Archive for 'on writing'

Shop talk: unusual happy-ever-afters

Really enjoyed this thought-provoking post by Lorraine Heath, “When the HEA Isn’t Quite What We Expect,” on Heroes and Heartbreakers. “The value in unusual Happily-Ever-Afters is that they can dare us to believe in the possibility of so much more, change our perspective, or elicit a profound emotion,” says Lorraine. “They can help to keep the genre fresh, broaden its horizons, and allow authors to step out of their comfort zone. . . . if reading romance teaches us anything at all, it’s that there are rewards to be found in taking risks.”

Also — Lorraine’s latest was released yesterday! Check out this amazing cover!Cover of When the Marquess Falls by Lorraine Heath

Click here to read Lorraine’s post in full. And here for info on how to order When the Marquess Falls.

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Shop talk: Meredith Duran & Sabrina Jeffries

RT Book Reviews recently posted a fascinating conversation between Sabrina Jeffries and Meredith Duran. My favorite snippet is this from Meredith:

“Our genre is often derided as ‘escapist,’ but I think there’s a great and potentially agentive power in escapism if it enables us to realize and articulate our core values. . . . I like to think that the romance genre, by celebrating the importance of human connection, also helps us embrace and defend the qualities that engender human connection in the world.”

Photo: Meredith Duran

Meredith Duran

Photo: Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries

Click here to read the full post, “Historical Chat: Meredith Duran and Sabrina Jeffries Talk Books.”

 

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On arranged marriages

Really enjoyed Madeline Hunter’s thoughtful and wide-ranging post in USA Today‘s Happy Ever After blog, “Romance Unlaced: Authors Explore Beloved Arranged-marriage Trope in Recent Historicals.” Among the authors sharing their perspective are Julia London, Elisabeth Hobbes, and Blythe Gifford.

Graphic for USA Today's Happy Ever After blog

It’s a trope I like a lot too. Obviously. I utilized it in my own You May Kiss the Bride and The Laird Takes a Bride:)

You can read the post here.

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Word of the day: Mayhap

Here’s a lovely word for a writer of historical romance. By way of example, Merriam-Webster quotes from Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly: “The very footmen sometimes grinned too broadly, the maidservants giggled mayhap too loud . . .”

Infographic: "mayhap" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

Waverly was published in 1814, which would clearly make it acceptable for me to use “mayhap” in one of my Regency-era books. I haven’t so far, though now, as I’m writing the third book in the Penhallow Dynasty series, it occurs to me that there’s a character who could very well utter it. Stay tuned . . .

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Word of the day: Fastidious

“Difficult to please,” says Merriam-Webster; also “having complex nutritional requirements.” It’s a wonderfully accurate description of my hero’s grandmother in You May Kiss the Bride.Infographic: a definition of "fastidious" by Merriam-Webster

Here’s a snippet from Chapter 5, in which my heroine discovers just how fastidious her hostess is.

Livia stared dismally at her plate. On it was a mashed turnip cake, three limp mushrooms over which had been spooned a lumpy gray sauce, and half a raw artichoke bottom. Not only did Mrs. Penhallow follow a most peculiar culinary regimen, so were she and Miss Cott forced to endure it as well. It was all because of that repulsive Dr. Wendeburgen, one of Bath’s most eminent physicians and a particular favorite of Mrs. Penhallow. No meat, no fish, no poultry, no milk, no cream, no butter, no eggs, no bread, declared Dr. Wendeburgen. Above all, no desserts! What could be more injurious to the human alimentary tract?

Want to read more? Click here to read Chapter 1.

If you’d like to preorder in advance of the March 27th release, click here.

Plus, Avon Books is hosting two giveaways! Ten print advance reader’s copies are up for grabs on Goodreads. And there’s a sweepstakes, too. Good luck!

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About that cloak in Chapter 4 . . .

The other day I drifted up from sleep in the wintry early-morning darkness, and the first thing that came to mind — very clearly and distinctly — was the cloak a secondary character in The Laird Takes a Bride wears in Chapter 4

My brain had just served up the realization that it was unlikely that this character would choose this particular cloak, and that I really should change it.

So I did. With satisfaction.

Cartoon via Someecards: "Writer Hard at Work"

It’s true.

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Word of the day: Uncouth

Here’s a useful word I employed in You May Kiss the Bride. Infographic: "uncouth" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

 

My heroine, Livia, betrothed to Gabriel Penhallow, hears the name Alasdair Penhallow mentioned, and asks who that is. Gabriel’s haughty, cantankerous grandmother replies with a sniff:

“He is Gabriel’s cousin, and the head of the Scottish branch of the Penhallows — we here in England have nothing to do with them as they are a backward, uncouth lot. This Alasdair is evidently an utter wastrel and is known, among our own intimate circle, as the black sheep of the family. A highly appropriate term, given the Clans’ apparent obsession with their sheep. For myself, I have never cared for mutton, but Dr. Wendeburgen says under extreme circumstances, such as a fit of sneezing that lasts more than an hour, consuming it in pureed form is of the utmost urgency.”

You’ll meet Alasdair in my next book, The Laird Takes a Bride. You’ll have to decide for yourself if old Mrs. Penhallow is correct in her estimation of him . . .

In the meantime, if you’d like to read an excerpt from You May Kiss the Bride, click here. You can also enter Avon Books’ Goodreads giveaway for 10 print advance reader copies; click here to enter. Good luck!

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“Stories yet to be written”

Oh my gosh, do I love this image. Tales not yet told; characters not yet conjured into existence; love not yet found, fought for, and won . . .

Photo: an old-fashioned pen and an inkpot labeled STORIES YET TO BE WRITTEN

via Farah Ghuznavi on Twitter

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The Wedding Dress

What a sad image! Still, it would make a wonderful illustration for an opening chapter in a romance novel, wouldn’t it? Things look bad for the heroine. But we know — for sure — that it will all end up OK. No, more than OK: it’ll be great.

"The Wedding Dress" by Frederick William Elwell, 1911.

“The Wedding Dress” by Frederick William Elwell, 1911

Which is just one reason why I love reading (and writing!) romance.

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You’ve got questions? I’ve got answers!

If you happen to be wondering what I’m currently working on, my strategy for dealing with writer’s block, where I got my idea(s) for You May Kiss the Bride, how I get inspired to write, and if I have any advice for aspiring writers, hop on over to my Goodreads page!

Cover for YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE by Lisa Berne (Avon/HarperCollins)

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