When author Grace Burrowes asked me a while ago if I was interested in writing a novella to go with one she had written to form a shared anthology, I was swamped with work since I was still writing the Survivors’ Club series at the rate of two books a year. So of course I said yes! I read her novella, loved it, and thought I should write one that somehow complemented it. Hers was a love story in which the hero was a widower with young children. It was set at a country house party. Perhaps, I thought, I would use those same elements in my story. But–I needed a hero, a heroine, a plot, and a specific place at which to set the house party. This is always a part of the writing process that I love. And when the ideas come, I very rarely have any idea where they come from. During the years since the six books of the Bedwyn family series and the related four books of the Simply series, numerous readers have asked me to write a story for Eleanor Thompson, sister-in-law of Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle, and owner and head teacher of a school in Bath. I have always said an adamant no. So–of course–she popped up in my mind as the heroine of this novella. Who was I to keep on saying no?
The Bedwyns have remained reader favorites among all the series I have written and characters I have created, especially the head of the family, the formidable Wulfric with his cold silver eyes and ever-present quizzing glass. As soon as I had decided that Eleanor would be the heroine, the setting of the house party was immediately obvious. Christine, the Duchess of Bewcastle and Eleanor’s sister, is organizing a summer party at Lindsey Hall for Wulfric’s birthday, despite his long-suffering protests. All the other Bedwyns will be there, as will Eleanor, who is on her way there from her school in Bath at the beginning of the story. She is delayed at a country inn by a thunderstorm, and there she meets the hero–and his two young children.
You can read more about Grace Burrowes’s story at her web site ( www.graceburrowes.com ). If you have not read her before, you have a treat in store, not only because her books are good, but also because there are so many of them. She is super-prolific! I am excited about this anthology, Once Upon a Dream, due out on April 12. It is an e-book, available all over the world. For those die-hard paper book readers among you, though, good news! The anthology will also be available as a print-on-demand edition from amazon.com. You won’t find it in bookstores, but you can order it on-line.
And to one person who makes a comment below before the end of Tuesday, April 12, I will send a paper copy of ONCE UPON A DREAM as soon as my own copies arrive.