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A quick word from Bobbi Dumas, your host.
Hi everyone! Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month. You can find out more about this fun, month long event here. And check out all the great authors taking part this year on the calendar, here.
The theme this year is The Romance Of Reading, The Magic Of Books and we have an awesome assortment of writers – both romance and mainstream fiction authors – sharing about books, reading, romance & magic. I hope you’ll visit everyday.
(Also, be sure to check in to The Romance Of Reading FB page, where one of the RARM authors will be hosting the page each day in August.)
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Adriana Anders – Crazy Hormones, Beautiful Books, and a Need to Tell Stories.
I was 37 when I found out I was pregnant with my second child, working a job that sucked my soul dry. I had no hope for a change of career, nowhere to grow with that one, and no desire to continue, but like most people, we needed the money.
What started off as a rocky pregnancy smoothed out at around month 4, with one interesting side-effect: my love of erotic romance blossomed into an obsession, sending me down the ebook rabbit hole into a realm of hyper-realistic, super-sexy stories, with lots and lots of heart. Through authors like Cara McKenna, Anne Calhoun, and Charlotte Stein I found a new brand of romance that hit me right in the feels. Not only was the writing stellar, smart, and emotional, but I could relate to the characters; to their lives and jobs, along with their desires. I was hooked.
More than that, though, these books helped me find my own voice. They gave me something to look forward to. They gave me hope. I loved reading, had always wanted to write, and had even started several books of my own, but I’d never finished one. Those authors, and a few others, gave me the inspiration and strength to finally, at the age of 38, live my dream.
As my 8-week maternity leave drew closer, this hope coalesced into a solid goal: I’d finish a novella in those eight weeks and submit it to one of the big ebook publishers. Like that summer after senior year, my maternity leave turned into my last big opportunity. My one chance to prove that I could do it. That my life meant something. That I could tell stories that made a difference.
So, I did it. I wrote a terrible 35,000-word novella and submitted it to the publisher. They turned it down.
But it didn’t matter. What mattered was that I wrote that shitty book and I sent it out. After that, the spigot was open and nothing could have stopped me from writing the next one, then the next. The magic, for me, swirled in the eye of that perfect storm of crazy hormones, beautiful books, and a need to tell stories. That magic was my daughter. To my sweet, lovely 6 year old: thank you, sweetpea, for casting the spell that gave me back my mojo and forever changed my life.
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Maria Vale – – www.MariaVale.com – @Amazon
If you read one new author this year, make it Maria Vale. Her writing is impeccable, her characters are heart-breakingly real and her books are unbelievably gripping page-turners. I’m obsessed.
Alleyne Dickens – www.alleynedickens.com – @Amazon
Alleyne’s world-building will blow your mind. Add to that sultry, sexy romance, humor, and a mystery that will fascinate you until the very last page and you’ve got Saving Verity, her fabulous debut.
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2019 RARM Questions:
Tell us about a time in your life that felt magical to you.
My debut, Under Her Skin, came out in 2017 and though I’ve been to a few signings, conferences, and other author/reader events since then, it wasn’t until this year that something switched over in my brain and I finally felt like a “real” author. I can’t explain or understand it, can’t even pinpoint the moment, but while I was at Book Lovers Con in New Orleans, it happened. I became legitimate. Don’t get me wrong, I still fan-girl and stutter, trip over my feet and feel like a total newbie, but I also know that this is where I belong. And it’s awfully nice.
Tell us about a book that was magical for you.
I’ve always been incapable of picking/eating/having just one of anything, so I’ll name a few. I’ll never forget the magic of reading A Wrinkle in Time in 4th Grade—I swear I was inside that book—the fear and sense that anything is possible I got from reading the Lord of the Rings, the shock of digging into Clan of the Cave Bear much too young. Then there was the copy of Flowers in the Attic I found on the heater in my 6th Grade classroom. Whoever left that dog-eared copy was a magical fairy, for sure, blowing me away with so much darkness and taboo. I think it might disturb me today, but back then, I couldn’t get enough. More recently, Maria Vale’s The Last Wolf and Kennedy Ryan’s Block Shot renewed my love for reading with lyrical, deep, intense voices that lit every page with magic.
Tell us about a “magical moment” in your writing or your career?
There have been a few of these—the day I got the call from my agent, my first publishing contract, the day of my first book release—all big milestones that I’ll never forget.
But the magic came before that. It started when I attended my first Romance Writers of America (RWA) meeting and met other people like me. Some were published, some not, some didn’t care to be, but they all loved romance and that spark was there that day, in the room with us. Since then, I’ve gone to conferences, made more friends, gotten that book deal, and lived through the ups and downs of publishing, but no other moment has fizzled with that kind of potential—the magic of finally meeting your people.
For writers who use magical aspects in their books, what attracts you to those elements? For those of you who don’t, are there specific themes or elements you’re attracted to and find yourself going back to? Why do these resonate with you?
I write about hope in a time of darkness; hope after darkness. I believe that everyone, no matter how damaged or hurt, deserves love and hope. We all deserve happiness. This is the story I write.
Creativity is a kind of magical experience. What inspires you, keeps you going, helps you when you lose focus, etc.?
This is a tough one, because I don’t have a definite answer for this. Inspiration comes from different places: music, a walk, a stranger, a dream, sometimes even a smell. The magic, for me, is being able to tune into the inspiration, instead of plowing through and ignoring it.
Drawing – Adriana is generously giving away two backlist titles, one each to two U.S. readers. (Titles dependent on what Sourcebooks has on hand.)
To enter, leave a comment below relating to the post. Open until Sept 1, 2019 11:59 PM EST.
All comments will also be entered to win a bundle of books from the Week 4 participating authors. You may enter by commenting on this original blog post and/or on the Read-A-Romance Month Facebook page post, here.
Each first unique comment at each space offers an extra chance to win, so check in with each author. Must comment by 9/05/19 11:59pm Eastern to enter.
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Adriana Anders is the award-winning author of the Blank Canvas series and Love at Last series. Her debut, Under Her Skin was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017 and double recipient of the HOLT Medallion award and Loving the Secret Billionaire was a 2019 Romance Writers of America Rita® Award finalist. Today, she resides with her husband and two small children on the coast of France, where she is writing a new series of sexy, suspenseful Survival Romances.
Discover all of Adriana’s books:
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