Tag: Caro Carson

The Joy of Romance for Read a Romance Month

Today’s post is for Read a Romance Month, founded by Bobbi Dumas who is a tireless advocate of romance fiction. With articles for Kirkus Reviews and NPR, Bobbi also has interviews of some of today’s most beloved romance authors. Lorelei’s Lit Lair graciously asked me to join in the celebration, and Lorelei has a post explaining how she got involved as a romance advocate here.

What does the Joy of Romance mean to me?

The Joy of Romance, and more specifically, in romance novels, has had her warm, loving hands on me since I was in elementary school.

My very first romance!

The summer I turned ten I ran out of Nancy Drew and Sue Barton, Student Nurse books. My mother carefully picked a Candlelight Romance from her nightstand for me. It was Night Duty Nurse by Katherine McComb and was everything that was romance back then. The big sexy part was the kiss at the end of the book. A peck. Nothing else. I was ten; I wasn’t ready for anything more. But the story swept me away to long hours in a hospital where a dedicated nurse fell in love with her burn patient, an attractive and virile man. She discovered he wore a wooden prosthesis for his leg, and I can remember that scene so clearly, her reaction, how much more of a hero he became in that moment. Maybe that’s why in my very first published novel the hero had lost his leg in a war? And why I still have to put suspense in every story I write?

When I was a midshipman at the Naval Academy there wasn’t a whole lot of time for leisure reading but I managed to devour romances over Christmas and spring breaks. The pure joy of being a girl in a bubble bath with a romance novel, after strenuous training and wearing a uniform 24/7 (yes, even our pajamas were Navy-issued!) was better than any spa day I’ve had since. As a Naval Intelligence Officer deployed to Sicily and Bermuda (and all points in between) I subscribed to the Harlequin Reader Service and escaped from the demands of the Cold War, if only for twenty minutes once a week.

When I was a Navy spouse raising two tiny tots and my husband was deployed to war, I let the joy of romance comfort me via novels and movies, and kept the faith that he’d return to us. He did, thank God.

Once I figured out that I, too, was a romance writer, I devoured romance novels across the spectrum of heat levels, publishers and of course my favorite authors. I was in search of the perfect publisher fit for my stories, and I wanted to know how the most successful authors had achieved their status. So now you know why I chose to sell to category romance to start off my career.

I write more angst-filled, romantic suspense that deals with life-or-death situations. And yet my characters show me that no matter what, true love can bring joy to the most desperate situation. It can heal the deepest wounds and restore faith that has been chewed up and spit out by the machinations of what can be a very challenging journey on this planet. Or any other planet, or dimension, or time setting. Nothing is beyond the touch of romance and her ability to shower her characters and readers with undulated joy. And how cool is it that my novella in the Christmas anthology Coming Home for Christmas is Navy Joy?

Author Questions from RARM

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

Most recently? When I saw my dear friend and Academy-sister Caro Carson win the Romance Writers of America’s “oscar,” the Rita for her wonderful book A Texas Rescue Christmas.  I cried tears of joy!

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

The beach and ocean, where we took our kids each year to enjoy time with their grandparents. Stone Harbor, New Jersey is an instant serenity place for me.

3. Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Birds. I love birds, and spend hours writing on my patio through three seasons so that I can hear cardinals, robins, mockingbirds, blue birds, hawks (their mating cries are primal), and many others.

4. What recent book have you read that brought you joy. Why?

Teardrop Lane by Emily March. I’ve so loved her Eternity Springs series and this one was particularly heart wrenching and worth the read to the pure joy when Cicero and Rose get together.

5.  And for fun, the joy of choice ;o) ~ Pick Your Chris!

It will always be Christopher Plummer in the Sound of Music. Hands down. Who are your favorite romance authors?

My absolute favorite romance authors include Sherry Thomas, Barbara O’Neal, and Heidi Hormel. Sherry’s prose is like poetry and her sexy love scenes are a crescendo to her hero and heroine’s arias through conflict and sexual tension. Barbara O’Neal’s voice is the most unique in our genre with simple phrases opening the heart to a journey of unconditional and intensely romantic love. Heidi Hormel is a debut author this year and her fun, light-hearted voice doesn’t skimp on the realities of a good romantic conflict.

Since you’ve stopped by, I’d be delighted if you please take the time to sign up for my newsletter. I only send one when I have a new book or amazing news, so I won’t flood your email, promise. You can sign up here. As a thank you to my readers (that’s you!) I run a give-away contest over on Fresh Fiction each month. Please enter here and good luck!


Caro Carson is Helping Send Books to the Military for the Holidays


Author Caro Carson
Author Caro Carson

Today we welcome my beloved Romvets sister and gifted author Caro Carson. She will tell you about her military connection, but suffice it to say that each December she and I are rooting for opposite football teams. Nonetheless she remains a constant source of strength and unconditional support for me and many more.

What do you make, bake, create or purchase for the holidays, Caro?

I love Christmas, but I was running myself ragged trying to cook every delicious holiday food from my family’s and my husband’s, as well as trying new recipes that friends recommended or magazines assured me my family would treasure. Then, I read a “simplify your life” type of article that suggested each family member should choose the one item that they just had to have, or it wouldn’t feel like Christmas. After all, if no one named the sweet potato casserole, then skipping it wouldn’t ruin the holiday, right?

I went around the table at dinner one night and asked everyone to choose carefully. I expected my family to complain that they couldn’t choose just one of the dishes I slaved over every year. I expected them to beg for the most complicated, most time-consuming dishes I’d ever served on the 25th.   Perhaps they wouldn’t be able to choose between the cake, the three kinds of pie, and the three kinds of cookies we traditionally served.

Instead, the first kid had no problem deciding on the most important holiday food: green Christmas tree cookies. My husband? The green Christmas tree cookies. Kid Number Two? Green Christmas tree cookies. That was it. Piece of cake…or rather, cookie.

Green Cookies in a Row
Green Cookies in a Row

For the past two years, I’ve made batches of green Christmas tree cookies and let a lot of other fancy desserts go. If I don’t get to the rest, everyone is happy with the cookies! And my life is simpler, because these cookies don’t require any special ingredients, unless you count one of those little brown bottles of almond extract that lasts you for five years. These cookies mean Christmas to me, too, because the recipe is my mother’s, and I can’t remember a December without them. I’m happy to share the recipe. Enjoy!

Caro Carson’s Green Christmas Tree Cookies

(a.k.a. Butter Press Cookies)

Beat together:

1 cup of butter

½ cup of white sugar

On low speed, mix in:

2 cups of flour

1 tsp. almond extract

Green food coloring

Spoon into a cookie press, and extrude the batter into tree shapes.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

Do you have a special military connection, Caro?

I’m a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, and I served in the Military Police Corps as an officer in the army after graduation. This may explain the somewhat unusual photo of the cookies. My husband took that photo and labeled it “West Pointer’s cookies in straight rows.” Very funny, honey.

Caro at West Point
Caro at West Point

My favorite military holiday memory is Thanksgiving. I loved being part of the tradition that officers serve the holiday meal to their troops. We wore “dress blues,” the most formal uniform with all the ribbons, medals, and jazzy military stuff, to scoop the mashed potatoes and cut the pumpkin pie. It was great fun to meet the soldiers’ children, too. In the military working environment, you don’t get to see little kids very often. What is a holiday without excited children? They made it special.

I have a Christmas book! Print books go into bookstores on November 18th. It’s a Harlequin Special Edition, A Texas Rescue Christmas.Check out the details here.

Thanks for joining us today, Caro!

Find Caro at the usual places:

Website: http://www.CaroCarson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarocarson

Remember, you can do your part in supporting the military for the holidays. Harlequin will send one book for every 20 new subscribers to the Geri Krotow Newsletter. Sign up here.