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What’s in a birthday?

What’s in a birthday?

I have never really thought about birthdays that much – that sounds daft, but you’re born when you’re born, and that has always been the end of it.

I’ve never been the sort of person to think about my horoscope, my constellation, or even my birth year as affecting something about me.

But the more I write, I need to not only create new names (the bane of my life!) but also create new birthdays, and I’m starting to experiment with using constellations as an interesting way of building conflict.

You don’t seem to be able to sneeze on the internet now without seeing that Virgos don’t get on with Geminis, or Capricorns should never marry an Aries (?!), and as someone who has not read up on these things, I’ve always just kind of breezed past them.

But what a fascinating way to create conflict in my books!

The older I get, and the more books I write, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to challenge myself creatively, and I think this might be a new tool in my toolbox.

Let me know what you think!

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Christmas in July boxset!

Happy Christmas in July!

If you’ve never celebrated this, it’s a wonderful chance to escape the heat (or snuggle up, if you’re Down Under!), and lose yourself in a wonderful Christmas historical romance.

I’m celebrating by launching not one, not two, but three Christmas Regency novellas in one steamy boxset. Make sure you grab it now – or read for free in Kindle Unlimited!

Plunge into the fourth boxset of Regency romances in Emily Murdoch’s bestselling Ravishing Regencies series – Christmas edition! Each of these books has spice at its heart and a heart ready to lose, heroes in pain and heroines acting out of the ordinary. There are no ballrooms here… This collected stories promises hours and hours of steamy hot reading…

Kidnapped with a Knight
A man disowned by his family and a woman with absolutely no interest in him – and their kidnappers have left them all alone…

Christmas with a Czar
A man who claims to be a prince and a woman forced to play along – but the real secret must be revealed before Christmas Day…

Advent with an Archduke
A man who disappeared a year ago – and the woman forced to welcome a stranger at Christmas…

These books are steamy forced proximity Regency romances with happily ever afters, no cliffhangers, and are a series that can be read in any order. It’s time to get ravished…

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GUEST POST: Disability in fiction – why does it matter?

This guest post is brought to you by Max Swinhoe, my sensitivity reader for my de Petras Saga series! Copywriter, Editor of withinReach Magazine and advocate of disability inclusion, Max is currently living nomadically; travelling and exploring the UK and Ireland with her husband in their van Gloria. 

When you read a novel, you are immersing yourself in what it’s like to be inside another person’s head. You are simulating a social situation. You are imagining other people and their experiences in a deep and complex way.

This is a quote from ‘Stolen Focus’ by Johann Hari, in which he speaks about empathy that is formed in fiction. This struck a chord with me because not long before reading this, Emily had reached out to me about working with her on a book series. More specifically, she asked me to act as her ‘sensitivity reader’ with regards to her character Sapphire, who was going to have an upper limb difference.

I myself was born with an upper limb difference, I am a freelance copywriter but truly my heart is in the work I do for the charity Reach, a children’s charity for upper limb differences that work tirelessly to ensure that they ‘live a life without limits’.

As the editor of Reach’s magazine ‘withinReach’, we have in the last couple of years created a whole section about representation. Here we celebrate people with upper limb differences who are out there talking about difference, challenging expectations and breaking barriers across many industries and we talk a lot how important it is for children growing up today to see themselves in films, television, story books. But, when Emily got in touch, I realised this was a new opportunity.

This was a chance to reach adults, and in a very different way to a magazine. This was a chance to introduce upper limb difference to people at the beginning of a character’s life and allow them to step into that life and really get a sense of what it’s like to live with a difference. We hear about the character Sapphire’s congenital upper limb difference from the moment she’s born, and we live with her through the good and bad experiences that shape her.

I’ve grown to love Sapphire’s strength, feisty nature, sense of humour and resilience; for me this is the key because Emily’s portrayal of Sapphire or the situations she finds herself in never invoke pity but only compassion, humility and empathy.

The thing that struck me most though, was that as an author Emily needn’t have created Sapphire at all. She doesn’t have to introduce diverse casts into her literature, she doesn’t have to employ a sensitivity reader, because whilst being progressive and open-minded, it also costs her time, money and energy, but I am so grateful to her for it. It tells me, someone with a disability, that she is taking this representation seriously, that she cares about her character and how she is received.

If I’m honest I think Emily has had the hardest job here, but so far has tackled the topic of difference with respect and sensitivity. It cannot be an easy feat, introducing a character with a disability into an historical series whilst at the same time not making the story about disability. Not to mention how perceptions about have changed so dramatically over the centuries, so here I had to trust her judgement and knowledge when it came her choice of language or the kinds of situations Sapphire would be faced with, whilst she had to trust mine when I questioned elements of the text that I thought perhaps weren’t quite right.

On a personal level I had to step back too and really assess where my sensitivities were. I reminded Emily, and myself at times, that it was not my job to speak for all people with disabilities but rather to oversee and tell her how I felt and how I thought things might be misinterpreted or understood.

I remind you the reader of the same thing, that I do not speak for all on this, and ask that as you delve into Sapphire’s character that you really take on board that although this is a fictional interpretation, the scenarios that we find Sapphire in aren’t all that far away from the scenarios that many with differences might face today. Discrimination and prejudice still exist but perhaps these opportunities to represent difference in fiction will help move us to keep moving forward, allowing people to connect with a character in a whole new way and develop that all important transferrable empathy we could do with a little more of in real life.

Thank you Emily and I truly hope you all enjoy the journey with Sapphire.

Intrigued? Make sure you grab the de Petras Saga now, available in Kindle Unlimited and full of passionate (and contrary!) characters!

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Out now! The Impoverished Dowry!

You’ve waited, you’ve been patient – and now it’s out!

THE IMPOVERISHED DOWRY is out and you can click here to grab it now

Welcome to book 2 in The de Petras Saga from USA Today Bestselling Author Emily E K Murdoch!

Coral de Petras is on the hunt for a rich husband, and she doesn’t care who knows it.

In her third Season and starting to attract the wrong kind of attention, a chance introduction with a duke (sadly penniless) throws her completely off balance. She must find a wealthy husband, so her dowry does not completely impoverish her family.

The Duke of Glaenarm is handsome, charming, devilishly devoted to her. And penniless. Damn.
At least, that is what Edward Barlow, Duke of Glaenarm, wants her to believe.

Amused by the fiery haired beauty who demands a husband with an income of at least four thousand pounds, Edward decides to trick her into affection for him – proving that even if she believes him poor, she can fall in love.

But as lies start to layer onto lies, neither Coral nor Edward can control the desire pulling them together – and as the de Petras family’s outrageous behavior continues to threaten their respectability, it’s becoming more and more difficult for Coral to understand what she wants from life.

A respectable, boring, wealthy suitor – or a penniless duke that makes her feel alive?

This full length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order, but is best enjoyed in sequence.

Read Free in Kindle Unlimited!

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Please buy this boxset!

Make sure you grab this gorgeous boxset! Myself and fifteen other authors are aiming to get this boxset on the USA Today Bestsellers List, and that means we need your help! Please buy it for 0.99 today!

Desiring a Duke? Craving a Cowboy? Longing for a Laird?

This sweet and steamy collection of historical romance will transport you to a time when gentlemen were plentiful, and every scoundrel capable of seduction possessed a heart waiting to be uncovered.

Hidden identities, scandalous secrets, second chances, and happily ever afters fill this boxed set of more than 15 standalone romances, guaranteed to make you swoon.

Each unique tale in the Secrets, Scandals, and Seduction Boxed Set delivers a stand-alone story that fans of Julia Quinn, Diana Gabaldon, and Lorraine Heath are certain to love.

How do you capture a man’s heart… A lady never tells.

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Finish the series! Scandal with a Sovereign out now

The trouble with series is that, as an author, it’s hard to know when to stop!

And I don’t want to absolutely promise, because there are still so many ideas whirling around my mind, but I think SCANDAL WITH A SOVEREIGN, my new book out…could be the last book of this series.

I know! I’m sad too!

The thing is, I have so many exciting series in my mind that I really want to write, and I can’t keep coming back to this one – even though my Ravishing Regencies series is incredibly popular!

So make sure you grab this new book now!

A sovereign in London for one night – and the woman trapped in a library with him…

Lady Elizabeth Roy – or Betsy, to her friends – is furious. The irritating man has been teasing her all evening, and she has had enough. Dragging the unfortunate soul into the library, she tells him in no uncertain terms that she is not interested in his attentions.

Then turns to leave – to find the door jammed, the lock broken.

It’s a delightful revelation for the gentleman trapped with her. The Crown Prince of Austria, Rupert is in London for one night only before visiting his royal relatives in Brighton, and has been utterly captivated by the spirited, fiery young woman.

This is his chance. One evening alone, trapped in a library, where scandal abounds and Lady Elizabeth might give into the temptation of pleasure.

But everyone knows that they are in there, and there’s no scandal like a royal scandal…

Can Rupert convince Elizabeth that his sudden infatuation is more than just a fancy? Will Elizabeth suffer the indignity of a stolen kiss in a library when she has no other option? And will a scandal with a sovereign lead to a happily ever after – or ruined reputations for them both?

This is the thirteenth in the bestselling series of twelve Ravishing Regencies.

This is a steamy forced proximity Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and part of a series that can be read in any order.

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What’s on my desk?

Today I thought I’d share a snapshot of my desk!

Okay, not actually a snapshot. Believe it or not, I’m actually quite private about my home and my personal life. I’ll share a few cool things on my social media, and a very small amount with my newsletter subscribers.

So sorry, no actual photo!

But here are the things that are on my desk…right now.

  • My computer. It’s a Mac, it’s gorgeous, it’s faster than any Windows laptop I’ve ever had, and now I can’t live without it.
  • My printer. This has a scanner, which is absolutely essential for when I’m signing contracts with my publisher!
  • A desk lamp. This one! It’s so pretty, and I read somewhere that every room should have one item of furniture that is black, and this is mine.
  • A framed photo of myself and the husband, taken about twenty minutes after we got engaged 🥰
  • Water. All the water. Like, a 2 liter bottle of water that is refilled every morning, plus a variety of glasses.
  • A toilet roll! I always seem to have the sniffles now that I’m post-COVID, and it’s way easier to just have it here rather than have to reach for it.
  • A pen. Blue, which is unusual for me. Often I have a red one, but I’m out right now!
  • A tape measure. Honestly, I cannot remember why it’s here…

And that’s it! I truly try to keep my desk as clean of things as possible, and though it isn’t super clean in itself, there are very few things there that can distract me.

Now I’m off to try to work out what I was going to measure…

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Author update: writing after COVID

Again, if you’re not in the right head space for hearing about COVID, please skip this blog and I’ll see you next week!

As I shared in an earlier blog, I had COVID in March 2022 and it had a massive effect on my ability to write. For a time, I even had aphasia – that’s the difficulty in finding words.

Honestly, I ended up in tears because I was trying to explain something to my husband and I couldn’t think of the word ‘regret’.

It was bad.

Added to that, I had lots of exhaustion, like needing a nap every afternoon. And when I say need, I mean I was falling asleep at my desk if I didn’t put myself to bed…

I know that recovering from COVID could be a long journey, and I thought I was prepared for it – but the trouble is, when 100% of your income (and so much of your joy!) comes from being creative, it’s quite frightening to think that part of my brain might be gone.

I’m relieved to say that I’m almost back to full health. I’m not having sleeps every afternoon, though I am having a rest. I’m sleeping better, I’m able to go for my daily walk again…I’m very grateful to think that I’m almost there.

Conscious that not everyone feels this way, I am so grateful to be getting back onto my feet.

And it means that I can almost 100% commit to something exciting that will happening in July, so keep an eye out for that!

Thank you so much for all your support during this time! 🥰

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NEW PRE-ORDER! The Impoverished Dowry is available for pre-order!

I am so excited to announce that the pre-order for book 2 in my de Petras Saga is now available, and at just 0.99!

So many of my readers have fallen in love with Opal and Jasper, the hero and heroine of the first book of the series, and in this one you will meet their eldest daughter, Coral, all grown up and with plenty of opinions…

It is now available for pre-order, and you can click here to grab it now

Welcome to book 2 in The de Petras Saga from USA Today Bestselling Author Emily E K Murdoch!

Coral de Petras is on the hunt for a perfect husband, and she doesn’t care who knows it.

In her third Season and with the shock of her father’s shipping business collapsing in disaster, Coral makes the hard decision to forgo a love match and fall back on the plan she had as a child.

Marry for money.

But if Coral’s giving up a love match, she doesn’t just want to settle for any gentleman: she has a list. A list of all the qualities she will demand from her future husband—and publishes it in all the newspapers.

A chance introduction with a duke (sadly not fulfilling all the points on her list) throws her completely off balance. Her dowry is gone, but doesn’t that mean she should demand the absolute best?

The Duke of Glaenarm is handsome, charming, devilishly devoted to her. And imperfect. Damn. At least, that is what Edward Barlow, Duke of Glaenarm, is informed by Coral at Almack’s.

Amused by the fiery haired beauty who demands a husband who meets her lofty and unrealistic expectations, Edward decides to trick her into affection for him—proving that even if she believes him imperfect, she can fall in love.

But the more time they spend discussing her potential suitors, neither Coral nor Edward can control the desire pulling them together—and as the de Petras family’s outrageous behavior continues to threaten their respectability, it’s becoming more and more difficult for Coral to understand what she wants from life.

A respectable, boring, wealthy suitor who completes her list…or an imperfect duke that makes her feel alive?

This full length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order, but is best enjoyed in sequence.

Read Free in Kindle Unlimited!

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Surprise! New book alert: Advent with an Archduke!

When I wrote David and Lady Louisa’s story for a short story anthology, I’ll be honest: I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I couldn’t stop! One short story simply wasn’t enough – so once the anthology came offline, I immediately started writing an extended version of their story. It became a full book, and you can grab it right now, for a Christmassy feeling this spring!

Here’s the blurb for the book, and you can click here to grab it now

A man who disappeared a year ago – and the woman forced to welcome a stranger at Christmas…

Lady Louisa Jarrold knew this Christmas would be different. With her father gone, none of the Advent traditions will be the same – but worst of all, her mother has been forced to take in a paying guest over the Advent period as their funds run low.

An Archduke for Advent. The absolute last thing she wanted.

But David Nelson is the last person she is expecting to see. After he gave Louisa his heart, and was forced from her home by her over-protective father, he’s only now had the chance to see her again.

A huge amount has changed – but has their hearts? Confined in the Jarrolds’ London townhouse during a snow storm with no chaperone, Louisa and David are forced to confront their fears and feelings during a long Advent night.

Can David justify his sudden disappearance? Will Louisa ever be able to accept the affections of a gentleman her father so sternly rejected? Is it possible to fight off their renewed attraction to each other – and can an Advent with an Archduke be the beginning of new traditions?

This is the twelfth in the bestselling series of twelve Ravishing Regencies.

This is a steamy forced proximity Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and part of a series that can be read in any order.

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NEW SERIES! The Misplaced Husband is LIVE!

So many of my readers know how much I absolutely love family sagas, particularly in the historical romance genre.

I just love following a family as they fall in love over and over again, seeing the same characters popping up again and again – and there’s usually a cute pet too!

So when it came to thinking about what type of series I wanted to write next, it kind of felt obvious.

Yup.

I wrote a family saga!

It launched a few days ago and I am terrified and excited to see what you think! Here’s the blurb for the book, and you can click here to grab it now

Welcome to book 1 in The de Petras Saga from USA Today Bestselling Author Emily E K Murdoch!

Opal de Petras knew it was a mistake to marry the man she fell in love with at first sight.

Three children later, she’s abandoned by her husband and is tempted to look elsewhere for love. But as the matriarch of her family and the one responsible for their reputations, she must try to keep the de Petras family respectable.

So when on the very day that her husband Jasper is declared dead – and she is declared a widow – he suddenly appears back in her life, right before she is about to take a lover, he has a lot of questions to answer…

Jasper de Petras knew there was no option but to abandon his family when the threatening letters started arriving – but after receiving paperwork that announces his death, it’s time to return home. Unsure whether the danger is past and determined to make Opal fall in love – and marry him – again, could it all fall apart before he’s able to convince her?

At the beginning of the de Petras Saga, join Opal and Jasper as they discover just how strong the bonds of love are – and what it takes to break them.

This full length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order, but is best enjoyed in sequence.

Read Free in Kindle Unlimited!

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Have you grabbed this boxset?

Make sure you grab this gorgeous boxset!

Desiring a Duke? Craving a Cowboy? Longing for a Laird?

This sweet and steamy collection of historical romance will transport you to a time when gentlemen were plentiful, and every scoundrel capable of seduction possessed a heart waiting to be uncovered.

Hidden identities, scandalous secrets, second chances, and happily ever afters fill this boxed set of more than 15 standalone romances, guaranteed to make you swoon.

Each unique tale in the Secrets, Scandals, and Seduction Boxed Set delivers a stand-alone story that fans of Julia Quinn, Diana Gabaldon, and Lorraine Heath are certain to love.

How do you capture a man’s heart… A lady never tells.