We have two Grand Prizes. #1 is a Kindle Fire. #2 is a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate. Additionally, each of the blogs that you hop to will be giving something away. Here on my blog, you can win an ebook copy of my historical romance, An Improper Situation, whether you’re in the U.S. or international. Just leave a comment about my post below on Desperate Housewives and you’re entered to win.
I’ll announce the winner of my ebook on July 22nd. Grand prize winners will be selected from post comments via random number generation and announced on Malia Mallory’s blog, The ABC’s of Erotica.
I’m going to talk today about . . . 1880s Desperate Housewives.
Were they? Hardly!!
I suppose when you think of women in generations past, particularly in the nineteenth century, you might think “traditional,” meaning a little schooling, an early marriage, a few babies, and definitely a stay-at-home wife. You might think “housewife,” and probably quite desperate—with frustration, unfulfilled dreams, and longings. I couldn’t stand that for my heroines. That way led to “female hysteria” of the worse sort. When I started writing An Improper Situation, my heroine, Charlotte, needed a way to support herself. Luckily, in the age of a reliable penny post, a network of telegraph offices, the cross-country iron horse (train), and even the newly invented telephone and typewriter, Charlotte could be a freelance writer. She had a home office in much the same way as we can today with our computers and Internet.
My non-traditional heroine was born. She wrote under a man’s nom de plume, but rather than feeling desperate to be a housewife, she balked when presented with two children who needed a mother. That was when the book was still entitled A Readymade Family. Then, as she grew to love the whole mothering thing—as I did, I will confess, having my first born as I wrote this book—the title changed to A Little Bit of Heaven. That’s what it represented for fiercely independent Charlotte, having her solitary existence upturned by two children and their handsome lawyer, Reed. Frankly, she was tired of all that independence and alone-time, anyway. Eventually, by the time I was finished with the rewrite, the perfect title emerged, An Improper Situation, which represented two things: one, my improperly independent heroine who was a writer and a breadwinner, and who even traveled across the country without the benefit of a man’s protection, and two, it was beyond improper for her and Reed to share their passion out of wedlock, but share it they did!
When the sequel began to gel in my brain, Sophie, Reed’s sister, popped up, fully formed, as another independent lady—though, unlike Charlotte, she didn’t intend to be. She was ready to marry and settle down. When a thoughtless man broke her heart, she decided to pursue her great passion, classical piano, and use her gift for the career that called to her. The conflict in An Irresistible Temptation arises from the diverging goals of Riley, the hero, destined to practice medicine in a small town, and Sophie, destined for a life in the orchestra of a big city. They’re sorely tempted to take the easy way out and give in to the passionate temptation of loving each other (of course, they give in to the passion a few times during the course of the story). Riley loves Sophie enough that he can’t let her forsake her gift in order to be his wife. Sophie loves him enough to give up her piano and become a desperate housewife. How do they resolve this terrible dilemma?
My third heroine is the least traditional of all in terms of romance novels, not for her independence, but for her personality—she’s an unlikable minor character in the first two standalone books. Some might call her a bitch. I call her “Miss Understood”! Eliza is selfish, mean-spirited, and has a temper. Why? We find out in the third standalone novel that I’m writing now. The title hasn’t come to me, but she is my toughest heroine. First, I need to reform her character in the eyes of the readers, though there is one special man who already loves her to pieces. Second, she has to find her place in this world. She makes love to one man, then spurns him, gets engaged to another man whom she never loves and eventually dumps him, then, due to a lost wager, marries another man whom she really hates, making her my first truly desperate housewife. Luckily, she has a great hero on her side, who will do anything to help her. Or will he?
Just leave a comment and you’re entered to win.
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