It's only November, but in the publishing world, the Christmas holiday began long ago. Christmas stories are often written during the hot, humid days of summer and edited while the leaves are beginning to change color. This year, Astraea Press put out a call for Christmas Regency stories centering around a Christmas Eve Ball at the home of Lord and Lady Kringle at Holly Hall on Christmas Eve, 1812. I decided to take the challenge and with the help of my amazing critique partner Stephanie Michels, I submitted a story called The Partridge and the Peartree for consideration in this series. The story was accepted and I'm so pleased that my novella is part of the lineup! Here's the blurb:
Phillip Peartree, Duke of Bartlett, dreamed of a peaceful life with a suitable mate until a hunting accident left him scarred and nearly deaf. Resigned to spending the rest of his days alone, Phillip has devoted himself to rebuilding his family estate. But, a chance encounter with a lovely young woman in a dusty bookstore rekindles his almost-forgotten hopes and dreams.
Lady Amelia Partridge has no time for the frivolity of the London social scene. She is much too busy. In addition to her work with the Ladies Literary Society, she has a mission – educating poor children in the city. She also has a secret life, one she fears might drive away the young duke who has become increasingly important to her.
Astraea Press is going to be well-represented at our conference. The owner, Stephanie Taylor, senior editor Kim Bowman, and cover artist Elaina Lee (who designed my lovely cover above) are all coming!