In the summer of 2006 I traveled England's Kennet & Avon canal (see England at 3mph - Blog Archives - Feb 11 & Feb 23, 2011), so Lady of the Lock has been a long time in the making. Two things held it up: the crash of the traditional Regency market as Signet and Kensington shut down their Regency lines, and by the time indie publishing came along, my research materials had disappeared during my move to Orlando in 2007! But thanks to my son cleaning and organizing my garage last winter (with a magnificent array of shelving), the box containing detailed maps of the K&A canal and Bath, plus a host of other items collected during that trip, finally turned up. I practically cried. At last I could write Lady of the Lock.
It's quite possible Lady of the Lock contains more than most people want to know about building a canal - and very likely some wholly erroneous details I made up when my research failed me. But I hope any lapses on my part will not detract from the overall story, which I intended to be both heart-warming and humorous in spite of a whole series of "black moments." For cover and blurb, please see below.
At age eleven, Miss Amanda Merriwether encounters a rather rude young man on the banks of the Kennet & Avon canal and embarks on a decade-long relationship which suffers enough blows to discourage the strongest will. The young man is the Marquess of Montsale, heir to a dukedom; she, the daughter of the architect/engineer who designed the Kennet & Avon, a man the nobility consider little better than a tradesman. Scarcely a suitable family background for a marchioness! But the blood of a man capable of heading a massive construction project that has taken most of her lifetime to build runs through Amanda's veins. Even when she finally learns to spurn her long-time love, somehow a spark remains.
Grace Note: Lady of the Lock is a "traditional" Regency in the style of my previous Regencies, Lady Silence, A Gamble on Love, A Season for Love, The Temporary Earl, The Harem Bride, The Courtesan's Letters, Steeplechase, and my two Christmas novellas, Mistletoe Moment and The Last Surprise. The canal is real, the dates of construction real. All else is fiction. The man who actually designed and supervised the building of the Kennet & Avon canal was John Rennie, a Scotsman. His career includes a number of other canals, major bridges, and docks and harbors. His design for London Bridge was carried out by his son after Rennie's death. One of the outstanding architect/engineers of his time, John Rennie is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.
Lady of the Lock is currently "live" at Kindle and Smashwords. Best guess for Nook, Sony, and other e-readers, 2-3 weeks yet. (Please remember - Smashwords offers a 20% free read.)
Thanks for stopping by.
Coming soon: "How Not to Write a Book" or "The Sad Tale of Rogue's Destiny"