Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Reluctant Bride cover

My new cover - isn't it beautiful? 
This morning started off with a great surprise - my new cover!

The Reluctant Bride is my winning Choc-Lit entry for their Search for an Australian Star competition. I entered the comp by the August 31 deadline last year and was amazed and thrilled when I was announced the winner on December 17, 2012.

Since then I've been made to feel so warmly welcomed by the Choc-Lit tribe or family.

New Zealand author Zana Bell came on board around the same time with a New Zealand-set historical romance so I think that, all up, we're about 14 authors.

The Reluctant Bride will be published in September 2013. I'd love to be there for the official release, but I'll be in the UK in December. I'm toying with the idea of doing one of my History Through Costume Talks combined with a book signing or author talk.

Right now I'm busy finishing the 1780s costume and Regency costume that I'll be wearing for my first talk at Melton Library next Thursday. I have three of these talks in February, one at the local Gisborne Library on March 14 and a few more throughout the year.

But right now I just have to finish the costume!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why I love my Evil Villains

Here's the new paperback cover
 of Lady Farquhar's Butterfly
This should also be sub-titled: "And How to make Readers Hate Your Evil Villains" since that's the title of my Craft "how-to"blog at Savvy Readers which will be up there on the 4th (US time and here:
As you know, I love to include an evil villain in my stories. In Lady Farquhar's Butterfly it was the blackmailing Reverend Kirkman who persuaded my heroine, Olivia, that marriage to an upstanding man of the church would ensure the return of her son. The terms of Olivia's vengeful late husband's will had stripped Olivia of her little boy who had been sent to live a distant cousin, Max. Oh, gorgeous Max. How could Olivia choose between the kind country cousin and the odious Reverend Kirkman? And why was there a choice to be made when it seems to obvious?

Read the book, I guess. It's available now in paperback with a beautiful new cover at:

Another of my favourite villains is the lecherous dilettante in Rake's Honour that my heroine, Fanny Brightwell, is destined to marry - unless her wicked little scheme pays off.

Rake's Honour was recently shortlisted Favourite Historical of 2012 by Australian Romance Readers Association and I'm about to put up the book trailer very soon. It's done, however the animations haven't translated onto YouTube unfortunately.

Not all of my books feature an evil villain. My new book - out in a couple of weeks - with Ellora's Cave, has a very complex husband who is wonderfully kind to his new prospective heir whom he's grooming to become the next Viscount Partington, and incredibly dismissive of his wife of 20, the lovely Sybil. That doesn't make him a villain, but it does create the conflict.

You see, the viscount had been forced to marry lovely Sybil but has for 20 years been devoted to his mistress and sired three children on her - but only two daughters on Sybil, hence the need for a male heir.

The story revolves around lonely Sybil's plans to solve the problem of an heir when, unexpectedly, our hero, lovely, gorgeous Stephen Cranbourne, who is next in line, is usurped by the doltish Edgar. Once you meet Edgar you'll know exactly why he can't inherit and why Sybil and Stephen have to come up with a plan to ensure he doesn't.

... if you know what I man (and here I'd do one of those winky things if I knew how).

Coming up in my next blog will be pictures of my costume which is nearly finished, ready for my History through Costume Library Talks. I've done the boned stays, the panniers, chemise and petticoat and I'm now working on the polonaise.

Indeed, yesterday was a day of contrasts as I got my new motorcycle jacket for my trip though California with darling hubby, and also finished my 1780s stays and chemise.