by Mia Marlowe
People often ask why I decided to write a Regency-set series based on characters with psychic abilities. It seems to fly in the face of the delicate, comedy-of-manners style of story readers expect from a Regency romance. After all, a hero like Lord Westfall, who’s spent time in Bedlam, is not exactly a Mr. Darcy clone.
But I’ve always been weirdly fascinated by the idea that some folks have been gifted with senses beyond our standard 5. That said, I’ve never met anyone who convinced me that they were able to tap into that ability at will like many of my characters in THE MADNESS OF LORD WESTFALL can. However, there are those in this world who’ve experienced unusual insights at certain times of their lives.
I’m one of them. But my extremely slight ability seems to be limited to pets.
When I was a kid, I used to doodle pictures of a little black dog all over the margins of my school papers. Mind you, I never had a little black dog and didn’t know anyone who did, but the image of this one sort of latched onto me and didn’t let go.
Fast forward about thirty years.
When my parents lost their beloved little pet, I dropped by the local pound to see if I could find a new one for them. The worker there said they had plenty of large dogs, but only one small one. However, she was so timid, she hadn’t responded to anyone. They’d had her for a week and were afraid she might not be adoptable. But the moment this ball of fur saw me, she seemed to know me. She leaped up and pawed the air like a miniature stallion, wanting me to pick her up.
Oh, my gosh, I thought. It’s my little black dog.
So she was. Susie came to live with me and we were inseparable for the next 12 years.
That’s why when I had a dream about a filthy little white dog last summer, I told my husband and my dad about it. I didn’t know how long it would take—after all, decades passed before my little black dog found me—but I was certain there was a lost white one who would eventually need our help. Sure enough, three months later as we were coming out of my dear uncle’s memorial service, we saw a mangy-looking dog that might be white under all that dirt. He was dodging traffic and sure to be hit if we didn’t do something. He was lousy with cockleburs and under all that hair, there was actually very little dog. Half-starved, he’d obviously been on his own for some time.
So we named him after my uncle, who loved all animals, and took “Charlie” home. As you can see from the pictures, Charlie is a happy, healthy boy now.
But back to my psychic hero. No one believes Lord Westfall is happy or healthy. After he falls from a tree as a boy, he’s able to hear the thoughts of others. Naturally, his family believes he’s insane and has him committed. Fortunately, the Duke of Camden is always looking for extraordinary individuals to add to his Order of the M.U.S.E, an organization dedicated to guarding the royal family from psychic threats. Westfall is perfect for such work. Until he falls again…this time for a totally unsuitable woman whose thoughts reveal she may just be a traitor to the Crown.
Hope you love the story as much as I loved writing it!
The Madness of Lord Westfall
Pierce Langdon, Viscount Westfall is mad. Everyone knows it. He fell from a tree when he was a boy and woke to hear strange voices. When the voices grow stronger as he grows older, his family commits him to Bedlam. But what he hears are the thoughts of those around him—a gift to be used in service to the Order of the M.U.S.E. Until he falls again…this time for a totally unsuitable woman.
Lady Nora Claremont hides her heartbreak behind the facade of a carefree courtesan. Viscount Westfall is the most confusing man she’s ever met. He seems to know exactly what she wants…and what she’s thinking.
Which is a dangerous thing, because what Nora wants is Pierce.
And what she’s thinking could expose her as a traitor to the crown…