Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!
If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!
I’m A Hope Junkie
“I’ve never read one of those,” she said.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a story about random people making snide or derogatory comments regarding romance novels. Who has time for that? (Certainly not me.) No, this woman had genuinely made it through three or four decades of her life without ever picking one up.
Not one. Not ever. Not even Jane Austen in high school.
And no, I told her when she asked. Romeo and Juliet does not count.
The truth is, I never know what to say to these people. Mostly, I want to tell them how sorry I am that they’ve missed out on so much goodness for all these years. Then I want to give them an off-the-top-of-my-head reading list of my favorite twenty romances of all time. Or of the past month. Whichever works—and whichever I think they migbht be likely to read.
Here’s what I know about romance novels: it’s impossible to read one you like and not want more.
If I’m being completely honest, I wouldn’t know how to live without romance novels. (Thank goodness I don’t have to try!) I’m a hope junkie through and through, and that’s all because of the things romances have taught me over the years. Where else can you learn—again and again and again—that openness and vulnerability are strength? That there is nothing inside of you so dark or distorting that it renders you unlovable? That no matter how broken your heart and desperate your circumstances, you can trust in love and it will light the way toward something better?
A friend of mine once told me that after her father died, her grief counselor actually prescribed romances to help her through the loss. Because no matter how bleak and terrible things feel, no matter what we’ve lost—even if it’s ourselves—romances promise us that it will get better. That we will get better. That no matter what, we can be better.
And best of all, romances deliver. Happily ever after. Who wouldn’t want that?
“You’re missing out,” I told my new friend. And then I proceeded to tell her—in a whole lot of detail and with many asides that included websites and book links and follow-up emails with entire lists of favorites—exactly how and why.
Megan Crane recommends:
I’ve become a huge fan of Nicole Helm nicolehelm.wordpress.com (at Amazon) over the past couple of years. I happened upon Flight Risk at a signing and was hooked on her brand of complicated family dynamics, astonishingly compelling characters, and writing so smooth you never quite see the emotional gut-punch coming. I’m also completely obsessed with her Big Sky Cowboys series —it just keeps getting better and better!
I recently picked up I, Porn Star by Zara Cox zaracoxwriter.com (at Amazon) and thought I’d give it a read on a plane trip. I’m surprised I didn’t incinerate the entire plane! I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down—and in fact, only did because I was forced to disembark at my destination. This book is a smoking hot romp, brilliantly written and conceived, and I’m pretty much a fan girl forever!
I also love my Harlequin Presents, and not only because I write them as Caitlin Crews. This year the Harlequin Presents line is celebrating the 100th book of two of our authors. Can you imagine?
Sharon Kendrick sharonkendrick.com (at Amazon) write some of the best books around. I recommend any one of the two hundred Harlequin Presents they’ve written whole-heartedly and the best part? If you like them? You literally have hundreds to glom.
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
Oddly enough, it was after my grandmother died. My grandparents were married for 67 years, separated only by WWII and his death. And seven years after he died, she followed him, surrounded by family in her own bed. I like to think of them up there dancing, young and beautiful and in love forever
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
I’m lucky enough to have a whole lot of people in my life who not only read romances and watch romantic movies, but love to have long, impassioned conversations about them. What’s better than that?
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
There’s something about getting to the top of a hard hill with someone you love. It makes the view from the mountaintop that much sweeter.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
I have a weakness for pretty much any Kristen Ashley (at Amazon) couple, but I think my favorite is Tate and Lauren from Sweet Dreams I read it first in ebook. Then bought the print book so I could reread it in either format, at will, which I do. Often.
But I could also say the same about EVERY SINGLE BOOK in her Dream Man series…
Tell us about your dream date.
I’m torn between wanting to be flown to one of great cities of Europe to be wined and dined like some kind of princess… and going on a long camping/hiking trip like walking the Milford Track in New Zealand or hiking the whole of the Appalachian Trail. It must be the Gemini in me. I like extremes.
Megan Crane is generously giving away 5 print books to US friends and 5 ebooks to international readers (winner’s choice from Megan’s available titles).
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the *Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST August 27, 2016. Good luck! ***International friends, be sure to include your country in your comment so we know to include you in the international drawing. Good luck!
(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. 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.)
USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than sixty books since her debut in 2004. She has been published all over the place, including at each of New York’s Big Five, and was one of the four founding authors of boutique powerhouse Tule Publishing. She’s won fans with her women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance, from small town to international glamor, cowboys to bikers, futuristic Vikings, and beyond. She sometimes teaches creative writing classes in places like mediabistro.com and UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, where she finally utilizes the MA and PhD in English Literature she received from the University of York in York, England. She currently lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with a husband who draws comics and animation storyboards and their menagerie of ridiculous animals.
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