Weekly Reading Round-Up
It’s Valentine’s Day AND President’s Day weekend all in one! Which hopefully doesn’t mean we need to read romances about past presidents. That would be just a little too weird.
In the spirit of the season, though, I did read an excellent romance novel this week: Meredith Duran’s Luck Be a Lady, about a prim and proper lady who, to outmaneuver her scheming brother and save the family’s auction house, makes a deal with an underworld casino owner, with unexpected results for all. I’ve never read a Meredith Duran book I haven’t loved and this one is no exception. There’s also a companion book, Lady Be Good, which I probably should have read first, but…. Details, details. Luck Be A Lady was excellent on its own.
Moving from romance to women’s fiction, the always wonderful Karen White sent me an ARC of Liza Beazley’s debut novel, Keep Me Posted, about the correspondence between two sisters, both struggling with their marriages, and the fall-out when that very personal correspondence suddenly goes viral on the internet. Karen warned me that the book would be compelling (i.e. take away from writing time) and she was right.
What have you been reading this week?
BLACK TULIP: Ten Years Later….
Here it is, our second Black Tulip Anniversary Month contest!
It’s been ten years in real time since The Masque of the Black Tulip was first published, but it got me thinking. When we left Henrietta and Miles in Black Tulip, it was summer of 1803 and they were both in their early twenties.
What would life be like for Henrietta and Miles ten years on, in 1813?
Are they still stumbling over French spies in the shrubbery? Has Henrietta managed to redecorate Loring House as an exact replica of Uppington House? Did Miles’s parents ever return from the Continent? (And, if so, did they survive their initial encounter with Lady Uppington, who is still exceedingly cross over their abandonment of young Miles?) And has Miles finally succeeded in wresting that ginger biscuit recipe from Cook? Inquiring minds want to know.
So here, should you choose to accept it, is your challenge:
What do you think Hen’s and Miles’s life is like in 1813?
Your answer can be as short or as long, as serious or as silly as you like. Just post in the comments section below. One person will be chosen at random to receive a first edition, signed hardcover of The Masque of the Black Tulip. The winner will be announced on Monday.
Cookie Contest Winner!
Miles is trying to persuade Cook to make ALL the cookies, so while he’s otherwise occupied (and Hen is busy gloating over STILL being everyone’s favorite heroine), I’m here to tell you that the winner of the first of the Black Tulip Anniversary Month Contests is…
Alexandra! (Of Comment #138)
Congrats, Alexandra! If you email me at email@example.com, I’ll put your books in the mail to you.
More Black Tulip Anniversary Month fun (including another contest) coming up soon!
Weekly Reading Round-Up
Between the new book (coming summer 2017!), the continuing Forgotten Room buzz, and some books I’m not allowed to talk about because I’m judging them for a contest, it’s been a bit of a slim reading list this week– but I did manage to carve out the time to read Bill Bryson’s latest, The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain (because who can resist a title like that? or a sheep on the cover?), and a very old romp of a Regency romance, The Brighton Burglar (remember those old Zebra Regencies?).
Now that I’m going back into writing mode, I’ve been craving a new Laura Resnick Esther Diamond novel or a Ben Aaronovitch Rivers of London book, which make very good writing companions– but since neither has a new book out just now, if anyone has any suggestions for readalikes, I’d be very grateful!
What have you been reading this week?
In Which We Have a Rather Scrumptious Sort of Contest….
Look what I found when I moved earlier this year?
Two original ARCs of The Masque of the Black Tulip!
But they looked rather lonely by themselves, so I decided to pair them with a few friends: the section of the Pink series I tend to think of as “Henrietta and Co”, Pink III up through Pink VI.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a pile of books must be in want of a reader, which means… it’s time for our first Black Tulip Anniversary Month contest!
When I decided to hold a series of contests to celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Masque of the Black Tulip, one contest idea leaped out at me. (No, not you, Turnip– you’re a character, not a contest. And, please, take off that tulip costume!)
If there’s one thing anyone thinks of when they think of the hero of The Masque of the Black Tulip, it is….
“My manly physique? My floppy lock of hair?”
Okay, Miles. I know it’s your anniversary and all that, but you’re meant to stay in the book, remember? Ix-nay on the commentary.
As I was going to say, before I was so rudely interrupted, the one thing I associate most with Miles Dorrington is….
“His utterly brilliant and beautiful wife who really does far more to thwart French spies than some flower-named siblings one could mention?”
Has my book sprung a leak? Now it’s Henrietta playing peanut gallery. I knew I should have booked them on that tenth anniversary cruise….
In any event, when I think of The Masque of the Black Tulip, I think of… ginger biscuits. (Also French spies, but they’re less scrumptiously delicious.)
So, for your first anniversary month contest, here’s your question:
— What’s your favorite kind of cookie?
Also, if you feel like contributing a ginger biscuit recipe, please do! I’ll do a biscuit recipe round-up on the website later this month, including the one contributed by Christine for her Pink Carnation Cookery series last year.
One winner will be chosen at random to receive a vintage 2004 advance review copy of The Masque of the Black Tulip, plus copies of The Deception of the Emerald Ring, The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, and The Betrayal of the Blood Lily.
I’ll also be running this same contest on my author Facebook page for an identical pile of books– so feel free to double your chances by entering both places!
Happy Anniversary, BLACK TULIP!
In all of the Forgotten Room excitement, I completely missed Miles’s and Henrietta’s tenth anniversary! It’s been ten years now since The Masque of the Black Tulip, the second book in the Pink Carnation series, appeared in print.
Over the course of those ten years, Miles and Henrietta have won every single popularity contest ever held on this website (stop smirking, Henrietta!); they’ve appeared, in one way or another, in ten of the twelve Pink Carnation novels; they’ve starred in their own Valentine’s Day novella, Bunny & Biscuits; and they have consumed untold numbers of ginger biscuits.
Happy Anniversary, Henrietta and Miles!
To make it up to them, I’ve decided to declare this February Black Tulip Anniversary Month. I’ll be posting the first of four contests (one per week) here on the website later today. I’ll also be posting some outtakes and other tidbits, as time permits.
Stay tuned for the first Black Tulip Anniversary Month event later today!
FORGOTTEN ROOM is a New York Times Bestseller!
Karen, Beatriz, and I were celebrating last night, because… we got the news that The Forgotten Room debuted on the New York Times bestseller list!
Thank you so much to everyone who helped put The Forgotten Room on the New York Times list. We are beyond thrilled.
We’re still on the road for the next few days, so come and celebrate with us!
If you would like a signed first edition for yourself or a friend but aren’t on the tour route, just contact FoxTale Book Shoppe or one of the other shops on our route. If you already have a copy and would like a signed bookplate, just send a self-addressed stamp envelope with your request to PO Box 623, Roswell, GA 30077.