Debut Author Theresa Romain Interview & Giveaway!

>> Monday, November 07, 2011

Theresa Romain and I met recently, in the last several months, when I discovered we are both agented by the fabulous Paige Wheeler and both edited by the amazing Alicia Condon!

I'm thrilled to have met up with Theresa - she is as sweet as they come! And today we're celebrating her debut Regency historical romance, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION with an interview and a giveaway of 2 copies of her debut plus 5 custom bookmarks!

Two Sisters. . .

Julia Herington is overjoyed when her stepsister, Louisa, becomes engaged--to a viscount, no less. Louisa's only hesitation is living a life under the ton's critical gaze. But with his wry wit and unconventional ideas, Julia feels James is perfect for Louisa. She can only hope to find a man like him for herself. Exactly like him, in fact. . .

One Choice. . .

As the new Viscount Matheson, James wished to marry quickly and secure his title. Kind, intelligent Louisa seemed a suitable bride. . .until he met her stepsister. Julia is impetuous--and irresistible. Pledged to one sister, yet captivated by another, what is he to do? As Christmas and the whirl of the London season approach, James may be caught in a most scandalous conundrum, one that only true love, a bit of spiritous punch--and a twist of fate--will solve. . .

Now an interview with Theresa:

Theresa, tell us about your new release.

SEASON FOR TEMPTATION is a light-hearted smart-mouthed Regency-set historical romance. With a delicious cream filling!

Our hero, James, deals with a family scandal by making an engagement of convenience, then falls in love with his fiancée’s stepsister/closest friend, Julia. Meanwhile, his fiancée has a change of heart. Also meanwhile, there is strong pressure from both families to marry soon, and well. Before James and Julia sort out their difficulties, many strange foods are eaten, several unusual costumes are worn, and a few uncomfortable truths come to light.

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?

The love triangle was by far the most difficult aspect, because it was very important to me that all three people involved act with good intentions. James and his fiancée, Louisa, are engaged out of duty to their families, just as James and Julia deny their growing feelings out of a similar sense of duty. To me, there’s nothing sexy about infidelity, and I didn’t want any of my characters to cross that line.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

I wish! I usually get a germ of an idea—in the case of SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, it was something along the lines of “what if one sister fell in love with another sister’s fiancé?” And then: “what if the sisters loved each other deeply, so there were no villains in the love triangle?” I thought it would be interesting to see what happened. I guess that’s as close to a formula as I get: “what if?” and “then what?”

The next step is writing the first three chapters and a synopsis. That takes me much longer than any other stage of the book, because I’m figuring out the characters and the specifics of the plot. The details of the plot often change as I write the rest of the book—I might shift the order of events, collapse some, add others—but the synopsis is sort of like having the framework of a building. Maybe you’ll change the color of the bricks (or whatever), but once the steel struts are up, you know pretty much what it’ll look like when done.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Time, discipline, and a computer (or a legal pad). Of those, I’d say discipline is the most important. If you have discipline, you’ll find the time. Heck, maybe you’ll even find the computer. (Note: I do not recommend theft.)

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to:
  1. Read
  2. Watch silent movies
  3. Play trivia games with Mr. R
But usually, when I’m not writing (or working at my other job—I’m a freelance health editor), I am:
  1. Cleaning up after Little Miss R
  2. Doing laundry
  3. Cooking
We don’t have to talk about how *well* I do those things, do we? I’m hardly a domestic goddess. I’m hardly even a domestic mortal.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

Me, on my own? I’m usually within five to zero minutes early. If I’m with Mr. R, we’ll probably be about 10 minutes late. Sorry.

What’s in your TBR pile?

Let’s stick with the mini-TBR pile on my nightstand, because the full TBR is, um, really big. I read several books at once, so here’s what I’ve got going now:

I just started reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, recommended to me by my brother. And I’m glad he did, because it’s a really fascinating analysis of factors contributing to success. (If that sounds boring to you, then I didn’t describe it well enough.)

I’m also reading Rose Lerner’s A Lily among Thorns—gah, she’s a fantastic, fantastic writer. I just love the way she uses language. Also in the “read me tonight!” stack are Kieran Kramer’s If You Give a Girl a Viscount (so clever and funny) and Victoria Dahl’s Real Men Will (I haven’t started this one yet, but I’ve heard it’s most excellently naughty).

In February 2012, a certain novel called Fever by a certain author named Joan Swan will be placed on the nightstand, and the cover will be ogled repeatedly whenever I’m not reading it.

Do you believe in snipes?

Ok, I love that you asked this question, and the answer is yes. My father loves ornithology, and I grew up reading his Roger Tory Peterson field guides (I’m not kidding, I really did). So I know that snipes are real. Though if you don’t live anywhere near water, which is where the real snipes hang out, then a snipe hunt is still a Big Giant Trick that you can have lots of fun with.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a sequel to SEASON FOR TEMPTATION! It will be released by Kensington Zebra in October 2012 as SEASON FOR SURRENDER. It’ll have a holiday setting and, I have no doubt, a gorgeous cover.

Leave a comment or ask Theresa a question to enter the giveaway for
2 copies of her debut and 5 custom bookmarks!
**MUST** leave a contact email to win!

Theresa Romain holds degrees in psychology, English literature, and history, an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She has worked, interned, and translated for libraries and universities, all of which fed her love of books and her fascination with the past. She lives with her family in the Midwest and lives online at You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Order the ebook: Kindlenook


Natalija 11:09 PM  

Great interview, thank you for sharing! I have a question, why do you write romance?

natalija (dot) shkomare (at) gmail (dot) com
International entry.

Jodie Riverina Romantics 1:20 AM  

Great interview ladies. I adore the cover to Season for Temptation and look forward to reading it.

riverinaromantics (at) gmail (dot) com

Lori D 3:43 AM  

I love regencies and this sounds like a winner! I have added it to my wish list and look forward to reading it. Enjoyed the interview.

Diane D - Florida 4:36 AM  

Thank you for a very interesting interview. I adore Historical Romance, and "Season For Temptation" sounds like everything I love in a book, i.e. passion, love and intrigue.

Theresa, have you thought about including illustrations in your books?

Thank you for this opportunity.

dpd333 (at) aol dot com

GzNKz4evr 6:34 AM  

You said: "In February 2012, a certain novel called Fever by a certain author named Joan Swan will be placed on the nightstand, and the cover will be ogled repeatedly whenever I’m not reading it." LOL and I couldn't agree more! *nods*

Holla for the psychology degrees. Whoot! I added your book to my to-read list. It sounds fantastic and I like the way you said you avoided the unsexy qualities of a love triangle. Nothing like a good holiday book to get me into the spirit and I very much look forward to reading yours!

Margie Lawson 7:33 AM  

Theresa and Joan --

Theresa -- Your fun voice in the blog hooked me. I bet your writing voice carries fun too. Loved your I'm-hardly-a-domestic-mortal line. :-)

Your story hooked me too!

Joan -- Thanks for introducing us to Theresa.

I can't wait for FEVER in February!

GayleC 8:20 AM  

What does a freelance health editor do?


You know I loved the book, and can't wait for Louisa's story.

Joan has made absolutely beautiful bookmarks again.

Theresa Romain 9:04 AM  

Good morning, everyone! Joan, thanks so much for hosting--and for making those gorgeous bookmarks!

Theresa Romain 9:06 AM  

Natalija--I write romance because I love to read romance! That's the short, simple answer, but it sums it up well. Lots of people who enjoy stories decide they want to create their own, and when I started writing romance, I realized that telling stories and creating HEAs was the most fun I'd ever had at work. :)

Theresa Romain 9:08 AM  

Jodie and Lori--thanks for stopping by! Joan gives a great interview, doesn't she? I loved these questions.

Theresa Romain 9:11 AM  

Diane D--that'd be pretty cool! The design of my book is up to my publisher, and I haven't seen any romances in mass market form (the small paperback size) with illustrations. But romances written as manga or graphic novels are becoming more popular. I haven't read any yet, but I think that'd be a fun way to tell a story--especially romantic suspense.

Theresa Romain 9:13 AM  

GzNKz4evr--hollaback! I lived in the liberal arts world for, um, a long time. It's a really fun world.

Thanks for stopping by, and hope you enjoy reading Season for Temptation!

Theresa Romain 9:15 AM  

Margie--how kind! Thanks very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the post--Joan's fun questions helped me give fun answers. :)

Theresa Romain 9:19 AM  

GayleC--snipes! They're a kind of waterfowl. Or the subject of an old-fashioned prank (snipe hunting=abandon your friend in a field overnight with an empty bag). You really *could* hunt snipes, but not in a field.

As a freelance health editor, I contract with universities and individuals who want help writing grants or preparing research for publication. It still involves writing and revising, but there's a lot less kissin' than there is in my romance-writing job. :)

Thanks for the lovely comment!

Danielle Gorman 9:23 AM  

Great interview. I can't wait to read this book. It looks so good and I've had it on my wish list for awhile now. Thanks for the great giveaway.

Avery Flynn 9:35 AM  

"a light-hearted smart-mouthed Regency" Is there anything better in life? No. I love it. The title is wonderful, was that your first title or did you have to tweak it a bit before you were happy?

Raonaid Luckwell 9:51 AM  

Hey! I tell Joan often that Fever is a lickable cover. I've been daydreaming over the coverflate I have. LOL

Mm, light hearted smart-mouthed Regency, it sounds like something that I would like. I've been in the mood for a regency just not certain what to read.

Raonaid at gmail dot com

Kim,  10:07 AM  

Nice interview. The book sounds quite interesting.

Theresa _ There was a cute illustration of a small dog in Lisa Kleypas's last book, Love in the Afternoon. The dog played an important part in the book.

When you say you translated for universities and libraries, do you mean you translated things into English? How many languages are you fluent in?

Anonymous,  11:32 AM  

This book sounds so great and I love discovering new authors! Thanks for the great interview.

June M. 11:39 AM  

This book sounds great and is on my TBR list. I love that the hero is engaged to one girl but falls for her stepsister. Congrats on your first book and best of luck with the following ones.
June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Na,  1:08 PM  

I have this book on my wishlist. Huge congratulations on your debut! I agree that love triangles are difficult all around for both reader and writer. It makes me wonder how far the characters will push and since each story is different I never know. I'm there with the characters no matter what and it's how they overcome obstacles that is important to me.


Linda 3:06 PM  

I too have added this book to my wishlist but shamelessly admit to following your book tours hoping to win a copy!

Most intrigued but the blurb about strange foods being eaten...?

Linda McDonald 6:30 PM  

Congrats on the release of Season for Temptation. As I'm trying to figure out what to write next I'll keep in mind, "what if" "then what."


Joan Swan 6:37 PM  

Oh my gosh, I've been trying to get out here all day and post, and something always catches me first...usually Twitter...or email...or, yeah, you see how it goes!

Thanks everyone for the Fever and bookmark love. Theresa's bookmarks are sooo cute. The little holly charms are all sparkly and her cover is so GORGEOUS!!

I love the impossible premise of SFT with the sisters and the families. And your humor makes everything that much more fresh and fun!

And you and I will be release buddies in October!! We'll have to do something fun!!

Thanks for guesting with me!!

Kaetrin 7:00 PM  

I envy you being an on time person Theresa - it's something I'm working on - I hate being late and yet it seems to happen so often - distracted by the shiny I think. Still, I have managed to get my son to school on time every day this year except for 1 (so far) which is a big improvement!

I'd love to read your book and the bookmarks look lovely!

hankts AT internode DOT on DOT net

Sheree 10:38 PM  

Congrats on your new release!

I like to think that I'd be more on time if I didn't have to wait for my boyfriend, but I'm usually about 5 minutes late anyway (he's usually about 15 minutes late). *sigh*

ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

Sherry Isaac 4:03 AM  

Fun interview, Theresa. I reluctantly read my first regency romance about 5 years ago, only because I was going to a workshop where a regency author was presenting. I ended up picking up one of her books. Then another by a different author. Looking at my bookshelves now, somehow regency has earned a space on my shelves.
Season for Temptation sounds like a lot of conflict... deliciously fun conflict!

Theresa Romain 7:52 AM  

Danielle--thanks for stopping by! Isn't Joan a fantastic hostess?!

Theresa Romain 7:56 AM  

Avery--hee, I had a little fun with hyphens when I was thinking of how to describe the book. :)

The original title of my debut was THE VISCOUNT'S DILEMMA. When my publisher (Kensington) decided it would be a Christmas release, my editor suggested we come up with a more seasonal title. I came up with a few possibilities, including "A Season of Temptation." My editor tweaked that to the smoother "Season for Temptation," and here we are!

Theresa Romain 8:04 AM  

Raonaid-- yes, "lickable" is a perfect description of FEVER's cover!

Hope you find Season for Temptation both light-hearted and smart-mouthed. :)

Theresa Romain 8:08 AM  

Kim--thanks for the tip on Kleypas's latest. I didn't know any paperback romances had illustrations. Very cool!

On translation--yep, I translated from French into English. My largest project was translating a French officer's Crimean War memoir (doubly challenging since I had to research the Crimean War first). Since I've finished school, there hasn't been much call for me to use my French, and my skills have really suffered. I wouldn't call myself fluent anymore. But I still remember enough to have my characters speak a little sometimes!

Theresa Romain 8:10 AM  

Pennsdog--thanks so much for giving new authors a chance! I really appreciate it.

Theresa Romain 8:13 AM  

June M.--thanks for the good wishes. The triangle was the trickiest part of the book to pull off; I had to make sure the relationship between the stepsisters was as strong as the one either woman had with the hero. When you read SFT, let me know what you think!

Theresa Romain 8:15 AM  

Na--you're so right that the "how" of the plot is very important in a romance. We know the characters *will* overcome their obstacles, but the way they do that is different in every romance. Thank you for stopping by, and for the kind wishes!

Theresa Romain 8:18 AM  

Linda--hey, I am flattered! Thanks for making the blog tour stops with me.

As for the strange foods: well, I don't want to give away any jokes. But the first time James has dinner with the Oliver-Herington household, he realizes they aren't the usual sort of family. :)

Theresa Romain 8:20 AM  

Linda McDonald--"what if" and "then what" work for me, but there are as many ways to kick-start a book as there are writers. (No, probably as many as there are books!) If you find those phrases helpful, I'm so glad!

Theresa Romain 8:23 AM  

Joan--hello, you fabulous hostess, you! Thank you so much for inviting me to blog with you. That's right, we'll both have our second book out in October 2012! Maybe our characters could interview one another? It would be fun to push together the worlds of romantic suspense and historical romance.

Theresa Romain 8:25 AM  

Kaetrin--"distracted by the shiny"--I love it! I think I was trained to be riiiight on time by my endless education. Can't be late for a class, especially when you're the teaching assistant. :)

Theresa Romain 8:28 AM  

Sheree--you and I live in the same world. Why do these men run late? Mr. R never seems to realize that he will need keys, phone, etc. until we ought to be pulling out of the driveway. Fortunately we don't carpool to work!

Theresa Romain 8:31 AM  

Sherry--fun story about how you started reading Regency romance! Sometimes chance throws us in the way of great books. What did you mainly like to read before picking up Regencies?

Joanne 9:05 AM  

What a great interview. Theresa is a new author for me. I enjoy historical romance and Season for Temptation is going to the top of my TBR pile. Fever will go there too when it releases. Congrats!


Kim,  10:16 AM  

@Theresa: The illustrated dog only appears once in LK's book, but it was a nice little surprise. I also think Judith McNaught had a castle illustration in the hardcover re-release of Whitney, My Love. At least I remember her saying she had to pay for it out of her own pocket, but she thought the reader would like it.

I think illustrations work better in a historical rather than a contemporary. For example, having a carriage or castle illustration.


Anonymous,  5:15 PM  

Very interesting setup with this love triangle.
can't wait to read. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous,  5:49 PM  

A Season for Temptation is an excellent book. Witty, funny and naughty, all the things I love! I can't wait for the sequel!
While I already own two copies of the book, I would LOVE to win one of those fabulous bookmarks.

Anonymous,  10:38 PM  

I had no idea snipes were real! Here it was a joke that my husband fell for for years according to his uncles and dad!

Wishing you continued success and happy writing!

Loraine H
l_k_hunziker AT hotmail DOT com

Theresa Romain 6:35 AM  

Joanne--thanks for giving new authors a look! Season for Temptation is my romance debut. I'd love to know what you think!

Theresa Romain 6:38 AM  

Kim--as a reader, I'd think it was a lovely surprise to see an illustration in a romance novel. I know Tessa Dare's next novel (A WEEK TO BE WICKED) will have an illustration of a carriage as part of each chapter's title--she posted a shot of her page proofs online. It's lovely, just a little decorative touch that sets the design of the book apart.

Theresa Romain 6:39 AM  

lisagk--thanks! Hope you enjoy it!

Theresa Romain 6:41 AM  

Lynn--oh, wow! You have two copies of Season for Temptation? I owe you a thank-you card. :) I'm so glad you liked it! I'm doing my best to make sure the sequel's just as fun.

Theresa Romain 6:44 AM  

Loraine--ack, your husband got dragged out on a snipe hunt? Poor guy! If his relatives ever try that again, he could turn the tables and really try to get hold of a snipe. (What you'd do with it, though, I can't imagine!)

Thanks for the kind wishes!

KDinOK 4:42 PM  

I found your site through twitter and I am glad I did. I just read the description of the book and loved the comment about cream in the center.

I find it interesting that there is a love triangle between sisters. Sounds fun and mischievous. Cannot wait to read.

Also the handmade bookmarks are SO CUTE. Thanks for sharing and good luck with future works.

ilovedogs2 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Carol L. 8:59 PM  

Congrats on your Debut "Season For Temptation". I look forward to reading it. Very interesting to see how the triangle works out. Joan's bookmarks are really very pretty. Thanks for the opportunity.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Theresa Romain 7:48 AM  

KDinOK--thanks for stopping by! I might possibly have gotten a little carried away in my description of the book...but everyone likes cream filling, right??

I love Joan's bookmarks too. I was so impressed! Do you think she'll let me enter for one? :)

Theresa Romain 7:49 AM  

Carol L--thanks, I hope you enjoy Season for Temptation! I did my best to give everyone in the love triangle the resolution I thought would make them happiest. Let me know what you think!

IdentitySeeker 9:26 AM  

Very interesting interview! I admire you for having the courage to follow your passion by studying English, History and Psychology. I'm a Psychology major but I've branched off into Industrial Psychology because there are more job opportunities there. However, it's quite obvious to those who know me that that is not where my passion lies. I've always wanted to be a journalist and write, but have never had the courage to pursue such a risky dream May be someday I will... Thank you for this inspiring post:)

SiNn 3:21 AM  

humm ur book sounds awesome rather interesting deff will wnat tor ead this ty for the opertunity to know u even had a book adding to my wish list ty for teh chance


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