Archive for March, 2013

Pinkorama #2

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

More fun with peeps! For Pinkorama #2, we have Christine and Jean’s creation: The Ruination of Penelopeep.

Here’s the description:

Ahh, Penelopeep. She was rocking out to the Harlem Shake at a party with her girls (hey, at least it wasn’t Gangnam Style) and accidentally blurts out that she was snogging with Freddie Staines in his bedroom! He’s no Harry Styles, but he is charming. Now she’s ruined, or so she thinks. In swoops the Dowager Countess – I mean Dowager Duchess – to the rescue. She knows Penelopeep is a good gel so now she has informed Freddie that he, under threat of pain, will be marrying Penelopeep. The outlook doesn’t seem that bad – look at the size of that ring!

Ah, Dame Maggie, you do get around. And I cannot imagine anyone better suited to play the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale– even when covered with bright yellow sugar.

Check out the look of chagrin on Freddie’s face!

Thanks so much, Christine and Jean!! Aside from the fact that I want to move into that room (oh, the books!), I’m still laughing over the Grantham/Dovedale connection….

Pinkorama #3 coming up tomorrow!



Pinkorama #1

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

For our first Pinkorama, we have… the showdown at the end of The Deception of the Emerald Ring, beautifully crafted by Julie and Casey.

Here’s the overall view:

You can see Geoff battling the rebels and Miss Gwen with her sword parasol while the rebel hideaway goes up in flames and Jasper makes off with Letty stage left.

Here’s the same scene from a slightly different angle:

And now we get to the really good part: the close ups. Check out the burning building and the drunken fuse-maker:

Meanwhile, Geoff battles on near the henhouse, while Miss Gwen wields her sword parasol:

And Jasper attempts to make off with Letty, who looks rather nonplussed:

Check out those infamous sideburns!

Congratulations, Julie and Casey! You have created a sugary tour de force. I’m particularly attached to Jasper’s get-away vehicle and the drunken Irishman next to his kegs….

Pinkorama #2 coming up tomorrow!



ASHFORD AFFAIR Audio

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Want a sneak snippet of The Ashford Affair audio?

The folks at Macmillan audio just sent me Chapter One of the audio version! Just click the play button below to listen….

The audio is available on a preloaded digital audio player from Amazon or as a digital download from Audible and iTunes (the Audible and iTunes links will go live on April 9th, the day the book comes out– as soon as I have them, I’ll post them here!).

For those wondering what a preloaded digital audio player is (since I was!), I gather it’s an iPod-like device that has the book already uploaded onto it, so you can just put in the earphones or plug it in to your car sound system, press play, and go.



Deanna Raybourn Give Away!

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Sadly, there’s only one Deanna, so no extras to go around, but she is giving away copies of her upcoming release, A Spear of Summer Grass, on her website today.

Like The Ashford Affair, A Spear of Summer Grass is set among the wild expat English crowd in Kenya in the 1920s.

(If you click here, you can read about our astonishment, amusement and glee when we realized we were writing books set in the same place at the same time.)

So head over to Deanna’s website to win an ARC of A Spear of Summer Grass!



Pinkorama Extension

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

I’ll admit it. I dropped the ball on the Pinkorama this year. (As I described on the Ballroom Blog the other day, there’s been a bit of a four book bottleneck going on chez moi.)

Since I completely forgot to post any reminders, I’m extending the Pinkorama deadline by an extra week, to April 2nd, with the entries to be posted on the website on April 3rd. So if you have any leftover Peeps or any last minute inspiration, go for it! You can find all the rules and so on here.

And, since they’re just too good not to share early, I’ll be posting the first three entries here on the website this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, respectively….



ASHFORD Launch– the Webcast!

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

For those who aren’t in the Phoenix area, the Poisoned Pen is going to be broadcasting the Ashford Affair launch event live on the evening of April 9th, starting at 7:00 PM PST (10:00 EST).

Here’s the link to the livestream. It will go live at 7:00 PST on April 9th and then can be viewed at any time thereafter.

For anyone who would like to purchase a signed and personalized book from the event, the Poisoned Pen has informed me that they’re happy to ship just about anywhere. (I believe the exact phrase was “global shipping available”.)

If you go through this link by noon on April 9th and put any inscription requests in the information box, they’ll make sure I sign it while I’m there.



Only two weeks…

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

…until The Ashford Affair!!

I’ll be signing books in Arizona, Michigan, Illinois, and New York. Just click here for the list and for information on how to order signed/personalized books.

There will also be a live webcast from the launch event in Phoenix on April 9! (More on that shortly.)

If you’ve already ordered a book, and would like a signed bookplate to paste inside, just email me with your information and I’ll send one off to you!



Arizona AAUW Luncheon, 4/10

Monday, March 25th, 2013

It seems very appropriate to be speaking about The Ashford Affair, a book about mothers, daughters, friendships, and ambition, at a fundraiser luncheon for the American Association of University Women.

The luncheon kicks off at 11:30 on April 10th (Wednesday) at the Artichoke Grill on the Scottsdale Community College Campus (9000 E Chaparral Road). The cost of the luncheon is $45, of which $25 is tax deductible.

I have been informed that 1920s costume is optional.

(I am very tempted to show up with a long cigarette holder fitted with a candy cigarette.)

To reserve your spot, make out your check for $45 to the Maricopa Community College Foundation, with “AAUW Scottsdale” in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to Helen Frantz, 27397 North 112th Place, Scottsdale, AZ 85262. A confirmation email will arrive in lieu of a ticket, and the Maricopa Community College Foundation will send a letter confirming your $25 tax deduction after the event.

Books will be on sale at the event courtesy of The Poisoned Pen.



If You Like….

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Apologies for the lack of “if you like” recently. It’s been a rather busy few months.

Since my first family saga comes out very soon (just two more weeks until The Ashford Affair!), this seemed like a good time to do an “if you like” about those old sweeping, family sagas. All of these are books I devoured in my teens, in the heyday of the vast, sweeping family saga.

If you like family sagas, you’ll probably like….

— Barbara Taylor Bradford’s A Woman of Substance, Hold The Dream, and To Be the Best, which follow the rise of an Edwardian housemaid to head of a department store empire, followed by her granddaughter’s struggles to hold on to her legacy;

— Along the same lines, Jeffrey Archer’s As the Crow Flies, another early twentieth century rags to riches story;

— Wilbur Smith’s Courtney series, beginning in late nineteenth century Africa with When the Lion Feeds;

— John Jakes’s North and South, Love and War, and Heaven and Hell, following the intertwined destinies of a Northern and a Southern family from the years before the Civil War to the decades following;

— June Lund Shiplett’s “Winds” series, beginning with Raging Winds of Heaven and ending with Gathering of Winds (which I accidentally read first, despite it being the eighth book), spanning from England to the American south and all the way to Texas;

— Celeste de Blasis’s “Swan” trilogy, Wild Swan, Swan’s Chance, and A Gathering of Swans, another England to America tale of a family’s growth;

— Alexandra Ripley’s Charleston and On Leaving Charleston, tracing a tangled Southern family from the Civil War through the Jazz Age;

— Joel Gross’s The Books of Rachel, which, even more ambitiously, went all the way from fifteenth century Spain up through the twentieth century. (I vaguely remember there being another book, The Lives of Rachel, that went all the way back to Biblical times, and then back up through the Middle Ages.)

This is just the tip of the ice berg. There were so many others…. All the old Judith Krantz novels, like Princess Daisy and I’ll Take Manhattan; the Sidney Sheldon saga/thrillers, like Bloodline; and others with plots I vaguely remember but names I’ve long since forgotten (like the one about the Russian noblewoman who winds up becoming a Ziegfield girl).

What were your favorite sweeping family sagas?



Thursday Give Away Winner

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

The winner of the advance copy of The Fever Tree is…

Connie! (Of Comment #4.)

Congrats, Connie! If you email me with your info, I’ll pop the book in the mail to you.

More coming up soon!