Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The books

Somebody asked ...

Book #4, (if I ever write it,) will be Doyle and Maggie's story. Set in France and England in 1792. Adrian will have a strong secondary role. I might give some walk-on parts to my old friends. (TBA)

The Spymaster's Lady is the story of Annique and Grey. Set in France and England in 1802. Adrian and Doyle have secondary parts. Giles Tarsin has a walk-on. (release January 2008. Berkley)

My Lord and Spymaster is the story of Jessamyn and Sebastian. Set in London in 1811. Adrian plays a secondary part. Doyle has a walk-on. (release July 2008. Berkley)

Her Ladyship's Companion is the story of Giles Tarsin and (jo tries to remember here) Melissa ... It's been a long time. Set in Cornwall in 1816 or 1818 ...? Adrian plays a secondary part. (release 1983. Avon)


  1. And #5 will be Adrian's story at last...?

  2. Wellll .... probably not.

  3. I'm so conflicted about Adrian. Much as I *think* I want to hear his story...If he starts out as dastardly as you say, I don't think I'm prepared to know. Getting bits and pieces of him as a secondary (perhaps even a big secondary) character might be and enjoyable. Sigh.

    Did you ever think you'd have a fan base so obsessed with one of your secondary characters? :)

  4. Hi Precie -

    He IS pretty dreadful when he starts out. I won't say 'as a child' because there's nothing childlike about him.

    But he changes and redeems himself.

    And yes ... it is weird, a little, looking at Adrian instead of Grey who is ...
    (nudge, nudge )
    ... supposed to be the hero of the story, remember.

  5. Anonymous6:19 PM

    Has 'Her Ladyship's Companion' already been released? I saw that you wrote it was published in 1983 and wondered if it was an error or if it's due out anyime soon.

    I adored The Spymaster's Lady. There are few books that hook you from the first line, yours was such. Thank you for the wonderful hours of reading.


  6. Hi Elizabeth --

    Thank you so much for the kind words about Spymaster's Lady. It gives me a warm (and slightly surprised) feeling every time somebody tells me they enjoyed the book. I really appreciate that you take time to visit and say this.

    Her Ladyship's Companion is an old and out of print Regency Romance that was put out by Avon. And yes ... the publishing date is not a misprint.

  7. I am just another reader who is blown away by The Spymaster's Lady. Joanna, you have told a wonderful story, written with emotion and precision. I believe it is the best book I have read in the last 2 years.

    I am sad, though, that Adrian may not have a story of his own. I was so hoping it would be the next in the series.

  8. Anonymous10:58 PM

    It has been a couple years since I have enjoyed a historical romance. I had all but given up on reading one that was well written and captivated me from the first page. My mother got me "addicted" to historicals almost 20yrs ago but over the last 10 years it has been a decline and I have been reading modern day. I read the reviews on your book on, bought it a couple days later, finished it in less then 2 days. All I can say is, THANK YOU! I have faith again in the magic of historicals..your book captivated me from start to finish..much to the dislike of my children, husband, friends and coworkers;) I rarely ever read books twice but I will be reading yours's miserably cold here in Alaska but curling up with your book makes the cold go away. Thank You!

  9. Why won't #5 be Adrian's story? I just bought Giles's story ... all the way from England. Do you see him just as an important secondary character? Or will you "someday" write Adrian's story? I feel a re-read coming on :)

  10. Hi Buffie --

    You say such nice things about Spymaster's Lady. I really appreciate it.

    I see Adrian (and Doyle) as continuing secondary characters and the organization at Number 7, Meeks Street as background.

    Adrian has a part in My Lord and Spymaster. He's going to have a very large and important role in Maggie and Doyle's story.

    I will write his story. I just have to find the right woman for him. Now. How hard is that going to be?

  11. Hi Anon --

    Oh. Oh. There's a contest. If you go to the top of the blog there's this flashing banner 'Where in the World is...'

    If ytou click on that, you get to the contest.

    The challenge is to take a picture of SL somewhere in the world.

    The prize is a signed copy of SL and A BOOK THONG from Claire-in-Australia who is a section Leader over in the Books and Writers Community, moderating the Writinjg Exercises.

    I have to admit I didn't know what a book thong was and my mental picture was ... odd.

    But they are lovely and you could win one!!

    (Spymaster's Lady propped up inj the porch with an infinite wasteland of snow behind .... and maybe a team of huskies or an igloo.)

    (Jo is going to admit she's never been to Alaska but she has read Call of the Wild.)

  12. Hi Janet W --

    I haven't reread Her Ladyship's Companion in many years, so I don't remember it very well.

    Flipping through ... hmmm ... I itch to crawl into the book and edit it. I wonder if everyone feels this way about their old work.

    I may have a bit part for Giles in this next story I'm working on. (Doyle's story.)

    And I do 'see' a scene of Adrian (oh, so very wise and experienced) and Giles (not) in a bawdy house. I don't know where I'd ever use that, but it's firmly in my head.

    I will write Adrian's story. I don't 'see' it yet because I don't see his destined woman yet. Someday, though.

  13. This book knocked my figurative socks off. So many surprises, so many twists and turns, it was delightful, surprising and the ending...amazing.
    The Best Book I've read for a very long time. Good for you, Jo!

  14. Hi Lynne --

    I am so glad you enjoyed it. I'm still a little amazed that folks are reading it. When you're in the middle of writing you kind of forget where all this is heading ...

  15. Anonymous7:50 PM

    I have to admit, what first caught my eye was the blurb that Diana Gabaldon wrote for Spymaster's Lady--I've never seen her blurb a book. And after reading your book, I can see why she did. Your writing is fabulous; the plot, the characters, the sensory details are all so alive. Annique is a fascinating woman--I enjoyed her unique relationship with Adrian (and it goes without saying that I enjoyed her romance with Robert). Like everyone else, I'm eager to see Adrian's story, and Doyle's, too. Good luck with your writing!

  16. Hi Anon --

    Yes. Diana G was kind enough to read Spymaster's Lady early on and give me that lovely cover quote.

    She hangs out at the Compuserve Writer's Forum -- there's a link on the sideband to the right -- and is generous of her time and effort. A fine fine writer.

  17. I loved The Spymaster's Lady, and am looking forward to My Lord and Spymaster.

    Will we ever learn how old Grey really is (he seems to be too experienced an agent to be 28 or 30), what he did before he was Head of Section, what he and Annique did in later years, or whether Lucille really died (I'm thinking yes, but you never know - I would love to know more about her story)?

    Do you think you might mention Grey and Annique in the other books, so we could keep up with them?

    Thanks so much for a great read.

  18. Hi Martha T --

    Oh, thank you so much for the kind words.

    Let me see.

    Grey comes from a wide-flung family of country gentry. Following family tradition, he joins the army at 18 and serves in the Infantry as a line officer.

    Over the next seven years he's co-opted more and more to Staff positions because of his language skills and a knack for logistics. He works with the British Service, with Doyle, from time to time. Doyle tries to recruit him for the Service.

    Military Intelligence also takes an interest in him because of his flair for gathering intelligence.
    In 1800, when he's 25, Grey has a serious run-in with Colonel Reams over treatment of a prisoner. He's about to resign from the army over it.

    Doyle recruits him to the British Service. The former Head of Section was killed. Grey steps in.

    In 1802, when the story of Annique takes place, Grey is 27 and has been Head of Section for two years.

    In 1808 Grey, Annique, and their young son go undercover in France.

    We'll probably run into Annique and Grey again.

    Lucille. Well ... Annique didn't actually see her dead, did she?

  19. Thank you so much for that information. I eagerly await your work!
    I've bookmarked your blog to check regularly. When I figure out RSS, I'll use that.

  20. Hi Joanna,

    Loved TSL - Annique is the best and most unique heroine I've read in many years. Loved her - she made me laugh and cry - and she never felt sorry for herself. I just had one question - when she recovers her sight and then Grey saves her, why is he not surprised she can see again - or did I miss something?

    So looking forward to the rest of this series.

  21. Hi Bedelia --

    Thank you so much for liking my Annique. I became very fond of her when I was writing her.

    >>> I just had one question - when she recovers her sight and then Grey saves her, why is he not surprised she can see again - or did I miss something?<<<

    You didn't miss it.
    His reaction happened 'off-stage.'

    We are in Annique's point of view when she arrives at Dover. (That is, we are inside her head, listening to her thoughts.)

    We don't see what Grey is thinking and feeling until after he comes charging into the alley to save her. At that point he's concerned about the immediate situation in the alley. He doesn't 'think back' to the moment he first spotted Annique coming ashore.

    Now, I know what Grey thought when he first saw Annique step ashore, being the author and all. I even wrote it out in the early draft, with an eye to telling it all to the reader.

    Alas ... this scene never made it into the final.

    I've put the outtake into the blog, if you want to see ...

  22. Will Her Ladyship's Companion be rereleased?

    I loved The Spymasters Lady and will be reading My Lord and Spymaster within the month. I would love to get my hands on this novel!!!

  23. Hi Heather --

    Her Ladyship's Companion is very slight. It is honest work -- the best I could do at the time. But I don't think it's worth tracking down.

    There are no plans to re-issue it. I shouldn't think it'd be worth bothering. (g)