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.
The Many Powers of Romance
The prospect of writing about the power of romance is so wonderfully open-ended that — while delighted to be given the opportunity — I actually began to feel rather daunted. So I decided to ask for help. I went to my Facebook community.
Could you tell me why you read romance? I asked the folks on my page. What is it that pulls you to this genre? What is your experience reading it?
The answers, promptly and generously contributed, made me smile, nod, and get a little teary-eyed. Because everything they said is something I feel, too.
“When reading a romance you become entwined in the characters and the story; it can become an emotional roller coaster. However, the HEA at the end makes it worth it. Real life can be a struggle and having an escape to a place where you know it’s all going to be ok, no matter what, is a wonderful escape.”
“It’s good for my mind and spirit.”
“I like seeing how authors can take characters on many different journeys, and even though you know it will all end happily, the best romances leave you questioning how that could possibly happen. . . . I love reading about different times and places from different characters’ perspectives. What better way to feel like you’re there than to follow characters on very real emotional journeys like that? . . . Romance provides me with stories that I feel could be real. . . . Real people could have lived that story.”
“Reading romance is like watching a romantic movie, except you get to picture what the hero and heroine look like in your mind.”
“I want to go someplace I’ve never been, walk through the castle, stand on the side of the dance floor at a ball, feel the spray of the sea on the deck of a pirate ship, sit in a meadow of heather wrapped in a tartan. Take me far away to forget about the troubles of today whether it’s trouble in the world or anniversaries of loved ones no longer there.”
“I love romance because there’s a hopeful aspect to it. When there’s two characters you love, who fall in love, you know that, despite everything that gets thrown their way, they’ll make it through . . . together.”
This is the power of romance.
Nurturing the mind and spirit. Cherishing hope. Leaving our troubles behind for a little while. Magically conquering time and geography. Falling in love with characters we’ve come to know, and rooting for them every step of the way.
Moreover, that I could turn for help from this amazing, lively community, where we talk about books in general and romance novels in particular, share a laugh, sigh over a gorgeous photo, find inspiration, and, day by day, get to know each other — well, that’s the power of romance, too.
An author of dazzling imagination and talent. (And a huge inspiration to me.)
Can’t say enough nice things about Anna’s writing. As a fellow author I’m in awe, and as a reader I’m just swept away on a tide of enjoyment.
Her books are so smart and witty and fun! Am a superfan.
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment when you felt or were aware of the power of romance.
As I mention below, I read my first Georgette Heyer novel when I was fourteen, and even though I understood very little of the period terminology, and in fact barely knew where Bath, England was, I did manage to decode the erotic disjuncture between what the protagonists are saying, and how they’re actually feeling about each other — how underneath their witty and civilized conversations, and despite the elaborately codified manners of their time, a powerful, primal attraction is drawing them inexorably together. Talk about the sizzling power of romance! It caught me as a teenager — hook, line, and sinker — and, to my joy, has never let me go.
Tell us about an object that has powerful memories for you.
When I was dating the man who was later to become my husband, as February 14th approached — our first Valentine’s Day together — he asked me what I would like to have as a gift. Flowers, chocolates, jewelry . . . all floated through my mind as obvious possibilities.
But then I thought about what I really wanted. I said, “A bread machine.”
Did he say it was a silly idea, or boring, or an overly prosaic one? No, he went out and got me my very own Breadman. Which to me — then and now — is a powerfully romantic gesture. (By the way, we’re still happily married. And I still use my Breadman, too.)
Tell us about a word that has power for you.
That word is “yes.” To me it signifies hope, forward movement, possibility. So my ongoing goal is to say yes to change. To trying new things. To continue to learn and grow. And finally — yes to writing books which I hope others will enjoy and find meaningful.
Tell us about a powerful book you read this year (or one that’s so powerful you’ve never forgotten it).
The Book of Joy, which features the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu in conversation, is a powerfully inspiring treatise on finding balance and peace in a turbulent world. And I must also mention Sarah MacLean’s just-published Day of the Duchess: a beautifully written, powerful testament to the capacity to both change and wholeheartedly love.
Tell us about a person who’s had a powerful influence on your life.
Jane Austen has long been an influence and an inspiration to me as a reader, a student of history, and as a writer of historical romance. Set in an era during which women all too often had little real power, her books make a radical claim for a woman’s right to independent thought, for the importance of happiness, for the overriding value of love
over cool pragmatism. These are compelling — and fun! — issues I like to explore in my own novels set during this time, and I’ve got Austen to thank for boldly leading the way over two hundred years ago.
Lisa is generously giving away a signed print copy of You May Kiss the Bride, along with some postcards, a cover flat, and a charm necklace (which has a special meaning that’s revealed in Chapter 5). To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 17, 2017. (US only)
She’ll be giving away another copy (& swag) as part of the US bundles, and is participating in the tote & cup giveaway. (see below for more information)
There are many more drawings too—including international book bundles! See the bottom of the post for more information.
Lisa Berne read her first Georgette Heyer book at fourteen — it was the effervescent Lady of Quality — and was instantly captivated. Later, she was a graduate student and a teacher, and now writes historical romance for Avon/HarperCollins.
Her first book in the Penhallow Dynasty series, You May Kiss the Bride, was published to starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. Releasing later this month is her second book, The Laird Takes a Bride.
Lisa lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
Buy Lisa’s books:
*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
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.
(Lisa is contributing to the US bundles, and sponsoring the cup/tote giveaway.)
To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week2@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “Bundles” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)
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 Week2@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)
Week 2 contests are Aug 9 through Aug. 16
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