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My Very First Novel – Passion’s Song

At last, my reversion for the first novel I wrote, Passion’s Song, came through. And now you can read it. (I’m working on the POD version). Cover art by the wonderful Patricia Schmitt.

Passion’s Song was originally published in 1987. Yes. That’s right. 19 and 87. Before the internet was anything but a really neat tool for academics and DARPA. Before the World Wide Web. “Portable” computers were the size of 3 breadboxes end to end.

I was shaking after I heard the message on my answering machine tape offering to buy my book. Shaking. I had to go walk around the block just to calm down enough to think straight.

I wrote it on an Apple IIc using a nifty program called Word Juggler. I once wrote to the developer of Word Juggler about a problem I felt was a bug and he wrote me a very long personal reply explaining how hard he worked on his program. Then he called me an idiot.

It took 9 hours to print out the manuscript. NINE hours. I had to wait for a weekend to print it out. Editorial comments were actually in red pencil and queries were on special pink tearaway flags pasted to the MS page. I had to MAIL the MS and there was no overnight delivery option.

It reflects the writer I was then. I look at it now, and well. There is is. The book I wrote in 1987. Bought two weeks after my one query made it to NY. Edited to DEATH and then given back to me with instructions to “put it back the way it was.” So, yeah.

The Neo-Blurb

American orphan Isobel Rowland learns she is the illegitimate daughter of an English aristocrat only when her father at last locates her and brings her to England. Her father intends to find her a husband, and if she can catch the interest of Alexander, Marquess of Hartforde, all the better. She hopes to continue her musical studies but finds it impossible unless she masquerades as a young gentleman. Alexander’s interest in remarriage is close to nil, though he finds Miss Rowland intriguing. He is more than happy to act as patron to a promising American musician, Ian Rowland. When Alexander discovers that Ian and Isobel are the same person, their lives collide and before long, they have no choice but to marry and attempt to make a life together.

I couldn’t really read it because then I’d want to completely re-write it. Because I am not the same writer. I’ve learned a lot about writing and the business and, of course, changed as a person and a writer.

Passion’s Song is my words in 1987, and I totally own them. It’s a fun story, with an evil step-brother, a (late) wife who wasn’t very nice, a perky younger sister, and a jaded aristocrat hero with blond hair and a queue. There’s puppies, too.

All I’ve done is had it proofread and corrected some typos that were in the original. Like, somehow the copyeditor (and me!) missed that Brooks’s is s’s. I had to scan it from paper, so there were a lot of OCR errors to correct. My proofreader did an amazing, amazing job of catching OCR errors and original typos. Of course, I did my own proofing for errors with the digital display. I’ve already re-uploaded to correct a few more errors I made.

It’s $3.99, no DRM, available worldwide.

Where you can get it now:

Hopefully SW will get the book on sale at places like Sony, Diesel Books and other wonderful sellers of eBooks.

Midnight Scandals officially released yesterday (Tuesday)!

You’d like to know more? Well, all right!

Carolyn Jewel, Courtney Milan, and Sherry Thomas
Midnight Scandals
NLA Digital Liaison Platform/ August 28, 2012 / $3.99 digital

90,000 words of historical romance, and it’s yours for $3.99!

Courtney, Sherry and I talked among ourselves about what price to set and we agreed that we should price it so that someone who is only a fan of one of us will have the warm and fuzzies about reading the other two.

Welcome to Doyle’s Grange, a charming house near the hills of Exmoor, where the garden is beautiful in every season, and the residents are respectable year-round.

Except when the clock strikes midnight…

One Starlit Night – Carolyn Jewel
Ten years away from Doyle’s Grange isn’t quite long enough for Viscount Northword to forget Portia Temple, or their passionate adolescent affair. Portia, however, is about to marry another man. Northword tells himself it is wrong to interfere in her life at this late hour, but interfere he cannot help, with his words, his body, and the truths of his heart.

What Happened at Midnight – Courtney Milan
Fleeing the consequences of her father’s embezzlement, Mary Chartley takes a position as a lady’s companion, only to find herself a virtual prisoner at Doyle’s Grange, her employer’s house. And then the nightmare truly begins: the man she loves, who also happens to be the man from whom her father stole, shows up at her door seeking recompense. And not merely in pound sterling…

A Dance in Moonlight – Sherry Thomas
After losing her childhood sweetheart to another woman, Isabelle Englewood is heartsick. But then something remarkable happens: Upon arriving at Doyle’s Grange, her new home, she meets Ralston Fitzwilliam, who looks almost exactly like the man she cannot have. Come late at night, she tells him, so I can make love to you pretending that you are the one I love.


These are three wonderfully complete novellas by three excellent authors. Don’t miss Midnight Scandals.
Myretta Robens, Heroes and Heartbreakers

Secret Stuff!

If your eReader does color, then I think you’ll be impressed because, again, we talked among ourselves and decided some use of color would be a good idea. Why not? Color is free on the internet and in your eReader. It’s a very limited use of color, but I swooned when we were proofreading the files on various devices. Gorgeous and elegant use of color with the title pages and chapter and scene break signifiers. It’s really, really pretty in color, but of course it looks nice in eInk, too!

Places to Buy

All Romance eBooks



Barnes & Noble

Google Books

If you read the anthology, I hope you enjoy it!

Cover of A Notorious Ruin, Sinclair Sisters Series, Book 2

A Notorious Ruin

A Notorious Ruin launches September 23. click here for Pre-order links

This book was everything you expect from Carolyn, outstanding characters, a great story and sumptuous awe inspiring sex. She writes with stunning complexity that keeps your mind engaged at all times.
The Reading Wench

Happy Friday!

It’s currently approaching 60 degrees here in New York City, and that means everyone, myself included, is giddy. GIDDY, I tell you!

I’ve been unable to do much (okay, any) of my own fiction writing because I’ve taken on the job of Community Manager, Romance, for a new site, Heroes and Heartbreakers.

[In thinking about my post today, I guess it could be called Shameless Self-Promotion, only this isn’t about me. It’s not. Really.]

It’s super-cool, and I am having a blast. If you pop by, you’ll see posts from our own Laurel McKee and Carolyn Jewel, with posts from Diane Gaston happening in the future (Janet and Elena will be on-board, too, they just don’t know it yet).

But I have made a vow–and an Excel file with my friend Myretta Robens–to write my own stuff next week, so I’ll be doing that or facing my own and Myretta’s shaming words.

This weekend I’ll be watching a mooseload of Asian films so I can be inspired to return to my Asian heritage demonic hero of my Urban Fantasy. I would say it’s research, but we all know better. Plus, my husband is out of town.

Okay, so enjoy the weather–whatever yours is–and see you next week!

Unite and unite and let us all unite,
For summer it is come unto day;

And whither we are going we all will unite
In the merry morning of May.

Yes, it’s May Day. No one really knows the origin of the celelebration, although it almost certainly derived from the Celtic feast Beltane.

One of the rituals associated with the holiday is maypole dancing, one of the many popular pastimes Cromwell put an end to in 1644. You see–how shall I put this delicately for you Regency ladies–quite often the top of the maypole had a suggestive shape. Although May Day customs were revived after the Restoration, maypole dancing enjoyed a massive comeback in the Victorian era, when musicologists began collecting folk songs and rituals. The decorative ribbons and flowers stayed, and the whole thing became wholesome and practiced by schoolchildren.

As part of the May ritual, the celebrations began the night before with couples disappearing into the woods to gather may (hawthorne). They’d emerge the next morning with stupid grins and armfuls of flowers. A Queen of the May would be chosen, and sometimes a King of the May.

Sometimes the Queen of the May is not a person, but a special doll that is brought out each year and paraded around the community in a shrine of flowers made out of linked hoops. In some places you can find Morris dancers.

In Padstow in Cornwall, the Padstow Oss is paraded around the town to the beat of a drum while the song I quoted at the beginning is sung. Everyone gets really drunk. The song has references to St. George, rather like a mummers play, and is probably very ancient.

You can hear the song, read all the verses, and find out more about the Padstow Oss at its website, Blue Ribbon Oss.

May Day Traditions and Customs in England and Christine O’Keeeffe’s May Day Customs sites are also great places to find out about the varied and strange May Day celebrations in England and beyond.

Have you ever joined in a May Day celebration? Or tried maypole dancing?–I have. It’s really difficult! And once you’re tangled up, there’s no going back.

And a bit of shameless self promotion: The Rules of Gentility is a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards!

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