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I <3 Historical Research! (with Michelle McLean author of ROMANCING THE RUMRUNNER)

 Author Michelle McLean is here today, talking about her research for her latest release, Romancing the Rumrunner!

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Top 5 Rumrunner Obsessions

A big part of writing historical romances is the research. It’s one of the aspects of my job that I love. And this book was even more fun than most to research. These are a few things I came across while researching that I fell in love with:

1.     1920s fashion – the fringe, the feathers, and especially those gorgeous headbands! And the men in their pin-stripes and fedoras were quite dapper as well.

2.     1920s automobiles – do an image search for 1920’s cars and you’ll come across some truly beautiful pieces of machinery. One that I found the most interesting was the 1928 Cadillac owned by Al Capone. This thing was armored to the hilt, including bulletproof windows and 3,000 pounds worth of bulletproof armor.

3.     Swing music – while swing music didn’t technically become all the rage until the 30’s and 40’s a lot of it popped up while I was doing searches for 1920’s music. I came across a lot of modern groups that have combined swing with a sort of hip hop sound that is unbelievably addicting. You just can’t help but dance to this stuff. One of my particular favorites is Booty Swing by Parov Stelar. Look it up, especially if you are in the mood to dance. You’ll be glad you did 😉

4.     Oscar – when I wanted to get in a 1920’s kind of mood for writing, I’d often put on a few movies set in that era. Gatsby with Leonardo Di Caprio was one of my go-to videos (as is just about anything with Leo), and The Cat’s Meow with Kirstin Dunst is a good one. But one of my all time favorite movies is Oscar, with Sylvester Stallone. It’s just a fun, campy flick that combines some gorgeous 1920’s settings with a cast of quirky characters. I love this film 🙂

5.     The vocabulary – “Oh, horsefeathers!”, “He’s the absolute bee’s knees”, “I just feel like the cat’s pajamas in this new dress” – absolute fun to use these in dialogue. Some other phrases that are still used were popular back in the 20’s as well. “None of your beeswax” is one, as well as calling someone “baby”, going out on a “blind date” and calling a woman out for a man’s money a “gold digger”.

The 1920’s was such a vibrant, lively time period – I thoroughly loved writing this book.


Author Bio:

Michelle McLean grew up in California and has lived everywhere from the deserts of Utah to the tropical beaches of Hawaii to the gorgeous forests of the east coast. The oldest of five children, she is generally an organized mess with crazy eclectic tastes. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, an insatiable love of books, and more weird quirks than she’d like to admit.


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Book Title: Romancing the Rumrunner
Author: Michelle McLean
Release Date: June 9, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction


Book Synopsis:

Prohibition Era Chicago

She’s worked too hard to be run out of town…

Jessica Harlan spends her nights as The Phoenix, the owner of the most popular speakeasy in town. Her days are spent running her respectable butcher shop and dodging prohibition agents and rival club owners who all want to put her out of business.

He’s worked too hard to let his heart get in the way…

When the opportunity arises to go undercover for the Feds to catch The Phoenix, Gumshoe Anthony Solomon jumps on it. But he never suspected the notorious rumrunner would be a dame—or that he’d be so drawn to the feisty little minx.

They play a dangerous game of cat and mouse, knowing they can’t trust the other, but unable to walk away. While their hearts dodge the crossfire, the mobsters raise the stakes, and even the Phoenix may not rise again.


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June 9

Interviewed at The Zen Reader

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

June 10

Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping

Book featured at Deea’s Book Blog

June 11

Book reviewed at Romance for Every World

Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book

June 12

Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom

Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

June 13

Interviewed at Straight From the Author’s Mouth

Book featured at Inkslinger’s Opus

June 16

Guest blogging at What I’m Reading

Book featured at I’m Shelf-ish

June 17

Book reviewed and Guest blogging at Queen of All She Reads

June 18

Guest blogging at Becky on Books…and Quilts

Guest blogging at Theresa M. Cole

June 19

Guest blogging at Romancing the Darkside

Book reviewed at Harlie’s Books

June 20

Book reviewed at What’s on the Bookshelf

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