Pink XII ARCs!
Can you guess what showed up on my doorstep today?
Advance review copies of the final Pink book!
It’s both exciting and a little mind-boggling to have the final Pink Carnation book here in physical form (albeit, in rather bland ARC form). I had thought about this book for so long, avoided this book for so long, struggled with this book for so long. I still can’t entirely believe it exists.
To everyone who has requested a review copy, I wish, wish, wish I could send one to each and every one of you– but, as you can see from the box, I only have eight copies to play with (of which three are already promised to Pinkorama winners). So, to make it all fair, I’ll be holding a few contests here on the website and Facebook.
Contest #1 to commence as soon as I can think of a sufficiently cunning contest idea….
THAT SUMMER on Kindle and Nook– price reduced!
THAT SUMMER: in paperback today!
My Preraphaelite novel, That Summer, comes out in paperback today!
2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it’s a joke. She hasn’t been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house–with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas–bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house’s shrouded history begins to open…
1849: Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited sixteen year old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur’s collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.
From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, Lauren Willig’s That Summer takes readers on an un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman’s search for the truth about her past–and herself.
Here’s the then and now of last year’s hardcover release day and this year’s paperback release day:
If you see That Summer paperback in the wild, let me know!
THAT SUMMER– in stores tomorrow!
In my mailbox….
If You Like….
After a long hiatus, If You Like is back! It’s all thanks to Tracy Grant, who provided this week’s guest If You Like post on one of my favorite topics: governess books.
Without any further ado, if you like governess books… here’s the lovely Tracy Grant, with some recommendations:
My book The Mayfair Affair, which releases, on May 15 is many things–a historical mystery, a spy story, an adventure. But it is also a governess story. The book begins with Laura Dudley, governess to the children of my central spy couple Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch, accused of the murder of a powerful duke. Laura has been in the background in earlier books in the series. It was fun to explore her story and secrets. In honor of Laura, here are some of my favorite governess stories.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. How could I not start with this? The archetypal governess book. I first read it at the age of nine and discover new things in the story to this day.
The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig. One of my favorite books in a favorite series. I love Laura Grey, intelligent, sensible but with an adventurous heart. And I think it’s cool both Lauren and I, separately, named our quite different governess characters Laura!
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stuart. When I was thirteen I thought this was one of the most romantic books I’d ever read. I still do in many ways. It’s also a Cinderella story and a wonderful, gripping adventure set in the French countryside.
The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh. An intensely emotional story that stayed with me long after I read it. Definite echoes of Jane Eyre but with a fresh spin.
The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton. The central characters are the four American débutantes who marry into the British aristocracy, but the governess is an important character in her own right. A wonderful portrait of the limited options faced by women without fortune or family and the challenges of living as a governess part and yet not part of a family. Her name is Laura Testvalley. I honestly didn’t think about her name being Laura as well until I wrote this post. I wonder subconsciously if that’s why I named my own Laura.
What are your favorite governess stories?
Thanks so much, Tracy! I cannot wait to read your governess book. (Which, if I remember correctly, comes out this Friday.)
And why do you think there are so many governesses named Laura?
Governesses are a topic dear to my heart right now because the heroine of my upcoming book, The Other Daughter, starts out the novel as a nursery governess. Her life takes some rather strange and ungovernessy twists after that, but the opening of the book is an homage to one of my all time favorite books, Nine Coaches Waiting, which Tracy discusses above.
For more governess book recommendations, here is another list I compiled for If You Like a few years ago. You’ll notice a certain amount of overlap….
Weekly Reading Round-Up
Another win from the college roommate care package! I’ve been reading my way through Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series: Rivers of London, Moon Over Soho, and Whispers Under Ground. I’m currently on #4, Broken Homes, and have #5, Foxglove Summer, queued up next. Think police procedural meets Harry Potter. It’s paranormal policing in modern London with a snarky first person narrator who makes me think of a British, male Vicky Bliss. (Although he’s a policeman, not an art historian. It’s a tone thing.)
I’ve also been reading my way through a pile of research books for the next stand alone. More on that very, very soon.
What have you been reading this week?