Archive for May, 2013

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Do you ever start a book at the wrong time? There are a handful of books that I’ve begun while Not in the Mood, put aside, and then re-discovered and loved years later.

That’s what happened to me this week with the first book in C.S. Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr series, What Angels Fear, which has been sitting on my bookshelf, waiting to be read, since circa 2006. In between books, I finally picked it up (slightly dusty and yellowed)– and am kicking myself for having left it so long. It reminds me, in the best of all possible ways, of my beloved Kate Ross Regency-set mystery novels.

On the plus side, now I have a whole series to read through this summer!

What have you been reading this week?

Diabetes Research Fundraiser

Friday, May 31st, 2013

We’re down to the last day for Brenda Novak’s annual online auction for diabetes research! Bidding closes tonight.

I’ve donated the last of the Purple Plumeria tote bags (with the Meadows crest so cunningly designed by Shelli), along with a signed copy of The Ashford Affair– and one of my three remaining advance copies of The Passion of the Purple Plumeria.

To check out all of the other interesting items on offer, just visit the auction site. All proceeds from this year’s auction go to The Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami.

Miss Gwen would like to remind us all….

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Only two months (and a week) until The Passion of the Purple Plumeria!

A Hundred Summers

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

One of my favorite books of this year, Beatriz Williams’s A Hundred Summers, comes out today!

Here’s the official blurb:

Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak.

That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.

Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily’s friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction…and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations.

Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever.

For those of you who enjoyed The Ashford Affair, you’ll find certain similarities here– Lily and Addie are sisters under the skin, while Bea would find she’s met her match in Budgie from A Hundred Summers.

To learn more about the background of A Hundred Summers, including photos of the before and after of the hurricane of 1938, just visit Beatriz’s website, here.

Purple Plumeria E-Cards

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

To celebrate the launch of Pink X, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (coming to a bookstore near you on August 6th!), the talented Sharlene Moore is designing a series of Purple Plumeria e-cards for me to be shared on Facebook or Pinterest or wherever one feels like sharing.

Here’s the first one:

Isn’t that so Miss Gwen?

Keep an eye out for more Purple Plumeria e-cards over the next two months!

And feel free to share and re-share….

ASHFORD in Spanish!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

The Spanish edition of The Ashford Affair— aka Ashford Park— comes out today!

The Spanish edition is available in both hardcover and e-book.

On the Ballroom Blog….

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Lady Uppington, Miss Gwen and the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale put in a guest appearance yesterday on the Ballroom Blog as Lady B enlisted their aid in marrying off her recalcitrant nephew, Monty.

The idea of those four ladies in one place is enough to make any rake quake….

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, May 24th, 2013

This has been a week of all new books for me:

— Donna Andrews, Stork Raving Mad.

I’ve lost track of which one this is in Donna Andrews’s Meg Langslow mystery series– eleven or twelve, I think? It has the same strong first person voice and madcap sensibility as her others, as Meg Langslow, eight months pregnant with twins, fields a house full of drama students, an obscure Spanish playwright, interfering university administrators, and, of course, murder. If you haven’t read these yet, start with Murder with Peacocks, the first in the series, and still my favorite. (My runner-up would be We’ll Always Have Parrots, set at a Xena-like soap opera fan convention.)

— Robin McKinley, Chalice.

I’ve gotten very behind in my Robin McKinley reading (although I tend to re-read her early books rather a lot). In this one, which came out a few years ago, a beekeeper finds herself elevated to the rank of “Chalice”, second in the government circle in her demesne, and must, untrained, cope with the challenges of an unusual master and a scheming overlord.

— Rosemary Clement-Moore, Spirit and Dust.

A new Rosemary Clement-Moore book is always cause for rejoicing. She writes paranormal YA mysteries, with a first person voice that reminds me of my favorite old Elizabeth Peters book– clever and wry. In this one, an underage psychic investigator finds herself on the hunt for a mob boss’s daughter and a missing Egyptian artifact. (The Egyptian artifact bit made me want to go re-read Crocodile on the Sandbank.) If you haven’t read Rosemary Clement-Moore yet, you might want to start with her Maggie Quinn series, the first two of which are now conveniently packaged together in one book called Brimstone.

What have you been reading this week?


Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

… for being AWOL most of this week! I’ve been hunkered down with revisions for the Victorian Book (aka Stand Alone #2), which comes out next spring.

I’ll be posting more about that here on the website by and by, but if you want to hear about some of the background for the book (and see some pretty pictures) here’s a post on the Ballroom Blog about some of my Victorian Book researches.

And now off to work on Pink XI, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla!

Weekly Reading Round-Up coming up as usual tomorrow….

If You Like….

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Around this time last year, I did an If You Like post about books involving weddings. It seemed appropriate now to do an If You Like, as a follow up, as it were, about books with pregnant heroines.

So, if you like books where the heroine is enceinte for all or most of the novel, you’ll probably like….

— Donna Andrews’s Stork Raving Mad (mystery), in which murder and mayhem ensue as Meg Langslow is awaiting the birth of twins;

— Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Nobody’s Baby But Mine (contemporary romance), in which a physicist cons a football player into fathering her child, only to find herself married to the man (one of those plots that really shouldn’t work, but, because it’s SEP, somehow does);

— Susan Wiggs’s Just Breathe (contemporary romance), in which the heroine discovers she’s pregnant just as she also discovers that her husband is cheating on her, and moves cross country to re-start her life in her old hometown;

— Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract (Regency romance), which covers the hero and heroine’s first year of marriage, including the birth of their first child;

— Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower (Old School Historical Bodice Ripper) in which the hero mistakes the heroine for a prostitute, impregnates her, marries her, and carries her off to his plantation in America.

What are your favorite novels with pregnant heroines?