Hope this brief note finds you well, Dear Reader! Busy times, but I wanted to take a moment to say hello. I don't know about you, but I am sooo happy to see the flowers popping out everywhere and the trees beginning to bloom. Wishing you (in advance) a happy Easter or Passover or Earth Day or whatever it is you happen to celebrate.
At the moment, I don't actually have that much to report. If you've been wondering why I haven't been on Facebook as much lately, it's because I've been intensely focused on my storytelling these days, even more so than usual.
I write 7 days a week, and my daily routine these days looks like this. For about 3 hours in the morning, I am writing, writing away on the next Moonlight Square book, DUKE OF SHADOWS. For about 2 hours in the afternoons, I do my businessy things (like this blog). And for about 3 hours in the evenings, I am going over the fabulous complete manuscript that my co-author Jaz Kennedy sent in of Harmony Falls, Book 2, BELONG TO ME.
Did I ever tell you about our working methods together? Here's how we go about writing our books together:
1. We brainstorm and plot the book together. This is super fun, especially since we enjoy meeting at a cozy coffeehouse and getting yummy pastries. Everyone knows that chocolate and caffeine are great for creativity. (At least that's my excuse, lol. Helloooo, pain au chocolat!)
2. Once we have our character arcs hammered out, along with the storyline for at least up to the first major turning point, Jaz takes the ball and runs with it, writing the first draft (aka The Hard Part, as far I'm concerned!) She dives into the research for the book, which is more extensive than you'd think, and checks in with any questions or dilemmas as she moves through the story.
3. She sends me chunks to read as she completes them, I comment and make sure it's all on track, and we might meet or have long phone conversations a few more times throughout her draft.
4. Once Jaz's draft is complete, she hands it over to me, and I do a sweep through it. (And add The Naughty Bits, lol. It's so funny, she can't bring herself to write a sex scene. Fine by me! But it's cute. I get to the blank part in the manuscript where she'll put in all caps for me to fill in: THEN THEY START KISSING AND STUFF... :) Lol. Yet my sister is the one with two kids, so I think she MUST know something about these matters, whether she wants to admit it or not! Ha, ha. I like to tease her.) Anyway, for a new writer, it's been amazing to see what huge strides my little protege here has been making, far faster than I would've thought possible for anyone. But hey, we've got the same DNA, so there's that, and maybe I'm doing a good job mentoring. It's the big sister in me. Though I'm sure I drive her crazy at times. *gg* What are sisters for?
5. I also do a 3rd draft to polish it up, and then off it goes to the copyeditor. That's about it!
Anyway, I look forward to telling you much more about both stories once I'm done with them. Those who've been with me for a while probably know by now that I have "a thing" about not talking about my books too much before they're finished so I don't jinx myself.
I will say that both are going surprisingly well, knock on wood! It is our fondest wish to have both BELONG TO ME and DUKE OF SHADOWS out this summer. Fingers crossed! But I will keep you posted.
Then there's this...
Lovely New Translations!
My agent sent along two beautiful new translated editions of some of my past books. On the right, in Slovak, once more by Slovensky spisovatel, is the book that my English-speaking readers know as HER ONLY DESIRE, Book 1 of the Spice Trilogy, featuring feisty Knight family cousin Georgiana (named after her scandalous aunt, the Hawkscliffe Harlot!). Headstrong Georgie is paired with the easygoing diplomat Ian, Lord Griffith, boyhood pal of all the Knight brothers. These are both such beautiful editions, and I'm thrilled about the hardcover. Don't you just love that crisp little snick that a hardback book makes the first it's opened?
On the left is a reissue in French of what English speakers received as MY IRRESISTIBLE EARL, Book 3 of the Inferno Club. This has been reissued by my terrific French publisher, J'ai Lu. (Alas, I forget my French verb conjugations from the 3 years of French I took in high school, but the publisher's name means "I read," which is an excellent name for a publisher, n'est pas?) I love the new title they gave this one ~ Charme noir. If you can guess in the comments what that means, I'll give you a gold star. *g* In this book, the hero was the debonair spy, Jordan, Lord Falconridge, and the heroine was Mara, the first mom among all my heroines. She was a widow with a toddler-aged son. The only OTHER mother I've had among my heroines (prior to getting together with the hero, that is) was Gin, the heroine of SECRETS OF A SCOUNDREL, who had a young teen boy, Phillip, who would've fit right into one of my fantasy adventure novels for kids!
In any case, I'm excited to show these off. I remain amazed at the universality of the romance genre. As different as our lives may be in far distant countries, everyone loves a good love story. It's interesting that these two happened to arrive together because, come to think of it, Ian and Jordan kind of have a lot in common. Hmm...gentlemanly quiet types with impeccable manners and all sorts of brooding depths underneath under the polished surface.
Anyway, whatever language you speak/read, I hope you enjoy my stories! And, last but not least, a note from my dog...
Grooming Day for Mr. Bingley!
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Duke of Shadows
A heartbroken belle, a missing suitor, and a heroic duke in disguise.