Why I Published My Series Out of Order

Posted at Apr 8, 2014 6:50 pm in , , , , ,

The one thing all newer authors learn pretty quickly is that there is no blueprint, no “how to” guide, to publishing.underwoodkeyboard

I’m a new-ish author.  Even though I’ve published three books in the past year, I remain a novice in many ways and how I handled my first series certainly attests to that fact.

My debut novel, published in April 2013, was not the first manuscript I wrote; it wasn’t even the first book I sold. The first title I sold was Tempting Bella, the third book in the series. My fabulous agent went to bat for me right away, asking my editor to publish the second book in the series, Seducing Charlotte, first.

Why not the publish the first book in the series first? After all, that would make the most sense as reviewers have certainly pointed out.

One friendly blogger, who had given the first two books nice reviews, wrote this about Compromising Willa:

“Overall, not a bad read once I got past my confusion at the beginning.” 

Another reviewer, who gave all three books excellent reviews, wrote:

“For some reason ‘the men in suits’ that bought these stories, decided they should be published out-of-order. Don’t ask!”

I wish I could blame the ‘men in suits’, but the responsibility lies with an insecure author in elastic-waist pants. Yes, that would be me.

Diana Quincy’s Accidental Peers series in order of publication, although not in chronological order.

Diana Quincy’s Accidental Peers series in order of publication, although not in chronological order.

Compromising Willa, the first book in the series, was also the first book I ever wrote. It had finaled in contests for unpublished writers but had never won. By contrast, Seducing Charlotte and Tempting Bella racked up a number of contest wins and I thought they were “higher concept” and would sell better. In my mind, Willa was relegated to less-favored child status even though I loved the story and the characters.

Because of this, I never sent Willa to my agent and my editor wasn’t even aware Willa existed until she asked, “Do you have any other books in this series?”

“Um, yes,” I said and promptly emailed the manuscript. My publisher bought it, along with the unfinished fourth book in the series, demonstrating more confidence in me and my writing than I had.

I am sorry if this created confusion for my readers and, in some cases, diminished their reading enjoyment. Thank you for your patience.  The good news is that the next book in the series, Engaging the Earl, is being released in the proper chronological order!  



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Compromising Willa Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt

Posted at Feb 16, 2014 1:44 am in , , , , ,


February 17   Michelle Chew Writes
February 17   Bookworm2Bookworm
February 17   Simply Ali
February 18   Bookworm Blurbs
February 18   herding cats & burning soup
February 19   Margay Leah Justice
February 19   Curling Up With A Good Book
February 20   Ramblings From This Chick
February 20   Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
February 21   BookGroupies
February 21   Romantic Reads and Such
February 24   Always Reiding
February 24   Fade Into Fantasy
February 25   The Gal in the Blue Mask
February 25   Fab Fantasy Fiction
February 26   What I’m Reading
February 26   Ex Libris
February 27   Becky on Books
February 27   Reviews by Crystal
February 28   The La La Land of Books
February 28   Talking Books Blog

Join us! I’m giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card, a digital copy of Tempting Bella (Book 2 in my Accidental Peers series) and a canister of Willa’s custom blended Peppermint Apple Black Tea. Grand Prize_edited-1

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The (Not-so) Great Home Office Makeover

Posted at Feb 3, 2014 11:37 pm in , , , , , , ,

Lately, I’ve been thinking I need a space of my own.

When I started writing about five years ago, I chose to work in the dining room―which gave me an excellent view out the front of the house and of the backyard―so I could keep an eye on my boys when they played outside. It’s worked pretty well, except that I have to clean up all of my folders, books and papers (ie. junk) whenever we have guests.

I also have no place to hang writing-related memorabilia or inspiration boards for my work in progress. And I’ve got an award or two I picked up as an unpublished writer  hidden in a drawer somewhere.

My current writing spot in my dining room, which gives me a view of the front and backyard. (This is the cleaned-up-for-company version.)

My current writing spot in my dining room, which gives me a view of the front and backyard. (This is the cleaned-up-for-company version.)

Since the boys are older now and I no longer need to keep as close an eye on them (at least not when they play outside), I’d like a place to shelve my research books and favorite things, while also centralizing my writing tools and needs in one place.

Luckily, we’ve got a study that pretty much no one uses. It’s the place sports equipment is dropped and old instruments go to gather dust. The book shelves are a mish-mash of old children’s books and other books that are not really keepers.


The “Before” picture of the study no one really uses. It doesn’t look bad, but it’s not really conducive to writing. I’ve had that couch almost 20 years and, even though it’s still in good shape, I think it’s time to give it away to open up the space.

A key part of the makeover is budget…as in, I don’t really have one. So this is going to have to be a thrifty redesign. Remember that old HGTV show, Design on a Dime? That’s kind of what I’m going for here.

To start, I went in search of a deal at an antiques place near where I live. The shop has an annual “Ground Hog Day Sale” where I’ve managed to find some treasures over the years. This time, I came away with a couple of great finds, including a black painted wood desk with nice clean lines. And the price tag? An amazing $69. Sold!   

My new desk on display in the shop. For $69, I snapped it up.

My new desk on display in the shop. For $69, I snapped it up.


My new desk in its new space, but not its final spot. Let the (not-so) Great Home Office makeover begin!

My new desk in its new space, but not its final spot. Let the (not-so) Great Home Office makeover begin!


My next big question is what to do about the shelving unit. It was a freebie when we moved into the house and looks much better in pictures than it does in real life. Should I paint it black and keep it or is it time to start scouring Craig’s List for a nice set of shelves? Decisions, decisions…    



Compromising Willa Blog Tour

Posted at Dec 29, 2013 1:30 pm in , , ,


December 29  Read More Romance

December 30  Rage, Sex, and Teddy Bears 

January 8  Fresh Fiction

January 9  Bookhounds

January 10  Buried Under Romance

January 10  Close Encounters 

January 15  Cocktails and Books

January 16  Manga Maniac Cafe 

January 17  Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance

January 20  Read Between the Lines

January 21  The Fiction Enthusiast

January 22  My World

January 24  Love Bites and Silk Ties 

January 27  All I Want and More 

January 27  Rookie Romance

January 28  Harlie’s Books

January 29  Romance Book Junkies

January 30  Sarah Ballance

February 3  Babbling Books & More

To celebrate the release of Compromising Willa, I’m giving away a $20 Starbucks gift card & a digital copy of Tempting Bella, book 2 in my Accidental Peers series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Primer: Spotting the Difference Between Alpha & Beta Heroes

Posted at Nov 6, 2013 1:57 pm in , , , , ,

The hero in romance novels is often possessive, aggressive, dominant and protective—characteristics attributed to the alpha hero.

He is a leader of men and, more often than not, a serial seducer of women who can’t seem to help succumbing to his irresistible charisma. This leading man is often the bad boy until he meets his match in the heroine, who eventually tames him…a little.

Beta characters are usually relegated to the role of best friend in romance novels; they’re the amiable sidekick of the tough-talking, butt-kicking and, often, emotionally-distant alpha hero. There are times, however, when the beta takes center stage and creates a memorable hero for the ages.

Mr. Darcy, from Pride and Prejudice, is the ultimate beta hero. Darcy is quiet, contained, and seemingly arrogant, but we eventually learn he is innately kind and puts the well being of others before himself.


 Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice”

Sebastian, the hero in Tempting Bella, the second book in my Accidental Peers series, is also one of these kinder, gentler leading men. He is decent, honorable and essentially selfless. He’s also complex, virile and very sexy.

While I love a good alpha hero, there is something undeniably alluring about a beta hero, too.  Here’s a little primer on how to spot the difference between an alpha and a beta:

The alpha hero can have a little bit of a jerk in him.
The beta hero is a nice guy.

The alpha hero doesn’t always start out treating ladies with respect.
The beta hero treats a lady with the respect she deserves.

The alpha hero goes after what he wants.
The beta hero usually puts other people’s desires before his own.

The alpha hero loves sex and has lots of it with a variety of women…until he meets his true love, the heroine, and then sex becomes meaningful and monogamous.
The beta hero loves sex but is often not as sexually experienced as an alpha male, so intimacy is more meaningful to him.

The alpha tries to impose his will on the heroine, at least in the beginning.
The beta refuses to impose his will on the heroine; he prefers using gentle persuasion.

The alpha hero is never a wimp and he’ll kick plenty of butt to prove it.
The beta hero is never a wimp, but he often operates behind the scenes to achieve the outcome he desires.

The best alpha hero has a bit of beta in him.
The best beta hero has a bit of alpha in him.

The alpha hero is the guy you love to read about in books.
The beta hero is the guy you want to marry in real life.

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Top 5 Scariest Things About the Regency

Posted at Oct 21, 2013 6:21 pm in , , , , ,


In Regency romance novels, society and everyday living are often depicted as elegant and gentile. However, in the course of researching my historical novels, I’ve come across several cringe-inducing Regency realities.

In honor of Halloween, I’ve listed the top five scariest things about living in Regency England.

I guarantee more than one of them will make you squeamish!


TOP 5 Scariest Things About Living During Regency Times

Doping Up the Kids  If the baby was a bit fussy, colicky or teething uncomfortably, it wasn’t unusual to slip a little laudanum into his cup or to use laudanum-laced medicines such as Steedman’s Powder or Godfrey’s Cordial to sooth the little darling. Women also used the substance to ease anxiety or menstrual cramps. Today we know this miracle drug by its more modern name: opium.

Surgery Without General Anesthesia  Since ether wasn’t discovered in England until the 1840s, patients were generally operated on after being plied with booze or, you guessed it, laudanum! But you couldn’t give the patient too much of the drug for fear of overdose, so these methods did not always keep the patient asleep during the operation.

Gathering Leeches for Blood letting  Blood letting using leeches was a commonly used medical procedure in Regency England. Doctors believed bleeding patients could cure a variety of illnesses. That’s bad enough, but what might be more hair-raising is the way in which these leeches were collected. Women would stand in marshes, river banks and lakes, and allow leeches to attach to their legs. The leeches were then detached from the limbs and placed in a pot or basket.  

Wife for Sale  During this period and beyond, the occasional dissatisfied husband would decide to sell his wife. He would lead her to the marketplace, sometimes with a rope around her neck, and auction her off to the highest bidder. In one case, in 1835 (just after the Regency period) the wife outlived both her husband and her buyer, and was successfully able to claim her rights as her husband’s widow.

Relieving Oneself in the Dining Room (Not as scary as the top four, but this one makes the list because of the gross factor.) Once the ladies had withdrawn and left the gentlemen to their port and cheroots, it was not uncommon for one of the so-called gentlemen to relieve himself in full view of others. One can only imagine what a mess this could be if said gentleman had a little too much to drink.


This Halloween, get spooky, get funky!
 Get down this October with All Entangled Eve.
 Entangled Publishing is hosting a massive blog hop.  
With over 50 authors participating, this is your chance to win a ton of fantastic prizes from your favorite authors!
Click here for more information on how to win great prices.




He’s No Doormat: Praise for the Beta Hero

Posted at Oct 12, 2013 5:00 am in , , , ,

OgnjenKecmanTempting Bella, the second book in my Accidental Peers series, features a kinder, gentler leading man.

In short, Sebastian is a beta hero. Betas are often consigned to the role of best friend in romance novels, the sidekick of the tough-talking, butt-kicking and, often, emotionally-distant alpha hero. As the hero in Tempting Bella, Sebastian is decent, honorable and essentially selfless. He’s also complex, virile and very sexy!

While I love a good alpha hero, there is something undeniably alluring about a beta hero—he’s the guy you’d love to marry in real life.

Here are my Top 10 Things to Love About a Beta Hero

1) He’s a nice guy.

2) He treats a lady with the respect she deserves.

3) He’s comfortable enough with his masculinity that he doesn’t have to act like a Neanderthal to prove he’s a real man.

4) He often puts other people’s desires before his own.

5) He is warm, tender and projects a quiet strength.

6) He is often not as sexually experienced as an alpha male, so intimacy is more meaningful to him.

7) He refuses to impose his will on the heroine.

8) The beta hero is never a wimp.

9) He has a teeny bit of alpha in him 

10) On top of all of those winning qualities, a beta hero can still be hot, charismatic and sexy!

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Tempting Bella Cover Reveal!

Posted at Aug 27, 2013 1:24 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s official!

Tempting Bella has a cover and I’m thrilled to share it with you!  I love the elegance and mystery of this cover, plus the striking contrast of the black and white with a nice pop of hot pink. Thanks to all of the people over at my publisher, Entangled Scandalous, for this great look.

 Tempting Bella_


 Tempting Bella will be released Monday, September 9.  It’s Book 2 in my Accidental Peers series. Here’s the preview:

Mirabella can hardly remember the man she married as a child and it’s just as well. She feels nothing but contempt for the man who married her for her fortune and promptly forgot she existed.

Sebastian has been apart from his child bride since their wedding day, after a teenaged marriage forced upon him to rescue his family from certain ruin. His attempt to honor his vows to his absent wife have earned him the nickname, “The Saint.” But when he encounters an enchanting impish beauty at the opera, Sebastian cannot resist learning who she is and is  thrilled to learn she is none other than his long-ago bride.
Already resentful of his early abandonment, Bella is suspicious of her husband’s unusual activities —mysterious midnight outings and apparent liaisons with pretty servant girls. Then there is the mounting evidence that Sebastian is not who he claims to be.

Guarding the painful secret of his true identity, Sebastian is entranced by Bella. Delighted by his good fortune, he is eager to make her his wife in truth. But the beguiling lady has no intention of coming meekly to the marriage bed!

 Interested? Check out the First Chapter Here.

Tempting Bella is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all other online retailers. 



Seducing Charlotte Gets a Fab New Cover!

Posted at Aug 17, 2013 3:11 am in , , , , ,

I’m so excited to show you the new cover for Seducing Charlotte

My publisher, Entangled Scandalous, is revamping all of its historical covers, giving them a sharp, fresh new look.

I absolutely love the result. Charlotte gets a blue dress on the cover, just as she does in a crucial scene from the book. And I love the background. Most of Seducing Charlotte takes place at a stately country manor, so this new background sets the scene nicely. Very elegant.  

I loved the old cover but I think the new one is even better. What do you think? 


Seducing Charlotte's new cover. Love!

Seducing Charlotte’s new cover. Love!


Seducing Charlotte's original

Seducing Charlotte’s original cover


You can check out more of Entangled Scandalous’ new historical covers HERE

Leave me a comment telling me whether you prefer the original design or the new cover for a chance to win a digital copy of Seducing Charlotte. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, Aug. 25.  

Let’s discuss!



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