MAYFAIR AFFAIR Give Away
May 28th, 2015

So many thanks to the lovely Tracy Grant, who has been kind enough to offer a copy of her latest, The Mayfair Affair, for give away here on the website.

Here’s the official blurb:

Mayfair AffairIn the elegant environs of Mayfair, Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch live a seemingly charmed life. Malcolm, a former diplomatic attaché and intelligence agent, is a rising Member of Parliament. Suzanne is fast becoming one of London’s most sought hostesses. But even their closest friends don’t know that the Rannoch’s marriage is still reeling from the revelation that Suzanne was a French spy when she met British agent Malcolm and that she married him to gather information on British plans. Malcolm and Suzanne are hoping for private time to repair their marriage. But their peace is shattered by a late night visit from a Bow Street runner. The powerful Duke of Trenchard has been found murdered in the study of his St. James’s Square house. And Laura Dudley, governess to the Rannoch children, was standing over the dying duke. Malcolm and Suzanne are convinced the woman they trusted with their children is not a killer. To prove Laura’s innocence, they are drawn into an investigation that will test their wits and the fragile truce between them. But whether or not she murdered the Duke of Trenchard, Laura Dudley is certainly not what she seemed. Revelations about her identity cut dangerously close to Suzanne’s own past. Malcolm and Suzanne realize more is at stake than Laura’s life and liberty. The investigation into the Duke of Trenchard’s murder will either prove the resilience of their bond–or snap it in two.

It’s not hard picking up the series with any book (I started in the middle, back when, and was immediately hooked), but if you haven’t read Tracy’s books before, I recommend going back and starting with Vienna Waltz, the first of the Malcolm and Suzanne books.

So, for a copy of Tracy’s latest, The Mayfair Affair, here’s your question:

What’s your favorite governess book?

You can see Tracy’s list of favorite governess books here.

The winner will be announced on Monday!

 

Signing on Sunday!
May 27th, 2015

Are you in New York? Come join me this Sunday at the Penguin Book Truck at the Javits Center! I’ll be there with the lovely Jill Shalvis, Emily Liebert, and Marie Force, signing and chatting about books.

love birds penguin truck takeover

Here are the details….

What: Signing
When: Sunday, May 31, 10:00-12:00
Where: The Javits Center, 34th & 11th

The event is free and open to the public. There will be books for sale at the Book Truck, although, as always, I am also very happy to sign anything you haul over from home.

I’ll also have signed bookplates with me if you would like one for your copy of The Other Daughter (coming out July 21) or The Lure of the Moonflower (August 4).

See you on Sunday!

 

Teaser Tuesday: the “voice” of THE OTHER DAUGHTER
May 26th, 2015

There are times when writing can be a bit like acting. You need to get into the characters’ heads, experience the world as they experience it, speak as they speak.

The Other DaughterFor The Other Daughter, speaking as they speak was the big challenge for me. There’s such a unique tone to the 1920s, and particularly to the specific subset that my heroine, Rachel, was trying to infiltrate.

So I went into training. For about six months, I read only books written during the twenties and thirties. (I cheated and let myself creep forward into the 30’s because… well, Angela Thirkell.)

I had two voices I needed for Rachel: her natural voice and her Bright Young Things voice, although, as the book went on, the lines between the two became less and less distinct.

Here are a few of the books I used to get “in voice” for The Other Daughter:

— Dorothy Sayers’s Unnatural Death: published in 1927, this Lord Peter Wimsey mystery takes place in between a country town similar to the one Rachel grew up in and the London to which she moves. Careful readers will notice that I might have borrowed a few details here and there (including a block of flats!).

— Margery Allingham’s The Crime at Black Dudley: Allingham’s first Campion novel came out in 1929, so it was written just about the right time. I found that mystery novels were, in many ways, more useful than the satires that epitomize the era: they’re full of what a professor of mine used to call “accidental evidence”, details of life and bits of slang that are just thrown in along the way to the big whodunnit.

— Angela Thirkell’s High Rising: Angela Thirkell’s first Barsetshire novel came out in 1933, six years late for me. But her image of English village life has a timeless feel to it and deeply influenced my image of Rachel’s home life. (I was tempted to put Rachel’s home in Barsetshire, but decided that would be pushing it– and found an appropriate village in Norfolk instead.)

— Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies: Waugh’s 1930 satire is the quintessential portrait of the Bright Young Things in all their frenetic frivolity– and, in many ways, the Bright Young Things’ swan song. An inside member of the group, he knew their quirks and their slang and parodies them all mercilessly. (Naturally, I had to have Waugh make a guest appearance in Other Daughter.)

— Nancy Mitford’s Highland Fling: like Waugh, Mitford skewered the group from the inside. Her first novel, written in 1930/1, satirizes the same crowd. Her columns in The Lady were also incredibly useful– and, of course, ridiculously funny.

— P.G. Wodehouse’s Leave It to Psmith: Wodehouse’s 1927 novel was set in New York, so I went back to 1924 for that unique Wodehouse spin on the antics of the English. (Although, who are we kidding? As with Sayers, Waugh, and Mitford, you can’t read just one. Once you pop, you can’t stop.)

— Stella Gibbons’s Cold Comfort Farm: like Angela Thirkell, Gibbons was a bit late (1932), but any excuse to read Cold Comfort Farm…. Because there’s always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm.

What are your favorite novels of the 20s and 30s?

 

Pink XII ARCs!
May 21st, 2015

Can you guess what showed up on my doorstep today?

photo (52)

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….

To learn more about The Lure of the Moonflower and read an excerpt, just visit the Lure of the Moonflower page here on the website.

 

THAT SUMMER on Kindle and Nook– price reduced!
May 20th, 2015

I am very happy to announce that with the move to paperback, you can now find That Summer for $9.99 on both Kindle and Nook.

That Summer (3) That Summer Paperback

I feel like there needs to be a jingle or tagline here…. Same great read, lower price?

Happy reading!

 

THAT SUMMER: in paperback today!
May 19th, 2015

My Preraphaelite novel, That Summer, comes out in paperback today!

That Summer Paperback 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:

Image-1 photo (51)

If you see That Summer paperback in the wild, let me know!

You can learn more about the book here and find a bibliography here.

Happy reading!

 

THAT SUMMER– in stores tomorrow!
May 18th, 2015

It hardly seems possible, but That Summer comes out tomorrow– with a snazzy new cover.

That Summer Paperback

To celebrate the paperback release, the lovely Sharlene of Graphics by Sharlene made me these e-cards. Fun, no?

That Summer Paperback 1

That Summer Paperback 2

That Summer Paperback 3 fixed

That Summer Paperback 4

Which one is your favorite?

 

Dallas Informal Signing: 1:00 Today
May 15th, 2015

For those who can’t make it to the big book fair on Saturday, I’ll be doing an informal signing today from 1:00 to 1:30 in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Dallas. I’ll be the person who looks vaguely like my author photo, wearing a green dress patterned with blue flowers.

If you think you can make it, just drop me a note in the comments, so I’ll know to look out for you!

 

Dallas!
May 13th, 2015

You can find me this Saturday from 10:00-2:00 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas as part of the RT Convention Giant Book Fair.

Copies of That Summer, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, and the mass market edition of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation will be for sale at the event.

Under the Book Fair rules, you’re allowed to bring up to ten books from home for the signing. (See here for the full rules.) I’ll also have bookplates with me, so if you’d like a bookplate pre-signed for your copy of The Other Daughter or The Lure of the Moonflower, just ask!

(Full disclosure: I believe there’s a $5 entry fee for the book fair, but I haven’t been able to find anything about it on the website.)

If you can’t make the Book Fair but would like some books signed while I’m in Dallas, drop me a line and let me know and I’ll see about doing an unofficial signing in the hotel lobby/Starbucks.

 

In my mailbox….
May 12th, 2015

That Summer in paperback!

photo (50)

Less than one week to go until it appears in stores!

You can find all the links for pre-order here.