• Risky Regencies

    Novellas and Other Short Things

    I’ve been putting together another release (I know, it feels like a flood), so I thought I’d talk for a moment about short fiction. Shorts are very popular right now, and while many think it’s because they’re faster to write, honestly, a good novella or short story can take a really long time to produce. A friend who can write a hundred thousand word novel in six weeks once complained that it took her twice that long to write a novella.

    Cover by Jessica T. Cohen

    I have a short that I wrote years ago for Arabella Magazine (anyone else remember that short-lived publication?) They published one original piece every month, and the novelette I wrote for them was the first thing I ever sold. When they folded before it came out, I was crushed. But then Kindle Shorts was a thing, and I thought I could get into that. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but it didn’t work out.

    So I stil have this little novelette (shorter than a novella, longer than a short story)…I put it up on my website as a freebie. I have no idea how many people ever read it. But it seemed reasonable to put it out now that I’m self publishing and shorts are popular and accepted.

    I also have an honest-to-god short story laying around. It was written for a Christmas blogathon based on the Twelve Days of Christmas (I got Three French Hens). It’s long since disappeared from the web, and it’s fun, so I added it in as a bonus.

    It should be up for pre-sale any minute now…when Amazon gets the link up, I’ll come back and add it. And it’s a pre-SALE. 99-cents and then it goes up to $2.99.

    TEMPTATION INCARNATE (sale is live!)

    A beautiful viscount falls for his best-friend’s mannish sister. Yes, it’s classic me.

    An impossible challenge … Eleanor Blakely is all too aware that her reputation dangles by a very slender thread, unfortunately, she’s found herself in the midst of a delicious series of wagers with a consummate charmer, and she can’t seem to stop herself from saying yes to every wicked proposition. Whatever twist of fate has kept his best friend’s sister on the shelf is a mystery to Viscount Wroxton, but when the inveterate little gamester suddenly catches his attention, she’s entirely is too fascinating to ignore. The fact that she has five enormous brothers is hardly worth thinking about—she’s thrown down the gauntlet, and he has no intention of losing, whatever the cost…

  • Reading,  Regency,  Research,  Risky Book Talk,  Writing

    New Release!! LORD OF HER HEART

    A charming village, a struggling hero, a woman who risks heartbreak for a second time….

    Some stories write themselves. Some stories fight you.  I posted about this back in April (here) as I struggled with reworking LORD OF HER HEART. Optimistically, I hoped then the book would be out in June. Ha. Even after I revised it, it still needed so much editing! Yikes, I began to think it would never make it out into the world. But as of today –it’s out!!

    LORD OF HER HEART is the start of my new “Tales of Little Macclow” series. “Book Two” in the series is already out—my Christmastide holiday story, LORD OF MISRULE, inspired readers to ask for a series set in the fictional village where there may (or may not) be a bit of magic. The story actually takes place eight months after the action in the new book, so if you haven’t read LOM yet, I would say you’ll enjoy it even more if you read the new one first!  The stories stand alone, but there is a continuing chronology that is going to link the series together.

    Here is the blurb for LORD OF HER HEART:

    An unexpected return. A new risk for old friends.

    As Little Macclow prepares to celebrate May Day, Tom Hepston’s arrival stirs expectations and speculation. Tom left the village fourteen years ago. Now he is back, but he hasn’t come willingly and he has no plans to stay. While he’s proud of the naval career he has left behind, he believes the physical and mental wounds that ended it have made him a madman no woman could—or should—love. Can he leave again before everyone sees the broken man he has become?

    Sally Royden’s young heart broke when Tom left the first time. After years of hoping for his return, she now leads a full life caring for her sister and serving as the village seamstress. Tom’s experiences have changed him. Can Sally dare hope for renewed friendship? Or more? Or will her heart be broken twice—by the same man?

    Little Macclow—tucked away and maybe touched by magic…. Village tales of love’s triumphs.

    I’ve done “wounded heroes” before and bad memories are necessarily a part of them. (If you love this trope, I hope you’ll love Tom Hepston!) But I’ve never attempted one struggling with true PTSD before, which is so much more and can be so complex. I took an entire course on PTSD and did a lot of additional research in order to attempt writing Tom’s character. I had to learn some of the ways it is treated now—so I could figure out ways Tom might recover in a time period when the disorder didn’t even have a name, never mind any sort of therapy. Part of the proceeds from sales of LORD OF HER HEART will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Project and other non-profit organizations that support those struggling with the challenges of PTSD.

    Do you like the wounded warrior trope? How about second-chances, and friends-to-lovers? One thing that makes this book different is that the main characters are not aristocracy. They’re not even gentry. Are you willing to read about characters who aren’t wealthy, and never will be? Tom & Sally are at the opposite end from those millionaire dukes who are so popular. I hope you’ll see that their HEA future is just as solid as those earned by those wealthy, high-ranked kinds of characters. And I hope you’ll want to visit Little Macclow again for more books in the series!

    The book is available for Kindle and in print through Amazon and in other ebook formats through Smashwords.

  • Frivolity,  Regency,  Risky Book Talk,  Risky Regencies,  TV and Film

    Dr Who and an Announcement—Finally!!

    I am excited about two things to share with you! First, I can –FINALLY!! –tell you that the “new, improved” version of The Magnificent Marquess has a release date! May 15. (Cue the fireworks?)

    I have worked on the revisions for months and months –it started to look like the improvement project that would never end. But I am happy with the final results, and delighted to share them. This book was originally published in 1998, so a lot of readers out there now never caught the first version. Just as well. This one is longer, so it is able to have greater character depth across the spectrum and even some new characters! The plot hasn’t changed, exactly, but I think it got more interesting.

    I also love my new cover. How can anyone resist a hero with these amber eyes?

     But if you think those look a trifle haunted, you would be right. The Marquess of Milbourne may be newly arrived in London from India, immensely wealthy and handsome as sin, but he’s a wounded soul with a broken heart. I am a sucker for wounded hero stories!

    The blurb: When all of London is enthralled by the newly-arrived Marquess of Milbourne, Mariah Parbury’s curiosity about his life in India undermines her resistance to his charm. Could he possibly care for her? But he has enemies. When dangerous secrets emerge about him, is she willing to risk her life as well as her heart for the chance of love?

    “…a fascinating web of piquant romance and spine-tingling danger guaranteed to take your breath away.”—Romantic Times Magazine

    I don’t have buy links yet, but the book will be available on all the usual ebook sources such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords for the other connections to iBooks, etc.

    That said, are there any Dr Who fans out there reading this? Episode #3 of the new season that aired in the U.S. last weekend was set at the London Frost Fair of 1814!!! Just heavenly having the good doctor and his new assistant/”boss” running around in Regency dress among all the hoi polloi at the fair. The episode, titled “Thin Ice” of course involved so much more, but if you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil it by saying anything more. Just always happy to see our period used (when done well) as a setting for popular TV!! This great episode tribute painting was done by Thomas Chapman, who is apparently a huge Dr Who fan. You can see more of his artwork on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/thomaschapmanartworkandgraphics/  Want to know more about the frost fairs? Nice general background article at Radio Times: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-04-29/what-were-the-thames-frost-fairs-and-why-dont-we-still-have-them-today

    I would love to run around in a beautiful green pelisse like Billie’s in this episode, wouldn’t you? Are you a Who fan? ‘Fess up –I know you’re out there! I could totally envision Dr Who enjoying tea with my Magnificent Marquess in his “East Indian-style” refurbished home. But that would be in 1817, so instead I’m inviting you!

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