2015 was a fabulous year for my writing career. After spending 6 years with Ulysses Press, at the end of 2014, we parted ways. Ours was not a spat; it was a business decision upon Ulysses’ part to concentrate their publishing dollars on nonfiction. As I had no desire to return to writing nonfiction, I went looking for a new publisher for some of my titles.
Between my leaving Ulysses and the end of 2015, I had a series of releases. In April, I released Mr. Darcy’s Fault: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary, as well as Elizabeth Bennet’s Deception: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary.
In May, I released two Regency novels: His American Heartsong: A Companion Novel to the Realm Series and His Irish Eve: A Regency Novel.
In September, A Touch of Emerald: The Conclusion to the Realm Series hit the shelves.
Shortly afterwards, I rereleased A Touch of Velvet, Book 2 of the Realm Series with a rewrite and a new cover.
Elizabeth Bennet’s Excellent Adventure: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary soon followed.
So what is up with me in 2016? For one thing, I do NOT intend to release so many books. LOL! Promoting books so often is a difficult test of my endurance. Even so, I will have several releases. For instance, I am currently writing THREE books at once, as well as reworking an earlier release.
Black Opal Books will soon release the first book of a new Regency trilogy. Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep is in the second round of edits. I am hoping for a release date soon. In this one Miss Angelica Lovelace, an American hoyden, arrives in London, to claim a niche in the life of Huntington McLaughlin, the Marquess of Malvern and heir to the Duke of Devilfoard. Her whole life Angel has dreamed of a dark-haired man she calls “Lucifer.” Little does she know that the Devil’s Cub is her “Lucifer” come to life. If you know anything of my writing, the road to Angel and Hunt’s happily ever after will not be an easy one.
One of the books I am writing is the sequel to this title. It will be entitled The Earl Finds His Comfort. In “Angel,” Miss Lovelace considers the possibility of marrying Levison Davids, the Earl of Remmington. Rem is Malvern’s long time friend, and he takes Miss Lovelace’s defection quite hard when she chooses to marry Malvern instead. Fast forward more than a year, and Rem is summoned home to find the daughter of his previous betrothed waiting for him. She is a six year old heartbreaker, but it is the child’s companion, Miss Comfort Neville, who wins his heart. Even so, a familial mystery nearly destroys their chance at happiness. Those of you who love my Realm series will encounter several of the characters from that series in this book.
I am also writing two Austen variations. The first of those is Mr. Darcy’s Bargain: A Pride and Prejudic Vagary. In it, no elopement takes place between Wickham and Lydia. There is no encounter between Darcy and Elizabeth at Pemberley: No hand of Fate changing the course of their lives. Instead, a little more than a year passes from the time Darcy leaves Elizabeth at Rosings Park, until finally, she comes to London with her Uncle Gardiner to plead for Darcy’s assistance in keeping Wickham from executing what we would nowadays refer to as a “ponzi” scheme. It is Elizabeth’s belief that only Darcy will understand how to best Wickham, and her father’s health and the well being of all her dear family and friends are in jeopardy. Having Elizabeth beg for Darcy’s understanding provides our favorite hero an idea: He will “bargain” with her. If Elizabeth wishes his know-how in dealing with Wickham, she will agree to marry him. If not, her father and many of the other good citizens of Meryton will lose a fortune. Will Elizabeth agree? And if she does, is Elizabeth’s agreement from a need to “save” her family and loved ones or from a deep-seated affection for the man she once despised?
The second of the Pride and Prejudice vagaries, I am currently writing is one a bit different from those I have written previously. I have lifted Darcy and Elizabeth from their life in Regency England and placed them squarely upon The Great Valley Road, traveling from Roanoke, Virginia, to Jonesboro, Tennessee, in the early 1790s America. The change in time periods and place require specific changes in the original plot. For example, when I wrote my contemporary Pride and Prejudice, entitled Honor and Hope, the idea of Lydia’s elopement was no longer a detriment to her sisters’ marriages. We live in a time of elopements to places like Las Vegas or Niagara Falls. Therefore, I had to create another means for Lydia and the other Bennets to “loose face.” What obstacles are created by the change of location and customs? Needless to say, the change will turn the story on its ear, and I am loving the research and the prospects. Tentatively, I am calling this one The Great Road to Understanding. Darius Fitzwilliam and Charlie Bradford served together as part of Washington’s troops during the Revolutionary War. Now, they are homesteaders in what was once the western counties of North Carolina. Leading more potential settlers to the State of Franklin (yes, that was a real state for some 5 years of American history), Fitzwilliam and Bradford have their lives upended by the sisters of the Benfield family. Come along for the ride!
I will also be rereleasing my Pride and Prejudice novella. “The Pemberley Ball,” which originally appeared in The Road to Pemberley anthology, as a stand alone. In it, Elizabeth panics when it is time to speak her wedding vows to Darcy, and so she concocts a ruse that will drive Darcy away, and so she can save face, but the best laid plans often are not what we wish. When I first wrote this piece, I had two possible endings: one has the logical, in-control Darcy seeking out Elizabeth in Newcastle with the newly wedded Wickhams, while the other has Darcy “totally loosing it” when he encounters Wickham. You may choose to read ending #1 or ending #2 or BOTH. It is a bonus I hope you will enjoy.
So, do any of these catch your attention? Which do you hope to read first? Are there those from 2015 you have yet to read, but are on your wish list?
I’ll give you a taste of each of these new pieces. You may read them on the Austen Authors’ Writers’ Block, or you may click the links below, which will take you to my blog where I highlighted these stories these past two weeks.
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! I’M OFFERING 2 eBOOKS TO THOSE WHO COMMENT BELOW. THE WINNERS MAY CHOOSE AN eBOOK FROM ANY OF MY 2015 RELEASES (FEATURED ABOVE). THE GIVEAWAY WILL END AT MIDNIGHT EST, FRIDAY, 5 FEBRUARY, 2016.