Today, Freya's Bower releases Angels Sinners and Madmen, my historical novel set in 1856 Key West, Florida. I like to refer to it as a historical adventure romance, because this story has so many great elements (which I will explore later in the new Story Elements series).
Tomorrow's debut of a new post series called Casting Call will give you a peek at who starred in the version playing inside my mind as I was writing Angels Sinners and Madmen.
Today's a day of celebration! *throws confetti and blows noisemaker* I've mentioned this many times, but Angels Sinners and Madmen burst to life in my head during a visit to Key West, particularly during a visit to the wrecker's museum. The incredible history of the wreckers intrigued me, and I wanted to bring their story to life. Because of the extensive research, the task seemed overwhelming, but I set my mind to writing the first draft during NaNoWriMo a few years ago. I'm really happy with the final result. I hope you will be too!
Here's the blurb:
What happens in Key West, stays in Key West. Especially in 1856, when men outnumber women by ten to one. Wrecker Sam Langhorne came to Key West eight years earlier to forget his ruined engagement. When he rescues Livvie Collins from a watery grave, he’s swept away by her beauty and spirit. He’s sworn off love, but is soon captivated by Livvie’s wit–and her determination to remain single.
The death of Livvie’s father leaves her no other option than to sail to New Orleans to live with her brother Wendell. Though she hopes to support herself by writing novels, she’s sure Wendell will try to soon marry her off, and is determined to experience life to its fullest before reaching New Orleans.
Sam is handsome and attentive, constantly surprising her with his intelligence and his interest in current literature and happenings. She gives herself to him in a night of passion so she can know the true emotion at least once in her life. But can she save herself after she arrives in New Orleans?
Here's an excerpt:
Acutely aware of his presence beside her, she suspected he had the same effect on other females. “It sounds like your days are very full, Mr. Langhorne.”
He halted, his gaze intense. “Will you never call me Sam? I may be older than you, but not so old to warrant such formality.”
His sudden seriousness took her by surprise. Using his name implied an informality—a familiarity–she wasn’t quite ready to allow. Then again, he’d brought her up from the depths, his strong arms leaving an indelible impression on her skin, one she felt even now. How much more familiar could one get? “Sam.”
He continued walking. “Thank you, Livvie.”
He said it naturally, as though he’d called her that all her life.
She glanced behind them, then ahead. “This is not a quicker route. In fact, I believe it will lengthen our walk.” These streets were new to her. The houses appeared larger, maintained better than those on Duval Street, at least at the end where the Crowells’ boarding house stood.
His brows furrowed as he pressed his lips together. “Hmm. Is that a fact?”
The stern look she tried to affect gave way to a smile. “So. Tell me about Philadelphia.”
“It’s a bustling metropolis where small-minded people live.” His tone had a sharper edge, and he avoided her gaze.
“City life doesn’t suit you?” Livvie’s curiosity got the better of her, one of her father’s chief complaints.
“Not when I could be here instead. The choice between spending my days there, devising means to outwit others, or here, in the glorious sunshine, my life mine to live as I see fit–well, it was the easiest choice I’ve ever made.”
“What do you mean, outwitting others? Were you a thief?”
He laughed. “In a manner of speaking.”
So willing to share certain parts of himself, so reticent to share others. What secrets, she wondered, did Samuel Langhorne hide?
She scrutinized him. “You are a puzzle.” More likely a Pandora’s box, and the temptation to open it grew.
I hope you'll come by tomorrow for Casting Call!
Leave a comment on this post before August 1 to be in the running to win an ecopy of Angels Sinners and Madmen!