You know the old saying: “Good things come to those who wait.” I think a writer must have dreamed that one up, because it often seems to me no one waits more than writers. Every writer I know is in a perpetual state of waiting, whether it’s waiting for an agent to make an offer of representation, waiting for editors to make offers for publications, waiting for the book to come out, waiting for the sales numbers to come in, and then doing all of it (hopefully less the agent step) all over again. Who knew waiting could be so exhausting?
It’s mildly ironic then that, after what felt like eons of waiting, my latest sale call came a mere ten days after submission. When I picked up the phone and my lovely agent, Kevan Lyon, announced herself, the last thing I was expecting to hear was that the short story we’d submitted to Harlequin Spice Briefs less than two weeks before had received an offer for publication. (Oddly, it also didn’t occur to me that she was calling to tell me we’d had an offer on a proposal we’ve had out for much longer from one of the two houses we hadn’t yet heard from.)
And so, I’m thrilled to announce that Grace Under Fire, will be released in April 2011. Another story, Taking Liberties. will follow.
Here’s the blurb for Grace Under Fire followed by a brief excerpt from the opening pages.
Lady Grace Hannington is the most inaptly named debutante in all of London. Cursed with two left feet, hands that are nothing but thumbs, and a stutter, she’s certain to spend the next five years on the wall and the rest of her life on the shelf. Or so she believes, until her clumsiness pitches her literally into the arms of Lord Colin Fitzgerald and his best friend, Atticus Stilwell.
Colin and Atticus have been inseparable since a shared boyhood tragedy brought them together more than twenty years ago. Though it raises eyebrows, they share everything…including women. This particular quirk has made it all but impossible for Colin, whose title and lands will revert to the crown if he doesn’t have a legitimate heir, to find a respectable lady who’s willing to be his wife.
When a stroke of good fortune—and little intervention from a well-placed foot—gives the two men a golden opportunity to show the lovely and lonely Lady Grace she’s not quite so gauche as she believes, they play it (and her) for all they’re worth. But once she’s discovered her true talents lie not on the dance floor but in the bedroom, Grace must decide whether a scandalous marriage that’s sure to ruin her reputation is what she really wants.
It was a truth universally acknowledged that Lady Grace Hannington was the most inaptly named young lady in all of England, if not all Christendom. Within two months of her debut, she had ruined at least a dozen gowns—none her own—and half as many cravats by spilling tea, wine, or some sort of sauce upon them, trod heavily upon many a gentleman’s slippered toe, and broken the nose of one unfortunate chap with a misplaced elbow during a reel. That list of missteps did not encompass the full measure of the lady’s sheer gracelessness, however, for she was forever nursing some sort of self-inflicted injury, ranging from a sprained wrist and a stubbed toe to this evening’s glorious and ill-concealed black eye.
Atticus Stilwell wondered from his vantage on the opposite side of the crowded ballroom how she had come by that shiner. Not that it mattered. With or without the swollen, bluish-purple tinge beneath her eye, she was by far the loveliest woman in the room. Oh, perhaps not in the classic sense of a delicate English rose, but then, she stood a head taller than any other lady in the room—and fully half the men—and her hair was an entirely too flamboyant shade of red for traditional beauty.
In fact, everything about her was lush and flamboyant, from the blazing color of her unruly curls to the ripe red of her too-wide lips to the plump mounds of her generous tits. Though he could only guess at what lay beneath the loose folds of her high-waisted gown, he imagined a slender waist curving into broad but perfectly proportioned hips and from there into shapely legs that would go on forever. Though she was consigned by her ungainliness on the dance floor—and nearly everywhere else—to the role of a perpetual wallflower at Society events, Atticus saw the woman she could blossom into if only she were freed from the expectations of fashion and propriety.
A woman who was more than enough for not one man, but two.