NightOwl Romance calls My Lady Below Stairs "a wonderful romantic tale that you will wish were longer." Sorry. Leisure Books required me to keep it to 30,000 words in order to save room for Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson's stories(which are fabulous, BTW!) But I tried to pack plenty of romantic sizzle into that shorter format.
As usual in my tales, there's plenty of mayhem and misdirection. Here's the back cover blurb:
’TIS THE SEASON FOR SEDUCTION
It is the most anticipated event of the ton: the annual holiday ball at Hartwell House. The music is elegant, the food exquisite, and the guest list absolutely exclusive. Some come looking for love. Some will do almost anything to avoid it. But everyone wants to be there. No matter what their desires, amid the swirling gowns and soft glow of candlelight, magic tends to happen. And one dance, one kiss, one night can shape a new destiny….
Some of my characters don't even have an invitation, but they aren't going to let a little thing like that stop them! YOU, however, are at the top of the guest list! A CHRISTMAS BALL will be released on Sept. 29th. (Or you can pre-order to make sure yours arrives a little early!)
Please be sure to enter my Christmas in August Contest today. You've been so good, don't you deserve an early present?
Question for the day: Do you like anthologies? Have you ever discovered a "new to you" author you loved in one?
good morning Emily,
I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of anthologies. It's not just anthologies either. I like my books to be a bit longer. In a lot of cases I feel like an anthology or short read lack some of the details that I have grown to love while reading. There are times I feel like everything was rushed and parts just end up not making sense. I do read anthologies occasionally, but the author has to be one I am familiar with and love.
I can see why many people are drawn to the anthology though. You get at least 3 stories for the price of one, they don't take as long to read, and you can often times find a new author mixed in with your well known and well loved ones.
I will definitely be getting this one though. Like I said it has to have an author well known and well loved by me to even give it a try anymore.
Good morning, Heather.
I agree the shorter format does pose some interesting problems. Like in a haiku, I had to make every syllable count. As a writer it was interesting to pare my prose down, while keeping the necessary details flowing. The result is a faster pace without sacrificing getting to know the characters.
At least, that was the goal. My readers will have to let me know if it worked.
Thank you for planning to pick up this anthology, Heather! It means a lot!
Hi Emily! I love, love, love anthologies. I especially love Christmas anthologies. Nothing gets me more in the Christmas-y mood than picking up every single Christmas romance anthology in the bookstore, then hunkering down with a hot chocolate in front of the fire (while the kids are at school!) and reading them! I think it's a great challenge for an author to make the reader fall in love with her characters in a 30,000 word story. It's also a great way to get introduced to unknown authors. I already pre-ordered my copy of your book...can't wait! Merry Christmas!
I do like anthologies - it's fun to have more of a good thing after you've finished reading one story. And I have been pleasantly surpised by writers I didn't know before. On the other hand, sometimes not all of the stories are equally good, and you may get disappointed. But I definitely buy anthologies if they look promising enough!
Thanks, Penny! I'll look forward to your review! One of the fun things about this anthology is that our stories are united by time and setting. Even though they don't interact(there wasn't space in the story to toss in references to the other authors' characters), all our characters are attending the same Christmas Ball on December 19, 1822.
Since we were occupying the same space, we had to agree on the layout of Hartwell House, the decor, the hosts, etc. A grand English manor in holiday mode is the perfect backdrop for Christmas love stories!
Nynke--Reading is such a subjective activity. I've picked up books by well-known authors and come away scratching my head, wondering why they are so well loved. Other times I've raved over an author my friends react to with a shrug.
We all bring something different to the reading experience. Sometimes our own backstory gets in the way of our enjoyment of someone else's fictive dream.
That's probably true, yeah :). And we can't all love the same things in a story!
Hi Emily! This is JennJ from Night Owl Romance and I just wanted to say again how much I enjoyed your story in A Christmas Ball. And I assure you the comment about "it will make you wish it was longer." was meant as a compliment because I loved the story so much I didn't want it to end so quickly. :)
You are a terrific author and keep putting out those amazing stories hon!
JennJ-Thanks so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed My Lady Below Stairs in A CHRISTMAS BALL. I had a great time writing it!
Can't really say whether I like Anthologies or not because I've never read one.
I'd be more inclined to try one if it's a bunch of good writers that I already know and enjoy because I have to admit I normally like a full length saga lol.
I'm hoping that A Christmas Ball will be a good debut for me because I love yours and Jennifer's writing (not sure that I've read anything by Alissa.)
Anyway off to visit your comp :-)
I love anthologies. It is a good way to try out a new author and I have found many that I've liked and gone on to read their regular books.
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