Sunday, October 23, 2016

Making A List And Checking It Twice

I know it sounds like I'm rushing the season, but I have two Christmas novellas out this year and I'm trying to keep things organized as I determine a marketing strategy for each one. You'd think it would be simple, since one's a Regency and the other is a contemporary. So, how come I filled out promotional information for one book and inserted the cover from the other? Fortunately, I hadn't hit the 'send' button yet, so I could correct the error.

But it made me realize I need to check things over carefully this season. My Regency followers would not be interested in the goings-on in present day Maine. And the inner-workings of a greeting card shop would hold no appeal to members of the ton. So I have to be very careful when I'm filling out information to promote my books that I remain faithful to one or the other all the way to the end.

The up side of this is I can offer readers a Christmas novella, despite their preferences. If you can't wait until Christmas, here's a little taste of each.

A Regency Yuletide 

Northern England, December 1822

Being of good English stock, Sophie Davenport loved the rain. At least most of the time, since it made the rolling hills of Carlisle a pretty, bucolic green in the summer. Today however, she took her knitting to the window seat in the library and gazed into the darkening countryside while her fingers flew, making stitches from the fine wool. It had been raining for days now, which, in and of itself, was not an uncommon event during the month of December. But this afternoon the gloom settled over her as if it were a heavy blanket. She had lost so much time by trotting to London for her first season on the marriage mart at the insistence of her Uncle Harry, that she was unable to tend to her gardens and her charitable pursuits this year. He had hoped to foist Sophie off to a gentleman of means, so he could be rid of both Sophie and her mother.
The season had been an abysmal failure, at least in Mother’s eyes. And in the eyes of Uncle Harry, since Sophie had returned home empty-handed. Not one man had danced with her unless you counted pimply-faced Freddie, her cousin, who had done so out of family duty rather than real interest. Sophie, however, breathed a sigh of relief at returning home without sparking the interest of a gentleman, since the men of the Ton were, for the most part, more interested in their own appearances than in hers. If she had to cast her fortunes in with someone, it would most certainly not be with a man who had a larger wardrobe than she.
Her fingers worked furiously, needles clicking together as she made quick work of the row of stitches. She held up her needle and stared at her progress, turning the blue yarn into a usable covering. If she could maintain her current output, she’d have one more blanket done before Christmas for the Female Visiting Society to hand out to some poor indigent. She nodded in satisfaction, running her fingers over her uniform stitches as the rain pelted the window.
“Sophia Davenport, I do declare your eyesight will fail if you keep attempting to knit when it’s so dark outside.” Her mother, Evelyn, bustled into the room.
Sophie set her knitting aside. Any other response would be futile. It was teatime after all, and Mother was a stickler for following the rules. “Yes, Mother.”
Their one maid, Annie, followed with the tea service. “Tis raining hard this afternoon, ma’am.”
“Yes, that it is, Annie.” Sophie rose from her seat at the window and poured the tea. Evelyn added a lump of sugar to hers, and then a spot of milk. “We certainly can do without another flood like the one we had last February. Thank goodness we’re situated on a hill and our little cottage has a sturdy roof.” She glanced at Sophie. “Your father planned for everything.”

“Yes, he did. Except for his passing.” Sophie sighed as she took a seat opposite her mother.

Love's In The Cards 

She had been so tongue-tied around him she couldn’t find the right words to say. And now she had two devastating long-term relationships under her belt. Should she try for one more? Perhaps the third time would be the charm. Her sister’s voice pounded in her ear. Suck it up, Buttercup. She took a deep breath. “Just how do you intend to make Valentine’s Day fun again?”
He locked his gaze on hers. “By spending time with you. By righting old wrongs. By apologizing to your mother for making the soles of your shoes purple.”
Penny’s breath caught in her throat. Delbert, her childhood sweetheart, had come roaring back into her life. Whatever should she do? Their half-eaten lobster burgers and fries sat on the table, giving her something to play with while her mind buzzed She maneuvered a French fry into the lake of ketchup on her plate. Even though she’d lived in Lobster Cove most of her life, she’d never tired of the taste the town was famous for. She swallowed a bite of the succulent white meat on a bun. “I’d really enjoy spending time with you, too, Del. How convenient that you’ll be in the same block as my folks, since Abbey and I do hang out there a lot. But right now is our busiest season of the year. And, as much as you hate Valentine’s, I hate Christmas.”
Del raised an eyebrow. “Why? Because there’s so much work involved at the card shop? Or because of your bad experiences?”
Penny attempted to corral her wayward musings, but sparks were being set off in her head every time she glanced at Del and goose bumps erupted on her skin. For the first time in almost a year, she experienced very female feelings toward a man. She didn’t need another Christmas casualty.

Merry  Christmas, one and all!


  1. Becky, I feel your pain. I'm in the middle of a back-to=back release of two totally different books, one sweet and one dangerously saucy. And, like you (and Santa), I had to check my list twice and sometimes three times to make sure the right stuff went to the right people. Both books sound great. Best of luck keeping it straight and garnering mega sales!

    1. Thanks, Nancy, for visiting and sharing your story. I can see where the wrong info could have been problematic in your case!

  2. I love a good Christmas romance! They both sound great!

    1. Thanks, Danielle. Christmas has suddenly become my favorite holiday. And here I thought it was Thanksgiving!