Sunday, March 12, 2017

Eleven Years in the Making! The Story Behind LORD LOVELY



Lord Lovely is the first book I wrote when the writing bug bit, way back in 2005. I love Regency, and I love secret identity stories. I combined the two in Lord Lovely, a secret identity story without masks about a Regency gentleman who writes romance novels on the side.

All of my books go slightly against the most familiar tropes in Regency romance. You won’t find many noblemen, and if they are there, they have the lower titles (dukes need not apply). And most of my heroes have to work.

So, in this story, my poor gentleman hero, heir to a baronet, has to make his own way. He earned a scholarship to Cambridge and then he found a job. His work has made him an expert in his field, and also gives him respect. Alas, expertise doesn’t translate into much money.

Enter Lord Lovely, so called because the ladies sigh “Lovely” when they read his books. To everyone’s surprise, our hero’s romance novels become smash hits. The books earns him some decent money, for which he’s grateful. But what happens to his non-book career if anyone finds out his real name?

Lord Lovely owes a big debt to the old television show, I Dream of Jeannie. The genius in that show was making the genie’s master an astronaut. The ordinary man in the street would have tossed away his job and lived in the luxury the genie could provide. But an astronaut? Throw away years of education, training and respect, not to mention some adulation? Not likely.

Same with my hero. He’s worked long and hard at his career, he’s attained some eminence and respect, and he doesn’t want anything to destroy that. His identity as Lord Lovely, writing romance--what trash say the men! (Sound familiar?) could do that.

So, Lord Lovely was born--a poor hero who works and has to muddle his way out of the unwanted notoriety his book’s success has spawned. Since Lord Lovely is a romance, of course everything works out well.

I shopped the book around to agents in 2009. No one was interested. So, I wrote a time travel novella which I entered in a contest at a small press (I didn’t win), but they subsequently did publish that story and another four novellas.

Then I went indie. After some more books, the time had come to publish Lord Lovely. But first, I published Book One in The Feather Fables series: Goosed! Or A Fowl Christmas, a Regency with fantasy elements, and in which Lord Lovely plays a supporting role. Then I rewrote Lord Lovely, taking advantage of everything I’d learned about writing since I first penned the book.

A romance also needs a heroine, and I originally named her Elizabeth. But, in my research, I found that one of the historical characters in my book was named Elizabeth. So, I had to find another name. (I used the name Elizabeth for the heroine in A Gift from the Stars.)

I’d already used up the common Regency names. There aren’t many, and the same names crop up over and over, so I needed something new. I kept my heroine’s name as Elizabeth almost up to the end, when I had no choice but to rename her. I named her Belinda.

“Belinda” is a Regency name, albeit an uncommon one, and I have her use the nickname “Bel”, which is very pretty.

I also had an ulterior motive for naming her Belinda.

I love all my heroes, but Lord Lovely was my first, and I have a special place in my heart for him. So, I named the heroine after myself.

I couldn’t use “Linda”, though, because Linda isn’t a Regency name, but “Belinda” is close enough. Bel and I aren’t the same person, but I can imagine I’m the heroine and that the hero is mine.

That’s it. My latest sweet Regency romantic comedy, Lord Lovely, has finally come to publication eleven years after I started. Some things take a while.

The Feather Fables
 
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Inktera and other retailers:

Lord Lovely, Book 2 of The Feather Fables





Goosed! Or A Fowl Christmas, Book 1 of the Feather Fables


Thank you all,
Linda
 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Read an Ebook Week! LOVE AND THE LIBRARY Series on Sale




Read an Ebook Week is here!


From March 5, 2017 through March 11, 2017, I'm offering my entire LOVE AND THE LIBRARY series (3 books) at 25% off on Smashwords.  Use coupon code RAE25 (the same code for each book). All formats are available on Smashwords.


LOVE AND THE LIBRARY-- A celebration of the beginnings of love, wherein young Regency gentlemen meet their matches over a copy of Pride and Prejudice at the library. Sweet Regency romantic comedies.


Book 1: A Similar Taste in Books

Clara and Justin--finance and fencing

 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/247691 

Use coupon code RAE25

Book 2: A Mutual Interest in Numbers

Ellen and Laurence--mathematics and steam engines

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/317971 

Use coupon code RAE25

Book 3: A Distinct Flair for Words

Felicity and Frank--Jane Austen fan fiction and publishing

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/317971

Use coupon code RAE25


All my books are here:
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LindaBanche

The entire promotional catalog is here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/1

Have fun.

Thank you all,
Linda

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

LORD LOVELY is here!


LORD LOVELY, Book 2 of The Feather Fables, is here!

Ladies adore him. Gentlemen despise him. But everyone is dying to learn the identity of the anonymous male romance author known as LORD LOVELY.

“How lovely” sigh the ladies of Regency London as they read Lord Lovely’s books, thus giving the gentleman his popular (and somewhat annoying) name. Who is this gentleman who writes such splendid stories of love? He has to be young, handsome, witty and able to fulfill any woman’s sexual fantasies.

No! Say the gentlemen. Any man who writes about love affairs must be too unattractive to have one of his own. He’s probably old, fat, bald and missing a few teeth. At least they hope he is.

Ladies in a tizzy, gentlemen ready to commit murder, London aquiver with controversy. Lord Lovely’s fame and book sales increase by the hour.

The gentleman known as Lord Lovely scratches his head. How could his books touch off such a conflagration? Granted, male romance authors are a rare breed, but not entirely unknown.

The problem is how to reveal himself. Or should he? He welcomes his books’ earnings, but the disclosure of his identity could destroy his non-book career.

The widowed Bel, forced to marry another, hasn’t seen the gentleman in question in ten years. The best of friends in their childhood, they might have become more, but her father forced her to wed another. Perhaps they’ll pick up where they left off.

But not if a scheming temptress who has her eye on Lord Lovely has her way. And not if a mysterious, unknown nobleman puts an end to both the author and the man.

Sweet Regency historical fiction with romantic comedy and mystery. 119,000 words.

EXCERPT:

Wheels scraped on the street, the telltale sound of a carriage slowing and then stopping.
Heart pounding, she dashed to the window once more, but the dark shrouded everything except the hackney lamps and the movement of people and horses. Then the doorknocker rapped, and the front door scraped open. Sara’s lilt and her husband’s lower tones drifted up the stairway, along with an unfamiliar baritone rumble.
Footsteps trod on the steps and finally reached the entrance. Rogers stepped inside. “Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Barnett, and Mr. William Borland.”
Sara, lovely in a jonquil gown that set off her fair hair, rushed in and hugged her. “Bel, we are so happy to see you.” She pulled forward the tall, dark-haired man beside her. “You know my husband, Edgar.”
“Your servant, your ladyship.” Mr. Barnett bowed and kissed her hand.
They matched well, her husband’s dark good looks the perfect foil for Sara’s blonde beauty. “Please, since you are Sara’s husband, call me Bel.”
“If you will call me Edgar.” He stepped away.
And there, framed in the doorway, he stood.
Bel’s breath stuttered.
Broad of shoulder and narrow of hip, this tall, long-legged man bore scant resemblance to the lanky youth, all elbows and knees, of her memory. The planes of his face had sharpened, a more chiseled, mature version of the good-looking boy’s visage. His blond hair, unstylishly long and tied back with a ribbon, still shone as bright as the sun, although his lashes and eyebrows had darkened to a sootier shade.
But his eyes were the same—a deep, liquid blue so intense, his gaze glued her in place.
His blue frock coat, frayed at the cuffs, had greyed with age, and his coat, breeches, and buckled shoes were as outmoded as her dress.
Not that it signified. He was splendid.
She held out a hand that trembled slightly. Would he still be angry after their last day together? Please not. “I am so glad to see you.”


Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Inktera and other retailers:


 

SALE ON GOOSED! OR A FOWL CHRISTMAS ON SMASHWORDS!

Lord Lovely may be read as a standalone, but if you're like me and dislike coming in on the middle of a series, I'm offering Goosed! or A Fowl Christmas, Book 1 of The Feather Fables at 25% off (that's $3.74) on Smashwords only with coupon code VB24U

Coupon expires December 14, 2016. All formats are available on Smashwords.

Goosed! or A Fowl Christmas on Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/494775



Thank you all and Merry Christmas,
Linda






Sunday, November 20, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, All!



All cultures have harvest festivals. The United States harvest festival is Thanksgiving, now celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

Our current Thanksgiving dates from 1621. Two years after their 1619 landing in the New World, the Pilgrims in Plymouth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony held a feast to celebrate their first good harvest. Strictly speaking, this celebration was not the first one. Settlers in Virginia and the Spanish explorers in Texas held harvest/thanksgiving celebrations earlier.

The actual date for Thanksgiving has varied through the years. Since Thanksgiving is a harvest festival, the day generally occurred in October or November. Each state set its own date until 1863, when, by presidential proclamation, all the states celebrated Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November. But November can have four or five Thursdays, so Thanksgiving remained a moveable holiday until 1941, when federal legislation fixed it at the fourth Thursday in November.

Now for some Thanksgiving quotes:

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is one day that is ours. There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat saleratus biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.
O. Henry

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Native American Saying

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
Author Unknown

And my favorite quote, which I saw in a Thanksgiving greeting card:

"Thanksgiving--the one day in the year we give thanks for turkeys."

Gobble, gobble.

Thank you all,
Linda

The picture is "The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe. From Wikipedia

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pumpkins and Jack o' Lanterns






What's Halloween without pumpkins?

I love pumpkins!

Those usually orange squash piled high in grocery stores and farm stands this time of year. Large, small, rounded, not-so-round, orange, yellow, white and striped. There are all kinds of pumpkins. Some you can eat, some are for show, but they're all pumpkins, and they all say fall. In the form of jack o'-lanterns, they also say Halloween.

Although pumpkins are native to the Americas, their usage in Halloween traditions originated in Great Britain. Lighted vegetable lanterns have long been part of Britain's harvest festivals. The vegetables most often used were turnips and mangelwurzels, which are relatively small, solid and hard to cut. Columbus introduced to Europe many of the Americas' plants and animals, pumpkins among them. Called pompions in Tudor England, pumpkins made their way to Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Since pumpkins are hollow and easy to carve, they replaced the turnips and mangelwurzels as the vegetable of choice for harvest lanterns.

"Jack o'-lantern" itself is an English term originating in East Anglia in the 1660's, and meant a night watchman or a man who carried a lantern. Later the phrase attached itself to the ignis fatuus, or will-o'-the-wisp, a bobbing sphere of marsh gas ignited by spontaneous combustion. Not until 1837 did its modern usage of "vegetable lantern" arise.

The Irish legend of Shifty Jack adds a layer of Halloween evil to the various meanings of  the jack o'lantern.

Shifty, or Stingy, Jack was an Irish blacksmith who used a cross to trap the Devil up a tree. Jack refused to let him down until the Devil promised not to take him to Hell. Secure in the knowledge he would never burn in Hell, Jack wasted his life in sin. But when he died, God denied him entrance to Heaven. With nowhere else to go, Jack implored the Devil to take him in. The Devil, abiding by his promise, refused, condemning Jack forever to walk the earth. But the Devil gave him a hell-coal to light his way, which Jack secured in a vegetable lantern. Jack's bobbing light as he wanders is a Halloween reminder of the wages of sin.

Pumpkinnapper, my Regency Halloween comedy, incorporates pumpkins, bobbing lights and geese (yes, geese) that go bump in the night into the story of a pumpkin kidnapper, or pumpkin thief.


BLURB:
Let me tell you a tale of a love triangle: man, woman and goose. Join the fowl frolic as Henry the man and Henry the goose spar over heroine Emily's affections while they try to capture the foul (or is it fowl?) pumpkin thieves.

Pumpkin thieves, a youthful love rekindled and a jealous goose. Oh my!

Last night someone tried to steal the widowed Mrs. Emily Metcalfe's pumpkins. She's certain the culprit is her old childhood nemesis and the secret love of her youth, Henry, nicknamed Hank, whom she hasn't seen in ten years.

Henry, Baron Grey, who's never forgotten the girl he loved but couldn't pursue so long ago, decides to catch Emily's would-be thief. Even after she reveals his childhood nickname--the one he would rather forget. And even after her jealous pet goose bites him in an embarrassing place.

The things a man does for love.

EXCERPT:

"Emily, even with Henry, formidable as he is--" Hank glared at the goose. The goose glared back "--you need protection. I will send over some footmen to guard the place."

"No. Turnip Cottage belongs to Charlotte's husband. What will the townspeople think, with Lord Grey's servants about my house?"

Her refusal increased his fury. The sight of her hand on that damned goose's head didn't improve his mood, either. He balled his fists as his patience thinned and something else thickened. "I'll find you a guard dog. You must have some protection out here all alone."

"But I have Henry." She patted the goose's head and the bird snuggled into her hand. Again.

Heat flooded Hank, part desire for Emily's touch, and part desire to murder that damned goose, who was where he wanted to be. His insides groaned. "Very well, then, you leave me no choice. I will help you catch the culprits."

"But--"

He changed his voice to the voice that either melted a woman or earned him a slap in the face. "Who knows, mayhap we would enjoy ourselves as I lie in wait with you." I would love to lie with you.

Her eyes widened. Had she understood the innuendo?

"I cannot stay alone with you, and you know it," she said, her voice severe.

"You are a widow in your own home and no one will see. I will make sure of it."

"No." She marched back into her cottage and slammed the door. Henry smirked and waddled away.

Hank grinned. He would be back, whether she liked it or not.
 

All reviews are here.

 PUMPKINNAPPER is available at:




Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1zOJthM


The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/2e5yOeC

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1AHGOud



Thank you all and Happy Halloween.
Linda