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DONNA LEA SIMPSON | Historical Hotties: Love & Scandal & History
Author Guest / July 22, 2010

My Mom and I had a conversation once that still makes me laugh to think about it. Concerning some movie set in historic times, my Mom commented that she didn’t think it was very accurate because it had people behaving in a – ahem – sexual manner. “People back then didn’t behave like that!” she stated, with some emphasis. “They just didn’t jump into bed with each other.” Well, mother is not always right! With all the sexual scandals in the news lately, it is easy to forget that ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’. That’s my fancy French way of saying, the more things change, the more things stay the same! Here is a look at just a few of the sexy scandals of the last two hundred years!! Charles Dickens and Ellen Ternan – By 1858 Dickens was a well-loved and well-respected author, adored by the public for his moral and piquant tales. But in a well-chronicled ‘oops’ moment worthy of any Hollywood writer, a bracelet intended for his mistress, Ellen Ternan, was delivered to his wife of 22 years, Catherine. TMZ woulda loved that story, but with no tabloid press to capitalize on the tale,…

Donna Lea Simpson | Bucking My Own Trend
Uncategorized / March 30, 2009

I wrote traditional Regency romances for six years with Kensington. I read Regency romances. I researched the period, read about the period, loved the period, so when I switched to longer format historical romances, I would naturally write about the Regency period, right? Well, no. I veered off to the late Georgian era. My Awaiting series (Awaiting the Moon, etc.) was set in 1795 Germany, and Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark (Sourcebooks Casablanca – April 2009), the first book in a new series, is set in Yorkshire 1786. Why? At first, I didn’t know a thing about the period, except that George the III was mad (he wasn’t really… oh, he was ill, but it was physical not emotional or mental) and… well, that was pretty much it. You think I’m exaggerating? Click to read the rest of Donna’s blog and to leave a comment. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Donna Lea Simpson | When series change their ‘look’.
Uncategorized / October 9, 2007

Most authors’ romance or mystery series have a definable ‘look’. The novels in the series all bear a striking resemblance in graphics used, or models, style, color palette, and other similarities that ‘brand’ them. Janet Evanovich‘s Stephanie Plum books are instantly recognizable for the bold colors and font selected. You can recognize those puppies across the bookstore! And that’s the point. The cover’s job is to draw readers, and once a rhythm is established, to signal to readers that this another book in a series they love. When I received the cover for the first novel in my ‘Awaiting’ series with Berkley – Awaiting the Moon – I was relieved. I loved it! There are a lot of elements – full moon, wolf, castle, and brooding hero with moody expression – but I think it works. It’s mostly tones of blue… moody and dark. Most importantly, it really does signal what the book is; a historical paranormal werewolf romance. So it perfectly epitomized the series to follow! The heroes of my books are conflicted, moody, and secretive, and the tone is slightly dark and gothic, with secrets and mystery swirling throughout. Whew… that’s a lot to put out there! And…