We have another giveaway!

While the Instagram giveaway in the previous post is still going on, you can enter ANOTHER giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win an ARC of A TREACHEROUS CURSE!

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We’ve got a giveaway!

Want a chance to win an ARC of A TREACHEROUS CURSE? Head over to my Instagram account to enter–I’m giving away three!

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Nook and Kindle readers, good news! Barnes & Noble and Amazon have A CURIOUS BEGINNING for only $2.99 right now. Perfect time to grab your digital copy or give one to a pal!

Barnes & Noble Nook

Amazon Kindle

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Scribbling and bibbling

Do you remember the scene in AMADEUS where Mozart tells the emperor that he has already written his next piece in his head, it’s just a matter of getting it down on paper? Nothing but scribbling and bibbling left? That’s how I’m feeling about the current Veronica book. Very occasionally I get a book that just comes together in my head, assembling itself so neatly that it seems less like I’m writing and more like I’m taking dictation. (I wish every book were this effortless, but that wouldn’t be very interesting, would it?) The book is due December 15, and apart from a 5-day trip to Toronto for Bouchercon in October, I am focusing completely on the manuscript. All other commitments and engagements are being put aside until this one is winging its way to my editor.

Part of my strategy includes streamlining my social media. My personal FB page has been locked down and will no longer be accepting friend requests, answering messages, or posting. My author profile page is where all the action will be, so if you haven’t already followed me there, please do! That’s where you’ll find the latest updates on releases, contests, appearances, etc. My assistant and the fabulous team at Berkley will be posting there as well, and this blog will (fingers crossed!) automatically update to that page also. As ever, I’ll be tweeting away and I’m getting more active on Instagram, so if you need pictures of Deacon, you know where to go.

Love to take personality quizzes? Have you worked out your numerology or sorted yourself into a Hogwarts’ house or taken an online test to see which color best represents you? Then you will seriously dig Anne Bogel’s recent release READING PEOPLE. Anne–who is a seriously cool chick I have been lucky enough to meet in person–very kindly sent me a copy and I was intrigued. It would have been worth reading for the chapter on highly-sensitive people alone! And from reading her take on the Myers-Briggs assessment, I now understand why I’ve gotten about five different results. I also really appreciated the chapter on love languages and have put some of the suggested techniques into practice. If personality assessments are your thing, you definitely need to check this one out.


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It’s release day!

A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING is out in paperback–don’t miss Veronica and Stoker’s second precarious Victorian adventure!

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Events this week! Don’t miss out–if you’re in the greaterĀ  NYC area, Sherry Thomas, Juliana Gray, and I are looking forward to meeting you!


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Sometimes you need something soothing

For bedtime soothing, there’s nothing better than a straight slug of plain whiskey. (Although it’s usually bourbon in our house because that’s husband’s preference and I never buy the stuff.) But I am eating and drinking QUITE clean right now which means no alcohol for the foreseeable future, and what’s a girl to do when she needs something relaxing and comforting? A cup of tisane. If you’ve seen MY COUSIN RACHEL or read the book, you might be twitching by now, but it’s cool. I haven’t poisoned anyone yet…

For my blend, I mix equal parts dried mint, marjoram, sage, and lavender. If you have trouble finding mint–and I do–you can always take a plain peppermint teabag with nothing in it but the mint and use the innards. Make sure the herbs are all dried but NOT powdered or you’ll just make a nice green mush. Use a tea infuser to brew the dried herbs into a cup of just boiling water until it turns a soft golden-green–five to ten minutes depending on your taste. NEVER add sugar, although a drop of honey is not the worst thing you could do.

Carry this to your bed and sip slowly.

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Something tasty for the TBR pile!

Today is pub day for Ashley Weaver’s latest Amory Ames novel! I have so enjoyed this series beginning with MURDER AT THE BRIGHTWELL. The third is out today–THE ESSENCE OF MALICE–and there was a short story set in Capri that dropped this summer if you want to be fully caught up on all of Amory and Milo’s adventures. Fun, stylish Golden Age perfect for fans of Nick and Nora or Tommy and Tuppence.

It’s also pub day for my sister in Victorian crime, Sherry Thomas! Her latest Lady Sherlock novel, A CONSPIRACY IN BELGRAVIA comes hot on the heels of her fabulous series debut, A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN. (Sherry and I will be doing two events in the NYC area later this month with Juliana Gray/Beatriz Williams. Come see us!) Highly recommended for Sherlock fans.

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We have a giveaway!

Check out this fabulous sweepstakes provided by my publisher! It features women who defy convention by authors you love–Amanda Quick, Joanna Bourne, Jennifer Ashley, and Sherry Thomas. Oh, and I’m in there too! Enter for your chance to win ALL FIVE books–A CURIOUS BEGINNING, THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN, DEATH BELOW STAIRS, and THE SPYMASTER’S LADY. That’s a HEAP of good reading in one spot and I’m so happy to see Veronica hanging out with Irene, Charlotte, Kat, and Annique. Good luck and happy reading!

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Pondering their stories

So I’ve chatted from time to time here about interesting ancestors–interesting to me, anyway. I’ve always been fascinated with ancestral stories and how they shape us, the knowledge that some part of what and who we are is predetermined. To what extent, we may never know, but I’m intrigued by the latest secrets science is teasing out of strands of DNA. (Did you know that the DNA of people who have suffered tremendous trauma–the Holocaust, for example–is permanently altered and passed in its altered state to their offspring?) How much of their experience, their lives, their passions and dreads and talents and fears, reaches down to us?

When my parents had DNA tests done, the results were astonishing. Between the two of them, they had genetic material originating on four different continents. Their ancestral maps spread from Europe, across the Mediterranean to north Africa and along the Silk Road to southern Asia. A slender ribbon of North American Indian turned up in my mother’s line. But was it entirely unexpected? I have set books in locations I have never visited, lands I’ve never traveled, but the DNA map says my ancestors were no strangers to those places. Does something within us remember? If I stood on the top of a mountain astride the Caucasus, would it feel familiar? If I waded into the Bay of Bengal or touched the shores of Algeria, would I know I had come home?

Daphne du Maurier, one of my desert island authors, wrote: “As an individual living here and now I am only too well aware that I possess feelings, emotions, a mind and body bequeathed to me by people long since dead who have made me what I am.” That is the best explanation I’ve found for why I chase the stories of my ancestors. Every fact I discover about them is another puzzle piece to define me. Stories run in the blood, and the more of them I know, the more of me I know.

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