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:
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!