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Sally MacKenize, USA Today Bestselling Author

Sally MacKenize, USA Today Bestselling Author

Sally MacKenize, USA Today Bestselling Author


Coming out of deep lurk

Yikes! It’s been well over a year since my last post, but then, it was quite a year, wasn’t it? In January 2020–and at the Hearts to You luncheon that February–I had no idea my world would shut down in March.

I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. I feel so fortunate and relieved to report that everyone in my family got through relatively unscathed. We even had a wedding–rescheduled and completely reimagined. Our son and his wife exchanged vows in a park with only the officiant present–parents and grandmother attended via phone video apps. Then a few weeks later, after waiting for Hurricane Isaias to pass though, the happy couple had another ceremony in their backyard. This time parents and siblings were on site, and everyone else “Zoomed” in. And as we were driving over, our West Coast son called to say he was at the hospital–his wife was in labor with our newest grandson.

Now that we are all vaccinated–except for the grandchildren, who are too young–Mr. M and I are beginning to venture out, cautiously feeling our way, trying to get comfortable in the world again. We were able to get our East Coast sons and daughters-in-laws–and the grand twins!–together for Memorial Day, mostly outside despite the noise and bumbling flights of Brood X, the 17-year cicadas. In the not-too-distant future, we’ll head out to see the West Coasters—and finally meet the “new” baby. Odds are he’ll be walking by the time we arrive.

And, guess what? Cheers to the Duke, the last book in the Widow’s Brew series, is finally ready to step out into the world as well, making its debut on September 28! I’ll be posting the first three chapters on my website soon. (Newsletter subscribers have already gotten a sneak peek!) If you’re a reviewer and would like to request a copy for review, please click here for the direct link to the book’s NetGalley page.

Thanks! Stay safe–and keep reading.

February Hearts To You Luncheon

Poking my head out of my writer’s cave to ask: Will you be in the Washington, DC, area on Sunday, February 16? If so, I’d love to see you at the Hearts to You Luncheon. What better way to celebrate February than with a friendly group of romance authors, readers, bloggers, and librarians! The event runs from 12pm to 3pm. Click HERE to learn more and buy tickets.

Christmas is coming . . .

Is it time to pick up a few presents for yourself? How about some Christmas romance? BookPage reviewed five “naughty and nice” holiday offerings, and, yes, The Merry Viscount was among them. I blush to say it might have fallen on the “naughty” side of the list–BookPage called it “bawdy and romantic fun.” Read the article here. Happy holidays!

Just one more week until The Merry Viscount is out in the world!

On September 24, The Merry Viscount steps out into the world in print, e-book, and audio. I’ll be sending out a newsletter that day as well–if you don’t yet subscribe, now would be an excellent time to do so, especially as I’ve got a super special giveaway for one lucky subscriber! Here’s the link. Don’t fear that I’ll inundate you with mail–I’m lucky to get a newsletter out every few months.

Early reviews are still coming in. I’m delighted to say that Steph at the Bookaholics Romance Book Club gave The Merry Viscount four stars, calling it a “perfect, heartwarming holiday read.” You can read that review and all her Setember reviews here. And she’s running a contest! Enter here. Contest ends Sept. 30.

A Kirkus Star for The Merry Viscount!

Advance reviews for The Merry Viscount are starting to come in, and I’m delighted to report that someone liked the book! I’m always figuratively biting my nails when a story steps out into the “literary ballroom” for the first time, worrying that it will be given the cut direct.

The first review that hit my inbox was from Amelia Richard at She gave the story four stars and said it was “constantly engaging.” You can read her full review here. The second review had me dancing around my office. The Merry Viscount earned a Kirkus Star, given to books of “exceptional merit”! The reviewer called it an “emotionally satisfying holiday romance full of love and redemption.” Hooray! You can read that review here.

And now it’s back to work I go on Widow’s Brew book #3. Catchy title, eh?

Mark your calendars!

Cathy Maxwell is hosting a reading salon in the Richmond VA area on Sept. 27, and I’ll be there with three other romance authors–Gaithersburg Book Festival co-panelist Charis Michaels as well as Alleyne Dickens and Andie J. Christopher. Space is limited, so reserve your spot now! Here’s the link to tickets.

Attention, Reviewers!

Just wanted to take a break from writing book 3 of the Widow’s Brew series to pop in and let any of you who are reviewers know that the second book, a September 24 release, The Merry Viscount, is now up on NetGalley. Here’s the link that should get you to the page where you can request a copy. Hope you enjoy it!

RWA conference and Literacy Autographing

It’s July and you know what that means! The Romance Writers of America’s conference is fast approaching. If you are within striking distance of New York City, you might want to circle Saturday, July 27 on your calendar. That’s when RWA’s “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing is happening at the Marriott Marquis from 3 to 5pm. Over 250 of your favorite romance authors–including me!–will be signing our most recent releases. The event is open to the public free of charge, but because the goal is to raise money for literacy organizations, you can’t bring books from home. I’ll have What Ales the Earl for sale if you don’t have it already. And I’m always happy to just say hi, maybe pose for a picture, and give you some free promotional info about my books. You can find all the details about the event, including a list of authors, here.

If you enjoy social media, now would be a good time to follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook if you don’t already. I find it easiest to post to Instagram–which I’ve set up to feed to my Facebook page–when I’m taking pictures on the go. And I’ll probably be taking lots of pictures at RWA.

What Ales the Earl is up for a RITA, so wish me luck. (Not sure which is luckier: to win and have to give a speech, or not to win and be able to relax and listen to someone else give a speech!) The winners will be announced at the award ceremony July 26, beginning at 7pm and emceed by none other than Sarah MacLean. Here is the list of all the categories and finalists. In the past, the ceremony has been streamed online. I haven’t heard if that’s happening again this year, but here’s the RWA homepage, just in case.

If you get my newsletter, you know I’m wearing my Mother of the Groom ensemble–youngest son got married at the end of June–for the RITAs. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a glitter factory. I washed it (hand wash only!) after the wedding, hoping that would subdue the glitter situation, but alas, no. I’ll still be spreading glitter wherever I go. (Do you suppose that makes me a member of the glitterati?) Apologies in advance to anyone I make sparkle!

Attention, bargain hunters!

For any of you who need to fill in some gaps in your Naked Nobility collection, it looks like the e-versions of five Nakeds–The Naked Duke, The Naked Marquis, The Naked Baron, The Naked Viscount, and The Naked King–are currently discounted at most online retailers. The sale runs till June 16, so don’t delay!

If you’re attending the American Library Association Annual Conference in DC, I’ll be signing What Ales the Earl in the Romance Writers of America booth from 2:30 to 3:00pm on Sunday, July 23. For more details, click here. I’d love to see you.

And finally, if you’re reading this on the Amazon or Goodreads sites, you may have noticed several blog posts from earlier this year had suddenly appeared and wondered what was going on. When I updated my website in January, I forgot to change the magic (er, I know that’s not the technical term, but, clearly, I am only semi-literate when it comes to the internet) that makes the material I post in the News section of my website appear on other platforms. It wasn’t until I was getting ready to post the first chapter of The Merry Viscount (which you can read here) that I realized there was a problem. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth! (Well, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but I was a bit annoyed with myself.) Web person pointed me in the right direction and–voila! Problem solved.