Last year's Historical Novel Society Conference in San Diego was a riot of fun in all kinds of ways – for my recap of all the madness, read here
. And undoubtedly the best thing I gained from that conference was friends, most notably a group of six or seven ladies who kicked off shoes and inhibitions in a hotel lobby until two in the morning one Saturday night, dishing on industry secrets, novel-in-progress woes, ex-boyfriends, current husbands, and how much we all hate those chop-the-top-of-the-head-off covers on historical novels. By the time we all staggered off to bed we were the Lobby Posse – and I have not lost touch with one of those ladies since, though we hail from all corners of the US.
This past year has been good to the Lobby Posse when it comes to our work. Some members, like Sophie Perinot, debuted their first historical novel
to rave reviews. Some, like Michelle Moran, added yet another bestseller
to an already glowing resume. And today the Lobby Posse proudly congratulates our newest success story: Marci Jefferson, who has just sold her first novel, and for whom I confidently predict a glowing career in the world of historical fiction.
How can I predict this? I've had the privilege of a sneak peek at her Restoration novel, currently titled “The Duchess of Richmond.”
Marci first approached me at the beginning of this year, shyly asking if I would consider reading her novel which was making the rounds of publishing houses, and giving it a blurb if I liked it. And let this be a disclaimer: I blurbed Marci's book not because she is my friend, but because her book is good. I don't blurb books I don't like; had I felt I couldn't recommend “The Duchess of Richmond” I would have pleaded deadlines and declined to blurb it. What a relief it was when I began turning pages and realized that not only does Marci have style, humor, and the kind of sensational white-blond hair I can only give to my book heroines, but she can write.
Restoration England and King Charles II are enjoying a boom right now in the world of HF, and it seems like his various mistresses are all getting their own books – see Gillian Bagwell with Nell Gwynn, and Anthony Capella with Louise de Keroualle. But Marci's heroine is Frances Stewart, one of Charles's lesser known lady loves who you might find more familiar than you think: she's the model for that gorgeous female figure of Britannia Herself!
Here's my blurb:
"Beauty is not always a blessing, as young Frances Stewart finds out when her lovely face pits her between the desires and politics of rival kings Louis XIV and Charles II. Frances makes an appealing heroine, by turns wary and passionate, sophisticated and innocent, as she matures from destitute young pawn to the majestic duchess whose figure would grace Britain's coins for centuries. Her struggles to support her loved ones, uncover her family secrets, and somehow find a life of her own amid the snake-pit courts of the Sun King and the Merry Monarch make for lively, entertaining reading in this lush Restoration novel by debut author Marci Jefferson."
Mark your calendars for “The Duchess of Richmond,” set for release by St. Martin's Press next fall. This is a read worth the wait.