Tag Archive | Regency 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.

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.

Regency novella is free this weekend

Just a quick reminder that The Secret Christmas Ciphers is free this weekend, June 2 and 3. If you enjoy historical romances, you’ll want to download this one. You can’t beat the price. 🙂

And if you’re a Regency lover (or discover you enjoy reading about that period in history), you might enjoy my other Regency romances, My Elusive Countess and Compromising Situations. 

My Elusive Countess recently received a very nice review from the Regency Reader site, in which the reviewer commented:

I like that the heroine is from the merchant class, but shows real class through her forebearance and kindness.  And her actions throughout the novel demonstrate this, its not just delivered through a few punchy monologues.  I also found her descriptions of the young lad endearing rather than annoying, which was a relief.

In any case, thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy this first weekend in June.

New Book Will Be Free June 2-3

Oops! I forgot to include a title for my post yesterday when I posted here about my new book, The Secret Christmas Ciphers. I’m not sure how much difference that makes, but to be on the safe side, I decided to mention again that the ebook version will be free on Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3. If you are so inclined, I invite you to download it and, if you enjoy it, to say so on Amazon in the review section.

And if you’re interested, here’s a blurb about the book:

Abigail can’t explain, even to herself, why she married Derek after he’d asked her to wait for him and then became engaged to someone else. If his poor fiancée had not died, he would now be wed to her instead of Abigail. But then Abigail begins uncovering some of the secrets that are a part of her husband’s life and wonders if perhaps there is hope for their marriage after all.

Abigail and Derek

Derek, Lord Westdale, wasn’t sure why Abigail married him; she obviously despised him. On the other hand, he knew exactly why he was marrying her: she was the only woman he would ever love, despite his having offered marriage to another. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to convince Abigail that he never really betrayed her after all.

Can their decoding of a secret Christmas cipher bring an end to their misunderstandings and help them create their own special Christmas tradition?