Archive for September, 2017

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Do you ever get to the end of the week and find yourself completely incapable of remembering what you read– or did– earlier that week? That’s me right now.

Somewhere in the mix was Bill Bryson’s essay collection, I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away, about returning to America after decades in England, which I still find snort and chortle out loud funny, even after multiple re-reads. (Note: not the best thing to read while holding a sleeping baby. And by sleeping baby, I mean formerly sleeping baby, now awake and irate baby, due to sudden, abrupt movement of sleeping surface. See snort and chortle, above.)

I have some rather tempting ARCs waiting for me, but my brain needed a break, which meant… familiar re-reads. Since it’s finally starting to feel like fall (almost, ish), I moved on to one of my favorite autumn re-reads, Barbara Michaels’s classic ghost story, Ammie, Come Home, set in an old house in Georgetown. With Barbara Michaels, once I pop, I can’t stop, so, of course, then it was on to the sequel, Shattered Silk, which is, rather cleverly, not a ghost story, or in any way paranormal, but a murder mystery revolving around vintage clothing.

What have you been reading this week?

THAT SUMMER: The Lost Epilogue

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

I’ve been asked frequently whether there might be a sequel to That Summer, my novel about an inherited house, a hidden painting, and the early days of the Preraphaelite movement.

Fun fact: That Summer is the only one of my stand alone novels for which I never toyed with the idea of a sequel.

But there is an epilogue. I have a habit of writing epilogues and then not including them, which is why so many of them wind up here on the website, on the Diversions page. In the case of That Summer, my editor felt strongly that it was best to leave things open-ended, so the epilogue wound up on the chopping block.

For all of you who asked if there would be more of these characters, voila! The Lost Epilogue of That Summer is below…. Happy reading!

That Summer (3) That Summer discount edition


Willig, Williams, & White Open House– Tonight!

Monday, September 25th, 2017

It’s a book party and you’re invited!

three-ws w-drinks

Head over to the Romance of Reading Facebook page tonight between four o’clock and eight o’clock Eastern time to join us in celebrating Beatriz’s latest book, chatting about our upcoming books, banter, book talk, and, of course, prizes.

I’ll be there talking about The English Wife, the next three W book, and whatever else you’d like to know from four o’clock to five o’clock Eastern time. Beatriz takes over from five to seven, and then Karen from seven to eight– although we really can’t be trusted to stick to our assigned times. Expect all of us to pop in and out in the other segments!

See you tonight!

WWW Open House

Note: the location of the party has changed. It’s at the Romance of Reading Book Club:

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

There are some weeks when you just need a Georgette Heyer novel. This was one of them. So I pulled out my battered old copy of one of my top ten Heyers, The Talisman Ring, which contains some of my absolute favorite comic moments (such as the hero’s absolute refusal to ride ventre a terre), involving smugglers, a missing ring, a man framed for murder, and, of course, plenty of comic side characters.

From Heyer, it was an easy jump to the antics of the third book in the Invisible Library series: The Burning Page. If you haven’t encountered these yet, they’re a little Jasper Fforde and a little The Librarians.

Now I have a big decision ahead of me: reread the first of Laurie King’s Russell and Holmes mysteries, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (which I haven’t read since it came out lo these many, many years ago), or dig into some British chick lit with a new (to me) Veronica Henry?

It’s a Three W Party– and You’re Invited!

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Next week, our own Beatriz Williams is releasing the second book in the Edwardian-set mystery series she writes under her secret bat name, Juliana Gray. So Karen White and I couldn’t resisting breaking out the virtual bubbly.

Come join us next Monday, 9/25 over at the Romance of Reading Facebook Page, where we’ll be chatting, bantering, sharing the inside scoop on our upcoming books– and, of course, giving away all sorts of swag!

WWW Open House

Here’s the schedule:

Lauren Willig: 4:00-5:00 EST
Beatriz Williams (aka Juliana Gray): 5:00-7:00 EST
Karen White: 7:00-8:00 EST

Not that we’re likely to stick purely to our assigned times… because half the fun is bantering with each other!

So many thanks to our gracious hosts, Bobbi Dumas of Read a Romance Month and Sharlene of Graphics by Sharlene, who were the (anything but evil) geniuses behind this event and will be moderating, keeping us in line (we Ws tend to get a little slap happy), and passing around the virtual canapes.

Hope to see you there!

ENGLISH WIFE Give Away Ends Today!

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

It’s your last chance to win one of the 150 advance copies of The English Wife St. Martin’s Press is giving away on Goodreads!

The Goodreads give away closes at midnight (West Coast time) tonight, so head on over and throw your hat in the ring for a chance to win one of these!

English Wife ARCs

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

It’s always a joy discovering a new series. Instant reading material! This week, I moved on to book two in the Invisible Library series, The Masked City. These books remind me so much of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books. Anyone else remember and love those?

After that, I zigzagged back to Scotland and women’s fiction with an old favorite: Alexandra Raife’s Wild Highland Home, about a woman who tries to come to terms with her life by pulling up stakes and moving to a remote cottage in the Scottish Highlands– and, of course, finds a sense of community she’d never dreamed of.

Next up, I am finally, finally starting Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses, which has been recommended on this page more times than I can count. (Well, I could count it, but it would be too labor intensive).

What have you been reading this week?

Pink Books in Forbes Magazine!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

In the “random but wonderful” category, a quote from one of the Pink Carnation books was featured in last week’s Forbes Magazine!

Pink in Forbes Garden Intrigue Paperback

I am so thrilled to be hanging out there with Agatha Christie and Dom Perignon. (Especially Dom Perignon! Pass the bubbly, please….)

The quote in question is from The Garden Intrigue, Augustus Whittlesby in spy mode, rather than poet mode.

Here’s the full passage:

Augustus had no proof that either Emma Delagardie or her cousin, the one with the strange name, had anything to do with Bonaparte’s mysterious device, but the coincidences were piling up, too many for comfort. It had seemed innocuous enough that Bonaparte intended to test his device during the visit of the American envoy. The presence of the Americans might be intended only as a distraction a smokescreen. One had the impression that they were brash and not terribly bright, thus making them perfect fodder for the role of unwitting decoy.

Likewise, it would ordinarily mean little that the American envoy’s nephew had a diagram of some sort of mechanical whatnot in his waistcoat pocket. It might be nothing more than a sketch for a new patent stove or a design for an improved water closet, Yankee ingenuity once again at work. They were a strange and mercantile people, these Americans. One never knew what they might come up with next.

Fun fact: the phrase “a strange and mercantile people” was a deliberate play on the title of Paul Langford’s classic social history of Georgian England: A Polite and Commercial People. It seemed only right to twist the phrase a bit for England’s ingenious and indefatigable American cousins….

Weekly Reading Round-Up

Friday, September 8th, 2017

So many thanks to Alison for recommending Frederica! This is, indeed, an excellent Heyer, with all the best Heyer features: a lofty hero rendered human by an unlikely heroine, comic side characters, and an enforced stay in an inn (Heyer does excellent comic relief with enforced stays at inns: see also Sprig Muslin and The Talisman Ring).

From Regency England, I moved ahead to present day, with Veronica Henry’s How to Find Love in a Bookshop. Okay, okay, so I picked it up for the title– but I stayed for the gentle satire and lovely portraits of people finding themselves in a picturesque English town. It reminded me a great deal of Trisha Ashley’s Sticklepond books. So, of course, I ordered another one set in the same village right away.

Right now, I’m re-reading Hilary Beckles’s Natural Rebels: A Social History of Enslaved Women in Barbados, preparatory to getting my somewhat fuzzy head back into the current Work-in-Progress, aka the Barbados Book, while debating whether to indulge in a Trisha Ashley or Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling next. Or maybe the first Tana French Dublin Squad mystery, In the Woods. Decisions, decisions….

What have you been reading this week?

THE ENGLISH WIFE– and the kindness of authors

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

When I typed that title, I had Tennessee Williams on the brain, but, really, it should be more of a collective noun: a kindness of authors.

A kindness of authors was wonderful enough to take time out of their own insane writing schedules to take an early look at The English Wife and share their thoughts– and I’m so grateful to them and so thrilled by what they had to say about it!

— “Lauren Willig has made a name for herself writing the finest historical intrigue and The English Wife does not disappoint – it is her best yet! Written with keen detail and subtle nuance, The English Wife is a dark and scintillating tale of betrayal, secrets and a marriage gone wrong that will have readers on the edge of their seats until the final breathtaking twist.” -Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale

— “The English Wife by Lauren Willig is a gorgeous gem of a novel. Part historical fiction, part mystery, and part dual love story, this book is full of engaging characters, flawless writing, and a twisty plot that will keep the reader guessing until the last page. Willig mesmerizes with clever dialog and unexpected plot reveals, promising another fantastic read for her many fans, and a perfect introduction to new readers. This will go on my keeper shelf along with my entire Lauren Willig collection!” –New York Times bestselling author, Karen White

— “The English Wife is an atmospheric, instantly absorbing page-turner. Lauren Willig delivers a richly detailed, expertly plotted novel that will instantly transport you back in time. This novel has it all―an intriguing mystery, a love affair for the ages and secrets worth dying for.” ―Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not A Sound

— “An elegant page turner that kept me guessing. A masterful story that transported me back in time. A great, great Gothic.” -M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of The Library of Light and Shadow

— “Lauren Willig absolutely delivers in this deliciously-paced, intriguing tale that is part mystery, part love story, and part family drama of the most emotionally-riveting kind. Brimming with evocative historical details and hauntingly good.” -Susan Meissner, award-winning author of A Bridge Across the Ocean

— “Full of intrigue and suspense, Willig weaves an intricate tapestry of romance and betrayal. Rich in period detail and a plot that keeps you guessing, The English Wife, is a wonderful read.” -Alyson Richman, Internationally bestselling author of The Velvet Hours and The Lost Wife

— “Full of Gilded Age glamour and Gothic suspense, The English Wife will haunt readers long after the story ends. Willig draws us in immediately – not just with an opulent setting and sensational gossip – but with a crime so visually stunning, I was left gasping for air by the end of chapter one. From London to old New York, readers will be mesmerized. Willig’s writing is so smart and her pacing so masterful that readers will be guessing until the very last page. The English Wife combines the all insight of Edith Wharton with the tension and intrigue of Daphne du Maurier. It is Willig at her very best and most compelling.” -Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House

— “The English Wife brings to life old world New York City and London with all the splendor of two of my favorite novels, The Age of Innocence and The Crimson Petal and the White. Mystery, murder, mistaken identity, romance―Lauren Willig weaves each strand into a page-turning tapestry.” -Sally Koslow, author of The Widow Waltz and Another Side of Paradise

— “Lauren Willig’s historical novels are so immersive, so note-perfect in their mastery of setting and voice, that I’m tempted to wonder if she has a time machine at her disposal. THE ENGLISH WIFE, with its deliciously evocative portrait of the splendours, sorrows and intrigues of Gilded Age high society, is her best book yet.” -Jennifer Robson, USA Today and #1 Toronto Globe & Mail bestselling author of Goodnight from London.

Special hugs go to Alyson Richman– because, as any of you who have heard me give a talk about how I came to be a writer know, it has been my lifelong ambition to write a book that would be referred to as an “intricate tapestry”. (Always a tapestry, NEVER a tea towel.) Achievement unlocked!

The English Wife is available for pre-order from all the usual suspects: in hardcover from from your favorite local bookseller, Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, and Powell’s; in e-book on Kindle and Nook; and on audio CD.

If you would like to pre-order a signed and personalized copy, those will be available from FoxTale Book Shoppe , The Poisoned Pen , Murder by the Book, or The Corner Bookstore.

In the meantime, The English Wife is up for grabs on Goodreads! Enter before September 16th for a chance to win an advance copy.