What were you doing eleven years ago? I know what I was doing. I was part of a group of authors planning a new blog called the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills.
Blogs were the new thing eleven years ago. This was before Facebook and Twitter and social media. The idea of readers being able to interact directly with authors was new and exciting. It was exciting to me, a fledgling author who fangirled plenty over my favorite authors.
Over the past eleven years I’ve written hundreds of blogs for the Jaunty Quills. I’ve read thousands of blogs posted by my fellow Quills and our guests. Some days writing my post was a chore. Some days it was cathartic. Some days it was pure fun.
But the best part of every blog I ever wrote was reading the comments you, the readers, made in response. I can honestly say I read and responded to almost every single one. There might have been a few days when I had a newborn, was recovering from a natural disaster, or was traveling when I might have missed a comment or two. But I think those missed comments are very few.
Eleven years ago when Cindy Kirk, Margo Maguire, Robyn DeHart, Anne Mallory, Shirley Karr, Kimberly Logan, and I started the Jaunty Quills, we didn’t have any idea the blog would still be around a decade later. We didn’t have any idea that we’d become good friends. I still chat daily with former members Robyn, Anne, and Margo. I expect to keep in touch with the current Jaunties.
I hope to keep in touch with you, too, readers. Please find me on Facebook or sign up for my newsletter. You can find out all about my new adventures with my daughter Princess Galen, Sparky the dog, and the long-suffering Ultimate Sportsfan (my husband).
We’ve still got about a month left, and to celebrate we’re bring back some of the original Jaunties. Stop by November 4 to read a guest post by original Jaunty Margo Maguire and November 9 to read founding member Robyn DeHart’s post.
This isn’t goodbye. It’s so long for now.
Well, my sweets, the time has come. Today is my last official blog as a Jaunty Quill. I’ve been here from the very beginning, when a group of debut Avon authors got together and started this blog. I’ve made wonderful friends, shared great memories and I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent with y’all.
The truth is, I just can’t balance it all. There I said it. As a full-time mom/wife/writer/daughter I’m just being pulled in too many directions and something has to give. But don’t fret, I’ll pop in every now and again – hopefully the Quills will invite me back periodically.
But there’s good news today too….because the newest Quill is coming….
*I’m in the process of traveling so please forgive me for re-blogging this post. It was originally shared on my blog tour at WriterSpace, but I hope you enjoy.
Thanks so much for having me today and for participating in my blog tour. I’m so excited about this new release. Today I want to share the first five from the first five – meaning the first five sentences from the first five chapters of Undercover With the Earl. Hope you enjoy!
It is a truth universally known that a girl entering her twenty-first year must be in want of a husband. But it was not a truth that Evelyn Marrington took to heart. She had no desire to marry now or any other time. Instead, she wanted to hole herself up in a sweet little cottage and write adventurous novels until her hair greyed and no one cared if she was a spinster. Due to her family’s financial straights and their middling social standing, Evie’s chances of doing just that seemed rather good.
“Ellis, what are you doing here in Epping? You rarely visit and you certainly have never brought guests,” Evelyn asked once they began their dance.
“Can a man not come out to see his favorite cousins?” he asked.
“I suppose, but you don’t. Or you have not until tonight.”
He chuckled. “You are a suspicious sort.” Then he gave a slight shrug. “Though I suppose in this situation your suspensions are not unwarranted. I came to speak with you.”
She stood from the swing and glared at her cousin. “What does he have to do with our agreement?” She looked up at the stranger towering over her. His blonde hair, pulled back in a queue and his blue eyes—so blue they very nearly made her forget to breathe—seared into her. Then it all fell into place. “This isn’t about some secret assignment, is it?”
“Stand and walk to the other side of the room,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I must evaluate how you walk.”
She gaped at him. “How I walk?”
“Do try and keep up, Miss Marrington. People will be watching.”
“Is there something wrong with how I walk?”
“Your walk is …” No. In truth, she walked with an unconscious grace and agility he found charming. There was nothing studied about her movements, nothing calculated. She managed to be both completely natural and totally bewitching, which was entirely beside the point. “Your walk is unstudied.”
They’d worked together at his townhome for two days before heading to Buckingham Palace. Potterfield had escorted them in only minutes before and currently had disappeared into the tunnels beneath the palace to meet with the head council of the Brotherhood, which left Bennett and Evelyn alone in the Queen’s private quarters.
Only time would tell whether or not Evelyn was ready, but Bennett felt certain she was, as ready as any woman could be under the circumstances, perhaps more so. She’d surprised him with her capableness and attitude. She was a hard worker and he could appreciate that.
As you can tell from these samples this book is about the heroine charading as the Queen, kinda like a Victorian Dave – y’all remember that movie with Kevin Kline? So what are your favorite books or movies where one character is pretending to be someone else?
Today is the day! The first book in my new Brotherhood of the Sword series is out and I’m so excited. So I thought I’d share five fun facts about the book.
1. The whole idea for the series came from my love of the Three Musketeers storyline. I wanted to do a spin on that in Victorian England and thus created my Brotherhood of the Sword, an elite organization devoted to protecting the crown.
2. I’ve always wanted to write a book where a character masqueraded as the monarch – this book presented the perfect opportunity. Kind of an historical Dave – remember that Kevin Kline movie? But it was fun taking a country miss and having her step into the shoes of the young Queen Victoria.
3. There were several actual assassination attempts on Victoria’s life when she first took the throne. People thought she was too young and inexperienced to be an effective monarch.
4. There have been so many retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and I while I didn’t endeavor to do that, I did want to pose a question: what if the middle Bennett daughter, Mary, was the most interesting of the group? What if the wallflower among the bunch is the one who has the most to offer, the biggest adventure? So that’s what I did with Evelyn. And I even named the hero Bennett as a nod to the Austen classic.
5. I knew that the hero in this book needed to be a big guy, like bigger than most because his brute strength is part of his character strengths and weaknesses. So when it came to casting Bennett, I just went with the biggest fella I could think of…Thor! To see all my inspiration (with lots of pics of you know, Thor…) you can check out my Pinterest board.
You can also read an excerpt here and find all the buy links. Hope you enjoy!
I’ve always been a fan of the Three Musketeers. If they make a movie about it, chances are, I’ve seen it. Something about a the royal bodyguard thing just works for me. So I decided to write about such an organization and thus created my Brotherhood of the Sword, an elite and covert organization dedicated to protecting the Crown of England. In just a couple of weeks, the first book in that series, UNDERCOVER WITH THE EARL releases and I’m so excited! Here’s a little teaser to introduce you. Let me know what you think…
“Now then, I don’t know if you’ve already deduced what you’ll be doing for us, but I cannot stress enough the importance of your discretion. No one is to know, not your family, your friends, no one.”
His was formidable, there was no denying that, but she felt no fear in his presence. Instead, she found herself fascinated with the lines of his face, the square angle of his jawline, and the dimple that settled deep into his chin. He was ridiculously handsome, but his expression seemed permanently locked in a scowl. She wondered what a wealthy, handsome earl had to be so angry about.
He leveled his blue eyes on her. “Understood?”
He stood and walked around to her. He picked up a stray curl that rested near her ear, the strand curled around his finger as a cat’s tail wound around your leg when they begged for attention. She shivered against his touch. What had her cousin gotten her into?
“Have people ever told you that you resemble someone?” Earl Somersby asked.
His question nearly disappointed her, though she knew not what she’d expected. She frowned. “Once or twice I suppose.”
His brows rose. “Who have they said you look like?” He moved away from her then, sat in the chair adjacent to her.
“Well, one fellow in the market said that I was the spitting image of his Aunt Gertrude, but for the most part people say I favor Her Majesty, Queen Victoria.” Evie shook her head. She was loathe to admit that as she didn’t want him to laugh, so she quickly added. “Personally I don’t see it. Then again, I’ve never actually seen her, only portraits.”
“You and Her Majesty are about the same age,” he said.
“I am older, by two years I believe.”
He nodded, leaned forward, and braced his elbows on his knees. “Miss Marrington, I need to know that I can trust your discretion.”
“Yes, of course.”
“I work for the Crown, as your cousin told you. I will not detail how precisely, but suffice it to say, you have been chosen to assist on a very important task. We need you to pose as Her Majesty at an upcoming event.”
Had she heard him correctly? Certainly not. Charading as the monarch must be an act of treason. “I’m sorry, I thought you said that you want me to pose as the queen.”