Monday Give Away: THE WAY TO LONDON
June 5th, 2017

Every now and then, you luck into a book that just sweeps you along. In this case, all the way from Singapore to Cornwall to London. For this week’s give away, I give you… Alix Rickloff’s The Way to London.

Here’s the official blurb:

way to londonFrom the author of Secrets of Nanreath Hall comes this gripping, beautifully written historical fiction novel set during World War II—the unforgettable story of a young woman who must leave Singapore and forge a new life in England.

On the eve of Pearl Harbor, impetuous and overindulged, Lucy Stanhope, the granddaughter of an earl, is living a life of pampered luxury in Singapore until one reckless act will change her life forever.

Exiled to England to stay with an aunt she barely remembers, Lucy never dreamed that she would be one of the last people to escape Singapore before war engulfs the entire island, and that her parents would disappear in the devastating aftermath. Now grief stricken and all alone, she must cope with the realities of a grim, battle-weary England.

Then she meets Bill, a young evacuee sent to the country to escape the Blitz, and in a moment of weakness, Lucy agrees to help him find his mother in London. The unlikely runaways take off on a seemingly simple journey across the country, but her world becomes even more complicated when she is reunited with an invalided soldier she knew in Singapore.

Now Lucy will be forced to finally confront the choices she has made if she ever hopes to have the future she yearns for.

At its heart, The Way to London is a heroine’s journey of self discovery. Like the eighteenth century novels about young men thrown into the world, Lucy has her share of adventures on the road, but each, ultimately, helps her discover just who she is and what she wants.

So, for a chance to win my advance copy of The Way to London, here’s your question: what’s your favorite road trip novel? (Or movie?)

The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

The Way to London will be available in stores on September 19, 2017.

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up
June 2nd, 2017

Every now and then, it’s nice to revisit old books as a sort of literary palette cleanser, in this case, some of my less read books by favorite authors. This week, I dipped into Georgette Heyer’s The Unknown Ajax (which was so much better than I remembered it being!) and The Toll-Gate, and then stopped by 1920s London with Lord Peter Wimsey for a spot of Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club.

The real find this week, though, was an advance copy of a book coming out in September: The Way to London by Alix Rickloff, in which a spoiled twenty-something child of privilege finds herself on the run through blitzed Britain with a London street urchin and a strangely attractive mechanic. (Once I’m done with it, I’ll put it up for grabs here on the website, since it’s too good not to share.)

In the meantime, I know what I’m going to be reading tomorrow! The manuscript of the second Three W’s book, aka The Lusitania Book, aka Someday Our Title Will Come.

Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and I will be meeting up in our latest top secret bat cave to give the book a good going over– and plot the next one! We’ll be sharing important updates from our retreat (like what we’re drinking, and who brought the most luggage– cough cough, Karen, cough cough) on our Willig, White, and Williams Facebook page.

What have you been reading this week?

 

BLACK TULIP en Francais– Encore!
May 30th, 2017

June brings many things, among them… the new French edition of The Masque of the Black Tulip!

Black Tulip France

Très sultry, no?

Just for fun, here’s an international tour of Black Tulip covers. Which one is your favorite?

US hardcover:

tulip_200

US paperback:Black Tulip Paperback

UK edition:

blacktulipengland

French edition:

Black Tulip France

French Canadian edition:

Black Tulip French

German edition:

Black Tulip Germany

Dutch edition:

Black Tulip Holland

Portuguese edition:

Black Tulip Portugal

Spanish edition:

antifaztulipan

Russian edition:

Black Tulip Russia

Japanese edition:

Black Tulip Japan

I love all of these, but my favorites are probably the Dutch (because, so Henrietta) and the US paperback. What do you think?

 

THAT SUMMER This Summer!
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!

 

THE INVITATION Winner
May 24th, 2017

The winner of my advance copy of The Invitation is…

Kelly Chasse! (Of Comment #43.)

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

 

Teaser Tuesday: Coming Next
May 23rd, 2017

Here’s the publication schedule for the next year or so….

April 18, 2017: That Summer (paperback reissue).

July 4, 2017: A Paris All Your Own: Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light, a series of personal essays about Paris by assorted authors (trade paperback).

January 9, 2018: The English Wife, aka Stand Alone #4, aka the Gilded Age Book (hardcover).

Autumn 2018 (date and title TBA): the three Ws’ latest collaboration, a novel set around the final voyage of the Lusitania, with Karen White and Beatriz Williams (hardcover).

(I am very happy to announce that the three of us finished a draft of the Lusitania novel last week! We will shortly be retreating to our top secret bat cave to polish up the Lusitania book and plot the next Three W adventure. And possibly finally come up with a title for the Lusitania book other than Lusitania book.)

That Summer discount edition paris-anthology The English Wife

I can’t wait to share all of these with you!

I’m working on my 2019 book (aka Stand Alone #5) right now. I’ll have more to tell you about that once The English Wife is safely out in the world….

 

Monday Give Away: THE INVITATION
May 22nd, 2017

For this Monday’s give away, I give you… The Invitation, by Lucy Foley.

Here’s the official blurb:

the invitationAn evocative love story set along the Italian Riviera about a group of charismatic stars who all have secrets and pasts they try desperately–and dangerously–to hide.

Rome, 1953: Hal, an itinerant journalist flailing in the post-war darkness, has come to the Eternal City to lose himself and to seek absolution for the thing that haunts him. One evening he finds himself on the steps of a palazzo, walking into a world of privilege and light. Here, on a rooftop above the city, he meets the mysterious Stella. Hal and Stella are from different worlds, but their connection is magnetic. Together, they escape the crowded party and imagine a different life, even if it’s just for a night. Yet Stella vanishes all too quickly, and Hal is certain their paths won’t cross again.

But a year later they are unexpectedly thrown together, after Hal receives an invitation he cannot resist. An Italian Contessa asks him to assist on a trip of a lifetime–acting as a reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian coast toward Cannes film festival, the most famous artists and movie stars of the day gathered to promote a new film.

Of all the luminaries aboard–an Italian ingenue, an American star, a reclusive director–only one holds Hal in thrall: Stella. And while each has a past that belies the gilded surface, Stella has the most to hide. As Hal’s obsession with Stella grows, he becomes determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl who’s been confined to history.

An irresistibly entertaining and atmospheric novel set in some of the world’s most glamorous locales, THE INVITATION is a sultry love story about the ways in which the secrets of the past stay with us–no matter how much we try to escape them.

This book deftly evoked the Italy of another era. Even now, a year or so after I read it, I can still close my eyes and remember the physical details of certain scenes, as if I were there, during a Roman summer.

So, for a chance to win my advance copy of The Invitation, here’s your question: where would you most like to travel via book?

The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up
May 19th, 2017

After a couple of books which I did not like at all (no names named), I took refuge in an old favorite: Georgette Heyer’s The Nonesuch. Her prose and her characterizations are both such a joy.

What have you been reading this week?

 

GILDED DECEIT Winner
May 19th, 2017

Given the topic, this ought to be conveyed in a sonnet or a sestina– but since we don’t want to encourage Augustus Whittlesby, here it is in plain prose: the winner of the e-copy of Tracy Grant‘s latest, Gilded Deceit, is…

… Lauren D.! (Of Comment #3.)

(Hey, that rhymes!)

Congrats, Lauren! To claim your prize, just contact Tracy via her website.

Thanks so much to Tracy for the “If You Like” and to everyone for the excellent poetical reading suggestions!

 

LAST DAYS OF NIGHT Winner
May 17th, 2017

The winner of my advance copy of The Last Days of Night is…

Carla! (Of Comment #22.)

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

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet, stop by Tracy Grant’s guest If You Like post for recs on books about poets and a chance to win her latest Regency mystery, Gilded Deceit.