If you haven’t already guessed it, Sir Toby the Clueless is not the hero of this book.

So Lucy learns that Toby is on the verge of proposing to Sophia Hathaway. Lucy is desperate. She can’t possibly compete with Sophia’s beauty, elegance, or dowry. She doesn’t have time for a subtle campaign — she needs to bag her quarry, and fast. Seduction is her weapon, and Toby is the target. There’s just one problem. Lucy’s aim is off. She kisses the wrong man. And that man – much as he did not want to be kissed in the first place – is suddenly strongly displeased with the idea of Lucy kissing anyone else.

Which man, you ask? Oh, I’m so glad you asked.

There are four men in this book. One is Henry, Lucy’s brother. Another is Sir Toby the Clueless. That leaves Henry’s two other friends – Felix and Jeremy.

Felix is short and portly, with red hair. He is modestly wealthy. He is not titled. He is slightly dim, but perpetually jolly. He loves a good laugh. Lucy has always been his partner-in-crime.

Jeremy is tall and well-built, with black hair. He is insanely wealthy. He is an earl. He is intelligent, but perpetually reserved. He rarely cracks a smile. Lucy has always been the bane of his existence.

Okay, guess away.

What? You can’t possibly tell? Okay, hints.
Hint #1 – The hero is always the most wealthy, highest ranking man in the room. (Or, in this … Read More »

So a couple of posts below, I introduced you to Lucy, the heroine of my WIP, Goddess of the Hunt, and gave you some reasons why you will love her. Time to introduce the man Lucy loves.

But first, let me tell you bit about how Lucy loves. Lucy has no talent for painting or music, and she has no talent for hoping. She doesn’t hope. She knows; she believes; she expects – and she wants. Here is Lucy on wanting:

Lucy raised the bow to her shoulder and drew back the string. “If you want to hit the target, it’s as simple as that – wanting it. Some people will go on and on about proper technique. They will analyze the line of your arm, the way you hold the bow, the length of time you take to release. Absolute rot, all of it. I simply look at the center of the target, and I want it. I focus and I wait and I want it. I wait until the rest of the world falls away, and all that’s left are my arrow and the target and the wanting.” Her gaze narrowed, and her speech slowed. “And when I want them to collide so desperately that I can feel the arrow want it, too … then, I release.” She let go the string and watched the arrow zing home.

What Lucy wants, Lucy gets. And she wants Sir Tobias Aldridge, her brother’s handsome and charming friend. … Read More »

Reason #2 you want to read my book: Lather, rinse, repeat.

So I was over at Maggie’s blog, and I realized those three words pretty neatly describe the first half of my book. Lucy and her guy get all hot and bothered. Repeatedly. And between steamy interludes, they get soaking wet.

Don’t worry. There’s a bit of plot in there, too.… Read More »

So how does this blog look to you? I tried changing the blogskin, and I’ve realized it looks different in different browsers. It looks perfect in Opera, OK in one version of Explorer, wonky in another version, and completely stupid in Firefox.

What are you seeing in the header? It should be a swooshy red thing.

Sigh. I should leave this stuff to the professionals.

EDIT: Red swooshy begone. Let’s try this for awhile. It’s romancey and goddessy – just what I need.… Read More »

Happy 2007, everyone!

So in my last post, I swore that this year I was going to give you all reasons to read my book. All right, here goes.

Reason #1 – You will love my heroine
I know, I know. Totally backwards. I’m supposed to make you fall in love with the hero. Well, I’m aiming to do that, too. But first you have to love the heroine and want to see her happy, right? And Lucy is a very loveable heroine, if I do say it myself. She’s an orphan, raised by her clueless older brother Henry, with little in the way of ladylike accomplishments and no dowry at all – but pity her at your own risk. She does not take pity kindly, and she does not take no for an answer.

Every autumn, Henry invites three friends — Felix, Toby, and Jeremy — to enjoy the fine fishing and hunting at his country estate, Waltham Manor. Each year, Lucy attaches herself to their group like a tick on a hound, learning to ride, shoot, and angle under their tutelage. She’s a highly accomplished young woman, but not in the usual way. Other young ladies embroider cushions; Lucy makes fishing lures. Other young ladies speak French or Italian fluently; Lucy is proficient in swearing. When they sit down to the piano, other young ladies play Mozart; Lucy knows only drinking songs.

Lucy has never aspired to be an elegant lady – until now. Because, as a girl, … Read More »

I hope you all had a pleasant holiday. My Christmas present to myself was pushing that little progress bar to your right over the 50,000-word mark. I’m more than halfway done! (um, with my first draft.)

Actually, I’m very excited, because I’m hitting a great section in my manuscript. For the past 45K words or so, I’ve been carefully setting up for a sequence of events. And now it’s finally time for the events! It’s a whole different game. Instead of maneuvering People into Places so that Things can happen, I can finally just … let things happen.

I have also made a New Year’s resolution, one week early. I need to start talking up this book.

I’ve kept up an excessively self-deprecating attitude about it, both on- and off-line. But I know that needs to change. I have to eventually (ulp) promote myself. And although I’m not at the point where I’ve got a decent hook or high concept or sacred question to share, I’m pretty sure that the first step goes something like this…

(Fair warning: Stuart Smalley moment ahead)
It shouldn’t be so hard to type this, but oddly enough it is:

I like my book.

Ack. There, I said it.

No, seriously, that was hard. Perhaps I need to say it again, for practice.

I like my book. And I think other people will like it. It’s true that it’s not a textbook-perfect romance novel — I’m learning a lot by making mistakes. But I … Read More »

There’s a reason this blog is subtitled “A Study in Sleep Deprivation.” Here’s a transcript of a conversation between my brain and my fingers at 1 AM this morning:

Fingers:
(typing, of course.
They don’t start actually start speaking to me in sock-puppet fashion until about 2 AM)

“Oh,” said Sophia, pressing her lips together. “Shall I tell you about Gervais?”

Brain:
Um, full stop. How the heck does someone say “Oh” while pressing her lips together?
Fingers:
“Hmm,” said Sophia, pressing her lips together. “Shall I tell you about Gervais?”
Brain:
Well, yes, that would be how one says “hmm.” Pressing one’s lips together. Perhaps I should follow with,
Fingers:

“Yes,” Lucy nodded, moving her head up and down. “Tell me all about Gervais.”

Aren’t you just dying to hear about Gervais? You should be.… Read More »

I’ve just discovered something about myself, as a romance reader. I can’t bring myself to care about the missing whatnots.

I have tried three times now to get into a certain novel. The writing is fantastic. The characters are wonderful. But the whole plot hinges on the hero and heroine teaming up to search for a missing whatnot – and I just can’t bring myself to care.

It’s odd, because I love a good mystery novel, too. But when the point of the story is romance, any plot that involves the missing scrolls/jewels/sibling/invention is, to this reader, a great temptation to skim.

How about you? Are there certain plot devices that categorically do or don’t work for you? Do tell … I’ll bet every last one of them is in my novel.… Read More »

What helps you think?

Before I can write something, I have to see it. And if I just can’t see it, I go either:
a) take a shower, or
b) wash dishes.

Yes, my house was built in 1922, and I still wash dishes with Palmolive and everything. But no rubber gloves.

For whatever reason, running water helps me think. It’s grease for my brain.

What works for you?… Read More »

Four jobs I’ve had:

  • Calling up alumni and asking them to pledge $2000 to my college’s sorry-ass football team.
  • Hefting 40-pound crates of milk into cafeteria dispensers.
  • Transcribing ER reports on injuries like bat bites and penis fractures.
  • Shopgirl.

Four favorite foods:

  • Chocolate-covered anything.
  • Peanut butter-filled anything.
  • Coffee-flavored anything.
  • Olives.

Four movies I could (and do) watch over and over

  • Pride and Prejudice (any version)
  • North and South (the recent BBC miniseries, NOT the Patrick Swayze 80s mini)
  • Little Women
  • Moonstruck

Four TV shows I enjoy watching:

  • Project Runway
  • The Amazing Race
  • The Daily Show/Colbert Report
  • WonderPets

Four places I’ve traveled:










Four websites I visit (almost) daily:

Four people I’m tagging to do this:

  • Courtney Milan
  • Lenora Bell
  • Pam Skochinski
  • Sara Dennis

Muahahaha. Let it be known, this is the first chain-letter type thing I have EVER completed.… Read More »