Mary Frith, the Roaring Girl!

MollcutpurseLast week I had the pleasure of visiting the Swan Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon as part of my birthday treat. I went to see The Roaring Girl, a proto-feminist play written in the 17th century about a cross-dressing sword-wielding heroine called Moll Cutpurse. Over on the Word Wench blog today I am talking about Mary Frith, the real live woman behind the myth. Please drop by to share your thoughts on Women Behaving Badly!

 

 

Slainte!

Claimed by the Laird is now on sale in the US and the UK. Yay! One book, two gorgeousclaimed_uk_350 covers! Over on the Word Wench blog today I am talking about my whisky smuggling heroine and giving away a set of the Scottish Brides trilogy to one commenter. Please come and raise a glass!

Big News – Writing for MIRA UK!

Elizabeth StuartI am very excited to announce that I have signed a contract with MIRA UK to write three books for them, the first of which will be out in September 2015! It’s been an ambition of mine for a long time to write books set in parallel time periods, stories that entwine the past and the present, rich in atmosphere, historical detail and romance.

 

The first book, which has a working title of Secrets of the Winter Queen, tells of the the lives and loves of three women born centuries apart who are linked by destiny. In it I’m writing in two of my favourite time periods, the Regency and the 17th century, combining them with a contemporary love story – which is something completely new for me and quite a challenge! I’d define my new genre as “Queen books meet timeslip”!

 

Here is a tiny taster below:

 

When Janey Ansell is given the famous pearl, the Sistrin, as a gift, she becomes a link in a chain leading back to Elizabeth of Bohemia, the Winter Queen, sister of King Charles I. Following the clues in the secret memoir of Regency courtesan Lavinia Flyte, Janey traces the journey of the Sistrin and its fellow pearl the Bretherin from the chaos of civil war to the present day. But possession of the jewels brings danger and as Janey uncovers the secret love story of the Winter Queen she begins to realise that her connection to both Elizabeth and Lavinia is far closer than she could ever have imagined…

 

I hope you like the sound of the book and I will be very excited to share with everyone the progress of it towards publication next year! Thank you as ever for all your lovely encouragement and support! Happy reading!

Contest Winner and Writing Update

tulipsCongratulations to Kimmy, who won the May website contest and a copy of the first two Scottish Brides books, The Lady and the Laird and One Night with the Laird! August sees the publication of the last book in the series, Christina’s story, Claimed by the Laird. Claimed will be published simultaneously in both the UK and the US. To celebrate the upcoming publication I am offering a $50 or equivalent Amazon gift voucher in this month’s website contest. Click here to enter! Meanwhile look out for a press release soon on all the exciting developments with my new series, and thanks, as always for all your emails, Facebook messages and tweets!

 

UK and US Publication Day!

night_uk_350Today is UK publication day for book 2 in my Scottish Brides series, One Night with the Laird. It has another beautiful UK cover!

 

One Night with the Laird is Mairi and Jack’s story. I love Jack, he’s one of my favourite rake characters, and Mairi is a strong heroine who is more than a match for him. This is a very racy book! It’s also a “road book” taking in a journey across the Scottish Highlands, which I have done many times myself. It draws on all the wonderful scenery, the myths and magic of the Highlands which were such an inspiration to me when I was writing this series. You can read more about One Night with the Laird here!

 

truly-ebook_215Also out this month is the e-book Truly, Madly, Deeply in which my novella The Marriage Bargain sits alongside stories by wonderful authors Louise Allen and Elizabeth Chadwick. This e-book is available in the US as well as the UK. For an extract click here. Happy April and happy reading!

A RITA Nomination for The Lady and the Laird!

I am delighted and honoured to announce that book 1 in my Scottish Brides Trilogy, Thelaird_350 Lady and the Laird, has received a RITA award nomination from the Romance Writers of America! I am a proud member of both the RWA and the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and I love the way that both organisations support and recognise the work of romance writers across the globe. Writing can be an isolated profession and it helps so much to have the encouragement and support of colleagues, readers and friends around the world. The romance community is a very wonderful place!

 

Congratulations to all my fellow nominees and a huge thank you to everyone!

The Return of the Codpiece

Last week I was reading an article about the current popularity of feather hair extensionsFeathers and it reminded me of those amazing ostrich plumes ladies used to wear in the 18th century. This got me wondering – are there any items of historical fashion we could imagine making a comeback? The codpiece, for example? I’ve blogged about this over on the Word Wench blog today. For the full article – and some lovely illustrations – click here!