Monday, January 28, 2013

Contrived Love? Can You Be Tricked into Falling in Love?

Love is a feeling, an emotion. Emotions can be tricky things. They can rise up unexpectedly, a rush of anger, a flash of fear, or a burgeoning feeling of excitement.  And just as quickly those feelings can disappear, become only a distant memory. What about love? Can it be planned, contrived, manipulated?
Can you make someone fall in love with someone else?

Suppose you had two friends who absolutely hated each other. Every time you got together socially and they were in the room, they just couldn't stop trading insults to the point where they ruin the party for everyone. Well, dear reader, maybe you should go all Shakespeare on their trim backsides, and suggest a little more affection between them.

I love Shakespeare's plays. I find his contrived scenes vastly entertaining and also very complex. The story of Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado about nothing is no exception. These two people cannot stand each other. Beatrice sees Ben as a real pain in the ass, and as for our man Benedick, well he thinks she's quite the sour harpy.

Here is a little glance into their shared dislike:
Beatrice, aka Bea
Beatrice: I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick: nobody marks you.
Benedick: What, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?
Beatrice: Is it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.
Benedick: Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.
Beatrice: A dear happiness to women: they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.
Benedick: God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.
Beatrice: Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were.
Benedick: Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
Beatrice: A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.
Benedick: I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so good a continuer. But keep your way, i' God's name; I have done.
Benedick, aka Ben

And so they go on, continually. 

Well, during a week long wedding party, the household decided to play a little trick on these very publicly avowed enemies.  

The male members of the party decide on a little diversion during the week long house party for their own amusement. They come up with a plan to try to convince the warring pair that the other one is love with him/her. It is a subtle suggestion, carefully laid, with a wager among the men that by the end of the week, the heretofore contrary pair will be deeply and madly in love with each other. 
It seems as if it will be destined to failure.  

But alas, the power of suggestion is strong, Isn't that why we succumb to commercials convincing us we REALLY need this product we wouldn't otherwise buy?  Happens all the time. So what if, by design, your friends decided they were sick of your bickering with Ben, and played a trick on you both, suppose they start suggesting that Ben is really secretly in love with you, and he hides it beneath his pretense of sharp barbs?  Would it work?  

The men of the party elicit the women's aid; the women work on Beatrice, while the men work on convincing Ben of this contrived affection. 

Suddenly, both Beatrice and Benedick start to question their own perceptions. "Ah ha, did I sense some double meaning int that put down so coldly delivered . . .?"   
Not really . . . they meant every nasty word! But it works!  By the end of the play, both Bea and Ben are seeing the other in a new light, seeing the good in the other and feeling really, really flattered and a little giddy with excitement to find out that they are secretly adored! 

And suddenly they are in love. Manipulated into the fickle emotion, but there you have it, deeply in love. Ben is so enthralled with Bea that he's ready to challenge a man to a duel to prove his love for her!  At the beginning of the story he despised her, called her a bitter old maid, a nag and so many other things that weren't complimentary in the least. By the end of the story, he's ready to kill for her, because he loves her and can't stand to see her weeping over her cousin's ill use. 

And they say Shakespeare is boring. Hmmm . . .  I guess he is if you don't like drama, love, poetry, or sarcastic wit . . .there's always Beavis and Butthead! 

Beatrice and Benedick of Much Ado About Nothing are timeless lovers. They remind us that yes, love is possible, even contrived, manipulated love!  

There is a great movie version of this story, Much Ado About Nothing, 1993, staring Kenneth Brannagh as Benedick and Emma Thompson as Beatrice. It is a very engaging, witty, fun adaption that is sure to please any true Shakespeare fan, as the dialogue is not tampered with--it's Shakespeare at its best.  
 Click here to view Video Trailer

Go ahead, fall in love..... or plot and scheme to make your sister fall in love, consider it a great social experiment. What should we call it? Going along with the Big Bang Theory's odd little tag lines, suppose we call it   The Shakespeare Manipulation.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lovers Ink: The Bard's Thoughts on Love

 Shakespeare, for me--Rocks. 
He's given us some of the the most memorable lovers in history: Romeo & Juliet, Beatrice & Benedict (Much Ado About Nothing), Titania and Bottom (Midsummer Night's Dream) , Othello & Desdemona,  Rosalind and Orlando (Ask You Like It), to name a few.

And talk about tragic lovers, well, Romeo and Juliet are the essence of desperate, wild, irrational and eternal love---dying just to be together.

Since it's a cold dreary winter month, and Valentine's Day is looming on the horizon, with hearts everywhere in candy form, card form or just bright red colored heart lights, I thought it nice to see what the famous bard, Will Shakespeare himself, had to say about Love. After all, this blog is about Romancing History, and who better to make hearts swoon with his writing and prose than Will himself? 

Here are a few special tidbits of wisdom from our stalwart Poet of old:  

Is Love a tender Thing? It is too rough, 
    Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like a thorn. 
                                                    Romeo in Romeo and Juliet.

                Love is merely a madness. 
                                       Rosalind in  As You Like It

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
     Admit impediments:  Love is not 
     That alters where it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove. 
      O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.   
                                     Sonnet 116


                            Love is blind. 
                                       Speed, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 

Beatrice:  But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me? 

      Benedick:  Suffer Love!  A good epithet. I do suffer love indeed, for I love thee against my will. 
                                                             Much Ado About Nothing 

The course of True Love never did run smooth.  
                      Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream

  Things base and vile, holding no quantity, 
                              Love can transpose to form and dignity. 
                      Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, 
                              And therefore is winged Cupid painted Blind. 
                                     Helena in  A Midsummer Night's Dream

Doubt thou the stars are fire, 
        Doubt that the sun doth move, 
Doubt truth to be a liar, 
       But never doubt I love, 
              Polonius in Hamlet

Stay warm this month, let the fires of love & romance heat up your winter. 
Romance novels bring a little zest and spice to those cold winter nights. 

Lily Silver, Romance Author

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Warm up Your Winter with Free reads

Welcome to The Warm Winter Reads Blog Hop, Day Two!

Today, to give readers a little extra insulation against the winter blahs, I'm giving away a free e-book to everyone who visits. See the post below for details, but first let's review the big prizes being offered:

Grand Prize for the Warm Winter Reads Beach Book Blast event is a $50 Best Buy Gift card and $25 e-book card of winner's choice (Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes!)  Sign up on the main Beach Book Blast site using the rafflecopter tabs!

Prize for One Lucky Romancing History reader here is a $10 iTunes gift card and digital e-book of Bright Scoundrel, Book Two of Reluctant Heroes Series. 

 (Leave a comment for me below to enter to win this prize! ) 

Winter can be long, especially where I live, in northeastern Wisconsin.  I live close to Green Bay, as in about half a mile. Green Bay, when frozen, is like a giant icebox. So, even in April and May the cool air of the melting Bay waters keep it pretty cool here.

So what do I do to cope, why, I like to escape into a good book.   And having an e-reader is a plus to me as I get to download so many wonderful reads from my favorite Indie Authors.

This weekend, 17 of us have joined together to create a great Blog Hop and giveaway. Many of us are offering free or greatly reduced reads to give readers a sample of our work.

Get it Free!

Today, as part of the second half of our hop, I'm offering a free copy of Dark Hero, the First Book in my Reluctant Heroes Series. I'm celebrating the release of the second book in the series, Bright Scoundrel, this month, so the first one is free to the readers of this blog. (To read about this new release and the unique hero, read the previous post.)  It's a little bonus prize for stopping in on Sunday to give me a peek.  Pick up a free copy of Dark Hero at

 I also have excerpts posted of both books, the first chapter on the pages tab at the top of this page, if you'd like a sneak peak.

And be sure to visit the other blogs listed below, as many of these great authors are also giving away free e-books as part of the hop. 

Thanks for joining us on this cold winter day. Don't forget to leave a comment here to be entered to win a $10 iTunes card and free digital copy of Bright Scoundrel! Please remember to leave an email address so I can contact you if you are the winner!  Happy Hopping!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Warm Up Your Winter with Reluctant Heroes who become Romance Heroes

Grand Prize for the Warm Winter Reads Beach Book Blast event is a $50 Best Buy Gift card and $25 e-book card of winner's choice (Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes!)  Sign up on the main Beach Book Blast site using the rafflecopter tabs!

Prize for One Lucky Romancing History reader here is a $10 iTunes gift card and digital e-book of Bright Scoundrel, Book Two of Reluctant Heroes Series. 

 (Leave a comment for me below to enter to win this prize! ) 

An author friend of mine once said that Romance Readers are Emotion Junkies. 

I agree with him, wholeheartedly. Now, before you take him to task because he's a man, realize that he actually writes Romance, and has done so for twenty years. He's done it quite well, as he has 25 books published, most of them by Harlequin. 

I'm an avid Romance Reader. Why? Because, as my author friend pointed out, I like the emotional pull of the story. I love falling in love with the hero, rooting for the hero and heroine to be together. I like worrying over them and wondering if they will ever overcome the obstacles and be together. I want them to have their happily ever after.  

As a Romance author, I've had a very hard task to complete; giving the reader a satisfying emotional read.  I want the reader to be entertained. I want the hero to sweep the reader off her feet along with the heroine. That's a tough task, a very difficult one as we don't all fall for the same types of heroes. 

I'm all for the alpha male. Make mine alpha, please! Donovan Beaumont in Dark Hero is my ultimate alpha hero. He's my dream, my fantasy.  But not everyone will like him. Some readers might be put off by him. And as a writer, I realize not every hero I create can be like Donovan, because Donovan is often arrogant, controlling, deceptive and downright overbearing. 

So, how do I follow a Strong Alpha Male lead from my first book in the series, Reluctant Heroes with a second, equally compelling hero?  What kind of hero can follow Donovan's very strong personality and still hold his own as a romance hero?

Published January 1, 2013
Well, the answer is simple.  This next Reluctant Hero is a Beta Male.  

Yes, that was a surprise, even to me as I usually write strong alphas.  

Kieran O'Flaherty does not march into the fray sword in hand. He uses his wits and his magical abilities to conquer a problem. He's a druid priest, a powerful sorcerer from a long line of druids. And he's also a bad boy when it comes to the ladies. Our hero this time around is not pirate or a warrior, he's a rake. Not that he pursues women like a dog; no--it's rather the opposite; The women come to him. He's gained a reputation in London as a scoundrel but the truth is, the women seek him out because of his charm and his magical allure. And the best part of it is, they don't leave unsatisfied. Nope, Kieran O'Flaherty knows that pleasing the woman only enhances his own sexual pleasure. 

So, if you are looking for something different to read this winter, a different kind of love story imbued with magic and suspense, give Bright Scoundrel a taste. Kieran is not your typical hero. He's a rich playboy: sort of a cross between Mark Sloan, the man whore on Grey's Anatomy and Baltazar Blake, the Sorcerer in the Disney Movie The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Mix 1 part man-whore
With Two parts Sorcerer!
Equals Bright Scoundrel Kieran O'Flaherty

Kieran might not be a straight up alpha but he does have strong alpha tendencies. He's confident in his manhood and doesn't need to bellow, stomp or kick ass to prove himself. He rises to the challenge to save his lady love when she's threatened, but he uses magic to come to her aid and vanquish the bad guy, and that's pretty darn cool.  

The story takes place in Ireland of 1802, in an ancient castle. Kieran returns to the land of his birth and encounters magical beings from ghosts, dark spirits and elementals, a banshee, and a hidden Fey among his servants. He leaves London to embrace a simpler life in the bucolic Irish countryside, but his retreat is anything but tranquil. When he arrives, he finds the steward of his estate is a woman--an avowed spinster, a feminist who is all prickles and spines and a seems to be the only woman immune to his charms.

Kieran O'Flaherty was a support character in the first book of the Reluctant Heroes series. He's the heroine's older brother. If you would like to try the first book, Dark Hero is currently free on  (This 400 page historical romance is usually $3.99).

And if you would like a chance to win a $10 iTunes Gift Card and a free digital copy of Bright Scoundrel please leave a comment here about your favorite romance hero of all time. I'm always looking for a good romance to read, so share your desert island keeper with me. (Please be sure to leave an email address!) And don't forget to check out the other fabulous Warm Winter Reads Authors Blogs for more prizes, great reads and winter fun. 
Use the link below to return to 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Different Definition of New Year's Day!

It's another year over! Can you believe it? And to celebrate the New Year with bang, we're going crazy and sending out so many prizes, fun parties, experiences, and other goodies, that it's a bit scary. Each author has a favorite New Year memory, book, idea, or way to party and we're going to show you! Can't wait to see you January 1st - 6th!

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.
But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
Note: All prizes except swag pack are international. Swag pack is U.S. mailing only. 

New Years Day!  It represents a fresh start, right?

My first child, my lovely daughter Rebecca, was born on New Year's Day. So, every year, New Years has a different significance in our household. It's not about starting a new diet or making goals for the next year. When Becca was little, I used to tease her by saying the the whole country was celebrating her birthday, (because it was a holiday). As she grew old enough to have birthday parties with friends, it became really hard to plan her birthday, as it was a holiday and many of her friends were out of town on the holiday.

Rebecca at Two years, with Garfield

As the years go by, one thing is a constant. Since Becca's birth, I no longer think of New Years as a holiday, I think of it as my dear daughter's birthday. It's about presents for her, and cake, and surprises. We have a tradition, we go out for a big breakfast, usually to IHOP, as it's one of the few places open on the holiday. And for Becca, being born on a holiday isn't all that. She'd rather have her big day be on a regular day, as it makes planning a party or even going out to dinner very complicated. We always give her the choice of where to go, but then we have to call to find out if they are even open on New Year's Day, and many, many times they aren't so we have to find a second choice.

For me, New Year's Day will always be a special time of new beginnings, but a different kind, as it was the day I became a parent for the first time. That might not sound romantic, but in reality it is. I have a beautiful daughter who represents the ultimate expression of love between my husband and I. And, this lovely little girl looks like her handsome Daddy! She's a special gift from my beloved that will always be with me and remind me of how wonderful it is to have new beginnings and to celebrate special days, even if they don't coincide with a national holiday.

Today, I'm going to celebrate the New Year with a big hug for my daughter, a big gift for her, and with thankfulness that she's in my life.
How do you celebrate the holiday?  I'm giving away a $15 Starbucks gift card to one lucky blog visitor, and a free e-book copy of my new release Bright Scoundrel. I'm also giving away two copies of Bright Scoundrel as a second place prize to two lucky readers.  

Bright Scoundrel is my new release (1/2/13). Amazon Link it is the sequel to Dark Hero and is a historical romance that takes place in Ireland of 1802. Dark Hero, the first book of the Reluctant Heroes Series, is .99 Cents this week on Amazon and on B&N Pubit for Nook. (That's a 400 page novel, so it's a great deal) Pick up a copy if you need to catch up on the series. To enter the contest for the gift card and free book please leave a comment below, sharing something you do that's not the typical way to celebrate the New Year. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. If you leave a comment here, you are also automatically entered in the grand prize for the New Years Hop!   Keep hopping, there are plenty of other Blogs with prizes to win. With over 200 bloggers joining this huge event, you could win more than once.

Here's the link to the main site so you can continue hopping: 
New Year's Blog Hop