Tag Archive | historical romance

Rules or Passion? Can the two coexist?

the-mysterious-merriana-webI wrote my latest release, The Mysterious Merriana, about a quarter of a century ago. At that time, I had no education in the craft of writing. I knew grammar but not the nuts and bolts of the rules as applied to writing fiction. It’s little wonder that my early manuscripts were roundly rejected by editors.

Then, several months ago, I decided to see if I could revise The Mysterious Merriana without having to rewrite most of it from scratch. I discovered that this old manuscript contained a very good story (in my opinion) along with many amateurish mistakes. Some of these errors required rewriting or omitting paragraphs, and in some cases, I had to decide between following the rules and striping away the passion I’d felt while writing this book. Knowing I might get dinged by some readers (and especially other writers) for breaking the rules, I nevertheless decided to leave the passion. I don’t regret that at all. After all, as they say, “You need to know the rules in order to break them.” If you’d like to visit the ebook on Amazon and see for yourself, click HERE.

Following is a brief description of The Mysterious Merriana.

THE MYSTERIOUS MERRIANA, a Regency romance

On his way to France to extract an English agent, Justin Foster, Earl of Cardleigh, stops overnight at his favorite country inn, only to discover a mysterious female in the kitchen. This gorgeous woman claims to be the daughter of an English farmer, but she cooks like a French chef and sings French songs like a native of that land. When Justin learns that the agent who was supposed to travel with him has been mysteriously disabled, he insists the female accompany him to France and serve as his guide.

Having recently arrived in England on a smuggler’s boat, Merriana de Mérchan has no desire to return to France, but the distrustful Earl of Cardleigh, who assumes she is a French agent, gives her no choice. Although aware that she presents a suspicious image, she dare not attempt to tell him the full truth for fear of an unknown enemy who seemingly wants her dead.

As Justin and Merriana struggle toward opposing goals, the attraction they feel keeps drawing them closer. The question becomes, can they trust each other long enough for love to triumph?

A Simple Lady gets a second chance

We’ve all heard stories about manuscripts being stored under the bed or in the back of a drawer for years, then pulled out and published.

a-simple-lady-webWell, my newest release, a Regency titled A Simple Lady, has a similar history, although, in addition to my having relegated around 300 printed pages to the back of a drawer twenty years ago, I also had the manuscript stored on floppy disks. What? You don’t know what a floppy disk is? That’s okay. I barely remember them myself, but fortunately I had hung on to mine along with the paper copy. More about that later.

But back to A Simple Lady’s history. Back when I wrote the novel, I entered it in the Romance Writers of America’s contest for unpublished writers. The manuscript finaled and was kicked around in New York by a major publisher for a while before being rejected. By this time, I’d moved on to other books and decided there really wasn’t anything else I could do with A Simple Lady.

Fast forward to 2015. I ran across the paper manuscript and decided, what the heck, I’d get some use out of it by printing my current book on the back of the sheets, which I did. Then, as I was proofing my new book, I started reading the backs of the twenty-year-old pages and discovered I really liked that old story and wanted to publish it myself (an option that didn’t exist twenty years ago).

Fortunately I remembered that I had those floppy disks that contained various revisions of the earlier version of A Simple Lady. I also had a reader for the floppies and an older computer that worked with the reader. It took a while for me to locate the original version of the manuscript (before I’d messed around with it trying to satisfy the New York publishers). After that, I realized the original needed quite a bit of work. Two more revisions were required before I was happy with the final product, which went live on Amazon today (July 11, 2015) as an ebook. A paperback will be available soon.

I always had a soft spot for this story but allowed others’ opinions to convince me that it wasn’t worth pursuing publication of A Simple Lady. I’m so glad I ran across that old manuscript and decided to give it a second chance. If you enjoy historical romance, I hope you’ll give A Simple Lady a chance too! To get the ebook, simply click on the following Amazon link: A SIMPLE LADY.

Barbourville series prequel now available

Okay, I’ll admit it: my main reason for writing this post is so I can show off the cover for my latest Barbourville novel, Celebrations of Joy. I think it’s gorgeous, and major thanks go to my cover designer, the extremely talented Dar Albert.

While I’m at it, I’ll mention that this ebook is on sale on Amazon as an introductory special for 99 cents but will go up in price soon. In addition, I’ll add that this book is a prequel that serves to introduce the Barbourville series. Following is a brief summary of the book.

celebration-of-joy-web-copy

The day Melody Mills buried her mother was the day she vowed to save enough money to buy herself a one-way ticket out of Barbourville, Tennessee. Trouble is, she has no job, no home, and very few possessions.

Enter Judge Robert McCray, the most influential man in Barbourville, not to mention the most annoying, at least in the opinion of Connor Webb. The judge wants Connor to hire Melody to manage the bed and breakfast that Connor is trying to establish in the neglected Kessler mansion. Connor can’t really afford an employee, especially one he doesn’t need, but he can’t turn his back on this frail, impoverished woman who, for some strange reason, packs her depleted wardrobe in luggage that’s worth at least half a year’s wages.

With both Melody and Connor working hard and exploring new options for the old Kessler estate, the launch of a promising business is just around the corner. Unfortunately people they thought they’d left behind suddenly reappear and seem determined to derail their plans.

Will their love for each other be strong enough to help them overcome the challenges from their past and secure their dreams for the future?

Be sure to take advantage of the sale price by clicking on the following link: Buy Celebrations.

And thanks!

My Regency Christmas story now available

If you enjoy Christmas stories, be sure to check out Crimson Romance’s December 23rd release, an anthology entitled Bells Will Be Ringing. The anthology consists of four stories set around Christmas. Three are contemporary (Her Secret Santa by Monica Tillery, His Hawaiian Christmas by Diana Jean, and Gavin Fever by Angelita Gill).

Cover for Carey's story

My historical story, Merry’s Wonderful Christmas Gift, is set in a country village in England in 1817 in early December. The heroine, Merry Damonson, once loved Christmas but now the season serves only to remind her that Edward, the man who had asked her to be his wife, deserted her just before Christmas the previous year when he inherited an earldom. Now this man she had hoped never to see again is returning to the neighborhood and he has brought a woman with him. What hope does a simple country girl have when the beautiful and sophisticated Regina seems to have firmly attached herself to Edward? But perhaps all is not what it seems as Merry learns when she begins helping Edward’s mother plan a Christmas ball. Can she and Edward learn to let go of their misconceptions and allow the magic of the season to bring them back together again?

The Secret Christmas Ciphers is now just 99 cents

For the next few days, beginning November 3, my Regency Christmas romance titled The Secret Christmas Ciphers is on sale for 99 cents instead of the usual price of $2.99.

Someone recently asked me what a cipher is. The dictionary definition for cipher (which can also be spelled “cypher”) is “a message written in a secret code.” A second definition is “a secret method of writing.”

The Secret Christmas Ciphers

The Secret Christmas Ciphers

When I was writing The Secret Christmas Ciphers, I researched ciphers and learned that to “encipher” or “encode” means to convert plain text into a cipher or code that can only be deciphered or uncoded by someone who has a “key” as to how the text was enciphered to begin with.

Although my story, which is set during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, is fiction, ciphers were reportedly used by Napoleon and his generals. I used this information in plotting the story by providing the heroine with the knowledge she needed to help her husband decipher intercepted messages from the French and thus provide invaluable information for the English.

I enjoyed writing a story about ciphers, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it, especially at a reduced price! But hurry before it goes back up to $2.99! Buy it now by clicking on the following link: http://amzn.to/1bOlp36

My newest (old) Christmas novella

I’m pleased to announce the publication (for the second time) of my Regency Christmas novella titled A Christmas Spirit of Forgiveness. 

Why is it being published for the second time? You see, the story originally appeared in an anthology published in 2009 by Cerridwen Press as part of their Cotillion line for traditional Regencies. About a year ago, the anthology went out of print, but fortunately the stories are now being released as stand-alone ebooks. I’m delighted that this story is available again.

A Christmas Spirit of Forgiveness

The following paragraphs give an idea of what the story is about and also illustrate the significance of the woman depicted on the cover.

            An endangered kitten and a mysterious lady in red combine to lure Anna Marshall away from her home and out into the teeth of a ferocious snowstorm. After rescuing the kitten, Anna walks on through the falling snow, searching for a man reported missing by the lady in red.

This rather peculiar evening turns alarming for Anna when an encounter with a stranger on horseback results in her being unceremoniously “rescued” by the notorious Earl of Ashington, who was told by the lady in red that a female was missing in the storm.

Convinced he’s saving Anna’s life, Ashington insists on taking her home with him. Marooned on his country estate, the two discover a mutual attraction that both realize can lead nowhere. After all, he’s universally detested by his country neighbors and thus prefers life in London while Anna avoids the city because she has reason to dislike her aristocratic relatives who reside there.

But Christmas is approaching and with help from the ghostly lady in red, the two of them discover that by accepting love and forgiveness, they can possess the peace and joy that the season promises.

If you enjoy Christmas romances, I hope you’ll consider trying A Christmas Spirit of Forgiveness. It will soon be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all venues for electronic books.

My Christmas novella will be free again

On Tuesday, August 14, and Wednesday, August 15, my Regency-era Christmas novella will be free on Amazon for the Kindle. If you missed it before, you have another chance to download it free of charge.

The Secret Christmas Ciphers

And if you notice anything strange about the cover, well, there’s a reason for that. I loved the cover with the black background but unfortunately, the name of the book did not show up well at all. Thus, I asked the cover artist to revise and use a lighter background. She did so, and the new cover is shown in this post. (The original cover is still shown in the right-hand column.) AUTHOR’S NOTE: THE COVER WITH THE LIGHTER BACKGROUND IS NOW SHOWN IN THE SIDEBAR.

But in any case, nothing has changed inside, so if you downloaded the earlier version, you have the current version except for the cover. And if you have not yet downloaded the novella to your Kindle, remember that you can get it free on August 14 and 15.