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Mackenzies Reading Order

I’m getting questions about why the latest Mackenzies/McBride (Rules for a Proper Governess) is set before Daniel’s book (this on is 1885; Danile is 1890). I posted an explanation on my website, and I’m copying it here:

The Mackenzies series jumps around a bit in chronology after the first four books. Two lists are below: the first, publication order; the second, order in which events take place.

Publication Order
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron
The Duke’s Perfect Wife
A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift
The Seduction of Elliot McBride
The Untamed Mackenzie
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie
Scandal and the Duchess
Rules for a Proper Governess
A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (forthcoming)
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (forthcoming)
More titles tentatively forthcoming


Note: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride  (coming 2015) will go back into the past and look at the Mackenzie family’s role in the 1745-46 Jacobite uprising. So technically, it is first, but it is NOT necessary to read it first. In fact, it will make more sense if the first four and Daniel’s book are read first.

The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (1745-46)
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (1881)
Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage (1881, September)
 The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (1882, September; Epilogue, June 1883)
The Duke’s Perfect Wife (1884, Spring; Epilogue, June 1885
The Seduction of Elliot McBride (1884, June)
A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (1884, December; Note that this story takes place before the Epilogue in Duke’s Perfect Wife)
The Untamed Mackenzie (1885, April)
Scandal and the Duchess (1885, November)
Rules for a Proper Governess (1885, December)
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (1890)
A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (1891)

Why the Jumping?
Writing a book series is a bit like producing a TV series–you never know whether you’ll be picked up for another season. Even if an author’s series does well, there is no guarantee a publisher will offer another contract, and this can happen for many reasons. For example, the publisher might go out of business; the publisher decides to change focus and phase out certain types of books; the author’s editor leaves and no other editor wants to continue the series. Contracts are usually for 2-3 books (sometimes 4-5; but mine are usually 2-3). Lots of things can go wrong in publishing, unfortunately, and many of those things have indeed happened to me!

Also, an author never, ever knows from the outset whether a series will be successful. If it isn’t, publishers will drop it after the first two or three books. It is extremely difficult in that case to convince another publisher to pick you up. (I had no idea how difficult this was before I was published–of course publishers would want my favorite authors! But that’s not always the case, sadly.)

Now that authors can self-publish, we don’t have to panic as much about being dropped; however when I first started this series the self-publish option wasn’t there. So, I made sure the first four brothers’ stories got told first! Duke’s Perfect Wife finished a contract, and I was happy to be offered another. I made sure Daniel’s book got into that one, even if I had to jump forward in time to do it. Then I was offered yet more contracts, so I backed up to pick up some other stories. I trusted that if I posted the date in the beginning of each book, my readers would get it.

I have more Mackenzie stories to tell after these, so we’ll see what the future holds!

Rules for a Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley

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Lady Wesley
Lady Wesley
7 years ago

So glad to hear that there are more Mackenzies on the way! I love them all.