Archive for the ‘That Summer’ Category

THAT SUMMER This Summer!

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Just for this summer, my publisher has put out a special discount edition of That Summer!

That Summer new edition Walmart

(Thanks to Patsy for the photo of the new edition in the wild at Walmart!)

Here’s the official blurb:

That Summer discount editionA page-turning new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig, about a woman who inherits a house in England… and the mysterious past that comes with it.

2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it’s a joke. She hasn’t been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six (and gave her nightmares that have lasted into adulthood). But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house—with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas—bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house’s shrouded history begins to open…

1849: Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited sixteen year old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur’s collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.

The New York Times Review of Books called That Summer “an involving mystery”. RT Book Reviews rated it “A Perfect 10 from page one to the poignant, heartwarming endings of both stories. Humor, history, a wee bit of mystery, and brilliant characters in both centuries will guarantee a fun and satisfying read”– and it’s now available for $9.99 in trade paperback and $7.00 on Kindle and Nook.

If you see the new edition of That Summer in the wild, let me know!



Pinkorama #1: THAT SUMMER

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Or perhaps Peep Summer?

For our very first 2017 Pinkorama, Randy brings us a scene from That Summer. It’s the summer of 2009, and Julia, jobless thanks to the recession, has just flown out to London to inspect the house she unexpectedly inherited from a great-aunt she can’t remember. The house holds many surprises for Julia… including the portrait of a lady.

(Note the corresponding picture of a gentleman on the other wall….)

Our jet-lagged Julia Peep in her white shirt examines the painting.

Randy 1

And look! There’s Julia’s cousin, Natalie, popping through the door to see what Julia’s up to.

Randy 2

Don’t you love the fireplace and those elegant blue drapes?

Here’s the text of the scene:

That Summer PaperbackThe switch was one of the push kinds. Julia pressed down on it. Blinking in the sudden light from the crystal chandelier, she found herself face to face with a woman on the wall.

For a second, the dark hair, the pale skin, the flowers made her think of her mother, of that faded image in an old snapshot.

But there was nothing faded about this picture. Even dimmed with dust and neglect, there was a vibrancy about the painted image that drew the eye like a magnet. It shouldn’t have. There was nothing particularly exotic about it, just a woman sitting in a garden, trees flowering all around her, roses twining as if reaching for her hand, the sun catching the gold lettering on the book that lay beside her, abandoned on the bench.

The woman’s clothes made Julia think of the cover of her high school volume of Jane Eyre, a tight-waisted dress in a deep, dark blue, with a modest white collar and cuffs. Her dark hair was uncovered, parted in the middle, pulled down smoothly to cover her ears, then looped and knotted in the back. Just another society portrait.

Except for her face. She was looking up, lips parted as though about to say something. The serenity of her hair and gown was belied by the turmoil in her face. She looked, realized Julia, as lost as Julia felt. The contrast between the woman’s restrained clothing, her carefully arranged hair, and the wildness in her eyes struck a deep and powerful cord with her. Julia felt a deep kinship with this unknown woman, whoever she might be, with the confusion and frustration all bottled into that prim exterior.

Whoever the artist was, he was pretty darn talented to have conveyed all that, just in the tilt of a head, the slightly parted lips, the luster of the eyes. Julia took a step forward, feeling as if, if she only got close enough, those lips might whisper secrets to her. She could practically hear the buzz of expectancy in the air around her. Even the dust motes seemed to have paused to listen.

A door opened on the other side of the room, and the mood shattered.

“There you are!” It was Nat, slightly breathless. “I just went to make sure I’d closed the back door. Hideous room, isn’t this? It smells like someone died.”

Thanks so much, Randy, for bringing this scene so vividly (peepfully?) to life!



THAT SUMMER on Kindle and Nook– price reduced!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

I am very happy to announce that with the move to paperback, you can now find That Summer for $9.99 on both Kindle and Nook.

That Summer (3) That Summer Paperback

I feel like there needs to be a jingle or tagline here…. Same great read, lower price?

Happy reading!



THAT SUMMER: in paperback today!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

My Preraphaelite novel, That Summer, comes out in paperback today!

That Summer Paperback 2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it’s a joke. She hasn’t been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house–with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas–bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house’s shrouded history begins to open…

1849: Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited sixteen year old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur’s collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.

From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, Lauren Willig’s That Summer takes readers on an un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman’s search for the truth about her past–and herself.

Here’s the then and now of last year’s hardcover release day and this year’s paperback release day:

Image-1 photo (51)

If you see That Summer paperback in the wild, let me know!

You can learn more about the book here and find a bibliography here.

Happy reading!



THAT SUMMER– in stores tomorrow!

Monday, May 18th, 2015

It hardly seems possible, but That Summer comes out tomorrow– with a snazzy new cover.

That Summer Paperback

To celebrate the paperback release, the lovely Sharlene of Graphics by Sharlene made me these e-cards. Fun, no?

That Summer Paperback 1

That Summer Paperback 2

That Summer Paperback 3 fixed

That Summer Paperback 4

Which one is your favorite?



In my mailbox….

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

That Summer in paperback!

photo (50)

Less than one week to go until it appears in stores!

You can find all the links for pre-order here.



Teaser Tuesday: THAT SUMMER Bibliography

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

I’m a little behind when it comes to posting a bibliography for That Summer— about a year behind, in fact.

With the paperback of That Summer appearing in stores a week from today, now seemed like a good time to remedy the defect.

Of course, a year after first publication and two years after handing the manuscript in, this is, of necessity, only a partial bibliography, drawn from a combination of memory and lots of digging through the piles of books next to my desk. It’s a combination of Victorian life, Preraphaelite painters, and contemporary criticism and fiction.

There are some excellent books about Victorian London that have come out since I wrote That Summer, but, for the sake of consistency, I included only those I actually consulted in the writing of the book.

And, voila! The partial bibliography….

Barringer, Tim. Reading the Pre-Raphaelites.

Batchelor, John. John Ruskin: A Life.

Bronte, Anne. Agnes Grey.

Bronte, Anne. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre.

Cooper, Suzanne Fagence. Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais.

Daly, Gay. Pre-Raphaelites in Love.

Davidoff, Leonore. Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850.

de Vries, Leonard. Panorama 1842-1865 – The World of the early Victorians as seen through the eyes of the Illustrated London News.

Flanders, Judith. Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England.

Gaskell, Elizabeth. Mary Barton.

Garnett, Henrietta. Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses.

Gernsheim, Alison. Victorian and Edwardian Fashion.

Mitchell, Sally. Daily Life in Victorian England.

Moyle, Franny. Desperate Romantics: The Private Lives of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Picard, Liza. Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840–1870.

Pool, Daniel. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist — The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England.

Robinson, Michael. The Pre-Raphaelites: Their Lives and Works in 500 Images: A study of the artists, their lives and context, with 500 images, and a gallery showing 300 of their most iconic paintings.

Ruskin, John. On Art and Life.

Ruskin, John. Praeterita.

Todd, Pamela. Pre-Raphaelites at Home.

That Summer Paperback

That Summer appears in paperback on Tuesday, May 19th!



THE STOLEN SUMMER… aka THAT SUMMER in Germany!

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

My Pre-Raphaelite novel, That Summer, comes out in Germany tomorrow! (Early birthday present for me?)

Over there, they call it Der gestohlene Sommer, “The Stolen Summer”– which I rather wish we’d thought of for the American edition.

That Summer Germany

You can find Der gestohlene Sommer for sale in German in hardcover and e-book from Rowohlt, Amazon.de, and, of course, your local bookseller in Germany or Austria.



More fun with foreign editions!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

That Summer comes out in Germany under the title Der gestohlene Sommer on March 27th (the day before my birthday!)

What do you think of the cover?

That Summer Germany

It goes rather nicely with the German cover for The Ashford Affair, no?

Ashford Germany

We’ll see That Summer here in the U.S. (and Canada) in paperback on May 19, rapidly followed by the hardcover of Stand Alone #3, The Other Daughter, on June 2.

That Summer Paperback The Other Daughter



THAT SUMMER has a new look….

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

In honor of the cover of The Other Daughter (coming out in hardcover in June!), the amazing folks at the art department at St. Martin’s Press have given That Summer a new look:

That Summer Paperback

They even managed to include the summer house!

That Summer hits the shelves in paperback on May 19, 2015.

Which cover do you prefer?

That Summer (3) That Summer Paperback

And here’s That Summer and The Other Daughter together!

That Summer Paperback The Other Daughter