Celebrating “Romance Awareness Month” with #CMCon23 Featured Author Nina Crespo

August might seem an odd choice for a celebration of romance, since February is typically the month covered in hearts and flowers. However, after a short run through Google, I came across a few things that explain the month-long “holiday”.

Romance Awareness Month was started by a woman named Eileen Buchheim who had a company called Celebrate Romance in California back in the early 1990s. She would help couples plan dates and romantic getaways, and started creating “Celebrate Romance” kits that because a (brief) mail order phenomenon.


Eileen wanted people to remember that romance shouldn’t be limited to grand gestures on Valentine’s Day — and should be rekindled and nurtured all year long. There are dozens upon dozens of lists with ways to acknowledge and share romance throughout the year, and one of the items on many of them is reading romance books!!! Thankfully — we’ve got that covered!

Nina Crespo writes romance we can read all year long. Specifically, her August release, THE DESIGNER’S SECRET, the second book from her Small Town Secrets series!! She’s also one of the hosts of the romance show/podcast INSIDE THE ROMANCE BUZZ, where she talks to other authors about their romance releases.

For her Coastal Magic Convention Featured Author Spotlight, Nina was gracious enough to take time from her writing day to share a few of her thoughts on romance – in her own life and in her books.

Rapid Fire & This or That

  1. What is your favorite thing about writing romance?
    I love creating characters, taking them on a journey, and crafting a satisfying, positive ending to their story.
  2. What do you think is the most underestimated or under-appreciated aspect of romance.
    As far as romance stories, I think the most underestimated aspect is how satisfying a happily-ever-after ending can be for a reader.
  3. Have you ever addressed a situation you personally faced in any of your stories? How did you handle it?
    In Take Me If You Dare, Jasmine deals with bad pickup lines in a bar. I remember those days. Writing that opening scene in the book made me laugh so hard.
  4. What, in your opinion, is the most romantic scene you’ve written in any of your books?
    That’s not an easy question to answer. Right now, the HEAs of A Chef’s Kiss and The Designer’s Secret come to mind. I loved the endings of Dominic and Philippa’s and Bastian and Layla’s stories.
  5. What’s the most romantic thing anyone has done for you?
    My husband has given me some really great birthday and anniversary gifts over the years. Last year, he arranged a surprise visit from one of my girlfriends that I hadn’t seen in a while. That day also included lots of pampering.
  6. If you could choose one couple as an example of #RomanceGoals, who would it be? (fictional or real-life)
    I honestly don’t know. It makes me smile to see couples happy together and living their best lives (fictional or in real life).
  7. Show Me: Little things or grand gestures.
    Little things. (Especially if they’re spontaneous.)
  8. Gift Me: Flowers or sweets.
  9. Take Me: Fancy foreign vacay or cozy home staycation.
    Right now, I would just love a vacation. Take me anywhere that’s fun!
  10. Watch With Me: Sweet & Heartwarming or Rom Com Hilarity
    Rom Com Hilarity (But that could change tomorrow!)

A satisfying, romantic story from Harlequin’s Special Edition imprint (August 2022)

Keeping it buttoned up…Promise not to tell?

Usually sensible Layla Price stuns herself when she spends the night with a handsome stranger. Blaming it on a freak rainstorm and Bastian Raynes’s heroic rescue, Layla believes she’ll never see him again. She’s only in this small town to end some silly family feud. Except…Bastian’s family is on the other end of that feud and Layla’s hiding her real identity. Adding this new drama to the old, Layla should steer clear of the former military man. But can she?

Small Town Secrets Series
A Chef’s Kiss, Book 1 (2022 RSJ Emma Award Winner)
The Designer’s Secret, Book 2
Second Take at Love, Book 3

Want more small-town romance?
Read the Tillbridge Stables Series

The Cowboy’s Claim, Book 1 (*2021 Booksellers’ Best Award Winner)
Her Sweet Temptation, Book 2
The Cowgirl’s Surprise Match, Book 3

If you’d like to join Nina and a whole slew of fellow readers and awesome authors for a weekend of bookish shenanigans by the beach… you should DEFINITELY check out the Coastal Magic Convention. February 23-26, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida, we will be there with everyone for discussion panels, meet & greets, chill time, and a big book signing. **Masks will be required for the duration of the event.** We’d love to see you there!! http://CoastalMagicConvention.com


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