Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


My guest today is vivacious Jannine Gallant, a fellow Rose with a novella scheduled for the Honky Tonk Hearts series, of which I'm a contributing author. Jannine is also an important part of the international blog, Roses of Prose, of which I'm honored to contribute to twice a month. So you see we run into each other online quite often.

Jannine has had a lifetime love affair with the outdoors. She grew up in a tiny town in Northern California, where kids swam in the river, ran wild in the woods, and rode their bikes everywhere they wanted to go. Now she lives in Tahoe City with her husband, two daughters, and dog, Ginger. When she’s not busy writing or being a full time mom, she enjoys taking Ginger for hikes in the woods around her home.

Whether she’s writing romantic suspense, contemporary, or historical romance, she tries to bring her beloved beauty of nature into her stories.

Weather as a Plot Device

I’d like to thank my friend, Vonnie, for having me on her beautiful blog today to promote my new release, Bittersweet. But first, let’s talk weather. It affects all of us, whether we’re basking in the sun and enjoying a beautiful day, or swearing at the three feet of snow in the driveway that has to be shoveled before we can get our kids to school. We all love to talk about it, predict it, watch it on the weather channel… But I digress. How do we use weather in our writing?

Hollywood has certainly capitalized on its impact over the years. The Perfect Storm wouldn’t have been much of a box office hit on a cloudless day. As for Twister —enough said! But weather also creates atmosphere.

Fargo is a good example, all that snow building tension… And how about Michael Douglass, stuck in a car with faulty air conditioning in the middle of a traffic jam in a heat wave. Is it any wonder he snapped in Falling Down?

Weather may trigger the entire plot of the book. Vonnie and I, along with our fellow Roses of Prose, co-wrote a novella called A Holiday to Remember about two people stuck together in a freak snowstorm. Or, weather can be used at key turning points, to create a situation. In Bittersweet, my heroine, Tess’s house is flooded by the rising creek in a rainstorm, forcing her to seek temporary shelter with the hero, Daniel. Okay, big deal, you say. But, a thunderstorm wakes them in the night, and Tess and Daniel see each other in a different light. It may have something to do with their skimpy attire at the time… LOL Later in the book, a drought threatens their corn crop, forcing them to work together to save it. Another turning point in the book.

So, if you’re an author, let’s hear how you’ve used weather in your books. If you’re a reader, tell us some of your favorite weather inspired scenes. Enquiring minds…

Eight months after her husband is killed in a train robbery, Tess Moran knows she must pick up the pieces of her shattered life and build a future for herself and her infant daughter. Daniel Moran’s love for Tess is bittersweet. Acting on his feelings for his sister-in-law will betray his dead brother’s memory. Watching her search for love elsewhere may very well destroy him.
In 1880, life in rural Colorado is filled with hard work and simple pleasures, but trouble looms on the horizon. Together Tess and Daniel battle drought and the outlaw who killed the man they both loved, but the greatest challenge of all is finding solace for their battered hearts.

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Meggan Connors said...

Great post, Jannine, and the book sounds great (I'm a sucker for a good Victorian-era historical).

I'll definitely be looking for it!

Lynda Bailey said...

Wonderful post, Jannine!

I agree that weather is a great tool to use in our writing.

In my contemporary romance, thunderstorms play an important role because my heroine's terribly afraid of the crashing noise; it reminds her of a tragic, childhood accident when her little brother was killed.

Bittersweet sounds like an awesome read. And I love the title!

Jannine Gallant said...

Thanks for visiting, ladies.

I do love this era, Meggan. Something about the empty landscape not yet cluttered up with people appeals to me.

Lynda, my characters share their first kiss because of a thunderstorm. All that electricity in the air...

Alison H. said...

Weather plays such an important role in our daily lives, yet I'm afraid I forget to make the most of it in my stories. I pay lots of attention to the setting but not enough to the weather. I henceforth resolve to do better! I'm really looking forward to reading Bittersweet!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Jannine (and Vonnie),

Another interesting post. Bittersweet is definitely on my TBR list.

You did ask about weather in our books. In Glad Tidings, my first book for the Class of '85 series of Wild Rose Press, I used an unseasonably brutal winter, beginning in October, sort of as a character. Especially when two orphans are lost in a climaxing storm.

And BTW ladies, I read and thoroughly enjoyed A Holiday to Remember!

Regina Duke said...

Hey, Jannine, great blog! Your book sounds terrific! I'd better put it on my "MUST READ" list.

As for weather, in our books or out, stay warm up there in the mountains!

Jannine Gallant said...

Alison, I'll look for a major weather related incident in your next book! LOL

Margo, brutal cold is always a great way to amp up the tension. I know my mood is not improved after dealing with a few feet of snow!

Regina, it's hard not to stay warm. 55 degrees in February, seriously?

Ramona Butler said...

I've been working -- forever -- on a story in which the opening scene takes place on a flooded highway in normally dry Nevada. Hmmm, might be time to get back to it. Thanks for the reminder.

Darcy Lundeen said...

Very interesting, Jannine. I guess until reading your post I never really thought of weather being almost like another character in a book. In my work, which is basically contemporary romance, I have used a rain storm when I needed the hero and heroine's car to crash into a ditch as they were escaping from the bag guys, but weather isn't something I've probably taken full advantage of. So thanks for giving me a new way of looking at things.

Jannine Gallant said...

Glad I gave you something new to think about, Darcy!

Ramona, I wrote a novella with a rainstorm scene that causes a crash. It was a great scene, if I do say so myself! LOL

Vonnie Davis said...

Jannine, I've been in my writing cave all day. I'm glad to see you've had lots of visitors to read your post. Thanks all of you for stopping by today.

Jannine Gallant said...

Thanks so much for having me, Vonnie. I loved chatting with everyone.