Writing

Works In Progress

Beneath His Touch

This is the project I focused on for my apprenticeship in the 2009 Romance Divas Mentor Program on their forums. I completely reworked the plot and tossed most of the 25k I had written on it. The good news is: I feel like I know the characters VERY well and as of Fall 2010, it stands at 72.5k words, but I’m getting closer to feeling it’s complete! Here’s the working blurb for it:

Tabitha Gifford, a confirmed spinster, learns her wastrel brother put the family estate at risk. She heads to London seeking lenience on his debt as part of her efforts to replenish the family coffers, already strained by their late father’s reckless excesses.

James Edward Wyndham never expected to become the Duke of Bolster. The carefree London rake finds himself head of the family and guardian of two headstrong cousins. His uncle’s will stipulated both girls must respectably married within a year or all estate incomes will be given over to charity.

Class boundaries, hypocrisy, jealousy, and undeniable attractions are explored when he hires a companion for the girls and decides he must marry an heiress as insurance.

You can also click over to read the new opening excerpt or get a taste of the extremes to which some took Regency gambling.

Revealed

Both of this story and Beneath His Touch are set in the London during the Regency, around 1816. Many characters in Revealed will be recognized from Beneath His Touch. I love when authors create a plausible “universe” between their books.

Marcia Drummond just wants to be herself, but she finds herself thrown into the company of Hugh Leighton, the Viscount Barrington. His purpose in life is amusing others, but she’s not laughing because she holds him responsible for a traumatic incident at a masquerade ball six years ago.

Everyone has a Project this Season. Marcia’s friends and family plot to overturn her plan for another uneventful Season. Hugh’s grandmother wants him to do his duty, stay out of the scandal sheets and get himself a suitable Viscountess, not one of those scheming debutantes! Meanwhile, the Duchess of Bolster is determined to prove Marcia is a perfect balance for Hugh’s impulsive and reckless ways.

As the annual Avery Masquerade looms nearer, will Marcia grant forgiveness and overcome the demons of her past and provide Hugh with the sense of belonging so long denied him?

I wrote this early version of Revealed as an exercise of telling a story in the traditional Three ACT form. The story is set in the Regency Period and runs about 2400 words. The idea was pulled from an abandoned novel opening. One person thought it was a synopsis — a little long for that, but I see her point. A couple of others encouraged me to expand on it, make it longer, and I’m still working on that.

You can read other excerpts from this story here, here and here.

The Back Burner

The Flower Queen’s Daughter

This is loosely based on the idea of taking a folktale and turning it into a Regency-set romance story. I got the idea from thinking about how I should use my skills from the past decade at world building for an online game and see how they could be leveraged for writing a story from start to finish. You can follow the progression of this story in the tag labelled: FQD where it changed a good deal from its original inception a couple of months before. Three excerpts are available: the hero sneaks into the heroine’s bedchamber, the hero and heroine bond over a difficult birth and a moment of crisis when the stables are burning.

Sweet Temptation

A case of mistaken identities and a chance meeting over ices at Gunter’s that leads to a true love match where none was expected. You can read an excerpt here.

Juliet’s Story & Henrietta’s Story: The Duke’s cousins from Beneath His Touch get their own stories. I still haven’t figured out exactly who their perfect mates are. You can read a short excerpt I wrote from Juliet’s POV while attending the Avery Masquerade here.

Daphne & her music patron’s Story: Marcia’s best friend has her eye on a particular gentleman.

Reese’s Story: Tabitha’s brother realizes he must grow up.

The Food Critic & The Chef: A contemporary I’d love to explore more. It’s about a food critic/blogger and a restaurateur/chef, but it needs too much work to contemplate at this point.