From Phyllida's Desk

Holiday Greetings

December 22, 2011

Dear Readers and Friends:

It's been a busy year for me as a writer, although from your perspective as readers it may seem as if I haven't done a thing! Certainly for the first half of the year I did more traveling and conference attending than writing--but sometimes writers need to do that, and it's another great way to connect with readers.

Now that the year is almost over, I want to let you know about what I did write.

I wrote a short story, a form I haven't tried in years, because I met one of the editors of the anthology at the "Saints & Sinners" literary festival in New Orleans in May. "A Charming Menage," appears in the print anthology Gay City 4: At Second Glance. The anthology, published by a gay men's health organization in Seattle, is a collection of stories retold from a "different perspective." My contribution is a queered and humorous version of Cinderella, featuring a bisexual Prince Charming, his gay boyfriend, an intersex Cinderella and a stepsister who's wicked only in bed, where it's an asset.

Second, I have a series of six e-books called Eclipsis: Lady Amalie's memoirs. The stories are set in a sword-and-sorcery world ruled by a telepathic elite. Unlike my two print novels, these e-books have little or no explicit sex. They are more like an ongoing family adventure, narrated by the heroine who eventually marries the bisexual hero and lives in a menage with their two children and her husband's boyfriends.

The first three books, Recognition, Choices and Wedding, follow the standard plot of a romance, here between telepathic people who can not only read each other's thoughts but also experience each other's sexuality--even at a distance.

The fourth book, Birth, has a more sophisticated and humorous style as we see the complications of marriage and childbirth among telepaths. When Amalie goes into labor while her husband is enjoying her Midwinter gift to him--a sexual tryst with a handsome young man--things get...complicated.

The fifth and sixth books, Captivity and Retribution, tell of Amalie and her two children being kidnapped and held for ransom by bandits, and of their rescue by her husband and his boyfriend. The last section is a bittersweet love story, as Amalie helps her husband regain his estranged lover's affections, but with the premonition of future loss that is the price of telepathic ability.

I'm very fond of these characters and their world. I wrote these stories years ago, and edited and revised them recently because they seemed like just the thing for e-books. Some of you may notice that the hero and heroine of the Eclipsis series, Dominic and Amalie, bear a resemblance to Andrew and Phyllida from Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander and have a similar "tempestuous" relationship. Indeed, when I decided to write a Regency romance, I based it on these characters, and had fun transforming the uninhibited sword-and-sorcery people into (almost) proper English Regency types.

The Eclipsis stories may seem rather tame after Phyllida and Pride/Prejudice. But the relationship between the main characters is at least as strong and emotionally deep as in the other novels. And as the books progress there's the pleasure of seeing the romance develop into a family saga, with two strong personalities in the children, Jana and Val. And of course, anything I write has humorous aspects, even the generally "earnest" form of fantasy--so there's no need to fear you'll get bogged down in something heavy or too serious.

I hope some of you will try these stories, which are available in all formats for Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers. The prices are as reasonable as I can make them: $.99 for the novellas (Recognition and Birth) and $1.49 for the novels (Choices, Wedding, Captivity and Retribution).

Finally, for those of you who prefer nonfiction, I wrote a short piece for the newsletter of the Jane Austen Society of North America--New York region (JASNY-NY). The topic is the wet nurse, which I researched when I was writing P/P, as I knew Elizabeth and Jane would employ such women during their undoubtedly fertile marriages. Let's just say the subject is a real eye-opener for many of us.

There's a link to the PDF of the newsletter at the usual places on my website.

Many thanks for being my readers--and please don't hesitate to write with questions or comments, either through the "Contact" form here on this site, or directly at:

I hope you enjoy this holiday season, and I wish you and your families a happy and healthy 2012.

Ann Herendeen

Selected Works

Fantasy, Women's Fiction (e-books)
Book Six in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book Five in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book Four in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book Three in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book Two in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Book One in the ECLIPSIS series of Lady Amalie's memoirs.
Short Story
A queered version of the Cinderella story in the 4th Gay City anthology, "At Second Glance."
Newsletter article
Describes the typical upbringing of middle- and upper-class children in Austen's time.
Romantic Comedy, M/M/F Menage
A breezy tale of love, lust and secrets set against the backdrop of Regency England.