Weekly Reading Round-Up
February 12th, 2016

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.

Right now, I have a pile of ARCs to dig into: Alyson Richman’s The Velvet Hours, M.J. Rose’s The Secret Language of Stones, and my writing sister Beatriz’s A Certain Age.

What have you been reading this week?

 

BLACK TULIP: Ten Years Later….
February 10th, 2016

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.

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Most Fun Book Tour: the Video
February 9th, 2016

Throughout the Forgotten Room book tour, we joked that our trip would make a hilarious mockumentary (although it felt a bit more like The Blair Witch Project than This Is Spinal Tap on some of those early morning wake-ups).

In any event, a friend of Karen’s decided to take us up on it! Voila a little bit of our appearance at FoxTale books (and we’ve been told a longer video is coming soon).

Happy viewing!

 

Cookie Contest Winner!
February 8th, 2016

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 willig@post.harvard.edu, I’ll put your books in the mail to you.

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More Black Tulip Anniversary Month fun (including another contest) coming up soon!

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up
February 5th, 2016

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?

 

Illinois on Saturday! (2/6)
February 4th, 2016

This Saturday, I’ll be returning to one of my favorite libraries to speak on a panel with three amazing authors: Sonali Dev, Simone Elkeles and Marilyn Brant.

We’ll be discussing Love Across Ages and Cultures— and we’d love to have you join us!

Come find us this Saturday, 2/6, at 2:00 at the Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee, IL. Lake Forest Bookstore will be there to sell books, so you can pick up a signed copy while you’re there.

If you can’t make it but would like a personalized copy of Forgotten Room or any of my other books, just give them a call today or tomorrow (847-234-4420) and they can get those books signed on Saturday and then send them your way. Lake Forest Bookstore will also have signed books for sale in their store after the event, if you’d rather pop by and pick one up.

Here are the details:

When: Saturday, February 6, 2:00
What: Panel & Signing
Who: Marilyn Brant, Sonali Dev, Simone Elkeles, Lauren Willig
Where: Warren Newport Public Library, 224 O’Plaine Rd, Gurnee, IL 60031

Bookseller: Lake Forest Books
Bookseller contact info: call 847-234-4420 or email info@lakeforestbookstore.com

Hope to see you on Saturday!

 

In Which We Have a Rather Scrumptious Sort of Contest….
February 3rd, 2016

Look what I found when I moved earlier this year?

Two original ARCs of The Masque of the Black Tulip!

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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.

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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!
February 3rd, 2016

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.

tulip_200 Black Tulip Cover

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!

 

New York Reading– Tonight!
February 1st, 2016

The official Forgotten Room book tour may have come to an end, but I’ll be reading from The Forgotten Room tonight, at Lady Jane’s Salon, New York’s only romance reading series.

Here’s the official Lady Jane’s announcement:

Join us Monday, February 1st, 7-9:00 PM at Madame X (NYC’s “sexiest bar”; loft level) as we celebrate our seventh year in NYC!

Guest authors: Lauren Willig, Trevann Rogers, and Katie Lynch, plus Salon co-founders Leanna Renee Hieber and Hope Tarr.

Salon program will include a complimentary champagne toast courtesy of Tor/Forge (Macmillan Publishers) and the presentation of our annual donation award to Women in Need.

Net proceeds of the Salon support our house charity, Win.

Cash bar with $5/$6 cocktails & “mocktails.”

Admission is $5, which goes to benefit Women in Need.

There won’t be books for sale at the event, but I’m very happy to sign whatever you bring from home. (If you bring your copy of Forgotten Room, I have bookplates that Karen, Beatriz, and I triple-signed in advance for just such an occasion.) I’ll also be giving away the copy of Forgotten Room that I’m reading from to one lucky attendee!

After this, my next stop will be Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee, Illinois, where you can find me on Saturday, February 6, along with Sonali Dev, Simone Elkeles, and Marilyn Brant. We’ll be talking about Love Across Ages and Cultures— and, of course, anything else you want us to talk about!

 

FORGOTTEN ROOM is a New York Times Bestseller!
January 28th, 2016

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!

NYT Forgotten Room

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!

Book Miser

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.