I promised last week to tell you about another project in the works this month. I’m participating in a second themed anthology of romance novellas for Christmas. The Nutcracker Reimagined features stories that involve elements of that classic Christmas story, The Nutcracker.
My contribution is a medieval romance called The Mercenary’s Bride. This novella is the first story in the Brides of Inverfyre series. It’s the story of Mhairi, daughter of the Hawk of Inverfyre and his wife Aileen. (The family tree for Ravensmuir and Inverfyre is a free download in my online store, right here.) Mhairi is the middle child of five and the second daughter. She’s a crack shot with a crossbow and a bit of a tomboy, and she’s unafraid to defy her father. Her interest was why the mercenary Quentin was dismissed from Inverfyre, but when he returns, bitter and wounded, Mhairi is the only one who can see his merit. Can her love heal him? I think you can guess, but I hope you’ll join me for their adventure.
The Nutcracker Reimagined is specially priced at just 99 cents and is available for pre-order now. It will deliver on October 19 and be available only for 30 days.
Here’s another group of tropes found in my books. We’ve talked about marriage tropes, about hero tropes, and about some relationship tropes. This group could be considered relationship tropes or protagonist tropes.
Disguise – one of the protagonists assumes a false identity for what seems like a good reason at the time. The other falls in love with the fiction and the first continues the ruse to maintain the developing relationship. I see Mistaken Identity as a variation on this – instead of a deliberate disguise, the second identity is the result of a misunderstanding, but is perpetuated in the same way as Disguise.
Broken Bird – either the hero or heroine is wounded or scarred, emotionally or physically, and is healed by the other’s love. I often write characters who need to recover from an emotional wound and learn to trust again, so these are the ones with physical injuries at the root of the emotional ones. This trope is also called Scars.
Homecoming – also called Reunion, one of the characters returns to his/her hometown. The other protagonist might have been there all along (Friends to Lovers or Second Chance at Love) or could also have arrived recently.
Orphan – one of the protagonists has been orphaned (literally or figuratively) and needs to learn about love. I’m including my voluntary outcasts here, as well.
Second Chance at Love – the hero and heroine were involved before but parted ways for some reason that seemed reasonable at the time. They meet again after an interval, and overcome those previous obstacles. I like to use this one in novellas. (In fact, I just like this one.)
Phew! Lots of tropes – and there are more to come! Are any of these your favorite? Why?
One of the (many) things I’ve been working on this summer is compiling all the various details about my fictional worlds into comprehensive guides. This includes lists of characters and details about those characters, family trees and family relationships, relevant dates and events for those characters, as well as known information about the world itself and a glossary of terms.
The first of these that I began to compile was for Dragonfire. In addition to the above, that world guide includes the lore of the Pyr and their history, as well as an explanation of their powers. Since I began compiling the world guide when I was writing Firestorm Forever, it’s proving to be a bit of a slog. There’s a lot of back-and-forthing in the books and my notes to be done, and so I have an assistant helping me on this project. It still won’t be done for a while. Because many readers have asked about it, there will be a published Dragonfire companion volume, which will be released as part of the publication schedule of the new editions of the first eight books. My assistant is also writing synopses of all of the stories and I’m adding some additional notes about the creation of Dragonfire. It’s going to be a big fat book and I’m excited about it.
In contrast, the world guide for the Dragons of Incendium is evolving as the stories are written. My idea here was that I’d be more organized and avoid all this digging through the past by working in real-time. This world guide is on the Dragons of Incendium website under the tab “Guides” and it’s updated after the publication of every new book in the series. You’ll find a cast of characters and a glossary there, as well as some additional references like a Brief History of Incendium. The inclusion of these references is one of the reasons that these dragons have their own website.
In preparing the new editions of the Bride Quest books, I had a question and unearthed my old notes—I found a map of Tullymullagh that I’d drawn! That got me to thinking about connecting my historical worlds and I wrote a blog post about that in June. The thing is that to make the worlds intersect plausibly, I need to compile world guides for my own reference.
Which explains where I am right now. I have a Dragonfire companion volume in the works. I have a Dragons of Incendium world guide on the website. I am currently creating a Bride Quest world guide and a Ravensmuir/Kinfairlie/Inverfyre world guide for my own reference. And that brings me to the question of the day—what should I do with all these world guides when they’re done?
There’s a poll below about world guides and companion volumes. I’d love if you took a moment to share your thoughts. I’ll leave it open for quite a while, since these references will take some time yet to be completed.
Don’t worry – The Dragonfire companion volume will definitely be published. The cover is done! It’s the others that I’m wondering about.
Here’s a poll about whether or not you use these volumes – and whether or not you buy them:
Here’s a poll about which series of mine for which you’d like to have a world guide:
And finally, here’s a poll about what you expect to find inside a world guide, just to make sure I don’t miss anything! There’s room for you to add suggestions.
Last fall, we started to talk about tropes in my books, then other discussions took over. Today, I thought we’d get back to that topic, as there are a lot more tropes than we discussed already.
We talked about marriage tropes (Marriage of Convenience, Arranged Marriages and Runaway Brides) and also about tropes featuring the hero’s qualities (Wealthy Hero, Hidden Heir/Heiress and Bad Boy Hero). Today, we’ll start talking about tropes describing the relationship. There are a lot of these, so we’ll have to break the discussion into parts.
Enemies to Lovers – the hero and heroine meet because they’re on opposite sides of some issue or in competition for the same goal. They begin as adversaries then find common ground and love.
Friends to Lovers – the hero and heroine have been friends for some period of time, but their relationship develops into a romantic one. This includes Friends with Benefits.
Class war – the hero and heroine come from opposite ends of the social spectrum.
Destined Lovers – fate brings the hero and heroine together, but kismet faces some challenges before their happily-ever-after is achieved. One, for example, might not believe in destiny. This is a popular trope in paranormal romance – all of Dragonfire falls into this category.
Are any of these your favorite kinds of stories?
We’ll look at some more relationship tropes next week on Trope Tuesday.
When I was a kid, moms everywhere interpreted silence as a sign that trouble was brewing. As much as I’d like to be making trouble, silence here on the blog usually means that I’m working. A lot. There are a lot of things in progress behind the scenes, so I thought today I’d give you a peek.
First up, I’m finishing my novella for Charmed at Christmas. Right now, my Regency romance novella is called A Duke by Any Other Name, but that might change. It features Lady Daphne Goodenham, who we met in Something Wicked This Way Comes—she’s headed to Castle Keyvnor for a double wedding at Christmas. Daphne, as you might recall, is determined to marry a duke. Her sister thinks that’s because she’s frivolous and superficial, but Daphne has a better reason than that. (And I think it’s sweet.) On the way south, they meet a duke, also en route to Cornwall. He’s eligible, at least on paper, according to Lady Octavia, the girls’ grandmother. The thing is though that Alexander, Duke of Inverfyre, is a fop. Lady Octavia is certain he’s not the kind of man to make Daphne happy, even if he is a duke. But is Alexander truly what he seems to be? From their first meeting, Daphne notices details that don’t add up and is the only one to look closer…a tendency that the duke finds very beguiling.
Daphne’s story is book #2 in the Brides of North Barrows series. It will be available exclusively in Charmed at Christmas until next March, then it will be available in its own edition.
You might have noticed that Alexander is the Duke of Inverfyre. This is the first of my stories to bring my various fictional worlds together. (See my blog post When Worlds Collide.) Inverfyre is, of course, a holding in the Scottish highlands featured in my Rogues of Ravensmuir, Jewels of Kinfairlie, True Love Brides and upcoming Brides of Inverfyreseries. These are all medieval series, but Alexander and Daphne’s story is set in the Regency. In five or six hundred years, a lot can happen!
Just to entwine things a little more, Alexander’s castle is Airdfinnan, the legacy of Alasdair in The Beauty. Alexander’s sister gives him the seed of a vine that grows on Airdfinnan’s walls which is said to be linked to the laird of the estate finding his true love—you can read about that vine’s first appearance at Airdfinnan in The Temptress. How did Airdfinnan become part of the estate of Inverfyre? That detail is yet to be revealed.
Charmed at Christmas is available for pre-order now at all portals and goes on sale September 26, along with all of the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies.
As you know, our Regency romance anthology Spellbound is free until Sunday. Yesterday, it had a BookBub featured ad and this morning – thanks to all of you – it’s riding high on the charts. Let’s take a look.
At Amazon.com, Spellbound rose to #3 overall free in the Kindle store, as well as #1 in Regency romance.
Here’s the top of the free chart:
And here’s the top of the Regency romance chart:
At Amazon UK, Spellbound was #7 overall free and #1 in Regency romance:
At Amazon CA, Spellbound was #3 overall free and #1 in Regency romance:
Here’s the top of the free chart in the CA store. Usually, there are regional variations, but today, the US and the CA chart – at least at the very top – are the same.
Over at iBooks, Spellbound is also doing really well. It’s #2 overall free in the store:
And it’s #1 in Historical Romance:
What a great suite of results! Thanks to everyone who picked up a copy. If you haven’t grabbed yours yet, Spellbound is still free through the weekend.
Last month, I celebrated the publication of Addicted to Love, by giving away a signed print copy of Simply Irresistible. Simply Irresistible is a contemporary romance and the first book in my Flatiron Five series and Addicted to Love is the second. The winner was Kate.
This month, I’m celebrating the re-publication of the Bride Quest as a single series with brand new covers. The new edition of The Princess will be an August release, The Damsel will be a September release and The Heiress will be an October release. The Countess and The Beauty are already available in their shiny new editions, and The Temptress will be republished this month.
This month’s prize book is a signed print copy of the new edition of The Countess. In this story, Eglantine leaves all she knows in France and moves to a remote holding in Scotland in the hopes of giving her daughters a better future—she doesn’t expect to find one for herself, but then there’s Duncan. 🙂
For your chance to win, comment on this post and tell me if you’ve ever made a big move – to a different city, state or country – and why. Good luck!
In September 2017, we return to Castle Keyvnor for a wedding! There are twelve never-before-published Regency romance novellas from your favorite authors included in this collection of anthologies.
The Earl and Countess of Banfield cordially request your attendance at the wedding for their daughters: Lady Tamsyn Hambly to Mr. Gryffyn Cardew, & Lady Morgan Hambly to Harold Mort, Viscount Blackwater, on the 24th day of December, 1811, at Castle Keyvnor, Bocka Morrow, Cornwall.
Tempted at Christmas
Including Regency romance novellas by Kate Pearce, Jane Charles and Elizabeth Essex.
Available September 26, 2017
Pre-order now at:
Kissed at Christmas
Including Regency romance novellas by Christina McKnight, Ava Stone and Michelle Willingham.
Available September 26, 2017
Pre-order now at:
Enchanted at Christmas
Including Regency romance novellas by Christy Carlyle, Jerrica Knight-Catania and Claudia Dain.
Available September 26, 2017
Pre-order now at:
Charmed at Christmas
Including Regency romance novellas by Claire Delacroix, Deb Marlowe and Erica Monroe.