A Fresh Start, a New Year & New Adventures

Happy New Year, Everyone!

January is always a “Clean Sweep” sort of month for me.  By it’s very position as the first month of the new year, it’s an ideal time for starting over, setting new goals, finishing off old projects.

Cleani1While in the past I’ve resisted taking down the Christmas decorations until mid-month (now 🙂 ), this year I couldn’t wait to get it all down and put away.  In part, because I wanted to start fresh symbolically with a clean house, but also because my newly retired husband decided we needed to take a vacation for the next three weeks to someplace warm!  That doesn’t leave me much time to get things wrapped up, packed, and planned.  If you saw my office, you’d appreciate that cleaning that small room alone is a full month project!  🙂 In cleaning out the promotion closet, I see I have some goodies to share as a prize to today’s post.

Then there’s the writing…as you know, I released CHARMING THE PROFESSOR in December amid the crazy project of finishing the floors, CharmingtheProfessorfinalChristmas, and learning the ropes for self-publishing.  It’s been a whirlwind!  I’m sure my promotion of the book is not up to snuff, but I was just exhausted from all the effort.  (And thank all of you who so graciously have left a review on Amazon and Goodreads) With that book, behind me, I’m turning my attention to two projects.  One is revising and re-editing a Romantic Suspense called IN A HEARTBEAT.  This story was released with Samhain under a pen name back in 2007.  I’ve written a number of books since then and, quite frankly, am a better writer now than I was back then.  So I’m almost finished revising and re-editing this book for hopefully a Spring release.  InaHeartbeatIt’s a project I’ve been working on here and there through 2015.  Here’s the cover.

But more importantly, I’m working on TO BAIT A RAKE, the next book in the Rake Patrol Series.  If you read my Christmas short story, SCOTLAND CHRISTMAS REUNION, then you’ve already read a taste of the new book.ScotlandChristmasReunion B&N  You will recall that the Rake Patrol formed as the four ladies involved were determined to root out the rakes that placed personal ads advertising to meet women in the Mayfair Messenger.  My four Rake Patrol members were convinced that such ads were placed for nefarious purposes and they sought to expose the men behind the ads – however, in the last two books, the men weren’t rakes at all.  This is a problem.  How does one find and identify a rake?

Enter Abigail, a young widow who wishes to be part of the Rake Patrol. She volunteers to interview the men who believe themselves to be rakes, so the Rake Patrol can recognize specific characteristics as they investigate the personal ads.  To lure men forward for their study, the Rake Patrol places it’s own ad with an invitation, and all manner of difficulties, conflicts and romantic trysts ensue.  This should be a fun book and I’m hoping to get more time to work on it once we head South for warmer climes.

So my question is:  If you happened to be a curious, very sheltered young widow, what question would you ask a rake if you had the opportunity to interview one?  Anything goes 🙂 .  The person leaving the best original answer will win a tin of Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky Fudge (Made in Scotland).  I can’t wait to hear your answers. 🙂



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  • Helen says:

    Hi Donna

    Sounds like 2016 is going to be a fantastic year for you and us your readers 🙂

    WOW that is a hard question for me what would I ask a rake thinking 🙂

    How do you get along with your Mother they say you can always tell what a male can be like by the way he treats his mother

    Have Fun

    • Hi Helen!

      That’s a good one. I’ve heard that said as well, but I can’t honestly say I considered it when I met my husband, did you? (Fortunately, there was no difficulty between my husband and his mother). I would think a rake would be good to his mother especially in a flirtatious way – what do you think?

      • Helen says:

        LOL It is not something I considered either and all turned out OK 🙂

        I agree with you and I honestly think that they would be fab with their mothers fun and flirty

        Have Fun

  • Amy Conley says:

    If you are a real “rake”, how many innocent girls have you ruined, and without mentioning specific names, for we would hate to completely make her feel worse, where is she now and are there any children of this ruination as you claim?

    I figure this is a great question because society ad a whole is pretty well known, so the rake patrol could ppretty well figure out who the girl/woman is. Also, if there is a child from such indicresence, that too, could be found out.

    • Amy Conley says:

      OMG the spelling mistakes. I apologize. And I asked fora second question because of another book I read and the author explaining a major part of the setting, and I would know any man visiting this club was a rake, for sure, specially if the woman he was involved with was the wife of the rake’s. In otherwords a good friend of the rake. This would ppen up all sorts of mischief for the patrol to get into.

    • Hi Amy –

      I wonder if a real Rake would fess up to an attractive woman about the number of women he had ruined. Wouldn’t that sort of scare away the attractive “catch”? I wonder what he’d say about the position of the women now – would a rake even know? Something for me to ponder 🙂 Thanks for the question!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Can we answer twice?

    • Amy –

      Of course! I’m enjoying the answers. 🙂

      • Amy Conley says:

        Donna, can we not agree the term “rake” eas used very loosely during the Recency period? Or at least in books written depicting that time? A true “rake” would have belonged to a club which practiced the rules of the Marquis de Sade, there were also some satanic type clubs during that time. And while any girl in the rake patrol might have heard whispers of this type of club, depending on if she was single or widowed and possible her older late husband belonged to one of these clubs, a single girl would never think to ask a gentleman if he belonged to a club like that. And in most of the books, the rake is usually nothing more thana grown man-child, playing games and getting into trouble. The same as todays bad boys. Usually very harmless and truthfully sweet. You just need to talk to their mother, sister, or sister-in-law that’s where you’ll get the truth.

        • Amy Conley says:

          Let’s ask the rake what he does or doesn’t do which he thinks makes him a rake. And then ask him how he feels about a woman who does the same sort of things! A rake, as described in most books would be appalled at a woman who drank, raced horses, gambled, or had decreate affairs. A true rake would want a woman like that, someone not looking for any ties.
          (BTW, excuse me if I repeat something someone else says, I’m not reading anyone elses replies, so you know the questions I’m asking are my own.)

          • I like the idea of asking him what makes him a rake and then what he thinks of a woman who does the same things. That sounds like fun and an interesting conversation 🙂

        • Amy –

          This particular series is set in the 1890s so the Regency definition would not apply. For the most part, a rake would be the equivalent of today’s “player.” Someone who flirts quite a bit, has a reputation of someone who sleeps around, perhaps has an illegimitate child or two – that he knows of. No Marquis de Sade followers 🙂

  • Mary Preston says:

    As ” a curious, very sheltered young widow” I would have to ask: what would your mother say? Better yet, your grandmother!!!!

    • Mary –

      LOL – I’m already hearing the responses in my head. In this case, the rake may say regarding his mother, “I don’t know. I never met the lady, at least, that I recall.”

  • Minna says:

    I would ask if some irate father ever tried to catch him, so that he could drag the rake to the altar in order to marry the father’s ruined daughter.

    • Hi Minna –

      That’s an interesting question. Perhaps “Are you married?” might be an innocent start. Would the rake respond honestly? Would an expression give him away? Good question!

  • Sandyg265 says:

    I think I’d ask them for a list of “houses of ill repute” that they’ve visited and how often.

    • Hi Sandy!

      That’s a good question. My sheltered widow who is new to London might not know the well-known houses of ill repute. I wonder how the widow would phrase the question. I think it would be awkward for her, but this would be good information to know. Thanks!

  • I’d say to the rake: Marriage can be a union that makes both parties extremely happy. Why can you not see yourself in the role of husband, living with and loving one woman the rest of your days?

    • Ah- the moralistic approach 🙂

      My rake would say, that his relationship with women make himself and the woman extremely happy without marriage, so why change? 🙂

  • I loved your first book ‘In a Heartbeat’! Kept me on the edge of my seat the first time I read it.My question to a rake, “Excuse me would you help me with this garter, please?”

    • LOL –

      Cute Paulette 🙂 You must be one of the few people who read IN A Heartbeat 🙂 It’s a good story but I think the editing was atrocious and I’d missed some opportunities to up the emotion. The new version should be better (I hope). Love the question 🙂

  • Kat Sheridan says:

    I heard the word “whisky” whisper across the interwebs and came running! LOL! Plus “new Donna MacMeans books” was also a bog draw! Everything sounds so good! Someone already mentioned asking about the rake’s mother. That was my first thought as well. I’d probably ask him about his carriage and “cattle”. If he drives one of those “fast, dangerous” sorts of carriages, it might be an indicator of his personality. Can’t wait to read your new works!

  • EC Spurlock says:

    Loving the Rake Patrol series and looking forward to the newest one!

    I think I’d ask how he got started as a rake. What led him down this primrose path of debauchery?

    • Hi EC –

      Good question – I wonder if he knew? I wonder if a specific event makes a made turn into a player, or is it the lack of a slap alongside the head that made the difference 🙂

      Thanks for the series love (smooches)

  • Pearl says:

    I would ask if his reputation as a rake precedes him? What a delightful post and topic.

    • Hi Pearl!

      I wonder what would happen if the rake didn’t consider himself a rake, and then the widow suggests his reputation as a rake preceded him. What would be his reaction? Would he be insulted or consider it a compliment? Good question. Thanks!

  • Ellie says:

    A question about the rake and his conquests and if he is proud of this.

    • Hi Ellie –

      Definitely ask about his conquests. However, I would expect that he is proud of what he believes himself to be. A true rake, I would assume, considers being called a rake a compliment – much like today’s “player.” It’s the women that would think otherwise (and be right!)

  • Molly R. Moody says:

    My question would be a simple one. Why on earth did you become a rake in the first place, has the world treated you all that badly that you needed to get back at it?

    • Molly –

      Now see – I don’t think a rake is trying to get back at the world. I think they are just enjoying life and have little concern for the consequences. He’s the historical “bad boy.” As to why he became a rake, it just happened. He was enjoying the good things in life–perhaps a bit too much 🙂

  • Anne says:

    Question: When would you take your duties seriously and become a productive adult.

    • Hi Anne –

      That’s an interesting question. I suppose several of the men of that time period had no responsibilities but had a large family fortune at their disposal. Wouldn’t that be nice? 🙂

  • Donna, I enjoyed Scotland Christmas Reunion and am looking forward to In A Heartbeat and To Bait A Rake. I’m glad to hear they’re rolling along.

    I don’t know what I might ask a rake other than the excellent suggestions already made. 🙂

    • Thanks Nancy!

      You are at an advantage because you know where the book will be heading. 🙂 But I figure I can work in interview questions for the hero without him realizing what she’s doing.

  • Heathercm2001 says:

    I’d be very curious to know what he considers to be his most interesting story. 🙂

    I loved Charming the Professor, and look forward to this re-release. Cheers to a wonderful 2016!

    • Thanks for the story love, Heather! And thanks as well for the review (smooches).

      I love your rake question. Of course to ask it means I’d have to think of an answer for it :-). I’ll have to stash that question in the back of my mind and spring it at the hero at the appropriate moment. I wonder what he’ll say :-).

  • Rae Latte says:

    Hi Donna,

    Congrats on all the great reads! Love the stories and the covers!

    Fun question…

    While I’m a sheltered widow, I do have desires of my own and am extremely curious.

    Now that I’m free to indulge my fantasies, I would ask him to show me why he’s the most sought after Rake. If he’s so comfortable in his lifestyle it shouldn’t be an issue.

    One thing is certain, I wouldn’t have to worry about him falling in love with me, or would I 😉

    I would want him to educate me both in and out of the bedroom. I need to make up for lost time. My previous husband was old enough to… well, let’s not go there!

    I need to explore all those “things” that my former husband did.

    Happy Writing,


    • Hi Rae!

      It was great meeting you last weekend. It’s a shame we couldn’t spend more time together to talk…or perhaps you wouldn’t want that as you’d be afraid I’d have you comatose with tax stuff 🙂
      Fingers crossed that WRW invites me back sometime.

      As to my young sheltered and inexperienced heroine, I think she would be more interested in all the things her former husband didn’t do 🙂

  • Kate Sparks says:

    I would ask about who his friends are, because men tend to hang out with people they are comfortable with… so his friends are likely to be rakes also.

    • Hi Kate –

      Good point! i hadn’t thought of that. My hero doesn’t really hang out with rakes…that should have been a clue. I’ll have to make it one. Thanks Kate!