Tuesday, April 27, 2021

What Lay Beneath Those Teaser Posts…




I’m happy to announce that my new young adult fantasy, What Lies Beneath, will be out on September 14 from Book View CafĂ©!

War. Spies. Gossip and lies. Mythical Creatures. Falling in love. And it’s still only July.

It’s 1917, and everyone is doing their bit now that America has entered the Great War—everyone except 17-year-old Emma Verlaine. Her overprotective dad won’t let her go to nursing school while he’s off doing war work; instead, she’s been sent to stay for the summer with her Gran on an island off Cape Cod, and the most she’ll be able to do for the war effort is knit socks. Socks!

As it happens, island life isn’t so bad. There are the seals that seem even more fascinated by her than she is by them. There’s the new Navy Air Station that guards the coast from German U-boats where she’s determined to get a job. But most of all there’s Malcolm, whose family owns a resort hotel on the island and who gives her swimming lessons and delicious kisses.

But danger lurks in the waters off the island. Only Emma can save her new home—if she accepts that everything she thought she knew about her life is a lie, and that the seals are following her for a very good reason…

It was quite a change of pace to write a story set firmly in the twentieth century, after dwelling so long in the nineteenth. Telephones! Airplanes! Bathing suits! Working women! And as you saw, the research for this book was a lot of fun: 1917 had so many more similarities to our world, yet still some crucial differences. But some things will never change—young women striving to find their place in the world…and love. It was also great fun to set a book in a place I know and love so well, and to incorporate real bits and pieces of history, both national and local, into the plot.

What Lies Beneath is up for pre-order at Amazon (affiliate link), Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, Googleplay, and Smashwords, and will also be available in print from your favorite bookstore. And if you're feeling impatient, there's a sneak peek over on my website to whet your appetite.

I hope you'll enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Here’s Your Chance: New Release and Three-Book Sale

She’s out! The Lady’s Second-Chance Suitor, the fifth book in my Grace-by-the-Sea series, launches this week.

Hester Todd hoped never to run into her first love, Rob Peverell, again, until she does just that at the annual Grace-by-the-Sea Harvest Ball. Rob broke her heart seven years ago, sending her flying into the arms of a dashing naval lieutenant instead. Now a widow with a daughter she adores, Hester has finally found a little peace with her past. But one moment in Rob’s company, and her heart begins to whisper of a different future.

A tragedy propelled the rapscallion younger son to the title of viscount, and Rob is struggling to become the man his sister and tenants need. Romance at the moment is out of the question, but Hester always knew the way to his heart. When smugglers once more try to infiltrate the little coastal village, Hester and Rob must find a way to trust each other and protect their families and friends. In doing so, they may find that true love always deserves a second chance.

To celebrate, I’ve lowered the prices on the first three books in the series. Through April 21, the ebook version of The Matchmaker’s Rogue is 99 cents, The Heiress’s Convenient Husband is $1.99, and The Artist’s Healer is $2.99. Tell your friends!

The Lady’s Second Chance Suitor is available as an ebook (print too on Amazon) at fine online retailers such as


Amazon (affiliate link) 

Barnes and Noble 

Apple Books 


Return to Grace-by-the-Sea, where romance and adventure come home.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

More Hints...a look back at May 1917’s Fashions

I’m back to be a dreadful tease with another Blast from the Past about 1917 and what was going on then...with a promise that in my next post, I’ll stop being mysterious and explain why. Till then...enjoy these wonderful fashions!

* * * * * * * *

So I got hold of a beautiful copy of the May 1917 edition of The Delineator, a magazine published by Butterick, now best known for their sewing patterns. Well, you know that their magazine would have to have gorgeous fashion pages—over twenty of them!--and you’re right. So I thought it was time to have some slightly more recent Fashion Forecasts, which will continue through the summer months.

The fashion section begins with a look at the latest Paris fashions, with the headline, “Fleet-Footed are the Fashions that Defy the U-Boats”. Designers mentioned include Georgette, Marthe Wingrove, Magraine-Lacroix, Laferriere, and Parry.

One thing you’ll notice that differs from the 19th century prints that I post is that dresses are usually not labeled “Morning Dress” or “Walking Dress” or what have you. What started with this issue of The Delineator was individual breakdowns of the cost of making each pattern, including estimated cost of fabric, trim, findings and patterns, as a result of expected belt-tightening with the newly entered war. The dress at left has a total cost of $4.94, and the dress at right costs a mere $3.37.

Silhouettes are interesting in this year: though many of the dresses shown still have waists, the general lines are hinting at the coming “vertical”, straight look of the twenties. Busts are still low, an echo of the previous decade.

Parasols and creative millinery were definitely in. The pink hat at right very definitely resembles a type of military hat known as a “shako”; hardly surprising to see, the month after the US had entered the war.

Separates—blouses and skirts, or two piece suits—were also in vogue.
What I found especially interesting is that there was a separate section of clothes intended especially for teens, though that exact term is not used. Still, the pattern descriptions are for 16- and 17- and 18-year-olds--a definite change from 19th century fashion.

The biggest difference I can see between these teen clothes and the more grown-up patterns is that the hemlines seem to be a trifle shorter.

More “teen” fashions, along with some younger girl outfits.

Children’s clothing is also included, both for girls...

And for boys. Note the ringlets!

What do you think of May 1917’s fashions?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hearing Grace-by-the-Sea

It’s not surprising that authors hear their characters in their heads. Sometimes they start talking before a story is plotted. Sometimes they start talking during the plotting. Sometimes they’re particularly stubborn and don’t make themselves truly known until the book is fairly far along. What’s really surprising, at least to me, is when someone else hears those voices too.

Such is the case with my new audiobook, The Matchmaker’s Rogue. My wonderful narrator, Jannie Meisberger, had done such a good job with the Fortune’s Brides set that I asked her to try her hand at making the characters in Grace-by-the-Sea come alive. She did a fantastic job, as always, with my hero and heroine, and even managed to sing in Lord Featherstone and Mr. Crabapple’s voices when called for.

But Maudie, ah Maudie. She was difficult.

That shouldn’t surprise me. Those of you who have read the series know that Maudlyn “Maudie” Tully, the elderly aunt of my heroine, Jesslyn Chance, is her own person. Having been widowed young, she retreated into a fantasy world and never came out. Maudie has tea with fairies, picnics with mermaids, and an ongoing battle of civility with trolls. I hear her dear, droll, prophetic voice so clearly.

Funny that others don’t.

“Close,” I said to Jannie. “But a bit more mysterious.”

“Closer, but perhaps a little higher?”

“Nice, but too slow. Try it faster.”

I’m so glad Jannie has the patience of a saint.

In the end, she did Maudie and the others justice. Here’s a little listen:

The Matchmaker’s Rogue is now available at Audible and Amazon, and soon iTunes.