Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wicked Affairs, Book Seven - Readers' choice

Decisions, decisions.

I'm toying with book seven in the Wicked Affairs series. I've got three stories I'm working on and want your opinion on the book you most want to read. The titles are all tentative so don't read anything into them AND the stories aren't under contract yet either (so a contract will win out, no matter how things go here). So here they are:

Option One:
Wicked Shades
Audrina and Gray Paquin find themselves in a problematic marriage. Gray is the consummate gentleman but his wife needs a very strong hand. Audrina is the sister to Clarissa (Wicked Desires) and Juliana (Wicked Indiscretions).

Option Two:
Wicked Scandal
Emberline Booth (we met her briefly at Glen Arbor, Edward Chase's home in Wicked Lord) is a long time acquaintance of Trenton James (we met him in Wicked Siren, one of Viviana Love's backstage admirers), one of the ton scoundrels, who has suddenly set his gaze upon widow Emberline. She'd rejected Trenton once and he'd punished her in return - causing great harm to both families. What is she to do know that she really needs him?

Option Three:
Wicked Jade
Viscount Robert North (brother of Emberline Booth) is tempted by a married woman. (I know who this is, but to tell you would give away an upcoming storyline).

Leave a comment for the story you'd most like to read... And please bear with me on which ever story it ends up being. 

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Imogene Farrell - Book cover reveal

I've got a new series coming up, something near and dear to my heart, mostly because I love the tough, foul-mouthed orphan Imogene Farrell.

I'm showing the covers here but jump over to the series page and you can also see the blurbs for each book.

I have the lovely Dar Albert to thank. It wasn't easy to find a cover model that would work for all four covers, but she got close.  I absolutely love the Book Three cover for the Frenchman's widow - it is so absolutely perfect for that book. Right now, I'm targeting November 1st as the release date for book one!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Play It Cool: Release day September 16th

Wow, this release happened fast. Seems like just yesterday I was editing this story. Play It Cool is book three in the Cold Play series. This is a romantic suspense series, all with international settings from London, England to Athens, Greece and all points in between. The heroes are all very, very bad men who've come to the realization there is only one thing worth dying for - not country, not money, not power - but the women they love.

Blurb for Play It Cool!

Ingrid is attracted to the sexy Spaniard and he’s just the man she needs for a one-night stand. He’s the perfect lover and a great antidote to forgetting her fiancĂ©. Too bad she hasn’t told him who she really is.

Rafe is a thief and liar. He has spent his life breaking hearts and scamming the unsuspecting. Until he is caught up in a scheme that threatens his daughter, Rafe has never considered settling down. Until CIA strongman David Freeman forces him into a corner.

Just as Rafe finds love and lust with the peaceful beauty Ingrid, his world comes crashing down. He learns the hard way the woman he is falling for is the missing Rittenhauser heiress. Just the kind of woman he needs to avoid if he is to change his ways.

And just the kind of woman to despise him for his humble beginnings and illegal activities. One last job for Freeman to earn his freedom and maybe win Ingrid the old fashioned way...with sex and seduction.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

All A Mistress Wants

Last November, I participated in an anthology titled Wanton Christmas Wishes with a story titled All A Mistress Wants. Well it is finally available on its own. And check out this beautiful cover by Dar Albert from Wicked Smart Designs.

Eloisa Larkin wishes for the one thing she can’t have—the love of the powerful Duke of Sterling. Being his mistress provides many luxuries but being hopelessly devoted to a man who loves another as left her feeling alone and the last thing she wants is to spend Christmastide with him and his family.

In book two, you’ll meet Joshua Forrester and the mysterious woman who’s being immortalized on a scandalous painting. Coming soon!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wicked Affairs, Book Six: Wicked Siren Cover Reveal

Have I said this before? I love release day.

Wicked Siren, the story of Alex Preston and opera singer Viviana Love, is the sixth (can you believe it?) story in the Wicked Affairs series and will release on July 10th!

If you read Wicked Lord (#3) you probably saw the writing on the wall… Alex and Viv were destined to be together. They are true opposites – he a country gentleman and she a vivacious opera singer who thrives in London.

As a character, Viv was a fun one to write. She’s not like the other women of the Wicked Affairs series. She has scraped and fought for what she has but, seeing the twilight of her singing career, Viv must make some hard decisions.

For a Regency historical reference, the opera singer Angelica Catalani from Italy had an unrivaled career in the opera for seven years. Her singing range was nearly three octaves. While I didn’t write Viviana with the same sort of star power, she does have moments of fame.

And true hero that he is, Alex is the only man who can accept Viv as she is and recognize the torment that has haunted her past.

And you are the first to see the awesome new cover. What do you think? It is a great addition to the Wicked Affairs covers.

An unconventional woman. An inconvenient marriage. An unconditional love.

Famed diva Viviana Love will do what it takes to survive in London. Seduce titled men. Give up her child in order that he might have a better life. Hide her past so that she might have a future.

And when she makes the mistake of a lifetime a second time, she does the unthinkable and agrees to marry Baron Alexander Preston—the staid and proper country gentleman who believes life in the country is all a man needs.

Alex is confounded by the wild creature he is to escort to London. Miss Love is an indiscreet harridan who believes she can seduce him. And she succeeds royally. When she presents him with the opportunity for his heir, he does what no sane man would. He marries Viviana and finds his life turned upside down.

Alex has never felt more alive. Their nights are filled with passion, their days with conflict. When Viviana realizes she might lose her proper gentleman, the truth is the only thing that can save her.

All books in the series are stand alone but introduction of characters are best understood by reading the books in order.

Books One - Three are on sale at all the usual retail outlets.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Life in Brighton - England's royal destination

My current work in progress is set in Brighton, England (plus London) so I've been busy collecting useful and hopefully usable information.

The area, generally, had several encampments dating to around 3500 AD. "Brighthelmstone" existed before the Doomsday Book was written - that's 1086 folks! Here’s a photo of the page written in Medieval Latin and some non-Latin abbreviations. Me? I can’t make out a single word. I just find it interesting.

The Regency and Victorian period were a dazzling time for Brighton. The Prince Regent was known for his love of the area and spent much time there. However it wasn't until 1841 when the London and Brighton Railway made its first run between the two cities that things really took off. The railroad made the “day trip” possible for a mere three and six pence.

The Royal Pavilion is one of the most fascinating buildings in Brighton, which George began building in 1787. At a young age, George suffered from gout (all that rich food) and his doctor recommended he take the seawaters as treatment. The pavilion was a work in progress, extending through three major renovations but the first portion, called the Marine Pavilion, included a fantastic “Great Dome.”

George was partial to the French style which he used at Carlton House, employing French decorators, draughtsmen and craftsmen. “Something of this French influence was to manifest itself in the Prince’s new pavilion. On the ground floor of the north wing the Library was “fitted up in the French style” with a paper of brilliant yellow. The “Eating Room” adjoining was painted in yellow and maroon with a ceiling of sky-blue, and in it were four columns of “scagliola” – imitation marble. The corridors were painted “French blue”. The walls of the staircase were bright green, and the ceiling grey and white.”

Not everyone loved the Royal Pavilion. One critic, Anthony Pasquin, said, “The room in which the Prince usually dines may be compared to a sort of oven; when the fire is lighted the Inmates are nearly baked or encrusted.”

Years later, John Nash, completed additional enhancements to the Pavilion. The look of the structure is one that reflects Indian touches, including battlements and eaves of the Indian chujahs design. The last portions were completed in 1821 which including a new north face and the development of the King’s private apartments.

About the time the Pavilion was completed, there was talk of a railway between London and Brighton. During the 1830’s there were several steam-driven coaches and omnibuses running short distances but in 1833 a fourteen-seater Hancock coach began running between the two cities in eight and a half hours. An improvement but nothing like the efficiency the rail would bring. The approve was novel and appealing but was limited by the number of passengers it could haul along with the coal and water needed to power the coaches.

Finally, in 1840, the Shoreham branch of the railway was operational. It wasn't until the following September, 1841, that the main line opened. The rail was dependent on the Ouse viaduct being completed. At the same time the Merstham and Balcombe tunnels were finished, completing the most difficult part of the line. The project took three years and 2,000,000 pounds to complete.

 The Ouse viaduct was designed by the architect David Mocatta. It is considered one of the finest examples of railroad architecture. The viaduct included “thirty-seven tall arches and eight charming Italiante pavilions, four at each end of the viaduct, and the delightful stone balustrades.”

The first voyage began at 7:00 a.m., with nearly the entire population of Brighton there to watch, and the train arrived in London a little after nine. One hour and fifteen minutes (or longer depending upon the class of train – first class, mixed and “Parliamentary” trains.) Quite a change from the days of horse and carriage.

Both the pavilion and the railway are important to my heroine in 1841. Imogene, a child of the streets, is an observer of London, growing and changing with the times.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Imogene's World

Greetings, friends. The days pass quickly especially when time must be spent between an EDJ and writing... And the one thing that always seems to get neglected is the blog.

So what have I been doing?

I'm spending my allocated television time obsessing over Outlander, re-watching Part One of Season One. Only twenty days to go until we get new episodes. There have been some great interviews with the Outlander cast and crew. I hope you haven't missed them. This is the sort of epic I dream of writing.

Well I am working on an interesting project at the moment. Needless to say it is a historical novel but with this one, I am straddling the Regency/Victorian eras. I'm calling it my Dickensian novel. It is a four part story with two parts per book - the total word count is going to push 180,000 words so, for me, it will be a pretty big undertaking. I am currently writing Part Four, the final, glorious phase of my heroine's life.

Let me tell you about Imogene. In my mind, I see her as "Olivia" Twist. A street urchin with three brothers who manage to get by on the streets of London. She is on the cusp of womanhood and a certain madame wants Imogene to whore for her - a situation Imogene is resigned to. She has also met a certain gentleman who has taken an interest in her.

Imogene falls in love with Jack, knowing they will never be together. But he is fun and he is willing to pay her well for a few months of her time. Needless to say she is left heartbroken.

In Part Two, we find out what Imogene has been up to. She is a new woman, the widow of a respected Parisian merchant. And upon her return to London, she runs into the love of her life.

Will Jack break her heart all over again?

The setting in the first part of the novel is London but the second part is set in Brighton so I'm getting to know the town and its amazing Royal Pavilion, Chain Pier and other locales. Plus the Brighton and London Railway.

 I'm hoping Imogene will be available for sale sometime this summer with back to back releases.