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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guest Blog: Nancy Lennea: Romance in All Situations

You are here—reading this—because you read romance novels. Whether the story is a romantic suspense such as my latest release, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, or a Regency historical set in merry old England, you want a happy conclusion. I am a voracious reader of many romance genres, so I DEMAND a happy ending. Don’t get me wrong…I am a happily married woman finally in the career I love. I have graduated high school and college (both scary places for a quiet girl like me), raised two rambunctious boys, and owned three homes in three very different locales. No matter where I worked, lived, traveled, shopped and no matter what heart-ache, medical misfortunes, or family squabbles I survived, just knowing I could end my day happily inside my latest romantic novel saved my sanity.

When I decided four years ago to be a published writer, I had stars in my eyes…alongside those big dollar signs. What I have learned over these past years as I struggled to create new stories each time my latest wound up rejected by agents and editors alike, was that I had to come up with a plot that kept my readers’ attention. Characters they could love and respect were important as well. When it came to sex scenes, a few roadblocks stilled my hand. My parents were going to read this!

Besides, how do make a love scene special, especially when my characters only met a few hours ago. Do people who are virtual strangers really jump into bed? What if one of them is injured? How the heck do I show lust tempered by concern and respect in order to ensure my readers understand the conflict that later drives them apart?

In a nutshell, my hero, Jacob, once crushed his leg in a car accident. When he falls on a hiking trail high up a mountain, Destiny must choose whether she will help him home. I fill their trek—from when Destiny makes him a crude crutch from a tree limb while showing Jacob every curve beneath her shorts to when she takes him home because her cabin is closer than his car…the car he cannot physically drive. I use sexual tension to show my readers how each character is awakened to the possibility of making love.

Yes, I call it making love. They use tenderness and Jacob lets her easily opt out of getting closer. Since he’s injured, Destiny understands he can’t possibly hurt her. She loves feeling useful. She loves the desire welling up when she helps him into the shower. After their lovely weekend together, he breaks things off when he assumes…well, that’s part of the story you will have to read. I throw in two handsome young men who want Destiny to go out with them and I show how she refuses repeatedly because she’s lost her heart to someone else. With these two stalkers, mountain rescues, a murder, and ghostly voices, I have created a story with a hard-earned-almost-doesn’t-happen happy-ever-after ending. Please read the short excerpt below to see how I have used a small shower in Destiny’s cabin to bring the underlying bubble of romance to a full boil. Tell me what you think!

In a quirky college town surrounded by the mountains of New Hampshire, new art history professor, Jacob Oliver, hikes a trail on a crisp September morning. He contemplates his life. Divorced and forced out of his job with the Boston Police due to a horrific accident, he spots a naked woman beneath a majestic waterfall. Escaping, he falls and reinjures his knee.

Destiny Blake hears a noise. Someone is on her mountain. She finds a handsome man sitting in the mud. Love blooms and lust consumes them after she helps him to the safety of her cabin. Soon, assumptions pull them apart, leaving her vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of other men.

When Jacob decides he cannot live without her, he must save her from a madman who chases her up her mountain through the cold, snowy darkness of a November night. Ghostly voices push Jacob onward, and urge Destiny to fight back. Pain, hypothermia, and death threaten before the sun rises. Can Destiny and Jacob make it off Destiny's mountain...alive?

“Stay the night. Okay?” She waited, biting her bottom lip. Thick steam and the shower’s spray hid the fear in her eyes that he might think her loose with her affections.

An eerie silence ensued, pierced only by the sounds of water splashing over two naked bodies. The intimacy of the scene seemed to shake him into responding.

“An invitation like that almost makes me forget the pain in my knee.” He smiled widely, flashing perfect white teeth.

Droplets, dripping from delicious lips tinted a healthy color, grabbed her attention.

Great. He looks better. Then, as if in slow motion, those moist, perfect lips descended toward hers. A shiver of anticipation turned into reality as they touched.

She melted.

His mouth felt warm and wet from the shower. He tasted like mint toothpaste. Had he had time to brush while she searched for the stool? Heat filled her at the memory of peeling his jeans from his body. As water dripped down her face from his hair, she breathed him in.

The kiss was gentle, almost timid.

Almost as if they tested one another.

Then his lips grew hungry, pressing hard against her mouth. His tongue pushed through her defenses and tasted her. He swirled and dipped, and then nipped her bottom lip. Surprise brought out a subtle groan. As if considering her noises as agreement, he pressed her entire body back against the wall of her shower. Water sluiced down her forehead and into her nose, but she refused to break the connection.

He made love to her mouth.

DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN is available for download from Red Rose Publishing and the buy link is: Visit Nancy’s Website:
And her blog:


Paris said...

Congratulations on your new release! Wishing you many happy sales:-)

Tina Donahue said...

Lovely excerpt, Nancy - congrats on your release. :)

Paty Jager said...

Nice excerpt. Sounds like a good read.

Nancy Lennea said...

Glad you like the sound of my new release. DESTINY'S MOUNTAIN came about from my love of the mountains surrounding our home in rural Rumney, New Hampshire. Please recommend it to your friends!

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