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 finally celebrating the release of my book! The Truth about Miss Ashbourne is now available on Amazon, online at Barnes and Noble, and at Seagull Book and Deseret Book. It’s been such a crazy road to get to this point, but I don’t regret a second of it. I’m so excited for you all to meet Juliana and William, and I hope you love them as much as I do. I’m so grateful for all your support! Thank you!!
Here it is! I'm thrilled to finally share the cover for my debut novel, The Truth about Miss Ashbourne!
Isn't it gorgeous? I'm a little obsessed with it. My publisher sent me a few options to choose from and I knew immediately this was the one! It's incredible how perfectly this cover fits my book and especially Juliana. She is calm and collected until she's backed into a corner—then her feistiness tends to make very memorable appearances!
Covenant Communications is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the cover reveal. Head over to their Facebook page to enter to win one of THREE copies! The Truth about Miss Ashbourne will be released Nov. 1, 2018, and is available for preorder on Amazon!
My first book, The Truth about Miss Ashbourne, has officially been sent to press! It's a little crazy knowing I can no longer tweak it to my heart's content, but I am SO happy with the final product. This is a book that I truly love, and I hope it makes its readers swoon and blush and get those amazing butterflies that I am addicted to!
A cover reveal is coming in August (eek!), and hopefully an announcement about my next project! Stay tuned!
I'm a romance addict, lover of all things historical, and a writer mom who loves her job!
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