Sunday, February 07, 2016

Newsletter, February, 2016

You can tell it’s chilly, because our elderly cat has taken to living next to the radiators. When the heating goes off, he finds somebody to complain to until it comes back on.

I feel a bit like that, sometimes.

I entered a book into the Kindle Scout program because I have this book and love it, and I want to write the series that it could be a prequel for. It’s a contemporary. The band manager from the Nightstar series (to which I have all the rights back, yay!) gets his own story in this. He meets a pop singer trying to revamp her career when they’re both judging a reality show. Did I have fun writing this one!

I would really, really appreciate your support. Apparently Kindle Scout is some kind of popularity contest, so if you want to check the program and my entry out, it’s here:

I don’t know how I get so busy, because at the moment, I’m retooling and rethinking things. The Even Gods Fall In Love series is ready to go into a natural hiatus, and I have some new ideas which I’m discussing with my editor. Don’t worry, it’s still Georgian, and still romance!

Paranormal historical romance is an exciting field, but I want to give new readers time to get used to the world I created for the gods series. It was so unlike any paranormal I’d attempted before, and it’s given me new ideas of how to develop my stories in new ways. The reception of the series was heartwarming, too.

The Emperors of London series has come to a crossroads, too. I’m waiting to hear about the continuation, and this has also come to a break. But I have definite plans to continue, and I’ve proposed a trilogy to take the stories into new and exciting areas. The struggle between the Stuarts and the Hanoverians was still very much alive right into the 1770’s, when it became obvious the Cause was dead—just in time for new conflicts with France and the future USA to come into force!

I have a new story coming out next month in the Seven Nights of Sin anthology, and while I was writing it, characters happened, the way they do. The hero of this story has three sisters, all of whom are far more interested in things other than entering society. One is an amateur astronomer, one loves literary pursuits and the other is a gardener, all things that people in the era got very excited about. What do you think? Should I write it, even though I haven’t found a publisher for it yet?

In the meantime, you can check out Seven Nights of Sin here:

The way the men and women of the era coped with these challenges has always fascinated me. I’ve heard it said that “times then were so much simpler,” but that’s only distance speaking. They weren’t, but they were complicated in different ways. The more I read, the more real the era gets, and the nearer it gets to real people living real life. That’s why I try to keep my books as true to the period as I can. I want to bring those times to life.

The heating must have gone off, because the cat is pestering me again. Plus, he can smell the chicken roasting in the oven!

Dreaming Of Waterloo

Since the highly successful (thank you!) anthology The Incomparables has gone away, I’ve released my novella from it, Dreaming of Waterloo, as a separate book. You can get it here:

And here’s an excerpt, with the spiffy new cover:


They called him “Lucky,” but he had hidden injuries nobody knew about. Plagued by headaches and living nightmares, Paul, Lord Sherstone returns from the field of Waterloo to London to find a wife he doesn’t know and an estate he has to manage. He daren’t let her close, even though he is falling in love with her all over again.
Married and abandoned in a month, Hetty learned to manage a large estate and fend off would-be lovers, but a threat emerges much closer to home and from an unexpected place. In need of help she turns to Paul but since his return he has only shut her out. Refusing to give up on the man she fell in love with five years ago, Hetty has to persuade her husband to let her into his bed—and his heart.

The crowd parted.

They were not dancing, having left off in favor of supper, so Paul walked straight across the room to face Hetty. His gait was loose and easy, but he ate up the ground with no regard to the careful, mincing steps of the fashionable gentleman. His Hussar uniform, one of the most flamboyant in the army, looked as good as any ever did on his broad shoulders, and tall, muscular form. Gold was so heavily laced across the front that the red cloth beneath could hardly be seen. The pelisse that hung from one shoulder, red lined with blue, was equally fine.

Despite the magnificence, the man outshone the uniform, his carefully brushed dark hair and square jaw more than adequate to the task. The grim purpose delineated in every spare line of his form embellished the uniform rather than the other way about.

Hetty drew her hand away from Lewis’s arm, and stood clear of him. Paul bowed to her. “My lady.”

“My lord.”

Thus, a year of silence was broken.

She held out her gloved hand, proud that it did not waver, even though her pulses throbbed and her throat had tightened so she could scarcely breathe.

He took it and bowed over it in the approved manner. Then he glanced at his cousin. “Lewis.”

“Welcome home, Sherstone,” Lewis said, his voice slightly higher than usual.

“Thank you.” Straightening, his eyes met hers again, and once more he transfixed her.

Her mind flashed back to the first time they had met. Like this, in a ballroom, before she knew he was to be her husband.

But of course, this was nothing like that time. He was a soldier, but not a major, as he was now. He didn’t have that hard expression in his eyes then, either.

Five years had passed between that day and this, and a wealth of experience. Not to mention heartbreak, on her side at least.

Because of the woman she was now, not the one she had been once, Hetty put on her practiced society face of mild interest, allowing her lips to tilt upwards very slightly. “I had not known you were coming.”

“My arrival was somewhat confused, my lady. I was prepared to accompany Wellington to Vienna, but he had other plans. So I climbed on to one of the many ships transporting the wounded to England instead.” His lip curled in a self-deprecating sneer. “I was assured I was not taking the place of someone who needed it more than I did.”

For this was the hero, the talisman of the army. “I see you are not hurt, sir. Or is some part of you damaged beyond repair?”

The sneer turned to a smile and his dark eyes lit with amusement. Eyes that dark caught every spark of light that passed by, reflecting it with an adamantine glitter. Hetty had never been sure if she imagined the volatile moods that shaded them, or whether it was the light affecting them. But this was unmistakable. “I am never wounded. I thought you knew that.”

“Yes.” She wet her lips and watched his gaze settle there before lifting once more to encompass her face. “You have that reputation.”

“I do seem to, do I not?” His nickname of ‘Lucky’ had never been bestowed on a worthier candidate. He had been at the heart of every battle Wellington had sent him into. Men fell around him, but Major Lord Paul Sherstone remained upright and unscathed. Men strove to join his company, which had fewer casualties than others. Prints were made of him standing in bloody battlefields, staring at the carnage going on around him. Handsome and tall, the picture of a perfect officer, Paul had captivated the popular imagination.

He was doing the same now. Around them, a hush was barely broken. People watched him, most of them with awe or smiling. He ignored them all in favor of his wife and cousin, but Hetty was painfully aware of all of them. Usually she moved around society as one of many, as part of it, but not standing out. Just the way she liked it. Suddenly she was the center of attention. “I—I went to Horse Guards. They wouldn’t tell me where you were.”

He shrugged. “They probably had no idea. I told them I was selling out. My superior officer should have told the authorities.” He frowned. “You mean you did not know if I was alive or dead?”

“Exactly.” Good of him to put it so succinctly.

Fire sparked in the depths of his eyes. “That is not acceptable. It’s been ten days since the battle. I wrote to you. Did you not receive my letter?”

She shook her head. “But you are here now, my lord.” His words eased her somewhat. Before, she had imagined that she was of little importance in his scheme of things, but it appeared he had made efforts to contact her.

“And you are not one to sit before the fire, wringing your hands, are you?” A steely tone had entered his voice.

Did he expect as much? Once she might have done just that, but these days Hetty was more inclined to take her fate into her own hands. “I will find out more here than at home, waiting for something to happen.”

He gave a brief, terse nod. “True enough.”

He glanced around. “You were heading for the supper room? Allow me to escort you.”

After a nod to his cousin, Paul took Lewis’s place. He offered her his arm and she laid her hand on it. Now she trembled. Heat rose from his body through the unblemished cloth to her hand. Like this, Paul appeared as nothing more than a dandy, dressed more flamboyantly than anyone with a dozen fobs to his waistcoat. Underneath, his body was honed and sharpened to a killing edge.

As they moved away, leaving Lewis behind, chatter rose up once more.

Paul let out a long breath. “Well that was difficult.”

She felt cold, numb with shock.

“I had no idea you didn’t know I was alive.” He cast a glance over his shoulder to where Lewis was standing. “I regret you had to discover it in such a way. I suggest I find you something to drink, and then we may sit and try to appear unobtrusive.”

There was an edge of wildness to her laughter. “You? Unobtrusive?”

His mouth tightened in a mirthless grin. “I try. I should have more success soon.”

He said no more until he had procured wine for them both. After she refused food, he took her to a seat by the side of the room. “Let us hope that our reunion deters people from approaching us.”

But that was not to be. First one person then another offered him their felicitations and expressed their admiration of his prowess. Paul greeted them all with a smile, reminded them that his wife was with him, so they had to get to their feet and bow and curtsey.

“This will not do,” Paul said. “I wish to speak to you privately. We have much to discuss, my lady.”