Get your calendars out!

So we have lots of great stuff coming up–including the paperback release of A TREACHEROUS CURSE on February 12! Haven’t caught up with Veronica’s latest adventure? This is your chance to get ready for A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION, out in hardcover March 12.

Also, we have book tour info! In addition to visiting the usual haunts–Poisoned Pen, Murder by the Book, the Fountain (woohoo!)–we are kicking off in a BRAND NEW CITY, LOS ANGELES! That’s right, y’all, I am FINALLY doing an event on the west coast. It all happens at the Ripped Bodice on March 12. There’s also an event at Parnassus in Nashville which I hope will make up for the fact that the snow kept me from seeing y’all last time! Details on the book tour are here and I hope to see y’all there!

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ANOTHER giveaway!

Check out this fantastic 5 book giveaway! A chance to win the latest from C. S. Harris, Victoria Thompson, Amanda Quick, Anna Lee Huber, and me–enter now!

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ARCs in the wild!

Here’s your chance to win a galley of A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION from Read it Forward! They’re giving away a LOT of copies and if you’re not familiar with Read It Forward, it’s a fabulous resource for readers sponsored by Penguin. Happy reading!

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See you in NY!

Are you in the greater NYC area? Then head over to Lady Jane’s Salon at Madame X on Monday, February 4! I’ll be reading and celebrating Lady Jane’s 10th anniversary. They’ve got a great line-up and I heard a rumor my publisher’s folks will be there with a little swag. Here are the details and I hope to see you there!

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Why, they’re just GIVING them away!

Hey, y’all! My publisher is giving away ARCs of A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION on Goodreads! You have a week to enter and 25 lucky readers will get their hands on this one early. Good luck!

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Pre-orderpalooza!

Y’all, I am BEYOND DELIGHTED to announce that we have a special partnership with The Fountain Bookstore in Richmond to offer pre-orders of A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION with a special bonus: a Veronica Speedwell journal entry! Hit up The Fountain by March 11 in order to reserve your copy. Oh, and did I mention all pre-orders will also be autographed? Go reserve yours now!

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Peeking behind the newsletter

Do you subscribe to my monthly newsletters? You can sign up on the landing page of the site or use the handy form in the right-hand sidebar of this journal. Your information is never shared, and I send one and only one newsletter per month. Here is a look at what I sent in January:

Dear Readers,

Happy 2019! I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start. I love the fact that January is a month named for the dual-faced god Janus. There’s the interplay between light and shadow, death and rebirth. It’s the month when we resolve to do things but are also recuperating from having done all the things in December. We have such good intentions! And we have fewer resources, it seems. So many of us—and this is a northern hemisphere thing I’m talking about—have less energy, less will-power, less determination. It’s so easy to slide into a post-holiday funk and just give in to the impulse to put on flannel jammies and flop in front of Netflix. (And if you’re going to do that, I recommend TRAVELERS or DERRY GIRLS.)

Some people start the new year with rituals, choosing a word to set an intention for the next twelve months. If I were going to settle on a single word, it would have to be “transition”. So much has changed, is changing, will change for us in the space of a single week in January. My husband has resigned his job in order for us to form our own company; our daughter is moving two and a half hours away, and I will be officially post-menopausal. All within three days.

These are all good changes, positive changes, changes that have—apart from menopause—come from choice. And it’s a privilege we don’t take lightly that we are able to decide to choose a different tack. We have no idea how any of it is going to shake out. We’re casting the runes and waiting to see what turns up. We’re gambling, not because we’re inherently risk-takers but because the confines of where we are no longer suit us. (There are appropriate metaphors I could use about butterflies and the chrysalis. Feel free to insert the Anaïs Nin quote about bursting out of bud here.) We’re creating a small earthquake of our own, but sometimes you have to make the tectonic plates of your life shift in order to create something new.

I said I didn’t choose menopause and that’s technically true. What I have chosen is my response to it. It’s odd that you can’t say you are in menopause except in hindsight. It refers to the year you went without periods for the first time, and you can only identify that when it’s finished. After that, you are post-menopausal. So it’s all a big guessing game, a chance to play “expect the unexpected” with your hormones, your body and mind. My strategy in living with the changes has been simple. I agree with all of it. Hot flashes? Fine. That’s my body sorting itself out. Moodiness? I recognize when I wake up prickly as a hedgehog and take that as a sign to be careful and kind with myself and others. I don’t fight tears and I don’t fight anger. I acknowledge and accept.

I have stopped dyeing my hair and discovered that my grey isn’t coming in grey at all—it’s silver. So now I just say I’m growing my own crown. I drink a lot of water and swallow my evening primrose oil and go to bed as early as I need. I lift weights and I do yoga, making my peace with imperfection and happy that it’s called a “practice” for a reason. Some days I fall out of camel pose; other days, I hold corkscrew, my heart lifted to the sky. I am a woman in transition and I have decided to thrive in the “unknowing” of it all. 2019 will bring questions and possibly answers, some endings and better beginnings. If you’re perched on a precipice, we’ll perch together. And then we’ll step out into the openness beyond. We’ll weave our own magic carpets and feather our own wings, and we’ll be just fine out there on the horizon.

Happy reading!

Deanna

 

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Happy New Year!

Alright, my lovelies, we’ve got a happy change to announce! MONTHLY CONTESTS ARE BACK. Be sure you head over to the Contest page of the site to enter for January’s prize–and give your reading pals a heads-up too.

If you haven’t already signed up for the monthly newsletter, be sure to do that before January 5 so you don’t miss this installment. Just pop your info into the box to the right————> or on the landing page of the site.

Also, pop on over to Instagram and give a look to @raybourncreative, the new entertainment company my husband and I are launching. We’ll be starting each month with a watch word. Take a screenshot to get yours for January!

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*waving farewell to 2018*

This is my last post for 2018, my dears. I hope it was a grand year for you! It was a complicated year for me with lots to process. Most of it was good, some of it was not, and all of it was thought-provoking. 2019 is shaping up to bring changes–MANY of them. There are years where you just roll peacefully into them, like a hedgehog shaking off a winter sleep. And there are years where you feel like you’re perched on the edge of a precipice, ready to test new wings. (And you really, really hope they’re not made of newspaper and wax.)

2019 is a precipice year. It’s the year where I get to put my philosophies about living large to the test. It’s a year of certain change and uncertain results. It’s a year of expecting the unexpected and learning to shake hands with the unknown.

Several years ago, when I was at a particularly low point and flirting heavily with anxiety, I decided to create an actual personification of stress. I wanted to befriend her, to sit with her and get comfortable because I knew she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I visualized myself in an English cottage kitchen (I have a serious fixation about AGAs, y’all), and she knocked at the back door. When I opened it, she was always wearing a neat tweed suit and brogues with a carpetbag in hand. Only her hat was out of character. It was huge and lavish with cabbage roses in unlikely colors.

Did I mention I gave her Helen Mirren’s face? I wanted her to be familiar–strong and not likely to put up with any nonsense I might give her. I called her Dame Uncertainty and invited her in to tea. She sat down and unpacked her carpetbag while I brewed the pot. And every time she pulled something out of the carpetbag, it was a surprise to me. That was the part of the meditation I hadn’t planned. But each time it was something that clicked into a spot deep in my psyche, like the last piece in a massive puzzle, the finishing touch that said, “I see the bigger picture, child, and I know how it all ends.”

These meditations were silly and fun and made me think. They also helped me to cope, reassuring me that I had all I needed to do all I wanted. I don’t know if she will make an appearance in 2019, but if she does, I will invite her in again and offer her tea and scones and thank her for coming.

Happy 2019, my dears. I hope the coming year is so very good to us all. XO

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Want to know more about the inspiration for Veronica Speedwell?

Check out my piece on Margaret Fountain for Frolic Media!

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