Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jenna Petersen GuestBlog: Fight, Fight, Fight!

CONTEST TODAY!!! One Lucky Commenting Bella wins a copy of Jenna's "Jess Michaels" title, "Something Reckless!"

From Michelle: Jenna Petersen's new "Her Notorious Viscount" may be my fave of all her uniquely engaging romances. It's sexy, 2 b sure, yet her compelling riffs on several never-fail-to-pleasure, gut-punch romance themes make it a sure thing for the die-hard historical maven -- and the 'can't wait to meet the hero's best pal in the next book' aficionado. Please buy the book after you welcome Jenna w/your warmest "The bigger they are, the harder they, um, fall" Bella buongiorno...
From Jenna: Hello Bellas! Gosh, it’s so good to be back here with all of you! This is one of my favorite places to visit just because you’re all so welcoming, so thanks for having me again and I’m looking forward to a nice day here with you all.

Well, maybe not so nice. After all, I’m here to talk about fighting. I think all romance is a little bit about the fight. If the hero or heroine or both don’t have to fight for their love at least once, then I start to wonder about whether or not they can really make it. A fight is about a test, can you survive it? Can you win? I want the answer to be “Yes!!” when it comes to my heroes and heroines and for my readers to walk away thinking that this is really a relationship that can stand all the tests time will bring.

But this time around, with my book that comes out today, I went a little further than that proverbial “fight” for love. In "Her Notorious Viscount," my hero is an honest-to-God, real fighter. A pugilist to be precise, which is a fancy Regency term for a boxer. During the Regency, boxing really started to take hold. Men bet on it, even gentlemen had an eye for it. But do it themselves? Not so much. I mean, how barbaric for a gentleman to get punched in the mouth… for money.

And yet that is exactly what my hero does. Disenfranchised by the trite, boring life he leads as the second son of a Marquis, he makes a complete break from that world and dissolves into the Underground and a life of boxing and women. Only the death of his beloved brother brings him back to the surface and into the limelight as he becomes the heir apparent with a title of his own (Viscount… hence the Notorious Viscount part of the title).

I have to admit, I loved writing a hero who was as much a fighter in the physical sense as he was in the abstract sense. Nicholas is snarly and dangerous. He is accustomed to winning. He’s accustomed to doing whatever the hell he wants. But when it comes to living in the world he abandoned… well, he’s not so good at that. Which is where my heroine comes in. Jane Fenton agrees to “train” him into being a gentleman again if he’ll help her find her own brother, who was lost years ago. In her own way, she’s also a fighter. A woman who won’t give up, a woman willing to face danger in all its forms in order to save someone she loves. That’s my favorite kind of character and my favorite kind of transformation.

Plus, I got to play a little in one of my favorite outside hobbies, which is a great love for Mixed Martial Arts. Yes, I love a real fighter, too. The UFC, the octagon, the physical chess battle that is MMA… I adore it. Ask anyone who knows me well in “real life” and they’ll tell you that I’m a massive fan of the sport. We get just about every pay-per-view fight they offer and I’m pretty good at predicting who is going to win, too.

So what do you think of “the fight” element of romance? Do you want your heroes and heroines to fight for love? And how about those sweaty, sexy figher-men? C’mon… don’t you just want to heal them? Yummy!

I’ll be here all day, so feel free to throw your thoughts into the “ring” and let’s talk! Oh yeah, and I’ll choose one winner from everyone who comments to get a signed copy of my last
Jess Michaels release, "Something Reckless."

45 comments:

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and welcome back, Bella Jenna! So lovely to have you here again. Well, I thought things couldn't get any better than "Lessons from a Courtesan," but, shawkah, I was wrong. Cause HNV is saweet and, well, greedy wench that I am, I'm already champin at the bit for the hero's pal's story and HNV only drops today. I seem to be having a little problem with delayed gratification lately. any thoughts on how I can get a handle on that? I mean, like, right now?

I like the fighter heroes. And I was laughing a while back cause I remember back at rom writers of america last year you said in our radio interview that you were writing this book about regency ufc fighters. And I was all like, "Hey, Lori Foster writes ufc fighters. You guys should do a time travel." Then I find out she had this time-travel element to her upcoming (at that time) book, and I was all, d'oh! But I think you guys really are missing out on an opportunity if you don't hook up to collaborate. And you don't even have to pay me any intellectual property royalties. No, really, you don't have to thank me for my brilliance...

Anywayz, h/hn fighting for their chance at HEA is what romance is all about for me. I'm just not crazy about the snipping/sniping h/hn who actually 'fight' all the time, bickering to be funny. Not my fave scenario. But I love when they fight to allow their wiser sides to lead them in their relationship by book's end.

JennaPetersen said...

Hi Michelle and Bellas! I'm so excited to be here. I agree with you Michelle, I'm not big for bickering characters (like, having issues, YES! But picking at each other like hens... no). In HER NOTORIOUS VISCOUNT Jane and Nicholas are definitey at odds at certain points but I tried to make them sort of wary adversaries with grudging respect for each other that grew with every chapter.

JennaP

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Michelle! Hi Jenna!

Ooh, yes, I like the idea of a hero who's a bit rough and ready and physical... Sometimes heroes can come across as slightly effete, so one who's down and dirty and can fight with his fists is a refreshing change. :)

I like h/h heroine to verbally spar, but with passion and over a genuine issue or point of confict. Petty bickering and snipping at each other for the sake of it doesn't do a lot for me.

BethRe said...

I also like the idea of the hero being a little rough around the edges. Snipping and picking get on my nerves too much like real life, now if its a major issue I can deal with it and enjoy it especially when they make up :)

JennaPetersen said...

I think it's totally a thin line, isn't it? A balance between having a conflict that genuinely keeps the hero and heroine apart, but not just having them bickering...

Hopefully we find it. LOL

JennaP

Virginia said...

I think there should be some conflict sometimes but not all the time. To much bickering could ruin the book, so I think there is a very fine line here.

JennaPetersen said...

I'm happy to answer questions or talk about any topic if people want to. I'm here for you guys!

JennaP

Anonymous said...

There are lots of storylines I like but like the tormented hero who is healed by the love of a good woman. LOL.

Pat L.

Angelique said...

I love the fight between the hero/heroine! The fight is what makes the romance so entertaining to read because it's basically a form of foreplay between them. Love shouldn't be all roses and good times. That's not realistic at all. Real love is surviving through the bad times as well as the good times. It's what makes it so fascinating to read about and it is also what lets the reader know that this couple can really last for all time. I personally LOVE the fight! :)

Wendy said...

I agree with Angelique...the bickering makes the couple more "real" to me. It adds to the promise of happily-ever-after for me to know that, no matter how much bickering goes on, they can work things out!

orannia said...

Morning Michelle & Bellas, and welcome Jenna *waves*

Firstly, can I just say I really like the sound of Her Notorious Viscount :)

As for fighting...well, sometimes I think life (and love) is essentially a fight. You have the times when you're winning, the times when you're being continually knocked back/down...and then you have to pick yourself up and step back into the ring. Oh, and then you have the time-outs :)

And who was it who said that that love is worth fighting for? I think we need to know that love is worth all the emotional investment...that doesn't mean to say that we won't invest even if it isn't worth it, but if it is...we would go to h*ll and back for it :)

Just my penny's worth :) All the best with the release of Her Notorious Viscount Jenna!

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Jenna and Michelle,
Yes, I love those sweaty heroes! I also love martial arts---for myself and my heroes. Must be why my fav heroes are military and law enforcement. And yes, sometimes you just want the hero and the bad guy to duke it on out, with the hero winning of course.
Julie

JennaPetersen said...

Virginia -- I agree. :)

Pat L. -- I like that kind of story, too. The healing power of love... sigh! Hope you like HER NOTORIOUS VISCOUNT. :)

Angelique and Wendy -- Well, I think conflict is good. I just don't want 400 pages of misunderstanding and bickering. It's kind of like the bathroom. We know the hero and heroine use it... but we don't see it. LOL

JennaP

JennaPetersen said...

Hi orannia! *Waves back* I hope you like HNV! Love is definitely worth fighting for, I think that's why we all love romance novels. :)

Julie -- So who is your favorite fighter? I'm big on GSP, Forrest Griffin, Kenny Florian, I could name like twenty favs...

Jane said...

Hi Jenna,
Happy Release Day. I'm looking forward to reading Nicholas and Jane's story. I love Georges, too. I haven't read many historicals where the hero was a boxer, but one of my favorites is Lisa Kleypas' "Where Dreams Begin." Zach was definitely a little rough around the edges.

Estella said...

I love the bickering between the h/h before they come to realize they love each other.

Princess Bumblebee said...

Hey, Bellas! Hope it lets me leave a comment today! Last time it didn't. OY! Hmmm...a fighter for a hero...Gotta love em! Especially when they fight for their herroine, emotionally and physically. Gets me every time. Bring em on!

Maureen said...

Hi Jenna,
Congratulations on the new book. I definitely like the hero and heroine to fight for their happy ending, otherwise it would be boring.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buona sera, Bellas! Just got back from a day of doc's appts. Great to see you and some new and old friends.

I'm really intrigued that we've got both camps, the bickering lovahs lovers and those who get turned off by it. What's interesting is that there always has to be conflict bet h/n,no?

Now, for me, I dig a 'coming at it from different worlds' friction like the one Jane mentioned, or when the hero and heroine don't really like one another, but there's a wicked sexual tension building.

The bickering, especially if it's mean, annoys me. But I'm wondering if you folks who like the exchanges are talking about the 'light-hearted' banter stuff, like w/contemporaries? And I'm wondering, too, if we're all talking about the great 'make-up' sex scenes or peak of action love scenes that happen when the arguments end?

JennaPetersen said...

So true, Michelle. Banter is awesome. I guess I don't see that as bickering. It's more the same argument over nad over and over and OVER that gets my back up.

The cool thing is that there are so many different voices and tones and types of romance that there is something out there for everyone.

JennaP

Nicole North said...

OMG this story sounds fantastic, Jenna! Yum!! I love a tough hero and the strong heroine who can stand toe to toe with him. I'm all for a "fight" of the verbal sparring type.

JennaPetersen said...

Oh thanks Nicole! :)

Michelle, do you want me to pick a winner or will you? What time?

JennaP

ev said...

I like a fight when it is funny especially. Just point me in the direction of some of my favorite movies and book scenes. Those are the ones that stay in my mind.

I get enough petty bickering at home.

sarabelle said...

I hope I am not too late to enter to win this book, your works sounds fabulous. I love when they have to work at being together. A good fight scene makes things hotter. You are a new author to me and I look forward to learning more about your work.

JennaPetersen said...

Oh thanks sarabelle! Nope, not too late to win. We haven't drawn a winner yet. :) And I hope you'll enjoy my book if you pick them up.

JennaP

Kate Pearce said...

I love this idea! Wish I'd thought of it LOL
And all romance is about conflict-in the dialogue, the sexual tension, the plot-it basically makes the book for me :)

Julie Robinson said...

When it comes to non-violent fights, I think there's a difference between bickering and bantering. Bantering is more witty dialogue. Bickering is nit picking at each other.

As for fighting, I didn't know I could watch it! Yes, I must live a sheltered life. All I knew is that I like action films where martial arts is employed; I had my son enrolled at an early age; he eventually quit, adn I realized it was my dream to take lesson, not his. I've never taken formal lessons, but like to practice the positions in books or on dvd.

Julie

amy*skf said...

Oh, yes the banter is great, the bicker not so much so.

Jenna, this story sounds fantastic--I love it that he's a pugalist and needs schooling to re-enter society.

Michelle, that is so weird about the Foster thing--but I think you're on to something.

Manda said...

Morning, Bellas & Michelle! Looks like I missed a party yesterday. Is that a stocking draped over the lamp?

Oooh, I loves me some witty banter! IMHO there's nothing better:)

Hi Jenna! Congratulations on your new release! And don't enter me in the contest--I already have (and adore) Something Reckless:)

Gram said...

Great storyline. I can't wait to read it. A little trial and/or tribulation is good, a lot - not so much.
Thanks for writing.

leta1 said...

I love the UFC and any book with a flavor of it. I don't think I have read any of your books before but I'm going to buy this one today.

EmilyBryan said...

Hi Michelle and Jenna,

Interesting topic. Passionate people do everything passionately, including fight! I love the idea of a Regency "fight club" hero! He must have had a lot of anger in him. Anything simmering under the surface like that fascinates me.

Best,
Emily
www.emilybryan.com

Amanda said...

Hi!

I downloaded the e-book of Her Notorious Viscount yesterday and finished it today. I loved it! It was a wonderful story and I loved the interactions between Nicholas and Jane.

So.....is there any chance of Rage getting a story of his own? =)

I'm waiting anxiously for your next releases, I am really enjoying the books you release under both names. Please don't enter me in the contest either.

Chris R said...

I like it when the heroine doesn't just roll over for the hero but stands up for her beliefs and you can't go wrong with a hero who is a warrior whether he is a soldier or a fighter or just a man with strong beliefs he stands up for.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buona sera, Bellas! Just diggin back in.

ev, that's what I like in romance, the bantering that reminds me of the best romantic movies...

amanda! you wrote:
So.....is there any chance of Rage getting a story of his own? =)


Ok, so Jenna's being silent on this one, or flat out ignoring me, which I'm used to. I'm guessing she's doing the tease thing. But I'd love Rage's story, too. (Gawd, weren't the love scenes in HNV hawt?)

JennaPetersen said...

Oh, I'm so not ignoring you Michelle! I'm just not, um, sure.
My next book, WHAT THE DUKE DESIRES, actually starts a new series called The Billingham Bastards. After that, I'm just not sure. I have an idea for Rage, but it's hard to think that far ahead. LOL

JennaP

flip said...

The boxing reminds me of Georgette Heyer. So many of her heros boxed at Gentlemen Jackson's parlor.

I like manly men.

amy*skf said...

I'll have what flip's havin'

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

[sniff, sniff] Jenna, you had me at 'bastards.'

I think I love you.

JennaPetersen said...

LOL, I love fighters too! An Michelle, I'll have to send you an ARC when I get my page proofs. We'll talk in a couple of weeks. LOL I'm so excited about this series! I will be putting a bunch of stuff up on May 1 at jennapetersen.com

JennaP

MarthaE said...

Hi - was out of town for a week. This is a good topic! I think fighting can build up the tension. And isn't it just wonderful when one of those Alpha males takes a TKO from the fiesty heroine!!

catslady said...

I love the fantasy of a man fighting for me - the reality I don't think I'd like but I want to know that he would fight for me if he had to! Oh and if he had a sword, so much the better lol.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

hey, flip! Glad you brought up Gent Jack's. So many Regency characters train there and it often plays a role in the novels, no? Here, we see the difference between the guys who do it for the exercise, and one who uses it to make money and because he's got a kind of personal score to settle

Jane said...

I'm so jealous, Michelle. You'll get to read "What the Duke Desires" before everyone else.

JennaPetersen said...

LOL MarthaE! That's such a good way to put it. Nicholas is definitely the guy who can take a punch (he does a few times in the book), but put one fabulous lady in front of him and he is definitely down for the count. And loving it! LOL

catslady -- I agree, I wouldn't want anyone to really come to blows for/over me. But the fantasy... yummy!!

Michelle -- Absolutely. Nicholas is a fighter by profession, as well as by nature. Makes him a bit of a pariah.

Jane -- The cool thing is that this time around there isn't as much time between releases! So only six months, which is awesome! I love that shorter turn-around, though I understand that they have to find slots for everyone so I can't always have it.