COUNTDOWN


I’ve been in this business a long time. I’ve written all my life, and received my first paycheck for it when I was seven years old (I had connections). I’ve been published as a romance novelist since 1974 (I was very very young) and since then I’ve been writing constantly, books I’ve been fond of, occasionally book I’ve hated, more often books I’ve loved, and on vary rare occasions, books so good they can cure cancer and bring about world peace.

I’m not being facetious about that — if you read a book that’s absolutely perfect for you at the time, just as if you heard a piece of music or saw a painting that transported you — then it fills your body with endorphins, it removes you from illness and pain and starts the healing process. It’s been documented that watching comedies can cure illness. I believe the same is true for books.

But that’s not what I’m writing about. I’m on the countdown for three books (well, three and a little treat) that I’m in love with, and I’m facing the usual mix of hope, fear, a burgeoning sense of triumph and a deeply hidden fear of total disaster.

In a way I’ve triumphed already, because the three books are just so damned good. I got it right this time, at least as far as I’m concerned, and what more can you ask for in this life? It’s a gift to have written three really wonderful books slam bam thank you ma’am, and I should celebrate that.

And I do. But that toxic cocktail of emotions still roils inside me. What more can you ask for in this life? Everything.

I’ll need handholding. I’ll need people to celebrate the triumphs. I’ll need shoulders to cry on if disaster strikes. I’ll need strength to bind my wounds and head into the fray again.

Sometimes I wonder how many more times I can do it. I’ll never stop writing, of course. It’s what I am, who I am. A storyteller. But maybe there comes a time when you can’t bounce back from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Who knows.

I’m a survivor. No, I’m more than that. I triumph. Over and over again circumstances can flatten me, and I always bounced back up, like Wile E. Coyote after he’s been run over by a steam roller. I get so tired of the battle, though. Sometimes I’d just like to say “fuck you” to all those things that are out of my control and yet I care about so deeply.

Not this time, however. This time I’ll gird my loins, straighten my shoulders and march into battle with a steely glint in my eye and a smile on my face. No one’s going to see the doubt and panic bubbling beneath the surface.

But maybe the one thing I can do is focus on the books. Books that I love, characters that I adore. So I’ll tell you a little bit about them, week by week, starting with the prequel, THE WICKED HOUSE OF ROHAN. The three books are the stories of three generations of the Rohans, a very wicked family of English aristocrats. I got the name from an old James Mason movie, The Man in Grey, forgetting entirely about Lisa Kleypas’s delicious gypsy, Cam Rohan, but in a way that’s ok. It’s an unconscious homage to Cam, who’s one of my favorite heroes.

It’s also the story of the fictional Heavenly Host, based loosely on the Hellfire Club, a much-maligned club of jaded aristocrats who had too much time and money. And the prequel, written over a few crazy days in South Lake Tahoe and San Francisco, is the story of the origins of that group, as well as the story of Alistair Rohan and Miss Kathleen Strong. Somehow I managed to a whole love story packed into ten thousand words, and it’s all for free, at Amazon, on eHarlequin, at my website. I’ll have a link available starting July 1st, but trust me, it’s wicked and funny and sexy and hey, it’s free.

So that comes first. A month later the first of the trilogy, but more about that later.

In the meantime, be prepared to hold my hand.