If Books Were Princes

Am I the only reader out there who thinks finding a truly great Historical Romance novel is rather like trying to find a good man on a dating website?

Before my husband and I finally decided to get married, we split up for almost a year. About half-way through this break up, I joined a few dating sites and spent hours looking at the pictures and biographies posted by hundreds of men with the potential to be just my type: funny, kind, intelligent blue-collar hunks of a certain age living within 30 miles of my little city by the sea. I sent a few of them a wink or nudge or whatever it was that led to flirting by way of instant messages and emails. Alas, I did not go out on a date with any of them.

It’s probably a good thing, as clearly I cannot judge a book by its cover, blurb or sample.

With the advent of digital ebooks, and the ease of self publishing, there are so many books to choose from now. So how is it possible that in recent months, I’ve picked the wrong ones more often than not? I read the blurbs and samples, perused both the positive and negative reviews and still somehow ended up with far too many books I simply could not finish. Even a few new releases by some of my favorite authors left me feeling unsatisfied after I’d loyally trudged my way to the last page.

I know I can be picky, even persnickety on occasion, but I swear I’m not impossible to please. I’ll happily ignore a few typos and misplaced commas, skip over a bit of repetitious inner angst and suspend disbelief a time or two if the writing is solid and the premise of the story is engaging. While I admit that I am always on the lookout for books featuring complicated characters who are true to themselves and unique plots that wander, skip or even dance a jig off the beaten path, I also enjoy tried-and-true scenarios and trite plot devices. I read and write Historical Romance, after all. But give me a twist to go with the timeworn, I beg you. Something fresh and fun out of left field. A tired tale revamped with a dash of the unexpected. A seemingly cookie-cutter hero or heroine who turns out to be a lopsided, three-tiered spice cake.

What’s a reader to do? Well, this reader became so disheartened, so afraid to risk wasting her time only to be disappointed yet again, that she spent hours, days, weeks, browsing covers, reading blurbs, samples and reviews until eventually they all blurred into the same story. All without one-clicking a single book. Rather like my time on the dating website circuit.

And then I went back to the truly tried-and-true. I scrolled through my library and re-read some of my all-time favorite romance novels, many of which I’d already read repeatedly. And I realized two very important things.

Firstly, my tastes have evolved and become a tad more refined. So maybe those new releases by favorite authors left me unsatisfied simply because they are no longer my cup of tea. And those books that went unfinished? Well, we all know we have to kiss a lot of frogs before we find a prince. And, yes, I do realize I’m playing fast and loose with the cliches and idioms in this blog post, but surely by now you know that’s how I roll.

Secondly, there is a reason some Historical Romance novels become classics. They are beautifully written, the plots intricately woven, the characters so vibrant they leap off the pages, the emotions evoked so real and true and pure that the stores themselves are timeless. My tastes may change, broaden and expand in unanticipated directions, but I cannot imagine I will ever be disappointed when I curl up on the couch to read them from the first page to the last.

So, if you find yourself wallowing in the Historical Romance doldrums, here are a few books I suggest to put some wind in your sails:

Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels

Judith Ivory’s Untie My Heart

Meredith Duran’s Duke of Shadows

Lisa Kleypas’s The Devil in Winter

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When I’m not frantically searching for a fabulous book to read, or getting lost in a classic that will never go out of style, I am feverishly working on book 4 in the Idyllwild Series. If you haven’t reads the first three books in the series, now would be a good time to find out why readers are devouring them and craving more.

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Congratulations April’s Corset Winner: Charlene Whitehouse.

 
Do any of you remember seeing this picture of my very first corset? I named him George, and I hugged him and petted him and squeezed him. Or vise versa.
 
In keeping with this nostalgic mood I’m in just now, June’s  Corset is almost identical to the first corset that began the collection that now decorates my office, otherwise known as Lynne’s Lovely Lair.   
 
 
 
To enter simply post a Comment. Any comment will do, a bit of news, an idiom that’s always struck you as amusing, a historical ideal you’ve found ludicrous or a notion of any sort.
I’ll randomly choose one winner from all entrants on July 1st
(U.S. Only)

 

 

23 Comments

  1. Dean Young
    Jun 3, 2017

    I love books about the old west and enjoy reading your books

  2. Linda Szymoniak
    Jun 3, 2017

    One of my daughters has a small waist and looks amazing in a corset. I’d love to win this for her.

  3. Kimberly Hatten
    Jun 3, 2017

    Gorgeous corset!

  4. cyorgason
    Jun 3, 2017

    Even a man can enjoy your stories

  5. Karen Hawk
    Jun 3, 2017

    I’ve never worn a corset-I’d love to try it!

  6. JeanMP
    Jun 3, 2017

    Such a pretty color, so delicate.

  7. Linda Herold
    Jun 3, 2017

    You have such lovely corsets!
    I do like idioms and taught them in my special ed. class!

  8. Sandra Spilecki
    Jun 3, 2017

    Toad-in-a-Hole sounds yummy.

  9. Pam Potter
    Jun 4, 2017

    They don’t make men like the ones we read about in your books anymore. What a shame.

  10. Yaritza Santana
    Jun 4, 2017

    Gorgeous corset. Thanks for chance.

  11. Lisa Bromley
    Jun 4, 2017

    My daughter wears corsets but I’ve never had one’

  12. Teri Donaldson
    Jun 4, 2017

    I can’t wait for the 4th book to come out in your series. Your covers are always beautiful. They are simple, clean and always elegant.

  13. Kathy Davis
    Jun 4, 2017

    Your cover for Pretty Poison is my new favorite. I love it! I wish my hair was that color of red. 🙂

  14. Darlene Holley
    Jun 4, 2017

    I don’t know about those dating sites, I think I would get a frog for sure lol Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful corset

  15. Janie McGaugh
    Jun 4, 2017

    Beautiful corset!

  16. Joanna Davis
    Jun 4, 2017

    I just love the information you give on historical things.

  17. Tina Hairston
    Jun 4, 2017

    I’m going to be a great-aunt again. My eldest nephew is having his 2nd child and it will be a boy and the first great-grandson. I already have 3 great-nieces, one is his and the other two are my other nephew’s. Girls still outnumber the boys in this family..as it should, lol. I’m in crochet mode and making a new baby set. Blanket first so I can take my time and not have to re-start like I did for the one I made for my neighbor. It’s due in October so I’ve got plenty of time to take my time…SQUEEEEE!!!

  18. Tammy Windsor
    Jun 5, 2017

    So many books these days follow a “formula”, it seems. I agree that finding one that is fresh and unique is indeed difficult — a bit like capturing the illusive unicorn of yore. 🙂

  19. Cecilia Rodriguez
    Jun 5, 2017

    I love the soft lavender color of the corset.

  20. Joanna Moreno
    Jun 6, 2017

    I love your Idyllwild series and I’m so glad we’re going back! Oh, and your first corset is just magical 😉

  21. Michelle Duhon
    Jun 8, 2017

    Hi Lynne. Always enjoy hearing from you or reading your newsletters. 😊 This is such a pretty corsets!! I’m getting ready for a wedding at the end of the month. Two close friends from highschool.
    Wishing you a fun and relaxed June!!

  22. Nancy
    Jun 9, 2017

    Hope there’s a fainting couch in your Lovely Lair….that tightly cinched waist doesn’t appear to leave much room for breathing. The pastels are very appealing. Thanks for the chance to win.

  23. sally hannoush
    Jun 12, 2017

    I’ve never owned a corset before. I heard if you wear them often it helps you lose weight while shaping your body. My pudge says I need to win this. hehe Thanks for the chance to win.

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Inspiration for Courting Chaos

Cover Lo Res

When I began Taming Beauty I had no intention of embarking upon an entirely new series. After all, I still have Gilroy’s tale to tell as book 4 of my Idyllwild Series, and books 2 and 3 of what will one day be a series featuring Veronica and Bernice from Pretty Poison.

Alas, in the course of writing Taming Beauty, I introduced Lilith’s sisters, Harry and Kate – honestly they were only meant to be minor secondary characters with no responsibilities beyond moving the plot forward – and they simply demanded more page time. More and more and more, until I had no choice but to give them their very own stories.

I knew little of Harry beyond the fact that she was another of Lord Dunaway’s illegitimate daughters, as well as the granddaughter of the Duke of Montclaire and the Scandalous Bathsheba Sinclair. She’d proven herself to be particularly prickly, surprisingly cynical and exceedingly clever. Her father, the debauched and dissolute Dunaway, described her as a woman destined to carve out her own fate. Harry proudly proclaimed herself determined to lay waste to all the Earl of Dunaway held dear. I suspected Harry needed a charming rake to smooth her jagged edges and introduce her to the softer, sweeter side of life with a liberal application of laughter and love.

But who was Miss Hesperia O’Connell? While creating teasers for Taming Beauty I came across this lovely painting that just captured my imagination…

Harry

Victorian Lady, Green Dress by John O’Brien

I recognized Harry in the woman standing alone before a window, quietly surveying her domain. But as Harry isn’t a country girl, her domain would hardly feature a pond with swans gliding over its placid surface. Nor would we find her in Mayfair, Fitzrovia or even Bloomsbury. No, Harry’s stubborn desire to control her own future would put her in the heart of London, where her curiously calculating mind and mercenary tendencies would allow her to bloom and thrive.

Thus, I transformed the luxurious parlor into a spacious flat that had previously housed a dance academy, and situated it atop a book shop in a working class neighborhood in the East End of London.                                             
Harry's flat above bookshop

In exploring various neighborhoods suitable to Harry’s needs, I discovered Wellclose Square. Dubbed one of the East End’s “Lost Squares” and possibly the site of one of London’s “Lost Rivers”, Wellclose Square was once part of the Precinct of Well Close and has a rich history dating back the dissolution of the monasteries. With its close proximity to the River Thames, Wellclose Square was inhabited by working and middle-class men and women whose businesses were local to the area or connected to the river or the sea.

         Wellclose Square  Corner of Stable Yard, Wellclose Square    

The neighborhood had a sordid side as well. At one time, the Neptune Street Gaol, the Court House and the Cock and Neptune pub were connected to the extent that the publican acted as gaoler. Philanthropist John Howard visited in 1777 and described the gaol (mostly utilized as a debtor’s prison) as a “resort of idle and dissolute persons, who came there to drink and play, and were encouraged to do so by the keepers in order to increase the profits of their office.”

 

Grace's Alley, Wellclose Square

Grace’s Alley, Wellclose Square

 

With the neighborhood possessing that sort of seamy reputation, is it any wonder that Phineas believes Harry to be running numbers and rigging boxing matches for Wellclose Square’s version of a crime lord?

Courting Chaos is available now at Amazon.

Read an Excerpt

Congratulations to our latest Corset Winner: Nancy Zahar. 
 
April’s Corset is a Spring Fling of Floral Fuschia, outrageous enough that Harry might have had gown run up from the same fabric (with an outlandish bonnet to match, of course). 
 

To enter simply post a Comment. Any comment will do, a bit of news, an idiom that’s always struck you as amusing, a historical ideal you’ve found ludicrous or a notion of any sort.
I’ll randomly choose one winner from all entrants on May 1st.
(U.S. Only)

27 Comments

  1. Kimberly Hatten
    Apr 1, 2017

    What a pretty corset!

  2. Sandra Spilecki
    Apr 1, 2017

    I always thought that in a time of dangerous childbirth that the
    gentlemen chose smaller woman as the ideal.when the really did
    need an heir and a spare.

  3. Cecilia Rodriguez
    Apr 1, 2017

    What a pretty pink corset

  4. florine Kreeb
    Apr 1, 2017

    How wonderful to be able to lose one’s self in beauty and magical romance. I love it!

  5. peggy clayton
    Apr 1, 2017

    Loved the newsletter!

  6. LaGina Reese
    Apr 1, 2017

    I love all the pictures that you have included on this blog.

  7. Charlene Whitehouse
    Apr 1, 2017

    I love the corset. I would love to win it. Thank you for the chance.

  8. Elizabeth (George) Turney
    Apr 1, 2017

    I could absolutely enjoy a corset in those colors! Lovely!

  9. Kathy Bunbury
    Apr 1, 2017

    I just love your posts and the historical information you teach us.

  10. Virginia
    Apr 1, 2017

    All the is really interesting. I love English history especially about the royal family.

  11. Joanna Davis
    Apr 2, 2017

    Lovely corset.

  12. Erin Bradshaw
    Apr 2, 2017

    For how many movies out are historical settings and people love the wardrobes, why can’t the corset make a comeback without being niche-y? It’s good for posture and appearance! I suppose that’s asking for too much since I’m lucky if I don’t pass less than 10 people on my way into work that are wearing sweatpants or heaven forbid have actually change out of their PJ’s before leaving the house. What has small town American turned into?! Either way I love corsets and wearing dresses from the 1940-50’s! I’m a throwback and proud of it 🙂

  13. Tammy Windsor
    Apr 2, 2017

    Loved the painting by John. I’d put that on my wall any day. That corset is Springsational and Floraltastic!

  14. Debra Adams
    Apr 2, 2017

    What an absolutely gorgeous corset. I think when a woman wears a corset, even if it can’t be seen under clothes, she feels beautiful just knowing it’s on.

  15. Janie McGaugh
    Apr 2, 2017

    This is a pretty and unusual corset!

  16. Kathy Davis
    Apr 2, 2017

    I love the cover for Taming Beauty. I love the pink. 🙂 The pink corset is lovely too.

  17. Darlene Holley
    Apr 2, 2017

    Happy Spring to you!!! Thanks for the chance to win such a pretty corset

  18. Yaritza Santana
    Apr 2, 2017

    Thanks for sharing some history. I am absolutely in love with this corset. Wow!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍

  19. Karen Hawk
    Apr 2, 2017

    Love the corset. Thank you!

  20. Linda Herold
    Apr 2, 2017

    This is really beautiful! Happy April!!

  21. Teri Donaldson
    Apr 2, 2017

    Harry is one of my favorite characters. She is smart, interesting and funny. I adored her!

  22. JeanMP
    Apr 2, 2017

    What a pretty corset, love the color

  23. Nancy
    Apr 2, 2017

    Wow, that sure screams Spring!

  24. Alma
    Apr 2, 2017

    I always wondered how. One would go pee with the long dresses. I found out that. In medevil times women did not ear under pants and during regency time with those big pantoloons there was a slit in the middle of them and there were several positions to use the. Toilet, to include raising ones leg. I thought that was funny

  25. Andrea
    Apr 2, 2017

    Your newsletter is always filled with romance and interesting tidbits.

    Each day, I enjoy reading, and re-reading, all of the delicious tales and assorted goodies that you provide.

    Thank you for enriching my life.

  26. johnna smith
    Apr 3, 2017

    I absolutely love corsets….just glad we dont have to be cinched up as tightly as in the past

  27. Michelle Duhon
    Apr 4, 2017

    Hi Lynne.

    Happy Spring!🌺 Such a pretty corset, love it!! Always enjoy reading your newsletters. Have a great week.

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Dukes, Eligible and Otherwise

Have you read the one about the lady of little fortune and less-than-illustrious lineage who married the dashing  duke?

It’s a common theme in historical romance novels set in the Regency era, and one of my personal favorites. Alas, through no fault of her own, the average woman was more likely to be run over by a carriage while crossing Oxford Street than to marry a handsome, young duke.

I’m no mathematician, but by my calculations there were approximately thirty dukes in Great Britain at the turn of the nineteenth century. Subtract the royal princes who could not marry without The Mad King’s consent, along with those already married or still in the nursery, and London’s marriage-minded misses had this motley assortment to choose from:

The Duke of Dorset was out of the nursery, though only just barely, when he passed away unmarried at the age of 22 in 1815.

Sanders, George; George John Frederick Sackville (1793-1815), 4th Duke of Dorset, in Academic Robes; National Trust, Knole; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/george-john-frederick-sackville-17931815-4th-duke-of-dorset-in-academic-robes-219039

The Duke of Bedford was available for bringing up to scratch, but only during the narrow window of opportunity from 1801 to 1803 when he was between wives.

Duke of Bedford

The Duke of Devonshire  was known as the Bachelor Duke for good reason as he managed to avoid marriage entirely.

Shee 001

The Duke of Marlborough became eligible (depending upon one’s notion of eligible) when he was widowed at 68.

Reynolds, Joshua; George Spencer-Churchill (1739-1817), 4th Duke of Marlborough; Woodstock Town Council; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/george-spencer-churchill-17391817-4th-duke-of-marlborough-43545

The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry was ripe for the picking when he was widowed at 42.

Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

The Duke of Argyll is my favorite I think. He inherited the dukedom in 1806 when only 38, and was snatched off the market four years later.

Duke of Argyll

The Duke of Roxburghe was clearly some woman’s idea of the perfect husband, seeing as he was widowed at 71 and remarried at 72. 

Duke of Roxburghe

The Duke of Newcastle was available only until 1807 when he married at 22.

Duke of Newcastle 1

*****

My newest release features the granddaughter of a duke, though you’d never guess it by the company she keeps or the neighborhood she calls home.  

Cover Lo Res

Courting Chaos is available for pre-order for only $0.99.

What happens when London’s longest-reigning rake decides to make mischief?

Born of scandal and raised in squalor, Miss Harry O’Connell turned her back on her feckless, frivolous father and carved out a life for herself in the working-class neighborhood of Wellclose Square. She’s a creature of habit, a stickler for schedules, a keeper of secrets, and a woman adamantly opposed to wasting so much a single minute – let alone a spare shilling – on useless endeavors, sentimental nonsense or impossible expectations.

Opposites attract…

With three men standing between Phineas Griffith and the nearest title, he was perfectly content to float through life on a wave of mistakes, mishaps, coincidences and luck. Two unfortunate accidents and an apoplectic fit later, the new Viscount Knighton finds himself saddled with a decimated estate, a mountain of debt and two sisters in need of launching into Society in tandem. There’s really nothing for it but to woo and wed an heiress post haste.

Orbits align…

An unwelcome visit from the Earl of Dunaway sets in motion a convoluted chain of events that put Harry on a collision course with the handsome fortune-hunter. And wreak havoc with her meticulously managed, precisely timed and exactingly organized life.

Worlds collide…

Phineas cannot afford the luxury of falling in love with a prickly, pragmatic and penniless woman. Harry hasn’t the time or inclination to dally with a charming rake when all her considerable talents are aimed at laying waste to all the Earl of Dunaway holds dear.

And chaos ensues.

Some forces are greater than gravity and some risks worth taking. Can these two star crossed lovers find the wherewithal to risk it all for a happily-ever-after that defies all odds?

Available for Pre-Order

Read an Excerpt

January’s Corset is a lovely cream paisley print, just the sort of surprisingly sweet bit of fluff Miss Harry O’Connell would hide beneath her outrageous gowns. 

January 2017

To enter simply post a Comment.
Any comment will do, a bit of news, an idiom that’s always struck you as amusing,a historical ideal you’ve found ludicrous or a notion of any sort.
I’ll randomly choose one winner from all entrants on October 1st.
(U.S. Only)

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Waxing Philosophical with Abigail

Just last night I said to Abigail, “I have too many characters floating around in my head and all of them want their stories told now.” It bears mentioning that it was past midnight, I was wandering through my house in the dark because I couldn’t be bothered to fumble around for light switches, and these words were only the last in a long, meandering monologue delivered to remind myself it’s better to have too many stories bobbing on the surface of my brain than none at all. Also, Abigail is my dog.

Neurotic little fur-ball that she is, Abigail is the keeper of all my secret frustrations, setbacks and snafus. Partly because she likes to hang out in my office with me while I write, but mostly because she listens so well, always understands where I’m coming from and sympathizes with every word I say.

Abigail knows I have six stories – and more than twice as many characters – swimming around in my mind just now. Six stories in various stages of completion. 

A few pages of notes scribbled on scraps of paper in the middle of the night for Lady Sylvia Grenville’s jaunt from London to Montana.

An outline of Lady Bernice’s seemingly never-ending fascination for Lord Jamison.

Two two rough chapters of Miss Kate Price’s trials and tribulations as one of Lord Dunaway’s six daughters.

An unfinished novella featuring Kiljoy, the disreputable Duke of Mountjoy who, oddly enough, captured the hearts and imaginations of readers in Unraveling the Earl.

A half-written story for Miss Veronica Ogilvie – the woman readers love to hate in Pretty Poison.

And, finally, a nearly complete novel for Miss Harry O’Connell, appropriately entitled Courting Chaos, as this book has caused all sorts of mischief and mayhem in my life of late.

Abbie 2Is it any wonder I’m a bit scatterbrained at present? That I engage in philosophical discussions with my dog in the wee hours of the night? If I could just get one story finished…

Oh, who am I kidding?

Certainly not Abigail.

One story finished will only lead to another just beginning, and three further along in the telling. Characters wading out of the water will only make room for more to dive right into the churning sea. 

In the words of Lilith Aberdeen, in Taming Beauty, upon her first sight of the ocean, “But this…it’s so…vast…endless…I feel dizzy…or something rather like it.”

This, my friends, is why I write, and why I’ll continue sharing all my troubles and triumphs with a little dog while fictional characters are carried on the current of my mind. Because writing six stories simultaneously makes me feel dizzy…or something rather like it. 

If you haven’t yet read Taming Beauty, now is the perfect time to remedy that lamentable situation. I have expanded the story-line a tad and spiced up the naughty bits a smidgen, transforming a lengthy novella into a full-length novel just this side of short. Also, you’ll be ahead of the tide when Courting Chaos, Book 2 in my new Dunaway’s Daughters series, comes out later this year.

Cover

Taming Beauty is available for Pre-Order now.

Be sure to enter The Taming Beauty Pre-Order Giveaway for a chance to win a swag bag of goodies including a signed copy of Pretty Poison and My Darling Gunslinger, 2 Wine Bottle Corsets and 2 Corset Bookmarks.

Learn more about Taming Beauty

Congratulations to Diana Ware-Page, winner of August’s Corset. September’s Corset is a pretty pink, perfectly matched to the lovely cover for Taming Beauty. 
Corset September 3
To enter simply post a Comment.
Any comment will do, a bit of news, an idiom that’s always struck you as amusing,a historical ideal you’ve found ludicrous or a notion of any sort.
I’ll randomly choose one winner from all entrants on October 1st.
(U.S. Only)

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Sorts of Sizzle

Sizzling Historical Romance Sale 1

It’s August and for most of us that means scorching days and sultry nights. The perfect weather for staying indoors with a Sizzling Historical Romance. So from August 14 through the 20th, 36 authors have joined together to offer 36 ebooks with Heart, History and Heat for only $0.99.

From Sensual, Steamy and Spicy to Racy and Erotic.

Novels, Novellas and even Boxsets, all will be on sale for only $0.99  each August 14-20 at

The Sizzling Historical Romance Sale

 As an added bonus, we’ll be giving away a Kindle Fire and Six Classic Sexy Historical Romances that captured our hearts and inspired us to write. These are vintage stories from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s that every fan of the genre simply must read. 

7 Classic Sensual Historical Romances that captured our hearts and inspired us to write (4)

Sizzling Historical Romance Giveaway

*****

And while we’re on the subject of Sizzle, my latest Sexy Historical Romance is now available.

The Mad Earl’s Daughter is an Erotic Romp from beginning to end. Two hundred and eighty pages filled with all sorts of dallying and debauchery, mystery and mayhem, and a touch of madness. It is not intended for the faint of heart or sticklers for regency propriety. Or any sort of propriety for that matter.

Cover

The Parlor Maid in the Library with a Candlestick.
Hugh Forsythe has been living his life on the straight and narrow since turning his back on a family legacy of swindling, bamboozling and fortune-hunting. When he is hired to find a parlor maid who disappeared with a startling stash of priceless heirlooms, Hugh finds himself falling back on old habits in order to investigate the odd assortment of miscreants and unmarried women living in the mysterious house at Number 8 Huntley Street.
The Carpenter in the Dining Room with a Hammer.
Miss Annie Wellesley is in trouble. Someone is asking questions up and down Huntley Street and it is only a matter of time before the answers lead directly to her door. Deciding only a husband can save her from the secrets haunting her past and threatening her carefully crafted future, Annie sets out to seduce the handsome carpenter hired to refurbish her house. Amid the rubble of renovations, passion transforms into love, repairing Annie’s broken heart and restoring Hugh’s battered honor. But Annie is hiding more secrets, scandals and siblings than she can count and all too soon skeletons are popping out of the woodwork. 

The Heiress in the Foyer with a Knife.
As Hugh begins to unravel the convoluted conundrum of her identity, one thing becomes all too clear. Parlor maid or heiress, Annie is the Mad Earl’s Daughter and her life is in danger.
The Mad Earl’s Daughter is available for $2.99 or Free on KU.
*****
Congratulations to Antonia Rodriguez, winner of July’s Corset. In keeping with our Sizzling theme, August’s Corset is a super sexy little red number perfect for sultry summer nights.
August Corset
To enter simply post a Comment.
Any comment will do, a bit of news, an idiom that’s always struck you as amusing,a historical ideal you’ve found ludicrous or a notion of any sort.
I’ll randomly choose one winner from all entrants on September 1st.
(U.S. Only)

1 Comment

  1. Sarah Walker
    May 28, 2017

    I’ve just found you and already I’m in love! You’re stories are so unique to the genre that I devoured them all at once and now I’m fighting serious hunger pangs. I haven’t been able to find “the mad earl’s daughter”. Can you tell me where I can download it, please?

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A Paisley Past

Cover

I’ll let you in on a little-known secret – I did not set out to be a writer of erotic romance. 

When I began my first book I intended the story to fall within the realm of sensual romance, a bit of spice sprinkled throughout an otherwise purely romantic tale. The original manuscript was laced with purple prose – those silly euphemisms writers use to describe various parts of the body… buds, pebbles, pearls, etc. Oh, and just so we don’t ignore the manly parts…arousal, manhood and staff.

Alas, after months of sending out queries and receiving only silence or politely worded rejections in return, I decided to take a walk on the wild side. I added length and depth to the sex scenes and replaced the trite euphemisms with breasts, nipples, clitorises, cocks, shafts and the occasional erection and penis. 

I did not add a menage a trois, bondage, or even a spanking scene to the book. It was straight lovemaking between a man and a woman without benefit of toys, gadgets, whips or cuffs. And only one instance of rough handling by my hero. To put it simply, the story was barely erotic and then only by the grace of a few added details and naughty words.  

Armed with a sexier version of the original manuscript, I sent out another round of queries to publishers of erotic fiction. Much to my delight, I was soon under contract for a three book series with a publisher who shall remain nameless.

Thus Portrait of Passion was born. And soon afterward, died a slow, torturous death. Lost in the netherworld of books that aren’t erotic enough to satisfy fans of the genre, yet a touch (to a cock or clitoris) too racy for readers with a preference for more traditional sensual romance. 

By the time I recognized the abyss into which Portrait of Passion had plummeted, it was too late. I was under contract to write two more erotic romance novels to complete the series. I edged Widow’s Wicked Wish a tad nearer to the erotic side only in terms of the frequency of sexual encounters and a faint hint at the darker desires my heroine might enjoy in the not too distant future.

When I began the third book I decided to do more than take a little stroll on the wild side. Unraveling the Earl is a far more wicked and wanton tale, thanks to the heroine who is…well, wicked and wanton. Her past is littered with debauchery of all sorts, some of which trickles into her relationship with the hero of the story. There is a spanking scene, though it’s only two light taps instigated by the heroine during a light-hearted bit of role-playing. And she does wind up tied to a bedpost with a lavender ribbon, a scene which leads to all sorts of hilarity and mayhem. Oh, and she strips herself bare and diddles her goodies for her hero’s entertainment.

The antics of the heroine of Unraveling the Earl lead me to quite a dilemma, a crisis of conscience you might say. 

You see, in preparation for the day I would re-release the Idyllwild series, I read the first and second stories, marking naughty words and entire paragraphs and pages for deletion or revision in order to transform the stories from barely-erotic to slightly tamer sensual romance novels. And hopefully lift them from the abyss so that readers browsing for a book might actually discover them, perhaps even read and enjoy them. 

But then I started reading Unraveling the Earl.

And I came to the realization there is no way to transform this tale into anything other than what it is – a story wandering the fine line between erotic and sensual romance. A tale of a woman with a past so far beyond checkered it more closely resembles a garish paisley print, an enlightened acceptance of all the many and varied ways men and women make love, and a desire to please her lover in all ways. Thus pleasing herself in the process, selfish bit of muslin that she is.

I love this story, I ate and slept and dreamed this story while writing it. I was tormented and taunted by Georgie’s secrets and motives and her refusal to stay on the path to redemption. I was charmed and enchanted by Henry’s need to peel away her many layers, to discover the inner workings of her mind and finally solve the puzzle that is her heart.

The story will not work without her licentiousness, without her willingness to prey upon Henry’s desires for her own selfish ends. If I delete all the raunchy bits and pieces, the reader will never know Georgie, never see beyond her scheming and lying to the lost and heartbroken woman hiding behind it all, never believe an inherently good and kind man like Henry could fall in love with her.

And so, I have only made some minor revisions, given all three stories fresh edits and beautiful new covers, and re-released them in the hope that readers are willing to walk the fine line between erotic and sensual romance to discover my books. And that when they do, like Henry, they will fall in love with Georgie, just as she is.

“I was never good or clean or whole, my lord. I have always been wicked and broken and dirty. I am vengeful and covetous and impulsive and selfish, and I like that about myself. I like my murky morals and my stubborn streak and my dubious loyalty and my greedy desire to claim what I want, no matter the cost. I like it all and what’s more so do you.”        – Miss Georgie Buchanan  

      Cover High Res    Cover Widow's Wicked Wish    Cover

    Portrait of Passion                                 Unraveling the Earl

                                     Widow’s Wicked Wish

Congratulations to the winner of June’s Corset, 
Lori Hammons. 
In honor of the re-release of Unraveling the Earl, 
July’s Corset is a pretty Paisley number perfect for Georgie Buchanan.  
1 July Corset
 
To enter simply post a Comment.
Any comment will do, a bit of news, an idiom that’s always struck you as amusing,a historical ideal you’ve found ludicrous or a notion of any sort.
I’ll randomly choose one winner from all entrants on August 1st.
(U.S. Only)

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