Back to Top

Tag Archives: The Malorie Phoenix

First, here’s the new cover for Dedication, coming from Loose-Id next month, and you’ll hear all about it as time goes on. There’s more information on my site. Isn’t it pretty!

My task of the day is coming up with a blurb for another book that will be out sometime … soon. It’s called The Malorie Phoenix and was originally written as an option ms. for Signet Regencies (remember them? Polyester dresses, no sex?). So on p. 7 the hero and heroine (who was, uh rather young, but the age of consent then was 12… No, of course she’s not 12! But she’s not 21 or 31, but inexplicably she’s a virgin) are at it. And I was going to send this to Signet? Thank goodness the line ended.

I can’t but help think of this in tabloid language which isn’t helping me with the blurb.

Earl’s Son Bonks Virgin at Vauxhall Gardens
“I didn’t ask to see ID,” says Benedict de Malorie, officer in some regiment or other. “I thought she was doing her bit for the Napoleonic war effort.”

Suspected Criminal Tangles with Aristocracy
Alleged pickpocket Jenny Smith, who refused to give her age, today accused the younger son of the Earl of T— of fathering her child. “And he was pretty incompetent in the sack,” Miss Smith reported as she emptied her pockets of three handkerchiefs, a fob seal, and a cravat pin. “Where the heck did these come from? I’ve never seen them before in my life.”

Vauxhall Gardens Shock Horror
… and so on.

So let’s take a look at a few tabloid interpretations of favorite books

Red Carpet Shocker at Meryton Assembly
Neither Fitzwilliam Darcy nor Elizabeth Bennet were available for comment following their encounter at the Meryton Assembly. Ms. Bennet, described by close friends as “in remarkably good shape following a night of dancing” has been seen working at her embroidery.

Willoughby Does It Again!
“I’ve no idea what her problem is,” John Willoughby said after accusations made publicly last night by Marianne Dashwood. “She obviously came out of rehab too soon.”

Just Friends
Pooh and Eeyore denied any romantic entanglement again today after they were seen sharing honey and thistles in an intimate thicket. “I think we should give them their privacy to work things out,” commented John Watson, long time companion of hottie Sherlock Holmes.

OK, now it’s your turn…

Here’s a recent portrait of me.

No, really, this is the way I feel after massive cleaning, sorting, throwing out of items in preparation for some fairly substantial work to be done on my house.

This is a portrait of Mrs. Jane Ebrell when she was 87 by provincial artist John Walters of Denbigh, one of the servants at Erddig, a national trust property dating from the 18th century whose owners liked to commission servants’ portraits (and later photographs), embellished with poems. Mrs. Ebrell, a former housemaid, was hired as a Spider Catcher, possibly as a way for the family to support her in her later years. (I have been dealing with monumental spider webs.)

My thanks to the Two Nerdy History Girls who found the text of the poem:

To dignifie our Servants’ Hall
Here comes the Mother, of us all:
For seventy years, or near have passed her,
since spider-brusher to the Master;
When busied then, from room to room,
She drove the dust, with burhs, and broom
Anyd by the virtues of her mop
To all uncleanness, put a stop:
But changing her housemaiden state,
She took our coachman, for a mate;
To whom she prov’d an useful gip,
And brought us forth a second whip:
Morever, this, oft, when she spoke,
Her tongue, was midwife, to a joke,
And making many an happy hit,
Stands here recorded for a wit:
O! may she, yet some years, survive,
And breed her Grandchildren to drive!

She certainly sounds better at cleaning than me. (And to whichever member of the Yorke family of Erddig wrote the poem, don’t give up your day job.) I’ve mentioned Erddig before as it is such a rich source of servant info, but I may not have told you what an excellent cake shop it has–other food is sold there, but I ate only cake. The walls of the cake shop are hung with photos of the house as it was before restoration by the National Trust. This is Philip Yorke, the last private owner of Erddig, in the one habitable room of the house before he deeded it to the National Trust (note: no electricity!). It was a real mess with subsiding floors (built over a coal mine, something I borrowed for The Rules of Gentility), buckets scattered throughout the house to catch leaks from the roof–just horrible. Happily major restoration, funded by the Coal Board and sale of some of the land, put it to rights and it’s now one of the most popular stately homes in England.

But back to my humble home–any tips for surviving renovation? If I were in the Regency and wealthy I’d just take off to one of my other houses, leaving my faithful butler in charge. Sadly that is not the case. The best tip I’ve had so far is to eat out as much as possible and label the boxes.

And a small reminder that (1) The Malorie Phoenix is now 99 cents for kindle and (2) I’d love some amazon reviews. If you’re a legit blogger/reviewer, please contact me.


Good morning everyone and apologies for this short but sweet and almost totally promotional post. I’m thrilled to announce that Dedication for kindle is now  .99 cents this week only as is my other ebook, The Malorie Phoenix. It’s part of a promotion done by me and my buddies of the Wet Noodle Posse, the 2003 Golden Heart finalists who are still friends and slapping each other with wet pasta products as called for–our own Diane Gaston is also a Noodler. We have a lot of great books priced at .99 and you can read about them, and see other Noodler books here at the Cyber Book Sale. (And I don’t know about you but a lot of my cyber week shopping has not been for gifts as such. Gifts for me, yes. My kindle is bursting at its seams.)

Today is the birthday of both C.S. Lewis and Louisa May Alcott and I’m wondering whether you’re a Lewis or an Alcott fan and whether it’s possible to be both. Me, I’m a Lewis girl all the way, even though I find his sexism, his heavy handed religious propaganda, and his careless worldbuilding (if it was winter all the time, how did people eat?) just plain annoying. As for Alcott, I think she’s pretty preachy too, and I can never, never forgive her for marrying wonderful, vibrant Jo off to a German caricature, although I guess his sausage worked well enough to propel her into the final subjugation of motherhood in Little Men (has anyone read that? Don’t, please). But I never got Alcott the way I did C. S. Lewis and Narnia. She never fired my imagination or (occasionally) blew me away with her writing

How about you? Lewis or Alcott? Why?

Today it’s all about me me me, mainly blatant self promotion since I have a spiffy updated website with a ludicrously easy contest. Check it out!

I’ve been very busy rewriting an early attempt to crack the romance code, The Malorie Phoenix, which is coming out in a month or so. My first version(s) included a scene where a kitten came to an untimely end which I was told would turn the whole world against me, and after much thought I rewrote. Folks, the kitten gets better and we lose interest in him. Would it have been a dealbreaker for you? What IS a dealbreaker for you? Is it, for instance, having a heroine who is a criminal and in a just world should be punished by transportation or hanging?

You be the judge. Get out that black cap! Here’s the beginning of the book:


August, 1801, Vauxhall Gardens, London

Her name was Jenny Smith.

It denoted no particular rank, no origin, and was so ordinary most people laughed in disbelief when she identified herself. Let them.

When later they discovered a brooch or bracelet inexplicably lost, the missing expensive embroidered handkerchief, she’d be laughing.

But she rarely revealed herself, knowing that fitting in with her surroundings was vital to her success and survival. By the light of Vauxhall’s lanterns, no one could tell her jewels were colored glass, her gown second hand. And she wore the final guarantee of anonymity–a black satin mask.

Occasionally a man would approach her, mistaking her profession. She smiled and moved away to mingle with the crowd who gathered to see the Cascade at midnight. She could take advantage of the upraised faces and rapt attention, strolling quietly among the crowd as though seeking a lost acquaintance, with a murmured word of apology if she brushed up against someone.

Tonight was a very successful night for her. She did not allow herself to dip a hand into the pocket of her silk gown–it would be foolish to draw attention to herself. A gold brooch–she was fairly sure it was gold not pinchbeck–a bracelet, a couple of fob seals, and two handkerchiefs represented the night’s haul. Her stomach growled. She thought in anticipation of the hearty dinner she would order, but not at Vauxhall’s, notorious for its expensive, thinly-sliced ham and other overpriced refreshments. Possibly she could buy a new gown–this one was good enough for work in the dimly-lit gardens, but the hem was ragged and stained. She rubbed a fold of silk between her fingers, enjoying the softness of the luxurious fabric. Silk from China or some such place, as far away across the sea as her mother and sister now were. Was China near Australia?

Pushing away the momentary loneliness, she strolled a few steps behind a gentleman who, like her, watched the crowd more than the surroundings. She thought at first he might share her profession, but his coat, although of good cut, was old and not particularly fashionable. Probably he was from the country, gentry almost certainly, and not worth the effort, but…

“Beg your pardon, sir.” She brushed against him and moved to one side. Her fingers flitted beneath his coat tails, into the pockets there.



She should go home. She had taken enough. Greed led to carelessness, and carelessness led to discovery, and that could lead to the gallows.

“You require a handkerchief, madam?”

She froze at the murmured words, uttered in a deep, rich voice that reminded her, despite her terror, of the flavor and harshness of sweet, strong coffee.

The book is The Malorie Phoenix and to save time you don’t have to read the rest of the post but you can go here for to buy for Nook and here for Kindle.

    1. There is a villain called E****! No kidding (I think you can guess a villain-type name). Not a spoiler, he’s so obviously up to no good from his first oily manifestation on the page, when he oozes his way into the heroine’s life with a Nefarious Scheme.
    2. H/h first have sex by fireworks in Vauxhall Gardens.
    3. There’s a secret baby!
    4. I narrowly escaped yet another sex in the maze scene later in the book, when, realizing I had one in both Dedication and A Most Lamentable Comedy, I hurriedly rewrote it to be sex in the stable. With horses watching. As you know, the use of sex scenes in mazes is rigidly administered by the Regency Police and I am licensed for only two every five years. Too late I remembered some heavy breathing in the presence of a horse in Improper Relations.
    5. (Yes, I’m cross-selling)
    6. There’s an awesome book trailer, for which CPE Bach very kindly composed the music:

  • There is a super awesome tagline: She plays a deadly game but nothing is as dangerous as love.
  • The hero has one of the best-ever names in Romancelandia–Benedict de Malorie, Earl of Trevisan. I just love those vaguely Frenchified “we came over with the Normans” type names.
  • But there’s another character in the book called Evelina Stanley who was named in honor of my friend’s late golden retriever mix (whose name was Stanley, not Evelina. The dog, not the friend). The heroine is called Jenny.
  • … and finally–THE CLINCHER, LET’S MAKE A DEAL–this is my cheapest book ever! $3.99! Go for it.


If you are a genuine blogger or reviewer you can request a review copy from NetGalley.

Would you like to win a copy of The Malorie Phoenix? Give me your reasons why you are qualified to win (although as usual the thing will apply): did you have a hamster named Stanley? A haddock named Edwin? An exciting experience in a maze? I will give away two copies and announce the winners on Friday evening at about 10 pm, so you must either leave a neutered version of your email address or make sure you check in then.

Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By