Another year has come and gone. I was officially a year older on the 27th, and I closed out this year with the publication this month of my (deep breath – exhale) fifteenth book in two years, No Good Deed, at Amber Quill Press, Amber Allure.
In 2010, I’ll be starting with the third book in my series In the Company of Men, Baymore’s Heir, on January 5th, from Loose Id.
These two years have been amazing. The people I’ve met, authors, readers, friends, have enriched my life and I’ve learned so much. I’m a better writer than I was when I first started on the road to publication and I’m planning on improving, learning more, taking it in, digesting it, and then spilling it back out in words and emotions, scenes and dialogue.
I think that’s why I love writing m/m romance, or gay romance, or gay erotic romance, or whatever we’re calling it this week. I just love the emotions of these men. Sometimes they make me crazy because they can’t seem to express themselves, and sometimes they make me silly grin happy as they overflow with love and sometimes I cry to see them ache with sadness.
Half the time, I want to smack them upside the head. The other half, I want to hug them tight and whisper it’ll be okay. But all the time, I love them. And, as some of you may have noticed, I love hurting them.
I love putting my men in situations where they have to dig deep for the best of themselves, prove to themselves and to each other that they are worth the fight, the patience, the love. Worth the Happily Ever After. You just don’t get that sort of thing in straight romance.
Baymore’s Heir finds Lord William Holcombe and Duke Jackson Baymore, almost two years into their relationship, settled into a routine, and very happy with each other and their lives.
For Will, there is nothing he wouldn’t do for Jackson and for Jackson, he’d never hurt Will. They are devoted to each other. Will has Jackson’s back, or blind side at least, and Jackson depends on Will’s skills and abilities to run his vast holdings, a job he, as a mercenary, had never been trained to do.
Life is good. Until Jackson’s pride and his sense of duty rears its head and threatens everything they’ve worked so hard to build.
The Duke of Baymore decides he must have an heir. Jackson’s determined and Will’s the man to find him a bride. After all, Will knows how to deal with people, write contracts, and handle the nobility.
This is a tale of desperation. To what lengths would Will go to stop the marriage? What will Beth, Baymore’s bride, do to free herself from another arranged marriage, or her brother Basil do to take what he never thought he could have, or Marcus, Baymore’s master of arms, do to fulfill his duty to Baymore and claim what he dreams of?
Because, if Will’s plan works, lives will be destroyed, lovers separated, and it could mean the fall of Baymore.
Will staggered across the hall and into his room. As he fell back against the door and locked it, the anguish he’d held inside burst from him. He slid to the floor as soundless sobs of grief racked his body and his fists pounded against the stones of the walls.
When there was nothing left but darkness and despair, Will lay curled tight on the cold floor of his room, alone and broken. Devastated. Destroyed.
Long after the sun had risen in his window, throwing streaks of light across his face, Will pushed himself upright, went to his desk, and fell into the chair.
He pulled out parchment and ink, quill and wax, and wrote the first letter in the search to find a wife for the man Will could not deny.
* * * * *
“Wallace. Have you read this letter from Will?” Lady Ellen thrust out a parchment toward her husband as she strode across the floor of the great hall.
Wallace looked up. “No, it was to you, not me.” He waved his hand at her.
Her beautiful face frowned, brows knitted together, chin quivering. It was not good news that made her react in such a manner.
“What does it say? Bad news?” He stood and met her halfway, taking the parchment from her. He read it over, read it again, and then met her worried gaze.
“Find him a wife?” Wallace gasped. “Has Jackson lost his mind?”
“Oh, Wallace. Poor Will.” She put a knuckle in her mouth and bit it as tears filled her eyes.
“This is…” Words failed Wallace.
“What must Will be going through?” She shook her head. “We have to help him; this is our fault.”
“Our fault?” Wallace jerked back. “What mean you?”
“You saw Jackson. How he held the babes? It must have given him these thoughts of children, family. Now he wants one of his own.”
“And why shouldn’t he have one?” Wallace’s father’s voice boomed from the stairs. “He’s the duke. He should be married and have an heir. Perhaps then, William will return home to us where he belongs.”
“Father.” Wallace sighed. “Will belongs with Jackson, you know that.”
“I know nothing about that. But once Jackson takes a wife to his bed, I dare say there will not be room for more than two,” Walter Holcombe declared.
Ignoring the elder Holcombe, Ellen turned to her husband. “Will must be devastated. But he’s determined to find a wife suitable for his duke and asks my help.”
“Good. Fair Ellen, find Baymore a wife and tell our William to come home.” Their father gave a sharp nod, turned, and climbed the stairs to his rooms, leaving Wallace and Ellen alone.
“Will you?” Wallace took Ellen’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “Do you know of someone? What woman of good family would be willing to wed into such a house?”
Ellen stared into the flames of the hearth. “A woman with no other choice.” She gave Wallace a quick kiss. “I need to write a letter.”
“No, not yet.” She shook her head and strode to the stairs. If she worked apace, she could have a messenger on his way within the hour.
“To who?” Wallace called after her.
She stopped on the stair and turned back to him. “To a woman with no other choice, of course.”
Then she ran the rest of the way to her room.
Baymore’s Heir, Loose Id, January 5, 2010
When you open your heart, you open your mind.