Family, Friends, and Duty, oh my!

I think everyone understands the delicate line we all walk between looking after our own

Anne Gracie, Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney

Anne Gracie, Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney

interests and looking after friends and family. So I hope you’ll understand that I’ve been treading that line a lot lately. It’s really hard to keep our balance when the unexpected occurs, even harder when tragedy strikes. We’re pulled toward those who need us most and forget the mundane. If you want to see what has me spinning, please read the post in the Word Wench blog about losing Jo Beverley.

My book characters probably reflect some of my own dilemma on how to handle this tight rope, because they’re human, and I want them to take familiar human paths, but I’ve never really considered this a theme until this week. As WHISPER OF MAGIC gets ready for release and I struggle through the current manuscript, I have become aware from my own struggle for balance that family, friends, duty, and my characters’ own selfish desires all provide conflict in my books. Awareness apparently comes through living and losing.

Whisper of Magic by Patricia RiceI don’t know how much of “me” can be found in WHISPER’s Lord Erran Ives, a brilliant barrister with a dangerous gift of persuasion. But his struggles to find the dividing line between his own needs and his family’s should be familiar to most of us. And of course, because he’s young and this is romance, when a lovely woman with a celestial voice is thrown in his path, his struggles are completely derailed. And now that I think about it, the ending might be symbolic for all of us trying to keep our heads above water!

Do you have any secrets for balancing “me” needs and “family/friends” needs?


Mea Culpa!

The first of my excerpts for Magic in the Stars have been going out, and I’m receiving a puppy_in_a_tam-o-shanterdeluge of lovely mail pointing out that my hero doesn’t know the name of his own dog. Well, people have been a little politer than that.

What can I say? When I write, names change. It just happens. It’s part of the process, and at some point, I hope I catch all the  changes and settle on a final name. (Although the heroine of current WIP has probably gone through a hundred name changes by now!)

But my real fault was in letting the excerpt go up before it was proofed. We organize so much of this in advance that sometimes it’s impossible to remember what I did when, and this is one of those cases. I apologize.

And in case you’re wondering, his dog’s name is Hog. And that’s not him in the picture. <G>


Unexpected Magic Series Begins!

Rice_MagicintheStars800After a year in the making and months of consulting over covers and release dates, I can finally show you the cover for Magic in the Stars, Book #1 in my new Malcolm/Ives historical romance series! The pre-order links aren’t up yet, but I can give you a sneak peek at an excerpt.

The original Magical Malcolms series was set in the Georgian era around 1750. I brought the Ives family of scientific, logical men together with a group of exceptionally independent Malcolm women with “gifts” that ranged from magical healing to seeing ghosts.

When that series ended, readers kept asking for books about their descendants.  At the time, my editors weren’t interested, so I sold a contemporary romance with a trio of brothers who may have descended from my Ives family. That became the California Malcolm trilogy.

Now, I’m finally in a position to follow the descendants of my Georgian couples into 1830 because I wanted to see how the scientific Ives men and the woo-woo Malcolms navigate the Industrial Revolution.

So far, I’m playing with astrology and astronomy (Magic in the Stars), a barrister and a Jamaican heiress who instigate riots (Whisper of Magic), and a blind political marquess captivated and appalled by a woman who hears voices in her head (Theory of Magic).

As you can imagine, the stories involve a healthy dose of humor and skepticism as the couples learn to deal with the unbelievable—including an Ives with a “gift” of his own.

I’m really excited about this series and hope you will be too!