Years ago I began aseries titled Misadvantures in Matrimony. It was about four girls who formed a Spinster’s Club because they wanted adventures, not marriage. It was to be a 4-book series, and the third book was my favorite because it featured two of the girls and was based on the real-life story of an anvil priest in Gretna Green who mistakenly married the wrong couples to each other.

Here’s my Jaunty post about Blackthorne’s Bride, which ended up being nominated for a Rita award.

I always intended to write the fourth book, and I even began it, but I ended up changing publishers, and my new publisher wasn’t too keen on publishing the fourth book in a series they didn’t begin. So I put Nick and Ashley’s story away.

The Pirate Takes a Bride

Readers, however, did not forget. Blackthorne’s Bride came out in 2007, and not a month (okay, maybe there have been a few months) has gone by since then that I haven’t received a reader email or question via facebook or twitter as to when Nick and Ashley’s story was coming. So today I’m thrilled to announce that the 4th book is out!

The Pirate Takes a Bride is Nick and Ashley’s story, and it picks up right where Blackthorne’s Bride left off.  I can’t tell you how fun it was to finish this series–except the whole ship thing.

dog

I love pirates, but I wish they didn’t spend so much time on ships. I had to ask my trusty dad to help me with the research again, and you know that means hours of me listening to lectures about wind gage and French versus British naval warfare tactics.

Pirate Porcupine

And, of course, Jaunty won’t be happy with me because there’s no porcupine. I tried to sneak one in, but they didn’t live off the coast of Gibraltar, where much of this book takes place.

But the upside of all of this? Pirates! Pirates are pretty sexy, and I think Nick is one of the sexiest of all. He’s just such a bad boy. He and Ashley have a past, and we finally get to find out what he did to make her so angry. Not that she’s without secrets of her own.

Pick up a copy of the book if you feel like a fun, adventurous read. It’s only $2.99 in ebook. Do you love pirates? Why or why not? Comment below to win a copy of the book (digital or print–your choice)! Randomly chosen winner announced Sunday, May 18.

Read the first 3 chapters free on my website.

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Ashley Brittany is living a nightmare. She’s been mistakenly married to the one man she despises. Months ago, Lord Nicholas took her virtue then scorned her. Now, Ashley will do anything to have her revenge . . . anything but expose her ugly secret.

Nick Martingale has a secret, too: he’s Captain Robin Hood, a pirate with a fearsome reputation. But when Nick learns his archenemy, the Barbary pirate Yussef, attacked innocents Nick has sworn to protect, he can think of nothing but vengeance.

Only one person stands in his way.

His wife.


Shana Galen
Shana Galen

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The blog is having some maintenance done this weekend, so we won’t have a new post on Saturday, and winners will be announced in the wee hours of Monday morning, as opposed to our usual Sunday. So scroll down, comment on Lily’s blog, and we’ll see you Monday.


Humphry Bogart

Every so often, the publishing industry seems to have a hissy-fit over a particular genre, declaring it dead or, at the very least, on life support.  Lately, the talk has been about the death of historical romance–which is balderdash, IMHO–but a few years back to was all about the tragic demise of romantic suspense.  Despite the popularity of a genre that has great crossover appeal with its ability to pull in mystery and thriller readers, there was no-way, no-how you could sell a romantic suspense novel to a traditional publishing house unless you were already a successful author in that genre.  And, unfortunately, sometimes not even then–or at least that was the accepted wisdom.

But that carved-in-granite proclamation–that readers were bored with romantic suspense–never rang true for me.  On TV, for instance, cop and detective shows always rank right at the top, with programs like Castle and Bones (both containing strong romantic elements) pulling in huge audiences.  In books, Harlequin’s suspense lines keep steaming along, and historical mysteries written by authors like Deanna Raybourn and Elizabeth Peters (again, strong romantic elements) are very popular.

Castle

Personally, I think readers never stopped reading romantic suspense, as a perusal of bestseller lists seems to bear out.  Readers simply found their way around industry roadblocks to find the publishers or indie authors who could give them their suspense fix.

And thank goodness for that because I just published my first romantic suspense novel this week.  It’s called Lethal Confessions, and I co-wrote it with my hubby under our V.K. Sykes pen name.  This book was a real labor of love for us and we had a great time writing it–although I will admit that the serial killer-villain scared the heck out of me.  It’s an action-packed thriller with a strong detective-heroine and a really sexy hero, a former pro baseball player who’s key to hunting the killer down.  Good, creepy fun!

So, what about you?  Do you agree with the pundits who insist that romantic suspense is deader than a doornail?  If not, who are some of your favorite romantic suspense or mystery authors?  One person who comments will win a copy of Lethal Confessions!

LethalConfessions_final_600x933

Lethal Confessions is available now!

 


Pancakes

 

Contrary to scurrilous rumors circulating around the internet (I’m looking at you, Jaunty), I can assure you that the JQs in attendance at the Romance Writers of America conference are hard at work.  With workshops and meetings to attend, not to mention the very serious business of networking–okay, some of that does take place in the bar–it’ll be a miracle if we’re not all worn to the bone by the end of the conference.

So in order to keep ourselves in top trim, the JQs decided to start the day off right with a healthy breakfast.

Here are Jesse and Mia before their first cup of coffee.

Jesse & Mia

Yeah, things were looking a little grim for a moment there.  But then Mia’s sausages arrived.

Mia and sausage

Unfortunately, on the other side of the table, the caffeine had not yet kicked in for Kristan and Shana.

Shana G

If the photo looks a little murky, it’s because I was so shocked by what I was seeing that I almost dropped my phone.  Fortunately, Robyn calmly took charge and got everyone sorted out.

Robyn

 

In fact, after several cups of coffee and lots of protein, we were able to get ourselves organized for this:

Jaunty Quills at breakfast

Well, you know what they say–breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for hungry Quills!

How do you start your day?  Do you drag yourself out of bed, growling at the world until you get that first cup of coffee?  Or do you leap up, ready and raring to go?


Vanessa

Vanessa doesn’t really need an introduction. She’s blogged here before and has been one of our most popular guests. Vanessa was a natural choice for us when Margo announced she was retiring, and we’re excited to welcome her into the sisterhood!

Vanessa writes Regency romance, and she’s one of my favorite authors. Her debut book, Sex and the Single Earl, won a Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance, and My Favorite Countess, was nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Regency Historical Romance.

Vanessa also writes bestselling contemporary romances with her husband as V.K. Sykes. I figured anyone who can work collaboratively with her husband will have no trouble working with 9 other Jaunty Quills.

Vanessa lives in Ontario, Canada for most of the year, and since Kathyrn Smith retired from the Jaunty Quills, we haven’t had a resident Canadian. Vanessa also lives in Florida for part of the year, which makes it very convenient for us to hang out with her at conferences.

Vanessa has a very successful blog of her own, where she routinely features guest authors. I’ve been there a number of times, and had a great time. She won’t be giving that up, just scaling back a bit, so if you’re a fan, do keep visiting her blog. Vanessa will blog later this month with her own introduction. I can’t wait to learn more about her.

 


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