The cover of The Secret Wedding.
To be published in April 2009.



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The November 2008 edition of the newsletter.

This has been a busy year for me with lots of travel and as a result itís been short on newsletters. I have enjoyed a wonderful few weeks in Australia, however, and I blogged a bit. You never know, perhaps one day Iíll write a book about a hero whoís spent time over there dealing with the transported prisoners.

I also enjoyed some time back in Ottawa, first to speak at the ORWA conference there, and then to visit family and friends. To top it off, I attended the World Fantasy Convention because it was so close Ė in Calgary. I was delighted to be on a panel with Barbara Hambly, whose books Iíve enjoyed a lot. I also met Cecelia Holland, who wrote amazingly good historical novels. I donít mean to say sheís not writing good ones now, but she was so young when she wrote her early books, each is set in a different time and place, and yet each brings the time and place to life. Check out the range of her books on her booklist page.

Somehow along with all this, Iíve managed to complete the next book. I sent it off in early November and The Secret Wedding will be out in April, so mark your calendars. (But of course youíll get a newsletter to remind you when itís about to come out.) This follows A Ladyís Secret, and is about Christian, Lord Grandiston, the military officer.

As you know, Iím writing a trilogy that fits within the Malloren World, using three friends.

Robin Fitzvitry, Earl of Huntersdown is a charming, fun-loving sort of guy, though heís been sobered up a bit by the untimely death of his father, which has plunged him into responsibilities he never expected to have so soon. He was the hero of A Ladyís Secret.

Christian Hill, Viscount Grandiston, is a military officer. Heís been plain Christian Hill all his life until recently, and happy to be so, but his father has unexpectedly inherited an earldom, making Christian a viscount and the heir. Heís struggling with this and many other issues to do with his family and his purpose in peacetime when a ghost rises from his past. A ghostly wife; or rather, a very alive one, which is the problem. Thatís The Secret Wedding, because heís never told anyone about that youthful misadventure. Very awkward when heís supposed to be wooing a rich widow.

Thorn, the Duke of Ithorne, will be next, and though Iím not entirely sure about his story, I have ideas dancing in my head, and they involve a minor plot element thatís run through the other two books.

Iím using a number of elements in this trilogy, including young rakes, secret identities, and masquerades. Iím also giving each hero an animal. Robin has Coquette, the charming papillon dog. Christian becomes involved with a talking cat-rabbit of Hesse, bred to hunt the ferocious fanged rabbits there. Well, sort of. Youíll have to read the book! Tabby and Christian donít always get along very well.

Another constant is that all three stories start with strangers meeting at an inn. Why? Because I find these extra elements intriguing and likely to create interesting stories. Oh, and all three stories intersect with the Malloren family, of course.

On other news, there are a few reissues out now. Christmas Angel has been reissued, so if youíve been searching for that, youíre in luck. The mass market paperback of Dragon Lovers is out. And also, my Christmas medieval story, The Wise Virgin, has been reissued by Harlequin in a new collection. It was in a medieval collection called The Brides of Christmas, but now itís out with two other novellas in A Bride For Christmas. The other two novellas are Home For Christmas by Heather Graham, and Tumbleweed Christmas by Candice Camp.

Iím leaving the best news for last, though. Because the reissue of The Fortune Hunter and Deirdre and Don Juan in one trade paperback, Lovers and Ladies, did very well, NAL is going to be publishing my other traditional regency in trade paperback over the next two years. Itíll be wonderful to have them back in print, and you never know, it might pave the way for a spin off or two, but in historical romance form. Thereís Kevin Renfrew, for example, the Daffodil Dandy. People are always asking for his story, and he is intriguing.

Now my web tid-bits. The Domesday Book on line seems a bit clunky and I havenít had much luck with it, but they have a page on life in the 11th century which is interesting.

The list of landowners Ė almost entirely the Norman invaders, of course Ė provides an interesting snapshot and list of names. Click here. I like the entry for Roger de Bully. (Tricky name for a hero!) ďBully, Roger de - Perhaps from Bully-en-Brai, Seine-Maritime. Described as 'famous in Domesday but nowhere else'. Founded priory at Blythe in 1088. Castle at Tikhill, Yorks. Holdings in six counties, mainly in the North but also in Devon.Ē Famous in Domesday but nowhere else, indeed. LOL!

Youíll also note the number of Rogers, Ralphs, and Roberts. Hard to get much name variety in that period.

I canít remember if Iíve mentioned Free Rice but it bears repeating. Itís a fun vocabulary challenge that earns rice for charity.

All best wishes,

Jo

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