From Caro Carson:
This year’s theme is “The Joy of Romance.” Even when I’m melting in the summer heat, the word joy pops into my head in holiday colors. I’ve got Christmas decorations that celebrate joy, wreaths with J-O-Y spelled out across the center, ornaments with joy written in glitter. The winter holidays are the one time of year we hear the word on the radio, aren’t they? We sing about tidings of comfort and joy, and we try to hit the high notes on “Joy to the World.”
Every romance novel ends on a note of joy. After all, if it doesn’t end with the right man and the right woman living happily ever after, then it isn’t a romance. But romance novels set during the holidays have the advantage of being chock-full of extra joyous details.
I’m still overflowing with joy from winning a Rita® award from the Romance Writers of America this summer, for a book that is set during the winter holidays. However, in A Texas Rescue Christmas, the holidays didn’t add to the characters’ joy. Instead, the heroine’s attempt at an old-fashioned Christmas illustrated how much joy her childhood lacked. The hero was poignantly reminded of how much joy he’d lost in the decade since he left his family’s ranch. Being surrounded by the joy of the season made the characters’ inner loneliness more vivid—or at least, that’s how I felt as I listened to Christmas carols and wrote their story. Those two people deserved some joy in their lives, and when they fell in love, they found it. I think it’s the joy at the end of every romance novel that keeps us—readers and writers, both—coming back for more!
For another great holiday read, I recommend RaeAnne Thayne’s The Christmas Ranch, which was nominated for a National Reader’s Choice Award. The beautiful cover is sure to bring you some holiday joy before you even turn the first page!
If you haven’t read the complex and compelling romance classic Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale, you simply must. The hard-earned happily-ever-after for those memorable characters includes some joyous historical Christmas details in one of the best epilogues ever written.
Questions from Read A Romance Month
1 – Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
This is a very easy one. Just a few days ago, in the middle of the glitter and glamor of Times Square in New York City, I had the amazing experience of sitting in a beautifully dressed audience and hearing my name called as the winner of this year’s Rita® award for Contemporary Romance – Short. It really did take a moment for me to be certain I’d heard correctly. This was followed by hugs from my editor and a walk up to the stage to receive a heavy gold statuette, Miss Rita herself. Knowing that the authors I love and respect feel the same about my book is truly a source of joy.
2 – Tell us about a place that brings you joy.
At the risk of sounding very unoriginal, I think Disney World is the happiest place on earth. I loved going there as a kid, and I love it even more as an adult. I’m lucky enough to live within driving distance, and I’m even luckier to have children of my own, so I make sure to enjoy the parks as often as I can.
3 – Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
I love the sound of snare drums in a marching band. I graduated from West Point, where twice a week we had either drill or parades, and there is something stirring about that military march. Even before that, I always loved the drums in high school marching bands. My favorite part of a football game is the halftime show with a big marching band. By the way…I married a drummer! My love for drums runs deep, indeed.
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?
I couldn’t finish a post for Read a Romance Month without mentioning the romance that began it all for me: Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor. It’s a time travel that begins with the hero traveling forward to modern day, and I definitely felt a bubble of joy when I first realized that the man speaking to the heroine in the British church was really, truly the man who’d lived there centuries before. It was such a delightful fantasy, I started looking for more books by Jude, then more books like Jude’s, and I haven’t stopped reading romance since then.
5 – And for fun, the joy of choice. Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer?
This is so very difficult. But while writing my latest book, Following Doctor’s Orders, I studied many photos of Chris Hemsworth with his preschool-aged daughter. It was strictly for professional research, of course, since the hero of my book is also sandy-haired, physically fit, and a father who is charmed by a preschooler…strictly professional interest on my part. Really. I was working. Honest.
(You can click on Chris Hemsworth’s photo, above, to see more at eonline.)
Despite a no-nonsense background as a West Point graduate and U.S. Army officer, Caro Carson has always treasured the happily-ever-after of a good romance novel. After reading romances no matter where in the world the Army sent her, Caro began a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Those years spent discussing science with physicians have provided excellent story material for her new career as a Rita®-winning romance author. Caro is delighted to be living her own happily-ever-after with her husband and two children in the great state of Florida, a location which has saved the coaster-loving theme park fanatic a fortune on plane tickets.
It wouldn’t be Read A Romance Month without the opportunity to win a romance, would it? Caro Carson will mail an autographed print copy of A Texas Rescue Christmas to the U.S. or Canadian address of a randomly chosen commenter. If you’re shy and don’t know what to say, just comment with the name of your favorite holiday song. Jingle Bells, anyone?
The winner will be chosen at the end of Read a Romance Month!