Welcome to the world of my imagination! I have been called the Queen of Swashbuckling Romance, the Queen of Adventure Romance, and the Queen of Housekeeping. Well, okay, maybe not the last one, but the first two are titles I wear proudly along with the multiple awards and citations I have received from Romantic Times, Affair de Coeur, and Publishers Weekly. In my dinosaur print days, I was repeatedly on the USA Today list. Many authors like myself found themselves bottom heavy with backlist books gathering dust with publishers who treated them--and us--like antiquities. Thankfully, with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo, we have been able to breathe new life into those exciting, and often classic books.
Some of my backlist books come with light editing, and all with much lower prices. New, original works, like The Following Sea, also come with much more competitive pricing.
I hope you give them, and me, a try.
China Rose was my first book, published in 1982. Part mystery, part gothic, it is the story of a young woman who is set to honor her father's wishes and marry the man to whom he had betrothed her as a child. She arrives in London two weeks before the wedding date and encounters her fiance's two brothers, one of whom is a smooth-talking charmer, the other a renegade and sea-faring rebel. All three men vie for her hand but which one is the murderer, which one is the blackmailer, and which one steals her heart? Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
Bound by the Heart was originally released in 1984. It was my first foray onto the sea, written at a time when romances earned the nefarious term "bodice rippers". It contained elements that I was not especially comfortable with at the time, namely a hero who rapes the heroine. With this reissue, I was given the opportunity to rewrite some of the scenes and while some may say I was just being politically correct, the real reason I rewrote that scene is because I never liked to think of my handsome privateer captain as a rapist and I was grateful for the chance to redeem his character.
The Wind and the Sea has always been one of my favorite books. It was the first book I wrote where the heroine was every bit as tough and daring and skilled with a gun and sword as the hero. Courtney Farrow was the daughter of a pirate, raised to fight and die alongside her father's men if need be. Lieutenant Adrian Ballantine is aboard the American ship sent to the Mediterranean to fight in the Barbary Coast wars in an effort to clean out the strongholds of the pirates raiding the shipping lines. With the ghost of Errol Flynn watching over my shoulder, I took my characters through every swashbuckling pace I could think of, even having them swinging through the rigging from one ship to the other. Romantic Times made up a new category for The Wind and the Sea, bestowing on it the first Swashbuckler of the Year Award.
Swept Away was my answer to an editor who suggested I try my hand at writing a Regency Romance. To be honest, it was a scary challenge, since I knew that fans of the Regency period were accustomed to precise manners, exacting details, and stories along the Georgette Heyer lines. Augh. So what I did was have my heroine walking along a deserted stretch of beach and come across a half-drowned, half-naked man lying face down in the shallow water. I gave him amnesia and gave her a houseful of relatives and characters who possessed anything but proper manners. I tossed in a kidnapping, a murder, an assassin, a dottery old aunt with a penchant for whacking people with her cane, a coach chase through the streets of London and a hero who dressed in green tights for a costume ball. Who could ask for anything more?
Under the Desert Moon was my homage to all the Westerns my father and I would sit and watch, hooting and hollering for the good guys, snorting at the bad guys. John Wayne, Randolf Scott, Roy Rogers...bits of them are all here...from the stagecoach ride across the desert to an attack by Indians, a blowsy saloon hall singer, a shifty gambler, a tall plainsman and a schoolmarm who isn't all that she seems to be. I even have a jail breakout, a Gabby Hayes-type stagecoach driver, and Billy the Kid sauntering into town making an appearance. Kathe Robin at Romantic Times called Under the Desert Moon the "Silverado" of Westerns and I was absolutely tickled that she understood what I was trying to do. My only regret is that my dad passed away before he could see how many readers enjoyed this book. He thought I wrote it just for him, you see...and in a way, I did. Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
Ahh, my Pale Moon Rider. Another homage to another hero I first met in high school when I read the poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes:
The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees, The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor, And the highwayman came riding-- Riding--riding-- The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.
What could possibly be more romantic? Well, try tossing in a little Scarlet Pimpernel and you have my hero, Tyrone Hart. Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
Across A Moonlit Sea allows me to swash and buckle my way through my first love: pirates and tall ships, sea battles and privateers fighting along the Spanish Main. This time, in a new trilogy, starting with the patriarch Simon Dante, the Pirate Wolf, and the only woman who could possibly steal his heart, Isabeau Spence. Together they sail with Sir Francis Drake to the port of Cadiz, attacking and setting fire to the ships amassing to form an Armada the Spanish king intends to launch against England. A swashbuckling hero and the woman who pirates his heart...and a scene high in the rigging that I have on good authority is very possible indeed *s* Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo
Straight For the Heart...Riverboat gamblers, good twin, evil twin, and a dark haired cigar-smoking card sharp who challenges the Mississippi Queen herself, Montana Rose. It was an early book and I was still finding my writer's feet, so to speak, but the romance is there in spades. Er...no pun intended of course. At the time, I had a picture of Tom Selleck pinned over my desk for...inspiration *g*. Ah, one of the perks of being a writer is being able to place yourself in the scene, in the arms of a handsome man, and imagine all the things you'd like to do to him, and the things you'd like him to do to you. *faint* Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
Click on the stack of books to see larger versions of the covers and read samples (currently under renovation)
The Iron Rose is the sequel to Across A Moonlit Sea, and takes up the story of Juliet Dante, Simon and Isabeau's daughter, raised to fear nothing but fear itself. Juliet commands her own ship and together with her father and her two "hell twins" brothers, they harass the Spanish shipping lanes. The book opens with Juliet coming to the rescue of a British merchant ship being attacked by a Spanish galleon, and on board she meets one of the king's envoys, Varian St. Clare, who gives proof to the cliche, never judge a book by its cover... or in this case, never judge a courtier by his plumage *g* Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
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Click on the Diva to check my blog. I confess I am not the most dedicated blogger on the planet, but if something strikes my funny bone or requires a serious venting of frustrations...or if I just want to share a recipe or advice on how to cope with an a**hole ex husband...you'll find it there.
For those who like one stop shopping/reading you can also get all three of the Dante books in the Pirate Wolf Trilogy.
The Pride of Lions is book one of the Scotland Trilogy. I had no idea when I set out to write a romance that took place at the time of the Jacobite Rebellion, that I would be embarking on my own adventure into history. Catherine and Alexander were my human characters, but the country and the rebellion itself became as much if not more important than the incredibly huge cast of secondary characters needed to tell the story. Halfway through the book I knew 400 pages would not be enough to do justice to the brave Scots who fought and died at Culloden, and with the editor's sage approval, the one book became two...both of which I am most proud. Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
I have been criticized by some readers over the way I ended The Pride of Lions. It is a rather unconventional way to end a historical romance, but in my mind, perfectly logical and heroic on Alexander Cameron's part. The Blood of Roses is a direct sequel and picks up the action from book one and carries it through to the tragic battle on the field of Culloden. After working on the two books for three years, the characters almost became real to me, and so I laughed with some of the antics, and cried with some of the tragedies as I wrote them. A lot of the secondary characters and events that took place were real, I merely inserted my hero and heroine into their stories. Some of the characters were composites of real men and women who fought and died so heroically, and when I got that phone call at 3am from a friend who was reading it, and she was crying so hard I could barely understand her, I realized I had made them real for the readers too, and that made all of those long hours locked away in my office well worthwhile. Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
The Following Sea is the third installment in the Pirate Wolf series. This time the story focuses on Gabriel Dante, taking up where The Iron Rose left off as he sails away from battle with horrendous wounds and half a crew on board a captured ship. On his way home to the safety of Pigeon Cay, Dante crosses paths with a strange ship sailing in circles, showing no signs of life on her deserted decks. It is a plague ship, flying a yellow flag, warning all sailors to stay away. On board the Eliza Jane, Evangeline Chandler is the only survivor of the fever that wiped out the entire crew. Eva, weak from thirst and hunger, wakens to find death screaming across the sea as a full broadside from Dante's ship explodes around her. Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
If you enjoy reading my books, the absolute nicest thing you could do would be to go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Apple or Smashwords and leave a review. It helps give each book a little blurp in the algorithms and always gives this author a smile, knowing the stories have touched someone in some small way, even if it's just to make you go "woo hoo" when the villain gets his due. Thank you, Marsha
The Dragon Tree was previously released in print as My Forever Love. It is the story of a disillusioned Templar Knight in exile who comes to the rescue of another damaged soul. Together they find the strength in each other to live and love again. I went back to my roots for this one...dark forests, castles, secret catacombs, men in armor...all the elements that make my fingertips tingle *s*. Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
What The Heart Sees is an original short story...my first EVER...featured in the anthology Masters of Seduction. It was created out of an interesting premise...to follow a magical mirror down through the centuries. What The Heart Sees set the mirror on its journey in medieval England, where it was followed by stories from Virginia Henley, Jill Gregory, Jacquie D'Alessandro, Sherri Browning Erwin, and Julie Ortolon. For someone like me, who takes a hundred pages just to introduce my characters fully, writing a beginning, middle, and end in under 50 pages gave me a new appreciation for authors who regularly write short stories and novellas. Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
Midnight Honor was written a decade after The Pride of Lions and The Blood of Roses. Part of the reason for the delay was because the first two books literally took every scrap of energy, emotion, and concentration I had, so I was thoroughly drained when I finally typed the end. In the back of my mind, however, there continued to linger the story of Colonel Anne Moy, who had defied her husband by calling out the clan to ride with the Jacobite Army. At several times they ended up on opposite sides of the battlefield, yet from all I could find about her, her love for him never wavered. How, indeed, could a romance writer ignore all that passion, intrigue, and heartbreak? Midnight Honor does feature Catherine and Alexander Cameron, but only as secondary characters. Amazon Smashwords iBooks Kobo Nook
You can also find all three together in one volume in the Scotland Trilogy.
My second love, after tall ships and exploding cannon, has to be the legend of Robin Hood. There is something about misty forests and outlaws, robbing from the rich to save the poor, and the sound of an arrow thunking into a tree trunk that gets my imagination stirring. Through A Dark Mist, In the Shadow of Midnight, and The Last Arrow have become known as my Robin Hood Trilogy (click for links to Amazon) over the years. When I began researching the actual stories attributed to Robin of Locksley, there were so many variances and discrepancies and sheer guesswork, supposition, and rumor, that it left all manner of doors wide open for my own interpretation of how the man...or men...developed into a legend. I had a blast, an absolute blast writing these three books, and to this day Sparrow remains one of my favorite characters. These three books won Best Historical of the Year, Best Medieval of the Year, and earned me my first Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times.
In the Shadow of Midnight is Eduard Wardieu's story involving the search for the Lost Princess of Brittany. Along the way he must escort the fiery daughter of an English baron back to England. Together they must attempt to rescue the princess from an impregnable castle surrounded by half of the king's army.
The Last Arrow is Brenna Wardieu's story. The daughter of the Black Wolf is an excellent archer with excellent instincts who believes the mysterious dark knight, Griffyn Renaud, is an assassin dispatched to slay her brother. More elements of the various Robin Hood legends are blended into the breathtaking adventures of the Wardieu family.