Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Into Romance With Marilyn Brant

Thanks so much to Maggie for inviting me to her blog today! I’m very excited about her upcoming release, Can’t Buy Me Love. It’ll be here soon!!

I’ve always loved romance…even when I didn’t realize that was what I was reading.

When I was in junior high, I discovered gothic romances, which, in our tiny public library, were shelved in the “mystery” section. Classic works by Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney were my favorites. I read every single one of them there—mesmerized by these beautiful heroines in far-flung lands, often with amnesia or a dreadful case of curiosity about those strange noises coming from the attic… The heroes were consistently handsome, mysterious and a little bit dangerous. I distinctly remember longing to go skiing in the Swiss Alps after reading one such story, never mind that I couldn’t even ski down the puny bunny hill at Devil’s Head in Wisconsin without falling half a dozen times.

When I was in high school, I was introduced to my greatest literary love—Jane Austen. I didn’t realize I was reading “A Master of Romance” then either or, in some circles, the “Grandmother of Chick Lit.” LOL. (I’m never quite sure what Jane would make of that title, but I hope she’d be honored or, at the very least, amused.) No. I just thought Pride and Prejudice was a “literary classic”…and, also, the best, most insightful novel in the entire world with a love story for the ages.

So, I guess it was natural for me, when I finally began writing fiction, to want to focus on similar themes. To want to have a romance as a major plot element in my story. To write about heroes who were handsome, mysterious and a little bit dangerous. I like to think that’s true of most of the men I’ve created for my very curious (albeit non-amnesiac) heroines. Like “Sam” for Ellie in According to Jane. Or “Garrett” for Cait in Double Dipping. And definitely “Emerson” for Gwen in A Summer in Europe. Sometimes these men even hang out in the Alps…although they do not, I confess, ski.

I love the self-discovery that comes along with a developing romance. The sexual tension whenever the hero and heroine are in the room together. And especially the subtext in a love story—how everything they say has an undercurrent of hidden meaning—like Darcy and Elizabeth’s veiled barbs in Pride and Prejudice. I can read those delicious scenes again and again and never tire of their delights.

What about you? Do you have a favorite romance where you particularly love the sexual tension between the main characters? Please share! I’ll give away two books today: to one commenter (who lives in the U.S. or Canada) a signed print copy of my latest novel, A Summer in Europe, and to one commenter (who lives anywhere else in the world) a PDF ebook copy of my bestselling romantic comedy, On Any Given Sundae.




Best wishes to all of you! ~Marilyn Brant

16 Comments:

Anonymous Maryam said...

Both of these sound like great books! Definetely going on my 'to read' list!

About the romance, I just LOVE the tension that occurs between two individuals who totally HATE each other! Or rather, are "supposed" to hate each other. The fights. The mumblings. The first unconscious smile. The 'trying to think straight' moments when they realise their feelings. And my favourite: the moment they snap and can't hold it in any more!
Yep, that's why Pride and Prejudice is also one of my favourites!

Sweetiee.gal(at)hotmail.com

March 13, 2012 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Marilyn Brant said...

Maryam,

I so agree with you!! Didn't Austen do those romantic tension scenes incredibly well?! Sigh. I'll never stop loving them, too.

And thanks for adding my books to your TBR list -- I appreciate that! ;)

March 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger catherine said...

I love your book According to Jane. Yes it is I who was on Facebook wishing for the sequel. Just yesterday I started On Any Given Sundae, and I'm throwing over Dragonfly in Amber (for the moment) to read it!

Yes, Claire and Jamie in the Outlander series are a great couple. But I confess Anne and Captain Wentworth are my all-time favorite! You already know I love Sam and Ellie.

March 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Marilyn Brant said...

Catherine,
*Hug!* I smile every time I think of your FB message!! Thank you...
I hope you'll enjoy "Sundae" :).
Anne and Wentworth in Persuasion are very close to my heart, too. I think I appreciate their romance even more as I get older. I just melt every time I read that wonderful letter!

March 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Vicki Batman, said...

I cut my teeth on Victoria Hold and Phyllis Whitney too! I love the scene in P&P when Darcy says, "You have bewitched me body and soul." I'll watch the movie just to hear him say that.

March 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Christy Hayes said...

Love your comment about wanting romance to be a central plot in your books. I can't read stories that don't have romance in them somewhere. I'm a shameless Nora Roberts fan because I love the way her characters interact with one another.
Looking forward to reading A Summer in Europe!

March 13, 2012 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Sexual tension.... where would we be without it! It's one of my favorite elements in a love story. Of course I'm still a hopeless romantic and always want the happy ending as well. My favorites definitely include Jane Austen novels. Another book which is one of my favorites is the Lover by Marguerite Duras. It is quite an intense love affair based on a true event in the authors life. You may need an ice pack handy while reading this one!

I am a particular fan of any book setting in Europe so I would love to read A Summer in Europe and I love the cover of On Any Given Sundae. I need an ice pack just looking at it lol!

Margaret
singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

March 13, 2012 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger fOIS In The City said...

No need to put me in the drawing, Maggie. I already own and love Marilyn's book, A Summer in Europe. It's not easy to pick a favorite among the many good love stories I have read. I found Victoria in high school and fell in love with her characters. My favs include Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. It is always a pleasure to read your posts. Thanks to you both :)

March 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Patricia said...

I so love the covers of your books, Marilyn. They take me to places outside of my home and into some other world that you've created. I haven't read your books, but seeing the Summer in Europe, I'm going to have to get that one.

March 13, 2012 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Probst said...

HI Marilyn! Most romance novels make me feel that way - special! I adore your covers and your books look awesome!! Great post!

March 13, 2012 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Marilyn Brant said...

Vicki, I'm so glad you loved Phyllis and Victoria's books, too!! And, ahhh, the Matthew Macfadyen version of P&P...swoon-worthy, wasn't it?!

Christy, it's so nice to see you here! Thank you for visiting me ;). And I so agree on the need for those romantic moments. Even when the romance isn't the only story, I think relationships are such a big part of so many women's lives that I miss that element a great deal if it isn't there...

March 13, 2012 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Marilyn Brant said...

Margaret, *waving!* Austen was a master of sexual tension -- what a genius that woman was! And I'm so glad you recommended the Lover. I have not yet read it, but your description has me quite intrigued :).

Florence, hello!! How kind of you to take time to visit -- thank you! We already share a love of Victoria and Jane but, I agree, the Bronte sisters were amazing as well. I was just watching a fairly recent Jane Eyre (with Toby Stephens) and I was reminded of how intensely romantic -- and definitely gothic -- that story could be :).

March 13, 2012 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Marilyn Brant said...

Patricia, thank you!! I'm very fond of the covers, too, but I can take very little credit for them ;). The women's fiction books were designed by Kensington (I *love* what the artist did for A Summer in Europe!) and Kim Killion did most of the designing for my romantic comedies. I want to eat one of those strawberries...LOL.

Jennifer, thanks so much! I think it's that irrepressibly joyful feeling that I love so much about romance novels -- that wonderful lightness. Special is a good word for it, too, because I think we feel "chosen" for love right along with the heroine.

March 13, 2012 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Marilyn Brant said...

It's 11pm Chicago time, so I'm going to do the drawing now. The winner of the print copy of A Summer in Europe is...Catherine! Congrats!! Please email me with your mailing address so I know where to send it. (MarilynBrant AT Gmail DOT Com) Hope you'll enjoy this story!

I was also going to draw one international winner for a PDF copy of On Any Given Sundae, but I wasn't sure if anyone here lived outside the U.S or Canada...and, because you've all been so great AND I loved your comments about romance (!!)...I've decided to give everyone else who commented already today a copy of that ebook ;).

SO, Maryam, Vicki Batman, Christy Hayes, Margaret, fOIS/Florence, Patricia and Jennifer Probst -- if you'd like a PDF of On Any Given Sundae -- just email me any time in the next week and I'll send one to you!! (MarilynBrant AT Gmail DOT Com)

Thanks again to Maggie for hosting me and to all of you for being so gracious ;).

March 13, 2012 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

sorry i missed this Marilyn!
the tension i love are the many scenes with cptn wentworth and anne elliot! always powerful romance for this reader :)

thanks for writing & sharing your gift with us!

March 16, 2012 at 5:48 AM  
Blogger Marilyn Brant said...

Faith Hope Cherrytea ~ thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment!! And you've got a lot of company, nodding our heads in agreement with you and loving those Wentworth and Anne scenes, too...swoon ;).

March 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM  

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