I'm so thrilled to have lovely Anna Campbell to visit to talk about her latest novella!
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley.
Gang aft a-gley.
Robert Burns, To a Mouse
Hiya LoveCats! Lovely to be back here. Thank you.
Isn’t that a classy way to start a blog? Except I’m not sure if I’m allowed to mention mice here on a love cats blog. It might (mice?) cause trouble.
Today I’d like to talk about my new Sons of Sin novella, THREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL, and how it wasn’t part of my best-laid plans at all.
As many of you know, since 2011, I’ve been writing a series based around three men who were friends at Eton and who all suffered in various ways because of the scandals shadowing their births.
The Sons of Sin series started with a proposal for a stand-alone book, SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED, Jonas’s story (2012).
My editor at Grand Central Forever liked it so much, she wanted more in a similar vein. So my best-laid plan of writing another stand-alone historical romance (until then, I hadn’t attempted a series) became a trilogy. Cue A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS (2013) and WHAT A DUKE DARES (2014). Oh, and a novella called DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES (2013) which was a prequel.
You can already see those plans for a trilogy were going a bit wonky.
They went even wonkier when the trilogy turned into a quartet with the release this year of A SCOUNDREL BY MOONLIGHT, the Marquess of Leath’s story.
Leath wasn’t part of the original trio of sons of sin, but he was a dynamic character in WHAT A DUKE DARES and was screaming out for his own love story. By this stage, too, I was hooked on going back to see how my characters were managing. So when I had the chance to write another full-length book, I leaped at it like a cane toad after a blowfly.
But still, the series didn’t feel finished to me. In WHAT A DUKE DARES, Cam the hero is courting the perfect wife when he falls madly in love with Penelope Thorne, who is anything BUT the perfect wife. Which means Lady Marianne Seaton, Cam’s first choice, was left to keep a stiff upper lip through all the gossip about the duke jilting her. I felt then that she got the raw end of the prawn – after all, she’d done nothing wrong – and that feeling continued right through writing Scoundrel. So I decided that she needed her own happy ending.
And what do you know? I had a lovely hero just waiting in the wings for her. Odd how the subconscious works. Penelope’s brother Elias was another intriguing character and it turned out he was just right for Marianne.
So the story for THREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL was born. The original plan of a trilogy had definitely gone a-gley. We’re now up to four full lengthers and two longish novellas. And I’ve got ideas for more stories set in this world that has such a grip on my imagination.
In 3 Proposals, Marianne faces a choice between three very different suitors – and on paper, Elias Thorne is the least eligible of all of them. Then everybody goes to the country, as happens! Marianne, her autocratic father, her suitors, plus a fair assortment of characters from the earlier SoS books converge on the year’s most glamorous house party. Dramatic events and revelations, not to mention forbidden passion, ensure that everything is sorted out in the wash.
Actually there is literally a wash – bad weather traps all the players in Jonas and Sidonie’s luxurious country house. In such close quarters, the characters can’t escape the consequences of their actions.
You could say Marianne’s best-laid plans gang a-gley too. Which is where the fun comes in!
* * *
Anna's got two downloads of THREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL up for grabs today (international)!
Just tell her the last time your best-laid plans went awry – and whether the results were good or bad.
Whose hot kisses will melt the ice princess? All London is agog to know!
As the season reaches its brilliant climax, three very different men pursue beautiful Lady Marianne Seaton. She’s the marriage mart’s greatest prize – even if cruel and unjust gossip paints her as a woman cold and glittering as any diamond.
Lord Desborough is her father’s choice – rich, powerful, safe. Lord Tranter is society’s darling – handsome, dashing, charming.
Then there’s the dangerous, compelling man nobody in their right mind calls eligible. Elias Thorne, son of scandal, reputed deceiver, possessing a rakish fascination no woman can resist. A lady might choose Elias as a lover, but as a husband, he’s too risky a bet. Even if Marianne’s forbidden yearning for him threatens her future and her reputation.
When Marianne’s suitors pursue her to the year’s most glamorous house party, there will be proposals and passion, rivals and revelations, secrets and scandals.
Let battle commence – but will the best man win?
You can read an excerpt from THREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL: here
You can get your very own copy on:
And you can find Anna:
on Twitter - @AnnaCampbellOz
and on her website!
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
The last time my best plans went upstream was for Easter. We were going to spend a vacation in the mountains, but I got sick and we had to give up. At first the result was bad, but then it was nice, because we went there the following month.
Franca, sometimes best laid plans turn out not to be best laid, don't they? Glad you got your trip away. Thanks for swinging by!Delete
Hey Franca, bummer on getting sick when you should have been going on holiday! Though getting away without the Easter crowds the following month must have been lovely!Delete
Woohoo Anna huge congrats on the release I have this one waiting for me to fall into on my kindle and I can't wait I love your stories and I am loving this series YAY :)ReplyDelete
I have to think on this question as you all know I retired (YAY) in November last year and had planned on getting the house in order visiting family whenever I wanted to and of course bringing the TBR pile down but I know have 2 of mu grandchildren living with me which I love but yes plans have changed a bit :) but I am still very happy
Helen, I remember hearing about how your best laid plans had gone astray when we met at ARRA. Nothing's ever predictable with family or kids, is it? Glad everything's still working out - although I'm sorry you won't be sitting around reading all day. I was quite jealous when you told me your original plans. Sounded like bliss!Delete
Helen, your changed plans sound like an interesting new direction for you! I imagine lots of challenges and lots of rewards - and just think you'll know all the latest terminology and technology!Delete
Welcome, Anna. Lovely to have you here, especially to talk about your fabbo new release! I love the fact you're branching out into novellas to go with your longer historical romances. This one is just perfect for curling up with on a wintry day off!ReplyDelete
Fascinating about how your story idea expanded and expanded to take in ever more characters. Do you enjoy revisiting friends from previous novels? I wonder if that's partly what drove the continuing series.
Laughing at the idea of nominating when my plans go wrong. At the moment it seems to be all the time!
Annie, sometimes life is a rollercoaster, isn't it? Thanks for having me as the Love Cats' guest today. I always love visiting this blog. It's such a friendly place. And thanks for saying you enjoyed the novella - I had fun with this one. Actually revisiting the characters is a major appeal of doing a long series like this - and every time I write a story, I seem to come up with at least one good idea for another follow-up. I could be writing the Sons of Sin until I'm 90 at this stage. I definitely think Desborough deserves a happy ending after what he goes through in 3 Proposals. By the way, I'm very much looking forward to your new release THE SINNER'S MARRIAGE REDEMPTION later this month.Delete
Lovely to see you here, Anna! Your novella sounds fabulous -- I just went and downloaded it. :-) It was fun to hear how your series developed...and continues to develop. ;-)ReplyDelete
Awry plans -- oh, isn't that just called life? LOL.
Ha, I think you're right, Michelle. Was it John Lennon who said life was what happened to you when you were making other plans? Thanks so much for picking up the novella! I hope you have fun with it.Delete
Look at all those goegeous book covers, Anna. You must be so proud of them.ReplyDelete
I've had plenty of times when plans have gone awry (that word ust looks wrong when you write it.....) but one of the most memorable was trying to find a place to stay for the night on Xmas Eve, driving our car around icy, snowy mountainous roads on the Swiss/German border finding no room at the inn anywhere fearing we were going to die in those bloody Alps then finally late at night stumbling on a posh hotel we couldn't afford that had a "dorm" that was quite cheap and waking up in the morning to an absolutely gorgeous Davos Xmas and ice skating on a frozen lake while horses with bells pulled sleighs nearby. It was harrowing but well worth the angst in the long run :-)
Wow, Amy, I love your plans gone awry (I always think it should be pronounce aw-ree). How fabulous is that? It sounds absolutely magical. I've never had a white Christmas. It's definitely on my bucket list.Delete
Thanks for saying you like the covers. I think the Sons of Sin ones have been absolutely luscious. So romantic but sexy too.
Those covers look so pretty all lined up like that! I love hearing how your series started with just one idea and blossomed out :)ReplyDelete
Hmmm...plans gone awry? One year at Christmas we had a terrible storm which flooded many parts of Melbourne. The plan was for my husband and I to do Christmas lunch with his family and then head to my family's place for dinner, but the storm had literally blocked off every main road out of the suburb with fallen trees and flooded streets - not the best way to spend Christmas day...especially when the phone lines went down and we couldn't reach other family to see if they were ok!!
Stefanie, I wasn't sure I wanted to write a series and I've found it such fun to return to the same world over and over. Ack to the storm! In Queensland the Christmas holidays are cyclone season so we had quite a few dramatic days of wild weather over the summer.Delete
Waving, Anna! It's such a pleasure to have you here with your fab new novella! I loved Marianne and Elias's story and thanks to your generous giveaway I know that two of our commenters are in for a big treat!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for hosting me, Sharon, and for saying such nice things about the novella!Delete
Oh, and I meant to tell you about plans gone awry - many many years ago a friend and I were on holiday travelling through hostels. Anyway we came to one in outback NSW and there were some very strange men hanging around the front. We looked at each other and decided that we weren't going to stay there.ReplyDelete
"Let's just drive through to the next town," she said.
"Good idea," I said.
So off we went. Knowing what I know now, it was a really REALLY bad decision. Travel at night on those isolated roads in a tiny little 4-cylinder puddle jumper! We crawled along dodging kangaroos until we finally came to this tiny little town and scrounged a room for the night in the local pub. It was no bargain with the sagging beds and rowdy patrons, but boy, were we glad that we'd made it there!.
Sharon, plans going awry at such times can be a bit on the scary side, can't they? Thank goodness you found a room at the pub - there WAS room at the inn!Delete
There was! LOL! No need to share accommodations with any donkeys or kangaroos!Delete
Hi, Anna! Hi, Sharon and the LoveCats!ReplyDelete
Anna, congratulations! I love the links between your SoS novels and novellas, and I'm thrilled Marianne gets a shot at happiness in Three Scandals and a Proposal.
As for best-laid plans gone wrong, hmm...so many disasters to choose from. Ha! I once missed a flight from L.A. to New York by a full day because I got my laptop's date/time settings mixed up. Guh! So now I never switch my laptop calendar's settings from Australian to local time when overseas.
Vanessa, it's SOOOO easy to do that, isn't it? I remember being at a convention once where the keynote speaker had to go home a day early and miss all the fun because she'd booked the wrong flight home to the States because of the time difference. It's very surreal - you can arrive in San Francisco before you leave Brisbane!Delete
Thanks for saying you enjoyed the novella. Lovely to hear!
Gads, Vanessa! I'm breaking out in a cold sweat as I read about your missed flight. I nearly missed a flight from Sydney to Melbourne because I was reading the time of arrival in Melbourne NOT the time of departure from Sydney. Don't know where I'd parked my brains that day. I was late to the airport but sooooo lucky because the flight ended up being delayed by 3 hours. I was probably the only person not complaining about the delay!Delete
I was rapt to see Marianne get her happily ever after... I'm hoping Anna's going to do something for poor Lord Desborough.
I think I'm honour-bound to give Desborough a happy ending!Delete
Hi Anna and the LoveCats. Anna, it was so interesting to hear how your Sons Of Sin series evolved - and then kept on growing! I've loved the series and the world you created for the interlinked yet individual stories. Please don't put me in the draw for THREE PROPOSALS AND A SCANDAL as I bought it as soon as it was released. It's a lovely story and so nice to catch up on some of the characters from the earlier books.ReplyDelete
Thanks for picking up 3 Proposals, Kandy, and saying you enjoyed it. That's lovely to hear. Yes, this series is growing like Topsy! I can see me still finding stories to add when I'm 90!Delete
'I leaped at it like a cane toad after a blowfly' Anna, you are hilarious! Loving the sound of the new stories. Still think a lot about Cam and Penelope! Great story.ReplyDelete
Hmm, which story to tell?!? My hubby never gets sick. I've known him for twenty years and he has had one sick day in all that time. That was until...he got pnumonia and hospitalised on the eve of us leaving for a ski holiday! Not good!
Jenn, thanks so much for saying how much you enjoyed Duke. You'll remember Marianne from that - she really did get the rotten cane toad in that particular story. :-) Oh, isn't it terrible when people we rely upon to be, yanno, reliable, let us down. Always comes out of left field!Delete
Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Love Cats, and particularly the lovely Sharon who was my hostess with the mostess. Thanks to the people who swung by to say hello too!ReplyDelete