Celebrating in a time of crisis

Normally I don’t share the same info on my blog as I do in my newsletter, but today I think it bears repeating, and should be shared with everyone and not just my subscribers (who are still very special and will get some exclusive content very soon).

Here’s what I wrote:

Today I celebrate a brand new release, but I can’t stop thinking about everything that’s happened in the world lately.

Yesterday I saw a question on Twitter that really made me think. Is it appropriate to celebrate when there’s a tragic event happening in the world?

My immediate thought was, lately it seems as though there is always a tragic event. And that is sobering and sad. In the last month alone we’ve witnessed three devastating hurricanes and the worst mass shooting in US history. It feels wrong and, well, trivial, to post the happy news that I have a book releasing today. Not when families are grieving, without power, without the necessities of life.

Thinking about those people trying to rebuild their lives – physically, mentally, emotionally – gives me a horrible sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

As I’ve been thinking about this, I’m reminded of a question I get asked often in interviews or by people I meet who discover what I do for a living. Why do I write romance?

My answer is always, for the hope.

Or to quote author Damon Suede: Romance is the literature of hope.

A romance novel’s main promise to the reader is a happy ending. A reader knows they are going to finish the book and justice will have prevailed, the main characters discover that love conquers all, and hopefully, when that last page is turned, the reader will let out a happy sigh and feel buoyed that LOVE WINS. ALWAYS.

I got a letter from a reader once who told me she’d read one of my books while sitting next to her baby’s hospital bed, and it got her through some rough hours. I can’t hold everyone’s hand (though I wish I could). If one of my stories is a metaphorical hand holding, I’m happy. But shouting to the world that I have a new book out…feels wrong.

So I’m announcing it quietly, and sending it out into the world with love. DECK THE HALLS is the next book in the Darling, VT series. George Reilly is a veteran who spent a lot of time on the streets, trying to run away from his demons. Amy Merck is the twin sister of the man George considered his brother – and who didn’t make it back from deployment. Redemption, forgiveness, feeling worthy of happiness… those are the themes that run through this story, along with a good dose of falling in love at the holidays. It’s a heartwarming, feel-good kind of story… and I think the world could use some of that these days.

I’m going to be reading the first chapter on Facebook Live at 2 p.m. EST today (October 3) at www.facebook.com/DonnaAlwardAuthor. And you can find links to the book here on my website.

Sending you all hugs, prayers, and very good wishes,


Donna xx

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