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Monday, February 11, 2013

Today's Special -- Máire Claremont




I am thrilled to welcome debut historical author Máire Claremont to the blog today! Máire is a 2011 Golden Heart winner who, according to her bio, first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own...until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his first wife up in his attic. Discovering the error of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name. I have read Máire's debut, The Dark Lady, and loved it! Read my review here. Welcome Máire as she tells us about the day she received that important call!

~Andrea


 
 
On Getting the Call or my Big Moments: 
I’ve dreamed of being published for almost a decade. I would sit, writing in Starbucks, madly plunking away at my keyboard, learning my craft, hoping that “this” was the book. It took me a few tries, but I loved writing romance. So much. My first experience with the Historical was Johanna Lindsay and then Julia Quinn. I was so swept away by the characters, the houses, the horses, and of course the drama. So, I finally decided that was what I had to do too.
Ha. Who knew it was going to be so hard? Not me. Its a miracle I didn’t give up, but what can you do when you have all these people in your head? Keep writing, that’s what.
Now, getting published was my big dream and I will never forget when my agent called me to offer me representation. I sat holding my cell phone, waiting for her call, at the appointed time. I was almost shaking. I had more than one offer from an agent, but this agent was my dream agent. When the phone finally rang, I was SO nervous. We talked for a while about the book, how she loved it, how she thought it could be improved. She had yet to read the whole thing. And then we got to the end of the conversation. She hadn’t yet said she was offering representation. Terrified, I got my courage up and asked, does this mean. . .  She started laughing and told me of course she was offering. I hung up and just stared into space for a few moments and then started happy dancing. It was incredible, unbelievable and a triumphant moment. It took about a year to sell The Dark Lady and when we finally did and my editor called me to squee over the book, I nearly died with disbelief. Here I was talking about my book with an editor who LOVED it. I think my mother and I screamed aloud for quite some time.  I was so happy that I sold when I did. My mother was terminally ill and had always been my biggest cheer leader, always believing in me. I got to share that call with her and I will always be grateful.
The Dark Lady is such an important book for me. It's when things clicked. I was writing something different. Dark and passionate, the book opens with the heroine in an insane asylum. When I was writing it, I was so nervous that it would be too “outside the box”. But I had to write it. That book just had me in its thrall. I adore Eva, my heroine, and am so glad that everyone now gets to read the HEA which she SO deserves.
Do you enjoy romances that are "outside the box"? What are some of your favorites? Tell us and one lucky commenter will win a copy of The Dark Lady. (U.S. addresses only, please.)
 
The Dark Lady
The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor....
Lord Ian Blake has returned from India a broken man. Years ago, he pledged to Lady Eva Carin—his childhood companion and " first love—that he would bring her husband back alive. His failure haunts him. But even his jade soul can’t anticipate the shocking sight of beautiful, independent Eva confined in a madhouse....

Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked....
 
You can read an excerpt of The Dark Lady here!

 
Máire can be found online at the following places:
 
You can order The Dark Lady here: 
 
 
 
 

38 comments:

  1. Congratulations Maire on achieving your dream! I do like unusual stories. One that I think of is The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley.

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    1. Hi, Maureen! The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is a GREAT choice! I loved that book. :)

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    2. That is such a fabulous book!!! Thanks for the congrats!

      Love, Maire

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  2. Good morning, Máire, and welcome to the Dish! We're delighted to have you spend the day with us. You know that I LOVED your debut and I am *dying* to read Mary's HEA. :)

    What a wonderful call story! I'm so glad your mom was able to share it with you. :)

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    1. Wheeee! I'm so glad you loved it and Mary's story is VERY exciting! I was so lucky to share it with my mom! Thank you for having me!

      Love,
      Maire

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  3. Wonderful novel which is captivating. I enjoyed Jane Eyre since it was memorable.

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    1. I love Jane Eyre, too, petite.

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    2. Isn't Jane Eyre absolutely awesome????

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Love,
      Maire

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  4. Deanna Raybourn's novels are unique and unforgettable.

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    1. I've not read her yet, but have heard great things about her books, traveler!

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    2. Oh, I've never read! I must give it a try!

      Love,
      Maire

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  5. Oh, I've been hearing good things about this book. I enjoy variety so am always looking for different storylines. I would say any of Kathryne Kennedy's books.

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    1. I've not read Kathryne's books, catslady. Thanks for the rec!

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    2. So glad you've been hearing good things!!! I have read Kathryne's books either. I love hearing about other authors!

      Love,
      Maire

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  6. Congratulations on your debut,Máire, and on all the great buzz The Dark Lady is generating.

    I'm a both-and reader. Some of my favorite authors are gifted at making established conventions seem fresh and exciting, and others write stories that definitely move beyond the boundaries of the genre. I think most books by Meredith Duran or Elizabeth Hoyt qualify as out-of-the-box.

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    1. I totally agree with you about Hoyt's books, Janga. She holds nothing back from keeping it real. :)

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    2. Thank you!!! I adore Meredith Duran and Elizabeth Hoyt! Both are stars of the Historical.

      Love,
      Maire

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  7. Congratulations on the new release. I think Sherry Thomas also writes out of the box romance novels. Her book, His At Night, has an undercover operative that can't escape his alter ego and is losing himself in the process.

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    1. Kim, I have His at Night in my TBR pile. I may have to move it up. Thanks!

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    2. Sherry Thomas is SO wonderful! I love her books too! Thanks for stopping by.

      Love,
      Maire

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  8. Congrats on your new release. I have not read your work before but am intrigued by it. Must check it out.

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    1. This is her first book, Quilt Lady, so do check out THE DARK LADY if you can. It's wonderful!

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    2. Thank you! And I hope you get a chance to read!
      Love,
      Maire

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  9. I am so looking forward to reading this book! The cover are is beautiful, too!

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    1. I love the cover, too, Sharlene. It fits the tone of the book. :)

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    2. I absolutely love the cover too! And I agree with Andrea!!!

      Love,
      Maire

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  10. Welcome and congrats~! I do enjoy a good romance 'outside' the box. It's something different to add to the pile of romance I usually read. Well, as long as it's good but what am I saying, I usually read and love everything. Looking forward to reading this and more from you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, kipha! I hope you enjoy the book. :)

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    2. Hooray! I'm so glad you're looking forward to The Dark Lady!!! I love reading everything too! I'm equal opportunity when it comes to books!

      Love,
      Maire

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  11. I love them! The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is one of my favorites.

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    1. It's such a memorable book, Chelsea. :)

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  12. I feel like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland--I'm late! I'm late!

    I agree with those who listed The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. That is such a wonderful choice. I'm looking forward to reading Maire's book. And Maire I'm so glad your Mom was with you to share your news of publication. Take care.

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    1. You're never too late for the party, LSUReader. Another Lord Ian fan!

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  13. I just read the review posted at thus site and said "I am so eagerly awaiting for this release. Awesome review (gonna make it harder waiting now even more after reading this post!). Just a beautiful gorgeous cover. Huge congratulations Máire."

    Big hello Máire and the Romance Dish. I've read P&P a few times with Mr. Darcy and some sequels but don't remember reading Mr. Rochester but I may have because I read so much in HS (especially Gothic romance, like every single one hoof Victoria Holt because I kept a checklist because she had so much and Phyllis Whitney) so I will have to read Jane Eyre and see if it comes back to Mr.

    So touching to read your journey to finally being published and your determination. I got goosebumps reading the except! I so do love reading thee unique books. One I can remember is MIDNIGHT ANGEL by Julia Beard. (Sadly its not in print or ebook but available in used book stores). The heroine hides herself as dressing as a male to go to the speediest parts of London in the Victorian era to get the woman who are facing danger with prostitution. As I recall, she had scandalous past and she reaches out to Lord Hugh Montgomery, who was involved in her scandalous past, but now was a detective, to help her find someone related to her family. They fall in love once again solving this case but she also helps him with his addiction to opium. This is a historical romance with the mystery within it and it so captivated me on the darker parts of London as well as the opium addiction back then. No spoilers here but there is so much more to the book!

    Sorry on the long post but a great.topic.
    Congratulations again Máire
    Cathie (Caffey)
    Cathiecaffey @ gmail. Com

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    1. I'm glad you liked the review and I hope you enjoy the book, Caffey!

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  14. Hi Maire,

    I have to agree with a couple of other commentators about "The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie". The story kept me enthralled throughout, and my heart broke several times for Lord Ian. Another dark romance story, and I believe that I mentioned it in another blog post, is Wuthering Heights.

    Thank you for another chance to win your book, "The Dark Lady".

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  15. This book has had a lot of wonderful things written about it and I'm most definitely looking forward to reading it. The plot is a bit different from the "usual" which adds more of an appeal to me and, obviously, other readers as well.

    Congratulations, Marie!

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  16. Congrats, Maire, I look forward to reading your Debut and I adore the cover! My favorite "Outside the Box" book is "Flowers From the Storm" by Laura Kinsale. I have to re-read it at least once a year!

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