My First New Novel in Nine Years!
I'm thrilled to announce that my first new book in years has just been published. I was expecting it to take longer than it did to get it done, so I had originally scheduled it for publication in May. But things came together this past week, and here it is.
The book is An Unexpected Heir. It is by far my funniest book ever. Its hero, Ned Prentice, is enough of a scoundrel to fit into this Unrepentant Scoundrel. series. He's a man who was raised on the American frontier by a woman "No better than she should be." He's always believed himself to be a nameless bastard, but that hasn't kept him from making something of himself. This story is set in 1836, at the very end of the Georgian period. He has crossed the Great Plains, wintered with the Tribes, and has been supporting himself by selling a magical elixir as part of a traveling medicine show.
Ned is everything you'd expect to find in a Western Romance, except that this is a traditional Regency, so when the story starts my stalwart, brash American finds himself in England, following the deathbed wish of his ma. It has brought him to an earl's seat, where, much to his amazement, he is about to be proclaimed the earl's long lost eldest son who was kidnapped by his nurse when he was a baby.
Ned has not come to England alone. Instead he has brought with him a baby beaver, Jackson, who he plans to sell to a collector for the money that will pay his passage back home. I got the idea for Jackson when I read about a beaver that was being exhibited in rooms in London during the Regency period. When I researched beavers, I fell in love with them. They are so weirdly adorable, and there are accounts of them being made into pets by Western mountain men during the period in which my story is set.
The heroine of my story, Kate Haddock, is an heiress whose life has been overshadowed by the scandal that led her aristocratic mother to run off with a working man. Her father has become very wealthy selling chamber pots, nicknamed "Fish Bowls" thanks to the family's name. Kate shares her father's dream of being restored to the rank her mother should have had. She is obsessed with propriety and struggles to behave at all times as a noble lady should. The last thing she ever expected was that she would find herself forced to marry a wild man from the American woods who she has reason to believe is an impostor. But that's the situation she finds herself in, and how she and Ned deal with it will provide you with a lot of laughs, and leave you, I hope, with a nice, warm, happy feeling inside.