Meet the Sinclairs, as described in this snippet from Chapter Two of To Sin with a Stranger.
"All of Edinburgh Society referred to the ill-behaved Sinclair children as the Seven Deadly Sins.”
“That’s horrible. They’d lost their mother...and their father to drink.” Isobel glanced at the fighter again, this time with a little compassion and understanding.
Christiana squeezed Isobel’s arm, forcing her attention back to the story she was telling. “There is more. As the Sinclair children grew older, they seemed to embrace the sins Society had labeled them with. Sterling, the Marquess of Blackburn, is cursed with greed.” Christiana turned her eyes toward the fighter and Isobel followed her gaze. “Lady Siusan epitomizes sloth, and Lady Ivy, the copper-haired beauty, envy.”
“This is nonsense.”
“Is it?” Christiana continued. “Lord Lachlan is a wicked rake. No wonder his weakness is lust. Lord Grant, the one with the lace cuffs is said to have a taste for luxury and indulgence. His sin is gluttony. The twins are said to be the worst of all.” She feigned a shudder.
“Why do you say that?” Isobel pinned her friend with her gaze. “What are their supposed sins?”
Christiana raised her nose toward the Sinclair with a sheath of hair so dark that it almost appeared a deep blue. “Lord Killian’s sin is wrath. Whispers suggest that he is the true fighter in the family, but his anger is too quick and fierce. Why, there is even one rumor that claims that he actually killed a man who merely looked at his twin sister! That’s her, there. Lady Priscilla. Just look at her with her haughty chin turned toward the chandelier—here, in a room full of nobility! Her sin is, quite clearly, pride.”
The Seven Deadly Sins
The Sinclairs almost appeared another race entirely. They were a far larger, stronger version of the pale gentlemen standing in a heaving, clamoring ring with guineas poking out from between their untested fine hands. But Sterling and his brothers, and aye, his sisters too, were different and soon everyone would know it. They were Scots, after all. And more importantly still—they were Sinclairs.
THE SINCLAIR BROTHERS
Sterling Sinclair, Marquess of Blackburn~ Greed (To Sin with a Stranger) Ebony haired, broad-shouldered and hard muscled, Sterling, the eldest Sinclair, is a master at making money, especially by using his fists in the ring...and placing a few wagers. When Society cruelly called the Sinclair children the Seven Deadly Sins, Sterling removed the power from their words by making a game of it--each of them would embody one of the seven deadly sins. The only problem now is that the Sinclairs are adults--the sins have become their identities--and old habits are so hard to break.
Lord Grant~ Excess/Gluttony. Grant is the most intelligent of the brothers. Gifted with razor-sharp observation skills and stunning wit, he can charm any woman and befuddle any man. He has a cultured sense of taste and will settle for nothing less than the best. But this proves to be a problem, when the Sinclair family's desires become greater than their means.
Lord Lachlan~ Lust. Lachlan is a consummate rake, with a face and body that allows him to get away with it. Unlike his brother Killian, he is the logical one and never reacts out of emotion, having never been loved or in love.
Lord Killian~ Wrath. Though his face is beautiful, Killian is the strongest and most lethal of the Sinclair brothers due to his high emotions and temper. The Duchess of Sinclair died giving birth to him, and he has always felt a sense of guilt about this. He is rumored to have killed a man in Scotland who simply gazed upon his twin sister, Priscilla, the only person who seems capable of calming him.
THE SINCLAIR SISTERS
Siusan~Sloth/Laziness. An uncommon beauty, Siusan has learned how to convince men to do whatever she wants by merely smiling at them. Physical work of any sort is beneath her, and she chooses to entertain herself by manipulating others with games of the mind. When she is forced to find employment in a girls' school, she pens a text book extolling the virtues of leisure, which instantly becomes the must-read book amongst her students....and the ton.
Ivy~ Envy. (The Most Wicked of Sins) There is nothing copper-locked Ivy will not do to get exactly what she wants--even if it belongs to someone else. So when her rival in Society steals the affections of the man thought she might one day marry, Ivy's scheming is elevated to an all new level.
Priscilla~Pride. Priscilla is well aware of her family's lofty position in Edinburgh Society. She is the daughter of a duke, and has no intention of even glancing at a gentleman who is not of her class. That is, until she loses her heart to the most unlikely of suitors.
The Royle Sisters Trilogy
The Royle Sisters series was inspired by a Q-tip and ended with a prince. No kidding.
I took part in the National Geographic genome project. The project tested DNA from people all over the world to track their ancestors' migration from their origin -- Africa, for everyone -- to where ever they ended up -- or when their genes stopped mutating.
To collect the DNA sample, I had to swab the inside of my cheek and pop the special Q-tip into a test tube (think CSI ). After the DNA was processed, I was told that the specific "haplo group" I belonged to was so rare that one of the world's leading geneticists -- in China -- wanted more DNA overnighted for extensive testing. I said sure -- more cheek swabbing.
My grandmother has always been involved in genealogy, and honestly, I had to admit, this little mystery of the rarity of my genes was sort of cool. In the end, I learned that my genes point to Northern Russia. My family tree sweeps Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Russia, so no real shocker there.
Then ding, ding, ding -- story idea: What if my heroine discovered something about her lineage that was a complete shock? Since my stories are always set during the Regency period, I started thinking about what revelation would put a common Regency miss into a complete tailspin. Then it came to me.
I wanted to write a story about three sisters whose lives are turned upside down when their father dies and they learn that they know nothing about their family, and who they really are. Everything they thought they knew about themselves was a lie.
Because they may actually be the secret daughters of the Prince of Wales and his illegal, Catholic first wife, Maria Fitzherbert.
How is that for a leap? Isn’t it amazing what one Q-tip can do?
Coming soon, a synopsis of the Featherton series