I always love hosting historical romance writers and today’s guest is a real treat for my readers. She’s Terri Brisbin, a very talented author who’s sold more than 1.7 million copies of her historical and paranormal romance novels, novellas and short stories in more than 20 languages in 25 countries around the world since 1998. Wow! That is some impressive pedigree! I’m going to turn the blog over to Terri, so she can tell us about her latest book.
Kids? Why Are There Kids?!
First – thanks to Vanessa for having me as a guest today!
I have to confess and apologize at the same time. I discovered long ago that I absolutely DETEST reading about kids in romance novels. It might be because of my background having had three children and understanding that children and romance don’t always work well together….that they interfere and get in the way sometimes. So, when it comes to reading romances, I look for an escape, a story unlike my real life, so I can believe it could be me in that story. And when I see romances with children on the covers, I avoid them.
That’s why I have to apologize – to my romance writing colleagues who write marvelous stories that do involve children. And there are tons of them out there if you look at covers on the shelves in bookstores and online! Children are front-and-center on many Harlequin lines and the covers. Um. . . yuck.
So, that’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise when Fate and my Muse decided to double-team against me and feed me a story idea that involved a 6 year old little girl! Darn it! Why me? Why a child? Well, I gave up fighting it and wrote the story that became POSSESSED BY THE HIGHLANDER about a man who is forced into marrying a woman who has an illegitimate daughter. Worse? The hero falls in love with the little girl – Ciara – before he does her mother!! Is that insult to injury?
I was contenting myself with the knowledge that I’d write it, her, and be done with it, but in the middle of the story, Ciara did the unthinkable! You see, the youngest man in the hero’s ‘men’, a teenager he’s mentoring, has befriended Ciara because he has many brothers and sisters and she reminds him of one of them. Tavis, the young man, begins to entertain her through their journey home, even carving wooden animals for her to play with along the way. When he presents her with the latest one, a pig, she grabs her mother’s hand, tugs her down close and whispers: ““I am going to marry Tavis, Mama.”
More than just a childish oath, Ciara’s words caused a flash of story before my eyes and I saw her and Tavis as adults together. In just a few seconds, the whole story flew by and I knew I would have to write that story!
Well, now, almost six years later, I’ve finally written that story! THE HIGHLANDER’S STOLEN TOUCH is the story of a young woman unrelenting love for a man who sees her as a younger sister until the day when she suddenly becomes much more. Ciara never loses faith that Tavis will be his, but sometimes Fate (and muses, apparently) have other ideas.
I guess I’m glad that I was forced to have a child in that book since it lead to a completely new series for me to write, but I’m not happy about it! LOL!
How about you? Do you like children in romance novels? Dislike? Not care? Let me know and we’ll pick someone to receive a copy of that first book – POSSESSED BY THE HIGHLANDER – and a copy of one of my digital short stories, too!
Terri is frantically writing in one of her infamous deadline-mania-o’-writing-binges even while celebrating her newest release, THE HIGHLANDER’S STOLEN TOUCH! Visit her website ( www.terribrisbin.com ) for more info about everything!
Vanessa, here. Terri, that’s a very interesting question and a great post – and your new book sounds wonderful. I definitely fall into your camp on the children, and tend to avoid romances with them as main characters. Of course, in the hands of a talented author (like you!) I’ll read and enjoy just about anything. So, what about you, readers? Answer Terri’s question for a chance to win Possessed By The Highlander and one of her short stories.
42 thoughts on “Guest Author: Terri Brisbin & Giveaway!”
I don’t absolutely dislike children in Romance novels. I know that’s not the same as liking. If their presence adds something particular then OK.
I like children in books when they further the action… short people who point out things that grownups don’t see..
That’s always fun, Cate!
I like children in the story because they sometimes make the story more interesting and unexpected
Children do have a way of making life a surprise, both in books and reality!
If it is a good story then it is fine with me for a child to be in the story. It would not be fun to read the same kind of story over and over again. I like for all of the books I read to bring something new that I haven’t read before.
I totally agree, Mary!
I like children in romance novels, but now that the question is being I’m thinking that over the course of my reading travels I really haven’t read all that many with children in them, but the ones I have stick out to me for sure.
I think they are fairly unusual in romance, Yadira!
As I mentioned, Harlequin has several lines in which children are almost a requirement! So there are lots out there — if you want them….
Hmmm… it depends on the kid, I guess. I have read books where the kid adds to the storyline.
You’re right, May. All depends on the storyline and on the depiction of the characters.
So, so far, we’re going in favor of kids? I’m in the minority again! (don’t ask about my lack of the pet gene!)
Terri, pets and kids!! That just about guarantees you have to write a book with a dog in it.
I’m in the middle on kids. I’ve read some great romances that had kids as an important part of the story (Lisa Kleypas’ Smooth Talking Stranger or Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Dream A Little Dream for example), but it honestly just depends on the story. I’m all for variety, so with kids or without as long as the story is good I’ll read it.
Kids can add another dimension to the story, add comic relief or tears, bring the H/H closer together (or move them apart).
I think kids can easily make the story more compelling.
Maybe it’s my history of having 3 sons that just doesn’t make me think romantic when I think about all the things they’ve done! LOL!
That’s so funny! I just put a kid in a novel for the first time, too. I thought it would be annoying, but she’s pretty useful. She says things the heroine wouldn’t dare, interrupts at wonderfully awkward moments, and gets her mom to see the “hero” in the hero long before she does. But no, she’s not getting a spot on the cover. You have the most beautiful covers, by the way!
See?! They’re unpredictable, aren’t they!
Actually, in the original POSSESSED BY THE HIGHLANDER, the hero Duncan fell in love with the little girl the instant he saw her — and then with her mother! So, she was in the thick of things from the first moment…
Hi Vanessa and Terri!
I loved your interview and am thrilled that Ciara is finally having her story told! It’s been a while since I read Possessed by the Highlander and to be honest I forgot her name until you mentioned Tavis and then the connection happened between the books.
I love reading romance and don’t mind children in a book if there is a reason for them to be there. If the story line is enhanced in some way or a situation explained by the inclusion of children then I love the depth it can add to a storyline and the relationship between the characters.
If I were reading about the stews of London for instance and there were pickpockets and starving urchins let me know through the plot line and dialogue why they are there and how they affect the interaction of the characters and influence the readers feelings about a particular issue.
I love knowing an author reasoning about a book before reading it because it helps me to enjoy the book with a better understanding. At the same time I assume the author has included characters because they are important for how I view the storyline and the characters involved.
Jeanne – I’m glad you enjoyed POSSESSED — this one did tug at my heartstrings. And it made me cry a couple of times – which I love when reading a romance. Haven’t read one lately that did!
Thanks for posting!
Children can present an interesting twist. If they’re not obnoxious, I don’t mind them—and depending on the tone of the book, it can sometimes be comical to have them interrupt at ah, less then optimal, times. 😉
Sammie K – yes they can be as obnoxious in fiction as they are in real life – LOL! Gosh, I must sound like my kids are horrible when I say those things!
I love kids in romance novels..in fact, because I went through infertility treatments for 12 years, then adopted..those romance novels with kids, babies…kept me sane. They kept my spirits up better than any antidepressant or therapist did. I still buy the books with children/babies before any other..which means the child-less books could be unpurchased…with all the repebs in ebooks, it’s going to be a long time before I run out of books w/kids and have to turn to child unfriendly books.
Nancy – you’re not the first person who has told me that kind of thing – and congrats on adopting!
Yes, there will always be kid-friendly (that doesn’t sound right thought!) romances…
Hmmm. The toy-figure-thrown-out-the-airlock in an episode of Bablyone 5, was the writer/producer’s personal opinion expression of irritation of merchandising, and he’d promised, “if there is a Cute Kid in a episode, the Cute Kid will wind up -dead-” (no Wesley Crushers allowed…).
Kids in romances…. they change the dynamic, and add complexity if they’re not gratuitous cardboard or foils which exist solely as depthless mirrors. Most romances tend to have missing depth for society without having e.g. children, or older people for that matter, around–there’s little sense of continuity other than in series, “where did all those unattached people come from, anyway? Where is the rest of hte population?” On the other hand, too much emphasis on a large diversified casts of charcters, and the romance focus/plots/leads get marginalized into the hordes of other characters and their plots…
Paula – kind of like the ‘unnamed crew member’ who always dies in GALAXY QUEST? LOL!
I don’t go quite that far – but it is difficult for me to plan to have a child in my stories, though I have had them!
I loved that book. It was a wonderful story of her mothers sacrifice for her daughter. I enjoyed Ciara’s character. I’m looking forward to reading her story.
I don’t mind children in romance stories they do tend to be the end result of a good romance. It also depends on the type of book.
Terri I love your books.
I have to say, this is one of the most fascinating discussions we’ve had on the blog. Terri, thanks for bringing up the topic!
I like children in a romance novel only if they actually add to the story. If they are just there to be cutsie-cutsie and precocious, then no.
First I’d like to say I am really intrigued by both books. You have introduced me to a new author and am looking forward to reading both books. I like continuing stories. I have read romance books with children involved and found that they made the stories more real. I don’t read them that often, for the obvious reason…children are not prevalent in Romance Novels. It is the hook on the back cover or the inside flap and the interviews, like this one that has me buying the book, not always the cover photo~
I like children in books only if they’re the children of the hero and heroine.
i like the present of children, if the children is result of the hero and heroine.
I prefer those without children, but some are good. Yours looks great!
I think it depends. I don’t want them to be a major factor in the story. Maybe because I’ve got grown children and no grandchildren as yet, so I’m just not interested in that being a main theme. That said, if there are some in the story, that’s fine but I would never pick one up that had a baby on the cover lol.
it depends on the story, but i’m mostly fine with children on a romance book
I never set out to write any books with kids but….well…like you, story ideas just popped up. In every case, the children were absolutely integral to the story and the story could not have been written without them: Miss Tibbles Interferes, Widower’s Folly and Ambitious Baronet.
I don’t mind children in books I read as long as their presence serves a purpose. I love Ramses in the Amelia Peabody mystery stories.
Children in books. I’ve had them in some of my romances and in many I haven’t. Much depends on the story line. I’ve read stories where the children have added the needed humor and ones where they have invaded the plot and made the read not fun. All depends on the story and the writer.
I like children in romance novels, as long as they serve to further the story and aren’t just window dressing. I like them to have a personality and interact with the main characters.
It depends on the storyline and how children will fit into it. If it leads to a purpose that works for me, but just to throw them in for no specific reason to the story doesn’t endear me to the book.
This post sounded so much like me! Lol! Generally, I don’t like children in romance. There is nothing about having kids around that feels sexy. But then, of course, pregnancy became a much bigger part of my current novel than I ever thought it would. Go figure. The story makes the rules, doesn’t it? Great post and so timely for me. 🙂