Be Warned: These are the scribblings of a writer unruly, unsupervised, and largely unrepentant

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Who am I?


For those of you who have just discovered my writing and this blog, I'd like to say a warm "Hi" and take this opportunity to let you know a little about me, why I'm here and how I got here.

I've wanted to be a writer since I was a child, although back then my favourite genre was horror, mixed in with the classics from Austen, Du Maurier and Hardy. I used to pass the time on my way to school every day making up stories in my head, but I never wrote any of them down. It was my little secret.

Slowly, my tastes focused on historical romance. In my twenties I eagerly devoured Jude Deveraux and Susan Johnson. At last, I started writing my own tales on actual paper-- bundles of notebooks over-stuffed with these florid outpourings. But I never expected to let anybody else read them, let alone try to get them published. Crikey, I'd have been much too embarrassed!

Then, one day, a friend at work became my guinea pig and gallantly offered to read this "masterpiece" I'd been huddling over forever. She liked it so much, she encouraged me to seek out a literary agent and, with hope and one double-spaced manuscript clutched in my sweaty hands, I took the plunge. What did I have to lose? Oh, about ten years of my life and several nerve-endings, because I had to learn how to toughen up and take rejection on the chin. Many, many times.

And so I was off on a rollercoaster of ups and downs. I spent the next decade querying literary agents before I finally got signed by a NY agency in 2010. The agent I worked with was a lovely, supportive person and it was fantastic to have somebody on my side after so many years of form rejections and almost-but-not-quites. Unfortunately, my agent was  unable to sell the two manuscripts I had given her, so we eventually parted ways and I was on my own again.

It was shortly after this that I managed, on my own, to get a three book deal with Sourcebooks, Inc. (one of the few major publishers who accept unagented queries). This three book deal turned into a four book deal and then another series deal followed that.

A few years ago when a writer friend of mine decided to branch out and open her own publishing house (Twisted E-Publishing) she offered me a great deal to sign a series with her and since that would give me more freedom over the stories I wanted to write - and, to be purely mercenary, a larger royalty - I was happy to go with her.  At TEP I can put out books on a faster schedule and this is important to me now that I'm writing full-time. TEP is not yet a large enough house to have a distribution deal, which means any print books are POD (hence a higher cost than most other paperbacks). I know there are some independently published authors who can guarantee high enough sales to get a distribution deal, but sadly for now, that is not a possibility for me. In the meantime I keep plugging away with the resources at my fingertips, begging for honest reviews and relying on word-of-mouth.

As for promotion - no I don't have much. I have very little money to spend and, at this time, I rely on free marketing methods, which is why I use this blog, Twitter and my Facebook Author page to try and keep readers up to date. I certainly don't have the spare funds to pay for a marketing agency, or any of the promotional methods I might have access to with a larger publisher.

 But I'm here and I'm writing every day. It makes me happy and I've been here long enough now to know I can stick it out. The publishing industry is changing rapidly, but the need for good stories and loveable characters will never change. We need some happy-ever-afters in the world and if I can help put some of them out there, that makes it all worthwhile.

So I've been published now since 2011 and it's certainly been a learning experience. I'm extremely grateful that I get to write full-time, and I thank my lucky stars every day, when I sit down at my laptop with my first cup of coffee and stare at that blinking cursor.

Which characters am I going to meet today?

I take a sip of coffee and I smile as my fingers hover over the keyboard, because I know that whoever starts appearing on that blank screen and taking over my story - whatever they do and say, they're definitely going to have fun!

I hope you enjoy my books and stick with me as I continue on with the next stage of my publishing adventures.

Thank you for reading!

Jayne

I can be found on Twitter @jaynefresina
Or FACEBOOK

Monday, March 21, 2016

Character Showcase - His Lordship

Well, I'm cheating a bit with this one, because he's not actually my character - he's a character created by the imagination and the pen of Miss Georgiana Hathaway in her newspaper column entitled "His Lordship's Trousers".

As she embarks upon her career as a writer and journalist, Georgiana creates this fictional rake by putting together the characteristics of many upper-crust types she's seen and met in her life - beginning with the vain and haughty Viscount Fairbanks, who once insulted her elder sister at a party. She is not impressed by the cliques of  grand Society that have treated her family like upstarts since they moved to London, and in this naughty column Georgiana gets her revenge on the snobs and know-it-alls that she's encountered.

In her column she writes from the point of view of an overworked, underappreciated valet who has a dry sense of humor and very little respect for his master. Through the eyes of this fellow she pens an image of "His Lordship", filling out the character using all the little bits and pieces she has gleaned over the years from the absurd reality around her.

* * * *


Excerpt from “His Lordship's Trousers” (censored)
Printed in The Gentleman's Weekly, May 1817

Yesterday evening's attire: Ivory silk knee breeches. On their return, badly marked with wine and candle wax, three buttons adrift.
 
This morning's attire: (Eventually) Kerseymere trousers with stirrups and slackly tied gusset laces. Padded seat a necessity.
        
            Today his lordship awoke earlier than usual, before the midday sun had quite reached its zenith. As a regular visitor to this column you will be surprised by the hour of my master's rising, but perhaps not by the curious array in which he was decorated. We shall come to that presently.

            The gentleman declared his head to be both vibrating and rotating, as he lifted the bulbous mass from its drool-encrusted pillow. There was little to be done to ameliorate his agony until an elixir of raw egg, vinegar and minced garlic, prepared to my own special recipe, was dropped into a mug of ale and swiftly sucked down into his lordship's gullet.

            I did my best to reassemble the pieces of his sprawling anatomy, to wipe them down with a wet rag, shave the parts most overgrown and least unsightly, and then hoist him into another new pair of calf-clingers. Throughout this endeavor, he honored me with a tale of his evening spent in the company of a certain lady — whom we shall call 'Loose Garters', on account of the fact that she left hers around his lordship's wrists and bedposts. The lady, it seems, has a preference for trussing my master up like a stuffed goose, and indeed he shall begin to resemble one if he continues to indulge his fondness for treacle tart and marzipan. One cannot retain the well-sprung, racing form of a fine curricle unless one maintains it well with exercise, as I am constantly reminding his lordship.

            Alas, his ears are open far less often than his mouth.

            "The lady enjoys both the infliction of pain and of pleasure," he informed me between yawns that, if I were of lesser heft, would surely have swept me into the dank abyss beyond his epiglottis. "She performs wonders for a man's filberts, and does enjoy a well hung pair," added the gentleman, congratulating himself on those aforementioned objects in his possession.

            Dear reader, during the course of the previous evening, I was occasionally roused from my own light sleep by a loud clapping sound, much like that of a freshly caught pike being wielded with wild force against an empty, round-bellied, iron pot. This morning the cause was clear to me, as I observed the scarlet marks of a riding crop, and possibly a butter paddle, slathered generously across his lordship's posterior.

            It was, he confessed to me, Lady Loose Garters' desire to deliver a stern spanking— amongst other punishments— while she had him tied prone to his own bed.

            "Ah," said I, "that would explain the clothes peg upon your nose, sir, and the dried candle wax upon your manly nipples. About which I did not like to inquire."

            He had, apparently, forgotten these remnants of the lady's passion. Perhaps due to the numbness in those protuberances. His buttocks were not so devoid of feeling, and I fear all his lordship's trousers will require a cushioned seat, should this affair continue long.

            As I observed to the gentleman, I do hope his latest amour— in her zest for punitive measures— never procures a pair of nutcrackers for those proud filberts in his possession.

* * * *

And so is born the fictional character of His Lordship - an amalgam of many people she has met (as is the case with most characters writers create). The column is soon a great success and increases the readership of her father's newspaper. The only thing Georgiana has to do now is pluck up the courage to confess to her father that not only is his most popular feature written by a female, but by his own, least-favourite daughter!


In THE TROUBLE WITH HIS LORDSHIP'S TROUSERS my fictional heroine's fictional anti-hero takes on a life of his own and starts to cause a most amusing ruckus.
Certain people, of course, burdened with small brains, self-importance and vanity, see themselves reflected in the character she's created and even when they should probably save face and hold their tongue, they are not smart enough to sit down and shut up.

Find out how it all begins for my characters - fictional and fictional - in the first book of the series The Ladies Most Unlikely.

The Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers

Happy reading!

Jayne

You can contact me anytime through my Facebook Author Page.
I look forward to hearing from you! :)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Character Showcase - Georgiana Hathaway

The heroine of my new release is only sixteen the first time she encounters Commander Sir Henry Thrasher. At that time she is fascinated to learn that most people refer to him as "Dead Harry", because it's truly a miracle that he is still alive and, in fact, his obituary has been printed twice in the newspapers.
Georgiana has the sort of imagination that draws her toward complicated souls and she strongly believes that nobody is beyond saving. She has an eagerness for interesting company and is not shy to hold back her own opinions. Although her desire to do good and serve justice often gets her into trouble and generally causes havoc, it doesn't put her off trying.

* * * *

Being in possession of what her stepmother termed a "deliberately contrary disposition", Georgiana had— even into her sixteenth year— retained a stubborn preference for young men of an unlikely sort. She would still much rather choose the company of a boy with an interesting collection of insects in a jar, or a nasty, oozing scar to show off, rather than one with haughty manners and an obsession about keeping his clothes clean.

The story soon progresses, leaping forward a few years until her next meeting with the Commander, when she is nineteen and has suffered some years of "tutelage" at The Particular Establishment for the Advantage of Respectable Ladies". By then Georgiana is ready to spread her wings in the world and find proper adventure. And she has no intention of letting Society dictate her future. She has already begun penning an anonymous satire called "His Lordship's Trousers", which is printed weekly in her father's paper, and she hopes one day to parlay this success into a career as a journalist.

But meeting "Dead Harry" again threatens to distract Georgiana from her course. She soon finds herself waylaid with a new mission.

* * * *

Now here she was, a guest in the house of Commander Sir Henry Thrasher— a man of whom so little was known in recent years, a man who had withdrawn from life to become something of an enigma. Here before her was another opportunity, for with his experiences and adventures, the Commander had much to share with the world. If he could be persuaded to do so. This could be her chance, she realized excitedly, to pen something more serious than His Lordship's Trousers.


            Spending his days in isolation here, he clearly lived as he pleased, a bachelor who greeted ladies in his shirtsleeves, with his neck-cloth undone, his hair tousled and his shirt half-untucked. A man who stared at Georgiana, not only as if he'd never seen anything remotely like her, but that he might possibly decide to eat her with a bit of bread and some butter.

            Naturally, if this was a Grand Romance, she would be very beautiful with long hair the color of honey and wheat, and a neck like a swan, while he would be a tortured, brooding soul who pounded his chest while reciting poetry. And they would fall in love. At least, until she tumbled to her death from some tall place and her skull was, quite tragically, crushed.
That was the way Grand Romances usually went, of course. 

            Luckily she was far too clever to fall in love. She had too many adventures ahead of her and an entire world to put to rights, without the complication of love to get in her way.
 
Read more about Georgiana and Dead Harry in The Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers - out now!
 
Happy Reading!
 
Jayne

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Character Showcase - Commander Sir Henry Thrasher

Sir Henry, known to his close friends as "Harry" and to the general public as "Dead Harry", is a former Commander in the Navy, forced to give up a promising career  when his mind suddenly stopped cooperating and behaving as it should.
Upon this very early retirement he was granted a knighthood to compensate, but without the career he has spent his life working for, Harry is lost and wandering without a purpose.
He lives in the family home of Woodbyne Abbey, which is falling down around his ears. He just cannot seem to put his mind to getting the roof fixed or the drafty windows mended. His life is stuck in one spot and, in fact, he is sometimes not entirely sure he's alive. He certainly knows he shouldn't be.

* * * *

            Since he barely knew what he might do from one day to the next, his mind having sudden, unpredictable spasms and memory losses, Harry had decided to avoid Society as much as possible. After the blow to his head at the Battle of Grand Port in 1810, the Naval doctors could not explain how Harry was still alive. The experts all had different theories, but no solid explanations. Once recovered, he had returned to sea and calmly resumed his career with a new command. But two years later he was shipwrecked. Believed gone for good this time, a memorial stone was raised, his house was shut up, and sailors from Plymouth to Botany Bay raised a toast to "Dead Harry". 

            The world was confounded once again, when it turned out that he had survived twenty-eight months on a tropical island. Rescued, shaved and respectably attired once more, it was expected that he could pick things up as he had before, but Harry was changed. A great many things that had not concerned him in the past, now drew his mind and attention away from those matters considered important by others. After so long alone on that island with nothing but his own company, he had grown accustomed to peace and the tranquility of internal musing. He could sit for hours pondering the arrangement of stars in the sky, or the slow burn of a log in his fire. Worst of all— an even stranger development— he suddenly felt no desire to fire a gun or a cannon at anybody.

* * * *

And so, having died twice, Harry feels as if his life has taken on the surreal tenor of one existing on borrowed time.

"When a man's obituary has been printed in the newspaper not once but twice, as he'd remarked to his aunt, one had a tendency, if not a duty, to believe it."

Read more about Harry and all the people trying to "fix" him in THE TROUBLE WITH HIS LORDSHIP'S TROUSERS. Out now from all online booksellers!

Jayne

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Character Showcase - Mr. Maxwell Bramley

Max Bramley is the sort of fellow who bumbles through his day with very few cares and seldom takes anything seriously. Unfortunately, he likes to give advice, whether it's desired or not, and even though his own life's choices leave much to be desired. He is a gentleman of leisure and pleasure. It puzzles him greatly that his dear cousin Harry prefers to live a solitary life in the country and won't even keep a valet on staff. Even worse, Harry appears to have sworn off the female gender. Well, good thing (or is it?) that Max is here to set all this straight and steer his cousin back into all the pursuits a gentleman ought to enjoy.

* * * *

In Max Bramley's eyes, there was nothing wrong with Harry. Nothing that a simple cure could not change. Max generally viewed life through the distorted glass at the bottom of a crystal goblet, of course, and although folk never went to him for advice, it did not stop the blurry-eyed fellow from giving it freely.

            "A woman could save you from yourself," he said. "You've already got one arm in a sling, old chap. But breaking one's fall is precisely what a woman is for."
 
            "Then why haven't you acquired one?"

            That caught his cousin off guard, but only briefly. "We are talking of you, dear coz, not of me. You were in the Navy, Harry, for pity's sake! This chaste life is not what I expect from a sailor."
 
* * * *
 
When Max gets it into his head to "help", it seldom turns out well, but he is just as determined to fix a crisis as his mama, Lady Bramley. Sometimes his methods are not exactly subtle and he ends up doing more damage than good, but, as poor Harry must constantly remind himself, his cousin "means well".
And Max is very fortunate that Miss Georgiana Hathaway strongly believes nobody is beyond saving.
 
Read more in "The Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers" OUT NOW.
 
Jayne
 
 
(Image: Portrait of a Gentleman by Francois-Xavier Fabre)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Character Showcase - Lady Bramley


Harry looked fondly down at his tattered, infinitely comfortable dressing gown and wondered if he might suddenly come up with an illness and send his regrets. But no, the horror of attending one of his aunt's dire social events loomed without possibility of reprieve. Lady Bramley could find vulnerable parts in a man's excuses as effectively as the spikes of an iron maiden could find them in his body. He often thought she would have been quite at home leading the Spanish Inquisition.

* * * *

Lady Bramley is the redoubtable aunt of the hero in "The Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers". She takes great interest in his well-being - too much interest, in his opinion - and  hopes, one day, to get him married to a suitable woman who can take over the difficult task of keeping Harry half-way civilized.

A keen gardener, Lady Bramley likes to grow prize-winning vegetables and she views Harry as a challenge not unlike the nurturing of one of her famous marrows. She knows he is determined to avoid all her schemes, but that does not put her off.


            "I fear, madam, that you are destined for disappointment if you continue in this idea of developing and improving me like one of your prize-winning vegetables."

            "Don't be foolish, Henry. A champion gourd takes a vast deal more care and trouble to cultivate than a man. Although it is usually a more satisfactory enterprise, I must say."

            "Your methods don't seem to have worked with me."

            "Henry dear, I haven't even begun with you."

Lady Bramley enjoys nothing as much as a challenge, whether it means corralling her sons and nephew into gentlemanlike behavior, grooming her beloved lapdog, trimming a wayward hedge, or taking a troublesome miss under her wing. When she sees something out of place, she has to tidy it. And when she sees two young people in need of each other, she has to make sure she brings them together. One way or another!

Read more about Lady Bramley and her match-making efforts in The Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers - out now !




Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon Brazil
Amazon Australia
Amazon Germany

If you don't see your country listed here, leave a comment below or contact me via the following link
Facebook Author Page

Happy reading!
Jayne



Character Showcase - Mrs. Julia Lightbody

In general, the students at Mrs. Lightbody's Particular Establishment for the Advantage of Respectable Ladies— or "The Pearl", as some of its wittier residents referred to it— gave the redoubtable proprietress little trouble. Most boarders at this worthy academy were terrified enough to leave her to the enjoyment of her gin flask, a fly smasher and the Histoire et Vie de L'Aretin secreted inside a book of sermons. Mrs. Lightbody, in return, saw her pupils graduate through her front door at eighteen and nineteen in much the same intellectual state as they came into it as younger girls. In some cases with an even emptier head, incapable of having a thought or an opinion unless it was put there by her.

            The academy was required to provide only a very basic education for thirty guineas a year, and nothing more than an ability to attract husbands was ever expected of those who survived the experience. After all, as Mrs. Lightbody was known to grunt despondently, "There is not much to be done with girls, except teach them sewing, dancing, a little French, and How to Get a Husband."

* * * *

Mrs. Julia Lightbody rules her school with a mean, vindictive temper. And is often helped through her day by a bottle of gin hidden inside a china shepherdess. When it comes to the pupils put into her care, she favors those girls whose fathers can pay more than the standard thirty guineas a year for their "studies", and she looks down upon any girl who will not, or cannot, conform to her ideals. Anybody who crosses her and refuses to pay her the deference she believes she is due, will soon suffer dearly, for - as she likes to remind everybody - she is a woman of influence with friends in high places. During her time at the academy she has brokered many "successful" marriages for her best pupils and that is, after all, more important than actually providing an honest service and a proper education for these young women.

The headmistress took pleasure in the misfortunes of others, liked to lecture at length on subjects about which she knew nothing, and snidely criticized work that she herself could never emulate. She had been known to tear apart finely wrought embroidery or throw it into the fire, simply because the girl who made it once looked at her the wrong way, or her corns were playing up, or she'd been given the cut by someone in the street.


But Mrs. Lightbody has a dark secret in her past. She once went by another name and lived a rather different life. Her route into the upper echelons of society has been a somewhat sly and winding serpentine path. It balances precariously on her art for blackmail and it just might be exposed by one of her least favorite pupils.


Georgiana had often wondered how Mrs. Lightbody ever came to open an academy for young ladies. She was not a woman who set a very great example to her pupils. She appeared to have stumbled into this profession by some clerical error, rather than ability or inclination. Most of the time she left her "teaching" duties to the older girls, letting them tutor the younger ones while she remained shut in her parlor with the door bolted.

            Julia Lightbody was socially ambitious. As the headmistress of that school she was able to assure herself that she was, in fact, a "somebody", even if her students— once they achieved a successful match and moved up in society— became completely embarrassed by the old association and would deliberately not recognize her in the street.
 
            Georgiana, who had always loved a good mystery, knew there must be more to Mrs. Lightbody than met the eye.

* * * *

Along with Georgiana, you can uncover Mrs. Julia Lightbody's dreadful secret in The Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers - coming tomorrow!


Jayne
Jayne Fresina Author Facebook Page

(Above: Portrait of Mary Robinson by Thomas Gainsborough)




Monday, March 7, 2016

Meet: The Ladies Most Unlikely


Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to a ladies' academy...

 Georgiana Hathaway - "an unrepentant, wicked girl"

The middle child of seven, Georgiana is accustomed to causing trouble just to be noticed. Sadly, even then, her busy father often fails to recall her name, and resorts to "Esmerelda" or "Jezebel" when in a hurry to admonish her.

 Georgiana spent a happy childhood in the Norfolk countryside, but her ambitious father - a widower, newly remarried to a much younger wife - has uprooted his family from their beloved home and moved them to a new, fancy house in London. Here, as the owner of a successful newspaper and a printing business, he hopes to expand his fortune and improve his status. In this pursuit he is aided by his new bride, who is extremely keen to be accepted by grand society and determined not to let Georgiana's bad behavior embarrass them.

 And so, when the opportunity arises, the second Mrs. Hathaway eagerly suggests to her husband that he send his troublesome daughter away to an academy for young ladies. There, so she tells him, Georgiana will learn proper behavior and meet other young ladies of "better" society. Most importantly of all, sent off to boarding school, she will be out of her stepmother's way.

 But will she also stay out of mischief? As a natural ringleader with a lively imagination and something that her stepmother calls "a contrary disposition", she has soon formed a friendship with two other young ladies and is eagerly leading them into trouble. They're very fortunate, as she assures them,  that they have her to keep them off the straight and narrow.

 
Melinda Goodheart  - "a robust young lady known to be competitive at the expense of grace and decorum."

The only daughter of an impoverished Baronet who makes an art out of never paying a bill, Melinda has been sent to the Particular Establishment for the Advantage of Respectable Ladies for one reason only - to catch a rich husband. Her father has made it clear that she's not to come home again until this goal has been achieved. But Melinda has few ladylike attributes and very little inclination to study. Soon bored at school and restless for more than life seems prepared to give her, she is thankful to meet a fellow adventurous spirit in Georgiana.

Melinda happily goes along with anything that promises entertainment and is seldom bothered by the consequences - as long as she's had her fun first. The only potential she sees in her future is a hat shop, since she's heard that "When all other avenues of pleasure and expression are closed to her, a lady may resort to the comfort of Desperate Millinery." Of course, she must find a rich husband first to help fund her venture - one who is also corrupt enough not to care about the many disgraces of her family.

 
Emma Chance - "the most sensible, solemn young woman ever abandoned by her parents."

As a newly-weaned babe, Emma was left at the ladies' academy by a gentleman who wished to remain anonymous. Thus she was abandoned to the questionable care of the school proprietress, Mrs. Lightbody, who never lets her forget that she's a charity case. Emma has no expectations of ever marrying. She has no dowry and no parent willing to claim her. The only respectable option available to her is to one day become a governess - a prospect that horrifies her. Bullied and belittled for most of her childhood, she never had a friend until Georgiana and Melinda came to the school and took her under their protection.

Now, fiercely loyal to her friends, she would do anything for them. Although never a troublemaker herself, she will not allow them to go on any misadventure without her.  After all, somebody must be the voice of reason and it is always her hope that she can prevent utter calamity from befalling her dear friends in their desire for excitement.
 
As she softly teases the other two women, "Some of us might be daring enough to ride down a banister, but most prefer the steadier progress of steps to arrive at our destination with a little bit of dignity."

 
Get to know more about "The Ladies Most Unlikely" in the first book of a new series - The Trouble With His Lordship's Trousers, coming NEXT WEEK.

 

Jayne Fresina- copyright 2016
Amazon Author Page
 
 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

LADIES MOST UNLIKELY

Hi there! Spring is almost upon us, and to celebrate I'll be welcoming the season with the first book in my new Regency romantic comedy series The Ladies Most Unlikely.

This light-hearted series will follow the fortunes and romantic misadventures of three friends, who met and formed an unshakeable bond while they were unhappy students at a London finishing-school for young ladies.

Georgiana Hathaway, Melinda Goodheart and Emma Chance all come from very different beginnings (yes, a bit like Charlie's Angels!) but they all have one thing in common - a love for adventure and a desire to do something unexpected with their lives.

As students at The Particular Establishment for the Advantage of Respectable Ladies (sometimes called The PEARL), they were each expected to conform with the Regency era society's ideals for proper young ladies. And they all failed, quite spectacularly, to come up to standard. The school headmistress, Mrs. Julia Lightbody, calls them bad apples, a blot on the reputation of her academy - the ladies least likely to make good matches.

Thus they become The Ladies Most Unlikely, and as they go out into the world, society had better be prepared.

As Mrs. Lightbody says, "Of all my pupils you three are the very worst. A bad lot. Destined to go down in infamy."  

And Georgiana happily agrees. After all, as she is fond of saying, "If one must go down in something, it may as well be  the good ship Infamy."

The first book in this series (The Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers) will tell the story of outspoken, inquisitive Miss Georgiana Hathaway and Commander Sir Henry Thrasher - a war hero, who once spent two and a half years shipwrecked on an unchartered island, has been declared dead twice, and has a distinct aversion to decent clothing. And nosy young ladies.

So how does this odd couple meet? I'll leave you with a hint.

"Here before her was a legend— a man knighted for bravery, and much admired for his valor and steel-spine fortitude. She had eagerly devoured the Commander's heroic Naval exploits in her father's paper, where it was written that even bloodthirsty, lawless pirates held "Dead Harry" in high regard.

The man was a national institution, and she had just felled him with her inconsequential and shamefully airborne buttocks."

* * * *

Author's note: Please be warned, or assured (depending upon your personal preference), that The Ladies Most Unlikely series contains scenes of mild sensuality, but I have decided to leave these particular heroines with a little more privacy. It is not, therefore, erotica, but romance that might just make you blush a tiny bit - when you're not laughing.

While leaving some scenes to the reader's imagination, I hope also to leave you wholly satisfied with the story, the characters and their outcome. I don't believe you will find anything lacking.

Thank you for reading!

Jayne

Facebook/