It feels a little odd to talk about a holiday novella in the dog days of August, but every now and then a reader emails me and politely asks what’s next, so here’s what’s next: coming in November, a Blackshear family prequel that tells the eldest brother’s story.
IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SIMPLE…
With one more errand to go—the purchase of a hunting falcon—Andrew Blackshear has Christmas completely under control. As his sister’s impending marriage signals the inevitable drifting-apart of the Blackshear family, it’s his last chance to give his siblings the sort of memorable, well-planned holiday their parents could never seem to provide.
He has no time to dawdle, no time for nonsense, and certainly no time to drive the falconer’s vexing, impulsive, lush-lipped, midnight-haired daughter to a house party before heading home. So why the devil did he agree to do just that?
IT COULDN’T BE MORE DELICIOUSLY MIXED-UP…
Lucy Sharp has been waiting all her too-quiet life for an adventure, and she means to make the most of this one. She’s going to enjoy the house party as no one has ever enjoyed a house party before, and in the meanwhile she’s going to enjoy every minute in the company of amusingly stern, formidably proper, outrageously handsome Mr. Blackshear. Let him disapprove of her all he likes—it’s not as though they’ll see each other again after today.
…or will they? When a carriage mishap and a snowstorm strand the pair miles short of their destination, threatening them with scandal and jeopardizing all their Christmas plans, they’ll have to work together to save the holiday from disaster. And along the way they just might learn that the best adventures are the ones you never would have thought to plan.
The cover is by Book Beautiful designs, who’s also responsible for, among others, Carolyn Crane’s Associates series (including her Rita-winning Off the Edge). I told designer Amber the basics of what I wanted: overhead shot of someone on a bed (to fit in with other Blackshear books) except more tightly cropped (to differentiate the novella from the full-length books) and then she and I both looked for images.
I considered some images that had a few more of what I guess I’d call “historical-ish” details (i.e. modern fancy-dress clothing), but I kept coming back to this one woman’s picture because her facial expression so perfectly matched the heroine’s character and the overall tone of the book. And I thought if I met her eyes while browsing for books, she would engage me, and make me want to know her story.
So that’s what’s coming next! Holiday *novella! I’ll be posting the first excerpt on my website pretty soon.
*You should probably know that, though I conceived this as a novella, and committed to the novella concept early on, it’s actually about 55,000 words. So somewhere between novella and category-length. But there’s not a good term for that length, so “novella” it is. Super-sized!