Updated: Mar 10
One of the first things I do after I've decided on characters for a story is prepare their family tree. I know that I am not alone in this and many authors do the same. I love to find family trees when I am reading a book because it gives me hope that there will be more, and also points out if I may have missed a story.
The Vails were a new family for me, and in anticipation of wanting to write more of this family, I gave the hero five living siblings. As for my heroine, her family was a established by the twelve authors who were writing stories with characters related by marriage, siblings, cousins, etc., and were all brought together at the haunted castle for the reading of a will. I've not shared that involved family tree, only the branch that is associated with my characters.
In HER GYPSY LORD, the first book of the Magic & Mayhem series, Adam Vail lives on the neighboring estate, Hollybrook Park, and is the heir to Viscount Lynwood. While visiting his grandmother, a wise, older gypsy with the gift of second sight, he meets Lady Charlotte Beck, who was visiting Castle Keyvnor. She is given a talisman to protect her from a murderous ghost even though Charlotte is skeptical. Adam, however, is well aware of the dangers that lurk at the castle.
A delightful adventure, that is really all that Lady Charlotte Beck craved, but it was never to be. Not with two older brothers being the most diligent of chaperones. However, when her family is summoned to Castle Keyvnor for the reading of a will, Charlotte can hardly contain her excitement. Not that she believes in any of that nonsense about ghosts or magic.
Lord Adam Vail has spent the last two years at his grandfather’s estate taking care of his older brother until he succumbs to a debilitating illness. The only thing that has made being at Hollybrook Park bearable is that he is close to his mother’s gypsy family. He knows magic, ghosts and evil are very real and when Lady Charlotte dismisses his grandmother’s concerns, Adam finds himself protecting her from a very real and murderous ghost. Only one thing can save her from a deadly fate.
As with many romances, weddings soon follow and the second installment of the Castle Keyvnor anthology took place at Christmas and more family and friends once filled the castle for the happy events in HIS MISTLETOE MISS. This time, it's Charlotte's older brother Anthony Beck, Viscount Redgrave, who is given an item by Adam's grandmother to put him on the path of true love. Also visiting is Miss Holly Prescott, and she vows to protect her guardian, an bachelor duke, from unworthy misses, so she seeks out Adam's grandmother for something to protect him.
Anthony Beck, Viscount Redgrave, has always done what was expected of his title and station. Ever the dutiful son, he abides by his mother’s requests even when they tend to the ridiculous. There is no other reason, after all, why he would visit a gypsy camp to acquire a piece of dead mistletoe that should rejuvenated itself once he is on the path of true love. Luckily at the gypsy camp, he happens upon the one lady he’s always wanted to court. Unfortunately, she’s in love with her guardian… Miss Holly Prescott is not in love with her guardian. It is her duty, however, to make certain that nefarious young ladies with hopes of becoming his duchess, don’t trap him into a loveless marriage. While attending the Christmas Eve weddings at Castle Keyvnor, Holly learns that the nearby gypsies could be of help in that regard. However, she did not expect to stumble upon the handsome and oh-so-honorable Lord Redgrave in the process.
More weddings result and many return once again to Castle Keyvnor in the summer for a week of festivities in A SPIRITED COURTSHIP. I'll admit, I had a lot of fun writing this story. While the three ghosts irritated James and Diana to no end, I found them enjoyable.
Miss Diana Vail had thought she’d found love, but James Bryant, the Earl of Somerton, had only been toying with her affections. Had she not overheard the horrible truth, she might have succumbed to his practice seductions and been ruined for life. Thankfully, her reputation had been saved, though it left her wondering if she could ever trust her heart again.
James Bryant had once professed: If Noah could become a father at the age of five hundred, then I can surely wait to begin producing offspring until age forty. Those were words he’d successfully lived by until Miss Diana Vail stepped into a ballroom. With his vow quickly forgotten, James set out to court the most captivating woman he’d ever met. Unfortunately a falling out brought their courtship to an end.
However, three ghosts have different plans for Diana and James, and intend to bring about a love match. Will the stubborn pair be more than a match for their spirited matchmakers and be doomed to suffer from the ancient curse for eternity?
The last book, or I should say, the most recent Magic and Mayhem story will be released on 3/16/21 ~ THE GHOST & MISS MIRANDA. This is book is not part of the Castle Keyvnor anthology, but a continuation of my series. I will also admit that I was inspired by a favorite movie, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir. My ghost is a cranky sea captain who lives in an attic and stares out at the sea through his telescope, but that is were the similarities end.
Miss Miranda Vail had set her cap on Wesley Claxton, Marquess Epworth during her first Season, even though he had first proclaimed her to be feather-brained for believing in ghosts. However, she hadn’t let his opinion deter her and the two became grand friends, though Miranda secretly wished for more.
Miranda’s quirkiness captured Wesley’s passion, and heart, despite himself. He was, after all, a reasonable gentleman of logic, and could not accept the existence of ghosts. It simply wasn’t scientific. Unfortunately, his denial of the possibility might just cost Miranda her life.
The next story that I will be working on is Cordelia Vail ~ Bewitching the Governess, but that is all I will say for now.
If you are like me, you like to know if a character has siblings, their ages, has someone already had their story, where series may overlap, and which character may be next to get their own HEA.
My series do tend to overlap and you will notice those references on the family trees. For example, did you know that the Vails are related to the Storms, who are the family in my Spirited Storms Series, but I'll discuss them on another date.
Another reference is on the Claxton Family Tree, which includes Lady Lucinda's Lords, which was released in December of 2020, and soon, Violet's story ~ Courtship of Convenience, scheduled for release in April of 2021. Both fall under a separate series ~ Observations of a Wallflower.
I hope you enjoy reading the Magic & Mayhem series as much as I've enjoyed writing the stories.