Archive for July, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Pink X Mega-Outtake

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

You don’t usually see much of my books while they’re in progress. They change around on me too much for me to risk showing you something that might not be there in the final version.

In this case, though, you’re getting that rare beast: a hot off the presses outtake from Pink X, aka The Passion of the Purple Plumeria.

A bit of context: when I started writing Plumeria (for so it shall henceforth be called), the plan was to have a few chapters in Jane’s voice, even though it is technically Miss Gwen’s book. I wrote the first of those chapters last week and realized… that it was a bad, bad idea.

It wasn’t that it was a particularly bad chapter. (Trust me, you don’t see those.) But it had no place in this book. Putting Jane’s voice in there distracted from the main story, which is focused around Gwen and Colonel William Reid. We’ll still see a lot of Jane, but through Gwen’s eyes.

Here, in this outtake, the one and only surviving “Jane” chapter:


If You Like….

Monday, July 30th, 2012

I am ridiculously thrilled that Joanna Bourne’s The Black Hawk, one of my favorite books of 2011, won the RITA for Best Historical this past weekend.

If you like The Black Hawk, you’ll probably like….

— The ultimate Napoleonic spy novel, Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel;

— Joanna Bourne’s earlier books: The Spymaster’s Lady, My Lord and Spymaster, and The Forbidden Rose;

— Catherine Delors’s For the King, another glimpse into the dark underbelly of Napoleonic espionage;

— Raphael Sabatini’s Scaramouche, intrigue and mayhem during the French Revolution;

— Iris Johansen’s Storm Winds for more French Revolutionary drama, crosses, and double crosses;

— William Dietrich’s Ethan Gage books, starting with Napoleon’s Pyramids;

— and my The Orchid Affair.

Do you have any other suggestions for Joanna Bourne read-alikes?

DARE ME: Chapter Six

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Welcome back to our summer serial, Dare Me! If you’ve missed the earlier chapters, just click here to start at the beginning.

Happy reading!


Weekly Reading Round Up

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Hello from the Romance Writers of America convention in California! It was so great to see some of you at the signings on Wednesday and Thursday.

It’s been a Susan Elizabeth Phillips week for me: her latest, Great Escape, followed by a re-read of Natural Born Charmer. I also have a lovely pile of books from the conference to read through…. But more on that next week.

What have you been reading?

Cerritos Public Library– Tonight!

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Tonight, I’ll be speaking at the Cerritos Public Library along with the wonderful Sarah MacLean (A Rogue by Any Other Name), Lori Wilde (The Welcome Home Garden Club), Pamela Palmer (A Blood Seduction), and moderator Alma Katsu (The Taker). Festivities kick off at 7:00. You can find all the information on the sidebar….

Signing in Anaheim, CA– Today!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Today, along with hundreds of other authors, I’ll be participating in RWAs “Readers for Life” literacy autographing. Proceeds from the event go to ProLiteracy and other local literacy charities.

You can find me from 5:00-8:00 at the Anaheim Convention Center, at Table #405. (There’s a map of the room here.)

Other wonderful authors present include Deanna Raybourn, Sarah MacLean, Julia Quinn, Kristan Higgins, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and many, many more.

There’s no fee for entry, but, since it’s for charity, the organizers do ask that you buy books there rather than bringing books from home. (I’m also happy to sign bookplates if you’d like some for your home collection.)

I’ll also be giving away some snazzy Garden Intrigue, Mistletoe, and Ashford magnet calendars!

If you can’t make it out to Anaheim today, come join me at the Cerritos Public Library on Thursday evening, where Sarah MacLean, Lori Wilde, Pamela Palmer and I will be talking about books and writing.

Teaser Tuesday: Why Plumeria?

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Last week, I announced the release date of Pink X, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (aka Miss Gwen’s book). Over on Facebook, Anya posed an excellent question: why plumeria?

Here’s an entirely disorganized list of reasons why:

— I needed a flower that began with the letter P.

It’s not just because P is for parasol (although, yes, that was a consideration, and, as Miss Gwen would like me to point out, P is also for poking people, generally with parasol). Miss Gwen’s signature color is purple. She’s been wearing it since Pink I, loud and proud, generally with purple dyed feathers to match. Purple Plumeria had a pleasantly euphonious ring to it. Try it! It rolls nicely off the tongue, doesn’t it?

— I wanted something related to India.

As you know, at the end of The Garden Intrigue, Eloise and Colin have just set out on the trail of the lost jewels of Berar. Let’s just say that the jewels play a not insignificant part in the historical story as well. Plumeria is a form of frangipani, which, as any devotee of M.M. Kaye knows, invariably blooms all over the place in novels about India. It’s a tenuous connection, but at least it began with the letter P.

— In some cultures, plumeria is connected with vampires.

I have mentioned that Miss Gwen is writing a gothic novel, right? Not to give too much away, but you know that whole vampire thing? She absolutely beats Lord Byron to it. And you know for sure that her vampires don’t sparkle!

— It makes an excellent faux gothic heroine name.

Originally, the heroine of Gwen’s gothic novel was going to be named Amarantha. But that didn’t sound quite right. The heroine was really much more of a Plumeria. (Working title: The Perils of Plumeria.) Excerpts from Gwen’s gothic novel, starring the proud Plumeria, appear at the beginning of each of the historical chapters.

Sadly, I now have “P is for parasol, that’s good enough for me!” stuck in my head.

More on The Passion of the Purple Plumeria coming soon!

If You Like….

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Happy news! The audio version of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation just came in #4 in All About Romance’s Favorite Romance Audiobook poll.

I have to confess, I haven’t listened to an audio book since a friend gave me a Nancy Drew novel on cassette for my birthday back in second grade. I gather the technology has improved greatly since then.

So, since this is a topic about which I know very little, which audio books would you recommend?

If you like audio books, you’ll probably like….

Upcoming Books

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

I now have release dates for all this year’s upcoming books! Ready for it? Here we go….

December 31, 2012: The Garden Intrigue (paperback).

Currently available for pre-order from Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, and Powell’s.

April 2, 2013: The Ashford Affair (hardcover).

Currently available for pre-order from Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, and Powell’s.

August 6, 2013: The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (paperback).

I’ll let you know once it’s orderable….

DARE ME: Chapter Five

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Welcome back to our summer serial, Dare Me! If you’ve missed the previous installments, you can start at the beginning by clicking here.

And now, without further ado… Chapter Five!