Thursday, August 04, 2011

July 201

Newsletter, July, 2011

I’m suffering from conference envy. I love attending conferences, but sadly, the pressure of work meant I couldn’t attend the RWA Nationals, a conference I’ve never been to and keep meaning to attend, and also the upcoming RNA conference in Caerleon. Just bad timing on my part.
But it’s been an interesting month for all that. I added Kindle and Barnes and Noble buy buttons to my website, and on 40 books that’s quite a bit of work, so I hope you’ll check them out.
I got a provisional acceptance for the final Richard and Rose book from Samhain, although I had to do a rewrite. It is really difficult rounding out a series satisfactorily, and giving a conclusion for the characters. They do come to the end of the beginning, and it is a romance, and that’s all I’m going to say for the time being!
I’m currently writing Freddy’s story, which I’ve tentatively titled “Freddy meets his match.” I’m really enjoying showing Richard and Rose from someone else’s perspective, namely Freddy’s right now, although the heroine will get to meet them pretty soon, too. Sometimes I don’t know what’s going to happen until I write it. I might write “Richard and Rose meet – ahem” in the plan, but I don’t know how they’ll actually get on until I get to that scene and write it. As a result, the plan could change.
I’ve just finished writing a new Department 57 story, and Loose-Id have offered me a contract on it. That will be Rhodri, the Welsh vampire, and his heroine is Welsh as well. I live quite close to the Welsh border, so we visit the places described in the book quite a lot. But New York also figures, and Chicago, both of which I’ve visited, too. I’m a very fortunate person in that respect. I never used to travel much because I used to get crippling travel sickness, but that passed, and now I’m an avid solo traveller. While I adore meeting up with people in the places I visit, the solo part is wonderful, too.
And if that wasn’t enough, Ellora’s Cave offered me a contract on two books. “Strangers No More” is a hot little contemporary about a woman who has plastic surgery and worries that it might affect her relationship with her lover. “Shifting Heat” is a new STORM book about Andros, the man who was suffering from muscular dystrophy and is now a shape-shifting dragon. He’s the brother of Ania, the heroine of Red Shadow. I wanted to explore how a man would feel going through such a seismic change. Could his new, strong body really be his? Did it change how he thought about himself? I love exploring these dilemmas, which is why I write in the genres I do.
So from having no contracts a few months ago, now I have four.
Amazing, this world.
I’m thinking of filling the gap between releases by self-publishing a book that was out briefly with Triskelion. I have no plans to go into self-publishing as a major part of my career, but this book, “Wicked Intentions” has already been professionally edited, and it came out just before Triskelion decided not to publish any more historical romances, so it has potential. If I put it out with Kindle, and, say, Smashwords, or another site that does epub, that would at least give people the chance to get hold of a copy. And it might help keep my name out there, something I worry about constantly, as most authors tend to do these days.
After I’ve written Freddy’s story, I have a few options. I could write the next romantic suspense, which I hope Carina will like, or I could write the new STORM book. Or even another Skin Deep book. What do you think?


How about an excerpt from one of my personal favourites, “Tantalizing Secrets”? it’s one of my favourites, because I love Peter, the hero of the book, and it’s set in a beautiful manor house that I got to know well when I was growing up. There’s a whole page on my website which explains the settings for the book.

Arabella Mason is too busy investigating her brother-in-law’s “accidental” death to entertain thoughts of love. She’ll go to any lengths to ease her sister’s grief, even accept the help of the distressingly attractive Viscount Bredon, Peter Worsley. Instead of answers, the trail of clues only leads to more questions. Who was her brother-in-law, really…and why does Peter, who poses as her brother in public, make mincemeat of her resistance in private?

A successful politician and confirmed bachelor, Peter has bedded the loveliest women in society. He never imagined he’d wind up in a Leicester backwater, helping a pretty widow investigate his brother’s untimely death. As his suspicions of foul play grow stronger, the danger rises—and so does his desire for Arabella. One kiss, and she snatches away all his resolve, leaving him wondering which he wants more…

To find his brother’s killer? Or keep Arabella safe—and make her his?


“I missed you.”
Arabella wasn’t sure who said that. She sat up, went to him. His arms went around her, where she wanted them. His mouth descended to her and softened against her lips in a gentle kiss.
Peter groaned, low in his throat. Arabella pressed closer and pushed her arms around him, under his coat. He finished the kiss and drew back so he could study her face. “Arabella you’ve been in my mind all the time, whether I wanted you to be or not. I want you very much. I can’t sleep in the same bed as you—in the same room, even, without wanting you. I’m sorry. That must be the last thing you want tonight.”
He made to draw back but she wouldn’t let him. “If it were anyone but you. Peter, I know there’s no future for us, but this once, just this once, stay with me. Make me forget Nathaniel, give me something good to remember.”
“Are you sure?” There was something else in his eyes that Arabella couldn’t interpret. Warmth perhaps.
“Yes, I’m sure. Love me, Peter.”
He swooped down to claim her with his mouth and she responded with all the ardor surging through her body. At first tentative, when she curled a hand around his neck he pushed his tongue into her and she welcomed him and touched it with her own.
He kissed her with leisurely thoroughness and she lay back, immersing herself in the sensation. He drew back and studied her, his hands cupping her face, desire and care warming his gaze.
After a blissful interval, she lifted her hands and began to undo his waistcoat. He helped, shrugging off his coat and starting at the top of the waistcoat so their fingers met half way. He took her hand in his and placed it on his chest. Arabella felt his warmth under the fine linen of his shirt and heard his groan when she smoothed her hand over him. “Arabella, I don’t want to take advantage of you when you’re vulnerable.” His voice was huskier than usual.
“This has nothing to do with Nathaniel. It’s all about us. You asked me before you went away if I would consider this and I have. I want you too much to say no.” Respectability be damned. She knew this kind of opportunity wouldn’t come her way twice.
“Arabella!” He kissed her again, and she felt his need in the way his hands roamed over her back, caressing her and pressing her to him. His mouth explored hers urgently, warmth from his tongue and lips penetrating her desire.
He broke away from her. “Just a moment.” He picked up his coat and slipped off his waistcoat, moving to a chair and throwing the garments across it. He looked at her, a long, lingering exploration of her contours, and smiled shakily. “We’re getting close to the point of no return. Remember, I said I’d tell you.”
“I thought we’d reached it already.” Arabella felt warm and wanted, her despair dissipated by his desire for her.
“Not quite.” He undid the fastenings on his cuffs and at the neck, dragging the shirt over his head. When he saw Arabella looking avidly, he turned to face her. “Disappointed?”
She examined the hard muscles that rippled under his skin when he moved, the lean athleticism he displayed for her. She shook her head. He laughed lightly and bent to the buckles at his knee. He sat on the chair to remove his boots, the spurs jingling. He took them off by the simple expedient of treading on the heels and pulling his legs out of the boots.
“Your valet wouldn’t like that.”
“My valet isn’t here.” He gave her a wicked grin. “Thank God. He wouldn’t approve of any of this.”
“Your valet is a Puritan?”
“Not far from one. He wouldn’t stay with me if I didn’t pay him well and bring him the prestige he craves. He’d hate it here, where I’m nobody.”
“You’re not nobody. You’re Peter.”
He gave a soft laugh. He tugged off his stockings and undid the flap of his breeches. Holding them up, he glanced at her. “Last chance.”
She shook her head. He let the breeches fall, and dragged his underwear down to follow. When he stood up he let her look her fill, unashamed of his body and his rampant arousal. Her attention went to his face, and he chuckled. “A lady.” He crossed the room to her. “My lady.”
Arabella wasn’t afraid, but she was apprehensive. He sat on the edge of the bed and she sat up. He watched while she undid the ties at her neck and rid herself of her ruined nightgown.
Something else entered his gaze; Arabella recognized it as hunger, although she’d never seen it before in these circumstances. Her apprehension broke, replaced by a new tension. She wanted him badly now, and not for comfort. Her thighs dampened with her essence—she was ready for him.
Arabella daren’t move and break the spell. He might move away, or think better of it, and she couldn’t bear it. Rejection from Peter would hurt her terribly, but from the look on his face, she doubted very much that he would.
She was right. He was the first to move, reaching forward to grip her shoulder and pull her close, none too gently. His mouth met hers and he lifted his feet to join her in the bed. “Now,” he said against her mouth. “Now it’s too late.”

Tantalizing Secrets
A murder… A lord’s desire…and her quiet, respectable life is gone forever.
ISBN: 978-1-60504-394-4
From Samhain Publishing