An Invitation to Scandal

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program…

2016-06-04 11.24.49I’ve been a bit hesitant to write this post, worried how it may be received, knowing once I’ve committed to this there will be no excuse, no turning back. I’ll have accepted the challenge and it will be full steam ahead. Which is a bit daunting and a whole lot scary but, deep inside, I know it is the right thing to do at this point in my writing career.

So here’s the deal: I’m taking a break from writing historical romance.

Ack! Breathe, Kelly…breathe…

Let me explain. For over 15 years now, I’ve been writing western and regency historical romance and I have enjoyed it immensely. Who doesn’t love cowboys and dukes and rakes and outlaws? I’ve had a blast with my heroes and heroines and their stories and it’s been a great privilege having the opportunity to share them with you, the reader.

But I have now reached a point in my creative journey where I need to challenge myself beyond where I am now. To stretch my creative muscle in other areas and learn new things, new techniques, new styles that will help me become a better storyteller.

Where will this journey take me? Honestly, I have no idea. None. (Did I mention the daunting, scary part?) All I know is that I feel this need to push myself, to try something completely different. I’m going to wander a bit, traipse down the road less traveled, likely veer off in directions I haven’t taken before, loop back around a time or two and become completely lost along the way. That’s okay. A little adventure is good for the soul.

What does this mean for THE SINS & SCANDALS SERIES? Nothing, really. I will be completing the series first before I start wandering. Book 7, THE SWEETEST SIN, will be released August 9th, followed by a Book 8 (novella), A MOST SCANDALOUS CHRISTMAS in December 2016. The final full-length novel, A HINT OF SCANDAL will be out in Spring 2017. There is another novella in the series, however it doesn’t follow in sequence but rather deals with Madame Opal St. Augustine from Book 1, AN INVITATION TO SCANDAL. I’ve always wondered what happened to her and eventually plan to tell her story, but not right away.

I have a few ideas of where I plan to wander. I started a contemporary romance/women’s fiction story years ago and I have always wanted to go back and finish it. So that’s my plan to start with and then…well, then the adventure begins.

I’m taking approximately 5 months off to spend writing whatever I want. Whatever will help me improve my craft, stretch creatively and push myself outside of my comfort zone.

Am I giving up historical romance forever? No. I have a few more historical series I want to write (those Caldwell sisters keep bugging me to tell their stories), a contemporary series that may spin off the one I mentioned above, and maybe something completely different that I learn about while doing all that stretching and growing during my hiatus from structured, planned writing.

I will be checking in with you often with updates here on my blog, on my Facebook page, and over on Instagram, where I’m pretty active.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

But first — I’m preparing for the release of THE SWEETEST SIN (Aug) and my Harlequin Historical novella, CHRISTMAS IN SALVATION FALLS (Sep) and also writing the first draft of A MOST SCANDALOUS CHRISTMAS.

Talk soon,

Moving Right Along

I may potentially be the world’s worst blogger. Which is funny, because when I first started blogging, I posted daily. Of course, that was years ago before writing books replaced my blogging in my morning routine. I keep telling myself I’m going to step up my game, but when faced with only two hours to write before trudging off to the day job, I generally opt for working on my next manuscript, deadlines looming over my head waggling a finger at me. So for my lacklustre blogging, I most humbly apologize. I will try to do better. Really. Swear.

There’s been plenty going on since the last post. The snow has finally melted. You’d think because it’s July this would be a given but there was sooooo much of it I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever see green grass again. Thankfully, Mother Nature relented and I can honestly say this is the first week that it actually feels like summer temperatures. Living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean has its downside apparently.

I’ve managed to keep busy, however. I’ve been diligently working on SURRENDER TO SCANDAL, Book 5 in The Sins & Scandals Series. It will be available August 25, 2015. This will be Benedict’s story and I’ve had a lot of fun writing this book. I think I found the new Earl of Glenmor the perfect heroine. I’ve also discovered a few new characters as well who will eventually get their own books. 

With Benedict’s story, we come to the end of what I think of as the core characters–the ones introduced in the very first book and the ones who were originally meant to encompass the entire series. At the time I thought The Sins & Scandals Series was to be four books with a possible novella thrown in to answer the questions surrounding Nicholas Sheridan, the Earl of Blackbourne’s parentage. What I hadn’t anticipated was all these secondary characters who arrived on the scene and demanded their own stories. The more I got to know them, the more curious I became and, well, needless to say the series has expanded to twice its original size, perhaps even a bit more than that. But in moving away from the core group, I decided to do a bit of a cover refresh which you will see with Book 6, A SINNER NO MORE. For those of you subscribed to my newsletter, you’ll get a first peek coming in the next few weeks!

Also coming out September 15, 2015 is my latest Harlequin Historical release, THE COWBOY OF CHRISTMAS PAST. This is a novella length story that is part of the Christmas Anthology, Dreaming of a Western Christmas. It’s up for pre-order now, so feel free to pop over to my Books page for all the links. 

But it isn’t all work and no play. My hubby and I will be hitting New York City for a week and before that will be relaxing at a cottage on the beach on Prince Edward Island. Can’t wait to get some R&R! Although, to be honest, I will have my notebook with me in both cases because I’m working on a mainstream fiction book that takes place in NYC, tentatively titled BROKEN PIECES, as well as working on the outline for A SINNER NO MORE, so…. 🙂

Hope you all are having a wonderful summer!


Time Traveling Bourbon

Twice in AN INVITATION TO SCANDAL, I have the hero, Nicholas drinking a bourbon.

This is a pretty neat trick on my part (you’ll notice I said trick and not gaffe, although I think we both know which one it really was…).  You see, near as I can tell, bourbon wasn’t around in England in the 1820s, which is when my story takes place. As it turns out (and I get this straight from Wikipedia, who apparently I should have consulted before I hit the ‘publish this now’ button), bourbon is a type of American whiskey. And while it has been produced since the 18th century, the name bourbon wasn’t in use until the 1850s. 

What Nicholas should have been drinking was brandy. 

Not to say he wouldn’t have enjoyed a good bourbon, I’m sure he would have. But to do so would have required a fast trip forward in time to another continent and somehow that seems like a bit of a nuisance when one could simply pour oneself a brandy and be done with it.

So when you come across the word bourbon, let’s just pretend I really said brandy, shall we? And in future, I promise to consult Wikipedia before I make my characters drink anything else.

Coming Soon!

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