I finished page proofs for What to Do with a Duke, so I took some time to look around the web site and tidy a few things up. I’ve now posted the first two chapters of What to Do with a Duke, and because I was feeling like I’d been a little stingy with In the Spinster’s Bed, I added some more text so now the entire first chapter is up. I think I have all the buy links sorted out, too, but if you see something missing, please email me or send me a message through my Facebook page and let me know.
It’s a little frightening that it’s May already. Next week I head off to Dallas and the RT Convention. I hope you’ll say hi if you see me at the convention, though I will need to spend some time hidden away, working on How to Manage the Marquess, the second book in the Spinster House series. It’s due to my editor August 1–and that’s with an extension–and should be out in the world next May.
I hope Spring is coming to my neck of the woods. We’ve had quite enough snow and cold temperatures for my tastes.
I’m finishing up the page proofs for the novella, In the Spinster’s Bed. I’ll send those off tomorrow or the next day. I’m always trying to make the story just a bit better, but there comes a time when I just have to let it go. Once the novella is on its way, I’ll get back to work on How to Manage a Marquess until my page proofs for What to Do with a Duke arrive later this month. And somewhere along the line, I’ll be adding more “buy” links to this site and an excerpt for What to Do with a Duke. (A short excerpt is already up for In the Spinster’s Bed.)
If you look over to the Appearances column, you’ll see it’s starting to fill up a bit. If you’re near any of these sites, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello.
And finally if you’re not allergic to Facebook, I usually stop in there daily for a look around. You’ll find the link to my Facebook page at the bottom right corner of this page. I’d love to “see” you there!
Happy new year, everyone. Yes, I’ve been very quiet here, though if you follow my Facebook page, you’ve seen me around. I find it easy to pop on there when I have a few moments. If you’re not on Facebook, you can see my posts in the bottom right corner of this page or any other page on this web site.
I haven’t been twiddling my thumbs (though that sort of sounds like a fun thing to do). I’ve been hard at work on my new Spinster House series. “In the Spinster’s Bed,” an e-novella, will be out June 30. The first book, What to Do with a Duke, is scheduled to release August 25. If you check out my “Books” page, you’ll see the covers. Aren’t they great? I love them! (And they got Poppy right! Poppy’s a calico cat and a character in all the books.)
Both books are already available for pre-order on e-bookstore sites. In the next few weeks, I’ll post an excerpt from the novella and add more “buy” links.
Oops! I just realized the novella’s current link says “buy in print.” That should read “buy in ebook.” I hope I did a better job of proofreading the book itself! I think the novella will be out in print eventually–as bonus material in one of the other books–but there aren’t any definite plans on that yet. I’ll let you know when I know.
Both the novella and the first book are written–they just have to go through the various stages of production now. So I’m turning my attention to book 2, How to Manage a Marquess, which will be out sometime in 2016.
Actually, a funny thing happened TO the Post Office. The one where I have my P.O. Box went missing. Yes, there’s a story about that, but first: the important part of this message is that I have a new post office box. If you need to snail mail me something, my new address is: Sally MacKenzie, P.O. Box 10466, Rockville, MD 20849. I’ll change the address on my Contact page when I have my web mistress do my next set of updates.
Now to the story of the missing post office. It was in a shopping mall. Sigh. I remember when that mall was built many, many years ago. It was very fancy. One of its anchor stores was an I. Magnin from which I bought my first non-prom formal gown. The dress cost $100 and my then-new husband was horrified at the price. I wore that gown many times, so I think I got my money’s worth. In fact, I still have it, and it still fits, though not quite in the same way I did thirty plus years and four children ago. Ahem. Shall I admit it’s made of very stretchy fabric? Anyway, after I. Magnin moved out, Borders moved in–and we all know what happened to Borders. Sigh again. I used to take my mother to that bookstore once a month. We’d check out the new crop of Signet Regencies and have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.
But now the mall has died, as many malls across this fair land have done. It’s going to be razed and some new mixed-use development built in its place. The Powers That Be posted a notice letting us know when and where the post office would be moving. But then things changed. The post office had to leave sooner than expected and before its new space was ready.
So I had to go to another post office–a far less convenient to me post office–to get my mail. I went there once. Let me just say getting there involved navigating twisty roads and awkward merges and a highway I’m not fond of. (Yes, I like to whine.) Since I don’t get that much snail mail, I figured I could wait until the summer when my box would supposedly be back in a more friendly-to-me location.
And then I got busy with deadlines and grandbabies and travel and health issues and more deadlines. I have tried to find the post office. I called the number I’d been given, but it wasn’t in service. I found another number and called it–no answer. An internet search turned up a September post that said the post office still hadn’t moved into its new home.
That’s when I decided to cut my losses and get a box at a post office that I think will be around for as long as I am. I haven’t totally given up on finding the missing post office, though I’m not sure I even have a box there–wherever there is–any more. However, I do need to return the key to the perhaps nonexistent box. I don’t want to be hoarding government property!
So my apologies if you snail mailed me something and I haven’t replied. I wasn’t intentionally ignoring you. Please shoot me an email to let me know what you needed.
I had a great time at the Romance Writers of America conference in July. It’s so much fun to be surrounded by so many romance writing and reading friends.
Once I got home, I put my nose firmly to the grindstone, writing the novella that will kick off my new Spinster House series. I have the first draft done, and I’m in the brief (for me) honeymoon phase where I think the story is wonderful. In a few days, I’ll push up my sleeves and get back into it, picking it apart and revising. The current plan is to have the novella and the first book of the series–both of which are written, at least in draft–out sometime in 2015, with two more books to follow. We’re still mulling titles and such. I will let you know as soon as I know more!
If you are in the Washington, D.C., area, check out the Washington Loves Readers Luncheon on October 11. You can get the details and find out how to sign up here. You can even view a cool trailer for the event here. I’ll be there!
I had intended to post here in June, but the month got away from me. I had my nose firmly to the grindstone, revising the next book which was due July 1. I got another little extension to July 7 and finally sent it off Sunday night, July 6. And–hooray!–my wonderful new editor has already read it and likes it. Big sigh of relief. Though of course there are always things to be tweaked.
I’m going to put that story aside for a while, though, and turn my attention to writing the novella which will actually come out before the book. If that seems a bit backward, well, my writing life doesn’t always move in a straight line. Once I’ve got the novella done, I’ll probably have some other changes that will need to be made to the book.
We are now tentatively calling the series “Loves Bridge” after the imaginary village in which the stories are set. Look for the novella and the first book to come out in 2015. I will, of course, post more as the release dates become clear, and I have fun things to share like titles and covers. [UPDATE: So, I’m still waffling on the series title. Now I’m leaning toward “Spinster House.” Don’t worry–we’ll decide at some point!]
Besides beginning to mull over the novella, I’m busy getting ready to head off to San Antonio and the annual Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference. I’ve never been to San Antonio, so I’m excited to see the city, even though the temperature looks to be even steamier than what I’m used to in D.C. But I’m most excited to meet with my agent and editor, see friends and meet new writers, and, on Wednesday, meet readers! If you’re in San Antonio, please consider stopping by the book signing on Wednesday, July 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. If you click on the link over there in “Appearances,” you can get all the information you need as well as see the fabulous list of authors attending. All proceeds go to support literacy, so you’d be supporting a great cause. And if you’re on Facebook and want to follow my adventures, be sure to “like” my page here. I’m planning on posting photos like I did from RT.
Finally, RWA has launched Novel Engagement, a new app to help readers find romance authors and books they might enjoy. I’m there along with many great authors. You can find out more about the app and download it to your iPhone or Android phone here.
I spent May working diligently to finish the first draft of my next book–and I did it! I’m not a fast writer, even at the drafting phase. I find when I write fast, I write trash. And since I’m what some call a “pantser”–i.e., I write by the seat of my pants instead of plotting or outlining in advance–I have to go slowly so my story and characters have time to evolve. Sadly, writing the draft slowly doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Even though I do polish a bit as I go, I often find I have to throw out lots of precious words on revision because they don’t serve the story. And I’m not 100 % certain of what the story is until I finish it. So I will be spending June making the book as good as I can before I send it off to my editor.
This is the first book in a new series. I’m keeping the whole thing a bit close to my vest until I see what my editor says about it. The current plan is to have the book–and a novella–out next year. The novella–which I haven’t written yet!–will come first, so I suspect that may mean further revisions to the book. I will post more as events unfold.
In the middle of May, I took a break from writing to attend the RT Booklovers Convention (RT for short). I’ve been going every year for a while. I enjoy it. I like seeing other writers and meeting readers and other book lovers. But I do it on my own terms, which means I skip most of the parties. I know–I’m boring.
This year RT was in New Orleans, as you may have guessed from the picture above. I’ve been to Baton Rouge and Many, but never New Orleans, so I and Mr. M, who also had never been to NOLA, went a few days early to sightsee. A local NOLA reader, Judy, sent me suggestions of places to visit after I sort of freaked out about Bourbon Street, lol! And then I was busy with conference stuff, and Mr. M was on his own. He fled the hotel as often as he could. With all the conventioneers–mostly women–the decibel level in the lobby bar was rather astonishing.
One of the events Kensington, my publisher, participated in was a Mardi Gras-like parade. I was brave–or foolish–enough to wear one of the available costumes. I’ll admit it smelled a little funky. Those are two men standing with me in the picture. (Now I know what the Kensington publicist meant when she said there’d be “walking heads.”) My writer pal Vanessa Kelly took this shot. If you want to see my pictures, I have them up on my Facebook page here, as well as some other photos. You don’t have to be on Facebook to see them–I checked that out by having Mr. M, the anti-social media guy, try the link. If you click on a picture, you’ll be able to read my commentary. And you can see I was trying out my selfie skills. Clearly I have to work on my technique!
I should be popping out for one public appearance in June–Saturday, June 14, from 2-4 pm, at the Takoma Park (DC) library for a talk with another writer pal, Emily Greenwood. I’ll be posting more information shortly, but if you’re in the Washington, D.C., area, you might want to pencil it onto your calendar.
I’ve had my nose to the grindstone, working away on my next book. I’ll have more news about that project at a later date, but the tentative schedule at the moment is to have a novella out next spring (2015) and the book I’m working on now out that fall. It’s another trilogy, this time set in an English village.
I’ve updated my web site, so now I think everything is relatively current. I’m delighted to say that “The Naked Laird” is out in audio from Audible which means you can now get all the Naked nobility stories in an audio version. I’ve added those buy links to the books’ pages. And a bit of late-breaking news: I just found out that Surprising Lord Jack is a finalist in the historical category of the National Readers Choice Awards. Here’s a complete list of finalists. I’m thrilled!
I had a fabulous time at the Washington Romance Writers retreat at the beginning of April. My adventure began Thursday night when I stayed over at the fabulous Inn BoonsBoro. It was my friend and fellow Regency author Diane Gaston‘s idea. We shared the Penthouse. And yes, I took pictures of the amazing Japanese toilet. I think most of the guests did. We compared notes at the Inn’s wine and cheese social. Most, in not all, of the other guests were readers, there for the book signing at Turn the Page the next day. Diane and I had a great time chatting with them.
On Friday at the signing, I had a blast sitting next to Cathy Maxwell. We spent a lot of time laughing. I met many lovely readers and sold out of all my Surprising Lord Jacks and most of my Loving Lord Ashs. And then I got a chance to chat with authors Robin Perini and Kieran Kramer as I drove them to the retreat location.
As always, the retreat was fabulous. I roomed with my pal Wendy La Capra who just announced her sale to Entangled, caught up with old friends, and made new ones. The Washington Romance Writers is such a wonderful fun and supportive group! If you want a peek at the weekend, here’s a short review of retreat by Lina Perez.
Looking ahead, in May I’m off to New Orleans for the RT Booklovers Convention. If you’ll be at the giant book fair, please stop by and say hi!
The warm weather is finally–maybe–coming and with it the Washington Romance Writers (WRW) retreat. I’m so looking forward to catching up with my local writer friends. You can meet some of them, too–and me–this Friday, April 4! Every year before the retreat, Turn the Page Bookstore holds a big book signing, and this year is no exception. You can find the details here. It is always a great time–though at the moment they are talking about rain, so bring your umbrella. If you can’t make it, you can still get your books signed if you order in advance.
In other fun news, I’m happy to say that my novella “The Naked Prince” is now available at Audible.com. I’ll add the buy link to my Naked Prince page shortly, but for now click here to get to the Audible listing. I’ve been told “The Naked Laird” is in production; I’ll let you know when that’s available, too.
What have I been up to this month? Cuddling our new grandbabies as much as I can. Our west coast son and daughter-in-law came for a visit a week or two ago to meet the babies and celebrate my birthday. And now I’m hard at work on my next book, the first in a new series. It’s due June 1, so I have to put my nose firmly to the grindstone!
I’m winding down my web appearances celebrating Loving Lord Ash‘s release. Today I’m over at Risky Regencies. On Wednesday I’ll be chatting at Romance Reviews Today. I hope. I’m sadly challenged when it comes to technology. I was never able to get on the site that was hosting RITA nominee gatherings last summer, though at least one time it was the site and not me that was having difficulties. The chat begins at 9pm–I hope to see some of you there. The information is here.
I’m delighted to say that I’ve already heard from a few readers who have enjoyed Ash’s story. That makes me so happy! I’m never a hundred percent sure how a book will be received, of course, so it’s always a huge relief and joy to get happy emails! Picture me grinning.