Archive for October, 2011

Halloween Reading

Monday, October 31st, 2011

My go-to Halloween book is always Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Is it a ghost story? Is it a tale of psychological decay? I’m never quite sure, but either way it’s creepy.

This year, I’ve been going untraditional (for me) and reading through E.F. Benson’s ghost stories instead.

Then, of course, there are Halloween movies. I tend to mix those up a bit more. Last year, it was the remake of House on Haunted Hill. This year, I have Vincent Price’s House of Wax in the queue. Practical Magic and Hocus Pocus have also made it into the line-up in the past.

What’s your favorite Halloween entertainment?

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

To everyone who was pummeled by this weekend’s blizzard, I hope you’re staying warm and dry. A white Christmas is one thing; a white Halloween quite another!

In honor of Halloween, I’ve reproduced a blog post from the vault, from October of 2007: The Costume Less Traveled. Because, let’s face it, my costumes were always just a little bit… esoteric.

What was your best–or worst–Halloween costume?


“Pure Regency delight…”

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Pink I got a shout-out in the “Great Reads” section of today’s Shelf Awareness!

Shelf Awareness calls The Secret History of the Pink Carnation “pure Regency delight”. Thank you!!

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The big reads for the week, of course, were Kristan Higgins’ Until There Was You (which I liked even better than My One and Only) and Tasha Alexander’s A Crimson Warning, her latest Lady Emily mystery.

For those of you who haven’t read Tasha before, a good place to start is with her first Lady Emily book, And Only to Deceive, which appears to be rather sharply discounted just now. ($5.58!)

I also read Beryl Markham’s West with the Night, her lyrical account of her life in Kenya– although, I confess, I can’t use the phrase “life in Kenya” without thinking of Lionel from As Time Goes By. If anyone’s seen the episode with the inflatable elephant– or the one with the cover photo shoot– you know why I’m snickering.

What have you been reading?

MISTLETOE: November 1!

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Once all the ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night demanding Halloween candy are all cleared away, it’s time for Mistletoe!

The Mischief of the Mistletoe comes out in paperback next Tuesday, November 1.

If you’re in the New York area, come join me, Tasha Alexander and Deanna Raybourn at 6:30 on Mistletoe Launch Night for our triple threat appearance at the Mysterious Bookshop (58 Warren Street).

You can find our Facebook invite here. Please spread the word!

For those to the South and West, Tasha and I will be reprising our appearance on November 14th at Murder by the Book in Houston.

Let the Mistletoe countdown begin!

Pink Carnation Quizzes

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Want to test your Pink trivia knowledge? Goodreads has quizzes on each of the Pink books, from Pink to Orchid.

You can find them all here. I’ve also linked to them book by book below.



“Yet all shall be forgot….”

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

And I nearly forgot (a) that it’s the 596th anniversary of Agincourt, and (b) that three of my friends have book launches today! Huzzah for Tasha Alexander’s A Crimson Warning, Kristan Higgins’ Until There Was You, and Cara Elliott’s Too Wicked to Wed.

Gentlemen in England now abed shall call themselves accurs’d that they went not to the bookstore on St. Crispin’s Day.

Since I’m pretty sure that just sent Shakespeare rolling, here’s a little bit of Harry-by-Olivier to make up for it.

Or for those of you who prefer Branagh….

Happy Launch Day, Tasha, Kristan and Cara! Cry God for Harry, England, St. George and new books….

Teaser Tuesday: Lord Vaughn Returns!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Well, not exactly.

You may have noticed that my fictional worlds tend to intertwine. No matter how hard I try to write something unrelated, it invariably links back to Pink, such as “A Night at Northanger”, which was meant to be a one-off– until I decided I liked the heroine so much that I had to put her into The Garden Intrigue.

A similar phenomenon has happened with my new 1920s book, Ashford Park. (Note: the title will probably change.) I’d meant this book to be Pink-free. It’s set between 1999 New York, 1910’s London and 1920’s Kenya, about as far away from Napoleonic spies as you can get. This was all going very well until my friend Chantelle said, “Put Lord Vaughn in there!”

Of course, I wasn’t going to have Lord Vaughn time travel. That would be too creepy (as in images of him showing up on my doorstep creepy). Lord Vaughn can stay right between the covers of The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, thank you very much– because I have a strong feeling that he wouldn’t make a gracious house guest.

But once she’d mentioned it, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Kenya in the 1920s was overstocked with the offspring of ancient English noble houses, some of whom had lost their actual houses, others of whom were out for adventure. No self-respecting descendant of Lord Vaughn would be able to resist the Wanhoji Valley and its “Happy Valley Set”, with their recreational drug use, spouse swaps, and general devil may care attitude.

Yup. Lord Vaughn’s great-great-grandson is going to cause a certain amount of havoc among the unsuspecting characters in my Kenya book.

There’s only one problem. I’m having the hardest time coming up with a suitably rakish moniker for him. For some reason, he insists on being named Theophilius Vaughn– but one just can’t have a rake named Theo. It’s just not rakish.

Any suggestions for a suitably Vaughn-like 1920s nickname?

If You Like….

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I have a copy of the new Kristan Higgins book, Until There Was You! (Yes, there is an implied gloat in that statement.)

But since her books only come out once a year, it’s time to put our heads together and try to find some functional equivalents. It’s not easy, but here’s my stab at it. So….

If you like Kristan Higgins’ novels, you’ll probably also like…

— Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation, which features a charmingly vulnerable heroine and a quirky small town;

— Cruisie and Meyer’s Agnes and the Hitman, which has a cast of madcap supporting characters;

— Jill Shalvis’ Simply Irresistible (A Lucky Harbor Novel), winner of this year’s RITA for contemporary romance;

— Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Ain’t She Sweet?, Match Me If You Can, et al;

— Elizabeth Young’s A Girl’s Best Friend— like Higgins’ heroines, Isobel is pretty attached to her dog.

Sadly, Until There Was You isn’t going to last me forever, so I need help. Can you think of any other Higgins read-alikes?

An Excellent Weekend for ORCHID!

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

On Friday night, The Orchid Affair won the Golden Leaf award for best historical romance! (That’s me with my very unleaf-like Leaf, below.)

To make it an even better weekend for Orchid, it was also yesterday’s Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick. Huzzah!