Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Catching up on blogging

In my efforts to be way ahead of my deadlines for a change, this is my first chance to blog for a while. Seems everyone has a "life trumps blogging" post every so often, no? In the last week I've read three novels and written reviews for six. Vanora Bennett's Portrait of an Unknown Woman, which will get a full writeup in my May NoveList column, is my pick for the current season. To my mind it's comparable to Sharon Kay Penman at her best, and Penman's one of my favorite authors.

The snow's still hanging around, though it may hit 40 today, which means a muddy, slushy mess in our immediate future. This photo (taken by Mark) of our backyard over the weekend is pretty funny.

Some historical bits and pieces.

On her website, Joan Druett - author of the Wiki Coffin maritime mysteries set in the 1830s - offers a contest: who can find the most technical errors in the cover design of her latest, Deadly Shoals? Even if you're a landlubber like me, you can discover clues by reading the first chapter, which is online.

A couple Publishers Marketplace deals:

Author of THE BLOOD CONFESSION Alisa Libby's historical novel based on the life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, to Mark McVeigh at Dutton Children's, by Esmond Harmsworth at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency (world).

I'm curious to see a YA treatment of Catherine "yours as long as life endures" Howard's life, but I assume an author whose last YA novel was based on Erzsebet Bathory is up to it.

Sheila Kohler's BLUEBIRD, OR THE INVENTION OF HAPPINESS, to Susan Allison and Jackie Cantor at Berkley, by Carol Lazare at Other Press.

This is good news about the paperback rights for this biographical novel of Irish-French aristocrat Henriette Lucy Dillon; the hardcover will be out in April. My review of Bluebird was out in the 2/15 issue of Booklist, though it's not on Amazon yet.


  1. Great photo!!! What did the cats think? Or were they sleeping?

  2. I guess deer will eat anything, including birdseed! The cats seem blase about it all. We have deer in the backyard a lot.

  3. Beautiful photo!

    I would be very interested in the novel about Katherine Howard. Also, the one on Lucy Dillon, the Madame de la Tour du Pin, one of Marie-Antoinette's ladies in waiting. Can't wait to read the review!!

  4. The book on Lucy Dillon was excellent. I found a copy of my review online at the publisher's website - they posted it in its entirety. I think you'd probably like it, too.

  5. (And yes, in the first sentence of the review, read 'of' for 'on' - they have a typo in there.)