The cover art* and blurb were recently approved for my third historical romance (and no, there are no half-clad men in this one, either). The Wild Rose Press hasn’t given me a publication date yet, but I expect it will be within the next several months.
Captain Easterday's Bargain resulted from research on shipping in the Pool of London for a previous novel, which brought to mind my own family connection to the shipping industry. My paternal grandfather worked for Railway Express throughout the Great Depression, until his retirement in the 1960s. My father worked for the Alaska Railroad from the end of World War II until he retired in the 1970s. I worked for two years as a security officer on Seattle's waterfront early in this century. Most of us never think about how fruit gets to our supermarket in the winter, or that we can buy specialty items from half the world away and they arrive, sometimes now in a matter of days rather than months. But even with motor freight, shipping containers, and computerized tracking, some things haven't changed much since the days of sailing ships and freight wagons. As one of the managers at the marine terminal where I was stationed put it, after a long, difficult day, "It just never ------- stops, does it?"
London's cutthroat shipping trade is no place for a lady, although Olivia Cantarell has secretly acted as her father's assistant for years. Now she has inherited his company, she has no mind to give up control over it—and herself—by marrying, however flattering it is to be sought after for the first time in her life. In spite of threats and intimidation, she will fight to keep her business.
Careful, responsible, and twice jilted, Captain Marcus Easterday has no heart to attempt marriage a third time. But he cannot stand by and see a woman cheated of her livelihood by Ambrose Hawkins, rumored to be a former pirate, a man whose name is known and feared in ports from the West Indies to China.
Courted by the ruthless Hawkins while relying on the scrupulous Easterday's help, Olivia must conceal the identity of one of her clerks and protect her company and employees. Who can she trust?
*No, I don't know what kind of ship that is on the cover. Seems awfully high and ornate in the stern. If you recognize it, please let me know—I looked at a lot of pictures of sailing ships when I was writing Most Secret, but never came across one like this.
On the other hand, it conveys the maritime theme and the moon hints at romance. Works for me.