Sunday, May 28, 2006

HEA required?
(inspired by Camilla's blog at

For romance, yes. I will be the first to say there are some fabulous love stories out there without it -- Remains of the Day, where the female lead decides to stay with her husband, with whom she is not in love, for the sake of their unborn grandchild, rather than return to the love of her life and the house they both loved. Mary Canon's historical O'Hara saga (I'm jumping in the wayback machine here) where the first book ends with the male and female leads forced to go their separate ways, never to see each other until his deathbed nearly twenty years later. I still get choked up over his final words to her, "We had some times, didn't we, girl?" and sobbing myself, because yes, they did, and though separated, loved each other to the last. One of my favorite Angela Elwell Hunt historicals (CBA fiction, not marketed as romance) has a love story between an Egyptian queen and a slave, which because of class, can never be. Romantic? Yes. Romances? No.

There is a difference. In fact, one of the reasons I chose romance as my genre was the absolute delight I take in seeing if I can take some of those devices used in stories such as the above, but have it work out so that the hero and heroine do get their HEA. To me, the HEA is, at its very best, like climbing Mt. Everest. Yes, they've been through hell and high water, and dash it all, come out together and on top. I want to feel the pull of the pain h/h feel at the prospect that things may not end well, and the joy when it does.

This does not, however, mean that everything is wrapped in a neat shiny bow; I like a little more grit than that. I'm fine with beloved secondary characters taking a dirt nap, the family estate going bust or burning down, our h/h being on the losing side of a war. Starting fresh in a new place can be HEA as well. What it all boils down to, for me, is that the h/h's union is greater than anything else that may have been lost. Not that the other things don't count, but that with their beloved in their lives, they can handle it. Those are the books I sigh over as I hug them after closing the last chapter. The books I love to write. In short, for me, the best HEAs have a cost attatched. How high the price would depend on each individual couple and their own mountain to climb.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It's catsitting time again, when early mornings begin with trotting off to see to a friend's two Maine Coon Tail cats. This annual event coincides with the arrival of summer, and usually blazing hot weather. I could do without the weather, but I enjoy the extra exercise and a double dose of giant kitty love is always a good thing.

I'm also putting together my summer reading/rereading list. Recent discussions at and happen to echo my own thoughts of late -- it's no secret I miss the sweep and adventure that were once upon a time the norm in romance. While they don't appeal to every reader, those are the things I always gravitate for, and having finished reading the wonderful debut Viking historical by Diana Groe, Maidensong I'm more determined than ever to see exactly what it is that catches my fancy and how I can put my own touch on it to offer something unique.

Which means rereading old favorites; Small, Sherwood, Woodiwiss, McBain, Busbee, etc as well as poking about for authors of that era I missed the first time around, and newer titles like Maidensong that have the same feeling. Will I be able to read through Karleen Koen's Through a Glass Darkly duo before September? Will I be able to hunt down any new to me Aola Vandergriff titles at any of my UBS haunts? Will I actually keep some sort of a record of this? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I thought this cover (for Philippa Gregory's A Respectable Trade was utterly gorgeous and romantic. Tells everything a reader needs to know right up front, and the book is fabulous, too. I, of course, have a US cover on my copy, but I may have to track this UK cover down, because it's one of those covers that is flat out perfect, something I would be proud to have on a book of my own. I think my copy just inched its way higher up in my to be reread list.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I am still here, still alive, but I have been extremely quiet lately. Not sure exactly why, but it does bear looking into.

I've written several versions of a long talky post but they keep getting eaten, and my patience is low at the end of the day. So, bullet points.

* Terri Brisbin conference this past Saturday = good.
* Close friend getting food poisioning the same day = bad.
*Dad went into hospital on Monday, is now home and things look good; I will know more this weekend.
*Various discussions about historical romance in various venues have had me both inspired and un, but this is the genre I love, so I will keep on keeping on.
*Things go in cycles where genres are concerned, so sometimes it's a waiting game.
*Photos came back from my book launch party; fabulous time, but I need image work.
*Raining now -- very lovely
*Sometimes keeping my big mouth shut can be hard but prudent
*Good friends are a treasure
*I have finally come to accept the fact that I walk better in heels than flats.