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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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Naima Simone – The Magic Of Wonder & Possibility
I remember picking up The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis the first time. Now, that was the very definition of magic. And not just because of this land filled with talking animals and the four humans who reached it through a wardrobe. I’d read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, just to name a few books. So I was well acquainted with fantasy, mythical creatures and wondrous locations. No, I clearly remember how The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe made me feel. Like anything was possible. Like there was something huge, fantastical and wondrous out there just beyond my fingertips, and yet so within my reach.
It was this book that planted the seeds of becoming a writer inside me. Nowadays, most of my books include family drama and tortured couples trying to find their way to each other instead of a witch, a powerful, death-defying lion and an epic battle. But there’s that same “something” that invites a person to escape into a place where anything is possible. To step out of the real world for just a little while and dive into the lives of men and women who have suffered loss, disappointments, failure and pain and yet overcome to love again. And, of course, obtain their happily ever after.
There’s magic in that HEA. My characters face a lot. And have suffered a lot. Dysfunctional families. Failed relationships. Death of loved ones. Abuse. Betrayal. Then they meet the man or woman who challenges every one of their beliefs about the world and themselves. The situations they find themselves in seem so insurmountable that a happy conclusion appears impossible. But the wonderful thing about romance—my books included—is love conquers all. The blackest of moments is never the end. Characters may hit rock bottom, but love won’t allow them to stay there. There’s magic in knowing that no matter what happens, everything will be all right. So, my books might not contain a mysterious land or fantastic beasts. But if a reader feels even a spark of the wonder, joy and love that I did while reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, then my job as an author has been accomplished.
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Sherilee Gray – www.sherileegray.com – @Amazon
Sherilee Gray is one of the most consistent, dependable authors writing today. When I pick up her book, I know I’m going to get a thrilling, emotion-packed and sexy blend of romance and suspense.
Sarah MacLean – sarahmaclean.net – @Amazon
Umm… Sarah MacLean. I really don’t need to say anything else. LOL! She pens lush, vibrant historical romances with characters and storylines that are entertaining, brilliant and funny, yet relatable and relevant. She’s a master of what she does.
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2019 RARM Questions:
Tell us about a time in your life that felt magical to you.
One of the most magical moments in my life was seeing Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring for the first time. Wow. I walked out of the theater and felt like something important had just happened. That I had witnessed something that could never be duplicated. It was a moment. My most vibrant dreams and imagination had been plucked from my head and splashed across the big screen. Except for the movies in the same series that followed, I’ve never experienced that since.
Tell us about a book that was magical for you.
As I mentioned above, reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe wasn’t just magical, it was life changing. It blew the glass ceiling off my imagination. My grandmother had a big wardrobe in the attic, and I can’t lie. I did check the back of it to see if we possibly had an entrance to Narnia in her attic room. LOL! Unfortunately, it was just an ordinary wardrobe and not a portal, but it made me believe in something so much bigger than myself and in what I couldn’t see. Imagination. That, in itself, is magic.
Tell us about a “magical moment” in your writing or your career?
Not only was my grandmother responsible for me reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, she also—inadvertently—gave me my first Harlequin. She would bring home Harlequin books in brown paper bags and stash them on her porch. My sister and I would go through the bag when she wasn’t looking and read them. LOL! I fell in love with Harlequin books. So when I received my first contract from them a year ago, it was one of the most magical moments in my career. When I was that twelve year-old girl reading the paperbacks on my grandmother’s porch, I never imagined I would one day be writing for them. It’s a dream.
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?
Both in the books I write and the ones I buy to read, I enjoy the themes of healing, forgiveness and redemption. And those elements—one or all of them—constantly find their way into my books in some way. To me, they go hand-in-hand with love.
Creativity is a kind of magical experience. What inspires you, keeps you going, helps you when you lose focus, etc.?
Hands down, reading inspires me. When I’m having a difficult time writing or experiencing a bit of writer’s block, I step away and go settle down with a great book. Wonderful, beautiful writing excites me and makes me want to go back to my own book and create something as awesome as what I just read.
Drawing – Naima is generously giving away a signed, print copy of Scoring Off the Field, Book 2 in her WAGS series. If it’s an international winner, a $5 Amazon gift card. Open until August 21, 2019 11:59 PM EST.
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 author. Must comment by 8/21/19 11:59pm Eastern to enter.
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USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured.
Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— writing sizzling romances with a touch of humor and snark. She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States
Discover all of Naima’s books:
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