Teaser Tuesday: Colin & Eloise
July 22nd, 2014

Only two weeks to go until The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla… and it just dawned on me that I haven’t shared a scrap of the Colin and Eloise portion of the book!

Here, with just two weeks to go, is the entire, unabridged Prologue (aka the first Colin and Eloise chapter) of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla….


Read the rest of this entry »


July 21st, 2014

Pink XI, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, comes out in just two weeks!

So, for this week’s Monday Give Away, we have a flashback to the previous book in the series, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria. (Just to remind Miss Gwen which book is actually about her.)

Here’s the official blurb:

PlumeriaColonel William Reid has returned home from India to retire near his children, who are safely stowed in an academy in Bath. Upon his return to the Isles, however, he finds that one of his daughters has vanished, along with one of her classmates.

Having served as second-in-command to the Pink Carnation, one of England’s most intrepid spies, it would be impossible for Gwendolyn Meadows to give up the intrigue of Paris for a quiet life in the English countryside—especially when she’s just overheard news of an alliance forming between Napoleon and an Ottoman Sultan. But, when the Pink Carnation’s little sister goes missing from her English boarding school, Gwen reluctantly returns home to investigate the girl’s disappearance.

Thrown together by circumstance, Gwen and William must cooperate to track down the young ladies before others with nefarious intent get their hands on them. But Gwen’s partnership with quick-tongued, roguish William may prove to be even more of an adventure for her than finding the lost girls…

Throughout The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, Miss Gwen is hard at work on her magnum opus, The Convent of Orsino (which those of you who have followed the series from the beginning may remember her starting way back in Pink I!). As you can tell from the title, it is the most gothic of the gothic, with more than a little bit of The Castle of Otranto about it. (Although Miss Gwen resents the implication that her work is in any way derivative.) Miss Gwen’s Convent of Orsino, the smash hit of 1806, plays a major role in Sally’s book, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla….

Here, for your amusement, are some e-cards that Graphics by Sharlene made up for me to celebrate the release of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria last year.

For a chance to win a copy of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, here’s your question:

Which of these e-cards do you like best?

The winner will be announced on Wednesday….

LW11 (3)

LW3 (2)

LW2 (2)


LW5 (3)

LW6 (2)




LW9 (1)





Blogger Bash!
July 19th, 2014

Thank so much to Debbie Bookstaber and Elements Associates for having me at Blogger Bash yesterday!

And, of course, huge thanks to the wonderful folks at St. Martin’s Press and Penguin, who generously donated all of the books you see below. (Not to mention the immense Midnight Manzanilla sign.)

Here’s the table at four o’clock, before the signing;

Blogger Bash 1

And here’s the same spot twenty minutes later:

Blogger Bash 2

It was such fun getting to meet and chat with so many lovely people. Thanks, Blogger Bashers! I now have many new blogs to read.


Weekly Reading Round-Up
July 19th, 2014

What with one thing and another, this is a slightly belated Weekly Reading Round-Up this week! I’ve been revisiting old favorites, Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate and Dorothy Sayers’s second Harriet Vane mystery, Have His Carcase.

I also– moment of gloat!– have a very, very advance copy of the new Susanna Kearsley to read. It’s called A Desperate Fortune and it comes out in spring of next year.

What have you been reading this week?


July 16th, 2014

That Summer (3)I am deeply excited to announce that this August will be a month-long That Summer read along!

Have you read That Summer? Do you have questions? Or have you been meaning to read That Summer and not gotten around to it yet? Have a friend or book club you think might enjoy the story?

Then join us for the That Summer read along, starting on August 1! There’ll be give aways and prizes, and, of course, much discussion of the book, which the New York Times Book Review calls “an involving mystery… with an intellectual glow”.

Here’s how it works:

All you have to do is “join” the That Summer Read Along event page on Facebook. I’ll let you know as soon as it goes live.

We have four amazing moderators– Christina (of Austenprose), Ashley (of The Bubblebath Reader), Miss Eliza (of Strange and Random Happenstance), and Céline.

Each Friday, one of our fearless moderators will post a brief summary of that week’s chapters, plus a bunch of discussion questions. Then it’s over to you to post comments, questions, or whatever else you like! I’ll be popping in to answer questions and join in the fun.

In addition to the other fun, there’ll be dream-casting for the various characters, behind the scenes snippets about the books, and weekly give aways, including special That Summer Read Along mugs, copies of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, The Ashford Affair, and other bits and pieces, like Pre-Raphaelite postcards.

Here’s the chapter breakdown:

August 1-8: Chapters 1-7
August 9-15: Chapters 8-13
August 16-22: Chapters 14-20
August 23-29: Chapters 21-28

Get your copy, clear your calendar, and get ready to read! I’ll be posting more about the Read Along, including a link to the event page, as we get closer to the date….

Side note: if this read along goes well, it is not out of the question that we might have a Pink Carnation read along later this year. Especially with Pink XII looming on the horizon!


There will be a stoat….
July 15th, 2014

The marvelous Sharlene of Graphics by Sharlene surprised me with a gift this morning: a video for The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla!

Warning: you might want to swallow whatever you’re drinking before you watch this. There may have been some choking on tea about mid-way through.

Thank you so much, Sharlene! I’m still giggling.


July 15th, 2014

The first of the reviews of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla is in…. (Always a nerve-wracking moment!)

According to RT Book Reviews:

The latest in the Pink Carnation series is a delightfully eerie Halloween book that combines all of the suspense of the spy series with the era’s fascination with the supernatural. Willig’s writing is witty and smart, and her addictive series sparkles with lively dialogue, intelligent characters and great plotting, which is why readers keep coming back for more. Willig represents the Regency romantic mystery at its best.


What author could ask for anything more?

Thank you, RT!! This warms the cockles of my heart, especially since this was a book written under rather blurry and sleep-deprived circumstances.

The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla makes its appearance in stores three weeks from today!


July 14th, 2014

So many apologies! In the flurry of travel this Friday, I completely forgot to announce the winner of Monday’s give away.

So, without further ado, the winner of the very last ARC of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla is…

Pat D! (Of Comment #50.)

Congrats, Pat! Drop me a line with your info and I’ll pop your book into the mail to you.

In the meantime… only three weeks until Midnight Manzanilla!


Weekly Reading Round-Up
July 11th, 2014

Writing that post for Heroes and Heartbreakers on “house” books made me nostalgic for some of my favorite house books.

So this was a week of re-reads for me, starting with Barbara Michaels’s Ammie, Come Home, a classic ghost story set in a townhouse in Georgetown, followed by House of Many Shadows (another house with secrets, this time in rural Pennsylvania).

I then jumped from Barbara Michaels to one of my favorites of all time, Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold, and then, even though it isn’t a house book, Mary Stewart’s Airs Above the Ground (because, with Mary Stewart, once you pop, you can’t stop– or something like that.)

Switching gears entirely, I’m currently re-reading Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies to get back in the mood for Stand Alone Novel #3.

What have you been reading this week?


July 10th, 2014

In which we meet Lucien….

Manzanilla Card 2

In which Miss Gwen still thinks this book is about her….

Manzanilla Card 7

And in which, for Sally, a kiss is never just a kiss….

Manzanilla Card 5

Only a little over three weeks until The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla appears in stores!