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Guest Blogger: Donna MacMeans (Contest)
Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Have you ever looked at your significant other and thought, geez, that guy needs a makeover? And if they did, what would you change?

This is my heroine’s dilemma in my August release, REDEEMING THE ROGUE. The story begins in London, England in 1881 and moves across the Atlantic to Washington, D.C. Michael Rafferty is a sexy Irishman who is most comfortable in London’s dark underbelly, ferreting out violent Fenians (a group desiring Independence for Ireland) in the hopes of finding the one responsible for the bomb that killed his family. His black hair is unfashionably long and shaggy, his wardrobe is not that of the aristocracy, and he has no need for knowing about the fourteen types of forks and eleven types of spoons on a well-laid Victorian table.

However, when the British minister assigned to Washington D.C. turns up dead. Rafferty believes the one responsible is the man he’s been chasing. The Home Office decides the best way to catch a murderer is for Rafferty to temporarily assume the position of British minister and head of Washington’s ligation. He just doesn’t exactly look the part.

Enter Lady Arianne Chambers, who for reasons of her own, agrees to mold Rafferty into an acceptable diplomat. While they cross the Atlantic she modifies his appearance, teaches him etiquette – that is, when he shows up for lessons – and teaches him to dance in a sort of reverse Pygmalion.

Little did she suspect that Rafferty was transforming her as well. Together they face Washington society, find themselves involved in the assassination of President Garfield, and are forced to defend themselves against charges of treason.

So, my question for you is…if you could change your significant other, what would it be? His hair? His weight? His clothes? His manners?

Let’s talk and I’ll send one person leaving a comment a copy of REDEEMING THE ROGUE.

Donna MacMeans

“[Redeeming the Rogue] is pure joy; funny, sexy and exciting.” 4.5 TOP PICK! Romantic Times Bookreviews

“Irish rebellion, smuggled guns, and the assassination of American president James Garfield form a lively backdrop for this sweet, sexy, and smartly told Victorian romance.” — Publishers Weekly

46 comments to “Guest Blogger: Donna MacMeans (Contest)”

  1. Delilah Devlin
    · August 10th, 2011 at 8:42 am · Link

    Thanks for being my guest today! The book sounds like a lot of fun.

  2. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 8:44 am · Link

    Thank you Delilah for letting me play here today. Have a great day at After Dark!

  3. J. Paulette Forshey
    · August 10th, 2011 at 8:52 am · Link

    If I could change anything about my hubby (who is perfect) I’d have to help him lose the rest of the weight he wants gone. Oh, and add back some of the hair he’s lost, ha!
    Love you books Donna can’t wait to read this new one.
    Best of Luck!

  4. Elysa
    · August 10th, 2011 at 8:58 am · Link

    Love the premise of this story. I think every woman has something about their significant lover that they’d like to change. For me, I’d have my husband lose weight. Not because he’s not perfect the way he is, but for his health.

    I heard a quote once that went something like: “Men marry women hoping they’ll never change. Women marry men hoping to change them. Neither get what they hope for.”

  5. Diane Sadler
    · August 10th, 2011 at 8:58 am · Link

    If I changed something about my husband, he wouldn’t be the man I married, so I’ll keep him the way he is!

  6. Elysa
    · August 10th, 2011 at 8:59 am · Link

    Oops, that was supposed to read “significant other” not “significant lover.” But I guess either works. 🙂

  7. Becky
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:05 am · Link

    Hi Donna – (waving madly;-) 😆 I love, love, love the whole concept of Redeeming the Rogue. Hope it flies off the shelves.

    Hugs, Becky

  8. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:19 am · Link

    LOL – Paulette –

    If you can figure out that hair thing let me know, my dh is developing that shiny pate as well.

    Hey – Far be it for me to offer weight advice. I figure my husband’s wish list would be for me to lost some pounds – but do you know about fitbit? It’s a little device that tracks steps and things, but also how many calories you’ve burned and your activity levels. Mine broke and I need to replace it – but my has lost a lot of weight using it. It just makes you more aware of what you’re (not) doing.

  9. CrystalGB
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:21 am · Link

    Hi Donna. Your book sounds good. Nice cover.

  10. Debra Yates
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:22 am · Link

    If I were to change anything, it would be longer hair. I have a thing about running my fingers through a mans hair. I have enjoyed your books for years. Keep them coming!!

  11. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:22 am · Link

    Elysa –

    So true…So true… Actually, I’m the one of the two of us that needs to shed the pounds for health purposes. My husband has already done that and it’s made a difference in sleep patterns (the fitbit measures that as well – see above comment) and the need for various medications.

    Thanks for the book love. This one was a lot of fun to write.

  12. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:23 am · Link

    Thanks Becky – May the Rogue be with you! (grin)

  13. Leanne Tyler
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:47 am · Link

    Can’t wait to read Redeeming the Rogue. It sounds fascinating.

    To answer your question, since I don’t have a significant other anymore, we parted ways some time ago and I’m much better off for it, I guess that means I could make him into anything I’d wanted back then. 😀 If I could have changed him I would have changed him into an honest person. He wasn’t and I learned the hard way. He was the biggest liar, a fake, and it makes me wonder what was truly real to him as far as our marriage went. 😕 We lasted four years. His second less than two. And I’m afraid she had a harder awakening than I. But I’m not bitter.

    Good luck with your release!!! Maybe I’ll see you again at Lori Foster.

  14. Donna MacMeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:52 am · Link

    Aww…Diane…that’s sweet. I’ve been married for 38 years. I wouldn’t change the “real” stuff, but from time to time – some of the surface things could use a brush-up. On the both of us, I might add.

    Thanks for stopping by! May the Rogue be with you!

  15. Donna MacMeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:56 am · Link

    Oh Debra – I hear you there. A man with sexy healthy hair that’s a little long can make me weak in the knees. My heroine was reluctant to cut my hero’s, but then he dared her and…well…it made for a fun scene. I hadn’t realized how sexy a hair cut could be (grin). Hope you like it!

  16. tammy ramey
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:57 am · Link

    i don’t have a significant other right now but when i was married i tried to get my husband to control his weight for health reasons. other than that i loved him the way he was.

  17. Donna MacMeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 10:00 am · Link

    Hi Leeann!

    Well – I just learned that the next book is coming out next June so I’ll be at Lori’s for sure.

    Sounds like you had the ultimate makeover – you made him disappear (grin). Funny that you mention trust issues. I was involved in a conversation with some other authors and we were talking about how trust issues are often at the core of a story. You have to be able to trust the other person or the marriage will be a sham – as you experienced. Good thing you recognized the problem early on. Good for you!

    May the rogue be with you!

  18. Donna MacMeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 10:03 am · Link

    Tammy –

    Hugs – that comment sounded like it had a sad conclusion.

    Isn’t weight a bugaboo? I wish I had an easy way to control weight, but my family just takes great pleasure in eating good – as in delicious, not necessarily healthy – food. I’m trying to cut portions and develop that “one taste is enough” philosophy but it’s not working for me.

    Fortunately, weight is not one of Rafferty’s concerns. His physique is Extremely Healthy (grin).

  19. Rose Maybud
    · August 10th, 2011 at 10:50 am · Link

    LOL, Donna! There are things I’d like to change about my husband, but I’m learning to be patient and accept him as he is.
    Plus, after all, he loves me as I am, which counts for a lot!

    He says, “Most women spend half their lives looking for Mr. Right. Then they marry him and try to turn him into Mr. Perfect.”

    I can take a hint!

    Rose Maybud

  20. Christine Stahurski
    · August 10th, 2011 at 11:12 am · Link

    Donna, your beautiful, creative mind still amazes me! Love this premise! Looking forward to Redeeming the Rogue. btw, I love anything Irish, so that’s a bonus. Congrats on another thrilling book!

    As to your question, since my dh tries to gain weight and I aspire to lose, I’d love to reverse that order. Let him live on salads while I feast on real food.

    Oh, and maybe make him Irish. jk

  21. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 12:20 pm · Link

    Hi Rose!

    LOL on making him Mr. Perfect. My husband might accuse me of trying to do that…but he has no idea of all that would take, LOL. But I love him, and after all these years I’m reasonably sure he loves me. But time does take a toll on one’s appearance. Wish I had a magic wand sometimes.

  22. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 12:23 pm · Link

    Hi Christine –

    Your husband is trying to gain weight? I’m so jealous. I could do that in a hearbeat. Hmmm…I think I’ll have this chocolate bar in his honor, LOL.

    After attending the Irish festival this weekend, I’m thinking the first step to being Irishman is drinking like one LOL. Good thing I’m Irish!

  23. Ilona
    · August 10th, 2011 at 1:20 pm · Link

    If I could change anything about my DH it would have to be his health.

    No more Lumbar Spondylosis, Arthritis, Diabetes, Heart Failure, Hypertension, Duodenal Ulcer, Edema or FSS ever 😀

  24. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 3:09 pm · Link

    Ilona –

    Sending you cyberhugs – that sounds like a lot of stress on you as well as him.

    Fortunately Rafferty is…well…very healthy. It is a lot easy to overlook the more mortal concerns in fiction. Hope you give Redeeming the Rogue a try – it’s a lot of fun. I hope it’ll give you a smile.

  25. Jane
    · August 10th, 2011 at 3:46 pm · Link

    Congrats on the new release, Donna. I don’t think I want to change anything, but when there’s a disagreement I do wish he’ll change his mind and see things my way.

  26. Fedora
    · August 10th, 2011 at 4:00 pm · Link

    LOL! What a fun topic, Donna! DH is pretty awesome, but our one area of conflict is over clutter. I am a bit afraid though that if I were to change his neat-nik ways, we’d probably ultimately be overrun with junk 😉 As painful as our disagreements are, I’m not sure it’d be entirely wise to change him!

  27. Emily Tardy
    · August 10th, 2011 at 4:36 pm · Link

    If I could change one thing of my hubby, it would be his “pissy-ness”. I do not know what else to call it, he gets pissy easily. 😕

  28. Christine Stahurski
    · August 10th, 2011 at 4:52 pm · Link

    Irish festival sounds fun. Where was it held, if you don’t mind me asking? Since you are Irish, I imagine your research for Rogue was interesting on a personal level. Did you dig up any family roots?

  29. Dawn Staniszeski
    · August 10th, 2011 at 5:10 pm · Link

    I would change his work ethics..I am so very thankful because he is a very hard worker but sometimes he works way TOO much and I would love to have him around more!!

  30. irma_ady
    · August 10th, 2011 at 5:28 pm · Link

    things to change of my significant other, well, for me it’s a what if question since i just recently parted ways with one. and sadly, i fall into stereotype and bit blaming myself about it 🙁 once or twice i think “what if I” . thank goodness, i have best of friends whom keep reminding me relationship is built by two and its very selfish try to take the guilt alone :), so perhaps, i’m trying to shift the balance a bit and say “what if he” 😉

    hope your book hits 🙂 really enjoy your backlist

    best of regards from me 🙂

  31. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 7:11 pm · Link

    Jane –

    You must read my book! There’s a great scene towards the back where William is giving advice to Rafferty about the disagreement he is having with Arianne. In fact – your dh should read it (grin).

    In our house, if someone admits the other is right – for even the smallest thing – there’s like a huge celebration. It keeps us laughing.

  32. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 7:15 pm · Link

    LOL Fedora –

    We discussed this before, didn’t we? Before we got married, I asked if there was anything that really upset him as I wanted to make sure to avoid those things that most upset him. He said “Clutter. I hate a messy countertop.” I looked at him (with great love and affection) and said, “We have a problem.” LOL. Well, at least he was warned – and he’s come to accept my clutter. It’s as much a part of me as his tidiness is to him.

  33. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 7:18 pm · Link

    Emily –

    That’s a good one. Does he know he does this? My dh used to get pissy everytime one of his sports teams didn’t do well. He’s from Cleveland – so basically he was pissy throughout the entire sports season. The kids and I both knew to stay out of his way when his teams lost. Finally, I told him how ridiculous it was for him to get upset over something he had no control or contribution to. He didn’t even realize he was doing it. He’s much better now.

  34. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 7:24 pm · Link

    Hi Christine –

    It’s in Dublin. I think it’s one of the bigger Irish festivals in the country. I’m trying to talk my sister to come up from Florida to play next year. She plays a mean Irish fiddle.

    Nope – I didn’t really research my family. I knew my maternal grandparents came over from County Cork. But I did learn quite a bit about politics and Home rule and the emigration of the Irish. I was surprised to learn how many Irish ended up in Australia for example.

    One of these days, I’ll write a book about something I know well and won’t have to research. That’ll be the day – LOL.

  35. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 7:26 pm · Link

    Dawn – you’ll so sweet. That was the way it was with us when we first got married. I think he was so concerned about being a good provider that he forgot I married him for other reasons (grin). Eventually, we worked through that though. Isn’t it great that he’s a hard worker though? Better that than the opposite – LOL.

  36. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 7:32 pm · Link

    Hi Irma-ady –

    Listen to those friends! It definitely takes two. I was thinking more of the superficial things when I asked what would you change and I’m guessing that the difficulties with your ex were not superficial at all. You deserve someone that loves you & you love without the “what ifs”. Don’t settle for less.

    Okay – I’m off the soap box. Thanks for the backlist book love. Hope you enjoy this one as well. It was a lot of fun to write.

  37. Barb Riley
    · August 10th, 2011 at 8:39 pm · Link

    Hi Donna! 🙂 Great post! I just loved how Rafferty and the chemistry with Lady Arianne evolved throughout the book.

    Hmm what would I change about my hubby? 😉 I want to say nothing… but, I’d probably change his love of movies. He spends entirely too much time watching them. Although, I can’t complain much because he doesn’t nag at me for my reading and writing habits (although, he SHOULD nag me to write more.)

  38. Jen B.
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:04 pm · Link

    I sort of think my hubby is near perfect. And, I have been very patient for 20 years waiting for him to age just a little. Ah, older men!!! But right now, I would have him rewind time because he got hit in the face with a softball tonight and has now been admitted to the hospital. This means that I will miss the first day of Authors After Dark!!! Waaaaa!!! (Sorry, I am feeling really sorry for myself.) Thanks for the giveaway.

  39. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:08 pm · Link

    Barb –

    LOL on the need to nag you more about writing. So would you change just the number of movies he watches – or the type of movies. Does he watch them at home? My dh and I try to go out on the weekends to watch a movie. I love sitting in the dark with him, happily munching on popcorn (grin). Popcorn can make even the worse movie passable (hehe). However, there haven’t been a lot of good movies lately. If the movies’s really bad, I watch for the turning points and rooting interests. Always working…

  40. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:13 pm · Link

    Jen B. –

    Oh no! Hugs for you and very gentle hugs for your husband. Was he playing? Or was he a spectator? Hopefully, they admitted him for observation and nothing more serious.

    I’ve not been to Authors After Dark. I know Delilah will be there. Have you been before? Is it really great? Maybe I’ll stick it on the calendar for next year. I’m always up for a good party with romance readers. They’re the best people ever.

  41. Emily Tardy
    · August 10th, 2011 at 9:16 pm · Link


    My Hubby is bad about video games, driving, and even elderly people holding him up. I can honestly say it’s just wrong! Everyone and everything is against him. uh! 😕

  42. June M.
    · August 10th, 2011 at 10:11 pm · Link

    I have to admit that I don’t have a significant other. I have been completely single for longer that I like to remember, probably because I just don’t have the patience to put up with anyone full time, and I doubt anyone would want to put up with me full time, lol. My last serious boyfriend had WAY too many things that needed improved (probably why he is an ex).
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  43. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 11:12 pm · Link

    Emily –

    I bet he gets mad at people going straight in the right hand lane when he’s sitting behind them wanting to turn right (grin), or not using turn signals, or when people park too close (or over) the line in the parking lot. Sounds like what the man needs is a sense of humor! If he gets angry at every little thing, he won’t be around long. Stress will eat him up. I think it must be a blessing to find humor in the worst conditions – and I hope you’ve been blessed (grin).

  44. Donna Macmeans
    · August 10th, 2011 at 11:13 pm · Link

    June M.

    No man is better than a pain-in-the-butt man. Who needs that?
    Besides we can get the loving we need from a good romance hero. I hope you find one in Rafferty. I know I fell in love with him in the writing of the book.

  45. Naomi Bellina
    · August 10th, 2011 at 11:18 pm · Link

    Hmmm, so many things…no, not really. As someone put it, we’re with them because we love their ‘things’. BUT, I would like better eating habits when we’re alone. He does fine in public but chows like a starving wolverine at home. Guess my cooking is good!

  46. Michele Stegman
    · August 12th, 2011 at 9:56 am · Link

    For my husband, the only thing I would change is no glaucoma!

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