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More Holiday Reading

December 28, 2023 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as , , ,

How is your Yuletide shaping up?

This autumn I managed two extraordinary (for me) writing accomplishments:

1. Some butt-in-the-chair speedy writing for a last-minute holiday collection of stories put together during a time when I was attending two different week-long writing events, and

2. Writing short (8000 words). Which of course, helped me meet the deadline. Ideas for developing secondary characters came to me later. When the rights revert to me in a few months, I just might work in some changes.

Christmastide Kisses

My story, Twelfth Night Treasure is set among some longer novellas. The tales in this collection put together by four of us Bluestocking Belles plus author friends Ruth A. Casie and Aileen Fish will help brighten your holidays:

  • A beleaguered uncle whose wards have run off every governess–what he needs is a wife, if only he can persuade the latest applicant
  • A country solicitor who becomes an earl and then finds a secret that changes everything
  • A very proper clergyman who battles very improper urges when he and a lady with a murky past find themselves snowbound
  • A viscount whose search to unearth generations-old family secrets kindles the fire of love for his lovely search partner
  • A former army captain who wonders if the best friend of his ex-fiancee is the woman he should have married
  • A vicar with a misspent youth and the duke’s daughter who brings out the best in him

Six gentlemen and the ladies with whom they discover the power of a Christmastide Kiss.

A Villainous Vicar Reforms

The hero of my story is a clergyman who happened to be something of a villain in the my 2022 Christmas story, Flowers for His Lady. He had a whole year to reform since he almost ruined his sister’s chance at happiness last year. I’ve done my best to redeem him. If you read the story, let me know if you think I succeeded!

Happy Rest of the Holidays!

Besides taking time for holiday reading, be sure to grab a kiss under the mistletoe if you can!

I’ll be back in March for another Quarter Days Post.

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9 Authors, 9 Interconnected Stories

September 28, 2023 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Under the Harvest Moon

We’re less than two weeks away from the release of the latest Bluestocking Belles collection of historical romances, Under the Harvest Moon.

All new original stories by authors Caroline Warfield, Jude Knight, Sherry Ewing, Cerise DeLand, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Collette Cameron, Mary Lancaster, Rue Allyn, and me are set at harvest time in 1815, in the small fictional town of Reabridge in Cheshire, England.

Here’s the blurb:

As the village of Reabridge in Cheshire prepares for the first Harvest Festival following Waterloo, families are overjoyed to welcome back their loved ones from the war.

But excitement quickly turns to mystery when mere weeks before the festival, an orphaned child turns up in the town—a toddler born near Toulouse to an English mother who left clues that tie her to Reabridge.

With two prominent families feuding for generations and the central event of the Harvest Moon festival looming, tensions rise, and secrets begin to surface.

Nine award winning and bestselling authors have combined their talents to create this engaging and enchanting collection of interrelated tales. Under the Harvest Moon promises an unforgettable read for fans of Regency romance.


A Team Effort in Planning

The members of the Bluestocking Belles plus participating author friends Collette Cameron and Mary Lancaster are spread out all over the globe. Thank heavens for the wonders of social media, messaging, Google Drive, and Zoom that make communication and collaboration rapid and easy. Or at least easier!

The hardest aspect of organizing was finding a good time for a Zoom meeting that would accommodate Elizabeth in Australia, Jude in New Zealand, Mary in Scotland, Rue in Nicaragua, and the rest of us scattered over U.S. Eastern, Central, and Pacific time.

But we did it, and just about a year ago, after much preliminary research and chatting, we finalized our story world and deadlines as a group and then each presented ideas for the individual characters and stories. Later, we shared in beta-reading drafts and final copy before submission to Jude Knight (who is also an editor) for the final editing.

When a character wandered into another author’s story, the creating authors chatted separately. So, for example, my heroine, Fleur, encountered the heroine of Rue’s story, Charite, and offered a description through Fleur’s point of view that had to be adjusted after Rue’s critique and input. Caro’s doctor hero appears briefly in my story, in one scene with my hero, and later in a scene at the home where my heroine resides where he’s come to deliver a baby.

There’s more, yet each story is a standalone romance delivered in each author’s unique voice. You can preorder your copy for only 99 cents and have it pop onto your eReader on release day, October 10th.

The special pricing will be good through October 17th. Plus, if you haven’t read last year’s Bluestocking Belles collection, Desperate Daughters, you can pick up a copy of that for only 99 cents through October 4th!

And Here Are the Stories: Under the Harvest Moon

Moonlight Wishes and Midnight Kisses by Collette Cameron
A scarred veteran with no future, Courtland Marlow-Westbrook wants to be left alone. Scottish heiress Avery Levingtone never stopped loving him and is determined to win his love again. Will these former sweethearts find happiness together, or will the wounds of the past keep them apart?

The Morning Light by Caroline Warfield

Adam Wagner is meant to save lives, not take them. He is haunted by Waterloo. The horror of it keeps him from those he loves. Meg Barlow doesn’t understand how Adam could turn his back on her so thoroughly, but she isn’t about to let him get away with it.

A Harvest Blessing by Rue Allen
All the battles are over, or are they? When Captain Thom Owen is forced into a false engagement, he must escort his pseudo-fiancée home to meet his father. Can an English vicar’s son and a French Comte’s daughter find love despite their differences?

Coming Home by Mary Lancaster

Old memories, new love
Home from Waterloo, Captain David Buckley contemplates settling down near his hometown of Reabridge—only it is full of painful memories. The mysterious Lady Lorna falls literally into his arms, and he begin to understand the true meaning of love and home.

Under the Champagne Moon by Alina K Field

Fleur Hardouin’s heart longs for Captain Gareth Ardleigh, but she needs an advantageous marriage.
Gareth has promised to find Fleur—on behalf of another man.
Now he must choose between honoring a promise and trying to win the hand of the woman he loves.

A Quiet Heart by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

Widowed at Waterloo, where she also nursed the wounded, Veronica Petersham promised a dying man to bring his effects to a family in Reabridge. She falls ill just short of her goal, in the milking shed of kind and stoic Martin Bromelton.
Perhaps there is hope for the future after all and the opportunity to find love once more.

A Love Beyond Time by Sherry Ewing
Eight years ago, Hannah Pownall had her heart broken by a young lord.
Captain Brandon Worthington returns to the town of Reabridge to recover from the war and finds the girl he once loved still unwed. Can love at first sight be reborn after heartbreak, proving a second chance is all you need?

The Widow’s Harvest Hope by Cerise DeLand

The new Earl Barlow returns home from Waterloo, intending to live by his own rules. The woman he loved and lost years ago visits for the Harvest festival—and he plans to offer Vicky Wright what they both want. Can a lady who has lived by the rules throw them all away to seize her last chance for happiness?

Love In Its Season by Jude Knight

The Battle of Waterloo lost Jack Wrath the use of one arm and ended his career in the cavalry. He has no place to go and nothing to offer. Gwen Hughes has a business to run and no time for romance. Under the harvest moon, two people who believe romance has passed them by finally reach their season for love.

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C86Q2Y4H

BN – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-the-harvest-moon-bluestocking-belles/1143654254?ean=2940167582385

Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/under-the-harvest-moon/id6450278674

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/under-the-harvest-moon-6

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/178584368-under-the-harvest-moon

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/under-the-harvest-moon-a-bluestocking-belles-with-friends-collection-by-collette-cameron-and-mary-lancaster

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/UnderHarvestMoon

Happy autumn! I’ll be back with another post in December.

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A World of Wallflowers and a Harvest Moon

June 28, 2023 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as , , ,

Revenge of the Wallflowers, a Multi-Author Series

I’m excited to announce a new series that I’ll be part of. As multi-author projects go, Revenge of the Wallflowers is the biggest one I’ve ever participated in. It will include 52 books written by some of today’s hottest award-winning and USA Today bestselling authors, including many of my author friends.

A Simple Premise

We’re each starting with a simple premise: a wallflower bent on revenge:

Revenge is a dish best-served cold… Or is it? These wallflowers are about to find out, as they plot against those most deserving. Can society handle a wallflower’s revenge? Or will their targets topple one by one?

My contribution is number 15, A Wallflower’s Midsummer Night’s Caper.

Here’s the blurb:

A Midsummer Night’s masquerade at her family’s country home presents the Honorable Nancy Lovelace with the perfect opportunity for revenge against the man who ruined her first London season—a man she’s known since childhood, a man she’d once thought she loved. With the help of her crew of younger siblings and relatives, she’ll give him his comeuppance.

Simon Crayding’s newly inherited properties are in disarray, and, thanks to his bad behavior, he’s no longer known to society as Captain Crayding but as the Swilling Duke. When an old school chum invites him for a Midsummer Night’s party, he jumps at the chance to lick his wounds among friends… as well as apologize to his friend’s sister, Nancy, because apparently, he’s done something to hurt her, he just doesn’t remember what.

It soon becomes clear that Nancy will not easily forgive. Never one to resist a challenge—or a beautiful woman—Simon vows to find out why. As the night unfolds and passions rise, will Simon be well and truly punished, or will Nancy be caught in her own game?

Pre-order link

Release day for my Wallflower will be June 11, 2024. It’s available for pre-order now from Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C7SR9L67 but will be available wide as soon as I get my act together.

Beginning in March 2024 new books will release weekly through February 2025. Find more books at the Wallflower’s Revenge Series Page.

Switching Seasons for another Pre-order, Under the Harvest Moon

We now move from June 1824 in Leicestershire (setting for my Wallflower’s story) backward to September 1815 in Cheshire for the next story.

Under the Harvest Moon, a Bluestocking Belles with Friends Collection is now available for pre-order. This is another multi-author set, but on a smaller scale. The collection includes stand-alone but interconnected romances by seven of the Bluestocking Belles plus guest authors Collette Cameron and Mary Lancaster.

Under the Harvest Moon

As the village of Reabridge in Cheshire prepares for the first Harvest Festival following Waterloo, families are overjoyed to welcome back their loved ones from the war.

But excitement quickly turns to mystery when mere weeks before the festival, an orphaned child turns up in the town—a toddler born near Toulouse to an English mother who left clues that tie her to Reabridge.

With two prominent families feuding for generations and the central event of the Harvest Moon festival looming, tensions rise, and secrets begin to surface.

Nine award winning and bestselling authors have combined their talents to create this engaging and enchanting collection of interrelated tales. Under the Harvest Moon promises an unforgettable read for fans of Regency romance.

Pre-order Link

https://books2read.com/UnderHarvestMoon Release day is October 10, 2023.

Here’s a longer blurb for my contribution to the collection, Under the Champagne Moon:

Orphaned by the French Revolution and rescued by a British family, Fleur Hardouin was a solemn and often sullen child. She didn’t—or wouldn’t—speak, until the jolly young Gareth Ardleigh crossed her path one summer.

Fifteen years later, Fleur’s life takes another twist when she and the beloved lady she serves lose their home and return to the town of Reabridge. Determined to rescue them both through an advantageous marriage, Fleur tries to brush off the attention she receives from Captain Gareth Ardleigh, who’s home from the wars and as handsome as ever. Her heart longs for him, but her head knows he can’t provide the security she needs.

Gareth’s excuse for visiting Reabridge is to deliver the personal effects of his best friend who perished at Quatre Bras. But his real purpose is finding the little French girl he met years ago, for marriage—not to him, but to the Frenchman who helped save his life. Little does Fleur know that she’s heir to a wealthy French vintner who’s demanded Gareth’s help finding Fleur as repayment of his rescue from Napoleon’s army.

Astonished to find that Fleur has grown into a beautiful—and still intriguing—young woman, it soon becomes clear, he must choose between honoring a promise or trying to win the hand of the woman he loves.

With rich historical detail and compelling characters, “Under the Champagne Moon” is a tale of courage, honor, and the power of true love.

Pre-order your copy today for only 99 cents!

Have a wonderful summer and I’ll see you back here around harvest time!

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An Interview with Jude Knight

March 28, 2023 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as , ,

Stretch Goals for Authors

Happy spring! Alina K. Field here, back with another Quarter Days’ post.

In the midst of a dry spell in my writing life, I was welcomed into a group of Historical Romance authors called The Bluestocking Belles. From medieval times to World War I, these ladies know their history. They also know how to use the historical milieu to shape compelling characters who will appeal to modern readers.

One of those authors is Jude Knight. Jude is a prolific author who features short historical romances in her newsletters, just the right length for a worktime lunch break, She also gives away made-to-order stories as prizes for winning readers at her Facebook parties.

A few years ago, Slice of Orange blogger, Tracy Reed, blogged about her 12 books in a year publishing challenge. I found her posts very inspiring–not of course that I’ve ever been able to match her accomplishments.

So in the hopes of perhaps inspiring authors reading this blog (and myself!) I’m sharing an interview today with New Zealand author Jude Knight, a founding member of the Bluestocking Belles. Jude is in the thick of a super ambitious publishing schedule!

So without further ado:

1.  Jude, tell us about your 2023 projects.

I worked in 2022 to have enough books written that I could publish at least one a month from November 2022 to February 2024—so sixteen months of promotion, with at least eighteen books for keen readers to explore.

Yes, I know. It sounds a bit mad.

It’s not quite as epic as you might think. Last November’s and this January’s books were both collections of prepublished stories: one a set of short stories originally written for my newsletter, and the other the first four novels in my Golden Redepenning series. Two of the others have been out before in another guise—this month’s The Husband Gamble was in a multi-author box set, and July’s Grasp the Thorn is a rewrite of a novel for which I’ve just got the rights back.

That leaves ten novels and four novellas. Five of the novels are written. Three are between a quarter and a third done. The last two have a vague plot line and characters who are beginning to come into focus.

Of the novellas, two are written and two are still twinkles in the eyes of my plot elves.

But I have done the sums, and I need to write 265K words before the end of November. That’s nine and a half months, so 289 days. All I have to do is write 1000 words a day, and I’ll have 30K words a month. 31K most months.

In the past 12 months, with bathroom renovations, a garden makeover, family sickness, and all sorts of other chaos, I’ve averaged 35K a month, and still managed all the other work of running my own publishing imprint (I’ve been almost entirely a self publisher, but this year I’ve moved to hybrid, placing five books with Dragonblade Publishing).

Publishing at this scale is a bit like eating an elephant. But I’m just going to take it one bite at a time.

Here’s my list of what I’m working on:

Some of the dates may slide a week or so here or there. More may be added–if I can consistently write more than 30,000 words a month, while keeping up with editing, marketing, and all the other stuff that goes with being an author. Those with links in the list are on pre-order.

29 March 2023 The Flavour of Our Deeds, book 5 in The Golden Redepennings

26th April 2023 The Talons of a Lyon in The Lyon’s Den Series

11th May 2023 One Perfect Dance, book 2 in A Twist Upon a Regency Tale

15th June 2023 Chaos Come Again, book 1 in Lion’s Zoo

16th July 2023 Grasp the Thorn (House of Thorns revised and republished), book 2 in Lion’s Zoo

8th August 2023 Snowy and the Seven Blossoms, book 3 in A Twist Upon a Regency Tale

24th August 2023 a short story in the multi-author book Night of Lyons

16th September 2023 One Hour of Freedom, book 3 in Lion’s Zoo

10th October 2023 Love in its Season a novella in the Bluestocking Belles 2023 Harvest box set

10th November 2023 Perchance to Dream, book 4 in A Twist Upon a Regency Tale

15th December 2023 The Darkness Within, book 4 in Lion’s Zoo

16th January 2024 Concealed in Mist, book 2 in A Game of Mist and Shadows

23 July 2024 The Blossoming of the Wallflower, a book in the multi-author series The Revenge of the Wallflower

Job done. These are published and available now

14 November 2022 Chasing the Tale Volume II, in the Lunch Time Tales collection

15 December 2022 Belles & Beaux, a Bluestocking Belles collection

24 January 2022 The Golden Redepennings: Books 1 to 4

16 February 2023 Lady Beast’s Bridegroom, book 1 in A Twist Upon a Regency Tale

22 March 2023 The Husband Gamble, book 13 in The Wedding Wager (which is a multi-author series)

2.  What made you decide on such an ambitious project?

I started a publishing and writing consultancy company in the late 1980s. For years, when people asked me why I decided to run my own business, I used to say that I’d gone to music festivals for five of my six children in a single fortnight, and my brain was numb.

That isn’t the explanation this time, but I suspect the real truth, both times, is that I like stretch goals. I always have. You’ve more chance of landing on the mountain tops if you aim at the moon rather than the foothills.

The other reason is the desire to be noticed. I have dozens of stories out in the market that are receiving good reviews and not all that many sales. In an overstuffed marketplace, especially when you’re an author that writes books that can’t easily be pigeon-holed, getting noticed is hard. Publishing at the rate I’m planning will at least mean that the retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble will have a new release in front of them all the time, and I’m hoping that will translate into them putting my book in front of their customers.

3.  What has worked, and what hasn’t?

Dragonblade has worked. I’ve found them brilliant in the prepublication stages. My first book with them—Lady Beast’s Bridegroom, Book 1 of A Twist Upon a Regency Tale—came out four weeks ago, and I tripled my backlist sales for the rest of the month.

Having someone else do seven of the eighteen covers has also worked, as has hiring personal assistants to get me newsletter and Facebook Group placements, and to manage the contest I held for the launch of the new series.

I think the main negative I’m having to manage so far is psychological. I keep looking at that elephant and thinking, there’s no way! I’ll be fine as long as I don’t let that scare me off.

Perhaps the whole plan won’t work, but I’m just four and a half months and four published books into it. I’ll report back.

4. What’s been most challenging for you?

Writing every day, no matter what, no matter how little. I wrote 1000 words this week in the waiting room of a hospital while my daughter was having an operation. I wrote 150 words the day my personal romantic hero and I drove for seven and a half hours to be with my sister whose property had been flooded in a super storm, and enough words in dribbles that very busy week of cleanup to put 2000 words towards the month’s total.

When I don’t write every day, I stop writing. I lose all impetus, the plot elves sulk and refuse to talk to me, and I don’t like myself very much. But it happens. The challenge is to stop it from happening.

5. Do you have any advice for authors taking on this sort of goal?

Yes. Break your plan down into monthly goals. Be adaptable. Major commitments this week to throw your plan off track? Recalculate and keep going. And be kind to yourself. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Take a walk. Have a glass of wine. Do some gardening.

6. Why do you choose to write historical romance?

I write historical romance because I love history and because love stories with happy endings are a joy to read. The world has enough authors writing serious books that challenge and depress. I want to bring joy.

I made a decision in 2021 to spend 2022 concentrating on books for 2023, including a series for Dragonblade Publishing. The series is A Twist Upon a Regency Tale, and it’s coming out one book every three months 2023. The four novels plus a book in the Lyon’s Den series are all written, and the first was released in February.

I’m also writing some other books, and I think I’m on track to have books out (either sole-author publications or novellas in multi-author publications) every month from November 2022 through to January 2024.

~~~

Alina here: Jude’s new Dragonblade release, Lady Beast’s Bridegroom is a great read. In fact all of Jude’s stories are fascinating, but I especially like her Return of the Mountain King series about the heir to a duke who returns to England to take up his title with the children of his late Persian wife.

I hope Jude has offered you some inspiration!

Thanks for reading along this far. I’ll be back in June with another Quarter Days’ post!

About Jude Knight:

Picture of Jude Knight, author

Jude Knight always wanted to be a novelist, but life got in the way for decades and she nearly lost the dream. She wrote a thousand beginnings, but it took a huge life event to shove her into writing an ending. That was in 2014. Eight novels and counting later, plus short stories and novellas galore, she’s living her dream: writing historical fiction with a large helping of romance, more than a dash of suspense, and a sprinkling of humor. 

Learn more about Jude at:
Website and blog: http://judeknightauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudeKnightAuthor/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudeKnightBooks
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jude-Knight/e/B00RG3SG7I

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Some Writerly Advice for the New Year

December 28, 2022 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as ,

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions?

Christmas and Hanukkah have passed, and I hope your celebrations were happy. Now is the usual time to start thinking about resolutions for the New Year.

I haven’t made any, and don’t intend to. Last year I decided my only resolution would be to take baby steps into the future. I think that’s probably one of the few resolutions I’ve ever kept!

What I need, I suppose, is motivation!!! With that in mind, here are some words of wisdom from famous authors of the past:

  • “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul…” —Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” —George Eliot
  • “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. Lewis
  • “Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow; The year is going, let him go, Ring out the false, ring in the true.” —Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • “It’s never too late to become who you want to be. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  •  “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” —E.E. Cummings
  • “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” —William James

When you’re as old as I am, it’s always nice to hear that it’s never too late. But actually, I found this bit of advice more in tune with the author and the upcoming holiday:

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Share it in the comments below.

You can find more suggestions for your New Year’s resolution prep at Parade.com.

Have a blessed and happy New Year, and I’ll see you back here in March for my next Quarter’s Day post.

Image credits: Depositphotos.com

Some of Alina’s Books

CHRISTMAS KISSES

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS KISSES

STORM & SHELTER

Buy now!
STORM & SHELTER
FATED HEARTS: A Love After All Retelling of the Scottish Play
MISTLETOE & MAYHEM: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

THE COUNTERFEIT LADY

Buy now!
THE COUNTERFEIT LADY

A LEAP INTO LOVE

Buy now!
A LEAP INTO LOVE
WINTER WISHES: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

Buy now!
HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

MARRYING MR. GIBSON

Buy now!
MARRYING MR. GIBSON

THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

Buy now!
THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

THE VISCOUNT’S SEDUCTION

Buy now!
THE VISCOUNT’S SEDUCTION

ROSALYN’S RING

Buy now!
ROSALYN’S RING

LILIANA’S LETTER

Buy now!
LILIANA’S LETTER

THE MARQUESS AND THE MIDWIFE

Buy now!
THE MARQUESS AND THE MIDWIFE

ADVENGING THE EARL’S LADY

Buy now!
ADVENGING THE EARL’S LADY

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES

THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

Buy now!
THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL
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