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1225Newsletter, April 2013
- Lynne ConnollyApr 2, 2013
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I decided to keep this newsletter back a day, because of all the connotations associated with April 1st. I’m one of the poor idiots who is always tricked by something, so people come for me on April Fools’ Day, knowing they have a sitting target!
On to the news. There is some this month, a goodly bundle.
First, thank you so much for making my venture into self-publishing so successful. While I only skim the top selling lists, and lucky to do so, I’m still doing nicely, and, much to my surprise, with the Regencies most of all. I know they have spiffy new covers, but not much else has changed, and yet they’re finding a new lease of life. After I’d been told that there wasn’t the market for Regencies that there used to be, and nobody wanted “historical” historicals any more, their success has bowled me over and delighted me.
So much that I’ve started writing a new Regency. My first for years. This is a book that has to be a Regency, it wouldn’t work so well in any other era, because the dilemmas faced by the characters were ones faced by many in the era. I’ve wanted to tackle it for a while, but I thought the genre was dying. Not for me. I don’t plan to sell this one on, either, I’m planning to self-publish it, when it’s ready. I have an editor lined up, and the cover art, so all I have to do is write it! I’m feeling more optimistic about the historical genre than I have for a long time.
However, I haven’t abandoned the contemporaries and the paranormals. Finally after all this time, I’m beginning to sense where I am in the market and where I need to go. As an author of mainly m/f paranormals, on the hot side, I think the publishers I have now are about right for that. I do the occasional genre, but not m/m. For me, anyway, there has to be a woman in there somewhere. I read m/m’s and love them, but I don’t write them so well. Some people have a real gift for it.
I’ve just had an offer of a new contract for the next and last book in the Symbiotics series. “Journey of the Senses” is about Jim Goddard, the younger brother of the heroine of the first book, “Texas Heat.” This brings the series about strong men, women with minds of their own and kinky sex full circle. I had absolutely no idea it was going to turn into a series when I started it, but sales have been great, which means you like them.
There are also new Nightstar books coming up, and this month sees the release of Nice ‘n’ Easy, about the sexy bass player, Donovan, and the woman he meets at a Sci-fi and Fantasy convention. I’ll post an excerpt and details nearer the time, because it doesn’t come out until the 24th. I’ve been delighted by how well this series has been received, and I think rock musicians are most definitely for me!
And here’s my busy, busy month. If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of these places, do give me a call or email. Or just come and see me!
On the 13th, I’m talking to some students at Oxford University at the “Pitch Across The Pond” one day conference.
On the 14th, I’m travelling to London and on the 15th and the 16th, I’m attending the London Book Fair. On the 16th I’m signing books and chatting at the Ellora’s Cave booth. I’ve never been to the LBF before, so it should be lots of fun!
On the 21st, I’m flying out to Washington, DC for a few days looking around the capital. I’m planning a trilogy in the STORM universe set in the city, so it’s part research, part, just because I’m dying to see the place.
On the 28th, I’m flying to Kansas City for the RT Booklovers’ Convention. I’m teaching at the Boot Camp (GMC and dialogue – with cockneys and puppets, or perhaps it’s cockney puppets!). I’m opening the convention with Kathryn Falk, on the first-timer’s class, then I’m signing at both the Expo and the Book Fair on the Saturday.
After that, I’m flying to Texas for some down time and some research with my friends Desiree Holt and Kathryn Falk. Last year I discovered that I love Texas. It’s like nowhere else I’ve ever visited. And by then it will be May, so it’s going to be hot! I could do without the palmetto bugs, though.
So next month’s newsletter could be a bit late, although I’ll try to get it sorted out when I can. I’m planning to do my usual daily blog from RT over at The Good, The Bad and The Unread, so check up on my impressions of RT there!
After that, I’m going to sleep for a week, then I’m going to write, write, write!
Book of the Month
Here, in honour of its new release, is an extract from “Noblesse Oblige.” It has music in it, so it’s also to remind you not to forget that Nice ‘n Easy is out later this month!
When Marianne Noble, a lady’s companion, visits the fashionable northern spa of Scarborough with her employer, she meets a man who attracts her instantly. However, a lady only just the right side of thirty with no dowry would have no chance with a man as prosperous and handsome as Jerome Rivers, so she accepts his friendship with alacrity.
Jerome is immediately smitten by the lovely and intelligent Marianne. He determines to win her, but when he tells her he is a little more than a mister, he fears she may not want the responsibilities that go with the title of duke. However, a courageous Marianne decides she will take a chance on love.
More problems arise when the shadowy character haunting Jerome begins to make more definite appearances and a vague threat nearly ends any chance of happiness they may have. With her husband in peril of losing his life, Marianne must draw on all her courage to combat the person threatening her future.
“Lovers of regency romances with a touch of eroticism will adore this book!” – Fallen Angel Reviews
Mgrs. Middleton said, in the prettiest way imaginable; “Marianne, would you play for us? One of those little tunes you seem to carry about in your head?”
Marianne had been expecting this, and she had stowed some of her music under the seat of the piano stool that afternoon in readiness. It was a relief to escape from Mr. Blunt’s recitation, so she got up with alacrity, leaving a convenient place for Mr. Rivers. Instead of taking the seat next to Mrs. Middleton, he said to Marianne, “Allow me to turn the pages for you,” and followed her to the piano. He gave her a private smile. “I beg your pardon, but I thought my attentions were becoming too particular, and I have no desire to attract too much attention.”
She stole a glance up at him, meeting his eyes with a soft smile of her own. “That’s quite all right sir, but you should know most of these people are acquainted with each other, and so you are the centre of attention already.” Unseen by the others he raised his eyebrows in a resigned grimace that nearly made her laugh. She felt as though she had entered into some kind of conspiracy with him.
Lifting the seat, Marianne took out her music, choosing a piece and setting it on the piano stand. Mr. Rivers stood just behind her where he could keep an eye on the music and on the room. Marianne ran her hands over the keys to test the tuning and she began to play.
Music was her solace and her joy, her only accomplishment. Her mother had brought a pianoforte into the vicarage when Marianne had been small, and she’d taken to it at once, despite the dampness in the atmosphere that threw the instrument ferociously out of tune. She knew she played well, and when she sat at the piano, her whole bearing underwent a change. Gone was the embarrassed gaucherie that marked her usual movements, and the downcast gaze she adopted in her position as paid companion. Her hands, once on the keyboard, seemed less large next to her small frame, her long fingers an asset in spanning the keys.
The piece began quietly and so she heard the startled intake of breath from behind her after she’d played the first few bars. She heard him move so he could watch her play, but he was careful not to disturb her. When the page needed turning he did it with economy and speed.
Marianne forgot herself; concentrated on the music and the feeling the composer had locked into the piece. No one else took any notice of her playing. It didn’t matter. The world stopped for Marianne, and she created her own inner place, where she felt impregnable and secure.
After three pieces Marianne stood up and closed her folder. The applause was brief and muted, and she moved away after a small smile of acknowledgement, only to find Mr. Rivers moving away with her. “Let me get you something to drink,” he said, and refusing to hear her protests, took her to a waiter and gave her a glass of champagne, taking one for himself. “Where on earth did you learn to play like that?” He sounded shaken, his carefully modulated tones warmer.
She found herself warming to him, responding to his intimacy. “Was it that bad?”
“It was exquisite. You must know it.”
Marianne hated false modesty. “I know I play better than a debutante, but I’ve been around a few years longer, and I practice as much as I can.”
He took a sip of his wine. “A remarkable talent. Allow me to compliment you.”
She blushed. “Thank you. It’s my first love.”
“How sad.” Marianne looked up at him, puzzled. He smiled, a one sided wry smile. “Usually a woman cites a boy as her first love. It seems a shame that has passed you by.”
She shook her head. “It never does to wish for the unattainable, and I’m perfectly happy as I am. The music is mine, and I’m glad of it.” It sounded so convincing, even to her own ears that she almost believed it.
“You could make a living at it. I would imagine the wages you could earn would far exceed what Mrs. Middleton, however generous, pays you.”
“It isn’t a respectable living, and my father wouldn’t like it.”
He frowned down at her. “How old are you? I had thought when I first saw you that you were barely out of the schoolroom, but a lady would hardly wish anyone as young as that as her companion.” He gave a short laugh. “I’m sorry, what an impertinent thing for me to say!”
She smiled. “I don’t mind. I’m nine and twenty.”
He examined her afresh, one thick brow lifted in surprise. “Well the years have treated you very well. You hardly seem that age to me.”
“Nevertheless, it’s what I am.”
He looked at her totally without humour, where another man might have laughed at her. “And you’ve never been in love? With a man, that is, rather than with music.”
Shocked by this last question she stared at him wide-eyed. “Nine and twenty,” he said meditatively, “And never been kissed.”
She blushed at the intimacy. “Oh I have been kissed.” she protested, startled by his practised flirtation, something never aimed at her before. “But only at Christmas, and by my mother and—people like that.”
He laughed, a long, easy sound. “You should seek to remedy that.”
You can buy Noblesse Oblige here:
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Lynne Connolly, author of sophisticated and sensual romance