No. 32--November 2012
Again, it's been a while since I've
updated this newsletter, but it's been a very busy time...though I guess
most times are busy, aren't they? Surprising Lord Jack took most of
my attention, but I'm happy to say the book is done! I've posted the first
chapter on my website
Jack will be appearing in bookstores--brick & mortar and virtual--March
5. I tried my hand at a "chick in pants" story in Jack, and the
heroine is quite prickly. Now I'm diving into Ash's tale. He and his
wife have been estranged since the day they were married; I anticipate they
are going to fight their attraction and each other every step of the way.
The other thing taking much of my attention this spring and summer was our
son's wedding. The bride is from northern California, but they decided
to get married here in the D.C. area. So since we were the "home team,"
everything the couple ordered for the wedding came here. We had a
growing collection of boxes in one corner of the family room. The happy
couple also decided they'd like to have the rehearsal dinner at our
house! Now many of you may be accomplished hostesses who live in
elegant homes. Me? Not so much. My "office" tends to be our living and
dining rooms, and my husband often accuses me of having rodent-like
tendencies. I do seem to produce towering piles of books and papers
wherever I settle down to work. And I hate to say it, but the cleaning
elves seem to have forgotten where I live. So, suffice it to say, major
work needed to occur before we could have anyone step over our
The couple had seen our house, of course, so they knew what they were
getting into. They said they wanted something casual since their wedding
and reception was going to be quite formal. So we swallowed our
misgivings--and the misgivings of all my friends (when I mentioned we
were having the rehearsal dinner at home, they looked at me as though
I'd escaped from Bedlam)--and pushed ahead, sending many a prayer
heavenward that the weather would cooperate.
Oh, and this was the summer of the dread derecho. As I was scrambling to
finish Jack--it was, ahem, a little late, and my editor had given
me a drop dead deadline of July 1--we lost power for about five days. I
sniffed out every working outlet in our area, even spending Sunday
services in the "crying room" at church so I could charge my laptop. And
when we went out to dinner, I asked for a table with an outlet. But I
guess there's a silver lining in almost any cloud--I did find I was much
more efficient. No going online (impossible) and no playing computer
solitaire. I had to keep one eye on my battery counter as I scrambled to
get the book revised and polished by my deadline. I made it. Whew!
Getting back to the wedding, the derecho roared in on a Friday night.
As the wedding day--or more importantly to us, the rehearsal dinner
day--approached, Mr. M and I had nightmares of a derecho or even a
garden-variety D.C. thunderstorm becoming an uninvited guest. But our
prayers were answered! The weather cooperated splendidly. It wasn't even
miserably humid. (We were picturing all the northern Californians
wilting in our heat.) Everyone was out on the patio. And a little rain
came in just when it was about time for people to leave. Perfect!
Oh, and the wedding was very nice, too, lol. Here's a picture of our
After we recovered from the wedding, we flew off to the English Lake
District. Mr. M, a college English major, had wanted since his youth to
visit Wordsworth's stomping grounds and do some fell walking. I, too,
got my degree in English, but now being a writer of Regencies, I didn't
want to miss any research opportunities, so it fell to me to plan our
itinerary. We made our base a B&B in Bowness-on-Windermere, and I'm
happy to say I think we both were very satisfied with the trip. I've
been trying to put our pictures and memories together, so I've
resurrected my blog.
Feel free to wander over there and poke around the posts. They
start on October 1--I'm not good with posting while I'm traveling. I
hope to have them all up by Thanksgiving, but we shall see. I also
want to make good progress with Ash and his wife, so the blog will have
to take a backseat to that.
As always, if you do Facebook, please join my
Facebook fan page. I "tweet" @Sally_MacKenzie--not that I
tweet a lot.
If you'd like to get an email reminder when I've got a new book coming out,
just send a
note if you haven't already with "Add me to your email list" in the subject line to
I'll add you in. I limit the email list to book announcements, so
your email inbox won't get stuffed with messages--I promise.
I had great fun at the
RT Bookreviews convention in April. It was in Chicago this year, so some
of my friends and I took the opportunity one day to ride the 'L' into town.
(My parents were from Chicago, so I grew up hearing about the 'L', the
elevated rail system which I'd probably would call a subway even though I
guess it doesn't go underground.) I wanted to go up to the SkyDeck on the
103rd floor of the Willis Tower and see if I would have any trouble making
myself step out on the glass balcony. I don't have any height fears--well,
except the feeling that I might throw myself off--so, as I expected, the
balcony didn't bother me at all though it did give some folks the willies.
(My husband and at least some of my sons would have been among them.)
In July I headed out to the RWA National conference in Anaheim. I went a few
days early so I could spend a day at Disneyland with my pals. My early
arrival was almost a disaster. My friends weren't getting in till the
afternoon, and my roommate wasn't arriving until late that evening, so I
took the newspaper out on the balcony to enjoy the low humidity. It was a
very good thing I'd also taken my cell phone--I got locked out on the 14the
floor! (Well, it was really the 13th floor.) I had to call my husband at
work in Virginia and have him call the hotel's front desk so they could send
someone up to rescue me. The trip went up from there, I'm happy to say.
Disney was interesting, because I'd last been then where I was in high
school. Even though that was just a few years ago (cough, cough), I was
surprised that I did remember a few things, especially the underground
burning building in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
In October, after we were back from England, I took the train up the coast
to the New Jersey RWA conference. I was so scatterbrained with the wedding
and the trip abroad, that I'd forgotten to sign up for the big book fair
when I registered for the conference. Doh! The week of the conference, it
suddenly dawned on me that my name wasn't on the list to sign. The book fair
chair graciously fit me in. The bookseller found two Bedding Lord Neds
for me to sign, and I brought a few to give away. The reason I'd gone to the
conference was "The Duchess of Love" made the finals in the Golden
Leaf novella category--and I'm delighted (and shocked) to say the story won!
It's always fun to party with the New Jersey ladies, so the win was just the
cherry on top.
My 2013 schedule is still up in the air, so please check back after the
first of the year. At the moment, I'm seriously thinking of going to RT
convention again, this time in Kansas City, and RWA in Atlanta, but I have
yet to firm up my plans..
Please Join the Group
If you've found this newsletter by browsing my web site, why not sign up to get
a reminder when a new one posts? All you have to do is join my yahoo
group. (Don't worry that your mailbox will get jammed--this is just an announce only
loop, and I haven't yet sent more than one message a month, if that.)