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Most of you who follow this blog probably know that Megan Frampton is fun and quirky, has excellent sartorial taste, and mostly wears black (presuming that those last two are not mutually exclusive).  You have probably read some of her writing but, unless you’ve read it all, you don’t know the breadth of her talent.  So, today, I’m going to give you a little taste.

Those of you who have been following Megan for a while, probably remember A Singular Lady, her maiden publication, a trad Regency from Signet in 2005 (right before Signet stopped publishing Trads).  This is Megan’s trad voice: a bit formal with an undertone of humor, something you would definitely recognize as “Regency.”

Caldwell-Vanity-Fare250x375If you’re new to Megan, you might not know that she also writes women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell.  Her first book, Vanity Fare, was published by William Morrow late last year.  The Amazon description of Vanity Fare calls it “a charming tale of food, family, literature, and romance in which a 40-year-old newly single Brooklyn mother embarks on a culinary writing career and finds herself at the center of a deliciously tempting love triangle.”  And so it is.  This fun book showcases Megan’s sharp, snarky, engaging contemporary voice. This voice is highlighted in the interstitial material (a specialty of Megan’s) in which the heroine writes copy for a new bakery across from the New York Public Library, using literary references.  Each chapter is headed by a bakery item such as sourdough bread called Middlestarch, The Bun Also Rises, Dorothy Parker House Rolls, Lord of the Tea Rings, Tender is the Bite, and more.  This easy way with puns becomes lighter and easier in the body of the book:

If he were a baked good, he’d be Irish soda bread.  Not that I knew he was Irish; but I imagined he’d be delicious, filling, and packed with a few surprises.  In the bread’s case, it was raisins, and I wondered what his would be: a shoe fetishist? Nah, he’d probably dismiss something like that as foolishness.  A closest reader? Ditto.

An incredible lover?  Now that I could see.  He’d be thoughtful, unselfish, and get the job done — and done well — in as businesslike manner as possible.

hero-of-my-heart-by-megan-fBut, if you’re at this blog, you’re probably interested in Megan’s Regencies.  Let’s start with Hero of My Heart, published by Loveswept in April of this year.

Hero of My Heart is is the story of a drug-addicted marquess and a vicar’s daughter who is being sold on the block by her no-good stepbrother. Our marquess steps in, buys the girl, and decides to save her by marrying her.

 If he could just get her to Scotland, just get her to shut up for long enough to realize he was doing this for her own good, for her ultimate survival, it would be fine.  He could ensure her safety, give her all his unentailed funds and property, and then disappear.  It would be a final act of contrition to atone for all that he had done.

In this book, Megan serves up a well-written, Regency road story with a side of angst.  Her voice is elegant and true to the period and, occasionally, we see a little hint of the irreverent contemporary author.

baring-it-allBut, if you’re longing for a Regency story with a bit more of Megan’s quirky voice, I have a treat for you.  In Baring it All, a Loveswept Historical short story just out this week and What Not to Bare, a full-length historical romance from Loveswept, out in October of 2013, you will find a delightful combination of well-researched Regency Historical, with the lighter voice of Megan’s contemporary novels.  No, it’s not first person and no, it doesn’t sound contemporary, but you can forget about the angst and enjoy Megan’s wonderful humor.

Baring it All is the story of a couple who have entered into an arranged betrothal.  The heroine is in love with the clueless hero.  The hero is… clueless.

She could almost hear the conversation: his father pronouncing at the breakfast table, “Son, you have to be married sometime, and it might as well be someone you know.  Lady Violet is an excellent choice.”

To which Christian probably mumbled through his toast, “Fine, excellent.  Can you pass me that notebook?  I think I’ve discovered a shortcut for Pythagoras’s tetractys. Oh, and I’ll take care of that other thing next week. ”  That “other thing” being asking Violet to marry him.

See? A felicitous combination of a solid grounding in the period with Megan’s witty voice.  This, and What Not to Bare are a new voice for Megan that I think you’re going to love.

At, first, this week’s assignment confused me. Were we supposed to write about what we’re actually reading this summer, or what we woud take with us to our mythical private Risky Regency Beach. (Oooh, I bet that would be a fab place. Piles of books everywhere, buckets of champagne, trays of strawberry-dipped chocolates and mangoes. Cabana boys named Clive and Gerard and Orlando and Sean…)

Ahem. I digress. Okay, so I turned this into a two-section thing: what I am reading right now, this week, for my summer enjoyment, and what I would put in my bag to take to our lovely RR beach. And let Orlando read to me while he feeds me grapes…

Books I am Currently Reading: (and these could go to the beach, too–I’m certainly not averse to hauling a massive hardback biography across the sands if I have to!)

1) Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder by Mary S. Lovell, who also wrote the riveting book The Sisters about the wildly eccentric Mitford sisters. Actually, these could be companion studies of dysfunctional families through the ages! Bess was born into the “upper middle classes” of Tudor England, but rose, though 4 advantageous marriages and much wheeler-dealering to be the second most wealthy woman in England after the Queen. She built several grand properties, including most famously “Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall.” She was close to Elizabeth and her leading courtiers, and had much to do with Mary Queen of Scots (her fourth husband was Mary’s main jailer, a source of high tension and stress that eventually drove their marriage into acrimony and separation). The book is full of wild family squabbles, spectacular marital spats, and an intriguingly wide view of Tudor society. I love it, and will probably read Arbella: England’s Lost Queen when I finish (Arbella, the ultimate rebellious teenager, was Bess’ granddaughter and a serious claimant to the throne).

2) The other book I’m reading is Julia Childs memoir My Life in France. In 1949, she married and moved to France with her diplomatic service husband, thus having the chance to experience the glories of French food for the first time. She attended the Cordon Bleu, started working on a cookbook with some friends, and the rest is history. Gorgeous meals, beautiful scenery, the general joie de vivre of France–it’s delightful. I would have so loved to party with her and her husband!

And now, what I would pack in my beach bag (paperbacks, so a little lighter than the two above!)
A Singular Lady by Megan Frampton (the blue cover would go so well with the sea, and the chick lit at Almacks tone is perfect for a vacation)
Code of Love by Cheryl Sawyer (because it looks interesting–I’m a sucker for intellectual skullduggery like code-breaking)
Runaway Duke by Julie Anne Long (because I’m also a sucker for dukes who don’t wanna be dukes–like they have a choice, poor things. Snort. And because I enjoyed her first book)
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray (the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty, which I just finished and loved. Historical paranormal YA, where the fate of the world and the Realms rests on the shoulders of a gaggle of Victorian 16-year-olds. Loved it!)

And that’s it, my vacation book list. Until I start adding to it. And BTW, the pic is one of the very few you will ever find of me in a swimsuit. Someone snuck up on me as I was reading on the hotel lanai in Hawaii. The last bikini pic of me was when I was 3 and had a flashy gold lame creation to wear in my wading pool… 🙂

Even though I have been a voracious reader for eons (I’m older than I look), I never dreamed of becoming a writer. Now I can’t imagine NOT being a writer, even if I only ever publish one book.

That book, A Singular Lady, was also the first book I ever wrote (I know, I was exceedingly lucky to get it published).

So since then I’ve been trying to learn how to:

a. write faster.
b. write better.
c. write better, faster, more-plotted books.

The results? Not bad, although the ultimate affirmation–a second offer of publication–hasn’t happened yet. But meanwhile, here are my Wondrous Works In Progress:

After A Singular Lady, I wrote Mothering Heights, a mom-lit contemporary. It tells the story of a Brooklyn mom (like me) with a son (ditto) whose husband leaves her penniless, health-insurance-less, and alone (not like me, although the Sensitive Husband has problems reading the story because of the similarities). That is finished, and is in the hands of an editor, who is considering it. Word on the street is that she really likes it, but has concerns about its needs for some editorial revision (did I mention a plot is not my strong suit?). The best thing that happens is that I get an offer for it, but it needs revision; the second-best is that they reject it, but say if I revise, I can resubmit; the worst, natch, is that it gets rejected outright. But no matter what happens with it, I don’t regret writing it a bit, since it was in a new genre and in a new POV (first-person).

I’m also in the process of revising a Regency-set historical titled Lessons In Love, about a Greek-English widow who discovers she was never really married, and who is forced into a situation she does not want in order to survive. The hero is a wealthy bastard–literally, an illegitimate man whose wealth and good looks have given him entre into society. And there are some lessons. And some love. Once I am happy with the revision, I will pass it along to my agent, who will try to work her magic on it, and get it sold.

My next project will be a much darker Regency-set historical involving opium addiction, virgin auctions, vicar’s daughters, and thinking that you kill everyone you’ve ever loved. Oh, and hero looks a lot like my constant and ongoing obsession, Clive Owen (otherwise known as Mr. Broody).

So that’s it for me–thanks for the opportunity to talk about myself, because goodness knows, I don’t do that enough.


I am thrilled to show the cover for my April 2013 Loveswept release, Hero of My Heart. And here is what it’s all about, too. I’m psyched, I love these colors, and Mr. No Shirt isn’t bad, either.

When Mary Smith’s corrupt, debt-ridden brother drags her to a seedy pub to sell her virtue to the highest bidder, Alasdair Thornham leaps to the rescue. Of course the marquess is far from perfect husband material: Alasdair is too fond of opium, and prefers delirium to reality. Still, Alasdair has come to her aid, and now she intends to return the favor. She will show him that he is not evil, just troubled—and exceedingly handsome, with his perfect, strong body, chiseled jaw, and piercing green eyes.

Mary was a damsel in need of a hero, but Alasdair’s plan is shortsighted. He never foresaw her desire to save him from himself. Alasdair is quite at home in his private torment, until this angel proves that a heart still beats in his broken soul. The devil may have kept her from hell, but will Mary’s good intentions lead them back to the brink—or to heaven in each other’s arms?


This week has been nutty: On Monday, I turned in copy edits on Vanity Fare, my romantic women’s fiction title. Tuesday I got edits for an essay I wrote for the forthcoming non-fiction title, Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades. Tuesday I also began to rewrite the ending of Hero of My Heart, the Regency-set historical. Wednesday I turned in edits for the essay. Thursday I turned in the revision for Hero of My Heart.

And today, I begin another project.

Meanwhile, here’s a snippet from Hero of My Heart:

Mary watched his face, her eyes traveling from the rumpled hair to the strong brows, the commanding nose, and his full, sensual mouth. All that and a Marquess, too.

 No wonder he was accustomed to getting his way—people probably just sensed his autocratic authority and did whatever he wanted them to.

And she was no different. She reached out and touched his hair, pushing the long, disheveled strands behind his ear. His scent tickled her nose, and she sniffed, leaning in a little closer to him, inhaling the mingled odors of leather, sweat, and musk.

He gave a crooked smile in his sleep, and gathered her closer still.

Mary gave a gasp of surprise when he opened his eyes suddenly. The green depths were just inches away from her face, surrounded by long, black lashes. Many women would have given their left arm to have eyelashes like that. “You’re beautiful,” he murmured, moving forward to kiss her on her jaw line. She closed her eyes for a moment.

PS: The song captures the poignancy of the black moment in Hero of My Heart. I make a playlist for each book, and this is the pivotal song from this playlist.

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