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!

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!

Romance Novel Covers

Rebel DreamsI’m in the nail-biting process of deciding on the “look” for the next Malcolm/Ives historical romance series. Do I want naked lady backs? Not particularly, but I do like balogh_Mary Balogh’s lady/landscape covers. But I’m writing as much about the Ives men as the Malcolm ladies (and by 1830, they’re pretty intermixed, magic wise). So a hot guy on the cover, maybe? But how does one differentiate between one 1830 fashion model and another? Wouldn’t they all look alike? What do you think?

Historical World Building

Because I’ve been out playing this weekend–finally saw Lion King live with the family among other things–I played hooky from the computer. It’s hard to come back from the Magic man 640awesomeness of that music to words that must be pulled from my cranium. So today, I refer you to my Word Wench post on historical world building. Do you have favorite book worlds that you visit?

More About Town Homes

I’d mean to post a floor plan of a typical narrow London townhouse from the Georgian era–which would include the home I’m writing about for my current Malcolm/Ives story. I couldn’t find anything copyright free. So I’m giving you this fabulous blog link with cut-outs and floor plans for a slightly larger house than I’m writing about. The photo is of Sion Road, because the area I’m writing about is now far too commercial to show what connected houses look like.

The St James area in 1830 was mostly old Georgian homes surrounded by palaces, a very mixed residential area. It’s fun poking through the house descriptions. But my marquess is having a tough time fitting his huge household into a house this narrow!



Word 2010 and Other Jokes

I have been cursing Microsoft Word 2010 since my husband downloaded it. The filing system is abominable and makes me work three times as hard to find the documents I need. Apparently, their tech genii believe everyone works on a few documents at a time and never need a hundred a day, all buried in long ago folders in obscure places. Just give me an index please!

But today, glory hallelujah, I discovered a new trick. I’m deep into revising one of my new Malcolm/Ives historical romances, and that requires jumping from chapter to chapter to locate related bits. I’ve been frothing at the mouth because the little arrows on the right that allow me to jump from bookmark to bookmark have disappeared. I know I can do Ctl+G, but that’s annoying when I’m doing a lot of jumping around.

So I googled and discovered the Navigation Pane! It’s not as good as my little arrows, but if you go to View/Navigation Pane, you get a lovely list of all your bookmarks that stays up on the left side as long as it’s needed. Now aren’t you glad you you read this? <G>

Dixie-Rebel-600x900And because I’m too lazy to hunt an image of celebration, I’m adding the Dixie Rebel cover. It’s gone free for a limited time, as has Evil Genius. Go ahead, indulge.

Experimentation Encouraged

Scilly Travels

Scilly Travels

Because I’m incapable of leaving anything alone, I’ve just moved my writing blog to my website — makes sense to have everything in one place, doesn’t it?

Here’s my first attempt — a shot from the gorgeous botanical garden on the Scilly Isles, which may sound like a Monty Python sketch because yes, Scilly is pronounced silly.

This post comes under the category of “Things We Learn with Travel.” To our utter amazement, we learned while traveling last month that the Scilly Islands, which are just off the southern coast of chilly England–actually have a Mediterranean climate. The garden was chock full of the same plants I grow at my home in Southern California!

I don’t recommend thinking of moving there immediately, though. The islands are isolated and the kids have to board at school during the week and sail home for the weekends. Grocery shopping must be fun! But a tropical island right off England– now my brain is whirling with historical romance ideas!

Have you ever been to Scilly? Or just been silly?

Notorious Atherton Release

Notorious Atherton, the third book in the Rebellious Sons series, is now up at B&N! As a Nook First release, this will be the only place you can buy it for the next month. Print and Kindle versions will follow, I promise. This brave new world of publishing is complicated, and I’m still navigating the shoals, experimenting with every method of reaching readers that I can find.

I need to thank the brilliant editors and formatters at Book View Cafe for making this release possible. I may have the experience of thirty years of publishing behind me, but I still need those extra eyes on the page to catch those places where readers would stumble over my obliviousness.

Bookmark that BVC page if you go there. We’re revamping the front page to show you all the exciting books–new and backlist–that we’re producing. We have a lot of exciting new projects in the wings and we’re growing by leaps and bounds.

This is the way old-style publishing grew back in the early 20th century–one book and one reader at a time. Don’t sit back and  just watch this new publishing world develop–participate! Really, as readers, you can choose the bestsellers of tomorrow. Simply go to B&N or Amazon or your favorite venue and comment on books by your favorite authors. Those comments count far more than you realize–readers are literally choosing the authors they want to see published instead of letting NYC editors decide. Go for it!

Historical Romance Mini Rant

I write love stories. I want to read love stories. I adore books showing me two wonderfully different characters somehow finding each other, getting to know each other, and falling in love. Yes, lust and love go hand-in-hand, and I’m totally fine with that, too. But in historical romance, I don’t want the characters shoving their hands down each other shirts before the first bow and  curtsy are made. In erotica, fine, but I want the romance more than I want the sex, so I don’t read erotica.

So I’m sitting here with the ideas for two totally different books. The one is pretty much implausible but extremely sexy, with the protagonists in bed together in the opening pages. The other is the one I want to write, about a very proper governess and a blustery sailor and a passel of exotic children. I’m pretty certain I can sell the sexy one to New York. I’m pretty certain I’ll have to publish the governess myself. I may have to prove my theory by writing both proposals.

And then it occurred to me that I wrote about a sailor and a prim lady and a couple of children once before, and it sold extremely well–All A Woman Wants.

So maybe I just need to come up with a good title and I can do it again.

How about you? Do you read for the love story or the sex? Or both?

Mischief and Mistletoe!

And our Christmas gift to our historical readers–the Word Wenches have written a short story anthology of fun Christmas tales of wicked wenches! Since most of us usually write proper heroines, this was a fun concept that kept us entertained for quite a while.

Release date September 25th! Get your Christmas shopping started with an easy gift!