Hi, all! My name is Donna Lea Simpson. Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark is my first book in a brand new romance/historical/mystery series from Casablanca, the Lady Anne romantic mysteries.
I am so proud to introduce you to Lady Anne Addison: it is 1786, a new age with modern notions. Lady Anne, the plain, intelligent, skeptical spinster daughter of the Earl of Harecross, resents any attempt to hoax her with magic, witches, ghosts or even… werewolves. So when she receives a letter from her dear friend Lady John Bestwick – formerly Miss Lydia Moore before her recent marriage – with a terrifying story of a werewolf plaguing the locals, chasing young women and ripping sheep to shreds, and a plea to come north to Yorkshire to visit, Anne is both angry that anyone would deliberately frighten her naïve friend, and intrigued. A werewolf? And it was supposedly seen by many standing upright, speaking English? She’s on the first bone-rattling Royal Mail coach heading north. But what she finds when she arrives is both more terrifying and more intriguing than she could have imagined.
And when a gorgeous, mysterious and moody marquess, Lord Anthony Darkefell appears, I hope you know what comes next! Fireworks, antagonism and – woo hoo – sexual attraction.
I’ve always been fascinated by tales of the supernatural, but a deep skepticism does not allow me to do more than say I have an open mind. You say you’ve seen ghosts? I say it is likely a puff of steam or a wisp of smoke. Witches? Poor deluded women mixing harmless potions and invoking unlikely demons. I’m no spoil sport (well, okay, maybe I am to some) but it takes a lot to convince me, and Lady Anne is firmly in that school of thought. It doesn’t mean she’ll never be convinced, but it’s gonna take more than spooky stories or vague sightings.
Now, the magic of love… well, Anne is both fascinated and a little afraid of the sexual attraction that heats her loins (and other bits) at the magnificent Marquess of Darkefell’s nearness. She refuses to allow that gorgeous man to distract her from her purpose of exposing the hoax she believes MUST be behind the werewolf of Darkefell Castle, though, except when he… kisses her. Looks at her. Touches her.
I had so much enjoyment writing this book! I hope this doesn’t sound like there’s no fun in Lady Anne, because Anne and the Marquess certainly do spark well off each other. Publishers Weekly says about Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark that… “romance fans will love the witty byplay.” And the follow-ups, Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge (August 2009) and Lady Anne and the Gypsy Curse (November 2009) give me the opportunity to heat things up slooowly, to a nice, furious boil!
I hope you enjoy reading Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark as much as I did writing it!