Update—we have a winner! Angi Morgan was our randomly selected commenter who will receive a signed copy of Valerie Bowman’s book. Congrats, Angi! Sorry I missed all the fun yesterday. Bad weather in New York yesterday delayed my travel, so I didn’t make it home until this afternoon. I’ll tell you all about Maine in two weeks… Thank you, again, to Valerie for playing guest host of the blog for me!
Hey all! Today’s secret #1 is that even though it’s my day to blog, I’m actually spending the day in airports traveling home from vacation (I’ve spent the past week on an island in Maine). Since I’ll be off the grid, I’ve invited a special friend to fill my spot.
It’s my pleasure to introduce our readers to Valerie Bowman whose debut book, Secrets of a Wedding Night was released last week. Valerie writes Regency-set historical romance novels with a focus on sharp dialogue, engaging storylines, and heroines who take matters into their own hands! She has a degree in English Language and Literature from Smith College and lives in Jacksonville, FL with her rascally dog, Roo. You can find Valerie on the web at www.ValerieBowmanBooks.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
Since Valerie and I get together for lunch semi-regularly (where we dish all sorts of secrets!), I asked her what makes secrets so special in stories. Read on, because secret #2 is that Valerie is offering a signed copy of her book to one lucky commenter with a U.S. mailing address. Now, here’s Valerie–
Psst. Wanna hear a secret?
It’s human nature to answer a resounding, “Yes!” Or, at least, to be a little bit intrigued.
But why? Why are secrets so delightful? What is it about confidential information that makes us lean in a tad closer and perk up our ears?
I’ll get to those answers in a moment, but first I have to say that I love the potential of secrets so much that my debut historical romance novel, Secrets of a Wedding Night, is all about them. So is my entire trilogy, actually. It’s called The Secret Brides. And different types of secrets propel the plots in all three stories.
In fact, the secret about Secrets of a Wedding Night really is that I came up with the story’s title before I ever invented the plot. The title just came to me one night and I thought, Ooh, now that’s a book I want to read. Even I wanted to know what the secret was and I made it up!
So what is about secrets that is so very appealing after all? Well, here are my guesses.
- The Unknown – Often a secret is irresistible because it’s information that is deliberately being kept from us. Presumably (at times) for our own good. And if someone doesn’t want us to know something, isn’t it just that much more delicious to find out? In my story, Secrets of a Wedding Night, is the title of a scandalous pamphlet that is making the rounds and causing a to-do among the young ladies of the ton. Those young ladies really want to find out the deets.
- The Clandestine – A secret isn’t a secret unless you’re keeping it from someone else. Maybe multiple someones. Often, it’s who we’re keeping the secret from that makes all the difference. In my second book, Secrets of a Runaway Bride (St. Martin’s, April 2013) my heroine tries to sneak away to marry the man of her dreams while her sister is away on her honeymoon. Of course the man who thwarts her plans and won’t keep her secret is her new brother-in-law’s best friend, whose been left to watch her…and who just happens to be hot and eligible. (wink)
- The Juicy Details – When you learn a secret don’t you feel “in the know”? Sometimes our imaginations just take flight and what we speculate about can be much less exciting than what really happened. Be honest. Don’t we all sort of want to know what went on behind closed doors with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? In my third book, Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage (St. Martin’s, Oct 2013) the secret revolves around what exactly happened in the scandalous marriage between the Duke and Duchess of Markingham. The duchess, you see, is accused of murdering her cheating husband. Just like the tabloids of today, my hero, a nobleman publisher, starts out wanting to get the details for the rapacious public but ends up falling in love with the widowed duchess instead. And of course, he has a secret of his own.
So, there you have it, my take on what makes a secret such a delicious plot device. What do you think? Can you keep a secret? And what do you think makes them so irresistible?
Thanks for the insights, Valerie. And thank you for offering a giveaway of your book! Comments will be taken through midnight tonight (Oct. 2nd), and I’ll post the winner here at the top of this post on Wednesday afternoon. I’m including info on the book below, so you can whet your appetites.
HOW TO STOP A WEDDING
Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill, has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…
HOW TO SEDUCE A WIDOW
Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction—or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…
Publishers Weekly calls Secrets of a Wedding Night, an “enchanting, engaging debut that will have readers seeking future installments” and Romantic Times Book Reviews says, “This fast-paced, charming debut, sparkling with witty dialogue and engaging characters, marks Bowman for stardom.” Booklist gave it a starred review!