It was a long, busy summer, but life is becoming manageable again. After a lot of travel early in the summer, I attended the Romance Writers of America conference in June. We were in New York City this year, which is one of my favorite cities to visit. The conference hotel was right on Times Square, and that was a new experience for me. It seemed the hectic pace of Times Square affected everything, and so did the noise, but I enjoyed it anyway. I had the honor of delivering one of the main luncheon speeches, and was not as nervous as I expected. I think it went well.
Besides travel, I have of course been busy with writing! I completed the first book of my new series. It is titled The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne, and I am unveiling the cover here. The heroine is Emma Fairbourne, who is the “last” Fairbourne, a family that owns a prestigious auction house in London. She discovers upon her father’s death that he took in a silent and invisible investor, Darius Thorncroft, Earl of Southwaite. Unfortunately the earl has his own ideas about the future of Fairbourne’s now that Emma’s father is gone, and their notions of that are not at all the same. Indications that Emma’s father and the auction house were involved in some illegal activities only increase the stakes and the conflict. Southwaite is accustomed to getting his way, and also used to the sophisticated women of society, so he finds Emma’s disconcerting forthrightness and lack of artifice both exasperating and fascinating. To say that “sparks fly” is an understatement.
This book is set in 1798, when England was at war with revolutionary France, and Napoleon was on the rise but not yet the force he would later be. The series will reflect this setting and time when everyone prepared for a French invasion, when French émigrés crossed the channel to escape an unwelcoming government at home, when the Irish were in rebellion and when men cut off their queues and women let their hair flow down and might dress in either the Greek style or even ‘a la sauvage.
The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne introduces the characters who will populate this world in the future books. Fairbourne’s auction house will continue to be a feature as well throughout the series, with its grand preview parties and its great exhibition hall where a diverse population gather to compete for rarities to enhance their homes and collections.
In other news, I continue to participate in the group blog The Goddess Blogs. We have two authors joining us this month as new regulars—Barbara O’Neal (also known as Barbara Samuel and Ruth Wind) and Susan Mallery! We have a lot of fun on this blog, so stop by if you have the time and join us.
I am also more active on Facebook these days. Among other things I hold special contests there, in addition to the one on this web site. In the month of September I am giving away a book a day (M-F), or 20 books in all. The contest form can be found on a special tab off my Facebook page. If you want to “like” me, that is cool too, but not necessary.
Finally, I am embarking on a redo of this web site soon. Yes, it is long needed! I have found the right people to help me at long last, so in a few months hopefully I will have a new look here.
Enjoy the Fall weather, and the peace before the storm of the holidays! I plan to, as I dig into my next book.