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
My Path to Romance, a Surprising and Joyous Journey!
Many of you probably discovered romance in your teens through your mom’s stash of romance novels. I instead discovered romance through my daughter in 2007, and purely by accident. It all started when she wanted to read the Twilight series. Incredulous as to what drew people to read such tales, I went to the first page, just to check it out and to see what all the commotion was about. Seven days later, I’d read all four books and it was like a switch in me was flipped ON. I went to my library and started reading women’s fiction, mysteries, but I truly found my match in romance! Why? Because I found romances brought joy, laughter and love to my heart. I was inspired by how heroes and heroines overcame obstacles, plus so many other positive traits—and of course the happy endings!
Reading romances made me realize that we’re not alone in certain experiences in our lives. Also, I think subconsciously certain events inspire us to become better people; they inspire us to build a sense of community, to offer a helping hand to our seniors, friends and family. We also learn a great deal of respect and appreciation for others, such as the brave servicemen and women who protect us each day. Romance authors take us on many journeys – sometimes back in time, or to different worlds, or even right here in the present. Their books evoke emotions with such ease that sometimes for a few hours we forget that what’s happening in the story isn’t real. We go through highs and lows with the characters, cheering them on or shedding tears of laughter, joy or sorrow with them. But, in the end, love always prevails.
You may enjoy the sweet kind of romance novels, with kisses that melt your heart or those where passions ignite the pages in flames. It’s not a one-size-fits -all kind of genre. I quickly discovered the difference when I went from the Twilight Saga to books by Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Cherry Adair and Lisa Kleypas, just to name a few. Yes, there’s drama, action, suspense and happily ever afters, yet the love stories all unfold in very different ways. While I now know where my comfort zone lies, my book choices satisfy what I’m in the mood for, whether it be for historicals, contemporaries, YA, mysteries, paranormals or military romances. So, whether you prefer reading novels that are one, ten or fifty shades of romance, there’s a book for everyone.
Something amazing happened on my quest to find books in my comfort zone. I felt like Goldilocks and the three bears. I read and read in search of my “just right” authors. I enjoyed all of Suzanne Brockmann’s books. Prince Joe will forever remain a favorite, as well as Robyn Carr’s Virgin River. But in 2010 I discovered one particular author and did something I’d never done before. I wrote my first fan mail. Her books had all the elements I was looking for in a story, and I felt the need to let her know. Honestly, I thought I’d get a response in a month or maybe never. To my surprise she replied the next day! I remember replying, “OMG!” and proclaimed to be her BFF- Biggest Fan Forever. This author was Kristan Higgins. She was so friendly and down to earth, just like her stories. She invited me to follow her on Facebook. That’s when her daily posts and recommendations opened my eyes to the world of romance writers. I discovered what a supportive, generous and talented community this is. The romance author community inspired me to create Lorelei’s Lit Lair on Facebook and other social media spots to share with others the amazing authors I discover each day.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Authors are real women, like you and me. Yes, that’s right. They all have different personalities, hobbies and interests. Some are shy, others are outgoing. Many are moms with kids and have pets. Some are even grandparents.They also have good days and bad days. Some enjoy baking, gardening, sewing, running, boxing, etc. Some are afraid of hummingbirds, while others are fascinated with penguins. I’ve noticed most love wine and chocolate. I mention this because we often forget authors are real people, like us. I’ve met authors who have day jobs and still find time to write amazing stories. Social media has been a wonderful resource to learn more about favorite authors. Have you connected with an author lately?
Without a doubt, I can truly say that the anecdotes I share, the causes I’ve supported, the prizes I’ve won, the joy and laughter that fill my days and most specially the friendships I’ve made with readers and authors around the world, would never have been possible if I hadn’t received Kristan Higgins’ reply. Romance novels have changed my life in tremendous ways, brightened my days, and become my little escape from this busy and hectic life. Just so you know, Kristan and I haven’t met, but I thank her greatly for leading me to so many amazing friends and authors I have met since 2010. ♥
Reading books by these lovely authors has given me hours of entertainment filled with hope, love, laughter and joy. I hope you participate and experience the joys of romance by connecting with this amazing group of authors and see how they may impact your life as they have mine.
I have to share this story with you. One time I met a lady at one of those Mall Kiosks. I told her about so many wonderful authors and books that I’d read and started giving her recommendations, but then she said, “Just tell me which one is the best and I’ll read that one.” You know the deer in the headlights stare? No one had ever asked me that question before! After standing there speechless for a few seconds, I could not pick just one. I said to her “The best author or book is the one that makes you happy”.
So, here are some authors who have made me VERY happy and I hope they will do the same for you!
(We are doing something special this year with Lorelei, our “token reader.” Lorelei has recommended 31 authors—another month’s worth! We have linked to their sites for their RARM content below, and you can also find one each day on Lorelei’s Facebook page, which is also linked in the sidebar on the right. Thanks Lorelei, for all your great work on this, and your fabulous support of Romance! And readers, enjoy. xo)
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
I’d say the first time my name appeared in a book! My name was selected to be a secondary character in Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron Series! I’m the town BAKER! I danced all around the house and replied to Kristan: “Get out of town!” I was so thrilled! Many authors ask their fans for name or pet suggestions to include them in their stories. And yes, you may get a mention in the acknowledgements. 😀 I can’t tell you how humbled, honored and excited I felt.
Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
My grandmother’s house. The years go by and I’ve moved around a lot since I was a kid, but her house is a place that’s always there. It brings happy memories of growing up, going to college and visiting with my kids. My grandmother is 93 and my kids have the joy of knowing their great-grandmother. We visit every year and cherish new memories every time.
Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
Nothing brings me more joy than to hear the sound of laughter, especially of babies. To my kids – if you are reading this, I am not ready to be a grandmother just yet!
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?
Well, It’s not so much the book but the experience. When I used to work as an assistant in elementary, the teacher would let me read to our 3rd grade students during snack time. The kids would sit in a circle around me. I picked one of Junie B. Jones adventures. As I read aloud, I found a scene so comical, I started laughing so hard I couldn’t finish the sentence. I’m talking tears and belly spasms. The kids were staring at me, waiting for me to continue. Then one by one each started bursting into laughter, not because of the story, but at my hysteria , they didn’t know yet what was so funny. It took me about 10 minutes to compose myself (and the kids), and I managed to finish the sentence. The bright smiles on those kids faces will forever remain a happy memory.
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 a big fan of Evans and Hemsworth, I mean they’re super heroes, right? But, let’s not underestimate the superpowers a look or a smile can have on a person. So, my first choice would go for Chris Pine in this list—he has the most mesmerizing blue eyes and the cutest smile, sometimes mischievous, too.
However, my best pick for a Chris is actually Christopher Reeve. (Sorry to be a rebel, but….)
See that picture over there to the right, with the snow outside the window? We went skiing in Vermont on Christmas Day, 1985 and I had the privilege of meeting the lovely man himself. We’d actually arrived very early, put our bags to the side to save the table, but when we returned after skiing, it was taken. When I looked at who sat at our table, I realized who it was: Superman. Christopher Reeve.
He was sitting when I approached him, right there, behind me on that bench. But then he rose and…..I was in awe, and amazed, indeed. I asked if he didn’t mind taking a picture. I was so nervous, I forgot to ask for an autograph. At least this pic came out well. No digital back then.
He was so gracious, allowing us taking a picture during the holidays while he was with his family. After everything he went through and all the years of hope and pain, I’ve never forgotten that day and what a true gentlemen and nice person he was. A true real-life hero.
(I was 18, by the way, though I look 14 or something. I’m the one in blue. A wonderful memory. Sigh…)
Lorelei and three author friends have generous giveaways for three lucky U.S. readers (apologies to international friends):
** Award-Winning Author of Military Romance, Heather Ashby is donating a signed copy of UNFORGETTABLE and a $15 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
** Award-Winning Author of Medieval Romance, Catherine Kean is donating signed copies of Dance of Desire, My Lady’s Treasure, and A Knight to Remember to one lucky winner!
** Award-Winning, National Bestselling Author, Nancy Robards Thompson is donating a set of 8 books in her Celebrations. Inc. series and a $10 Amazon gift card to one happy winner!
Lorelei is the Creative Director of Lorelei’s Lit Lair on Facebook, Twitter and other social media spots. She is a former Special Ed. paraprofessional and current band mom volunteer. Happily married for 27 years and the mother of 3 wonderful young overachievers, Lorelei enjoys Zumba, music, reading and socializing. She is a fervent advocate of the romance and writing community, and a believer of paying it forward and spreading the love with a perpetual smile.
You can connect with Lorelei at Lorelei’s Lit Lair on Facebook and Twitter where you’ll find great books recommendations, giveaways, deals, chats about favorite authors, fun posts and other interesting topics with fans of similar interests.
Buy Lorelei’s suggestions:
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