Rolling in the Hay: Guest Post by Tera Shanley

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From time to time, usually during tedious hours of research, I’ve been known to ask myself why are you writing historical western romance novels, self?!

They are hard to write. Medicine at the turn of the century is basically a joke, bathing only happened every once in a while, parasites, bad haircuts, worse facial hair, sweat stains, cow poop, snakes, bears and any assortment of animals that want to eat you in your sleep, uncomfortable dresses, no air conditioning, and hours upon hours spent in the kitchen making every single thing you put into your mouth from scratch.

But, for some reason, I’ve always seen the romance in this way of life. Strip a couple down and put them in each other’s path and watch the fireworks as they live and love like there is no tomorrow, because there might not be.

I love a healthy dollop of sexual tension in a story, and some of my favorite books are centered around a marriage of convenience. Outlander, for example, follows Claire’s fall through time and marriage to Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser. It wasn’t love at first, but oh that journey to get them there pulls at my heartstrings. Modern time convenient marriages just don’t happen as often these days. It’s not part of our culture anymore and those traditions have long since passed, so if you want to revisit them, your best bet is by reading or writing historical romance novels.

I’m enthralled with stories about strangers being thrust into this commitment, no matter their reasons, and having to get to know each other slowly. I love reading and writing how each couple of characters handles a marriage of convenience. Do they wait to consummate, or jump under the covers and get business done? Many factors go into the characters’ decisions about intimacy, such as personality, immediate chemistry, and storyline obstacles. Of course, in real life, many of these marriages wouldn’t work out with happy endings, but historical romance writers seem to get their brains on the best love stories.

The phrase Rolling in the Hay is a sexual innuendo that came from the good ol’ days, where if farm girls and boys wanted to fool around, they took it to the barn, well away from small cabins housing protective shotgun wielding fathers and brothers. Marriage of convenience meets rolling in the hay, and my favorite type of historic western is born.

There is something so satisfying about following an emotional story, filled with highs and lows, triumphs and set-backs, to get to the bedroom (or the barn) and finally, finally, the hero and heroine have this amazing love scene they’ve worked the entire story for.

So there it is. There is the reason I’m so attracted to reading and writing historic western romance. I’ll deal with all of the grit that came with turn of the century cattle ranching, because I love writing love stories that shouldn’t work, but do against all odds.

For an excerpt of An Unwilling Husband, Tera Shanley’s newly released Historic Western Romance novel (Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington Press), please click here:

About Tera Shanley

Tera ShanleyTera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love!

A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her work, visit