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Tag Archives: Amanda McCabe

My birthday present to you! My bookcover for Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady coming Dec 2009 from Harlequin Historical. I LOVE this cover

My real Risky Regencies birthday is April 17, because I joined this lovely group on April 17, 2006, but, the Queen doesn’t celebrate her birthday on the anniversary of her birth, so why should I? I choose to celebrate with my other Riskies.

I was so creative. I called my first blog “My First Time by Diane Gaston Perkins” (I was still writing for Warner Forever as Diane Perkins at the time). I talked about why I think the Regency is so popular as a Romance genre. And I sounded reasonably intelligent! Who knew?

Risky Regencies came about when there were still Signet and Zebra Traditional Regencies, but we all knew they would not last. Janet, Amanda, Elena, and Cara were innovating, trying to give the subgenre new life. It was a risk, but that was the reason to name the blog Risky Regencies.

I decided to see what these Riskies chose to write about for their first times.

Janet’s first blog was, as you might expect, extremely witty with creative surprises, telling what was risky about her first book, Dedication.

Megan talks
about her risky Regency, A Singular Lady, in the sassy slightly self-depreciating style we’ve come to love, admitting she made mistakes with titles.

Cara’s first blog was about cards! She talks about the idea that became My Lady Gamester. (I still miss Cara, so I’m including her here!)

Amanda’s first real blog (after a brief one about covers, citing both a movie and fashion, natch) was a cute Jane Austen quiz. We’ve had lots of quizzes since.

Elena does another thing we’ve repeated often–talking about other books and authors we admire. Elena will be blogging on Sept 26. Yay!!!

And finally our newest Risky, Carolyn, who started her time here with a quirky introduction in Regency-speak and her first real blog about The Regency Ottoman Empire. What could be more Risky than that???

Like the Regency genre, we’re still evolving. I love the community we’ve become, and that includes our commenters!

Do you have any Risky Regency blogs you remember? What ones have stuck in your memory?

My prize, awarded at the end of the month, like Janet’s, is a DVD: 1815 The Battle Of Waterloo. It is a documentary released by that I used in writing my Three Soldiers Series (and ordered twice because I forgot I already owned it). If you don’t win you can order your own from Amazon.

My website is updated! And there is a new contest there.
And I’m now on Twitter as well as Facebook.

What is a Risky Regency? Who writes Risky Regencies? What are the challenges, pitfalls, and benefits of writing Risky Regencies?

And so began the Risky Regencies in August, 2005. At that point the lineup was Amanda, Elena, Megan, and me, plus Cara King (now writing YA–or what? Tell us, Cara), Laurie Bishop (now writing contemporaries–calling Laurie, where are you now?).

Megan and I talked about starting a blog when we were at the RWA National conference in Reno, NV in 2005 since we both had books coming out around the same time, and the others came on board too.

I met Elena at the airport waiting for a cab (a very frustrating experience since we could see the hotel but not get to it–Reno is not a place designed for walking. It is a place designed for gambling, period). We had a long discussion about sex and Regencies.

That was a pretty interesting conference for me, my first book about to come out, after a couple of years trying to sell a Golden Heart final ms. that no one wanted, and having my first meeting with my agent. Also I felt stoned the entire time at Reno and it was because extra oxygen was pumped into the hotel (to encourage reckless behavior?) which is why I told my agent-to-be this joke and she still signed me on:

What is the difference between an alligator?
An alligator swims in the water and walks on the land. Now, what is the difference between a shark?
A shark doesn’t have a difference. It only swims. What is the difference between a shark and an alligator?
An alligator has a difference and a shark doesn’t.

Yeah, I know. If you want to see some authentic Regency jokes, go to the joke section at Prints George (a great place to buy reproduction prints) and don’t blame me if you think they’re disgusting.

Four years is a long time for a blog to survive and we couldn’t have done it without you. It’s been wonderful seeing our traffic increase and making new friends.

So, the PRIZE. A $25 Amazon gift certificate, and to be entered for it, tell us your favorite joke; or tell us how long you’ve followed us and how you found us, which sort of posts you enjoy, and what you’d like to see more of. The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Congratulations to Virginia!!!
You are the Day Three (aka Amanda’s Day) winner of The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor.
Email us at with your Snail mail address.


Congratulations to Helen!!!
You are the winner of Sally MacKenzie’s Lords of Desire .
Email us at with your Snail mail address.

Today’s my day to talk about The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor and, remember, comment for a chance to win a copy of the book! Deb did a great job yesterday of explaining how the anthology came about.

Here is how I introduced the anthology on my website:

When the Duke of Manning ran off with Lady Linwall it had been the scandal of its day. Did they care? Not at all. Their home, Welbourne Manor, soon housed a happy miscellany of his and theirs—but not hers, not the young son she left behind. Now all the children are grown, this estranged son is on their doorstep, and all their lives are about to change.

Riskies: What did it mean to you to write an anthology with two friends?
Oh, this has been my BEST writing experience by far! Amanda, Deb and I have been friends for years. In fact, Amanda was my first mentor! She had just sold to Signet and, as part of the Beau Monde (Regency) Chapter of RWA, she volunteered to mentor somebody. Lucky me! We mostly became friends and when Patty Suchy of Novel Explorations designed a Regency Tour of England, we decided to go. That’s where we befriended Deb.(here’s a photo of us in Brighton). I can’t tell you how happy I was for Amanda and Deb to become Harlequin Historical authors. What is wonderful about the Harlequin Historical team is that they knew we were friends and that’s why they offered us the anthology.

Riskies: What was it like to write connected stories? What was the most difficult?
It was sooooo much fun. First we had this great time wandering all around Colonial Williamsburg, soaking in the history. We spent a long time at the printing press, which was great because I learned what I needed to know for Scandalizing the Ton. When we finally went back to the hotel (and saw Deb’s first book, Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss), the story idea for the anthology came very quickly. I knew exactly whose story I wanted to tell. It was as if Brenner, hero of Justine and the Noble Viscount, was telling me his story.

What was hard was to make sure we got all the details right. I was especially worried about getting Charlotte’s and Annalise’s characters right, because I wanted them to seem like the same people in my story as they became in their own.

Riskies: Tell us about Justine and the Noble Viscount.
Justine and the Noble Viscount is the first story in the anthology. Brenner, the “Noble Viscount,” arrives at Welbourne Manor, the responsibility of his half-siblings, the children his mother had not abandoned, thrust upon his shoulders. Almost immediately Brenner meets Justine, another illegitimate daughter of the duke and a French woman and the two of them recognize in each other a similar pain deep inside. Each of them knows exactly what the other needs. For Brenner, though, it is impossible to contemplate falling in love with the daughter of a man he has hated his whole life and to be connected to a family from whose sphere he’s been excluded.

Riskies: What was risky about your story?
I had to make Justine and Brenner fall in love in the midst of significant grief and emotional upheaval, which is not the best circumstance for romance. It made me uneasy to try to create a love story in this atmosphere, but I totally believed in the story Brenner was telling me!

Riskies: What’s next for you?
The first book, as yet untitled, of my “Soldiers’ Trilogy” will be released December 2009. Three soldiers–an ensign, a lieutenant, and a captain–share a ghastly and distressing experience after the battle of Badajoz, an experience they agree to keep secret. It affects the rest of their lives. The first book is the ensign’s story and you get a peek of two of the minor characters in my Undone, The Unlacing of Miss Leigh. (Hint: my heroine in the book is an actress)

So, what do you think? Do you believe two people can fall in love in the midst of grief and emotional upheaval? Do you think it’s wise of them to do so?

Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor!

This just in!
Thanks to Deb’s reminder, the Fitzmanning Family diagram is now added to my Behind the Book feature for Justine and the Noble Viscount.

and don’t forget to visit eHarlequin for Deb’s Online Read, The Journey to Welbourne Manor.

Today and tomorrow, Amanda and I discuss whatever crosses our minds. Please comment with whatever crosses your mind.

Megan: Last Thursday morning, I went to a local gourmet shop to pick up some cranberry-walnut bread for that day’s festive holiday meal (see: Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Can’t Get Off The Couch, Football Fiesta, et al). We arrived about half an hour after the store had opened, and the proprietor told me the bread had just arrived:

“The truck got caught in Thanksgiving Day Parade traffic (it was coming from Manhattan, home to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade). Not like it doesn’t happen every year and you can’t anticipate it!”

I laughed, ‘cause duh, annual events are entirely predictable (Except for Chinese New Year, that one always takes me by surprise).

Amanda: I don’t think I even notice Chinese New Year’s, though I wouldn’t mind going to a party like that if someone would invite me..

BTW, the truck people should have said the giant Hello Kitty balloon (my favorite, natch) fell on them and squashed the bread. That would make a better story.

M: Except—oh, damn, I forgot to even THINK about Christmas. Not like I didn’t know it was coming. I do love the season, but man, is it stressful. A constant ticking clock reminding you that it’s 23-22-21-20 days until Christmas, and are you ready? Have you taken advantage of the free shipping yet? How is your budget? What about your distant friends and the line at the post office?

A: Hey, I bought a lot of stuff on the big online sale Monday! I got 20% off Bobbi Brown lip balms (which I wear all the time), some sweaters from J. Crew. I haven’t used my $15 off coupon from Sephora yet. Oh, and I bought a great book called “Read My Heart: A Love Story in England’s Age of Revolution.” Come to think of it, though, none of these things are presents, except to me. And my budget is already in the hole. I better find some more bargains immediately!

M: This year, my husband and I are buying a BIG TICKET item for our nine year-old son (sometimes he eyedrops on the blog, so I’m not saying what it is). He and I generally get an assortment of clothing and books. Sometimes Scott likes to challenge himself by NOT getting me books, which is also sometimes my not-as-favorite gift exchange times. Hm.

Anyway, I’ve already gotten Scott an argyle sweater vest, a money clip with a typewriter key “F” on it, and a book on the science of food and cooking (he does not blog eyedrop). Not sure what else to get, since we’re also getting new windows for ourselves. Nothing says holiday like new windows. Sigh.

A: I know the feeling. I need new brakes on the car. Merry Christmas to me! I’d rather spend the money on nail polish and new books.

M: Ah, nail polish! For some reason, that seems like the ultimate luxury to me; probably because not only do you spend money on the polish itself, but you also have to find time where you don’t need your hands while the polish dries.

A: That is when it’s a good time to watch “Pride and Prejudice” for the 651st time and call it research. By the time the Netherfield ball rolls around, the nails are dry!

M: Oh, bliss. I use ironing the husband’s shirts as an excuse to watch MI-5 (Matthew MacFadyen with his blinky blue eyes, mm). Dunno if I could justify all the hours of P&P for my fingernails. Must see if I can.

A: Do a pedicure, too! Lots of time for that.

M: Amanda, who do you buy for?

A: I’ve managed to pare down my gift list to parents, brother, a few friends—oh, and the dogs. Yes, I buy the dogs gifts, but usually only sweaters and chew bones. My Poodle Abigail, aka the Scourge of Squirrels, is getting a great new toy called Hide a Squirrel. She will probably disembowel it in the first five minutes and want another toy.

M: Hide The Squirrel sounds really naughty, honestly. Maybe for that erotic zoologist story you’ve been planning?

A: LOL! I once had an idea for an erotic botanist, but erotic zoologist might make more sense…
Everyone else is getting books, and Starbucks cards. Maybe a DVD or two.

If anyone is looking to get me something, there was an eBay auction for a commemorative fan from the wedding of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. The opening bid was only $2600, a bargain!

But in reality I asked for books, and sent everyone my wishlist from Tartx. (I’m really liking the Madame de Pompadour pendant, if anyone just MUST get me a present, LOL)

M: What is your favorite holiday food? Your least favorite?

A: I don’t like pumpkin pie, and yet I do like pumpkin cheesecake. And anything made of chocolate is always welcome at my house. (that cranberry bread you bought on Thanksgiving sounds yummy, too)

M: My favorite holiday food are the homemade donuts my mother-in-law makes on Christmas Eve. I know I’ve waxed on them before, but really—think about it—homemade donuts?!? How can it get any better? I also like the Prosecco and pomegranate juice Scott gives me on Christmas Eve (probably so I won’t complain too much about spending another holiday with his family. All I can say is, he’s lucky I have an untraditional family).

M: What weird McCabe traditions does your family have (beyond the usual)?

A: Well, my father always makes his “famous” margaritas on Christmas Eve. They really are stupendous, but very strong! Somebody usually ends up doing something crazy (not to name names, but it’s usually my brother…)

A: What about the Framptons? And are there any trads we should start here at RR?

M: Heh. For a few years, we would drive around the neighborhood looking at crazy Christmas lights. I love excess when it comes to holiday decorating. Scott and I had a conflict of family when we first started dating, because I would wrap gifts in newspapers and get clever with the gift tags, whereas he is totally traditional wrapping paper/fancy bow/To and From. Once we sorted that out, we meshed okay. Which is to say, I eschewed my grubby ways and embraced traditionalism. I still pine for the rhinestone-encrusted puffer fish my mom put on our Christmas tree, though.

A: Okay, I would pay good money to find a rhinestone puffer fish. I love, love, love tacky holiday decorations! I’ve been wanting one of those snowglobe inflatables to go in my tiny front yard. One that looks like a fabulous holiday aquarium would be the BEST.

M: Gotta clarify: My mom went to the Boston Aquarium, and bought actual puffer fish, then spray-painted them gold and silver and stuck old rhinestones in their eyes.

And I am DYING for a vintage blow-mold Santa Claus to put on top of the little roof on top of the foyer.

M&A ask you: What is your favorite holiday food? Your least favorite? What are your idiosyncratic traditions?

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