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Dixie Chicks Redux

Thirty odd years ago, during my Greenwich Village salad days, I was about to forget my dream of being published when I got a surprising call. “You’re Southern and you know history,” my agent said. “So how about writing some historical romances?” I initially bristled since I knew nothing about the genre, but it’s remarkable how poverty influences priorities.  Once contracts were signed, I began plotting. Since New Orleans was my favorite city, the setting was a no-brainer. As for my star-crossed lovers, Marie would have the raven hair and violet eyes of my favorite movie star and Morgan would be Welsh, based on my heritage and not Mr. Burton btw. The year was 1840 as the Old South entered its Golden Age of wealth, elegance and...

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Belle, Book & Kindle

What a difference a few decades make. Back in 1979 when I was contracted to write historical romances as Maggie Lyons (see “her” story in my blog, “Romancing the Unknown”), I knew zip about the genre. Luckily I was given a tip sheet by my publishers regarding what to do and, more importantly, not to do. My heroines were supposed to be chaste as well as chased, and a big taboo was sex before marriage. If and when anything finally happened after 300 pages of foreplay, it was to be discreet. Think Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster on the beach in From Here to Eternity or a train going into a tunnel. You get the picture. In 1999 when I was asked to write more Maggie Lyons books, the rules had changed. Seriously. It was no surprise that readers...

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