Showing posts with label historical novel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label historical novel. Show all posts

Sep 17, 2018

Simon & Elizabeth Redux

My first successful series was the Simon & Elizabeth Mysteries with Five Star Publishing. Going on the "write what you know" advice new writers get, I focused on Elizabeth I of England, one of my favorite historical characters. She had so much going against her as she grew up--I mean, how many girls can say their father had their mother beheaded?

In the last decade or so, some authors have (very successfully) attacked Anne Boleyn's character, making her seem like Satan's First Date. I'm afraid that's more drama than historical accuracy, but we all interpret history to suit our own thinking...and some knowingly twist it to make a salacious story. I won't argue the right and wrong of that, since Shakespeare did a lot of the same things to make his stories work. It's just sad to me that those who read only fiction might believe it.

Anyway, my series focuses on Anne's daughter Elizabeth, and she's a very sympathetic character. In Her Majesty's Mischief, the last of the series, Her Highness is queen, and she's fallen into the age-old tendency for those with power to use it without considering others' wishes. Elizabeth sends Simon, practically kicking and screaming, to Scotland, where he gets in a heap of trouble. Worse, he leaves behind a mystery that needs solving at home. His son Henry steps in to take up the challenge.

My original plan was to have a fifth S&E mystery in which Henry became the investigator because both Simon and Elizabeth were old. Two things got in the way of that: Five Star stopped publishing mysteries, and several of my other series ideas took off. One can only write so many books/year, and I'm amazed at how much time it takes.

In the meantime I've got the rights to this series back, so I'm re-releasing them under my own banner, which calls for new covers (Five Star owns the originals). The advantage for readers is the books are much more reasonably priced. In fact I will probably make the first one, Her Highness' First Murder, free in e-book format. (It's a clever ploy to get you to buy the other three!) Once I get this one ready to go for e-book (I'm shooting for next week sometime), I hope to make a boxed set of all four. A print version of this one will follow, early in October, if all goes well.
NOTE: When you click on the links below, the covers that show up might still be the original ones. Amazon has a policy of showing the cover that's sold the most copies, so it's going to take a while for my versions to surpass their sales. Price should be $2.99 if they're mine. Same books.
If you're not an Amazon user, here are the links for everyone else, B&N, Kobo, Apple, etc.:
Her Highness...https://www.books2read.com/u/38gN8a
Poison...: https://www.books2read.com/u/mYg5zP
The Lady...: https://www.books2read.com/u/3yD2dv

Book#1Amazon 

Book #2Amazon

Book #3Amazon



Dec 28, 2015

Soon-to-Be Book--Not What You Expect

Many years ago, my first book came out. Macbeth's Niece is a romance set in--well, the time of Macbeth, around 1053. Here is what Five Star Publishing did for its cover.

And here's what I did when the rights reverted back to me and I re-released it as an e-book. Theirs is prettier, but mine shows more of Tessa's fiery personality.



Why did a mystery writer start with a romance?
Well, they say to write what you know, and as a long-time English teacher, Macbeth is very familiar to me.  I always loved the story and felt sorry for Macbeth, who didn't comprehend that things seldom turn out the way you imagine they will until it was much too late.

The story of a girl living at his castle who has her own adventures and comes to the same conclusion (though with a happier ending) seemed to form itself in my head without much effort (though writing it down was a little more difficult.)

I was shopping two books at the time, and two different agents tried to find a publisher. The thriller was never picked up. The romance was. So I became a published romance writer with no intention of ever writing another romance.

But the story of the macFindlaech family wasn't finished. Tessa had several sisters, and their stories kept showing up in my head. I tried writing two of them but was never happy with either one.
Some time ago I came across the files in my computer and realized that the two girls' stories had to be told together. They are twins, and their adventures are more exciting when told as the sisters are separated, struggle against terrible odds, and then are eventually reunited.

It came together well, I think, and Double Toil & Trouble will be released early in 2016. While it isn't my usual fare nowadays, those who liked Macbeth's Niece will enjoy the adventures of Jenna and Jessie, two more nieces of Scotland's former king.

(Cover art here as soon as I get it!)

It's Getting Close!

  You might think "Christmas!" when you read that headline, but for me it's the release of SISTER SAINT, SISTER SINNER on Dece...