Here's a sneak peek at my upcoming release, Otherwise Engaged! Enjoy!
Of the many things that could be depended upon to make a young lady swoon, a love letter certainly made the list.
I perched on a low rock in the center of the quiet meadow, one knee tucked to my chest, the skirts of my riding habit spread about me. The sun shone fiercely against the cloud-strewn sky, as if demanding my attention, but not even the brilliance of the sun could steal my focus from the letter in my hands, though I’d read it a dozen times or more.
My dearest Rebecca,
How is it that I can miss you before you have even left Brighton? I know I will see you tonight, but already, I ache to let you go, not knowing when we will see each other again.
I sighed aloud. Stella snorted from where she grazed a few paces away, as if mocking me.
“Oh, hush,” I said. “You cannot judge me. You’ve never been in love.”
My horse did not offer a response, which was just as well. I’d heard that love could cause madness, and a talking horse would surely be an alarming symptom.
Here's my 2019 Writing Wrap-Up! It was an amazing year.
It was crazy and overwhelming to release four books in a year! 2020 will be much calmer with only two planned releases, a novella and a full-length. I can’t wait to see what the New Year will bring, and I’m so glad to have made amazing connections with you all. I’m grateful for your kindness and support! Happy New Year!
I wrote this scene over two years ago, back when I was editing my debut novel, The Truth about Miss Ashbourne. I was struggling with getting this scene right, and so I decided to write it from William's POV (point of view) in order to better understand his character. And I ended up loving him and this scene even more! I hope you'll enjoy this fun little insight into William!
If you've read The Truth about Miss Ashbourne, then you'll recognize this scene. If you haven't, then here's a bit of background: William Rowley (our POV character) has just inherited the estate of Havenfield after the death of Sir Charles, who is Juliana Ashbourne's estranged grandfather. Sir Charles left Juliana an inheritance, but in order to claim her ten thousand pounds, she must spend a month at Havenfield with her family she's never met. Juliana has just arrived during a rainstorm, and William comes across her seeking shelter in the stables.
*** This has not been professionally edited, so any mistakes or typos are my own. Happy Reading!
The Truth about Miss Ashbourne - William
Stowaway sensed the coming storm long before I did. He tossed his head and pulled against his bridle, startling me from my thoughts to notice the uptick in the wind, the black clouds pooling on the horizon.
I rubbed his neck to calm his agitation, but he only let out an uneasy snort.
“All right, we’ll head back,” I muttered to him, turning him to face the oncoming tempest. Lady Rowley and the rest of the family would surely have left for their dinner party by now, so I would be safe from discovery.
I dug my heels into Stowaway’s flanks, and he leaped into a gallop, dashing across the wooded hill on the western edge of the estate. The howling wind whipped past me, but I paid it no mind. I grinned into the gale, urging my mount faster, faster. Stowaway responded with a burst of speed, hooves barreling into the grass at a furious pace, kicking up clods of dirt that soon turned to mud as the rain descended upon us.
We emerged from the trees, Havenfield looming before us. Even through the wind and rain and clouds, the estate still inspired awe: gray stones stained with moisture, slick green ivy climbing the walls. The windows, normally brightly lit, were murky in the descending darkness. No doubt the servants had already retreated below stairs, taking advantage of their well-deserved evening off.
I've had a few people ask about which of my books I'd recommend as gifts, and where to buy them, so I thought I'd put together a little post telling a little about each of my books and where it's the cheapest to buy them! I'm all about saving y'all a few bucks, especially at this time of year! Just make sure you double check all prices before
Secrets and Suitors - My newest release! A friends to more romance with unrequited love, the London season, Vauxhall pleasure gardens, and maybe even a duel :) I think you'll love it, but don't take my word for it. Publisher's Weekly called it "elegant and thoroughly gratifying" (a Starred Review!)
Where to buy it: Seagull book currently has the paperback for only $11.19! No idea how long this sale will last. You can also get the paperback on Amazon for $13, or the Kindle version for $5.99.
Miss Adeline's Match - Matchmaking gone awry, brooding, Darcy-esque heroes, fox hunting, snowstorms, and romance aplenty! I LOVED writing the characters in this story, and it has some of my absolutely favorite scenes!
Where to buy it: This Kindle version is only $1.99 on Amazon right now! Grab one for a friend AND for you! Cheapest paperback I could find is at Seagull Book for $13.59, but It's also available on Amazon.
Beauty and the Baron: This novella is the PERFECT stocking stuffer! This is my Regency retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and is my best-selling story! Find out why it has almost 250 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviews on Goodreads!
Where to buy it: Kindle is only $2.99 on Amazon, and the paperback is $7.99.
The Truth about Miss Ashbourne - This is my debut novel and my book baby! Still probably my personal favorite of my books (but don't tell the others). A governess needs to spend one month with her estranged family in order to collect her inheritance, but the handsome—and irritating—new heir to the estate is making things much harder than necessary.
Where to buy it: The paperback is only $9.99 at Seagull book right now! Again, I'm not sure how long this sale will last. The Kindle version is $7.99 on Amazon.
All Hearts Come Home for Christmas - If you read one Christmas book this year, make it this one! I got to combine forces with Sarah M. Eden, Anita Stansfield, and Esther Hatch, and let me tell you, this collection of novellas combines humor, sweetness, romance, and Christmas spirit like none I've ever read before.
Where to buy it: No sales on this one right now, unfortunately. But you can grab it on Amazon in paperback or Kindle!
I'm so excited today to share with you the first two chapters of my newest Regency romance, Secrets and Suitors. This story is so close to my heart, and I hope you will enjoy getting to know Nora and James.
Secrets and Suitors
It was not the best hiding spot I had ever found, but it was, thankfully, proving quite effective.
I peeked through the leaves of an impressively large fern that shielded me from the ballroom, watching the twirl and flow of the dancers. No one had seen me as I’d slipped away to this secluded corner, desperate for a few minutes of peace. I was not particularly fond of balls. I’d already danced for hours, and my legs ached from the effort. If I prompted my lips to turn upward, my cheeks refused entirely, so wearied were they from the forced smile I’d worn all evening
I was absolutely thrilled last week to learn that my upcoming novel Secrets and Suitors received a STARRED review from Publisher's Weekly! This is absolutely the highest praise, and I was shocked to my core! I love this book so much and it meant the world to me to know that PW thought it worthy of both a review and a star.
Here's the review for those curious. (And here's a link to the actual review!) Can't wait for this book to hit shelves Oct. 1!
Here it is!! Isn't it BEAUTIFUL? I love love love this cover so much. It fits my story to a T, and I just adore classic silhouettes on a cover.
Fun story: This was actually a cover option for my second book, Miss Adeline's Match. I loved it so much, I asked my publisher to save it for my next book, because I knew it was absolutely perfect for my main character, Nora.
Wanna read more about this story? Here's the cover blurb! And get excited for this story to hit shelves THIS October!!
Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away, and Nora’s father pressuring her to marry for wealth and status, Nora is forced to set aside her desire for love and accept the future she has always dreaded.
Until James returns unexpectedly, and Nora’s feelings once again rush unbearably close to the surface. Determined to save what is left of their friendship, Nora ignores her own heart and allows herself to be swept up in the London Season, soon finding herself the object of two very different gentlemen’s affections. Though she should be thrilled, both men come with a glaring fault: neither is the one man who holds her heart.
But there is much more at stake than heartbreak. When long kept secrets are laid bare, Nora must face the fears that have plagued her all her life, and decide what true love is worth.
This is no April Fool's Day joke: my newest Regency romance is now making its way into the world! You can grab it on Amazon NOW!
I'm not going to lie, this book was a labor of love, sweat, tears, a little bit of sanity (ok, a lot of sanity), and hundreds of hours of writing and editing. It's hard to explain exactly what goes into writing and releasing a book, but it's so much more than I ever imagined before I began writing seriously. When I'm not writing, I'm editing. When I'm not editing, I'm brainstorming. When I'm not brainstorming, I'm researching. When I'm not researching, I'm keeping my kids alive. (Just kidding, that's usually priority #1. Usually.)
But to see this book go out into the world, to hold it in my hands and to see it in other people's hands—well, that's frankly quite amazing. I don't know if I'll ever get used to it, and I certainly hope not! I want to feel like this all the time.
Adeline and Evan were such challenging characters to write, and getting their love story just right is one of the accomplishments I'm most proud of. My hope for this book is that it will allow you escape into a lovely romance—into another time—for a few wonderful hours.
And I just wanted to thank YOU, my wonderful readers and supporters. Because obviously I would not be publishing at all if it wasn't for people like you who love romance and history, and who grow to love my characters and stories as much as I do. Thank you, sincerely.
I’ve mentioned a few times on social media how the other Forever After authors and I put together a photoshoot for our covers, and I have had SO many questions and interest in this, I decided to put together a blog post about it!
Choosing to do a photoshoot was actually a hard decision for us. First, LOGISTICS. There are five authors in our series, and we are spread all over: Utah, Arizona, Missouri, and Massachusetts. How could we make this work? Second, MODELS and HAIR. None of us are models, unfortunately. Well, except for Arlem, but I’ll leave that for another time, haha. And while we have mad writing skills, hair and makeup is not our forte. Third, COSTUMES. If you’re not aware, Regency dresses are sometimes hard to come by. 😜
But after a lot of thought and discussion, we decided that it was important for us to have unique covers, with models and images no one had ever seen before. And so we pushed ahead with our photoshoot, and the planning commenced!
That’s where the amazing Arlem Hawks comes in. If you don’t follow her on Instagram, go do that immediately! She posts the most amazing things that she makes, including these dresses, Regency stays, and petticoats. This photoshoot would not have been possible without her. She is an amazing seamstress and sewed every single dress you see on our covers. I KNOW. Sewing is not a talent I have, so I am grateful she does!
Not only did Arlem volunteer the use of her amazing dresses, she also flew in to Utah and helped me organize and run the shoot. She is the BEST! And then we were so lucky that our other authors had incredible family and friends that we enlisted to model, do hair, and take photos for us. We are SO grateful for their help, and in making our covers as beautiful as they are.
We met with our four gorgeous models on a Saturday in November and spent two hours doing hair, makeup, dressing, and posing! It was a BLAST. A huge shout out to Stephanie Lance Photography for her incredible photos (and for being patient with us as we figured things out as we went!). It was seriously such a fun day, seeing all our beautiful models decked out in Regency dresses, hairstyles, and accessories!
The best part of doing our own photoshoot is that we got to pick exactly what we wanted. For example, I was able to choose the hairstyle and dress for my model, knowing what my character looked like and what I wanted for the cover. And I think it turned out AMAZING, if I say so myself.
Here's the beautiful (and generous and wonderful and kind) Amanda, who plays the part of my character Rose in Beauty and the Baron.
And here are a few shots of her. We knew we wanted to photoshop different backgrounds behind each of our models (the different locations for our stories) and so we weren't concerned about the background. Just in case you were wondering about the outlets, haha.
And just for fun, here is the actual photo that made it onto my gorgeous cover, designed by Shaela Kay of Blue Water Books. Isn't that so fun??
I am DYING to share the other photos of our gorgeous models, but since we haven't revealed all the covers yet, you'll have to wait and see for yourselves! All in all, we counted our first photoshoot a success! We learned a lot and are already looking forward to our next one, where we'll be even more prepared.
I hope this gives you all just a little taste of how much thought, work, and planning has gone into our Forever After series. We are determined to make these books beautiful inside and out, and are again so grateful to those who gave their time and talents to help us achieve this!
Beauty and the Baron is available NOW on Amazon, and The Captain and Miss Winter (a retelling of Snow White and Rose Red) is available for PREORDER. I can't wait to share all these incredible stories and covers with you!
Last year was absolutely incredible. The highlights:
- My first book, The Truth about Miss Ashbourne, was accepted by my publisher in January and published in November.
- I attended two amazing writing conferences, and loved attending classes, improving my craft, and meeting so many wonderful writers and friends. Writers are the BEST people.
- I joined an AMAZING critique group, who have become some of my closest friends.
- I finished my second book, Miss Adeline's Match, and it was accepted by my publisher in July (for publication in 2019)
- I wrote two novellas, a Beauty and the Beast retelling and a Christmas Regency, both set for 2019 releases.
- I wrote my third book, tentatively titled Knowing Nora, also set for a 2019 release.
If that looks a little crazy, that's because it was! But I enjoyed every second of it (well, almost, haha) and I am so excited for what next year will bring. I have four releases lined up already! I can't wait to share all these stories and characters with you all.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year! I can't tell you how much I've appreciated your kind words, excitement, and encouragement. The writing life is full of ups and downs, but it is made so much easier when I have such fantastic people cheering me on.
A Fond Farewell to 2018 and a Happy Hello to 2019!!
I'm a romance addict, lover of all things historical, and a writer mom who loves her job!
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