My new novel, Cousin Anne, is due out in January — a new novel for a new year. The book’s cover is shown at right.

The front cover of my 2nd novel about Anne de Bourgh

Cousin Anne is a prequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The story focuses on three characters from Austen’s most popular novel—Fitzwilliam Darcy, George Wickham, and Anne de Bourgh (the “cousin” in the title). The novel’s action takes place roughly ten years before Mr. Bingley moves into Netherfield and Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet. All three characters and their families are in London in the winter of 1803. Anne is 17 years old; Darcy and Wickham are both 19.

In my new novel, Anne de Bourgh is told that she is expected to marry her cousin Fitzwilliam Darcy. On hearing this news, she makes a frank confession: “I don’t want to marry Fitzwilliam!” Thus begins a round of apologies to her mother and aunt Darcy and nearly everybody.

In truth, she must hide her true feelings, for she is not attracted to Darcy, but instead is drawn to the handsome son of the Darcy family’s steward, George Wickham. She finds Mr. Wickham’s boyish looks and charm irresistible and daydreams about marrying him.

Mr. Wickham enjoys flirting with his dear “cousin Anne” on every occasion and leads her in to trouble. A secret tryst with this handsome troublemaker stirs Anne’s animal spirits and ends in disgrace. Her warm hopes are soon dashed, leaving her to wonder: Who feels most keenly the dishonor of untamed passion: her relations or herself?

My new novel will be available on Amazon in January.

I wish to thank the design team at CreateSpace for producing a vivid book cover. As if by magic, the team took my meagre comments about what I like—I love fleurons and ornaments!—and what I don’t like in the way of historical/romance book covers and turned them into a cover I love. Thank you!

Happy New Year to all!