The Hearts in Hazard series
12 books set in the English Regency Era
Mystery & Suspense with a Dash of Romance

6 Years Ago ~

October 2015. I released the first three books in the Hearts in Hazard series.

The Game of Secrets

The Game of Spies

The Game of Hearts

1 Year Ago ~

In August, the final Hearts in Hazard book released: The Hazard with Hearts.

Now ~

Time for the annual Celebration of Hearts in Hazard.

Which book is right for you?

I’ve never actually written down all this information. I’ve written snippets, but never the whole thing. So here it is ~
  • how the books are interconnected without being sequels.
  • which books have common characters.
  • which books follow a similar plot or a similar trope.

With Hearts in Hazard~

Each novel is complete and stands alone, but the series has interconnected characters among the books. Not ALL the books and not ALL the characters.

New couples confront the primary conflict for each book.

What are the 12 books in the Hearts in Hazard series?

Visit M.A. Lee’s page on this website for links for more information, to view a trailer, and to buy!

 

1. A Game of Secrets

Cover by Deranged Doctor Design

2. A Game of Spies

3. A Game of Hearts

~ bundled as A Trio of Games.

 

4. The Danger of Secrets

5. The Danger for Spies

6. The Danger to Hearts

~ bundled as A Trio of Dangers.

 

7. The Key to Secrets

8. The Key for Spies

9. The Key with Hearts

~ bundled as A Trio of Keys.

 

10. The Hazard of Secrets

11. The Hazard for Spies

12. The Hazard with Hearts

~ bundled as A Trio of Hazards.

 

How are the Novels Interlinked?

1/2 ~ A Game of Secrets 1 leads to A Game of Spies 2. These two are the most like sequels: Kate & Tony and Josette & Giles will become good friends. The friendship of Tony and Giles started when they served in the military together and were both wounded.

2/3/11 ~ A Game of Hearts 3, featuring Rafe & Maggie and Connie & Roger, mentions one of the treacherous English traitors from A Game of Spies 2. That treacherous traitor will recur in The Hazard for Spies 11.

  • Also, the time frame for A Game of Hearts covers a month before A Game of Secrets to after A Game of Spies, and GSpies’ characters are mentioned in GHearts.

2/4/5 ~ Building on the characters in A Game of Spies 2 are The Danger of Secrets 4 (Gordon & Maddy) and The Danger for Spies 5 (Tony & Melanie).

  • The Danger of Secrets 4 was a joy to write. I laughed often at the repartee between Gordon & Maddy.
  • The Danger for Spies 5 has as its primary couple Eugenie & Charles.

1/6 ~ The Danger to Hearts 6 brings back Jess Carter from A Game of Secrets 1. Jess becomes protector of Agatha.

6/7/10/11  ~ The Key to Secrets 7 features Constable Hector Evans (in love with Bee). Hector first appeared as a secondary in The Danger to Hearts 6.

  • Hector re-appears as a side character (chief constable!) in The Hazard of Secrets 10 and The Hazard for Spies 11.

1/2/3/5/10/11 ~ The Hazard for Spies 11 concludes the “Capture French Spies” conflict of Game/Secrets 1, Game/Spies 2, Game/Hearts 3, and Danger/Spies 5.

  • The Hazard for Spies 11 features Conrad and Phinney. She was barely mentioned in The Hazard of Secrets 10.

10/11 ~ The Hazard of Secrets 10 and The Hazard for Spies 11 have a secondary plot with the children Vic, Elise, and Hank. The three are not the main focus.

  • Corrie & Jem carry the main plot in The Hazard of Secrets.

6/9 ~ A character mentioned in The Danger with Hearts 6 becomes one of the primary leads in Key with Hearts 9. Greville Myers has married Liza Corbett to access her wealth. This convenient marriage inconveniently causes murder.

8 ~ The Key for Spies 8, one of the least-connected of the 12, is a stand-alone novel set in Spain. No interconnected characters. We do have spies, but I wished to break the constant focus on England. I justified my wish by saying, “Well, it has spies.” Let’s pretend our Simon Pargeter is friends with Hector Evans.

  • Simon & Miriella carry the plot, but Jesus & Elixane are strong secondaries.

9 / 12 ~ The Hazard with Hearts 12 is another stand-alone, with no interconnected characters. With The Key with Hearts 9, The Hazard with Hearts 12  is most like the vintage gothics of Victoria Holt and Dorothy Eden, from the 1960s.

  • It’s another marriage of convenience, this time with Vivienne & Max.

What Else will Help me Pick a Great Read?

 

Do You Like Couples falling in Love? (Not Lust.)

All the books are for you.

Want a Strong Heroine? Or a Strong Hero who is not an Alpha Dog?

All the books are for you.

Do you like Murder Mysteries? A Puzzle to Solve?

A Game of Hearts

The Danger of Secrets

The Danger to Hearts

The Key to Secrets

The Key with Hearts

The Hazard of Secrets (begins as suspense then morphs into a murder mystery)

 The Hazard with Hearts (both murder and suspense)

Do you like Suspense more than Murder?

A Game of Secrets

A Game of Spies

The Danger for Spies

The Key for Spies

The Hazard of Secrets (which morphs into a murder mystery)

The Hazard for Spies

The Hazard with Hearts (because murders happen long before the novel begins)

Like Former or Current Soldiers? Or a Story in Wartime, on the battlefront?

A Game of Secrets

Simon Pargeter
Cover by Deranged Doctor Design

The Danger for Spies

The Key for Spies

Like Early Law Enforcement?

A Game of Secrets

A Game with Hearts

The Danger to Hearts

The Key to Secrets

The Hazard for Spies

Want a Story with Spies?

A Game of Secrets

A Game of Spies

The Danger for Spies

The Key for Spies

The Hazard for Spies

 Want a Smuggler Story?

A Game of Secrets

The Danger to Hearts

Want a Story with Nobles? (Earls and Marquesses and Barons are one of the primary characters: hero or heroine)

A Game of Spies

A Game with Hearts

The Danger of Secrets

The Key for Spies

The Key with Hearts

The Hazard with Hearts

Want a Story without Nobles? (Not the hero or the heroine)

A Game of Secrets

The Danger for Spies

The Danger to Hearts

The Key to Secrets

The Hazard of Secrets

The Hazard for Spies

Want a Marriage of Convenience Story?

A Game of Hearts

The Key with Hearts

The Hazard with Hearts

Want a High-Low Story? Someone of High Social Standing marries Someone Lower in Rank than them.

Something for Everyone
Nobles. No nobles. Law enforcement. Law breaker. Something for Everyone

A Game for Spies

A Game of Hearts

The Danger of Secrets

The Danger to Hearts

The Key to Secrets

The Key with Hearts

The Hazard with Hearts

Want a Story with a Runaway ?

A Game of Secrets

Want a Story with Children?

The Hazard of Secrets begins the story with Vic, Elise, and Hank, and it concludes in The Hazard for Spies.

Want a Story with a Young Couple?

A Game of Hearts

The Hazard for Spies

Want a Story with a Couple Approaching Middle-age?

A Game of Hearts

The Danger of Secrets

The Danger for Spies

The Danger to Hearts

The Key to Secrets 

The Key for Spies

The Key with Hearts

The Hazard of Secrets

Want a Story set in a Foreign Land?

The Key for Spies

Want something like a Vintage Gothic?

The Key with Hearts

The Hazard with Hearts

. ~ . ~ . ~ .

This is all of the ways

to classify the 12 books in the Hearts in Hazard series.

If you can think of another, do write to us at winkbooks@aol.com.

Read them all, a book a month. (Wasn’t that a book club?)

 

M.A. Lee has four books that celebrate an anniversary this month,

three born in 2019 and one born in 2020.

On the Second of September: The Hazard of Secrets

This is one of those books that kept expanding. The word count was intended to be around 70,000; the final book topped out at nearly 109,000 words.

original cover by Deranged Doctor Design for Writers Ink
Jem and Clarey face press gangs and murderers.

Two hearts with dangerous pasts ~ Can they keep their secrets, or will murder force them to reveal all?

Clarey Parton crosses the Atlantic to steal an inheritance. She hopes that no one discovers the rightful heir lies in a cold grave.

Jem Baxter returns to the England he fled three years before. He assumes the name James Axminster to conceal his past, one littered with misdeeds.

When a press gang sees two people traveling alone, they seize the opportunity for quick cash: they plan to sell Clarey to a brothel and impress Jem on a merchant ship. Fate brings these two lonely souls together. Chance helps them escape.

Yet escape traps them in another secret—one with murder as a bloody solution.

The Hazard of Secrets offers twists and turns as tight as knots. Can Clarey and Jem keep their secrets, or will murder force them to reveal all?

Fetch it here: https://books2read.com/u/4DWRJr

 

On the 10th of September, A Trio of Hazards.

Three novels bundled together, published one year ago in our plague year.

Above, The Hazard of Secrets.

View the trailer at this link: https://youtu.be/I1hb4d9wCOg

Coming Soon

Next comes The Hazard for Spies.

Can Conrad discover the identity of the French spy mastermind? Will Phinney’s single-minded pursuit lead her into the murderer’s snare? Will three children be caught and sold into London’s underworld?

Will Conrad and Phinney discover the connection between past and present murders?

Or will two bullets allow the murderer and the French master spy to continue their work against the British government?

This book did exactly what it was supposed to do: story, length, everything. It concludes the spy narrative in the Hearts in Hazard trilogy, which also includes

A Game of Secrets

A Game of Spies

A Game of Hearts

The Danger for Spies

The Key for Spies

The three children introduced in The Hazard of Secrets above are secondary characters in this novel.

Hector Evans, first introduced in The Danger to Hearts  and receiving his own story in The Key to Secrets, also makes an appearance in The Hazard of Secrets and The Hazard for Spies.

Last is The Hazard with Hearts.

In the gothic tradition of Victoria Holt and Dorothy Eden, The Hazard with Hearts offers a determined heroine who confronts doubts, superstition, and the dark passions of a killer who wants every countess of Sheldrake dead and buried.

Vivienne Northrup agreed to a marriage of convenience to reap the benefits of becoming the Countess of Sheldrake. While she explores the ruins of Sheldrake Castle, a falling stone dislodged from a tower nearly kills her.

Only then does Vivienne discover that the earl’s previous two wives died tragically. The first had jumped to her death from that very tower.

Or had the woman been pushed? The way the stone nearly killed Vivienne?

I loved this book. At first I struggled with the heroine … until I changed her name. Then she came alive! When I finished this novel and knew I was finished with the Hearts in Hazard series, I was saddened. The characters became part of my family, and moving on from the series was like moving far away from family. I know that I will want to return.

A Trio of Hazards can be purchased at this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HVZWVX1

Individual novels are available in ebook and paperback. The bundles are only available on Amazon and in ebook format–although the bundles are a bargain!

The other two books for September are nonfiction guidebooks for writers.

On September 22, Discovering Characters.

Our job as writers is to find every detail of our characters then use snippets so our readers will see our characters as they drive through our books. We hint at the foundations while opening doors to their plans and purposes.

Discovering Characters is designed to help writers find the exteriors and interiors, public and private. We’ll dig around the foundations and climb to the roof. We’ll explore the open rooms and the storage closets. We’ll peek into rooms inhabited by such characters as diverse as Elizabeth and Darcy, the Iron Man, Aragorn and Frodo, Travis McGee, Medea, Macbeth, and Nanny McPhee.

Five areas comprise this guidebook. Just as characters—and houses—are individual, this info is individual. You won’t need every bit. Dip in and out, skim around. When you reach locked rooms, come back and explore to discover the keys to your characters.

  1. Starting Points ~ offering templates and character interviews
  2. Classifications ~ common and uncommon ways of discovering characters
  3. Relationships ~ couples, teams, allies, enemies, mentors, etc.
  4. Special Touches ~ progressions, transgressions, and transitions for character arcs
  5. Significant Lists ~ archetypal characters and much more

Discovering Characters, with 44,000-plus words, is the second book in the Discovering set, part of the Think like a Pro Writer series for writers new to the game as well as those wanting to up their game.

Fetch it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y7LYK19

Finally this month, on the very last day, we have the anniversary for Discovering Your Author Brand.

Discovering Your Author Brand understands that the browsing readers will only give a few nanoseconds to our books.

So, we explain the three main glances that hook the readers before they swim down the river. We also look at the keys to unlock those glances. With the right keys, the brand is revealed, and the door to the reader opens.

To help with the keys and glances, we have worksheets (charts!) to help you discover the brand for book, series, and your author persona—because the first leads to the last.

In addition to analyzing successful brands by writing greats from the last of the 20th century, we have information on how to develop a video book trailer. You can watch our own trailer for our book on Branding at this link: https://youtu.be/uthI5gEWic8

Fetch this guidebook at this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YL8GBM1

Coming later this Fall

We have the paperback version of Discovering Your Writing, which combines our books on Plot, Characters, Branding, and Sentence Craft, a real deal!

TAFN!