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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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Melonie Johnson – Journeys, Imagination & Magic
The mark of a good book is its magical ability to sweep you away, offering a mental escape that takes you on a fantastic journey. Sometimes, that journey is real as well as imaginary. Such is the case with the Harry Potter series. My husband and I have spent many a road trip listening to J.K. Rowling’s famous series on audiobook, the miles passing by unnoticed, the long hours flying as we tagged along on Harry’s adventures.
We began listening to the series together as a newly married couple. On our first anniversary we took a road trip from Chicago to Gettysburg, discovering along the way what was in the chamber of secrets. Another summer, we learned who the prisoner of Azkaban was while driving to a friend’s wedding one state over, and during the hours between the ceremony and the reception, found a quiet spot in the parking lot and leaned the seats back, listening to a few more chapters.
When the final book came out, too impatient to wait for a road trip, we began spending evenings together on the couch, snuggled up, eyes closed, holding hands in the dark as the Deathly Hallows were revealed. I look back upon those nights as magical. A quiet time sharing something we both enjoyed together. In the years since, we’ve shared these books with our daughters, and now the stories keep the entire family entertained on long car rides. Rather than groans of “are we there yet?” there are giggles over the antics of Fred and George, and speculation on which house each of us would be sorted into (for the record: I’m a Gryffindor, my husband is a Ravenclaw, our oldest is a Hufflepuff, and our youngest used to identify as a Slytherin, but lately has been feeling she’s more of a Gryffindor). These books take us on a journey in our imagination, that makes the actual journey so much more enjoyable.
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Kari Cole – Karicoleauthor.com – @Amazon
Her award-winning paranormal shapeshifter series blends heart-pounding action with tender moments. Few things are as sexy as a fierce creature revealing their vulnerable side, all for love.
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2019 RARM Questions:
Tell us about a time in your life that felt magical to you.
Walking the grounds of Hampton Court Palace in England was magical. Exploring the hedge maze, passing through the halls and standing in the rooms that countless others over the centuries have walked and stood and loved and lived, there was a special weight to these spaces, almost as if the very air was heavy with history. Spending time in places like that is a lightning rod for my muse, electrifying my mind with ideas, characters whispering their stories in my ear.
Tell us about a book that was magical for you.
My grandmother had a wall-to-wall cedar closet in her basement. Inside were fur coats and mink stoles, remnants of another era. I used to push through those coats, eyes closed, hands outstretched, hoping if I believed hard enough, my fingers would never brush up against the back of the closet but would keep going… Books like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that involve portals to other worlds have always held a special fascination for me. From the wardrobe leading Lucy to Narnia, to Outlander and the standing stones leading Claire to Jamie Fraser, a part of me still holds out hope that one day, I’ll stumble across a magical portal leading to my own adventures (preferably with a hot Highlander).
Tell us about a “magical moment” in your writing or your career?
The way the stars aligned and pieces fit together that led me to working with my editor felt very magical…little happy accidents of place and time. Moments that, had one thing or another shifted just a little bit, who knows if things would have turned out the way they did.
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 find something magical in unexpected connections, the spark that draws two people together. That moment of recognition that goes deeper than attraction. Something elemental and instinctual that wakes up and says, “it’s you.” Of course, the characters never make it easy for me by listening to that voice, they fight it at first, but it’s there!
Creativity is a kind of magical experience. What inspires you, keeps you going, helps you when you lose focus, etc.?
Water has always been a source of inspiration. When I’m stuck on a scene, showers help knock thoughts loose (AquaNotes have often saved me!).
As a Scorpio, I’m a water sign, and perhaps that is why I feel most myself, most open to possibility, when near a body of water. Lake Michigan at sunrise is always a magical time, and I readily sacrifice sleeping in on vacations to wander out onto the beach in the pre-dawn mist, toes in the cold sand, to watch the sun slowly creep over the horizon. Those quiet moments with the waves lapping gently at the shore refill my well like nothing else.
DRAWING – a note that Melonie is hosting The Romance of Reading page due to some technical difficulties Aya de León is having. So her giveaways will take place there.
However, all comments will also be entered to win a bundle of books from the Week 2 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 autor. Must comment by 8/21/19 11:59pm Eastern to enter.
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Award-winning author Melonie Johnson–aka #thewritinglush–is a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist who loves dark coffee, cheap wine, and expensive beer. And margaritas. And mimosas. And mules. Basically any cocktail that starts with the letter m. She met her future husband in that most romantic of places–the mall–when they were teenagers working in stores across the hall from each other. Today, they live happily ever after in the magical land midway between Chicago and Milwaukee with their two redhead daughters, a dog that’s more like a small horse, and a pair of hermit crabs.
After earning her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago, Melonie taught high school English and Theatre in the northern Chicago suburbs for several years. Now she writes smart and funny contemporary romance and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin. Declared a “writer to watch” by Kirkus and a “fizzy, engrossing new voice” by Entertainment Weekly, her debut series from St. Martin’s Press, SOMETIMES IN LOVE, has appeared on the Amazon Best Books of the month, and been featured in Cosmopolitan and Woman’s World.
Melonie is a Star Wars junkie and Shakespeare groupie who quotes both Yoda and the Bard with equal aplomb.
Discover all of Melonie’s books:
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