Every once in a while, you meet someone who just seems special. Someone who has tons of positive energy and drive, and talent. Well, that perfectly describes my guest blogger today – she’s Amy Atwell, and she writes romantic suspense and historical romance, both fabulously. Readers agree since her latest book, Ambersley, has been on several digital bestseller lists. I’m turning the blog over to Amy, for a very intriguing discussion…
Thank you so much to Vanessa for inviting me here today.
The Truth About Lies (and why we love the people who tell them)
I’ve been reading novels for years and one of the common threads from story to story—especially in romances of all periods and types—is The Lie. I know we’ve all been taught not to lie, that lying is bad, that it makes people not trust us (think about that boy who cried “Wolf!” eh?). And yet, in a romance, I’ve rarely had a problem with learning to love a hero or a heroine despite any lies they’ve told.
Think about your favorite books, the ones that have grabbed you by the ear and whispered their demand that you add them to your keeper shelf. Do you recognize any of these versions of The Lie?
1. The Little White Lie: often used at the beginning of a story as a catalyst. Sometimes it binds the hero and heroine together, sometimes it sets them at odds. Generally, whoever told this little lie wishes to take it back, but events unfold so rapidly, it’s impossible.
2. The Identity Lie: most common in stories involving suspense or comedy. Someone is pretending to be someone else, usually for noble reasons. This always creates complications because at what point will this lie be revealed?
3. The Circumstances Lie: I think of this one in historicals—the hero or heroine who lies about his/her financial or social circumstances. Someone pretends to be wealthy and titled, or someone pretends to be a poor servant.
4. The Cover Up Lie: this may be used to keep a secret from other characters and sometimes from the reader. It’s often a spur of the moment lie and might be very small. But when used often, these lies add up to big trouble for a character.
5. The Trust in Me Lie: often goes hand-in-hand with the Identity Lie. This lie may be used by hero, heroine or villain. It’s the “trust me, I’ve got your best interests at heart” lie that we know will lead to complications and potentially endanger the (usually) heroine.
6. The Emotional Lie: oh yeah, the lie where someone says, “I don’t care.” We all know that’s a cover up, except maybe the character speaking the words. This lie is used to hide emotions from others in the book, but as readers we recognize—and often feel—the pain of grief or jealousy or righteous anger.
7. The False Promises Lie: this could also be called the Sacrificial Lie. It’s most common near the end of the book when the hero or heroine makes some giant sacrifice. A Titanic moment, when Jack would say to Rose, “Go ahead, get on that lifeboat. I’ll catch the next one.”
8. The Lie to Oneself: I love this lie best of all. Either the hero or heroine is misguided in what s/he believes s/he most wants. These characters don’t recognize the lie within, so when the truth becomes clear (usually through love) the change is dramatic and often very uplifting. (aka, the reader is doing the fist-bump and cheering!)
As you can see, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about ways to lie! And while I try not to lie in my daily life, I love to spin lies within my stories. In fact, I’m celebrating the first anniversary of my debut romantic suspense release LYING EYES this month, so I’m happy to give away a digital copy to a lucky commenter. As the title suggests, there are lies galore in this book, which combines humor, family drama and suspense all in a Las Vegas-set caper.
So, tell me true: do you have a beloved book where you forgave all the hero and/or heroine’s lies?
Vanessa, here. Amy, what a great post! So how about it, folks? Which hero or heroine do you forgive all? One person who comments will win a digital copy of Amy’s book, Lying Eyes.
Amy Atwell worked in professional theater for 15 years before turning from the stage to the page to write fiction. She now gives her imagination free rein in both contemporary and historical stories that combine adventure and romance. Her romantic suspense Lying Eyes is available from Carina Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble and her best selling historical romance Ambersley is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. An Ohio native, Amy has lived all across the country and now resides on a barrier island in Florida with her husband and two Russian Blues. Visit her online at her website, Magical Musings or Facebook.
25 thoughts on “Guest Author: Amy Atwell & Giveaway!”
Thanks for hosting me today, Vanessa! I’ll check back a few times to say hello and answer any questions.
Very happy to have you here, Amy!
I was just reading Laura Kinsale’s The Dream Hunter, so this is a good question to ask me. Why didn’t the heroine just say, I am a woman! But it was set up so well that she didn’t believe she could say it. I was so in sympathy with her that it took me a while to forgive the hero for dragging her around the Arabian desert even if he thought she was a boy. I am still recovering from the sun and heat, even wet old England didn’t entirely quenchy the burn. Amy, your post really made me think about lies as plot devices. Thanks!
It really made me think too, Maggie! It’s a very useful device when used to good effect.
Thanks, Maggie–yes, Kinsale is brilliant with giving us reason to accept that The Lie must be told. And that leads us to forgive. Now you’ve got me curious to read this one. Thanks for stopping by!
One of my favorites is an oldie but goodie – Cotillion by Georgette Heyer, where the heroine persuades an old friend to pose as her fiancee to make the person she *thinks* she loves jealous – you can guess how that all turns out! But then there are other layers of lies in the plot of course, Very amusing. Enjoyed the post, loved the list of lie “types”!
I Ioved Cotillion! That’s the one with Freddie as the hero, isn’t it?
Veronica, Heyer is one of my all-time faves! I don’t think I have Cotillion on my shelf, but Arabella comes to mind. She brazenly announces that she’s an heiress in disguise and the hero, in amusement, “verifies” her story and introduces her as such to all of London society. It’s so lovely to watch them both keeping secrets and lying to each other! Glad you joined us today.
I’ll have to remember and check out the books that lies in them. lol Never thought about it, Amy. BTW, Lying Eyes is a terrific for whoever wins a copy. I’ve read it.
Thanks for stopping by, Sandy!
Sandy–how nice to se you. Yes, I swear if you look closely, almost every romance novel has a lie in it. I’m so pleased you enjoyed Lying Eyes. I had a blast lacing lies into it. Thanks for stopping by!
Hi Amy. I love a book with liars! LOL. I think I enjoy it most in books with a comedic slant. It’s always fun to see the lie continue to unravel.
Great post! And for all those who haven’t read Lying Eyes, the hero is to die for. To. Die. For. 🙂
to die for huh? may have to pick up the book…but AFTER i read the 5 books i have lined up after I finish the one I am reading now lol.
LOL! I hear you, Tina. My TBR pile is ridiculous.
Thanks, Adrienne. MIckey was my first truly alpha hero who showed up with his own goals, imagery and, um, vocabulary. He’s definitely a charmer, but with an edge. Glad you enjoyed the comedy and the suspense.
HI Vanessa!! Welcome Amy! Since I don’t have a Nook or Kindle yet (boo) don’t enter me into the contest but I wanted to jump into the conversation. I am currently reading (finally lol) Miranda Neville’s new one The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton, so NOT liking Celia so far. How could she lie to Tarquin like that even though he is a bit dandy? lol. Not sure if I could forgive anyone who could lie to someone who has amnesia no matter if the person who has the amnesia was a jerk or not prior to the condition. Poor Tarquin…lol.
But Miranda has kept you reading, hasn’t she?
OH i don’t misunderstand me I am enjoying it, just think Celia is sneaky for what she is doing. lol. Thats so not what I meant at all. 🙁 I loved the previous story of hers and couldn’t wait to read the next one. lol. I am only like 30 pages in to the book.
And yes she has kept me reading I love how she writes so discriptively. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Tina! Just so you know, you can easily read digital books on any computer with free software from either Kindle or Nook (and possibly some of the other retailers). And I”m dying to hear more about Neville’s book! Maybe I should just go pick it up. Sounds intriguing.
Tina, I totally got that. I put in a little grinning sign at the end of my comment, but WordPress nuked it!!
I agree with Laura Kinsale’s The Dream Hunter.
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