Thursday, January 05, 2023

A New Year and a New Book!

 

image

What's new?

The first bit of news I have for you is that later this month, I have a new release! (You might have guessed from the picture!)

I’ll start with the description, the order links and the lovely cover. And, of course, an excerpt.

An Unusual Courtship

A diplomat Earl and a scandal-ridden adventuress aren’t the perfect match—except in passion.

Welcome to the second book in the Brazen Burrells series, where scandal and adventure follow Juliet Burrell.

When Juliet Burrell meets Valerian, Earl of Langston, their attraction is immediate, but their path to happiness is littered with obstacles it will take all their strength to overcome. Val is a diplomat, looking for a well-connected, scandal-free bride to help further his career. Juliet is surrounded by constant scandal, even though none of it is of her making. And Val is engaged to be married to Juliet’s best friend.

But when Val discovers that his future bride is in love with someone else, he and Juliet join forces to help them and end up in a betrothal themselves. As Juliet gets to know Val better, she tumbles further into love with him, but she’s acutely aware that she is the exact opposite of what he needs. She cares for him too much to let him sacrifice everything for her and refuses to accept that their betrothal will result in marriage, even though their attraction has blossomed into passion.

Val wants Juliet, though he knows he might have to give up his treasured diplomatic career to have her. For years he’s engaged in the dark world of espionage, secrets, and lies, and he has done his job well and kept people safe. But he has always viewed his future in terms of the diplomatic work he is suited to, work that may not be possible with Juliet at his side.

It’s not long before trouble and tragedy plunge the Burrells into the mire once again, and Val may be the only one who can rescue Juliet from a situation that goes beyond scandal and into treason.

Is love worth the sacrifice he may have to make?

Order The Book Here:

Amazon :   Publisher

 

Here’s your extract. I do hope you enjoy it, and you want to read more!

Lord Langston's shout of laughter echoed off the walls of the narrow street. They had passed the inn, and were walking past a line of small, soot-blackened terraced houses. “You’re a budding diplomat, my dear Miss Burrell!”

He guided Juliet around, and they began to stroll back. “I’m waiting for a new diplomatic assignment,” he told her. “So I’ll be in London longer this time.” He paused, and stared at her, his eyes narrowed. “Ah. May I?” Reaching into his pocket, he came out with a clean linen handkerchief. He wrapped the cloth around his forefinger and touched her jaw.

“What are you doing?”

“Cleaning a smut,” he said absently, dabbing the spot. His touch felt like fire on her skin, even though two layers of fabric. Three, because his gloves would be lined. But through all of it she felt him, as if he was touching her skin to skin.

He glanced up from his self-assigned task into her eyes, smiling. “All done,” he said. When he unwrapped the handkerchief, he nearly dropped it, but she caught it deftly and stared at it. “I appreciate the assistance my lord. I’ll have the linen laundered and returned to you.” She slipped it into her pocket. London’s chimneys constantly wept the black, greasy smuts that were the result of the coal fires. The handkerchief certainly bore the evidence of one.

She might also sleep with it under her pillow tonight, but that was her business and nobody else’s. They resumed walking, her hand resting on his arm. “How is your lady mother?” she asked.

“Ah.” He paused. “She is back in London. She said she has done so as a favor to me, returning from her new home in Brighton. I suspect she’ll lease that one, since her reason for being there has gone.”

“I thought she had decided to retire from London,” she said. If Lady Langston had not been very well-connected, and wealthy in her own right, society would have turned its back on her years ago. Juliet had never met her, but her reputation went before her. Her discreetly scandalous affaires had not affected her son’s career. Probably because she was linked in one way or another to half the royal families of Europe—the ones the Bonapartes had left alone, that was.

“She did, but that ended, and she discovered Brighton was a terribly vulgar place.” He smiled indulgently, and his face transformed from harshness to a strange beauty, his mobile mouth softening and his eyes gaining a sparkle she hadn’t been aware of before.

“Don’t you mind your mother having affairs?” she asked before she could control her unruly tongue.

“Not at all,” he replied as if she had not been unconscionably rude. “They keep her happy, and stop me tearing out my hair when she buys hideous Egyptian furniture.”

She had to admit he had very glossy, thick hair, currently swept back into a neat style she could not identify. Although undoubtedly dressed well in a dark gray coat, darker waistcoat, and pantaloons—just the thing for town wear—nothing made him stand out. A single fob on his watch chain, polished Hessian boots without gold tassels, and a gleaming beaver hat completed his outfit.

“I’m sorry,” she muttered. “I shouldn’t have asked such a personal question about your mother.”

“No matter,” he said softly. “I would much rather have at least one friend who told the truth. My world is so full of half-truths and dissimulation, I find a straightforward conversation refreshing.”

They had reached the end of the alley, arriving back where they started.

She held out her hand for him to shake. “Thank you, sir. I enjoyed talking with you again.”

At her nod, McCarrick stepped to the edge of the pavement and held out his hand to hail a cab. He was about to put his fingers to his mouth to whistle one up, when Lord Langston held out a hand, palm open. “Wait. You are surely not planning to travel in a public vehicle?”

Facing him, she raised a brow. “Why not? I dislike sedan chairs, and so it is either a cab or walking.”

“Is there not a family carriage you can use?”

They came from such different worlds. Juliet thought nothing of getting a public vehicle indeed, but she answered him politely enough. “I’m used to it, and it’s something I can do without fuss. Every vehicle in Whiston’s stable bears his crest, so I can’t travel without being noticed if I take one. Bianca took the best carriage this morning to go shopping in Bond Street, but I had no mind to go with her.”

The other brow went up, arched and fine, winged like—well, like Lucifer. “You turned down shopping in Bond Street for a visit to a bookshop?”

“Of course.”

“I see. I would be honored to take you home. Fortunately I’m in the phaeton today, so you need not worry about propriety.”

“Since it’s a vehicle open to the weather?” She glanced up. “I see the sun is about to make an appearance. A bashful one, it is true, but it is lurking with intent behind that cloud.” Her comment gave her time to think. Yes, she could go with him. It would be better than a cab stinking of fish or worse, and she would spend more time with him. “Very well, sir. Thank you.”

“I told my groom to bring the carriage here at two,” he said. He pulled his watch out of its pocket. Gold, she noted, but plain and without enamel or jewels—a watch made for use. He flipped the cover open. “He should be here any minute.”

As he spoke, the Cathedral made its presence known. The creaking, clicking sound which presaged the announcing of the hour, followed by the initial bing-bong, bing-bong of the bells made Juliet grit her teeth and clench her fists. “At least it’s only—” she managed before the second peal started. The four quarters duly chimed, the great bell sounded its first boom! “Two o’clock,” she managed to get out before the second one.

His lordship smiled through the ordeal, not even trying to speak. He looked over her head as the brief silence was replaced by the usual chatter, shouts, and grinding roll of carriage wheels. “Here it is.”

Indeed, there it was. The carriage looked as if it would fall apart at the first breath of wind, but of course it would not. A miracle of the carriage-maker’s art, drawn by two high-stepping, glossy chestnut horses, she could only admire the equipage. “My sister Viola would love this. She enjoys driving.”

“What about you?” he said, as the groom pulled up before them with only the slightest touch on the reins. “Do you enjoy driving?”

“Sometimes. I prefer riding.” Unlike Juliet, Viola was a veritable magician with the reins but disliked riding as she had a small deformity that made riding difficult. Her husband was giving her lessons, she said, but Juliet got the sense that more than riding horses was involved in those lessons.

“Allow me to help you up,” he said, moving closer. “The foot rest is a little slippery. I would hate for you to fall.”

He came closer, in the shadow of the carriage, she only had the warning of a twinkle in his eye and a wicked grin before he bent and kissed her.

It was nothing but a brush of the lips, could easily have happened accidentally. It had not. Her lips tingled, and she closed her eyes briefly as he bent and cupped his hands to act as a step up to the high seat. .

It was a kiss—she could not be more certain. His groom stepped down and handed his master the reins as Langston rounded the carriage and leaped nimbly into the driver’s place. “Consider it your fare,” he murmured, as he clicked his tongue and set the horses into motion. She sat there, staring ahead of her.

He’d kissed her. The tingles spread from her lips through her whole body, bringing her alive. She was not even aware if McCarrick had jumped up behind with the liveried groom. She was so confused.


Other News

I am genuinely so excited. I loved writing this book. I start all my books with a plan, but sometimes I get halfway through and I know the hero or heroine won’t do what I’ve planned for them. I have to make them do it. So instead, I stop and re-plot. That means I know the characters better. And that’s when the story comes alive. If that happens, I go back and revise the whole thing, make sure the character I now know better behaves in the way he or she should.

Of course it happened with this book, and it was drastic. The heroine and hero liked each other, but there was no way they would fall in love.

The main Brazen Burrells series had three heroines and three heroes. The hero of the first book, Knowsley, fell for Viola the minute he set eyes on her. But the heroine of the second book, the clever Juliet, wanted someone impossible, the betrothed of her best friend. I had to give him to her, didn’t I? But they couldn’t have an easy journey to their happy ending, and they didn’t.

And then, the second book led into the third book, but you’ll have to wait until later in the year for that one.

 

Writing is my solace, my joy and my escape, but sadly, I haven’t been able to do any writing for the last few weeks. As some of you know, a family crisis stopped me putting out my newsletter last month. I’m so grateful for those of you who sent me your best wishes, and your support. Thank you so much. The events are now settling into their new grooves, although there is a lot to do before we can see where we are. I’ve never had a Christmas like it, and I don’t want another one ever.

 


image  Lynne Connolly


 

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

November News!

 November News

I've moved up to the Regency! Not for all my books, but certainly for the current series, and probably the next one, too.

Although the Regency is still part of the Georgian period (George IV died in 1830) it has a different feeling and character to the earlier ones. Most obvious is the fashion, where gentlemen abandoned the wigs and turned to plainer garb. Beautifully tailored, but the frills and extravagance of the earlier period went out the window.

Yellow pelisse Costumes Parisien 1809 | Regency fashion women, Regency ...Regency Clothing for Men at Historical Emporium

And of course it was a time of war. Most of the period, up to 1815, was spent at war. Even after the war there were years of uncertainty and finagling as treaties were signed and borders on the Continent rearranged. A really interesting time, and a lot of research to be done!

You know me, I love a bit of research, so I've been working hard, reading some really good books and making scads of notes. I don't want my stories to be superficial. While I love a good romp, I like it to have an authentic background.

Like the writer who started it all, Georgette Heyer. She created the Regency genre, although she didn't set out to do that. She discovered her passion for the Regency and that was that.

But I don't take my history from any fiction, even the Divine Georgette. So if you have any great non-fiction accounts of the period, do get in touch!


Book News

I'm currently in edits with the second book in the Brazen Burrells series. My editor at Dragonblade left, and I have a new, shiny editor, who is lovely, and thorough! But the delay in changing editors has made the gap between books a bit longer. It won't be long now! And I'm mostly done with the third and last book in the main series. I've loved writing these stories, and I've found a way to continue, a new series, a new family with different problems, but with links to the Burrells. I've put a new extract from the first book below for you. At the theatre, Gerald takes things a little too far...


The Only Honest Man In London - Extract


 

When the adventuress and the earl meet – sparks fly!


Welcome to book 1 in the new series The Brazen Burrells by USA Today Bestselling author Lynne Connolly.


When the Burrell sisters take the ton by storm, nobody is more surprised than Viola. The whirlwind of their elevation to the highest in the land pushes her into the arms of the Earl of Knowsley. Viola is lost, all her careful plans abandoned. She has nothing to offer but her beauty. A hidden disability has taken away her confidence and her grace. If she gives him her heart, will he give her a ring, or a carte blanche?

Gerald wants to marry, but not to the ravishing beauty who entrances him from the first time he sets eyes on her. He wants a rational marriage with moderate affection, not the tempest of passion Viola leads him into.

From an encounter in the sordid London docks, to a presentation at court, to riding lessons in the park, Viola and Gerald grow closer, until the actions of her sister and his best friend threaten to force them apart.

If they survive this, they can survive anything. If they don’t, they’ll part forever.


The Brazen Burrells

Book 1 - The Only Honest Man in London

Book 2 - An Unusual Courtship

Book 3 - The Talk of the Town


Buy The Book Here

Excerpt

“Where do you come from?” he asked.

“I was born in Dublin, and we had a Season in Edinburgh.”

“ You’re Irish?”

“Partly. Is that a crime, sir?”

He smiled. “Not when they resemble you. My dear, if Ireland has any more like you, let them all come.”

“Irish ladies are much like the ones here.”

Lifting his hand, he slowly touched the back of one finger to her cheek. “Beautiful.”

She jerked back, heat rushing to her face. “Sir!”

“I could not resist. Your skin invites touch, Ma’am.”

She turned, ready to flounce. “If you will excuse me, sir …”

She made to walk past, but in a move she could not predict or expect, he took her arm and whisked her behind a curtain into a small space. Where was her footman? Good Lord, there was a daybed here! “What is this place?”

“Not many people know of these convenient little nooks, but the management understands the needs of their customers.”

Well good Lord, were these society men all priapic? Did they need convenient nooks to satisfy their whims?

Viola was confused, flustered, angry, aroused, all at the same time.

He did not release her this time, but drew her closer. Unaccountably, her breath shortened, and the flush that had risen to her cheeks flooded over her whole body and turned into the heat of desire. She wanted, and she didn’t want. This was wrong, she knew it, but in the second before his mouth came down on hers, she could do nothing but turn her face up, and wait.

His lips cushioned hers, firm and masculine, and they tasted so good. She savored the tang of brandy, but the rest was all him. His arm came around her, holding her while he plundered. The kiss turned passionate, transmitting everything he had said only with his eyes before.

It confirmed everything she’d suspected. She would give him anything, just for the asking. And she didn’t care. Sin had never tempted her so much as it did now. She longed for him, wanted what he would give her.

Still in the kiss, he drew her further into the room until the backs of her knees touched the edge of something. When he urged her down, she went, finding the soft resistance of the daybed behind her.

And still he kissed her, leaving her to draw breath, and enter into the fray again. Viola had lost all her words, only soft moans coming from her lips as he kissed her cheek, her throat, and then moved her gown aside to kiss the exposed part of her bosom. She gasped as thrills coursed through her, turning her blood to champagne. Nobody had touched her there, nobody had ever stroked her skin so gently with such extreme results.

“Sir!”

“Gerald,” he murmured between kisses. He returned to her mouth, gazing down at her as he cupped her cheek and kissed her again. Willingly, she gave him what he wanted because it was what she wanted, too.

“You are like no one else I’ve met before."

See you soon!




 

Friday, July 08, 2022

July news. A new release!

 

image


News

Finally, I have a new release! I'll put the details below for you. And the link! I've been talking about this one for a while, so here, finally it is for you! It's out on July the fourteenth, but it's currently up for preorder.


The Only Honest Man In London

When the adventuress and the earl meet – sparks fly!


Welcome to book 1 in the new series The Brazen Burrells by USA Today Bestselling author Lynne Connolly.

When the Burrell sisters take the ton by storm, nobody is more surprised than Viola. The whirlwind of their elevation to the highest in the land pushes her into the arms of the Earl of Knowsley. Viola is lost, all her careful plans abandoned. She has nothing to offer but her beauty. A hidden disability has taken away her confidence and her grace. If she gives him her heart, will he give her a ring, or a carte blanche?

Gerald wants to marry, but not to the ravishing beauty who entrances him from the first time he sets eyes on her. He wants a rational marriage with moderate affection, not the tempest of passion Viola leads him into.

From an encounter in the sordid London docks, to a presentation at court, to riding lessons in the park, Viola and Gerald grow closer, until the actions of her sister and his best friend threaten to force them apart.

If they survive this, they can survive anything. If they don’t, they’ll part forever.

The Brazen Burrells

Book 1 - The Only Honest Man in London

Book 2 - The Talk of the Town

Book 3 - An Unusual Courtship

Buy The Book Here

Anything new?

I'm working on the next two books in the series. The second one is nearly done, and the third is planned and ready to be written.

For a while during Covid I totally lost the will to write. But it's definitely back now.

On the second weekend of July, I'll be at the RNA Conference. I love that conference, and the people who attend. It's too good to miss. We're at the Harper Adams campus in Shropshire this year. It's a beautiful part of the country, and I always enjoy going there.


See you soon!



 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

What's happening in May?

 

News

Well, since I spoke to you last, I've had Covid. All of us in the house caught it at the same time, so we were sufferers together. This nasty disease seems to attack your weak spots, so we all reacted differently to it.

But without the vaccines we've had, it would have been a lot worse. As it was, we stayed at home drinking lots of tea and sleeping a lot. We're over it now, mostly, but I'm still sleeping a lot!

Sadly, I've had to cancel my appearance at the Historical Romance Retreat this year. I know, I know, but the obstacles are very high this year, and with none of my particular friends planning to go, I would have been a lonely author. And I have a few health issues I need to deal with.

But for those of you who are going, send lots of pictures, and have a great time! Tell them I'm thinking of them!

The Only Honest Man In London

It's now in edits! I'm really, really happy that this will be coming out soon! I'm also preparing a new series that I plan to send to Dragonblade. I'm just about there with it. Lush romance, and a little longer this time, now I'm back into the swing of writing again.

Now for the not-so-good news.

I heard from Carina that they don't want any more books in the Ash and Juliana series. I'm more than disappointed. The books had a bunch of friends, and I'm still wondering whether to bring more books out on my own. Self-publish. Since Carina is keeping the rights to the first two for now, they'd be a hard sell to another publisher, but I could make it work. The first two books are in the way of an origin story, so the series could continue as a historical detective story, with all the elements in place. But they wouldn't be romance, so I'd have to research new publishers. I have more plots laid out and ready to go.

But I'm really not very good at self-publishing, and the prospect worries me. In case you were wondering, I question myself all the time. Am I good enough? Should I just give up completely?

And the new stuff

New proposals are on the way!

And in July, I'll be at the RNA Conference. I love that conference, and the people who attend. It's too good to miss. We're at the Harper Adams campus in Shropshire this year. It's a beautiful part of the country, and I always enjoy going there.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Get Racing Hearts For Free!

 

Italian race car tycoon Ronan Miller is on the cusp of achieving his elaborate revenge when he meets flame-haired back-up driver Georgia Trent. Intrigued by the beautiful and risk-loving beauty, he thinks he can use her as an instrument of his revenge, but after a spontaneous night of passion, he has other plans until fate knocks them both on a different track.

Racing Hearts has been chosen to appear in Apple's promotion First as Free in Sports Romance. This title will be free April 12 - April 30 in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland.

I loved writing these stories. The characters just came alive as I wrote them. And there's three in this series!
Don't delay - get it today!
 
 
 

 

Saturday, April 09, 2022

A new series!

 

image


News

First, I just want to say how much I appreciate you all. Really. Some of you have been reading my books for years, and you write to me. I read every letter, and I love hearing from you. It tells me I'm on the right (or wrong) track.

Let's start with the good stuff.

A New Trilogy

Dragonblade has contracted a new series. I'm so happy to tell you! It's about the Burrell sisters, who featured briefly in Lyon Eyes, The Lair Of The Burrells and On Christmas Day In The Morning.

Now, finally, it's their turn.

The stories start with The Only Honest Man In London. The Burrells arrive in London, very poor. They've scraped enough together to afford a house for the season, so they are going to take their chance. Viola Burrell, the eldest daughter, has a secret, a disability that is fairly knew, one she's still learning to cope with. But this is their one chance to find husbands, and the security that was never certain in the Regency era.

The Earl of Knowsley is attracted to the lovely Viola Burrell, but with the whole of society suspicious of these newcomers, he keeps his distance. Until the reckless acts of his childhood friend, the Duke of Whiston, pulls Viola into his vicinity, and he can't resist her any longer. But she isn't the wife he needs, just the one he wants. Badly.

And there's the lovely cover, above.

The first book is in for edits, and I'm waiting on the release dates.

Now for the not-so-good news.

I was so very excited to write the stories of Ash and Juliana, and their exploits catching criminals in Georgian London. Carina bought the books, and after the second book in November, I sent in a detailed proposal for two new books.

I've heard nothing since. So to be honest, you know as much as I do about them, and I'm sorry, because I've had enough letters to tell me that people want more of them. And as they came to life under my fingers, i really wanted to find out what happens next with them.

And the new stuff:

I've worked on proposals for two new series, both Regency, because the era, new to me, seems to have rekindled my writing mojo, which has been absent for so long. One is another detective series with a new premise for a new era, but strong on the romance, and the other is about a family damaged by their parents' behaviour. They have one chance to mend, and they're going to take it.

Let's see how they do!

I know, I hear you on self-publishing, and while I've had success with my backlist re-releases, I don't seem to be able to get the hang of stuff, especially the promotion. My heart isn't in it, and it turns writing into a chore. I'm still working on how to manage that.

Historical Romance Retreat.

I was scheduled to appear at the Historical Romance Retreat this October in San Diego, but unfortunately, I can't make it. I'm so sorry.

But if you go, have a great time, and don't do anything I wouldn't do!

See you soon!

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

February news and other stuff

 

As the world goes mad, we can retreat into the past and remind ourselves - it was always like this.

News

The more I read history books and look at past newspapers and letters, it's weirdly comforting to realise that the world was always in some kind of chaos. But they muddled through, and we will, too.

I'm writing again! I've found the joy again, the ability to lose myself in a book, reading and writing, too. Maybe we really are turning things around.

So, new stories!

Happy February!

Remember this?

image



It started a new collection of stories. There are two novellas in Dragonblade anthologies that are shortly going to come out as standalone stories. If you wanted to buy Once Upon a Midnight Dreary, or Star of Wonder, you'd better hurry up, because they're coming off the shelves soon. Or you could just wait for the novellas, brand new covers and officially part of the Brazen Burrells series.

It started with Lyon Eyes, when the hero's sister married into the Burrell family. I could just see the story unfolding before my inner eyes. It's a joy.

Perhaps moving to the Regency era was the answer.

The series is called The Brazen Burrells. It's about Frank's three sisters, and their daring attempt to find husbands in the London season. Each sister gets a book of her own.

The three sisters are getting older, but they and their mother are determined to have at least one season. If one of the sisters can find a husband willing to sponsor the others, then maybe more.

The Burrells are like many of the women on the edge of society at these times. They are respectably born, but not a member of the "club" that was high society, the interwoven network of families that ruled the country at that time.

What they have is spectacular beauty, and what we might call chutzpah. Or plain cheekiness, and just enough money to hire a house in Mayfair. They have a modest dowry apeice, and that's about it.

They become that season's sensation. May, 1816 was when the only daughter of the Regent, and heir to the throne after him married, so 1816 was a busy season. it was also the Year Without A Summer, but I'll talk about that another time.

Of course there are obstacles, and of course there are sexy, handsome heroes to sweep my heroines off their feet.

Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it?

But it isn't. Not entirely.

I based their stories on the Gunning Girls, three Irish girls who took London by storm in the mid eighteenth century. There were three, but it's the oldest two most people concentrate on.


Art Collector: 12 Portraits, Some Old Time Beauties ...


Maria Gunning married the Earl of Coventry. She died young, but I'm not putting that part in.


Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess of Hamilton and Argyll card


Elizabeth Gunning lived much longer, and married two dukes. She was known as the Double Duchess.

They did spectacularly well. Elizabeth had eight children over the course of her two marriages, which makes my eyes water slightly!

So I wrote a series about them, but I only used them as inspiration. So while that kind of success didn't happen often, it did happen, and now I'm writing about it.

Anyway, I do hope you're all doing well and thank you so much for helping me to keep my career alive. See you soon!