Stack of drafts

Day before yesterday, I sent the 4th draft of The Game of Hope (working title) to my editor at Penguin—3 days before the due date. Yay!

I woke the next morning with 1) a slight hangover  (Ha! The result of opting for the wine paring at a fantastic 4-course Thanksgiving dinner), 2) the novel feeling that I could poke around at most any number of things: my blogs, my newsletter, on-line shopping for the holidays coming up. My bookkeeping. (Scratch that idea.) Tidy my desk. Add the last scribbled-up pages to the draft stack (see above).

Curiously, I’m still rewriting in my mind … and thinking about the next novel, the second Young Adult about Hortense.


I plan to send out a newsletter soon. If you’re not on the mailing list, sign up here.

Shadow Queen

For this next newsletter, one of the subscribers (randomly selected) will win a personally inscribed, autographed hardcover edition of The Shadow Queen.

The Paying Guests

Reading: I’ve been reading many, many research books, but curiously—no doubt because I’ve been so immersed getting The Game of Hope ready to send outI’ve had a hard time reading fiction just now. The last novel I got completely absorbed in was The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters—and yes, completely absorbed!

Watching: After watching Pride & Prejudice (2005, with Keira Knightly) three times, I branched out to The Young Victoria, and now I’m re-watching the 3rd season of Downton Abbey.


Listening: to Serial (the podcast). I’m almost finished listening to Washington, a Life, by Rob Chernow. This is an epic work.

Recent blog posts over on my research blog:

An old hat, a necklace, and a letter likely rescued from the trash sell for close to 6 million

Lost and found in France’s on-line library archives

Quarantine: How the spread of deadly diseases were dealt with in late 18th century France

I will have more and more there on the ever-absorbing Bonapartes.