Saturday, April 9, 2011

Welcome to Josh Tremino

Please welcome Josh Tremino who talks today about Love and the Ultimate Sacrifice.

Last week, I saw Tangled for the first time. This was a great little movie complete with a blond princess, amusing animals, and a clever romance. But after I left the theatre, one moment in particular keeps resonating in my chest. This movie illustrated my favorite part of romance, the most profound and meaningful part of any relationship: sacrifice.

Spoilers: I’m about to give away the ending to this movie.

At the end of this movie, Flynn Rider is about to die. As he clutches his fatal wound, he listens to Repunzel as she tries to get her captor to let her heal him. If she does, she will lose her freedom.

After a few tense moments, Repunzel is allowed to go to him. She will give up everything for him. She will spend her life in captivity to save this boy.

I find this moment intense and fascinating. So much of romance is about sacrifice. In the smallest sense, it’s letting the guy or girl you love pick where you’ll go to dinner. Or maybe it’s about taking on an extra shift so you can get her something nice for her birthday.

If you want to go more epic, sacrifice is the moment when one character will give up what she wants most to save the a loved one. In Tangled, our princess hero craves her freedom, but she’ll give it up for the boy she loves. She goes to him, ready to sacrifice everything until he slashes away her hair, removing her magic and condemning him to death.

She will give up everything for him; he’ll give up everything for her. It’s beautiful, it’s wonderful, and it’s painful because this is love.

In our culture and life in general, love gets messed up with a bunch of other concepts. Love might get confused with friendship or sex. Love might be about meeting someone else’s expectations. But throw in some sacrifice, and it gets simple pretty quickly.

Are you willing to suffer or die? This combination simplifies the questions of romantic love. These people care about one another in a meaningful, fundamental, and nearly primordial way.

The same question of sacrifice arises in both of my upcoming novels. In Poisoned Star, Treya ultimately has to choose between her life and the boy she’s come to love. She knows that defying her masters will result in her death. For her, there is no question. There is no hope, so her decision nearly impossible.

Nick, the main character from Angels in Disguise, puts himself in the position where he will die for the woman he loves. He is part-demon and an angel’s light will kill him, but he exposes himself anyway because he must if he wants to save Jenny.

Love and the ultimate sacrifice, together they simplify a lot of questions whether it’s in one of my paranormal romances or an awesome Disney movie like Tangled.

Many thanks for being with us today, Josh.   We wish you every success with your forthcoming releases.
Visit Josh at his website:


  1. I couldn't agree more, Josh! Sacrifice is the ultimate expression of selfless love. It is a tenet of both great and misguided religions, a theme regularly woven into myths and legends and fairy tales. Kudos to you for writing so deeply!

  2. Hi Josh,

    Thanks for joining us today! And with a great post. Romance is all about the sacrifice of one's self for another...even if it's in a small way. Each character must give up something of his/herself in order to find happiness and love with the other. In our HEA worlds, the ultimate sacrifice of life for another doesn't occur.

  3. Hi Josh,

    A little sacrifice in a novel can take a reader so much deeper into the minds of the MCs, and I'm not averse to the odd death link here and there.

    I'm sick of straight boy-meets-girl plots. Inevitable internal conflict. Outside influence to stir things up or keep them apart. Then lo and behold, ubiquitous miracle: it was all a mistake due to misunderstanding and love always triumphs.

    Well, yeah, it can (should) happen like that in a category romance, and I'm as guilty as the next romance writer for following the given romantic formula. That said, on the edge plots, risque scenarios, and MCs that seem to have not a cat-chance in Hell of getting it together gets my vote. Writing out of the box is tough, and not all editors are willing to go beyond the bounds of familiarity and voice of given format. Any romance author who can shock me, make me stop and think, take me really deep into at least one MC psyche, and bring tears to my eyes because of it, they have a winning formula that I'd kill to attain. ;)