It seems that in every book I write there is at least one character who demands more attention than she receives in the story. In some cases, this results in an obvious opportunity to write a sequel, such as Sense and Sensuality, featuring Caroline and Tristan from A Duchess Enraged, or the lovely Letitia, Lady Morgan in The Secret Bluestocking (Traditional) /A Lady of Passion (After Dark). Letty’s story (yet to be titled) is coming in January, 2015. In the latter case(s), Harriet Walcott, the spinster companion of Miss Isobel Paley, kept expanding her personality until it finally it became clear that Harriet and Lord Glencairn had developed an interest in one another. Unfortunately, there wasn’t really room to deal with this within the story arc of Isobel and Lord Francis’ romance, but I hated to leave Miss Walcott without the happy ending that so clearly seemed to be waiting for her in the wings.
Harriet’s story didn’t appear to be a fit for a full length novel, but as I looked at where we left her when Isobel and Francis became engaged, it seemed that a novella might work. Since the book ends in late summer, I thought that providing Harriet with a husband for Christmas would be appropriate. So, I’m letting you know that I’ll be releasing The Yuletide Countess as a Christmas novella in early December. Some stories simply don’t work as an After Dark treatment, and I think readers will agree that poor Harriet would be shocked and “very much mortified,” if I revealed anything about her relationship with Glencairn beyond a kiss! So, this book will be released in a Traditional version only (in somewhat the same way the story of Caroline and Tristan really called for just an After Dark novel).
I think of the The Yuletide Countess as a “co-quel” or “side-car” to The Secret Bluestocking/A Lady of Passion, in that the story extends to the Christmas after Isobel and Francis marry but much of it happens in parallel with the other book. However, the point of view is strictly Harriet’s. Many of the events that occur mirror those of the first story, and, for consistency, there are a few paragraphs of dialogue that can be found in both books. However, at least 95% of the novella consists of entirely new material, describing Harriet’s experience of the events.
Giving the generally neglected and disrespected character of the companion/chaperone who escapes genteel poverty in the home of a wealthier relative, a book, a voice, a romance and a happy ending for Harriet was very rewarding for me! I hope that all my readers will enjoy the story of a spinster finding her happily ever after, as told in this Christmas treat.