I’ve been hunkered down finishing novellas. First Beached for our Summer Romance on Main Street, out later this week. Then Paradise Regained for the Bluestocking Belles box set, due out later this year. Paradise Regained is a prequel to my (barely started) series Children of the Mountain King, in which a duke returns to Regency England with six children whose mother was — ethnically interesting. Paradise Regained tells the parents’ story, in the Kopet Dag mountains between Iran and Turkmenistan.
Now they’re both out the door, I’m taking some time to catch up with chapters in Never Kiss a Toad, the Victorian historical I’m co-writing with Mariana Gabriella and posting one chapter at a time on Wattpad. We’re in the last third of the book, and Mariana has written her chapters all the way to the end.
Never Kiss a Toad is a story of star-crossed lovers. The daughter of my rake from my Regency novels has known the son of her rake from her Regency novel Royal Regard since they were babies. They have always thought they would one day marry — right up until the day that her father catches them together in the heir’s wing of his house — in the bed to which he used to bring his women in his wild days.
Mari’s poor fellow is exiled (to university in France), and the rest of the book is about how one thing after another happens to keep the two apart.
Once I’ve caught up with Mari, I have a list of other projects, including one tentatively called The Daddy Wish. It’s a romantic suspense, if I can do such a thing in 30,000 words or less. How does this sound for the next Authors of Main Street Christmas set?
She has given up on men. After several unpleasant experiences, she no longer trusts her judgement. Besides, all her energies are devoted to therapy for her daughter, who is recovering from a brain injury.
Three men hope to change her mind. One of them is a villain.
The man who was driving when her daughter was injured fears she will never forgive him.
Her daughter’s biological father hopes he can convince her he has changed. He was once her best friend until his own sports injuries stopped his promising career and trapped him in a downward spiral of self-pity, drugs, and alcohol.
The local police officer, a widower with two young children, thinks she could be just what his family needs.
It’ll be set in New Zealand again. Oh, and the wish of the title starts the story. The daughter sees the mother struggling, and wishes for a daddy.