Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

The holiday season is almost upon us and I’m rushing around attempting to reissue some of my favorite oldie goldies while preparing for a long trip and getting ready for Christmas. Think the flight attendants will mail my holiday cards?

But I think I’ve at least got the reissues ready! They’re set for release on December 5 but available for pre-order now.

I’ve grouped together some of my early books like LOVE FOREVER AFTER and SILVER ENCHANTRESS into a series called Dark Lords and Dangerous Ladies. If you enjoy the older, meatier historicals, please give these a try! I have a Beauty and the Beast story, a highwayman, a wayward duke’s daughter, marriages of convenience and so much more! Let me know what you think.

Twisted Genius!

Those of you who received my newsletter (Love every one of you—smooch!) have already received notice that the fifth and final Family Genius mystery will be released October 3rd. I love Ana and her eccentric friends, but the series always had a plot arc that had to end just before the presidential primaries. So I have done my best to wrap up all the story threads about Magda’s past life, take Graham and Ana to HEA resolution despite their prickly personalities, and even give Nick a love interest—with children. It’s hard to tell you more without giving everything away, but expect the usual manic mayhem, and Ana having an existential crisis, or maybe just a meltdown!

The e-book is available for pre-order at all your favorite retailers (click on the image and you’ll get buy buttons and a sample). The print book is experiencing some production delays but should be ready by the release date. Go forth and give Ana the great send-off she’s worked so hard to earn!

Regency Love and Laughter

I’ve updated and had new covers made for four of my older Regencies and a collection of novellas. For those readers who are just finding my books, these are humorous romps and love stories written for Signet Regency back in the heyday of Regencies. They’re perfect for those days when you need a little love and an escape for reality. I hope you enjoy them!

Let me know if you’d like to see more light historical romances like these!

Instinct vs impulse

As I grow older and realize life is growing shorter, I give in to my impulses far more often than I should. Of course, when I was young, I was poor and didn’t have the money or time to buy that pretty pillow or the stack of books on Mayan history. I was forced to stop and consider alternatives, thus saving me from a lot of bad decisions. Those pillows really don’t match the cushion. I knew it at the time, but they were pretty.

But how does one differentiate impulse from instinct? I fell in love with my husband at first sight, and we’ve been together since we were teenagers. That had to be instinct, didn’t it? Knowing I needed to write was definitely instinct, growing out of my need to be heard even though I was ignored by all around me.

Impulses are often defined as bad—they’re an instantaneous urge that distracts, diverts, and wastes time and money. Instincts are defined as coming from experience: emotional, intellectual, even physical knowledge. Very often, we resist instinct because it’s telling us to do something that won’t be fun and will very likely be hard work—like writing a book which will eat up a year of my time.

But when I see something pretty that I really want, I still tell myself it’s instinct, that someday in the future that pillow/book/shirt will be just what I need. And because I’m a goal-driven, creative person, I almost always make that happen and regret it if I don’t follow the impulse. So how in heck do I differentiate?

How about you? Do you give in or resist impulse? (and googling dream houses when you’re supposed to be working is an impulse—I’m here to tell you!)

Let’s Talk!

I believe I’ve mentioned once or twice that I am an introvert. I sit at my desk the better part of the day, writing what’s in my head, oblivious to the outside world. To avoid disappearing entirely inside my head, I have learned to go out and meet readers at conferences or book signings, and more recently, on social media like Facebook and in newsletters to my readers.

But I keep forgetting that readers who don’t follow my newsletter and Facebook may come here to learn more about me. To you, I owe an apology. I so seldom receive responses here that I forget this blog exists. Like most people (except those who enjoy talking to the wind, as one reader put it!), I need reaction to keep a conversation going.

I will be happy to just post about upcoming releases (NO PERFECT MAGIC, June 27!), but if you’d like to read about other topics, tell me what you’d like me to write about. It’s a source of constant amazement that people actually want to hear what I have to say, but cooped up without a sounding board all day, I’m always happy to chat.

 

Aura of Magic Release!

I’ve worked all winter to produce the next three Unexpected Magic books and I’m still not really ready to let the first one go! But I need to start pulling all the strings and pushing all the buttons and send Pascoe Ives–the bastard diplomat of the family–and Brighid, the Countess of Carstairs into the world.

Coming March 14, 2017

Here’s the short version of their story:

Widowed after years of a loveless marriage, the Countess of Carstairs rebelliously embraces her dream of establishing a forbidden school for midwives—until the crown’s envoy intervenes. Caught between his mystifyingly incorrigible children and the king’s demand that he end the riots in the countess’s village, Pascoe Ives needs help, but asking the aid of the irresistible countess only adds ghosts and assassins to his woes.

You can read the excerpt here

And let me know if you’re enjoying the series, please!

Be Afraid of Fear

Afraid of ghosts?

Fear is part of human nature—witness the fight or flight instinct in all of us. I am cautious by nature and would easily become agoraphobic if I hadn’t realized at a very early age that I would never accomplish my dreams unless I stepped out into the unknown. Constantly pushing my boundaries keeps my mind active and allows me to follow a career I love. But I’m a reader, and books have opened my mind to possibilities I would never have envisioned without them.

Continue reading

Books Emerge from Research

grimshaw_battersea_bridgeI am spinning wheels on the current Unexpected Magic work in process, which means I’m diving deep into research mode, looking for a way out of the corner I’ve written myself into. Having started my career by driving librarians crazy with inter-library loans attempting to dig out esoteric information, I am always amazed by the enormous amount of material to be found on-line today. I treasure a map I bought in London back before internet days showing me when particular areas were built and giving me all the lovely street names. Today, I can go online and get an interactive map like this http://tinyurl.com/hwnzr8a where I can zoom up on any area for street names, then broaden to see how my characters will travel from Mayfair to Battersea. And I can find famous paintings of the bridge itself, which was reported to be extremely rickety at the time I’m writing about. (see painting above)

And then I can dive into detailed descriptions of 18th century Battersea and learn things like this: On the site of Bolingbroke-house was erected, about two years ago (1797), a horizontal air-mill of a new construction, and of very large dimensions: the shape of the dome or case which contains the moveable machine (fn. 45), is that of a truncated cone; …having just space to turn round within it: the extremities of this machine are called floats, as in the wheel of a water-mill; …there are ninety-six floats, and the same number of shutters in the dome, which, when open, admit, even when there is little wind, a sufficient current of air to turn the machine, and, by a particular contrivance, shut when the wind is so violent as to endanger the structure. This mill, at its first erection, was used for preparing of oil; it is now used as a corn-mill, and is occupied by Messrs. Hodgson and Co. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-environs/vol1/pp26-48

Recognize the Hodgson? I refuse to dive down the bunny trail to see if it’s any relation to the items we find in our grocery store now. I need to get back to work. I’m so easily distracted! If anyone else hunts down that history, let me know, will you?

PS: Okay, I dived deeper and found this absolutely fabulous visual map of the Thames riverbank in 1829! Have fun!

 

Holiday Cheer

patriciarice_incomparablelordmeath_800I thought you might enjoy a quick holiday read to get you into the spirit. Heaven only knows, I’m ready for a warm and fuzzy escape from the newspapers. So I found a way to tell Lady Bell’s backstory (from Rebellious Sons) through the eyes of star-crossed lovers. INCOMPARABLE LORD MEATH’s novella will be out November 1! Let me know if you want more novella sized stories. Not all tales work in a longer length, and I’d enjoy hunting for more short ones.

New Family Genius Release!

Twin GeniusI love writing this series. It has all the fun things I enjoy writing about: family, money, humor, romance, adventure, and danger. Since it’s a mystery, it also has a murder or two, and the romance is in the background, which makes a refreshing break from my usual historical romances.

Above all, it’s the characters in this series who keep me endlessly fascinated. Ana, the eldest sibling who once ran away from responsibility, is now learning to deal with her large family, their fortune, and the mysterious spy inhabiting her attic. She might not actually appreciate the duty, but with the help of the rest of her family, Mallard the Butler, and Graham, spy extraordinaire, she’s managing to keep up with them! Continue reading