Read a Romance Book Month

RARM picWelcome, weekend! And welcome to an event you as a writer (or a reader) will love – NPR’s annual Read a Romance Month!

What’s RARM? Well, it’s a fabulous month of interviews, giveaways and celebration all for the wondrous beauty of something that gives you laughter, tears and a happily ever after – the romance book! (you can read more at Read A Romance Month)

This year’s theme centers on the joy romance brings, and I noticed that lovely Ruby Vivi Andrews blogged recently on protecting the joy. As I dwell on this theme of joy, I realized that it’s more and more difficult to protect our daily dose of joy in this world full of pins ready to burst our proverbial bubble. Reality ain’t easy. Reality is dog vomit, overdue bills, no gas station in sight and an extra pound on the bathroom scales. I don’t know about you, but helping my kid with his math homework and weeding the flowerbeds do not inspire joy. Neither do the heaps of laundry and the carpool line. See, the stuff we do day in and day out can nick away at the joy in our lives leaving us at the end of a busy week too tired to think straight much less go out searching for a fill up of joy. So how do we refill our wells?

Well, there are lots of ways – yoga, a nice bottle of wine, a good movie or a feel good book.

Ah, a feel good book? And what particular book can deliver exactly what you’re looking for?

Of course. The romance book.

Sometimes I get angry at how dismissive people can be when it comes to romance. Some call it fluff, others call it porn, and others call it trashy. I call it joy.

Nothing makes me sigh like finishing a good romance book. Nothing makes me look at my husband through a warm fuzzy lens like a good romance book. Nothing makes me determined to be proactive, considerate, aware or motivated like a good romance book. As an author, nothing makes me want to write a good book like reading another stellar romance book. In essence when I sit down with a good book, I’m filling myself up. It’s a time for me to do something I love so I can make it through all the meetings, grocery store lines and back to school events without having a break down or choking my child.

So do us all a favor and find your joy…through the pages of a romance. It’s much cheaper than therapy and the side effect is love.

Need recommendations? I have them. There are several lovely writers here at the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. I loved Laura Archer’s Bared to the Viscount, a lusty romp through Regency England, and Lizzie Shane has a wonderful reality TV based contemporary set of romances, starting with Marrying Mr. Perfect. Vanessa Barneveld has a quirky YA romance called This is Your Afterlife and…..I could write a book on how many awesome books the Rubies have written. Take a peek up top of the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood and click on a book cover. You’ll find your joy there.

RARM also has a Q&A session with guest authors so the below are about me (if you want a peek into my weird little world)

1 – Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.

More recently, it’s getting the call I finaled in the RITAs. I won’t go through the whole thing with you, but I will say that the honor of being nominated was much needed in my career. The writing business is such a tough business and that particular shot of confidence helped me revisualize who I am and who I could be in the future.

2 – Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

Hands down, my favorite place that gives me joy and peace is my camp on Lake Caddo. It’s so earthy and peaceful and allows me to power down and be in the moment. There’s something about that quiet joy that allows you to know exactly who you are.

3 – Tell us about a sound that brings you joy (or a memory attached to sound — music, laughter, wind chimes… ?)

The sound of my dogs playing. I love watching them, smiling as they chase one another. Sounds silly, huh? But watch dogs (or any animals) at play and try not to smile. You can’t. It’s pure fun because they are lost in the moment of play. Their heavy breathing, yips and chuffs as they bound through the tall grass, jump into the lake and wrestle beneath our big oak make me so happy.

4 – 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?

There are so many, but recently my neighbor brought over a stack of books (as if I don’t have enough!) and on top was Flirting With Forty by Jane Porter. I started the first page and couldn’t put it down. It was poignant, had a heroine you can cheer for and the hero – can we say young, hot, Hawaiian surfer? Um, yeah. It was good.

5 – And for fun, the joy of choice ;o) ~

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)

I’m going with Chris Pratt because while he’s cute and funny, I see him having a deepness he likely protects. I love a guy who is light and goofy on the outside, but strong and still on the inside. I’m guessing this about him….or fantasizing it J

Thank you to Lorelei Lit Lair for recommending me to participate. You can read Lorelei’s essay at Read a Romance Month today!


To celebrate romance this month, I’m doing a giveaway! Leave a comment telling me about a day in your life of complete joy, and I’ll choose one winner to receive all three of my Magnolia Bend books. US or Canada winners only.


8 responses to “Read a Romance Book Month”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    This is so fun!! I love the idea of Read a Romance Month–I truly think the world would be a happier, more loving place if everybody actually did it!!


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  2. Diana Tidlund says:

    not just one day but the days I gave birth to my kids….Love them even though all are in their 20.s its like it was yesterday.
    Pratt all the way for me too btw


    • Liz Talley says:

      That’s a pretty magical day. Feels almost surreal in a sense, like it happened to someone else. But I’ll never, ever forget the moment when I first saw my oldest. I couldn’t get enough of him. The world stopped and there was only me and him….and some nurse who was droning on about stuff I couldn’t listen to because didn’t she know – the most gorgeous, wonderful, fantastic creature had just made his appearance in my life. Beautiful day!


  3. Mary M. says:

    A day in my life of complete joy was my wedding day, with all our crazy relatives and the worst of 80’s fashion! So much love in one place!


    • Liz Talley says:

      It’s such a busy day but its such a fun day, isn’t it? I was so nervous (which is odd for me), I got a terrible stomach ache. Well, for some reason my town decided to have a Memorial Day parade hours before my wedding. My mom sent my dad for medicine and he had to merge into the middle of the parade. We still laugh about that one!


  4. Patty Vasquez says:

    I have too many days to choose just one (I’m old), but like you, my dogs give me immense joy. I have a large bullmastiff that (attempts) to play with our yorkie/pomeranian mix. They chase each other around the furniture and kitchen table. Leo, the big guy, gets all mixed around and loses the little one. We try to hold our laughter in so they’ll continue to play, but when it becomes too much, we burst into huge peals of laughter!


    • Liz Talley says:

      Oh, I love this, Patty! I get so much joy from my animals. I have two labs (black and yellow), a Boston terrier and a torty kitty. They are such pleasure to me and I love to watch them playing. My black lab is a groaner. Every time she lays down she lets out a huge groan, just like an old man. LOL.


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