Wait…there’s one piece still missing! Head on over to AMAZON to see the full cover! Don’t forget to pre-order your copy while you are there! Happy Reading–
August 3rd marks the release of Southern Comfort, the follow-up to my contemporary rom-com Southern Hospitality! Can you say excited? But what’s a new release without a cover reveal? So for the next 6 days I’ll bring you the wonderful cover for Southern Comfort one little piece at a time. Here’s the first one…
When I first started writing two different types of romances, sex was the dividing line. All the Amy Lillard books didn’t have sex and all the Amie Louellen books did. At the time it seemed like a really good plan, the perfect way for my readers to know which books were for them.
Then I released the sweet (no sex) version of Love Potion Me, Baby. At first this was to be an Amy Lillard book, then one of my editors convinced me that it should be an Amie Louellen book. His argument was that it would keep my Amy Lillard books branded as Amish. Well, that lasted all of three days. Before I knew it, Amy Lillard books were all over the place (branding wise) and the Amie Louellen books were all focused on one subgenre–sexy romantic comedies.
More recently, I got the call from Penguin Random House books! They want to publish my ‘cowboy series’. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this project. There are no words. Then the editor threw me a curve ball. They want to publish my sexy, small town series under Amy Lillard.
But I had these plans. And sex has always been a divider in the romance genre. In fact, that’s how they are defined. Sweet equals no sex. Erotic equals *lots* of sex. It has always been this way. Most of my contemporaries fall somewhere in between.
But then the editor said something to me that I hadn’t thought of before. She pointed out that my Amish books and my cowboy/Texas books all have a small town feel.
Huh. Well that changes things. (That and the thrill of seeing the book of my heart on the shelves with my ‘real’ name on the cover.) And so a new division was born–the small town romance.
I can’t say this is a clean division. The Hot Southern Nights Series as well as Blame It On Texas both have that small town feel, but since they are already published, they have to remain where they are for now.
Why am I mentioning this on my Amie Louellen website when it has so much to do with Amy Lillard books? Simple. To let you know that if you like my sexy small town romances, you’ll now find them with Amy Lillard books.
Welcome Home, Bethie McGee has had a makeover, complete with a new cover and title. And as I continue that series the new books will be published under that name and that’s where you’ll find them. These books will have the same title and same image on the cover, though the inspirational books will be black and white and the sexy version in color. Both versions will be Amy Lillard books.
My Amie Louellen books will continue to be fun and sexy romantic comedies about billionaire heroes, sassy heroines, and maybe even faraway places. (Minus The Hot Southern Nights from this guide. They are all set in small towns, but your one glimpse at the town will most likely be your last as I move on to the next in the series.)
I’m also working on some pretty spectacular things on my website. These will help readers connect with the characters of these books. But more on that when these new features are ready to reveal. Until then, if you are new to my Amie Louellen books, Brodie’s Bride is still free, but not for very much longer. Time is winding down to read this fun and sassy story at no cost to you. Love Potion Me Baby, The Trouble With Millionaires (Formerly Love Potion and Other Travesties), and All You Need Is Love are all 99¢, but again, the time to take advantage of this opportunity is now. Soon, these will all return to their original price of $2.99. And Can’t Buy Me Love is still at $2.99 but you can get it free when you sign up for my newsletter!
There are more plans brewing and I’ll be back to tell you more about them later.
Until then, thanks for reading!!
So happy today to have my good friend, Lilly Gayle here with her latest release. I’m double excited because this is an historical release AND it has a little bit to do with…
Serial killers and romance novels—not normally two things that go together, but in my latest historical release, Slightly Noble, the most prolific female serial killer of the Victorian era is mentioned three times. Her name? Amelia Dyer.
Amelia Dyer was raised in Bristol by respectable parents and trained as a nurse before deciding “baby farming” was a much more lucrative career and required far less work.
In Victorian times, Baby farmer was the name given to women (and sometimes couples) who took in unwanted and/or illegitimate children and infants for a fee until a more permanent home could be found. Most of the children died of neglect or starvation because feeding the children cut too heavily into their profit margins. Some baby farmers decided it was more profitable to murder the children and infants outright and not waste time looking for a permanent home because well, a dead child doesn’t eat at all.
Amelia Dyer was one of those baby farmers.
For a mere five pounds, she would take in a child with the promise of finding a loving home for the infant. Often times, she would pose as the adopting mother, anxious to raise a little one as her own. The children were never placed in permanent homes, and over her thirty-year career as a “baby farmer,” she is believed to have killed no less than eight and possibly as many as 400 infants.
In 1879, a doctor became suspicious of the number of infants who died while in Mrs. Dyers’ care, and she was charged with neglect. She served six months’s hard labor before returning to her infamous career.
In 1895 the tiny corpse of Helena Fry was found in the Thames river with a ribbon tied around her neck. The ribbon and the parcel in which she was wrapped was traced back to Amelia Dyer.
Dyer was arrested on April 4th, 1896, and by May, seven more bodies were found with tapes around their tiny necks. One of those infants was four-month-old Doris Marmon. Dyer’s defense attorney tried claiming she was insane, as she had spent some time in insane asylums, but Mrs. Dyer soon confessed that Doris Marmon was not the only infant in the Thames.
“You’ll know all mine by the tape around their necks,” she said.
It took the jury just five minutes to convict her, and on June 10, 1896, Amelia Dyer was hanged at Newgate Prison.
Despite the fact that my latest historical release, Slightly Noble is set in 1865 rather than 1879 or 1896, I took some creative license using Amelia Dyer’s name in the story. Since Mrs. Dyer’s career as a baby farmer spanned thirty years, she could have been actively acquiring babies as early as 1865. And despite her arrest and six month sentence occurring in 1879, I mention it in Slightly Noble because the dates were close enough to fit the sub-plot of my story. I also wanted to emphasize how dire my heroine, Abby’s, situation was since she is pregnant and unwed during a time in history when women had few choices, and Bastardy laws limited those choices even more.
“It be your kind what come up with legislation to deter illegitimate births. But them Bastardy Laws condemn unwed mothers to impossible situations and protect society gents from financial responsibility. Them laws force women out of employment and bar
them from the workhouse. They got no choice but to become prostitutes, pay baby farmers, or kill the babes at birth. My sister provided a safer solution. Then that Dyer woman got caught starving babies she took in and tossing their little bodies into the Thames like garbage. She was charged with neglect and only served six months.”
American privateer, Captain Jack isn’t really an American, but heir to a viscountcy. When his father dies, he leaves everything not entailed with the estate to his worthless cousin. Jack’s only hope of inheriting his mother’s ancestral home and honoring her dying wish is to marry and produce an heir before his thirty-fifth birthday—in five months. And he doesn’t have a single prospect. Pregnant and unwed, Abigail Halsey is sent by her father to an Anglican convent until he can find a family to adopt his grandchild or a husband for his daughter. Abby has other plans, but they go awry when she goes into labor early and her rescuer, a pirate captain turned lord, insists on marrying her. Is Jack too much like his jealous, unforgiving father? Can Abby overcome her fear of men and have a real marriage? Or will she never be anything more than the unwanted wife of a Slightly Noble Viscount?
“Well, you will be welcomed now, Abby. You are a viscountess.” His voice softened, but his eyes shone with disappointment. Was it because he had hoped she would confide in him? Or because she had confessed her humble origins?
Pride stiffened her spine. “I am more than just a viscountess. I am a wife and mother, and if I am to be a good wife, at some point, I must act like a wife.” This meant running a household, not living on a ship. She did not want to argue or have him ask more questions about her past, but she could not bear living aboard ship indefinitely.
He started, his expression surprised. Then a slow smile spread over his face, and his eyes burned as if he had a fever. He leaned over the table, his face mere inches from hers. “A real wife sleeps in her husband’s bed.”
Abby’s breath hitched. Her pulse jumped. Oh dear! He had taken her meaning all wrong. Heat rushed to her cheeks, and her flesh tingled. “What I meant…That is, I should be running your household.”
“We live on a ship.” He leaned back in his chair. He still smiled, but it was now more humorous than…amorous?
She shivered, unable to suppress a brief surge of longing. What would it be like to kiss that hard mouth? To feel his lips pressed against hers?
Dear Lord! What is wrong with me?
Lilly Gayle is a wife, mother of two grown daughters, a new grandmother, and a breast cancer
survivor. She lives in North Carolina with her husband. When not working as an x-ray technologist and mammographer, Lilly writes paranormal and historical romances.
You can visit her at: