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Tag Archives: Lady Dearing’s Masquerade

One of the do’s and don’ts I’ve sometimes heard at romance writers’ conferences is to avoid social and political issues (“no saving the whales”). I understand the reasoning. Authors and publishers don’t want to alienate potential readers with controversial issues. And in a romance, the love story should be central.

On the other hand, if we write about characters who are interesting and well-rounded, their views and passions are going to creep into the story, and sometimes that includes social issues.

In coming up with the idea for LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, I started with the heroine, Livvy. She appeared briefly in a novella I’d written earlier, so I knew she was a childless, wealthy widow with a bad reputation and no desire to remarry. But when I started to think about her, I learned that she really wanted children. So it was natural for her to become involved with London’s Foundling Hospital.

The Foundling Hospital was founded in 1739 by Thomas Coram, who was appalled by the plight of abandoned children in London. The Hospital raised the children, provided a basic education and helped them find jobs. (Today, the Coram foundation continues to serve vulnerable children.) The Hospital took in foundlings but also had days during which mothers brought babies to the Hospital, generally because they could not afford to care for them. As there were always more babies than the Hospital could take in, admission was by lottery. The mothers who “won” cried as bitterly as those who “lost”. As a mother, I choke up whenever I think of this. Tokens (trinkets or scraps of fabric) were left with the children to aid in identification. Sometimes, though not often, parents were able to reclaim their children.

Strange as it may seem, the Foundling Hospital was controversial. Some people of the upper classes said it was immoral to succor children who were likely to have been born out of wedlock. I find this ironic, because many of the mothers bringing babies to the Hospital were servants who’d been impregnated by “gentlemen” of the households in which they served and in consequence, either lost their jobs or were in danger of losing their jobs.

While I was writing this book, I worried about the mix of elements. Could a story deal with such weighty issues and still be romantic and sexy? But in the end, I think I pulled it off, and I’m happy to be giving the story a new life in e-book form.

What do you think about social issues in romance novels? Should authors avoid them, or are there ways to make it work? Do you have any favorite romance novels that feature characters who feel passionately about some cause?

From comments on this post, I’ll draw five names to receive a Kindle edition of LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE. If you win, you can also suggest a friend who will receive one as well. You can comment through Friday (one entry per person) and I’ll announce the winners next Saturday.


Sorry I haven’t been around much the past week or so. My excuse is I’ve been busy with some exciting projects and I’ll do better now that I’m past the hump!

I finished formatting the e-book version of LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE. It took longer than I expected, but now that I have a detailed cheat sheet it should be much easier for my other backlist books.

Anyway, LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE is now available for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords!

I also just did some major renovation on my author website at I’ve made it more elegant (IMHO) and I also cleaned up the HTML so it is no longer “deprecated.” If you do not know what it means for HTML to be deprecated, don’t worry. I barely know either!

I’ve also brought myself into the current century by getting myself a Facebook Page, which also was more complicated than I expected. Maybe I should’ve gotten a teenager to help me! If you get a chance, please stop by and visit.

Have you risen to any recent challenges, technical or otherwise?

And look to a contest next Saturday, once I figure out how to do that with e-books. Right now I need to go find some celebratory chocolate. 🙂


I just got this new cover art from Hot Damn Designs and I couldn’t be more happy!

Thank you all for helping me brainstorm cover ideas and titles. Based on your inputs, I decided to leave the original title. The last thing I want to do is look like I’m trying to sucker readers into buying the same book twice.

Since the cover artist was so quick, I’m going to scramble to get the formatting done so I can start publishing on Kindle, Nook, etc…

I also want to update my website and consider other ways to possibly increase my online presence. I enjoy blogging and would love to get back to visiting more blogs than our own! So far I haven’t done an author page on Facebook and I am clueless about Twitter, but these are things I’m looking into as well.

I often find out about new authors by word of mouth. I’m lucky enough to have friends with similar enough taste to mine that I’ll always enjoy their recommendations. The nice thing about word of mouth is it’s based on writing a good book, which is something I’m already trying to do. Preserving the writing time is very, very important to me.

But I also think one may have to do some things to get that word of mouth going, though I’m not sure what they are.

What do you think? Since you are here, I’ll assume you enjoy blogs. Are there other ways you find new (to you) authors? I’ve heard Facebook may be declining; do you think it’s dead or just leveled out? How about Twitter?


A few weeks ago, we talked about new covers for electronically reissued Regencies. In a private chat with my local writer buddies, one of them suggested I also consider changing titles.

I’ve always thought of LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE more as a Regency historical than a traditional Regency, both because of its length (90,000 words versus the 75,000 my traditional Regencies usually ran) and because it takes the heat up a notch from my earlier books.

So I’m brainstorming ideas for a new title that sounds a bit less like a traditional Regency. I’d love to hear your suggestions. I can’t guarantee that I’ll use any of them, but I will send a copy of the paperback version of this book to a commenter chosen at random.

Comment all week long, and I’ll pick a winner next Saturday.

To stimulate your creativity, here’s the back cover blurb:

Hearts in Hiding

She became the ton’s most notorious widow after kissing a costumed stranger at a masquerade. Her reputation was destroyed overnight in a swirl of spiteful rumor. Shunned by polite society and unable to forget years of a desperately unhappy marriage, Olivia, Lady Dearing now hides her heart where no man will ever find it. Though she fills her life with children she has taken in from London’s Foundling Hospital, a stranger’s seductive voice haunts her dreams.

He has given up hope of ever finding her, but two years later, the empty place in his heart still aches for the beauty he kissed at the masquerade. Sir Jeremy Fairhill, a widower with painful secrets of his own, devotes himself to the cause of the Foundling Hospital. When he learns that an infamous widow has taken some of the children into her own home, duty alone compels him to investigate. But passion will soon engulf them both, leading to a disastrous scandal—or love.

Comment away! Funny as well as serious ideas welcome.


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