Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mothers in Romance novels

Since May is the month we celebrate all things maternal on Mother's Day, I got to wondering what readers think of Moms with children being in romance novels. Do you think it makes the woman less of a candidate for a new romance if she is already a mom?

The first book in my Reyes Family Romances series, Never Too Old For The Game Of Love, has Tegan, a 39-year old divorced mother of two children, ages 8 and 11, thinking that she has no time for love. Not only is she busy building a business with her best friend who is also a 39-year old divorced mother, but she is afraid to have her children possibly get attached to another man when that relationship might end also, forcing them to deal with another loss. So when the brother-in-law of Juanita, a neighbor, hires her party-planning business, she fights her attraction to him. He is, after all, a client. And on his part, he does not believe in mixing business with pleasure. Little do they know their instant and sizzling attraction to each other won't allow them to ignore it. When eventually Alexander befriends her daughter who baby-sits for his nieces and nephews, he learn things that her mother has not shared with him, since she is trying to keep her children separate from her secret relationship with him.

Recipe For Love, my second book, has the best friend from the first book as the heroine. But her ex-husband is not an involved father unless he is looking to borrow money or use the kids as a way to get back into his ex-wife's good graces. So when Patti gets involved with a tall, bald, bearded, tattooed Gypsy biker, it is her kids who suggest that he move in with them. Her son has chosen a new role model, and her daughter wants to see her mother happy.

In Analysis of Love, Juanita is the mother of Catalina, the heroine who has been torn throughout the book between her loyalty to her boss, who has ordered her to write a smear article to destroy the career of the blind analyst he feels ruined his relationship with his oldest son, and her instant attraction to and growing love for the analyst. When the analyst finds out from her boss' son that a writer has been dispatched to dig up dirt on him, he realizes the only client he has who is a writer, is the woman he has fallen so deeply in love with that he has been counting the days until she is no longer a client and he can openly date her. He is astonished by the level of betrayal that he feels, and lashes out at her during her next visit. She runs out of the office in tears, and straight into the arms of the only person she knows loves her enough to listen: her mother.

Excerpt from Analysis of Love:

She shook her head and remembered that her death would mean escape for her, but never-ending pain for her mother. Her mother! That’s who she had to go see now, to stop herself from doing anything she wouldn’t be around to regret!
She didn’t see anything, or remember any of the drive out to her parents’ house. But after a while, she drove down the leafy street that she had grown up on, and been so happy on, and felt like it was another person, and not her. She parked in the driveway, left her car door open, and ran into the house through the never-locked front door.
“Mom! Mom! ¡Madre! ¿Donde est├ís?” she screamed as she ran in the door.
Juanita came at a run through the door from the basement.
¡Mija! ¿Que pasa? ¿Estas bien?
“Mom!” Catalina wailed as she threw herself on her mother, and broke down completely.
Juanita managed to both catch her, and to keep her balance, so they didn’t both topple backwards down the stairs. Instead, she sank down onto the kitchen floor, and Catalina sank down with her. Juanita held her daughter while her sobs wracked her body, causing her to shake and tremble as if she was suffering from a seizure of some sort.
Despite her years of experience as a parent, Juanita felt that nothing could have prepared her for this. Catalina had always been her happiest child: the baby that smiled for everyone, the toddler that charmed all of the neighbors. The girl who only had to smile, to brighten everyone’s day. She had been worried about Catalina for weeks now, as she watched her disposition grow steadily more depressed with each passing Sunday. But Miguel had assured her that there was a man involved... and this man was not like all of the others, he had said. Catalina had real feelings for this one, he had said. So she had held her tongue, and waited for her daughter to take her into her confidence. But not like this! ¡Dios mio! Not like this!
Juanita held her daughter and began to rock her. She smoothed her hair and murmured words of comfort in Spanish. She knew that Catalina, always the independent and different one, had resisted learning to speak much of her native tongue. But she usually understood what was said to her. And in her time of great need, she had called out to her mother in Spanish. So Juanita told her daughter how much she loved her and tried to ease her pain, in the language that came from her heart. And gradually, Catalina quieted; eventually, her crying stopped.
It was then that Juanita got really worried. Afraid that Catalina had gone catatonic, she started to ask her questions.
“Catalina... mijita. What’s wrong? Why do you cry so much? Who has hurt you so badly?” she asked.
There was a long silence, broken only by the occasional hiccups of Catalina taking deep breaths after her sobbing. Juanita waited.
Catalina took a very deep, staggered breath, and said, “He hates me, Mom! He never wants to see me again!”
“Who, hija? Who hates you?”
“The only man I will ever love!”
With that, Catalina was off on a fresh round of sobbing, but at least this time she wasn’t shaking as if she was having a seizure. Juanita was happy, at least, for that. And this, major heartache, was something that she could deal with... something that she had experience with talking other women through.
“Cata, my darling... no one can hate you. No man can resist you!”
For some strange reason, that seemed to set her off on a fresh round of loud sobbing. Juanita stopped talking for a while, and just held her daughter and let her cry.

Interested? Find out more at my website: www.fionamcgier.com. Each book has a page with a buy link and link to excerpts and reviews.


Tina Donahue said...

Being a mom doesn't mean you don't feel lust or love anymore. I think your stories are perfectly acceptable and most likely meet a need that readers aren't getting from other stories.

Delaney Diamond said...

No, being a mom doesn't make you any less of a candidate for romance. Wouldn't that be depressing?

I've read plenty of romances with heroines who are mothers, and I enjoyed them. In Fight for Love, my heroine is the mother of an eight-year-old. I never for one second hesitated to make her a mother, and I know I'll write future heroines who are mothers.

The excerpt was excellent. Very emotional and I could feel Catalina's pain as I connected with her through the eyes of her mother.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Men with children are like chick magnets but women with children do have a hard time finding a man willing to take on a ready-made family. Interesting question, Fiona.
Great excerpts and your covers are fabulous.
I wish you many happy sales.

Savannah Chase said...

I think mom's in books don't get enough credit...Just because you have a kid does not mean you stopped feeling....

Fiona McGier said...

And just because a woman is a mom, that doesn't mean she stops being a woman! I remember hearing about a woman who was about 8 months pregnant, when a car full of young guys drove up from behind her, whistling and tooting the horn, yelling obscene comments. She was pleased that she still "had it", because of course, she felt like a whale. Then the guys got a look at the front of her, and drove around the block to stop next to her and apologize...they didn't realize she was a mom! She almost hit them! Way to ruin her good mood! So because she was pregnant she was, what, a neuter? Not a woman anymore? Sheesh!

Brenda Hyde said...

I agree! I used to write a column for new moms and I always told them that they need to not just think of themselves as only "Mom", that they are still a woman, and should take time to pamper themselves, or let their husband's pamper them. It's a hard lesson to learn. I actually was quite ahem...interested in sex when I was pregnant-- all three times. LOL

Fiona McGier said...

Brenda, me too! All 4 times! Husband used to laugh that he got quite good at "scaling the Himalayan mountain" which my belly always turned into! But then our babies were all around 10#!