Weaving Series

Someone in Dallas this weekend asked me if when I started a new series, such as Rhymes with Love, am I tempted to bring in old characters from my other series. The answer: Boy, am I ever!

Old, familiar characters are what makes writing a series fun.

Anyone who has read my Danvers series will notice I have a slight fondness for Temple. He appears in nearly every book. I adore that man, er, character, to the point that borders on obsession. I had thought that after giving him his own book, Stealing the Bride, that would be enough. No. He had a habit of wandering onto the page of whatever story I was telling, slanting a rakish wink at me,  and while I was still flush with joy at his arrival, make himself indispensable. Wretched rogue!

So when I started writing Along Came a Duke, I really had to keep all the old characters at bay, barring the door to my office. Refusing their friend requests on Facebook.

Even Temple.

But that doesn’t mean the old books are not in the new series. Because like Temple, I am a wretched rogue at heart. And there are two “cameos” in Along Came a Duke. You may or may not have noticed them. One is a reference from to Love Letters from a Duke and the other is from It Takes a Hero.

In the interest of not providing spoilers, did you spot them, yea or nay?

$4.99 Digital Sale!

Have you heard? Thirteen of my digital backlist romance novels are on sale for $4.99! This gives you a chance to pick up an old favorite or fill in a series that you haven’t finished yet.

Hurry and download yours soon in your favorite format:

One Night of Passion
Stealing the Bride
Once Tempted
It Takes a Hero
His Mistress by Morning
Tempted by the Night
Something About Emmaline
This Rake of Mine
Love Letters from a Duke
Confessions of a Little Black Gown
Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress
Lord Langley is Back in Town
No Marriage of Convenience

Danvers Series
One Night of Passion

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Read an excerpt

Stealing the Bride

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Once Tempted

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It Takes a Hero

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Read an excerpt

Marlowe Series
His Mistress by Morning

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Tempted by the Night

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The Bachelor Chronicles
Something About Emmaline

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This Rake of Mine

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Love Letters from a Duke

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Confessions of a Little Black Gown

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Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress

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Other Titles:
Lord Langley is Back in Town

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No Marriage of Convenience

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One At A Time

Ever wondered when you find an autographed book in the grocery store or the Target how it got there? Did the author do–as it is known in the business–a drive-by? Or did they, as I just did this week, find themselves in a warehouse surrounded by pallets of books (yes, I said pallets, not boxes) and were asked to sign all of them, so that not only your Target or Meijer’s or Krogers has an autographed copy, but so do every other store in that chain, state, or region.

That is how I found myself this week in a warehouse outside of Chicago and facing down table after table of books, all ready with stickers, bookmarks and just awaiting that one last thing: my autograph. I just about fell over when I saw all those copies. I’d never seen so many copies of my books all at once.

It is a little daunting when you realize the table is bowing under the sheer weight of all these books. Rather impressive, until you realize you have to sign them. All of them. Oh, and the other table beyond that. And when you empty one, the warehouse elves come along and refill it. Crafty little fellows those warehouse elves. Never turn your back on them.

Of course there is no pressure to sign all them. Except for the sales rep sitting beside you telling you how many copies Julia Quinn did or how Eloisa James fared facing her mountain of titles. Yeah, no peer pressure or guilt there.

With that in mind, because every one knows authors are so not susceptible to peer pressure or competitiveness, you sort of hitch up your uni-balls (as in pens) and get going. One at a time. And just keep signing. And signing. And signing. Then you start popping the Advil when you find you can’t uncramp your fingers from the pen, and your shoulder feels like it is stuck, and still, you keep signing.

I signed thousands–copies of Love Letters from a Duke, Tempted by the Night, His Mistress by Morning, and One Night of Passion. This is a chance for lots of readers to get their hands on autographed copies just as they will be out looking for copies of the new books, Confessions of a Little Black Dress and Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress.

And no, you can’t just get a rubber stamp and bless the books that way. It. Has. To. Be. Your. Signature.

After two very long days of signing, I have to confess that the happiest sound in the world is when the tape gun closes up the last box, and the last pallet is returned to the warehouse where all those signed, sealed and delivered books will await shipment  to stores all over. With my hand in a brace, I headed for O’Hare, thrilled that I’d gotten the job done. One book at a time. While waiting for my flight, I scanned the shelves at the bookstore and saw a signed copy of one of Tess Gerritsen’s books. I flipped it open and smiled at her signature.

Hey, if you see one of my autographed books in the next few weeks, shoot me a pic and send it in! I’d love to do a little map to find out where they all end up. Sort of a “Where are the copies?”

Contest: Take a guess at how many books I signed and who ever comes the closest will win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Just leave a comment with your guesstimate before midnight PDT, Sunday, March  22nd.

Whose story are you going to write next . . .

When you write a series, or in my case have two ongoing series, this is the email that arrives in your inbox just about daily. Questions about characters you never expected would incite readers–take poor dead Orlando Danvers from Once Tempted or Kit from One Night of Passion for example. Then there are the characters who you just know, from the moment they step on the page are going to be interesting, going to make a great hero or heroine. Even if you don’t know all their secrets . . . yet.

Rockhurst, from His Mistress by Morning is just such a character. I knew I would never be able to leave his mysterious story untold–and since he was the object of Hermione’s affections, I also had a built in heroine. So, curious readers and wandering by blog readers, that will be my next book. (Well, the one after Love Letters from a Duke, which comes out at the end of August). Actually the book is already written and sitting in New York awaiting an editor’s perusal. Has been since the first week of April. Such a long delay in getting a story edited isn’t the norm, but my editor, bless her heart, is on maternity leave, so some things have been shuffled around. Poor Rockhurst! But don’t worry, that won’t delay the book’s arrival into a bookstore near you next summer.

I’d love to tell you it is the most fascinating, wonderful book I’d ever written, but no one but me has read it, so my opinion isn’t really worth much. And there it is sitting in that weird sort of limbo, unread, quietly waiting for another set of eyes to say, “yeah” or “nay”. Or, “Boyle, what the hell were you thinking?” Or “Get new meds!” (As an aside, I don’t take meds. I have writing for those issues.)

As for the story? Rockhurst is carrying around a deep, dark ancient secret. The book is dark. A lot dark. Probably the darkest book I’ve ever written. But also with some very fun moments of humor. I mean, Hermione’s wish turns her invisible. Can you see the love scenes? No pun intended. But that’s me. I can’t resist the humor, even when the story turns really serious. I tend to see the world with that same warped sort of “how could that be funny” sense of humor. In novels that’s great. In real life, it can get you into trouble. As for Hermione and her unseen dilemma, when she discovers just exactly what Rockhurst is doing during his long nights, the ones he’s supposed to be out whoring and gambling and all the usual rakish pleasures, she isn’t amused. Believe me, finding the newest, most outrageous gown is going to be the least of her worries.

So what have I been doing since April? This is the time when an author tends to pace a bit and bite her nails a lot while she awaits the editorial verdict. As April gave way to May and then June, I remodeled two rooms in my house with all that nervous energy. But because the delay in editing started to stretch past my need to paint and sort out closets, I gave up the nail biting and have gone back to writing the next book.

Which is Griffin’s story . . .

And all you Pippin and Dash fans will just have to wait until after Love Letters from a Duke comes out to heckle me about when I’m going to write their story . . . Actually, I have it all plotted out, and boy, is it a doozy.

So my question is: What makes a character story worthy to you? Why Rockhurst? Or any other character?

So what’s up for this week:
Wednesday: I’m an Idiot!
Friday: The New Website Update