Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August news!

First a special offer, and only for you, the readers of my newsletter. If you’d like to review “Counterfeit Countess,” on Goodreads or Amazon, drop me an email. I have a limited number of ARCs up for grabs! (what you say in the review is of course up to you!) Write to me with the subject, “Counterfeit Countess ARC.”

I went to the RNA Conference at Sheffield University this month. So enjoyable to find out what’s happening in the British market. I sometimes get so bound up in the US market, that I forget to check! Publishers came and told us what they were up to, and I was so enthused by the women from Harper Impulse that I did an impromptu pitch to them! I haven’t done a pitch for a long time, and I remembered why—they make me very nervous! After you’ve poured out your heart and soul in a book, to tell someone what it’s about in ten minutes or less and get them as enthusiastic as you are is quite the task and I admire anybody who can do it successfully.

We’re having a heatwave, and the conference was full of people in beautiful clothes and even more stunning shoes (What is it with authors and shoes?) It’s lovely to hear everyone’s good news, and as elsewhere in the industry, the conference was buzzing with self-publishing news. Author Freda Lightfoot announced that she’s making six figures totally from her self-published work, and said that being dropped by her saga publisher was the best thing that ever happened to her.
I’ve gone into self-publishing in a small way, putting up backlist books, but I’ve loved getting their new covers done, and revising books that have done so well for me already. The last (for now) Symbiotics book came out in July. This book is close to my heart, because it relates something that actually happened to me. I was taken ill at home, so suddenly that a swollen knee became critical and they called an ambulance to collect me from the doctor’s surgery to take me to hospital. Within an hour of my doctor’s appointment, I was in an isolation room, stripped of my belongings and hooked up to a panoply of machinery.

As it turned out, I didn’t have septic arthritis, a bacterial infection that can lead to loss of limbs, or even death, but a severe flare-up of an arthritic condition I already had. But my, it was scary! So I wrote that into the first part of the book, and added a healthy dose of “what if…?” What if the patient next door was gorgeous and bored? What if he was rich enough to have a phone delivered to her room, and what if her condition was no accident?

The story blossomed from there, as I set about answering those questions. I’ve put an except below. Do check it out.

I’m working on a new book, the last of the Nightstar series, a book I never planned to write, but a lot of people, plus my editor, asked me if I was going to tell his story. So Chick Fontaine stepped up to the block and got his story. I still don’t know what to make of it. Half way through the book, I discovered something profoundly disturbing about Chick’s childhood, and the story took an unexpected turn. I had to stop and really think. Yes, it explained why he was a shambles personally, but almost manically organised in his career. The story is one of the longest I’ve ever written, and once I review it and edit it, I’ll know what to do. It’s the story of two people with father problems, but their problems are very different, and they need each other to help to come to terms with it.

Next? Several things. A box set of Hosts to Ghosts, for one. Reissues of more backlist books. A trilogy set in the STORM universe for Ellora’s Cave. A historical romance series with gods but very different from anything you’ll have read before.
Still sexy, though!

Here's the description of "Sixth Sense." And here's where you can buy it.

At first, all they can do is look at each other--then they agree to take a journey together, exploring each sense, one by one...
Jim is a computer genius; Poppy works at a bank. Normally they'd never have met, but a pair of unforeseen disasters pushes them together in desperate circumstances. They torture each other with each sense and when they finally come together, nothing can stop the combustive passion that burns them through the night. A gift of a basket of sex toys only adds to their shared adventure.
A shadow from Poppy's past threatens Poppy's life, and if Jim can't break the ingrained habits of a lifetime, he stands to lose her. If Poppy doesn't reassess her life, Jim could leave it before they learn what they really have.
Sight, sound, scent, touch, taste--so what's the sixth? They won't find out until they get there.

July News

A month that started slow and picked up speed!
Lots of things happening, a new release and some new contracts. You heard it first here!
Personally, at home we’ve had a new shower, and oh boy, is this one good! Of course we still have to put the bathroom to rights, since half of it was ripped up to install the new shower, but it’s so worth it. All that sitting in for workmen and deliveries, and the constant hammer and drill sounds.

My new release is the brand new Regency I told you about. “Counterfeit Countess” is about the widow of an officer in Wellington’s army. Except Faith isn’t a widow, as she discovers when her husband returns home from a prolonged sojourn in Canada. And she isn’t a wife, either, because she was pretending to be his widow. Why she did that, and how she and John reconcile that and counter the threat facing them both is the subject of the book.
I loved writing this one, and it was prompted by the recent success of my recently reissued backlist, including three Regency romances. I do prefer the slightly earlier period, but sometimes there are stories that can only be told properly in the Regency era. This book is set in 1817, around two thirds of the way through the Regency.
It was really enjoyable to revisit old haunts, so to speak, and I even managed to get Wellington into the story! I recently visited Apsley House, otherwise known as Number One, London, Wellington’s London residence. He bought it from his brother in 1817, so I was able to build that into the story. Every year Wellington invited thirty of his officers from Waterloo to a special dinner, and there was great excitement and kudos for the people invited. Wellington greatly expanded the house, and now it’s a positive mansion. The china and porcelain dinner services took my breath away and I spent hours studying the designs. Some depict the places he won battles, some another aspect of the campaign, but giving the Duke of Wellington a dinner service seemed to be the thing to do for quite a while.

I’ve been offered some new contracts, and of course I’m thrilled, not least because they are for projects that are dear to my heart. The first is for the last Nightstar book, about the band’s manager, Chick Fontaine. I never thought I’d be writing about Chick until the series was half over, and then I realised he needed his own story. He was just too interesting to leave alone.
I also have a contract for a new trilogy, set in the STORM universe. It is set in Washington, and while each book can be read as a stand-alone, the series concerns the struggle to get Talents recognised as people, and therefore entitled to the same privileges and rights as people, rather than animals or a separate species. Biologically they are another type of human, not a separate species, but that is only part of the problem they face. This series won’t be out for a while, since there are four more Nightstar books and a stand-alone STORM book in the works first.
The last contract is for a new concept and a new series. It’s something I’ve toyed with before, but it took some tinkering to get it right. What if the Greek Olympiad were reborn in Georgian times? Many of the Georgian aristocracy considered themselves almost godlike, so it seemed like a natural match. The pairing worked really well, and I’m delighted that Samhain have offered me a contract for the first in what I’d like to become a series.
Exciting, eh?