This is the second post in our blog series behind the scenes at the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor. Today’s post is from me, writing as Claire Delacroix in this Regency romance collection.
I love Regency romances. There’s something wonderful about the combination of sexual tension and witty dialogue that makes Regency romances a restorative read. When I’m writing, I never read books by other authors in the same genre or subgenre as my work-in-process—since I don’t write Regencies, Regency romance has become the romance sub-genre I read the most.
It’s probably only natural that I’ve always cherished the idea of writing a Regency romance. The thing is that I wouldn’t be able to write about a duke and debutante, or a fake rake, or use many of the usual tropes featuring the ton. (I would have fun with an opinionate dowager, though.) I’m interested in the other corners of Regency society, with the underworld and the common people, with tradespeople and foreigners, with colonies and criminals, with upstairs and downstairs and the places where worlds collide. After many attempts to share my fascination with these elements with editors and many (many) story proposals that were turned down flat (sometimes with shudders of horror), I gave it up and carried on with my medieval romances.
Maybe Regency romance and I were destined to admire each other from afar, like star-crossed lovers. 🙂
The thing with indie publishing, of course, is that an author doesn’t have to build consensus to publish a book. My other love is historical romance with paranormal elements. I was told by editors that my True Love Brides series was unmarketable, as well, even though it continued the story from the Jewels of Kinfairlie. Pitting the happily-ever-afters of four siblings against the dark powers of the Fae made those books too odd for publishers. The first thing I did after I went indie was write and publish those four medieval paranormal romances. They might be odd, and they might be niche reads, but I’m quite pleased with the results. That experience made me think again about the Regency romances I wanted to write. Still, the specifics of the period were a little daunting—I admit that titles and forms of address confuse me completely and that stopped me from further story development. I knew I would need help.
So, you could say that when Ava Stone contacted me and asked if I’d like to participate in a collection of Regency novellas set in a haunted castle in Cornwall, I was ripe for the plucking. When she said my characters could be anyone I liked—and actually created a new spur of the family tree for my hero, Lucien de Roye, who has lost his title and his lands—I was nearly there. When I confessed my terror of messing up titles and forms of address, she laughed and said she’d proofread the story for me. The offer was completely irresistible and the result is Something Wicked This Way Comes. Lucien is a gambler with nothing left to lose, because he’s already wagered his soul to a demon. He had a good reason to do that, though, as he wanted to restore Sophia’s stolen legacy to her. Sophia is in hiding from an ardent suitor, the one who wanted her for her father’s fortune, but she’s not nobly born. She grew up in the Caribbean on a fictional island called St. Maurice which she’ll always consider to be home. Lucien grew up in St. Domingue, until his father lost his sugar plantation there. Both of them know more than a little about Voudo.
I hope you enjoy my first Regency romance, although it may be a little unconventional. I had a wonderful time concocting this story, and thank Ava for her corrections and suggestions.
Deborah Cooke sold her first book in 1992, a medieval romance that was published under the pseudonym Claire Delacroix. Since then, she has published over fifty romances in a wide variety of sub-genres, under the names Claire Delacroix, Claire Cross and Deborah Cooke. Her medieval romance The Beauty, part of her popular Bride Quest series, was her first book to land on the New York Times list of bestselling books. In 2009, she was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library, and in 2012, she was honored to received the Romance Writers of America’s Mentor of the Year award. She currently writes medieval romance as Claire Delacroix, as well as paranormal romance and contemporary romance as Deborah Cooke. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, and is on the RWA Honor Roll.
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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Claire Delacroix
Seven years ago, Sophia Brisbane lost everything—her father, her brother, her family fortune—but worse, was rejected by the man she loved. She’s determined not to yearn for the past and its pleasures—until she encounters Lucien de Roye again. Although he knew Sophia could never be his own, Lucien vowed to retrieve her squandered inheritance—even wagering his very soul to a demon. When Sophia learns what he has done, no force on heaven or earth will convince her to let him pay the demon’s due, no matter what the cost to herself.
Read an excerpt from Something Wicked This Way Comes here on my website or download the entire prologue free from my online store in either EPUB or MOBI.
Spellbound goes on sale September 20. Pre-order your copy at these portals: