What is Romance?

The third in our guest posts about Romance and Romance Novels comes from Sloan McBrideauthor of the Time Walker Series. Here she defines not just the genre, but the word itself, and gives us a sneak peek into her own work. Be sure to check her out on Twitter, @SloanMcBride1, and Facebook.

Romance~~

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary states romance as the following:

  • A medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural
  • A prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usual heroic, adventurous, or mysterious
  • A love story
  • A love affair
  • An emotional attraction or aura belonging to an esp. heroic era, adventure, or activity
  • Something (as an extravagant story or account) that lacks basis in fact

My definition:

  • The moment when two people meet and sparks fly
  • When he goes out of his way to do something to make her smile
  • When she fumbles her words, or her step falters because he looks at her
  • When he can’t go another minute without seeing her
  • When she can’t stay away even though she knows he’s dangerous
  • When he can’t stay away even though he knows he should

Think Romeo & Juliet although all love stories don’t have to end in tragedy.  My stories while fraught with a fair amount of obstacles and danger end happily.

Forbidden love is one of my favorites.  My Time Walker Series is all about forbidden love, instinct, and daring to break the rules. Forbidden gives it that extra edge—the unexpected. I add lots of bantering and humor now and again to break up the tension.  Toss the reader into another era and that adds a little something too.

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Scene Excerpt from “THE TREASURE,” Book 2 in Time Walker Series:

Available now with Pre-Order at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords

sloan1

“Celeste, there you are. I have been searching for you.” Le Crosse eyed the man’s hold on her hand. His brow went up. “You know Ravensdale?”

“Uh, yes,” she squeaked. “We are old family friends.”

The letch didn’t release her hand but bowed to their host. “It has been a nice gathering, Monsieur, Thank you for inviting us.”

“Certainly, you are not leaving so soon.”

“We have news to catch up on from home.”

“Pity.” Le Crosse took her available hand and brushed slippery lips against her fingers. “Mayhap next time we shall have a private dinner.”

His lecherous gaze slowly passed down her body. Her stomach soured. She forced a sweet smile.

The rogue said, “Good evening,” and without breaking stride, dragged her stumbling into the humid night and through the jungle some distance away from the mansion and the music.

Celeste yanked herself from his hold. “My things.”

He pointed a finger at her. “Wait here.”

“But—”

“Stay.”

He snapped his fingers and in the blink of an eye all that remained where he’d been standing were twinkling sparks. She tumbled back with the sudden disappearance. She felt her cheeks thinking she must have contracted an illness on the last trip. Illnesses happened. But a man disappearing into thin air did not.

He flashed back, nearly knocking her over.

“Where did you—How did—What are you?”

“I can explain, but we need to get to a more secure place.”

Knowing he was capable of physically dragging her and deciding she’d not make it easy, Celeste crossed her arms and said, “I am not going anywhere with you.”

Since a very young age, she had the ability to detect if a person told untruths. Concentration helped her compel another to speak truthfully. Her papa said it was part of what made her special, but he warned her to keep it secret. With a slight nudge from her mind, Celeste willed the man to tell her the truth. “I do not know you or your intentions, sir.”

His lips thinned. Blowing out a frustrated sigh, he said, “My intention is to save your ass, princess.”

“I am not royalty,” she stated.

“More of a royal pain in my—”

“How do I know you speak the truth?” she said, staring hard. Tell me the truth. What are you?

The man radiated power in his stance, his eyes. His brow hiked. “I’ve saved you twice already.”

Her head ached causing her to break eye contact. She’d never met a person who was immune to the coercion. She got no cooperation from this man.

Cinching the bag he still carried, he said, “We need to move. Now.” He marched off, moving with swift grace and glancing behind to make sure she followed.

Three dark forms materialized in front of him. Ravensdale dropped the bundle and drew his sword. In one smooth move, he sliced through the middle of one short, stocky attacker which turned to crystal-like pebbles and fell to the ground.

Confusion stole her breath. Sandwiched by the other two, her rescuer laughed. The man was truly mad.

“Bring it on, scum.”

The fog was a physical part of the ruffians. They moved like smoke, sinuous and dirty, the edges of their forms constantly wisping away as if they didn’t belong here. But when they struck, their blows were solid as granite.

Swirling, Ravensdale lobbed the head from one stoutly soldier, and it evaporated with a brilliant light. The ground sizzled where its blood splattered.

Disturbed by the scene unfolding before her, she didn’t notice two more soldiers sneaking up behind until one grabbed her. She fought against his hold. “Let me go.”

She stomped on the attacker’s foot which surprisingly loosened his grip. She broke free and scurried to pick up a branch. The menace aimed a pistol at her.

“You go that way,” she heard one soldier say. He was different than the others, taller and no clouds of smoke. He looked…normal.

She held the branch high and kept switching her gaze from one to the other. “What are you?”

The smoky creature’s black eyes gleamed evilly. “The thing that keeps you up at night.”

She let out an unladylike snort. “Not likely.”

“Can I join in the fun?” Her savior’s smooth voice had a hard edge to it.

The more normal looking one said, “Bloodsport is one of my favorite games, time walker. Please, by all means, join us.”

The shadow creature lunged for her while his leader unsheathed a wicked-looking sword to engage in a fight with Ravensdale.

She swung the wood and banged the creature’s head. The strike was like hammering the mast on the ship. It growled but didn’t go down and lunged again. The gown hampered her movements, and the shadow kicked at her legs. She fell hard to the ground.

It jumped on top of her. Celeste kicked and punched until it grabbed her hands and pointed the pistol at her face. Sobered by the severity of the situation she ceased struggling.

“Rise,” it said through cracked lips. It stood but kept a tight grip on her wrists.

The other two swirled and slashed, each time clashing swords. Smiling the leader said, “It looks as though my associate has completed our mission. Killing you will be the coup de gras.”

His sword swung high toward Ravensdale’s neck. She cried out. He deflected the strike with ease and punched his opponent in the face.

“Associate? Is that what you call those rotting puffs? And here I thought you were just a glorified pet-sitter for Kur.”

“Victory will be mine this day,” the leader promised. The tip of his sword jabbed Ravensdale’s thigh.

In a quick move Ravensdale pivoted and sliced through the middle of the leader, who bled like any other man. Before severed completely in two, the blackguard disappeared with a pop.

The one holding her aimed the pistol at Ravensdale. She rammed an elbow into its gut. The shot ricocheted off a tree. Her rescuer threw a dagger, hitting it in the forehead. It disintegrated.

Celeste’s stomach heaved and she fell to her knees. “I feel dizzy.” Violent tremors rocked her body. Surely she must be hexed.

Ravensdale knelt beside her. “It’ll wear off in a few minutes. The close proximity of galla has that effect on humans.” He helped her up.

She scanned the area but saw no bodies. Her palms went to the sides of her head, trying to stop the spinning.

Ravensdale picked up the pistol and stuck it in his belt, and retrieved her bag. “We need to relocate.”

Fear clawed at her nerves. Afraid to go alone, she said, “I have a house not too far from here.”

“Where?”

“Follow me.” She snatched the bag from his hand and stalked away, still a little woozy, but managing to stay on her feet.

Although Ravensdale’s leg bled, he did not limp. His strong jaw tightened as he watched the shadows. The sword clenched in his hand dripped with dark blood.

“Your leg is bleeding,” she said.

“It’s not bad,” he replied.

“What is your name?” she asked.

“Orion.”

“Ravensdale?”

“No, that was the name I used to get into the party.”

Nodding, she said, “I am Celeste.”

“The first time we met, you were dressed as a boy.”

She slowed her pace. “How did you know it was me?”

He stopped and stared down at her. “You have a very unique scent. I can smell you.”

She shook her head and started walking again. “I wear no perfume.”

He chuckled. “I wasn’t talking about perfume.”

“Then what?”

“Your blood, Celeste. Your blood.”

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