Julia is delighted to have the draft of Alastair’s book sitting on her editor’s desk (from whence it will probably return shortly with the usual polite request for revisions.) In the meantime, she’s working away on the story of the last cousin, Dom, who returns to England after being gravely injured at Waterloo. The sportsman of sportsmen who can no longer hunt, shoot or drive, Dom must reinvent his life. Fortunately, a colonel’s daughter with orphans in tow is about to give him a new direction in life!
Archive for the ‘The Bedraggled Pen’ Category
Between Facebook and Twitter and the accident last August, this news/blog has been shamefully neglected, but Julia promises to do better. To wit: with the longer Alastair synopsis complete, she’s honing the chapters to send the whole to her editor for preliminary approval while launching into the rest of the book. Target for completing–end of September!
There will probably be rewrites in her future, but for now, Julia is enjoying having the second Ransleigh Rogue cousin book completed. For pictures of Will and Elodie’s world, check her Pinterest boards. (A board for Max and Caro will be up, soon, as well!)
Some people remember having a younger sibling who trailed after them everywhere. Or a task that, for some reason, just can’t get completed and stay DONE. So it has been for me with Elizabeth’s Undone, which was begun back in February, put aside for revisions on Max’s book, finished in May, received substantial revision request in June and now has been totally reworked. This time, I hope it stays “done” with few additional revisions and actually debuts with Max, whenever the scheduling for simultaneous releases gets worked out next year.
On to Will–at last!
Thanks to a series of snowstorms unusual in this area of Texas, I’ve had a few non-scheduled days off to finish up the revisions on Max and Caroline’s book, (first of my new Ransleigh Rogue series.) Magnificent Max’s book has just been mailed back to my editor with fervent hopes that she will like the changes made. While she’s pondering the latest draft, I’m looking ahead to the next project, an Undone to accompany Max’s book that will feature heroine Caroline Denby’s cousin Elizabeth.
Beautiful, wealthy, impetuous Elizabeth fell deeply in love with a rake. Blinded by love and passion, she married him…and lived to bitterly regret it as Russell went through her money, her love, and most of the scandalous women in London. She’s a wiser, poorer, hurting and bitter widow when childhood friend Nathan returns to London. Nathan has always liked Elizabeth–and during her tempestuous marriage, often offered to help distract her from the pain of Russell’s infidelity by having an affair with him. When he repeats his offer, angry with men, fed up with being the Good Girl and the Good Wife, she agrees–but only if he is prepared to meet every extravagant whim of the woman who intends to become The Most Expensive Courtesan in London. I think it’s going to be lots of fun to write, as Elizabeth and Nathan engage in a battle of wits, with passion as their weapons and love the unintended result.
After that, it’s on to the second Rogue story. I had intended to do Alastair next: the poet and intellectual of the Rogues, when the woman he loves jilts him in the most public and humiliating way possible, he throws away his pen, joins the army, and vows never to love again. Selling out after Waterloo, he thinks he’s finally over Diana, until a chance meeting in Bath revives all his anger, pain and passion. Thinking to purge himself of her forever, he challenges her to become his mistress…
But now I’m torn. After Max’s book came to a resolution I hadn’t expected (those sneaky characters surprise you like that sometimes) I discovered that one of the other Rogues not only had a different name, but a different heroine. Rex became Will, and his heroine will be the woman who betrays Max at the Congress of Vienna, destroying Max’s chances of a diplomatic career. Will is horrified when he discovers Max has settled for life on a horse farm, far from the councils of government in which Will knows he would shine. Certain that Max cannot really want that life, and fiercely devoted to the man who saved him from the streets as a child, Will sets out for Vienna to find the mysterious Madame Lefevre and bring her back to England to testify to Alastair’s innocence–even if it means the gallows for her. But the complex, wounded woman he finds in Vienna isn’t anything like the heartless adventuress he expected…
So now I have until after I finish the Undone to dither over what next: Alastair or Will?
The draft is done and by the end of the weekend, Max, first of the Ransleigh Rogue cousins, should see the draft of his book winging its digital way to my editor. As always when finishing a book, there’s a sense of wonder in how the story and the character migrated from its first glimmerings in my mind, with Max and Caro ending up together (as always envisioned) but after traveling down ways NOT envisioned. In fact, Max wandered so far that one of his Rogue cousins not only got his name changed (from Rex to Will) but also has a new heroine…the woman who betrayed Max at the Congress of Vienna.
Although I want to move immediately into writing the Undone that should accompany Max’s book (featuring Caro’s cousin Elizabeth, a disillusioned widow who married the rake with whom she fell madly in love and came to bitterly regret it) there will still be time for holiday rejoicing. I’m looking forward to spending Christmas in Mississippi at the the new home of my oldest son and his bride, then returning home where ALL my children and their significant others will join us for New Years. Hmm…should have built a bigger house!
Then there’s the great holiday giveaway ongoing with the Harlequin Historical Authors Advent Calendar contest. The event will visit here on Sunday, December 19. All you must do to be entered for my individual prize of a $50 Amazon gift certificate and the grand prize of a Kindle 3G is to post a comment here, on the news/blog page.
Happy Holidays to all!
I didn’t quite make it for November, but I’m finally closing in on the end of the first Ransleigh Rogues book, featuring Magnificant Max. Five more scenes to go…and then some polishing (okay, alot of polishing) before sending it off to my editor as an early Christmas present to me. During the writing process, I discovered that one of the other rogues, Max’s cousin, originally named “Rex,” actually must be “Will”…and his heroine won’t be who I thought she was either. In the meantime, Max ended up doing some things for Caro that I hadn’t anticipated, while the interplay between them was hotter than I’d first imagined it. That’s a rogue for you, always surprising you with the unexpected!
Next up, an Undone.
If the gentle reader wonders why Julia has neglected to provide much news of late, please look at the extensive list of blogs to which she has and will contribute this summer as part of the promotion for the REGENCY SILK & SCANDAL miniseries, including her Book 3, THE SMUGGLER AND THE SOCIETY BRIDE. You may find her Words of Wisdom (or at least commentary) posted at the Pink Heart Society; e-harlequin’s Community “Regency Silk & Scandal” Authors’ blog; the UK Historical Romance Authors; the Summer of Love; RomCon; Cataromance and Mysteries and Margaritas; dates and urls are listed below.
In the meantime, while working on the first book of her new Ransleigh Rogue series (see the Bookshelf page for details) she is preparing for Romance Writers of America’s annual National Conference, being held this year from July 28-August 1 in Orlando, right next to Epcot at the Swan & Dolphin hotels. She’ll be participating in a workshop entitled “Dressed for Historical Success,” for which Jeannie Linn, new Harlequin Historical author of Golden Heart winner BUTTERFLY SWORDS, created a wonderfully amusing video:
View it and enjoy!
Julia’s just sent off the rewrites of Greville’s book (he’s the brother of heroine Joanna in WAIF, the disgraced estate manager who gets himself knocked over the head and wakes up on a prison hulk, about to become the newest crew member of the HMS “The Illustrious.”) While awaiting word back from her editor, she’s toying with the possibility of a new series about four cousins who go off to fight with Wellington, have their lives changed in unimaginable ways, and find new goals and lives with the help of one special lady. The proposal was called “The Ransleigh Rogues.” Keep your fingers crossed that the eds like this one!
After funerals, illness, snowstorms, power outages…The Book That Would Not End, Greville’s book, is finally done and submitted to my editor. Drum roll signifyng relief, please! This book is the story of the brother of WAIF’s heroine, Joanna Anders Merrill. When we last hear of Greville in WAIF, he’s been abducted by the venal estate agent Barksdale, beaten and sold to a press gang. In Greville’s book (which I’m calling The Sailor and the Baron’s Daughter,) after the intervention of their noble cousin The Marquess of Englemere (Nicky from THE WEDDING GAMBLE) Greville has been rescued from service as a common seaman and, wounded after an action against pirates off the coast of Africa, sent back to the Coastal Brigade while the Admiralty settles the matter of his future. Also at Nicky’s intervention, he’s been invited to reside with Ned’s friend Lord Bronning, whose lovely daughter Amanda rejected Ned’s tentative courtship in WAIF.
Amanda is astonished and outraged when this grimy, wounded sailor limps over her father’s entry. What could Papa have been thinking, to have agreed to house such a specimen? Greville, a man whom eight months at sea at the bottom of the social ladder have given an entirely new perspective on life and his place in it, tends to agree with her opinion.
Amanda can’t wait to get to London to begin her Season and fulfill her life-long dream of making a brilliant match and becoming a political hostess to rival the fabled Duchess of Devonshire. Greville can’t wait to recover and try to figure out what he’s going to do with his life. It seems they have nothing at all in common…until an attraction they just can’t master and a danger to family and home throw the two together.
I’m waiting to see what my editor will think of Greville. There will surely be revisions. Then it’s on to the next project, another matter for which I’m awaiting my editor’s decision. It could be the first book in what I’m calling the Brotherhood of Badajos, the story of four soldiers who band together to survive the storming of that fortress city and pledge a lifelong friendship. Or something else. More on that later.