It was a very busy summer for me, with lots of travel and some quality family time. I started by spending a week helping a relative who had surgery. Then my husband and I took a vacation together— a “I can’t believe it was discounted that much” cruise of the Baltic, where we visited St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Helsinki. The RWA conference in Orlando came quickly on the heels of that, and suddenly the end of summer seemed to be around the corner! Which meant that my next book was around the corner too.
Sinful in Satin is the third book in The Rarest Blooms series, and its publication date is September 28. This story takes place mostly in London, where Celia, upon the death of her mother, the courtesan Alessandra Northrope, strikes out on her own, to build a life for herself after five years living in the country with Daphne Joyes. Her mother has not left her much, due to debts, but there is a modest house in a middle class neighborhood that might be spared from the creditors. Celia takes residence there, and plans her future.
To her shock, she learns that she will not be living alone. She has inherited a tenant along with the house. It is Jonathan Albrighton (whom readers of Provocative in Pearls briefly met.) Jonathan, the bastard son of an earl, has served the Home Office as an agent for a number of years, and even with the war being over he is still given the occasional mission. Now he is on a minor one—to discover if Alessandra left records of her patrons. If so, people in power would like them destroyed, because there had been a rumor that Alessandra passed pillow talk to a French spy during the war, and no man of society wants anyone suspecting that he might have been an unwitting accomplice. Jonathan has his own reasons for wanting to learn the truth about Alessandra, and soon has his own reasons for wanting to remain very close to Celia too.
From the moment they see each other one night, there is electricity between these two outsiders. Celia, trained to follow her mother’s path, and to see sensuality as a means to an end, finds herself wanting only one man, but knows an alliance with Jonathan would be impractical in the extreme. Jonathan, whose soul has been darkened by fate and experience, first wants Celia, then needs her, as she begins to illuminate his life. And all the while, as their attraction creates first tension, then eroticism, and finally love, their histories and the world’s expectations for them keep interfering.
Even as this book goes on sale, I will be finishing up the next story in the series. Dangerous in Diamonds is slated for publication in May of 2011. It is time for Castleford to get his comeuppance, and who better than the cool, composed Daphne Joyes to bring him to his knees? On the other hand, Daphne discovers that maintaining her reserve and poise is very difficult when Castleford casts his eye her way. Right now in the manuscript she is finding him a dangerous attraction, and his pursuit of her overwhelming.
In other news, I will be doing a little blog tour with Sinful in Satin’s release, and the information can be found on my appearances page. I will probably get my web site redesigned in the next few months too. And I am proud to be a part of The Penguin Group’s campaign to raise awareness of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation during the month of October, as they launch their Read Pink campaign. I will post information about that in the next week or so.
I am reviving my snail mailings to fans who want to receive them. If you want to be on that list, send your mailing address in a message to me via the link on my contacts page.