My Kensington Books co-author and pal Theresa Romain and I both had books released last week. By sheer coincidence, they’re both Christmas-themed, Regency-set historical romances. Cool! We thought it would be fun to do a joint interview, so that’s what we did. Even better, we’re giving away copies of our books, Season For Surrender and His Mistletoe Bride!
Part One of the interview is on Theresa’s blog. Hop over there first, and then come back here for Part Two.
Vanessa: The characters came first. When I started to think of the heroine for this book—the hero had already appeared in a previous book so I knew he was a soldier—I wanted to create a woman who could really stir things up. Phoebe, a gentle but very principled person, was the perfect match for a tough guy like Lucas. The plot then naturally evolved out of the various points of conflict and agreement in their personalities, and it rolled from there. It also helped to have a great example in the previously mentioned classic movie, High Noon.
And since we’re talking about the classic tropes—which I always enjoy—I love the setup for your novel: the rake and the bluestocking. But you brought such a fresh twist to it. Louisa is a woman who loves books and is not shy about that at all, even though it does make her an outsider in aristocratic society. But she doesn’t care, and that’s fabulous. Did you start out wanting to do your own take on the rake and the bluestocking?
Theresa: When I was writing my debut, I knew I wanted to write a follow-up story for Louisa and Xavier. You’re absolutely right that their pairing is a take on the rake and bluestocking romance—though that tale has been done so often, and so well, that I knew I needed a twist on it.
In SEASON FOR SURRENDER, it was a fun challenge not just to bring together these two seeming opposites, but to show how they’re not really opposites at all. As my husband (always one of my first readers, bless him) said about an early draft of SFS, “I don’t see them lasting long-term if Xavier doesn’t like books.” “Keep reading,” I told him. Because I agreed: a true rake and a true bluestocking don’t have much in common, but a rake with an intellectual heart and a bluestocking who’s ready to push her own boundaries can find points to build a relationship on, and they can respect each other’s strengths.
Vanessa: Yes, exactly. He’s really an intellectual masquerading as a rake—so great!
Theresa: Thanks! He actually became more so as I was writing, and I went back and planted clues and hints once I was done. Louisa loves puzzles, and she just can’t figure him out like she expects to.
How about Phoebe and Lucas? They make a good partnership since she balances his sense of duty with a wonderfully warm heart. And she herself is an unusual heroine because of her background. When she was introduced to society, I really enjoyed the way she saw everything from the outside and didn’t take customs for granted. How do you see her fitting into English society? Would it be more of a challenge for her being American, or being a Quaker?
Vanessa: The interesting thing about Phoebe is that she never felt entirely at home in her American Quaker community, either. Although she was raised by a Quaker father, her mother was an English aristocrat who married against her family’s wishes and left her life behind for a new one in America. Subsequently, Phoebe always felt pulled in two directions and she has a driving need to find her true place in the world. After her father dies, she sets out for England to meet her estranged relatives and discover her place in the world once and for all.
Unfortunately, life in London and in the ton feels alien and false to her, so that’s a disappointment. But when she marries Lucas and moves to their estate in the country, that’s when Phoebe comes into her own. She grew up in the country and she understands the quiet beauty of a simpler way of life, while Lucas finds himself struggling to adapt. He’s a very sophisticated man, very used to being in control, and initially he flounders. Phoebe is the one who shows him the way, and helps him reconcile his conflicting emotions about their new life together.
Theresa: Well put. I absolutely loved Phoebe as a heroine, and her romance with Lucas makes for a beautiful holiday story.
Speaking of the holidays, I think we ought to give away some books now. What say?
Vanessa: Excellent idea! Why don’t I give away a copy of HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE on your blog, and you give away a copy of SEASON FOR SURRENDER on my blog? That way, folks have two chances to win the books!
And while we’re in the giving mood, I think it’s time to talk about the spectacular holiday Gala we’re planning for November 30. Along with the fabulous Victoria Alexander and Grace Burrowes, Theresa and I will be hosting an all-day festive gala, Romancing the Holidays, on the romance blog, The Romance Dish. We’ll be giving away prizes every hour, from 9 am to 9 pm ET. All four of us will be blogging throughout the day, talking about our books, the holiday season, and chatting with our readers. We’ll also be giving away some spectacular prizes throughout the day, including a grand prize basket featuring an ereader. Zounds! You do not want to miss that. Dash on over to the Romancing the Holidays website for all the details and to sign up.
Theresa: Zounds is right. There’s a special “giving back” element to this event too: books will be donated to randomly selected libraries or women’s shelters nominated by readers. So readers, please visit the Romancing the Holidays site (holiday-gala.com) by November 30 to enter yourself and your favorite library/shelter for a chance at prizes!
HONOR AMONG ROGUES
Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…
MISCHIEF AMONG MISSES
Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…
Book order links:
Order print book: amazon • barnes & noble • book depository • books-a-million • chapters indigo • indiebound • powell’s
Vanessa, here. I really enjoyed chatting with Theresa today, and I hope you did too. For a chance to win a copy of Season For Surrender, just tell us what you’re doing for the holidays this year – anything from Thanksgiving on through the New Year works. Got any interesting plans, or are you staying close to home? One person who comments will win a copy of Theresa’s fabulous book.
And don’t forget to visit Theresa’s blog for a chance to win a copy of His Mistletoe Bride, if you haven’t already done so. The giveaway on both our sites will end on October 11, and this contest is open to international readers, too!
NEWS ALERT: I’m also participating in another fun event today – Lucy’s Online Reader’s Retreat. There are over 40 authors participating in the retreat, and I’ll be there today at 7 pm, EST. Drop by and say hello!
55 thoughts on “Two Authors & Two Giveaways for the price of one!”
You know, I haven’t really thought about the holidays yet. My oldest is getting married in a few weeks. My youngest is moving to another state in a few weeks. This will be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my youngest. I’ll be sad. I do plan to decorate the house for Christmas and play Christmas music. I will think of her as she also likes Christmas music. I will probably go to my brother’s for Thanksgiving and be among family. Not sure who we’ll celebrate with for Christmas.
Bonnie, you have a busy few months ahead of you! Hope it includes lots of lots of the family time you’re wishing for.
I’m actually in the middle of my Spring cleaning. (I am in Australia.)
At the end of this month I am headed up to the Sunshine Coast for a week to visit family.
When I get back I will start to think about Christmas as I have to post a number of the gifts.
Mary, hope your spring cleaning goes well! I ought to start planning out Christmas gifts too, since we’ll be mailing quite a few this year. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
The holiday season starts early at our house… but I must admit that I’m still enjoying all the fuss!
Cate, as long as it’s a nice kind of fuss (especially involving baked goods), bring it on! What are your favorite traditions to begin with?
Our holidays are usually pretty quiet, just close family. Thanks for sharing with us!
Robin, spending time with close family is one of my favorite parts of the holidays too. Is your family close by, or do you travel to see them?
I guess for Thanksgiving we are going to have lunch at my house and dinner ar my in laws house. Christmas…I haven’t even started thinking about Christmas yet!!
Sheryl, sounds like you won’t be going hungry on Thanksgiving Day! 🙂
Thanksgiving is going to be great. I will have dinner at my house and I am hoping that all my children and their family can be here weather and schedules permitting.
Rosemary, that sounds like a wonderful celebration. Here’s hoping that the weather behaves, and everyone’s travel schedules do too.
I would like to have Thanksgiving dinner at my house. We have a small family which makes it very special. One member of our family will be 90 next year, so each get together is so precious.
90? Wow, congrats to your relative! Hope your Thanksgiving dinner is a great family visit too.
Stay home just like before, but I’m so excited this year, because it will be my first time to join a company Christmas party since I just got my very first job! So happy and excited! 😀
Lee, that’s awesome! Congratulations!
Lee, congratulations! Very cool.
thanks for the great post and congrats ladies on the new releases! For the holidays my goal is just to relax 🙂
That’s a great goal, erinf1! A little more relaxation would make the holidays a lot less hectic.
I am Canadian so we already had our Thanksgiving yesterday. We had some turkey and the usual thanksgiving food at my relative’s place. Too many people as usual so I am glad that it’s over in a way!
May, I’ve wondered if Canadian Thanksgiving had the same food traditions as U.S. Thanksgiving. I guess you do! Hope things are calmer for you for a while.
My family and I have not started making any plans for the holidays yet, but we will either be at my sisters house, my niece’s house or my house. I love the holidays and try to enjoy every second of them.
Mary, that sounds so nice. Do lots of your family members live near you?
Great blog today thank you.
Congratulations on the books from both of you they both sound great I can’t wait to read them.
Since money is short this year we will be staying home for the Holidays!
Penney, hope it’s a good “staycation” for you. Sometimes those are the coziest!
The books sound great. I love reading holiday books, they are so fun. 🙂
Thinking about the Holidays start early for me. There are too many people and kids to think about and shopping has to start early or I’ll go broke. lol.
Yazmin, good point. Starting early means you can keep an eye out for great sales!
From October to the end of December are my favorite times of the year. Right now I am looking forward to all of the craft shows coming up. From now until the first of December there are at least two per weekend. I love finding unique, handcrafted presents and decorations at all those craft shows.
Kim, that sounds so fun. What are some of your favorite things to look for? Do you like to collect ornaments?
I always spend Christmas morning at home with my boys then after lunch we all go off to visit the rest of the family. For me that’s the best part of Christmas, catching up with everyone. 🙂
Beebs, that sounds like a wonderful day!
We now spend Christmas Eve at my parents house, instead of our house. My parents are in their 80s and don’t like to drive very far, so we go there. We go to church and hear my Father sing in the choir then the whole family goes back to open gifts. A wonderful new tradition.
Ann, that’s lovely. Enjoy your new family tradition this year.
Thanksgiving and Christmas will be spent with my family and a close family friend. I always look forward to Christmas with my grandchildren and to visiting for several days with my brother and his family.
Janie, that sounds so nice. The more family around (usually) the better at that time of year!
Thanksgiving is going to be spent back in my hometown again. Will be spending time with both sides of the family once we get there. Christmas is different. My inlaws don’t celebrate it but my side of the family does. We have yet to make any plans for it though.
Alyn, do you think that makes Christmas celebrations easier if you don’t have to split the day between two families? My in-laws don’t celebrate it either, so while Thanksgiving can be a scramble to see everyone, Christmas is usually quieter for us.
We’ll be having a family get together come Christmas. My older sis migrated with her family to NZ so we don’t get to see her much – every 2 years of so. They’ll be home for Xmas this year *happy jig* & my other sis who lived in another state will be home too with her family. It’s going to be great!
Wow, New Zealand? That’s not an easy trip to make back to the US. Hope everyone has safe travel–enjoy the visit!
We’ll have a family get together at Thanksgiving.
bn100, hope it’s a good visit. Are you hosting?
We’ll host it.
Kidlets one and two are coming home from college in December and kidlet three is having his Wisdom teeth out right before Christmas so it should be interesting and busy holidays.
Ack, there’s never a good time to have wisdom teeth out. Lots of soft Christmas food (or eggnog?) for kidlet three this year!
We are driving to Utah, for Christmas. I kinda want to stay home for Christmas to celebrate Christmas in our new home. Oh well. I hope that it will be fun
I bet Utah is wonderful at that time of year, Melody!
Sorry I’ve been a bit AWOL, folks, but Theresa has been holding down the fort. I’ve been in and out the last few days, but enjoying reading all your plans for the holidays!
Love historical fiction. And the Regency period is so interesting. Both sound like awesome books!
Thanks, Vicki! I’ve been a Regency girl from way back.
This holiday we are celebrating Thanksgiving early,because my husband is set to deploy in ten days..so wanna go all out for him..Then for the real Thanksgiving my friends are all getting together for a potluck style celebration ..We will be staying close to home because we are stationed in Japan and it’s too expensive to fly home ..I wish though:)
Dawn, I wish all the best for you and your husband. I hope you enjoy your early Thanksgiving together, and that he returns home to you soon! Our son lives in Japan and we really miss him – that darn flight is sooo expensive and so long!
I’ll be celebrating at home with the family. Hopefully it will be relaxing and non-stressful, my favorite type of holiday.
No need to enter me in the contest as I just finished Season For Surrender; loved it and would recommend to us historical romance addicts.
Sherri, I’m so glad you enjoyed Season for Surrender! Thanks for stopping by (and for hosting me recently!).