Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting Over Betrayal. Fiction vs Real Life. Is there a Difference?

Getting Over Betrayal. Fiction vs Real Life. Is there a Difference?

First of all, I’m thrilled to be here. Thank you so much, Carrie Ann, for hosting a leg of the “Rachel Dahlrumple” release tour!

And one lucky person who comments will win a custom tote bag or mug  during the tour -- follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking the logo.


Betrayal. What is a story without betrayal in some form, and who can go through life without betraying someone, somewhere along the line? Or having it done to them?
I bet each person you talk to could tell at least five stories of betrayal right off the top of their heads. One would be horrendously hurtful and awful to the teller, the rest varying in degrees of hurt. I know I have one that springs to the top each time I think about it. I also choose to not think about such things very often. For the most part, it’s pointless. The person I’m holding a grudge against would surely tell a different side to the story, and before you know it, old wounds are open and the cold war deepens.
Do I dismiss the memories because I’ve forgiven and forgotten? Well, forgotten, or rather not, is a given. Forgiven, well, that’s trickier.
In fiction, however, if the hero and heroine are to move on and find their Happily Ever After, they must forgive one another. Otherwise, how can they be worthy of true love forever? In order to reach their goal, they must talk, forgive, and the best part, make up. The deeper the hurt, the sweeter the making up.
And isn’t that the reader pay-off? The keeping of the promise made at the beginning of the book? If only real life were so idyllic. However, conflict (i.e. often portrayed by a betrayal) is what kicks up the story, heightens the tension, glues the reader to the book, madly turning pages in their quest to see love triumph over all the tortures the author throws at their characters.
I also admit that torturing my characters is very difficult for me. I’m non-confrontational. (I can hear my crit partners now. They’re laughing their heads off. “What is the conflict? Huh? What is it?”) Conflict makes me squirm. I cringe when writing scenes that drive the hero and heroine apart. It rips my heart out. I’ve been known to cry when writing a particularly heartfelt scene.
In fact, there’s one scene in “Rachel Dahlrumple” where she’s talking with her father. I sobbed when I wrote it, I bawled the first three times I edited it. After that, I steeled my heart and now I can get through it with just a sniffle or two. If you got misty-eyed reading it, send me an email and let me know. I like to hear when scenes work so well it punches you in the gut, either with sorrow, pain, or happiness.
Question time. What I want to know is how you’ve dealt with betrayal, either in real life or fiction. How high do you like your tension? Have you witnessed something so strong it sticks in your memory? Now if we can have a discussion without getting all deep and angsty, I’ll be thrilled. What’s the deepest betrayal you can think of? Lover to lover? Friend to friend? Or between family members? Who do you trust and love more?

Shea McMaster
Traditional Romance for Modern Women

A Novel of Romantic Suspense. 
Her husband's death is just the beginning of her marital woes.

Also Available From Shea

Author Bio:

The softer, sweeter side of Morgan O’Reilly, Shea McMaster lives for traditional romance.

Born in New Orleans, raised in California, Shea/Morgan got moved to Alaska in 1977, where she attended high school before running back to California for college. Alas, once back home she met and fell in love with her own forever true hero, a born and raised Alaska man. Since then she’s had a love-hate relationship with America’s largest state.

With her one and only son half way through college, and mostly out of the house, Shea is fortunate to spend her days engaged in daydreaming and turning those dreams into romantic novels and novellas featuring damsels in distress rescued by their own brains and hunky heroes.


Her husband's death is just the beginning of her marital woes. 

Rachel's humiliation over the discovery of her late husband's affairs turns to fear when one of his mistresses sends her a poisoned bouquet. But finding the source of the killer flowers is only one step on her path to solving the mystery her husband left behind. 

Deputy Dan Weston is with Rachel when the bouquet arrives, and he's at her side as she deals with so many of the secrets that come to light after her husband's death. Dan has carried a torch for Rachel since puberty and he's not going to let her dead husband's vindictive girlfriends or his psychotic mother come between them now. But that means finding out who is sending snakes and poisoned posies before one kills Rachel.  


Deputy Dan inhaled and cleared his throat. “Rachel… Your husband…Burt is… dead.”

“Oh.” Staring at Dan, I blinked. I sensed more than heard Cyndi speaking, as her hands clutched mine. I couldn’t hear over the bells of Notre Dame roaring in my ears, as if I stood in the belfry with a dozen different bells of all sizes swinging chaotically. No tune, just great ponderous, vibrating booms and spastic little tinkles filling in the spaces. I almost put my hands over my ears to block out the sound, only nothing could ever be loud enough to drown out just one thought.

Burt’s dead.

Burt. Dead.

Damn. I didn’t get to kick his ass out. I’d’ve killed him for that if I could.

Wait. He was already dead.



I inhaled deeply as I searched for something to say. “Well then, there are plans to adjust…”

“Rachel, you need to know…to understand…” Pity filled Dan’s eyes. Cyndi shoved a tissue wad into my hand, then used another to dab at her eyes.

“I understand,” I said. “He’s not coming home. I get it. That’s fine. The party can still go on. It’s not like he does much to help out.”

And one lucky person who comments will win a custom tote bag or mug  during the tour -- follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking the logo.


  1. Good morning Carrie Ann and anyone stirring about! I'm happy to be here and want to thank my hostess for having me.

    I'll be in and out all day. Have some NaNo writing to do, a car to run by the shop and a few other little errands, but I'm waiting until the temperature rises into the 20's.

    Have questions? Comments? I'm happy to chat!


  2. the book sounds really interesting and I like the cover!!

  3. Thanks for dropping in, BlackWolf. And I can say, in all honesty, in my opinion of course, this is one of the best I've ever written. It's a wonderful book! Take my word for it! LOL.

    Seriously, I've had great feedback so far and would love to hear more. Stick around, we may get some comments.


  4. All I can say is I can't wait for my next set off days off so I can snuggle on the couch with this book and get lost in Shea's wonderful story :)

  5. Thank you so much Shea for coming to the blog and answering questions!

  6. I can say for a fact, too, that readers will definitely get lost in this book--it's not a sugary, breezy read but the characters will grab them and stay with them. Congratulations, Shea. Hugs to you! Everyone else: try the book--you'll be glad you did.

  7. This one sounds intense and close to my reading edge. I like it! Personally, I don't think any one layer of betrayal is worse than another, and it can only be defined by the people involved. The greater the trust between the two ~ be they lovers or friends or family ~ the greater the level of hurt.

  8. Where do blog mates fit into the betrayal thingie? Because, I have this blog mate who stole my muse to write that blog. Just kidding, but could you return her. I have a book to finish.

  9. Hello again! First I took a nap, and then came back to my router and modem fighting for supremacy. They seem to be in accord once again. Good thing, I was getting ready to slap them both ;) I think one of them betrayed me...

    Carrie Ann, Liz and Pauline, thanks for dropping by! It means the world to me.

  10. Ah, Jmo, I didn't steal her! She just came to visit. Already making the return trip.

    You'll be pounding on those keys once more very soon.

  11. Once again, many thanks to Carrie Ann for hosting.

    Tomorrow I'm at Romance In The Backseat ( where I hope you'll join me again!

    Have a great night, everyone!

  12. Betrayal can lead you somewhere dark & foreboding that's for sure. If you allow it to.

    Great post.


  13. Please enter me in this contest. Thank you.

  14. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. I hope you'll drop in another day along the blog tour. Be sure to leave me your email address at the same time.


  15. This sounds like a really good book! Dan sounds like a great hero and a Hottie! Thank you for coming and visiting with Carrie at her blog

  16. Thanks for stopping in Leslie. And Dan, yeah, he's a hottie all right. Whew! One of my favorite heroes. Oh, well, I guess that's kind of hard to say, every hero I write is my favorite! Still, each one does hold his own special place in my heart for all time.

    Hope you keep following the tour :) If you win the drawing I'll need your email addy.

  17. Shea, you are a new author to me, but I found your post very meaningful and your book sounds good too. You really hit the nail on the head. Yes, betrayal is a mega conflict creator and painful to write/relive. I still haven't totally forgiven the boy in middle school who asked me to be his girlfriend--I was proud cause he was kewl--then acted like he didn't know anything about it and I saw him laughing at me with his friends.

  18. This book really rocked! I so want a Deputy Dan in my life! Molly(at)reviewsbymolly(dot)com