New Release! The Glass Heart

I’m very happy to announce the publication of my latest historical romance, The Glass Heart.

Blurb: After Merrill’s widowed mother becomes engaged to an earl, the fate of their respective estates hangs in the balance. A battle of wits ensues when the earl’s arrogant son shows up to make demands. Despite their prickly start, once Merrill discovers she and the viscount have both been painfully crossed in love, she begins to feel a measure of empathy. Unfortunately for their burgeoning relationship, a tempestuous drama threatens to tear them apart forever.

Excerpt:

Merrill lifted her chin as she strode toward the house. As she approached the drawing room, she was dismayed to hear the sound of piano music — a song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers.

“Cheeky devil,” she muttered.

Despite her irritation, Merrill plastered a serene smile to her lips as she sailed into the room. A young man was sitting at the baby grand piano and she was obliged to raise her voice to be heard. “Excuse me?”

Lord Wharton broke off playing and rose to his feet. “You must be Miss Cawthorne? Good afternoon.” He picked up a snifter of amber liquid from the piano lid and lifted it up as if in a toast. “Thank you for making me feel welcome here at Ravenell.”

Despite his words, the man’s eyes glittered with obvious and inexplicable dislike.

“If I have made you feel welcome, it was entirely inadvertent.” Merrill returned his glare with one of her own. “You’ve not been invited, so what is the meaning of this intrusion?”

“Forgive me but I have been invited — by your mother,” With his left hand, Lord Wharton extricated a letter from his jacket pocket. “This letter of introduction is addressed to you.”

As Merrill crossed the room to pluck the letter from his fingers, he swirled the amber liquid with appreciation. “I usually don’t drink before dinner, but this brandy is lovely.”

She bristled. “It’s Armagnac from Gascony, and it’s a very rare vintage.”

“Mmm.” He took a long swallow. “C’est magnifique.”

Merrill discovered the letter was in her mother’s hand and did indeed appear to be a letter of introduction. She read the entire missive through twice before glancing at her unwanted guest.

“You are Lord Seacombe’s son, then.” Merrill gritted her teeth. “I am to show you every courtesy.”

Lord Wharton bowed. “I am delighted to meet you, Miss Cawthorne — or should I call you sister?”

“We are not related yet, so Miss Cawthorne will do.” She peered at him. “Why have you come?”

He put the snifter down so hard she thought he might have broken the stem. “In contemplation of marriage to your mother, my father may sell his estate out from under me.”

“That’s unfortunate, sir, but what does that have to do with me?”

He fixed her with his gaze. “In contemplation of marriage to my father, your mother may sell Ravenell instead.”

Merrill gasped. “What? No!”

“It will be one or the other. Neither my father nor your mother have decided yet.”

“That’s not possible.”

“It is not only possible, but from what I overheard, they have indicated the sale of one estate is a certainty.” Lord Wharton’s eyes narrowed. “If we do not find a way to stop this travesty of a union, one of us will be deprived of our home.”

“I’m not sure what you expect me to do.”

“Tell your mother to break her engagement.”

“You’re mad! I would never presume to tell my mother what to do.” Merrill frowned. “If you are so determined, why don’t you make your demands to your father?”

“My father keeps his own counsel.”

“So does my mother!”

“In that case, we are at an impasse — for now. In the meantime, I intend to acquaint myself with Ravenell. For all I know, I will be living here before long.”

“What a ghastly notion.”

Lord Wharton raised an eyebrow. “I couldn’t agree more.”

The Glass Heart is available at Amazon, in both ebook and paperback format. Happy reading!

Upcoming Release #Sale

THE GLASS HEART

After Merrill’s widowed mother becomes engaged to an earl, the fate of their respective estates hangs in the balance. A battle of wits ensues when the earl’s arrogant son shows up to lodge his objection. Despite their prickly start, once Merrill discovers she and the viscount have both been painfully crossed in love, she begins to feel a measure of empathy. Unfortunately for their burgeoning friendship, a tempestuous drama threatens to tear them apart forever.

The Glass Heart will be published for the Kindle on October 25, 2022 for $2.99, but you can pre-order it HERE at a special low price of $00.99. The paperback version is available now!

Thank you for your support!

Paperback Blow Out

Do you remember when you could buy paperback novels for less than five bucks? Well, Amazon is having a sale on three of my paperbacks. Since this pricing is not my doing, I have no idea how many copies are available at these prices or how long the “sale” will last. I’ve heard from other authors that Amazon is selling some of their paperbacks at extraordinary prices as well, so it might be a good idea to check out your favorite independent authors, just to see if bargains can be had.

Links: Ruse & RomanceThe Ice Captain’s DaughterMy Fair Guardian

Happy Hunting!

Stepping Outside the Zone

For an independent author, marketing my work is challenging and often perplexing. In the early days of BookBub, if an author could snag a featured deal, the exposure would be enough to buoy him or her into the stratosphere for months or longer. These days, however, even the magic of BookBub can flag, and marketing books has become increasingly hit and miss.

Reader expectations are always on my mind when I’m writing a new book. I try not to stress about bad reviews, but I do often glean insight when readers say what they did or did not enjoy. My latest release, The Prettier Sister, seemed to satisfy readers who liked a certain measure of snappy repartee between the hero and heroine as well as a happy ending. The book has been well received and I’m glad.

Since I don’t like to get caught writing the same story over and over again, I will occasionally step outside my zone. I usually set my historical romance in England, but I have written two historical romances set entirely in America.

How did those books sell?

They fell flat.

I’m referring to Rumer Has It (set in Charleston, SC) and An American in Paris of the West (set in Virginia and San Francisco). Both books were liked by the readers who left reviews on Amazon (4.5 rating for RHI and 5.0 rating for AAIPOTW), but neither book performed to my expectations sales-wise.

So, what is an author to do?

Shall I stay in my lane or continue to try new things? Can an author ever tempt her readers into trying something different? Let me know what you think. ~ Suzanne

New Release on Deck! The Prettier Sister

Tired of being unfavorably compared to her beautiful younger sister, Melanie travels to a distant city for a lengthy visit with her stylish aunt. She throws herself into volunteer work and settles into her new life—only to get caught trespassing on Lord Peyton’s neighboring property. Lord Peyton is the most arrogant, aggravating, conceited, and condescending man she’s ever met, but women seem to fall at his feet. As Melanie and Lord Peyton work together to help a local orphanage, will the cold enmity between them ever thaw?

The Prettier Sister is a standalone novel that shares a common world with the Mannequin Series. Pre-order now for a release on July 26th. Keep reading for an excerpt…

When she arrived at the small grove, she peered at the burgeoning fruit. As she had suspected, it would probably be another month before it was ready to pick. She sighed with disappointment — only to spot a gooseberry shrub nearby. Melanie gasped with delight and hastened over to pluck a handful of green berries. An abundance of sour flavor exploded on her tongue, and she wiggled with delight. She filled her mouth with as many berries as her cheeks could hold and then turned to scamper back to the lane.

A tall man stood in her way, his arms akimbo, and she froze.

His dark wavy hair fell loose about his face and shoulders, and he wore a linen shirt open to the waist. It appeared as if he’d paid as little attention to his attire that morning as had Melanie, but his state of dishabille lent him an air of danger whereas she looked like a ragamuffin.

He glowered. “You’re too old to be scrumping, wouldn’t you say?”

Since her mouth was full of fruit she could not respond. As she chewed and swallowed, a flush of embarrassment made her face feel as if it were on fire. Finally, she managed to clear her throat.

“Er…you should always pick the outside berries on a gooseberry shrub and prune the branches to gain the best crop.”

He looked at her askance. “So you’ve done me a favor?”

The scathing note in his voice stiffened her spine. “No, of course not, but you needn’t be so resentful. I’ve done little harm.”

“You’re a trespasser.”

Her temper flared. “I apologize for treading upon your hallowed property, sir! I am utterly and completely in the wrong and it won’t happen again.”

Melanie stomped past the man in a fury, made her way back to the split-rail fence, and climbed over. When she glanced over her shoulder, she discovered the man had actually followed her, as if to make sure she left.

With gritted teeth, she leaped over the ditch once more, and made her way up the lane. As she turned into her aunt’s drive, she refused to look back. If the nasty man wished to see where she lived, she could not stop him. No doubt he would complain about her to Aunt Ginny.

THE MANNEQUIN • 4th of July #SALE

From Friday, July 1st through Friday, July 8th, Book One in The Mannequin Series is on sale for $00.99 at Amazon.

Blurb: When she was a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund saved the Duke of Swanhaven from the brink of despair…only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?

The Mannequin has 523 Five-Star Ratings at Amazon and is one of my bestselling novels.

I’d also like to keep you updated on the progress of my next release. The manuscript is with the editor as we speak and I imagine it will be released into the wild before the end of July. It’s a standalone historical romance set in 1886 England, but it has a shared universe with The Mannequin series. That means you’ll see some crossover characters you’ll recognize right away. Stay tuned for a release date and pre-order information!

New Cover for RUMER HAS IT

We all need a change from time to time! My historical romance, Rumer Has It , now has a new cover. I think Jocelyn’s cheeky smile hints at the fun in the story.

Will the war between the sexes remain civil?

Jocelyn Rumer Conroy’s newspaper column allows her to write gossip about the population of Charleston while avoiding scrutiny of her own family secrets. She’s used to having her own way, but when arrogant and cosmopolitan Piers Wilde is brought into the newspaper, she chafes under his supervision. As they become writing partners in a new agony column, their relationship becomes fraught with tension…and an inconvenient attraction that cannot be denied.

Rumer Has It is a sweet historical romance set in 1910 Charleston.

Available at Amazon, Google Play, or at this universal book link HERE. (Please note that because the cover is new, however, it may take the distributor time to upload the new file to all the retail outlets.)

Book Five of The Mannequin Series

UPDATE: The Substitute has a new e-book release date of April 5th, 2022.

The Substitute is getting ready to launch! The book is in pre-order right now, for an estimated release date of 4/19/22, but it will likely be published sooner. If you can’t wait, the paperback is available now.

Blurb: When Portia Coulter meets the mysterious Mr. X at a masquerade ball, she’s forbidden from deepening their acquaintance. As it turns out, however, the flirtation sets in motion a chain of events out of her control. Mr. X has no intention of letting her go that easily but his efforts to woo her may cost her everything.

Will fate be kind to a substitute mannequin or is Portia destined to live a loveless existence?

CLEAN & WHOLESOME HISTORICAL ROMANCE

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