Um…short answer: I don’t know.
I finished Skin in the Game, the first of two contemporary novels I’ve contracted with Entangled for their Brazen line, earlier this week and sent it to my editor. They have not yet given me a formal release date, though, so I really have no idea when to expect it to be released. If I had to guess, I’d say by April or May at the latest, but really, that’s pure speculation. As soon as I have that information, though, I’ll share it with you. I’m also hoping to get an unedited version of the first chapter up on the website soon.
The second of these novels has a due date of May 1, so I need to get started on it fairly soon. I wrote the cover copy for the story, titled Rules of Possession, right before I went of vacation last week. For me, the process of writing a book almost always begins with coming up with a title, followed by writing the blurb (which tells me what the story is about, more or less), and then writing the actual book. In the case of Rules, I knew who the hero and heroine would be, because they both make appearances in Skin, but I didn’t know exactly what the problem or conflict between them was going to be until I wrote the cover copy paragraphs:
After the car accident that crushed his ankle, pro quarterback Warren Harris isn’t sure he’ll ever walk normally again, let alone play football. Then he meets Rachel Lindsey, a crack physical therapist who’s convinced the problem is more in Warren’s head than his foot. She promises to get him in fighting trim for next season as long as he follows her rules, the first of which is to keep his hands to himself. Unfortunately, that’s going to be a tall order, because the petite, curvaceous brunette pushes every one of Warren’s buttons.
It goes against every rule of professional ethics to get personally involved with a patient, and Rachel won’t break rules, even for a guy she’s lusted after from a distance for years. That is, until a freak late spring blizzard snows them in for a long weekend and the gloves—and everything else—come off. Now Rachel fears she lacks the professional distance to complete his rehabilitation, but Warren is determined to keep her…both in his bed and as his therapist. And he just might win. After all, possession is nine-tenths of the law.
Now, however, I have to do some “percolating,” which for me means visualizing the major scenes and turning points in the story so that I can start writing it. While I’m doing that (which should take me about a month or so), I am hoping to write the third and final Lords of Lancashire novella, A Matter of Indiscretion. This story has been percolating for a while, and it’s the one that makes the most sense for me to finish before I dig into Rules, so my goal is to have it finished and off for editing by January 1. Assuming that happens, it should be out sometime in February. (Um, yeah, I know. Optimism springs eternal.) If I don’t get it to the editor by January 1, then it’s likely that the manuscript will return to the backburner until Rules is finished, which means it won’t be out until summer. (Go, optimistic estimate!)
So the long story, essentially, is that I’ll have something new out before summer. Which book and when, I cannot say. I wish I were better at estimating how long it will take me to write a book, but unfortunately, as with true love, the course of writing a book never did run smooth!