Do you need a Book of Answers?

by Juliana Ross, author of Improper Proposals (Carina Press)

In my novella Improper Proposals, the heroine decides to write a household manual as a means of enlightening young wives about their household chores and duties. Instead, she is persuaded by her oh-so-sexy publisher to write a manual that will help women achieve and maintain sexual intimacy with their husbands. In effect, she writes a Joy of Sex for Victorians.

If we fast-forward through the 20th century and land in the second decade of the 21st, it’s clear that a lot has changed. Need advice on a subject? Any subject? It’s an Internet search away.

Now, I may be alone in thinking this, but I have to say that I find the very abundance of advice somewhat overwhelming at times. A generation ago, if my mother wished to make French onion soup, she simply opened her copy of The Art of French Cooking and got on with it. Today, I type “recipe for French onion soup” into a search engine and am rewarded with tens of thousands of results. How do I even begin to decide on which recipe to make?

It’s the same with everything – parenting, health questions (oh, the rabbit holes I’ve fallen down), home renovations, pet care…my head spins just thinking about it. And that’s why I need someone to write the Book of Answers for me.

I know, I know – people have being doing this for years, and doing it well, if not as comprehensively as I might like. And don’t get me wrong – I have a stack of magazines by a certain Lifestyle Guru that’s taller than my nine-year-old. The difficulty is that I am, ahem, not as wealthy as you-know-who, nor do I have her ungodly personal drive or limitless stores of energy. (Am I the only person who wonders if she ever sleeps?)

The Book of Answers I have in mind will likely be a big book. It has to be, since I have a lot of questions that need answering. They include:

– is there a way to clean 10,000 pieces of Lego off a playroom floor without simply vacuuming them up?

– if it’s nearly six o’clock, all the meat in your house is frozen solid, and the kids are begging to be fed, is instant macaroni and cheese the only answer?

– is it possible to get gum out of a dog’s fur using children’s craft scissors (because the kids ran off with your good sewing scissors that they are never supposed to touch) and are you likely to be bitten as you attempt to de-gum the dog?

– is there any way to regain a sense of intimacy with your husband when your youngest child bounces into your bedroom at the dot of eleven every night? Does this require a trip to an adults-only resort in the Caribbean or is a lock on the bedroom door enough?

I can’t be the only woman out there who is desperate for a Book of Answers, so tell me: if you could wish for the ultimate self-help guide, what would it be about? Or does it exist already? If so, please let me know – in the meantime I’ll be cutting gum out of the dog’s fur with a pair of pink plastic scissors.

About Improper Proposals:

improper-proposalsBerkshire, 1870

Newly widowed, Caroline Boothroyd passes her days writing a guide for young wives daunted by their housewifely duties. She takes it to publisher Thomas Cathcart-Ross, who makes the outrageous suggestion that Caroline should instead tackle the subject of marital relations–and, even more shocking, that she should tell women that sex with their husbands can be pleasurable and not a shameful necessity.

Tom’s sisters were sent into marriage naive and unworldly. He’s willing to risk scandal to help women like them, and Caroline’s writing talent provides the means. Remembering her own newlywed nerves, she agrees, despite fears for her reputation.

As Caroline thinks back on her own sexual awakening, she cannot help imagining a sensual future with her compelling publisher. Tom makes her want to write a second chapter of her sexual life. But lust could lead to love, and Caroline never wishes to feel heartbreak again.

For more improper lords and ladies, look for Improper Relations and Improper Arrangements!

 

improper-relations

Improper Relations (Book 1 in The Improper Series) is FREE until March 22nd. Click here to find out more!

 

 

 

 

Related Posts
Leave a reply