Pleasure Me With Kate Quinn

>Kate Quinn writes about a time period I adore! Ancient Rome. When I was researching authors to blog in this event, I saw Kate’s cover and KNEW I had to have her come blog about her work. Please give a warm welcome to Kate for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.

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10 Lessons To Be Learned From Historical Romance

There are all kinds of sober and reflective articles out there teaching us how to deal with romance in the real world.  Generally these articles are about having realistic expectations, learning to give and take, not being disappointed when your man’s bedroom technique needs a little adjustment.  Well, it’s no wonder that even the current recession hasn’t dented sales for romance novels.  We may live in the real world, and even like it, but we all find it fun to visit a different world where romantic expectations are always surpassed, “give and take” refers not to who will take out the garbage but to being abducted by a dashing villain and then rescued by an even more dashing hero, and your man’s bedroom technique is always flawless.  I write historical fiction, and I may spend most of my writing time making sure I’ve got the chronological events of the Dacian Wars lined up, or researching whether the ancient Romans had velvet – but there must always be love.  Without a pair of lovers, the Dacian Wars are just history on a page.  I’ve always been a sucker for a good romance in a historical setting, and I’ve certainly read everything I could get my hands on that fell into that setting (did I read anything else during seventh grade but Anya Seton’s Katherine?)

Realism, give-and-take, and modern-day romance be damned.  Here are a few of the lessons I have learned from historical romance:

  1. In order to kick off a life of grand romance, make sure you are born somewhere interesting.  Scotland is good (see Diana Gabaldon).  Tudor England is good (see Philippa Gregory).  Renaissance Italy near any member of the Borgia family is good (see Sara Poole).  Also pick your parents carefully:  it is not necessary to be a duke’s daughter, but you will have a long road to walk if you get born as a potato picking peasant.  (Though Peter the Great’s wife Catherine managed it; a real life Cinderella who went from Lithuanian servant girl to Empress of Russia.)
  2. Make sure to be born with the right looks.  You don’t have to be a raving beauty – it does get a little boring when all these historical romance heroines are Anne Hathaway in a hoopskirt – but you should have something to make people look twice.  Red hair is always popular (see Lydia in Kate Furnivall’s The Russian Concubine) or some unique yet appealing birthmark. 
  3. Acquire at least one unsympathetic relative.  You’ll need someone who can be counted on to throw up roadblocks in your romantic road to bliss.  Unsympathetic fathers are a classic; grasping uncles also good; meddling aunts or cousins who are after your inheritance can also work in a pinch.  (For a lethally interfering godmother, see Lady Russell in Persuasion)
  4. Take careful note of anyone you dislike on sight, especially if he’s handsome.  Chances are he’s your soul mate.  (Look absolutely no further than Pride and Prejudice.)
  5. Abductions, pirate attacks, and outbreaks of war should be viewed not as life-threatening dangers, but as dating opportunities.  The robber chief/pirate captain/enemy knight is bound to fall in love with you.  (See Maid Marian and Robin Hood.)

    Critical Praise for Kate Quinn

    “What a great book!”  

    — Diana Gabaldon
    “A novel that is both literary and a page-turner.”

    — Margaret George
    “A riveting tale . . . glamorous and brutal, a heady mix of intrigue and combat . . . an exhilarating read.”  

    Marie Claire, UK


  6. Don’t make a fuss about your arranged marriage.  Either your proposed groom will turn out to be the love of your life (Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander), or he will be an ogre and the love of your life will arrive soon to save you from marrying him (Bernard Cornwell’s A Crowning Mercy).  Either way, you come out on top.
  7. Be wary of masked balls.  Do not trade kisses, love tokens, secrets, or proposals of marriage with anyone until all masks are off.  Trust me on this.
  8. Rank is no barrier to marriage.  So what if he’s a King’s son and you’re just a poor little herald’s daughter?  He will still fall in love with you, because you are the heroine.  (Anya Seton’s Katherine)
  9. Don’t be downcast if your suitor is poor.  He will undoubtedly turn out to be an earl in disguise.  (Rossini’s opera Barber of Seville, where poor student Lindoro reveals himself to his bride as Count Almaviva.  Operas have this historical romance thing down pat.)
  10. And finally, enjoy your happily ever after!  But keep an eye on your children.  If they’re just babies at The End, you should be safe.  But if they grow up in the course of the book, then you may be in a historical romantic dynasty – which means, lucky you, that your kids are going to grow up in record time and then start having romantic adventures of their own (see Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’s Morland Dynasty).  In which case, you may want to think about Tip #3 above, and turn into the unsympathetic mother.  Your kids will need roadblocks too, en route to their own HEA.  

I hope you enjoyed today’s life lessons. Monica, thanks for having me!

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About the Author
Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice.  A lifelong history buff, she first got hooked on ancient Rome while watching I, Claudius at the age of eight.  Her first novel Mistress of Rome has been translated into multiple languages and has inspired a prequel, Daughters of Rome. Kate lives in California with her husband, and is currently at work on her third novel.

This entry was posted in Blog Event by Monica Burns. Bookmark the permalink.

About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

38 thoughts on “Pleasure Me With Kate Quinn

  1. >Another great cover! Number 4 is my personal favorite. I just love stories where the H&H can't stand each other initially because usually the sexual tension is so raw! Makes you want to just jump right into the story and yell, "Enough already! Get on with it!"


  2. >Kate,

    Love your list! For me, the thing I have absorbed the most through reading romances is that no matter what, there is someone special out there for everyone. You just have to open your ears and eyes and pay attention. Also, it doesn't hurt to be in the right place at the right time.

  3. >Kate,

    I have never read any of your books, but after reading your "10 Lessons . . ." post, I can see that I need to add you to my list of "New Authors To Try." Love your sense of humor and obvious understanding of what it takes to make for an interesting, intriguing historical romance.

    Thanks for your gift of words and offering a copy of "Mistress of Rome".

    2much2reid {at} comcast {dot} net / Texas

  4. >And he will not be one bit discouraged by the fact that you look like something the cat dragged in. This is why fiction is better than real life sometimes.

  5. >What a great summary of the reasons I adore reading and writing historical romance!!

    And the rules apply to heroes and heroines of any era !

    Another rule I have always liked is – If you have just had a horrible misadventure and look like something the cat dragged backwards through and entire maze of hedgerows the first man you meet will be those most handsome, rich and sexy man you have ever seen in your life – your hero!


  6. >Thanks for chiming in, everybody! I like the rules you guys are coming up with too – guys in portraits, guys on business trips, exclusive flirting rights, creepy old houses . . . speaking of which, another rule for the list could be: Always pay attention when you meet a cute guy with a crumbly haunted house. Yes, he has a dark secret. But whatever it is, he will still end up pulling you out of an abandoned well where you were stashed to die in your tastefully torn nightgown, and then he will propose marriage. 😀

  7. >These are all the reasons why I love historical romance so much. 🙂

    abbydillon16 AT yahoo DOT com, CA

  8. >Oh yes number 5 is awesome 🙂 I also love that Diana Gabaldon gave praise! Kudos for that.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com
    MN – usa

  9. >I like #5.

    Kate is a new to me author.I am going to check out her other work.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  10. >Okay, # 5 had me rolling. Dating opportunities! Great. I'll have to remember the next time I instantly hate a man, to look a little deeper…..mmmmm…


    hugs, billi jean

    Northfield Ma

  11. >I love the lesson about unsympathetic family members. I suppose happy families don't generate enough angst to be remembered in history.


  12. >Thanks so much for the interview/guest post. I've been after this book since it came out but just haven't gotten it yet.

    brnterri at gmail dot com
    VA, USA

  13. >Kate, you're a new to me author, but hopefully not for long. Great post.


  14. >To answer your question, always rub a strange lamp you might get more than three wishes.

    If you find yourself in an old Scottish castle and the guy in a picture on the wall seems to be looking at you or calling to you, stare back and talk back, flirt if you want to and see if he doesn't come to take you back to his time. lol

    Oh and if your ruggedly handsome but difficult boss asks you to accompany him on a business trip, pack some lingerie and let him see you with your hair down.

  15. >I love this post to bits and pieces. It lists everything I adore about reading (historical) romances.

    Mmm, I've learned that when the handsome devil you have even the slightest bit of interest in demands that you decline interaction with males other than he, you really should do the opposite. Results are fantastic!

    julieguan AT gmail DOT com

  16. >"not being disappointed when your man’s bedroom technique needs a little adjustment" LOL! After reading that, I just knew this post was going to ROCK. You did not disappoint!

    The majority wins: #5 is THE dating venue!

    Historical fiction is my second favorite reading choice, after romance, of course.

    cindersmaria @ yahoo DOT com
    South Carolina

  17. >Here is lesson that I have learned from reading many, many very enjoyable, somewhat "haunting" historical romances: One should always travel to a haunted castle in the company of the slightly deranged. It is really quite bracing, and it can be an excellent preparatory measure for what may follow at the castle ; )

  18. >Great list Kate! I especially like #7 LOL. I have never read a romance set in Roman times. I'm not sure why that it is since I focused on the Roman Empire for my major in college. I even liked the tv series Rome. I think I will love this book since it is right up my alley!

    GeishasMom73 on twitter

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  19. >Hi everybody,

    Wow, thanks for all the lovely comments! I'm glad you all liked my blog post (#5 seems to be the overall favorite life lesson!)

    To answer Booklover0226's question, I have had the same artist design the covers for both my books. I sent him flowers as soon as I saw the proof – he's terrific, and I'm very lucky. Hopefully he'll do my third book as well.

    After reading so many terrific guest blog posts from other writers this week, I wish I'd put in a question of my own for readers, as others did. So how about this – anyone else have a life lesson they've learned from reading historicals or romances?

  20. >I love your sense of humor and I always like a little of that in my reading (like to cry sometimes too lol). I'm looking forward to reading your books!

    from PA (currently freezing)

  21. >That was a fun post and I have to agree about the masked balls, causing more problems for heroines than any other form of entertainment.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  22. >Good Morning Monica and Kate,

    What a wonderful post. After having read meany many romance books I can say all of this is so true.

    Kate, I can't wait to read your next book, I know I'm gonna love it.
    Nevada, USA

  23. >Hi Kate,

    Thanks for a very interesting post today! Your lessons are all spot on!…except for #7…anyone who has read any of the books in The Merry Widow Trilogy by Candice Hern knows a lot of hot stuff happens at masked balls! hehehe

    I'm very glad to meet you here today since you are a new-to-me author and know nothing about your work. The cover of your book is beautiful and after reading the excerpt, I'll have to check you out a little closer.

    kkhaas at bellsouth dot net
    NC, USA

  24. >This definitely sounds like a book that I would enjoy. I don't believe I've read one set in Ancient Rome before, so yours will be my first!
    Thank you for sharing all of your historical romance lessons! I think you covered them all! I will admit that I'm a sucker for a HEA.


    New York

  25. >Those ten lessons definitely add up to the right recipe for a great romance! I almost hate to be another poster who hasn't read your books, but I'm definitely going to now. Thanks, Monica, for introducing us to new (at least to me)authors! I'm always waiting on release dates from my tried and true authors, you know who you are, now I will have a much broader pool to dip into for great stories!

    julieboo817 at gmail dot com

  26. >good morning kate! glad monica put this even together since I have never read you! and since I do like ALL of your points I am thinking this book sounds pretty darn good I havent read much rome! I do hope your on the nook! LOL I dont have time to get to the book store but am loving that new ereader that gets me books just that quick!
    im going to search right now if not I will add to the list to check at the bookstore when I make it there!

    Kris b indiana

    krysti33 @ frontier dot com

  27. >Hi, Kate!

    Wow, that sure is a beautiful cover!

    I love this list and especially #5, as well. There's something exciting about the hero/heroine being kidnapped and falling in love. Lots of tension, too! And you can't go wrong with #4!


  28. >Good Morning to all.What a great post and the Lessons learned from historical are excellent.I love historicals. Unfortunately I have not read any of books as of yet,but will be putting this one on my TBR list.You are so right on the lessons issue.Have a great day/weekend/week and thank you so much for being with Monica's blog event,if not I may not have found another book/author to read.

    Henderson, NC

  29. >Hello Monica and Kate,
    This is such an awesome event. Thanks Monica. Kate I loved your list. #5 I really liked. 🙂 And I will tell you that Mistress of Rome was a fabulous read for me. I loved it. :)The covers on your books are great as well.
    Carol L

  30. >Good morning, Ladies.

    Kate, you're a new author for me but not for long. I was at your website and fell in love with your book covers; they are wonderful.

    Do you work with one particular artisit?

    I enjoyed your post and number 5 and 6, in particular. I enjoyed the reference to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander; a series I've enjoyed.

    I look forward in reading your works.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  31. >Morning you early birds you. Glad you're enjoying Kate's posts. I've notified her that her post is live and I'm sure she'll be here when she can.

    So glad everyone is finding new authors through the blog event. Please spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, your online groups and friends. The more people the better exposure my guest bloggers receive. And the more interest I pique in future/potential readers of my work!

  32. >First of all, thank you, Monica, for your reminder posts on Facebook. Thank you, Kate, for the lessons and for being here today… I think back to some of my favorite books over the years and your lessons definitely ring true. I, too, love the period you're writing about… I'll have to pick up your books now too!
    Linda T.
    Florida, USA

  33. >Hello, Kate! Wonderful lessons, indeed! Everything we need to know about life can be learned in historical romance. Our past is the key to our future, if only we would use it to unlock our minds : ) I read the very compelling excerpt for "Mistress of Rome". Thea is an intriguing and complex character. The cover of the book is exquisite, one of the loveliest I've seen!

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  34. >OMG! These lessons are awesome…I especially like #5!

    Quinn is a new-to-me author who I am going to have to read…I was a Classics major in college so I love the period she's writing about!

    babsvick AT gmail DOT com