What’s Happening In May?

News

Well, since I spoke to you last, I’ve had Covid. All of us in the house caught it at the same time, so we were sufferers together. This nasty disease seems to attack your weak spots, so we all reacted differently to it.

But without the vaccines we’ve had, it would have been a lot worse. As it was, we stayed at home drinking lots of tea and sleeping a lot. We’re over it now, mostly, but I’m still sleeping a lot!

Sadly, I’ve had to cancel my appearance at the Historical Romance Retreat this year. I know, I know, but the obstacles are very high this year, and with none of my particular friends planning to go, I would have been a lonely author. And I have a few health issues I need to deal with.

But for those of you who are going, send lots of pictures, and have a great time! Tell them I’m thinking of them!

The Only Honest Man In London

It’s now in edits! I’m really, really happy that this will be coming out soon! I’m also preparing a new series that I plan to send to Dragonblade. I’m just about there with it. Lush romance, and a little longer this time, now I’m back into the swing of writing again.

Now for the not-so-good news.

I heard from Carina that they don’t want any more books in the Ash and Juliana series. I’m more than disappointed. The books had a bunch of friends, and I’m still wondering whether to bring more books out on my own. Self-publish. Since Carina is keeping the rights to the first two for now, they’d be a hard sell to another publisher, but I could make it work. The first two books are in the way of an origin story, so the series could continue as a historical detective story, with all the elements in place. But they wouldn’t be romance, so I’d have to research new publishers. I have more plots laid out and ready to go.

But I’m really not very good at self-publishing, and the prospect worries me. In case you were wondering, I question myself all the time. Am I good enough? Should I just give up completely?

And the new stuff

New proposals are on the way!

And in July, I’ll be at the RNA Conference. I love that conference, and the people who attend. It’s too good to miss. We’re at the Harper Adams campus in Shropshire this year. It’s a beautiful part of the country, and I always enjoy going there.

Get Racing Hearts for free!

Italian race car tycoon Ronan Miller is on the cusp of achieving his elaborate revenge when he meets flame-haired back-up driver Georgia Trent. Intrigued by the beautiful and risk-loving beauty, he thinks he can use her as an instrument of his revenge, but after a spontaneous night of passion, he has other plans until fate knocks them both on a different track.

Racing Hearts has been chosen to appear in Apple’s promotion First as Free in Sports Romance. This title will be free April 12 – April 30 in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland.

I loved writing these stories. The characters just came alive as I wrote them. And there’s three in this series!

A New Series!

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News

First, I just want to say how much I appreciate you all. Really. Some of you have been reading my books for years, and you write to me. I read every letter, and I love hearing from you. It tells me I’m on the right (or wrong) track.

Let’s start with the good stuff.

A New Trilogy

Dragonblade has contracted a new series. I’m so happy to tell you! It’s about the Burrell sisters, who featured briefly in Lyon Eyes, The Lair Of The Burrells and On Christmas Day In The Morning.

Now, finally, it’s their turn.

The stories start with The Only Honest Man In London. The Burrells arrive in London, very poor. They’ve scraped enough together to afford a house for the season, so they are going to take their chance. Viola Burrell, the eldest daughter, has a secret, a disability that is fairly knew, one she’s still learning to cope with. But this is their one chance to find husbands, and the security that was never certain in the Regency era.

The Earl of Knowsley is attracted to the lovely Viola Burrell, but with the whole of society suspicious of these newcomers, he keeps his distance. Until the reckless acts of his childhood friend, the Duke of Whiston, pulls Viola into his vicinity, and he can’t resist her any longer. But she isn’t the wife he needs, just the one he wants. Badly.

And there’s the lovely cover, above.

The first book is in for edits, and I’m waiting on the release dates.

Now for the not-so-good news.

I was so very excited to write the stories of Ash and Juliana, and their exploits catching criminals in Georgian London. Carina bought the books, and after the second book in November, I sent in a detailed proposal for two new books.

I’ve heard nothing since. So to be honest, you know as much as I do about them, and I’m sorry, because I’ve had enough letters to tell me that people want more of them. And as they came to life under my fingers, i really wanted to find out what happens next with them.

And the new stuff:

I’ve worked on proposals for two new series, both Regency, because the era, new to me, seems to have rekindled my writing mojo, which has been absent for so long. One is another detective series with a new premise for a new era, but strong on the romance, and the other is about a family damaged by their parents’ behaviour. They have one chance to mend, and they’re going to take it.

Let’s see how they do!

I know, I hear you on self-publishing, and while I’ve had success with my backlist re-releases, I don’t seem to be able to get the hang of stuff, especially the promotion. My heart isn’t in it, and it turns writing into a chore. I’m still working on how to manage that.

Historical Romance Retreat.

I was scheduled to appear at the Historical Romance Retreat this October in San Diego, but unfortunately, I can’t make it. I’m so sorry.

But if you go, have a great time, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!

See you soon!

As the world goes mad, we can retreat into the past and remind ourselves – it was always like this.

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The more I read history books and look at past newspapers and letters, it’s weirdly comforting to realise that the world was always in some kind of chaos. But they muddled through, and we will, too.

I’m writing again! I’ve found the joy again, the ability to lose myself in a book, reading and writing, too. Maybe we really are turning things around.

So, new stories!

Happy February!

Remember this?

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It started a new collection of stories. There are two novellas in Dragonblade anthologies that are shortly going to come out as standalone stories. If you wanted to buy Once Upon a Midnight Dreary, or Star of Wonder, you’d better hurry up, because they’re coming off the shelves soon. Or you could just wait for the novellas, brand new covers and officially part of the Brazen Burrells series.

It started with Lyon Eyes, when the hero’s sister married into the Burrell family. I could just see the story unfolding before my inner eyes. It’s a joy.

Perhaps moving to the Regency era was the answer.

The series is called The Brazen Burrells. It’s about Frank’s three sisters, and their daring attempt to find husbands in the London season. Each sister gets a book of her own.

The three sisters are getting older, but they and their mother are determined to have at least one season. If one of the sisters can find a husband willing to sponsor the others, then maybe more.

The Burrells are like many of the women on the edge of society at these times. They are respectably born, but not a member of the “club” that was high society, the interwoven network of families that ruled the country at that time.

What they have is spectacular beauty, and what we might call chutzpah. Or plain cheekiness, and just enough money to hire a house in Mayfair. They have a modest dowry apeice, and that’s about it.

They become that season’s sensation. May, 1816 was when the only daughter of the Regent, and heir to the throne after him married, so 1816 was a busy season. it was also the Year Without A Summer, but I’ll talk about that another time.

Of course there are obstacles, and of course there are sexy, handsome heroes to sweep my heroines off their feet.

Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it?

But it isn’t. Not entirely.

I based their stories on the Gunning Girls, three Irish girls who took London by storm in the mid eighteenth century. There were three, but it’s the oldest two most people concentrate on.

Art Collector: 12 Portraits, Some Old Time Beauties ...

Maria Gunning married the Earl of Coventry. She died young, but I’m not putting that part in.

Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess of Hamilton and Argyll card

Elizabeth Gunning lived much longer, and married two dukes. She was known as the Double Duchess.

They did spectacularly well. Elizabeth had eight children over the course of her two marriages, which makes my eyes water slightly!

So I wrote a series about them, but I only used them as inspiration. So while that kind of success didn’t happen often, it did happen, and now I’m writing about it.

Anyway, I do hope you’re all doing well and thank you so much for helping me to keep my career alive. See you soon!

More Ash and Juliana!

The second Ash and Juliana book is out this week!

Here’s the blurb:

From glittering ballrooms to London’s dark underbelly, Ash & Juliana are back on the hunt for a murderer in the second installment of this thrilling historical mystery series from L.C. Sharp.

The London ton protect their own. Even when it comes to murder.

“There’s been an incident.”

In the finer circles of 1749 London, incident is apparently the polite way to describe discovering a body with a gruesome wound and no sign of the killer. But for newlyweds Lady Juliana and Sir Edmund “Ash” Ashendon, it’s a chance to track down the culprit and right a wrong—something they are both intimately familiar with.

Indeed, it is the only thing they are intimately familiar with. For the moment.

Though their marriage may be one of convenience, there’s nothing convenient about learning the victim has ties to a name from their past: the dreaded Raven. And the Raven isn’t the only danger they face. The aristocracy protects its own, and in London’s darkest corners, no one wants to be unmasked.

With Juliana’s life on the line, time is running out for Ash to find the killer before their marriage comes to an inconveniently bloody end.

Ash & Juliana

Book 1: The Wedding Night Affair
Book 2: The Sign of the Raven

The reviews are astonishingly good, and I’m thrilled to bits. To be honest, I was thrilled while I was writing it, because I know this series is one of the best things I’ve done. Everything is coalescing in this series – my love of the period, my love of the characters and the work I’ve done on this slow-burn of a series.

Slow burn to you, the reader, that is. I wrote the first version a few years ago, and my agent helped me hone it, but I already had a long vision for this series. I know where it is going to go, for the most part.

The characters, Ash, Juliana, their family and their friends and colleagues have a lot of story to come. In this book one situation is resolved, but another rears its head, and there will be a lot of trouble to come. Ash and Juliana have to stand firm to overcome it all.

In this book, Juliana confronts her parents, Ash confronts his feelings for his wife of convenience and they meet new friends, and allies. Meet Dr. Parrish, a surgeon who also lectures at the only surgeon’s college at the time. A slave for the first few months of his life, Dr. Parrish is clever, modest and harshly kind. You might even love him as much as I do!

The enigmatic and dangerous Duke of Abercrombie makes an appearance, as does the journalist Ransom, who sticks Ash with a new nickname. He’s set to make a fortune off his recounting of Ash and Juliana’s exploits. Their Dr. Watson, you might say. And his sister, his guilty secret, the woman who made a new life for herself after escaping her abusive husband.

Not forgetting the scoundrelly duo of the child Col, and Cutty Jack, pickpocket, con man, and link-boy, who is heading for greater things. But not quite yet.

They’re all there. After a murder of a man in the highest ranks of society, they all pitch in to help solve the crime, along with the king of London’s underworld, The Raven. Ash learns more about The Raven, a secret that will rock his world.

I base the books on a real incident in history, this time the rehearsal of a grand fireworks show for which Handel wrote the music. The rehearsal went brilliantly (apart from the murder, which is my contribution to the story), but the real event, a week later, was a farce. Rain and fireworks don’t do well together.

Anyway, here is the link to the book, and I really hope you enjoy it! The Sign of The Raven at Carina Press

New Book – New Name!

An unlikely pair explores the darkest corners of London society in this thrilling historical mystery.

The year is 1748, and Lady Juliana Uppingham awakens in a pool of blood, with no memory of how her new husband ended up dead beside her. Her distaste for her betrothed was no secret, but even so, Juliana couldn’t possibly have killed him…could she?

Juliana’s only hope is Sir Edmund Ashendon, a dashing baronet with a knack for solving seemingly unsolvable crimes—and a reputation for trouble. A man as comfortable in the rookeries of St. Giles as he is in the royal court, Ash believes Juliana is innocent, though all signs point to her as the killer. He doesn’t expect to develop a soft spot for the spirited widow, one that only grows when escalating threats against Juliana force Ash to shelter her in his home.

When another body is found, it becomes clear that Juliana has been dragged into something much, much bigger than simply her husband’s murder. With a collection of deadly black-tipped feathers as their sole clue and a date at the end of a hangman’s noose looming, they’ll have to find the real killer—before it’s too late.

Buy the book here

Harlequin : Carina Press : Amazon : Apple Books : Barnes and Noble : Google Play : Kobo

Ash & Juliana
Book 1: The Wedding Night Affair
Book 2: The Sign of the Raven

All right, this is a bit different to my usual posts. But here we are.

I have a new book out, under a new name! Why a new name? Because Lynne Connolly writes romance, and L.C. Sharp writes historical mystery! These books are mystery/detective stories with a hint of romance, rather than romance with a touch of something else.

New look, too! Check out the website, lcsharp.com to see what I mean.

I didn’t want my romance readers expecting something from the book that isn’t there, so I took a lesson from others, and created a new name for the mystery books. Still set in the eighteenth century, where my heart is, mostly in London, but the same couple feature as central characters in every book. They meet and marry in the worst of circumstances, and build their lives over the following books, collecting new members of their team along the way.

Of course, I’ve written books like that before, but Richard and Rose turned into a deeply romantic pair, with family problems that dominated their stories. And I don’t usually write “pure” romance, there is usually another story attached. I’m thrilled to bits with this new series, so here we go!

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Ash and Juliana to you! He is a lawyer who, unusually for the time, works on criminal cases. She is the sheltered daughter of a wealthy and influential aristocrat, who is married off to a brute, and widowed shortly after. Ash steps into the breach.

In writing this series I became aware that there was so much different to our legal system today, and I want to write a series of articles and blog posts about that, as time goes by.

Here’s the official details of the first book in the series. It’s published by Carina Press, who have been really helpful and supportive all the way through this enterprise.

I love this pair, and I love this series. I will most certainly be continuing with it. The second book, The Sign Of The Raven is out later this year.

MARCH NEWS?

I’ve been working on a new project, but it’s not romance, or not entirely romance, so that’s a new name. And I’m working on some proposals for my current publishers. Sadly, that doesn’t include Kensington. Although I don’t plan to reclaim the books I have there just yet, I won’t be active with them. Various reasons, but you do run your course with a publisher, or so I’ve found. I loved being there, especially in the early days, but things changed drastically in the last couple of years.

So the Society of Single Ladies is done at three books, but never fear, I have more stories planned, including a series I’ve wanted to write for ages now.

I also have a contemporary romance series that is a few years old, but I want to see it out in the public domain once more, so I’ll read it through and get it out again. It’s hotter than my historicals, some of the books bordering on the erotic, and it was great fun to write. At the time I wrote it, people were concentrating on BDSM as if it was the be-all and end-all. But I wanted to show there was much more to erotic romance than that!

Well, although I’m beavering away, there isn’t a great deal of actual news. I suspect most of us are in the same boat. We’ve been locked down for so long that our days are restricted to what we can do in our houses and locally. But I have discovered breadmaking, which I’ve been enjoying. So has my family, so I don’t have a picture to show you! Not banana bread though, because I don’t particularly like it.

I’ve had my first vaccine, and I get the second in May. So looking forward to this virus being done, although I don’t think it’s the last one we’ll see, sadly. I’d love to be wrong about that. I’m so looking forward to all the things I used to take for granted – a nice lunch in a beer garden, visiting my friends and actually going into their houses, the wine and board games parties my friends and I used to enjoy, so long ago, it seems!

Sorry about the brevity of this newsletter, but really, I don’t want to waste your time talking about things that you are probably doing yourselves. Except – please look after yourselves and be kind!

December at last!

I have a new release this month! Together with a bunch of other writers, I’m in an anthology full of stories based on themes from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. My contribution is a story set in the world of The Daring Dersinghams. This is a little bit of spice to finish up the year.

It’s set at Christmas 1760, two years after the epilogue of the last Dersingham book.

Rhona sent the love of her life away once, but now Frederick is back. He doesn’t care that she’s a housekeeper and he’s a wounded soldier, the brother of a duke. For the three nights of Christmas, he’ll give her three gifts; wooden figures he carved for her in the long nights before his last battle. They represent their past, their present, and what they could have in the future.

If she doesn’t accept his love this time, he’ll leave for good.

You can get the anthology here, and it’s only 99 cents! https://www.amazon.com/Night-Divine-Collection-Spirited-Christmas-ebook/dp/B08F5LSDN7

The Park in December

For those of you who like pictures of the park where I take my daily walk, here is what it looks like at the end of November. It’s much the same today. We don’t have snow yet, but we do have plenty of rain! And just look at that gorgeous sky!

The Holidays in 2020 and in 1720-1820

I thought we’d never see the end of this year, and believe me that’s not my usual sentiment in December! This has been a “what have we done to deserve this?” kind of year. I’m not going to go on about politics, pandemics and global warming, this isn’t the place for it, but we’ve all been affected by those, and it’s all been a bit grim.

So what about the past?

They didn’t have it easy, either. In fact, they often had it worse. We have central heating, running water and modern devices like dishwashers to help us through our misery. They didn’t. But like us, they had times of celebration and Christmas was one of those. These days we know it as “the holidays,” to try to include all the celebrations going on at this time of year, but back then, Christmas was emphasised over all the others.

In the period I write in, the Georgian era, Christmas trees were not usual. They became popular in the Victorian era. And Christmas lasted for twelve days. What traditions existed were often locally-based, but if there has been a detailed study of them all, I’ve never seen them.

Old traditions were continued, like the night when servants and masters changed places, but it all centralised on feasting. Most of the images of 18th century Christmas show people eating and drinking, like the one above.

Perhaps next year!

Past, Present, Future

O Night Divine

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My contribution to this anthology, Past, Present, Future, is about Major Lord Frederick Glinn, the younger brother of the hero of A Whisper Of Treason. Frederick is home from the wars, and he comes to Rhona MacKay, the housekeeper of a lonely castle on the West coast of Scotland. Lords don’t marry housekeepers, or so Rhona told him when she turned him down. Frederick gave her every chance to find someone to love, but when he was invalided out of the army, he came back to claim her. Now all he has to do is persuade her.

This is their last chance, he tells her. He’ll always love her, but he won’t wait forever. For the three days of Christmas, he gives her three things, symbols of their past, their present and their future. What they had, what they have now, and what they could have together.

Rhona has never stopped loving Frederick but she wouldn’t be the cause of his family’s unhappiness. However, now Frederick’s older brother has found happiness with a woman his social inferior, but superior in every other way, it’s time for Rhona to find her happiness, too.

This is probably the last we’ll see of The Daring Dersinghams, so I’ve added a purely self-indulgent scene at the end of the book, with them all together

Here’s the link: O Night Divine

And what about that pretty cover!

Thank you so much for sticking with me all this time! See you next time!

Welcome to November!

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I didn’t send out my usual newsletter at the beginning of the month, because there was no way I could have competed with the US Election!

Congratulations to the winner, and now let’s get on with our normal lives, shall we?

I’ve put a picture of my local park up there for you, because it’s so beautiful. That’s a Constable sky if ever I saw one. I stood there for ages just looking at it. We need to get back to that, appreciating what we have, to get through these difficult times.

This month I have two books that are new on the shelves, one that’s been out for a few weeks, and one that is out today!

Virginia and The Wolf is a road romance, and it was huge fun to write. I took my old map book of England and Wales, and let my characters hurry along it in their search for smugglers. Many of the inns I describe in the book are still there today, and one day I’ll visit them.

Since this is the newest release, I’ve put an excerpt below. You can read an excerpt on Amazon, the beginning of the book, so I’ve chosen one from a little later, but no spoilers, I promise!

I’ll be sorry to say goodbye to The Society For Single Ladies, but for now, the ladies are resting, although next year, who knows? But, sadly, the publisher, Kensington, doesn’t want any more. This is a hard time for everybody, so I’m not complaining about it, but I can’t deny I’m disappointed. Mind you, if it got to number one bestseller, I’d be a happy author!

I do have other irons in the fire, though, and I’m carrying on with new projects. A new publisher, and some new projects. I’ll be rereleasing a series soon, from L.C. Connolly, my alter ego for contemporary romance. More later! It probably won’t be this side of Christmas, because they aren’t Christmas books, but they’re ready to go!