Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Pitfalls and Pleasures of Writing Romance

By Dorothy Bell (Guest Blogger)

I fall in love every time. I fall in love with the hero, while at the same time I’m falling in love with the heroine. I am the hero. I am the heroine. As the hero, I know my faults, I’m usually proud of my faults. I paid a high price for every one of them. I have no intention of changing.

As the heroine, I’m never good enough. Sometimes I know I’m beautiful, sometimes I think I’m just so-so, but I always have flaws and bruises, maybe invisible, that prevent me from believing in myself, believing I have worth. Writing as both male and female, I feel and respond in a duel of emotions, all pleasures, all pain, all humiliations. I laugh at myself, I feel sorry for myself and protect myself at all times. It’s not easy to fall in love with me the hero, me the heroine, to get past the barriers.

Switching roles, writing the gambit of emotions, the twists and turns, upheavals, passion, is an exhausting challenge. A challenge I love. I can’t wait to don the next character role. In my head, I can become the minx who loses her heart to the hopeless, totally unsuitable, foolish rogue. I can be the worthless, unworthy bounder who loves the wealthy vixen. I understand the heartless cad who can’t resist the imp. I have to make fun of the stuffed-shirt who desires the shady lady. And I will cheer the tight-corseted prude, knowing full well she’s going to cave-in to the rake who seeks her ruin. I can’t wait to invade the reclusive, elusive bachelor, seduce him with my innocence and guile.

Writing romance allows me to stir passions, mix up a batch of love no matter the improper, improbable, impossible ingredients.

Coming soon: Dance Hall Road: Buck Hoyt runs a whorehouse from April to October. During the winter he hordes his solitude like a miser hordes his gold. But this winter, this winter he’s taken in two unwelcome, unavoidable guests, one of them doesn’t understand the rules and the other is too. Look for Dance Hall Road. You’ll fall in love with Buck. You won’t want to—but you will. You won’t be able to resist.

The Cost of Revenge

Oregon historical western romance

Storekeeper Quinn O’Bannon falls for Tru McAdam, a thieving, sloe-eyed vixen out for revenge. Stanley O’Bannon seeks retribution against his traitorous sons, Quinn and Royce, and the folks that took them to their bosom.

If destiny brought Tru to Laura Creek to extract revenge on the O’Bannons, how can she give her heart to Quinn? All becomes clear when Quinn’s life is threatened. Her destiny; she will deliver the fatal blow.


Quinn, turning his attention back to the lump of hostility sitting on his step, put his hands on his hips, steeling himself for battle. “All right, Miss McAdam….”

Her black eyes glittered and flashed, meeting his challenging grin. Obvious loathing oozed from her every pore. “Don’t you dare touch me.” she said, her words reminding him of a snake’s hiss of waning before sinking fangs into flesh.

Oh, I’m going to touch you,” Quinn assured her with a wag of his head. “As a matter of fact, I’m going to pick you up and carry you upstairs to my bed.”

I’ll bite your nose off. I’ll scratch your eyes out if you try it.”

He leaned down, his face inches from her nose. “I should leave you right where you sit. You can’t walk,” he said, pointing out the obvious, his eyes traveling the length of her, finally settling on the sight of her fat foot and her bandaged ankle. Deliberately, raking
every inch of her body with his eyes, his gaze traveled back up to her shoulder. “You’re right-handed, if I’m not mistaken.” Recalling how she’d carried the baby on her left hip, leaving her right arm free, he knew he had it right. “I doubt you can feed yourself, not with that sling on your arm and your wrist all bandaged up. No, Miss McAdam, I don’t think you’ll give me too much trouble. You see, I have what you hold most dear.”

You have nothing.”

Oh, but I do,” he said sweetly. “I have your brothers and your sister. Ah, you see, I’ve lured them into my lair with the promise of food and shelter. The way I see it, you have no choice in the matter, and I can and I will carry you inside. Your only alternative is
to sit here like a stubborn, broken-down mule. I can’t let you stay out here, I’d have to sweep you off my step in the morning.”

Go to hell.” she said. When he picked her up, she screeched and cursed him in a language he couldn’t understand, but got the meaning behind every utterance as he carried her around to the back entrance of the mercantile.

* * * *

Tru tried to kick, but couldn’t, at least not without inflicting a great deal of pain upon herself. He had her good arm snugged up against his chest, and her other arm was useless, swelling fast. She had a headache, and she could feel a fever coming on—in more ways than one.

The first time she’d seen him, she’d thought Quinn O’Bannon too pretty. Up close this fact became strikingly disturbing. He even smelled pretty—spicy and clean like soap. He had tan skin, his features almost perfect. Almost, except for that bump on the bridge of his nose. But even that defect enhanced the rakish, dangerous air he projected. To notice his nose, she couldn’t very well avoid looking into his dark, brown eyes. She regretted doing so, instantly. Those laughing eyes mocked her indignation.

One thing they could probably agree on—she was a fool. She had to be, to feel this emotion, cradled here in his arms...heart racing...pulse pounding. She could feel every muscle in his arms, and the warmth of his hands through the fabric of her skirt, pressing against her thigh. His touch sent ripples of aching desire through her veins. They were so close she could feel the heat of his chest against her side. Angry and in pain, it thoroughly disgusted her that she could be so affected by his nearness, by his touch. It wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted to hate Quinn O’Bannon. She wanted his touch to sicken her, not set her on fire with longing.

To purchase from the publisher:

The Cost of Revenge


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Dorothy!

Welcome to Beyond Romance. I must say that I can understand why you'd fall in love with Tru. I can tell, even from this short excerpt, what an intriguing, conflicted character she is.

Love your photo with your fur babies, too!

Good luck with this book and with Dance Hall Road, too.

Dorothy A. Bell said...

Thank you, Lisabet. This looks wonderful. I appreciate all that you do.

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