Archive for November, 2009

The Emerald Ring Playlist

Monday, November 30th, 2009

As we struggle out of our turkey comas, here’s the Emerald Ring playlist to get you up and dancing– or running off to Ireland with a group of spies in knee breeches. Take your pick.

Follow You Down, Gin Blossoms

If following Geoff to Ireland doesn’t count, I don’t know what does.

As you may have noticed, I have a thing for soundtracks. It’s like a mix tape you didn’t have to mix yourself. I listened to the How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days soundtrack a lot while writing Emerald Ring. Like, really, a lot. So if you notice a whole bunch of songs from that soundtrack on this list… there’s a reason for that.

Weight of the World, Chantal Kreviazuk

Given Letty’s propensity for carrying the weight of the world—or, at least, the Alsworthy household—this song struck me as very appropriate.

And, yes, it was on the How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days soundtrack.

We Could Still Belong Together, Lisa Loeb

Something about the optimism of this just says “Letty” for me—even though it’s not on the How to Lose a Guy soundtrack.

Candide, Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim

When I wasn’t listening to How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, my most played CD while working on Emerald Ring was the musical version of Candide. There’s nothing like a little Voltaire and a little Bernstein, all rolled up with trills. Of all my characters, Geoff has always struck me as the most in tune with the Enlightenment (despite his propensity for writing bad poetry). If he’s a Quod Erat Demonstrandum kind of guy, then Letty is definitely a Best of All Possible Worlds sort of girl.

I’m No Angel, Dido.

It was a toss-up between this and White Flag. I listened to both Dido CDs a fair amount while writing Emerald Ring (they make good, mellow evening writing music, as opposed to peppy daytime writing music), but something about the tone of No Angel is more Letty and Geoff to me, as both of them come to grips with the fact that they’re not actually perfect.

Do you have any good Letty and Geoff songs to add to the list? When I post the lists to the Diversions page in January, I’ll be adding a “Readers Recommend” section to each list. So please recommend away!

Marveilleuses on Parade!

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

For the best French Revolutionary spoof since Blackadder’s Pimpernel skit, check out this cartoon on Hark! A Vagrant.

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Since I’m not fit for much except sprawling on a couch today anyway, it seemed a good time to catalog books. This week’s reads have been:

An Old Fashioned Girl, Louisa May Alcott

This is a traditional Thanksgiving re-read for me. This may be heresy, but I like it even better than Little Women.

Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell

About as far as one can get from Louisa May Alcott. Much darker and more dystopian than the HBO series.

The Waitress, Melissa Nathan

I was hooked on Melissa Nathan’s books from the moment I stumbled on Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field in the British imports section of the late, lamented Wordsworth Books in Harvard Square. The best of all possible British chick lit.

Don’t Tempt Me, Loretta Chase

Light, fun Regency by one of my favorite historical romance authors.

The Reluctant Heiress, Eva Ibbotsen

A crumbling castle, an unhappy entrepreneur, and a princess who runs away to join the opera. Who could ask for anything more? Oh, yes. Comic side characters. There are plenty of those, too. And true love, of course.

Bright Lights, Big Ass, Jen Lancaster

Yes, the Jen Lancaster obsession continues. I don’t know what I’m going to do after I’ve read the last one.

What have you been reading this week?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Back in grade school, right around Thanksgiving, we would inevitably be assigned that composition that began with “I have a lot to be grateful for because…”. Thinking ourselves clever, we would usually write things like, “I have a lot to be grateful for because I’m not a turkey”, and then snicker at our own first grade wit.

I’m still grateful I’m not a turkey (those waddles!) but there are many other things I’m grateful for these days. High on that list is the community we’ve built here on this page. Thanks so much for being a part of the Pink family– and for giving me so many new and excellent ways to procrastinate.

Wishing you all a happy, hearty (and heartburn-free) Thanksgiving!

Contest Winner!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

At the beginning of Black Tulip, Henrietta takes Penelope to task for disappearing onto a balcony with:

a) Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe
b) Lord Frederick Staines
c) Turnip Fitzhugh
d) Martin Frobisher
e) All of the above

Can you imagine Geoff out on a balcony with Penelope? No, no, and no again. Penelope has certainly made the rounds of those balconies, but the answer is c) Turnip Fitzhugh. He may be dense, but he’s oh so smoochable. And, as Penelope points out, all those guineas do rather gild the Turnip.

The winner of the ARC of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, chosen at random from among all the correct answers is…

Allison Scott

Congratulations, Allison! Thanks so much to everyone for participating.

I do have one last ARC of Blood Lily floating around, so stay tuned for another contest next month. In the meantime, you also have a chance to win an ARC starting on Friday, November 27th, on Miss Eliza’s website. I also have it on good authority that Smart Bitches, Trashy Books will be giving away two ARCs via Twitter sometime in early December.

In the meantime, Blood Lily is available for pre-order on Amazon, Borders, and B&


Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

This is the last day to enter the website contest to win an advance copy of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (winner to be announced here tomorrow!), but, thanks to our own Miss Eliza, you have a chance to win another advance copy. Miss Eliza will be giving away a copy of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily at random to one visitor to her blog, Strange and Random Happenstance, between this Friday, November 27th, and December 11th.

She also wrote an absolutely lovely review of Blood Lily. Thanks, Miss Eliza!


Monday, November 23rd, 2009

It was pointed out to me that there was, in fact, a Friday last week and I missed it. For those looking for the Weekly Reading Round-Up, I apologize. Weekly Reading Round-Up will resume this Friday– what better way to recover from the turkey coma than with a good book?

Hanging with the Hoydens

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Last week, I had the great good fortune of getting to spend a few days with fellow writer and History Hoyden Tracy Grant. I adore Tracy’s books (which everyone should read! right now!), so it was an incredible treat to get the advance scoop on the next one and exchange gripes about Napoleonic spies and the characters who thwart them.

I’ve been meaning to write a proper post about Tracy’s visit, but Pink VII keeps getting in the way. Fortunately, both Tracy and fellow Hoyden Leslie Carroll, being far more organized than I, have put up their own posts about our Hoyden confab. You can find Tracy’s posts here and here , and Leslie’s here.


Friday, November 20th, 2009

Hi, all! Just a quick reminder that we’re down to the last few days to enter the contest to win one of my two remaining advance copies of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily. The contest closes on Tuesday, so get your entry in now! The winner will be announced here, on the News page, on the day before Thanksgiving.

Beyond Her Book

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

The Masque of the Black Tulip is featured today in a lovely post on Barbara Vey’s blog, Beyond Her Book. Thanks so much to reviewer Joysann!