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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today's Special -- Sally MacKenzie, Vanessa Kelly, and Kaitlin O'Riley

We're happy to have three fantastic authors join us at The Romance Dish today: Sally MacKenzie, Vanessa Kelly, and Kaitlin O'Riley. They, along with the talented Jo Beverley, are part of a new anthology, An Invitation to Sin. Don't you just love that title?? Please give them a warm welcome as they dish about who they would invite to their ideal dinner party. I can't wait to see who it is!




AN INVITATION TO SIN Dinner Party


You can imagine how exciting it is to be part of a novella collection that includes Jo Beverley, so Sally MacKenzie, Vanessa Kelly, and Kaitlin O’Riley decided to throw a dinner party to celebrate. They invited some of their favorite celebrities from the Regency and Victorian eras. One can only imagine the hijinks that will ensue! Shall we take a peek and see?



Sally says:

Whom would I like to sit next to at a Regency dinner party? My first thought was Beau Brummell, the arbiter of fashion among the London elite until he had to flee the country in 1816. Brummell was reputedly handsome, stylish--he’s considered the father of the modern suit--and witty. If I were a debutante, his approval could make my London Season--but his disapproval would sink me so low I’d have to pack my bags and go home immediately. Hmm. On second thought, I’d be too nervous to eat if I sat next to him.


If the event was like the dinner at the house party in “The Naked Prince,” Harriette Wilson, one of Brummell’s friends, might be there. Harriette was perhaps the premier Cyprian of the time. Supposedly before she published her memoirs, she offered her lovers--many of the prominent men of the ton (including Wellington)--the opportunity to buy their way out of her book. She would have fascinating stories to tell, all good research for a romance writer. Though like my heroine, I’m sure I’d be far too shocked and embarrassed to say a word to her.



Vanessa says:

I was going to invite the Duke of Wellington. After all, he was England’s national hero after trouncing old Boney at Waterloo in the most decisive fashion. The hero of my novella, Captain Christian Archer, would certainly approve, since he was an officer in Wellington’s Army. Then again, the Iron Duke was notorious for not appreciating the finer things in life, subsisting on the worst Army rations without a complaint. He did like his fine wines, and often drank a full bottle at dinner, something your average Regency rake would probably scoff at as a modest amount. BUT since Harriett Wilson might be coming to dinner, we should consider sparing the Duke his blushes. After all, he was reputed to be one of Harriett’s lovers, so conversation at the table might get a bit awkward.


I think the perfect dinner guest would be the author, Fanny Burney. Miss Burney, or Madame d’Arblay after her marriage to a French aristocrat, had a life that extended from the Georgian era to the early Victorian period. Not only one of the most popular novelists of the day, she knew the rich, the famous, and the notable, including Samuel Johnson, and all the great musicians and artists who congregated in London. She even served at the court of George III and was one of the most trusted attendants to the royal family during one of the unfortunate king’s mad periods. Fanny was always up on the latest gossip, and she recorded most of it in her detailed and wonderful diaries. I think sitting next to her at a dinner party would be most illuminating!



Kaitlin says:

So at the other end of this lovely Regency dinner party, I would be a little further ahead in time. It’s the Victorian Era on my side, and I would love to have Mr. Charles Dickens as one of my dinner guests. As a writer what wouldn’t I ask him! Did he ever get writers’ block? How did he come up with his intricate plots and memorable characters and what inspired him? I would want to know what he liked to read. Seriously, who was his favorite author? What was his response when more ‘literary’ authors looked down their noses at him and said things like, “Oh, you only write serials for the newspapers…”


Also seated beside me would be none other than Queen Victoria herself. How wonderful would it be to meet the longest reigning monarch in British history! To speak to the woman who has an entire era and architectural style named after her would be fascinating to say the least. What would it be like to be crowned the Queen of England as an eighteen-year-old girl? To be married to the man you love, to have nine children with him, and then to outlive him by forty years? And of course, because I could ask her whatever I would like at this dinner party, who wouldn’t want to know what really happened between her and that Mr. Brown? Hmmm?



So, dear readers, what personage would you most like to sit next to at a historical dinner party? No restrictions on the period you choose, so let it rip! One commenter will receive a copy of An Invitation To Sin, the Kensington anthology to be released on Feb. 1.



USA Today bestselling author Sally MacKenzie writes the Naked nobility series--funny, hot Regency-set historicals--for Kensington Zebra. Her sixth Naked book, The Naked Viscount, arrived on bookstore shelves June 1, 2010, and the seventh, The Naked King, will be out in June 2011. You can reach her on the web at: www.sallymackenzie.net


Called one of the rising stars of historical romance by Booklist, Vanessa Kelly writes Regencies with sizzle for Kensington Zebra. Her latest book, Sex And The Single Earl, is on shelves now. My Favorite Countess, her next Regency-set historical romance, will be released in May, 2011. You can reach her on the web at: www.vanessakellyauthor.com


Acclaimed author Kaitlin O’Riley writes historical romance for Kensington Zebra. Desire In His Eyes and Yours For Eternity, a vampire anthology with Hannah Howell and Alexandra Ivy, are her latest releases. You can reach Kaitlin on the web at: www.kaitlinoriley.com



51 comments:

  1. I love anthologies and this one sounds like a good one.
    I read earlier today an authors response to this question. Her three choices were so very different from one another and so interesting. I will kidnap her choices: Galileo, Benjamin Franklin, and Mary the mother of Jesus. Can you just imagine what that dinner table conversation would be like?

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

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  2. Congrats on the upcoming release, ladies. I've been watching The Tudors and I think it would be interesting to have a conversation with Henry VIII and chat about his wives and religion.

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  3. I too love anthologies it is such a great way to find new authors. I look forward to reading this one.

    Who would I like to sit next to Jane Austen, Wellington and maybe a famous courtesan from the regency era

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  4. Oh, I want to set next to Jane Austen. I can sit on her other side Helen. She seemed to have watched her own world and then wrote about it all with tongue in cheek. She knew some of them were a little silly.

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  5. Good morning, ladies! Thanks for dishing with us today. What a fun blog and what interesting people you chose as your dinner guests. That's a dinner party I'd like to be in on!

    As for me, I would choose Queen Elizabeth I, Jane Austen, Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Magdalene, Lillie Langtry, and Gandhi---very diverse group, I know, but imagine the conversation. *g*

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  6. Librarypat, those are great choices, and the conversation would definitely be interesting.

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  7. Jane, I love the Tudor period. Henry VIII would be quite a dinner guest---so much to talk about. :-)

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  8. Helen, I'd like to sit across from you so I could hear what your guests had to say! LOL

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  9. Dianna, it looks like we all want to hear what Jane Austen has to say. ;-)

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  10. Congrats on the release! I'm not a big anthology reader but this is one I've been interested in (such wonderful authors :) how could I not be). Oh I think it could be interesting to sit by one of the old dames of the ton who are at such an age that they no longer have to worry about maintaining some of thoses social graces that they oversee in everyone else but can say much as they please w/o care or censure & know it. But then I've always had a slightly strange sense of humor and been a little outspoken myself. :)

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  11. Good morning, Sally, Vanessa, and Kaitlin! Welcome to The Romance Dish! We are so happy to have you join us today to dish about your new release. Congrats!

    As for the dinner party... I would definitely invite Jane Austen (who wouldn't?!). And since my son loves Social Studies in school, I would also invite Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington for him. :)

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  12. Wow, you ladies are up early! It's wonderful to be here today--and I want to thank Vanessa who took the lead on setting this up and combining our responses. You all are coming up with some great dinner guests.

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  13. Such early risers! Good morning, ladies! Very interesting choices already. Jane Austen is a a great choice, of course, but I also like the idea of one of the grand dames of the ton. And I bet Jefferson could tell a lot of good stories.

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  14. Welcome Vanessa, Sally and Kaitlin! We're so happy to have you visit with us today. I'm off to work and running late but I'll back later to chat!

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  15. Jane Austen sure is popular, I too would fancy the seat next to hers. To ask her some questions and to see what she really looked like. An autographed copy of P&P would also be really cool :)

    I also would love to sit next to Queen Victoria and her Albert. (A girl can Dream can't she) To witness their affection for each other.

    Oh, and John Keats, to tell him hom much his poems mean to me.

    (I guess I would love to go to a whole lot of dinner parties.)

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  16. An Invitation to Sin has been on my TBB list since Vanessa first mentioned it on her FB page. I can't wait to read it.

    Since Jane Austen is so popular, I'll choose Lord Alvanley and William Wilberforce as my dinner companions. I'd love to learn if Alvanley's reputation as a wit was deserved and to hear firsthand about Wilberforce's battles for reform.

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  17. Good morning! Choosing who sits next to you at a dinner party is always fun. But the possibilities really open up when you can have anyone you want there! Do you think narrowing it down to one time period makes it easier or more challenging?

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  18. Oh, Keats would be great, and I'd LOVE to sit next to Wilberforce. Even better, put Alvanley and Wilberforce next to each other and see what happens!

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  19. Kaitlin, there could certainly be more mayhem at the dinner table if you open it up. Just think of seating Genghis Khan next to the Beau or Jane Austen!

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  20. Keats! We could get quite poetical at the party, couldn't we? Wordsworth and Coleridge and Shelley--and of course that bad boy, Byron.

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  21. Would love having dinner with Jane Austin. Since there is no time constraints. I'd love a tour of the Bodleian Library given by C.S. Lewis in Oxford!

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  22. I restricted my choices to the Regency period because if I considered all of history, I'd still be considering this time tomorrow. I could fill a ballroom just with writers I'd love a chance to listen to and chat with.

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  23. Hi Vanessa, Sally and Kaitlin! Congrats on the new release! :)

    I would definitely want to sit next to Jane Austen. What a great experience that would be! I also think it would be neat to sit next to a few of my favorite fictional characters that I love reading about. ;)

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  24. I am going to go back a little further than the Regency and settle in the late Georgian period and invite Robert Burns for my dinner companion in honor of his birthday.

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  25. I would love to share a meal with Jane Austen. I just find her fascinating.

    iqb99@yahoo.com

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  26. Jane would be great to sit next to, but I chose Fanny Burney because she knew all the court and ton gossip. She also spent several years trapped in France during the Napoleonic Wars, since her husband was a general in the French Army. Napoleon was apparently quite fond of her, even sending his personal doctors to attend Fanny when became ill. Bet she'd have lots of good gossip about him!

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  27. As you can see from my previous post, I did not restrict my dinner guests to a specific time period. Variety is the spice of life, right? *g*

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  28. Exactly, Gannon. I think your choices would be fascinating guest, especially Mary Magdalene. Could you image what she would have to say?

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  29. I'd definitely want Jesus Christ at that dinner party. This book sounds like such fun. Thanks.

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  30. I think your choices would be fascinating guests, especially Mary Magdalene. Could you image what she would have to say?

    Vanessa, fascinating would be an understatement where Mary M. is concerned. ;-)

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  31. We often have this conversation as a family. I love seeing who everyone would invite to dinner, especially the kids. We open it up to all famous people, dead or alive, so that changes it quite a bit.

    If it were people currently living, Hugh Jackman would be at the top of my list. LOL

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  32. Welcome to The Romance Dish Sally, Vanessa and Kailin!! It is so great having you all with us to day.

    I have to say that I am a lover of anthologies. Getting four great stories wrapped in one book is just fabulous!! Who wouldn't love that?

    UGH! I am just awful at this kind of question. After a day a work and dealing with kids' homework, it is hard to get this brain working! Hmmmm.

    How about Susan B. Anthony, Benjamin Franklin, Princess Diana and Christopher Columbus.

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  33. Vanessa said ...

    I'm so down with Hugh Jackman!


    Vanessa, I would be down with Hugh, too *VBG*

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  34. Vanessa, I would be down with Hugh, too *VBG*

    Vanessa and Buffie, I'd like to "get down" with Hugh. *vwg*

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  35. Gannon, does your husband know about this?!

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  36. Gannon, does your husband know about this?!

    LOL @ Vanessa! Yes, my husband is aware my prurient fantasies starring Hugh. I call Hugh my boyfriend---my kids know that, too---and I have a few other "boyfriends." But since they are all celebrities, it's harmless fun. As if Hugh would ever knock on my door. But if he did.....
    *g*

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  37. Poor Hugh's going to be one very busy fella! ;-)

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  38. Great Post today! Congrats on the up coming new release! I can't wait to get this book it sounds great! I would love to sit next to Jane Austin. How cool would that be!? Thanks for sharing today!

    evjochum[AT]aol[DOT]com

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  39. I'm a big fan of the medieval era and the Renaissance, so I'd love to break bread with Lorenzo Medici and talk about his family and the legacy they left behind. Can't wait to read the anthology!

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  40. Oooh, I just read The Dark Queen, about Catherine
    de Medici. Would love to have her to dinner too! There are too many interesting people to choose from!

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  41. Lots of great dinner guest ideas today. I have to say the last dinner I hosted--just about a week ago--was for 80 college swimmers. I just stood crammed in the kitchen and tried to direct the cans and bottles from the trash to the recycling, LOL.

    I'd have to agree with everyone about Jane Austen. I wouldn't mind hanging out with the housekeeper either, and asking all those nitty gritty writerly questions that so rarely get covered adequately in research books--questions about plumbing and underwear and other personal topics.

    Thanks for having me here today. I'm fighting a cold, so I'm going to start heading off to bed.

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  42. I like Sally's idea of chatting to the housekeeper. Maybe after the party, we can all head downstairs to the kitchen!

    I, too, will sign off. Thanks, you Dishy gals, for having us on today!

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  43. Thanks for being with us today!

    Sally, I stand in awe of you for hosting 80 college swimmers! Wow!

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  44. I thought I would like to sit down with Abraham Lincoln and Paul Newman, quite the gambit there, eh?

    All the best for the release, sounds wonderful!

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  45. Hello, I agree with Kaitlin O'Riley. It would be great to dine with Queen Victoria. I also would go back in time a bit and enjoy breaking bread with Queen Elizabeth. Such interesting ladies. Of course, I would be one of the ladies in the court, and treated as well as the Queen. Hey, it's my dinner...

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  46. I think it would be great to dine with a Druid priest - maybe someone associated with Stonehenge. I'd like to get the real story of their lives and how they built the monolith.

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  47. It's late here on the west coast (where it's been sunny and warm), so I'll leave everyone to their dreams of a perfect dinner party with famous guests!

    Thank you Romance Dish for having us today.

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  48. Hm, Isaac Asimov, P. G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie. I know, no courtesans so no fun.

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  49. This was a great post and so exciting reading everyone's responses.
    I'd go with Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, Virgin Mary, Jesus,Abraham Lincoln, Robert Burns, Elvis, and Charles Dickens and finally Princess Diana.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750@aol.com

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  50. I am so excited for your anthology book to come out Sally, Vanessa and Kaitlin! I am looking forward to settling in on a snowy day and letting your book be the focus of my day! I'm counting the days until it comes out!
    For my dinner party, I'd have to agree with Janet...and I'd like to be a Princess at her table...with a Prince Charming of course at my side! :)

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