Remembering Cathie Linz

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.

Welcome!

Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

ReadARomanceMonth.com   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

“Through a myriad of ways, Cathie demonstrated to library staff just how important romance novels are to readers and why libraries should care about them.” ~ John Charles

Cathie Linz, An Impact We’ll Never Forget

Showing the love, spreading the love.

A number of books will release tomorrow, but there is one in particular I hope you’ll buy.

Cat Devon’s Tall, Dark and Immortaltall-dark-and-immortal-cat-devon

If you’d never met Cathie Linz, either online or in-person, then you missed a rare treat. Cathie was a great writer, beloved friend, and a huge advocate for our genre who had an enormous impact on the way libraries carried and regarded romance novels.

In 2013, Jayne Ann Krentz did a lovely RARM post, and her recommended author was Cat Devon, Cathie’s current pen name. You can read Jayne’s post here which includes a link to Cathie/Cat’s own short post, which I’ve included here:

A Note from Cat Devon

Given my library background, I often speak to groups of librarians about the appeal of the romance genre. It is the largest yet often the least understood of all the genre fictions. I say that the appeal is the same as that of music by Tchaikovsky and paintings by Van Gogh. They all appeal to the emotions. And in our culture we tend not to value things with emotional appeal as much as intellectual appeal. Indeed, the accusation of being “too emotional” is seen as an insult.

The need for a happy-ever-after conclusion is more intense now more than ever, because daily we are bombarded with bad news and horrible situations. But to have hope that things will work out in the end, that happiness can be had is a powerful thing. Personally, I also love reading romances with humor because having a sense of humor has helped me through some very rough times. I’ve yet to hear anyone say they’ve had enough laughter in their life and don’t want to laugh any more.

I read my first romance novel when I was thirteen. It was a Harlequin romance and I still have it in my library. I can remember reading THE GENTLE PIRATE by Jayne Castle and WINDFLOWER by Tom and Sharon Curtis among others. My keeper shelves are filled with hundreds of wonderful romance novels that are favorites of mine. Non-readers don’t understand the need to keep a book once you’ve read it, but if it is a keeper then you have to save it and revisit it by rereading it from time to time.

The romance genre has such a wonderful diversity taking you from Regency England in one book to the Lore world of vampires and witches in another. Or you can travel to small town USA and bond with characters who become your fictional friends. Yes, I am a romance writer who writes paranormal romances with heat and humor. But I am also an avid romance reader and proud of it.

“Always and forever, Cathie is missed” ~ Christina Dodd

Cathie died this past spring, and I’ve asked a few of her dear friends and colleagues to sleeping entityshare some thoughts with us about this wonderful writer, librarian and advocate. She was a special person, and I know her friends would love to see her last book, releasing posthumously tomorrow, garner great sales, both in honor of her great contributions to our genre and in support of her family.

from Christina Dodd:

Cathie Linz was responsible for RWA’s Librarian’s Day both in its inception and in planning the event for years and she did it seemingly without effort. She was a friend and … she was a writer. She understood writing, she understood books, she loved the job and her creativity knew no bounds. It’s tough to lose someone who combines the abilities to get things done and to relate to so many people on so many levels. Always and forever, Cathie is missed. 

from Alison Hart

Cathie was one of the first writing friends I made…and we found each other when we went to a first writing conference (in Chicago, of course.  One of the early Love Designer conferences, if not the first.)  She was hugging one wall.  I was hugging another.  We were both terrified that someone would talk to us and find out we were Imposters.  We both knew we weren’t as good as anyone else…in fact, Cathie introduced me to a book on the Imposter Syndrome.  For 40+ years, we were both petrified someone would find out we really didn’t know how to write…we just kept hoping that we could fool other readers luck be a ladyand writers, because we couldn’t give it up. 🙂

 Another Cathie favorite memory for me was about Conference Therapy.  She called it Cat Therapy, but the issue was the same.  I often stayed with Cathie if I was attending a Chicago writing conference.  We both did ‘our own thing’ at every conference….but we’d go back to her house when it was over, crash on the floor in total exhaustion, and let her kitties come to us.  Invariably the cats would snuggle, nuzzle and purr…taking away all the conference-stress, while we could talk about everything we learned and heard, share about the authors we loved and the books we couldn’t wait to read….all while being kitty-coddled. 

from fellow librarian (and notable reviewer) John Charles

Twenty-five years ago, most librarians either quietly ignored romance novels or loudly scorned the genre. If you were a romance reader back then, you knew better than to hope that you might find the books you loved to read at your local public library. However, that changed when one person – Cathie Linz – decided enough was enough. As a romance writer (and reader herself), Cathie knew how important these books are to readers, and she vowed to find a way to change the perception of library staff towards the genre.

Cathie become the Romance Writers of America’s first Library Liaison nearly two tempted againdecades ago. Cathie coordinated training on the romance genre for library staff in the form of RWA’s annual Librarian’s Day as well as representing RWA and the romance genre at the American Library Association and Public Library Association national conferences. Through a myriad of ways, Cathie demonstrated to library staff just how important romance novels are to readers and why libraries should care about them. It is because of Cathie’s passionate efforts over the years that today romance readers can walk into their local library and find the books that matter to them waiting to be checked out.

from Jayne Ann Krentz

Cathie was a friend and I can tell you that her personality came through brilliantly in her writing.  She was witty, positive, warm-hearted and smart.  Those qualities are all there in her books.  Writing under her Cat Devon name she added a much welcome dose of zest and sparkle to the paranormal genre with titles such as TALL, DARK, AND IMMORTAL. 

Cathie also shared one very important insight about writing.  Sitting down to start a book is daunting.  But she knew how to savor the process.  There is a great deal of satisfaction, even joy, to be had when a single scene comes together or a few lines of dialogue sound right.  The trick is to appreciate those moments along the way.  Thanks, Cathie.

from Susan Elizabeth Phillips

One of my favorite Cathie stories….  She had just received a bad review.  Writers know the feeling.  You can’t decide whether to bang your head on the desk, cry, yell at your marine princesshusband, or lock yourself in the closet and curl up in a whimpering ball behind your dirty laundry. Not Cathie.  Her response, “That’s just wrong.” And that was it.  No teeth-gnashing, no self-pity.  “That’s just wrong.”  I love it!   (And have employed it myself many times since.)  Cathie was also a big believer in “interviewing” her characters when they gave her trouble. When I was having difficulty with one of my heroes, she told me to interview him—ask him what the trouble was and why he was being so difficult. I thought that was the stupidest idea I’d ever heard of.  Until I tried it.  Her technique let me unlock the key to the hero of First Lady, and I’ve used it many times since. 

 

If you’d like more information on Cathie’s life, impact and humor, I recommend these tributes:

The Booklist Reader     |     Library Journal

and this very fun interview on Heroes & Heartbreakers between Cathie & her editor, Jennifer Enderlin.

I will try to arrange a drawing for a few copies of Cathie’s books from her publisher (likely US only), but I hope you’ll leave a comment here or on the Facebook page (find it here) to honor Cathie’s contribution and legacy no matter what, especially if you appreciate the fact that you can find romance novels in libraries. Many thanks, Bobbi.

Please – Buy Cathie’s books:

Link to Cathie Linz titles     |     Link to Cat Devon titles

Thank you!

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!

Susanna Kearsley – Loving Love at First Sight

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.

Welcome!

Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

ReadARomanceMonth.com   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

The Joy of the Thunderbolt: Love at First Sight

It seems to be one of those things people find unbelievable: Love at first sight.

I can write about psychics and reincarnation and ghosts and my readers will generally Desperate Fortunegive it a pass and suspend disbelief for the sake of the story, but any time I have two characters look at each other and know  ̶  simply KNOW, beyond any conceivable doubt, that their world has just changed, I know some of my readers (and maybe a lot of them) will roll their eyes and sigh heavily and call it “unrealistic”.

Now, I never argue with readers. It’s their book, too, and it’s their right to sigh heavily all that they want to. Each reader brings to the book their own experience, their own beliefs, so if they don’t think thunderbolts happen, I can’t change their mind.

But I still hope that, once in their own lives, it happens to them, because it’s pretty wonderful.

In Italy they know it as the “colpo di fulmine”, and in France it’s called the “coupe de foudre”  ̶  quite literally “the lightning-strike”  ̶  because it’s just that rare, that unexpected, and that powerful.

It’s been around at least since Isaac and Rebekah, in the Book of Genesis, first lifted up their eyes and saw each other in that field at eventide, and it’s been a central trope of storytelling ever since.

Even Louis L’Amour’s tough-guy heroes aren’t immune to it, as clearly shown in this named of the dragonmoment when the hero of his book Westward the Tide first sees the heroine step down from a stagecoach:

“He was lifting a match to the freshly rolled cigarette when he saw her, and he looked past the flame into her eyes and something seemed to hit him in the stomach…Something had happened. The thought disturbed and irritated him. He had known many women, but none until now that he knew he had to have. Always before he could mount and ride away, and while he would often remember, he would never feel the urge to go back. Now, he knew that was over. This time he would not ride on.”

Unrealistic?

To some, I suppose. But I’d humbly suggest that the reason something gets to be a central trope of storytelling in the first place isn’t because it idealizes real life, but because it reflects it. Because we relate to it. That’s why the trope survives.

Let me illustrate:

I can still point out the high school stairs my first boyfriend was walking down, as the friend standing beside me was saying, “Hey, let me introduce you to…” And I just knew.

I can point to the place in another friend’s kitchen where, in my late twenties, I casually turned round to greet a guy I hadn’t seen for a few years. And at the moment he walked through that door, something hit me so hard and from out of the blue there’s no way to describe it EXCEPT as a thunderbolt. (Reader, I married him).

So when my characters look at each other and realize their world has just changed, roll your eyes if you must, I won’t mind. And I won’t argue, either, if you say it’s “unrealistic”.

I’ll just say that sometimes, as writers, we write what we know.

Susanna Recommends:

I’m going to go off-course here and give in to my Museum Curator side, and instead of recommending new writers I’m going to recommend a couple of older writers whose books are hard to find, which puts them in danger of being forgotten, and that would be a shame because they’re both amazing.

Lucilla Andrews (Read her Wikipedia article here) wrote medical romances drawn from her own experiences as a nurse in wartime and post-war Britain. My favorite of her books is The First Year, but they’re all good.

And anyone who knows me knows my love of Jan Cox Speas ( jancoxspeas.com ), whose Bride of the MacHugh and My Lord Monleigh set the bar for all Scottish-set romances to follow. Keeping the voices of those who’ve come before us in our genre alive is as important, in my view, as encouraging and amplifying the voices of those who are just emerging, so keep an eye out in used book stores and libraries for these older romances. (It looks like she has an ebook of My Love, My Enemy for $1.99 ~ Bobbi)

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

Well, my favorite author is, and always has been, Mary Stewart. So naturally when I went to Greece several years ago with my mother (who is responsible for passing on her Mary Stewart love to me), we had to make a stop in Delphi, to explore the spots where Mary Stewart set scenes in her book My Brother Michael. We took turns standing at the center of the ancient theatre in the ruined Temple of Apollo (Stewart fans will understand that one), and wandered round the winding streets, and lunched beneath the same tree where the hero and the heroine had shared a meal. And while I sat there, drinking wine and looking out across the gorgeous valley, it occurred to me that Mary Stewart must have sat in that exact same spot, to get the details she’d have needed to create that scene. That little realization, and the way it made me feel connected to my favorite author, knowing we had shared this view across the years dividing us, just filled me with a sense of joy and awe and wonder. It still does.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

I spent weeks doing research for one of my early novels, The Splendour Falls, in the SPLENDOURmedieval town of Chinon, in the Loire Valley of France. Every day I spent in Chinon brought me joy, and one of the most beautiful, romantic moments of my whole life happened there. So both the place and all the memories that I carry of it hold a special place within my heart.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Waves on sand. I’ve spent a lot of my life at the edge of an ocean or one of the Great Lakes. The sound of waves coming to shore is a sound that can instantly center and calm me, and one that I miss when I’m too far away from it.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

OK, this will probably sound crazy to anyone who’s not a writer, but one of the things that I gradually lost when I made the transition from being a reader to being a writer wasbitten-kelley-armstrong-paperback12-med1 the ability to completely lose myself in a story. The more I learn of my craft, the more I’m able to see the man behind the curtain, so to speak. When I read, I tend to read as a writer, so if I come across a line that makes me shiver, my first response is usually to flip back in the pages to see what technique the author used to DO that. Which doesn’t mean I no longer enjoy books, only that I read them differently.

So when I picked up Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten, several years ago, and settled in to read a chapter before bedtime, I was unprepared. I couldn’t put it down. At every chapter ending I just told myself, “OK, one more…” And when I’d finally finished it was after sunrise, time to wake the children up for school. It had been YEARS since I had read like that, been caught up in a story so completely I lost track of time and place. So even though I spent the next day sleep-deprived and bleary-eyed, it brought me so much joy to know that I could still find books that let me feel like that again, that let me simply be a reader.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

I’m going to be an outsider here, too, because although I’m fond of all of the above, my very favorite Chris of all remains Chris Cooper, who stole my heart ten years ago with his role in the movie Lone Star.

Susanna is generously giving away four signed copies of her latest book, A Desperate Fortune, two to US readers and two to international readers. To enter leave a comment on this post, on the RARM Facebook post or both (you can find that here) before  Sept. 7 11:59 pm CST. International readers, include your country in the comment.

Buy Susanna’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!

Sarah Morgan – The Light of Romance

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month. Be sure to visit ReadARomanceMonth.com every day in August to see what all 93 authors have to say about the Joy of Romance.

Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

Today is Harlequin Presents Day! We have three terrific Harlequin Presents authors representing this quintessential romance line. Enjoy!

Switching on the Light of Romance

Reading and writing romance makes me happy. Maybe it’s because I’m an optimist and 9780373785049_prdromance is an optimistic genre.  For that reason alone romance is frequently denigrated, but I’ve never understood why a book that leaves you feeling happy and uplifted is something to be dismissed. Why is it bad to do something that brings you joy? Romance is sustaining and comforting. Like most romance authors, I receive many emails from readers telling me that my books have helped them through hard times. In today’s demanding world people are constantly seeking ways to relieve the stress of daily living and find happiness. Some seek therapy and some use medication. My stress reliever is to read and write romance.

For me, the joy of romance isn’t just the writing or reading, it lies in the community of people, both readers and authors. Romance has connected me with people across the globe. It has expanded my horizons and enriched my life. I’ve had amazing experiences, discovered new places, made new friends and had plenty of laughs. Like most romance lovers I read widely, often choosing books by well-known authors, but I also love discovering a new-to-me author and one of my favorites at the moment is Sophie Moss ( sophiemossauthor.com ). I’m enjoying her contemporary romance series set on the Chesapeake Bay playing_by_greeks_rules(and I follow her in Instagram so I see the accompanying photos!).

In a world that is often dark and depressing, romance gives us hope.  Reading it is like switching on a light in a dark room.  And maybe some people would rather stay in that dark room, but personally I prefer to turn the light on.


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was eight years old and I’ll never forget the moment I heard my book was going to be published and I had a new career. I had a toddler and a new baby and I picked them both up and danced round the kitchen.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

IMG_0946Every year we take a vacation with family on the Atlantic coast of North Cornwall in the South West of England. It’s wild and rugged and completely beautiful. Breathing in the sea air and watching the waves break over the rocks is the perfect way to clear out stress. Being there makes me happy.


Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

The sound of heavy rain on the roof! I have an office at the bottom of the garden, surrounded by apple trees and leafy plants. It’s perfect in the summer when I can work with the windows open but I also love it when it’s raining. The sound is so relaxing!

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

Any book that totally absorbs me brings me joy. The last book I read and loved was Sarah Addison Allen’s First Frost. Everything she writes is perfect. (I love SAA too! My faves so far are The Peach Keeper and Lost Lake! ~ Bobbi)

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

I’ll have all of them. If I have to pick one, Chris Pine.

Sarah is generously giving away two copies of First Time In Forever, one to an international reader and one to a US friend. To enter leave a comment on this post, on the RARM Facebook post or both (you can find that here) before  Sept. 6 11:59 pm CST. International readers, include your country in the comment.


_MG_2212-1 (1)USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She has been nominated four years in row for the prestigious RITA ® Award from the Romance Writers of America and has won the award twice.

Sarah lives near London with her family. When she isn’t writing she loves spending time outdoors.

Find out more about Sarah:

 sarahmorgan.com       |      Facebook      |     Twitter 

Buy Sarah’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!

Dani Collins – Romancing Our Dreams

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.

Welcome!

Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

ReadARomanceMonth.com   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

Today is Harlequin Presents Day! We have three terrific Harlequin Presents authors representing this quintessential romance line. Enjoy!

The Joy of Writing Romance

I spent a lot of years in the dungeon of rejection. Twenty VowsOfRevengeOrigfive. It’s true. I was twenty-one when I rented a typewriter and sat down to write my first romance manuscript and I was forty-six when I finally got ‘The Call.’

I married and had babies and had other types of joy in my life in those twenty-five years, but I also felt a lot of sadness and discouragement and anger. I would still be stomping around, pouting that life wasn’t fair, if I hadn’t also done some significant soul searching in those same years.

I learned that writing romance couldn’t be my whole life. I looked around at friends with sick kids, some with infertility or divorce or other trials, and I realized that I was very blessed. The only heartache in my life was that I hadn’t sold yet.

It should be noted here that if I had not been a fan of romance, if romance heroines had not persevered through all those pages on my keeper shelf for more years than I had been writing, I may not have had the courage to keep trying. But romance novels had convinced me that happy endings were real and I was determined to find mine.

But, oh, there were cautionary tales, Dear Reader. Published friends had their own Seduced-into-the-Greeks-Worldproblems. The business side of writing isn’t all hearts and flowers. There are tough decisions and disappointments and pressures to meet deadlines and promote. There were times when I asked myself if publishing was really what I wanted.

Which was the key to finding my true joy. I made a conscious decision to embrace being unpublished. No judgment, no distractions, sometimes no real purpose, just exploration. I could write whatever I wanted.

More importantly, I realized that the gatekeepers of publishing weren’t stopping me from writing. It was up to me to decide whether I wrote or not, just as I had decided to sit down that many years ago and give this crazy idea a go.

I threw myself into the sheer joy that comes from unfettered creative expression. Those years of rejection ceased to feel wasted and became a time of practice and preparation. They became mine. Not something that had been deemed unworthy by an outside force, but something that made me happy every single day.

This attitude has served me well as I moved into the world of the published author. I did realize my dream. I even quit my day job a year and a half ago to write full time. I pinch myself every day that I am allowed to do this for a living.

But there are perils here. Scraped knees and the odd troll under a bridge.

I know that I will always have my writing, though. When I have anxious moments and convince myself my career is over, I remember that I get to sit down at my desk every day, regardless of whether I’m paid for it, and bring together two people who are meant to be together, but need help finding each other.

This lack of worry is very grounding. No matter what happens, I get to make my characters happy and that makes me happy.

Joyous, in fact.

Dani recommends:

Left to my own devices, I fill up my TBR pile with my fellow Harlequin Presents authors, but my daughter has turned me onto some New Adult books, which is how I found Carrie Lofty’s ( carrielofty.com ) Blue Notes. It’s simple yet complex and she does a wonderful job of bringing music alive on the page—always a challenge! 

A post by Megan Crane about Mariana Zapata’s (marianazapata.com) Kulti caught my eye. I one-clicked it, stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it and I’ve since reread it. Just thinking about it makes me want to read it again. Kulti. Dreamy sigh.  


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

One of my strongest memories of sheer joy was receiving gold stud earrings from Santa when I was ten. I had been begging for pierced ears and Mom kept telling me I had to wait until I was twelve.

There they were, however. Two years early. Permission to grow up glinted from a tiny jeweler’s box. It was scary but exciting, as all big moments in our lives tend to be. I was shocked, old enough to know that they were really from my parents, which suggested a kind of trust and encouragement of our inner dreams that we yearn for, right? And of course I was scared that the piercing would hurt!

It was also a lesson in delayed gratification, since we had to wait until the holidays were over to get the job done. I was put on this earth to learn patience, I tell you! It wasn’t too traumatic, however, and swabbing them to prevent infection was all on me. This left me feeling very grown up and independent. Autonomous, even. Always a good feeling. 

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

This one is easy. I live in my own personal paradise, near a lake in southern British Columbia, Canada. I’m a fresh water girl and the summers here can be blistering. Every day when the heat is on, I make a quick trip to the beach for a dip.

I love that it is not a day trip with a bunch of baggage. It is me in a bathing suit grabbing a towel and wearing flip flops, casually enjoying what tourists pay exorbitant sums to visit for a week or two. (Note: they’re not shy about changing in public. I totally pulled up in my car the other day to a big white butt flashing at me. It made me laugh out loud. He probably heard me.)

Two summers ago, my daughter was working up the road from our favorite beach. Every SSChristinaLake1afternoon when she was finished work, I would meet her there and we would do laps between the buoys and marvel at our luck, living in such a beautiful place. If I could take my camera out to that particular spot without getting it wet, I would, so I could show you how perfect it is.

You’ll have to get the sense of it from this. 

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Music soothes the savage beast in me, for sure. But honestly? The sound that has made me happiest for thirty-five years is the sound of my husband’s laugh. He has one of those laughs that is very hearty and genuine and makes you want in on the joke. Thankfully, he thinks I’m funny so I get to hear that sound a lot.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

I mention some recent books I loved under Recommendations, but Anne of the Island remains one of my favorite books of all time because that’s when she realizes she loves Gil. He’s so worthy of love and he almost dies, but he doesn’t! (Hand over heart. Blink several times. Sniff!)

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Anne of the Island was probably the first romance I ever read. I was hooked!

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

On my son’s recommendation, I began watching Parks and Recreation and I am so smitten with Chris Pratt now! It’s ridiculous.

Dani is generously giving away two signed print copies of her September Harlequin Presents, Vows Of Revenge, one to a US reader and one to an international reader. To enter, leave a message on this post or on the Facebook post (you can find that here) or both. For international readers, include your country in your comment so we know you’re international. ;o) Comments must be entered by 11:59 pm CST on Sept 6.


Dani Collins HeadshotAfter her long wait for a publishing contract, Dani Collins hit the ground running, winning 2013’s Reviewer’s Choice for Best First in Series from Romantic Times Book Reviews and going on to publish twenty titles in multiple genres in the next few years.

Along with passionate alpha males for Presents, Dani also writes small town rancher novellas, medieval fantasy romance, erotic romance, and romantic comedy. Writing used to be her hobby, now it’s her job and she’s a workaholic. You can find her at her desk.

Dani’s latest release is Vows Of Revenge, a September Harlequin Presents.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter here, or visit her online:

danicollins.com    |    Facebook    |    Twitter    |    Goodreads

 

Buy Dani’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!

Sarah MacLean – Sharing the Love

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.

Welcome!

Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

ReadARomanceMonth.com   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

Quick note: Back in the spring when I started asking authors if they’d like to take part in RARM, there were a few who said yes, but knew there was a chance they wouldn’t be able to. Jill Shalvis was one of those, and she let me know a good while ago she wouldn’t be able to participate. I’ve been so busy I wasn’t sure what to do about it, but Sarah MacLean graciously stepped in to write a post. (THANK YOU SARAH!) Enjoy. xo

The Joy of the Ones Who Get It

Two decades ago, 16-year-old me scribbled on some silly piece of paper for some long-forgotten high school career-day project that my dream job was “romance novelist.” I rogue not takenthink it is possible that I was half rolling my eyes at the dumb project–I was a senior in high school and I was obstinate as hell and I didn’t want to be told where to apply to college or what to major in when I got there. So romance novelist it was. No one would tell me what to do to get that job. That job wasn’t realistic.

It still isn’t, is it?

Romance novelist. What a weird job. When I tell people what I do, I often get the raised eyebrow. The wide eyes. The shocked “Really?”

But sometimes, I get a giant grin, and that “Really?” is more like “REALLY?!” And I know I’ve found someone who gets it. I’ve found a reader of romance, who cut her teeth (because it’s usually a her) on McNaught and Deveraux and Garwood and Phillips. And I know that the conversation won’t include the phrases “you mean like Fabio?” or “Like, smut novels?” And I won’t have to smile and laugh and hope that it ends quickly. Instead, I’ll be able to talk about love stories. I’ll be able to tell them about the new Lisa Kleypas (it’s great) and ask them if they’ve read Victoria Dahl or Louisa Edwards or Alisha Rai (they should) and compare favorite Sophie Jordan novels (Sins of a Wicked Duke, forever and always) and pull out my phone to order their favorite books there, on the spot.10428803

I’ll be able to talk about this world that we love, filled with larger-than-life heroes and even-larger-than-that heroines, and crazy plots and teary black moments and sigh-worthy endings. Because that’s what happens when romance lovers get together. There’s an overflowing sense of excitement at finding a kindred spirit. Someone who knows exactly why you love reading so very much.

I don’t know really why I write. Certainly not because it comes easy, the words flowing like warm honey the way they do for some. And not because it’s fun, as there are few things lonelier than staring at a blank page on a warm summer day, when you’d much rather go to the park or the movies or anything but this. And it’s not because I “can’t imagine doing anything else,” as so many others say. I can easily imagine doing other things.

Sure, there are days when it does come easy. When the words do flood the page and the story arcs and the characters motivate and the plot thickens and the love—because there is always love—blossoms. But truthfully…it’s not because of those days, either.

I write romance for the same reason I read romance–because every once in a while, I meet a person who says “Really?!” instead of “Really?” And because, in those moments, I get to experience the most valuable things in our world. Things like community and excitement and friendship and joy.

Sarah recommends:

Lisa Kleypas for making me wish I could write paintings like she does (see Lisa’s post)

Victoria Dahl for writing contemporaries that feel both sexy and important

Louisa Edwards/Lily Everett for her smart, romantic big city chef romances and her smart, romantic small town romances

Alisha Rai for writing erotic romance better than anyone out there

Sophie Jordan for the bathtub scene in Sins of a Wicked Duke (and everything else she writes)


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

I love big, outrageous movies. I love them with a giant tub of popcorn that I will never finish and a diet coke as big as my head. I love them in big, stadium-seats inside black as midnight movie theaters. And if there are explosions and outrageous kissing in ridiculous places, all the better. I adore them. And I have absolutely no problem suspending all disbelief and giving myself up to the joy of the adventure. There are a lot of these movies that make me tremendously joyful. Ocean’s 11. Casino Royale. Iron Man. Sherlock Holmes. I know, I know…these aren’t the best movies in the world, necessarily…but I love love love them. The movies bring me joy. A lot of it.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

London. I try to get there once a year, so I can wander through the old streets and eat Cornish pasties and sit on the bank of the Serpentine. It’s my very favorite place in the world, without question.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Lawnmowers in my parents’ neighborhood on Sunday mornings. It’s the sound of summer and, more importantly, summer vacation.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

I had the very good fortune to recently read a debut historical romance that is coming in Spring of 2016 — How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell. It brought me joy because it reminded me of those big old romances from when I was a kid–far reaching and romantic, emotional and smart, with a brilliant heroine and a swoon-worthy hero. It should be on everyone’s to read list for March 2016.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Oh, Chris Hemsworth for the muscles, Chris Pratt for the silliness, Chris Rock for the brilliance and Christopher Plummer for 8-year-old me who dreamed of being a problem like Maria.

Sarah is generously giving away A Rogue By Any Other Name and One Good Earl Deserves a Lover to one lucky US winner (apologies to international friends). To enter, leave a comment on this post or on the Facebook page post (you can find that here). Comments must be left by 11:59 pm CST on Sept.5. 

Sarah MacLean photoNew York Times & USA Today bestselling author Sarah MacLean wrote her first romance novel on a dare and never looked back. She is the author of historical romances and a monthly romance review column at The Washington Post, and the recipient of back-to-back RITA Awards for Best Historical Romance. Sarah regularly speaks about the romance genre, its history and its intersection with feminism in both academic and consumer settings. A lifelong romance reader, she is the creator and moderator of the 2500 member strong Old School Romance Bookclub on Facebook. Sarah lives in New York City.

Learn more at sarahmaclean.net or visit her on Facebook.

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