Surrender to the PIRATE

July 29, 2008

The wait is over! Today is the day. PLEASURING THE PIRATE is officially launched!

If you like a little swashbuckling, a little humor, a little sizzle with your romance, I invite you to give my PIRATE a try. Here’s what the reviewers are saying:

“Bryan’s touches of humor, naughty, bawdy dialogue and colorful description capture the era, adding dimension to this charming tale of a landlocked pirate, the hellion who tames him and their wild adventure. The heat rises as their escapades sizzle, and readers’ hearts will race to the delightful conclusion.” ~ RT BookReviews

“Pleasuring the Pirate is a fabulous, fun romp full of adventure, mischief, mayhem, romance and yes PIRATES! I simply couldn’t put it down!” ~ Reviewer TOP PICK, NightOwl Romance

“Great dialog, interesting side characters (the nieces who are out of control and the crusty pirate sidekick) and an author who clearly loves her subject matter and I’m there.  For me, you could call this book, Pleasuring the Reader.” ~ Barbara Vey, Beyond her Book, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BLOG

“This great Georgian romance is filled with bawdy humor, mindful of Fielding’s classic Tom Jones. The banter between the pirate and the courtesan’s daughter is amusing and heated.  The story line is fast-paced and never slows down.” ~ Harriet Klausner

Join my Blog Tour! Here’s where I’ll be blogging for the next couple weeks. Please stop by and say hi!

July 29th
August 2nd
August 4th
August 14th 9PM EST
Aug 15th



Getting Published

July 28, 2008

PLEASURING THE PIRATE, my 5th book, will be in stores tomorrow! I’m thrilled. And grateful. And feeling like this is an opportunity to look back a bit over the last few years since my debut in May 2006.
When one of my MySpace friends asked about how to get published, I thought there might be others who’d like to know as well. Everyone’s journey is different, but if others will be helped by my experience, I’m willing to share. So, here’s a brief stroll down my path to publication.
I’m not like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who scribbled a proposal and sold her first book before it was even written. I had to learn my craft. I started in 2001 with the naive notion that since I was a reader, I could be a writer. That’s right. It took me 5 years to publish. You may take less time. Or more. It’s the journey that’s important, not how long it takes.
I wrote 2 complete manuscripts that will forever gather dustbunnies under the bed. They were my teachers. I learned about story arcs and POV and dialogue. And generally how not to write a romance novel. Even so, the 2nd one (a sad little western) started to win a few writing contests. It was enough encouragement to keep me going.
Then we moved to Seattle and I joined Eastside RWA. Finally I wasn’t on my own, trying to reinvent the wheel. I had help in learning how to write. And at one of the chapter meetings during a writing exercise, my heroine Rika from my debut novel MAIDENSONG was born.
I was just typing THE END on MAIDENSONG when my husband lost his job in a corporate downsizing. We moved to Missouri to lower our expenses. I took a position as a banker to help make ends meet, while he looked for work. While I struggled to learn a new job, I also struggled to learn to write in the evenings and on weekends, when I was tired, whether I felt like writing or not. I wasn’t playing with this. It was not a hobby. There was far too much of my blood on the pages for that. I was determined to be a real writer.
I sent queries (I’ll talk about query letters in my next post) to agents, since I knew I didn’t have time or the expertise to submit MAIDENSONG on my own. Thanks to a faithful e-critiqueing friend, during this time I finished ERINSONG, and wonder of wonders, I finally was offered agent representation in 2004.
I continued writing. Each time I finished one story, I didn’t wait to see if it would sell. I started on the next one. In June 2005, I got THE CALL. Leah Hultenschmidt from Leisure Books had found MAIDENSONG languishing on her desk and loved it. (Bear in mind, MAIDENSONG had been there for a year. Most of the time, publishing grinds with glacial slowness.) MAIDENSONG came out in May 2006 and I wept when I first saw the cover.
Now, I have 5 books in print, another due out next March and a contract for one after that. I’m writing full-time now (Thank you , God and my dear husband!). I have been extremely blessed and I feel I must share that there is an element of luck in who gets published and who doesn’t. It’s a matter of the right manuscript on the right desk at the right time.
But it’s also a matter of perseverance. The clinical definition of that word is “continueing an activity past the time when it makes sense. To persist in an idea, purpose or task, despite obstacles.” I used to think ‘perseverance’ meant going to grad school, but it fits trying to be published to a T.
Persevere. Keep writing. Once you start down the path, don’t give up on the journey. You’ll find places in yourself and others you never knew existed. Good luck!
* * *
“I simply couldn’t put this one down!” ~ Reviewer Top Pick, NightOwl Romance on PLEASURING THE PIRATE

I was floored when Paul Norman of Books Monthly said DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS was “one of those rare books that could turn into a modern classic.” Now another reviewer has used the “C” word about my PLEASURING THE PIRATE!

“This great Georgian romance is filled with bawdy humor mindful of Fielding’s classic Tom Jones. The banter between the pirate and the courtesan’s daughter is amusing and heated. The story line is fast-paced and never slows down. Emily Bryan provides a powerful historical as the adventures of the pirate and the courtesan’s daughter will pleasure the fans.” ~ Harriet Klausner

Now I have to hope Mark Twain was wrong! He always claimed, “A classic is something everybody wants to have read, but nobody wants to read!” 🙂

Please visit my website at to read an excerpt! Enjoy

Velda Brotherton

July 21, 2008

Fly With The Mourning Dove

Fly With The Mourning Dove

Today, my friend, Velda Brotherton has consented to guest blog for me. She has TWO new books out!

FLY WITH THE MOURNING DOVE: A creative nonfiction biography. Six-year-old Edna accompanies her parents to a homestead on the high desert of New Mexico after World War One. There she grows up among the artists and other early settlers around the Taos area. Today, at the age of 94, she lives in the San Luis Valley of Colorado and manages both ranches, one in New Mexico and the other in Colorado.

IMAGES IN SCARLET: A western historical romance by Samantha Lee. Allie Caine sets out from Missouri after the Civil War to establish a photography shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She finds romance with a man known only to himself as Jake, consorts with outlaws and helps an abused woman escape her cruel husband.

Here’s what happened when Velda and I sat down for a little Q & A recently:

1. What type stories do you write and what drew you to this genre?

My favorite genres are historical in nature. I’ve written a creative nonfiction biography, and a lot of western
historical romances. Probably if I would stick to those, I’d either be famous or rich, or both by now. My problem is I enjoy both reading and writing so many genres I have trouble sticking to one. You wouldn’t believe the manuscripts I’ve stockpiled. Everything from horror to women’s fiction.

2. How did you begin writing and could you describe your writing process?

Images in Scarlet

Images in Scarlet

I began one rainy Sunday afternoon, with football on the only TV station we received at that time. For a long while I’d been intrigued by the stories of men returning from Vietnam, and I began to wonder what were the women like who dealt with these returning heroes? I started daydreaming the story, one thing led to another and I wrote the book. First in a notebook, then with a small, portable electric typewriter. It went on to lead me to other writers, to gain me an agent and came so close to selling so many times it was heartbreaking. But that began my hunger to put words on paper, though I had made up stories all my life.

3. Where can readers find your books?

I actually have four books available now. They are at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and BooksaMillion online.
4. What are you working on now?

I just finished a western historical romance. It’s the story of a reluctant English bride who comes to America and the victorian settlement of Victoria City, Kansas, only to find she can’t stand her husband-to-be, so she hires an outlaw to kidnap her.

5. Do you have a website so readers can learn more?

Yes, definitely. It’s

6. Who’s your favorite author and why?

Now, I always have trouble with that question. I read so many genres and enjoy a favorite author in each. Some of the best selling authors, of course. They are best sellers for a reason. I enjoy Tami Hoag a lot. Kathy Reichs who writes the Bones series is terrific. Jeffrey Deaver writes some great books and he’s a great guy as well. James Lee Burke literally takes his readers to Louisiana where we experience the bayous as if we were there. I could go on and on, but I will spare you that.
7. How does writing fiction compare to non-fiction?

Fiction is easier. That’s the simple answer. While historical fiction has to be right on the money history wise, we can turn ourselves loose with the characters and story itself, as long as we don’t meet Jesse James in Texas in 1850. I’ve written historical nonfiction and find I like creative nonfiction the best, though it too is very difficult because every character and locale must be precisely correct. I’ve written two nonfiction books on the history of an area and those were the toughest books I’ve ever written because they cover such a vast period of time that it’s difficult to get hold of specific characters.
8. Have you created a favorite character?

If so, please tell us about them. Allie Caine, the woman photographer in Images In Scarlet is probably my favorite character. She’s much like I might have been had I lived during her lifetime. As it is, I was a tomboy who played football with the boys, even stepped in to fight my little brother’s battles on more than one occasion. Allie takes nothing off anyone, yet she’s compassionate and romantic. She knows what she wants and sets out with determination to get it, no matter the barriers.
9. What’s the greatest challenge you face in your writing and how are you overcoming it?

Trying to write too many things at the same time. I’ve got so much going right now that I’ve had to get really ornery with myself and organized my time to allow for better concentration. It’s true that when I try to multi-task, all my tasks suffer and most especially the quality of my writing. So it’s short stories and articles one day, promotion another, book in progress the rest of the days. And I do write at least four hours a day, six days a week.
10. What’s been the greatest help in improving your writing?

I think the one thing that’s taught me more about myself and my writing than anything else is teaching workshops. You’d be surprised how much more a teacher can learn by teaching. First there’s the preparation to make sure everything is cutting edge, then when we begin the task of teaching, there’s making sure we listen closely to what our students say. Attending others’ workshops of course, is always a learning experience as well. But we have to be careful because not everything we’re taught at workshops can be applied to our own work. It’s a fine line we writers walk when we set out to learn our craft.

That’s so true, Velda. Thanks for stopping by today. If you’d like to leave a comment or question for Velda, please do! I’m sure she’d like to hear from you.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by today. And best wishes to Velda on her new releases! Please visit to read an excerpt and to purchase DOVE.

Scene Stealer

July 14, 2008

Back when I was singing professional opera, occasionally one of the supernumeraries (spear carriers, we used to call them) would do something to upstage the main characters. (Dare I confess to doing it myself sometimes when I was spear carrier?) It’s not always planned, but it happens.

It happens in fiction too. An unsuspecting writer creates a secondary character to fill a need in the hero or heroine’s life and all of a sudden, the bit part refuses to stand quietly holding the spear. It happened to me when I created my heroine’s mother for PLEASURING THE PIRATE, my July 29th release from Leisure Books.

Meet Isabella Wren, better known as ‘La Belle Wren’ in demimonde circles. That’s right. She’s a courtesan and she’s good at it. She moves in the most exalted circles. As the 18th century counts celebrity, she’s a rock star. She’s bone-deep beautiful, wickedly sensual and calculatingly clever. She’s used to being the center of attention.

Why did I ever think she’d fade into the background until she was needed?

First she began poking her way into the story through my heroine’s memory. Isabella sent Jacquelyn to the finest schools, but couldn’t leave her education totally to the headmistress and her minions. She sent her distant daughter detailed letters schooling her in the art of love. “Ignorance is not always conducive to bliss,” she says.

When I turned in the initial manuscript for PLEASURING THE PIRATE, my editor said, “I love Isabella! She’s outrageous, but she sucks all the air out of the room. You have to tone her down.”

She was right. When ‘La Belle Wren’ made her entrance, the rest of the cast faded a bit. Isabella knows how to ‘take stage.’ But instead of toning her down, I opted for ratcheting my heroine up to meet her. I gave Jacquelyn an extra dollop of her mother’s spine, courage and wit. When the two of them join forces, my formidable pirate hero doesn’t stand a chance.

Isabella was too much fun to let go once PLEASURING THE PIRATE was finished, so she makes an encore appearance in my next book, VEXING THE VISCOUNT, due out March 2009. If you’d like to read an excerpt of both stories, please visit

Pleasuring the Pirate

Pleasuring the Pirate


My swashbuckling hero and his lady are almost here! On July 29th, PLEASURING THE PIRATE hits the bookstore shelves. I’ve been invited to talk about it on these excellent sites.

BlogTour-Join Me on the Web!

July 12

July 14 9PM EST

August 15 

Hope to talk to you soon!

Distracting the Duchess

Distracting the Duchess

Booklist calls my DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS “wickedly witty.” See if you agree.

It’s being featured on Dear Reader at   starting Monday. Just sign up (totally FREE!)to have a bit of the DUCHESS delivered to your email. You’ll receive a 5 minute snippet each day next week and I’ll be in and out of the Dear Reader forum to answer questions and generally have a good time.

I hope you can join me!
Have a great 4th!