Friday, April 29, 2016


Before I started the Sebastian St. Cyr series, I wrote seven historical romances. The last four of those historicals will eventually be available again both as ebooks and in print. I'm beginning with WHISPERS OF HEAVEN, set in Tasmania in 1840, which was never available as an ebook. The Kindle release is this Monday, 2 May, but I will eventually get the other formats organized, too. Here is the cover copy:

“A wonderful novel rich in emotion” –New York Times bestselling author Jill Marie Landis

Tasmania, 1840: Jesmond Corbett returns home from school in London determined to conform to the expectations of her aristocratic family and marry the childhood companion to whom she is betrothed. But Jessie is a woman filled with restless longings and unacknowledged needs. And nothing in her sheltered life has prepared her for Lucas Gallagher, an Irish rebel doomed to a lifetime of suffering and humiliating servitude.

For Jessie’s island home is a place of brutal contradictions, its genteel lifestyle and gracious estates based on the soul-crushing labor of the convicts who toil under the British penal system. Haunted by a tragic past but fiercely proud, Gallagher has vowed to escape this living hell or die trying. But he can’t resist the dangerous desires stirred by the vital, troubled young woman to whose family he has been assigned. And although they know their love can have no future, the star-crossed lovers inevitably succumb to a forbidden passion that threatens to destroy both their lives and Gallagher’s last chance to reach for freedom.

Filled with the masterful blend of vividly drawn, memorable characters and high adventure for which Candice Proctor is renowned, here is a unforgettable tale of love and triumph that deftly combines the mannered elegance of Downton Abbey with the excitement and raw Australian beauty of The Thorn Birds.

“Rich, unusual, and classic—like reading Woodiwiss again for the first time.” New York Times bestselling author Jill Barnett.

And here is the Amazon link since the old Ballantine issue comes up first if you go to their site:

Friday, April 22, 2016

The London of Sebastian St. Cyr: St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell

The area of London known as Clerkenwell plays an central role in WHERE THE DEAD LIE, #12 in the Sebastian St. Cyr series (coming in the spring of 2017). I'll have more to say about the area in the future, but today I'm just concentrating on St. John's Gate.

Built in 1504 as the entrance to the Priory of the Knights of St. John--the Knights Hospitallers--it is one of the few parts of the monastery still in existence. At one time it was the workplace of Samuel Johnson; it was also the childhood home of William Hogarth, whose father opened a coffee house there. This is what it looked like in Sebastian's day (as seen from the south side; the photo above is taken from the north):

It isn't anywhere near as solid as it looks. Built of brick surfaced with stone, it was in pretty bad shape by the end of the 19th century--as this late 19th century watercolor below clearly shows:

Thank heavens someone realized its value and rescued it in the nick of time. What  you see today is heavily reconstructed. But it's actually pretty amazing that it's still standing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Three More Sebastians!

I can finally announce that I have accepted an offer from Penguin Random House for three more Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries: #13, 14, and 15 (#12, WHERE THE DEAD LIE, will be out next spring).

I won't deny that with all the firings and cuts at PRH these last ten months or so, I've been just a wee bit tense. I lost my long-time editor last summer, and then a few weeks ago news broke that they were cutting twenty mystery series--and that was only the beginning. So I'm even more excited about this contract than I normally am. And the three-book offer is a nice surprise--in the past I've only signed two-book contracts.

They assure me they're more behind the series than ever before. So now I can relax, take a deep breath, and get back to writing WHY SOMETHING SOMETHINGS!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

The London of Sebastian St. Cyr: Pickering Place

I have news about THREE different developments I've been hoping I could announce this week (don't get too excited; only one of them is about Sebastian St. Cyr and no, it's not a film deal). But since my ability to talk about them keeps getting delayed, I thought I'd put up a post about Pickering Place.

Pickering Place is a tiny, totally enclosed square in London, just off St. James Street. It can only be entered through this tunnel-like passageway that's still lined with its original, 17th century oak paneling:

The square itself still has all its 18th century Georgian buildings. In Sebastian's time it was a pretty rowdy place, home to gambling dens and brothels and bear-baiting. It's also said to be the site of the last duel ever fought in London, when two bucks got into a quarrel in Whites and crossed the street to have it out in Pickering Place. Seems a pretty crowded spot to me, but then, one assumes they were drunk. 

The above tunnel runs between two old 16th century shops on St. James Street. One of them is Berry Brothers and Rudd, the famous wine merchants whose cellars run under the entire area. Berry Brothers is also the site of the large coffee scales where the Prince Regent and Beau Brummell used to weigh themselves. 

Sebastian has ventured into Pickering Place a few times in earlier books, but the square plays a key role in book #12, Where the Dead Lie, which is currently working its way through production and will be released in March 2017. 

Hopefully next week I can put up the first post about my news!