My first book to be released in nearly a decade–was a romantic suspense set in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. It was the first of a trilogy that follows three sisters with a secret as dark as the black waters of Charleston. My editor says it’s “terrifyingly good.” Following SPEAK NO EVIL is TELL NO LIES.
For those of you who wonder how a person can spit out 400 plus pages of story, let me tell you, it’s so much harder to write short. My first novella, A CHRISTMAS TOGETHER included authors Jane Bonander, Jennifer Horsman and Joan Johnston. In my second anthology collaboration, the theme was midnight weddings. It was a pleasure to be asked to contribute to MARRIED AT MIDNIGHT along with the author nearly every romance author cut her teeth on, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. Also included are Jo Beverly and Samantha James. The third is a fantastic mega collaboration of stories by all New York Times Bestselling authors across all genres — 28 authors, 12 of us New York Times Bestsellers. LADY’S MAN, the short story, is the same story, but twice as long with a slightly different ending. Also look for MISCHIEF & MISTLETOE, HIGHLAND SONG, and ONCE UPON A HIGHLAND LEGEND
The Impostor Series About the time I decided to take a break from writing to attend to life, Ann Leslie Tuttle from Harlequin asked me to write two books for her. Although my time with her was brief, I so much enjoyed working with Ann Leslie. A fellow Southerner, she remains a favorite person of mine and her sincere demeanor was much appreciated at a time when I was juggling far too many projects. Although the books themselves are “smaller” than the ones I’d previously written, I thoroughly enjoyed writing both. I hope it shows! The concept? In a sentence, Prince and the Pauper meets Robin hood. (OK, maybe I do have a thing for twins, since this is my third set.)
The Guardians of the Stone Series
This brand new series was inspired by the Stone of Scone. After coming across an account of a mysterious stone hidden in the Highland hills, I returned to my roots with HIGHLAND FIRE, followed by HIGHLAND STEEL.
The Highland Brides Series
Little known fact: This series actually began with a single book, THE MACKINNON’S BRIDE. Readers loved the characters in MacKinnon’s Bride so much that Avon, my then publisher, asked me to create a second book, then a third, and yet a fourth. While crafting four books from a concept that was meant to be just a single book proved to be a challenge, the stories took on their very own lives and I think each book stands alone. Recently, for my readers who wanted to see Gavin Brodie’s story, I wrote the final and fifth installment, HIGHLAND SONG.
The Single Titles
I wrote my first book on a giant Compaq “laptop” computer that was about four times the size of most people’s TV Receivers today. And I wrote it while my kids played jump rope with the power cord, saving often and sobbing in panic when I made the mistake of not saving before the plug was ripped from the wall. Nevertheless, I managed to finish Angel of Fire (yes, this actually was my working title) and send it off to a successful publishing. I was extremely lucky to be in the right place at the right time and my very first editor was Maggie Lichota, to whom I’m eternally grateful for seeing the potential in my books. I worked with Maggie for the briefest time but it was through Maggie I met longtime Editor and friend, Lyssa Keusch. It was with Lyssa’s knowledgable guidance that I crafted 12 books. A few fun facts: *Before getting my acceptance letter for Angel of Fire, I bought and assembled nearly 100 manuscript boxes and stacked them against one wall in my office/kids’ playroom. Luckily, I only went through a handful of them. *Maggie Lichota sent Angel back three times for me to “spice up the love scenes.” Apparently, I succeeded because my first review hailed me as the new Queen of Lust! Oops!
*Out of 12 titles, I actually got to keep 10. The other two were the brainchild of editor Lyssa Keusch. She came up with both Sagebrush Bride and On Bended Knee, both which I loved. The original title for On Bended Knee was Colin’s Fall.
*Once Upon a Kiss, the book that launched Avon’s new Romantic Treasures line, was published and distributed without any cover copy!
*To write Viking’s Prize, I learned the Norse language, and then promptly forgot 99 percent of it. *Unbeknownst to me at the time, I named my heroine in Kissed after my great, great, great grandmother!
*The very first book I ever started was a contemporary. I only completed about three chapters and then I read Judith McNaught and fell in love with romances.
*I’ve written three sets of twins in four books – can you name them? (Answer at the end of the post)
*Of all my books, there are four set in Charleston, S.C. (my home town). Can you name these? Answer: Angel of Fire: Adelaine and Chrestien de Lontaine; Once Upon a Kiss: Blaec and Graeham d’Lucy; Book 1 & 2 of The Impostor series: Ian and Merrick.