Monday, June 08, 2009

Emma Holly GuestBlog: Family: Can’t Live With ’Em; Shouldn’t Let ’Em Bite Your Neck . . .

CONTEST TODAY!!! A 'graphed set of Emma Holly's new FitzClare Chronicles series, beginning w/"Kissing Midnight" goes to one Lucky Commenting Bella, courtesy of Emma! Please make your email addy available in your profile/comment to enter.

From Michelle: I love today’s GuestBlog from Bella Emma Holly almost as much as I adore her new FitzClare Chronicles series and “Kissing Midnight.” The book’s a hot, heady adventure, clever and wry, with a perfectly cool new setting for a historical romance: post WWI London. The June – August series? Think of it as a Summer of Love,
upyr style: Instantly gratifying indulgence with a bite. Please offer our pal Emma a warm Bella buongiorno…
From Emma: What makes a family? Most people would agree it’s more than blood. Lots of folks have blood relatives they don’t speak to - or friends they’re closer to than real siblings. Since I find the latter more interesting to write about than the former, I decided to let Edmund Fitz Clare, the vampire hero of "Kissing Midnight," create a family that was made up of voluntary bonds.

No one, certainly not the other members of upyrkind, consider it Edmund’s obligation to adopt a trio of humans who were orphaned in the last Great War. Edmund doesn’t need immortality - hello, vampire! - and he already has two human descendants who have been changed. No, when this seeming professor of history rescues Ben and Sally and Graham, it’s because he wants a family to love.

That, I think, is the secret to his nonstandard parenting success.

Edmund wants to love his children. Not to raise them to be paragons. Not to keep them safe from their own mistakes. Not to swaddle them forever in cotton wool. (Okay, he would like to do that, but he refrains.) He wants to love them. That’s his idea of proving he’s become a better man than he used to be. To him, loving his family isn’t his obligation, it’s his privilege. So what if he risks immolation just to walk his youngest girl to school? Never mind how hard it is to keep the secret of his true nature from their curious eyes. He gets his fulfillment from watching them grow up to be themselves.

In return, his children adore him back. They might think their night owl father is eccentric, but they sense the unconditional nature of his affection, and they feel fortunate to have his care.

They feel fortunate to have each other, too, because they don’t share blood ties, either.

Before Edmund ever showed up at the orphanage, middle child Ben went hungry to save Sally from starvation. Edmund’s eldest, Graham, appointed himself both the younger pair’s protector. These children chose each other as much as Edmund chose them. In truth, them choosing each other inspired Edmund to adopt them all. It would have taken a harder-hearted vampire than Edmund ever was to leave any one of them behind.

So here is this voluntary family, grown up now, not perfect by any means, but each aware that they are lucky to have someone to love and be loved by. As a storyteller, the Fitz Clares’ dynamic was a pleasure to explore. What would put the most pressure on these voluntary ties? What wonderful or terrible decisions might the adoptees be driven to as I pushed them to their limits? How could I help them, fictional characters though they were, fully recognize the treasure they had in each other?

Answering those questions propelled me all the way through "Kissing Midnight" and two other books. It provided me one of the most rewarding writing experiences I’ve ever had. Edmund was already a favorite of mine; I’d written about him in "Catching-" and "Courting Midnight," but his children came to tug at me just as strongly. Edmund’s mortal love interest did as well, in part because Estelle’s life embodied the very issues I was sorting through. Her blood parents met their obligations without really loving her. To me, it was no wonder she fell in love with Edmund and the rest of his brood.

Naturally, I’m hoping lots of people will love my creations. If they do, I know the Fitz Clares won’t be the first made-up family readers have fallen for. Understanding that, here’s my question for you, Bellas: What fictional families have had you jonesing to be adopted? What, to you, gives a family circle an irresistible glow? I’ll be waiting to hear what you say!
Check out an adults-only excerpt from one of the Bellas' fave "Kissing Midnight" scenes here!


amy kennedy said...

Oh Emma, the way you describe these people...I want to know them and I can't wait to read these books. There is something so damned appealing about this man who is immortal, strong, alone--who would make a choice to bring these three vulnerable children into his life...wonderful.

I'm reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman--the main character is adopted into the family of 2 ghosts of the graveyard, but as a character in the book says, "It takes a graveyard..."

If I were a kid I would so be jonesing for that kind of adoption. I loved Julia Quinn's family of the Bridgertons--nor would I mind being adopted into the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I'm just sayin'...

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome back, Emma!! Morning, Bellas!!

I got this book this weekend and can't wait to break into it. =o)

Amy, I'm so with you on the Bridgertons and BDB. I hear Rhage and Mary may be wanting to add to their family. ;p
I would add Nora Robert's Quinn or Gallagher family. The Gallagher's because they're a bunch of nuts. I love that they throw dishes at each other and nobody bats an eye at it. The Quinn's because I would love to have that kind of back up no matter what the circumstance. Quinn's stick together.

Emma Holly said...

Hey, Amy! If someone can make ghosts seem like attractive family members, they got the mojo!

Being adopted by the BDB might be fun - as long as I didn't have to be too, too sisterly *vbeg* Love those Bridgertons, too. Julia Quinn is my main historical fix.

Julie, I was reading Nora Robert's Vision in White on the plane and thinking how good she is at writing people you'd want to know.

Janice Maynard said...

Emma and Michelle - Great to see you both this past weekend! I bought Kissing Midnight and can't wait to get started on it. Must block off some "don't bother me" time... :)

I recently finished "Vision in White" and would be happy to be adopted into that "family" of bff's. I lost my two best friends to cancer six years apart, back in the nienties, and I really miss that gal pal closeness...

Families - whatever the makeup - give me the warm fuzzies... :)

Tiona said...

Hey, Bellas! Welcome, Holly! Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Oh, the family that's not related. Well, though I've never read any of your books yet, Holly, I am tempted to check one out here at the library, hehe, if for no other reason than you've spoken about this family of non-blood ties. I just ADORE books like that, when the characters are a chosen family, as it were. I have many of those, myself. I think most of us do, in fact. of my faves like that, which they are all intwined by loyalty, is Nalani Singh's Changelings in her Psy/Changeling series. Just love Lucas and all his Changelings. They have such a great bond but aren't afraid to harrass each other, either. Gott love it!

Unknown said...

The series sounds fascinating :)
I always wanted to be adopted by the Ingalls family from Little House on the Prairie or be one of the Bennetts, preferably the one who got Mr. Darcy LOL

Jessa Slade said...

When I was a kid, I would have happily joined the Swiss Family Robinson on their adventures. My family was great, but we only went on vacation two weeks out of the year :)

Unknown said...

I have yet to buy the books but I will be after having read the teaser. I usually end up buying the second book of a series and then having to find book one and by then book three is out too. I guess I just like doing things the hard way.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Princess Bumblebee and say that I would love to adopt the Changelings from Nalani Singh's series. I love how loyal they are to each other.

Chris R

Booklover1335 said...

ooh this is a hard one! I have been on a historical romance binge lately so I guess I would want to be adopted by the Bridgertons by Bella JQ, or if I were to go way back one of the first families that I loved would be the Marches from Little Women.
Great excerpt, and can't wait to read this new series. I have been a longtime fan of your work Emma, and have been waiting for these for a loooong time :)

Hailey Edwards said...

I don't think I would want to be adopted by the BDB. Maybe by their next door neighbors. Then I could borrow some sugar every five minutes or so *g*

Otherwise, I think I would want to have an apprenticeship with Harry Dresden. In his world, that equates adoption and his devotion to those he loves is second to none.

amy kennedy said...

Hey Julie! Not so sure about the throwing dishes at each other...

Jessa that's right--I can remember wishing to be stranded on an island with an ostrich--good times, didn't you love the kid? And I had such a crush on the oldest brother.

Princess--You. Have. To. Read. Emma. 'Nough said.

Janice--so sorry, hope you got a little fix of gal pal closeness this past weekend.

Emma--I really think you'd like The Graveyard Book.

Jody F. said...

I'd most like to be with the family of Lorraine Heath's recent Scoundrels of Saint James series. Those kids went through alot in their childhoods and yet they're fiercely loyal to one another. I admire that kind of undying loyalty.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Ferishia said...

I'm a HUGE fan of the Upyr series and I just picked up Kissing Midnight. I cannot wait to read it! Best to you!

Anonymous said...

I think maybe the Bridgertons...they have fun together, they are there for each other, they fight with each other until some outsider barges in and then they stand together. They love each other. I like that large family because I came from a small one.

ssic27 said...

I love the Bridgertons! They truly stick together through thick or thin. Although I definitely wouldn't mind be adopted by the Black Dagger Brotherhood!


Caitline Greene said...

EMMA! I am super excited for this new book, almost jumping out of my skin with anticipation!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hailey, I like the idea of stoppin by the BDB to get a little sugar. :)

Buona sera, Bellas! I can't believe anybody who made it to the Foster/Castell Get Together this past weekend can even function today! Nobody slept. Nobody. I got up early to catch up and am just now finding time to say hi. I so wish I could take a nap.

Caitlin, I hope you love this series as much as I do. Still trying to get m paws on book three. I'm a lot like you, bakaake, always reading series out of order, starting somewhere in the middle then realizing (with excitement) there are more to read.

But don't tell Julie in Ohio, cause she's a tad 'organized' about her series reading, as are a couple other Bellas.

ssic, you and amy are so selfless, wanting to be adopted by the BDB. Imagine the holiday gifts those guys cough up...

Hi, grammyd/anny. I came from a medium-sized fam of 4, and I still crave quiet and sanity. Dunno if I could survive the Bridgertons, though I'd like to see at least one Smith-Smyth musicale (I know that's spelled wrong...) :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Knowing you, Julie, you'd fit right in w/the Gallaghers.

Emma! Thanks for stopping in today! I always wanted to be part of the Addams' Family. Shawkah, huh?

Love those books, Jodi! Definitely like the idea of friends becoming family and having one's back. Always has worked for me in real life.

Good for you, fniem! Hope you love it, too! so hawt. And Edmund's love for his family and new squeeze is pretty awesome.

principessa, I've totally learned something new about you today. how cool.

hi, hailey. That sounds like a very cool bond, with responsibility on both sides that may eventually equate with respect, and perhaps familial love. fascinating... thanks for sharing that.

good ones, booklover. hope you're having fun w/your historical binge. :)

hi, jrobe. that's 2 for the changelings. I know lots of folks who tell me their moms swear they're changelings... :)

Hey, Kate, way to worm yourself into Darcy's inner circle. slick.

Jessa, swiss fam rob definitely beats 2 weeks vacation, though I did dig our few days at the Jersey shore every summer.

Jane said...

Hi Emma,
Congrats on the new release. I wouldn't mind being adopted into the Stephanie Laurens' Cynster clan. You can count on any of the Cynster siblings or cousins to help you should any problems arise.

DianneCastell said...

Wonderful seeing you at the get-together, Michelle, and sharing delicious desert and coffee at Marsh's. Lori and I hope you can make it next year, we're already making plans. :-)

Hi, Emma. Terrific chatting with you at dinner. I love your stories and esp your characters. You always make me feel a part of your stories, as if I were actually there.

One of the best parts of the reader/writer get-togehter is meeting all the fab authors and readers I chat with on line every day. Two days pass so quickly.

Hugs, Dianne

Emma Holly said...

Janice - it was great to see you, too! I hope you like KISSING MIDNIGHT.

Hi, Princess Bumblebee! I'm very fond of my own sisterlike friends. So much less baggage than real ones *g*

Kate - I always liked the dad in the Bennetts, and the older two girls, of course! The actresses who played them in the Colin Firth version were great.

Jessa: Swiss Family Robinson, huh? You are an adventurer!

bakaake: It shouldn't be so hard to find them, since they're coming out in back-to-back months. Hope you enjoy them!

jrobe: Loyalty is a lovely quality.

booklover: Thank you, and thanks for waiting! Little Women . . . another great choice!

Hailey: LOL. I think next-door neighbor is a much better option. I might want to be Harry Dresden's next-door neighbor, too. Loved the fellow who played him on TV!

Amy: I'm sure I've dreamed of throwing dishes, the only problem being then I also imagine I have to clean them up!

Jody: Lorraine Heath is a great heart-string tugger, and always out-of-the-ordinary characters.

FNiem: Thanks for picking up Kissing Midnight! Best to you, too!

Anonymous & ssic27: The Bridgertons deserve the votes! Their camaraderie is part of why I love Julia Quinn so much.

Caitlin: Thank you! Just try to hang onto your skin a little longer *g*

Michelle: The Addams' Family, yes! They're creepy and they're kooky. Who wouldn't enjoy fitting in with that. LOL.

Hey, Jane: The Cynsters would be a good choice! So many to count on . . .

JaniceMaynard said...

Jessa - I LOVED that Swiss Family Robinson movie... especially the part near the end where the pirates are trying to climb the hill and are getting pelted by rocks and tree trunks... priceless...

Have sudden urge to go order DVD from Amazon...

JaniceMaynard said...

Michelle and Dianne - I enjoyed the late night gabfest... women could solve all the world's problems if they would only listen to us. (Insert cheesy grin!)

And not that it was all that late, but I, too, had driven for hours ...fell into one of those soft beds and slept like a baby.

Alone... nary a hunky guy in sight, but still...

JaniceMaynard said...

Emma - I can never decide which I enjoy the most... your contemps or your historicals... but after all, why choose!

I love them all...

Anonymous said...

So great to see you this weekend! Looking forward to starting your new series.

Personally, I always wanted to by a Cynster (Stephanie Laurens)

Mari said...

Emma, I LOVE your books. Had I not already been a fan of your books I would have never even tried paranormals. I liked your contemps and hist. a LOT. Then I picked up your first paranormal ONLY because you wrote it, and I needed a HOLLY fix! I am so glad I did. Now I have branched out and am enjoying paranormals (yours are my face though!)by other authors also..

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Emily S. said...

Hey Emma!

I'm excited about your new book! I have to say that I always love the Cynsters and Bridgertons and Bennets. Though I would have to get used to such large families coming from a family of 2 kids.

Can't wait to read your book!


Book of Secrets said...

Hi, Emma! I'm very excited about your new series. I love that it is a paranormal romance set in the post-WWI time period. I can't wait to read the books!

Diana in Olathe, KS

Elizabeth K-W said...

I feel lucky to enjoy my own family. I'm one of 6, with two older brothers. Which brings me to the fictional family I'd like to adopt me: the Cynsters. I got teased too much by my brothers to ever be quite sure they'd come to my rescue.
And if I didn't have my own DH, those Cynster men do seem to have the best male friends, too.

Emma Holly said...

Hi Dianne! It was fun to chat! I'm glad you feel a part of my stories. That's a lovely thing to hear!

Thank you, Janice. I try not to choose myself *g*.

Thanks, ksturm. I hope you enjoy it!

Mari - Glad I could broaden your horizons *g*.

Thanks, Emily S!

book-of-secrets - The time period was awfully fun to research. I'm glad I got a chance to do it.

Good for you, Elizabeth, and smart to pick fictional brothers with good male friends!

Anonymous said...

Laughter and friendly kidding is great - but loyalty beyond a doubt - it is ok to give your sibling, cousin etc a friendly hard time, but don't anyone else try it.

These sound great. Good luck to you.

Rose G.

PS - you asked for my email:

Fedora said...

Hi, Emma! I'm thrilled to learn about the Fitz Clares--I do love a series about families! As many readers have suggested, I'd love to be one of the Bridgerton clan, or Nora Roberts has so many terrific families--maybe I could be an honorary MacGregor? And going back to stories from when I was a kid, I would have loved to have been one of the Pevensies, who starred in the Chronicles of Narnia, or one of the Moffats :)

Chez said...

Hi Emma
I'm so incredibly happy you've written more upyrs, I love them. Can't wait to read these latest ones (when they arrive *sigh*).

Fictional family: The MacKenzies, although I'd have to bump off Barri and have Zane to myself. Do you think they would notice a rash of spousal murders though?



The Brunette Librarian said...

Fun post today...and totally agree. I LOVE stories about families..ecspecially series. I don't know if it's just cause it was one of my first series, but I would love to be part of the Malory family by Lindsey.

Love the characters, the family is close, and it would be fun to live in a world of balls and carriage rides...although I do enjoy my indoor plumbing. :)

Lyoness2009 said...

It's silly but I would like to be in the family of J.R. Ward's series characters. It'd be nice to be protected by the "brotherhood" let me tell you. AND I doubt I'd ever have to mow.

lyoness2009 @ hotmail . com

Caffey said...

Hi Emma! I'm thrilled these are coming out! I've been looking forward to these books since I found out!

There are places and other people that make me feel at 'home' with them as well as part of a 'family' So I do understand! I thought of the family of the 7 dwarfs and Snow White! I just think of that movie and her as a maid to them and escapting from her wicked stepmother the Queen.


Emma Holly said...

Thanks, Rose G. I appreciate the good wishes!

Hi, flchen1. Ah, the Pevensies. I was quite Narnia-obsessed when I was a kid.

Hey, Chez! I'm happy I've written more upyr stories, too *g*. I enjoy them.

Tamara - that would be quite a party! LOL.

Yes, Rachie G, indoor plumbing is essential to good fantasies. *g*

Hi, Lyoness! Yes, I think those brothers would make most any girl feel warm and snuggly - among other things!

Thanks, everyone, for coming to chat today. It was fun, as always! Michelle, would you like to pick a winner and let me know who it was?

donnas said...

They sound awesome. I cant wait to read the series.

When I read the Stanislaski series by Nora Roberts. I wanted to be part of that family so bad.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

amy kennedy said...

Tamara--that's what I'm talkin' about!

Sara said...

Am I too late to chime in? Hope not...

Wow, great excerpt! Whew...*fanning self* What was the question again? ;D

Oh yes, family. Love and a good sense of humor are important ingredients. As for choosing, I always used to wish I was Samantha from Bewitched, although that was more about the magic. Who couldn't use a little magic in their lives? See, even as a child, I was into the paranormal stuff... :)

Portia Da Costa said...

Not so much a fictional 'family'... but I desperately wanted to be a crew member on the Starship Enterprise! Right from the very beginning!

I loved the excerpt of Kissing Midnight, Emma! Will definitely be reading this series! :)