Rumours that Ruined a Lady
Caroline is the fourth Armstrong sister, the dutiful one of the family. Sebastian is a notorious rake, the profligate son of the Armstrong’s country neighbour. The two meet when Caro is just sixteen. Several years later, they meet again in London, but despite the sizzling attraction between them, they go their separate ways and Caro makes the respectable marriage her father has arranged.
Rumours that Ruined a Lady opens in 1830, with Caro disowned by her family, cast out by her husband, and unconscious in an opium den. This is a scandalous, dark, and extremely sensual romance, told partly retrospectively, which sees Caro and Sebastian come to terms with their tragic pasts, and in the process not only fall in love, but kick up a shocking amount of dust. No book page yet, and the title hasn’t been finalised, but it will be released in North America and the UK in November 2013, You can check out my Pinterest board here.
What I’m Working On Now
A trilogy of linked short stories set during World War One. The first story, which I’ve just handed in to my Editor, is set in 1914-15, just after war has broken out. Flora Carmichae’s family home, Glen Massan House (though it’s more of a castle) in Scotland (yes, I’ve used my native Argyll as a setting again!) has been requisitioned by the army. Welshman Corporal Geraint Cassell has responsibility for taking over the castle, and he loathes all that Flora and her privileged family stand for. Flora should be strictly off-limits, but Geraint finds his principles in direct conflict with his desires.
The second story, set in 1916 at the horrible height of the battles on the Western Front, has Flora’s elder brother Robbie for a hero, and Sylvie Renaud, a French refugee, for a heroine. In the third story, set in 1918 and the aftermath of the war, we meet Sylvie’s cousin Luc Renaud, a doctor, and Vivian Porter, an American nurse. In this story, we return full-circle to Glen Massan House, which has become a hospital.
This is a bit of a departure for me, with no titled heroes and a big change in setting. I have always been fascinated by the impact of war on those who fought and those who were left behind, so it’s not a new theme, but it’s a real challenge, trying to find a balance between the tragic reality of war and the ability for romance to flourish, even in the most hostile of environments.
Working title Brothers in Arms, the three stories will be released in one anthology next year during the centenary of the outbreak of war. You can check out my Pinterest board here.
And as usual I’ll be chatting about progress and asking for input on my Facebook page, so do join me there.