Double Trouble Ranking High

Here’s a nice surprise from this morning. (I saved it for a few hours, so Gaston and Ysmaine could have their moment in the sun!)

Double Trouble is sticking in the rankings at Amazon, even after being free for more than a week:

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 7.51.06 AMThis is a surprise of the very best kind. Usually the spike-and-drop of these promotions is pretty sharp, so I’m very pleased to see this result. Thanks to all of you who have downloaded a copy and spread the word!

The Crusader’s Bride

Today’s the day! Do you have your copy of Gaston and Ysmaine’s book yet?The Crusader's Bride, a medieval romance by Claire DelacroixGaston battled for duty and honor—until his new wife tempted him to fight for her love.

When the Templar knight Gaston learns that he has inherited his father’s estate in France, he accepts one last quest for the order and agrees to deliver a package to Paris on his way home. A practical man, Gaston knows he has need of a wife and an heir, so when a lovely widowed noblewoman on pilgrimage snares his gaze, he believes he can see matters solved to their mutual convenience.

But Ysmaine is more than a pilgrim enduring bad luck. She has buried two husbands in rapid succession, both of whom died on her nuptial night, and believes herself cursed. Accepting this gruff knight seems doomed to result in his demise, but Gaston is dismissive of her warnings, and Ysmaine finds herself quickly wed again—this time to a man who is not only vital, but determined to survive.

Neither of them realize that Gaston’s errand is one of peril, for the package contains the treasure of the Templars—and some soul, either in their party or pursuing it, is intent upon claiming the prize at any cost. In a company of strangers with secrets, do they dare to trust each other and the love that dawns between them?

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View The Crusader’s Bride board on Pinterest.

You can download a free longer excerpt from my online store, in either EPUB or MOBI formats.

Summer Writing 2

What a great week I had. Very productive, and an exciting adventure.

First off, it was wonderful to be charging away on brand new projects. Instead of finishing up a linked series, or writing the book of a secondary character who had long deserved to have his or her story told, this is all fresh work. All new ideas. All new projects. I had almost forgotten how much fun it is to charge into a new world, meet a new cast of characters and find my way around a new fictional world. It’s invigorating, and just wonderful. The stories started to come to life under my fingertips, which is one of my favourite things.

Then something marvelous happened. Last Tuesday, while I was writing away Project One, I saw another side of it. Essentially, the universe of that story exploded and spawned a subsidiary series. This is exciting, but meant adding Project 3 to my list of works on the go. The words just flowed on this new project, which has to be completed before I can continue with Project One.

I’m having the very best time!

Here’s where things stand.

Project One: 25866 words (that’s 4,500 new words)

Project Two: 6,700 words (no change)

Project Three: 21,233 words (those are all new words)

Over 25,000 new words for the week! I’m very pleased.

The only snag is that I had thought Project Three might be a novella, but as usual for me, it’s going to be longer than that. (If it were a novella, it would be pretty much done at this word count, and it’s not nearly so. I think it’s just getting interesting.) Still, it’s one of those magical stories that is practically writing itself. These don’t come along often enough!

As much fun as I’m having on Project Three, I have to switch things around this week and make some progress on Project Two. Six more weeks to go in my challenge, and at this rate, I might finish all three projects. (Fingers crossed.) I’m off again this morning and am going to try to work on two projects simultaneously. My goal is to make solid progress on Project Two, and also try to finish Project Three. I won’t know whether I can do it unless I try.

The other fun thing is that some of my local writers’ group have also taken up this summer challenge. It’s great to cheer each other on, and also to learn more about each other’s projects and work habits.

That Stripey Shawl

It hasn’t been all promotion and writing around here this week. I’ve been knitting, too, and thought it time to show you my progress on that stripey shawl.

Undine shawl knit by Deborah Cooke

I’m just past the midpoint. I made a variation to the pattern on a whim. I decided to do some short rows in the middle, so there will be an inverted V down the centre back. This will make the shawl narrower but will also give it a slightly different shape. I worked two stitches less for every second row from about the lime stripey bit until I got down to just a few more stitches than the godets require. (There are more details on my Ravelry project page.)

Look at the ruffled edge at the top and you can see the green godet which is the middle point of the shawl. (It’s the top green godet.) From that point, I’ve been adding back two stitches every second row and will continue until I’m working all of the stitches again. Once there, I’ll carry on with the decreases in the pattern to finish the shawl.

I’ll show you another picture of the turns once I’ve made more progress and you can see the inverted V more clearly. I’m quite happy with this one. What do you think?