It's always a pleasure to welcome Theresa Romain to the Romance Dish. Theresa pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book. (This makes PJ very happy!)
Connect with Theresa online at:
Connect with Theresa online at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTheresaRomainTwitter: @TheresaRomain
It Happened One Wedding
On November 2—yep, right at the beginning of this month—my younger brother got married. It was a beautiful ceremony, with mild weather and bright autumn foliage, close friends and delighted family, and a wedding reception with even more dancing than food and cake.
Sounds pretty romantic? Indeed it was--but it was also very practical. See, my brother and my new sister-in-law are both medical residents, so here’s how they chose the wedding date:
1. A day neither of them had to work
2. That is all.
This kind of scheduling has become a family tradition for my siblings and me. My sister got married just before the New Year in 1999, then moved to a new state. A few years later, Mr. R and I also had a Christmas-season wedding so we could smush our households together before grad school restarted.
In my newest holiday historical romance, SEASON FOR SCANDAL, the hero and heroine marry for the most practical of reasons: she owes a lot of money, and he needs an heir. They schedule their wedding as quickly as possible, and even though they marry under a literal cloud of gray weather and fog—no beautiful autumn foliage for them!—hero Edmund is relieved to make such a sensible bargain.
But it’s a romance novel, so you know there must be romance along with this marriage of convenience. The heroine, Jane, has loved Edmund for as long as she can remember, and what seems a sensible bargain to him is a lifelong dream to her. On their wedding night, these different expectations become very clear, and it seems their relationship will be destroyed as soon as it starts.
Or will it? SEASON FOR SCANDAL is the story of how a marriage grows: how Jane and Edmund learn to blend practicality and romance, to talk to one another honestly, and to help each other in dark times as well as bright ones. By the end of the story, their feelings for one another have changed into a deeper and stronger love than either of them could have imagined at the beginning of their story.
Readers, do you have any words of wisdom about marriage or relationships? Whether it’s practical, romantic, or a bit of both, I’d love to know (and I’ll be sure to share this link with Brother R and his new wife!). To one random commenter, I’ll give a copy of SEASON FOR SCANDAL, winner’s choice of print, Kindle, or NOOK format. Open internationally!
SEASON FOR SCANDAL back cover blurb:
Jane Tindall has never had money of her own or exceptional beauty. Her gifts are more subtle: a mind like an abacus, a talent for play-acting—and a daring taste for gambling. But all the daring in the world can’t help with the cards fixed against her. And when Edmund Ware, Baron Kirkpatrick, unwittingly spoils her chance to win a fortune, her reputation is ruined too. Or so she thinks, until he suggests a surprising mode of escape: a hasty marriage. To him. On the surface, their wedding would seem to satisfy all the demands of proper society, but as the Yuletide approaches, secrets and scandals turn this proper marriage into a very improper affair.
Book order links:
Print: amazon • barnes & noble • book depository • books-a-million • indiebound • kensington • posman books • powell’s • watermark
Ebook: ibook • kensington • kindle • nook
I could write reams of psycho-babble on this but doubt that it would win me any prizes, so will restrict myself to two tips that have served me well over the years:ReplyDelete
After the first blissful romantic glow wears off you must NEVER forget the ladies birthday and ALWAYS notice a difference when she returns from the hair dresser.
Remember this and add lots of kisses to keep the romance simmering over the long years ahead.
It may also help to keep a copy of 'It Takes Two To Tangle' by the bedside. LOL
Ha! Quantum, this is wonderfully sage advice. Especially that last tip. :)Delete
LOL! Great advice, Quantum except for that one time in 80's when a mild body wave went horribly awry and I prayed my husband wouldn't notice the new hair style. No such luck. I'm afraid everybody noticed! lolDelete
Congratulations to your brother on his marriage! My advice is to learn to forgive even when there is no apology made. Also there was an article on the internet recently where a young man was talking about advice his father gave about marriage saying it isn't about your happiness, it is about your spouse's happiness. I think that is great advice because I can't see a marriage lasting where both people are focused on themselves.ReplyDelete
Maureen, that's a wonderful point. I've heard it said that marriage isn't 50/50, it's 100/100.Delete
Very wise advice, Maureen. And I agree with Theresa. It is 100/100.Delete
I just finished reading “Season for Scandal” and found it to be delightful. Once again, Theresa Romain has exhibited her writing talent always peppered with her signature humor. Now, I’m eagerly awaiting her next novel!ReplyDelete
After nearly 47 years of marriage, the biggest advice I can give is to always listen to your spouse; stop and think; and speak calmly. If you’re so angry you have smoke coming out of your ears, it’s best to step out of the room until you cool down. Never say anything you will regret.
Connie, you're so kind! I'm very glad that you enjoyed Season for Scandal. And that advice about waiting until you cool down has been helpful to me not only in marriage but as a parent. Everyone listens better when the words are spoken calmly.Delete
Right there with you, Connie. Love Theresa's writing!Delete
Everyone should think before speaking. Very wise advice.
Like Jane's talent for "play-acting", it can't hurt to do a little of this in real life either/too. I don't mean lying, either. I'm thinking of how when you feel really down and you force yourself to smile for others, this helps you forget your problems and feel good as well. This works in marriage too. Look at the glass as half full whenever possible. You are the master of your own destiny (somewhat). All these platitudes really do make sense, as it's how you PERCEIVE everything in life. When my remaining parent was dying almost 20 years ago, it was my husband who was there for me (maybe not in words so much, but definitely by his presence/support/strength). I was able to focus (and continue to focus) on all the good things that came from that experience (like his love for me and our family), rather than always focusing on the eventual death of my mom (which, unfortunately, is going to happen at some point in everyone's life, but at least she's out of pain). I often think of Oprah's "gratitude journal", where she listed 5 things every day for which she was grateful. Marriage is included in that too; be thankful for the good things you have, rather than what don't have.ReplyDelete
Laney4, I think it takes a lot of courage and determination to stay focused on the good when you're going through a big loss. Thank you!--this is a lovely reminder of how much optimism and gratitude can help you and others.Delete
Good advice, Laney. It's hard to remain positive during sad times (I know. I've lost both parents and my husband) but so very important, especially when someone you love is experiencing the loss. Give your husband a hug from me.Delete
PJ and Andrea, thank you so much for welcoming me today! It's always such a pleasure to visit The Romance Dish.ReplyDelete
Hi Theresa! Welcome back!ReplyDelete
I can't wait to read Season For Scandal. And Congrats to your Brother and new SIL. The only advice I'd share is to be treat each other with respect and talk about everything that bothers you because if you keep it inside it will only fester and create problems.ReplyDelete
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com
Carol, I think communication is the key to any successful relationship but especially in a marriage.Delete
Hope you enjoy SEASON FOR SCANDAL. I loved Jane and Edmund!
Thanks, PJ! And Carol, that's great advice. Brother R has already told me that they "fight fair"--that is, when they have a disagreement, they both stay respectful. I think they're off to a great start.Delete
I think they're off to a wonderful start, Theresa. I actually took a course in college that was called "Creative Aggression: How to Fight Fair in Love and Marriage." It was taught by a visiting professor, a well-known clinical psychologist and author. Fascinating stuff.Delete
Being single & never having been in a serious relationship (yeah I'm kinda pathetic that way) I'm probably the least qualified to dole out advice but I think like in anything worth keeping, a relationship requires a lot of work, effort & commitment from both parties. And a sense of humour.ReplyDelete
Excellent advice, Linda. I think work, effort and commitment apply to any type of successful relationship, including our friendships.Delete
Well said, Linda! A sense of humor is a must-have for all the ridiculous moments in life. As PJ mentioned, that's great advice for any type of relationship.Delete
I don't know if I have any good marriage advice. I do however like the advice others have given on here, especially the forgiving when there hasn't been an apology. Oh, I just thought of a good one for those blessed/cursed with an astounding memory like myself and your Frances from "It Takes Two to Tangle". Just because you remember everything, don't expect your spouse to and don't dredge up every wrong your spouse did when you are having an argument. I get more elbow pokes to my side whenever my husband and I are sitting at a wedding or church service and the "Love" verse (1 Cor 13) from the Bible is read and it gets to the "Love keeps no record of wrong" part.ReplyDelete
So right, Sarah! Sometimes being blessed with a poor memory (like me!) is a good thing. ;-)Delete
Sarah, I am laughing at the elbow pokes! :) Thanks, this is a great tip for the inevitable times couples argue.Delete
Theresa, most times I am already hanging my head in shame.Delete
I guess my philosophy works for all relationships: try your best to see the other person's point of view.Listen to them, acknowledge them and admit when you have overreacted. (You are not the center of the universe and all things revolve around you.)ReplyDelete
So true, knye! Thanks for stopping by today!Delete
knye, sometimes it can really help to take the long view. Thanks for putting it so well!Delete
I have been married for 27 years now, and each day, I still learn something new! I think the success of a good relationship is to be there for each other, we cry or laugh, we listen to each other. Also share our passions and just enjoy life at the fullness.ReplyDelete
NIcole, it sounds as though you and your husband have figured out a beautiful balance. Thank you for sharing your advice!Delete
Of course every relationship is unique but care more for your mate than yourself and perseverance. I think some give up too easily. But if either party is unwilling to compromise or work on the relationship, than it may be time to move on. I've been married 44 yrs. but will say it hasn't always been easy but we are committed to each other.ReplyDelete
catslady, that's a great point about persevering and staying committed to the relationship, especially during rough times. In Season for Scandal, Jane doesn't have perseverance (at first) when the marriage seems to be falling apart. (But since it is a romance, you know that she will learn that important lesson by the end!)Delete
Pick your battles--don't sweat the small stuff and never go to bed angry.. Print if I win please.ReplyDelete
jcp, I admit Mr. R and I have gone to bed angry before--and it feels HORRIBLE. "Don't sweat the small stuff" is great advice. Thanks!Delete
Pick your battles. Learn what to ignore and ignore it.ReplyDelete
Carol, this sounds like a good tip for parents of young kids as well as for married couples!Delete
Congratulations on your new release. I think marriage is a journey where there will be many happy times, but there also may be a few valleys. It's important to always be open & honest, so you can get through the difficult periods stronger as a couple.ReplyDelete
Honesty and open communication are so important in any relationship but especially in a marriage.Delete
Agreed, Kim! Those valleys are much tougher to get through, but they can make a relationship stronger and better.Delete
My words of wisdom are to continue to have date nights with each other, no matter how many years you're married. Once kids come along it's easy to get caught up in life and the relationship between husband and wife can easily get lost. It doesn't have to be every week, and doesn't have to be anything elaborate, but just take the time to enjoy each other.ReplyDelete
I think this is so important!Delete
goalmom, this is wonderful advice. And I am really bad at following it! Date night seems like yet another thing to squish into the schedule. We're better at home movie nights than actually going out, since then we don't have to find a sitter. But I agree that this is really important--we ought to do more.Delete
I love that practical aspect of choosing a wedding date. We did the same. Hubby and I share the same birthday and he campaigned hard for us to get married on the Saturday closest to our birthday. Our anniversary is two days following our birthday, and nope, he never forgets!ReplyDelete
To that practical nature, I'd add that a sense of humor is always a good idea.
A good sense of humor is an excellent idea! I got a chuckle out of the number of couples getting married today (11-12-13) so the husbands will remember their wedding date. ;-)Delete
LSUReader, that's so funny! High five for choosing a practical wedding date. :) With two birthdays right before your anniversary, you guys have a lot to special occasions to celebrate within a short span of time. That must be a fun week.Delete
It's always a good idea to say the 3 little words (I Love You) frequently and mean them. Always be honest and faithful, respect each other, never say words that hurt that you can't take back, and never go to bed angry.ReplyDelete
Good advice, Cathy. With the exception of the weeks preceding my husband's death when he was in a coma, I can't remember a single day of our 25 year marriage when he didn't say "I love you." It's a sweet memory that will always be with me.Delete
PJ, what a beautiful memory. Cathy, you've laid out a road map for great relationships--that's really something to aspire to. Thanks!Delete
Married 33 years. I have very little advice. One thing is trust. I don't see how a marriage can flourish and be fun without it. I always tell people to be selfish and stubborn with your relationship. Do not share your flirty self. And have fun. Say I love you. And look forward to your future together. Good luck to them.ReplyDelete
I think trust is essential to a successful relationship. Fun is so important, isn't it? And friendship. I love that my late husband and I built our love on the foundation of a really strong friendship.Delete
Krazymama, what a cool way to define selfish and stubborn. I love it!Delete
I'm not married yet, so i can't say anything. But every relationship must have trust and compromise.ReplyDelete
smile_1773 at yahoo dot com
You're absolutely right, sienny. Trust and compromise are essential.Delete
sienny, that's great advice for any relationship--not just a marriage. Thank you!Delete
Talk to each other. Set some rules about money that you are both comfortable with... some of us merge all money, some keep seperate accounts and a joint account... things like how much to spend without asking spouse. AND write wills and buy life insurance.ReplyDelete
Practical and good advice! It always surprises me how many couples don't discuss finances before marriage then are surprised when they don't agree on how to spend/save their money post-wedding.Delete
girlygirl and PJ--so true! Mr. R and I went to a workshop for engaged couples before we got married, and finances were one of the topics we were told to discuss. VERY helpful. It might not sound romantic, but neither is fighting about money all the time. :)Delete
My words of wisdom are - learn to compromise, discuss things with each other as much as possible, especially large purchases, and don't go to bad angry.ReplyDelete
Barbara, I am nodding my head off. Thanks! You put it so well.Delete
Very sweet advice from all of you! I would be proud to live up to half of the husband of which you are painting a picture - one who trusts, honors, loves his wife, respects her, and lets her know how wonderful she is!ReplyDelete
A little elbow poking never hurt a marriage either - I learned that from my sister :-)
Thank you all for the marriage wishes, and to my wonderful sister for her continued love and friendship :-) Love you! - Paul aka Brother R
Well, hi there, brudda :) Yay, so glad you could stop by! Aren't these readers a wise bunch? I love the tips being shared so kindly and generously on this thread. Hugs to you, and give the missus a hug for me too.Delete
Hi there, Brother R! Congratulations on your marriage and thanks for stopping by!Delete
P.S. We think your sister's pretty special too. :)
Not really... I have been married for 7 yrs and still fight with my husband. But overall, we are happy. Forgiveness is one of the most important things in any relationship, I think!ReplyDelete
Ha, May! If we didn't fight with our husbands sometimes--and they with us--we wouldn't be human beings with all our messy emotions. :) As you say, forgiveness is very important!Delete
Congrats to Theresa on the new release! Congrats to your brother! Ummm... I'm the last person to give relationship advice as I've just ended a 5 year relationship and have never married but one thing I've always done is followed my gut. Which doesn't always agree with heart or head at the time but will "prove" itself right in the end.ReplyDelete
The only words of wisdom re marriage or relationships I can be certain of is that you must be totally and completely honest with each other to make either a marriage or relationship work. No hidden agendas or secrets. If there is something you do not wish to talk about, then just say so...but don't lie to each other...ever. And have fun together!!! Laughter is a super charger for marriage and relationships. Thanks for asking! firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
Hi Theresa! I just finished 'Season for Temptation' and am now reading 'Season for Surrender.' I can't wait to read Jane and Edmund's story. :)ReplyDelete
I think you need to spend time to laugh together and just do little things for each other to let them know you're thinking of them. Life is made up of these little moments.
I guess the thing I try most to remember is that there are two people in the marriage (until children arrive, then the complications multiply). There needs to be give and take. There are times when what you want must or should take a back seat to what the spouse wants or needs. You may not be happy about it, but things do even out. We have been married 41+ years and have not had a real fight. That isn't to say we haven't had disagreements and a few heated words. But compared to the terrible fights some of the couples we know have had, they are nothing. Military separations taught us to appreciate each other. We have survived working on renovating an 1898 victorian farm house for the past 20 years and are still speaking to each other. That more than anything else has been the biggest challenge.ReplyDelete
In 1991, my husband was told he had a rare form of cancer with poor survivability chances. We had only been married 19 years at the time. It was a time for serious thoughts and planning. The thing that we were a bit surprised to find was: if we had it to do over, we really couldn't think of anything we would have done differently. It was a calming and reassuring thing to realize. Serious as it was, he has made a remarkable recovery. After that, most "problems" in our marriage are petty annoyances that are pretty easy to deal with.
Best wishes to your brother and his new bride for a long and happy marriage. They just need to remember the bumps in the road make you appreciate
the smooth sections.
Love,trust, communication, honesty, faith, commitment and compromise!ReplyDelete