Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Guest post: There’s a Bee in my Bonnet by Killian McRae + Giveaway

Today I welcome to the blog Killian McRae, author of the "historical romance" A Love by Any Measure (you'll see why it's between quotation marks if you read Killian's post), who will share with you her thoughts on the current trends of love and sex in historical romances and the place they should hold. Please give her a warm welcome, and be sure to scroll down until the very end, because a giveaway is waiting for you there.

There’s a Bee in my Bonnet by Killian McRae

Disclaimer: Ever since I was a wee lass, I’ve been a contrarian. It’s been my albatross to bear in many situations and against many different discussions. I’ve never denied this characteristic. So, for what I’m about to say, you’ll have to take that fact, and my comments, with a fifty-pound grain of salt.

Ladies, the penis is not mightier than the sword. No, that’s not a typo. I really want us to look for a moment at the concept of historical romance fiction and what its purpose is. Well, let’s step back even further. Let’s just look at the concept of romantic fiction.

I actually had qualms about calling my release, A Love by Any Measure, a romance at all. (The historical aspect is undeniable.) I asked one of the editors at Harlequin for advice, and her answer to me was: “Is the love story the thing that moves the plot along?” Well, yes, of course, but I felt that pigeon-holed the book. After all, if all I wanted to do was write a love story, why go through all the time and effort to research the era and make the book as historical accurate as possible? Why not just save time and effort and write a story set right in my back yard, say, in San Francisco in the Financial District?

Now, honestly, I’ve been reading historical novels since junior high school, both of the romantic and non-romantic varieties. What thrills me as a reader is the intensity that is so universal, yet motifs which are so era-unique. It intrigues the intellect: with things so different back then, how can they still be so similar to right now? If people decades or even centuries ago were still screwing up their lives like we are today, what hope have we for the future? This extends to love stories, aka romances, as well. In Ancient Rome or the Highlands of Scotland or the halls of Britain’s nobles, hearts have been broken and lovers have swooned the same as they do now. What varies is the context against which they must strive to win the right to love. And then, to love… What is that? After such a long struggle and victory earned, what becomes of them?

If I’m to judge by a great number of historical romances I’ve read as late, the purpose is to have sex.

Now, no one can argue that in 99% of relationships, especially when love is new, sex is a crucial element. But sex, no matter how thrilling, is pretty timeless. The act is carried out more or less the same today as it was in Egypt five thousand years ago. What disappoints me of late is how most historical romances are nothing more than tales of costume sex. The love is a subset of the physical, and usually comes dressed in bodice that needs ripping.

If I’m choosing to read (or in my case, also write) historical romance, I want to go into it with the history being just as important as the romance. And I don’t want something ridiculous. i.e. the great general delays his troop’s deployment because he hears the siren call of his curvaceous lover, and is obliged to obey. I love the attraction two characters can have, but even I have to roll my eyes when the only thing they’re able to think about or plot for is getting back into bed again. Is the purpose of falling in love to have a climax, or is the purpose of having a climax to fall in love?

You can reach Killian at or on Twitter.

 A Love by Any Measure by Killian McRae

An Irish lass. An English lord.

A love that overcomes all boundaries.

August Grayson has secretly dreamt of the girl living on his family’s Irish estate since childhoods spent together in Killarney. Now a proper Lord of the British Empire, he knows that Maeve could never be more than just a distant fantasy. Still, if only...

Maeve O’Connor owns nothing in this world but her good name, which proves just enough to win a proposal for a marriage of convenience to a good, Irish lad. Until the wedding, however, she’s in dire straits. Rent on the cottage she and her father share is due, but there simply isn’t the money to pay. Driven to desperation, Maeve hopes Lord Grayson, her childhood-chum-turned-dashing-English-rogue, will prove lenient when she comes seeking clemency.

The temptation presented proves too much, and August offers Maeve a compromise: should she permit him twice as long on each succeeding visit to do whatever he wishes in pursuit of his pleasure, he will consider her rent paid. Starting with a mere five seconds, pulses soon out race the ticking clock, as August’s desires become Maeve’s own. Passion blinds them to the challenges closing in on both the Irish and English fronts, threatening to destroy the love they’ve discovered.

Working to bridge that which divides them, tempting fate with each stolen kiss, and torn between desire and obligation, Maeve and August must strive to overcome all and find a love by any measure...

Buy links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble


Killian has offered one ebook copy of A Love by Any Measure to a lucky commenter.

All you have to do is

1) leave a comment regarding Killian's post or answer her (rhetoric) question, and
2) leave me a way to contact you if you win (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.).

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 16 December 2011!

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