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Miss Truelove Beckons is coming!!

Next week, just in time for Valentine’s Day, in partnership with Beyond the Page Publishing, I am bringing out Miss Truelove Beckons, one of my absolute favorite Regency Classics that I wrote during my time with Kensington Zebra.

TrueloveMedThis book deals with a hero suffering from nightmares, what we now recognize as PTSD. It was inspired by the men and woman who have to deal with the lingering memories of the horrors of war, and was dedicated to my father, a WWII veteran, but it is so much more than that. It’s a tender love story between a wounded war veteran and a country miss. I do so hope you like it!

I’m very pleased to reveal here the cover!

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Anything Pinteresting?

Ghost_CurseIt’s been such a long time since I connected with romance readers. I do apologize. But see, there’s this other gal who’s been demanding a lot from me. Her name is Victoria Hamilton, and she is me, too.

I now write cozy mysteries as Victoria Hamilton, and have three series. But lately I’ve been publishing my back list with the wonderful folks at Beyond The Page. I’m so excited about the work they do, and what we’re bringing out next. If all goes as planned The Matchmaker’s Christmas will be next out, and it is one of my favorite Regencies that I’ve written. More about that another day.

But lately I have gotten into Pinterest, and crated boards for all of my romance series, as well as my cozy mystery series. I find the Pinterest boards great inspiration. It’s made me want to finish Book 4 of the Awaiting series and write more Lady Anne books. I’m even contemplating more Regency romances! I loved writing them; it was one of the loveliest periods of my life, that sense of new opportunity as I finally realized my lifelong dream and became a published author.

 

Here are my three romance boards:

Regency Romances by Donna Lea Simpson

Lady Anne Historical Mysteries

Awaiting Werewolf Series

I certainly hope to blog once in a while here, and I will be back with more about my latest publishing ventures!!

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Lovely reader review!

I love hearing from readers, and yesterday I received the most wonderful note from a reader.

~::~

Helen wrote:

Donna:
 
I am reading and loving The Curse of the Gypsy.  I am torn between needing to know how it will end with Tony and Anne, and not wanting it to end because I am enjoying it so very much.  Hope to see some Lady Anne books in the future.  Your characters are so engaging and your language is so very elegant.  It is a real pleasure to read your books.  Many thanks.  Helen
 
PS  I have been hitting the dictionary and my wordpower increases by the day. 
~::~
She makes me chuckle… she previously wrote to me that while reading my Lady Anne books she was getting to use the Dictionary function on her Kindle, as she often did when reading Anne Perry novels… and I told her how humbled I was to be mentioned in the same sentence with Anne Perry, who writes the wonderful Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels.
Thanks, Helen, for making my day!

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Lady Anne Books 2 & 3 – Now Available!

At long last, books 2 & 3 of the Lady Anne saga are now available as ebooks for the fabulous price of just $3.99 each!

I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, and I am so proud and happy with these books, both for the content – this is some of the best work I have done – and the covers, which are exactly what I wanted from the beginning.

Both books are now available: see my website, http://www.donnaleasimpson.com for links where they can be purchased online!

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Lady Anne… the story continues!

Great news, to all who have been inquiring. The wait is over for the next Lady Anne book… almost.

Book 2 of the Lady Anne saga, now entitled Revenge of the Barbary Ghost: A Lady Anne Mystery, will be out from Beyond the Page Publishing on or before January 27th, 2012, and Book 3, now called Curse of the Gypsy: A Lady Anne Mystery, will be out February 13th, 2012!

I’ll have more information soon on blog tour stops and availability!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to the Inspiration Gallery for the Damask background I am now using on this blog!

http://theinspirationgallery.com/

 

 

 

 

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Speaking of Audiobooks column – Love and Scandal

Hey, all… just thought I’d give a heads up… Vicky Hensley at Speaking of Audiobooks, an All About Romance blog column, has done a great interview with me concerning the audio version of Love and Scandal.

It was great fun. Thanks, Vicky!

Speaking of Audiobooks column: http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=6428

Audible.com logoLove and Scandal Audiobook is available at Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B0040HOP2S&qid=1305550924&sr=1-1

You can listen to a sample, so you can hear what I mean about Charlotte Parry – the narrator – and her lovely voice!

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Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre and Love & Scandal

Love & Scandal coverI was forcibly reminded this week of why I wrote Love & Scandal.

I am currently reading ‘Unquiet Soul‘, a fascinating biography of Charlotte Bronte, and remembered how the idea for Love & Scandal started.

When Charlotte Bronte wrote and published Jane Eyre, it became a huge hit immediately. It was overwhelmingly popular, but controversial, too. It was dark, and sexy, and melodramatic, and had a lot to say about a woman’s right to independence, and her equality of intelligence and depth of soul. George Lewes was fascinated by the book, as was Thackeray. Both praised the author, even while they had criticisms. Though Jane Eyre was published as if written by a man – even her publisher was supposed to think that – many speculated on the gender of the author.

A couple of years ago I was also reading about Charlotte Bronte. What if, I thought… what if someone else, a man, had claimed to be Currer Bell? As retiring at Charlotte was, she still had a true writer’s powerful ego. Would she not have charged off to London in search of the devilish gent who had presumed to pretend authorship of her master work, if her publisher offered her no aid to contradict such a falsehood? I think she would have.

At the Audible.com page for the audio version of Love & Scandal, one reviewer had this criticism: “This book is a classic case of an author trying to (sic) hard to please: Please their editor, their supposed fan base and even, no doubt, their misplaced desire to produce “something more then (sic) just the ordinary romance.” The mere fact that she felt the need to have almost every living author of the time make multiple appearances I think proves both points. I was very disappointed, and yet I think the author does have talent, it was just hidden behind the show she put on here.”

I understand where the reviewer was coming from; I have Trollope, Mrs. Gaskell, George Lewes and the future ‘George Eliot’, Maryann Evans, in the novel. But it was not out of some desire to produce ‘something more then (sic) just the ordinary romance’.  Perhaps I didn’t express it in a way that made it clear to the listener/reader, but my choices were made deliberately to explore the outcome had this ‘what if’ scenario happened to Charlotte.

I make no claims that she would have fallen in the sexual sense Collette does in Love & Scandal. But Charlotte had such a deeply passionate nature that if she had ever been met with someone who wanted her so badly, as Charles wants ColletUnquiet Soul coverte, you never do know. Charlotte’s one great love, for her Belgian teacher Monsieur Heger, was so all-consuming, I can’t help but believe she may have succumbed, had physical love been offered.

I was reminded of this as I read Margot Peter’s ‘Unquiet Soul’ a fascinating, if flawed (I think the author makes unfounded assumptions of the Bronte sisters’ internal, unexpressed feelings) biography. We’ll never know what would have happened had Charlotte gone to London in that first fiery furor over Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (some folks thought the two ‘Bell brothers’, Currer and Ellis, were one and the same writer), but it was so much fun to speculate in my flawed, but hopefully interesting dive into the Victorian literary scene.

So… it is fascinating to look back and remember, for an author, where the ideas for a book came from!

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2010. That’s about 11 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 13 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 159 posts. There were 8 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 366kb.

The busiest day of the year was March 15th with 146 views. The most popular post that day was Awaiting the Magic.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were donnaleasimpson.com, en.wordpress.com, facebook.com, yandex.ru, and amazon.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for black wolf, donna lea simpson, princess diana and sons, black wolf with blue eyes, and black wolf pictures.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Awaiting the Magic June 2009
4 comments

2

Princess Diana – Ten Years Ago Today August 2007

3

Taylor Swift on CMA awards show… Georgian period dress? November 2008
2 comments

4

Publishing History May 2007
4 comments

5

About Donna Lea Simpson May 2007
9 comments

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Love & Scandal – Available NOW!

Love & ScandalI’m so happy about how Love & Scandal is being received; the Night Owl Reviews review is wonderful! Check out my homepage – http://www.donnaleasimpson.com – for an excerpt of the review and a link!

eBooks, I am convinced, really are the wave of the future. I’d like to urge everyone, all the skeptics about eBooks, if you’ve always wondered what an eBook looks like, download a free copy of The Last Days of a Rake, the companion book to Love & Scandal, and have a look! You can even download, at Amazon.com, a ‘Kindle for PC’ eReader software for FREE, and then check out The Last Days of a Rake and… here’s the great thing… there are loads of other books available for FREE online.

In the coming days I’ll provide links to some of the FREEBIE eBook sites I’m finding.

Until then… enjoy Love & Scandal, the book and the real thing! 😉

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Song of Seduction – Carrie Lofty

Welcome, today to the talented Carrie Lofty, my fellow Carina Press historical romance debut author. I look forward to reading her elegant Song of Seduction! And isn’t this the most gorgeous cover?? The story has the unique setting of Vienna and the music world of the early nineteenth century!
Bravo… bravissimo!
~::~
Tormented by guilt. Haunted by scandal. Freed by love.
Song of Seduction

Austria, 1804

Eight years ago, composer Arie De Voss claimed his late mentor’s final symphony as his own and became an icon. But fame has a price: fear of discovery now poisons his attempts to compose a redemptive masterpiece. Until a new muse appears, intoxicating and inspiring him…

Mathilda Heidel renounced her own musical gift to marry, seeking a quiet life to escape the shame surrounding her birth. Sudden widowhood finds her tempted by song once more. An unexpected introduction to her idol, Arie De Voss, renews Mathilda’s passion for the violin–and ignites a passion for the man himself.

But when lust and lies reach a crescendo, Arie will be forced to choose: love or truth?

~::~

Excerpt from Song of Seduction:

Mathilda fled Arie’s studio after their first sexual encounter. She’s terrified of becoming entangled in a scandal, while he’s only just learned why the fates of her parents and husband keep her emotionally distant.

Hours after waking, she stared at a book without comprehension. Ingrid sat beside her, casually gazing at a magazine Christoph had brought from his recent travels in the north. For weeks, Mathilda had behaved like the worst sort of confidant, denying a lifetime of friendship by keeping her secrets close. She refused to provide Ingrid an explanation as to her sudden decision not to attend additional music lessons, and she recognized her friend’s quiet hurt. Wednesdays came and went, yet Mathilda did not leave the manor. The unspoken argument rested heavily between them.

A footman knocked and presented Mathilda with an envelope. She accepted the letter, immediately recognizing the hand that had scrawled her name.

“From Herr De Voss?”

Ingrid’s happy enthusiasm broke her heart. She wanted to scream and rail, to make her understand that her optimism had no place.

“Yes.”

“Open it.”

“No.”

“Oh do, Tilda. I know you want to.” She flipped another page. With an insincere lightness she said, “I promise not to watch your face for clues.”

Despite her crippling curiosity, Mathilda resisted the temptation. He had said he loved her. She had left without a word. What possible topic would compel him to write after weeks of silence?

“No, I shall wait. The maestro has nothing of importance to say to me.”

She cringed at the bitter sound of her lie. Most likely, he had a great deal to say, none of which would be complimentary.

“He probably wanted to remind you that today is Wednesday.” When Mathilda said nothing, Ingrid muttered, “Spite yourself.”

“What was that?”

“Suit yourself, dearest. Now, come have a look at this gown.”

In the afternoon quiet of her room, Mathilda opened the letter at last. Her imagination authored no small number of themes, from passionate declarations of longing to bitter, resentful diatribes against her callousness. After hours of speculation, two lines surprised her with their stark simplicity.

Come to the orchestra balcony of the Dom after Mass next Sunday. Kapellmeister Haydn wishes to meet you.

A blot of ink trailed the last sentence–a thought he had penned before attempting to obscure it. She shifted the paper into an angle of sunlight to examine the scribble more carefully.

Please.

He had written “please” before thinking better of the word.

Across the span of their acquaintance, a measure of months that had seen them progress from strangers to lovers and back, she had come to understand many of his traits. He was impetuous, diffident, inspired, passionate and even amusing. Now she could add proud to her mental catalog.

He refused to beg for her.

~::~

Visit Carrie and check out her other books at:

Carrie Lofty

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