Friday, January 30, 2009

Free Books from Harlequin!!!

To celebrate Harlequin's 60th birthday, Harlequin has 16 books (one from each NA line) available for a FREE download. The total value of all of the books is $60. The Harlequin Historical book is Elizabeth Rolls His Lady Mistress which is an excellent read. There is also a Love Inspired Historical by Jillian Hart. You can get them here.

You will need Abode 9 to read them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Boss

I thought as a writer, you were your own boss? I hear you question.

Well my boss sits right beside my chair and is most disgruntled if I am not right there with him. See that expression, right there, on his face?

We’ve always had pets at our house. Well, if I go back far enough, I could say, all our houses, from when dh and I lived at home with our respective parents to when we, ahem, moved in together.

As a kid, I was a bit of a collector of stray creatures. Half-feathered baby robins who departed the nest too early were fed on bread and milk from an eye dropper; a blind-in-one-eye hedgehog who went round in circles left me with an infestation of fleas (quickly dealt with by a very knowing mother); a pigeon lived in a budgie cage on our dining room table through one winter and then on the bathroom window ledge
(outside) for another year. With a heap of you know what in the corner.

My husband lays claim to two red squirrel babies abandoned in his family’s garden shed. For years they would come racing across the lawn for treats.

These are but a few of our memorable rescues. There was a lamb in there somewhere too, I recall. Leopards don’t change their spots and while we have always had creatures in our house, from mice to dogs, very few were purchased, most found us or our genetically programmed children.

When we moved to North America, we took on two black cats no one wanted. Then, at a time when we were struggling financially, my husband “found” a german shepherd pup wandering in the road, and brought him home. He ate my Christmas cake. I have never made one since. Not long after that a green and yellow budgie fell out of a tree. When dh picked it up, it attacked his thumb and drew blood. A free budgie, he said, when I arrived home from work that night. And a forty dollar cage, when a week’s groceries was on the order of twenty bucks. The cat and the dog were terrified of this bird, let me tell you.

Recently we found ourselves petless. Aha, I cried. No more! Until we heard of a Maltese Terrier abandoned at a nearby shelter. We had actually purchased our last dog and he had also been a Maltese, after our dear old shepherd left us. Spike (who should have been named snowball) was a great little dog, but with the children grown up we were going to travel, weren’t we?

Teaser, as we call the most recent addition to the family, can’t believe his luck. We know nothing of his past, but we do think he lived in an apartment because at first, walks to him meant getting in the car. He still won’t go out in the garden by himself, but is very happy looking off the edge of the deck or, when he visits my daughter, traveling up in the elevator and looking off her tenth floor balcony.

He joins me for lunch. Or he would if I let him. And he makes me get exercise every day, because if I don’t take him for a walk, he leaves me a gift I don’t want. Ah well, pound puppies don’t always come from good families. What can I say? I hope you like the pictures. If you are wondering what those are on his feet, they are boots. They keep his feet from freezing in the cold weather.

So there you have it. My boss. Isn't he cute?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where do you get your ideas?

This is a question authors get asked a lot. One answer I often give is that authors of historicals have a handy-dandy idea source: our research. I can't tell you how many times I'll be researching one story and find a really fascinating bit of information that doesn't fit the current work, but provides inspiration for another story. Simply put, research gives me ideas.

But what really separates a writer of books from those who don't is what a writer does with those ideas. How does a writer take what might be a few sentences or paragraphs and create a story and characters? To demonstrate some of my process, to show rather than tell, I've started a new blog called Story Seedlings.

During the course of researching A LOVER'S KISS for Harlequin Historical, I discovered that the proceedings of the Old Bailey are now online. Not only that, they give a link to a different case every day - a great source of ideas, or as I like to think of them, seedlings.

Over at Story Seedlings, I take a case and show you how this writer would use it to develop characters and plot for a historical romance. I hope you'll stop by.

If you're interested in what I'm currently working on and what else might be going on in this writer's life, please stop by my other blog.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Historical Undone in the UK

Following on from their highly successful launch in the US, the Historical Undone series has launched in the UK. Historical Undone are short sexy e-books by some of the top authors in the Historical programme. It is Historical's most sensual series yet!
The series kicks off with stories by Nicola Cornick, Michelle Willingham, Amanda McCabe and Bronwyn Scott. Many such as Michelle Willingham's The Viking's Forbidden Love Slave are linked to their longer books.

Georgina Devon: Fifi -- the Chihuahua in rhinestones

The cute, down trodden looking dog is Fifi. She's wearing her pink rhinestone coat. We call her our Rhinestone Chihuahua (a play on words with Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy and if you remember that song...well, you're my age and that's not good!). If you look closely you'll see her pink sweater under her coat. It's 68 degrees Fahrenheit in our house and she's freezing!. The book cover posted with this blog is my North American one for Her Rebel Lord which is still available as an ebook at On the cover the heroine wears a pink dress (kinda like Fifi's coat ), but Jenna de Warre has the hero, Duncan McNabb, in his disguise as The Ferguson to keep her warm.
Fifi, unfortunately, has to sleep on an electric heating pad to really stay warm. It's so hot here in Tucson most of the year, I hate to turn the heater up to 70! But if Fifi lived in 1746, and she was a pampered dog (and they didn't have Chihuahuas in England then), her heating pad would have been a brick or rock that had been heated in the fire, taken out and wrapped in cloth. Luckily for Fifi, things have changed.
Still, Her Rebel Lord opens in Jenna's stillroom and it's cold there. She has a small brazier to keep her warm but it doesn't put off enough heat because she's in a stone castle. Just imagine how cold she would have been, although she was likely much more tolerant of the temperature than you or I or Fifi!

Just one more way our lives are so different from the people we write about. But human emotions never change - we are humans no matter what century we are born and live in. That's the real truth of our books.

Thanks again the Michelle for posting this and Fifi's picture and the NA picture of Her Rebel Lord!

Georgina Devon

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Elizabeth Lane: The ones who make me smile.

Inspired by Georgina Devon, Elizabeth Lane has sent in photos of her pets. In the weeks to come, the HH Authors will be (fingers crossed) introducing their pets and explaining how they help inspire their writing.

And sometimes as Elizabeth Lane pointed out to me -- having pets who make you smile can make all the difference.

The cat on the left is Walter and the one on the right is his girlfriend Sadie. Elizabeth is not sure much they help her writing as all too often they want attention. But they always make her smile.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Georgina Devon: The Dog in the Red Coat

The dog you see in the dashing red coat with black trim is my miniature pincher, known as Rosebud – normally. If she’s in one of her, “I’m the boss” moods, she’s the Queen Mini. If she’s on guard duty in the backyard, she’s the Mighty Mini.

However, if you extend your imagination and add gold epaulets, gold buttons down the front and make the coat a cut-away, then add a dress sword, white breeches and black boots, you are starting to have the uniform of an English officer during the time of the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. This was the last great battle between the Jacobites (those who favored a Stuart on the British throne) and those who wanted the German Hanovers on the throne. We all know who won.

When I first started HER REBEL LORD, I had to decide which side my hero, Duncan McNabb, was on. He is Scottish on his father’s side and English on his mother’s. He inherited his English title through his mother (some titles can pass through the woman if she is the only remaining heir), but his heart is with the Jacobites. The English redcoats (remember Rosebud above) killed his father. Duncan chooses to fight at Culloden for Bonnie Prince Charlie to avenge his father’s death and because the Stuart prince was the rightful heir to the crown. But Duncan fights under a different name so as not to jeopardize his English title since he has no heir.

There are cases where the head of a clan fought at Culloden with his younger sons while his heir stayed home. That way, the heir would not be accused of treason if the uprising failed and with luck the title and lands would remain in the family no matter what.

Duncan escapes Culloden with his life. Many didn’t. Taking up his English title, Duncan takes on an alter ego, The Ferguson, named after his father’s clan, and forms a smuggling gang that’s sole purpose is to get surviving Jacobites out of Britain. It becomes his life’s work.

Jenna de Warre is the only child of Bloody Ayre, an Englishman who fought with the Duke of Cumberland. But her dead mother was Scottish. Jenna’s cousin, Gavin, fought at Culloden alongside Duncan and is now on the run.

Jenna and Duncan meet over Gavin’s unconscious body that is sprawled in the mud in a freezing rain near Carlisle. Duncan plans to smuggle Gavin to France. But Gavin must heal more before he can make the journey.

Jenna discovers The Ferguson is really Duncan, Lord Byrne, the dandy who’s recently moved to the area. This knowledge puts her in a dangerous position. She has a secret people will kill to know or to protect.

A healer, she offers to help Duncan with any escapees who are ill. Working together they fall in love.

Duncan can and will risk his life for the Jacobite cause, but can he risk the life of the woman he is beginning to love – the woman who’s carrying his child?

That’s the basis of HER REBEL LORD. The real truth is that men and women fought and died for Bonnie Prince Charlie. After Culloden, wearing a tartan was against the law in Britain. This law remained in place until George IV, enamored of Sir Walter Scot’s tales, made it legal to once more wear a tartan.

I wish to thank Michelle Styles for making this blog possible. She had to put it on the site and upload Rosebud’s picture and the book’s UK cover. I’m technically challenged.

Georgina Devon
Despite being technically challenged, Georgina has crafted a wonderful romance HER REBEL LORD which is out in retail this month in the UK. It is also available for e-book download.

HH January Release: Texas Ranger, Runaway Heiress by Carol Finch

Texas Ranger, Runaway Heiress
She prefers guns to gowns—and riding the land to dancing at balls. So heiress Gabrielle Price heads across Texas's most dangerous territory to break her unwanted society engagement. Only, her biggest problem isn't outlaws and killers. It's a rugged, relentless Texas Ranger….With a killer to catch, Hudson Stone has better things to do than escort his commander's spoiled, socialite daughter. But his fiery charge is as irresistible as she is off-limits, and to protect her he'll risk his reputation, his life—and his heart.

Read the excerpt

Texas Ranger, Runaway Heiress

HH January Release: Marrying the Captain by Carla Kelly

Marrying the Captain
Ever since her father tried to sell her as a mistress to the highest bidder, Eleanor Massie has chosen to live in poverty. Her world changes overnight when Captain Oliver Worthy shows up at her struggling inn. Despite herself, Nana is drawn to her handsome guest….Oliver planned to stay in Plymouth only long enough to report back to Lord Ratliffe—about Nana. But he soon senses that Lord Ratliffe is up to something, and Oliver will do anything to keep this courageous, beautiful woman safe—even marry her!

Read the excerpt

Marrying the Captain

HH January Release: The Viscount Claims His Bride by Bronwyn Scott

The Viscount Claims His Bride
For years Valerian Inglemoore, Viscount St. Just, lived a double life as a secret agent on the war-torn Continent.Returning home, he knows exactly what he wants—Philippa Stratten, the woman he gave up for the sake of her family….But Philippa isn't the naive debutante he left behind. His rejection stung deeply, and now she is suspicious of his intentions. Valerian realizes he must wage a tough battle if he is to finally claim her, once and for all, as his bride!

Read the excerpt

HH January Releases: High Seas Stowaway by Amanda McCabe

High Seas Stowaway
Balthazar Grattiano, captain of the infamous ship Calypso and renowned seducer of women, has just walked into the one tavern in all of Hispanialo he should have avoided. For Bianca Simonetti, his sworn enemy, is the owner—and she has vengeance on her mind.But before she can take her revenge she is captured by this rogue's kiss. Her only chance for retribution is to stow away on his ship for a passionate adventure that will either kill them—or bring them together once and for all!

Read the excerpt

HH January Releases: A Desirable Husband by Mary Nichols

A Desirable Husband
Lady Esme Vernley's unconventional first meeting with a handsome gentleman in Hyde Park has damned him in the eyes of her family. His departure from protocol, far from offending her, however, just fires Esme's curiosity.Felix, Lord Pendlebury, is taken with this debutante's mischievous smile. But his secret mission for the Duke of Wellington in France could jeopardize any relationship between them—especially when he discovers his past amour has just arrived in town.

Read the excerpt

A Desirable Husband

HH January Releases: The Major and The Country Miss by Dorothy Elbury

The Major and the Country MissMajor William Maitland returns a hero from the war, only to find himself tasked with the strangest mission—hunting down the lost heir to his uncle's fortune.He sets out to rural Warwickshire to uncover the twenty-year-old secret, but has no idea that meeting an old army friend will lead him to the key to the mystery. Or that his friend's cousin, the beautiful Georgianne Venables, will prove to be his own personal Waterloo. For Georgianne has a secret of her own that could stand in the way of Will ever winning her hand in marriage….

Read the excerpt

The Major and the Country Miss