Archive for 'romance'

Jane Austen, inspiration for romance authors

I had a blast writing this little think-piece for Bookish on how Jane Austen continues to inspire romance novelists everywhere. Please enjoy. Graphic: "How Jane Austen Continues to Inspire Romance Novelists," a think-piece for Bookish by Lisa Berne, author of You May Kiss the Bride (Avon Books)

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Word of the day: Sarcasm

An excellent word for a writer. It can be a lot of fun having one (or more) of your characters be sarcastic.

Graphic: "sarcasm" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

 

I used it in You May Kiss the Bride, when my hero, Gabriel Penhallow, is discussing travel plans with his strong-willed grandmother. Although on the surface they’re rather tetchy, there’s a quiet little subtext here which shows how they’ve moved beyond the cool formality which for many years has kept them all too detached from each other. My heroine, Livia, perceives this with joy.

Grandmama jumped again into the fray. “I suppose,” she said to Gabriel, “you wish to stay at the Swan.”

“As it’s the only other establishment in Wells where I’d even consider stabling the horses, yes.”

“The sheets are always damp.”

“And how would you know that? You’ve just said you exclusively patronize the Royal Hart.”

“It is the common report,” answered Grandmama coldly.

“Fine! You stay at the Royal Hart, and I’ll stay at the Swan.”

“Don’t be absurd.”

“It’s not absurd. It seems to me an eminently practical plan.”

“Need I remind you that we travel under your protection?” Grandmama smiled triumphantly, and it was to be seen that she had clinched the argument, for Gabriel glared but added:

“Don’t blame me when we all emerge from the Hart infested with fleas.”

“We shan’t,” she answered, with maddening serenity. “I won’t allow it. Dear me, you’re quite peevish today! Go and ride your horse until your temper cools. That’s what Richard always did. Not that he was ever as snappish as you are.”

“It grieves me to inform you that it’s raining today. Again.”

“Have you no other occupation? Surely you have something better to do than badger a helpless old woman.”

He visibly ground his teeth, his eyes flashing even more magnificently. “Yes,” he said with heavy sarcasm, “extremely helpless.”

There was, Livia mused, something vivifying about a good brangle. Grandmama had a nice healthy flush of color in her cheeks. And Gabriel looked so handsome that she wished she could go over and take hold of him in a brazen way and kiss him for a good long time.

This snippet appears in Chapter 12, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here.

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Romance panel at the Get Lit! festival

Will you be in the Spokane, WA, area next Saturday afternoon? If so, perhaps you might like to join me as I moderate a Get Lit! panel featuring fellow romance authors Asa Maria Bradley, Tamara Morgan, Katee Robert, and Rebecca Zanetti. We’ll be talking about what it’s like to write romance, how they go about it, their advice for aspiring authors, and more. Plus, I hear there’s going to be door prizes. :)

More info about the “What’s in a Kiss?” panel here.

 

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“To change her own story”

One of my favorite quotes from You May Kiss the Bride. I must say, I’m very fond of my spunky heroine Livia.

Graphic: "It was time to take action," a quote from You May Kiss the Bride by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)

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My Tasty Q&A

The virtual blog tour celebrating the publication of You May Kiss the Bride has just ended — congratulations to the lucky winner of the gift card! — and I thought I’d share with you my Q&A if you hadn’t already seen it.

Graphic: Avon Books and Tasty Book Tours' Q&A with Lisa Berne, author of You May Kiss the Bride

Here’s a little more about me here, too.

 

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Word of the day: Ignoble

A useful word for a writer of historical romance, as there’s often a great deal of play as to what constitutes noble behavior among our characters.Graphic: "ignoble" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

It came in handy, in fact, while writing You May Kiss the Bride. The day after my hero, Gabriel Penhallow, has been forced into agreeing to marry my heroine Livia, he dutifully calls upon her uncle to codify the arrangement. Still smarting at this unexpected turn of events, he declines her uncle’s offer to summon Livia downstairs:

It would give Miss Livia Stuart her own little taste of the Penhallow way.

He knew it was petty, yet still it gave him a small sense of control in a situation which had spun wildly into chaos. “You may inform Miss Stuart that we’ll come for her tomorrow morning. We go to Bath, where she is to reside with my grandmother and be taught all that she needs to know to properly enter Society as the future Mrs. Penhallow. And you need not worry, sir,” Gabriel concluded with a slight, ironic smile. “The proprieties are to be observed. Naturally I shall be elsewhere.”

And with that, conscious of an ignoble feeling of triumph as he pictured Livia Stuart’s mortification (having put on her best day-dress, no doubt, and carefully done up her hair), he returned to the Glanville mansion, where it would have been difficult to imagine a scene of greater awkwardness.

This snippet appears in Chapter 4, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here.

 

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Book love: Rules for a Rogue

I recently had the pleasure of reading Rules for a Rogue by Christy Carlyle, a new-to-me author, and I wanted to tell you about it. I fell in love with the protagonists, Phee and Kit, and Christy’s writing is just beautiful. Also, the cover is spectacular. That gown!

Cover for RULES FOR A ROGUE by Christy Carlyle, published by Avon Impulse

Christy has a new book coming out next week, A Study in Scoundrels, which I’m so excited to read. And please enjoy this equally spectacular cover!

cover image: A Study in Scoundrels by Christy Carlyle

More about Christy here.

 

 

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Word of the day: Nightmare

As a writer I’m very interested in the interplay between characters’ daytime reality and their dreams — specifically what they might reveal about their deepest thoughts and emotions. A nightmare can be an especially vivid clue. Graphic: "nightmare" and its definition, via Merriam-WebsterHere’s an example from You May Kiss the Bride. It takes place during a dark moment in the story when my heroine, Livia Stuart, is becoming increasingly conflicted about her betrothal to Gabriel Penhallow. She’s also had an unpleasant dinner-party encounter with a so-called gentleman named Sir Edward Brinkley. (But don’t worry! All will be well!)

In her dream Livia put a foot forward and saw on it an extraordinary slipper made of transparent crystal. It fit her perfectly in a way she did not question in the least. Curious, she pulled back her heavy, jewel-encrusted gown to see what was on her other foot, and was horrified to see that it was bare.

All at once she felt a dreadful slithering sensation around her ankles. Something cold and clammy, and infinitely disgusting, was there, and frantically Livia clawed at the heavy folds of silk and damask, the sapphires and emeralds and diamonds glowing and sparkling and nearly blinding her. At last she pulled up her gown, wretchedly aware that everyone in the church could see what she was doing, and despising her for being such a disgrace, and then she realized that a snake—its coils as big around as her own wrist—was twisting around her feet, and it had tiny beady blue eyes and, horribly, a red human mouth, and it said, very distinctly, in the smooth, patronizing voice of Sir Edward Brinkley:

“And now I’m going to kiss the bride.”

Frozen like a little creature of prey, unable to move, Livia screamed.

And woke up, gasping, in the familiar dark quiet of her luxurious room in Upper Camden Place.

This snippet takes place in Chapter 9, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here.

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Book love: Recipe for Redemption

I recently had the pleasure of reading a fantastic contemporary romance novel, Recipe for Redemption, by Anna J. Stewart. Anna’s writing style is so compulsively readable, and her characters so vividly drawn, that I absolutely had to read this in one sitting.


And Anna’s got a new book coming out in May, which I’m super-excited to read. Check out this stunning cover!

 

To learn more about Anna and her other books, click here.

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Word of the day: Hackle

I like this word a lot; it’s a fun way to illuminate a character’s hostility. Graphic: "hackle" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

I used it in You May Kiss the Bride, in a scene during which my protagonists, Livia Stuart and Gabriel Penhallow, are discussing his high-handed decision that theirs is to be a marriage in name only. Livia says:

“You’re supposed to be marrying in order to—how did your grandmother put it in her letter to Lady Glanville?—oh yes, to ensure the succession. How will you do that now, I wonder?”

He took his time responding, for he was analyzing her tone. It wasn’t one he heard often. It was—impudence. Brazen impudence. If he had hackles, he thought, they’d be rising right now. Coolly he said, “That’s my problem, isn’t it, Miss Stuart? Not yours.”

This scene takes place in Chapter 5, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here.

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