I got word today that Warrior's Possession has been accepted by Pink Flamingo Publications. This is the story of Gillian Marlowe and Royce Langley, and is a prequel to the first two Warrior's books. A sort of "this is how it all began" story.
This particular book is very dear to me. I first created Gillian and Royce way back in the early 1990's, and it was my very first stab at writing a medieval-set book. When I first decided to redo the story, I pulled up the file and almost ran screaming from my desk! The story and the characters were still amazing, but the writing, well, that's an animal of a completely different color. I knew this was going to take a lot of work, but once I dug in and started cleaning up, deleting and rearranging, everything came into clear focus and I realized that this was the way this book should have been written in the first place. The original story stood at about 120K words (eeek!), so before I could update in a realistic fashion, I had to cut. And cut. And cut. By the time I was done, I had removed nearly 90K words. Then it was time to write all the new juicy stuff that makes the book what it is now.
Yes, I've kinked it up (of course) and I drastically reworked the plot to make more sense. I've learned a hell of a lot about the craft of writing in the last 20+ years, and it really shows when I compare the two versions. I also added a bit more realism for the time - I've done so much more research since these two first popped into my head, I realized a lot was lacking. At one point, I even have the actual words spoken by a historical character in a scene. So keeping track of all that over the years really paid off.
Here's a brief blurb about the story:
"Ordered by King Edward to wed Royce Langley, the Earl of Montchester, Gillian Marlowe feels as if she is being sacrificed. Tasked with ridding the border along Wales of rebels, Royce finds subterfuge and secrets everywhere, even with his beautiful wife. She tries his patience, defies his orders and places herself in danger. To keep her in line, he spanks her, binds her to his bed and uses sexual games to torment her. Discovering she enjoys it only confuses him. He's sworn never to fall for a woman's wiles, but his wife fascinates him and stirs a desire deeper than any he's ever known. When he learns the traitor is a close friend, he and Gillian work together to crush the rebel leader and save each other at the same time."
Some secondary characters from previous books also show up in Warrior's Possession, and there are a couple of those who also have their own books. I hope to be doing rewrites for them soon, but it will likely be a few more months before I can give them serious consideration. Right now, I'm hard at work on the next Magiste book - a historical set in France - and thee next Viking tale is starting to take shape, outline-wise, as well.
I will post updates about Warrior's Possession as I get them and as we get closer to release day. It's been a long time coming, but I am very much looking forward to seeing Gillian and Royce in print!