazing even that I hope will only grow bigger and more widely known.

I would like to thank all of the wonderful writers who wrote essays for R-A-R M, provided prizes and acted as the best spokespersons for the romance genre that anyone could ask for.  And to you fans, whether you commented on one post  or all 93, or none but read one or a few – thank you for being here.

Thanks to the terrific publishers who have offered such great prizes!

A few of you have sent me emails and fb messages or asked questions via the comments, so let me answer these here:

Contests! – The way I set up the drawings – and the generosity of the authors – made getting names out there more complicated than I expected. This is the one aspect of R-A-R M I did not keep up with well, but it also does not have a deadline (like posts, and coordinating with authors). The names have not been posted anywhere, and only the first week of winners have been contacted. I will send out emails to winners between now and Sept 14. I apologize for the delay, but I suppose if that’s the worst thing to happen in this amazing month, I won’t complain, and I hope you’ll be patient and sympathetic.

Please remember that you have until 11:59 EST tonight (Sat, Aug 31st) to register the win Suzanne Brockmann’s ARC of Do or Die (send an email to brockmann@readaromancemonth.com), the proposal critique from Patience Bloom (send an email to PROPOSALS@readaromancemonth.com) a Kindle Paperwhite, or the Grand Central Grand Prize of an iPad mini. (More details at the Awesome Contests page.) Also, the international drawing will be open until the same time.

“Bobbi, what will you do?” – Well, the running joke is that I will be sleeping for a week, or a month, and then figuring it out. I just bought a domain name and will be considering what I want to do with it. If you’re a fan of R-A-R M and would like to keep in touch and be able to follow me when I launch the next adventure, I hope you’ll follow R-A-R M at facbeook.com/ReadARomanceMonth.

“Will there be a R-A-R M next year?” Absolutely! (The other running joke – or mantra, depending on the day – is, “An intern for 2014.”)

“Will the essays stay up?” Yes. At this point there are no plans to take any of the content down. (Please spread the word. Never hurts to have more people find this site as we prepare for next year.)

“I simply loved R-A-R M. How can I support you?” Thank you so much. Please, if you think of it, continue using the links on the site for Amazon and B&N. You can use any link to get into those sites, and once you’re there, even if you wander around, if you buy something I will get a small percentage. I would be so grateful. xoxo

And check out the Cafe Press site. I’ll be putting a page on this site – maybe later today – so you can see Victoria Colotta’s wonderful designs a little bit better. (I’m including some below.)

Thank you again, everyone! What a wonderful month. No drawings from this page, but let me know if you have any other questions. Happy reading, friends – and may your lives be filled with romance! Keep in touch, and if nothing else, I hope to see you again for Read-A-Romance Month 2014! xoxo

mug4

T-shirt 4

T-shirt 2

 

mug1

Day 31 Connie Brockway – Adventure & Participation

Romance – Dreams, Respite & Entertainment

I think I was predestined to write romance novels. I mean, really. “Constance Brockway?” It sounds like one of Eleanor Hibbert’s pseudonyms. Even as a little kid, I loved a love story. In fact, I penned (okay, painstakingly printed) my first romance in the first grade and a thrilling little fable it was, too, about a boy squirrel who wants to befriend a girl chipmunk. You might not see romance in there, but I assure you in my little girl mind there was love brewing in that tree. Thanks to a fond mother, I still have that story stowed away in a cedar trunk.  No Place for a Dame by Connie Brockway

Even then, writing a romance in its most nascent form, I understood that there is simply nothing more gratifying than a well told story of romance. Because that squirrel-chipmunk story encapsulated what all romance authors and readers look for in a story, the emotional choreography between two people, or in this case rodents, trying to overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties (in this case, a trans-species one) in order to be together.

My romance bent started early and it stayed with me. All through high school and college and grad school, my ferocious reading habit included a hefty number of romances. Other books challenged my perceptions and fostered a love of learning and the written word, but romance nourished my sense of adventure and cemented in me a determination to never settle for less in any relationship. It’s not an accident that after a male friend told me he’d dreamt I was locked in a tower and he’d rescued me, I threw caution (and probably my jeans) to the wind and embarked on a passionate love affair with him. Thirty some years later, that particular romance is still going strong.

And later in my life, when I finally decided to test the worth of my degree in creative writing, I spent all of twenty-four hours contemplating the old saw “write what you know” before starting to tap out a romance. Because I know romance.
Romance novels transcends class and race and gender by tapping into universal tropes. They encourage us to dream, provide a respite from the daily grind, and fuel the imagination.

A romance novel offers unapologetic, substantive, transportive entertainment that requires no apology and no explanation. For those readers who enjoy it, romance is not only a helluva good time but, more importantly, it’s their chosen way to spend their time.

Now, I like canning jam, I like sewing, and I like gardening. I like the sense of accomplishment I get when proudly surveying neatly weeded rows of tomato plants or jars of bread-and-butter pickles. But a sense of accomplishment is not a substitute for the rich worlds explored between the pages of a book, and it can’t compare with the thrill of slipping into a heroine’s skin to feel her breathless anticipation on experiencing that first kiss with her hero.

In romance novels, we walk avenues closed to us in real lives, heading out on a journey of  both discovery and sacrifice, a love story where everything is hyperbolized, the men manlier, the women more vibrant, colors richer, the dialogue wittier, the passion stronger, the sex better.

And because this is the written word, every reader subtly changes and molds the story they read by becoming an essential part of it. It is the individual reader’s personal history that informs every scene. Your imagination provides the background noise in a ballroom, the quality of light in a predawn love scene, the timbre of the hero’s voice, the scent in a night blooming garden. A romance novel not invites only reader participation; it relies on it.

I don’t know how many more romance novels I will write. Soon after starting my third novel, I distinctly remember telling a friend “I think I have five romances in me.” That was twenty books ago. Romance kept and keeps surprising me. I keep imagining tales that need telling and conjuring up heartbreaking, hilarious, sophisticated, broad, raunchy, demure,  passionate people to inhabit them. And when I run out of those? Well, there’s a squirrel and chipmunk in my mom’s cedar trunk…

Recommendations: A MAN ABOVE REPROACH by Evelyn Pryce, set in 1830s London. It won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award – Romance and will be published in October by Montlake. I’d also like to mention the late, great, inimitable Edith Layton.


 Questions for Connie:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

The multicolored pencil holder my daughter made in art camp when she was 7 because it’s the multicolored pencil holder my daughter made in art camp when she was 7.

If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)

UFF-DA starring Cate Blanchett (it’s my fantasy , so leave me alone!)

What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?

Season tickets to the Jungle Theater (local top-notch playhouse).

If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be? (Any picks for romance novels in general?)

The “You are my Egypt” scene from AS YOU DESIRE.


 

You are reading this essay at ReadARomanceMonth.com. Be sure to visit the About Read-A-Romance Month to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are celebrating the romance genre during the month of August.

Connie is generously donating three copies of NO PLACE FOR A DAME to US readers. To enter the domestic contest, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both.  (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.)  Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 31 to be eligible, though winners will be announced at a later date.

Also visit the Awesome Contests page to register this week to win a Kindle Paperwhite and “A Month of Romance” (31 books) from Amazon Montlake, or  the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!

If you love Read-A-Romance Month and decide to buy recommended books, please consider using the links from the site. Every bit helps and I do get a tiny percentage of sales. Thank you for considering it!


Connie’s early years are shrouded in mystery. What we do know is sketchy and incomplete but will be presented here in lieu of another way to fill space. Brockway claims to be a native of either Minnesota or New York. Neither has been confirmed. She also claims to be thirty-two. No one has even bothered looking into this.

We do know she was attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota when she became involved with medical student, David Brockway. At some point they apparently legalized the relationship because when next she surfaces, she is sporting a new surname and a daughter.

A decade of relative anonymity ensues– except for the infamous alien encounter photographs which have, of course, now been debunked. No substantiated records occur until 1994 when Brockway published her first book, PROMISE ME HEAVEN. Since then she has written over twenty full-length novels and anthology stories, bringing the current number of her books in print to over 1,500,000 published in thirteen countries.

Brockway has twice received coveted Publishers Weekly starred reviews and unqualified recommendations from Library Journal, as well as two starred reviews from the Library Journals organ, BOOKLIST. Her 2004 title, My Seduction was named one of 2004s top ten romance by that same industry magazine.

An eight time finalist for Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award, Brockway has twice been its recipient, first in 1998 for My Dearest Enemy and in 2002 for The Bridal Season. Her books regularly appear on national and regional bestseller lists and are frequent Doubleday/Literary Guild selections.

Today Connie lives in Minnesota with her husband David, a family physician, and two spoiled mutts.

 

Buy Connie’s Books on Amazon