Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category


Sunday, March 19th, 2017

The winner of the advance copy of Jennifer Robson’s Goodnight from London is…

…Karen Townsend!

Congrats, Karen! If you let me know where to send it, I’ll pop your book in the mail to you. Congrats, and happy reading!

Cast That Turnip!: A Very Turnip Contest

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

I tend not to base my characters off actors. They pop to life in my head just as they are. Every now and again, I’m lucky enough to stumble across someone on the big or little screen who looks just as I imagined one of my characters– but it doesn’t happen with everyone.

Case in point: Turnip.

I have to confess, all these years later, I still haven’t found the perfect Turnip.

Who do you think should play Turnip in a hypothetical Mistletoe mini-series? (Can’t you just see it? “Mistletoe: the Hallmark Channel/BBC collaboration”.) Is there any actor who strikes you as having that essential Turnip-ness?

To help you out, here’s the first appearance of Turnip on the scene in The Masque of the Black Tulip, Turnip’s very first Pink Carnation appearance.

“Oh, look!” Henrietta leaned confidentially towards him, the embroidered hem of her dress lapping at the toes of his boots, “I do believe you’ve been saved. Mrs. Ponsonby has latched onto Reggie Fitzhugh.”

Miles followed the path of Henrietta’s fan and noted with some relief that the crazy woman had indeed honed in on Turnip Fitzhugh. Turnip wasn’t in the direct line for a title, but his uncle was an earl, and he did have an income of ten thousand pounds a year, enough to make Turnip a very attractive marital prospect for anyone who didn’t mind a complete absence of mental capacity. That, from what Miles had viewed of this year’s crop of debutantes, didn’t look to be a problem. Besides, Turnip was a good chap. Not the sort of man Miles would want to see marrying his sister (there was little danger of that, as Miles’ three half-sisters were all considerably older, and long since leg-shackled), but he had a good hand with his horses, a generous way with his port, and a winning habit of actually paying his gambling debts.

He also had a positive talent for sartorial disaster. He was, Miles noted with mingled amusement and disbelief, dressed entirely a la Carnation, with a huge pink flower in his buttonhole, wreaths of carnations embroidered on his silk stockings, and even—Miles winced—dozens of little carnations twining on vines along the sides of his knee breeches.

Miles groaned. “Someone needs to kidnap his tailor.”

Moving along to Mistletoe, I give you the scene where our heroine, Arabella, first meets Turnip– in all his Turnip-y glory.

It was highly unlikely that any gentlemen of large fortune and undiscriminating taste would rush forward to bowl her over.

And that was when a large form careened into her, sending her stumbling into the doorframe, while something small, round, and compact managed to land heavily on her left foot before rolling along its way.

“Oooof!” Arabella said cleverly, flailing her arms for balance.

This was not an auspicious beginning to her career as a dignified instructress of young ladies.
A pair of sturdy hands caught her by the shoulders before she could go over, hauling her back up to her feet. He overshot by a bit. Arabella found herself dangling in mid-air for a moment before her feet landed once again on the wooden floor.

“I say, frightfully sorry!” her unseen assailant and rescuer was babbling. “Deuced ungentlemanly of me—ought to have been watching where I was going.”

Arabella’s bonnet had been knocked askew in the fracas. She was above the average height, but this man was even taller. With her bonnet brim in the way, all she could see was a stretch of brightly patterned waistcoat, a masterpiece of fine fabric and poor taste.

Arabella didn’t know whether to laugh or bang her head against the elaborate carnations on her assailant’s waistcoat. Everyone knew about Turnip Fitzhugh’s waistcoats.

And to think, only a moment ago, she had complaining about not being bowled over by men of large fortune and undiscriminating taste.

She had just never meant it quite that literally.

And that’s our Turnip.

Name your top Turnip picks– and I’ll pick one person who comments to receive a copy of the UK edition of The Mischief of the Mistletoe.

Happy casting!

Read A Romance Month Holiday Extravaganza

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Over on Facebook, the Read A Romance Month page is holding a holiday give away extravaganza, with a different package of books up for grabs every day. Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and I are joining in the fun over there by offering up three copies of The Forgotten Room plus one copy each of our own backlist books. Three prizes, two books each.

To enter, just head over to the Read A Romance Month Facebook page and comment on that post. The contest is open until December 14th. Happy reading!


Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The winner of the signed copy of The Mischief of the Mistletoe is…

… Heather! (Of Comment #4.)

Congrats, Heather! If you let me know where to send it, I’ll pop your book in the mail to you.

More fun coming up soon!


Monday, December 5th, 2016

Happy December! In honor of the season, today’s give away will be… a signed copy of The Mischief of the Mistletoe!

Here’s the official blurb:

Mistletoe Updated Arabella Dempsey’s dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls’ school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies…

Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh—often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation—has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, “Meet me at Farley Castle”, the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens’ modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate 12-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? And is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella and Turnip’s hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding?

For a chance to win a copy of The Mischief of the Mistletoe, here’s your question: what’s your favorite holiday read?

The winner will be announced on Wednesday.



Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

The winner of Ann Leary’s The Children is…

… Maria! (Of Comment #14.)

Congrats, Maria! If you let me know where to send it, I’ll put your book in the mail to you.

Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe, happy Thanksgiving!

Monday Give Away

Monday, November 21st, 2016

There’s been a bit of a give away gap– apologies! To make it up to you, I have a particularly good one for you today: a hardcover copy of Ann Leary’s The Children.

Here’s the official blurb:

the-children From New York Times bestselling author Ann Leary comes the captivating story of a wealthy, but unconventional New England family, told from the perspective of a reclusive 29-year-old who has a secret (and famous) life on the Internet.

Charlotte Maynard rarely leaves her mother’s home, the sprawling Connecticut lake house that belonged to her late stepfather, Whit Whitman, and the generations of Whitmans before him. While Charlotte and her sister, Sally, grew up at “Lakeside,” their stepbrothers, Spin and Perry, were welcomed as weekend guests. Now the grown boys own the estate, which Joan occupies by their grace―and a provision in the family trust. When Spin, the youngest and favorite of all the children, brings his fiancé home for the summer, the entire family is intrigued. The beautiful and accomplished Laurel Atwood breathes new life into this often comically rarefied world. But as the wedding draws near, and flaws surface in the family’s polite veneer, an array of simmering resentments and unfortunate truths is exposed.

With remarkable wit and insight, Ann Leary pulls back the curtain on one blended family, as they are forced to grapple with the assets and liabilities – both material and psychological – left behind by their wonderfully flawed patriarch.

What could be more appropriate for Thanksgiving week than a book about a dysfunctional family?

For a chance to win a hardcover copy of Ann Leary’s The Children, here’s your question:

— What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? (Edible or otherwise.)

Happy holiday, all! Winners will be announced on Wednesday.


Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

The winners of the copies of The Forgotten Room are…

… Virginia (of Comment #20) and Jacqueline (of Comment #3)!

Congrats, ladies! If you let me know where to send them, I’ll pop your books in the mail to you.

Happy reading!

Happy Halloween! And Monday Give Away.

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Happy Halloween, all!

Given the holiday, I feel like I should be offering up a copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, aka my one and only Halloween book. But I’m down to my last few Manzanillas and I have a whopping great pile of paperback copies of The Forgotten Room, so… in a very unwitchy sort of way, I am offering up a brand new paperback copy of The Forgotten Room.

manzanilla tfr-paperback

Here’s the official blurb:

Untitled-1New 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.

Now for your question: What’s your favorite Halloween costume?

Two people, chosen at random, will receive paperback copies of The Forgotten Room.

And, just so I don’t feel like I’m shirking on my Halloween duty, here are some lovely cards Sharlene made up for The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla back in the day.

Happy Halloween!

The moon shines through clouds at night


Silhouettes of kissing couple in the moonlight

Manzanilla Halloween 2

“The Visitors” Winner

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

The winner of the ARC of The Visitors is…

Carla! (Of Comment #4.)

Congrats, Carla! If you let me know where to send it, I’ll pop your book in the mail to you.

More give aways coming up next Monday!