Every spring and every fall my husband and I make the journey to our “other” home: north to Ontario in the spring, and south to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in the fall.


It’s not an easy move for a historical novelist, not easy wrapping up an office and trying to anticipate what reference books I will need in the months ahead.

This fall my move is additionally complicated by  having two works-in-progress in two different eras: THE SHADOW QUEEN (set in the 17th century court of the Sun King) and my first Young Adult novel about Hortense (set in the Napoleonic era).


I don’t like returning to an office still in chaos, so I make an effort to sort things out before I leave. This usually means taking care of things I’ve been putting off, and the big “No, not yet” chore I hadn’t faced this summer was sorting out my books.

The shelves of my little office have been filled to capacity with books on the Court of the Sun King and 17th century life for almost a decade. I needed to find room for my stacks of books on Hortense and her world (other than on the floor), and so all day yesterday  I hauled books from one place to another. The ping-pong table room is now well stocked with biographies on Sun Court characters, another basement room cleared of the remnants of my Napoleonic book collection, and the floors of my office are almost clear. (Wow.)

Here are my shelves devoted to Hortense:

 Hortense shelves

And here are the books I’ve yet to find a place for:

 books in office

(Sigh. Back to work.)