I have the delight to be able to share a few words from Alyssa Alexander, who has visited to allow us to see a little of her wonderful journey to publication. How exciting for her! Isn't that a delicious cover? I am thrilled to have this title on my TBR mountain and will post my review when I have it finished!
And now, here's Alyssa...
They say you never forget your first. That will always be true with The Smuggler Wore Silk. It’s my first published romance novel—but it’s not my first manuscript. I wrote a manuscript prior to that, and then rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. I spent six years working on that story before finally abandoning it. That was a hard decision, and I think every author faces it at some point. When do you give up on a manuscript? I waited too long to move on, but I did learn a lot about writing, craft and editing—and when to let go. During those six years I wrote numerous drafts, each time starting over, so in reality I wrote much more than a single book, but always the same characters. Each rewrite taught me more about myself, my process, and the craft of writing.
Why is this important? It’s not, except that my hero in The Smuggler Wore Silk, Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, came from the ashes of that abandoned book. He was the hero’s best friend. The Wandering Earl who charmed the ton with his travels and exploits, all the while engaging in espionage. Julian stole my heart, and nothing would do but that he have his own book and his own heroine, Grace Hannah.
I miss those first characters and think about them from time to time, but the manuscript(s) will be forever hidden under the bed. Perhaps someday I will resurrect that hero and heroine, and perhaps they will greet Julian as the old friends they are. But for now, I’ve moved on and so has Julian. He’s met a women who has as many secrets as he, and who is just as complex. Both Julian and Grace hide behind a façade, he a charming rake with nothing to hide, and she a quiet and meek poor relation.
And oh, they are anything but, as you shall see…
After he is betrayed by one of his own, British spy Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, refuses to retire without a fight, vowing to find the traitor. But when the trail leads to his childhood home, Julian is forced to return to a place he swore he’d never see again, and meet a woman who may be his quarry—in more ways than one.
Though she may appear a poor young woman dependant on charity, Grace Hannah’s private life is far more interesting. By night, she finds friendship and freedom as a member of a smuggling ring. But when the handsome Julian arrives, she finds her façade slipping, and she is soon compromised, as well as intrigued.
As she and Julian continue the hunt, Grace finds herself falling in love with the man behind the spy. Yet Julian’s past holds a dark secret. And when he must make a choice between love and espionage, that secret may tear them apart.
A shadowed figure emerged from the trees. A man, tall and lean, stood on the narrow dirt track in front of Grace, blocking her path. In the dark, under the dense canopy of branches, his face was nothing but shadows and indistinct features.
Fear tightened her muscles and sent a line of sweat rolling down her back. Still, she kept her voice cool and steady.
“Who goes there?” She narrowed her eyes, hoping to recognize the stranger’s features.
“Why, it’s Miss Hannah.” Pitched nearly to a whisper, the voice was unidentifiable, yet it carried clearly on the still night air. “Whatever are you doing in the woods, alone, at nearly three in the morning?”
“It’s none of your concern,” she answered sharply, shifting so that her coat fell open. She wanted access to her pistol.
“Hmmm.” The man stepped forward. It wasn’t a menacing movement, but certainly commanding. “What kind of mischief would a gently bred lady get into in the dead of night? A lover, perhaps?” The whisper became a sensual caress in the darkness.
Her heart thumped once, hard. She knew that voice, felt its timbre resonate through her.
“What are you about, my lord?” she asked coolly.
Langford prowled to the side so that he was on her right, standing just at the transition of trees to path. He seemed to merge with the tree trunks until he was only a shadow among shadows. Still, she knew what he would look like. Lean and angular and handsome, with eyes she the color of the sky in midsummer.
“Is the lady engaging in something illicit?” The words slid over her, a stroke of heat and danger in the darkness. “Smuggling, perhaps?”
Her mouth went dry. He knew.
The Smuggler Wore Silk (A Spy in the Ton Novel) is available at the following online locations, as well as your local bookstore:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Walmart | Kobo | Schuler's
Despite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn't mind using a laundry basket for a closet, and a small boy who wears a knight in a shining armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes.
Alyssa loves to talk with readers, so please her find at her Social Media Links: