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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. Today Karen Hawkins will also be on the page.)
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Loretta Nyhan & Suzanne Hayes – The Magic of Resilience and Optimism
A lot can happen in six years.
In 2013, I’ll Be Seeing You, the book of our hearts, hit the shelves. We were over-the- moon excited. It sold moderately well, which was nice, but it also managed to touch people in way we’d only hoped for—this was even nicer. But, as we all know, the magical moments in our lives might permanently imprint our hearts, but they fade from our brains when the stressors of day-to-day life take over again. And, boy, we sure did wrestle with some major curveballs since 2013.
Suzy lost her second mother, her beloved grandmother, Fay.
Loretta sent her loving husband of twenty years off to play golf on one sunny Saturday morning. By that afternoon, she was in a hospital ER tearfully telling her two teenaged sons that their father was gone. Heart attack at age 45.
If life has its magical moments, it also has its horrible, shattering moments that tear at the soul.
So, we reeled. We suffered. We lost ourselves.
Our souls darkened a little.
But, eventually…like Rita and Glory in our book, we saw the sun again, and that dark spot on our soul lightened like an old scar.
We bounced back. We found that we were both more resilient than we thought. We not only found ourselves again, but we re-learned how to appreciate the world we lived in.
In simplest terms, we learned how to be again.
So we were ready, when we got a very surprising phone call in the winter of 2018, to say yes to an incredible offer from our publisher—they wanted to re-release I’ll Be Seeing You, with a new title and a new cover. They thought it deserved another shot. They thought its hopeful optimism in a time of struggle resonated in 2019, perhaps even more than it did six years before.
On September 3, HOME FRONT GIRLS will get its magical second chance. And, just as we found a way to thrive in our new worlds, it’s our fondest wish that Rita and Glory’s story will grace yours.
Suzy & Loretta recommend:
Whitney Dineen – Whitney on FB – @Amazon
Whitney writes romantic comedies that usually make my stomach hurt from laughing and my heart swell with longing. She’s a read-her-book-in-a-day kind of writer.
Sarah Addison Allen – www.sarahaddisonallen.com – @Amazon
Sarah Addison Allen writes fiction layered with magic. Her stories echo many of my own whimsical daydreams. Page turning and always satisfying, you can’t go wrong.
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2019 RARM Questions:
Tell us about a time in your life that felt magical to you.
Besides the birth of my two boys, my wedding days were absolutely magical. Both of them. When I first got married to Tom, we were in our twenties, eager to begin the process of building a life together. That life we constructed was pretty darn beautiful. It ended abruptly with his death, but the things he taught me about love never faded, and made it possible to open my heart again. I married my second husband, Gus, at the age of 48, on January first of this year. My oldest son was the officiant, and my youngest walked me down the aisle. My new stepdaughters were my bridesmaids. Together, as a couple and a blended family, we’re healing each other’s broken hearts, and are embarking on a future we are exceedingly grateful for. And that isn’t anything less than magical.
As Loretta and I are using the Magic of Second Chances as the theme of this dual post, I have to say that the last four years of my life have been magical. In 2105 I had a few devastating things happen that made me reevaluate my life. These events made me fall to my knees. When I got back up, I renewed my commitment to my marriage, my children and my life here in the present. Simplifying my world, actually making it smaller, gave me a second chance with my family. Each new day here is peaceful and full of magic.
Tell us about a book that was magical for you.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I’d never read such a realistic, sincere depiction of love and devotion, and the first time I finished it, I think I held it against my chest, wishing it could somehow be a part of me. I’ve read it half a dozen times since then, and now that I’m thinking about it, I’ll probably crack it open again this afternoon…
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett was a life changer (fine, I was 11, but still…) The theme of beauty being renewed through patience and love have been the same themes I write about in all my books. In many ways, that is a strong theme in Homefront Girls as well. The slow, steady growth of peace through discovery and reflection.
Tell us about a “magical moment” in your writing or your career?
The most creatively magical time in my life was when Suzy and I wrote Home Front Girls. Our correspondence had such a rhythm to it—I almost felt like it was being written by some kind of spiritual forces beyond our control, as woo-woo as that sounds. We wrote it so quickly—starting on Valentine’s Day and ending on July 4th—because we were just so overtaken by our characters. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel that rush again, but I’ll keep chasing it!
I have to echo Loretta’s answer. As we wrote Home Front Girls, I felt transported back in time. Nothing has ever felt so “right.”
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?
To me, every book has elements of magic, whether it’s present in the story itself or simply in the writing itself. We’ve all had experiences—serendipitous experiences—that speak to the magic in the everyday. I’m fascinated by this in real life, so I truly enjoy writers who build life’s magic into their plots. That said, I’ve got to admit to loving a good witch book—who doesn’t like spells and tarot card readings and purring black cats?
I believe that each day is a work of magic. That our own reality is woven together with elements we couldn’t possibly really explain. Miracles are popping up everywhere in our day to day moments! This is why I like books that explore the supernatural experiences we have in everyday life. Hauntings, kitchen magic, love….
Creativity is a kind of magical experience. What inspires you, keeps you going, helps you when you lose focus, etc.?
Something tangible that I could use as a talisman. When writing Home Front Girls, I kept an actual WWII rationing book on my desk.
My biggest inspiration is my faith. And the love I have for my family and my community. Where are we without Faith, love and charity?
DRAWING – Suzanne & Loretta are hosting The Romance of Reading page, and their giveaways will take place there.
However, 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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Loretta Nyhan is the bestselling author of Digging In, All the Good Parts, and the upcoming The Other Family. With Suzanne Hayes, she co-authored the historical novels, Empire Girls and Home Front Girls.
When she’s not writing, Nyhan is knitting, baking, and doing all kinds of things her high school self would have found hilarious.
Connect with Loretta:
Discover all of Loretta’s books:
Suzanne Hayes is the pen name for Suzanne Palmieri. She is the author of six novels including The Witch of Little Italy. She lives in North Branford, Connecticut with her husband and three daughters.
Connect with Suzanne:
Discover all of Suzanne ‘s books:
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