Friday, August 20, 2010

Newsletter, August, 2010


Although I know some of you will be fresh from the RWA conference, we in the UK have a big conference that month, too. Ours is the RNA Conference. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Romantic Novelists' Association, so we had it at the Old Naval College in Greenwich. In case you are unaware, this is the building designed by Inigo Jones in the early 1600's and the first pure Classical structure in England that survives today.
Frankly, it's an awesome sight. Huge, much bigger than it looks in the pictures. The weather was lovely and sometimes, crossing the quad to listen to another lecture, we could hear the music coming from the music college across the way. It was very tempting to get a bottle of champagne, a punnet of fresh strawberries and just lie on the grass by the Thames, enjoying the day.
Our bit of the college for the weekend was just across from the Chapel and the Painted Hall, so most of us took the chance to go and see them. We had a gala dinner on the Friday evening, a gorgeous sight of beautiful shoes and wonderful company. My friend Mandy (Amanda Grange) and I ended up on a table full of Harlequin Presents writers. Our banquet started demure enough, but it didn't finish that way! I met some wonderful women, and my special greetings to Sarah Morgan, who writes for Mills and Boon Modern, that end up as Harlequin Presents.
I also got the chance to visit the Thames River Police museum, site of the oldest police force in the country, dating from the 1790's. For those of you who have read my historical romances, you'll know that there was no such thing before then. Parish constables were something else entirely, and if your house was burgled, you had to prosecute the perpetrator yourself. If you could find him.
The custodian of the museum was Joss, a man with a chequered career, including bodyguard to the Queen. He had the information at his fingertips, and everything we asked him, he could answer. It was a delight to meet him.

And when I got home, I had to work. With "Hareton Hall" coming out, this month has been quite eventful, but highly enjoyable. It was such a treat to see the book out at last, and I celebrated by putting an extra out with Smashwords and Amazon. "Barbara's Wedding," it's called, if you want to hunt for it.
I've written the next Richard and Rose and sent it to my editor. Fingers crossed! I have one more in the series to write, then there should be a break. And since so many people have asked and he interests me anyway, I want to write Freddy's story. I have no idea what it will be, yet, but I have some thoughts. I also have another historical project in mind, but this year has been so busy, I haven't had time to get it off the ground, yet.

I'm currently writing what I hope will be the next Cougar book for Ellora's Cave. I do enjoy writing these stories about older women and younger men, because the conflicts involved are different. The women know how their lives are going, they are usually confident, have a career, even children, so they're looking for something different. Perhaps something that starts light-heartedly morphs into something deeper and they find what they haven't yet found. I've loved working with the women on the series. They were chosen very carefully, as professional writers who can put out a well-written story on the same theme but vastly different in theme and execution. It's been a sheer delight.

After that, I have a contemporary I dearly want to write. The idea came to me last year, and I've been working on it since. I have an idea of the publisher I want it to go to, but of course that's not my call.

On the big publisher front, there's no news, I'm afraid. I've had manuscripts requested through my agent, but I'm told that things are still very slow and publishers are loath to take on many new authors. Whatever the reason, I'm delighted to have made a career in ebooks, especially considering how the market is going!

I have two more releases this year for sure, but more about those as the time comes. I've just finished edits on "Emotion in Motion" so we'll have to see when that is going to be released! It's Jack's story, from the STORM series, but with the Ecstasy in Red series ending, I'm starting a new direction for the series. Britain, to be precise. There's a sexy vampire earl in this new book who I can see featuring in a book of his own, and I'm thinking about writing a sexy Scot. How do you all feel about Scotsmen, even if they don't usually wear kilts?

I'm still doing columns and reviews for The Good, The Bad and The Unread. I absolutely love Sybil, who heads the blog, and I enjoy writing about the publishing world. It keeps me on my toes, that's for sure! I also write for the Raven Happy Hour and UK Regency and Georgian authors, so don't forget to check me and the other contributors out there!


Since I gave you a historical excerpt last month, how about a contemporary this time? Or a paranormal?
Lest you forget, the Department 57 series is still going strong at Loose ID. My next release there is unconnected with the series, but I am planning another instalment, which hopefully I'll get written before the end of the year. Originally the Dept 57 was going to have an Arthurian theme, but a plethora of Camelot books at the time, made me think further and develop the secret agent aspect more. So here's a reminder of the first book I ever wrote for the Department 57 series, "The Chemistry of Evil."

Sophie tried to pull away, but Archie was having none of it. He dragged her back and angled his mouth over hers, settling in for a nice, leisurely kiss. The whistles and catcalls from the interested bystanders only served to encourage him. When he finally pulled away, she felt numb from the pressure of his arms and mouth. He waited for her reaction and gave her a cocky grin when she smiled at him. “I can’t wait to leave because of what happens next.”
He released her. Sophie took a deep breath, trying not to show her anger at his enforcing his so-called male superiority. Tonight. She would tell him tonight, as soon as she had a private moment with him.
The whistle gleamed evilly in the find tray, reminding her of her failure. Archie saw where her gaze went and picked it up, tossing it high into the air and catching it without looking at it. “Someone’s tried his or her hand at engraving this. I had a look earlier. But it’s not old.”
“How do you know it’s not old?” She wished she could take the words back. She knew.
Archie gave her a pitying glance. “Really, Sophie! If it’s silver, it would have tarnished and rotted. If it’s steel, then by definition it’s modern. Good steel didn’t occur on a regular basis before the nineteenth century. Take it as a souvenir. I’ll sign it out as irrelevant to the dig.”
Sophie felt hurt by his light response, as though he denigrated her efforts that day. Archie could still make her feel as though her achievements amounted to nothing. He did it to most people, and she suspected he wasn’t even aware of it. Defiantly she picked up the whistle and rubbed it against her T-shirt to polish it up. “I’ll use it when I need help. It might come in handy in New York.”
“Down those mean streets?” Archie laughed, just as a new voice, dark as night and twice as sinful, sounded from the open flap of the tent.
“I believe that quotation was about Los Angeles.”
The occupants of the tent fell silent, their end-of-the-day chatter stilled. Before them stood the embodiment of masculinity. Handsome, as dark as Archie was fair, tall, and whipcord lean.
Sophie lifted her gaze and met his dark stare. Now she knew where her restless feeling came from. This was her fate.

Sophie Adams is engaged, but the second she sees sexy Evan Howell, she wants him. When her fiancé dumps her, Evan is there to catch her. And show her a passion she'd never dreamed of before, drawn from his dark experiments into sexual magick, a magick that has driven more than one man insane.

Evil follows them across the Atlantic. From Arthurian Cornwall to New York, Mordred, cursed son of King Arthur, stretches his evil influence to encompass Sophie, Evan and everyone they love. Evan has already lost his sister to Mordred and his supporters--he refuses to lose Sophie, too. It will take all his skill to save Sophie from the danger threatening to take her over, body and soul. All his skill--in the bedroom as well as out of it.

Chemistry Of Evil - a Dept 57 book
A volatile mix of passion and danger detonates explosive desire
ISBN: 978-1-59632-845-7
From Loose-ID Publishing