The flowers are starting to pop up, and so are a load of new deals. The latest:
Rose Lerner’s historical debut, IN FOR A PENNY, in which a dashing and feckless lord enters a marriage of convenience with the lovely and practical daughter of a wealthy merchant in an effort to salvage the family fortune, and they find themselves unprepared for the challenges they face: scandal, revolting tenants, a menacing neighbor and in the end a love more heartfelt than either expected.
I give agent Kevan Lyon loads of credit for that blurb, because I never would have been able to sum up the book so well. What made me love IN FOR A PENNY is the humor and the rather unconventional element of two young people thrust into the position of learning to make solvent his family’s lands so the tenants can prosper. Reading that back, it doesn’t sound very intriguing, but you have to trust me. 😉
Before I made the offer for this book, I was looking to buy a historical for our schedule. And I was starting to despair that maybe I was being too harsh; nothing was resonating with me. This book made me remember how the good ones really stand out from the pack. After five pages, I knew Yes! This is the one. Certain aspects reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hoyt’s RAVEN PRINCE.
IN FOR A PENNY is scheduled for March 2010.
Emily Bryan’s STROKE OF GENIUS, which she describes:
Grace Makepeace, an American heiress, is determined to marry a titled English gent, but her Bostonian bluntness is severely impeding her chances. When she takes flirting advice from the acknowledged artistic genius who’s engaged to sculpt a marble model of her hands, she garners the attentions of a duke.
A cynical, but brilliant artist, Crispin Hawke is a keen observer of the ton and enjoys the challenge of helping Grace beat them at their own game. But he begins to wish he was the object of her passion.
Emily called it a Pygmalion meets Cyrano de Bergerac story with a happy ending (of course!) for all.
STROKE OF GENIUS is scheduled for Summer 2010
Lisa Cooke – A MIDWIFE CRISIS, summarized by Lisa:
Katie Napier is happy with her life as a midwife and healer in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She has spent most of her thirty years caring for those in need, and though it hasn’t been a glamorous life, it’s suited her fine. So why has Katie’s family all of a sudden decided she needs a husband? Not that she’s averse to it, mind you, it’s just by her experience men are more of a hindrance than a help, and her new dilemma only supports her belief. Three of her well meaning though zany family members have managed to find her a fiancé. Unfortunately, they each found her a different one, and now she has to sort through the well-intended suitors to decide which one’s worth keeping.
Dr. John Keffer has returned to his roots in Wayne, West Virginia after he is unable to save his wife’s life due to a carriage accident. He knows nothing of the life in the hills, but when he inherits his grandparent’s home, he decides to leave New York and the painful memories of his personal failure as a doctor. But the locals are reluctant to trust the outsider and keep returning to their healer, a woman who surprises the doctor from the first minute he meets her. Uneducated and poor, she’s the type of woman he would’ve hired in New York to work in his kitchens. A woman whom he never would’ve bothered to even learn her name. But now he’s forced to work with Katie in order to earn the trust of the locals. What he’s not expecting, however, is her request that he help her decide which fiancé she’s going to keep. A task complicated when he finally realizes he wants to keep her for himself.
This isn’t at all related to Lisa’s debut, TEXAS HOLD HIM, but I love that both books take a chance with something you don’t see it too many Americana romances (I can’t even call them Westerns): 1. no cowboys (gasp!) and 2. a great sense of humor. I can’t think of anyone else doing much like that, though if there’s something I’ve missed, please let me know in the Comments.
A MIDWIFE CRISIS is scheduled for February 2010.
Speaking of Westerns, in my not-so-secret life as a Western editor, I also have some exciting news to share.
THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES by Forrest Carter will launch the next set of books in our Classic Film Collection in March 2010. This novel served as the basis for the movie starring and directed by Clint Eastwood.
We will also be doing its sequel, THE VENGEANCE TRAIL OF JOSEY WALES.
Luke Short, a giant of the Western genre, joins the Leisure list in April 2010 with the re-release of his classic BLOOD ON THE MOON, which was made into the famed noir Western film starring Robert Michum and directed by Robert Wise. BLOOD ON THE MOON will also be part of the Classic Film Collection.
Also coming from Luke Short will be AMBUSH and VENGEANCE VALLEY.
We will have Johnny D. Boggs’ Spur Award-nominated novel KILLSTRAIGHT coming in mass-market paperback in January 2010. Bestelling author Tony Hillerman has said, “Johnny Boggs has produced another instant page-turner, but this one, KILLSTRAIGHT, grabbed me in a particular way. It took me right back to my childhood in Indian Country… don’t put down the book until you finish it.”