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Sally MacKenize, USA Today Bestselling Author

Sally MacKenize, USA Today Bestselling Author

Sally MacKenize, USA Today Bestselling Author

News

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 AlwaysReviewing.com. 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.


Culture vultures

 


If you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook page, you’ve seen some of my pictures from the Gaithersburg Book Festival. I had a lot of fun, but when my panel was over, I was brain dead. At the book signing, I couldn’t remember the name of someone I’ve know for over a decade! Above is a picture of my panel, taken by one of the organizers. I’m the one in green, talking with my hands. Avon author Charis Michaels is next to me, and on the end is our excellent moderator, Rebecca Speas.


The day after the book festival, Mr. M and I ventured to the Kennedy Center to see the opera Tosca. I asked Mr. M to pose in the Grand Foyer to give you an idea of the scale of the building–he’s 6’3″. Mr. M is the real culture vulture of the two of us, but I enjoyed the performance. I’m still not an opera fan, but I do like it better when there’s a stage and actors rather than just listening to it at home.

Now that my page proofs are in, I’ll be posting a chapter of The Merry Viscount on my web site. If you’d like to get a link to it in your inbox as well, now would be a good time to subscribe to my newsletter here. And as for the great Mother of the Groom dress hunt? I may have found something–except it sheds glitter everywhere!


More Good News and the Gaithersburg Book Festival

Good news! While I was on the road, I got the happy email that What Ales the Earl is a finalist in the Historical category of OKRWA’s National Readers’ Choice Awards. Isn’t this badge spiffy? Winners will be announced at the Romance Writers of America’s national conference in NYC this July. You can find the complete list of finalists in all categories here.

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is this Saturday, May 18. I’ll be on a panel with Avon historical romance author Charis Michaels talking about . . . historical romance, of course. We’ll be on from 2:15 to 3:05 at the Edgar Allan Poe Pavilion with a book signing to follow. Bonus! It looks like the weather may cooperate this year. Here’s a link to my listing. If you poke around the website, you can find the schedule and all sorts of useful info. If you live in the Washington DC area, I hope to see you there.

I’m happy to report that I just sent back my page proofs for The Merry Viscount. Whew! It was a bit of a forced march due to my travels, but I think I caught most of the typos–until the book is out and all the ones I missed step forward to taunt me. After a while, the eyes see what the brain thinks is there. Anyway, once the Gaithersburg Book Festival is over, I plan to tidy up my copy of the manuscript and post a chapter. If you’d like to be notified when that happens, you might want to sign up for my occasional newsletter here.

In non-writing news, I still need to buy a Mother of the Groom dress–and the wedding is the end of June–as in, next month!! (Cue panicked squeaks.) And I have freakish feet that the Shoe Gods choose not to waste their time on, so before I dress shop, I need to dig through my closet to see what suitable shoes might lurk there. At least I hope to make this dress do double duty and clothe me for the RITAs. Wish me luck!


RITA® Finalist!

Maybe I’m a little late with this news, but better late than never, right?

Back in March, I was hard at work on my copy edits for The Merry Viscount when the phone rang. I often let calls go to the answering machine, but this time I thought, Hey, it’s March 21. That’s the day the RITA calls go out.

So I picked up the phone just in case it wasn’t a telemarketer and, to my happy astonishment, the person on the other end was the charming Priscilla Oliveras, Romance Writers of America® Board member and fellow Kensington author–you can learn more about her here–calling to tell me that What Ales the Earl, the first book in my Widows Brew series, is a finalist in the contest’s Historical Romance: Short category. (You can see all the finalists here). I was, of course, happy to hear that, but I was even happier to use that good news to wrangle a few more days with my edits!

The RITA winners will be announced on Friday, July 26, at RWA’s annual conference, which is in New York City this year. The next day, Saturday, July 27, there will be an enormous book signing from 3-5 pm. It’s open to the public, there’s no entrance charge, and all sales go to benefit literacy organizations. I’ll be there—along with a couple hundred other romance authors. You can find the details and the list of authors here. If you’re on Facebook, the event page is here.

Closer to home—and sooner—on May 18, I’ll be at the Gaithersburg Book Festival in Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C. This year I’m on a panel with Charis Michaels chatting about historical romance. We’ll be speaking at 2:15 pm at the Edgar Allan Poe Pavilion and signing books at 3:15. You can find all the festival details here. I’d love to see you if you’re in that neck of the woods.


Newsletter and sales

Just wanted to let everyone know I’m going to be sending out one of my infrequent newsletters this Tuesday, Feb. 12. If you’d like to get it, please sign up here. I’m going to try to be better about the newsletter, but it will be a minor miracle if I manage to get one out every couple months. I think my average has been closer to once a year! (She said, hanging her head in shame, lol!)

In other news, if you haven’t yet read What to Do with a Duke, the first novel in my Spinster House series, the e-version is on sale this month for $1.99 at all e-bookstores. For those of you outside the US bookstore range, Kobo UK and ANZ have the title on sale until Feb. 20 as part of their Lovers & Haters promotion–and, no, I don’t know what that means!

Hope everyone is staying warm. Here in the suburbs of Washington, DC, the weather is doing its usual pothole inducing thing–warm one day and frigid the next. I have to consult my weather app frequently–sometimes hourly!–to figure out what to wear. The worst is when we get ice–and that’s in the forecast for this week. Freezing rain–shudder! If that’s indeed what the weather gods give us, I’m going to hide inside–with a good book to read (or write).


Welcome to my new and improved website!

Time flies when you’re having fun, and I was quite surprised at how much time had flown since my last overhaul. The biggest issue needing attention was formatting—the site couldn’t be easily read on phones. Since fixing that meant rewriting all the code, it became the perfect time to freshen up the look. I hope you’ll find the site easier to navigate now no matter how you visit: via phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

Most of the information here hasn’t changed—except I now have the cover for my Christmas book, The Merry Viscount. (Well, actually my September 24 book, but it’s Christmas themed—my first.) If you’ve read What Ales the Earl, you’ve met the heroine already—Miss Caroline Anderson. As the story opens, she’s coming back from London and an unsuccessful attempt to sell her ale, Widow’s Brew, to a tavernkeeper there, when two drunken bucks commandeer the stagecoach in the middle of a snowstorm and crash it just outside Viscount Oakland’s estate. The ton calls the viscount Lord Devil, but Caro knows him as Nick, her brother’s childhood friend—and her childhood crush.

And guess what? In the course of writing this post, I discovered the book’s now up for preorder at most online bookstores! I’ll be posting an excerpt once copy edits arrive and I get through them, probably around the end of January or the beginning of February.

Thanks for stopping by!