Today is the first day of October, my favorite month in the whole year. So to celebrate, I’ve chosen today to reveal to the world the cover for my upcoming medieval romance novella Betrothal: Book 1 of a series of three medieval romances under the collective title Time Enough To Love. The first book is scheduled to be released in late October. I’ll keep you posted if there is a change in that.
Isn’t that cover gorgeous? I just love it! My cover artist, the lovely and talented Danielle Fine, tried hard to give me exactly what I wanted. She worked her magic fingers and did exactly that! Way to go, Danielle! If you’d like to look at more of Danielle’s work, please visit her site, By Definition.
I’m more than excited about this book and this series. Time Enough To Love was the very first romance novel I wrote. I loved the story, I loved the time period, I loved the characters. So much that I wrote an epic novel–187K words. Fortunately, I realized there were some chapters and sections I could cut. I cut one whole chapter because I realized that nothing happened in the chapter–Alyse and Geoffrey visit a monastery and find it deserted. Gripping drama there. I cut the long chapter and covered their reason for going in about a sentence and moved on. LOL
So now it’s down to approximately 140K and still too long for conventional publishing. But rather than cut out more, I decided to break the novel into thirds (which it does very easily) and self-publish the three novellas as a series or trilogy. All three books-Betrothal, Betrayal, and Beleaguered–have the same characters who work out the problems begun in the first book. A bit unorthodox? Perhaps. But books 2 and 3 are rather unorthodox as well. Betrothal is a very conventional romance, almost sweet except for a couple of very sexy scenes. The other books veer off into uncharted territory for traditional romance, though many of today’s readers may not be quite so upset.
It’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
So here is the current “official” blurb for Betrothal and an excerpt to keep your appetite whetted:
Blurb for Betrothal: Book 1 of Time Enough To Love:
Lady Alyse de Courcey is head over heels in love with a man to whom she’s barely spoken, Thomas Knowlton, a nobleman in King Edward III’s court. Alyse would give anything to marry him. However, she must come to terms with her betrothal to Thomas’s best friend, Sir Geoffrey Longford, a handsome and imposing knight, yet hardly the man she wants to wed. She continues to cherish hopes of Thomas, though as her nuptials approach, Geoffrey is the one most often on her mind.
Sir Geoffrey Longford is bound by his father’s hand to wed Lady Alyse. And Geoffrey is eager to do so after meeting the young maid. She is gentle and beautiful, with just enough spice and wit to make her seem a willing partner in and out of bed. But when Geoffrey learns of her infatuation with his friend, and sees her regard for the man growing as their wedding day approaches, Geoffrey takes matters into his own hands. Can he win his lady’s love without killing his friend into the bargain?
Excerpt from Betrothal: Book 1 of Time Enough To Love:
Alyse took a deep breath and hoped her voice did not tremble. “Yea, Majesty, I will obey my father and accept his choice.”
King Edward nodded. “What say you then, Sir Geoffrey? Does the lady not speak fair? I vow she will make you a proper wife, and a dutiful one as well.”
Alyse turned, until that moment unaware that Geoffrey Longford stood beside her before the king. Chills coursed down her body as the king’s words echoed in her mind. The sensation of falling backward assailed her, as though she rushed away from the tall man at her side even as his figure loomed larger and larger in her sight.
Not Thomas Knowlton. Her numbed brain repeated the phrase, trying to comprehend that instead he would be her husband. Geoffrey Longford. God have mercy on me, for by the look of him, this man will not. Fearful, her gaze climbed higher, over his chest, over his chin, finally resting on the dark blue eyes turned toward her.
Geoffrey returned her appraisal, his eyes sweeping her figure as a smile crept over his face. “Your Majesty.” He spoke to the king but his attention remained fixed on Alyse. “I also give my obedience to you, and to my father, doing your bidding in all things. My father told me of the betrothal contract before I left his home and I resolved then to play the dutiful son. I find, however, I do not wish to act that role after all.” His eyes held hers as he paused.
Dear God, does he mean to renounce me here before the entire court? Alyse fixed her stare on the man beside her, willing herself to remain erect, despite the chills and heat that alternated through her body.
“Now I find I would rather play the ardent lover.” An amused murmur ran throughout the hall at his words. Geoffrey grinned, his eyes now sparkling with humor and something more. Despite the uneven light, Alyse saw an unfathomable promise in their dark depths. She took a deep breath and looked away.
“I affirm Lady Alyse to be all that could be hoped for in a wife. Please you and God, we shall make the match, and with all good haste.”
His self-satisfied tone and the thought of his outrageous teasing touched a contrary flame in Alyse. She pulled her wits together and beamed brilliantly at her newly betrothed lord. “Take care my lord, for the wise women say ‘Marry in haste, repent at your leisure.’”
Sir Geoffrey raised a dark eyebrow while those around the banquet hall laughed. Heart pounding at her audacity, Alyse watched helplessly as he reached over and lifted her hand. “Such repentance could never be suffered too slowly, my lady, if ’twere your gentle hand that held mine through it.”
Laughter and applause washed over Alyse, struck absolutely dumb at the touch of his lips to her skin. Her heart pounded, and a strange roaring sounded in her ears; she wondered vaguely if she was about to faint. His big, rough hand shot a blazing streak up her arm that lodged in her chest, stilling her breath.
Spellbound, she watched him, head bent over her now smoldering hand, kissing it with an unhurried thoroughness that seemed to stop time. His lips scorched where they lingered, all the while spreading fire that consumed her body and mind. Had she the strength, she would have snatched it from his grasp to save herself from immolation. Other men had danced with her, held her hand, kissed it. None had never made her feel thus.
I hope you liked my Betrothal reveal: cover, blurb and excerpt. I’ll update you when I have an idea of when the book will be released. Hopefully soon!