Sunday, January 29, 2012

Who Would You Choose?

I'm working out the kinks for a new book and I'm undecided as who to have as my hero. So I'll let you choose.

This guy...

Or this guy....

As you can tell from either picture he's a tortured soul and he needs a good woman to lift him out of the darkness.

So, who do you want in the next book?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Interview with a Character -- Lady Olivia

Good morning. Recently a question was posed -- Which one of your characters would you like to see meeting another character from a different book? And I thought it would be especially fun if Lady Olivia Leighton could have a smackdown with Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice. For those of you who know my Lady Olivia and Jane Austen's Lady Catherine, I think it would be a fair match-up.

In a round about way, this got me thinking, perhaps I should interview Lady Olivia. I mean why not. I'm sure her fans, (and I know there are several) would like some in depth information from her.

So allow me to present, my interview with Lady Olivia.

Lady Olivia, thank you so much for taking the time to visit here today. It's a distinct honor and priviledge.

'Tis very nice to be here. Thank you so much for asking.

I hope you don't mind if I jump right into the questions.

Not at all.

I'm sure your fans would love to know how you came to be such a large part of my books. You seem to finagle your way into the strangest situations. Do you have a penchant for meddling?

I do not think I would refer to it as meddling, rather the occasional helping of a friend in need. I cannot help if I am at the right place at the right time.

And somehow your "helping" always revolves around those who are looking for love. Would you consider yourself to be a match-maker?

I should not wish to call it match-making perse, rather a knowing which parties would suit each other best. I have been in Society for decades and have seen perfectly lovely people ruin their lives by making a foolish match. Those that I help, I do so with their utmost happiness in mind.

May we talk about your own happiness for a moment? I find it interesting that you never remarried after your husband's demise even though you were still a young woman, yet now you have formed, what we shall call a "tendre", for your niece's butler. Aren't you afraid of what Society might say?

I have never cared a whit for what Society might say. I married my Fuzzy when I was ten and seven and he was four and seven. We were exceedingly happy together for over five and thirty years. Love is love. When you find the right man, you know it. It matters not if he is an aristocrat or a butler. Quiggins is the truest and best of men and I find he is more the gentleman than some of the highest ranking members of Parliament.

There's been talk of your recent illness. Is that why you use a cane?

Certainly not. The cane is merely an actor's property, if you will, that I use to make my point. I find it imposing, and it makes a decided statement, do you not think? I also find it very handy to use as a weapon.

And lastly, I've often wondered why you get so many of the best lines in my books. Could you tell me who I'm channeling?

I'm sure I have no idea how you come to receive such information. Certainly it must relate to your own upbringing. Did you not say once, your aunt played a very important role in your young life. Perhaps it is her in which you relate to me.

Can you give us an idea where we'll be able to find you next?

I believe I have the honour of appearing in THE DUKE'S DIVORCE shortly. Poor Fiona is having a devil of a time with Robert. I do hope in the spring, THE LADY'S MASQUERADE will be well and settled and you will find me in a leading role with my niece, Penny and the charming William. Next autumn, my nephew, Rory, the Earl of Bailey, will have his chance to find love with the delightful Lady Rosamund, in THE EARL'S ENIGMA (or is it Enquiry? Have you finally decided on a title, dearest?) and I have every intention of seeing that match made personally. In THE CAPTAIN'S LADY, with Richard and Amanda, I show strength of character by using the aforemetioned cane as a weapon. And then I do believe I shall retire from the literary life. All this gadding about, becoming involved with intrigues and schemes at my age, has been somewhat wearying. I should like nothing better than to lay about on a chaise, with my cat and a book for quite some time.

Thank you so much, Lady Olivia, for being here today. It's always a pleasure to talk to you.

And if you have any questions for the duchess, I'm sure Lady Olivia would be delighted to answer them.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Talking Heads

Most writers can't let go of the idea they may be schizophrenic at least once or twice in their lives. They have people living inside their heads. They hear voices, they talk to themselves.

I'm no exception. Standing in line at a grocery store not too long ago, I blurted out to the cashier, "That's why Ophelia didn't recognize Davingdale, she wasn't wearing her glasses!" Naturally, the cashier thought I was nuts.

Living in our heads with other people is hard. Especially when you accidentally call your children by your characters' names. Or your significant other. Somehow, they're always there. You can't escape them.
Hence the shcizophrenia. (And please, for all intents and purposes, this is just a playful concept. I know and understand that schizophrenia is a dreadful and serious disease.)

My characters come to me out of the blue. I don't ask for them. I don't look for them. They just magically appear out of thin air. Sometimes it's only a name. Sometimes a snippet of conversation.

Penny and William (THE LADY'S MASQUERADE) appeared to me in a gazebo having a conversation. I had no idea who they were or what they were doing, but there they were. And I took that conversation and wrote it down. Mind you, that first conversation morphed into something completely different for the novel, as a matter of fact, that first conversation had nothing to do with the book. The only thing that remains is the gazebo.

Likewise, for Violet and Ellis (THE LADY'S FATE). Their first conversation was in a flower shop, which was discarded for a river, and a boat dock.

Sometimes I'll see someone on the street, or like last year at the beach, and a full-blown character is born. I called him "Jack" and by the end of my two week stay in Narragansett, I thought I knew him inside and out. Of course, never having spoken to him, I'm sure he was nothing like the "character" I made him out to be, but he served a very singular purpose. He became the love interest for my latest leading lady.

So the next time you see someone talking to themselves in the bookstore, or writing feverishly in a coffee house, ask them if they're a writer. Who knows, it might be me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Coming This January

My latest novel in the Reluctant Grooms Series, THE DUKE'S DIVORCE, will be available in e-book format from Amazon and Smashwords at the end of January. I hope you'll look for it.

           An uncomplicated trip to the Scottish Highlands to check on his estate turns into a nightmare for Robert Carlton, the Duke of Cantin. A simple act of kindness finds him married at gunpoint to Fiona, the Laird Stewart’s daughter. Both are distraught by the turn of events, until Robert comes up with a plan – they will remain married for six months, at which time, the marriage will be annulled and Fiona will receive a generous annuity.
            Fiona’s impeccable beauty, fiery disposition, and her penchant for finding scandal wherever she goes, take Society by storm. Robert’s restrictive contract for his new duchess has Fiona rebelling at every opportunity. Living with the oppressive duke has her wanting out of their marriage sooner than the proposed six months.
            Robert is finding it difficult to keep his hands off his exquisite new bride, but that was part of the agreement. Desire and jealousy prove a powerful aphrodisiac. Robert must come to terms with his emotional upheaval as well as a long-ago betrayal, and he finally realizes she may be the woman he has been waiting for all his life.
            Convincing Fiona of his love may be the hardest thing Robert has ever had to do. He thinks he’s finally won her heart until the night of their ball when a devastating secret from his past surfaces and threatens to ruin their newfound happiness. Will the promise of an uncertain future with Robert be enough to keep Fiona from filing divorce papers of her own?

A HUSBAND FOR MISS TRENT is now available


            When a surprising invitation arrives in the post, impoverished spinster Miss Ophelia Trent wants to turn it down. With no funds for a new gown or even slippers, she’s afraid of becoming the latest laughingstock in Society. With her mother’s gentle insistence, and a borrowed antique gown, Ophelia decides to take one last chance to find a suitable husband.
            The ball to which she’s been invited is everything she could have dreamed, including a marriage proposal to the "perfect" man. However, she longs to see the stableman whose easy smile and soulful eyes have etched a mark on her lonely heart.
            Should she stick with "perfect" or let her heart take a chance at finding true love?

Hope you'll look for them.