Tag Archives: Catherine Mann

Escape with the Runaway Brides

BOTR-300dpiEscape with the Runaway Brides

By Joanne Rock & Catherine Mann

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” —Maya Angelou

So often a romance novel ends with a wedding or a soon-to-be bride. The romantic storyline follows a couple as they battle obstacles to their happily-ever-after, ending with its “destination full of hope.” And, as Maya Angelou suggests, love jumps hurdles to get there.

But what if a romance novel opens with a bride leaping fences to escape the promise of her happily-ever-after? That’s the story we wanted to write when we sat down to pen our first Runaway Bride story, How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days. Yet, like any fun story premise, the idea of a runaway bride didn’t just generate one story. We wondered what it would be like if the bride was running away from Mr. Right and didn’t know he was Mr. Right (How to Lose a Groom). Then, we wondered what would happen if the bride ran from a guy who seemed perfect, but wasn’t HER Mr. Right (The Wedding Audition).

Of course, a bride could also be completely happy and ready to marry when her husband-to-be reveals a secret affair (There Goes the Bride). Or she could suddenly realize the guy she was marrying wasn’t at all who he pretended to be (Bride on the Run). The fun thing about the Runaway Brides has been that each heroine had a very different journey, but they all started with a great escape from a wedding day.

Even the escape from the wedding itself turned out to be a fun writing challenge. Our brides were inventive in their disappearing acts, shimmying out a window, commandeering a trolley, or hopping on a motorcycle to take a serious emotional “time out” from what should have been the most important day of their lives.

Maybe that’s what makes the runaway bride so compelling. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of ditching our lives and starting over at some point? No matter how much we love our kids, our husbands, our families, we have all stared out a window now and then and wondered—what would happen if I made a different choice? What would happen if I just walked away?

We enjoyed the fantasy of the escape vicariously, roaring away on a Harley in full wedding regalia. Because seriously… what if?

The course of true love never did run smooth, a Shakespearean character laments in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sometimes it takes a big shake-up to help us find the right path in life, the path that will lead us to true and everlasting love. Love recognizes no barriers—pushing us to make the romantic choices that will make us happiest. Part of the power of the romance novel is reminding us not to settle for half-measures in love. In other words, don’t marry a man just because he seems like Mr. Perfect, or because it seems too late to call the whole thing off. There is always time to trust our instincts and follow our dreams, even if that means taking a giant step backward.

That destination full of hope is worth waiting for!

tuleprize**Let’s pretend you are making your big escape today… where would you go to start fresh? Or, where would you like to be for just a day-long break? Tell us what you think and we’ll give one random poster the prize pack pictured!**




auth_CatherineMannACatherine MannUSA Today bestselling and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Tule Publishing. She and her husband have four children and live in Florida, where she is a founding member and president of the Sunshine State Animal Rescue. Visit Catherine Mann at her website or on Facebook and Twitter

auth_JoanneRockJoanne Rock has taken her love of happily-ever-afters to a variety of subgenres from contemporary romance to medieval historicals. A Golden Heart recipient and three-time RITA nominee, Joanne is a dedicated reader and super-fan of the romance genre. Visit Joanne at her website, or on Facebook and Twitter


New authors, new series, new giveaway!

Southern Born Books is thrilled to share with you the debut of the “Runaway Brides” series! How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days and The Wedding Auditionco-authored by Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock, are available now! Keep reading to learn more and be sure to enter the giveaway!


He thought their love was a grand slam, until his bride called foul…

After an impulsive courthouse wedding with one of baseball’s rising stars, landscaper Melanie Webb wonders if she’s fallen victim to lust at first sight. She hardly knows Grady Hollis, the Atlanta outfielder who swooped into her Florida hometown and charmed the socks—and more!—right off her. She couldn’t resist when he proposed under the stars right on the outfield she’d worked so hard to maintain. But when the aftermath means moving to Atlanta and following him around the country for his eight-month a year travel schedule, she gets cold feet.

But Grady has never been a man to give up on a dream and Melanie is everything he ever hoped for in a woman. He knows if only he can convince her to come along for the ride, he’ll convince her that their forever can be something special… and sizzling too. The road trip brings them both deeper understanding, surprise revelations and a love every bit as fiery as the passion.

Review: This is the perfect story that you can read in one afternoon while enjoying the nice spring weather. I highly recommend this story. -NetGalley Reviews


TTheWeddingAudition-300dpihe tabloids call her the Hit and Run Bride after reality show star Annamae Jessup walked out on Atlanta’s favorite baseball player on cable television. Eager to escape her notoriety, Annamae takes a road trip to find the grandmother she’s never met and winds up discovering a whole lot more than a band of back woods relatives. There’s no escape from reality TV, even in Beulah, Alabama, population 3000.

The last thing Wynn Rafferty needs in his new life is a spoiled television princess who can’t even know his real name. He’s in temporary witness protection as an apple farmer after his undercover work put his life in danger. He needs to lay low until the heat dies down from his last case— even if he sucks at growing apples as badly as he sucks at relationships. But Annamae turns his new town into a media circus, unwittingly threatening the lives of him, her and most of Beulah. Wynn is an expert at keeping the world at arm’s length, but when it comes to Annamae, the only way he can keep her safe is to keep her very, very close.

Review: I loved following up with Annamae’s story after being introduced to her at the end of How To Lose A Groom in 10 Days. I really enjoyed The Wedding Audition because I didn’t expect what would happen, how this would unfold, and I loved how Catherine and Joanne managed to do this! I always find it fascinating too how authors can write a book together, and it is so smooth and well written that it’s like one person wrote it. -NetGalley Reviews


FullSizeRender (43)Giveaway!

To celebrate, we’re giving away a copy of  Tina Ann Forkner‘s Southern Born story Waking Up Joylots of reader swag, plus a $5 Starbucks gift card! To enter, leave a comment and tell us why you love stories set in the south! Good luck, Book Girls!