Monday, March 18, 2019

Dunbury Park #MarchMadnessSale

Dunbury Park
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$2.99 thru March 31


Lady Faith Curtiss, daughter of the late Duke of Trowbridge, understands the responsibility of a title. However, it doesn’t seem to matter much anymore. Impoverished since her mother’s death, she and her sisters have come to live with their other cousins, all of them orphans and dependent upon their uncle, Henry Wade, the Marquess of Dunbury, whose only aim is to marry them off as quickly as possible.

When Faith meets the new curate of the parish, her heart is seized. Peter Williams is all that is good and kind in a man. He is also brilliant, handsome, and has made it known he is waiting until her eighteenth birthday to ask for her hand.

However, her uncle is looking in another direction for Faith—the Earl-next-door—who is amenable to the idea of marrying into the Marquisate. Faith rejects the idea of taking her rightful place in Society, just for propriety’s sake, but the Earl is nearly perfect.

While Faith vacillates on the Earl’s proposal, it seems the new housekeeper at the parsonage also has her eye on the new curate. With Faith's title the only thing standing in the way of true love, Faith is torn between marrying for the money, or fighting for her heart’s desire. 


Dunbury Park is the second book in the Ladies of Dunbury Series. Faith is the second eldest to be married first. (Mercy is waiting for James Stone, Henry's aide de camp, to return from the Peninsula. However long it takes.) However, there's a long road ahead for Faith before she can get married.

Lady Faith Curtiss
I liked Faith. She was a
"good" character. No hidden agenda. She pretty much spilled it right from the get-go. Since the day she met Peter Williams, curate of the parish, she wanted to marry him. Unfortunately, since the first day she had met the Earl of Helmsway, he has wanted to marry her. Although rebuffed, Helmsway convinces Henry Wade to give him another chance. Perhaps he could change her mind.

 
Rev. Peter Williams
Brian Thorpe,
Earl of Helmsway
Peter has waited nearly a year to speak with Lady Gantry about Faith. Unfortunately for Peter, Henry Wade, Faith's formidable uncle has come home from the wars. When Peter finally speaks with her uncle about Faith, Henry will give his blessing to whichever man Faith decides to choose at the end of the summer.

Faith has to take a good long hard look at both men, where she fits into their future, and what kind of future she envisions for herself--to be part of Society, or be part of the other side of Society.

Rebecca Taylor
Rules are broken, hearts are broken. But then Faith thwarts a kidnapping and evil is discovered in the Park's woods. When Rebecca Taylor, (housekeeper for the parsonage and the Bishop's choice for Peter's wife), is mistaken for a Dunbury Lady and found brutally beaten and left for dead, Faith finally realizes what love truly means.

The Parsonage at St. Michael's
I realize this is another triangle trope, but I like them. And this isn't so much a triangle as it is an inner struggle to discover what one TRULY wants--WHO one truly wants to spend the rest of their lives with. It's a big "idea" for the daughter of a duke. Can she really choose? What makes one man more worthy than another? Is it really all about the money and social standing? It's a tough question to answer.

Dunbury Park
I've also carried Henry's political intrigue and problematic illness through this book as well. It seems Henry is much like Lady Olivia in this series--always meddling where he shouldn't. He does have six nieces to marry off.

And there you have it. Faith's story as one of the Ladies of Dunbury.

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Anne Gallagher (c) 2019


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Regrets and Responsibilities #MarchMadnessSale

Regrets and Responsibilities
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After nearly forty years in the Army, Henry Wade, the Marquess of Dunbury, finally returns to London to officially claim his father’s title, hopefully to reunite with his long lost love, and to exact revenge on the man who ruined his life. Add six orphaned nieces into the mix, and suddenly, Henry’s life is upside down. Marrying them off seems like a fine plan, but finding suitable husbands for them is an impossible task. 

They all wish to marry for love.



Regrets and Responsibilities is the first book in the Ladies of Dunbury series. I found Henry Wade when I was beginning to write LADY OLIVIA'S UNDOING. I needed another love interest and lo and behold, Henry Wade popped into my head.
Lt. Col. Henry Wade,
Marquess of Dunbury
I knew Olivia needed someone like him to shake up her life. (Little did she know how badly the earthquake would hit.)

When Henry returns home from the wars, he is saddled with the responisibility of marrying off six nieces and has no idea what to do. 


Lady Catherine Gantry
Upon his arrival to his old home, he is greeted by a shrew of a woman who just so happens to be the girls' governess. He's thrown completely off guard because the woman looks exactly like the woman he left behind thirty-five years ago. That Catherine Gantry happens to be Olivia's cousin is another blow. Henry doesn't know what to do about his feelings for any of them, and to top it all off, he suffers from PTSD. (Only they didn't call it that then, but they did call it Soldier's Nerves.)



Lady Mercy Wade
I knew when I started writing the Ladies of Dunbury series, it was going to be a long road. Research, research, research. Thankfully, I had a slew of folders on my dashboard. And when I decided to add in characters from The Reluctant Grooms series, and give more backstory to questions about such things as Davingdale's past and Stephen Carlton's death, I had to dig back into my own stories, which has been a delightful surprise. They say write what you want to read. And well, I'm liking what I'm reading.




Lady Faith Curtiss
I also knew that "wrapping in" other characters from a previous series would be somewhat difficult. I had to get timelines right, and characters' names, not to mention horses (sometimes--yes, I named all the animals too.) But I wanted to write another layer, another dimension of family stories that made all these people who they were when I wrote them. Does that make sense? I figured I had to create a world, past-present-future, to give both of the series dimensionality. Especially if the readers had already read The Reluctant Grooms. They would be able to click with characters they already knew, and discover the new ones as well. 



Lady Charity Curtiss
Anyway, Henry is a complex man. He's been a soldier for all of his adult life, used to giving orders, bossing people around. Catherine is appalled at his manner and sets about softening him up. Unfortunately, she falls head over heels in love with a man, who is only looking at her because she looks like his lost love. Catherine is stoic, Catherine is serene, Catherine is screaming inside. She wants to love Henry, and he won't accept it. Not until the girls are married. It's killing her.



Lady Hope Curtiss
Henry, on the other hand, is fighting within himself as he falls in love with Catherine. She nurses him, gives him comfort, puts up with his fits and moods. The woman is perfect in almost every way--save the fact she looks exactly like the Olivia he thought he remembered. His mind understands Catherine is not Olivia. However, his heart cannot undo the memories of the past. 

They both have to learn a hard lesson before they can move forward.



Lady Patience Shaffer
Henry and Catherine are fun characters. They're easy to write because they bicker a lot. Writing this series has also given me the idea to write side-stories with only Catherine and Henry as characters, vignettes perhaps, of how they feel, what they're doing in their relationship as each of the girls find beaus, as their lives move forward. And how Henry must deal with his feelings about Olivia. (However, as much as I would love to tackle that project, I can't do it  now. Time is not on my side as I'm struggling with other writing-publishing goals, as well as spring projects in the house. But someday. And don't worry, I've been taking notes.)


Lady Prudence Shaffer
Confession: As I continued writing the girls' stories, when I came to Prudence, I became stuck. Life had thrown three fastballs I didn't see coming, and I had to put down the computer and step away. For a long time. Eighteen months. I'm back to it now, finally, but I had to make some tough decisions about my writing. One of them was that I couldn't write a full-lenth novel about a character I hated. Uranus entered Taurus on March 6 this year and believe it or not, I came up with a great idea of how to write the story without losing my mind. Took awhile, but I'm back on track.



Anyway, Regrets and Responsibilities is the first book in the Ladies of Dunbury series. 

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Anne Gallagher (c) 2019



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

When All Hope Is Lost #MarchMadnessSale


When All Hope Is Lost
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Lady Olivia is a woman bereft—she’s lost the man she loved, her home of nearly forty years, and her title. Never one to back down from a fight, this time she walks away. There’s nothing left for her in London. She plans to live out the rest of her solitary life at a quaint little estate near Brighton.


Until the unthinkable happens and the man of her dreams walks through her front door.


The last book in the Reluctant Grooms Series. I loved writing this book. I loved how it twisted and turned and dropped me on my face. I loved the ending. Where I tied everything up in a nice little bow. But did I? (Which is where the Ladies of Dunbury starts, but that's another blog post.)
John Quiggins (before)

John Quiggins, if we remember, is an enigmatic character who was raised by Missionaries in the Far East. John can speak several languages, and worked for a General in the Army, before becoming a spy for the Foreign Ministry. Unfortunately, his cover was blown and he had to return to England, where he was hidden away as a "butler" at Wakefield-by-the-Sea, the Duke of Cantin's summer home. Everything was fine until he met Lady Olivia Leighton, Duchess of Caymore, the most powerful woman in England.

Lady Olivia Leighton,
Duchess of Caymore
When Lady Olivia meets John Quiggins, it's love at first sight for the old bird. Olivia understands her romance with John is particular, and temporary, but when they return to London, Olivia realizes she needs John more than she wanted to.

Lt. Col. Henry Wade,
Marquess of Dunbury

When Henry (Olivia's old flame) returns from the wars, Olivia wants him back, but he's in love with her cousin Catherine, (who, coincidentally, looks exactly like a younger version of Olivia.)




With the war still raging, John is suddenly called back to duty, and Henry is going with him, and theoretically, Olivia could lose both of the men she loves.

Lady Catherine Gantry


Talk about a love quadrangle.
I wanted everyone to have a happily-ever-after, but I also wanted enough tension to last through the next series.







I also found some great pics of what I think Seaford could be. I loved this place, I loved writing this part of the story.

Seaford rear garden
Seaford
I cannot remember where this is, other than England. I loved this place.

I wanted Olivia to have peace and quiet to grieve her losses. I can't tell you how many people said I made them cry. I wanted people to see her vulnerability. I mean, my God, the poor woman lost everything. Her name, status, title, money, reputation, home, and both of the loves of her life. It's no wonder she went a little cray-cray in the end.

The river where Olivia wanted
to bury the dog
John

However, I can't write a book and not have a happy ending, but I won't spoil it for you. In the end let's just say Lady Olivia gets what she deserves.





Image result for meryl streep without makeupI liked writing this book, because I also got to show Lady Olivia in a different light. She was not the pushy, meddlesome, matchmaking, pain-in-the-arse, or was she a political, backstabbing, political Parliament pushing wench who couldn't mind her own damn business. In this book, she was just a middle-aged woman starting from scratch on her own--like so many of my middle-aged friends who one day find themselves in the middle of a divorce with no where to go but their parents' for support.

I like Olivia at Seaford because she was free--finally of the lies and the pretense of being someone she truly wasn't. I also liked I got to (subtly) push Societal boundaries in this book. It's not everyday a Duchess wants to marry a commoner.

Sarah
John Quiggins (after)
**Spoiler Alert**
When John returns, we find a very different man. A man shaped by the love of a child and horrified by what he must do for the family he must now protect. But John's a staid sort of fellow. We know he will do the right thing. 







And that's the story. This is my second favorite book from the series. The Lady's Fate scoring #1 in my heart. However, this book meant a lot when I wrote it, so I hope it shows up on the pages.




WHEN ALL HOPE IS LOST
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Anne Gallagher (c) 2019

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Seduction of Mr. Summerville #MarchMadnessSale

THE SEDUCTION OF MR. SUMMERVILLE  
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American shipbuilder, Stephen Summerville has a bit of a dilemma when he meets two very beautiful English sisters. Arabella is all that is gay and lighthearted. Arianna is quiet and reserved.

However, when confronted with the ghost of an aristocratic father he never knew, deciding on a wife seems like a small task in comparison to what he must decide for his future. His father’s legacy includes a stepmother who despises him, a title he does not want, and a cousin who used him for his own political gain.


As Stephen battles for his place in Society, he realizes he’s in love with the wrong woman. Pressure mounts from all sides and Stephen has no idea what to do. Should he cut his losses and return to America or stay and fight for what he wants?



The Seduction of Mr. Summerville
You would think with this cover, the book is about something else entirely. And it is, but not. That's why I chose it.

Stephen Summerville is a pawn in the Duke of Hargrave's scheme, but doesn't know it. Stephen is unabashedly in love with the Duke's daughter, Arabella and doesn't see himself as anything other than a prospective groom.
Stephen Summerville

Unfortunately, Arabella's sister, Arianna, is unabashedly in love with Stephen Summerville. She doesn't think her sister deserves such an uncommon man. Arabella is wholly spoiled and Stephen does not deserve such a wench.

Lady Arianna Leighton
Arabella 
However, in the background, the girl's father has devised a scheme to unlock Lady Olivia's secret--the one she has been hiding for nearly forty years. And Stephen Summerville holds the key.

Diabolical political manuevering, a little espionage, a little subterfuge, and Stephen Summerville's mere presence in London has caused quite a scandal. Just what the Duke of Hargrave wanted--his uncle's name restored, another Caymore to hold the Seat, and one of his daughter's married off--he didn't care which one.
Reginald Leighton,
Duke of Hargrave

Lady Constance,
Duchess of Hargrave
However, Arabella and Arianna have minds of their own and will marry whom they choose. And almost the conclusion of The Reluctant Grooms.

St. Austell


 I always thought this was going to be the last story in the series. Then I realized Lady Olivia was all alone out there in the vast wilds of Seaford. She'd never gotten her happily ever after.

On Sale Now thru March 31
$2.99

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 Anne Gallagher (c) 2019