Win a paperback book (winner's choice) and chat with author Cheryl Bolen today at the Book Boost!
Here's what she had to say...
My last print book came out in October of 2005. Six long years ago. Since then, I've had a hurricane destroy my house, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Understandably, these things interfered with my productivity of new books.
My last print book, One Golden Ring, was a Christmas Regency-set historical romance. It got stellar reviews (Perfect 10, 5 Stars, etc.) and sold out its print run before its release day. It also won the Holt Medallion as the Best Historical Romance book of the year. Unfortunately, my publisher, Kensington's Zebra Historical, opted not to go back and reprint. Therefore, I opted not to publish with them anymore. So, that's another reason for the delay in sales.
I have recently agreed to a contract with a new print publisher. Do you all know how much has changed in the romance publishing industry in the past six years? Was this site even here six years ago? Most of today's popular review sites are online sites and blogs that were not around in 2005. And what about social media like Twitter? I've got a whole new learning curve.
One of the new things I'm really having fun with is repackaging some of my older out-of-print books for e-books. (I have not been able to get reversion of my rights on three of my older books.) One of those, A Duke Deceived, has just been released by Harlequin Historical as a Harlequin Treasure e-book.)
I'm the author and publisher of seven Regency-set historical romance e-books available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, the I Store, etc. Two of the seven are traditional Regencies – those without sex scenes. All seven have been in the Top 75 sellers at Amazon in Regency books. Three of them are in the Top 20, including My Lord Wicked, which is holding steady at Number 2.
Surprisingly, My Lord Wicked is an original e-book that was never published before. It has outsold all the others, several of which were award winners when they were available as mass market paperbacks. My first print publisher turned it down as my option book, and being a newbie, I thought maybe it wasn't a very good book. It was one of those we writers stash under our beds. I've got a lot of those, probably about 20! (My first book sold was the 7th written!)
But when I re-examined it recently, I thought it was worthy of publication. Trust me, some of my other ones which didn't sell previously I would not foist upon readers who've come to expect a certain quality book from Cheryl Bolen. I re-edited it and together with my techie-savvy hubby designed a tasteful cover for it, and put the e-book up there for the world to see. I am very pleased to report that so far on Amazon, it has received three reviews, and all gave it the full five stars.
Two others of those seven Regencies are also originals. The Earl's Bargain is a book I wrote targeting the old Signet Regencies (the sweet ones). An editor there liked it and asked for minor revisions, which I made. However, the editor left, and the line closed. I'm happy to say this book, too, is currently in the Top 20 at Amazon. Since the traditional Regencies are no longer being published in print, they are extremely popular as e-books.
The other original is a new work. Several readers of my last book asked for stories for my fictional Birmingham Brothers, the richest banking family in England. I began a book for one of them, but I decided to turn it into a novella. Thus, Lady Sophia's Rescue, was born. It's a very lighthearted traditional Regency that will have readers laughing, as does The Earl's Bargain. (Not so with My Lord Wicked, which is in the Jane Eyre mode.)
The book I just sold to Love Inspired Historical (a subsidiary of Harlequin) is another light-hearted read. It's the story of Rebecca Peabody, who was introduced in my Counterfeit Countess (for which I cannot get back my rights) and continued in One Golden Ring. Now, she will get her own story.
Even though I've not been publishing much fiction in the past six years, I've continued to write articles about Regency England for various publications. Most can now be found on my website.
A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for sharing your journey through time with us today, Cheryl. Please tell us more about that wicked lord...
What woman would dare make her home at eerie Marshbanks Abbey, perched on a stony hill in remote Northumbria? It is said its owner, the brilliant botanist, Lord Stacks, killed his beautiful bride there ten years earlier.
Unaware of the tales of Lord Stacks' wickedness, Freddie Lambeth comes to live with her guardian, and through his caring blossoms from a plain, shabbily dressed girl to a lovely young woman. Freddie and Lord Stacks come to need each other as his flowers need sunshine, but Stacks cannot allow himself to love her. His own wickedness has destroyed any chance for happiness.
Was he in a hurry to be rid of her? At least he wanted a sensational mate for her. There was only one mate for her, she thought morosely. And he would be sensational. She closed her eyes and thought of being enfolded in Lord Stack's strong embrace, of resting her face against his chest, of lifting her lips to his.
She grew hot as she imagined what it would feel like to have his mouth on hers, his tongue parting her lips. A wet heat centered between her legs. Her thoughts drifted even further away. She thought of lying with him, wet flesh against wet flesh. She could almost feel his mouth close around one breast.
"You do not look happy," he said.
She drew a deep breath and faced him. "It seems my company grows tedious for you. You are in so great a haste to marry me off, to be rid of me."
He reached out and touched a finger to her cheek. "I attempt to be selfless, Miss Lambeth. I want what is best for you. For myself, I would have you at Marshbanks Abbey until the end of my days."
Until the end of his days. If only. . . He studied her face for a moment. "I believe the prospect does not offend you."
"You must believe me when I tell you I've never been happier than in these past few months at
the abbey." She had wanted to say these past few months with you.
"Then your life must have been singularly uneventful before."
She smiled. "That, too."
He took a sip of wine, peering at her over the rim of his glass. "Do you miss your father?"
She gathered a handful of soft fabric from her skirt into her hand. "To be honest, no."
His brows lowered. "How can that be? You seem to worry over every creature. You are so very caring."
"The exact word I would use to describe you, my lord. However, caring is not a word I would use to describe my father, although he did care very much for my mother. Unfortunately, he held me responsible for taking her from him."
"But that's ridiculous! You didn't ask to be born!"
"He did not see it that way."
Stacks watched the leaves of the tree shimmer in the breeze and did not speak for a moment.
"So that explains why your education in the feminine arts was so neglected."
She nodded. "You have shown me more love in these past few months than I received in an entire lifetime."
She felt her cheeks growing hot. Why had she used the word love? She had not meant to burden him with details of her unhappy life, but she felt incredibly open whenever she was with him. "That is why I've been so happy here, why I am in no hurry to leave the walls of Marshbanks Abbey."
He reached out and took her hand. "You have a home here for as long as you want."
She looked up at him, her eyes swimming in pools of unshed tears.
Lord Stacks was moving to her. She felt his arms close around her. She felt his warm breath on her cheek, and she lifted her face to receive his kiss.
Want More Cheryl?
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