Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Bit of a Ramble for April

A bit of a ramble this month.


I am so excited to see Richard and Rose back on the shelves, virtual and physical! I know they've been around forever, and in several different incarnations, but I am so proud of these books, the first success I ever had as an author.
I started writing them when my children were little, as a respite from the nappy changing, wheels on the bus singing and Thomas the Tank Engine reading. I loved them, but I did need some time to myself. So I made space. When they were napping, at nursery school, in the very brief snatches of time I had, I wrote. I'd always written, always made up stories, but for myself. As far as I knew, Richard and Rose would be the same. Until I got the opportunity to see them published, and boy, did that start something!
I told you it waa a bit of a ramble, but sometimes rambling is the best thing ever. Setting out to wander, without knowing where you're going to end up, when the journey is more fun than getting there. I try never to forget that part.
This month I've been doing a lot of planning. Books and real life. I'm plotting a new series that I'm sending to Kensington. The Shaws finish at the end of the year. I'll have no unmarried Shaws left! I do have characters in the Emperors that have yet to find their stories, but I've been fired up with devising an entirely new series, set in the same era, but with a new set of characters. What do you think? Should I do it?
Of course that depends a lot on my publisher. I want to write, and I resent any time taken away from writing in order to promote and so on. But I have to do it, and the contact I make is at a comfortable level for me. I guess I don't have the entrepreneurial spirit. I should beg you all for reviews, mentions, spread the word, all that, but really, all I can bring myself to do is to say enjoy the books, and if you genuinely want to spread the word about them, I'd be very grateful.
I'm not offering bribes, making promises or buying reviews outright. Yes. times are tricky. but not impossible, and while I can write and publish the stories I love, I'll continue to do so.
So  just - thanks. For being here, for reading and for making the author community such fun.

Other plans? At the end of this month I'll be in the USA! It's a winding journey, one I should chronicle more thoroughly, but I'm too busy having fun to write it all down! I'm going to be in New York, then in Washington, DC, then Reno for RT Booklovers' Convention, and Los Angeles. It all takes a lot of planning and I'm woefully behind in doing it. I have the flights booked, and a few of the hotels, but not all of them.
If you're in those areas, let me know. Perhaps we can meet up!
I'm very excited to go to these places. I've been to all of them before, and I always find them vibrant and enthralling. So here's to seeing you in  May!
By the way, for those of you who review books, Dauntless is now up at Netgalley. It's out at the end of June, and one step closer to saying farewell to the family that has engrossed me for the last four years.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Richard and Rose

This month began the re-release of the Richard and Rose series.
They’ve had a bumpy ride, both in the real world and in theirs, but they’re back (again!).
They started when my children were little. To counteract the relentless progress of Thomas the Tank Engine, I started writing. I’ve always written, and it’s proved a good friend. I love my children, but you can only read the story of James stuck in the ditch so often!
When I first conceived the story, Richard was an unprepossessing man, a minor nobleman who slid in and out of stately homes almost unnoticed, solving crimes. But when I started to write him, a high-born dandy strode from the pages, one that could never be unnoticed!
The whole series took a right turn, and they never stopped. I wrote eighth altogether, and they went through a series of publishers, so they’ve been edited more than any other series I’ve ever written.
First with NBI, then with Mundania, then Samhain, they gained fans and rankings, and I was thrilled to bits. Then last year, Samhain announced it was closing, and I knew it was time for Richard and Rose to go it alone.
They’re written in the first person, the only series I have ever done in that style. Richard needed a filter, so Rose, the woman who loves him, tells the stories. They developed from less of a crime-solving duo to a couple coping with the consequences of Richard’s past. Because I wondered what happens to a rake when he changes his mind. Surely there could be consequences?
And there are, and it takes eight books to work it out.
There should have been nine, but I found one book, which had the slave trade as its theme, impossible to write. It was just too painful and the research regularly had me in tears. Maybe one day I’ll finish it!
All the houses in the book are based on real ones, and it’s been wonderful to feature photos of them on the cover. I started with Calke Abbey, a phantasmagorical place, restored by the National Trust to be exactly as they found it, half-neglected, occupied by a family more concerned with nature than the interior of the house. Once scene, where I describe the nursery, is taken directly from my notes that I made the first time I visited the Abbey.
Here it is:
“I have rarely, if ever, seen such a shocking sight. Toys lay strewn about randomly, as though the children had only just left the room, but they were mildewed and black with damp. A baby house lay open in the corner, its delicate contents poured out on the floor in front of it, as if the house had vomited them.
A doll I would have loved to own when I was a child sat on a table, its beautiful silk gown torn and rotted. I picked it up. It had a vacant look because it hadn’t been loved for such a very long time. It wore a fontanges, one of those high headresses fashionable fifty or so years before, and as I placed the doll back down again the head-dress slid off. It took the wig with it, leaving the doll obscenely bald.
I shuddered. “I don’t want to stay here too long, Mrs. Peters. This nursery isn’t pleasant.” Mrs. Peters didn’t seem to feel it, but she nodded. We wrote down what we needed to, and hastily left.
The night nursery was next to it, and on the other side the little room once occupied by the night nurse, or the nursemaid. To our surprise, we found this much neater than the other rooms. Someone had neatly folded the bedding away, the drawers and cupboard were bare—all much more normal in appearance.
“Perhaps this room was discontinued for use before the rest of the house was abandoned.”
“Very likely, ma’am.” Mrs. Peters didn’t venture any theory of her own.”

Later in the book, a very important scene happens in the nursery. I made up a story for the governess in “Yorkshire,” but it’s one of the tales I never got to tell.
Maybe it’s for the best. It wasn’t a happy ending, and I do like those.

You can get or preorder the books here. 


And you can read more about the books here: http://lynneconnolly.com/richard-and-rose/

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New release, out this week!

Lord Darius Shaw has never been in love before. But when he renews his acquaintance with lawyer Andrew Graham in a raid on a molly house, where men meet men for forbidden pleasure, they discover mutual feelings as deep as they are dangerous. For while society will turn a blind eye to an aristocrat’s transgressions, Andrew has far more at stake. The son of city merchants, Andrew has a disastrous marriage in his past, and a young daughter to support. He could lose his livelihood, his reputation and even his life—and drag Darius down with him.

Darius and Andrew’s only choice is to deny the true nature of their relationship. But when an enemy Italian spy threatens their secret—and their futures—the two set out to catch him. And in the process they are forced to face their desires—and make a life-changing decision.

Buy Sinless Here:
Publisher; Kensington Books  :  Amazon USA  :  Amazon UK  :  iTunes  :  Kobo  :  Barnes and Noble Nook

So here he is - Lord Darius Shaw! Darius has everything - a powerful, wealthy family, a fortune in his own right, and he keeps telling himself he should be happy. But he is missing one thing, something he knows he can never have - love.
Until he meets Andrew.
Andrew is an up and coming man, a lawyer also trained as a barrister, a widower with a small daughter. But Andrew harbours a secret that could destroy his life. He prefers a man in his bed.
When Darius is sent to investigate a possible spy in a molly house (something I based on a real life case), he meets Andrew again. And this time they are pushed together. 

Because this is the only male/male novel in a series of male/female novels, I deliberately kept the sensuality light, more so than in the rest of the stories. There is one scene towards the end, but I couldn't leave Darius and Andrew unsatisfied, after I'd spent most of the story teasing and forcing them to confront what they'd been avoiding.
However, men of that time could never openly acknowledge their love. They could never marry, live together as a couple. Society would shun them. Darius's high birth wouldn't have saved him, if they couldn't somehow work out a way. There was always a price to pay and Andrew and Darius have to face the consequences of their love.
These days it seems unbelievable, but even in an age of great appetites and flamboyant behaviour, they would have had to face their critics.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Happy December!

News


Here's a picture of me from a Christmas many moons ago!

Well, here we are at the end of a very unusual year. What on earth lies in wait for us next year?
This year has been beyond turbulent on every scale. My role as an author has changed drastically, as has the world around us. The world will have to take care of itself. But I need to cope with my own problems, which I’m in the process of turning into opportunities.
I lost two valuable publishers. First Samhain, a publisher I loved working with. They had my historicals, until I moved to Kensington. Samhain was Richard and Rose’s home, together with several other series, including my venture into historical paranormals, Even Gods Fall In Love. The latter series has been republished by Entangled, and Richard and Rose will be reissued in the new year. All the others are there already, waiting for you to download and read them, except for a couple of novellas, which I’ll reissue when I can.
I lost Heroes and Heartbreakers, which I loved reading and writing for, too. It’s been a brutal year, I have to admit.
Now I hear that Loose-Id is closing in May. They published many of my contemporaries and contemporary paranormal romances. I loved writing Department 57, most of which are already republished, but I have ten other books with Loose-Id, including the Symbiotic series. I’ll put them all back out as they become available to me. Loose-Id was one of the good guys, always paying on time, great cover art and brilliant editing.
The promotion for the reissues kills me. I don’t do well with promo, and with an increasingly crowded market, I doubt that will improve. I rely on the kindness of strangers, and the reputation I’ve built up over the years. I can promise that you will not read any fake reviews for my books and what I write I do with integrity and my own efforts. Any help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated, of course, but I’m luckier than many in that I have a small core of regular readers. I can genuinely call myself a best-seller, which is really appreciated. I couldn’t get there without you! I believe I’ve built that group up by writing the best books I can, and making sure they get the best chance I can give them. I intend to continue that course. I love writing, and that part is never going to change.

New Release

But in January, I have a new release with Sinless! I’m enormously proud of this, a male/male romance in the middle of a female/male series! Because so many people asked for Darius’s book, I got to write it. I love Darius, the more laid-back Shaws twin, but the man who could be hanged for his preference.
Even more conflicted is his love, Andrew Grey, a lawyer and a widower. So does he break the law every time he follows his inclinations, or does he give in to the love that will enrich his life?
Bearing in mind the fact that this is a mainstream series, this is not an erotic read. It’s primarily a story of love, not of sex. There’s one fully-realised scene in the book but I kept it on the “soft” side. I do believe that a book should get the heat level it needs rather than the one dictated by external things. It’s a novella, a small, delicate story rather than a full-on heavy one.
And I loved writing it, because it is about love and defying the odds.
There will be a bonus surprise later this month, if I can get it done.

Here’s the beginning of Sinless for you.

Description

In Georgian England, love can mean ruin—even for a Shaw . . .


Lord Darius Shaw has never been in love before. But when he renews his acquaintance with lawyer Andrew Graham in a raid on a molly house, where men meet men for forbidden pleasure, they discover mutual feelings as deep as they are dangerous. For while society will turn a blind eye to an aristocrat’s transgressions, Andrew has far more at stake. The son of city merchants, Andrew has a disastrous marriage in his past, and a young daughter to support. He could lose his livelihood, his reputation and even his life—and drag Darius down with him.

Darius and Andrew’s only choice is to deny the true nature of their relationship. But when an enemy Italian spy threatens their secret—and their futures—the two set out to catch him. And in the process they are forced to face their desires—and make a life-changing decision.


 Excerpt

Darius paced to one end of his cell and then to the other. Four steps—two one way, two in the opposite direction. A narrow bench intended to serve as a bed stood against it. His jailer had told him he was lucky. He had no doubt he was because the entrance was secured, and he was alone. Unlike everyone else in this place.
The sound of prisoners doing whatever prisoners did filtered through the thick wooden door and thick stone walls. From the evidence of his ears, that would include sexual congress, betting, and more violent amusements. Presumably, if someone killed another person, that would save the hangman a job.
The jailers would haul him up before the magistrate tomorrow. No, that would be later today. They had hinted strongly that they would help him disappear before they reached Newgate, but he had ignored them.
Day had dawned an hour ago, but Darius had no intention of sleeping, especially on that thin mattress. The thing could have moved by itself, judging by the amount of wildlife that had set up home in it. A filthy lice-infested blanket held it down.
He gave a thin grin at the greasy walls scored by generations of prisoners inscribing their names and more amusing, lewder messages. If he’d sent a note to his family’s town house, they’d have had him out of here in an instant. So why hadn’t he done so?
Maybe because he deserved to be locked up. He was, after all, a sinner. He broke one specific law every time he had the chance. But not from any wish to, merely because what he wanted to do happened to be illegal.
People called what he did a sin against nature, a sin against mankind, and a sin against morality. That put his existence in a nutshell. He was a sinner.
He told himself he didn’t care. His coat skirts swung heavily around his legs as he turned, the expensive fabric hitting the filthy walls. He didn’t care about many things these days. He’d cared about his brother and his brother’s happiness, but Val was making his own life now. He didn’t need Darius any longer.
Every day he awoke, dressed, met people, Darius had to lie. He lied about his whereabouts, his desires, his needs. Even to the people who knew who and what he was he lied, to save them more than to save himself. Would they care that the kiss he’d planted on the prim and proper lawyer last night had meant more to him than any other kiss?
Not even Val would understand that. Darius never told him. He rarely kissed anyone, not on the lips, at any rate. He’d stopped touching people as much as he could, withdrawing, wondering if celibacy was the answer to his problem.
Not after last night, it wasn’t.
Andrew Graham had lit something that Darius, for all his experience, wasn’t ready for. Andrew Graham, proper lawyer, cold as ice, with steel-gray eyes that cut through to the truth, had roused Darius. He had meant that kiss as a lesson, as a declaration and defiance. Not as passion.
When his plans evaporated, when he lost control of the situation he had organized, he’d flown up to the boughs, furiously defiant. He’d struck out at the first person he’d seen, determined on some kind of revenge, even of the pettiest kind. He’d wanted to punish Andrew Graham for interfering in his plans, of trying to intercept the man he’d been pursuing before he did. He’d wanted to strike him. Failing that, he’d kissed him.
And nature had struck right back.
Even now, that kiss filled him with the kind of passion he’d turned his back on years ago. At least, he thought he had. The embrace had taken him over, and for a moment, he’d known total happiness. Even now the memory filled him with awe. How could that have happened?
Andrew Graham had done his family a great service last year, but apart from that, he barely knew the man.
He spun and walked. No, that was a lie. Darius refused to tell himself lies, even though he spent his life living one to the rest of the world. He had noticed him then and wanted him, turning away almost automatically. Darius sought his pleasures where he could and where he knew he was relatively safe. Not in public, not in the company of others. Never in the open.
He’d watched his brother’s wedding with joy, glad his restless twin had finally found what he needed, but also with deep envy. He would never find that place, never have anyone he could acknowledge in public as his love. Not unless a miracle occurred and he found a woman.
That would never happen. He liked women but could not imagine being intimate with one.
He took another turn around the cell. The stink pervaded the space so badly he didn’t know if he’d ever rid himself of it. He should have gone home and changed before going to that place last night. Then he wouldn’t have to throw away a nearly new evening coat and waistcoat. He’d wager his valet would never get them clean. In any case, he had no desire to wear them again.
The rattle of keys heralded the arrival of the jailer. He had already eyed the buttons on Darius’s coat and assured him that each gold disc would buy him food and lodging for a week. Darius had assured him they were pinchbeck and watched his disappointment. He couldn’t see much point in telling the man they were genuine. He intended to remain here until he had straightened out his thinking—and no longer.
A sense of doom filled him. His father must have heard of his son’s latest exploit. Darius was headed for an encounter in the study. Although he was full grown, his father still took it upon himself to lecture all his children when he considered the onerous task necessary. Either a fully equipped shouting session or the worse option, a sorrowful recounting of his failures as a father.
Darius would enjoy the shouting, but his canny father would probably choose the latter. Darius would end the session feeling like the worst beggar alive.
He braced himself for the coming ordeal, and he didn’t mean a brief appearance in court. Did he have the nerve to bolt for the country without stopping at the London house first?
No, he couldn’t do that. For one thing, his father would track him down, and then he would know how disappointed his mother was in him, too.
The door opened on well-oiled hinges. Darius blinked against the shaft of light arrowing into the cell. This being an inner-room, his only light had been from the narrow, barred window set into the door. Candles, as the jailer had informed him the night before, were extra. Darius had not bothered to purchase any.
The jailer stood silhouetted against the light, his face in shadow. He wore shirtsleeves and a ragged waistcoat over baggy breeches, no doubt with capacious pockets to hold the bribes the prisoners provided him with. Without the bribes, prisoners didn’t have blankets, and they didn’t eat. Unless they could catch one of the rats that raced through the area now and then.
“You got a visitor,” the jailer said, and beckoned to someone who stepped forward, striding into the cell as if he owned it.
Raising a mocking brow, Darius bowed. “Mr. Graham, I’m honored. You favor my humble abode.”
Irritably, Graham gestured at the jailer, flicking him away. “Don’t lock the door.”
“This one won’t ’urt yer.” The jailer wiped the back of his hand over his nose in a disdainful sniff.
“He won’t try to escape, either. The stench in here is powerful. Leave us some air, pray.”
The jailer grunted, but left.
“The air coming in from the door isn’t much better.”
Graham ignored Darius’s words. “Why did you not leave last night? A word, a few guineas, and the deed is done.”
Darius decided to tell the truth. Some of it, at any rate. “This is the most peace I’ve had since I arrived in London.” Partly true, but he would not admit he preferred the busyness of his life. He could stop himself thinking too deeply that way. “I decided the stink was a small price to pay for one night without the din of society.”
“Poor you.”
Darius blinked. He’d never heard this man so laconically and obviously disbelieving. He had been respectful but decisive before. Darius liked it. He allowed himself a smile. “Indeed. Born into wealth and forced to dress in gold and diamonds. Poor me.”
“That was not my meaning.”
Darius shrugged and folded his arms over his chest. “Were you sent for me?”
“No. I came on my own account. I am on a mission.”
“Explain.” Darius was in no mood for riddles or elegant dancing around the subject.
“Sir, what were you doing in that house last night?”
Darius curled his top lip in a sneer. “Did you not know that part about me? I considered my proclivities an open secret. Perhaps not so much, if you do not know. You are a perceptive man, Mr. Graham. What do you think I was doing at Mother Fleming’s?”
For that matter, what had Graham been doing there? The thought had not occurred to him before, but it did now, in full force. “You acted for my brother as a favor. You are an important man in your field, which is not criminal law. Why were you attending that raid last night?”
Graham nodded. “I do not think you were at Mother Fleming’s for the company. Except for the young man with you.”
Darius heaved a sigh from the bottom of his soul and thought of all the curse words he wouldn’t say until he reached the privacy of his bedroom. Damn the man for noticing the boy. “What young man?”
“The one virtually clinging to your coattails.”
Darius gave the offending garment a twitch. “That is something I do not allow. Favor me with a description of the youth. Maybe then I can help you.”
A muscle twitched in Graham’s jaw. Darius only saw it because the light from the door fell over him starkly. He had moved aside, but not far enough.
“You know him well enough. Had you not dressed yourself in that veneer of aristocratic disdain, I would have believed you.”
Intrigued, Darius studied the man further. Nobody had broken through that particular defense before. He would go on the attack. He was getting too close. Darius never allowed anyone that close to him. He used the distancing tactic again, tilting his head back and staring at his quarry from under half-closed eyelids. “I believe you are jealous, Mr. Graham. Can it be that you did want me, after all?”
Graham’s eyes flashed. The fierce but fleeting spark of raw anger roused Darius. The memory of their kiss returned, roared through him, arousing parts that would be better staying dormant.
He liked that passion. He wanted more of it.
Last night he’d presumed he’d taken Graham by surprise with his kiss. After all, once a person closed his eyes, a kiss was a kiss. Except that one hadn’t been. Graham had closed his eyes but Darius hadn’t. He rarely did, always on the alert for trouble.
Now he wasn’t so sure. Had Graham responded so gloriously because of shock? People’s preferences were not as set as most supposed them. He took a step closer. Another pace would bring him into the man’s body.
Graham stood his ground, but his lips tightened.
“You did,” Darius said softly. “You truly wanted me. I felt your response. That was not feigned. It was not a mere physical reaction.”
The response came immediately. “How could I want you, as you put it? As you reminded me a moment ago, your station is well above mine.”
But he hadn’t denied it. “A cat may look at a king. Presumably a cat may kiss a king, if he has a mind to.” Darius was taunting the lawyer now, daring him to take that final step or take one back, daring him to deny his attraction.
Graham widened his stance, rocking from one foot to the other. “If I said I wanted you, would you answer my other question?”
The cleverness of the response evoked a crack of laughter from Darius. “Try it and see.”
“Not if I have no indication of your intention.”
“My intention, is it?” Darius softened his voice and lowered his volume. The crowd outside, going about their morning business at a pitch that threatened the eardrums, didn’t matter anymore. The space between them and around them became their own. “Should I prove my intention to you…again?”
He let his eyes add to the conversation. He glanced up and down the lawyer’s body, taking inventory. The man was well-shaped, a trim body which showed evidence of supple strength beneath the neat though drab clothes. Darius would enjoy removing each garment slowly, folding the fine fabric and carefully laying it down, giving himself time to appreciate what he was uncovering.
Graham didn’t look away. The indomitable character who had faced down a court full of jeering spectators and the might of Magistrate John Fielding returned to this squalid cell. He was completely masked, his expression still and unresponsive.
At least, it should have been that way, but Darius, long accustomed to assessing people and uncovering hidden secrets, saw more. The eyes, frozen in gray ice, were slightly larger than normal, and the pupils darker. Andrew Graham had responded to him last night, and he was responding now.
Darius could push his advantage, try to persuade the man into further confessions, but if he did that, he might set the lawyer against him.
So he took a pace back and forced an easy smile to his lips. “I must be tired. I should not tease you so. Did you come here merely to see me and ask your questions, or did you come to get me out?”
“I dare say you wish to see the back of this place.”
“I dare say I do.” He would not beg.
“Unfortunately, a quick visit to court is required before you leave. You could grease the jailer’s palm,” Graham suggested. “He will ensure you appear before the magistrate first. Cases are building up, and while Mr. Fielding is fast, he won’t get through them all in a day.”
Sighing, Darius drew out his purse.
As if by magic, the jailer appeared in the doorway, blocking the shaft of light. “You shouldn’t go to those places, my lord.” He advanced, hand extended. “I’ll see you right.”
Darius placed a guinea in the man’s hand. If that wasn’t enough, he’d stay here. He made his point by putting his purse back in his pocket.
The jailer glared at him but closed his fingers over the coin. “I need this cell. I have customers willin’ to pay more.”
“Let them pay, then.”
“Nobody the public will be willing to see,” Graham pointed out. “That’s what you want the single cells for, after all.”
The jailer sighed as if the weight of the world lay on his shoulders and grimaced. “Come on, then.”
Darius was not chained like most of the other prisoners. He had paid for that privilege the night before. He strode from the noxious space, other prisoners falling into line behind him. He barely noticed them. Graham walked by his side in a strangely comfortable way, as if he’d always been there.
A narrow passage, stinking as much as the jail, led to the courtroom. A blinding light at the end of the dark space appeared like the gates of heaven, although Darius doubted such a place existed in this part of London. He had never found it here, at any rate.
Bracing himself, he stepped out and headed straight for the box where his brother had stood a few months ago. Now came his real test.
Here, at Bow Street Magistrate’s Court, justice was truly blind. At least the magistrate was. Today the man himself sat behind the substantial bench, his eyes dramatically bound with a black velvet ribbon.
Graham kept pace with Darius and took his place by his side. Darius assumed Graham didn’t want to lose sight of him, since nobody in their right mind brought a lawyer to a hearing like this.
“Your name, sir,” the clerk said. He stood by the magistrate’s side, occasionally muttering to his master.
Darius considered giving a false name but decided against it. Nobody had yet asked him for his name. The court was all but empty, it being too early for many journalists and muckrakers to concern themselves. The courts had stolen quite a march on them, holding the hearings so early. Did they want to keep the raid on Mother Fleming’s quiet, or had they received orders from a different authority? John Fielding was as incorruptible as a magistrate could be, but he would not be above influencing from a higher power.
Darius’s heart sank. Had his family come to hear of his latest exploit? The interview with his father came heart-sinkingly closer. The Marquess of Strenshall had the heartrending sigh down to a fine art.
“Darius Shaw,” he said, deciding not to embellish his name further.
“Is your father the Marquess of Strenshall?” the clerk inquired sweetly.
“He is.” Damnation.

Preorder Sinless Here:
Publisher; Kensington Books  :  Amazon USA  :  Amazon UK  :  iTunes  :  Kobo  :  Barnes and Noble Nook

Saturday, November 04, 2017

News for November

It's the season of fireworks and moustaches!
Odd to see the facial hair springing up on male faces. It gives them a good excuse not to shave for the month. Personally I'm not a fan of the huge Ozarks-style beard. It just looks odd, but some people can carry a beard better than others.
I'm rabbitting, because I'm writing. When I'm in writing mode, things go off in all directions. I lose focus on everything except the book I'm writing, which annoys my family no end. Fellow writer friends totally understand, though. Which is a good thing.
I'm writing the final book in The Shaws series. Final, because there are no more family members to write about. I've written them all, now. I've submitted a new series to Kensington, though, which I'm excited about. It's far too early to tell you much, but it will feature a character you'll have met before.
I've also got a book in progress about one of my ancestors, Hester Bateman. She was a remarkable woman. Widowed at an early age, she was left with two young sons and a silversmithing business, which was left to her, not to her sons, although they did go into the business when they grew up.
She brought silverware to the masses by using new technology. So instead of keeping the existing business on an even keel until her sons grew up, she took a huge risk and entered a new market. It paid off. She wasn't a designer as such, but silverware with her maker's mark fetches huge money today. It's a pity we don't have any!
That's what I mean when I say that if you write history, you don't actually have to make anything up. The history of the eighteenth century is full of remarkable women, who achieved a lot in their time. I don't write biography, so I use these people as inspiration, and write their stories from that. Hester, for instance, never remarried, but my heroine certainly does!
That's some of Hester's work above. Isn't it gorgeous?
I haven't heard from anyone about work I've sent. Not yet, anyway, but I'll be sure to let you know when I do.
I have two series left from Samhain and Ellora's cave, and a few stragglers, one-offs and the like. I'm planning to release the Richard and Rose series early next year. Brand new covers, but the same Richard and Rose goodness!
Did you get to Goodreads to download the Sinless giveaway? You still have time, it doesn't close until the 11th November.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/260970-sinless

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Free giveaway of Sinless!

Do you want a chance to win a free copy of Sinless, the newest release in The Shaws series? then visit Goodreads and enter the competition!
Lord Darius is the sibling I never thought I'd get the chance to write about, but here he is! Darius has an open secret that society chooses to ignore, but if he crosses the line, doors will be forever locked against him. Then he meets someone who threatens his iron self-control and his determination not to let his family down.
Sinless by Lynne Connolly
Sinless (The Shaws, #1.5)
by Lynne Connolly (Goodreads Author)
Release date: Jan 23, 2018
ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF SINLESS BY LYNNE CONNOLLY!

Lord Darius Shaw has never been in love before. But when he renews his acquaintance with lawyer Andrew Graham in a raid on a molly house, where men meet men for forbidden pleasure, they discover mutual feelings as deep as they are dangerous. For while society will turn a blind eye to an aristocrat’s transgressions, Andrew has far more at stake. The son of city merchants, Andrew has a disastrous marriage in his past, and a young daughter to support. He could lose his livelihood, his reputation and even his life—and drag Darius down with him.

Darius and Andrew’s only choice is to deny the true nature of their relationship. But when an enemy Italian spy threatens their secret—and their futures—the two set out to catch him. And in the process they are forced to face their desires—and make a life-changing decision.
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/260970-sinless

Sunday, October 01, 2017

News for October 2017

Happy October!
Frankie says hello!

This month is all about the books. At the very end of September, Entangled Publishing released all of the Even Gods Fall In Love series!
I am, of course, thrilled to bits to see this series back in print, and if you love it too, there's a prospect of more books to come! It has spiffy new artwork and I've updated my website to show it off.
In case you've forgotten, this is the series about the gods being reborn in eighteenth century Britain. The Titans, mortal enemies of the Olympian gods, want to restore the old ways, when the gods ruled the world with rods of iron, reducing the human race to slaves. The Olympians believe in free will. They want the human race to be self-governing, and they will fight to the death to achieve that.
Unfortunately, thirty years before the stories start, the Titans delivered what was nearly a mortal blow to the Olympians. When they gathered in an estate in England for a reunion, the Titans blew up the venue, and even gods die if enough explosive is put under them!
Reborn in new bodies, the gods must reassemble in order to save the human race from perpetual enslavement. Oh yes, and fall in love in the process. They're a passionate lot, the Olympians!
I loved writing this series. There are so many parallels between the myths of the Greek and Roman gods and the eighteenth century that they slotted together like a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes they surprised me with the ease with which they did it. Sometimes I made amazing discoveries, such as when I created the Pantheon Club as a place for the gods to meet.

 

New Release and Excerpt

Even Gods Fall In Love

Where It All Began

1724, England
Thunder rolled dully over the plain. Jupiter glanced up, mildly surprised because he hadn’t commanded thunder tonight. He shrugged. What else could he expect of such a godforsaken country as England?
The great stones on one side of the road called to him, speaking of mysteries not his, a time not his. He ignored them. He would head back to Italy and the sun as soon as this meeting finished. What maggot had got into Bacchus’s head, to call a meeting here? And why did the man decide to become an Englishman? They didn’t even make their own wine, and since that was the one thing that kept Bacchus sane, his decision didn’t seem rational. He kicked his horse into a canter. You could never tell with Bacchus. Unpredictable to the last.
The house at the end of his destination glowed with golden candlelight, every window gleaming in welcome. Hoping for a warm fire, Jupiter left his mount in the care of a groom, tossing him a coin in thanks. He strode up the shallow stone staircase to the open door.
Better, much better. A fire blazed in the hearth, and Jupiter walked towards it, not checking his pace, a smile of satisfaction curling his mouth. The doors clanged shut behind him. He must be the last to arrive.
People cleared a path for him, but he hardly noticed, because he was accustomed to the deference. One of the oldest of the gods left alive he was the original Roman incarnation of Jupiter. He’d seen much, lived through times strange to him, suffered the falling away of his support, but he continued. He felt good.
Jupiter turned as a tray bearing a steaming mug of something fragrant appeared at his elbow. Bacchus bore the tray. Jupiter smiled in greeting and accepted the offering. “It’s good to see you again. It must be ten years.”
Bacchus looked the same, but then, Jupiter expected him to. The gods never aged, unless they wanted to. The man wore his dark hair longer, tied back from his face in the current mode in a glossy queue, and was dressed a coat of deep red satin, embroidered elaborately in green and gold with a cream waistcoat underneath and breeches the same color as his coat.
Bacchus grinned. “Ten years and more, sir.” Currently known as the Marquess of Stretton, Bacchus was one of the leaders of London society, which meant he was of the particularly debauched and half-crazed variety. It suited him well.
This Bacchus was a lithe, clever man who managed his special gifts with skill and humour. A necessary and unfortunate result of being the god of wine and madness was to occasionally suffer madness oneself, but at least it was subject to his own will. Bacchus was far from mad today. Intelligence lit his light grey eyes and he amusement that was part of this man. Every vessel the god took added something of its own to the essential character of the god. Jupiter liked this one.
People thronged around Jupiter, eager to greet the only one of the original Roman Pantheon left alive. Although immune to disease and aging, other factors could and did kill them, but they always reincarnated, their essence migrating to the nearest unborn child.
The remaining gods searched for the babies, discovered and carefully reared them, showed them their attributes and taught them to conceal them. Men no longer wanted gods, and the Olympians had survived by realizing this and living among them unrecognized. Times had changed. Some would never accept that, but they weren’t here tonight, and wouldn’t be welcome.
It had been a good life so far. Jupiter hoped it would continue in the same way for many years to come.
He’d enjoy this reunion. So many of his kind had survived, despite opposition by The Ancients and fanatical humans. Time to savour their survival and celebrate it.


A short distance away in Hill House, the Duke of Boscobel stared out the window of the Gold Salon at the fast darkening sky overhead. The festivities in the old castle must have begun by now. The building had been long derelict, but the central hall remained intact, and the cellars underneath. He’d had the house constructed in the ruins, a picturesque folly for parties.
A perfect place for the private gathering of old friends. And a perfect place for murder.
Boscobel had discovered the real identity of Jupiter quite by accident. Ironic that the very people he’d spent years hunting had eventually found him. The Italian nobleman had not recognized him as their old enemy Kronos, and after his first wariness, Boscobel had known himself safe from discovery. Jupiter showed all his old arrogance and superiority. This time it would be his downfall. Everything was in place and tonight would see the culmination of his carefully laid plans. Nothing could go wrong now. He wouldn’t allow it to.
When he heard a female groan from the room above Boscobel grinned broadly. He glanced across the room at his friend Manningtree, who sat uncomfortably in one of the fashionable salon chairs. “Not long now.”
“It had better not be,” Manningtree replied grimly, shifting in his seat. “One of mine has podded already.”
Boscobel shrugged. Another cry came from above. “If they can hold on for half an hour longer the thing will be done and we’ll have at least half of them.”
Cosgrove strode the room, like any eager, expectant father, except he’d personally impregnated three of the women in the bedrooms above. “God, you’re a cool one! Anyone would think your own wife wasn’t involved.”
“She is there to serve the same purpose as the others,” Boscobel stared at the plasterwork ceiling above him as though he could see right through it. “If she doesn’t succeed, I’ll kill her. She knows that.”
“Are you sure this will work?” Sulgrave asked, voice strained with anxiety.
Boscobel turned on him, a sneer curling his thin mouth. “Yes of course. I’ve been planning this event for years. While you enjoyed your endeavours of nine months ago, there was far more to this than putting a few women in the family way. There’s no mistake. We will have them, gentlemen. For the glory of England.”
 His fellow Titans had been only too willing to help him. “After all,” Manningtree had said, “If we’re wrong, we just have a few more brats to cope with.”
Not long now. With the gods safely locked in their prison, and the pregnant women upstairs as receptacles for the new gods, at last Kronos would regain control. He should never have lost it in the first place.
A practically clad middle-aged woman burst into the room, and without preamble addressed Boscobel. “Another one, your grace.”
Ire rose in his breast. “Damn! Can’t you stop these women? Hold the babies in somehow?”
The woman gave Boscobel a narrow eyed stare. “Your wife is in the third stage of labour, your grace. With any luck your heir will be born within the hour.”
He turned away. “Good.” He hoped it would be, and his child would be in time to inherit. More power under his roof, more control. Sons were the very devil. In a previous incarnation, his son had taken everything from him. He’d never trusted them, but this time he’d control the child from the start. Make him his, instead of hiding him away and trying to destroy him.
When he turned his back, he heard the woman leave in a soft shush of skirts.
Kronos wondered how Jupiter would feel just before he died when he realized he’d betrayed his fellow gods.
Not long now. The gunpowder he’d seeded under the castle would be primed by the grooms. They’d die with the explosion, since the slow matches he’d installed weren’t as efficient as he’d led them to believe.
His watch still in his hand Boscobel consulted it once more, but as he did, a new light flashed across the sky, followed by a dull booming sound.
Just like thunder and lightning. Very appropriate. Everyone in the room rushed to the windows to see a great sheet of golden flame arch up to the heavens, a cry for help, a cry of despair that no one would ever answer.
He had done it.

 
You can find the details about Even Gods Fall In Love here;
Lynne Connolly site
LM Connolly site
Amazon US
Entangled Publishing