Nominated in the First Golden Ankh Awards
No, I’m not really sure just what that means. The Golden Ankh Award program is new this year. It’s a project created by Ellora’s Cave, the World’s First and Foremost Publisher of Erotic Romance. I don’t write erotic romance. However, Ellora’s Cave stepped in and created the Cotillion publishing line when all the big publishers stopped publishing the “traditional Regency” romances, a historical genre typically known for fast-paced fun dialogue and no sex whatsoever. Those are the stories I write for Ellora’s Cave.
And my most recent story, Sense of the Season, has been nominated for a Gold Ankh Award in the “Christmas” category. If you think it’s worthy of your vote, I’d honored if you’d take a moment and vote here.
Sense of the Season features an unlikely duo as hero and heroine – she’s a reformed bully and he’s a compulsive gambler with a drinking problem. He knows he’s hit rock bottom when he wakes up on the floor of the poorhouse to find his childhood nightmare looming over him. She doesn’t remember who he is…at first.
Sense of the Season is part of the Cotillion Christmas Celebrations collection of traditional Regency Christmas stories. However, holiday celebrations don’t actually figure into the story at all. In fact, the season is just used, as one of the characters says, as an “excuse for poor behavior.” (So I guess I shouldn’t count on it winning an award in the Christmas category, should I?)
Much of the action takes place in the almshouse in a small fishing village, and the story was inspired by a place we visited on the southeast coast of England. My editor told me she had to send back the first several versions artists created for the cover because they were too opulent, with fancy gowns and elegant drawing rooms. I’m glad she fought for me on this!
Next Mystery in Editing Phase
A new Karen Maxwell mystery should be out soon. Roped In will take Karen and her kids into world of competitive jump rope. More details to follow…
Latest Stories Now Available in Print
Two of my not-so-traditional “traditional” Regency romances are now available in print. Deceptive Behavior is my updated version of a popular 18th Century farce. When the hero comes to meet his intended bride, he mistakenly falls in love with a maid instead. But the maid turns out to be the woman he was supposed to marry, so everything’s okay –or is it? In my version of the story we go beyond the mistaken identity mishap to find out what comes next.
My most recent story release, the Regency novella “Change of Address,” is now available in print as part of the Cotillion Christmas Surprises anthology. Though the story is set in December, the holiday season during the early 19th Century was not anything like it is today and I find Regency Christmas stories satisfying to read all winter long. Maybe that’s because, as a reviewer said, the setting for “Change of Address” was “so vivid I could feel the damp chill of the new home.” This is just a long-winded way of saying I think you’ll enjoy these stories (and the one below) at other times of the year, too.
You can learn more about Deceptive Behavior and “Change of Address” and read samples on the books page.
And Now for Something Completely Different…
I recently finished two new stories that are pretty unlike anything I’ve published before. “The Project Directive” is a science fiction “novelette” about a guy mistakenly pulled off a cruise ship by government bureaucrats from the future. The second project is a collaboration with science fiction author Catherine Asaro and it’s a new genre tentatively called “Deco Punk” featuring futuristic tech from the 1920s. As the title “Corn Fed Blues” indicates, however, the focus of the story is more on the characters than the tech. Publication details will be forthcoming.
I will be a regular contributor to the Blush and Tell Blog along with other authors of Traditional Regency and other romances published by the “PG” rated imprint of Ellora’s Cave publishing. Stop by when you have a chance!
“Bride of Belznickel,” my first ghost story, is Christmas story only in the sense that it is the Christmas holidays that forces the heroine to come stay with her obnoxious cousins. She decides to try to frighten them with tales of the Christmas demon, der Belznickel. But then her stories start to come to life and of course everyone thinks she’s responsible.
There’s more about this on the “books” page, too.
Mysteries in Ebook
The Karen Maxwell mysteries are out in ebook as part of the Spyglass Lane Mysteries series for only 99¢! Artist Henry thor Straten has created new covers for the books, and will also design a new cover for Restitution, which I hope to release in ebook sometime soon.
Worth its Weight in Old has its new cover for some time but George Washington Stepped Here just recently got the new look. Since the storefront looked so good on the Worth It cover, I asked Henry to basically throw away everything he’d already done for George and make that one a “building” cover, too. He was good enough to oblige!
Most of the time, authors have little or no say in the covers of their books, so it’s been very gratifying to go through the cover art process with these stories. As more authors publish their own work, either through agents, as is the case with the Spyglass books, or entirely on their own, they have the opportunity to control more of the output themselves, including editing, cover art, and promotional descriptions. It’s more work, of course, but in the end I think will be more satisfying for authors and readers alike.
To see the original covers and read descriptions of the books, look here. And to see more of Henry’s artwork (most of which is very different than this and truly out-of-this-world) I urge you to visit his website at HenrythorStraten.com.
More Love and Lunacy
Helen now finally has her own story. “Dinners with Mr. Danville” takes place a number of years later, after Helen has learned to temper her eccentric behavior. But her keen scientific mind is more active than ever and ready to analyze the strange sensations of love and attraction. Just what do the treatises of the Royal Society have to do with romance? Find out by reading Helen’s story. You can learn more on the books page.
Find out what really happened in Oz.
Everyone knows how Dorothy and Toto save Oz from the Wicked Witch of West…or do they? How will Dorothy survive in a land filled with haunted bags of straw, hollow metal men and giant smelly cats?
How will she fight off killer bees, mad wolves and really annoying monkeys? And how will Dorothy ever find the way home?
The simple truth is that she won’t, at least not alone. Of course, she’s not alone – she has Toto, her best friend. But in Oz, Dorothy spends more time talking to a cat than to her…
Find out more on the Books by K.D. Hays page.