Archive for October, 2015

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Sometimes, books pop up just when you’re ready for them: in this case, an ARC of Megan Abbott’s The Fever that I’d forgotten I had and had never quite gotten around to reading. Think The Crucible set in a modern high school, rumors and hysteria and teenagers foaming at the mouth. It’s beautifully done, alternating between the viewpoints of three family members– father, daughter, and son– as the mystery of just what’s going on gradually unfolds. And it isn’t at all what you think it might be.

October snuck up on me this year, so I’ve sadly neglected my usual Halloween reading. To make up for it, I indulged in a quick re-read of Simone St. James’s Silence for the Dead, set at an isolated asylum for shell-shocked soldiers just after World War I. But are the orderlies and nurses the only ones who walk the halls at night?

What have you been reading this week?

Midnight Manzanilla Winners

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

The winners of the copies of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla are…


— Lynda (of Comment #11)
— Kari (of Comment #1)
— Bernadette (Goodreads Comment #2)

Congrats, all! If you email me at, I’ll put your books in the mail to you.

Happy Halloween!

Manzanilla Halloween 2


Monday, October 26th, 2015

With Halloween on the horizon, what more appropriate for this Monday’s give away than my one and only Halloween book, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla?

Manzanilla Halloween

It’s 1807 and a vampire craze has swept the ton thanks to a novel called The Convent of Orsino— by a Lady. (But who are we kidding? We know it’s by Miss Gwen.)

When a woman is found dead with “fang marks” on her neck, suspicion turns to the reclusive Duke of Belliston. But Sally Fitzhugh knows better, and she’s determined to prove it. Whatever it takes.

Manzanilla Halloween 2

So, for a copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, here’s your question:

What’s your favorite spooky Halloween read?

Three winners will be chosen at random to receive a copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla. Winners will be announced on Wednesday.

Happy reading and happy Halloween!

LW5 (1)

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

There’s been more Galbraith over here! This week, I read the second Cormoran Strike mystery, The Silkworm, in which the detective sets out to track down a missing author, only to find he’s been murdered in the same manner described in the author’s controversial manuscript.

Next up, I’m heading over to Paris in the 1920’s with an advance copy of Jennifer Robson’s upcoming novel, Moonlight Over Paris, in which a jilted English noblewoman decides to start life afresh in the City of Light. Keep an eye out for Moonlight Over Paris on January 19th– the same day that The Forgotten Room appears in stores.

What have you been reading this week?

Calling all Catalan speakers!

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Among the many, many author copies that I discovered in my move were several copies of The Ashford Affair in Catalan.

Ashford Catalan

Do you speak Catalan or know someone who does? If you’d like a Catalan copy of The Ashford Affair, just post in the Comments below or email me at

UK Pink Winner!

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

The winner of the UK editions of the first six Pink Carnation books is…

Kristy! (Of Comment #74.)

Congrats, Kristy! If you email me at and let me know where to send them, I’ll put your books in the mail to you.

Thanks so much to everyone for participating! Stay tuned for another give away next Monday….

Teaser Tuesday: Gabrielle Jaouen returns….

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Into every stand alone novel, a little Pink must fall.

I didn’t really set out to put a Pink Carnation descendant into every stand alone. But, somehow, because my world is such an interwoven one, it always seems to turn out that way. There was Val Vaughn in The Ashford Affair, Nicholas Dorrington in That Summer, and Cecelia Heatherington-Vaughn in The Other Daughter.

In stand alone #4 (working title: The French Marriage)? There’s Gabrielle Jaouen.

Some of you may remember Gabrielle as the sulky nine year old daughter of AndrĂ© Jaouen and his first wife, Julie Beniet, in Pink XVII, The Orchid Affair. Towards the end of The Orchid Affair, Eloise can’t resist taking a look into the future of Gabrielle and her brother. Here’s what she discovers:

Gabrielle Jaouen had gone on to become a noted diarist, an advocate for the abolition of slavery and, very late in life, a noisy proponent of the rights of women. She had died in her home in New York in 1893 at the age of ninety-five, leaving behind five husbands, twenty-odd great-grandchildren, and a vast pile of tracts and memoirs.

I wondered what Laura had thought of it all and whether she and Jaouen had had any children of their own. There were fairly easy ways to find out– including tracking down the memoirs of Gabrielle Jaouen de Montfort Adams Morris Belmont van Antwerp– but it was well out of the purview of my current research.

I’ve always been a little curious about the life of Gabrielle Jaouen de Montfort Adams Morris Belmont van Antwerp, but I’d never really believed our paths would cross again. Until I sat down to start writing the story of an American heiress who marries a French nobleman and realized that I was writing about Gabrielle’s granddaughter. Helen Jay is the late life baby of Gabrielle’s daughter, Lavinia Belmont, who marries a robber baron of dubious heritage named Oswald Jay. At loggerheads with her own mother, Helen finds herself looking to her grandmother as a model– with results that Gabrielle would never have predicted or desired.

The book I’m working on is the story of three generations of women: Helen, AurĂ©lie, and Meg. Even though, by the time we get to Meg, we’re looking at several generations removed from Gabrielle, Gabrielle’s life is still creating ripples in the lives of her descendants.

There’s another major Pink descendant in the book– but I’ll tell you about him later!

Monday Give Away: UK Pink Collection

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Just when I think I’ve uncovered the last of the author copies…

I opened a box that I’d thought was a care package of books from a friend. It turned out to be another stack of UK Pink books, from the first Pink up through The Mischief of the Mistletoe.

There are just enough in there to make up one set of Pink I through Mistletoe.

carnation_england_pb blacktulipengland Emeraldringengland Crimson UK Night Jasmine UK Mistletoe UK

So, for the chance to win a collection of six Pink books, here’s your question:

— What’s your favorite BBC or ITV show?

The winner will be announced on Thursday.

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, October 16th, 2015

After a year of mostly re-reads, I’m making a concerted effort to get back in touch with the wider publishing world.

This week? Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, a story about a parent trivia night gone very, very wrong… and everything leading up to the crucial evening. Engaging prose, sympathetic characters, and a complexly constructed plot…. Definitely a reading win.

Right now, I’ve zigzagged back to Robert Galbraith for Book Two of the Cormoran Strike series, The Silkworm, with Sara Gruen’s At the Water’s Edge and Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret queued up next.

The only down side to discovering all these new-to-me authors? I’m very behind on my regularly scheduled October ghost story reading. Also my regularly scheduled Baking with Pumpkin.

What have you been reading this week?

Reidiad Winners

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

The winners of the The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, and The Lure of the Moonflower are….

— Jennifer (of Comment #16).

— Steph (of Comment #34).

— Georgia (of Comment #48).

— Kathleen (of Comment #4).

Congrats, all! If you email me at, I’ll pop your Reids– I mean, books– in the mail to you.

More give aways coming up next Monday!