I have the pleasure of sharing a post by author Sofie Darling, who shares the journey of her first book.
The path to publication for my first book is a bit of a convoluted story, so bear with me.
Even though Tempted by the Viscount is the second book in my Shadows and Silk series, I actually wrote it first. After I’d finished it, I went to RWA’s national convention and pitched it to an editor. She asked for the first three chapters and a synopsis. Months went by, and I didn’t
hear from her. So I figured she’d passed on it. I’d completely moved on and had started writing the next book when I received an email from her, asking for the entire manuscript. Elated, I sent
A few months later, she returned it with revision notes. She wanted me to cut
at least 15,000 words and focus the story more tightly on the main characters and less on the secondary storyline. Because this was an editor with a major publishing house, I gave it a shot.
After a few rounds, the end product wasn’t satisfactory to either of us, and we
decided to part ways. I was tied up in this process for an entire year. It was a huge
Meanwhile, I was also writing Three Lessons in Seduction, the book that I thought
would be the second in the series. Then a critique partner suggested I switch the order of the
books around due to a big twist that happens in Three Lessons. She was absolutely right. I changed the order, and Three Lessons in Seduction became book one.
The following spring, I submitted Three Lessons to a few unpublished writing
contests. To my delight, it won one and finaled in two others, a double-finalist in
one of them. This was my signal to start submitting to publishers again. Soon, I found an editor who was excited about my work, and we’ve enjoyed a great working relationship since. Her Midnight Sin is the third book in the series, and I’m currently writing the fourth!
Shadows and Silk series
Like a vengeful Norse God, Captain John Nylander has come from the sea to steal the only home that Callie has ever known. And that might not be all he's after.
Can a Viking . . .
Orphaned as a child, Nylander has never known a real home. Now he is ready to leave the dangers of his past behind and put down the roots he has always longed for. The only thing standing in his way is a lanky aristocratic lady who is more at home on the farm than in the ballroom. And she has secrets . . .
And a Viscountess . . .
Callie, the Dowager Viscountess St. Alban, has poured all her energy into making Wyldcombe Grange her home. Managing an estate is not what she dreamed of, but her late husband's rejection made it clear that love and a family would never be hers. Now she may lose even that to the sinfully handsome Captain. But Nylander is making her dream again . . .
Turn passion into love?
Nylander inspires a recklessness in Callie that she can't control. Soon she finds herself conspiring with pirates and contemplating midnight trysts with the very Viking who has turned her life upside down. For Nylander, being with Callie embodies everything he's always wanted--home. As midnight strikes, will all their secret, sinful dreams come true?
His voice was deep enough to shake the foundations of this mansion loose. Certainly deep enough to rattle Callie, her breath shallow and her mouth dry. She rose to a stand by slow increments and stood so silent and so still that she imagined she might be forgotten. Then the captain’s gaze met hers over St. Alban’s shoulder, and all hope was lost. His eyes narrowed in question, and she lifted a single, imperious eyebrow in response. The Grange knew that eyebrow well, and she sensed it was her best defense against this man in this moment.
Before her stood the man who would never be her friend. He was her rival . . . her enemy. Soft gaslight caught the golden strands of his unfashionably long, slightly unkempt hair and the glint of clear blue sky in his eye. For all his modern English attire, the man could have been a Viking, a Norse god even, from the tales of yore come to life. All he lacked was a shield in one hand and a hammer in the other.
Callie’s breath had no choice but to catch in her chest. Her enemy was imposing, yes, but did he also have to be so blasted, devastatingly . . . god-like?
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4.25 out of 5 stars
Her Midnight Sin by Sophie Darling is the third book in the ‘A Shadows and Silk novel’ series and centers around Lady Calpurnia (Callie) Radclyffe, the atypical Dowager Viscountess St. Alban, who is fighting to retain control of the estate that she has worked so hard to revive. Nylander, a sea captain who has overcome his harsh past, but has not quite realized his dreams, as nebulous as they might be, becomes her unwitting nemesis. He is fascinated by Callie, but each of them faces difficult decisions and hold secrets that will undoubtedly destroy any chance at a relationship unless they learn to trust one another.
This sensual historical romance has compelling characters who keep the reader rooting for them and anxiously hoping that things work out. The artful revelation of key turning points in each person’s background, the beautiful lyrical descriptions, and the surprising facets that are gradually revealed made this such an enjoyable read for me. Who can resist a woman who has the courage to exercise the way she wants to and dress for comfort, and what a swoonworthy hero who evokes images of Vikings and Thor. I love passages such as “It wouldn’t do to take those words inside. They might fill him with boundless joy.” or sun that “had a scant allotment of light and heat that it must portion out like a miser.” The combination of the beautiful word portraits and the delightfully romantic situations that arise kept me enthralled and invested in the story. There were a couple of elements that I had a few quibbles with, but nothing major. This is part of a series but the story can stand alone with no problem. I think this book will appeal to fans of historical romance and undoubtedly garner new fans for this talented author.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review