The Next Big Thing!

My good pal Marilyn Bryant, author of A Summer in Europe, tagged me to take part in this blogging hop-along, and I thought it sounded like fun.  I’ll answer some questions about my current work in progress (WIP), and then tag five other authors to do the same thing on their blogs next week.

So, here goes on my Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?  A Royal Seduction.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  From reading histories and biographies about the British Royals during the Regency period.

What genre does your book fall under?  Regency-set historical romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  I’ve already got them picked out.  Hugh Jackman would play my hero, and the heroine would be played by Piper Perabo.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  The illegitimate son of the Prince Regent, who is also a spy for the British Crown, must protect a young noblewoman (a beautiful and brilliant cardsharp) from kidnapping and forced marriage to a Russian prince.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  This is the first book in my new series, The Renegade Royals, for Kensington Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  Four months, which included the beginning of revisions.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  It’s a sexy Regency historical, with some adventure and a spy for a hero, so I’d say it’s similar to what Shana Galen writes.  But I also have quite a bit of humor and Regency social settings in my book too, so I think readers who like books by Katharine Ashe will like it, too.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  I read a wonderful biography of the Prince Regent, the eldest son and heir of George III.  Like most of his brothers – who were a pretty scandalous lot – he had at least one or two illegitimate children.  All told, the brothers probably had close to twenty illegitimate offspring, some of whom were never identified.  I thought it would be pretty cool to write a series about those children who never emerged from the shadows of history.  They were the sons of princes, and yet had such murky backgrounds.  This WIP is my story of Aden, the Prince Regent’s bastard son.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  I really love the heroine and think she’s a very interesting character.  She’s funny and sweet, and a total math genius.  Her family is a nightmare, always spending themselves into massive debt, and Vivien has to use her math skills at the gambling tables of the ton to keep her family afloat.  She was a lot of fun to write.

And now I get to tag a few awesome author friends too, who’ll be posting about their latest projects on their blogs next Wednesday, Dec. 5th. Can’t wait to hear what they’re working on!!

Cynthia Eden, author of Angel in Chains

Monica Burns, author of A Bluestocking Christmas

Kris Kennedy, author of Deception

Manda Collins, author of How To Romance A Rake

Theresa Romain, author of Season For Surrender

Readers, be sure to check out these talented ladies next week and find out what they’re working on!




Inspiration, And Then Some

Let’s talk covers, shall we?  As most romance readers know, writers often look to actors and actresses for inspiration when developing their characters.  It’s a fun way to bring the hero and heroine to life in our imaginations.  Typically, a writer spends months on a book, imagining the hero looks remarkably like Gerard Butler, for instance.  Said writer may have even been asked by her editor to provide detailed descriptions of her hero (and heroine), which is then passed along to the art department.  With crossed fingers, the writer then spends the intervening weeks praying the cover will at least remotely match the descriptions she provided to her editor.

Finally, the day arrives and that much-anticipated cover jpg. lands in the writer’s email box.  With pounding heart, the writer clicks on the jpg. and then…well, sometimes they get it right.  Often they don’t but it’s still a great cover, and every once in a while it can be an unmitigated disaster.

How have the cover gods treated me?  Extremely well, IMHO, thanks to the fantastic art department at Kensington Publishing.  The models didn’t always match what was in my head, though, so I thought it might be fun to look at what I imagined and what actually happened – particularly with my heroes.  So here are my covers, starting withMastering The Marquess at the top of the page.  Let’s see how they match up with the actors I used for inspiration.

For Stephen, the Marquess of Silverton, I imagined him played by the beautiful and tragic Heath Ledger.

Now glance up and compare that to the guy at the top of the page.  Not so much, although I think MTM has a great cover.  But the hero looks more like a cross between Brad Pitt and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, which more than one person pointed out to me.  Whoever he looks like, he does have a great set of abs.

In  my next book, Sex and the Single Earl, I imagined the hero, Lord Trask, to look much like Christian Bale.

And here’s the cover.

Pretty good matchup and, again, great abs.

For my novella in An Invitation To Sin, I based the hero, Captain Christian Archer, on Sean Bean in Sharpe’s Rifles.

And, the cover…

Oh, well.  Pretty, but a distinct absence of abs.

For my last book, My Favorite Countess, I used the gorgeous Hugh Jackman to provide me with inspiration for Dr. John Blackmore.

And the cover…

I was surprised when I got the email because I was expecting another clinch cover, but I certainly wasn’t unhappy.  MFC is a gorgeous cover and since I had imagined Bathsheba played by Kate Winslet, the artist definitely got the vibe.

My next book, which will be out in 2012, has a tough and handsome former soldier as its hero.  When I pictured him in my head, this is who I saw.

Yes.  Uber-handsome Henry Cavill from The Tudors.  I won’t see my cover for some months yet, but I surely a girl can dream, can’t she?

What about you, readers?  Do you cast actors for certain characters when you read a book?  Does it bother you when the cover doesn’t match the description?

Holding Out For A Hero at RomCon

I’m guest-blogging at RomCon today, and talking about the kinds of heroes who inspire us in romance.  The hero of my latest book, My Favorite Countess, is a Regency physician – a bit of a departure from the usual arrogant aristocrat who often figures as the hero in Regency-set historical romances.  You might be interested to know that I based my hero, Dr. John Blackmore, on the lovely Hugh Jackman.

Why don’t you drop by RomCon to join our conversation?  I’ll be giving away a copy of my previous book, Sex And The Single Earl.

And I’d also like to remind you that I now have a short story available as an e-book at Amazon and Smashwords.  I originally wrote His Wicked Revenge for The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance.    You can now download HWR as a standalone story from Amazon or Smashwords for only 99 cents!

See you around the internet, folks!


The big day has finally arrived, and My Favorite Countess is now available in stores and on-line!  My website has all the handy buy links, plus you can read an excerpt or check out my free bonus read.  And don’t forget to check out my swell contest for May!

I’ll be visiting today with The Pop Culture Divas, where we’ll be chatting about doctor heroes and Hugh Jackman.  I bet that caught your interest, didn’t it?  Why don’t you stop on by and join the fun?

As I head out to the bookstore to actually see My Favorite Countess in its native habitat, I want to thank my readers for their support.  You are all simply the best!

No Explanation Required

There’s really no need to explain how much we loved Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, is there?  Nor do the following photos require any explanation.  Here are a few pictures of some of the lovely men who serve as inspiration for the heroes of my novels.

Sean Bean is my mental stand-in for the hero of my novella in the anthology, An Invitation To Sin. Sean really knows how to rock the uniform!

Then there’s Hugh Jackman, who was the inspiration for the hero in my upcoming book, My Favorite Countess.

Even scruffy Hugh would set any girl’s heart a-flutter!

And, finally, here’s the dreamboat inspiration for my next book, Henry Cavill, who stars in The Tudors. I think I’ve made an excellent choice, and I know my heroine will thank me!

Hope the eye candy gives you a great start to the week!