Tuesday, July 5, 2011
What do YOU like books to start with?
Good morning, everyone! Thank you, Casa Ladies, for having me at your beautiful Casablanca Blog site. I come here often and I love looking at all the gorgeous covers you have displayed.
But, today there’s no time to linger because it’s party time! The music is loud and lively, the multi-colored confetti is falling from the sky, and icy-cold champagne is flowing into bottomless flutes. What? Oh, I know, I know. I hear some of you saying that you just returned from RWA National Conference in New York City, and you partied there for five days. You can’t drink another drop of champagne, you are still pulling confetti from your hair, and your iPod is on silent mode for the first time in years. Good enough. We’ll pass on the party this time, and I’ll go straight to talking about my July book—A Gentleman Never Tells.
You know, I still have the notes from a workshop given years ago by one of my favorite writers, Sandra Brown. She said, “Get your characters into terrible trouble right away, on the first page if possible, and then introduce some ‘good griefs’—the calamities that are going to make the terrible trouble even more terrible.” She goes on to say you need at least four of these in a romance book. I’m not sure I always have four, but I do know that romance readers get bored with too much happiness early on in the story. They want some angst and misery before they get to the kiss and make-up, happily-ever-after at the end of the book.
So with that idea in mind, the first thing I did in A Gentleman Never Tells with Lady Gabrielle and Lord Brentwood was place them in a situation they didn’t want to be in and then watch them cleverly worm their way out. In a Regency romance, a good way to create a “good-grief” is to plunk the hero and heroine in the center of an outrageous scandal that all of Polite Society is talking about. And that’s exactly what occurs when Lord Brentwood is caught in Hyde Park at daybreak kissing Lady Gabrielle, who happens to be another man’s fiancé, and the daughter of a powerful duke. And if that wasn’t enough trouble for the Viscount to be in the middle of, he lost his mother’s dog, too.
Lady Gabrielle is dependable, sensible, and obedient. That’s why she had accepted the practical, unemotional marriage her formidable father had arranged for her. That’s what those of her kind did—or so she had always believed until early one morning, when her defenses were down, she threw all of her upbringing away for the chance to spend a few passionate moments in the arms of a handsome stranger.
But kissing the stranger didn’t free Lady Gabrielle. She only thwarted the shackles of one arranged betrothal to immediately find herself stuck in yet another forced engagement. But, the strong-willed lady isn’t going to give up her freedom so easily. She has plans that her father and Lord Brentwood don’t know about and scandal and mishaps becomes the order of the day as they search for London’s notorious dog thief.
So tell me, do you like books that open with terrible “good griefs” on the first page, or do you like to start off with happiness before the trouble comes and be entered in a chance to win one of two copies of A Gentleman Never Tells?
Please visit my website at ameliagrey.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about me and my books.