Monday, April 27th, 2015
In honor of the great Forgotten Room cover reveal, Karen, Beatriz, and I are each giving away a copy of our upcoming books.
For a chance to win, just comment on the give away post on the Willig, White, and Williams Facebook page!
Here’s what you might win….
Karen White, The Sound of Glass:
The New York Times bestselling author of A Long Time Gone now explores a Southern family’s buried history, which will change the life of the woman who unearths it, secret by shattering secret.
It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.
Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.
Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.
Beatriz Williams, Tiny Little Thing:
In the summer of 1966, Christina Hardcastle—“Tiny” to her illustrious family—stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November.
But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life: her volatile sister Pepper, an envelope containing incriminating photograph, and the intimidating figure of Frank’s cousin Vietnam-war hero Caspian, who knows more about Tiny’s rich inner life than anyone else. As she struggles to maintain the glossy façade on which the Hardcastle family’s ambitions are built, Tiny begins to suspect that Frank is hiding a reckless entanglement of his own…one that may unravel both her own ordered life and her husband’s promising career.
And me, The Other Daughter:
Raised by her widowed mother in genteel poverty in the 1920s in an isolated English village, for the past six years Rachel Woodley has been working in France as a nursery governess. When her mother unexpectedly dies, she returns to England to clear out the cottage, and finds a scrapbook full of cuttings from London society pages–all pictures of her supposedly deceased father, very much alive. He’s an earl, socially prominent, with another daughter who is living a charmed life: a debutante, much photographed, and engaged to a rising Tory MP. Rachel’s cousin confirms the horrible truth: her father is alive, with a legitimate, acknowledged family. Which makes Rachel…not legitimate. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her past–even her very name–is a lie.
Still reeling from the death of her mother, and furious at this betrayal, Rachel enters into an uneasy alliance with a mysterious man-about-town, who promises her access to her father. With his help, Rachel sets herself up in Roaring Twenties London under a new identity and insinuates herself into the party-going crowd of Bright Young Things, with a steely determination to unveil her father’s perfidy and bring his–and her half-sister’s–charmed world crashing down. Very soon, however, Rachel faces two unexpected snags: she finds she genuinely likes her half-sister, Olivia, whose situation isn’t as simple it appears; and that Rachel herself might just be falling for her sister’s fiancé.
From Lauren Willig, author of the New York Times Best Selling novel The Ashford Affair, comes The Other Daughter, a page-turner full of deceit, passion, and revenge.
More on The Forgotten Room— and one more give away of The Other Daughter— coming up soon!
Monday, April 27th, 2015
It’s not easy to come up with a cover for a book with three different time periods– and three different authors! But I think the NAL art department did a pretty amazing job, don’t you?
The Forgotten Room is due to appear at a bookstore near you on January 19. (Book tour dates and locations coming soon!)
Here’s the official blurb:
New York Times bestselling authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig present a masterful collaboration—a rich, multigenerational novel of love and loss that spans half a century….
1945: When the critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenal is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion.
Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel’s portrait miniature who looks so much like Kate? And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother? In their pursuit of answers, they find themselves drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alen, driven from riches to rags, who hired out as a servant in the very house her father designed, and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she had never known. But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room?
The Forgotten Room, set in alternating time periods, is a sumptuous feast of a novel brought to vivid life by three brilliant historical storytellers.
More about The Forgotten Room soon! In the meantime, stay tuned for….
— That Summer, coming out in paperback on May 19;
— The Other Daughter, in hardcover on July 21;
— and the twelfth and final Pink Carnation book, The Lure of the Moonflower, appearing on shelves on August 4.
Friday, April 24th, 2015
Every now and then you just need a bit of Dorothy Sayers. This week, I revisited one of my favorites, Murder Must Advertise, in which Wimsey goes undercover in an advertising agency. It’s amazing how current much of it feels, although the bit that spoke to me the most was this passage: “He was reminded of his Oxford days, when essays mysteriously wrote themselves in the intervals of club-meetings and outdoor sports, and when most of the people who took firsts boasted of never having worked more than three hours of any day.” It’s nice to know that college hasn’t changed much.
Right now, I’m just starting Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London, courtesy of my wonderful college roommate. So far, it reminds me a bit of Charles Stross’s Laundry Files novels.
What have you been reading this week?
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
Look what showed up on my doorstep earlier this week….
Advance review copies of The Other Daughter!
Aren’t they pretty?
I’ll be giving one away here on the website as soon as I can think of a sufficiently cunning contest….
You can find The Other Daughter for pre-order at Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, Powell’s, and wherever else books are sold.
Monday, April 20th, 2015
What with one thing and another, I’ve been slow about website updates this year. But, at long last, you can now find–
— an excerpt from The Other Daughter (you can find a second excerpt here);
— the first (historical) chapter of The Lure of the Moonflower;
— the official blurb for The Forgotten Room;
— an updated list of foreign editions of The Ashford Affair;
— and a link to the German edition of That Summer.
Is there anything crucial I’ve forgotten? More on all of the upcoming books coming soon!
Here’s the publication schedule:
— That Summer, paperback, May 19
— The Other Daughter, hardcover, July 21
— The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink XII), paperback, August 4
— The Forgotten Room, hardcover, January 19
Friday, April 17th, 2015
This week’s big find? Winifred Watson’s 1937 bestseller, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
Where has this book been all my life? How had I not read it before? Miss Pettigrew and Flora Poste would have a great deal to discuss….
After that, it was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Making of a Marchioness, which I’d read about in Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate, but never quite realized was Burnett until my college roommate mailed me the book. I wanted to love it, but…. Maybe it was the contrast with Miss Pettigrew. Or maybe it was because I love Sara Crewe so much. Definitely a fun read, but just missing something.
What have you been reading this week?
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Everyone! With Pinkoramae like that, how could I not give a prize to each and every one?
But if you want to know what the vote tallies were, we had….
Christine’s Vampeep (and pound cake):
Nikki’s Love at First Peep:
Candace and Cassandra’s Napeepleon Meets Miss Gwen:
Rachel’s Robert’s Peeposal:
And in first place….
Colleen and Pam’s A Peepingly Good Time at Farley Castle:
Thank you so much, ladies! The creativity, detail, and sheer virtuosity of these just blew me away. As a thank you for the enjoyment you’ve afforded, there’s an ARC for all. (With the caveat that teams get one ARC to share, since I only get a limited number.)
So, for Colleen, Pam, Rachel, Candace, Cassandra, Nikki, and Christine, here’s your question: would you like an ARC of The Other Daughter now (and by now, I mean in a week or so, when my copies arrive), or would you like an ARC of The Lure of the Moonflower in another month or so? (I don’t know for sure when we’ll have Moonflower ARCs, but I’m guessing May-ish.) Just email me at email@example.com and let me know which you’d like and where I should send it!
And the winner of the signed copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla is… Samantha! (Of Comment #10.) Congrats, Samantha. Email me with your details and I’ll pop the book in the mail to you.
Thank you all for a wonderful 5th Annual Pinkorama!
Monday, April 13th, 2015
2015 is a banner year in the annals of the Pinkorama. We have five beautiful scenes, each unique and crafted with sugary care. And, for the first time, also a recipe!
So many thanks to Rachel, Nikki, Christine, Pam, Colleen, Candance, and Cassandra for these Pink peep recreations! I am so in awe of your talent, ladies.
Without further ado, the round-up (in order of appearance in my inbox):
1. Robert’s Peeposal, by Rachel:
Rachel brings us Robert’s proposal to Charlotte from Pink V, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, complete with swan a-swimming, inquisitive squirrel, raspberry tarts, and even a benevolent unicorn.
To see the full set of pictures, just click here.
2. Love at First Peep, by Nikki:
In an eerie midnight garden in Mayfair, Nikki brings us Love at First Peep: Sally Fitzhugh’s first meeting with Lucien, Duke of Dovedale in Pink XI, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla. Is he or is he not a Vampeep?
For more detail, click here.
3. The Vampeep, by Christine:
What if Lucien really were a Vampeep? And Sally happened to stumble upon him in his (delectable pound cake) coffin? A Pink alternative history– and a recipe!– from Christine.
For the recipe, click here.
4. A Peepingly Good Time at Farley Castle, by Pam and Colleen:
Pam and Colleen transport us to Christmas of 1803 and The Mischief of the Mistletoe. Arabella Dempsey and her good friend Jane Austen have been conveyed to the frost fair at Farley Castle by none other than our favorite root vegetable, Mr. Turnip Fitzhugh– but are they ready for the mysterious pudding that lies in wait?
For more pictures, click here.
5. Napeepleon Meets Miss Gwen, by Candace and Cassandra:
The gang’s all here! It’s back to the Tuileries Palace and Pink I, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, as Richard, Amy, Jane, and Augustus look on in shock as Miss Gwen lets Napoleon know how she really feels about his high-handed ways… with the application of a purple parasol.
For close-ups, click here.
Thank you so much, Rachel, Nikki, Christine, Colleen, Pam, Candace and Cassandra!
I love how clever and how different each of these is. I don’t think I could pick a favorite if I tried.
What about you? Do you have a favorite Pinkorama? Just place your vote below and I’ll tally it all up on Wednesday….
Since Manzanilla seems to have edged out the other books for Pinkorama supremacy this year, one person who votes, chosen at random, will receive a signed copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla.
Sunday, April 12th, 2015
So many apologies, all! I’d meant to post our fifth and final Pinkorama yesterday, but life (aka toddler) got in the way (and by “in the way”, I mean “demanded the computer”).
Here, belatedly, is Candace and Cassandra’s Peep masterpiece, “Napeepleon Meets Miss Gwen”. The creators informed me: “Cassie decided in honor of the 10th Anniversary we needed to go with a scene from the book that started it all. So the cast of characters that made it into this scene are Amy, Richard, Hortense, Josephine, Napoleon, Miss Gwen, the lady fainting in the officer’s arms, Augustus, and Jane (sneaking out).”
Here’s the group shot (or, as I tend to call it while I’m writing them, mob scene):
You can see the Purple Gentian (in purple!) checking out that intriguing Miss Amy Balcourt as she makes her curtsy to the First Consul (aka Napoleon):
Meanwhile, that long-winded poet, Augustus Whittlesby (complete with puffy white shirt) follows Amy’s cousin, Miss Jane Wooliston (who is, appropriately, a peep of pink sugar). Has he found a new muse?
Josephine and her daughter, Hortense, receive their guests graciously:
(Don’t you love that tiny, bunny cameo on Hortense’s dress?)
Napoleon, on the other hand, doesn’t. Miss Gwen takes umbrage and whaps him with her purple parasol:
Shocked at such lese-majeste, a lady faints dead away into a gentlepeep’s arms:
I love the detail on these! The tiled floors, the tiny portraits…. The Tuileries Palace never looked quite so elegant in candy form before. Thank you, Candace and Cassandra!
It’s also just such fun to get to revisit so many old friends: Richard, Amy, Jane, Gwen, Augustus, Hortense…. As we wrap up the series, I’d forgotten how many of them were present right from the beginning.
Candace and Cassandra tantalizingly informed me that, “a character from another author’s book sneaked into the yellow salon”.
Is it the Peep with the red hair? Maybe the Scarlet Pimpernel? Or someone else? I’m still guessing…. Can you figure out the character and author?
So many thanks to Cassandra and Candace for a beautiful scene and an intriguing mystery!