I just read two absolutely fabulous historical romances. They made me laugh, made me cry, turned me on. They were glorious.
And I happened to write them. So long ago that reading them felt like reading someone else's books, but someone I really really liked. No, it's not that I'm totally infatuated with my own work (though I confess I tend to be). It's just that the Anne Stuart who wrote these books knew exactly what kind of hero I adore, what kind of heroine I identify with, the level of hot sex (I was gonna be polite and say sensuality but you know what I mean) that I like. These are the kind of books that seem as if they were written just for me, and, in fact, they were.
Thanks to my glorious agent and the fabulous Storywonk.com they've been digitized, and are now available at all the various ebook outlets, not just for the Amazon Kindle.
First, there's one of my all-time favorite novellas. Think what a lovely job I have. I drag myself to see Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, and suffer through Kevin Costner's strange interpretation of a British accent just to fall in love with the baddest, most delightful villain ever to show up in the movies. I was already in love with Alan Rickman, but his Sheriff of Nottingham put it over the top (in more ways than one). So I got to write out my romantic fantasies and enjoy myself prodigiously in the novella THE HIGH SHERIFF OF HUNTINGDON, with a very wicked sheriff who meets his match with a nun, of all things!
Next, we have TO LOVE A DARK LORD, the first of my really dark heroes. So dark, in fact, that my editor made me tone it down twice before I finally dug in my heels and said "take it or leave it." She took it, thank God, though I've always wondered what the book would be like if she'd let me go for broke.
Nevertheless, despite the darkness it's laugh out loud funny, and I think I need to re-find my sense of humor. It's amazing the lessons you can learn by revisiting your old work, and enjoy yourself at the same time. TO LOVE A DARK LORD is the story of another very bad man, this one truly bad, with some really wonderful supporting characters and a heroine who opens the book killing her uncle. What more can you ask?
So they're new and cheap and just right for your brand new Nook or Kindle or whatever. Trust me, you've love them.
And while you're doing it, spend some time being a little easier on yourself. Here's a newsflash -- life is hard. I'm grieving the suicide of an old friend while I'm rejoicing in the presence of my children and grandchild. Life is like that, and you have to take joy in what you can, take comfort in what you can.
So I'm wishing you guys the very best of the holiday season. The good stuff, not the bad. The family, with all the attendant traumas that come with them. Don't sweat the small stuff. If you didn't get around to Christmas cards, don't worry. If the turkey's too dry, just slather it with gravy (there could be worse culinary fixes). If you don't get around to making the cookies just buy them. On-line gift certificates are a great invention. Most of all, don't fuss. The holiday season is about light coming back to a dark, dark world, whether it's the miracle of the oil, the miracle of the baby who brought hope to the world, whether it's the miracle of the sun returning and the days finally growing longer. It's about hope, and your assignment is to go out and find the hope in your life and in the world.