Tag Archives: Season for Temptation

Guest: Theresa Romain! (+ Her Brother :D)

You guys, we have an extra special fun post from awesome author Theresa Romain today! Whee! I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome, and also extend the same to her brother!

Limecello, thanks so much for hosting me today! My second historical romance, Season for Surrender, just came out last week. I’ve asked my brother to help me with this post, because

1) Season for Surrender is, in large part, about family relationships, and
2) This way he will do half the work for me.

Thanks for your help, Brother R!

Absolutely – it never hurts to help! So, you say Season for Surrender is about family relationships, eh? I’m intrigued – tell me more.

Well, that statement was only partially true. It’s first and foremost a romance, of course! But when the book begins, both the hero and heroine are trying to figure out how to make their own path away from their family. Rakish Alex, Lord Xavier, has begun to feel trapped by the expectations of his friends (and villainous cousin—grrr). Shy Louisa Oliver is ready to overcome her fears about society by leaving her sister’s household. They meet at a naughty Christmas house party. Whee!

Well, if I lived in my sister’s household, I am sure I would never want to leave because it is so darn cool.

I do keep a lot of baked goods on hand.

Speaking of that sister, are we going to meet Julia and James in Season for Surrender?

Look at you, referring to the hero and heroine from my debut (Season for Temptation). You really did read it?

But of course! I brought it to the gym and read it in between sets. It was great – no one bothered me to ask for a spotter.

Well, YEAH. A guy who’s strong enough to read a pink book in public is obviously a guy you don’t want to tangle with.

In answer to your question, Julia (heroine from my debut) makes a brief appearance in Season for Surrender. But! You can read either book without having read the other. (Not you. People in general. You are required to read both, Brother R. Sorry.)

No worries, I’ve been longing for some more good gym reading to work on my emotional strength as well as my physical strength. 😉 Who else will be at the Season for Surrender house party, and what sort of goings-on can readers expect to find?

*Louisa’s blunt-spoken aunt, Lady Irving, serving as a chaperone
*Xavier’s cousin Lockwood, who has a cunning plan
*Xavier’s other cousin Jane, who wishes she had a cunning plan but can’t because her mother is keeping a close eye on her
*a library full of secrets

I am amazed by your creativity in coming up with cunning plans and characters with awesome names. (I secretly wished I was named Xavier in elementary school.) From whence do you draw your inspiration?

Nice historical-speak, Brother R. A day with a “whence” is a good day indeed.

Character-name inspiration can come from all over the place. Film crew credits at the end of British movies; 19th century novels; my trusty directory of English peerages. As for the cunning plans: strictly my imagination, I swear.

Should we give away a book now?

We are giving away a book? What book? And, I heartily agree, a day with a wench is a good day indeed. May I quote you on that?

Er…sure, why not?

We’re giving away a signed copy of Season for Surrender, so someone will get to read about this ever-festive house party full of cunning plans. And—to return to our original topic—see how Xavier and Louisa find love while also finding their own path away from their families.

Not that families aren’t great. Because they are. Especially when they help one with one’s work. Thanks, Brother R!

You’re welcome. Do I get to ask the question for commenters now? Sweet! Okay, here it is: “What is the most embarrassing thing your family has ever said to a date you brought home?”

I can answer that for you. “When Brother R was little, I used to dress him up like a—”

<coughs loudly> Well, it was nice blogging with you, Sister! That’s all, folks!

Hee! I, for one, was vastly entertained. We’re hoping to get Theresa’s brother here, so what question do you have for either sibling?!

Guest: Theresa Romain Talks Dating, Conflict, and the Careful Application of Crazysauce

Lookit! ;D (I figured I needed to mix it up a bit, right?) Today we’ve got Theresa Romain back again! We didn’t scare her off! (Ok, ok, I didn’t. I know it’d be down to me. :P)

Dating, Conflict, and the Careful Application of Crazysauce

On this day, mumble mumble years ago, Mr. R and I went out on our first date.

It was ok. Pretty good, I guess. We went to a sports bar and played one of those networked trivia games. Mr. R wiped up the geography section—but then came a slew of questions about the human skeleton, and a look of dread crossed his face.

Fortunately for him, I learned some weird things in third grade, including the names of most human bones. The third grade part made me O_o – that’s quite a memory! So, we won. Mischief managed! Mr. R was so impressed that he called me for a second date a mere nine days later. That was ok with me, because we were both grad students and we had some giant research papers to complete during the nine days.

Does that make for an interesting story? If it weren’t for the skeleton, I’d say: not really. Dating may be the one area of life that’s less horrible AS WELL AS less amazing than it appears in fiction. Most real-life dates don’t make for good reading, because there’s no conflict. Both people want the same thing: to meet someone they’ll like spending time with. And conflict is what propels a story along.

For this reason, a lot of first dates in fiction aren’t between the hero and heroine. Instead, the date is with someone else so that it can serve as a source of conflict; that is, a reason for the couple not to be together.

I’ll give you some examples in a table, because I love making tables (I was dropped as a baby). Here we see some sample events from my first date with Mr. R, as compared to totally made-up equivalents in contemporary and historical romance.

I don’t know why the lines of the chart won’t show up : sorry.

Actual First Date with Mr. R First Date in a Contemporary Romance First Social Encounter in a Historical Romance
Site of date An average-looking sports bar A sports bar that is 1000% seedier than the heroine expected A mad crush of bodies in the most anticipated ball of the entire London season
Heroine’s date Hero Man with comb-over, dressed in leisure suit, who bears no resemblance to photo on dating site Noble nincompoop sent by heroine’s mother to dance with her
Behavior of heroine’s date Sadly ignorant of human skeletal terminology; otherwise nice Much loud laughter at own jokes; inappropriate touching Unable to remember dance steps; presumes too much upon slight acquaintance
Location of hero In vicinity of heroine Seated on nearby barstool, smirking at clueless behavior of Leisure Suit Man Standing with bored pack of alpha males, all deriding the latest debutantes—until heroine catches his eye as she dances with Lord Nincompoop
Circumstances of kiss At end of date, hero says goodnight and kisses heroine* Leisure Suit Man goes in for a smooch, heroine falls off chair in attempt to avoid Lord Nincompoop lures heroine into garden and plants one on her—in view of notorious gossip
Aftermath Nine days of radio silence, during which time serious-grad-student-type research papers were completed Heroine chokes on gum, turns purple. Hero swoops in and successfully performs Heimlich Hero intervenes to prevent hasty betrothal; ends by spiriting heroine away for three scandalous days of passion

See? There’s much more conflict when the hero and heroine are kept separate by something more than research papers. (Also, that was kind of fun calling myself a heroine.) While we love it when a date goes smoothly in real life, in fiction we love heaping scoops of conflict, sometimes with a sweet crazysauce topping.

In my romance debut, Season for Temptation, the hero and heroine’s first meeting isn’t like the one in the table above. There’s no garden, and no ballroom, but there is a giant source of conflict. James and Julia meet when he comes to visit her family—because he’s in an engagement of convenience to Julia’s stepsister, who’s also her closest friend.

In real life, this is the kind of situation that gets you on The Jerry Springer Show, and even in fiction, it has the potential to cross lines of betrayal that I wanted to stay away from. I was looking for conflict, but not a crazysauce level of it. So in my story, all three people involved in the triangle are motivated by duty to their families, and they’re all trying to act in an honorable way. As it turns out, this puts even more barriers in the way of James and Julia’s romance.

Have you read a book, or seen a movie, with a first-date scene that you really enjoyed? Share, share! I’m offering a print copy of Season for Temptation to one random commenter. International entrants welcome.

BIO: Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on.  She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. Her historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, was published in October 2011. The sequel, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, will be published in October 2012.

Theresa lives with her family in the Midwest and lives online. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

*He still says I kissed him. But I disagree, and I’m the one writing the blog post.