Weekly Reading Round-Up
October 17th, 2014

Hi, all! Apologies for not being around much on the website recently. It’s been a bit of a crazy fall so far. But I’ll have more If You Likes and Teaser Tuesdays for you soon!

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

– Florence King, Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady. I took a break between ghost stories to read an old favorite, Florence King’s tongue in cheek memoir of growing up in a rather eccentric family in D.C. in the 1940s. For me, it’s not so much what she writes as how she writes it; this is a woman who knows how to make the English language dance a jig for her.

– Jennifer Crusie, Maybe This Time. Speaking of tongue in cheek humor…. Jennifer Crusie is another one who always makes me laugh and read phrases out loud. This is her take on The Turn of the Screw, a ghost story set in an English castle transplanted to Ohio, with the usual screwball cast of characters. I’d read it again right away but for the fact that there are other Crusies on my shelf waiting for a re-read.

What have you been reading this week?

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up
October 10th, 2014

It’s been a week of books set in England. The other things that these books have in common? They’re good misty day, cup of tea reads. But other than that, they fall into two very different categories:

– Elizabeth George’s Lynley mysteries. I went through a huge Lynley phase back in law school. I’d first discovered the books during my research year in England (at a train station W.H. Smith) but really got going on them when I came back to the States. They were the perfect antidote to Torts. But it had been a while, so this week I re-read the first book, A Great Deliverance, and one rather later in the series, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner. They made me homesick for the London of ten years ago– but, having read them when they were closer to contemporary, I was also struck by how dated they felt in some ways. (I imagine people feel the same way about Eloise?)

– Simone St. James’s ghost stories. It’s October, which means… time for ghost stories! And no one does it better than Simone St. James. This time, I re-read her two earliest novels, The Haunting of Maddy Clare and An Inquiry Into Love and Death.

What have you been reading this week?

 

Stand Alone #3: THE OTHER DAUGHTER
October 8th, 2014

The third stand alone novel, aka the 1927 book, has both a release date and a title!

Coming to you on June 2, 2015, we have… The Other Daughter.

This is a rare– in fact, perhaps a unique– occasion in which my working title looks like it might be the actual title. My working title for the 1927 book was His Other Daughter (abbreviated in my files to HOD). It’s currently up for pre-order on Amazon and B&N as The Other Daughter, which does have rather more of a ring to it.

The Other Daughter follows the adventures of a young woman who returns home from her job as a nursery governess in France on her mother’s death only to discover that her father wasn’t at all what she believed him to be. Among other things, he’s alive. And an earl.

With the help of a ne’er do well gossip columnist, Simon Montfort, Rachel infiltrates the glittering nightclubs of the Bright Young Things, determined to find the clues to her own past.

More information– and a cover– coming soon!

 

BLACK TULIP Month
October 6th, 2014

Over on the Bubblebath Reader, the Pink For All Seasons Read-a-Thon continues with Pink II, The Masque of the Black Tulip.

Black Tulip Paperback

Head over there to join the discussion!

As a special treat, there’s a copy of The Masque of the Black Tulip currently up for grabs over there.

On an unrelated note, I realize that there hasn’t been much happening over here recently. I’ve been in the writing cave with a combination of Pink XII and The Forgotten Room (the book I’m co-writing with Beatriz Williams and Karen White), a large box of tissues, and a bottle of Nyquil.

I should have more news coming up here shortly, including the cover of Pink XII, more about the third stand alone novel, and yet another Top Secret Project.

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up
October 3rd, 2014

Since plague has struck my household (bring out your tissues!), it seemed like a good time for comfort reads, in the form of two old favorite madcap mysteries that I hadn’t re-read in a bit:

–Dorothy Cannell’s The Thin Woman, in which our heroine hires an escort for a family event, and, a few months later, discovers that her crotchety cousin has left his estate jointly to her and her “fiance”– provided they can fulfill the conditions of his will, which include a treasure hunt. It’s a little Barbara Michaels, a little Midsomer Murders, a little Westing Game, and a lot of sheer, ridiculous fun. It’s held up pretty well since I first read it twenty years back. Aside from the lack of cell phones and other modern electronic devices, it doesn’t feel dated at all. It is also the mother of all house books, including attics to explore, and a family mystery to discover.

– Donna Andrews, Murder with Peacocks. This seemed like a logical next step after The Thin Woman. Substitute a zany American small town for a zany English small town, and weddings instead of a funeral, but in both you have a wise-cracking heroine (in a first person narrative), a handsome hero, and a delightfully absurd cast of side characters.

Next up… I’m not sure whether to continue the Cannell/Andrews-a-thon or switch to some of my regularly scheduled lead up to Halloween reading.

What have you been reading this week?

 

MISCHIEF OF THE MISTLETOE– only 99p!
October 1st, 2014

I am delighted to announce that The Mischief of the Mistletoe is one of Sainsbury’s autumn picks!

Mistletoe UK

(Given the number of their frozen dinners I consumed during my year in London, it really does seem like payback. Ah, memories. I do miss that Lancashire hot pot….)

From now until December 24th, UK readers can acquire the e-book of The Mischief of the Mistletoe for a mere 99p.

All of the other Pink Carnation books have also been discounted. You can find The Secret History of the Pink Carnation reduced to £2.29 and the later books at £4.99.

 

Ask the Author
September 29th, 2014

Hi, all! As part of the year long Pink-A-Thon on The Bubblebath Reader, I’ll be doing an Ask the Author over there tomorrow to wrap up the discussion of Pink I, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

The way it works: there’ll be an Ask the Author post up on the Bubblebath Reader site tomorrow. Post your questions in the comments section of that post. I’ll pop by throughout the day to post answers.

Stop by the Bubblebath Reader tomorrow to have all questions answered!

(Or, at least the ones about the Pink series. I make no representations about mysterious dark men, journeys over water, and all that sort of thing.)

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up
September 26th, 2014

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump, but there have been some gems amid the grumpiness.

This week’s gems?

Carla Kelly’s Marrying the Royal Marine, set in Portugal during the Napoleonic Wars, in which the ugly duckling sister finds herself on an unexpected adventure when she joins her sister in staffing a hospital in war-torn Portugal. It’s the third in a trilogy about three sisters, but you can read each independently without missing anything.

(Fun fact: it was the first book in this trilogy, Marrying The Captain, which I read in the spring of 2013, which, in a rather roundabout way, inspired my third stand alone novel, aka the 1927 Book, aka the Book That’s Coming Out Next. But more on that later.)

Next up, I’ve begun my annual re-read of E.F. Benson’s ghost stories. It is October next week, after all. Let the Halloween reading begin!

What have you been reading this week?

 

Teaser Tuesday: Friends of Peniche
September 23rd, 2014

It’s the little details that make a writer’s day.

I won’t be telling you too much if I let you know that a crucial piece of Pink XII is slotted to take place around the coastal city of Peniche, in Portugal. As I was doing my crash course on Portugal and Portuguese culture in 1807 and 1808, I came upon a local saying: “amigos de Peniche”.

The meaning? False friends.

Apparently, the origin of the phrase comes from the sixteenth century, when Sir Francis Drake (yes, that Sir Francis Drake!) led an expedition to Portugal to restore Don Antonio to the throne. A force under the command of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, landed at Peniche, and the word went down the coast to Lisbon, “Our friends are coming from Peniche….”

Only, they didn’t. They camped out for a bit outside the gates of Lisbon, gave up, and went home. There may or may not have been some looting along the way.

Hence “friends of Peniche”: false friends.

I have a feeling this will come in handy for Pink XII….

 

Monday Give-Away: VIENNA WALTZ
September 22nd, 2014

Okay, I’m cheating a bit. The give-away isn’t over here. It’s on the Bubblebath Reader, where Ashley has an interview with Tracy Grant and a give-away of her book, Vienna Waltz, which is one of my very favorites.

Here’s the official blurb:

viennawaltzcoverNothing is fair in love and war…

Europe’s elite have gathered at the glittering Congress of Vienna—princes, ambassadors, the Russian tsar—all negotiating the fate of the Continent by day and pursuing pleasure by night. Until Princess Tatiana, the most beautiful and talked about woman in Vienna, is found murdered during an ill-timed rendezvous with three of her most powerful conquests…

Suzanne Rannoch has tried to ignore rumors that her new husband, Malcolm, has also been tempted by Tatiana. As a protégé of France’s Prince Talleyrand and attaché for Britain’s Lord Castlereagh, Malcolm sets out to investigate the murder and must enlist Suzanne’s special skills and knowledge if he is to succeed. As a complex dance between husband and wife in the search for the truth ensues, no one’s secrets are safe, and the future of Europe may hang in the balance…

To learn more and enter the contest, just head over to the Bubblebath Reader!