Happy New Year

I’d first published this post on January 10, only to discover as I was updating the sidebars that the excerpts that ‘d loaded to my website had disappeared during the server migration earlier that day–long story that began with a hacker attack on my host server right after the new year.  So I had to pull the post.  If it showed up at Goodreads or in your feed, my apologies.  I should have checked first whether the excerpts were still up, and failing that, I should have had back-ups that would enable me to quickly reload, so I didn’t have to wait until I had a three-hour window of time to recreate the pages.  Lesson learned.

Phew, am I glad to have the blog back.

You’d think, given how casually I neglect this blog, that I wouldn’t even notice if it went down for a week or ten days.  And you’d be right.  But ironically, the hacker attack on my host server that started the year happened to coincide with me turning in a couple of manuscripts and wanting to say a thing or two about them.

The folks at Janus Portal have been working around the clock.  Today they asked me to change my name server in my domain registry.  And finally the blog is back–and let’s hope it stays back.

You might have seen the cover for my July release, Ravishing the Heiress.  In case you haven’t yet, here it is, in all its purple glory.

I like the cover, but more significantly, I love the story.  When I started working on the trilogy, I was still bombed out from HIS AT NIGHT and didn’t know whether I had anything historical left in me.  I’m happy to report that working on the trilogy has totally rejuvenated me.

I think of the three books of the trilogy as the appetizer book, the main course book, and the dessert book.  Rest assured each of them function perfectly as stand-alones, but together they form a three-course spread.   The appetizer book and the dessert book are of course, slightly lighter in character.  But the main course book is as angsty as anything I’ve ever written–and answers the question I’ve been asking myself, namely, can I write a book in which the hero and the heroine are always nice to each other?  (Cuz you know how I love to have them rip each other apart.)  And the answer is yes, the leads can be absolutely lovely to each other and the story can still rip your–I mean, my–guts out.  As a result, RAVISHING THE HEIRESS currently holds the position of my personal favorite among not just the trilogy, but all my romances.

Your mileage, of course, will vary.  I’m just reporting mine. 🙂

Excerpts for both BEGUILING THE BEAUTY and RAVISHING THE HEIRESS are up at my website.

Now I must return to work on TEMPTING THE HEIRESS, which is due on February 1.  Happy New Year!

Covers Galore

Note: The blurb for Beguiling the Beauty has been fixed.

I keep cover pictures that I haven’t yet posted to all possible venues on my laptop desktop.  And for some reason, although every horizontal surface in my house is covered with stuff and I am usually blithely unaware of the clutter, I am very, very neat electronically.  I rarely allow my email inboxes to contain more than 15 entries, and once the number of covers on my electronic desktop reaches a certain critical mass, well, here comes a post.  🙂

Two years ago, I did a post here called Red Dress-Off.  The idea came about as Meredith and I each had a book with a red dress on the cover coming out around the same time.  Guess what?  I’ve another red dress cover, for Beguiling the Beauty.


When the Duke of Lexington meets the mysterious Baroness von Seidlitz-Hardenberg aboard a transatlantic ocean liner, he is fascinated. She is exactly what he has been searching for—a beautiful woman who interests and entices him. He falls hard and fast—and soon proposes marriage.

And then she disappears without a trace…

For in reality, the “baroness” is Venetia Easterbrook—a proper young widow who had her own vengeful reasons for instigating an affair with the duke. But the plan has backfired. Venetia has fallen in love with the man she despised—and there’s no telling what might happen when she is finally unmasked…

Meredith does not have a red-dress cover coming out in 2012.  What she does have, however, is just as synchronicitous.

I wish I could find a bigger picture for At Your Pleasure.  (Meredith has kindly provided a large pic.)  But as you can see, these covers are totally twins separated at birth.  If only one of them were leaning the other way–they’d make a perfect set to display on the wall.


Glittering court socialites and underworld cutpurses agree: Adrian Ferrers, Earl of Rivenham, is the most dangerous man in London. Rivenham will let nothing—not the deepening shadow of war; not the growing darkness within him—interfere with his ambition to restore his family to its former glory. But when tasked by the king to uncover a traitor, he discovers a conspiracy—and a woman whose courage awakens terrible temptations. To save her is to risk everything. To love her might cost his life.


Lady Sarah Percy knows that Rivenham is the devil in beautiful disguise—and that the dark attraction between them is as dangerous as the nightmare in which her family is trapped. But when war breaks out, she has no choice but to place her trust in her dearest enemy—and hope that love does not become the weapon that destroys them both…


Now a bunch of foreign covers.

First up, The Duke of Shadows in complex Chinese.  Is that not a gorgeous cover?  Somehow it escaped my detection during the Duran foreign covers omnibus hunt.  I can excuse myself for that oversight, since Meredith herself didn’t know this edition existed.  The title in Chinese is less The Duke of Shadows, but more The Duke of Illusions.

Vietnamese Private Arrangements. I am again labeled as a New York Times bestselling author. Well, if you say if often enough… 🙂 (Update: Finally got around to Google Translate.  The title in Vietnamese is Covenant of Destiny, which is totally awesome.  Might be my favorite title, foreign or domestic.)

French His at Night. Title translates to The One I’ve Been Waiting For, which I like very much.

And last, but not at all the least, comes Slovene Not Quite a Husband.  I’m not sure what’s going on with the hands, but once I realized that the dress was see through, I couldn’t pay attention to the hands at all.  Am I witnessing a miraculous piece of Brazilian waxing? 🙂


New Covers

First up, the cover for Meredith’s July 2011 release, A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal, which I think is just soooo gorgeous.

Next up, German Delicious.

And now, Thai His at Night.

Near the end of HIS AT NIGHT is the following paragraph:

The top of the Hangman Cliffs gave onto a stunning vista: miles of verdant headlands towering hundreds of feet high, a twilight-blue sea upon which the sun glimmered like silver netting, and in the distance a pleasure boat, all its sails unfurled, gliding across the water with the leisurely grace of a swan.

I love this cover!

German PA & Thai NQAH

And a brief coming-up-for-air update.

It was an overhaul again–HIS AT NIGHT, that is. One of those days I’d love to have only revisions but so far it’s been overhaul after overhaul. It’s still not finished yet, but it’s getting there and of course it was worth it.

Heard briefly from my fellow blogger Meredith at the end of October. She is superbusy in India but will hopefully be able to breathe easier soon. We miss you, Meredith.

And now onto the covers. 🙂

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UPDATED: His At Night–Preliminary Cover

Here it is!


The art department will be working to make the dress pop more from background.  I asked for my usual corrections (longer fingers and less boob on the hero).  And then, making my agent laugh her head off, I asked for a daintier foot on the heroine.

But other than those minor quibbles, I love this  cover.  Love the color and the flounces on her dress.  Love that there is more ladyback and less mantitty.   Besides, this cover continues the tradition of putting my heroine in a dress she never wears in the book.  🙂

When I get the final cover, we’ll do a side-by-side (or more likely a top-by-bottom) comparison to see if I get my wishes.

And in other news, the release date for HIS AT NIGHT is now May 25, 2010.

Updates below the fold. 

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The Smart Bitches happen to link to an article in Publishers Weekly on the clinch cover. And the verdict is, the clinch is here to stay.

One particular quote from Sue Grimshaw, Borders’ romance buyer, struck me. “A tastefully done clinch is a must-have for debut authors,” said Ms. Grimshaw, which is more or less what she said when she had breakfast at RWA SF with a few of us Bantam authors.

So now my wonderful publisher is giving me the must-have clinch covers for debut authors. Bantam will reissue DELICIOUS and PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS with new covers to coincide with the release of NOT QUITE A HUSBAND. And here, without further introduction, are the preliminary versions of the new covers.

I do love the background on this. There is something very fairy tale-ish about it. I am not crazy about the mantitty–I’m never crazy about mantitty to start with, and this one is bigger than mine. So…wish he had some clothes on. But chest is de rigueur so I’ll go with what sells.

Now this is much more my thing. Love the pose. Love the dress. Love the presence of the man without the actual mantitty. I’m, however, slightly torn about the color. On the one hand, I personally love it. On the other hand, there is something slightly poison apple-ish about it and rather startled the spouse when he looked at the high-def image. But there are certain colors that don’t translate as well in jpeg and I trust Bantam to get it just right in print.


And here it is. Bigger, bolder, with a better tan on him and a fuller head of hair on her. (I specifically requested more hair on her, since her hair actually begins and ends the story, in a way. In fact, I requested a great deal more of hair on her–I wanted the old fashioned, will-engulf-small-villages-and-smother-unsuspecting-farm-animal kind of ginormous hair. But I was shot down, because the art department said that much hair might make the cover look muddy. :-P)

Not Quite a Husband Update

The good news is I have a rough first draft. The bad news is that I still have to write the bulk of the secondary romance and that the 2nd half of the rough draft is truly skeletal. So much work still remains, but oh boy, does this book have a fantastic epilogue. 🙂

And here is the preliminary cover design for NQAH.

The cover isn’t final. The border might go, since it juxtaposes rather weirdly with the rest of the image. The background color might change to make the red pop more. The art department thinks the cover will feel bolder and sexier if the couple take the whole cover. And I’m all for it. I write pretty darn sexy stuff. And my previous covers, although gorgeous, didn’t reflect The Hawt.

So just a little news before I hunker down and go back to work. Until then, everybody vote! (And yes, I did already.)

I know I’m on hiatus, but…

Update 7-11-07: My editor tells me that ARCs should be in the goody room some time today. I would imagine later in the afternoon.

This has been a very exciting couple of days. While I’ve been buried deep under the inscrutabilities of consolidated financial statements and the mysteries of Access databases, all the while trying to keep my hair from spontaneously combusting, Caitlin Alexander, my wonder-editor at Bantam, has totally been on top of things in getting ARCs of my first novel into production. Today I got the covers (front and stepback) for the ARCs Bantam would print for distributing at RWA National.

They are totally SQUEE-worthy!

Not only are they such beautiful covers, but these beautiful covers contain very generous blurbs from Mary Balogh and Jane Feather!

(Right, forgot to tell you guys that SCHEMES OF LOVE is now called PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS.)

I’m thrilled to share this day with you. And I hope that very soon I will be able to share in your pleasure and delight as your publishing dreams come true, too.