Friday, October 23, 2020

Cover reveal

 My latest cover (out March 2021:

Back cover copy: A wounded Viking warrior

Must keep his enemies close…

Left for dead by a mysterious attacker, Viking warlord Kal Randrson comes around with a deep head wound and a hazy memory, yet he instantly recognizes his rescuer—captivating Lady Cynehild, whose life he turned upside down years before. Although she’s his enemy, they agree to a fake betrothal to expose his attacker. But is the capable, intriguing Cynehild’s mission to help him, or has she another intention entirely?

From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.

Vows and Vikings

Book 1: A Deal with Her Rebel Viking

Book 2: Betrothed to the Enemy Viking

You can do an online jigsaw of the cover here. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Sons of Sigurd series

You can find them on Amazon etc

And this is a jigsaw of the above in case you can something to do:

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Conveniently Wed to the Viking is published and so I've created a jigsaw puzzle of the front cover.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Deal with Her Rebel Viking is published

My latest Harlequin Historical, A Deal with Her Rebel Viking has been published!

Her terms: free her family

His terms: seduction?

Defending her home, Lady Ansithe captures outlaw Viking Moir Mimirson. The prisoner will be the ideal ransom for her father, who’s being held hostage by the Danes. Yet Moir’s flirtatious negotiations exhilarate practical Ansithe as much as they surprise her… Can she be sure that this hardened warrior will work with her and not betray her? And what of his stolen kisses—can she trust those?

It is the first book in a planned trilogy (I am hard at work on the second book) 
You can read the start of the book for free here.

In other news: my part of the exciting Sons of Sigurd saga  coming to Harlequin Historical in 2020 has been accepted.
Conveniently Wed to the Viking will be released in July 2020.
This is my unofficial blurb:

Scotland,  876 AD
A resourceful lady
To escape her stepmother’s murderous marriage plot, Ceanna of Dun Olliagh believes she must enter her aunt’s convent with a pretend vocation.
A warrior dedicated to revenge
After the raid on his family’s home in Norway, Sandulf Sigurdson  lives only to fulfil the quest his eldest brother gave him — find the assassins who killed his brother’s wife.
A dangerous liaison
When her guide goes missing, Ceanna obtains the services of the mysterious Viking warrior. Confronted with the determined Pictish lady, Sandulf’s heart is touched. While Sandulf is willing to offer her his name and a place in his bed, will he be able to keep her safe from the trained killers who now threaten them both?
Conveniently Wed to the Viking is the third book in the exciting Sons of Sigurd saga which is coming to Harlequin Historical in 2020.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A blast from the past: A Noble Captive reviewed

The UK cover for A Noble Captive which
I prefer 
It is often very surreal for me that I have had books in print since 2005 or basically 14 years.
One of the great things about writing Historical Romance is that sometimes the books last a little longer and don't become as dated.
Basically how I approached a story in 2005 is not necessarily how I would approach a story these days. The themes which interest me are different.
So when Lynn Spencer tagged me that she had read A Noble Captive and reviewed it for her TBR challenge, random dip for the All About Romance site. I read the review with some trepidation. ANC was my 2nd book for HH and it was a Roman set one.
It came out in January 2007 in the UK but wasn't released in the US until 2010.
I remember lots about writing it and getting my revisions. I had just had my first cataract removed 20 Dec 2005.  It was bought 14 Feb 2006 and I had my 2nd contract -- I wasn't a one book wonder!
I was pleased Lynn  got some of the subtleties. She did miss the fact that it takes place on a island a few miles north of Crete and not on Crete itself.  It was a far smaller made-up island. A minor quibble.
I was pleased that it still worked for her.
She said If you love historical fiction but sometimes find yourself wary to take a chance on a book that might not have an HEA, this novel may be right up your alley.  The romance is very much central to the novel’s plot, but the backstory is so well-developed and rich with detail that I think it will appeal to readers of historical fiction as much as readers of romance. 

I should point out that ANC does have a HEA. It is a Harlequin Historical after all.
And it is lovely to see a review after all this time.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A Deal with Her Rebel Viking cover reveal

Her terms: free her family
His terms: seduction?
Defending her home, Lady Ansithe captures outlaw Viking Moir Mimirson. The prisoner will be the ideal ransom for her father, held hostage by the Danes. Yet Moir’s flirtatious negotiations exhilarate practical Ansithe as much as they surprise her… Can she be sure that this hardened warrior will work with her, and not betray her? And what of his stolen kisses…can she trust those?

Buy info:  

NB The cover model's name is Carson and he is repped by Sutherland Modelling agency so I can  tell you that he is 6' 2", blonde and blued eyed with a 31" inch waist. 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Diversity and High Society in the Regency Period

One of the projects I have had over the last year was to investigate minorities in the Regency period. It came about because I was doing my Life in the UK test and read about the man who started up the first Indian restaurant and who really popularized the taking of waters in Bath as well as the concept of shampooing (Indian head massage) – Sake Dean Mahomet. In June 2018, I went to the Black Salt exhibit in Liverpool and discovered Captain Jack Perkins. There wasn’t much on him at the exhibit as he didn’t fit the narrative of the exhibit but I became intrigued. He was the first black Naval officer and was one of the most prize-winning Naval captains during the American Revolution (therefore of all time). British Naval captains were members of the First Estate and not members of the working class.
 I then discovered Nathaniel Wells who was High Sheriff in Wales in 1818. His first wife was the daughter of George III’s chaplain and his 2nd related to William Wilberforce’s wife.  There was also Cesar Picton who rose from boy-slave to millionaire coal merchant in Kingston upon Hull. And of course there was Gustav Vassa who made one fortune in shipping after buying his freedom as a slave and another as a best selling author during the Georgian period. 
Today I discovered someone else -- a woman.  
The Sunday Times are reporting that the new series of Poldark will carry a strand about the real life adventures of American Revolutionary war hero and British officer Edward (Ned) Despard and his wife Catherine who had once been his servant. Apparently it was a real love match.
On his return to London, he and his wife for a time cut a swathe through Regency high society.
So far, so ordinary, so Regency romance.So far, so Poldark -- although Graham's son denies his father knew anything about Despard and his servant wife.
 Despard however had married his servant Catherine (Kitty) in what became Belize. 
He was an early campaigner for civil rights of the freed slaves and was removed from being the Superintendent of the colony (basically the governor) . Kitty was supposed to be Jamaican (although some people preferred to call her Spanish Creole).
Despard was a friend of Nelson's but it was Kitty who prevailed on him to intervene on Despard's behalf during the trial. Despard  was hanged in 1803 for his part in the so-called Despard plot. She also became an activist for prison reform. They had a son James -- no idea what happened to him.
I suspect some viewing the new season of Poldark will say that the BBC are being politically correct to make Kitty a black woman.
My point is that the notion that somehow black people (and other minorities) in British society during the Regency period was all of low class who did not mix with high society is a canard which is often peddled in Romancelandia as an excuse for not including diverse characters.
 Often they are hiding in plain sight, overlooked because they don't fit the historical narrative or social construct  on many levels.  In short more black men dined with the Prince of Wales than Wellington ever rose from the ranks to become officers. This is not to say that there wasn’t huge discrimination. The fact they continued to be overlooked points to that. To do your research, you must be aware of how people were presented and how things were brushed under the carpet. A painter visiting Wells for the first time expressed surprise at his countenance and that he was as dark as any West Indian but of course, he obvious wasn't (Wells was the son of a slave). It puts another interpretation on Mr Rochester's first  wife and brother-in-law btw. 
NB I haven’t mentioned the French and what was going on there – suffice to say, there is much to excite any historical romance writer who is interested in getting more diversity into their work.
It is time Romancelandia started reflecting what was actually happening during the Regency period, instead adhering to an Edwardian view of the period which Heyer developed.  The late Victorian and Edwardian periods were notoriously xenophobic and people’s family history was bleached. But they are there, hiding in plain sight. It is about time they were restored.