It is with great excitement that I unveil my new Regency series launching in mid-October. This is your official invitation to join me in Moonlight Square...
SERIES CONCEPT: Welcome to Moonlight Square!
MOONLIGHT SQUARE is a community-based series that centers around a fabulously elegant London garden square (like Berkeley Square, Grosvenor Square, Hanover Square, etc.) and
the wealthy aristocrats who live there, including a higher-than-average population of bachelor dukes! How convenient. *grin* Yep, it's time to have fun. ;)
The idea came to me from my affection for small town contemporary series. I really enjoy series based around a familiar place that you grow to love going back to as a reader. One day it occurred to me, why couldn't we do that sort of thing in a Regency setting? Not an English village/small town, perhaps ~ that might prove a bit limiting over a multi-book series. Instead, I decided it would have to be in Town to keep things moving, and as I started wondering where to place it in London, inspiration struck, and Moonlight Square was born.
It's a little microcosm of Regency London that feels a bit like a small town in that everyone knows everyone else's business. Built by Beau Nash with magnificent terraces, Town houses, and big corner mansions (where the dukes live, natch) Moonlight Square is not just "Regency London's most exclusive address," but also one of its most romantic.
The lovely little gated private park for residents only boasts a charming gazebo perfect for trysts. Some of the most breathlessly awaited balls of the Season take place in the elegant Assembly Rooms at the Grand Albion, above the gentlemen's club on the first floor, where the lords of Moonlight Square gather to gamble and drink and banter and brag. (Pray you don't end up being mentioned in the wager book there!)
Moonlight Square has got its own little customs and traditions; its own, shall we say "interesting" neighbors (watch out for the handsy Lord Hayworth and his cougar of a wife). Quaint little St. Andrew's on the far end of the square is considered by all to be one of the most fashionable places for ton couples to get married. Have a look around!
These books will be a little shorter than my past novels - in the 75,000 word ballpark rather than 100,000 words. That's because they have no intricate spy or crime subplot. They're all pure romance and banter, flirtation, sexy bits, a little bit of the GF heart-wrench and Ye Olde Hero Grovel that I'm known for (*grin*), humor, family storylines (like the Knight Miscellany books) and FUN. Not a murder or a dead body in sight! Can you believe it?? LOL. Hey, I told you in my Breaking Out of the Cage blog that I put myself through a major Regency Reboot.
My longtime readers may recall that every time I change series, it's always something quite different than before. You may have even voted in the poll I took on my website, which ran for nearly a year as I was nearing the end of the Spice Trilogy (the final Knight books). After the swashbuckling of Ascension and the heavy drama of the Knights, I wanted to try a different vibe yet again. So I asked my readers to vote on which sort of series they preferred for me to do next - either light, funny romantic comedy style Regencies, or dark-and-dangerous, romantic thriller style Regencies.
The vote was VERY close, but the action-packed thrillers won the day, and the Inferno Club of gentlemen-spies was born. Now I get to try to the other thing, keeping the best bits of all I've learned along the way! So far, I'm LOVING writing these.
I'll still have mayhem and adventure in some of my books, certainly, but those elements--at least in the larger doses--are going to be replanted over in the Fantasy Romances, where there's so much more freedom to start wars and stop crime waves, as the warrior alpha males I so love are wont to do. *g* It got very tight doing that in a historically accurate way in Regency England, but now the badass warriors can have at it in whatever world I dream up for them. I'll just set 'em loose inside the Age of Heroes.
A Regency, however, is supposed to be a certain kind of reading experience. These guys may be badasses, too, but it doesn't really come up much. It's just kind of brooding there in the background. Oh, yes, Moonlight Square does have its little touch of shadow and darkness--thus the name. (I can't seem to get away from a little bit of dark, even when I'm writing humor, lol.) But I can say these will be more straightforward romances, and the purpose of them is FUN.
They're shorter because without all that added complication of mayhem and murder and saving the world from certain doom, they just don't need that added length. In my own personal opinion, the writing is much less dense, but more...hmm, light and airy, and more elegant. The pace is really quick and the tone turned out to be surprisingly witty. (It surprised ME, anyway! You'll be the judge, of course.)
I'm imagining four books in this series (cuz, you know, square): Duke of Scandal, Duke of Secrets, Duke of Shadows, and Duke of Storm. So, now that you have an idea of what the new series is all about, allow me to present Book 1. Drumroll, please! Presenting...
Duke of Scandal
Romance is in the air at Moonlight Square ~ Regency London's most exclusive address!
I can't wait to share Jason and Felicity's story with you! DUKE OF SCANDAL (Moonlight Square, Book 1) just went live for pre-order on Amazon and iBookstore. Since this is an indie release, only the e-books can be pre-ordered, and only at these two outlets, but it will be on the Barnes and Noble website and Smashwords, and it will be simultaneously published in trade paperback, as well. The release date is Tuesday, October 13th.
My newsletter subscribers will be the first to get the Sneak Peek of Chapter 1 next month, (so join!) but for now, here's a little glimpse into the can't-resist-each-other dynamic between rakehell duke Jason and our heroine, Felicity, on a sunny afternoon in the parlor. Enjoy! ;)
“Suitors banging down your door,” he drawled. “Half of London angling to snare you. Mark my word, you’ll be wedded and bedded and living elsewhere by the time the Season’s over. And then I won’t get to visit you anymore, or people will talk,” he added in a studied tone of wry humor to mask his dismay. “They’ll say we’re having a tryst. Then your husband will call me out. And it’ll all end in tragedy, and perhaps they’ll make a musical about it.”
“No doubt. Unless I marry you,” she blurted out.
He arched a brow.
“Or not.” She turned red and immediately dropped her gaze to the catalogue, turning a page. “I mean, it does seem a good solution at first glance, so we could both be a part of my little project. But you’re right. Being married to the Duke of Scandal sounds very inconvenient, and besides, nobody’s life turns out the way they planned at eight years old. That’s just silly.”
She flashed a blithe smile, turning to him, and her wicked gaze dipped to his lips. “Well! Since it seems the clock is ticking before—as you say—I’m married off to some very lucky man and the two of us are not allowed to play together anymore, I suppose we’d best enjoy it while we can, hmm?”
“Yes,” he said warily, his pulse thundering. He had not expected that vixenish answer.
To be sure, his friend’s little sister was all grown up now, and very much a woman. In truth, his head was rather spinning at the deft circles she was running round him, emotionally speaking.
What the hell is going on? he wondered. And what exactly was she suggesting by enjoy it while we can?
And what of this other claim—that being married to him would be too ‘inconvenient’ for her?
What the deuce was that supposed to mean? He was suddenly unsure if he was offended or relieved…but he was certainly confused.
“Oh, have I shocked you, Your Grace? You must think me very naughty,” she whispered, laying her hand on his thigh.
He looked down at it, and then at her, instantly on fire. The minx was toying with him, and he found her utterly irresistible.
For a long moment, he sat stock-still, fighting what he wanted, and panicking slightly to feel the chains of his resistance falling away. He wasn’t sure he was ready to let them go.
“Felicity,” he said in a strangled tone.
“Yes, Jason?” she breathed.
“You shouldn’t be touching me.”
“I’ve heard that song before. It didn’t work then, either. Did it?” She began inching her hand slowly up his thigh. Just like she’d done to the Hades statue.
You little hellion. His heart slammed in his chest.
“Stop me if you don’t like it,” she whispered, daring him with those stormy, sea-green eyes.
Passion blazed through his body; the need was too strong. When he dragged his gaze up from the pretty hand creeping up his thigh and looked at her again, and the impulse got away from him.
Suddenly—not sure what he was doing, but past caring—he leaned in and claimed her mouth with years’ worth of ravenous need.
# # #
Finally. Oh, God…
Having only just saved the situation with blithe flirting after her blunder of mentioning marriage to the consummate rakehell, Felicity barely dared move, treasuring the fevered, bruising caress of his lips taking hers.
At long last.
When a person dreams of a thing for years, longs for it with every inch of her body and every beat of her foolish heart, it is easy to be overwhelmed when the moment finally comes to exquisite fruition.
Jason’s kiss was that dream for her, and it nearly made her fall apart. Its sudden crashing into reality made her body throb like the white-hot birth of a star.
Her heart raced with the impossible thrill of knowing that, in this moment, she finally had her idol’s full attention. She wanted to slow time and savor every second of it, but crazed want pounded in her veins, and Jason’s kiss was frantic. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her onto his lap while his tongue plunged into her mouth like he would consume her.
Felicity clung to him in trembling excitement, overwhelmed with pleasure. Lord, he could’ve had her right there on the couch in the middle of the daytime if he wished it.
It shook her, facing how much she really craved him. Because deep down, she feared this still meant nothing to him. That she would ultimately prove just another female to him, or worse, he would suddenly find his conscience once more, push her away completely, and break her foolish heart a second time.
And yet, even knowing the danger she was in, she couldn’t make herself stop kissing him back.
She wanted this too badly. She slid her hand around his nape and opened her mouth for him, following his lead.
He groaned her name with such despair amid the deep, delicious licking of his kiss. With one arm draped around his neck, she melted against his big, muscled body. Every inch of her had gone sweetly heavy with desire, yet with her other hand, she stroked his face in reverent longing as he went on kissing her.
I love you so much...still.
As her trembling fingers molded the angle of his chiseled jaw and explored the warm smoothness of his clean-shaved cheeks, she did not want to admit it to herself. But there was no getting round it. There had never been anybody else for her but Jason and there never would be...
Hello, Friends! Well, I got my wish ~ the sun came back to Gloomsville, PA in full force, so if anybody hears me complain this week about the 90 degree weather, I give you leave to smack me, lol.
Well, I don't really have anything big to tell you at the moment, though we are doing a COVER REVEAL of my next Regency later this week (it's about to go on Pre-Order, woot!). For now, I am just enjoying a nice Sunday.
I'm supposed to get my hair done this week, it just needs it, but also in preparation for getting a new official "Author Photo" taken. Yikes. You know you have to give it two weeks for a new haircut to look normal. So there's that, and in the meantime, I need to go to the makeup counter at the mall and have them give me some updates. An author photo is a major production, lol. I swear I need to take 3 rolls of film before I get one shot that doesn't make me want to put a bag on my head or shout: Dork! LOL. I'm still deciding how much to smile or not in my picture. Usually, I'm practically grimacing with the effort not to blink when the flash goes off, lol. And don't even get me started on what I'll wear for the pic cuz I have no idea. I just hope I get a very patient photographer, but I'll be sure and share the results when I have the new pic. If they're not too grim.
In other random news, I had the coolest dream last night, I have to tell you. File this one under Obsessed Writer (or possibly under, You Know You're a Geek When). I dreamed I had this whole elaborate conversation about characterization and story structure with Joss Whedon - creator of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, Angel, Firefly, and many more. It was the greatest conversation, but if he gave me any writing advice, I hope my subconscious remembers it, because I can't recall a single word!
Did you ever have a weird dream about a famous person? (PG rated! LOL, I don't know what to know what your subconscious really wants to do to Gerard Butler.) :P
PS: See ya later this week for cover reveal!
Happy Monday! It's nice to have a quieter week this week after last week's launch of Paladin's Prize. I thought I might enjoy some sunshine this week, but look at this unbelievable weather report I just came across on my home city of Pittsburgh. Get this! According to the weather man on Action 4 News, Pittsburgh has only had 12 SUNNY DAYS ALL YEAR so far, from Jan. 1 through July 15, 2015. Even Seattle had 33 of them in that time! Sheesh! That's just cruel.
Still, that didn't stop us from hosting a really nice barbeque picnic here with family and friends a couple weeks ago. I thought I would share the EASIEST recipe that was a huge hit at the picnic. Everybody wanted a copy of it to take home, so I thought you might like to have it, too.
I had thought we'd be making the classic 4th of July burgers and dogs, (we did have dogs - Nathan's of course, in honor of the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest, which my husband watches every year in morbid fascination. But he's from New York and it's kind of a New York obsession. He always cheers for Joey Chestnut. :::shaking my head::::) Anyway, Eric begged me not to put him on grill duty for the picnic. It was actually pretty cute. "Honey, please don't make me make burgers for everyone. I'm so out of practice at the grill, I haven't cooked anything on there since last summer, and they'll turn out like hockey pucks." How could I resist? LOL. I had to take pity on the man and find another plan.
So I let him just grill the hot dogs for everybody--cuz nobody can mess that up--and I turned to Ye Olde Crock Pot for slow-cooked barbecue chicken, so that I wouldn't have to think about it much and could actually enjoy being with my guests! Like I said, it was a big hit. So thanks, www.FreshFamilyMeals.com! Here's a direct link to the yummy and SO EASY recipe:
I know, I know, the crockpot is the lazy woman's solution, but gimme a break, I had a book deadline, all right? *g* I love when something delicious is easy, too. So here ya go, and enjoy!
Are you getting a good dose of summer weather where you live, or is it weird like here? Let me know in the comments, and if you make this recipe, tell me what you think!
The Best Crockpot BBQ Chicken
(If you want a printer-friendly version, go to their website. They have it over there.)
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
1. Season chicken breast lightly (a small pinch per breast) with some sea salt and place in your crockpot.
2. In a mixing bowl combine BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well combined.
3. Pour over chicken, cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
4. Once time is up, you can serve the breast whole, or shred with 2 forks. (Note from Gael: Get a helper for this! It took me and my sister Jaz and my brother-in-law all taking turns to get it nice and shredded up small! This is the only slightly hard part. Takes some muscles is all!) If shredding, recover and let cook in sauce for about 10-15 more minutes to soak up all that delish flavor.
5. Serve on buns, over rice, in wraps, on a salad or eat a plateful as is! Our favorite way is on fresh rolls, topped with coleslaw.
Holding out for a Hero?
If so, today's the big day that my medieval hunk, knight-in-shining-armor, all-round royal champion, Sir Thaydor of Veraidel, comes galloping into the world astride his white warhorse to rescue you from reading boredom! Don't miss this magical romantic adventure! If you like a dash of fantasy, let Thaydor sweep you away on a grand summer escape.
And just to add to the awesomeness of this "EPIC" day, I'm now able to reveal the beautiful map of my fantasy kingdom of Veraidel. Take a look below! Oooh, ahhhh....
New York Times bestselling author Gaelen Foley leads readers on a magical journey to a fairytale land where good battles evil, adventure beckons the daring, and epic love awaits the true of heart.
Resolutely noble, impossibly brave, paladin Sir Thaydor Clarenbeld serves as royal champion for the kingdom of Veraidel. But when the king becomes corrupt, Thaydor speaks out—and promptly ends up banished from court, sent off as a knight errant on an endless round of quests meant to get him killed. One mission nearly does. Covered in wounds after a monstrous battle, he lies at death’s door when rescue arrives in the form of the beautiful, mystic healer known as the Maid of the Mount.
The lady Wrynne du Mere gave up a luxurious life to devote herself to caring for others. When she finds the famous hero broken and bleeding, saving him will take all her skill—and a fateful dash of magic. And it will cost her dearly. For the dangerous spell will leave their souls forever entwined, and his foes, so many and so powerful, will target her, as well. Wrynne knows to survive and restore justice to the land, they must join forces. But for how long can they resist the searing temptation of desire?
ON SALE NOW!
Your first glimpse into my fantasy kingdom...
Since we just passed the 4th of July, it's like Uncle Sam says: I Want You!
I'm looking for a few good readers to join my first official Review Crew. Spaces are limited and it's filling up fast, so if you're interested, please click the crown to learn how to participate and fill out the sign-up form. Thank you! ~ GF :)
UPDATE: REVIEW CREW FULL. SIGNUPS CLOSED FOR NOW. THANKS!