Archive for December, 2012

Happy Paperback Birthday, GARDEN INTRIGUE!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

If you’ve been waiting for The Garden Intrigue to make its way into paperback, today is the day!

Paperback Garden Intrigue slips onto shelves today, just before the New Year’s confetti starts flying. You can find The Garden Intrigue paperback in stores, or available online from Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, Powell’s, and probably other places I’m forgetting.

If you happen to catch sight of Garden Intrigue paperback out in the wild, send a picture along to me! I’ll post the Garden Intrigue in the Wild photos here on the News page.

Happy almost New Year….

MISTLETOE– for free?

Friday, December 28th, 2012

I’ve just discovered that the Kindle edition of The Mischief of the Mistletoe is being offered for free right now in the UK to Amazon prime members. It’s a lordly 0.99 for non-members.

If you have any friends in the UK who might be interested, please let them know!

The Mistletoe sale ends on January 7th, when Mistletoe goes back to being £5.14.

I am particularly excited about this since this is the first time– ever!– that one of my e-books has been on sale. If it goes well, maybe it might inspire others?

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, December 28th, 2012

The nice thing about long airport delays is that they do provide plenty of time for reading. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

— Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers.

Beautifully written, thought-provoking, heart-warming… I can keep going. I loved this book. It’s a pitch-perfect glimpse into the world of New York’s elite in the 1930s, with a heroine who manages to be genuinely nice without being a doormat.

— J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit.

This was part of my stocking loot, which was a very good thing, since I would never have thought of buying it for myself, since it falls into the category of “things I once read and think I remember”. It was definitely worth the re-read, a good, old-fashioned adventure story with its rather unlikely hero.

— Caroline Stafford, The House By Exmoor.

Gothic fun from last week’s care package. This fell into genus narrativus first-personus/ Victorianus/ impoverished-gentlewomanus. Or, in other words, of the lineage of Victoria Holt. A lady of good family forced by her father’s improvidence to hire out as a companion, a cursed house, a brooding master, a slightly demented housekeeper, strange warnings of sinister doom…. Who could ask for anything more?

— Andrea Parnell, Dark Splendor.

More gothic fun from the care package. This fell into quite a different gothic genus: think more Woodiwiss than Holt. It was a little bit The Flame and the Flower and a little bit A Rose in Winter.

Right now I’m dithering between more care package (there is a Victoria Holt, one of the historical Elsie Lees, a Barbara Pym, and a Carla Kelly) and a few advance copies of upcoming books.

What have you been reading this week?


Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Many apologies for the delay in posting the winner of the advance copy of The Ashford Affair. I’ve been away these past few days and was having trouble getting into my website remotely.

Without further ado, the winner of the signed ARC of The Ashford Affair is…

… Lucy D-G! (Of Comment #133.)

Congrats, Lucy! If you email me with your info, I’ll pop your ARC of The Ashford Affair into the mail to you.

Thursday Give Away will resume next week, with more fun reads.

I do still have one last ARC of The Ashford Affair tucked away, so now all I need is a good contest idea….

Happy holidays, all!

If You Like….

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Something about the holiday vacation week makes me think of long, snowy afternoon reading childhood favorites.

The phrase that came immediately to mind was “classic contentment reads”, the sorts of books you read when the blackberry has stopped buzzing, the final paper has been turned in, the smell of good baking things permeates the house, and you can curl up in a peaceful corner in the winter twilight with the last hint of the setting sun reflecting orange and gold across the snow.

If you like Classic Contentment Reads, you’ll probably like….

— Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and its two sequels: Little Men and Jo’s Boys. These are annual winter re-reads for me;

— L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series, from the first Anne book all the way up to Rilla of Ingleside;

— You knew there was going to be more L.M. Montgomery, right? I also recommend her three Emily books, Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, and Emily’s Quest;

— No L.M. Montgomery marathon would be complete without my personal favorite, The Blue Castle;

— Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess, which still makes me cry;

— And, of course, Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (for those of you who haven’t heard the Broadway musical, I highly, highly recommend the soundtrack– who knew Mandy Patankin could be so tortured and Victorian?);

— the “Shoes” books by Noel Streatfield, especially Theater Shoes, Dancing Shoes, and Skating Shoes;

— Astrid Lindgren’s Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter. I hadn’t realized Lindgren was so much more than Pippi Longstocking until one snowy afternoon on Christmas break from college when I picked up this long ignored book from my shelf and fell in love with it.

— There are also a handful of books that aren’t quite so venerable, but have that same feel to them, most notably the Eva Ibbotsen oeuvre, which are perfect for a peaceful winter afternoon and some quiet sniffles in the corner of the couch: The Morning Gift (very sniffle-inducing), A Company of Swans, and A Countess Below Stairs are my favorites.

What are your holiday classic contentment reads?

“Mistletoe” UK E-Book Sale

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Happy news! Over in the UK, The Mischief of the Mistletoe has been chosen to be part of’s Twelve Days of Kindle sale.

The sale runs from Christmas Day to January 7th, so if you’re in the UK, keep your eye out for a steeply discounted Kindle edition of Mistletoe!

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Happy Friday! Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

— Julia Spencer-Fleming, To Darkness and to Death, et al.

I finished up my Julia Spencer-Fleming marathon with To Darkness and to Death, All Mortal Flesh, I Shall Not Want, and One Was a Soldier, and then felt very bereft when I was done. It was extremely hard to leave Miller’s Kill after that full seven book stretch.

— Jane Langton, Emily Dickinson Is Dead.

I am so fortunate in my friends. Just as I was wondering what I was going to read to ease my Miller’s Kill separation anxiety, a huge care package of books arrived in the mail, hand-picked from second hand stores by someone with incredible book taste. I decided to start off with this vintage academic mystery, in which an Emily Dickinson symposium brings out all the greed, anxiety, and murderous tendencies of the scholars in attendance.

— Sarah MacLean, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover.

This is the second in Sarah’s Rule of Scoundrels series (coming to a bookstore near you on January 29th!) and for you MacLean fans out there, I think this might be her best so far.

What have you been reading?

Thursday Give Away– ASHFORD!

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

I did mention a very special Thursday give away for today, didn’t I? I’ve been hoarding my last two advance copies of The Ashford Affair just to give away to you. Once the holidays are over, one will be put up for grabs in a big contest in the Contest page, but that still leaves one….

So, for today’s Thursday give away, we have a signed advance copy of The Ashford Affair!

Here’s the official blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig comes a page-turning novel about two women in different eras, and on different continents, who are connected by one deeply buried secret.

As a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working towards—but now she’s not sure it’s enough. Her long hours have led to a broken engagement and, suddenly single at thirty-four, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s ninety-ninth birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything. . . .

Growing up at Ashford Park in the early twentieth century, Addie has never quite belonged. When her parents passed away, she was taken into the grand English house by her aristocratic aunt and uncle, and raised side-by-side with her beautiful and outgoing cousin, Bea. Though they are as different as night and day, Addie and Bea are closer than sisters, through relationships and challenges, and a war that changes the face of Europe irrevocably. But what happens when something finally comes along that can’t be shared? When the love of sisterhood is tested by a bond that’s even stronger?

From the inner circles of British society to the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the red-dirt hills of Kenya, the never-told secrets of a woman and a family unfurl.

The Ashford Affair hits the shelves in the U.S. on April 9, 2013. It will also be available in France (Presses de la Cite), Germany (Rowohlt), Italy (Fabbri), Poland (Amber) and Spain (Espasa).

So, for a copy of The Ashford Affair, here’s your question:

What’s your favorite 1920s drink– or 1999 cocktail?

Winner to be announced on Sunday– or Monday, if I forget on Sunday again.

P.S. If you’re in a book club, and would like to add Ashford to your spring line-up, just email me about getting Ashford bookmarks for the group and setting up an author phone-in.

Teaser Tuesday: The “Lost” Intro to MISTLETOE

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Every website needs its holiday traditions…. With The Mischief of the Mistletoe popping up on all sorts of “best of” lists, it seemed like a good time for the annual re-posting of The Lost Introduction to The Mischief of the Mistletoe.

As you know, Jane Austen appears in Mistletoe as a side character. This terrified me. Sure, I’d dragged Napoleon through the mud, written about the madness of King George, taken the name of various other historical characters in vain, but Austen? No. I lived in fear of angry Austen-ites coming after me with stakes fashioned from annotated copies of Austen’s Complete Works.

So I decided to include a little “scholarly” introduction to the novel, just to let everyone know that everything was all in good fun. The problem? My publisher was afraid that people would think it was a real scholarly introduction.

Out it went– but here it is, back for your amusement:


Thursday Give Away Winner

Monday, December 17th, 2012

And the winner of Alma Katsu’s The Taker is…

Ren! (Of Comment #34.)

Congrats, Ren! If you send me your details, I’ll pop your book into the mail to you.

In the meantime, there’s going to be an extra-special Thursday give away here on the site this week…. Stay tuned!