Lord Toplyn (Hero in Ruined by the Earl) Talks About His Book …. With an Appearance by Melissa (Heroine)

Logan (aka Lord Toplyn) is here to discuss what he thinks about his role in Ruined by the Earl.

Ruined by the Earl ebook cover


Today I thought I’d do something I haven’t done in a long time.  I thought I’d bring in a character from one of my current works in progress to talk to.  Granted, this book is in its editing stages, but it hasn’t been published yet, which is why I still consider it a work in progress.  The book isn’t done until it’s published.

Logan: And that would be…?

Ruth: Next weekend.  This is not on pre-order, so I’ll upload directly to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Smashwords.  From Smashwords, it will take another couple weeks to get up on places like iBooks, Flipkart, Scribd, and other channels Smashwords distributes to.  I probably won’t be making the post with the links until April 7 because it’s Easter weekend in the United States, and my kids will be off school from April 3-6.  I’m sure a lot of people will be out of town, too.

But anyway, I brought Logan in because I thought he might be fun to talk to.

Logan: Thank you.  I happen to agree that I’m a lot of fun.

Ruth: I know you do, Logan.  But I will add that you are not for everyone.  My sense of humor appeals to some but not others, so if people enjoyed my other comedic heroes such as Nathan in What Nathan Wants and Christopher Robinson in His Reluctant Lady, I think they’ll enjoy you, too.  Logan isn’t the kind of character you should take seriously.

Lord Toplyn (aka Logan)

Lord Toplyn (aka Logan)

Logan: Laughter is good for the soul.  Besides, I’m gorgeous.  Just look at my picture on the left.  While you’re reading about me, you can imagine me, sexy and sultry.  I believe you ladies like to call men like me “eye candy”.

Ruth: Some do.  Some would just say good looking.

Logan: Well, since you picked out this image, then it only shows you have excellent taste because I would pick this for me, too, even if I’m not shirtless.

Ruth: I don’t like the shirtless guy images, Logan.

Logan: Just so everyone knows, I look awesome without a shirt on.  My darling rose is about to be very happy she got to marry me instead of that weakling Lord Waxman.

Miss Jasper (aka Melissa)

Miss Jasper (aka Melissa)

Melissa: That’s not true.  I’m not happy at all to be stuck with you, you cad.

Logan: Wow!  Melissa, you’re smoking hot!  I am so glad you’re the heroine in this story.  If we had a contest for all of Ruth’s heroines, you would be the most beautiful of them all.  I can’t wait for our wedding night.

Melissa: If you think you’re going to touch me at any time in this book, you’re wrong.   I will never let you into my bed.

Logan: That’s fine.  I have no problem with the carriage, a gazebo, a desk, a bench, or any other place your little heart desires.  Wherever you want to make love to me is fine.  I’m not picky.

Melissa: Ruth, can’t you make this a sweet romance?

Logan: No way!  I don’t want to just look at you and give you a chaste kiss.  You’re way too gorgeous for that kind of thing.  You need a man who’ll make mad passionate love to you, and often.

Melissa: I’d rather be stuck in a pit of slimy, slithering snakes through the entire story.

Ruth: Actually, snakes aren’t slimy.  They’re smooth and dry.  They just appear slimy because of their scales and the way they–

Melissa: Is this a romance or a science book because I fail to see why anyone here cares whether or not snakes are slimy?

Ruth: I just wanted people to know I don’t really think they’re slimy.

Melissa: What an ego.  Like people care about what you know or don’t know.  This book isn’t about you.  It’s about how Logan is going to ruin my life.

Logan: I’ll do nothing of the sort.

Melissa: Yes, you will.  It’s right there in the title of the book:  “Ruined by the Earl”

Logan: All right.  I agree.  The title should be something else.  How about “Taken by the Earl” or “Pleasured by the Earl” or “Enraptured by the Earl”?

Melissa: Can your ego get any bigger?

Logan: I have a healthy dose of self-esteem, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Melissa: I wish I’d never been up for the role of your wife.  I was supposed to marry Lord Waxman.

Lord Waxman

Lord Waxman

Logan: You mean, this guy?  Come on.  He’s a total geek.

Melissa: *gasps* He doesn’t look like that.

Logan: According to me, he does, and since this is primarily a post featuring me, I get to show the world what he is really like.

Melissa: He is not like that at all!  He’s decent and honorable and kind and–

Logan: I’m yawning already.  You just listed out a bunch of ridiculous traits that are reminiscent of Lord Roderick in The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife.  Look, if you want bland and boring, you go to Lord Waxman.  If you want fun and exciting (and incredibly good looking), you go to me.  You know what they say, if you want it to be good girl, get yourself a bad boy.

Ruth: Actually, Logan, “If You Want it to be Good Girl (Get Yourself a Bad Boy)” is a song by the Backstreet Boys.

Melissa: Well, aren’t you the walking encyclopedia today.  First snakes and now this.  Got anything else you want to annoy us with?

Logan: Regardless, the song fits our spicy romance, Melissa.

Melissa: It’s just my luck I happen to have an author who wants to write sex in her romances.

Ruth: Oh Melissa, just wait until you see what you end up doing in the book.

Melissa: *frowns*  What do you have me do?

Ruth: You’ll find out soon enough.  This post is getting long, and I want to get some more written for my novella “The Marriage Bargain” in A Groom’s Promise before my kids come home from school.  *leaves*

Melissa: Ruth, you can’t leave me without answering me.  Ruth?  Ruth!

Logan: I guess it’s just you and me, my sweet wildflower.

Melissa: *gags and hurries out the door*

Logan: It’s good for her, I’m a patient person. *winks and leaves*

End post


Note: I did purchase the image I used for Logan.  Picture credit: ID 34873258 © Artofphoto | Dreamstime.com

Note: I also purchased the image I used for Melissa.  Picture credit: ID 33605726 © Victoriaandreas | Dreamstime.com

Note: I also purchased the image I used for Lord Waxman.  Picture credit: ID 26398675 © Viorel Sima | Dreamstime.com

Posted in character interview, Ruined by the Earl | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Got the Update on Books I’m Doing

I’m not going to give specific dates on these, but this is what I’m planning on doing for the rest of the year.  It doesn’t mean it’ll all be published this year.  Some things I work on will be out next year.

Ruined by the Earl ebook cover

This is still with one of my awesome editors.  I have just printed out a couple of chapters to start going over my final read through, which I then will compare to the editor’s notes.  I can say for sure this will be out in April.  I’m just not sure of the exact date.

a groom's promise

This one will probably be finished first, but it won’t be out until June or July because it is a co-authored book.  Co-authored projects take longer because there’s someone else involved in the process.  Also, it will go with my awesome publisher, Parchment & Plume.

I’m doing one novella, and Janet Syas Nitsick is doing the other.  So this is an anthology.  Right now I’m at chapter 7.  I expect there to be 14 chapters, give or take a couple chapters.  So really, I’m at the halfway point in this one.

The Earl's Stolen Bride

I expect to finish this one next, but given the conferences I’ll be going to in April and May, I might not be able to get this out until June.  At the moment, I’m at chapter 5, and this will be a full-length novel.  So I’m expected 21-24 chapters total.


I want to get this one out this summer, so I pushed back Royal Hearts.  I’ve had several people ask me about Richard Larson’s book, but no one has asked about Royal Hearts.  Because of this, I’m pushing the date back on Royal Hearts.  I aim to get books out that people are asking for if I can think of a suitable plot to go with it.  And I do have a good, solid plot for this one…finally.  This will also go with my publisher, Parchment & Plume.

At the moment, I’m at chapter 3.  So yeah, I have a ways to go yet.

Betting on Love ebook

This is going to be a short, light read.  It’s a prequel to go with my novella in Bride by Design under the pen name, Barbara Joan Russell.  I expect this out during the summer, and I plan to make it free since it is going to be so short.

I’m thinking it’ll be about 10 chapters, but we’ll see.

Bride by Convenience (A Mail Order Bride Historical Western Romance)

Cover Coming Soon

I don’t know if I can get this one out in the summer or not.  If not, it’ll wait until January.  This is another reason I decided to push Royal Hearts back.  I want to get this one out this year.  I’ve been itching to do this story ever since I got the idea for it.  I was originally going to put it under my pen name, Barbara Joan Russell….but it quickly occurred to me that I want sex in this book.  It’s important to the romance sex is in it.  I know sweet mail order bride stories are widely popular, but I have to go in the direction the story wants to go, and when you read it, you’ll understand why sex must be in it.  The hero’s self-esteem will be too wrapped up in it, which makes it a key element to the plot.  (I don’t put sex in a book just to have sex in it.  There is always a point to it.)

I haven’t started this one.

royal hearts ebook cover

I plan to work on this during the summer months when the kids are home.  I can’t get much written while they’re off school because I do a lot with them during the summer.  But I can revise and rewrite rather easily.  So I shifted this to November.  I need at least one month for it to be on Smashwords since it’s in pre-order and needs that long to get to B&N, Kobo, and iBooks by the release date.  Otherwise, I’d plan this out in October.  (This is just another reason I decided I hate pre-orders.)

the royal pursuit ebook cover

While I’m working on Royal Hearts, I figured I might as well work on The Royal Pursuit, which also needs a revision/rewrite.  Since it’s light work, it can be done in the summer.

TheRancher'sWife ebook cover

Stephannie and I are currently working on modifying this one.  I’m going to plan this one out for January, but it’s possible we might get it ready before then.  We’re really about halfway into it.  We’re swapping scenes and doing some light rewrites when necessary.

We are going to work on this one, too.  We need to clean up The Rancher’s Wife before getting to it, though.  Like the one above, we’re about halfway into this one.  I have no idea when it’ll be out.

Posted in A Groom's Promise, Betting on Love, His Brother's Wife, Janet Syas Nitsick, pen name Barbara Joan Russell, Royal Hearts, Ruined by the Earl, Stephannie Beman, The Rancher's Wife, Wagon Trail Bride | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Pushing Back Some Release Dates for My Upcoming Books

This isn’t something I want to do, but after signing up to go on two conferences (one in April and another at the end of May) and finding out one of my kids threw up today, I began to feel stressed out.  And after taking a moment to sit down and evaluate why I was feeling overwhelmed, I realized it was the fact that I’m not near being done where I need to be.  If I want to make my current deadlines, I’d have to sprint it, and if I do that, I might lose the quality in the work.

Since I’m probably going to have a series of kids getting sick in the next couple days, I’m going to have to figure out new release months for the current works in progress.  I don’t want to make any rash decisions.  I want to have time to sit and think it through.  Right now, I’m frazzled.  It’s been one of those days, and I’m not thinking straight.  What I do know is that I need to push back the release months so I don’t get stuck feeling like I need to frantically finish up my books.

I’m sorry.  I know some of you pre-ordered Royal Hearts.  I’m going to try to push back the month on this one.  There’s just too many other things going on.

And I promise I will never do a pre-order ever again.  I can’t handle the pressure it brings.

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Mini Spring Break Vacation

This post will be more of a personal nature, though since I love writing than just about anything, I’m sure something writing related is going to pop up.

For the past few days, my husband, four kids, and I have been on a vacation.  They have Spring Break, and we decided to take some of the days they have to visit with the grandparents.  (This is on my husband’s side.  My parents have gone to be with the Lord.)  We’ve been doing the usual stuff, taking walks on nature trails, letting the kids burn off energy at the pool and the parks, and visiting.

I’ll share one picture of two of the kids.  The one in the white shirt has a real sense of humor and jokes around a lot.  This picture really shows it, which is why I’m sharing it.

kids at park

It’s been a fun and relaxing trip.  We had some excellent temperatures, too.  Summer is just around the corner.  In my family, we love the pool and spend a lot of summer days there.  I love sitting under an umbrella and writing on my laptop while the kids play.  We used to go to parks all the time, but the oldest is now 12 and the parks are starting to become boring to him.  So we’ve opted for the pool more often than not.

One nice thing about vacation is that I always come back refreshed and ready to write.  (I knew I’d start talking about writing in this post.  I can’t get away from it.  Even when I’m on vacation, I’m thinking of what to put in my next book.)

And last night while the kids were swimming, I pulled out my laptop (which managed to get a 2-day reprieve from me) and started writing.  This time, I was writing my novella “The Shy Groom” in the anthology A Groom’s Promise.

I also caught up on some reading in the car, but I’m still not done with Snake by Rami Ungar or The Daddy Pact by Kristy K. James.  I did get a beta read in for Catherine Lynn.  Progress is just slow when it comes to reading because I want to get the next book out, and in order to do that, I need to write it.  I’m just going to have to accept it.  I don’t read fast anyway, and it’s hard to get a lot of books in when you do good just to get in a full-length novel in a month.  If it’s 500 pages, it’s longer.  But see, I’m usually editing while I’m writing, too, so that all adds up to time taken out.  So it is what it is, and I’ve finally come to accept it.   This is why I love novellas so much.  They’re easier to finish.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Updates for My Works In Progress

Ruined by the Earl is with my awesome Editing Team

Ruined by the Earl ebook cover

I gave my team until April 3.  I wanted to give them enough time because I know they have other projects to work on, and I don’t want them to feel rushed.

At the moment, my projected publishing time frame on this book is April 6-12.

This week and next, I’m going to work on the revision for Royal Hearts.

royal hearts ebook cover

Since one kid is on Spring Break this week and my other three are on Spring Break next week, I plan to dedicate the next two weeks to revamping this book.  I can’t get much written while the kids are home, but I can manage revisions and edits.

This is pretty light work.  It’s mostly rewording things with minor adjustments to the main characters.  I might actually be able to finish this one if I dedicate the full two weeks to it, which I’m planning to do.

This is why I like having multiple projects.  In case I have to put one on hold, there’s always something else I can do.   This is book 2 of a fantasy romance.  I plan to work on book 3 (The Royal Pursuit) during this summer so it will be published this fall.  That will wrap up the Enchanted Galaxy Series.

After the kids are done with Spring Break, this is what I am going to work on…

Betting on Love ebook

Even though I’m not doing the first draft blog, I am going to continue to write the sweet novelette/novella that is a prequel to Bride by Design.  (This is under my pen name, Barbara Joan Russell, for sweet romances.)  This is Sadie and Clark’s romance.  I plan to make this free.

This probably won’t be out for a couple months because my focus is on the stuff I’m doing below.

The Earl's Stolen Bride

I made a very brief mention at the end of Ruined by the Earl for this book that will feature Orlando (Lord Reddington) and Chloe (Lady Hawkins, who will be a new widow). The Regency time period had pretty strict rules for the mourning period, esp. for ladies.  So I’m going to playing off this particular angle.  One fun thing about Regencies is that there are so many rules a person can break.

a groom's promise

I expect to have this book done before Wagon Trail Bride.  I’m thinking it will be out in May or June.


Richard Larson will finally have his long-awaited story.  He’s been nagging me to do it for years, but until recently, he didn’t offer me a compelling storyline.  LOL  Now that he has, he’ll get it.  This should be out this summer.  It’s hard to say exactly when yet since I have other projects going on, but I want it out before the kids go back to school in August.

TheRancher'sWife ebook cover

Stephannie and I have picked back up on this, but we’re giving it a total rewrite.  Some things we’re keeping, but most of it has to be adjusted to fit the new plot.

And this one isn’t expected out until January.  It takes longer to get a book out when you co-author it.

Posted in A Groom's Promise, Betting on Love, Royal Hearts, Ruined by the Earl, The Earl's Stolen Bride, The Rancher's Wife, Wagon Trail Bride | 2 Comments

I Have Really Bad News: I Can’t Do The First Draft Blog

This comes with a heavy heart because I was actually starting to schedule posts on the first draft blog I’d created last weekend.  I don’t know what to do with it now. I already paid for it and got it set up.  But I can no longer use it for what it was intended for.

And this is why.  Fraud.  There is a new scam running around out there I just learned about where people (for whatever reason) are going after authors (both self-published and small press) and using a DCMA Takedown Notice to claim those books don’t really belong to the author.  By US law, this requires Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks to remove the books.

Why?  Because in the past people have actually stolen or plagiarized innocent authors’ books.  Back in 2011 (and again in 2012), I had someone steal my books and post it as their own.  So I’ve had to submit DCMA Takedown Notices in order to protect my work.

But recently, I learned of this new fraud going around where people are pretending the actual owner of the book really isn’t the owner.  And this (sadly) is not an isolated incident.  From recent talks with another author, I learned that a small publisher went through a similar situation with one of her books, and this happened to a different author with a traditionally published book.

I also recently discovered someone put an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of an author’s work on Amazon to sell as their own.  (This is a good reason to just gift the copy after it’s published.)

Yes, I get it.  You can’t protect yourself 100%.  Any time you put something out there, you’re going to expose yourself.  But you don’t need to make things easier for scumbags who will lie in order to steal another author’s work or (for whatever vindictive reason) try to remove an author’s book.

So many times  I hear, “That is rare.  It’s not likely to happen to you.” Having had two incidences when my books were stolen and finding out other authors have had the same situation, AND now finding out all this other stuff, I believe this stuff is a lot more common.  You just don’t hear about it because most authors won’t talk about it publicly when it happens to them.  They quietly attack this stuff behind the scenes or give up and let the criminal get away with it.

That’s why you don’t often hear about this stuff.  But I’m coming out and saying this stuff happens.  And what’s more, I think with the global ebook market expanding, I suspect it’ll only get worse.

So after doing some thinking over this situation, I finally decided it’s better to be safe than sorry.  There’s no reason to make it easier for someone to go after one of my books, and I feel by having a first draft blog, I’ll be opening myself to a greater potential for this.

Sadly, I remember how this was unheard of when I started out.  Back in 2009 when I signed up for Amazon and Smashwords to publish my own books, this stuff was never on the radar.  It was either in 2009 or 2010 when I started my first draft blog back then, and I never once thought any of this stuff was possible.

All I can say is 2015 is a totally different world for authors.  Things we could take for granted (like the safety of our books) can’t be taken for granted anymore.  In a lot of ways, the acceptance of self-publishing has been a great thing, but in others, it hasn’t.  I guess like anything, you have to take the good with the bad.

I’m really sorry.  I thought I had carefully weighed the pros and cons.  But I just found out about all this other stuff (aside from stolen books) on March 3, right after I made the post about the first draft blog.  And since then, I did more digging and research to find out how much this stuff is actually happening.

I just can’t take the risk.  I don’t write books to make money.  I write them because I love writing.  They’re personal to me.  I love my books as I love my children.  They are a part of me.  I’ll do everything I can to protect them.  It’s a shame so many innocent people have to suffer for what to liars and thieves are doing.  I don’t like it, but I have to do what’s best for the books.

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

First Draft of Ruined by the Earl is Done!

Ruined by the Earl ebook cover

I finished it yesterday afternoon and am currently in the final stages of the initial edits.  (I’ve been editing as I’ve been going on this book, which is why I am behind in my reading of Snake.  Rami, I’m still reading it. :) I just had to put it aside while I was finishing up this project.)

So next up, I’ll send the book out later this week to my editing team.  I’m going to give them a full month to work on it, so this won’t be out until April.  I had been shooting for March, but I don’t want to rush the editing because I want this book to be as polished up as possible before it goes into the world.

This is my favorite Regency to date of the ones I’ve done.  The hero was so much fun to write.  Yes, he was a bit on the conceited side, but he had some of the best lines (and thoughts) that had me laughing through most of the book.  And the heroine was pretty cute, too, with the way she had to justify snooping around his things to learn more about him.  This was one of the funnest couples I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing.  If you get my sense of humor, I think you’ll enjoy it equally as much.  (I know my type of humor isn’t for everyone.)

Anyway, I’m going to estimate the second week of April for this book’s release. :D

I already have plans for a third Regency series, even though I have one more book (The Earl’s Stolen Bride) to finish for this series.  The next Regency series (Marriage by Arrangement) will feature the same group of characters that have shown up in the other Regency series I’ve done.  I’m going to have Helena (heroine in Love Lessons with the Duke) arrange marriages based on different issues of compatibility, though the couples being fixed up may not agree she picked the right one for them.  This should be a lot of fun.  And already I have planned out Malcolm’s story for that series.  (Malcolm is the heroine’s brother in Ruined by the Earl.)

I’ll go more into the next series next year.  Right now I need to get The Earl’s Stolen Bride done then work on my novella in A Groom’s Promise, Wagon Trail Bride and finish up the Enchanted Galaxy Series.  I’m also getting the first draft blog ready.  (I heard Amazon may or may not have issues with people who do a first draft on a blog when they go to publish a book.  I don’t know if that’s for authors who go into their Select program or for everyone.  I never join Amazon’s Select program because I want my books to be available on the other book sites like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iBooks, and Flipkart.)  Hopefully, there will be no issues that pop up with doing a first draft blog.  If there is, I’ll have to take it back down, which isn’t something I want to do.  So fingers crossed.

Posted in Ruined by the Earl | 6 Comments