Posted by Donna MacMeans Apr 22 2012, 2:13 am in Chicago, Hollie Rieth, Redeeming the Rogue, RT conference, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
It was a last minute decision and one that caused a lot of mental dithering. Should I go? Should I stay? Worthy arguments existed on both sides of the scale.
You see in America, the income tax return deadline was April 17, 2012. By far, most of my annual income comes from the preparation of tax returns, while my passion remains writing romance novels and meeting with romance readers. RT, the Romantic Times convention, was held in Chicago this year from April 11th through April 15th, a time when my tax clients are generally approaching panic mode.
So do I honor the needs of my tax clients? Or do I honor the writer within?
In the end, with the cooperation of my tax clients, I think I managed to do both. I warned my clients of my intent to go out of town on April 11th and all of them managed to turn in their records earlier than normal. I filed my last tax return on April 10th, quickly packed two carry-on bags and caught a Chicago-bound plane early April 11th.
I had a blast!
While the weather was on the chilly side up north by Lake Michigan, the temperature inside the Hyatt at O’Hare was hot, hot, hot!
Let me throw a shout out to Kim Adams who allowed me to park my luggage in her room while the Hyatt worked to find an available room. You might know Kim by her avatar – Kim in Hawaii. I took advantage of our meeting to interview her for the May member’s only newsletter, so if you haven’t signed up for the newsletter – please do. Kim’s devotion to supporting our troops make her someone you’ll want to know better. Now that’s not Kim in a grass skirt, but I thought she’d appreciate the image.
Thanks as well to historical romance author Renee Bernard who invited me to participate on a panel. The panel participants sat at the front of the room: NYT Bestseller Lorraine Heath, NYT Bestseller Victoria Alexander, NYT Bestseller Elizabeth Hoyt and then me. I was starstruck, but I certainly was not quiet LOL. It was great fun rubbing elbows with such wonderful talent. I’m hoping osmosis was working in my favor to absorb some of their success DNA.
After the panel, my cell phone buzzed advising my room was ready. I was on the eleventh floor. The elevators only went to the tenth floor. I went up as far as I could go, then climb a short flight of steps to reach my eleventh floor corner eyrie. I’m guessing I was on the top floor of one of those circular columns in the photo. At least I got some needed exercise to compensate for three days of poor eating.
Bandita Trish Milburn was at RT, though we never really found a spare moment to sit down and just chat. I saw many authors that have guest blogged with Romance Bandits in the past: Linnea Sinclair, Nalini Singh, Deb Marlowe, Monica Burns…so many fabulous writers.
One of the workshops I attended featured Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jodi Thomas, and Francine Pascal – author of the Sweet Vally High series. Susan Elizabeth Phillips actually recognized me – Squee moment! (Although I’m sure the nametag with my name blazoned across my chest was a factor). I have photos!
While REDEEMING THE ROGUE was nominated for an RT critic’s choice award, Best Innovative Historical Romance – I didn’t win . That honor went to Lorraine Heath. But given the credentials of the other nominees, to be nominated was truly an honor.
RT hosts a huge book signing that is open to the public. Thank you to the many people who stopped by and purchased REDEEMING THE ROGUE – but a special thank you to Hollie Rieth who dashed over to give me a pair of hand crocheted slippers – crafted out of peacock colored yarn. Bless you Hollie! That was so sweet! Here’s a photo.
I had to dash out immediately after the book signing to catch a plane back to Columbus, just in case one of my tax clients had discovered a last minute deduction and needed their returns reprinted (it’s happened before!) so I wasn’t able to attend the SOS mixer or RT’s big Saturday night party. If someone here attended – please let us know how it went.
A big thank you goes out to my tax clients who supported my decision to fly off to Chicago in early April. A big thank you as well goes out to romance readers who made the difficult decision well worth it.
How about you? If you were going to a reader event, who would you like to see? Are there any questions you’d like to ask them? Are there any romance events in your area that you’d like to attend? I’ll pick someone from the comments to receive THE KNITTING DIARIES, a collection of three stories by Debbie Macomber, Susan Mallery and Christina Skye that I received at RT.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jan 23 2012, 12:41 am in Casanova Code, Donna MacMeans, pubs, Redeeming the Rogue, taverns
Those that know me and have read my books may have noticed that I like to include little snippets, a nod so to speak, to friends and circumstances. Did you notice the name of the woman hosting a ball in REDEEMING THE ROGUE? Even the Golden Rooster gets a nod in THE CASANOVA CODE coming in June. (Which is available for pre-order so I’m tossing the cover up here because I love it so ) I thought it might be fun if the Bandita Buddies got an opportunity to have a say in my current work-in-process.
Let me tell you about it. I haven’t a title yet, but it involves a firebrand Temperance supporter and a Scottish distiller. I guess it’s sort of a Victorian Guys & Dolls without the gambling and (sigh) no music. Anyway, I’m going to need a lot of references to pubs and taverns and thought you can help me come up with some fun fictional names.
Just to get in the spirit, here’s some names of some real English pubs and Scottish Taverns.
In honor of the Golden Rooster, I thought I’d start with Ye Olde Cock (hehe) not to be confused with Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. That’s it on the right
Animals in pub names seem particularly popular. I’ve found
reference to Black, Red and White (choose one) Bear, Bull, Horse, Hare, Lion and Swan. Then there’s the more unusual animals: The Bleeding Wolf, The Swan with Two Necks, and The Trout at Tadpole Bridge. The last sounds like it came from a children’s picture book, doesn’t it.
Of course, let us not forget – The Spread Eagle. Actually, I found reference to three of these which makes me wonder if it’s a chain – or just really, really popular. Sorry, couldn’t find a good photo of it.
Two objects can be combined to get The Buck and Bell, The Rose and Crown (very popular) or The Butt and Oysters.
There’s the Ancient Unicorn Inn, and, one of my favorites, The Sack of Potatoes.
How about the Water Witch, and appropriate for 2012, The World’s End.
You know, I’m normally not one to hang out at a pub, but I’d go to into these places just for the name. How about you?
So give me a name for a fictional pub or tavern. If I use it, I’ll credit you in the acknowledgements of this book that is yet to be named. If you can’t think of a fictional name – tell me about your favorite pub – Or tell me about your favorite pub food. I figure anything fried will qualify.
I’m happy to send a copy of REDEEMING THE ROGUE or TAILS OF LOVE to someone leaving a comment.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Aug 19 2011, 3:45 am in Bandita Booty, Donna MacMeans, Karen Ranney, My Beloved, Redeeming the Rogue
PRIZES IN THE LAIR
For the August 2nd launch of REDEEMING THE ROGUE, a copy goes to
Please send you contact information to DMacweb@wowway.com
A copy of Karen Ranney’s MY BELOVED goes to:
Please send your contact information to Karen@KarenRammey.com
And for Sue-Ellen Welfonder’s Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel…the winner is
Sonali – Send your contact information to me at DMacWeb@wowway.com and I’ll make sure the information makes it to Sue-ellen
Thank severyone for joining us in the lair!!!!
Posted by Donna MacMeans Aug 2 2011, 5:02 am in Donna MacMeans, Redeeming the Rogue
I’ve been waiting over a year to say this but REDEEMING THE ROGUE is out today. Woohoo!
The reviews have been wonderful:
“Irish rebellion, smuggled guns, and the assassination of American president James Garfield form a lively backdrop for this sweet, sexy, and smartly told Victorian romance.” -
Romantic Times gave Redeeming the Rogue a 4.5 stars Top Pick review and called it “pure joy: funny, sexy and exciting.”
Life is good – which means it’s time to party!
Now I don’t know what it’s like in your next of the woods…but
it’s darn hot here. So this launch party is being held pool side. I’ve got a nice cold wildberry mojito myself, an economy sized bottle of coconut scented sunblock, and some willing
and able cabana boys to slather it on. So pull up a lounge chair to join us.
For the one or two people left in the universe that I haven’t buttonholed to tell about my story, let me do a quick blurb.
Michael Rafferty is an agent for the Crown, on the trail of a conspirator championing Irish independence through acts of violence. The trail leads to Washington, D.C., where Rafferty must assume the role of a diplomat in order to set a trap for the villain. To complete the pretense, he’ll need to transform his coarse image and find someone to portray his wife.
Lady Arianne Chambers, sister to a Duke and well-versed in high society circles, reluctantly agrees to assist Rafferty’s charade. She’ll teach him the finer points of being a gentleman, but she has no desire for a husband. The honorable and passionate man hidden beneath roguish rough edges finds his way into her heart. Can she risk sharing her secrets and jeopardizing her future…
One thing the blurb doesn’t mention is that the Arianne Chambers is a bit of an accidental matchmaker. Whereever she goes people find their one true love. As women outnumbered men during Victorian times, this particular quality made my heroine very popular among mothers with marriageable daughters, but not so much around bachelors.
I guess if my heroine lived in modern times, she’d be the equivalent of eharmony.com – or some other internet driven matching service. So I thought that might be something we could talk about – stories about couples finding their true loves either by introduction, the internet, or like
me – in a bar. (grin). What quality do you think has to be present to make a relationship last?
I’ve got a couple of copies of Redeeming the Rogue to give away as prizes – just leave a comment and I’ll let my new kitten pick two. I also have a contest running at my website www.DonnaMacMeans.com. I’m giving away a Kindle to the person who posts a review of Redeeming the Rogue in the most places. See my website for details.
So let’s talk about the heat, let’s talk about the love, and hopefully, let’s talk about how they come together.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jul 27 2011, 3:45 am in Bandit Booty, CJ Chase, Redeeming the Rogue
The winners of Saturday’s blog about two surprising similar, but very, very different books that share the same title are:
Nancy Northcott who wins Redeeming the Rogue by Donna MacMeans
And Marybelle who wins Redeeming the Rogue by CJ Chase.
Marybelle is you could send your contact information to me at email@example.com, I’ll forward it on to CJ to send your copy out.
Thanks so much to everyone for visiting.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jul 23 2011, 4:54 am in CJ Chase, Donna MacMeans, Publishing coincidenhttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3zzAyK-BZIw/TioIYJW4hqI/AAAAAAAABTU/cuC6X9Tb--Q/s1600/Donna_MacMeans.jpgces., Redeeming the Rogue
by Donna MacMeans
I imagine everyone by now knows that I have a new release coming out August 2nd. I’ve certainly posted the cover enough (and will do so again, because I love it! – haha).
But did you know that my REDEEMING THE ROGUE is not the only book of that title being released August 2nd? Yes, Harlequin is releasing a Love Inspired Historical by debut novelist CJ Chase with the exact same title on the exact same day! How cool is that? I’ve invited CJ to join us to talk about the similarities and differences in our two stories. That’s CJ in blue.
First, I’d like to explain the big difference between our stories. Mine is single title which means a larger word count and is written to be “funny, sexy and exciting” (Per Romantic Times review). The sensuality between the hero and heroine is a huge part of the story, and the level is Hot!
My Redeeming the Rogue is dark and probably one of the grittiest books ever published in the
Love Inspired Historicals line. In addition to my hard-drinking hero, there’s that little matter of what my heroine does on pages 173-174. (Nope. I’m not going to say what. You’ll just have to read the book.) She causes a lot of people pain by her actions. The sensuality level is sweet, but the situations are not.
One of the first similarities I noted between us was not between the books as much as between the authors. CJ has a number of Golden Heart finalist entries to her credit. At the RWA convention in Orlando (2010), she won the Golden Heart for Inspirational Romance. I’m a two time past GH finalist and a one-time winner as well, though in a different category, so we have that in common. (FWIW, I finaled in Romantic Suspense and Long Historical.)
I won the 2010 GH for Inspirational. That was my 6th final. I finaled previously in Short Historical, Long Historical, Romantic Suspense and Historical (twice). The last couple historicals I wrote had a faith thread in them, so I switched to Inspirational. Historical inspirational, of course.
How did our stories manage to have the same titles? Originally, I called my book “Redemption of a Rogue” as its the third in the Chambers trilogy. The previous two books had Education, and Seduction in the titles so Redemption sort of fit right in. However as the time between this book and Seduction lengthened, my editor and I decided to make the title more active by changing the “Redemption” to “Redeeming.”
This was the manuscript that won the GH with the title of Unforgiven. My editor suggested the Redeeming the Rogue title. I was uncertain at first, but then I realized that the very first scene is quite different from what one expects from an inspirational. The book starts with the hero drinking himself into oblivion. Inspirational readers should know right from the title and that opening scene that this is going to be an edgier inspirational than many others.
Can I just say here that I read CJ’s opening on her website and it’s beautiful. This lady can really write! I encourage everyone to hop other there and check out her excerpt!
Donna, your book’s sensuality level might not be sweet, but you sure are! Thank you for the kind words.
Based on CJ’s cover (and isn’t it a beauty?), I’m guessing her book involves an overseas journey, as does mine. The methods of transportation are different. CJ’s book is set in 1815 which meant masted frigates were de rigour. My book is set during 1881 so I had a few more options, steamship being one of them. Now to be honest, I originally had my characters traveling in a masted sailing vessel, but my editor early on nixed one scene and that changed everything – including the method of transportation. Currently, my couple travels on a tramp steamer more accustomed to hauling freight than passengers. Of the two, CJ’s boat is far more romantic than my little steamer—however both promise close proximity and doesn’t
THAT bode well for romance (grin).
Thanks! It is a great cover. I love the colors in the sunset. The ship on my cover is an American clipper ship, but I also have several scenes set on a British frigate, HMS Impatience. The Impatience brought the treaty of Ghent (the treaty that ended American’s second war with Britain) to America. At least, in my book that’s the name of the ship that transported the treaty. Originally, my Redeeming the Rogue opened with a scene on the Impatience, but that
scene ended up on the cutting room floor when I had to trim the manuscript by 7K words to fit Love Inspired Historicals‘ length requirements.
Both of our heroines travel great distances to reach their objective. CJ’s Mattie Fraser leaves Washington D.C. on a mission that takes her to London, England. My story begins in London and travels to Washington D.C. Arianne Chambers is a sister of a duke, and well accustomed to luxury. Had she her druthers, she’d have chosen a different way to cross the Atlantic than a tramp steamer.
My heroine was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Choosing DC for her background was a no-brainer for me because I lived in the area for a couple of decades. Mattie was in Washington on August 24, 1814, the night the British army burned the city. She met a British officer who offered to help locate her brother, but then he never contacted her afterward. She traveled to London to see if she could find anyone with information about either the officer or her brother. In London, she meets Kit DeChambelle.
Mattie’s had a difficult life. After her mother’s death when Mattie was 8 (and her brother 6), her father, a Washington shopkeeper, consoled himself with alcohol. Her brother ran away from home. Mattie has always believed if she’d just been a better sister and daughter, she might have been able to save her family.
Both our heroes are in need of a little loving intervention. Both had violence in their pasts that haunt them in the present. I don’t think CJ’s hero required the sort of makeover my hero endures, he’s pretty heroic looking to begin with.
My hero, Michael Rafferty, was born in Ireland but works for the British government. Fenian rebels had detonated a bomb years earlier that killed his parents and younger brother. Now he’s on a mission to track down the one responsible. That trail leads him to America where he must play the role of a diplomat to lure the killer into the open. However, an Irish rogue needs a woman’s touch to help him play the role convincingly. Who better than a sister of a duke?
Kit (Christopher James Michael — yes, Michael) DeChambelle is the 3rd son of the Earl of Chambelston. he had a pretty normal childhood for a boy of his social class. Then when he was an 18-year-old Oxford student, the director of clandestine services discovered his facility with languages (he’s fluent in 6 languages and can even mimic different French accents) and recruited him for the war effort against Napoleon. It sounded exciting at first, but looking back, he realizes that each compromise he made along the way cost a little piece of him. And now he’s not sure what’s left. All he wants to do is forget the past.
Romantic Times Bookreviews says this about CJ’s REDEEMING THE ROGUE: “A suspenseful mystery highlights this budding wartime romance.” Fresh Fiction (just got the review today) says “The story (my REDEEMING THE ROGUE) is witty and mysterious until the last page. Mystery! We have that in common as well. I know CJ’s story deals with the Treaty of Ghent. My story concerns the assassination of President James Garfield. So I guess I can add that both of our mysteries have political implications.
Oh, yes. The Treaty of Ghent had an unusual provision that the British government was going to exploit. And Mattie’s brother had discovered what it was.
Finally, and maybe most important, CJ has chickens and we have a rooster! Is that coincidence or what? Actually, she has a rooster as well, but I don’t think he has the charm of our GR. (grin)
As for prizes:
I’m afraid my publisher didn’t send me any arcs for my REDEEMING THE ROGUE, so I can only offer a copy of the published book which won’t be available till August 2nd – or you can always request a copy of The Seduction of a Duke – which I can send now. I have my author’s copies, and I’ve even gotten my first fan mail! Harlequin sends out books to their book clubs a few months before the official release date, so I’ll offer a copy of the inspirational Redeeming the Rogue as well. It may even arrive before it’s available in stores. Very cool! So let’s choose two winners. The first can pick the book they want and the second gets the other.
Before I mention today’s question for discussion though, I did want to mention that I’m running a new contest through August 15th that has a Kindle for a prize. Details are on my website (which is also new) at www.DonnaMacMeans.com.
And be sure to visit my website www.CJChase.com to read an excerpt.
So my question today is: Do you believe in serendipity? Have you experienced something fueled by a series of coincidences. While I’m not surprised that CJ and I have the same title – that happens – it is sort of unusual that we have both the same title AND the same release date. Anyone know of that happening before? I’ve seen releases that have had the same stockphoto cover. Anyone have examples? Let’s chat about coincidence both personal and in publishing.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jun 23 2011, 4:15 am in long hair, makeovers, manners, Redeeming the Rogue
By Donna MacMeans
I’m getty antsy. After a long, long wait, Redeeming the Rogue is set for release August 2nd. Please forgive me if I put the cover up again, but I thought I’d talk about one of the themes in the book:
You know you want to do it (grin). Perhaps you took advantage of Father’s Day earlier in the week to tactfully suggest that a little wardrobe sprucing is is order? Or politely suggested that your guy needs a more timely hairstyle via some gift certificates?
In REDEEMING THE ROGUE, Arianne Chambers is assigned the task of sprucing up a rogue who is more comfortable hanging with the thugs and crooks of London’s underbelly than the drawing rooms of polite society. As Michael Rafferty is to masquerade as a British minister assigned to the legation in Washington DC, she has her work cut out for her.
First, there’s the matter of his hair which is a bit long. Perfectly suitable for a rogue, I think, but not the thing for a diplomat.
Then she needs to address Rafferty’s wardrobe, and make sure he has all the properly fitted clothes necessary for the various diplomatic affairs. In Victorian times there were rigid rules about whether a white waistcoat or black was appropriate for the occasion. Not so much now when just seeing a man in a suit is a bit of a rarity. (When it comes to a well-dressed guy, I immediately think of Cary Grant. Hence this photo from North-by-Northwest.)
Sometimes a man makeover requires more than sprucing up the exterior. Arianne had to make sure Rafferty’s manners
shine as well. She needs to cover the proper use of the Victorian’s extensive use of cutlery, and the proper way to introduce the various cultural hierarchies.
Her time to do all this is limited and her pupil not exactly enthused about the makeover. All he wants to do is hunt a killer that he suspects killed the previous British minister.
The first chapter of REDEEMING THE ROGUE is available here:
So my question to you. If you could makeover something about your man – or yourself for that matter. What would it be? For me -I’d like to put my dh in a really nice suit instead of golf shirts and khakis. As for me, I’d like to find a haircut that is perfect for straight, straight hair and a round round face. Then I’d like to engage a trainer and a cook that would force me to lose weight (grin).
Monica Burns was so kind as to give me a copy of PLEASURE ME last week to use as a blog prize, so I’m offering that to someone leaving a comment.
Posted by Donna MacMeans May 23 2011, 4:18 am in black cats, In a Heartbeat, Redeeming the Rogue, Virgins
by Donna MacMeans
I have a secret. I have to admit I’m a little bit nervous about my August release.
You see in all my other books, the heroine has been
a virgin. This isn’t a shocker as many, if not most, historicals utilize a virginal heroine. There’s a reason for this. Sex was a lot riskier in the nineteenth century (and earlier). It came with consequences beyond that of the heart. This was a time when property passed from father to son – and if that son wasn’t really his son – well that might prove problematic. While a means of birth control existed, it wasn’t necessarily pleasant and reliablel – not like today – and we won’t begin to talk about STPs. So a virginal heroine makes sense – but not always. In REDEEMING THE ROGUE, my heroine thought
she was engaged and offered her virtue as proof of her love. Too bad she gave it up to a slug. I can’t call her a woman of experience – not after one unsatisfactory experience – but she’s not a virgin either. So I’m a bit
nervous about that.
Now in contemporaries and paranormals, the heroines are often very experienced. I’m guessing that the virginal heroine in a contemporary is as unusual as a non-virginal heroine is in a historical. They’re out there but their existence requires a little explanation. LOL – I just remembered
that my one and only contemporary romantic suspense, IN A HEARTBEAT, published under the name Donna Richards also had a virgin heroine…but there was a reason for that – and it helped play into a really hot love scene. Thus I’ve published three historicals and one contemporary – all with virginal heroines…can you see why I’m a little nervous about this new release?
So I’m curious about your preferences, virgin or non-virgin. Do you have a preference? Is it a preference tied to genre? What are your thoughts?
I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve had to type this blog pretty much one-handed due to our recent new addition, Shadow. We went to the animal shelter looking for a puppy, but didn’t see one that would suit – so we brought a kitten home. I picked out a black kitten as Anna Sugden once told me that people tend not to adopt black cats. While there were some really cute striped kitties available – we decided to adopt one that had a strike against it through no fault of her own. I can pretty much guarantee, she’s a virgin (grin).