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Guest blogger: Terri Brisbin

16 September 2012

Kids? Why are there kids?!

Greetings from the East Coast of the US! And thanks to ARRA for having me as a guest today!

I have to confess and apologise at the same time. I discovered long ago that I absolutely DETEST reading about kids in romance novels. It might be because of my background having had three children and understanding that children and romance don’t always work well together … that they interfere and get in the way sometimes. So, when it comes to reading romances, I look for an escape, a story unlike my real life, so I can believe it could be me in that story. And when I see romances with children on the covers, I avoid them.

That’s why I have to apologise—to my romance writing colleagues who write marvellous stories that do involve children. And there are tons of them out there if you look at covers on the shelves in bookstores and online! Children are front-and-centre on many Harlequin/Mills & Boon lines and the covers. Um … yuck.

So, that’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise when Fate and my Muse decided to double-team against me and feed me a story idea about 7 years ago that involved a six-year-old little girl! Darn it! Why me? Why a child? Well, I gave up fighting it and wrote the story that became Possessed by the Highlander about a man who is forced into marrying a woman who has an illegitimate daughter. Worse? The hero falls in love with the little girl—Ciara—before he does her mother!! Is that insult to injury?

I contented myself with the knowledge that I’d write it, her, and be done with it, but in the middle of the story, Ciara did the unthinkable! You see, the youngest man in the hero’s ‘men’, a teenager he’s been mentoring, has befriended Ciara because he has many brothers and sisters and she reminds him of one of them. Tavis, the young man, begins to entertain her through their journey home, even carving wooden animals for her to play with along the way. When he presents her with the latest one, a pig, she grabs her mother’s hand, tugs her down close and whispers: ‘I am going to marry Tavis, Mama.’

More than just a childish oath, Ciara’s words caused a flash of story before my eyes and I saw her and Tavis as adults together. In just a few seconds, the whole story flew by and I knew I would have to write that story!

Well, now, almost six years later, I’ve finally written that story! The Highlander’s Stolen Touch is the story of a young woman’s unrelenting love for a man who sees her as a younger sister until the day when she suddenly becomes much more. Ciara never loses faith that Tavis will be hers, but sometimes Fate (and muses, apparently) have other ideas.

I guess I’m glad that I was forced to have a child in that book since it lead to a completely new series for me to write, but I’m not happy about it! LOL!

How about you? Do you like children in romance novels? Dislike? Not care? Let me know and we’ll pick someone to receive a copy of that first book—Possessed by the Highlander—and a copy of one of my digital short stories, too!

The Highlander’s Stolen Touch – September 2012 — Harlequin Historicals/Mills & Boon

Ciara Robertson has loved formidable Highlander Tavis MacLerie all her life. She watched, brokenhearted, while he married and lost another. Now, finally, of marriageable age, Ciara throws her heart at his feet … Tavis knows that innocent Ciara thinks she’s in love with him—but she deserves far better. Painful experience has proved that he’s a far better warrior than husband, and he’s determined never to marry again.

Her dreams shattered, Ciara accepts another man’s hand. Ordered to take Ciara to her husband-to-be, Tavis is tormented—and tempted—every step of the way …

Terri is frantically writing in one of her infamous deadline-mania-o’-writing-binges even while celebrating her newest release, The Highlander’s Stolen Touch! Visit her website for more info about everything!

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18 Comments
  1. 16 September 2012 10:56 am

    Once again — thanks so much for having me as your guest today! I would love to answer any questions readers might have! Ask away!

  2. 16 September 2012 11:31 am

    Terri – sorry I’m late to the party! Isn’t that funny how kids can affect a story? I think the same is true for animals. I love how you got that flash of insight from Clara. Enjoy your virtual trip to Australia!

    • 16 September 2012 2:47 pm

      glynnis – your hubby is in Australia and you’re not? Something wrong with that picture! I hope hope hope I get the chance to visit Australia. Oh – take a look at the ARRA convention plans for 2013 — doesn’t it make you want to attend?

      • 16 September 2012 4:55 pm

        Don’t feel sorry for me–I get to go to New Zealand with him in February. Hey, maybe we can volunteer to teach a class at the convention. How about American spelling?

  3. 16 September 2012 11:43 am

    Hi Terri

    Great to see you here, downunder! I’m a take it or leave reader of children stories. I don’t gravitate toward secret baby type books, but if a story or character catches my eye, the story and cahracters are strong, then of course I’ll read a book with children in it. Your book sounds wonderful – what I do love are series. So I can’t wait to read Ciara’s (great name BTW) story. I also love to read ‘friends to lovers’ stories.

    • 16 September 2012 2:48 pm

      Bronwen — I always swore – no secret babies! LOL — I broke that by kind of doing a secret not-her-baby story in POSSESSED BY THE HIGHLANDER (the story I wrote that this new one came from) — but there’s a baby and a really big secret…Thanks for stopping by!

  4. 16 September 2012 1:44 pm

    Terri, this story sounds wonderful. I like stories with children as well as stories without. I have written plenty of both–and I can say I enjoy writing child characters. I don’t think I have a preference, honestly. It all depends on the book. But I do confess I’m a sucker for for pregnant heroines on the covers. :-) I love me some babies.

    • 16 September 2012 2:45 pm

      Cheryl – SOOOO many Harlequin authors write stories with children and do it so well….they are just not my cuppa! Did I mention I don’t have the pet gene either? That’s another blog…LOL

  5. fraochale permalink
    16 September 2012 2:08 pm

    Nice journey to the dark side Terri… kids in romance. Will have to re-read the first book before this one, kind of anal that way. As to children did you just have boys Terri? If so maybe that is why your muse planted the idea of wee lass.

  6. 16 September 2012 5:27 pm

    Hi, Terri! I don’t actively seek out books with children as characters, but I like reading them, and writing them is often tons of fun. My Muse has sent me a few already, so I guess she likes them, too! Oops,and pets, too! LOL.

    Ciara’s story sounds wonderful — I’m already hooked. :)

  7. 16 September 2012 9:08 pm

    Hi Terri

    Your book sounds very interesting and I don’t mind reading stories with children in them…. I have read a few and enjoyed them

    Barbara

  8. derekd permalink
    17 September 2012 6:44 am

    Hey Terri, I’d totally forgotten about Ciara in Possessed by the Highlander. I’m looking forward to catching up with her in your new book. I wish you lots of success!

  9. aimskye permalink
    17 September 2012 9:46 am

    Hi Terri! Thanks for blogging!
    I’m not fussed with children in the books I read, I can take em or leave em!

    Aimee

  10. Judith. permalink
    17 September 2012 12:18 pm

    Hi Terry,
    I do love reading about children in books and I can’t wait to read this one of yours. I think it’s because it has been many years since my children were young and so I can only remember the good bits. :-)
    Judith.

  11. 17 September 2012 12:33 pm

    Hi Terri – congratulations on your new release. I don’t mind children in my romance books so long as they are there to do something and not just make the plot “look pretty”. :)

  12. Carol L. permalink
    19 September 2012 12:36 am

    It doesn’t really matter to me one way or the other. It’s the Highlander I’m focused on. lol Sorry. I love them what can I say. I’d love to be entered if it’s a print. Thanks for the chance Terri. Congrats on the release of The Highlander’s Stolen Touch.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  13. Shiona permalink
    21 September 2012 12:00 pm

    G’day Terri, and welcome to virtual Australia. Your books sounds wonderful – I am such a sucker for children (but not too many of them) in a story. I think they are a great device as children have an inate ability to sense the good in someone, see past the reputation, clothing whatever – far before the heroine does in many instances. It’s sort of like a stamp of approval if a child likes a character.

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