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Yesterday I wrote a short scene between the heroine of my very new mess-in-progress and her mother. The heroine’s father had to be dead, for plot purposes, but I thought perhaps the mother might prove an interesting character. Well, I tried her one way and another—sympathetic, controlling, whiny, funny—and nothing clicked. So I decided she was just better off dead, too. I may revive her at some point, but only if she has something entertaining to contribute to the story!

I think there’s a reason why heroines of romances often don’t have mothers, or at least not ones who are present for most of the story. The mother/daughter relationship is very complex and can take over from the romance. A mother’s good counsel might keep a heroine from making her own mistakes and learning from them. And depending on the story, having a mom around might destroy the mood.

And yet, is creating orphaned characters an easy (and cheap) way to buy a reader’s sympathy? A problematic mother (like Mrs. Bennett in Pride & Prejudice) can escalate conflict, but wouldn’t it be refreshing to see more positive mother figures in romance fiction?

Most books I recall that included such a mother also featured a hero with bigger problems than the heroine’s, where it made sense that a mother’s support would help her deal with him. Some examples: Julia Ross’s MY DARK PRINCE and Jo Beverley’s DEVILISH.

Can anyone else think of examples of interesting fictional mothers, good, bad and ugly?


I hope everyone–especially the mothers–had a Happy Mother’s Day. My in-laws visited for the weekend and we went to the new Workhouse Arts Center, created from the former prison in Lorton, VA. It is a wonderful place where artists create and sell their art, everything from photography to textiles to glass to painting and sculpture. All kinds of creativity.

So it was only fitting that my daughter gave me “art” for mother’s day, a print she found in a thrift shop (she also bought me a necklace and my son gave me chocolates, which was a whole ‘nuther great gift).

I haven’t had time yet to look up what type of soldier this is. I think he’s French…Believe me, I have a few uniform books I can look though to find out. But I love him. Mostly I love that my daughter saw this print and thought of me.

Another thoughtful gift I received recently involved my uncle, aunt and her sister, who is no relation to me. A long time ago my uncle, who lives in Florida, asked me for the Regency Fashion print I’d used for a Christmas card. I sent it to him wondering a bit why he wanted to have it.

Then a few weeks ago, I received a HUGE box in the mail with this gift inside. My aunt’s sister makes these doll wall hangings as a craft. She copied my Regency Fashion print and made a doll of it
Isn’t this clever? Even the face is similar to the print. I love the way she made the hand holding the cape open.

Like my daughter’s gift, this was both unexpected and thoughtful. It went straight to my biggest obsession–The Regency. How grand is that?

Have you received a gift that was both unexpected and incredibly thoughtful?

Remember that my day to blog at Diane’s Blog is Thursdays! Come visit me then too.
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Mother’s Day is this Sunday. And since companies have been deluging us with advertising reminding us all of this fact since April, I won’t ask if you mailed a card/figured out a gift/unplugged your phone.

I am a mother (And a daughter of a mother, for that matter). And, like a lot of mothers, what I really want for Mother’s Day is some sleep, the freedom to take a nap (or two!). Maybe read uninterrupted by requests to get a glass of water, find someone’s keys, weigh in on what Pokemon I’d like to be, or watch a sports highlight. Bliss.

It’s hard, I think, for one day to bear the load of gratitude children and husbands and partners want to bestow on mothers–I know I always feel an inordinate amount of pressure to make sure my mother-in-law has a great day, and that I get some fun myself.

But, since we can, let’s just imagine what we’d like best for a treat. I’ll start:

an ARC of Loretta Chase‘s Your Scandalous Ways.

That bookcase, above (it only costs $3,990).

A Pucci scarf.

Not having to wait until December to see the movie version of Twilight, Stephenie Meyer‘s brilliant YA vampire book.

Iced coffee and a cupcake with my best friend, the Picky Vegetarian, who lives in Portland, OR.

. . . And an extravagant gift certificate to Amazon.

What are you longing for ? What are you doing for your mom? If you’re a mom, what are you hoping for this Sunday?


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