Monday, August 12, 2013

Read-A-Romance Month!


Morning, Dishies!  PJ here.  Have you heard about Read-A-Romance Month?  It's the creation of NPR writer, Kirkus reviewer and romance reader, Bobbi Dumas and it's sweeping the world.  One month, awesome prizes and 93 authors sharing why they believe romance matters.  Bobbi is joining us today to talk a bit about Read-A-Romance Month and why she thinks romance matters.  Please give her a warm welcome!





August is Read-A-Romance Month!

Thank you, PJ for inviting me to The Romance Dish - and thanks for all you do for romance!



“Hi. My name’s Bobbi. I read romance.”

This is how I started my first-ever piece that I did for the NPR book blog, “In Defense of Romance.” You can read it here.  


I love romance! I think romance enhances our lives and brightens our days, and I’ve been so pleased to see some really smart writers speak out for the genre in the last few months. But honestly, if you give it a chance, the genre speaks for itself. These books are awesome! (But then, I’m preaching to the choir, aren’t I?)



I love romance so much that I’ve created a month-long celebration of the genre, and I’ve asked 93 romance and women’s fiction authors to write on the theme “Romance Matters.” The contributors range from some of the biggest names in romance - Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Eloisa James, Jayne Ann Krentz... 












...to some recent e-publishing sensations like Marie Force, Bella Andre and Jennifer Probst.







Oh, and there are some great prizes, too! Daily book drawings from each post, as well as weekly “A Month Worth of Books” prizes, most with e-readers attached (all generously donated by Avon Romance, Berkley/NAL, Harlequin, Amazon Montlake), and the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad Mini! (See the Contest page at ReadARomanceMonth.com)



These essays are so touching and wonderful, and I love the fact that they run the spectrum of emotions, too. Sarah Morgan’s adorable post about how a woman’s life was probably saved because she was reading a great book she was too embarrassed to talk about, because it was a romance.  Read Sarah's essay here:








Christina Dodd’s wonderful essay on why we live longer because we read romance. So many great essays already there, and so many more to come.  Such a gift.

Read Christina's essay here: http://www.readaromancemonth.com/2013/08/08/







Do you love romance? Then celebrate romance with us at ReadARomanceMonth! And spread the word.

~Bobbi


Readers, tell us why romance matters to you.  Has there been a time when romance books have made a difference in your life?  Which author - or book - introduced you to romance?  

We're giving away a package of books to one person who leaves a comment on this blog and on at least one of today's essays at the Read-A-Romance Month site.  Today's featured authors at R-A-R-M are Jill Shalvis, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Maya Rodale.   



63 comments:

  1. I discovered romance in high school. If I was going through a tough time or had an minor fight with a friend I would go read a Julie Garwood or Jude Deveraux romance and instantly feel better.

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    1. Julie Garwood is my go-to author when I need cheering up. :)

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    2. Hi, Jane! Julie Garwood and Jude Deveraux are definitely legends - so many fond memories they've given romance fans through the years! Thanks for the comment. Hope you visit Read-A-Romance Month if you haven't already. Jude Deveraux is posting on the 27th. :o)

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    3. Hi Bobbi,
      I've been visiting since last week. Thanks for the giveaways.

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  2. I was just going into high school when I started reading romances. My first novels were Sandra Brown and Julie Garwood's Saving Grace (the latter which I have re-read numerous times). I can't imagine a time when I didn't have at least one HEA in my week. It's the best way to forget all the negative things in life.

    This was such a great idea Bobbi! I've enjoyed going back every day and seeing how my favorite authors view romance and the stories they tell.

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    1. It is a great idea, isn't it? I share your love of Saving Grace. It's my all-time favorite comfort read.

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    2. Hi, Ada! Thanks for your continued support of romance! Nice to see you here. xoxo

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  3. Reading in general started at the ripe old age of 3, romance came a little later when I was in Junior High, Georgette Heyer was the first author I ever bought because of the author's name alone. If the book was by her I knew I would like it.

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    1. Victoria Holt was my intro. I read everything she wrote. :)

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    2. Thanks, Dianna - hope you visit Read-A-Romance Month! xoxo I loved Caroline Courtney when I was 13. My gateway author. ;o)

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  4. I think it is a great idea. I think reading romances helps remind you that good things happen in life and that family is what is important.

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    1. I agree, Maureen. They give me pleasure and during dark times they give me hope.

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    2. Thanks Maureen! xx And PJ xoxo

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  5. Romance stories give you hope that there is, and always will be, love in the world. Life can be falling down around our ears, but we can escape for a time. Step into another world. I've been reading Romance forever and will continue to do so.

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    1. Hi, Mary - Hope you've had the chance to visit Read-a-Romance Month. Great essays there, too! xoxo

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  6. I love hea's and that is what romance books are about. These stories take you away from the everyday problems of life and show you that there is always hope.

    The first romance book I read was a rom susp by Sandra Brown - Exclusive - I was hooked - had to get my hands on every one of her backlists books when I was finished wondered who I was going to find to read next - silly me - then I discovered Debbie Macomber and the rest was history - Susan Mallery, Robyn Carr, SEP to name just a small few. These authors are always autobuys for me and I could go on and on with many more names. LOL.

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    1. Thank you Pat! A lot of those authors are at R-A-R M - hope you take a peek! xoxo

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  7. Reading romances is like eating chocolates/ice-cream or playing on the beach with my kids. It's lots of fun and one of my most treasurable moments in life. It's hard to imagine how a life without romance books. No daydreaming about fictional heros/heroines or their HEAs... No smiles and gigglings while reading... What a sad and deprived life that would be!

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    1. Right?! Thank you! Hope you have chance to visit R-A-R M. xoxo

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  8. I can't remember a time when I wasn't reading romance.. My mother and grandmother both liked to read, but I started reading books when I was a little girl and that was a long, long time ago.. Books I like to say kept me sane growing up. I had four brothers and reading was my time to be by myself and away from all the noise and craziness that was our home... Thank god for Romance books and the wonderful authors who give us them.

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    1. Amen, Kathleen! Hope you have a chance to check out Read-A-Romance Month!

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  9. Reading romance has helped through a bad day, bad month, and a bad year many times.

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  10. Lisa Kleypas was y first author and I fell in love with romance novels then. Romance novels help with romance in some ways. It helps you escape from life sometimes, helps spice up your love life and makes you want what they have in the book so you tend to go after it in your own relationship.

    kac_030 at yahoo dot com

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  11. I started reading romance the summer I turned ten when I started reading my mother's books. Because my mother was an equal opportunity reader, I discovered canonical romance such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre along with popular romance novels by authors such as Emilie Loring and Grace Livingston Hill. I've been reading both lit fic and popular romance for more than half a century now, although I was a covert romance reader during my years in academia. Romance did a much better job than Calgon ever did in taking me away for a few hours from devastating grief, bad breakups, depression from grading student essays, and other of the thousand natural pin pricks and potent pains that flesh is heir to.

    I've been reading the author essays on RARM each day and loving them. My thanks to Bobbi and to all the authors.

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  12. I read romances for fun and entertainment, but sometimes I read for comfort, too. There have been times in my life when I needed to escape sorrow by diving headfirst into a happy-ever-after romance. Sometimes I pick a new book to begin a new adventure, but I also have a whole shelf of keeper books that have become my tried and true comfort reads.

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  13. Hi Bobbi! Thanks for visiting with us today. I'm so impressed with what you've done with RARM!

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    1. Thank you! It's been a labor of love. xoxo

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  14. I commented on Christina Dodd's post. For some reason I thought it was only ebooks given away so I am going to have to pay more attention lol. I couldn't survive if I didn't read and the majority of my reading are romances. In today's world it's nice to read something with a HEA.

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    1. I've been visiting every day now. Thanks for the heads up!!

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  15. Visit every day for lots of great prizes and weekly prizes. Lots going on!

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  16. I started reading romance novels in college, many years ago. I'm dating myself when I tell you the first author I read was Helen Van Slyke. Romance stories were a nice distraction from my studies. It also helped me believe in HEA which came along a few years later for me.

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    1. lovely, Rachel! Thank you, hope you get to visit RARM. xoxo

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  17. Hi Bobbi!! I have visited RARM every day. not only have I found new authors to read, but I have found out more about my favorite authors. I really became a romancealohic when my children were babies. I had 2 who would not go to sleep. I read to them and it helped (I figured they wouldn't understand the sexy stuff).

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  18. I read romance for entertainment and for a way to relax. I really have learned a lot from historical romances and it's always fun to pretend to be in that setting or in the heroine's shoes through well-written lines. My first romance was at the age of 12. My mother read Harlequins and my book of choice was Katrina Britt's THE GENTLE FLAME. Ooh, how romantic to read about a Frenchman; be still my 12-year-old heart, LOL!

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    1. I commented on Maya's post today.

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    2. Thank you, Deb! Hope you see all the posts!

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  19. I've visited RARM, too. I enjoy reading romances for the interesting stories and happy endings. There are so many talented writers such as Julie James, Judith McNaught and Julie Anne Long. If it's an especially stressful day, it's nice to pick up a book by Julie James or Susan Elizabeth Phillips and just enjoy the smart characters and witty dialogue.

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  20. I have been following this & commenting daily! I love hearing what all of the romance authors have to say. I don't remember exactly what romance started me, but I remember my first historical romance was When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer. Great love story with humor. I was hooked at that point!

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  21. I've been reading romance for so many years, I can't remember the first romance novel I read, although I know it was by Georgette Heyer. I ran across her books in the library and devoured every one they had. Romance matters to me because it gives me happiness, especially reading all those happily ever afters. No matter what terrible things are going on in the world, and sometimes even in my life, a romance can take me away from all that and give me a better outlook, at least for a while, until reality intrudes once again.

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  22. Just wanted to pop in and thank everyone who has stopped by today. I'm out of town and internet is iffy at best so I haven't been able to respond to everyone.

    Bobbi, thanks again for taking time from your very busy schedule to visit with all our readers today!

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  23. I've visited the ReadARomanceMonth.com site almost every day so far this month. I love reading the author's essays and seeing their book recommendations, along with blurbs from their books. What a great site!

    Romance just makes me happy.

    Marcy Shuler
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. My first historical romance book was All night with a Rogue. I fell in love instantly! My first Paranormal romance was by Shelly Laurenston her books not only intrigued me, but also made me laugh out loud. Romance Matters to me because I love that fact that good people always get a happy ending and its a nice escape from the reality of bills. chores, jobs and so much more!

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  25. Julie Garwood was my gateway :) I remember discovering her when I was 14 and glomming all her books at the library. Love it this day, almost 20 years later.

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. My first was Nobody's Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I remember just skimming, completely uninterested, and catching on a sex scene. Immediately, I had to go to the beginning and see what brought these characters to this point.
    I have never looked back!

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  27. I started reading romance in the early 90's. I can't remember the first book I read but Robin Lee Hatcher was a HUGE part of my library along with Leigh Greenwood, Dorothy Garlock, Diana Palmer and Julie Garwood. Reading romance books lets me into a world I have severely missed out on. :(

    Wanda Barefoot
    flghtlss1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  28. Stated with Diana Palmer, Jayne kraits books, indotuxe by freinds,
    Thanks for givesaway
    Kimh

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  29. I've always loved to read to relax and escape to something different. In my teens I was reading mystery and suspense when my aunt gave me some romance book to read, but a friend saw me reading it and said you must try The Wolf and the Dove by Woodiwiss. That book made me a fan of the romance genre, especially historicals.

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  30. I didn't start reading romance until I was in my late 40's/early 50's. In all honesty, the embarrassment of being caught with a book with a "bodice ripper" cover kept me from trying them. I finally found one with a lovely cover with a jeweled broach and lovely piece of fabric on it. It was Julie Garwood's THE PRIZE and I loved it. I soon had every one of her historical books and started branching out to other authors. Medieval Highland tales were, and still are, my favorites. From historicals, I tried suspense, then contemporary, paranormal, and inspirational. I have discovered many talented authors that I enjoy and don't worry so much about the covers anymore. I wish I had found them sooner. I was a military wife during Vietnam and had two toddlers to deal with. There wasn't much time for reading, but it would have been nice to be able to escape to a 13th century castle with the laird for a few hours.
    I have shared many audio romance books with my husband. I read Janet Chapman's first 5 Highlander books to him on a trip to Maine one year. We were visiting the area where the books took place. He enjoyed them and it was fun traveling some of the roads she mentioned and trying to find spots that might have been inspiration for her books. I try to read books that take place in an area we are visiting or have visited. It adds a whole new dimension to the story. I remember reading a story set in 1840's New Orleans and knowing just where the character was standing, I had been there.
    Too many people dismiss romance as poorly written wastes of time. They obviously haven't read any. They ought to try some of the good authors before condemning the who genre.

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  31. I've been reading romance for nearly forty years now - with a little hiatus when I got in to the legal thriller genre with John Grisham and others - so it's always been in my life. Victoria Holt was my favorite way back when, and now I read anything and everything I can get my hands on. As long as it's romance!

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  32. I love romantic suspense but Nora Roberts got me into reading romance way back when.
    Natalie's Mama.

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  33. I've been a romance reader since the early 1980's. I discovered Nora Roberts and LaVyrle Spencer when they had novels in Good Housekeeping magazine.

    My first novel was FORGIVING by LaVyrle Spencer with a feisty relationship between an independent newspaper woman taking over her dad's printing business out West after he dies and the sheriff who tries to keep the peace between the drinkers and gamblers and the Lady's Temperance Society.

    My dad had to have heart bypass surgery twice 14 years apart. Romance books helped me escape my fears both times. Romance books are always a pick me up whenever life gets me down.

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  35. Outside of distracting me sometimes from annoyances in life, I read just for the pure enjoyment and happy endings.

    Gmapeony

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  36. STARTED READING LATE TEENS AND LOVED THE PLACES THE HEROINE WOULD GO AND PICTURED ME BEING THERE.

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  37. It has to be my friend Pat L.!!!! Helping her find books for her friends, I learned all the romance authors names and even read some of the books...Jodi Thomas is one of my favorites writing her Harmony series! Mickey Mac

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  38. Finally found the blog! I love romance because it gets me through my daily routine! I read everyday! It has gotten me through through 4 surgeries in the past 3 years while I was laid up recovering. My favorite is historical, but honestly I love any romance genre. Just give me a book and you will keep me happy! Thanks Bobbi for all you do!

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  39. Pat B
    I have enjoyed Rosalind Laker's books with romance in an historical setting. These books can take you away to another time and place.

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