Monday, 12 December 2011

New Kindle Book - Scandalous Whisper!

I have again indulged in the Regency period with this love story, but unlike my Georgian novella "The Highwayman's Mistress" this one is set entirely within England.  While heroic officers & gentlemen abound, two of the latter prove themselves more rogues than gentlemen!     


England, September 1818, and the Hon Mrs. Napier views the Earl of Kilder as a most desirable suitor for her daughter’s hand in marriage. Forced to engage with the extremely handsome and charming earl, a darker side to his nature is revealed and Christina despises his very presence. Worse, her twin brother cavorts with the earl in unmentionable pursuits, and equally bent on seeing her married to his favoured friend. Luckily, with the return of the 11th Dragoons from France, their eldest brother’s homecoming affords Christina brief respite from the earl’s overt attentions. 

So too, the man Christina admires above all others has returned to the Netherwood Estate. A chance meeting and lingering eye contact with her heart’s desire stirs rebellion within her. Her mother impervious to an act of wilful subterfuge insists Christina will marry the earl, but Christina indulges in secret liaisons with the man of her dreams. With deception retribution must follow and a cruel price is to be paid when Robert Lord Devonish is recalled to duty, the regiment bound for India. What will become of her now there is no one to save her from the earl’s clutches? 

See book trailer here.

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Highwayman's Mistress - Live on Kindle!

Today The Highwayman's Mistress went live as Kindle e-book at Amazon: see left sidebar for link.

Be warned it has three explicit sex scenes.

The first chapter is available to read: see left sidebar, or read sample Kindle version at Amazon.

This is the cover, and below the blurb!

The novella is set in 1792 - 1793 respectively: the era of the French Revolution.

Richard Courtenay Viscount Somerton, gallant as heroes come, has agreed to see Miss Diamonta Whitaker, safely delivered to the Palace of Versailles. Half French by birth and daughter of a French countess, Diamonta has more than one reason for accepting a gracious invite to stay at the Royal Court at Versailles. Her heart lies at court, with Francois de Boviere, Count of Saint Mont Marche.

Unfortunately, tide of revolution has swept from Paris to Versailles and heads of French aristocrats are seriously under threat of Madame Guillotine. With Diamonta's coche still en route to Versailles, strange as it seems a highwayman delivers a message by way of robbery to save her life. Can she, upon return to England, ever recover from her mother's wrath once her relationship with a highwayman is discovered, and can he survive a duel to the death?

See book trailer here

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Publishing Contract signed - Novella Published & Now Available on Kindle!

A few weeks ago I signed a publishing contract for a contemporary romance, which I'm delighted about, but it won't be published until July 2012. 

In the meantime I've celebrated with "Her Favoured Captain" a historical novella, now available as a Kindle e-book.  

It took a while to get around to posting this historical novella to Amazon but it's there now!

The problem lay with the book trailer: getting it to function as best I could and with the music helping to set the scenes. I never thought book trailers would be seen as so important for e-books. But, I guess all the stops have to be pulled in utilisation of every marketing tool available, especially for something that sits within a virtual book store.

I'm one of those people that's willing to give anything a try, see bottom of post for end result.

Also, formatting for Kindle is no picnic. I'd class Kindle formatting nothing less than a hair-pulling experience. Nevertheless, I cracked it to what I think is as good as perfection given that Kindle automatically (annoyingly) indented first line of first paragraph to every darn chapter. 

Anyhoo, the link to "Her Favoured Captain" at Amazon: see top left side-bar. 

See Book Trailer here.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

New Excerpt from Novella.

Writing a novella is something new for me, and I may not, come the ending, feel happy with a shortened story. Who can say? But I'm giving it a go, because like flash-fiction, it's a great exercise in honing one's work, of cutting to the bone yet still conveying a wonderful story. The image below inspired the writing of "Her Favoured Captain"  an ongoing WIP.

It's a Royal Navy ship, and something about the image stirred my imagination.  The dark sky, the chill looking waters and sails lashed in implied (to me) the hulk at anchor, and that aspect inspired dark thoughts.  What if, what if . . . ?  And, from those dark thoughts came Emerald Lady Penhavean and a mysterious Captain of the high seas. If you would like to sample a taste of this novella, go here.
   Quick add-on: I have now finished this novella, and it has a lovely twist in the tale!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Research or no research!

When it comes to “do you do research for modern contemporary novels?” then the answer is a great fat NO. It’s always seemed as though characters have either lived in places I have or places I’ve visited and fell in love with: sometimes vice versa. Horses have often featured. Hardly surprising because equines are second nature to me, and they make for a great backdrop interspersed with action. Basically, I stick with what I’m familiar with.

However, a historical novel requires much research. Despite my prior knowledge of plots and period setting (1600/1700s), there are facets of every day life I’m unfamiliar with even though I feel a great affinity with the 17th and early 18th century. Basic food, miraculously, proved little different than today with regards bread, bacon (ham) and meat, eggs, plain un-exotic vegetables and fruit, and preserving of such re salted beef, jams, preserves. But, when did cocoa (drinking chocolate) first hit these shores? When did China tea first hit these shores? When did coffee first hit these shores? When did each become commercial properties served in coffee houses? China tea became a commercial item long after having been consumed in private by wealthy elements in society. Another interesting fact: did you know people drank hawthorn flower/leaf tea beside herbal concoctions, ale, and wine? The former, very refeshing and not unlike green tea!

 But, now here’s the thing, I quite got carried away with research on ladies and gentleman’s attire: not style because I’m up on all that. My interest lay in what kind of fabrics were available, where and how sourced? I adore velvet, satin, silk, and damask. With the Elizabethan era at end (see above) square necklines with their stiff upright lace collars, neck-ruffs, and below waist girdles with navel point soon fell out of favour. By 1644 and the Civil War raging in its second year, ladies necklines became softer. And, as can be seen from the images below, styles for wealthy ladies changed back and forth during this period.

 Round necklines were in, so too soft voile modesty drapes for some while soft lace frills favoured by others. Sleeves became quite flamboyant with puffs, sometimes with velvet outer and slits to allow peep of contrast silk under. Skirts and bodice/girdles often stopped at the waist, and all made from a variety of luscious fabrics: velvets, satins, silks, damask and other. The Puritans on the other hand retained square necklines and adopted modesty drapes and or stiff up-to-the-neck collars. Their skirts and bodice mostly that of wool and girdles/bodice sometimes kidskin: suede as we know it today.

Why need for this much research, one might ask. But, if I’d remained ignorant of this knowledge how could I let a reader see and feel the fabric of the MC’s outfit and that of other characters? By the late 17th century early 18th, girdles/bodice with navel split-points were in favour. Sleeves were tailored narrow from shoulder to frill trim at or below elbow, and frills on skirts in abundance. See left hand image. 

Oh, just a quick reminder: although we're in 2011 it's the 21st century. The years 1600 are 17th century so on and so forth!

Ahem, history lesson over. School out!  ;)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Historical Romance & Research!

As anybody who knows me from regular blogging over at my fun-writer blog (see sidebar), I love writing historical romances. With historicals comes research, and although I often get carried away on research I never allow it to encroach on the story beyond that of background setting. There's nothing worse than getting into a novel and then it appears to be more a lesson in history than that of mere escape to another era where love and romance are supposedly key.   

I love Tudor/Elizabethan novels and adored Jane Austen's works, so too more modern classics written by Daphne du Maurier and others. The latter probably more to my liking writing-wise, in that I haven't as yet felt compelled to write within the Napoleonic era. My favourite period  remains 1700s. After all, it was a truly swashbuckling era when men wore flamboyant outfits and women glorious gowns, the better-off that is.

The richness of embossed velvets, satins, silks and lace trims, literally fabulous in my mind. I quite believe I was born several hundred years too late, because these same fabrics (bar lace) I have draped around the house and, apt to hoard in abundance! In today's lifestyle such fabrics are only suitable for extremely posh functions and special occcasions, and a total no-no for pushing super-market trolleys around. 

My writing often stems from images, mostly that of portraits, and the following became the catalyst to my first venture into writing historicals. I  have no idea why, but the young lady in the portrait introduced herself as Anna Lady Maitcliffe: to the subconscious. 

Subsequently, Anna's story and that of the one she loved above all others came to me in overnight dream movie sequence. 

So taken with  her - and the awfulness of the Civil War - I felt compelled to tell her story. While divided loyalties tear her family apart and hidden truths come to light, her beloved is banished from his family home and estate lands, and her life becomes one of survival at any cost. And, despite trials and tribulations faced by all the characters, and her personal sacrifice for fear of being married off to a young Cavalier rake, war comes to Axebury Hall Estate and turns her world upside down and inside out. Although death heralds a turn in the war, can past deeds and that of heartbreak and betrayal ever be put aside? The new lord wonders whether love or rejection awaits him on his return!