Archive for 'romance'

Read a Romance Month top recs!

One of my favorite RARM features is the author recommendations — discovering new authors from other authors. And my top recs?

  • Sophie Jordan. An author of dazzling imagination and talent. (And a huge inspiration to me.)
  • Anna J. Stewart. Can’t say enough nice things about Anna’s writing. As a fellow author I’m in awe, and as a reader I’m just swept away on a tide of enjoyment.
  • Lenora Bell. Her books are so smart and witty and fun! Am a superfan.

Graphic: Read a Romance Month logoWant to read my full post? Click here.

 

What do you think? Click here to comment.
More RARM!

That is, a little more from my Read a Romance Month contribution. Please enjoy. :)

 

  1. Tell us about a moment when you felt or were aware of The Power of Romance.

I read my first Georgette Heyer novel when I was fourteen, and even though I understood very little of the period terminology, and in fact barely knew where Bath, England, was, I did manage to decode the erotic disjuncture between what the protagonists are saying, and how they’re actually feeling about each other — how underneath their witty and civilized conversations, and despite the elaborately codified manners of their time, a powerful, primal attraction is drawing them inexorably together. Talk about the sizzling power of romance! It caught me as a teenager — hook, line, and sinker — and, to my joy, has never let me go.

Image: cover of Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer

 

  1. Tell us about an object that has powerful memories for you.

When I was dating the man who was later to become my husband, as February 14th approached — our first Valentine’s Day together — he asked me what I would like to have as a gift. Flowers, chocolates, jewelry . . . all floated through my mind as obvious possibilities.

But then I thought about what I really wanted. I said, “A bread machine.”

Did he say it was a silly idea, or boring, or an overly prosaic one? No, he went out and got me my very own Breadman. Which to me — then and now — is a powerfully romantic gesture. (By the way, we’re still happily married. And I still use my Breadman, too.)

Photo: bread machine

 

  1. Tell us about a word that has power for you. 

That word is “yes.” To me it signifies hope, forward movement, possibility. So my ongoing goal is to say yes to change. To trying new things. To continue to learn and grow. And finally — yes to writing books which I hope others will enjoy and find meaningful.

 

  1.  Tell us about a powerful book you read this year (or one that’s so powerful you’ve never forgotten it).

The Book of Joy, which features the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu in conversation, is a powerfully inspiring treatise on finding balance and peace in a turbulent world. And I must also mention Sarah MacLean’s just-published Day of the Duchess: a beautifully written, powerful testament to the capacity to both change and wholeheartedly love.

Cover: The Book of Joy

  1. Tell us about a person who’s had a powerful influence on your life.

Jane Austen has long been an influence and an inspiration to me as a reader, a student of history, and as a writer of historical romance. Set in an era during which women all too often had little real power, her books make a radical claim for a woman’s right to independent thought, for the importance of happiness, for the overriding value of love over cool pragmatism. These are compelling — and fun! — issues I like to explore in my own novels set during this time, and I’ve got Austen to thank for boldly leading the way over two hundred years ago.

Image: A speculative “spontaneous composite portrait” of Jane Austen by Lance Bertelsen, Iris Howard Regents Professor in English, University of Texas at Austin.

A speculative “spontaneous composite portrait” of Jane Austen by Lance Bertelsen, Iris Howard Regents Professor in English, University of Texas at Austin

* * *

Want to read my full post, and learn more about all the nifty giveaways? Click here.

 

 

 

What do you think? Click here to comment.
Read a Romance Month!

Very proud to be a featured author for this wonderful event.Graphic: Read a Romance Month logo

Here’s my post on the Power of Romance:

The prospect of writing about the power of romance is so wonderfully open-ended that — while delighted to be given the opportunity — I actually began to feel rather daunted. So I decided to ask for help. I went to my Facebook community.

Could you tell me why you read romance? I asked the folks on my page. What is it that pulls you to this genre? What is your experience reading it?

The answers, promptly and generously contributed, made me smile, nod, and get a little teary-eyed. Because everything they said is something I feel, too.

“When reading a romance you become entwined in the characters and the story; it can become an emotional roller coaster. However, the HEA at the end makes it worth it. Real life can be a struggle and having an escape to a place where you know it’s all going to be ok, no matter what, is a wonderful escape.”

“It’s good for my mind and spirit.”

“I like seeing how authors can take characters on many different journeys, and even though you know it will all end happily, the best romances leave you questioning how that could possibly happen. . . . I love reading about different times and places from different characters’ perspectives. What better way to feel like you’re there than to follow characters on very real emotional journeys like that? . . . Romance provides me with stories that I feel could be real. . . . Real people could have lived that story.”

“Reading romance is like watching a romantic movie, except you get to picture what the hero and heroine look like in your mind.”

“I want to go someplace I’ve never been, walk through the castle, stand on the side of the dance floor at a ball, feel the spray of the sea on the deck of a pirate ship, sit in a meadow of heather wrapped in a tartan. Take me far away to forget about the troubles of today whether it’s trouble in the world or anniversaries of loved ones no longer there.”

“I love romance because there’s a hopeful aspect to it. When there’s two characters you love, who fall in love, you know that, despite everything that gets thrown their way, they’ll make it through . . . together.”

This is the power of romance.

Nurturing the mind and spirit. Cherishing hope. Leaving our troubles behind for a little while. Magically conquering time and geography. Falling in love with characters we’ve come to know, and rooting for them every step of the way.

Moreover, that I could turn for help from this amazing, lively community, where we talk about books in general and romance novels in particular, share a laugh, sigh over a gorgeous photo, find inspiration, and, day by day, get to know each other — well, that’s the power of romance, too.

*  *  *

To read more of my contribution, and to enter the giveaways, please click here.

 

 

 

 

What do you think? Click here to comment.
Word of the day: Arbitrary

An excellent word for a writer.

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

 

Here it is in Chapter 2 of The Laird Takes a Bride, in a scene in which my hero, Alasdair Penhallow, cheerfully reflects on the state of his existence, unaware of the fact that it’s about to be upended . . . and that my heroine, Fiona Douglass, will soon be entering it.

So now he was thirty-five. He wondered if he should feel a little different. But why would he? A birthday merely represented, in an arbitrary way, the passage of time. Here he was, in the vigorous prime of his life, healthy as a horse, strong as an ox, rich as a king — enjoying an uninterrupted spate of years in which he did exactly as he pleased, whenever and wherever he liked.

Yes, life was good.

Want to learn more about The Laird Takes a Bride? Click here.

What do you think? Click here to comment.
Word of the day: Melee

A delightfully evocative word.Graphic: "melee" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster. www.Lisa Berne.com

I used it with pleasure in The Laird Takes a Bride, in a scene in which my heroine, Fiona Douglass, is recalling some of the various weddings she’s attended:

Two years ago, in this very church, a spectacular brawl had erupted at the altar when the bridegroom’s twin brother (already roaring drunk) had lunged for­ward, seized the hapless bride, and tried to carry her off. A wild melee ensued as several other men (also already drunk) had, with joyful shouts, joined in. Forty­-five minutes later, the combatants subdued by brute force and the bride’s veil hastily repaired, the ceremony had proceeded without further incident, the chastened, bloodied twin the very first to warmly shake his brother’s hand.

For more about The Laird Takes a Bride, coming your way August 29th — soon! — click here.

 

What do you think? Click here to comment.
Word of the day: Ominous

What a delightful word for a writer. I was glad to utilize it in The Laird Takes a Bride. 

Graphic: "ominous" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster. Blog post via Lisa Berne, author of historical romance.

In this snippet, which appears in Chapter 2, my hero, Alasdair Penhallow, is just about to learn about an arcane clan law which dictates that he must marry, or face dreadful consequences.

As Dame Margery drew near, she noisily banged her stick on the marble floor, causing people nearby to stir, moan, rouse. She passed by Uncle Duff, insen­sate, draped sideways on a chair and his long beard dangling perpendicularly, and muttered audibly, “Ach, the old wastrel!” before turning her piercing and un­blinking stare to Alasdair. Finally she stopped before the dais on which the two great chairs — one for the laird, one (long unoccupied) for his lady — stood. Her silence, Alasdair noticed, had a heavy, expectant, rather ominous sort of quality, and he groaned under his breath. He wasn’t in the mood for drama. Still, he was the laird, and one must be polite, so he cleared his throat and said:

“Good day to you, madam.”

The Laird Takes a Bride releases on August 29th. Want to learn more about it? Click here.

What do you think? Click here to comment.
“She became a butterfly”

My heroine’s journey in The Bride Takes a Groom. Coming your way in spring 2018.
Graphic: "Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she became a butterfly."

What do you think? Click here to comment.
Enlightened Bride

As an author of historical romance, naturally I LOVE THIS.

"Enlightened Bride," an image by @KHandozo on Twitter

via @KHandozo on Twitter

What do you think? Click here to comment.
Word of the day: Oracular

A word I’m very fond of, and deployed with great pleasure in The Laird Takes a Bride:

A little voice, solemn, oracular:

You stare at the moon, ever changing. Turn about, lady, turn about.

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

More about The Laird Takes a Bride, coming your way this August, here.

What do you think? Click here to comment.
Word of the day: Mayhap (update)

A few months ago, here on the blog I wondered if I could utilize this delightful word in one of my books.Infographic: "mayhap" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

As it turns out, I already had. Recently, when I was reading the galleys for The Laird Takes a Bride, I saw that a character named Monty says it. A fact which gives me what is probably an insane amount of joy.

Click here to learn more about The Laird Takes a Bride, which releases on August 29th. You can also preorder and read Chapter 1. Would you like to save it on Goodreads? Click here.

 

 

What do you think? Click here to comment.