Friday, 26 November 2010

Latest Regency letters & other

News for Anne Herries fans.
The Lord's Forced Bride has been high in the list of best selling historical romance since early in September. It goes up to number two and then comes down, but it has stayed in the top ten or twenty all this time. So thank you to the fans buying my books on kindle.

The next in the series is Her Dark & Dangerous Lord, which was published a while ago in US but comes out in UK early next year.

Now read about a book I published myself and the latest in the Regency letters.

The Witch Child

First I would like to tell you about something I consider quite daring for me. I have put a book into Kindle myself. I wasn't sure I could do it but I had an MS of my very first published book, which Robert Hale published in 1980. I've had the rights for years but never done anything with it. Then I read about Amazon's new policy for authors, which is much fairer than it used to be and decided to have a go. I didn't have a cover so I used a photo of my garden, a little secret summerhouse, which is actually quite apt for the book. I have published it under Linda Sole and it is now up at You just go to kindle then put Linda Sole in and it is there for sale. The picture above is the one you will see and I feel quite chuffed. This is an experiement but if people buy the book I intend to publish some previously unpublished books that are too long for my publishers and rather different. So fingers crossed there will be some interest.

She was beautiful. She was wicked. She was wanton. And she drove men mad with desire! But to love her was to court death or despair. She was the Witch Child…

Now read the latest in the Regency Lady's letters.

From Lady Horation Melton to her mother

Dearest Mama

It is with great relief that I write to tell you that my brother is at last feeling a little better in himself. For a while I feared that he might succumb to his illness but he begged me not to worry you. Now he asks that you will visit him when our sister can spare you.

I had a letter from Melton asking me to return but refused him on the grounds that I could not leave Robert while he was so ill. Once you are free to visit I may return to London briefly, but I must tell you, Mama, I have grave doubts about my marriage. I believe it must come to an end soon for neither of us is happy. Robert has offered me a home here and I may take him at his word. I cannot say for sure, because I have thought of going abroad. Please try not to be too shocked or upset. I know you believe it is a wife's duty to obey her husband in all things but I no longer feel able to do this. There was never true love in the marriage and now there is no longer respect.

Please do not lecture me for my mind is made up.

Your affectionate daughter.

From Lady Horatia to her lover

My dearest One

At last Robert is feeling better. He asks that you visit soon, because he wishes to meet you. He has given me his blessing in the matter of our affair and I have made up my mind that I shall see Melton once more only, to tell him that our marriage is over. It will not be pleasant, for I fear he will try to stop me leaving him, but I am not afraid of him.

I long to see you. Do come soon.

Your adoring Horatia.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Letters From a Regency lady

The Lord's Forced Bride has been in the top one hundred historical romance and historical books. This morning it was number four in kindle and number seventeen in books (historical).

Very exciting for me!

|Now read the latest in Regency Letters.

An entry in Lady Horatia’s diary

I cannot write this in a letter to anyone for my dearest Robert told me in confidence and I would not betray him for the world. Yet it is too hard to keep inside and so I must put down what he told me.

I understand now why he has been so ill and why for a time he did not seem to wish to recover. I suspected that Robert had been disappointed in love but it is so much worse, so painful that I can hardly bear to write the words.

Robert was and is in love, but the object of his affection was a chambermaid who worked at an inn, a girl of no breeding and little education. My brother tells me that she was the sweetest, kindest girl in the world and I believe him for he wept as he told me. He knew that to marry his darling Alice would mean that his mama would never forgive him. He would have received no further preferment in the army and might have been ostracised by his friends. It is his grief and his shame that he let these things weigh with him yet still embarked on a clandestine love affair with the girl. Even when she told him she was to have his child, my brother begged her to keep their secret, which she did until the last. When her employer at last discovered the truth she was dismissed. She went away and hid herself in shame telling only Robert where she lived. He visited her and promised to take care of her but his regiment was out of town when she gave birth, alone and in great distress.

Robert wept bitterly when he told me that on his return he went to visit her and found both Alice and the child dead. She had bled to death after the birth and the child died either at birth or soon after of neglect.

No man could bear such guilt. I do not wonder that my beloved brother was close to death when I reached him. Had I not pledged to stay with him I think he must have given up. I do not think that he will ever truly recover for how could he? His pain is mine and I feel his shame and his despair. He has told me that I must never do as he did, never hide my love for the person I wish to be with.

‘If you send him away and something should happen you will never forgive yourself,’ he told me as I held him while he wept out his sorrow and regret.

I shall write to my dearest love later. Robert’s story has broken my heart. For now I can write no more.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Regency Letters 7

Another installment in my regency letter story.
Enjoy! Anne Herries

Regency letters 7

My very dear mother and sister.

I must tell you that I found your brother and son very ill indeed. Dearest Robert hardly knew me when I reached him and in his fever he called for someone of whom I have no knowledge. I think it is a lady but I did not recognise the name. I was able to comfort him and after some hours of deep anxiety, he came back to me. The fever has broken though he seems in low spirits. He has asked me if I will take him home and stay with him until he feels able to return to his regiment. I have agreed to do this and shall write to Melton and tell him of my intention. If my sister is well enough to part with her mama, I think my brother would like to see her once we are at home. However, I shall not desert him while he is so low for I fear that he might sink into a decline if he were to spend too much time alone.

I must go now, because he will be wanting me to read to him. We hope to return home in three days and you should send your reply there.

Your loving daughter and sister Horatia.

My dear Melton

I have your letter of last week demanding that I return to you in London. Forgive me but I find I am unable to comply with your request, sir. My brother is still very unwell and I shall not leave him until he is able to return to his regiment.

I am sorry that you feel I have behaved badly. I assure you that I have done nothing I regret or of which I am ashamed. If you feel that the situation between us is irretrievable I would be agreeable to a separation and an amicable divorce in a year or so at your convenience.

I truly believe that our marriage was a mistake and regret any pain I may have caused you.


My dearest and true friend.

Your letters have been a wonderful support to me in this time of my brother’s illness. I could not tell Mama or my sister that I feared he would die for they would have come at once and he was too ill. Mama is a dear but she can be very trying and my sister is still recovering from her disappointment.

I have written to Melton and asked if he will agree to a separation. I am taking Robert to his estate soon and shall stay with him until he feels well again. After that…perhaps you will come to me at the estate, where we may be alone and talk of the future? I am quite determined that I shall not return to a life that contains nothing but unhappiness.

However, for the moment I know you will understand that Robert must come first with me. I know something is troubling him deeply and I think he must have suffered a disappointment for he is very low. My brother has always been so strong and confident and to see him like this is distressing. I have hopes that he will confide in me soon.

I shall count the hours until I see you, my very best of friends.

You have my love and always shall. Horatia

Saturday, 4 September 2010

The Pirate's Willing Captive

A small taster from The Pirate's Willing Captive.


Spring 1557

The man walked away from the hostelry on the waterfront deep in thought. He had booked passage on a ship bound for France and it might be many years before he returned home. His thoughts were regretful and angry for he had parted from his father with bitter words.
‘You take the word of others above mine, Father – you would believe a stranger above your own son.’
Justin Devere’s blue eyes had flashed with pride, making Sir John snort impatiently. ‘You were a damned fool, Justin. By God, sir! There is no excuse for what you have done. You are the great grandson of Robert Melford and a more devoted supporter of the Crown could not be found. Your grandfather was much favoured by King Henry V111 – and my own family has always been loyal. By becoming involved in this conspiracy to murder Queen Mary and replace her with the Princess Elizabeth you have let your whole family down. I am ashamed of you!’ ‘No, sir. You wrong me…’
Justin raised his head defiantly. He was a handsome devil, with pale blond hair and deep blue eyes; reckless, arrogant and dismissive of rules, he stood head and shoulders above most men, including his father. His grandfather said he was a throw back to Robert of Melford in temperament and build, though not in colouring. He was also fiercely proud and it pricked his pride to hear his father call him a fool.
‘You have spoken treason against the Queen and that cannot be tolerated.’
‘It was no such thing, sir!’ Justin declared passionately. ‘I will grant that some hotheads have talked of such a plot in my hearing but I am innocent of any conspiracy – as is the princess herself. She was gracious enough to grant me an audience for many of us wished her to know that we support her and if any attempt were made to disbar her from inheriting the throne when the Queen dies we should rise to her…’
‘Be quiet!’ John Devere thundered. ‘Do you not realise that that in itself is sufficient to have you arrested for treason?’
‘I shall not be silent, sir. I am as loyal an Englishman as any but I cannot love a Catholic queen who puts good Englishmen to the fire in the name of religion.’
‘It is not so many years since we were all Catholic and proud of it,’ Justin’s father reminded him. ‘King Hal saw fit to break with Rome and we were all forced to follow or lose our favour at court but that does not mean…’ He broke off for the anger was writ plain on Justin’s face. ‘While the Queen lives ‘tis treason to speak of her death and well you know it.’
‘We did not plot to murder her, merely to protect our own Elizabeth.’
‘Surely it is enough that talk of your conspiracy has reached Her Majesty? The Princess has herself faced questions from the Queen regarding treason and was lucky that Her Majesty was in good humour because her husband has promised to visit her soon. Had it not been for that fortunate circumstance she might have found herself in the Tower once more.’ John placed a hand on his son’s shoulder. ‘Go to France or Spain, Justin. I know that though you have done wrong your heart was good. You have my blessing. Send me word of your situation and as soon as I think the coast clear you may return.’
‘You would have me flee like a coward?’ Justin’s face reflected his disgust.
‘I would have you live, sirrah! Stay and I may have no son to inherit my estate – and you will break your mother’s heart.’
Lost in the memory of the bitter quarrel with his father, Justin did not notice the shadows behind him. Not until it was too late did he realise that he had been followed from the hostelry. Even as he turned, about to draw his sword, a crashing blow to the back of his head sent him to the ground and he lost consciousness as he was carried aboard a ship, not as the passenger he had paid to be but to serve before the mast.

Excerpts have not been copy-edited.

Hope you enjoyed this. Anne Herries

Time to Catch up!

For those of you who enjoy excerpts and articles I must apologise for not having posted for a couple of months, because of various personal issues going on. However, I hope to have some more letters of a Regency Lady soon and I'm going to post an excerpt from one of my books today.

First some news.

Forbidden Lady was the first in the Melford Dynasty series and that came out earlier this year. The Lord's Forced Bride is the second and that is out this month and available at amazon and in books shops. On the Regency front there are several singles coming soon and I am working on a new trilogy.

My nest post will be a small excerpt from one of my books.
Beck soon, Anne

Friday, 23 July 2010

Voices Competition/ Mills & Boon

Harlequin, Mills & Boon are holding a competition. Here is an advanced message for anyone who wishes to enter. Look out for this news soon. There will be a big campaign and the lucky winner(s) will end up being published by Mills & Boon. This is a fatastic opportunity for would-be writers!

The competition will have its very own website - where the entries will be posted and readers can leave their feedback.

The competition will be divided up into four stages and will run from Monday 6th September. The winner will be announced on Monday 1st November.

1. Stage 1: The Free for All;
- All submitted entries will be read and judged by the Mills & Boon judging panel

2. Stage 2: The Shortlist
- A shortlist of 8-10 authors will be announced, and their first chapters posted on the website.
- All shortlisted entrants will be assigned a Mills & Boon author and editor as a ‘mentor’ as they polish their second chapters and for their remaining time in the competition.
- The public will vote for their favourite!

3. Stage 3: The Shorter-list
- The shortlist will be chopped down to 4 – the next stage to share a ‘pivotal moment’ from
their book.
- The public will vote for their favourite!

4. Stage 4: Winner!
- Judged by a panel – names TBC!
- The winner is announced!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Letters From a Regency Lady

My very dearest Friend
It is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you that my stay in Bath is almost an an end. My husband insists that I return home instantly. I fear that if I defy him he will come to fetch me himself. I do not know what he has heard for I thought we had been discreet, but the tone of his missive was such that I think he suspects something. Do not fear for me, my very dear one. I must tell you that just one night in your arms was worth anything he may do. I wish that he might divorce me but I think he would think too much of the scandal.

I have not as yet heard back from my brother. I had hoped he might lend me his support but without it I do not dare to risk all. I know that Mama would not speak to me again if I fell into disgrace but I might bear that. However, I could not bear to lose my brother's respect and affection. I believe I must return to London and I do not know how long it may be before we see each other again, other than in company. It will be hard for I have known such happiness here with you. I know that I have betrayed my marriage vows but I believe it was not so very wicked in the circumstances.

Forgive me for not having the courage to fly with you to Italy.
Lest this should fall into the wrong hands I shall simply sign it as you speak of me.
Your own true love and loving friend.

I add this in haste. I have just heard that my darling brother has been taken with a fever. He was taken ill on his way north and lies ill at an inn. I must go to him at once. I shall not inform Melton. If you wish to come to me at the King's Head in Lincoln I shall await you with hope.
Yours H. XXX

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Regency letters Five

05. April 1816
From Lady Horatia Melton to her husband

Dear Melton
I hope that this letter finds you in good health. I fear that I cannot yet tell you when I may return to London. My sister is still in low spirits and my mother has had a chill. I believe I must stay with them for at least another month.

You may have seen Robert while he was in London. He has just visited with us and was in good health and spirits. I am happy to tell you that he met a young lady he admired. Miss Susanne Smith is just sixteen and not really out but he was able to be of service to her when her hat blew off in a sudden gust of wind. It turns out he knows her older brother well and has been invited to spend his next leave with them. Of course Susanne is much too young to think of an engagement yet but Robert has some years yet to serve and I daresay in another three or four years – if they continue to like one another – we may have some interesting news.

I ask you to forgive any neglect on my part but I do not think you will miss me. You have so many friends and amusements that it cannot be of concern to you where I choose to reside.

Your wife Horatia.

05 April From Lady Horatia Melton to her brother Robert Jenson

My own dear one.

Words cannot express how happy I was to see you. Our walks together were a joy and I was gratified that you gave your approval of my friendship with a certain person. He is the most delightful man, do you not agree? His kindness, concern for Antoine, Mama and myself are I am sure perfectly honest and deeply felt. I know you feel I must be very careful not to arouse suspicion or gossip. I have tried to conceal my feelings even from my sister, but when the three of us were together there was no need and I am certain you saw my happiness.

I know you will understand when I tell you that I long to be free of a marriage, which has ceased to mean anything to me, but for your sake, Mama’s and my sister’s, I shall do nothing in haste. Mama would be terribly upset and shocked, and Bathurst might forbid my sister to see me. I should not like to be estranged from my family. However, my main concern would be for you, Robert. I know that it is your intention to take up politics once you leave the army and a scandal could only harm your chances.

Yet my heart tells me that I cannot face an empty future. My dearest friend tells me that we should live abroad. He believes my mother, sister and Bathurst would eventually forgive me and I might be allowed to visit when the scandal has blown over. I have asked him to be patient. If Melton would agree to an amicable separation there need be no scandal. I could just go abroad for the sake of my health and a divorce could follow in a year or two.

Take care of yourself, my dear one. Please write when you have the time and I shall do the same.

Your loving sister as always.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Regency Letters Four

Regency Letters Four
20th February. From Captain Robert Jenson to his sister Lady Horatia Melton

Dearest One

I write to tell you that within the month I am to be given home leave. I intend to visit you and my sister and mother. I am always delighted to hear your news, whether it be a cry of pleasure or a cry from your heart, Horatia. It will be of great delight to me to see you again and I hope to find both you and my sister and mother well.

Your brother has been awarded another honour. I am to be presented at court by the Regent himself and I very much hope you shall be present at the reception afterwards. I am not certain whether you will be residing in London or at Melton's seat, but if you are there you must certainly come up to town for a few days at least. Melton will surely let you go for such an event and I rely on you to take me about with you and introduce me to all your friends.

I long to see you, dear one, and shall be with you very soon.

6th March 1816. From Lady Horatia Melton to her brother Captain Robert

Dear Robert

I think our letters must have crossed. You may since have received mine telling you of our sister's loss, in which case you will know that I am now in Bath. As our sister is in too much distress for me to leave her, I suggest that you post down to visit us if you have sufficient leave. I am distraught that your visit should come at such a time for I should have loved to show you off to all my friends. However, we have good friends here in Bath and I know they will appreciate an extra gentleman at dinner. One can never have too many dearest, and a single gentleman as handsome as you undoubtedly are, dearest, is always welcome.

I am making this note very short so that you will receive it and lose no time in coming to see us – me! I need to talk to you, Robert. There is something I would say that I cannot, absolutely cannot, commit to paper. Please, please do come. I wish that you were stationed nearer and can only be glad that you are no longer in India.

I cannot say more at this time for I am in a flutter of anticipation. I expect a visitor at any moment.

I send my undying love and congratulations. You are always deserving of honour in my estimation.

Your loving sister.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Regency Letters 3

Regency Letters Three

To Captain Robert Jenson, from his sister Lady Horatia Melton. 22nd February 1816

My very dear Robert

It is with the greatest sadness that I write to tell you of our sister's loss. Words cannot express what I feel for her and I know that you too will feel as I. She is prostrate with grief and cannot be comforted. Mama has begged me to go to them and so I shall. Melton is not pleased but for the moment his feelings shall not weigh with me.

It is confirmed that Melton is unfaithful again. The lady in question was at pains to make the situation clear and if I am to believe her she is already carrying the child of their union. Perhaps I should have confronted him and demanded the truth but I find that I mind less than I once did. I shall go to my sister and stay for as long as she needs me. Melton may fetch me when he is ready to be a husband again. You will be shocked, dearest, when I tell you that your sister has contemplated divorce. If it were not that I know Melton would never agree, I should have spoken to him. No, do not frown and lecture me, Robert. It is only in my letters to you that I would discuss such a shocking step.

You will think your sister only writes to you of bad news so I shall tell you that I have made a new friend. We met first at the Regent's ball and again a few days later. However, our friendship did not truly begin until we both visited the new art gallery in Bond Street. It seems we have the same taste in pictures for we both stood staring at one particular picture of a child with a dog. I said that I should like to purchase it but must wait for my allowance next month. He offered to make me a gift of the picture. Naturally I refused. We walked together in the park and parted on the easiest of terms. This morning the picture was delivered to me. There was no message of any kind. However, I need none for I am certain that my new friend bought it for me.

I ought to return the gift for it would be most improper of me to keep it, but do you know, I think I shall. Now you will think your sister entirely lost to impropriety and perhaps I am. I shall not tell you the name of my new friend for if you think hard you will know.

I shall write again soon, most probably from Bath for it is there that Lady Bathurst intends to take the water.

Your loving sister Horatia

Sunday, 10 January 2010



Letter from Lady Horatia Melton to her sister Lady Bathurst on January 15th 1816.

My dearest Antoine

Thank you for your letter. I am delighted at your news and understand perfectly that you would wish to have your mama to stay with you at this time. She was all of a dither when she had your letter and begged me to tell her what she ought to do. She fears to upset me but I shall not mind in the least. There are various engagements she needs to keep for we are in town until next month. Melton feels the country is melancholy at this time of year, though he used to enjoy his own company. Of late he has been to his club a great deal but I also have been busy so I do not mind that he is seldom at home, except when we have guests of course.

I dare say I may have mentioned that we dined with the Regent? It was a pleasant occasion and Melton enjoyed the cards. I did not play but found the musical entertainment excellent and I enjoyed some amusing conversation with Major Rossiter. He was with Robert in France, you know. As one of Wellington’s aides, he has been dangling his heels – as he says – at court in Paris, but he was eventually allowed to return home at Christmas. Now that Bonaparte is finally dealt with, the major intends to resign his commission and take up some kind of a career at home. He is not as wealthy as Bathurst or Melton, but he intends to work from choice rather than necessity and I believe he is looking to politics. His estate is not large and well managed by his agent.

You may wonder what I found interesting about such a conversation, dearest sister. Well, I shall tell you. It was not just his charming manner or his undeniable air of authority, but his compassion. He is intending to set up a charity for young children. There are too many living rough on the streets and being forced to steal (or do despicable things) for a living. Rossiter says they end up in prison, where their characters take a turn for the worse and head eventually to the gallows. I cannot bear to think of any child being imprisoned or beaten and starved. Since Major Rossiter is looking for people to assist with his charity I shall volunteer my time. I can at least help with fund raising and I intend to hold a charity ball. Melton does not object, providing I do not expect more than a token appearance from him – and that is all I require. He is pleased to see me busy and, as I mentioned, spends so much time at his club that he will scarcely notice.

I shall stop now for I am going out shortly. Mama sends her love and says she will be with you early next month. As you know, her health is not always perfect but I am certain she will be as comfortable with you in the country, as she is here. I am sure we shall return in a few weeks and then I shall call to see you both.

Your loving sister, Horatia.

PS. If there is anything you would like me to purchase for you in town I should be happy to accommodate you.

From Lady Horatia to her brother Captain Robert Jenson, January 16th, 1816

Dear Robert

I know that I wrote to you two days ago but you will forgive me for troubling you again so soon. I told you of my meeting with Major Rossiter and that I had decided to assist him with his charity. It has resulted in my visiting areas of the city that I should never have seen otherwise. Yesterday Paul – as he insists I call him in private – took me to visit one of the slum areas that concern him. Oh, those poor children. I saw young lads of no more than nine or ten with sores on their faces, arms and legs. Some were so weak in the legs that they had crutches and one poor lad was forced to crawl on his knees to beg for a crust. The sight of him broke my heart, Robert, as you may imagine, for he was scarcely a year or so older than my darling would have been.

Paul saw how distressed I was and insisted on taking me to an inn where the landlord kindly made me some tea and I was able to recover my composure. Paul was concerned that he had upset me and said he would understand if I wished to discontinue my interest, but you may imagine what I said to that, dearest. It has only made me more determined to raise all the money I can for those poor children. However, this is not the reason I write to you in haste, for I am sure that you will have been aware of these things. Mama and Papa always tried to keep their daughters ignorant but you are a man of the world.

Now, you must not be angry, dearest. What I am going to tell you will make you wish to return home at once for my sake, but it is not necessary. In truth I think I have known it for a while, but I should not have been certain had Paul not taken me to that inn. I was sitting in a corner opposite the stairs and I saw them come down together. She was very young and exceptionally pretty, though not of course a lady, but a lady would scarcely have gone upstairs with a man who was not her husband or a relative. Melton looked at her as if he cared for her and he was laughing, much like he used to be at home before we lost our little darling. He looked happy. I think that shocked me more than the discovery that he had been with – I suppose the word is prostitute, though I do not like to use it for she was so young. I am more distressed for her sake than my own. She was little more than a child and it is surely not right that she has to…I shall not go on.

Melton has clearly found comfort in her company. His tale of going to his club was wearing a little thin for I was told that his friends had not seen him in an age by someone I trust. It seems he has not yet set her up in a house of her own, which is a little mean of him I think, because she is clearly good for him. He was so very low.

You are wondering if I am suppressing my grief? I think my pride is a little bruised for I would have hoped that Melton might find comfort in my bed. I have not refused him. Indeed, I would have welcomed him more in the hope of providing an heir and the lack of interest has been on his side. Now I have been terribly indiscreet and I beg you to forgive my lack of delicacy, but if I cannot open my heart to you, whom can I tell?

Since Paul had his back to the stairs I am fairly sure that he did not see Melton. I believe I gave no sign of my shock; at least, he did ask if I was feeling unwell but I think he imagined it was because of our visit to the slums earlier. So, there is my problem, dearest one.

Perhaps I should feel outrage but at the moment I am numb and a little sad. It is not unusual for gentlemen in Melton’s position to find a mistress – but a girl out of his class and so young? No more than seventeen at most, and I am being generous. I do not know what I ought to think. Mama would be too upset and Antoine is wrapped up in her happy event; besides, neither of them would understand. I dare say I should be expected to turn a blind eye. Mama would say I must pretend not to know but I am not certain I can – yet you shall guide me, dearest.

I know you will give me good advice, but please do not say I told you so, though you did. I remember you warning me before I accepted him. I should have listened but…you know the rest. However, I do not see that I have a great deal of choice but to go on as we are. It would be far too shocking to demand my freedom. I am not sure that I can continue with all my wifely duties and last night I locked the door from Melton’s room to mine. He made no attempt to open it but he may and then…I shall not fall into a decline. Indeed, after losing George I sometimes think nothing else can touch my heart, except you, dearest Robert.

Forgive your sister for always laying her troubles on your shoulders.
Your loving Horatia.

PS. Mama is going to stay with Antoine, which will make things easier if relations become strained with Melton.