No, I have not gotten a little too cozy with my bottle of The Macallan 18. I know what day it is: “The Virtuoso” hits the shelves today, featuring the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland, Lord Valentine Windham.
This should have been an easy book to write because I’d had both “The Heir,” and “The Soldier” to get to know my hero. Lord Val is a younger loyal brother, intelligent without being academic, and tall, dark and handsome (of course). He’s also, as the Windham series readers know, a virtuoso pianist.
In fact, that’s about all he is, at least in his own estimation. According to the Rules of Romance, it thus became imperative that I take Lord Valentine’s music away from him. This did not sit at all well with Lord Val, and it positively tortured me. There was a time long ago when I was defined by my devotion to the keyboard, so I had more than theoretical empathy for my hero. My friends were musicians, my hobby was music, my profession was music, my academic focus was music…
And my sore back was a function of music too, as is Lord Valentine’s aching, swollen, miserable left hand. Fortunately for Lord Val, when he nips off to the wilds of Oxfordshire to distract himself with renovating a manor house he’s won in a card game, he ends up right next door to a lovely widow.
Ellen Markham neither knows nor cares about Val’s musical abilities. His ability to kiss, however, and to do battle with her various demons and dragons, interests her greatly. Oddly enough, these undertakings interest Lord Val greatly as well, to the extent that losing his music talent comes to feel less like grief, and more like an opportunity.
This too, resonated with my own experience, because when I turned away from music, I turned toward many other opportunities and blessings, including a back that didn’t hurt every waking minute of the day.
What about you? Was there a crossroads in your life when what you thought was a loss turned out to be a wonderful blessing?
For an excerpt from “The Virtuoso” click here. To THREE of today’s commenters, I’ll be giving away signed copies of “The Virtuoso.”