by: Blythe Gifford –
The Hero Journeys with a Cast of Thousands
My first five historical romances featured characters who were only children and had the bare minimum of on-stage parents or siblings. Since my books are set in the medieval period, this took more explanation than you might think.
I made them orphans. Or bastards who were abandoned by parents they never knew. Or with siblings who stayed safely off-stage. Yes, there was the occasional sister or mother and those characters were important, but my primary characters, like the central figures of so many fairy tales, traveled the Hero’s Journey alone.
Most of us don’t.
Most of us have family we deal with on a daily basis. And like it or not, those family members influence our romantic relationships, for good or ill.
When I started The Brunson Clan trilogy, only children were not an option. Family was a key theme of the series and, because of the overall storyline and timetable,
I would have to deal with all three Brunson siblings, two brothers and a sister, in every book.
Not only with them, but in each book, I had to add the romantic partner brought into the story in the previous book. Strictly speaking, not a cast of “thousands,” I
realize, but a vastly more complex ecosphere than I usually juggled.
So by the time I wrote the final book of the trilogy, TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL, a March release from Harlequin Historical,Rob Brunson’s prospective partner had to be vetted by Rob’s brother (and his wife), from RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, and Rob’s sister (and her husband), from CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD. Four important people would weigh in on Stella Storwick, who just happened to be a daughter of their blood enemies, which meant the immediate answer was “no.”
Instead of being the nightmare I had feared, this provided an extra layer of tension and conflict without taking away from the hero and heroine. As the head of the clan, the ramifications of Black Rob’s choice went far beyond the personal, and the story reflected that through the very personal reactions of his brother and sister and in-laws.
And anyone who ever made the awful “meet the family” trip can sympathize with what Stella Storwick had to face.
So, in a way I had not planned when I started the series, the last book ended with the conclusion of a family journey, as well as a romantic one.
How about you? Have you stories about bringing a prospective suitor home to meet the family? I’m offering your choice of a book from the Brunson Clan trilogy to one lucky commenter. US and Canadian mailing only, please!
FROM THE BACK COVER:
TORMENTED BY HER INNOCENCE
As leader of his clan, Black Rob Brunson has earned every dark syllable of his name. But, having taken hostage his enemy’s daughter in a fierce act of rebellion, he is tormented by feelings of guilt and torn apart with the growing need to protect her—and seduce her! Stella Storwick feels Rob’s disdain from the first. Then slowly she starts to see behind his eyes to a man in turmoil. Something he has no words for, something that can only be captured in a heart-wrenching kiss….
Blythe Gifford has been known for medieval romances featuring characters born on the wrong side of the royal blanket. Now, she’s written a Harlequin Historical trilogy set on the turbulent Scottish Borders of the early Tudor era. The books are RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR, November 2012, CAPTIVE OF THE BORDER LORD, January 2013, and TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL in March 2013. The Chicago Tribune has called her work “the perfect balance between history and romance.” (You can order on Amazon)
Author photo by Jennifer Girard. Cover Art Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.