Quarantine Life

As promised, I’m rounding up some tips and faves to help pass the time in quarantine. I know, it’s a big adjustment to be home all the time if you’re not accustomed to it. Negotiating silence and space and noise and energy and attention can be really tricky–and that’s not even taking into account work demands and health anxieties. (Quick note: these posts are intended for folks who are quarantined at home and finding it challenging in some way. There are much bigger issues in the world and I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe; keeping positive is good for your immune system and these are basically just love notes to you all.)

Today’s work from home tip: Open the curtains. Hopefully it’s sunny where you are and you can get a little dose of sunshine. Even if it’s not, looking beyond the horizon of your windowsill is a good reminder that there is still a world out there, even if we’re not venturing into it right now. Weather permitting, open the windows too.

Now for some things to do:

*Several weeks ago, I did an interview with Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. It was posted last week and you can listen to it here if you have an hour to spare.

*Josh Gad evening read-aloud on Twitter.

*Field Museum Brain Scoop.

*Emma (2020) is now streaming on demand. It’s $19.99 for 48 hours which seems pricey until you remember it is currently in theatres and movie tickets (at least where I live) are almost that expensive anyway.

*Pantry recipe for Oatmeal Breakfast Bars–you probably have all the ingredients already on the shelf.

*Duolingo. It’s a perfect time to putter with learning a new language. I’m taking Greek lessons on Duolingo which is STUPID HARD–why did I pick a language with a different alphabet?–but you can try everything from brushing up your Spanish to dabbling in High Valyrian.

*Series to binge: Death in Paradise. Think Midsomer Murders but with a glorious Caribbean setting. Eight seasons!

*Reader suggestion: The Mikado.

Hit me up with your suggestions on Twitter and if they get posted the next day here, you’ll be entered to win a copy of A MURDEROUS RELATION after March 31. Readers entered for a copy of A MURDEROUS RELATION: Lynn Greiner, Becki Chambers.

 

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Strange times

I’ve mostly been using this space for announcements for the past year or so and keeping my chatty pieces for the newsletter, but this feels like a good time to check in. I hope all of you are keeping well.

First, thanks to you, A MURDEROUS RELATION is a USA TODAY bestseller! I am delighted that so many of you have supported and bought and buzzed and reviewed and talked about this book. It is MUCH appreciated, and a definite boost during these oh so strange times. I also want to thank those of you who were able to come to signings during the tour. I was able to finish it by the skin of my teeth and have put myself in quarantine for two weeks after coming home as a precaution. The first few days have been about catching up on my sleep–VITAL for the immune system–and loading up on fruits and vegetables, water, and Airborne.

My husband and I both work from home so this is not hugely different from what we usually do, but I know a lot of folks are finding the homebound work situation challenging. So, a word of unsolicited advice: Be nice to yourself. Stop thinking you have to do things a certain way. If you’re a night owl, work at night. (Job permitting.) If you need second breakfast and a long nap to feel good, do that. Most people waste hours each day in commuting, errands, mandated meetings. With a good chunk of that stripped away, you might have time to get your work done in just a few hours, leaving you with much more free time than you’re used to. That’s okay. Don’t rush to fill it. It’s okay to just BE right now. Things are weird and scary, and if keeping your pajama pants on until 4pm makes you happy, who cares?

And if you’re one of the people who needs to be perfectly coiffed and dressed to feel professional and productive, you do you. If you’re at home with kids and trying to homeschool, embrace the fact that you’re NOT a professional teacher. You don’t need rigid schedules and worksheets and regimented lessons. Most kids learn far better without those things. (Schools are organized that way because of the sheer number of kids who have to be educated, not because it’s better.) Cook with your kids and work fractions that way or let them read or paint or build things for hours. It’s fine. One of the greatest joys of my job is getting to fall down a rabbit hole of research on a topic I’m interested in. I learn so much when I can immerse myself in a subject. Your kids will too.

Feel like you need to give them some science or art or just need a distraction yourself? Heaps of museums are posting videos, archives, and livestreams. Have a peek at Shedd Aquarium, catch Metropolitan Opera‘s nightly opera stream–tonight is La Traviata!–or check out the live penguin cam at the California Academy of Sciences.

Every day from now until the end of March, I’ll be posting new content here–mostly suggestions of ways to pass the time in quarantine–just a few things each day that I hope will enjoy. I’ll tweet that day’s link and I hope you’ll add your own favorite tips, links, etc. If I post your addition in the next day’s blog,  you’ll be entered to win a copy of A MURDEROUS RELATION.

In the meantime, I hope you and yours are well!

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IT IS ALMOST TIME!

Tuesday, March 10, is release day–A MURDEROUS RELATION is almost ready to go and I am so happy to let y’all know that it got a Library Journal starred review! There is still time to join me at any of the events on the tour, but several are ticketed and will need booking in advance. No event near you? No worries! You can still order from any of the bookstores on the tour or your favorite online or local bookseller. If you purchase from a bookstore I’m visiting, you can get yours signed and shipped directly to you. Heaps of thanks for all the excitement about this book–I can’t wait to see you on the road!

 

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March Madness!

The fine folks at Berkley Pub are doing a spectacular March Madness reading giveaway! There’s a book for every taste and the giveaway includes a copy of A MURDEROUS RELATION. Open now, enter by March 4–and good luck!

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Release day!

Today is the release day for A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION in paperback! Haven’t read Veronica Speedwell’s fourth adventure? Well, here’s a peek:

A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.

Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.

But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance.

From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner.

Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again….

Find purchase links here.

Also, to celebrate this paperback release, my publisher is giving away a full set of Veronica books including an ARC of A MURDEROUS RELATION over on my Instagram! Check it out and enter by Feb 14 to win. Good luck!

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Another giveaway!

The lovely folks at Penguin Random House have partnered with Book Art Bookmarks for a giveaway and it is adorable! You can enter to win an ARC of A MURDEROUS RELATION and an enchanting magnifying glass bookmark–perfect for sleuthing out clues or examining your favorite butterfly. Giveaway runs through Feb. 15. Good luck!

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Just in time for the paperback love!

Check out this post on Read It Forward–“Detective Series To Sink Your Teeth Into”–giving all the book love to A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION! If you haven’t caught up with Veronica and Stoker, this fourth adventure is available in paperback in February. Excelsior!

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We have tour info!

Here is the first peek at information about the book tour for A MURDEROUS RELATION! If you’re in the area of any of these stops, please come see me. If not, you can pre-order from any of the stores and still get a signed copy–even a personalized one if you like! I can’t wait to share this book with readers. Hope to see you there!

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And another giveaway!

My publisher is practically flinging books at folks these days! Check out this fabulous Balanced Reads For A Balanced New Year giveaway and be sure to enter by January 19. Good luck!

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A new year and a new giveaway!

Looking for your next great read? Check out this giveaway from my publisher featuring Anna Lee Huber, Amanda Quick, Victoria Thompson, C. S. Harris, and me. Enter by January 20, details here. Good luck!

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