Friday, February 2, 2018

Meet Jo Raisanen


Hello, Heartwarming authors and readers!


I’m Johanna Raisanen, and I’m new to the Heartwarming editorial team, but not new to Harlequin. I’ve actually worked for the biggest romance publisher for over twenty years! And, no, that doesn’t make me feel old—much. Since I may be unfamiliar to some of you, though not to everyone (waving hello!), I thought I’d share some stuff about me in a handy list. Here are ten things about me:


1.) I love to travel! I’ve been lucky enough to visit some amazing places and have some incredible adventures. I have a long bucket list of countries I’ve yet to visit! Of all the places I’ve been, my absolute favourite is Paris.


2.) I’m a terrible cook, but I love to bake. If I don’t bake these gingerbread cookies at Christmas, I know several people who would probably unfriend me!


3.) As an animal lover, I think all animals are the best, but I’m a complete pushover for dogs. I lost my dog, Potter, five years ago. Wasn’t she such a pretty girl?


4.) You know that impossible-to-answer question what book would you bring to a deserted island? Like many book-lovers, I find it tough to nail it down to just one! Who knows when you might want to reread some Jane Austen? Or the whole Harry Potter series? I love mysteries, and Sue Grafton (who passed recently ) and Jacqueline Winspear are a couple of my faves. Can I just bring all the books to my island?

5.) Maybe it’s my Nordic background, but I love winter. I also get this weird yearning for a rainy day if there are too many straight days of sunshine. I don’t know why, but a nice, gloomy day once in a while soothes my soul. 


6.) I already mentioned I’m an animal lover, and if you follow me on Twitter (@jo_raisanen), you may have noticed I’m especially partial to pandas. Honestly, if you’re in a bad mood, watch a panda video, and you’ll be smiling in no time! 

Here’s a video of a panda attacking a snowman at the Toronto Zoo:



You’re welcome!

7.) Picking a favourite movie is just as tough as picking a favourite book. If I had to pick one, I would have to say Casablanca. I’ve seen it so many times, I can say the lines. But if I could pick two, I’d add When Harry Met Sally, and it’s so fun to watch them back to back. Harry and Sally’s argument about who Ilsa should end up with is hilarious!

8.) I love nature, the woods, hiking and canoeing. Nothing is so peaceful than a nice paddle on a lake or a walk in the woods, preferably with a dog at my side (that’s my boot with the picture of my dad’s dog, Tupper). 



9.) My musical tastes are varied, but I go back to the American jazz standards a lot! Ella Fitzgerald was so incredible. Who wouldn’t want to be in the audience in Berlin at this concert?!


10.) Did I mention I love to travel? I love hearing great travel stories, too. If you have one, and you see me around at a conference, be sure to tell it to me!

This is me on a cold night in Iceland in the middle of nowhere with the Northern Lights in the background:

That’s me. I look forward to getting to the Heartwarming authors better (I’ve heard great things! J) and reading your stories!

Johanna 

25 comments:

  1. Hi, Johanna! I love your pictures. I hope you like it here in Heartwarming--we certainly do.

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  2. I'm right there with you, Jo, except maybe for the jazz. I'm more into rock and roll. Nice to meet you!

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  3. Hello, Jo! Our family dog passed four years ago and we all bawled for a week. I hope you're traveling to Denver in July so we can meet in person. Best!

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  4. I hope that meeting authors and reading our stories doesn't change your mind. ;)

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  5. Heartwarming is lucky to have you. xoxo

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  6. Hi Jo! I love all your pics and the one with the Northern Lights is especially cool. My answers to those questions would have been pretty much the same as yours...down to loving a rainy, overcast day :). It really is soothing! And your Potter was a gorgeous dog. Welcome to Heartwarming!!

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  7. Waving from warm, sunny Tucson. I'm glad there are people who like winter. So glad you have landed and dug in at Heartwarming. It's so good that you can do a lot of the things you love. Sorry for the loss of your dog. It's hard.

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  8. Hi Johanna! So nice to see you here! I've only got to travel a few times but I long for the day when I can do it more. Your pictures are amazing! I'm not much of a cook, but I also love to bake. And I'm sorry about your dog. I lost my 2 babies 2 years ago (3 days apart). It was a sad, sad time in my house. And if you ever get tired of winter, come hang out in the desert. It's great! And warm. :)

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  9. Hi, Johanna! It's so nice to meet you. I love travel too. Faves so far? Barcelona and Australia/New Zealand.

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    1. I loved those places, too! The south of France, especially Aix-en-Provence is amazing. Then there's Amsterdam, Copenhagen... :)

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  10. Hi, Johanna. Cookies, dogs, and Northern lights? You may be my new best friend. So glad you're here at Heartwarming.

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  11. Thanks for the warm welcome! And the kind comments about my dog. She was the best and I still miss her even though it's been five years. I hope to get another dog this year!

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    1. When our dog of 12 years had to be put down due to cancer two and a half years ago, my husband only lasted 22 days before we got Charlie, our second dog.

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  12. I live in Northern Canada, and I love the cold, too! Not being cold, but a nice cold day outside. Right now, we have a deep freeze, and it's snowing--perfect writing weather! It's weirdly inspiring. :)

    So nice to meet you!

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  13. This is Jo again! I've tried three times to comment under my name, so I'm sneaking in as anonymous.

    Here are some of my comments (that were sucked into the ether!):

    I like rock, too!
    I cried like a baby after my dog died. Thanks for sharing your own stories of loss. Hugs.
    I *am* going to Denver, and I look forward to seeing you there!
    How nice that there are so many kindred spirits here. :)

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  14. Wow!! We love a lot of the same things. It’s nice to meet you. I’m a lover of Harlequin Heartwarming books and check in here as often as I can. So many wonderful books and beautiful authors.

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    1. Thanks for reading Heartwarming! Another kindred spirit! :) (This is Jo again.)

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  15. Great photos. I relate as one with the urge to travel always running through me. I had the pleasure of meeting you some years ago at the Wisconsin Romance Writers (WisRWA) spring conference. I recall how encouraging you were to all of us, and most of us have indeed gone on to publish. I'm very happy in this Heartwarming family, as I know you are.

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovely note! I remember that conference very well. It's so nice to hear that so many authors there went on to publish! Thanks for making my day, Virginia! :) (This is Jo again.)

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  16. Hi Johanna, I love winter too, as long as I'm warm.

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  17. Welcome, Johanna! And I loved your pictures!

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  18. Hi Johanna. I'm a long time Casablanca fan myself. I was so excited when my daughter was old enough so we could watch the movie together and afterward she said, "That's where all those sayings come from?" So glad you're a part of Heartwarming!

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  19. Hey Johanna. Love you. Love seeing you here :)

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  20. Welcome to Heartwarming, Johanna, and thanks for the refresher course on What I Know About You. :)

    - Barbara, newbie Heartwarming author, waving hello to all!

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