The Uncial Letter – November 2012

Curious about the next big holiday, we typed “Thanksgiving Holidays Around the World” into our search window. And learned way more than we expected. Seems that some kind of thanksgiving celebration occurs in most cultures and has been for thousands of years. We’re not going to tell you all about it. If you’re curious, try it yourself. But now we feel perfectly comfortable wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving. Even if you have already celebrated it this year.
Here in the US, Thanksgiving has always marked the beginning of the holiday season. Once upon a time, back when Jude–and the world–was young, the day after Thanksgiving (which occurs on the fourth Thursday in November, and don’t ask us why) was when stores started putting up Christmas decorations. But commercialism creep happened, and by the time her kids were adults, that had edged back to the day after Halloween. This year we saw some stores hanging the fake cedar garlands and the shiny balls in mid-October. At this rate, perhaps someday the autumn equinox will mark the beginning of the holiday season. Sheesh!
Of course, we in the book world have to start thinking holidays much sooner than Halloween. The progress of any given title through our system can take up to a year, but it’s usually more like nine months. So along about the first day of spring, we’re deciding which titles will be our November and December releases. Often we have to put out a call right after the first of the year, because authors are probably not thinking Thanksgiving or Christmas, or even New Year’s Eve in January or February.
And yes, gentle readers, that’s a hint. We’re always looking for excellent stories, well told. Just remember, we don’t publish horror (including vampires) because it gives us bad dreams, and we leave erotica to those who specialize in the genre. But pretty much everything else is fair game–as long as it’s a story we can’t put down.
Speaking of can’t put down… This month we have a couple of those.
A tender, sensual romance, that never got the exposure it should have, came our way a while back. We are delighted to offer J.A. Clarke’s BENEATH A BLAZING SUN to warm your cockles this cold, damp, stormy month. The only reason Kat Feldman is in Africa is to find some fabulous African art for one of her clients–she hates creepy crawlies. Jackson Roarke isn’t quite the rough-and-tumble outdoorsman he seems, but there is something irresistible about him, even though he thinks she’s a wimp. It isn’t only the African sun that blazes when the two of them get together, despite their vast differences.
When is a trilogy not a trilogy? When it leaves questions unanswered. The Conway Trilogy ended with the story of twins, but only one of them seems destined to live happily ever after. Several years later and still unmarried, Lady Jean Conway is exhausted after nursing her dying sister, and wants nothing more than peace and quiet. Instead she encounters a flood, a suitor who wants only a marriage of convenience, and a Scots estate steward who knows his place all too well–and refuses to step above it. THE YOUNG PRETENDER may be set a few years after the Regency ended, but it still has that incomparable flavor you can depend on from Sheila Simonson.
We will, once again, celebrate a couple of holidays with our December offerings. Linda V. Palmer takes us to an Ozark wedding and a hotel where not all guests are alive in THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS NEVER. Not to be outdone, Kenneth L. Levinson livens up New Year’s Eve with an explosive party at THE BOOTLEGGERS.
We promised you a hint about what’s coming in 2013, didn’t we? Love stories, mysteries, fantasy, and all sorts of exciting adventures are in your future. Some of your favorite authors will say hello, and we’ll introduce a few brand new ones sure to become favorites. So don’t forget to drop by often and see what’s in store.
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Be thankful for all sorts of things. Including ebooks.
Star & Jude

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