Friday, August 01, 2014

Lynne Connolly Newsletter, August 2014

A big month this month. New series, new release, new publisher and a return to the historical romance, specifically the Georgian romance.
In May, the new “Even the Gods Make Love” series was released over at Samhain. I’m passionately devoted to that series, and I’m lucky that the third book has just been contracted, but this is the month of the Emperors of London.

Speaking of which, I had a recent research trip to London that I enjoyed very much. I went to the British Library, and renewed my love for the Treasure Room, which contains such wonders as two copies of the Magna Carta and the original lyrics for “Help!” and “Hard Day’s Night,” both of whichy mean a lot to me in their different ways! And we got to sit on the golden book!
We also wen to the Dennis Severs House. This is less a museum, more theatre, and it’s magnificent. It’s set out as if the family who live in the house have just left the room. Its creator’s spirit is everywhere, and it’s his legacy to the world. Please, if you visit, remember what they ask and tour the house in silence. Immerse yourself. Listen to the carriages passing by in the street outside and the church bells ringing out to celebrate the new Queen (Queen Victoria!). It’s a magical place.
The Geffrye Museum has some wonderful room sets, with furniture from more modest houses through the ages. It also has a beautiful herb garden and one of the very nicest cafes I've ever known, with fantastic home-made food. I can personally recommend their apple and rhubarb crumble!
And I got to see Nelson’s Trafalgar coat at the NationalMaritime Museum in Greenwich! I knew they had his uniform, but I didn’t realise it was the coat that he was wearing when he received his fatal wound! And it looks so innocuous, just at collar bone level, but it shattered his backbone, and he was done for. So sad, but such a thrill to see the coat and the other Nelson relics. Did you know he had a laptop?
How exciting to see Prince Frederick's royal barge! He sailed down the Thames in style in this magnificent boat. 
We also went to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, to the Georgian exhibition, and you can just imagine how excited I was! It was as if the exhibition was just for me. Lots of descriptions of battles, and layouts of palaces, notably St. James’s Palace and Kensington Palace. I photographed them all. There were a lot of details of Culloden, for example, and since the “Emperors of London” concerns itself with the Jacobite Cause, that was absolutely wonderful!
We visited the newly reopened Imperial War Museum, and the new First World War galleries. It's a hundred years since war was declared, and the gallery is very moving and presents a clear picture of how events unfolded. Highly recommended and on August 4th I won't just be celebrating a new release, I'll be remembering that day and what it meant. 

Back to the books. I wanted this series to show the struggle for the throne in the 1750’s. It’s less known than the battles of 1715 and 1745, because it went underground. But it’s all the more fascinating for that. After one last try in 1759, the Cause went into steep decline, but we’re looking at it with hindsight. Before then, the return of the Stuarts was a real possibility. But of course I write romance, and that’s what I’ll always do, so each book is most concerned with the couple at its centre. They are from a family nicknamed “The Emperors of London” because of their outlandish names, but each family has its own concerns and setup. In one, brothers are at loggerheads, but in another, the siblings get on well and the household is far more chaotic. I’m so fortunate as to have a contract for all 7 books in the series, and the potential to write more, if the series is a success.
I’ll be popping up on blogs all over the place in the next month. “Heroes and Heartbreakers,” for instance, and “Romantic Historical Lovers,” as well as my usual haunts of the UK Regency group and of course my own blog!
Instead of making this newsletter really, really long by including an extract to “Rogue in Red Velvet,” I’m going to do a separate mail and blog. I don’t want to overwhelm your inboxes! Coming up shortly, then, the blurb, cover and an extract from my new book. With buy links, of course!
I’ve decided to concentrate on the historical romance in the immediate future. The contracts coming my way are for that genre. But it doesn’t mean that I’m going to abandon the contemporaries and paranormals! Far from it, but I’m radically rethinking the way I approach writing the books and how I want to present them. For instance, using another pen name for them. I’d love your opinions on that!
As always, thank you so much for your support and your emails. I really appreciate you being here. If you want to review, or comment, or even help spread the word, I’d be very grateful, but please don’t feel obliged. I just want to write books that people enjoy, and continue to do so. If you read it and like it, that’s more than enough. But I am listening!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Newsletter July 2014. Two new cover reveals!

 July has come with a flurry of sporting activity – the World Cup and Wimbledon are both going strong as I write. While I’m a big football fan, I’m only a tennis fan for two weeks in the year—and there has to be strawberries.
But I’m also writing like  a demon. I’ve made some decisions this month that I’m still pondering about. Some have just happened. For instance, after a couple of fallow years, I’ve come over all historical. I couldn’t be happier. With two series starting this year, it seems my stories of Georgian Britain are in demand again.
Not that I’m saying that the old ones have stopped selling, or I don’t get letters about them, because I do. Every month I get letters about Richard and Rose – will there be any more stories? Will I write spinoffs about some of the characters? Freddy? Gervase?
Sadly, the way matters are at the moment, probably not. But for Richard and Rose lovers there are themes I want to continue to explore and characters I want to develop, perhaps take them in a different direction. What was it like to be different in those times? Gay, for instance? Or what if your family is dedicated to a cause you don’t believe in? What if you’re an aristocrat with no money? All different, and all need looking at in their own way, on their own terms. I’m busy working with that in the Emperors of London series, but in the Even Gods Fall In Love series, I’ve taken an even more extreme view. What if the gods are still among us, foisting their gifts on people who might not want them? Things that make them so radically different they don’t feel at home anywhere? Then add an enemy, a fight they’ve engaged in over the centuries, and drag in ordinary people who don’t know what they’ve got themselves into.
I’m thrilled to say that the first Even Gods Fall In Love book, Lightning Strikes, sold well enough to get into several bestseller lists, and so the series is off to a great start. The second book is on its way and the third book is contracted. Here’s your treat for the month – the cover reveal of the second book, “Mad For Love.” We’re on to Bacchus’s story. Blaize, the Marquis of Stretton is finally let loose on the world. Can Bacchus survive his Ariadne? Not only does Blaize have to cope with the fact that if he stops drinking wine, he goes mad, but he falls for the one woman he shouldn’t, the daughter of his worst enemy. That’s coming later this year, in October.
People who wanted to do their own thing resonate with us. There will always be loners, people living on the edge and people who don’t fit for one reason or another. They are my main subjects, I’ve discovered over the years. Maybe it was because I discovered my place, the place where I feel most comfortable, after years of fighting through worlds where I demonstrably didn’t fit. So I can sympathise and write about it in my romances.
Of course, it’s all romance and part of finding a place for me includes finding people who feel the same way, who are looking for something or someone. That’s what I do.
So, on to this month. My paranormals also concern difference and people who are hunting for part of themselves. In “Jewel of the Dragon,” the heroine is part of an insidious organisation that she wants to escape from. Or rather, she is refusing to have anything to do with it, but one of the people she loves most in the world, her brother, is deeply enmeshed in it. Then she finds someone, who by his very nature is different and apart. Dev Wyvern works for a successful auction house, but he’s also a shape-shifting dragon. How’s that for difference? He feels adrift, although he does have connections in Department 57, and works for the paranormal branch of the CIA sometimes. “Jewel of the Dragon” is now out in a new edition, with new cover art. And it’s cheaper! For those of you who already have the Loose-Id version, it’s probably not worth buying it, unless you want to collect the complete set, but if you haven’t caught up with the Department, now’s your chance. I should really do a proper promotion for it, but I’ve never found anything that works as well as putting out a good book and asking people to take a look.

Here you go with the new cover art, blurb and extract.

Dev Wyvern is Welsh, tall, dark and sexy as sin. He’s also a shapeshifter. When he walks into Alix Lancaster’s jewelry shop she knows her brother, Clay, is setting a trap for him. Clay is a member of the PHR, sworn enemies of all Talents. So does Alix betray her brother by warning Dev, or let him walk into a lethal snare?
Dev is drawn to Alix like few other women. But can he trust her? Sent by the enigmatic Cristos, the boss of Department 57, to expose a PHR cell, he finds love and danger waiting for him. He takes both of them on, and has to make a choice; will she forgive him if he destroys the brother of the woman he loves?
Will they get out alive?

She had no more defenses, nothing left in reserve. He took her in his arms, and she couldn’t resist him, but she fought her tears. No point crying. It wouldn’t alter anything.
Still, she found it soothing to rest on his shoulder, softly padded by his terrycloth robe. His arms enclosed her, not with desire, but with mutual comfort. He spoke, his words low, his lips against her hair. “Would you like a T-shirt or something to sleep in?”
She appreciated his kind gesture, but she honestly didn’t care. He’d seen all of her and still wanted her, the only man she could remember who didn’t criticize some part of her body. The knowledge came as easement in itself. She shook her head, clearing her brain of the smothering miasma of sheer exhaustion.
Gently, he undid the belt holding her robe in place. He led her to the bed and threw the covers back before sliding the robe down her shoulders and throwing it aside. He kept his attention on her face, but he slid his arms around her waist and urged her to sit on the bed. She lifted her legs, and he drew the covers over her before walking around to the other side of the bed.
She tried not to look, she really did, but from the first time she’d met him, his butt had attracted her, so when he drew off his own robe, she did sneak a glimpse at him. He looked fine, really fine. And once, he’d wanted her. He slid into bed back first, so she couldn’t tell if he still wanted her.
He rolled over, and propped himself up on one elbow. At least a foot lay between them. Even in her exhausted state, she felt a yearning, wanting to feel him, to touch him. And she knew she could trust him. If she said no, it would mean no, and he would accept it. Trust. Something she had used misguidedly in the past but never again.
“I could put a pillow down the center of the bed if you like.”
She grinned. “That would be a bit silly. Dev, I’m too tired to think for myself. You can do what you want with me, and I won’t complain.”
“You put me on my mettle. I can hardly do anything now you’ve said that, can I?” He smiled, a gentle, understanding smile that encompassed everything she’d suffered. “I’d very much like to hold you, but if you don’t want me to, I won’t take offense.”
“I’d like that too.”
She began the move, sliding closer to him, but he lifted the covers so she could slip into his embrace. His arms folded her close, and she felt their body heat combine into comfortable warmth. No desire.
Relationships were forged on less. Far less.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Newsletter for June, 2014

Cait Miller in the Cafe du Monde

Where do I begin? I don’t want to overwhelm you, but I’ve had such a wonderful month!
I’m sitting in Kathryn Falk’s kitchen, in her wonderful ranch in Texas, and it’s a lovely, sunny day. I’m flying home in a few days’ time after a glorious month, and then it’s back to reality.
I started the month with my good friend Cait Miller, who is from Scotland. I flew out to New Orleans on the 6th May, a gruelling 16 hour flight, but I got there fine, babbling like a budgie from my umpteen cups of coffee in an effort to stay awake so I could get there. I arrived with Megan Bamford and her hubby, having met up with them at the airport and shared their limo. A small car, burdened with 11 pieces of luggage!
One of the street bands of New Orleans

With Captain Lou on our paddle boat tour!
Cait and I explored New Orleans during the next week. It’s an amazing place, one I really want to get back to one day. Very beautiful and unlike any other place I’ve ever been to. The French-not-French atmosphere is intoxicating and the history fascinating. We ate beignets, jambalaya, gumbo and po boys, walked the streets with their masses of shops selling tempting knick knacks and listened to the most competent street bands I’ve ever heard in my life. Although now a tourist trap, New Orleans still retains the atmosphere of edgy fun it’s famous for.
The weekend after my arrival, we moved to the convention hotel, the Marriott on Canal Street. An older hotel, the public spaces were adequate and the rooms comfortable. We went on a memorable visit to the bayou with some other conventioneers, and if you’ve been checking my Facebook account, you’ll know all about that!
The convention was fantastic. Considering it was the largest yet, the organisation was excellent. There were so many people I didn’t have time to hook up with, though I did my best! My first event was the International Reception on the Tuesday, which was a lovely way to start the convention. We had it in the Riverside restaurant on the top floor of the Marriott, the 41st, a beautiful space, with a magnificent view of the Mighty Mississipi. 200 people were attending the convention from overseas and this was a great way to meet them and share travel stories!
Then the convention itself. I did the virgin class with the awesome PJ Schneider and the equally awesome Janda Montenegro from Brazil. Then we went on to the Welcome Party, in which Megan Bamford and I had a spot. Megan had no idea she was going to win the tiara as Bookseller of the Year. What a hoot to see her delighted face!
The Kensington Signing with Desiree Holt
After that I had to go straight to one of my panels, the History Fan Fictionary, where we try to bamboozle the readers by using obscure words from history. My other panel was Vanilla Erotic, which we want to do again, about things that aren’t BDSM.
I’m trying so hard to keep this short! I did write up my experiences in a bit more detail over at The Good, the Bad and The Unread, so if you want more, hop over there! I’ll wait.
Welcome back. RT was a blast, from the Mardi Gras party, held among the real floats that are used during Mardi Gras, to the pub crawl, when I told fortunes in the pub hosted by my new publisher, Kensington, to the very last evening, when I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open.
At the Booksigning
After that, I spent a week with lovely Desiree Holt, mostly planning a project we’re doing together, but also just hanging out and recovering from RT. The weather was amazing, violent thunderstorms and torrential rain. In Texas!
Then I took a short journey to Kathryn Falk’s ranch, a place of beauty and relaxation. It’s a lovely end to a wonderful trip.
Phew! So I’ve had a wonderful month, but after this, don’t expect to hear much from me for a week, as I sleep off the jet lag.
I was thrilled to discover that my new release, Lightning Unbound, reached the Samhain best seller lists! It’s the first in a new series, and one that’s very close to my heart. I absolutely love writing it and I’m thrilled to report that the third in the series has just been accepted.

Where to find Lynne Connolly and her Books 
My website
The hub of everything I do. It's updated regularly, with excerpts, short stories and other goodies:

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I currently write for Samhain Publishing, Ellora's Cave , Loose-Id , Total E-Bound, Kensington Publishing and Carina Press. So you can find me on their loops and on their websites.

I write columns for Sybil at The Good, The Bad and The Unread:

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Powerful men and the women who love them

Thursday, May 01, 2014

News for May, 2014

Happy May!
Two releases this month, plus RT Booklovers! The releases show why I love writing in different genres, and how it informs what I do.
First I’ll talk about my new release from Samhain, which will be out on May 13th. This new series had a long and tortuous gestation. I wrote the first version years ago, and it nearly came out with another publisher, but was cancelled at the last minute, so I never signed the contract and it wasn’t released. I liked the idea, but I thought the book hadn’t quite worked, so I shelved it. Then I was looking for a new historical project and I picked it up, dusted it off and started again. This time it flowed and I found an editor who absolutely loved the idea, Amy Sherwood at Samhain, who has considerable classical knowledge herself.
So what if the eighteenth century was a battleground for the ancient gods? What if, as well as the public wars, there was a private one? What if the aristocrats, instead of just behaving like gods, were really gods?

Here’s the back cover copy:
What the heart wants, it finds a way to take. 

Even Gods Fall in Love, Book 1
When Gerard Sterling, Earl of Ellesmere, races to Bethlehem Hospital—also known as Bedlam—to rescue a wrongly committed friend, he’s astonished to hear a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to his sister, with whom he shares a mind link.
Fascinated and enchanted by Lady Faith Bradley, inspired by her dedication saving her brother from the horrors of the Incurables ward, he includes them both in his rescue mission. But woo her he cannot—not with a fatal disease that saps more of his strength every day.
Faith would slay dragons to keep her brother safe from her father’s scheme to set his simpleminded heir aside. But it’s Gerard, who feels the hot breath of death down his neck, who wins her heart. 
Then it is revealed that Gerard is none other than the reincarnation of Zeus, and they face a far more dangerous enemy—Kronos, whose plan to regain power includes Gerard’s death. To foil his plan, Gerard and Faith must hold firm to the power of love…and defy Fate itself.

I’m thrilled to say that book two is in the works even as we speak! It’s quite tricky, combining the worlds, but I do try to make the history as authentic as always, and the details are still there.
If you click on this link, you can get full details and a buy link. The book goes on sale on the 13th May.

and here’s the link to the page on my websiteL:

The second book?
A Nightstar book. How could I resist writing about hot rock stars? So here’s Riku’s story!
Riku is an American-Japanese hunk who gave up a classical career to join Murder City Ravens. He can’t believe that the woman he loved years ago gave up too, but in order to run tourist jewelry shops in New York. Cyn had a fabulous soprano voice, one of the best he’d ever heard, so why didn’t she carry on with her career?
Reconnecting with an old flame has never been such fun!

Since the excerpts could be overwhelming to some inboxes, I’ll do them in separate posts.

Then there’s the RT Booklovers’ Convention.
Where do I start? I’m planning to do some updates from the convention, but I’m starting my adventure with a week in New Orleans with my good friend Cait Miller. We’re going to do all the things tourists should – go on outings, shop, eat at the famous places, try to experience the whole of this wonderful, unique city.
Then it’s the convention itself at the Marriott on Canal Street. I’ll be there from the Sunday before the convention.
I’ll just tell you where I’ll be and what I’m doing, and then you’ll know where to catch me!
I’m starting with the International Reception in the Penthouse between 2 and 4 pm. This is for people coming from overseas to RT. I remember how overwhelming it can be to arrive and plunge into the maelstrom!
I’ve been lucky enough to score an invitation to the Aussie dinner on the Tuesday night.
After that, I’m running the newcomers, aka the virgin’s class first thing on the Wednesday, the first day of the convention proper. That’s at 8.45.
Also that day, I’m on a panel, the popular History Fan Fictionary panel. We give you obscure historical slang words, and you guess what they are! There are prizes!
That evening is the Mardi Gras party. I’m walking down with Renee Rocco, and I’m on a stationary float, the Ellora’s Cave one.
At 2.45 on the Thursday, I’m captaining a panel for the Vanilla Erotic romance. Everything that isn’t BDSM but is still hot! Come and see what we’ve come up with. More prizes!
On the Thursday evening, I’m reading tarot cards with Kensington on the pub crawl. First come, first served! I’m not doing complex readings, but I’ll answer specific questions, or rather, give some advice!
And I’m signing at the Big Book Fair on the Saturday.
If you’re there, don’t forget to say hello!