Sunday, July 30, 2017

Working On The Next Book-- Judging Prudence

I recently found the impetus to begin working on the next book in the Ladies of Dunbury series-- Judging Prudence. I would love to finish it by Thanksgiving, but given the circumstances of my life these days, probably more like Christmas. We'll see. Maybe I'll catch a break.

It is more or less a comedy of manners, bad manners for a lady in Regency England. However, Prudence is not the girl we think we see. I won't tell you what her problem is now, but it eventually comes out in the book.  

Lady Prudence Shaffer is the most disliked of all the Dunbury Ladies. She holds no regard for the feelings of others; her caustic tongue and acerbic wit leaves her friendless save for her sister. No one understands the cause for her bad manners, least of all Uncle Henry. Prudence was raised to be a lady, after all.

Alexander Lowell, Viscount Abernathy, dares to brave her criticisms, sees through the veneer she has painted herself with, and finds her attractive enough to court. He realizes he must tame her wicked language if he wishes his mother to consent to a marriage between them.

However, one iniquitous remark at a ball about Lady Lowell has left Prudence dealing with its after effects. She is shunned within Society and her remaining unmarried cousins along with her. A simple apology will not suffice—Lady Lowell refuses to hear it, or allow her son to marry her.

Prudence must change her disapproving ways if she wants her heart’s desire.

It is not as easy as she thinks, when no one believes she can.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Being a Jane Austen purist, I was quite horrified when Seth Grahame-Smith published his book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in 2009. To date, the novel has over 100,000
reviews on Goodreads with a solid 4 star rating. I refused to read it. How dare he parody Dear Jane. To me it was as sacrilegious as desecrating the Bible.

That being said, this morning as I was checking email, I happened to stumble across the movie version on my free movie weekend package offered by my television provider. I didn't see the first 20 minutes, but became quite engaged with the plot as I watched.

Okay, let me rephrase that-- I became quite engaged with Sam Riley's portrayal as Mr. Darcy. I mean, who doesn't love Darcy? Even a zombie killing Darcy. Lilly James was also quite good as Lizzie Bennett. I have to say I just about fell off my chair as I watched Lizzie try to kill Darcy after he declared his love for her at Rosings.
Who doesn't love Darcy in black leather?

Granted, the plot was stupid--zombies? Really? However, I did like the way Grahame-Smith (and Burr Steers as the screenwriter) kept most of Dear Jane's indomitable words intact. It was, I have to admit, kind of fun to see how they were used in spite of the undead gracing the screen.

I loved the costumes! I can't say that enough. Lots of black leather encasing genteel 18th century fashion--a new trend I would love to emulate. Alas, I'm afraid it would not look as good on me as it did them.

Lilly James did a credible job as Lizzie Bennett, given the script. She showed as much pluck as the original Lizzie.

And I hated George Wickham with the same veracity that I did when I read the original. Even without knowing the plot, I knew he was a zombie.

However, I was quite disappointed with the ending. I wanted something more, but don't know what. In all the movie versions I've watched, the ending is the same--Darcy and Elizabeth and Jane and Bingley marry. With zombies added into the mix, I kind of thought it would be different. I always watch the credits and was surprised there was a snippet more, but that wasn't the ending I wanted.

Anyway, if you're looking for a weirdly fun adventure with an old favorite, watch this. I can honestly say, I will see it again. I know it doesn't have favorable ratings as a movie, but I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Intimate Portrait -- Timothy Cartwright

I haven't done one of these posts in a long while, so I thought I would.

Timothy Cartwright first appeared in DUNBURY PARK as an extra character. As we all know, Catherine Gantry is cousin to Lady Olivia, who knows everyone in London, and is friends with Lady Montlake, Timothy Cartwright's aunt. As Timothy is single, when Catherine is given permission to have a summer house party at Dunbury Park, of course she must invite him (with chaperone naturally). Catherine still has five girls to marry off, after all. Mr. Cartwright is surely suitable for one of them.

However, it seems none of the girls want anything to do with him. He's boring, way too serious, and unfortunately poor. Timothy's waiting for the Earl to die so he can inherit, as he is the heir presumptive. Problem is, old Monty isn't going anywhere soon, and Timothy dotes on his aunt to maintain his standing in Society.

What nobody knows about Timothy is that he's working for the Home Secretary. His "job" is to keep an eye on Henry Wade, who, having returned from the war and rushed through the appointment to become the Minister of London Security, no one in Parliament is sure what Henry will do. Having been such a great military commander, will Henry turn London into a police state? Or will he make a mess of the whole situation? Timothy needs to find out and when Catherine offers an invitation, it's Timothy who convinces Lady Montlake they need to attend the house party. (Lady Montlake isn't crazy about the idea of being cooped up with five single girls for a month at Dunbury Park. Especially those girls. Lady Montlake doesn't think any of the Ladies of Dunbury are a suitable match for her dear Timothy.)

I originally thought I would marry Timothy off to Prudence, however, she's in love with Alexander Lowell, Viscount Abernathy. There could have been a love triangle, but I decided against it. Having reworked my romantic plot lines, I finally decided to marry him off to ... sorry, I can't tell you. I'm still unsure if the girl I picked for him will actually go through with the scenario I set up. You must realize, characters have a life of their own when they finally take to the page.

Timothy will have a definite place in the next two books of the Dunbury series. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble deciding which two books they will be. I can't make up my mind which girl to marry off next.


Don't forget, the entire Reluctant Grooms Series is half price on Smashwords
 ( )
through the month of July, as well as the first three books in the Ladies of Dunbury Series. If you haven't read them, get them now. This will be the last time for this year these books will be on sale. (Purchase from my page--finding them among the list is daunting. Coupons for half-price will be entered when you click the "buy" button.)


Also, I found out quite by accident, there are several web sites offering several of my books from the Reluctant Grooms series for free as a PDF download. Please don't download them. Not only is it illegal for them to do this, most are often just a scam or a phishing site that only wants to steal your personal information or infect your computer with viruses or malware. I spent the better part of Friday sending DMCA (Digital Management Copyright Act) notices to the offending websites. (Not as easy as it sounds.)


I am off to the beach this week for a much deserved mini-vacation (3 days).

Happy Reading!

Anne Gallagher (c) 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

My Half-Price Sale at Smashwords

During the month of July, Smashwords has a site-wide promotion that I am participating in this year. I have offered the Reluctant Grooms Series as well as the first three stories of the Ladies of Dunbury Series for half-price.

You may only purchase these books from Smashwords during this promotion, NOT where you would normally buy your books. However, the good news is, my books are formatted to fit whatever device you are currently reading on. You will be given a special code to purchase the books that are on sale. Easy peasy.

Here is the link for my page

(If the link does not work, you can copy and paste it into your browser.)

As I said, you cannot purchase these books from your preferred retailer, they must be purchased from Smashwords. Sign up is easy, payment is too.

This will be the only promotion I do for these particular titles for the remainder of the year, so if you need to catch up on either the Reluctant Grooms or Ladies of Dunbury, now is the time to buy them. The sale runs from July 1 thru July 31 so don't delay. Once the sale is over, (midnight July 31) the books return to their normal price.

Happy Reading!

Anne Gallagher (c) 2017