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!

New for November: Virginia And The Wolf

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Virginia, Lady Dulverton, feels safer keeping the world at a distance. One man sees through her reserve to the woman beneath: the infamously rakish Francis, Earl of Wolverley. Now a widow, Virginia is wrangling with the terms of her late husband’s will. When she realizes Francis is in danger because of his connection to her, she feels compelled to help, regardless of the hazard to her own heart.

Francis has worked hard to strengthen his inheritance. But he’s also found time to play. Despite his many dalliances, his affections have never been involved. Those belong entirely to a woman he could never have. When he’s attacked in the street and told to leave Virginia alone, he decides to do exactly the opposite . . .

With the help of the Society for Single Ladies, they set out to discover who is targeting Virginia, and why. It’s a race that will lead to the Devonshire coast, a smuggling ring, and a love that, however perilous, is worth waging countless battles . . .

You can order the book here:

Apple : Amazon : Google Play : Kobo : Nook

Extract from Virginia And The Wolf

A hush fell at the end of the room, as Virginia was talking to Miss McLennon, her back to the company. Alerted to the tension around her, Virginia turned around, taking her time. Until she saw who had entered the room.

At the far end of the white and gold room, with its feminine curlicues and twists stood two men. Two extremely masculine men. But they did not look as if they didn’t belong there. They looked as if they owned the place.

Despite his elaborate silks and lace, the Duke of Colston Magna fooled nobody. He was no namby-pamby idiot. Inside that outrageous pink silk coat resided a powerful male with a fearsome reputation for never losing a duel, or a bout of fisticuffs. Those lily-white hands had pounded Col’s opponent into oblivion more than once in the boxing studio.

“One wonders why he is so angry. Beneath that pretty surface he is simmering,” Angela murmured.

The Earl of Wolverley wore scarlet and gold, the brilliants sewn into his waistcoat flashing as he moved. But not as much as his eyes. Those eyes held the promise of murder, and Virginia was afraid it was for her. Although they had parted in ostensibly amicable terms, he had not fooled her with his soft talk of pins and neighborly concern.

Virginia and Angela stood together, facing the incoming storm. The men fixed their eyes on them and did not look away as they made their way past all the other guests toward them.

The diamond dangling below Wolverley’s earlobe flashed as he turned his head when a woman laughed nervously. Then he returned his attention to Virginia. As the men walked up to them the women switched places, a swift rustling of skirts loud in the suddenly quiet room. The quartet accompanying the dancers had paused between sets. Conversation around them was muted. Or perhaps Virginia only imagined it that way.

The men made their bows, beautiful pattern-cards of obeisance.

Col asked for Virginia’s hand in the next set of country dances. Shooting a triumphant glare at Wolverley, she accepted, graciously placing her hand on Col’s chilly satin sleeve.

“Hasn’t the weather turned cold?” she inquired, as he led her on to the floor.

“It has, and after the wonderful sunshine we’ve been having lately!” he answered, full of bonhomie, but glancing past her to where Angela and Wolverley were standing, waiting for the dance to begin.

When she glanced at Angela, she caught a lovelorn gaze from Wolverley, there for all to see.

Virginia gritted her teeth. That one, fraught glance told Virginia what he was at. Retribution would not be long in coming. And well, she would have to learn to live with it. How dare he make his intentions so obvious? The whole of London would be talking about his approach tomorrow. His volte-face would be noted and gossiped about in every house in the country.

Before this night, their connection was known, but not remarked upon, since they behaved in a suitably neighborly way. But if he made his change of heart so obvious, that opinion would change in a flash.

Tonight, Wolverley gazed at her from afar, the wistful longing of a suitor. Or a lover. All the way through the dance he never let his attention stray, gazing at her as if she was all he could see, watching her dance with her other partners.

She wanted to slap that stupid expression off his face, and Virginia did not consider herself a violent woman.

Ladies gossiped behind their fans, and gentleman laughed softly as they watched. By the end of this evening they would believe that she and Wolverley were lovers.

Damn him to hell and back. She could curse all she liked in her mind, but outwardly she kept the polite smile on her face and her attention on her partner in the dance.

Unfortunately country dances meant changes of partner. They were social dances, until they ended with their original partner at the end of the piece. Short of stalking away from the dance floor, which would create a scandal all its own, she would have to face Wolverley and dance with him. Avoiding gossip was all but impossible.

The remaining company in London were avidly waiting for a scandal, something to enliven the gossip over the teacups. Virginia refused to provide it. Utterly refused.

When Wolverley faced her in the dance, he smiled in that way she’d seen when he flirted with women. No, not flirted, but indicated something deeper.

As they crossed in the dance, she hissed at him, “I am not your mistress and I will never be.”

“Did I ask you that?” His deep voice resonated through her, thrilling those parts of her she worked hard to keep dormant. “I would not suggest such a thing.” He paused, while they executed steps that separated them then brought them back together. “Unless I thought you wanted it.”

That last was delivered in such a sultry tone that her palms itched. That would have thrilled the spectators. Two more measures and she was done with him. “I would never wish for it. You know that, Wolverley.”

“I know no such thing. We have been dancing around each other for years, rather like we are doing now. Isn’t it time we faced what lies between us?”

For a moment, a fraction of a second, he gazed at her as if she was his world, as if he meant the nonsense he was parroting. Then it was gone, frustratingly covered by a flirtatious smile, as if she’d said something witty.

So she laughed. A little too high-pitched, but it would serve to persuade people that nothing was serious here. Move along, people, find the next show. “You’re angry with me, but this is unfair.”

“Is it? Nothing is unfair in war or love. Surely you know that.”

She turned the old saying back the right way. Love came first. “I know nothing of love or war.”

She had said too much. Virginia bit her lip, desperately finding something to cover her sentence. But she was too late.

As she made to move on in the dance, back to Colston Magna, Wolverley said, his voice soft and low, “Then I shall teach you.”

His breath grazed her ear, making her gasp.

Somebody else had said that to her once. Revulsion filled her, so sudden that she recoiled from it, and the duke had to catch her elbow to steady her. She pretended she’d stumbled, and thanked him, forcing another light laugh. “My mother always said I could trip on a speck of dust. Thank you, sir.”

“Think nothing of it,” he said somberly. “Madam, if the Wolf troubles you too much, I will stand your friend.”

The last thing she wanted to do was to draw any more attention to this atrocious business. “Wolverley? No, we have known each other for years.”

Damn the man.

New Reads for October!

 Hello!

Frankie says hello, too!

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I don’t know about you, but my favourite way of escaping from this crazy world is by reading a good book. Or by writing one!

And routine, although my routine is a bit on the crazy side. I’m a night owl, so I start work late and finish early. I’ve always been that way, but this year, it’s gone to extremes. I love dawn, and the quiet hours of the night. That’s when the characters really speak to me.

When I was little we had no money but lots of books, because books, bought by the crate from auction houses, were good insulation.

Because I spent a lot of my childhood ill in bed, I worked my way through them. From Charles Dickens to Enid Blyton to Mickey Spillane, they were all fodder for my curious mind. And when I went back to school I was way advanced in reading and literature, but absolutely awful at maths.

That hasn’t changed much.

Now I’m lucky enough to write all the time. The stories keep coming.

News for October

If you’re into historical romance, there’s lots of reading for you in this newsletter that I feature in.

Historical romance newsletter

And in November, I have a new release, the third (and for now, final) book in the Society for Single Ladies series. I’ve put a link below for you, and next month I’ll put an extract and a full description.

I’ve also written a Christmas story from The Daring Dersinghams world. You can’t go wrong with this anthology, and since I haven’t read the other stories yet, you bet I’m going to get it!

My story, Past, Present, Future, is about Frederick, the brother of the hero of A Whisper of Treason. He comes home, at last, to claim the woman he loves. For three nights he will give her three gifts, symbolising what they’ve shared, what they have, and what they could have in the future. A castle in Scotland for Christmas, what’s not to love!

Here’s the link: O Night Divine

And the pretty cover! 

Out In November: Virginia And The Wolf

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Virginia, Lady Dulverton, feels safer keeping the world at a distance. One man sees through her reserve to the woman beneath: the infamously rakish Francis, Earl of Wolverley. Now a widow, Virginia is wrangling with the terms of her late husband’s will. When she realizes Francis is in danger because of his connection to her, she feels compelled to help, regardless of the hazard to her own heart.

Francis has worked hard to strengthen his inheritance. But he’s also found time to play. Despite his many dalliances, his affections have never been involved. Those belong entirely to a woman he could never have. When he’s attacked in the street and told to leave Virginia alone, he decides to do exactly the opposite . . .

With the help of the Society for Single Ladies, they set out to discover who is targeting Virginia, and why. It’s a race that will lead to the Devonshire coast, a smuggling ring, and a love that, however perilous, is worth waging countless battles . . .

You can order the book here:

Apple : Amazon : Google Play : Kobo : Nook

Future Plans

Another series, for the new year. I’m planning an entry into The Lyon’s Den series, which will probably start a new series, but this time, Regency set.

And a project I really can’t say much about right now, but I am so excited about it! I want to tell people, but I can’t!

Autumn reads

Plenty of autum/fall reading in this newsletter, and all the books are discounted, including my “Lightning Unbound.”

See the whole newsletter here!

Lightning Unbound

Lightning Unbound

When Gerard Sterling, Earl of Ellesmere, races to Bedlam asylum to rescue a wrongly committed friend, he’s astonished to find Lady Faith Bradley. Fascinated and enchanted by her, and inspired by her dedication saving her brother from the horrors of the Incurables ward, he includes them in his rescue mission. But woo her he cannot—not with a fatal disease that saps more of his strength every day.

When Gerard discovers he is the god Jupiter, they face a deadly enemy—Kronos, whose plan to regain power includes Gerard’s death. To foil his plan, Gerard and Faith must defy Fate itself.

Each book in the Even Gods Fall in Love series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Buy the Book

Excerpt
Amazon : IBooks : Barnes and Noble : Kobo :

Books2Read Universal Links

Happy Spring!

Spring is here at last! This is a picture I took near my house, of the village green and the daffodils there. Don’t they make a lovely show?
We’ve had a lot of rain, I mean a lot, so the school playing fields are underwater. We have a new lake.
And at the end of the month, The Making of A Marquess is here! The second in the Society for Single Ladies series, where romance is mixed with a touch of danger and excitement!