Tag Archives: Historical Romance

New things, old things and free things

Some of you might have been wondering where I’ve been. An occasional glance at my blog may have made you think, ‘gosh, it’s a long time since she’s posted.’ You might have even been thinking, ‘she’s not really been on FB and Twitter much! She’s been really quite quiet online.’

Others of you might be thinking, ‘what on earth is she going on about? I haven’t noticed anything’. Well, to both of you I thought it was high time I came out of the woods of writing. You will all know that upon occasion I disappear into them. When I’m trying to finish a first draft, going through edits or working on proofs. Of course, the day job doesn’t help with this, I’m always rather tight on time! But this time it’s a bit different.

Yes, I have been doing all three – I’ve been in the woods of writing, editing and proofing. Yes, that’s right,

I’ve been working on a new book!

It’s all very exciting actually, and some of you may have picked up on it. The reason it’s different is two-fold, on the one hand the genre’s different to what I’ve published before, it’s a fantasy novel in the style of Lord of the Rings and Narnia (for adults, although I still LOVE Narnia, and as far as I’m aware I’m a grown up). On the second-hand I will be self-publishing this novel.

Fantasy, you say?

To my loyal readers, let me just quickly take the time to say that I am still writing historical romance! Have no fear on that count, that genre’s going no where from my writing loves and agenda, but you see, I’ve always enjoyed writing fantasy. In fact, I’ve written it since before I tried my hand at historical romance. The book I’ve been working on was first written when I was seventeen, a decade ago, and revisited over a year ago. It’s a story I loved writing the first time round and have truly enjoyed editing. It is called, The Edict (click here to read the blurb), and follows the story of a courageous heroine called Kiara, a brooding Prince, a damned race and conniving courtier…

And of course, there’s love, a great love story. So for those of you who read my books because you love the love stories then The Edict could be your next read.

Self-published, hmmm…

There might be a few of you who cringe at hearing that. Truth be told, I used to cringe at the thought of it. But a lot has changed over the last ten years and now some of the best authors I read and know are entirely self-published (also known as independently published). New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, winners of Readers Choice Awards, B.R.A.G.G. indie author medallions and book cover design competitions. The honest truth is, that there are so many quality authors out there, the traditional publishing houses can’t keep up with them, and the opportunity to publish quality books, with access to Print On Demand companies, free eBook Conversion tools, formatting guides and freelance cover designers & editors, is better than ever before.

I’ll be honest with you, I sent The Edict to every Literary Agent I could find listed in the Writer’s and Artists Yearbook and a number of publishers, but it was all to no avail. It’s making me cringe writing that (apparently I cringe a lot), but I think it’s worth being honest, because there’s a lot of you out there who have had to suffer through literary rejections and I’m sure that’s not my last. It’s funny, because in my arrogance I thought it would be easy if I already had a publisher with three books published, but it wasn’t. The fact is, I love the story, and I’d already had several friends read it who loved it and were so encouraging with their feedback, and it was a book, just sitting there in my draw, waiting to be shown the public light of day. It seemed silly to keep it there.

So, naturally, I was frustrated that no one wanted it from the traditional publishing world, but I had always thought to myself, if I can’t find an agent I’ll release it myself. It’s not like it’s easier, to be honest, it’s LOTS more work, more investment both in terms of time and money. But it’s one of those things I felt compelled to do. I just want to share the story with everyone. So that’s what I’m going to do.

When’s the next book out?

So, if you’ve read this thinking you want to find out when my next book The Edict will be coming out then watch this space. You’ll be hearing more from me on The Edict in the coming weeks and months…

What can you read now?

Fool Me Twice - Historical Romance - Philippa Jane Keyworth

Fool Me Twice – Free on Kindle

But for now, why not pick up Fool Me Twice for free on Kindle? That’s right, for FREE!!! Wohoo! Grab it while you can as the offer’s only on for a few days.

Reviews are my friends

And if you do read Fool Me Twice then you could support it by reviewing it on Amazon. Reviews are so important, not just because it’s great to hear when you’ve enjoyed the book, but because it gives credibility to the book in both readers’ and Amazon’s eyes! If you think it would be something others would enjoy then please review it!

That’s all for now, I hope it gets you excited for my next book. More to follow…

 

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Caro Worth’s story

On the eve of my 3rd novel’s launch I’m sitting writing this post and it only seems natural to look back to the beginnings of that third book, Fool Me Twice

Only the other day someone asked me why I wrote my books. It’s funny, because it’s a completely reasonable question, but I was stumped. They were asking particularly about my first book, why did I write it, what made me do it, what was the reason I wrote it. It’s strange because I guess I view writing as more of a compulsion than something I set out to do. I mean, there is planning in a novel, and you set out with the determination to write and finish it, but the reason, what made me do it, why I started writing it, well that doesn’t really feel like a choice.

And that’s not a negative. There’s something cathartic in writing. Even now, writing this blog, I feel calmer for it. It’s like drawing out the things from within which might otherwise struggle to find voice, and allowing them freedom. That’s how it was with Fool Me Twice. Quite randomly, I was listening to the song Welcome to Burlesque by Cher for the motion picture Burlesque, and there she was, sitting in my imagination; Caro Worth.

She wasn’t sat there for long. She rose and began to traverse the gaming tables, and that’s when I realised she was in a gaming hell. Her dress gave away her origin as the 1770s, and the darkness of the place, creeping in at the edges as candles worked their hardest to push it away, it hinted at the secrets that Caro Worth kept hidden.

And there she stayed, in my mind, winding around the tables, playing another game of cards, waiting for her story to be written. She was beckoning me, and only her face, her path, was clear to me from among the blurred faces of that hell. I couldn’t ignore her, not when she dwelt in my mind, she compelled me to write her story, from that first night in the hell where we met, until…

Well, I guess you’ll just have to read the novel when it’s released on the 1st…

 

 

3rd novel Fool Me Twice – a Georgian romance – to be published!

I’m so pleased to announce that my 3rd novel Fool Me Twice is now under contract with Madison Street Publishing and should be emerging into the public light by the end of 2016!

 Fool Me Twice | Historical Georgian Romance | Philippa Jane Keyworth

I signed the contract last week and am really looking forward to the publishing journey again. Now the fun begins, the cover designs, the polishing, the preparing and the final exposure – it’s enough to make me shiver in anticipation. My characters are excited too. Tobias Felton is feeling particularly mischievous as he thinks about the worldwide public observing his antics, whilst Caro Worth hides her face behind her fan, embarrassed to be so scrutinised, a factor which her good friend Lady Rebecca Fairing is looking forward to. It’s all go, and soon the world of Fool Me Twice will be laid before readers’ hungry eyes to be devoured and enjoyed.

The blurb…

I’m sure I will have more to share with you about the book over the coming weeks and months, including being properly introduced to my characters; Lady Etheridge is particularly pleasing to those of us who enjoy cutting humour and people who do not suffer fools lightly. In the mean time, if you cannot bear the agony of waiting for the next morsel of news, why not read the blurb of Fool Me Twice here.

A Georgian romance…

I feel hugely blessed and chuffed to be in this position, and excited by the departure of period from my previous novels (you really will have to read my blurb to find out what I’m talking about…unless you’re an historical fiction buff).

Here’s to the next book!

Giveaway Winners and Whatnot!

So, I shall not do any ado, I shall just say it:

The winner of the hard-copy giveaway of The Widow’s Redeemer and The Unexpected Earl is Emily Nazer!

The winner of the e-copy giveaway of the above is Luann Braley!

I really hope that both of you enjoy the books – what an excuse to make yourself a hot cuppa, curl up under a blanket and forget this cold winter weather 🙂

I’ll end with an awesome song by Seth Lakeman that a friend played me the other day:

A Faithful Confidant…

That is, I believe, a just description of Peter Highsmith. No title to bear his name high, but a fortune large enough to compliment any young woman who would bear his name herself, Highsmith is a very amiable gentleman. He has an attractive masculine frame and a pleasant manner which has led to more than one lady in London setting their cap at him.

He however, set his cap in a different direction, but upon finding no reciprocal feeling, he contented himself with becoming Miss Julia Rotherham’s confidant.

Highsmith’s mischievous humour and Julia’s sharp wit rub well together. However, if Highsmith were to pick fault, it would be Julia’s impetuosity as in The Unexpected Earl she seems to have a knack of embroiling him in several schemes.

Highsmith, though game for all sorts of designs, does like to be in charge of all the facts before agreeing to play a part, which we will see in the excerpt below. However, the more he sees of the Earl, and the more upset his Julia gets, the more his feelings rise up in defence making everything far more complicated…

 

“Now, dear lady, I am sure that you must have felt ill this morning? Am I right in assuming the ill effects of your alcohol consumption?”

“Oh, you are a horrible tease,” replied Julia without the least discomposure. She flicked a stray embroidery thread from her lap.

“Yes, I am.” He paused. “And I fear I shall have to tease you some more before I depart. You made me a promise last night, and I am come to redeem it.”

“Must you?” Julia recollected which story she had promised to share, but she was in no mood to recount her dealings with Lucius Wolversley. She had awoken at an unearthly hour, feeling wretchedly ill and remembering afresh the man who had broken her heart six years ago. She would rather embroider every morning for a month than talk about the Earl who had come upon her so unexpectedly at her sister’s ball.

“Yes.” Highsmith’s voice became gentler. “You are unhappy, my dear—I can see it in your eyes, and you would be better to tell a friend. You yourself told me last night that I have been a good friend to you—let me continue to be so now.” His handsome face leaned in to her, his soft brown eyes comfortingly sweet.

She did not reply. He waited a few minutes and then, realizing she had no intention of telling him what she had promised, took a different route.

“In truth, Mrs. Rotherham,” he called, turning to his hostess, “other than thanking you for a delightful evening yesterday, I had another design in calling today.”

“You did?” Mrs. Rotherham was brought out of her pleasant recollections of the ball, and away from the thread which had knotted under her unskilled hands.

“Yes, I came to see Miss Rotherham for, as I was enjoying your eldest daughter’s company last night, she dropped something which I wish to return.”

“Oh, my eldest daughter is forever losing things—the housekeeper found a reticule beneath a pile of books in the library just last week.” Mrs. Rotherham was shaking her head, though her gaze was directed once again towards the embroidery, her interest in her daughter’s carelessness clearly fading.

“Well, Mr. Highsmith, and what, pray tell, did my scatterbrained self misplace last night?” Julia cocked her head to one side in curiosity and addressed Mr. Highsmith with a flicker of defiance in her eyes. What was he planning? “Come now, I grow impatient—what is it?”

“Yes, yes—I know patience is not one of your virtues.” He stopped and looked at her strangely. “Would you be so kind as to please stop looking at me like some inquisitive owl?”

Julia gaped. She had been attempting to disguise her tiredness from last night by opening her eyes wider than usual. Now she felt ridiculous. “I am not an owl, you odious man! Now where is my lost item?”

“Julia, my dear, stop insulting Mr. Highsmith. I am sure you are grateful that he had the wit to pick up whatever it is!” Mrs. Rotherham apologized for her daughter’s behavior. “But now my curiosity is piqued,” she said in calmer tones, peering over at the couple. “What is this object?”

“Alas, it is not something I can freely speak of. A trinket or keepsake, I suppose, but perhaps not something Miss Rotherham will want made public.”

Now he was being thoroughly exasperating! Despite his attempt at seriousness, Julia could see the corners of his mouth twitching. It was all a game to him. She would not tell him what he wished and so he was making up some scandalous falsehood to get her into her mother’s black books. The worst of it was his charming countenance, which had won over so many ladies before, would not fail to do the same with Julia’s mother. How dare he blackmail her!

But Mrs. Rotherham was in an indulgent mood. “Something I do not know about, I see,” she said, and instead of demanding an explanation, she smiled and went back to untangling her embroidery. If Julia had glanced over at her mother, she would have seen her thoughts as plain as day—the faint flicker of hope that perhaps her daughter and Mr. Highsmith were courting.

Ah, the good-natured teasing of friendship! And there you have it, the main characters of my second novel, though I suppose I have a few more I could introduce you to, or should I just make you wait and read…?

 

 

 

A University Friend…

When I began writing (now I have mentioned this before but bear with me), I have to be honest, my hero and heroine were the characters I concerned myself most with and to be honest, the ones I liked the most. As I’ve continued to write however, I have found my peripheral characters become far from boring. No longer the inanimate objects used to move the plot along, but rather characters in their own right, they really are rather interesting.

You may recall a mention of Courtenay? Well, let me introduce you to him. A large peacock of a man, his waistcoat buttons constantly under pressure, his delight in beautiful women and Society remain unquenched despite more than several Seasons under his belt and his estate horribly insufficient for supporting his taste for lavish living.

Despite their very disparate characters, soon after meeting at University, Courtenay and Wolversley became fast friends. Courtenay is probably only one of a handful of people Wolversley would claim as friend, the peacock being the chief among them. This loyalty seems at odds with Courtenay’s perception of Wolverlsey as being unnaturally interested in his country estate rather than the beauties in Town.

But perhaps it is this attraction of opposites that holds the friendship together through the unfavourable weathers of youth and the complexities of adulthood. Whatever it is, Courtenay and Wolversley’s friendship threads throughout The Unexpected Earl.

For a taste of just how humorous and saucy Courtenay can be, read this excerpt:

 

“Ah, I do apologize, my poor Miss Rotherham. Lord Courtenay, may I present Miss Rotherham, eldest daughter of our hosts this evening.” He backed away slightly to allow the two to see each other properly.

“Indeed? I know your father. It was he who invited me this evening.” With a flourish of his rings, Courtenay grasped her hand and laid a rather ravenous kiss upon it. “And may I say, you are a beauty just like your sister.” His plump lips curved into a satisfied smile.

“Oh, I would not say that to her, if I were you.” A third man’s voice broke in on the conversation.

After six years, Julia could still recognize Wolversley’s smooth voice the moment he spoke. The Earl came up behind Courtenay and took his own place in the gathering.

“Speak of the devil and he will appear.” Courtenay’s smile changed to a grin and he nodded his head towards the newcomer. He moved back a little to allow Wolversley access to the inner circle, and the dark-haired Earl came to stand beside the fair-haired Highsmith. “But Wolversley, why do you warn me not to say to Miss Rotherham what is only the truth?”

Courtenay’s syrupy words were well practiced but Julia, as Highsmith had said earlier, was a seasoned seasoner. She would have written off Courtenay’s flattery entirely, but the appearance of the loathsome Earl put an idea into her head.

“No. Trust me, old friend,” said Wolversley with a gleam in his eyes, “she would rather hear lies.”

Julia fumed inwardly at the Earl’s audacity, at his presumption of knowing what she would and would not like to hear from other gentlemen. Worse than that, she could see that look in his eyes and she remembered exactly what it meant—he was having amusement at her expense. Well, that simply was not allowed! “Oh! Lord Courtenay, I beg you, pay no attention to the Earl. We knew each other as children, and I am afraid he still thinks me an angel of eight and quite as stupid! But really,”—she arched an eyebrow at Wolversley—“are you not the fool, my lord, to assume a lady does not find pleasure in compliments?”

“Yes, man, that is a trifle dim!” Courtenay exclaimed.

“Exactly my feelings,” Julia corroborated. “He even thinks I cannot dance like a lady!” She attempted a giggle, though it was more like hissing from behind her open fan, and cast a flirtatious glance at Courtenay. Both Highsmith and Wolversley could see their portly friend lapping up the attention like a basset hound.

“I am shocked—shocked I tell you, Miss Rotherham! My only suggestion is that we prove him wrong. Let us dance and show him.” There was that ring-clad hand again and—much to the other gentlemen’s surprise and aggravation—Julia took it with enthusiasm. Courtenay and Julia left the supper room side by side, gliding off in search of the ballroom and an exuberant dance.

I am sure Courtenay would be happy to continue flirting with Miss Rotherham, especially as she has such a handsome dowry that would pull his estate out of dun territory, but we shall see…

Next week, I’ll be introducing you to Julia’s confident and friend, in truth, a most unlikely ally.

 

An Impetuous Heroine…

As promised, I am here again to introduce you to my heroine. I know, I’m as surprised as you, my blogging habits are shockingly irregular normally, but this perhaps shows you of my anticipation surrounding The Unexpected Earl coming out on the 20th of September.

So, who is the impetuous heroine who I’ve been going on about these past months?

Well, it is, Miss Julia Rotherham. What can I say about this heroine? I’ve gone on about her impetuosity, which leads to much comedy-gone-wrong in the novel, but what else? Well, in the words of Jane Austen on her heroine Emma Woodhouse, I must say that I’m not quite sure everyone will like Miss Julia Rotherham quite as much as I.

Truth be told, the reason I find her so diverting a character is probably because she and I share quite a few of the same traits. Miss Rotherham is headstrong, tempestuous and worryingly impetuous! Now for those who know me, you might say I am rather boringly predictable sometimes, however, for those who know me a little better, you might well agree with the tempestuous description of my character. NOT a trait I readily revel in, trust me.

I’m a nought to a hundred sort of person. I’m cruising along quite happily on the river of relaxation and casualness when suddenly BAM! Something annoys me, a switch is flipped and the waters begin to boil as I proceed to get my knickers thoroughly in a twist! This is, I’ve been told by my husband, sometimes very amusing. It can also get me into quite a lot of trouble – the tales of which I will be keeping to myself under lock and key 😉

Now you may see why I like my heroine so much in The Unexpected Earl. You see, as I wrote her and the many events that take place in the story, my heart increasingly went out to her. Her temper just gets her into one scrape after another and, in between giggling and smiling I think, ‘Oh, that is exactly what I would do.’ I feel like she’s quite real, making mistakes, having to apologise and, hopefully, learning along the way.

I’m hoping, that if you’re anything like me and you make countless mistakes in life and get yourself into a tangle, that you will like Julia Rotherham, and just to give you an example of what she’s like, here’s an excerpt from The Unexpected Earl:

Julia’s green eyes flashed dangerously. Her face contorted into a scowl before she unfurled her fan and looked about her. Wolversley could see that an excuse was on the tip of her tongue and she was about to disappear into the crowds.

He cut in before she had the chance. “I simply wish to dance with you.”

He did wish it. He had not seen her in six years. Six long years. Now she was here before him, and even her temper was not dampening his wish to dance with her. She was perplexing—and intriguing. The suddenness of their re-acquaintance had taken him by surprise, and evidently her as well.

“And I simply say, no! Do not lie to me, my lord. You have clearly succumbed to propriety’s demand for you to partner me—your host’s spinster daughter. In light of that, excuse me for not finding the offer flattering or leaping to accept it.”

“You see straight through my manners.” His mouth curved up on the right side into a half smile of admiration for her wit. He had forgotten just how quick her wit could be. Despite the unladylike rebuff, he bowed in acknowledgment and then attempted to present what he thought was another olive branch. “We have not spoken for these six years—may I at least procure a little conversation from you?” Let her speak, just a little. How much in this moment he wished to hear her talk!

When he saw the look in her eyes, he knew he was flogging a dead horse. She had no intention of remaining in his company an instant longer than she must.

His own intentions were a little less clear to him. Why was he seeking her out? Was it guilt, or surprise at seeing her again? Or was it merely a curiosity—after so much self-discipline in avoiding her—to see for himself the woman she had turned into?

“You showed no such desire when you abruptly severed our acquaintance six years ago, my lord. It therefore seems odd that you should seek conversation now. What reason could you possibly have?” Her voice was less flustered, instead of the wildly changing pitch there was a warning edge to it.

Wolversley set his jaw. It appeared her rudeness knew no bounds. He had assumed from her silence at the door that she could barely remember him and was embarrassed when he took her hand. Clearly, that was not the case. The more he tried to talk with her, the more he beheld the lack of manners and quick temper that had plagued her youth—and played a merry role in their many adventures together. Where time had clouded the extent of both these attributes in his mind, the present was rapidly bringing back the memory in full, rich color.

Her parents’ supervision had, when she was younger, kept her lack of manners somewhat in check. He was sure that even now, her father and mother’s absence had a part to play in her cutting conversation. Her unpleasant allusion to their past had brought a shadow over his face, but the exhibition of her temper and rudeness was producing a smile he could not help.

If his courtliness was so repugnant to her, perhaps touching upon their past, as she seemed so keen to do, would lay flat her hackles. “I simply wish to converse with an old friend”—he finally let the smile transform his face–“and beautiful woman.” He could not help that last part—it slipped out unbidden. But he should have known that the honeyed compliment would be too far a step….

“My lord.” She turned to face him. Her eyes held a resolve he could not remember seeing before. Her stance took on one of importance and quite suddenly she was no longer just the impetuous schoolroom miss he had seen when last they met. “Do me both the honor and the courtesy of ceasing these adulations with which you are smothering me. I am no great beauty. Even in my bloom I was merely pretty, as well you will remember. Nor have I ever, in these years apart, claimed your friendship.”

Her fan snapped shut. “Enjoy the ball. There are plenty of beautiful women who may indeed wish to converse with you and could even be persuaded to accompany you onto the dance floor.” She let the corners of her mouth pull upwards in something akin to a satisfied smile, but he perceived her eyes held nothing of mirth. “I have no expectation that our paths will cross again.”

Oooooooo! The tension, the unresolved emotions!!! So delicious. And next week you will find out just who Wolversley turns to for advice in this situation.