I'm so so thrilled to finally tell you all about The Rogue Not Taken!
This book is the first in my Scandal & Scoundrel series, which is a spinoff from my Rules of Scoundrels series -- close readers will see all sorts of little references to characters from my prior books...with more to come as the series progresses.
Here are a few fun things that I can share with you without spoiling it!
1) This is a road trip romance...an homage to the big old-school romances that we all loved so much. You know the ones--the old Julie Garwood Scottish Medievals with the handsome brutes who are sent to England to fetch a winsome beauty to bring her back to Scotland to marry another handsome brute? But the fetcher is the most...well...fetching? *sigh*
In honor of those wonderful old road trip romances, I asked mapmaker Amy Solomon to design a map of the journey that King and Sophie take together -- all the way to the Scottish Border. Here's the map, which I think turned out beautifully. Click to make it larger and have a look at my annotations -- a little taste of each of the locations.
I love everything about this map -- so much so that all preorders from my local independent bookstore, WORD, will come with a reproduction of it (without the annotations, of course), along with signed copies and artisanal honey (which will make sense when you read the book).
2) Road trip romances make for delightfully rompy circumstances and even more delightfully close quarters -- even better if they include a classic I-hate-you-I-hate-you-oh-wait-no-I-don't-oh-no-I-love-you set up (one of my very favorites), which this does. Essentially, what came to pass was what I like to call "Romancing the Stone in the Regency."
Romancing the Stone with fewer crocodiles and more Kardashians, but a very similar obsession with shoes.
3) You read that right. When I conceived of the series, I wanted to take today's celebrity gossip and reframe it during a time that was equally obsessed with scandal--the 1830s. I wanted put an historical twist on US Weekly. Sophie is the youngest, least interesting sister of a family of sisters all named with S, who are famous in the ton for...well...being famous. Suffice to say, they should be Kept Up with. The book begins with a Met Gala-style bash, China-themed, and a disastrous encounter between Sophie and her brother-in-law, that will echo an elevator incident from a few years ago.
If it all sounds too modern, I would point you in the direction of the scandal sheets of the 1800s, which I happily researched at The British Library (where I'm headed in the Spring to find more fodder for my future books). Hollywood Royalty and US Weekly? Forget it. They have nothing on the 19th Century Aristocracy and the media that obsessively tracked it.
All that, and it was a ton of fun to write.
If you haven't already, I hope you will consider preordering The Rogue Not Taken--it will be released on December 29th, and it might be the perfect addition to your New Year's Day sloth (or am I the only one who has New Year's Day sloth?). You can preorder it wherever books are sold, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Books-a-Million, or through your local Independent Bookseller. As I mentioned, if you order through my local indie, WORD in Brooklyn, you will received a signed & personalized copy of the book and a special gift (if you order before 12/15, you even get something special from me for any Christmas stockings you might be stuffing).