by Christie Kelley
Today the lair is welcoming debut author Theresa Romain. Her first book, Season for Temptation, is out now. Welcome again, Theresa.
Can you tell us a little about the story?
Hi, Christie—thanks so much for inviting me here to blog with the Romance Bandits! Season for Temptation is a Regency-set historical romance featuring a love triangle, a hungry parrot, disastrous costumes, several unwanted proposals, and one much-wanted one.
The back cover copy reads:
TWO SISTERS… Julia Herington is overjoyed when her stepsister, Louisa, becomes engaged—to a viscount, no less. Louisa’s only hesitation is living a life under the ton’s critical gaze. But with his wry wit and unconventional ideas, Julia feels James is perfect for Louisa. She can only hope to find a man like him for herself. Exactly like him, in fact…
ONE CHOICE… As the new Viscount Matheson, James wished to marry quickly and secure his title. Kind, intelligent Louisa seemed a suitable bride… Until he met her stepsister. Julia is impetuous—and irresistible. Pledged to one sister, yet captivated by another, what is he to do? As Christmas and the whirl of the London season approach, James may be caught in a most scandalous conundrum, one that only true love, a bit of spiritous punch—and a twist of fate—will solve…
Season for Temptation is a Regency historical. What got you into writing historical romance?
I’ve always loved history, and I’ve always loved reading. I started reading historical romance in college, and I think the possibility of writing one was always in the back of my mind. First, though, I had to finish grad school (in history!), and then I focused on nonfiction writing for quite a while. Once I was ready to switch to fiction, it took a while to retrain my writing voice. The first draft of Season for Temptation sounded as formal as a scientific article! But it was even more fun than I’d thought it would be to make up stories and tinker with dialogue and character, so I kept revising over time. And, of course, reading every fantastic historical romance I could get my hands on.
The plot has a love triangle. How hard was writing that aspect of the story? Did you find it difficult to keep you hero and heroine sympathetic in that situation?
Absolutely, it was a difficult balance to keep everyone sympathetic. But I thought it was very important to the story. I’ve seen love triangles with “other women,” but I wanted to write all three characters as good people who are in a really difficult situation. Both James and Louisa enter into their engagement for noble reasons: they want to help their families. Both James and Julia fight their attraction because they have great respect for Louisa—in fact, Julia considers Louisa her closest friend as well as her stepsister. So I had to balance the growth of love and desire with perfectly proper behavior. Every time James or Julia stepped over the line, they had to pull back, since (in my opinion) there’s nothing romantic about betrayal. The story is about how people with the best intentions can be led astray by emotions—and then how they make things right.
We love call stories in the lair! Can you tell us yours?
Certainly! Mine is kind of backwards. My call story began with the Northwest Houston RWA’s Lone Star writing contest in spring 2009. I entered the first few chapters of my first novel in the Historical category. And then my house flooded – TWICE – and I forgot about the contest. I stopped querying, I stopped writing, I stopped doing anything except dealing with contractors and oh yeah working and oh maybe even sleeping but not much because there was always something else that needed to be fixed. That went on for about five months.
At the end of that five months, things were reasonably normal again, and I missed writing so much by then. I opened up my manuscript files and looked everything over. I had fresh eyes for the work by this point, and I started tweaking and fixing and clipping and expanding. A few weeks later, the Lone Star contest coordinator told me that I’d made the contest final. And shortly after that, the judging editor emailed me to ask for the full. Whee!! She had my shiny newly edited manuscript in her inbox before the day was out. A few weeks later, the editor called me to make an offer for it.
So that was the literal “call” in my “call story,” and I actually missed it because I was at work. But she left a message. I know I didn’t imagine it, because I made my husband listen to it and tell me it was real. And I did get back to the editor the next day, and she promised it was real. And now Season for Temptation is also real!
What's next for you?
I’m working on a few other Regency-set projects, including a follow-up to Season for Temptation. When I have definite details, I will shout them to the world! And just for fun...what's your favorite dessert? Um, all of them? I have a world-class sweet tooth, and dessert always sounds good to me. I like to watch competitions on the Food Network, and whenever a judge says, “This is too sweet,” I think, “Whatever. There’s no such thing.”
I do have a particular love for anything with coconut (which I realize is a controversial opinion). Coconut cake is my favorite make-it-every-birthday treat. I also really like Jelly Bellys, but I don’t get them very often since I gobble them down whenever they’re in the house.
You can Theresa at http://theresaromain.com/
Christie and Bandits, thanks again for hosting me! And now I have a question for you readers. Did you ever have a dinner that surprised you—whether the food or the company? Tell us about it! I’ll give away a copy of Season for Temptation to one random commenter.