Deneane Clark talks Virtues + Giveaway

Grace, faith, and charity.

Perhaps these were simply words to you before, but after reading Deneane Clark’s Virtue series, they will become oh so much more!

Grace, Faith, and Charity are the first three books in Deneane’s historical romance series. Each book showcases a different Ackerly sister (all named after virtues, of course) and the persistent men who are in pursuit of their hearts. RT Book Reviews raved about Grace: “Nicely written with a bunch of lively characters…[it] engages readers in a merry chase between a charming English Lord and a spirited young woman in the game of matrimony” and Faith is “just as sprightly, enchanting and fun.”

If you’re a fan of Regency romance, marriage-of-convenience plots, dashing Lords and Earls, passionate trysts, and strong, confident heroines, then Deneane Clark’s Virtue series is most certainly for you!

In celebration of this month’s trade release of Grace, Faith, and Charity plus the e-book release of Grace, Deneane is joining us on the blog today to discuss her books, their inspiration, the romance genre, and ideal leading men (what more could a fan want?!). Read on, and don’t forget to enter our drawing to win all three books in trade! (see below for details)

Welcome, Deneane!

In one sentence, how would you summarize your Virtue series?

A light, engaging romp through the ballrooms of Regency England as the Ackerly sisters take turns trying their hands at the game of matrimony.

You have a series of pictures posted on your blog of fans reading your books in different places. Do you have a specific audience in mind when you write? 

Isn’t that incredible?  I love it when readers send me snapshots of them with one of my books … I’m always so flattered and so humbled.  I think it is supposed that, by and large, historical romance appeals to women.  When I began the series, I had that in the back of my mind, but I don’t really write for a specific audience.  I’ve had correspondence from quite a few men who have read my books, and my amazing editor is male, as well.  So instead, I write about what I enjoy reading, and cross my fingers that it manages to find an audience.

Being the eldest of three girls, how much would you say you and your sisters resemble the Ackerly sisters? 

Wow.  I really had to think about this one, and I think the answer is almost yes.  I think I am the most like Grace in temperment, while my middle sister Tina has some of Faith’s characteristics.  And Mercy is a bit like my baby sister, Mindy.  I never really considered that before.  It’s so funny, though, because it reminds me of how I used to compare the three of us to characters from Little Women.  I once had an elementary teacher ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and my prompt answer to her was “Jo March.”

If you have a favorite character from your series, who is it and why? 

Sebastian Tremaine.  Without question.  He’s the most complicated character I’ve ever created and I actually ache with the effort to do him justice.  He has figured prominently in every book of the series to this point, and I’m so happy that I’m finally going to be able to bring him to the forefront with Mercy.  He also reminds me of someone about whom I care a great deal.  And I’ll just leave that little bit right there.  LOL.

Why do you think the Regency era is so appealing to Romance fans? 

It occupies an interesting space in English history, stuck right there, as it is, between the excesses of the French Revolution and the rather prim Victorian period.  The clothing was light and simple, comparitively, and I always feel a delicious undercurrent of humor when I research the day to day life of the aristocracy.  It’s as if they didn’t quite take themselves seriously.  I think you can also sense it in some of the writing from that time, especially that of Lord Byron.

 If you were a character in a Romance novel, who would you want to be and what would your ideal leading man look like? 

I’d want to be me.  It makes me laugh a little, but I think it would be fun to be a writer during that time.  I have a tendency to be audacious and outspoken, though, so I’d likely have to come from a very influential family, find a popular friend who championed unusual girls, or I’m afraid would end up a perpetual wallflower at the balls.  As for my leading man, tall dark and handsome, despite the cliché, would be the way to go.  And, um … a little stern.  I like shaking a few laughs out of a guy who doesn’t laugh very often.

As far as virtues go, which would you say is the most important: grace, faith, charity, or mercy? 

Charity.  Definitely charity.  A small handful of human beings are in a position to do great kindesses for those less fortunate, but we all have the ability to commit small acts of charity every single day … and they really do make a difference.  Charity is just another word for love, after all.  And if it weren’t for love, would the romance genre even exist?  Tell someone they look pretty today, or pay the bill for the car behind you in line at the drive-thru. That’s truly all it takes to make someone feel special.

Mercy, the 4th title in the Virtue series, is set for a March 2012 release. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Ah, Mercy.  I’ve had more correspondence asking about Mercy than any of the other sisters.  She’s been quite impatient about growing up, but she’s finally old enough to have her Season, and to see if she can capture the interest of her hero, the Duke of Blackthorne.  Sebastian, on the other hand, has been dreading this moment since she was thirteen years old.  Since most of his friends have already been snared in the ropes of matrimony, they’re all looking forward to seeing how he deals with the situation … and don’t think they won’t do what they can to “help” the erstwhile couple along.

For more on Deneane Clark, visit her Web site, Ribbons & Romance, or email her at Deneane adores interaction with her readers so don’t be bashful!

Grace, Faith, and Charity are all available in e-book and trade, as of this month. Be sure to mark your calendar for Mercy‘s release next year!

Faith is being offered as a $2.99 e-book download through 7/15 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Sony. All three e-books will be available in a $14.97 e-book bundle on Sony from 7/15-8/19. Don’t miss these great deals!


GIVEAWAY QUESTION: Of all her virtues, Deneane thinks charity is the most important. Which do you think is most important and why: grace, faith, charity, or mercy? Reply in a comment thread and be entered to win the Virtue series in trade! The winner will be announced on Monday 7/18.


20 Responses to Deneane Clark talks Virtues + Giveaway

  1. Christy says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post.
    In answer to the question . . . I couldn’t choose just one virtue – I feel that grace, faith, charity, and mercy all go hand-in-hand.

  2. Lynn Demsky says:

    My answer is Faith, because without faith you don’t have the rest!

  3. I think Mercy because if your merciful, you will be charitable and faithful to your cause……..

  4. Marcelle Cole says:

    I would say that Faith would be my choice as I have had moments in life that faith is what brought through and kept me grounded.

  5. Great post! The regencies look awesome! I like what you mentioned about the Regency time period. So true! I say faith is most important. I also need to learn to get more of another famous virtue-patience!

  6. earlene gillespie says:

    I think all are important. People should have all four of the virtues to be a well rounded and good person. It would be hard for me to pick just one. I like to think I possess all of them.
    The regency period is my favorite genre to read. There’s just something about that period,
    I think it was a fun and lively period in history and they took some things to the extreme and
    in this day and age just seems to be silly. LOL

  7. dorotha holloway says:

    I believe faith is required in order to have the other graces. Just a thought.

  8. sewcraftyme says:

    I enjoy reading this genre of books because I believe that we learn so much from our past that we can bring to our present and our future.

    As to the question of which is the most important virtue, to me I have to answer mercy.

    If a person is incapable of showing mercy or understanding its true meaning it would seem impossible for them to practice the other virtues listed with any degree of honesty or love.

    For example: someone could show charity but most likely, some part of them would be thinking “What am I going to receive for this?” even if unconsciously, instead of just reaching out to help just because they see a need.

    I also believe the same is true with faith and grace. Only a true understanding of your fellow human beings through empathy or mercy will allow you to practice the other virtues honestly.

    As was mentioned in the author’s interview, I always thought that Jo March from Little Women personified mercy perfectly. She accepted people, their needs, wants and yes even their failures without judgment. In my opinion I think this is why so many of us yearned to be her, or as like her as we could be.

    Thank you for your time, and continued luck with your writing career.

    Congratulations as well on the upcoming release of the new book.

    Ila in Southern Maine

  9. linda says:

    Hard to choose between the 4; all are equally important & you can’t have one without elements of the others?

    I love regency romance *fingers crossed to win!*. The book covers are gorgeous.

  10. nylne says:

    the greatest would be mercy!

  11. Carol Burge says:

    Faith. If you don’t have faith, you really don’t have true charity, grace or mercy in your heart, body and/or soul.

    I love Regencies (or any kind of historical, for that matter). These sound wonderful. Best of luck with the series!


  12. Gina Hamm says:

    Mercy is always the greatest virtue in my book…. mostly because it is often the most difficult!

  13. Darcee says:

    I think grace – for it personifies the regency era. It is also the book that I would like to read first.

  14. Zee says:

    Grace is the most important virtue. Graceful people have enough compassion to be charitable, tolerance to grant mercy, and enough strength to have faith.

    I’d love to be entered to read these fantastic novels!


  15. sandysho says:

    Without a doubt, mercy Is the most important virtue. Without mercy being granted and received none of us would be deserving of virtually anything…sure we rise to the top often to do and say all the right things–but frequently we don’t. That’s where mercy comes in. Are we and others around us guilty of minor or large offenses to our fellow man? Absolutely. Do we deserve to be forgiven? Not always. Do we want to be? Yes, of course. We all desire love and acceptance. Mercy–is where forgiveness and acceptance and love and charity and grace and faith are granted whether we or others are deserving of it.

  16. Cory W. says:

    I think charity is the most important. It’s something that everyone can do, and yet something that few do.


    Congrats to our lucky winner, Carol Burge, who will be receiving Deneane Clark’s Virtue series in trade! Carol, please check your email to claim your prize.

    Thanks to everyone who commented on our giveaway question! Be sure to return to the Dorchester Community Blog for more interviews, extras, and giveaways. Anne Marsh, author of THE HUNT and BOND WITH ME, will be stopping by the blog this Friday 07/22 to discuss all things paranormal, fallen angels, and she’ll even be giving away a copy of BOND WITH ME–don’t miss it!

    Until then,

  18. Carol Burge says:

    Thank you, Hannah and Deneane!

    I’m thrilled to have won the Virtue series! Woo-hoo! I can’t wait to begin reading Grace, Faith and Charity’s stories. I’ll be looking forward to March, so I can read Mercy’s story, too. 🙂

    Thanks Again, & Best of Luck with the Series!


  19. Congratulations, Carol! And thank you to everyone who stopped by, read, and commented. Have a beautiful summer!

    deneane elise

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