June news

June 3rd, 2018

I’ve got my head down, working on book 2 in the Widow’s Brew series which–ta-da!–now has a title: The Merry Viscount. At least, I think that title will stick. I haven’t seen a cover yet.

The release date for book 1 in the series, What Ales the Earl, is less than two months away: July 31! Reviews are beginning to come in. Kirkus called the story a “fun, heartwarming Regency romance.” If you’re a reviewer, the book is up on NetGalley here. If you’re a Goodreads member and would like a chance to win an ARC (Advance Reading Copy), my publisher is running a giveaway on Goodreads here. Don’t delay! The contest ends June 15.

In other book news, I’m excited to say that When to Engage an Earl, the last book in the Spinster House series, is a finalist in the historical category of BOTH the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America’s Booksellers’ Best award and the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America’s National Readers’ Choice Award. Both organizations have award celebrations at the national Romance Writers of America conference in July, so I’m looking forward to getting together with the other finalists, seeing old pals and meeting new friends.

I’ve been a bit scarce on social media as I’m scrambling–as usual–to meet my deadline. If you need to reach me and aren’t having luck there, do feel free to send me an email. And if you are in the Denver area, I’d love to see you at the huge RWA “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing on July 21. You can find all the details here.

I’m back!

April 3rd, 2018

Sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve poked my head out of my writer cave and shown up here. When last you heard from me, I was heading off to the 2017 Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando. I was sadly behind in writing the first book in my new Widow’s Brew trilogy and was a bit despairing I would ever get to “The End.”

But help was at hand! At the conference, I had dinner with my writer pal and plotter extraordinaire Caroline Linden, who calmly reassured me that I did indeed have a big enough plot for the book but suggested I further develop one thread: the need for my hero to marry a well-bred female and produce an heir. That was precisely the nudge I needed. It meant going home and rewriting what I had–and blowing through several deadlines–but finally the book is done, done, done! I handed in page proofs last week. Whew! And that means I’ve posted the first three chapters here. Now it’s on to book number two, which doesn’t yet have a title.

I’ll be at this year’s RWA conference in Denver–hopefully in better shape with Widow’s Brew Book 2!–so if you’re in that neck of the woods, do stop by the literacy signing on Saturday, July 21. I can’t promise I’ll have What Ales the Earl–it doesn’t release until July 31–but I’ll have promotional handouts and I’ll be signing When to Engage an Earl, the last book in the Spinster House series. You can find all the signing details, including a list of authors, here. If you’ve never been to an RWA “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, prepare for an amazing experience!

Before RWA–and closer to home for me–I’ll be moderating a panel on bringing history to life and actual historical events to historical romance at the Gaitherburg Book Festival on May 19. I’ve not been to that festival before, but it looks like it will be a great day. There will be authors of all stripes and even a Children’s Village for the youngest readers! I might try to lure the grandkids out.

Off to the Romance Writers of America conference

July 24th, 2017

It’s that time of year again. Every July I pack my bags and head off to join a couple thousand writers, editors, and other professionals to talk about the world of writing and publishing romance novels. This year, like last year, I’m going to have to hide in my room a lot, working on the next book, but I’ll venture out occasionally to catch up with old pals and make new friends. If you’re at the conference and see me, please say hi.

If you’re a reader within striking distance of Orlando, you might want to come by on Saturday, July 29. There’s an enormous book signing that’s open to the public. Click here for all the details. You’ll also find a link to download the seating chart.

I hope I’ll see many of you there. And I will try to be good about posting pictures on social media so you can follow along. I can do Instagram on the fly with my phone, so you might want to look there first. Here’s my Instagram account.

Back to packing!

When to Engage an Earl makes its debut

May 30th, 2017

The concluding Spinster House book, When to Engage an Earl, is out in the world! I’m thrilled to say Booklist gave it a starred review. Kirkus Reviews called it a “delightful continuation of the series” and a “charming addition to the Regency spinsters-on-the-shelf subgenre.” RT Book Reviews awarded it four stars, saying it was a “touching and sexually charged love story” and “a very fun read.” Here’s the back cover copy:

If love is a malady, the Spinster House ladies have caught it, one by one.

Miss Jane Wilkinson couldn’t be more delighted when her two best friends marry, creating a much-desired vacancy at the Spinster House. For the first time in her twenty-eight years, Jane can be free of her annoying older brother and enjoy complete solitude—with the exception of the Spinster House cat, Poppy. If only Jane’s unruly thoughts didn’t keep drifting to handsome Alex, Earl of Evans, in the most un-spinster like ways…

Though jilted once, Alex has always intended to marry and raise a family. Now that his two closest friends have tied the knot, he is more determined than ever to find a wife. If only it wasn’t the intriguing Miss Jane Wilkinson that his heart—as well as the rest of him—desired. Not only does she appear uninterested in marriage, it’s clear she’s the managing sort. And yet, despite Alex’s fiercely independent spirit, the idea of being managed by her is quite appealing. Now if he can only convince her to give up her beloved Spinster House in favor of a far more pleasurable home—in his arms…

You can find the first two chapters here.

In other news, I’m hard at work on the first book in a new series, so look for more information about that in the future. Recently, however, I’ve been more focused on babies than books. Son #3 and his wife presented us with a brand new grandson in April! Mr. M. and I just got back from 2 1/2 weeks in California, meeting the new fellow and doing other family things. The baby is very cute, though not, unfortunately for his parents, a championship sleeper. If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you may have seen–and probably will see–pictures from our trip.

Okay, back to work I go!

March deals and the next Spinster House book

March 10th, 2017

Happy March, everyone!

I have two pieces of book news for you. First, most of my Naked Nobility stories are on sale this month, so if you need to complete your e-book collection, now would be the perfect time to do it. Click here to see the list of all the Naked Nobility books and novellas. Clicking on a cover will take you to the page where you can read an excerpt and find buy links. I think every Naked e-book except The Naked Gentleman is on some sort of discount.

My second piece of news is that I just finished going through the page proofs of the last book in my Spinster House series, When to Engage an Earl. You know what that means: I’ve now posted the book’s first two chapters. Click here to read them—and if so inclined, follow the buy links to your favorite bookstore to preorder a copy. The book releases May 30.

So what am I doing now? Turning my mind to a new series. I don’t have much information to share yet, except to say the stories will involve brewing. Mr. M. is all over that, ready to come with me to research the subject in depth. I’m not a beer drinker myself—these days the only adult beverage I imbibe is red wine—so Mr. M will have to (enthusiastically) fall on his sword and finish any liquid samples I might need to taste.

Fall news

September 29th, 2016

Yikes, it’s already the end of September! The summer has flown by.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ve seen many of the photos I took while in San Diego for the Romance Writers of America annual conference in July. I loved San Diego, especially the weather. No humidity!! What a contrast to my usual July in the Washington, D. C., area.

Mr. M. and I went out a week early to sightsee; then he headed home and I moved over to the conference hotel. I had to bring my laptop along, though, and spend more time than usual holed up in my room, working on my next book in the Spinster House series, When to Engage an Earl (June 2017). I sent it off to my editor when I got home–and got fairly substantial revisions back. Working on those took the rest of the summer. Now I’m waiting to find out what else needs to be tweaked.

I got some good news sometime during all this: What to Do with a Duke (historical) and In the Spinster’s Bed (novella) are finalists in the 2016 New Jersey Romance Writers’ Golden Leaf contest! The winners will be announced at their conference in October.

And speaking of October, besides attending the NJRW conference, I’ll be at the Washington Romance Writers’ 2016 Reader and Blogger Luncheon in McLean, Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 8. If you’re within striking distance, there might still be tickets available. Information is here.

Now I’m off to tidy the house while I wait to see how my editor liked my revisions. Well, “tidy” might be a bit of an understatement. Things tend to get out of control when I’m on deadline. If you don’t hear from me again, you can assume I’m buried under Mount Clutter.

July news

July 1st, 2016

Hi, everyone! I’ve been busy, head down, fingers on keyboard, working on the next Spinster House book, When to Engage an Earl. It’s due to my editor very soon (ulp!) and will be out in June 2017. It’s Alex and Jane’s story. I’ve had a peek at the cover and it’s wonderful!

I hope you’ve seen How to Manage a Marquess out in the wild. I’m very excited to say it was a B&N Bookseller Pick for May! You can see the picks here. To celebrate its release in April, I did a couple interviews, talking about the book and my research. If you’d like to have a look, you can find my interview with USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog here and my interview with the Word Wenches here.

In other news, I found out the What to Do with a Duke (historical) and In the Spinster’s Bed (novella) are both finalists in the National Readers’ Choice Awards. You can see all the finalists here. I’m in good company. The awards ceremony is at the Romance Writers of America conference in San Diego later this month. And if you’re in the San Diego area, please stop by the huge book signing on July 13. Follow this link–or the one in the sidebar–to get the details. Admission is free. I’ll be there and I’d love to see you.

Okay, back to work I go!

It’s almost here!

April 5th, 2016

Only three weeks until How to Manage a Marquess comes out April 26! If you haven’t yet read the prologue and first two chapters, you can find them here. RT Book Reviews gave the story 4 stars, calling it a “poignant read” and me a “master of mayhem and mischief.” I must be sure to tell Mr. M about the mayhem and mischief part!

In preparation for the release, the e-novella, In the Spinster’s Bed, is being offered as a free download for the whole month of April, I think. So if you haven’t read it yet, now would be a good time to grab it. Print readers, the novella will be included in the print edition of the book, so we are not forgetting you.

I’m mostly staying at home these days, putting the house to rights now that the termite-inspired renovations are done and working on When to Engage an Earl, the next book in the series, but I will be popping out into the world online or in person from time to time. If you are anywhere near Westminster, Maryland, please stop by the TownMall from 11-2 on Friday, April 29. I’ll be signing near the Books-A-Million with several other wonderful authors and I’d love to see you.

In other news, I’m now on Instagram! As of today, I’ve shared a total of five pictures. I’m still figuring it out, but if you want to follow me–or whatever the proper verb is–I’m sally_mackenzie_books.

Happy February!

February 14th, 2016

I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day. It’s bitterly cold outside and another winter storm is headed our way. The lower level of our house is torn apart, thanks to some hungry termites. The termites have been dispatched–I’m sorry, but I can’t feel very sad about that–and now we have called in a contractor to determine the extent of the damage. Lots of surprises when you tear apart an addition that was built in the late 70s. Lots of money spent, too, but the renovated room will have some new amenities–like insulation.

My happy news: How to Manage a Marquess is finally out of my hands for good, which means I’ve posted an excerpt. The prologue and the first two chapters are here, where you can also find the links to preorder it in paperback, ebook, or audio, if you so desire. Release date is April 26, when spring will have sprung in my corner of the world and the contractor will, hopefully, have departed. I’m extremely happy to say that as a bonus, In the Spinster’s Bed, which came out as an e-novella last June/July, is included in the print version of How to Manage a Marquess. I’m still a print reader, so I’m always happy when “dinosaurs” like me can read my books.

I’ve also done a little web site updating. I’ve added a couple questions and answers to my FAQ page, including a photo of the real Poppy, here, and some events to my appearances list. While I’ll be spending most of the first half of the year holed up in my hopefully termite-free home writing, I will poke my head out occasionally. On Friday, April 29, I plan to be at the Washington Romance Writers’ pre-retreat signing in Westminster, Maryland; and on Thursday, May 19, I’ll be at Turn the Page Bookstore’s Girls Night Out. I’ll also be in San Diego in July at the Romance Writers of America’s conference. As the details are finalized, I’ll update the links.

Now it’s back to work on When to Engage an Earl, coming in June 2017, while the workmen hammer away beneath me. I can feel the vibrations on the soles of my feet! The noise-canceling headphones that I splurged on for my last trip to England are coming in quite handy.

October and November news

November 18th, 2015

Oops! I missed October. It was a busy month.

First, Mr. M and I returned from two weeks in London and Paris on October 3. We had a wonderful trip, and it took me a while to reenter reality. I posted some pictures as we traveled, but now I’m going back through our photos and posting more. I’d neglected to bring an important cable for my camera so couldn’t access any of those pictures while on the go. Here’s a tip–it’s dangerous to wait on that sort of thing. I’m now scratching my head a bit, trying to remember exactly what I’m looking at. (Or, perhaps more commonly, why I took that picture in the first place.) But it’s great to relive the trip and remember all the fun we had. If you’re interested in following along, you can find my pictures here. I’ve been assured you don’t need to be a Facebook member to access them, and my favorite social media Luddite, Mr. M., is able to see them, so I think that’s true.

The next two weekends were busy with writer events. October 10 was the Washington Romance Writers’ second annual Readers and Bloggers Luncheon. I had some great conversations with old friends and new–and, regretfully, I discovered I LOVE white KitKats. The following weekend I climbed aboard Amtrak and headed up the coast to Iselin, New Jersey, and the New Jersey Romance Writers’ Put Your Heart in a Book conference. I always have a good time with my Jersey pals. This year I gave a workshop on writing series which seemed to go well–no one fell asleep or threw anything at me and I filled my allotted time while remaining at least somewhat coherent.

And then I came home and thought about writing something here, but before I settled in at the computer, my copy edits for How to Manage a Marquess landed in my inbox. And there went October and the beginning of November!

I’m happy to report that the copy edits went back last week–and not so happy to report that I’ve been promised page proofs in two or three weeks. But after those go back, the book will be out of my hands–and hopefully in yours as early as April 26! You’ve probably noticed I’ve got the cover and back copy up on the web site. Once page proofs are done, I’ll add an excerpt.

And now it’s on to start planning and writing When to Engage an Earl!

In other news, once I sent off the copy edits, I finished up a fun Q & A in which I talk about the Spinster House series and also tell the tale of the hopping dust bunny. You can find it here. And I’ll be participating in a Queens of Historical Romance social media contest beginning the first week of December. (Hand me a tiara!) Look for more information on my Facebook page closer to the event.

If you’d like to keep in touch, I’m on my Facebook page often–perhaps too often!–and I try to reply to any comments there. And of course, please sign up for my newsletter which goes out once or twice a year, usually when I have a new book out.

And finally, those of you in the States, I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving. And, if I don’t show up here in December (though I have the best of intentions), happy December holidays to everyone–or just happy December if you don’t celebrate a specific holiday. Our family will be a bit more scattered than usual for Thanksgiving this year, but we’ll all be together for a few days at the end of December. Even the West Coast MacKenzies will be here! A celebration, indeed.