Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On The 11th Day of Christmas My True Lord Gave To Me...with Theresa Romain (+ Giveaway)

11 Mama's Plotting with Theresa Romain

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. Her historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, was published in October 2011. She is currently at work on the sequel, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, which will be published in October 2012.

Theresa lives with her family in the Midwest and lives online at http://theresaromain.com.  

Find Theresa Online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Background: The plot of my historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, kicks off when the hero's sister, Gloria, is widowed in a dramatic way. Gloria had a difficult marriage and more difficult widowhood, so I wanted to give her a happy ending. This scene takes place at Twelfth Night (historically, celebrated on January 5), about nine months after the end of SEASON FOR TEMPTATION. The family's story continues with the release of SFT's sequel, SEASON FOR SURRENDER- out October 2012!

In Which Viscountess Roseborough Finally Unmasks 
by Theresa Romain

As the widow of a man who’d died in the bed of his mistress, Gloria, Viscountess Roseborough, had to watch her every social step. And for eighteen months, she’d done just as she ought.

She’d swathed herself in mourning and moved back into her family’s ancestral home. She’d secured a starchy governess for her young daughters. She’d offered tea to every curious caller and declined all but the most sedate outings.

And she hadn’t seen Jason Carrington one single time.

But when Lady Shelburne—that dear, motherly leader of the ton—had idly mentioned that she’d invited Jason to her Twelfth Night masquerade, Gloria had been hard-pressed to keep herself from hopping out of her chair. Once Lady Shelburne had been safely filled with tea and biscuits and shuttled out the door, Gloria hurried upstairs to her bedchamber.

She eased the door closed, then yanked open her wardrobe. Jason would be attending the masquerade, cloaked and disguised? Well, so would she.

It would be no more of a costume than she wore every day. And this time…if all went well, there was a chance she could unmask at last.
* * * 
Gloria stepped from her carriage and looked up at the proud mansion. Window-light stretched bright fingers into the street, beckoning guests in. Already, the ton was rolling up in carriages, raucous and joyful.

She held her gilded mask before her face. She’d dressed as a stork in a columnar gown trimmed in black and white feathers. The chill of the January air drove her inside quickly, tripping on her red heels and shedding feathers from her hem.

Once inside, she threaded her way through the crowd in Lady Shelburne’s ballroom, looking for Jason. There. Though he was wrapped, like dozens of other men, in a long black traveling cloak and demi-mask, she picked him out in an instant. Only Jason would seem so alone in a crowd.

Only Jason, and Gloria. Her husband’s death had made hermits of them both. When Roderick’s dissipation had killed him, his wife and his oldest friend had been pulled into the scandal by association.

She accepted a cup of punch from a young man dressed like Bottom—ass’s head and all—then slipped between costumed revelers until she reached Jason’s side.

“I didn’t expect to see you here tonight,” she lied.

The effect of her voice was gratifyingly shocking. His hazel eyes flew open wide, and his whole body jerked as though he’d been stung.

And then…then he simply looked at her for far too long, and she had to drink all of her punch rather quickly so as not to become flustered.

“Gloria. What are you doing here?”

Escaping Roderick. “Just celebrating,” she said lightly. “It’s a new year. I was ready for a bit of amusement.”

He nodded and led her to a quiet alcove between potted palms. “I’m glad you’re out in society again.” His shoulders hunched, then pulled down. He seemed far more fidgety than she remembered.

“It’s the first time,” she admitted. “And you see that I didn’t dare venture out as myself. Not yet.”

He chucked her under the chin. “You look far more like yourself than you have for years. I remember the girl you used to be.”

She shut her eyes. Yes, if she thought about it hard, she could remember that girl too. The warm curve of his knuckle on her skin was a sweet reminder: she hadn’t always been wife, widow, mother. Once upon a time, she’d simply been Gloria. Eighteen and shy, in hopeless love with mere Mister Carrington. The only man who’d made her laugh.

He hadn’t been good enough for her, her mother had said. As the daughter of a viscount, Gloria had to look higher. To Jason’s side, in fact, where his friend Roderick stood willing to exchange his title for her generous dowry.

Eleven years had passed since then. She’d waited a long time for the touch of Jason’s hand.

And then it was gone. Her eyes flew open, seeking the cause.

Ah. He looked rather…odd. Below his demi-mask, his mouth was grim, and his shoulders were doing strange twitchy things again.

“I shouldn’t have come,” he blurted. “I shouldn’t…I ought to….please, you must excuse me.”

He tried to push past her, but his voluminous cloak thwarted him. Gloria grabbed a fistful of cloth and tugged him back.

“No. Don’t run off like this.” Lovely. She was practically begging him. But good breeding forced him to stop yanking at his garments once a lady had caught hold of them.

“Jason.” She took a deep breath and stepped out into the unknown. “I won’t let you leave alone.”

He shook his head, looking as desolate as when she’d first spotted him. “You don’t owe me anything, Gloria. Please, release my costume so I can—”

“No.” Inspiration struck, just in time. “Of course not for me.” She managed a strained little laugh. “But my daughters—you must come see them. They’re just children, and they miss you.”

Jason was as good as an uncle to young Anne and Sophia, so this was all true. Gloria wouldn’t even have to dodge celestial bolts of lightning when she left Shelburne House.

He turned his head away. “I wasn’t sure if I’d be welcome in your home. Or if it would be proper after…well.”

“Mr. Carrington is concerned with propriety? I must be hallucinating.”

He gave a dry bark of laughter. “Mr. Carrington is concerned with nothing else, lately. You’re a mother; a respectable widow. You deserve a fresh start, and I won’t jeopardize that.”

She held his cloak all the more tightly. “And what do you deserve?”

His throat worked, and he shook his head.

A stab of longing, bitter and sweet, stole her breath for an instant. “We both need a fresh start,” she said. “Please, come with me. Just to tell the girls hello. You needn’t be alone anymore.”

Thank God she had this gilded mask on. She was red as a strawberry beneath it.

But he relented at last. A quarter of an hour later, they were settling against the plush green-velvet squabs of Gloria’s carriage. They could be back by eleven o’clock, she’d promised; in plenty of time for the unmasking.

Or she could unmask now.

She’d requested the interior candle-lamps be left unlit, and her face fell into shadow as they rolled away from the brightly lit mansion. She flipped her mask up atop her head, as nervous and eager as though she was tossing aside the past eleven years.

This time, Roderick was nothing but a memory between them.

“It seems strange,” Jason said, “that another Christmas has passed and another year’s begun. Everything has changed, hasn’t it?”

“I should think so,” Gloria said crisply. “We’ve given a year and a half of our lives.” Actually, she’d given much more than that.

Rustlings told her that Jason was fidgeting again. “Gloria. I know you withdrew due to the great scandal after Roderick died. But I must confess, I did so out of a great guilt.” His voice was quiet as a lullaby, scarcely audible over the clop of the carriage horses and the rolling crunch of wheels on macadam.

“Nonsense. Why should you? No one was to blame except Roderick himself.”

Jason’s booted foot nudged Gloria’s. “Yet there was a part of me that was always…” He was silent so long that she thought he’d run out of words.

“Jealous,” he said on a sigh.

Gloria went a little numb around the edges. “Because of Roderick’s mistress?”

“God, no. Because of his wife.”

The numbness kept her from understanding for a moment. And then—oh.

There was no way to say it gracefully: that’s what I’ve wanted to hear for eleven years, you ninny.

So she simply said, “Oh.”

“All these months,” he said haltingly, “I’d hoped that your daughters weren’t the only ones who missed me.”

In an instant, Gloria slid from her seat to his side and laced her fingers into his. “No,” she said. “They weren’t—aren’t—the only ones.”

She took a deep breath and turned on the seat, sliding her free hand up his chest, his cravat-swaddled neck, over the fine planes of his face.

She felt his cheek curve into a smile as she pulled away his mask. “Are you sure?”

“Very sure,” she said. “Yes. I’ve wanted this for a long time.”

“Too long,” he agreed, his voice ragged. “Were you plotting this all along? To see me tonight?”

Her thumb traced his mouth. “Let’s call it a hope instead.”

“I’m ready for hope,” he said.

His lips found hers, a kiss slow and sweet and long. It stripped away the long months of isolation; it burned away her loss.

At last.

That was her last coherent thought as the carriage rolled onward to a new beginning.
Want some more of Theresa Romain's work?

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…
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…

Order book: amazonbarnes & noblebook depositorybooks-a-millionchaptersindieboundpowell’sword brooklyn

Order ebook: kindlenookkoboibook

Theresa Romain has generously offered a signed copy of her debut release, Season for Temptation, to 1 lucky commenter! Just make sure to leave a comment and fill out the raffle copter form below!
 Don't Forget to head over to Ramblings From This Chick and read Anna Cambell's special holiday scene (plus ener her giveaway)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Grand Prize Giveaway**
On behalf of myself, Dani and a whole host of generous and awesome authors, we will be having one BIG Grand Prize given away to 1 lucky winner. The grand prize consists of a mix of books, swag, and lots of other secret goodies. Believe me, you want to enter to win this prize. Just make sure to leave a comment every day on each post on both blogs and fill out that day's grand prize giveaway form on each blog. You can follow THIS link to today's form for this post or fill it out below after you comment. That's it. Super easy!

Good Luck everyone and Happy Holidays!


  1. Ooh, lovely, Theresa! So emotional and romantic! Big sigh of happiness at the end from this particular reader! Interesting how different both our pieces are,isn't it?

    Hi Rita and Danielle! I think this is such an interesting idea!

  2. Very beautiful Theresa. Came by tonight to have an early peek. I was hoping Gloria would get a story.

  3. Thanks Theresa, so wanted Gloria to get a happy ending after all she'd suffered.

  4. Thanks for this scene!

    abbydillon16 AT yahoo DOT com

  5. I love historicals and even more HEA. Can't wait to read this one.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    pnc07 (at) aol (dot) com

  6. This book sounds great. I love historical and definately love HEA. Loved the excerpt and can't wait to find out what happens in the back of the carriage. Theresa is a new author for me and would love to win and read her book. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

  7. Oh, it was the perfect way to start off my morning! Loved the excerpt!


  8. Hi, everyone--thanks so much for stopping by this morning and reading my scene! And thanks to our dear hostesses, Rita and Danielle, who've worked so hard to set up this Christmas series. Here's how I feel when I read the other authors' scenes--> :D!! (Sometimes words won't do.)

  9. Wow, Theresa I need to get my hands on a copy of your book because I loved your scene! Thank you so much for sharing =)

  10. Delicious and sweet! Love it. I haven't got my hands on Season of Temptation yet. But it's on my TPL (to purchase list). This list is about as long as the TBR.

    Loving this 12 days. Fun stuff. Rita and Dani you're doing an amazing job!

  11. What a great scene. I still have yet to read Season For Temptation but have added it to my list.

  12. Great scene! Your a new to me author and I'm adding you tom my wish list! Thanks for sharing!


  13. Oh boy...I am hooked! :o)
    castings at mindspring dot com

  14. Great excerpt. Can't wait to read the book.


  15. Hi Theresa!
    Oh, this book is on my wishlist already! I would LOVE to win a copy of this book to read, I love finding new authors to read. Thank you so much for the wonderful chance to win a copy of this book. Hope you have a wonderful, safe holiday season!!

  16. Very well done! :D Second chances at love are always romantic.

    I'm sorry to say I haven't had the chance yet to read any of your work, but I've got them on my list! :D After reading this little tidbit, they'll be moving up to the top of said list!


  17. ooooo, I love the scene! You are totally added to my list of authors to pick up books from! How you and all these other authors have been hiding from me this long I have no idea...

  18. Lovely blogpost, thank you! I am looking forward to reading your books.

  19. Thanks, everyone, for these comments! I was fairly mean to Gloria in my debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, so I owed her some kindness.

    Dani and Rita, thanks again for setting up this series--it's like having a Christmas party every day for 12 days. :)

  20. What a coincidence! I just read Season for Temptation last week and here you are talking about the family here... Loved that book btw! :) I like Julia and Louisa... It's nice to see 2 women being friends and sisters instead of being catty to each other!

  21. Hi Theresa! Congratulation on your debut :). What a lovely story that you creates ! It really2 marks my day. Wish you all the best Theresa! Aretha zhen , aretha_zhen@yahoo.com

  22. Hi Theresa, your debut is on my wishlist and with the holidays upon us it would be a treat to read. Thank you for the giveaway.

  23. So loved your first book and can't wait for the second one. How many books will be in the series, do you know?

    Sue Pengelly Peterson

  24. Congratulations on your debut. I'm anxious to find out where this scene goes.

  25. Great scene! :) Can't wait for Season for Surrender :)

  26. I loved the scene and I'm looking forward to reading Season for Temptation and Season for Surrender.

  27. I loved that excerpt! Thank you for sharing it with us!


  28. Loved that little teaser I will need to get it now! BrittanyG@Gmail.com

  29. I can't wait to read this book! It sounds more than wonderful!

    blondemoon (at) msn (dot) (com)

  30. I've got Theresa's wonderful book already - whoever wins this one is in for a treat.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  31. Aw, you all are making me blush. Thanks for showing a debut author so much kindness today. It's been such a fun day!

    @Sue--I'm not sure how long the series will be. I have ideas for at least one more story, but it's all TBD right now.

    Any other questions? I love to talk books. :)

  32. Yes it does sound like she deserves a happy ending. A sweet story that I have to add to my TBR list.

  33. This sounds like fun. I'll this to my "to buy" list.

  34. congratulations Theresa ;)

    can't wait to read your book ;)

  35. What a lovely HEA, complete with masquerade ball! I'm so enjoying getting to read everyone's scenes.

  36. Thank you for the scene. I **loved** it.


  37. Your book sounds positively lovely, Theresa! Congratulations on it's release!

  38. Congratulations on the release of your debut novel! I look forward to reading it at some point!! :)

    Thank you for the chance to win it.


  39. Hot! Hot! Hot! I love it when heroes show their vulnerability. Congrats on your debut! You and your book are going on my "must read" list!


  40. I too, love HEA. I loved the excerpt and I love all the other stories you great Authors are giving us the pleasure of reading on the lead up to Christmas.

    Thank you for this opportunity.

    dpd333 (at) aol dot com

  41. Thanks, everyone for stopping by! I'm so glad you enjoyed the scene. I'll miss this series when it wraps up--I've gotten used to having two lovely new stories to read every morning. :)

  42. Oh my that cover is sure tempting ;-) love how snow-alluding it is: combines the winter, holiday and historical romance aspect of the story beautifully!

    Thank you for the great giveaway! :-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  43. That was a charming scene. I am enjoying getting a taste of authors whose name I may recognize but haven't yet read. Thanks for participating!

  44. Great scene. I can't wait to read the book.

  45. You are new to me but I must say I enjoyed that scene very much and would love to read more!



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