I am trying not to squeal as I write my introduction for the amazing, brilliant, innovative, bestselling Thea Harrison! My pal, Megan Crane, introduced me to Thea’s work several years ago, insisting that I read Thea’s Dragonbound, telling me I’d love it, that Thea wrote the kinds of stories I was passionate about, stories with strong, sexual, sensual alpha heroes and fantastic heroines with awesome plots and great pacing…and Megan was right.
Thea Harrison is incredible.
I am a huge fan, and “won” breakfast with her at the RWA National Conference in Anaheim last summer through Brenda Novak’s auction. I was so star struck at breakfast it was tough to eat, so its a tremendous honor to welcome one of my personal author heroes to my blog today.
Readers and friends, may I present to you, the one, and only, Thea Harrison!
I was so excited when Jane Porter asked me to write a post for her blog. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Jane, and she is as wonderful in person as she is in her writing.
For this blog piece, I thought readers might enjoy hearing about how I first got into publishing.
When I was a young teen and we would travel deep into the country to visit my aunt and uncle, there was not much to do other than visit, play outside or read. My aunt read Harlequin novels, books by Barbara Cartland and other romances. My uncle read Zane Grey westerns.
I was a voracious reader from the time I was four, so I read everything they had. That was my first introduction to romances. As I grew older, I developed the conviction that I could write romances as well. Then when I was nineteen, I bought my first small, portable typewriter. I plotted out my book scene by scene, and chapter by chapter, and late at night, when everybody else was in bed, I wrote my first book, A Deeper Dimension.
This was in 1981, and there was no internet, of course. I had to do my research in the library to discover where to send off my novel. I mailed it to the Harlequin office in Toronto, and then began an agonizing wait.
While I waited, I wrote my second book, A Damaged Trust (later Harlequin chose a different order of publication than the sequence in which I wrote them). Finally, after months of waiting, I decided to write the Toronto office to follow up on my submission.
That was when I learned that they had forwarded my manuscript to the Harlequin Mills & Boon offices in the UK. Shortly afterward, an editor contacted me about my submission. She gave me a list of ten revisions that she would like to see in the story. I completed the revisions, mailed the new version off to her, and they accepted my first novel for publication.
To say that I was over the moon would be an understatement. I could hardly believe my luck. Still, I truly had no idea just how lucky I was until several years later, when folks at the Harlequin office told me that—at the time I had submitted—they received on average about ten thousand unsolicited manuscripts a year, and typically they took on four to six new authors each year.
I really felt like I had won the lottery! I went on to publish sixteen romances with Harlequin under the name Amanda Carpenter.
Now I’m delighted to say that I’ve signed with Samhain Publishing to digitize all of the available Amanda Carpenter books under their Retro Romance line. Samhain will be producing the books, one a month, for the next fifteen months. You can find the schedule for publication here.
A Deeper Dimension is out now and you can find it at:
To celebrate, I’m offering here on Jane’s blog seven digital copies of my first book A Deeper Dimension. The reader can pick her choice of e-book format.
For those who would like a keepsake I’m also giving away three original paperback copies of Rose-coloured Love in which a writer and her editor find their happily ever after.
This contest is international.
To enter, please answer this question: Do you remember the first romance you read? If so, who was it?
Please let me know in your comment which prize you’d like.
Jane, thank you so much for having me on your blog. It’s been a pleasure.
Thea, thank you so much for sharing with us! So happy to have you here today.
Readers and friends, for a chance to enter this fantastic giveaway from Thea, be sure to answer her question here! Contest runs through Monday night and I’ll announce winners on Tuesday. Good luck!!
66 Comments / Add Your Comment →
I do read the first romance story but I don’t remember the title or author. 🙂 it was in high school.
The first romance i ever read was one by Brenda Jackson!
I do remember the story, but I can not remember the title or author for the life of me. LOL I do know I was in jr. High when I read it. 🙂
The first romance book I read was by the one and only … Jane Porter 🙂
The one I remember most would be “Gone with the Wind” with Scarlett. One of my favorites!
Oh my, it sounds like I’m the oldster so far! I definitely remember the first romance novel I read: Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. I was 14! And to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what she was writing about in some sections, but it was EXCITING! And I hid the book from my mom,lol. I would love to get a copy of Rose-colored Love!
I believe it was little women by Jane Austin.
I read Victoria Holt, Jane Aiken Hodge & Phyllis Whitney as a teenager. My favorite was Hodge’s Watch the Wall My Darling.
The first romance I remember reading was “Katherine” by Anya Seton. The first “sexy” romance was either “Shanna” by Kathleen Woodiwiss or Rosemary Rogers “Sweet, Savage Love”. Both of them shocked me back then! Real “bodice rippers” but pretty tame by today’s standards.
No, I don’t remember my first romance book. It was nearly 50 years and numerous books ago.
It was probably a Barbara Cartland novel. Would love to win either.
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. If you can consider that a romance! (I don’t think there was a HEA)
I’m thinking it had to have been Forever Amber.
It was most likely The Thorn Birds when I was14.
Kindle snook if I win
I would enjoy reading the paper edition please. My first romance was Rebecca.
It was a book by Victoria Holts. I don’t remember witch one.
Jane got me hooked on her Harlequins and I’m still reading them. There are a lot
Happy Friday! I’m not sure of the first romance I read. The first “steamy-ish” book I remember reading was Judy Blume’s “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret”! If I win, I would love either choice (ebook or actual book). Hope you both have a great weekend!
I´ve read romance as long as I remember, the first ones were books I “borrowed” from mom, Jackie Collins and Barbara Taylor Bradford.. I´d love to win a Mobi copy or the paperback.
Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Friday!
Barbara Cartland, I’m sure… mostly because I’m older.. a lot older..
I used to read thrillers ,so my romance book love is about only 4 years long . So i’m pretty sure it was one of Christine Feehan Drake Sisters books.Im totaly converted to any romance now .
Oh and i forgot what ever format works for a kindle.
I know it sounds unlikely but I started with Georgette Heyer. They were right next to the scifi books I was reading when I first moved from the YA to the adult section of the library.
Mine was The Fortunes of Love by Caroline Courtney. I wrote about it for an NPR essay last December, in case any of you are interested:
I love romance! And I’ve heard great things about your books, Thea, though I haven’t had the chance to read any yet.
I’d love a nook copy of A Deeper Dimension, though that editor/writer storyline definitely sounds intriguing. Sadly, I must opt for the e-book since paper copy books are taking over my house. 🙂
The first romance I ever read was Linda Howard After the Night. Now its my go to book when I wanna read a familar friend
ur books r awesome if im chosen as a winner could i get Rose-coloured Love I have the other book on my preorder list ty for the chance
(Oh, I forgot to note that I mention you in that essay, Thea – on the advice of some of my biggest fantasy/paranormal fan friends.) xoxo
Oh wow, I am going to be aging myself but I’ve been reading romance for about 40 years since i was in my teens. I believe my first book was a Harlequin book but I sure don’t remember which one. I can remember some of the authors(Lillian Peake, Diana Palmer ect.) There is NO telling how many books I purchased and read.
The first romance novel I read was Forever Amber. Loved it.
I would like a copy of your book.
I have been reading for over 50 years. I am 66 and starting reading at about 13.
Nothing better than a good book .
I can not remember the first romance book I read. I have the worst memory! It was probably a Debbie Macomber book.
Kindle or paperback.
I do not remember the first romance I read as it was way back in high school. I do remember reading a number of Harlequin Romances back then though.
I honestly don’t remember the name of the first romance book that I read or who wrote it. But, when I was a teenager, I used to go into the hallway closet where my mom used to stash her books after she read them. All I remember is the setting was in Hawaii (which gave me a look at this exotic place where I dreamed of visiting one day). I remember the description of the lady with red hair and one scene with her wearing a green silk dress. I had taken sewing classes in high school and from what I learned, I created my own version of a green silk dress. That didn’t go as well as planned, but I tried. I found I could leave my troubled world and enter a fantasy world through books. That’s when my addiction to romances started.
It was probably Claudia by Rose Franken. I still like “real” books. Dee
Debbie Macomber Changing habits. I can’t wait for your new book to come out:-) I would like the kindle edition or the paperback. Thanks so much for having the fun contest!
I was only about 13 and found a Kathleen Woodiwiss novel in my mom’s room. I’ve been hooked on romance ever since!
Sorry – forgot to say Nook format. Thanks!
How funny! My first Romances were Barbara Cartland books my mom had and I moved on from there. I think I read all of them…in the early 80s. I moved on to Harlequins and have since branched out to everything! What fun to have them re-issued!
I think it was Penny Jordan.
I was 16, it was “In The Shadow Of The Mountain” by Roseanne Bittnerr. I’ve been hooked ever since.
think it was pride and prejudice
O.M.G. I KNOW I’ve read some of your stories from Harlequin. Amanda Carpenter is so familiar but I can’t recall which of your stories.
But I know I’ve read them. 😀
I don’t really remember my first romance. But they were in the Harlequin series somewhere.
I think it was Danielle Steel’s The Promise.
My first romance books were Danielle Steele.
The first romance I read was Gone With the Wind.
Hi Jane and everybody!
Jane, thank you so much for having me visit. I’m so happy to be here.
Everybody, I love reading all your answers. So many of the books you mention are ones that I’ve read, and it takes me back to how I felt when I read them.
Good luck with the contest! I’m excited to share copies of these books with you!
The first romance book I read was “Shanna” by Kathleen Woodiwiss. After that, I was permanently hooked. Thank you for sharing your work, Thea. 🙂
My mom read Harlequins all the time. I couldn’t tell you an exact title. I know a lot were set in England.
I read Peyton Place in middle school–my mom’s copy from the 60’s–when I should have been reading Judy Blume books. I found it in her sewing room.
The River Nymph I loved that book
Rose-coloured Love I would love to win *hugs*
I am from Indonesia so my first romance was our local writer. It was Istana Emas by Maria A Sardjono, 🙂 That Book make me love romance untill Now…
Thea and Jane,
I love both of your books so much.
I really can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading. I have always loved books so much, that in the first grade they had me tested and I was already reading at 11 grade level.
I am not sure if I can remember what my first Romance book truly was but I know that it could have been Forever by Judy Blume. I have always been a huge Harlequin fan and have read so many over the years. I know there was a series many years ago where there was one from every state and I tried to collect them all!!!!
I would love to have a copy for my Nook or a “real” book.
Have a great weekend!
It’s a long time since I read my first romance, but chances are it was a medical romance. My older sister was really into those.
Such a great post thank you.
I forgot – Rose-coloured Love thank you!!
It was a Barbara Cartland book that my older sister was reading. I wasn’t even in my teens yet so her kind of book was just about right. I don’t remember the title but I still remember that the heroine’s name was Melissa. And that the cover was very pink. Very very pink.
My mom and sisters read romance voraciously, but I never much cared for it, growing up. SF and fantasy were my genres of choice, with the occasional mystery. The first romance I read (and liked) was something I discovered in the library, an older novel by my favorite SF author at the time: STITCH IN SNOW by Anne McCaffrey. I really enjoyed it, but it was a long time after that before I found another romance I liked as much (and that was Loretta Chase’s LORD OF SCOUNDRELS).
(And I’d love a keepsake of ROSE-COLOURED LOVE.)
That would The Flame And The Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I found an old copy at a used book store years ago when I was 12 years old, and I have been a romance reader ever since.
My choice: A deeper dimension for the Nook.
I’d say Jane Austen, I don’t remember anything very romancy before I picked up Pride and Prejudice as a teen.
I would love to win Rose-coloured Love!
Pride and Prejudice and Gone With the Wind were the first real romances I ever read and while I loved them it wasn’t until I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon that I truely fell in love with the genre. From there my love of Historical Romance and Paranormal Romance evolved.
My first romance was by Nora Roberts. I can’t remember the title. I was amazed at how much I loved the writing and how much I cared about the heroine. I would love a Kindle version.
I don’t remember the first romance I read but I do know that it was a Harlequin Superromance novel. I used to work with a lady who would read them all the time and one day she gave me one to try out. I fell in love with reading romance books ever since. I have about 5 totes to read and I read every chance I get. Romance is a wonderful and beautiful thing. I am so happy its summer!!!
My first romance was Little Women….gotta love Louisa may…….I love any books…ebooks or paper. I read them all congrats on all your success.
Thanks everyone, for giving Thea Harrison such a warm welcome on my blog. She’s absolutely amazing!
I know you’re all anxious to know who won so here are the winners –
For the 7 digital copies of A Deeper Dimension –
#32 Marianne W.
#8 Susan Barber
#35 Tawnya Bentley
And for the 3 print copies of Rose-Colored Love –
#26 Mary Branham
#13 Patsy Treybal
Winners, please send me a confirmation email with your full name and mailing address, the title of this blog and your comment number. Also, if you won the digital copy, don’t forget to mention what format you prefer. We’ll get the prizes to everyone asap.
Stay tuned for more fun coming soon!
Congratulations to all.
Congrats to the winners! Jane’s giveaways are the best!
congrats to all the winners!!!