An Irresistible Invitation

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.

Be sure to read the first post in this series, from Ava Stone.
The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor, a 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.

bestselling author Deborah Cooke, also writing as Claire DelacroixIt’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.

You can subscribe to Deborah’s monthly newsletter here. Find her on Facebook as Deborah Cooke here, and on Facebook as Claire Delacroix here. Follow her on Twitter here and check out her boards on Pinterest here.

Or you can just scroll down and subscribe to this blog of hers. 🙂

Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology by Claire Delacroix, Jane Charles and Claudia DainSomething 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:

Buy at iBooks Buy at Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Kobo Buy at GooglePlay

July Reader Contest

It’s that time again—the first of the month means a new reader contest.

Beguiled, a collection of short stories and novellas by Claire Delacroix and Deborah CookeThis month’s prize is a signed trade paperback copy of Beguiled, the new collection of my previously published short stories and novellas being published this month. As usual, the contest is open internationally and, as usual, I’ll add another prize for every 25 entries. Good luck everyone!

Websites on the Move

Welcome to my new website!

I’ve finally updated all of my legacy systems and amalgamated everything in one place. Here you’ll find all of my books – written as myself Deborah Cooke, as Claire Delacroix and as Claire Cross – as well as the new incarnation of my blog, Alive and Knitting.

The move will be an incremental one. First, this site had to be created and turned on for the world. That’s done. Next, the domain name will repoint to this site, and its url will change.

As a result of that change, a lot of links are going to go 404. 😦 The ones I’m most concerned about are those in the back of the digital editions of my books. The next phase of the move, which will take several months in 2014, will be to update the end matter in all of my digital books with new links, links that point here.

The next big ugly job will be moving all of the content from my current blog (located at for many years) to this server and address. There will be missing images and links resulting from that transaction, too. I’ll also have to hunt down all the blog feeds on the internet and update the address for the rss.

Phew! After that’s done, and will be repointed to this site, although its url will remain At some point in the future, the hosting on will expire and it will be pointed here, too.

It’s a lot of work, but once it’s done, it’ll be easier for me to maintain and for you to find information about my books. So, have a look around the new site and familiarize yourself with it. This is where everything will be!


I have new postcards! That’s always an exciting thing, and I’m always happy to share.

Currently available are postcards for:

Ember's Kiss, a Dragonfire paranormal romance by Deborah Cooke

Ember’s Kiss

Kiss of Danger, the first Dragon Legion Novella, by Deborah Cooke, first of the Dragon Legion trilogy of novellas

Kiss of Danger

Kiss of Darkness, the second Dragon Legion novella, by Deborah Cooke, #9B in her Dragonfire series of paranormal romances

Kiss of Darkness

One More Time by Deborah Cooke

The Coxwell Series
(This postcard shows all four covers.)

Guardian, an urban fantasy romance by Claire Delacroix

The Prometheus Project
(This postcard shows all four covers.)

There are more on the way for:

The Snow White Bride, third in the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

The Jewels of Kinfairlie
(This postcard shows all three covers.)

The Renegade's Heart, first in the True Love Brides series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

The True Love Brides
(This postcard shows both completed covers in the series so far.)

Let me know what you’d like and how many, and I’ll be happy to pop them into the mail for you. Email me at chestwick AT sympatico DOT ca

with “Postcards, please” in the subject line. If you’d like some bookplates tucked into the same package, you just have to tell me so.

My Claire Cross Backlist

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about my Claire Cross backlist titles, and I’ve finally come to a solution that makes sense to me.

The four time travel romances were easy – I’ve republished them as Claire Delacroix books, since they have a fair bit in common with my historical romances. You can read about the four of them right here, on the Delacroix site.

The contemporary romances featuring the Coxwell family were the point of indecision. I’ve decided now to put them on my Deborah Cooke site (Cooke being contemporary and Delacroix being not-contemporary). We’ll re-package and re-release the four of them, probably this summer. Here’s the new page for the Coxwells.

And, here’s a new Claire Cross page, which links it all up.

Many thanks to The Pam for helping me with the technical end of getting this right.