Friday, March 29, 2013

British Agents

Today's special guest is MK McClintock, who is a self-described over-worked entrepreneur, baker of decadent desserts and all things chocolate, photographer of beautiful places, and most importantly, a writer.

She dreams of a time when life was simpler, the land rougher, and the journey more rewarding. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, McClintock will always call Montana home.

McClintock is a member of Romance Writers of America, Montana Romance Writers, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Women Writing the West.

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

Why did you choose England as the backdrop for your book? What was it about that region and the 19th century that captivated you?

I’ve always wanted to visit England, but have only been as close as their northern neighbor, Scotland. That hasn’t stopped my fascination with the country, from a historical standpoint. Growing up I wanted to be more English, like most of my ancestors. I would have proper tea parties, speak as they do, and even adopted a few of their customs. I’ve since relaxed some of that behavior, but after years of engraining England into my mind, it seemed like a good fit to base a book there. Now I’m obsessed with Scotland rather than England, but that’s another story.

As for the time period—it’s not present-day. Yes, it doesn’t take much to captivate me with any time period during or before the 19th century. So much chance occurred at the turn of the century, and if I had been there I would have wished to go back a hundred years. If you transported me back in time to the 18th or 19th century, I’d fit in quite nicely.

Was Tristan Sheffield's vocation of finding people who don't want to be found based on anyone you've known? Did you have to research ways in which people could be located long before modern technology?

I don’t know any spies or special agents, but what a wealth of information they would have been! There was a bit of research involved, but basically what it came down to was playing it out. Here’s Tristan and he has a problem to solve—he has to find the bad guys. How does he do that? To answer that question, I simply had to take away all possible methods that involve modern technology. After that, you’re not left with much except for a lot of leg work, letters, and reports. I imagine they weren’t in great moods when they found people.

Will Tristan and Alaina return in future books?

Absolutely! They will both appear in the other British agent novels. I originally didn’t plan on a series, but I enjoyed Charles and Devon so much that I knew they needed their own stories. It pleases me not to have to say goodbye to Tristan and Alaina.

How would you describe your writing style?

Oddly enough, this has been a point of discussion with my editor lately.

Diana Gabaldon described it best: “Writing successfully is a matter of figuring out how your own brain works, and doing that—not trying to adopt someone else’s methods.”

I, like many new authors, are works-in-progress—our styles are still developing. I’m certainly getting closer, but I’m still figuring out my own methods.

What advice would you give to new authors?

This answer ties into question four and Diana’s advice—it’s also a recent lesson learned. I have purchased a dozen or so how-to writing books over the years and guess what—I’ve read only one. The others are in the library donation pile. Reading books about someone else’s writing style (or how they think you should write) isn’t going to help an author develop their own unique style. The only way to do that is to write.

The second piece of advice I have for new authors—find a good editor. Whether you’re self-publishing, or preparing a book for submission to a traditional publisher, you need an editor. Trust me, no matter how much you think you know about editing, or the English language, you don’t (yes, once upon a time that was me too). Agents and publishers alike enjoy tossing poorly edited manuscripts in the “I’m not even going to bother” pile.

Thank you for hosting me! - MK



ABOUT THE BOOK

How far would you go to avenge your family and save the one you love?

In nineteenth-century England, Alaina Claiborne had a loving family, a cherished friend, and devoted servants. She spent her days riding across the grassy hills of the English countryside, joyful and at peace.

Then tragedy strikes and her world is forever changed. Searching for those responsible is her only focus . . . until she meets Tristan.

Tristan Sheffield, a man of many talents, searches out those who don’t want to be found. His past is filled with secrets and deeds he would rather leave deeply buried. However, when his life unexpectedly entwines with Alaina's, he soon discovers they share more than a mutual desire to catch a murderer.

On their hunt for a man driven by greed, Tristan and Alaina find that love is the greatest weapon against evil, and they'll stop at nothing to survive.

Reviews for Alaina Claiborne

Readers of historical fiction and romance will absolutely eat up this first book in the Alaina Claiborne British Agent novels!  It is beautifully written, intriguing, romantic and heat wrenching.  The historical content is worked in well, but it's the conversational content that makes it a magical and rewarding read.  MK McClintock is one to really be watching on the historical romance scene!

This one is a winner. 

It broke my heart several times, the poignant moments she describes are so real.

The primary protagonists, Alaina and Tristan are gorgeous, strong and brilliant characters.  Each has well-developed personalities and psychological make ups.  They blend and work together beautifully as they are bent on their single goal in espionage and revenge.  Their love story is so moving in McClintock's hands...not mushy but ringing so true and honest it pierces the heart.

I particularly love the strength of Alaina that MK gives her.  No matter what the circumstances she encounters, she is brave and noble.  It's wonderful to have a heroine of this caliber in historical romance novels.  I'm looking forward to reading more about her and I hope she inspires others to continue to bring such capable women to the forefront in romance and mystery.

This is an engaging and fast-moving book to read.  One you'll finish before you know it.  The action is steady and swift, and the characters are beguiling and beautiful.

I highly recommend the book and look forward to the series!

5 stars for this historical romance

-Deborah/TheBookishDame

(http://abookishlibraria.blogspot.com/2013/01/giveaway-alaina-claiborne-by-mk.html)

*****
Mystery isn’t my favorite genre but everyone once in a while I come across one that sounds intriguing. This one definitely is!

Being a mystery it did take me a little longer to read. I really wanted to get in every word, it’s a good book but really because I wanted to see if I could figure out the culprit! And I must say, just as I thought I had it in the bag, and then MK McClintock would pull a fast one! But even though I didn’t figure it out there are small clues so it’s not something that comes completely out of left field. Really great job!

As for the characters, they are great. I really got involved with each one. Alaina is a force to be reckoned with even with her past issues. She doesn’t want to face the night her parents died but it has haunted her very existence from the second it happened. Plus the boy that was also murdered just happened to be the boy she planned and dreamt of marrying. All of that for one child, she just hid. This is not only a mystery but a finding of one’s self after such a tragic incident.

Tristan was, hmmm… as a fictional character, let me just say, he is YUMMY! I love how Alaina and Tristan meet and how she doesn’t bow down to him and with this being in the 1800′s when women still had their “place” it just made the story all that much more interesting! But Tristan really does live up to Alaina’s fiestyness which makes him such a fun character.

The other characters are great and although this is a romance, they don’t fall head of heals in love at first sight. And thank MK McClintock for that!!! I mean seriously! I love it when an author can make the relationship seem reasonable, and this one completely is! There’s also some hot scenes in there, so definitely keep that fire extinguisher nearby!

All in all, if you’re a mystery fan, especially if you like settings in the 1800′s, you’ll go gaga for this one! I cannot wait to read more from M.K. McClintock!

-Nova Reylin/My Seryniti Blog




AN EXCERPT

Across the acres, darkness enveloped another, her surroundings illuminated by the flickering flame of a lamp. Alaina moved around in the attic, searching through trunks of the items that had come from her mother’s cottage in Ireland. It was difficult to see so many memories that reminded her of her parents, but she also found it calmed her. She had avoided these things since they had been delivered years ago, but now her fears became secondary. She hoped that something from her parents’ past would shed light on what was happening in the present.            

Alaina rummaged through a trunk of some of her mother’s clothes, pulling them out and smelling them, hoping for a faint whiff of the soft rose scent her mother used to wear. There was something lingering around the old clothes, and it took Alaina back to a time when she was a little girl. Nevertheless, the memory ended there. She paused for a moment, as if the scent reminded her of something else besides her mother. She subsequently released the memory when she saw the bottom of the trunk was not as deep as it should have been. She pulled out the remaining dress and ran her fingers along the bottom and edges. She next looked on the outside of the trunk. Nearly six inches of extra space remained near the bottom on the inside.
Alaina felt along the inside edges and became excited when she found a gap. Slowly reaching her fingers into the hole, she simultaneously pushed down on the other edge for leverage and surprised herself when the bottom tilted to reveal the extra space beneath. Removing the thin board, she set it aside and gasped when she turned back to the trunk.

“Oh, Mother. What did you do?”



LEAVE A COMMENT AND WIN A PRIZE!

MK will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 



MK McClintock Website: http://www.mkmcclintock.com








Press Release: Html Version

Press Release: Pdf Version

Book Links


Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Alaina-Claiborne-British-Novels-ebook/dp/B00AYOT648/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358790363&sr=8-2&keywords=alaina+claiborne

14 comments:

Mary Preston said...

I am pleased that this is going to be part of a series. Have you worked out how many books you plan?

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Ami said...

I hadn't realised that this would be part of a series.

shadowrunner1987 at gmail dot com

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

thank you for hosting today.

Catherine Lee said...

I love that the reviews specifically mention how great a heroine Alaina is--strong, brave, noble, and a "force to be reckoned with." Sounds like my type of leading lady...even though I don't usually read too many historicals.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

p.m.terrell said...

MK, thank you so much for visiting us today!
I agree with Catherine - I also love strong, brave, noble female characters.
I am also very excited that this is going to be a series. I enjoy reading books where I already am familiar with the characters - they begin to feel like old friends.

MK McClintock said...

I'm late to the party! Thank you so much for hosting today! I enjoyed the interview--more great questions no one else seems to ask.

Catherine--I do appreciate a strong, if flawed, heroine. No swooning heroines in my books. :) Thank you for visiting!

Ami--thank you for stopping by! It became a series only because I couldn't let Charles and Devon go without giving them their own story.

Lyra L7 said...

I don't like whiny heroines and like mine to be strong.

lyra.lucky7ATgmailDOTcom

Ingeborg said...

I'm very happy to hear this will be a series.
Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Anas said...

I'm glad Charles and Devon will get their own story!

moonsurfer123 AT gmail DOT com

Shannon R said...

I look forward to Tristan and Alaina's future stories

Shannon R said...

forgot my email, fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Andra Lyn said...

Excited to hear that this will be aseries! I love it when you get to look at all the different characters lives!

andralynn7 At gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

Wonderful thoughts! I like the sounds of this one! Thanks for the chance to win!

Kate

hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

bn100 said...

Nice setting for a book

bn100candg at hotmail dot com