Saturday, October 31, 2009

Taming his Runaway Lady!

Runaway Lady, Conquering Lord
The idea for this novel was sparked by a comment a helpful reader made on the Harlequin Community Chat Boards. She had just read The Novice Bride and was interested in one of the secondary characters, Sir Richard of Asculf. She asked if Sir Richard was going to have his own story. It took me awhile, but here it is! Sir Richard's heroine, Emma, is the older sister of Cecily in The Novice Bride. Cecily was all innocence, but Emma most certainly is not, and at the novel's opening, her past is in danger of catching up with her.
It is set in England and France in the eleventh century.

Here is the cover blurb:
Raised a lady, Emma of Fulford is a fallen woman
with a young son as proof. He is all she has in the
world, and now the boy’s brutal father has returned.
Desperate and afraid, she needs to escape, and fast,
so she approaches Sir Richard of Asculf. She begs
this honorable Norman knight for help—and offers
the only thing she has left...herself.
Honorable he may be, but Sir Richard is only
human and Lady Emma tempts his resolve. Can this
conquering knight tame his runaway lady and stop
her running for good?
Wessex Weddings
Normans and Saxons, conflict and desire

This novel is available as a print book in the US from November 1st on the eHarlequin website. It is also published as an ebook. It is already out in hardback in the UK, where it will be published as a paperback in December.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home from South Carolina Writer's Conference

I'm home from a fabulous weekend in South Carolina. I got to be a presenter at the conference which I had blogged about earlier this summer. It was great! I led sessions on writing romantic fiction, historical fiction, point of view and dialog. We had a book signing featuring the Viscount Claims His Bride and that went really well. Now I am diligently trying to finish up an Undone due Nov. 2

Monday, October 26, 2009

Christmas 1564 by Amanda McCabe

One thing I learned as I researched my November book The Winter Queen (available now at eHarlequin, yay!) is that the Elizabethans really, really knew how to party at the holidays! The Christmas season (Christmastide) ran 12 days, from December 24 (Christmas Eve) to January 6 (Twelfth Day), and each day was filled with feasting, gift-giving (it was a huge status thing at Court to see what gift the Queen gave you, and to seek favor by what you gave her), pageants, masquerades, dancing, a St. Stephen's Day fox-hunt, and lots of general silliness. (One of the games was called Snapdragon, and involved a bow of raisins covered in brandy and set alight. The players had to snatch the raisins from the flames and eat them without being burned. I think the brandy was heavily imbibed before this games as well, and I can guarantee this won't be something we're trying at my house this year!)

Later in Queen Elizabeth's reign, she mostly kept Christmas at Greenwich, or sometimes at Hampton Court or Nonsuch Palace, but in the year my story is set, 1564, she spent the holiday at Whitehall in London. Elizabeth had only been queen for 6 years and was 31 years old, so hers was a young Court full of high spirits. This was also the coldest winter in memory, so cold the Thames froze through and there was a Frost Fair complete with skating, food and merchandise booths on the ice, and sledding. It was fun to imagine this scene, and put my characters (Lady Rosamund Ramsey, lady-in-waiting to the Queen, and Anton Gustavson, Swedish diplomat and excellent ice-skater) into the action!

Even though there were no Christmas trees or stockings hung by the fire, I was surprised to find we would recognize many of the traditional decorations of the time! Anything that was still green in December would be used--holly, ivy, yew, bay. The Yule log was lit on Christmas Eve using a bit of last year's log saved for the purpose. It was brought in by the men of the household, decorated with wreaths and ribbons, and set ablaze so everyone could gather around and tell tales of Christmases past.

Food was also just as big a part of the holiday as it is now! Roast meats were favorites (pork, beef, chicken, fricaseed, cooked in broths, roasted, baked into pies), along with stewed vegetables and fine whit manchet bread with fresh butter and cheese. Elizabeth was a light eater, especially compared with her father, but she was a great lover of sweets. These could include candied flowers, hard candies in syrup (called suckets, eaten with special sucket spoons), Portugese figs, Spanish oranges, tarts, gingerbread, and figgy pudding. The feast often ended with a spectacular piece of sugar art called (incongrously) subtleties. In 1564, this was a recreation of Whitehall itself in candy, complete with a sugar Thames. (At least they could work off the feasting in skating and sledding...)

A couple fun reads on Christmas in this period are Maria Hubert's Christmas in Shakespeare's England and Hugh Douglas's A Right Royal Christmas, as well as Alison Sim's Food and Feast in Tudor England and Liza Picard's Elizabeth's London. At my website I have lots more info on the period, as well as some Renaissance Christmas recipes (let me know if you decide to try the roast peacock!)

And watch for the connected Harlequin Historical Undone story in December, The Maid's Lover

Friday, October 23, 2009

November Release from Annie Burrows

I have a new release coming out in the UK in November

"Devilish Lord, Mysterious Miss"

The blurb on the back reads: Is she his lost love? With his dark, haunted eyes and forbidding expression, the menacing Lord Matthison has the reputation of the devil. Living on the fringes of polite society, he has still to get over the death of his one true love seven years ago. But Cora Montague's body has never been found...

So when he encounters a fragile-looking woman, the image of his betrothed, working in a London dressmakers, Matthison is convinced Cora is still alive. And he will go to any lengths to claim her!

It's a bit dark, a little bit spooky, and hopefully, just right for Hallowe'en!

If you would like to read an excerpt, visit my web site at, and go to My Books page.

Or visit http://www.mills&, and click on the picture of the cover to browse the book.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Save money on New Harlequin HIstorical books with Harlequin Special Coupon.

If you love Harlequin Historical, why not use the above coupon to save money on the latest offerings when you shop at eHarlequin?
The offer remains good until 31 December.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Welsh Lord's Mistress by Margaret Moore

My Undone short novella, THE WELSH LORD'S MISTRESS, goes on sale at eHarlequin
today. On my site you'll find more information about the story and an excerpt.

THE WELSH LORD'S MISTRESS is a story of unrequited love set in medieval Wales and features two characters from my last medieval novel, THE WARLORD'S BRIDE. However, as with all my books, I assume nobody's read the prequels, so this story should "stand alone."

It's also been brought to my attention that some people assume you need a special ereader to read an ebook. Not so! As long as you have a computer, you can download an ebook. Harlequin has made this easy by providing free downloads of software. They also have a section called "New to Ebooks?" that provides more information.