Read-A-Romance Month


Book of love with a heart

{I am privileged and honored to be part of the third annual Read-A-Romance Month, brought to us all by The Joy of Romance blog and by Lorelei’s Lit Lair. (I adore Lorelei!!) Enjoy Lorelei’s essay on romance here. May it inspire you!  I hope you enjoy this post, enter the giveaway, and then visit all the participating authors every day this month! Happy romance reading. <3 }

I’m right smack in the middle of my busy book event season. This means that I’m traveling quite a bit, which translates into many hours in the car. I’m frequently pathetically grateful for the blessings of satellite radio.

Last weekend, as I drove home from St. Louis, I heard a song by Christina Perri, who’s one of my favorite artists. I hadn’t listened closely to this particular song called Miles, but this time I did, and I was charmed. It made me think about love and romance.

(Full disclosure one: it doesn’t take much to take my romance-author-brain there. Full disclosure two: there are two lines in this song which utterly destroy the rest of the lyrics, but I’m going to choose to pretend they don’t exist.)

When we’re young, we tend to have a shallow, one-dimensional view of romance. It’s flowers and dates and mushy love songs. Of course, there’s something to be said for that kind of sap. But the longer we live, if we’re truly fortunate, we realize that the best romance is much deeper, much harder and much more meaningful.

I grew up surrounded by that kind of romance. For as long as I could remember, my grandmother took care of my grandfather. She cooked his meals, washed his clothes, kept the house clean and generally made sure he wanted for nothing. That was the first fifty years. Over the next ten years, it became apparently that Alzheimer’s disease was slowly robbing my grandmother of her memory. From that point on, my grandfather took care of his wife. The man who could barely butter his own toast made all their meals, did all the laundry, cleaned the house and even baked chocolate chip cookies! That, folks, is real romance.

When I write love stories, I try to keep them real. Yes, I love the mush. I love when the leading man says something that takes our breath away. But it’s important to me that we recognize the beauty and romance in life’s simpler moments. A touch on the shoulder. An “I love you” called out as we leave for the day. Bringing hot coffee to a loved one at the start of a new day.

In one of my favorite of my contemporary romances The Posse, Logan proposes to Jude at what might seem the most inopportune time. She’s upset because her daughter’s behaving badly. She’s knee-deep in breakfast orders at the restaurant she runs, covered in cooking grease and working hard in a loud kitchen. But for Logan, Jude’s the most beautiful woman in the world. He tells her, “I didn’t want to waste another minute in my life without you. All of you. Grease, sweat, kids, grandkid. . .I want it all.”

That, folks, is real romance: a lover who sees you, really sees you, with all your flaws and faults and foibles . . . and takes your hand anyway, a promise of a thousand tomorrows within his kiss.

It’s what sets my heart to pounding, and it’s why I’ll always be a romance writer.

Recommendations: Romance is what I read, and these are some of my favorite suppliers:

Kristan Higgins. The humor and depth of feeling with which she writes her love stories never lets me down.

Sarina BowenI fell in love with her New Adult sports romances this year, and now I can’t get enough. Her characters have real-life issues, but they’re not defined by those problems. The love is breath-taking. 

Olivia Hardin. I’m privileged that this author is also a dear friend. I adore her contemporary as well as her paranormal romances. Her leading men make me swoon and her women are strong and sassy!



1 – Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. I’m not an adventurer. I don’t like heights, closed spaces or the ocean. But after my parents passed away, I determined to take some kind of risk each year. In 2008, I was in Maui with my sisters to spread our parents’ ashes. We were to meet up with friends who lead snorkeling/scuba outings, but I knew I didn’t want to do it–I was staying put on the beach. Somehow, though, I ended up in a wetsuit, with a paddle board, kicking out over the swells. I’d never been that deep. When I got up the courage to actually look down into the water, I was prepared to be terrified. I wasn’t ready for the joy that filled me when I saw sea turtles with us. Watching them swim and interact with each other as I floated on the warm salt water was one of the most free, joy-filled experiences of my life.

Young woman reading book and looking at beautiful sunrise on the pier with sea and mountains on background

2 – Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy. The beach is my happy place. It’s where I feel at peace, at home and filled with possibilities. How can anyone look out over the endless sea under a fathomless sky and believe in limitations?

3 – Tell us about a sound that brings you joy. Although it’s trite, the sound of my children laughing with each other brings me the most joy. I love the relationship the four of them have, and it fills me with happiness to hear evidence of that. 

4 – What recent book have you read that brought you joy?  The book that has brought me the most joy recently would be Moonrise by Gail Priest. It’s not out yet-I beta read it–but it’s beautiful and tragic and deeply joyful, all at once. I cried every time I read it, in the absolute best way.

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) Oh my! It would be a tie between Chris Pratt, because he’s simply adorable, and Christopher Plummer. Oooooh la la! 

TK01Bio: Tawdra Kandle write romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. She lives in central Florida with a husband, some children, a sweet pup and needy cats. Oh, and she rocks purple hair.


Giveaway! I’m giving away ebooks of my trilogy THE ONE to one lucky commenter! Tell me about your favorite part of romance: is it sweet, serious, sexy or silly? One commenter will be chosen at random on August 31st. Good luck!


Peace, love and romance~

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  1. My favorite part of romance is the sweetness. I loved your sea turtle story! I only like ocean water when it’s very clear. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. It would be a tie between the silly and the romance. I love to laugh and someone who can make me laugh. I also love the sweet romantic things. My hubby is not the flowers type of guy….33 years together and I’ve gotten flowers 6 times as of Jan 2015. This year out of the blue he brought me home a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day. We usually just do cards but he really surprised me. That to me was romantic because it wasn’t expected.

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