It's always cause for celebration around here when Cathy Maxwell comes to visit. This New York Times Bestselling author is not only one of my auto-buy authors but also one of my favorite people. Her joy and positive energy is infectious and comes through not only in person but in her writing as well. Today, Cathy is celebrating the release of her newest book, The Bride Says No which is also the first book in her new The Brides of Wishmore series.
Cathy spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, "Why do people fall in love?" It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with her children, horses, dogs, and cats.
To learn more about Cathy and her books, check out her social media:
Cathy is also blogging today at the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog. If you get the chance, stop by and say hello! http://tinyurl.com/lzr649n
by Cathy Maxwell
Can reading a romance novel make you happy?
Okay, this isn’t quiz. I know it can.
Books of all sorts have been instruments of change in my life. I remember reading my first self-help book when I was fourteen. It was a Dell paperback, had been written by a female fashion photographer who loved to travel, and opened the world to me.
For a long time, I was not a fiction reader. My imagination was too active and since a good portion of the books I felt I must read had “real” endings where life is dismal, I wasn’t a fan. My mother was an avid romance reader—but who wants to read what your mother likes?
And then I got lost.
When my first child was born, I gave up my career, happily, I should add. It was a good decision. But I spent some years trying to find myself. Then I had a second child, and discovered the baby blues. Lost woman and depression--not a good combination.
A mother with a herd of kids would come into my local library for story hour each week. She had a spring to her step and a vitality I lacked, and she always brought in a grocery bag of books. She’d check them all in, have the librarian refill the bag while she toddled around with her kids, and then she would leave—and come back the next week ready for more.
Her bag was full of romance novels, the books Mother read. I made some lame comment to the librarian and his reply to me was, “You should read one. You might like it.”
I don’t know why I followed his advice, but I’m glad I did. I loved the book.
In fact, when I finished that book, I went back to the library with my own grocery bag. I’d start the day with a pile of books and have them finished by the time my husband came home from work.
He’d look around the house and see what was undone. He’d grow nervous. However, the kids were still alive.
Slowly but surely, the depression dogging me evaporated and I got back to the business of loving my life.
I wish I could pinpoint exactly what it was in romances that pulled me out of an abyss. Was it the sure fire happy ending? Or the idea of a commitment that can take on all challenges and last a lifetime?
Maybe it was because I was reading her story and it was on an equal footing with his story? Or that two people can admire and trust each other even when they want different things?
And, yes, of course, love is the answer.
Those books carried me then, and still do now, through days packed with chores and routine. They taught me that love is both a verb and a noun and encompasses everything I value.
Today, I and every romance writer I know, receives letters from readers who confide that reading one of our books helped them pass lonely hours or kept them company while they went through chemo or long hospital stays or provided some special insight that helped them understand their purpose. Our books are straight forward and easy to read but they also contain a wealth of nuances and a complex understanding of what is important in life, even when we are writing with humor or about shape shifters. (Maybe, especially when we are writing about those guys.)
So let’s dish. My “The Brides of Wishmore” series deals with women coming to terms with the decisions they’ve made and stepping out into their lives in search of what makes them happy. There, that was my promo moment.
My question to you is, what makes you happy? And has a book ever helped you though a difficult patch of life? Or given you the impetus you needed to choose a new direction?
Cathy is giving away one copy of The Bride Says No to a randomly chosen person who leaves a comment on today's post. The winner will have a choice of either a print copy or e-book. This giveaway is open to anyone living in a country to which bookdepository.com delivers (print copy).
What happens when a bride says no?
He is the bastard son of a duke, arrogant, handsome, a little bit dangerous, and, of course, one of the most sought-after bachelors in London. He is also about to be publically jilted by some chit of a girl! Blake Stephens' pride isn't about to let him be humiliated, so he charges after his bride to the wilds of Scotland, determined to bring her to the altar. What happens when the heart says yes? He is promised to one woman, but discovers his soul stirred by . . . the chit's sister!
Lady Aileen Davidson's reputation was ruined ages ago, which is why she's buried herself in the country, but her fiery spirit and bold beauty threaten to bring Blake to his knees, making him wonder if he has proposed to the wrong lass. And now he must make a choice: marry for honor . . . or marry for love?