A lot of you have asked me about my upcoming release, One Knight Enchanted. I did post in the description that an earlier version of this story was published under the title Enchanted. So, is this an old book or a new book? You want to know and that’s understandable—so, here we go!
Enchanted was published by Harlequin in 1997. It had a cover by Pino which looked like this. When the rights reverted to me, I didn’t have a digital book file for the interior. I had a paperback copy of the book scanned. I thought I’d probably just have to correct typos and it would be ready to be republished. That’s what I did with The Bride Quest series and book #1 of that series, The Princess, was first published in 1998. I expected the book to be pretty clean.
Then I started to read the book, making those corrections. OCR scans include a lot of mistakes. The scanner often misinterprets the letters— “corner” might be read as “comer”, the rn combination being interpreted as an m. “I” can be interpreted as the number 1 or a lower case l. Sometimes the scan isn’t too bad, and sometimes it’s a disaster. I use another proofreader to catch the typos after I’ve gone through the file, and we keep lists of typical errors.
But in this book, there was more to change. I wasn’t happy with the storytelling, which makes sense when you think about it. I should have learned a few things in twenty years of writing and publishing. I wasn’t as happy with the writing as I wanted to be. I wasn’t as happy with the editing as I wanted to be. There were a lot of repetitions in the text, and there were continuity errors. The villain seems to have died twice, for example. (He’s really bad, apparently.) The Big Finish happens off the page and is never fully explained.
There’s something great about reading favorite books again and again for nostalgia, and I have a full bookcase of keeper stories which I love to revisit. I also think that when an author makes a new edition of an old book available for sale, it should be just as strong of a book as her current releases. This book wasn’t—and I had the power to fix that.
I started to edit the book more heavily. I cut chunks of scenes and added new scenes, especially at the end. It felt like a big revision, and the result was starting to look like a different book.
In for a penny, in for a pound! Starting the revision meant that I needed to go deeper. Once the revision was finished on the book, I thought about the series. The stories I published with Harlequin were often linked, but my “series” grew out of secondary characters who had appeared in previous books. Those series grew organically and were never marketed as linked books by the house. In this case, there were three books that I considered to be a series because the protagonists were siblings. Annelise in Enchanted has a younger brother and an older one. My Lady’s Champion was the story of her older brother, Quinn, and was published first. My Lady’s Desire was the story of her younger brother, Yves, and was published third. I decided to change the order of the books in the series: even though I wrote Enchanted second, its events take place before events in My Lady’s Champion. So, One Knight Enchanted is book #1 in the new series.
Also, when I create a series now, there’s more of a connection between the books than existed in these three stories. You can see from these three Harlequin covers that the books weren’t originally branded as a series.
But I wanted a powerful linked series this time. The fact that Rolfe (hero of Enchanted) had met Quinn (hero of My Lady’s Champion) in Outremer gave me an idea to connect the books a little more strongly. What if they had more than met? What if they had fought together? What if they were members of a company of knights who fought together in the first crusade? What if they had a reputation for daring and effectiveness, one that was the result of them having nothing to lose? What if Rolfe’s mysterious bottle isn’t the only treasure brought home from that market in Palestine?
I soon had a list of knights, all returning home, each bearing a gift said to ensure his future. The series is now called Rogues & Angels and is the first series set in the Sayerne world. Rolfe’s book is the first story and Quinn’s is the second, but then we’ll visit some of those other knights in that notorious company of crusaders. The other knights will pass through Sayerne on their way home, visiting either Quinn or Rolfe (or both.) I have a feeling they’re going to fall in love. I forgot how much I liked the Lord de Tulley and his interfering ways so we’ll be seeing more of him and his legacy. (Who is Tulley’s heir? I want to know.) There are going to be lots of new connections, too. I expect you’ll see fathers and grandfathers of heroes in heroines in other books and series of mine having their stories told in this series.
So, on the one hand, this is an old story. The characters have the same names and the basic story is roughly the same. On the other hand, Annelise and Rolfe’s story has been so heavily revised and even changed that it’s not the same book.
One Knight Enchanted is also the launch of a new series that will have more books in it than the revisions of these three. Sayerne will be the world in which all of my republished Harlequin Historicals are set, so you can expect more connections to be built between characters, series and books.
I think that even if you read Enchanted, you’ll want to read One Knight Enchanted, too.