Today is a very special day. Today Beleaguered, the final installment of my serial novel, Time Enough to Love, officially releases.
It’s kind of an emotional day for me because this was the very first romance novel I wrote and because it was a first novel–and therefore pretty bad and exceedingly long–I was very afraid it would never see the light of day.
Time Enough to Love took me six months to write, starting in January, 2009 and writing THE END on July 28, 2009. Originally it was 187,000 words long and was your typically bad first novel. Headhopping all over the place, repeated words and phrases, anachronistic words. There was even one whole chapter that I took out upon first revision because absolutely nothing happened in the whole chapter!
But this was the work of my heart and I didn’t give up on it. I found out that a typical historical novel was about 100K words, and 120K was maybe the top end. And though I managed to cut it down from 187K to 160K in the first revision, I knew it was still too long. A colleague suggested publishing it in installments and that then became my mission in life.
Fortunately, the novel divided pretty neatly into two novellas, Betrothal and Betrayal, and the longer Beleaguered. I found the most wonderful editor, Danielle Fine, who also created the beautiful covers for me, and she and I have worked hard for over a year to take a “first novel” and turn it into a publishable novel. That mission is now complete.
The first two novellas were around 47-50K, and Book 3 is actually novel length at 71K, so I think I’ve added some back. 🙂 When the print version comes out, it’s going to be a BIG book. 🙂
If you’re interested in Beleaguered, or the whole Time Enough to Love novel, I’ve got the blurb below and buy links for all three books.
BLURB FOR BELEAGUERED:
When death holds sway in the world, can even the greatest love survive?
Finally in France, Alyse and Thomas return to their roles as courtiers to Princess Joanna. Their passion for one another continues to smolder hot and deep—until one fateful encounter changes everything.
During a formal banquet, Alyse must share an intimate dance with Geoffrey, her first love. His searing touch proves Alyse’s love and desire for him is as strong as when they first met. Tormented by this revelation, Alyse is bitterly torn between the love of her life and her love for her husband.
Into this agonizing situation, the disaster of the Black Death rears its head, decimating the princess’s retinue and threatening all their lives. Alyse, Thomas and Geoffrey must try to save the princess from the ravening disease but at a dire cost to themselves. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both of the men she loves. But which love will survive?
EXCERPT FROM BELEAGUERED:
“There were dead rats on the dock.”
“Alyse!” Thomas’s outraged tone brought censure for her bald statement, but she cared not.
Geoffrey had trapped her into speaking with him or risk being rude and bringing about the displeasure of her husband. Common sense warned her to avoid all contact, including conversation, with Geoffrey Longford. Since he had made that impossible in this instance, she chose her own bold method of bringing an end to the conversation—make it as unpleasant as possible.
“Well, ’tis true, Thomas. We passed them on the way to the carriage.”
Geoffrey laughed, apparently determined not to take offense. “Aye, lady, you will find them living and dead all over the town, not just at the quay.” Turning to Thomas, he added, “There were fewer of them at Port St. Croix than at St. Lucie. ’Tis why Sir Robert decided to land the nobles here. Where the men-at-arms and the long bowmen came ashore, the dead rats were almost knee-deep in places.”
“Lord have mercy!” Alyse shuddered, sudden pity arising for the soldiers.
“They have had a plague of them recently here in Bordeaux, I am told.” Geoffrey’s gaze lingered on her face, a quiet satisfaction alight in the blue depths. “Brought into port aboard foreign ships. You would probably have to fire the entire town to get rid of them.”
Alyse trembled, not only at the thought of the unsavory animals running through the town, but at the look in Geoffrey’s eyes that made her stomach clench and her womanhood throb. She drew closer to Thomas, a potent misery stealing through her for the first time in days.
The men continued to talk, but she paid them no heed, caught in a private hell from which she had believed herself safe. She would have to be vigilant to ensure neither she nor Thomas were burned by the fire that had been kindled months ago between her and Geoffrey Longford. She could not trust any of them now—neither her husband to keep his jealously in check, nor Geoffrey to cease his pursuit of her, nor herself to keep him at bay.
She had believed she loved Thomas enough to lay the ghost of Geoffrey to rest in their bed. But from the moment she had seen him on deck this morning, her beloved still, she knew deep in her very core that Geoffrey had been right: it would never be over between them until they were dead and in the tomb.
This realization frightened her beyond all reason. It was as though she had been two people in one body all day, each belonging to a different man. As long as they lived that would never change. She played with fire each time she met with or spoke to Geoffrey, and one day the banked embers would flame up and consume them both.
There would be hell to pay one way or the other. The only question was how much damage would be wrought. Immortal souls hung in the balance, waiting for Judgment Day.
All three Books of Time Enough to Love are available on Smashwords and Amazon.
Because we’re celebrating today, I’m giving away copies of all three books to several lucky commenters. Thanks for helping me celebrate!