Monday, June 21, 2010

Guest Blogger, Donna Lea Simpson

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Donna Lea Simpson as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.

Donna’s current book, LOVE & SCANDAL, releases today and I’m thrilled to have her here to celebrate that occasion and tell us how the publication came about. In addition, Donna has a surprise from her book’s heroine, Collette, to share with us.

I’ve been with a few publishers over the years, with varying experiences. I’ve had run-ins with copy editors and line editors; I’ve felt the sting of rejection; I have wailed into the vastness of space, ‘Why no promotion? Why?’

But I was publisherless last fall (Autumn 2009) for the first time in many years. I was taking time to rethink my career, making some serious changes, and I was even kind of between agents; we hadn’t officially broken up yet, but we weren’t exactly ‘seeing each other’ any more. Then I made the momentous decision to send my book, Love & Scandal (a Victorian-set historical romance) to this new eBook start-up I had heard buzz about.

This was on the heels of sending it to another new eBook start-up that never got off the ground; the other publishers folded up their tents and slipped quietly into the night before they even published
their first book. Those around me were skeptical about yet another eBook company, let me tell you, but I was not hesitant. Not in the slightest.

Why no hesitation? eBook companies are notoriously poorly planned, right? Few sell many books, and even those that do, have shaky accounting at best. So goes the common wisdom anyway. I know differently; I know there are many eBook companies with solid sales models and professional accounting practices. But the real reason I had absolutely no hesitation over the new eBook start-up was that ‘Carina Press’ was to be the all-digital imprint of Harlequin Enterprises, and Harlequin is as solid as they come, in the publishing world. They are proactive and ahead of their times, but never enter any venue without due deliberation. And they give their imprints a chance to succeed.

So I sent Love & Scandal to Carina and kind of forgot about it. I had a lot on my plate, and I was busy with other things. And then I got a wonderful letter from the acquisitions editor, Angela James, and she told me those words that every writer longs to hear; ‘Love the book… we want it!’

Then the real fun started. I must say, never, in all my years, have I been through such a thorough editing, proofing, planning and advertising process! They have every detail nailed down tight, and though they demand a lot of their writers, they also give a lot in the way of feedback, editorial support, advertising support and a deep well of knowledge about the romance publishing industry from which the author is encouraged to dip.

Bottom line, I would recommend Carina Press highly for any author who is thinking about sending out their baby to a publishing company. Once you’re accepted, you won’t be sorry! And they publish more than romance; they are up for paranormal, suspense, mystery… you name it.

Soooo, what about Love & Scandal my June 21st release from Carina Press? Well, I’ve always been interested in Victorian literature--I’ve read quite a bit of it—and I find female authors (Jane
Austen, the Bronte sisters) most in tune with my reading likes, so a novel about both seemed a no-brainer, even though Love & Scandal is the only book I have ever written set in the Victorian era!

Love & Scandal is a romance. Set in 1855, London, England, the heroine is Collette Jardiniere, a female author who has written a scandalous bestseller using a male pseudonym. But an infamous gossip rag has speculated that ‘Colin Jenkins’, ostensibly the author of The Last Days of a Rake, is the well known man-about-town Charles Jameson.

When she learns about this, Collette takes the train to London (she meets a handsome and intriguing man on the train and they share a passionate kiss) and confronts her publisher, but he refuses to do anything about it, since Last Days is selling again like hotcakes. So Collette vows to find Charles Jameson and make him admit to the world that he is not the author. But when she meets him face to face she’s in for a surprise; Charles is the mysterious man on the train, the very same one who left her breathless from his expert kiss.

Will she tell him she is Colin Jenkins, author of The Last Days of a Rake? Will he believe that this slip of a young woman, to whom he is fiercely attracted, has written the book he is so enamored of?

Love & Scandal is being released today, June 21st, 2010, and readers can download FREE The Last Days of a Rake, the scandalous novel by ‘Colin Jenkins’!

Hope you enjoy both books! Best regards, Donna Lea Simpson.

Donna, thanks so much for guest blogging here today. It’s interesting to see how LOVE & SCANDAL came about and that you wrote a novel for your novel. How neat.

For more information on Donna and her writing, visit her at  She plans to have a link on her site where visitors will be able to buy Carina Press eBooks directly! In addition, visitors can read Chapter One of Love & Scandal at:


  1. Mason - Thanks for hosting Donna.
    Donna - I'm so glad you found Carina. The right publisher can make such a difference, and I'm very happy for you that you've got the right one for your needs. I'll be interested to read Collette's book, too : ).

  2. I think a lot of authors will find success now with eBook publishers.

  3. I've long been a fan of eBooks, and now, finally, it seems that they are finding their place in the sun!

  4. I've been debating whether to turn my memoir into an ebook. This makes me feel more positively towards that end. Thanks to both of you.

  5. It's funny how ebooks seemed to be resisted at first, but they actually are an amazing opportunity, opening many doors for writers of all genres. Kudos to you for going e-, and best wishes with your book!

  6. Donna, thanks so much for sharing your publishing process with us. I love actually hold a book in my hand but I think e-books are becoming more and more popular.

    Hi all, thanks so much for dropping by. Hope everyone has a wonderful day and gets a chance to do some reading. :)

  7. I wish you much success with Carina Press. Thanks for hosting her, Mason.

  8. Thanks for hosting this guest blog. This sounds like an intriguing book. Great info. about Carina Press too.

    Cozy In Texas

  9. It sounds wonderful! I just got a new IPAd and if I can figure out how to do it, I will download the book. I told my husband I wanted to try reading a book on it, and if I work it, this will be the one. It was fun reading about how you ended up with an eBook!

  10. I hope you all enjoy the books!! Drop me a line, or find me on FaceBook, and let me know.

  11. Thank you for your sweet comment about my guest post on Esme's blog!

  12. What a great story - I love how Donna came to eBooks! I hve heard of Carina and Angela James and they certainly sound very professional. Good luck, Donna!

  13. Really great interview. I think it's intersting to see a writer's road to e-publishing because it's the way we all might head in the future.


  14. Thanks for sharing the e-news, Donna, and very best of luck with your novel. I'm a Victorian-reader, too, just getting started in the classics. :-)

    - Corra

    The Victorian Heroine

  15. Sounds like a great story! I love the idea of a scandalous book written in the Victorian era. I'm glad you found a great publisher for your book and best wishes on your sales. :)

  16. Enjoyed the background on Love and Scandal. It also sounds like a fun premise. Now I just have to make myself move into the future by getting into reading ebooks because I’m still hooked on the old fashioned paper ones.

  17. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I LOVE that one, so I'm hoping we can bend the rule in my case? ;)

  18. If anyone wants to judge Love & Scandal by its cover, go ahead! LOL. The cover is gorgeous!

    Thanks for all the great comments; Carina is wonderful!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.