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
A Quick Dose Of Joy
When I was a child, my family traveled from Massachusetts to Texas every year or so to visit relatives. I loved spending time with my cousins, sitting on my grandmother’s blazing hot porch and drinking biting-cold soda from glass bottles—usually Big Red, that brand of cream soda dyed a shade of fluorescent red that I have yet to see in nature.
I remember helping to make ice cream in a wooden bucket filled with ice and rock salt, all of us taking our turns at the hand crank until our arms were so tired we could barely lift our spoons afterward. I can also recall the sweet, pungent smell of my grandfather’s feed store, and how big and blue the sky was, and a million other things, but most of all I remember how dazzled I was by my mother’s four sisters.
My aunts were funny, talkative and beautiful, a gaggle of natural storytellers. When they were together, they would trade stories and break into screams of laughter that approximated the decibel level of a power saw. Our family was, individually and
collectively, incapable of holding back emotion—we were not mysterious people.
All of my aunts read romance novels. I was about twelve when my Aunt Judy gave my mother a raggedy copy of The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and commanded her to read it. Naturally, I sneaked it from the bookshelf when we were back home, and I read it in a day. My life was never the same. I discovered the particular joy of reading a good romance novel, a flavor of joy you can’t get from any other source, not even from a good romance movie.
At least two of my aunts always carried candy bars and romance novels in their purses, because you never know when you might need a snack, or a quick dose of joy. Over the years, every single one of my aunts experienced more than her fair share of tragedy. (Believe me, I don’t use that word lightly.) But they were strong women who carried on, and tacked on those big grins, and comforted themselves in private with the help of those sexy, sentimental books with the happy endings.
Sometimes in speeches I’ve told the story of how my husband Greg and I, and our son, lost everything we owned in a flood in ’98. Everything except the clothes on our backs, and my purse. But when I went to Wal-Mart to load a shopping cart with necessary supplies—toothpaste, socks, Tylenol, etc.—I tossed in a romance novel. (Incidentally, it was by Kathleen Woodiwiss.) And during the next few weeks and months, I carried on, and tacked on a grin, and I kept romance novels in my purse, comforted by the fact that I always had a quick dose of joy just within reach.
I recently had the delight and privilege of having dinner with Tiffany Snow and Sarah Morgan, and I knew that women with such fabulous personalities would write incredible books, so I read some of their work on the plane. I was right!
I enthusiastically recommend “Power Play” by Tiffany Snow, and “First Time In Forever” by Sarah Morgan. (check out Sarah’s 2015 post on 8/30)
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
The week after Smooth Talking Stranger was released, I was anxious to find out if it had landed on the NYT list. I’d never made it into the top ten in hardcover, but I thought if anyone could do it for me, it would be Jack Travis. Greg and I took the kids on a vacation to Hawaii, and we stayed at a hotel with an incredible pool. It had a series of water slides, each one leading to a little pool lower down. So you had to slide down, splash, get up and go to the next slide, and so forth. The kids had been trying all morning to get me to go on those slides, but I am not a water slide person. I alternated between playing in the pool with them, and reclining like a slug on a lounge chair next to my husband.
Then my agent Mel called, and said that the book had landed at number nine. I was ecstatic! Greg went to get a couple of celebratory mojitos. Then my son and daughter pointed out a coincidence that could NOT be ignored—there were exactly nine little slides in that pool. I went with them, of course. And while we were hurtling down those slides, one after another, I had one of those intense happy-to-be-alive moments of pure joy.
Still not a water slide person, though.
Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
Disney World. I don’t care if that’s shallow. It’s Disney World.
Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
“I Will” by John Lennon. Audible joy. Any cover of it works for me.
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?
The Rainbow Season by Lisa Gregory. Probably the most innocent, joyful, hopeful romance I’ve ever read.
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)
Chris Pratt, with Captain Von Trapp as a very close second.
Lisa is generously giving away an autographed one set of the first 3 of the Travis Series (paperbacks) to one lucky winner and an autographed copy of Again The Magic to another. (U.S. only apologies to international friends.)
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She is a RITA award winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction.
Her novels are published in twenty-eight different languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.
You can find her online at LisaKleypas.com.
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