Thursday, October 10, 2013

Aloha to Máire Claremont and LADY IN RED

On this day in 1984, from the Space Shuttle Challenger, astronaut Kathryn Sullivan became the first woman to walk through space. Romance author Máire Claremont joins us today as she explores women's struggles in Victorian England with her new release, LADY IN RED.   

Kim:  Tell us about your experience as a 2011 Golden Heart Winner - what did you learn about yourself, the publishing industry, and readers?

Máire:  Winning the Golden Heart was an incredible experience. Its something I had fantasized about. Quite literally. I’d be in bed at night, before I’d go to sleep, imagining what it would be like but it seemed like one of those impossible dreams. Just finaling was a HUGE honor. So, when the category came up that night in New York and they called out my name and The Dark Lady, I screamed. My critique partner, bestie, and amazing author pal, Delilah Marvelle screamed and sobbed. The first person I called to tell I’d won was my mom, who was my biggest fan and supporter. I’m so glad she got to see me win and become published before she died of cancer this last year.

What I learned about myself and publishing? Dreams are worth pursuing and there is no dream too big. Is there luck involved? Yes. But to have that luck, you have to suit up and show up. I never could have won if I hadn’t worked hard, listened to my fabulous CP, and entered in the Golden Heart again and again. Publishing is a tough and glorious business, but its not for those who can’t handle rejection. Rejection is a HUGE part of the process. So, I also learned to surround myself with awesome writer friends who were going through the same thing and would provide a shoulder to cry on or a quick pep talk. Romance authors are wonderful, caring, and generous. I feel blessed to have so many of them in my life.

As to readers, the thing that astounds me the most is how my books do genuinely touch people. I’ve received many notes letting me know my stories brought tears to their eyes and took them on emotional journeys. I love having that relationship with my readers. Really, I adore getting to talk with them, meet them face to face, or chat online.

Kim:  What other Gaelic influences did you experience with your family? Do you have a favorite dish? whiskey? saying?

Máire:  I’m not even sure where to start. LOL. I’m Irish by nationality but was raised in the United States. My father was Irish but my mother was a typical American. She was mostly of Irish descent but also German. My childhood was spent listening to Tommy Makem, The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftans, The Wolf Tones, and Irish comedians like Hal Roach. Confession: I was a competitive Irish Step Dancer, you know, like that River Dance business. :D My father made the most AMAZING Irish Soda bread and Christmas Cake. To me, fruit cake is a delicious, fabulous thing but then again, I was lucky and got to eat “proper” fruit cake. I was also lucky enough to travel to Ireland several times, and I’ve also lived there. My favorite saying? “May you be in heaven an hour before the devil knows your dead.”

Queen Victoria in her Robes of State.
Portrait of Queen Victoria by Franz Winterhalter, 1859
Royal Collection Trust 

Kim:  What inspired LADY IN RED? 

Máire:  I was really drawn to women’s plight in the Victorian period. They had so little power. Victorian women were held to ridiculous standars of propriety and morality. If they slipped at all publically, or suffered financial loss, they were quite literally pushed into prostitution. Also, the diagnosis for Hysteria was rampant. Really, if a woman was living up to her father or husband’s standards or she was discontent, it was absolutely possible for her to be diagnosed with some form of mental illness. I really wanted to explore these women’s lives and give them a chance to have power on the page.

Thank you so much for having me!!!!

2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own… until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his first wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.





The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor…

​Lady Mary Darrel should be the envy of London. Instead, all society believes her dead. For Mary holds a secret so dangerous, her father chose to keep her locked away…and have a grave made for her near her mother’s. Driven to the edge of desperation, Mary manages to escape the asylum, only to find that her fate yet again rests in the hands of a man…

​Edward Barrons, Duke of Fairleigh, longs for some way to escape the torment of his father’s crimes. In Mary’s warrior spirit and haunted gaze—which so mirrors his own—he finally sees his path to redemption. He will stop at nothing to keep her safe, even as she seeks revenge. But will the passion they discover in each other be enough to save them from their demons?

Amazon link 
B&N: link
iBooks: link

Books-A-Million: link
Book Depository: link

More About The Book: 

Other titles in the Mad Passions Series ...THE DARK LADY is now available; THE DARK AFFAIR is coming in March 2014.

the dark lady book coverthe dark lady book cover

Mahalo, Máire, for joining us today!   Máire is giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about a woman's achievement that impressed you.  I admire Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910, (link):

Pioneering nurse. Born in Italy, Nightingale served as a nurse in the Crimean war and helped to raise standards of hospitals and the nursing profession.

2.  Máire's giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, October 19, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 20.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

LADY IN RED Tour Schedule

October 7
Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance

October 8

October 9
Romance Reader Girl

October 10
Miss Ivy’s Book Nook

October 11
SOS Aloha

October 12
Happily Ever After

October 13
Cocktails and Books

October 14
What I’m Reading

October 15
For The Love of Bookends

October 16
Bookworm 2 Bookworm

October 17
Rakes Rogues and Romance

October 18
Seductive Musings

Mahalo to Kati at Romance Wrangler for inviting me on this tour!

Romance Wrangler | I'll wrangle, you write


  1. There are so many to choose from - Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller.

    1. Oh. Such great choices. I learned so much about Helen Keller when I worked on The Miracle Worker. She had such an amazing, sad, and triumphant life. Talk about never saying die.

  2. I loved The Dark Lady and I'm really looking forward to Lady in Red. The woman's achievement that impresses me is Clara Barton (1821–1912) After being involved with treating injured Union soldiers on the battlefield during the Civil War, she later was the founder and first president of the American Red Cross.

    1. Hi Barbara,
      Yay!! That's so wonderful that you loved The Dark lady. I do hope you love Mary's book too. Wow. Clara Barton sounds like an amazing woman. She sounds like someone I need to read up up. My time period for writing and an amazing heroine. :D

  3. Helen Keller. To have achieved so much given her disability. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree (among her list of achievements).

    1. Hi Linda, Its so great to see you here. :D Yep. Yep. Helen Keller is truly inspiring as was her teacher Annie Sullivan. I love that Annie went with her to University to assist her. Both women have inspired so much awe.

  4. I've always admired Emmeline Pankhurst the political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement.

    Votes for women!!

    1. Hi Mary,
      Me too. I actually chose her for one of my college admissions essays. And YES!!! Votes for women, indeed!

  5. Replies
    1. I've never heard of Betty Friedan which is awesome, because you've given me an excuse to go do one of my favorite things, RESEARCH.

      Thanks for stopping by Debby.

  6. Susan B. Anthony because she was a leading figure in getting women the right to vote.

    1. I certainly admire and am GRATEFUL for all her work. I love that women got the vote fairly early in our country and so much of it had to do with Susan!! Thanks for stopping by Danielle

  7. It's tough for women even now. I think any woman who lived in the past had a tough time and they all earned my admiration!

    1. What a neat moment of solidarity, May. Yes, I think we should stand with all the women who've lived quiet lives and gone before us. They are great heroes too.

  8. I have to go with Princess Di. She showed the world that she was not afraid to mix with people with diseases, especially Aids patients. I loved how she sat and held the hand of an Aids patient, not caring what the rest of the world thought. She truly was a compassionate and caring person. Oh, how the world misses her, and all that she stood for.

    1. Hi Diane,

      I think its so easy for us to forget how Aids patients were treated before people like Princess Diana. Her support was such a blessing and I totally agree with you. She changed the face of AIDs, removing so much of the shame and ignorance.


  9. Thanks for the awesome post :) Congrats Maire on your series! I'm just about to start it and I'm so excited! I admire Marie Curie cuz she literally sacrificed her life for the advancement of science and medicine.

    1. Hi Erin!

      Thank you for giving The Dark Lady and Lady in Red a try. :D That makes me excited too. Madam Curie? Wow what a noble woman and talk about sacrifice? We owe her so much.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

  10. The women who impress me are the ones who have had to struggle in business to achieve some modicum of success, the women who are single moms who struggle to keep their kids fed, clothed, and in school - these are the women who are my heroes.

  11. Eleanor Roosevelt - Abigail Adams - there are many women who are the support to their partners efforts

  12. The one that impressed me was of course Louise Mary Alcott. She wrote several great books. I am a reader, so writers impress me when they come up with great stories.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

  13. Here are a few of my favorite little-known women's achievements:

    During the American Revolution, "the midnight ride of Paul Revere" actually was an achievement of several brave Americans, including 16-year old Sybil Luddington, who rode 40 miles on her horse Star, warning New Yorkers that the British were on their way.

    Edith Bolling Wilson, second wife of Pres. Woodrow Wilson, screened all matters that needed the president's attention when he suffered a stroke in office. In effect, she functioned as president for much of Wilson's second term.

    1930s-40s actress Hedy Lamarr, described as one of Hollywood's all-time beauties, also co-developed and patented the idea of frequency hopping to avoid jamming in communications. The 1942 patent was used by the US military in the 1960s and is still in use today for certain communication technologies, like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

  14. I love Cleopatra the 7th, she was a remarkable woman. She learned 7 languages and ruled a country when women were less then they were in the Victorian period.

  15. A woman I look up to? Eleanor Roosevelt. I so admired how she transformed the role of First Lady, and used it as a platform to affect positive social change on a large scale. She did incredible things in the fields of women's rights, human rights, and civil rights.

  16. There are so many women in history that I admire! One of them is Margaret Sanger opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States, 1916.
    Mother Teresa as well for all of her charity work. :-)

  17. I have so many to choose from. There have been so many remarkable women over the years that it is hard to pick just one. I guess I will go with Princess Di. She was a strong and compassionate woman, and the world misses her. She died too young.

  18. Hi Kim and Maire!

    I loved reading The Dark Lady when it was released and am so excited that The Lady in Red has been released but also that we have The Dark Affair will be available next March. I find the Victorian era so interesting to read about and Maire really brings the time period to life!

    When I was in Grade School I spent most of one summer at our local library and the librarian got so used to be reading all the biographies about women she added to the section because I was so persistent in reading everything available! Of course that was back in the 1950's when it was still "unusual" for women to be in the work force but it made me realize that working for a living was unusual at all! My favorite was one on Marie Curie who began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, She was not only a physicist and chemist, famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity but also won a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two field as well as being the only person to win in multiple sciences. Since it was still unusual for women to be in the workplace in major positions it was something I've never forgotten as I later went on the enter the work force. I will never forget in the next few years telling my teachers that I COULD do more than they said was possible for a "girl" to do!

    I'll always remember that summer and learning what teachers wouldn't tell me at the time - the only limits we have are those that we put on ourselves!.

  19. Kim, thanks for hosting Maire!

  20. the person I pick is my mother. She was born to a family of men as the only women ahe had to over come so much. She did not even get pass the 6'th grade. She never let anything get in the way. She self taught herself. and give as the things that we need in to become good people our self

  21. I will pick an achievement instead of one person. Women being able to pursue higher education. Without that option, so many new ideas and inventions we have today would not be here. It is difficult to comprehend what it was like (or is like depending on what part of the world you live in) to not have schooling as an option.

  22. Tina Fey and her improvement in women-based comedy.