The Gilded Hour ARC giveaway

arc-giveawayI’ve been struggling to get a major problem with the user database on this website fixed (some of you will have noticed this already), and at this point I have had to purge everything.

This means you will have to register again. Also (to get all bad news out up front) the registration process is a little more complicated that you might expect. You’ll have to do the email-verification thing, and then you’ll have to wait for me to manually approve. Which I hope to do very quickly, but please be patient.

I’m sorry all this increased security is necessary. But here’s the silver lining:

I’ll draw two names at random from the new user database, and those two individuals will receive signed ARCs (advanced readers’ copies) of The Gilded Hour in late May or early June. Rules:

You have to register (link to the right, about middle of the column).

You can only register once (and hence, only put your name into the hat once).

You have to leave a comment here once you have registered  (you won’t be able to comment unless you register first) AND you must include this little statement in your comment:

I agree not to sell the ARC or even give it away before the book officially goes on sale. It is for my eyes only.

So go forth and register. And thanks for putting up with the complications.

Mary Putnam Jacobi

Mary Putnam was a physician who proved to her male colleagues that women had the minds and mentality to be scientists. I think she should be more widely known. The Atlantic Monthly apparently agreed with me as they recently ran a feature article about her: The Godmother of American Medicine. It’s a wonderful article, really worth reading. So please do. Dr. Putnam Jacobi plays a small part in The Gilded Hour.

Mary Putnam Jacobi

Mary Putnam Jacobi

BookExpo America and ARCs on the horizon

NOTE: There’s good news at the very bottom of this post. So keep reading.

I’m not really very good at conventions. Even small ones, where I know a lot of people. My anxiety exhibits as an unhappy digestive system, and I tend to disappear for longer periods of time. This makes colleagues and friends think I’m blowing them off. Early on I gave up on ever explaining.

This time it’s a great big convention where I know just a handful of people. This is what Wikipedia says about BookExpo America:

BookExpo America (commonly referred to within the book publishing industry as BEA) is the largest annual book trade fair in the United States. BEA is almost always held in a major city over four days in late May and/or early June. Nearly all significant book publishers in the United States, and many from abroad, have booths and exhibits at BEA, and use the fair as an opportunity to showcase upcoming titles, sell current books, socialize with colleagues from other publishing houses, and sell and buy subsidiary rights and international rights (although not on the scale of the rights negotiation that occurs at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October). Authors, librarians, and buyers for book retailers also attend the event.

Now, it’s actually a big deal for an author who has a book coming out to be there, and I have to be glad that my editor has arranged some marketing-type events. Professionally I am very glad. And I am looking forward to seeing my agent and everybody in her office.

The view from Hoboken’s Maxwell Place Park

But really what I want to do when I’m spending four days in Manhattan is very simple: The New-York Historical Society and the Museum of the City of New York. And there’s my cousin Tommy in Hoboken.

And I’d do my usual walks (in pieces) all the way from Wall Street to Central Park, in one direction along Fifth, in the other along parts of Sixth and Third Avenues. Then all the way down Broadway.

But alas, I’ll be spending most of my time at the Javitz Convention Center which is at least in Midtown, on 34th near the Hudson River Parkway. One of the things I’ll be doing is signing a huge pile of advance reading copies of The Gilded Hour.

And then I’ll come home and give a couple away.

Information on how you can grab a copy for yourself coming soon.

Got Milk?

antique milk bottleIn the process of researching New York city in the 1880s I have collected hundreds of small pieces of information that might interest people. I’m going to post one or two whenever it occurs to me. To start:

1879: The first milk bottles appear in Brooklyn, where the Echo Farms Dairy delivers milk in glass bottles instead of measuring it into the pitchers of housewives and serving-maids from barrels carried in milk wagons. Some competitors will soon follow suit. 1

I’m wondering where the author found this information, but I have resisted the urge to go looking.


  1. Trager, James The New York Chronology: The Ultimate Compendium of Events, People, and Anecdotes from the Dutch to the Present. 2010: 191. New York: HarperCollins.

Don’t forget about the FAQ page; and Ethan, once more

toolbarRecently I’ve had quite a few emails with questions about the Wilderness series. They are maybe four or five questions that keep coming up, so I’m posting this first, to provide some general insight into this phenomenon, and second, to point people to answers.

Here’s my philosophy about questions arising from a novel: if the author has to tell you, she didn’t do her job very well, OR, you need to think about the questions some more on your own. Because for every question you can ask, there are many answers. Every reader takes away a different reading, and it’s not for me to agree or disagree. So for example, many people have written to me asking about Ethan and the ‘secret’ that brought him home to Paradise and then motivated his proposal to Callie.

It’s not really a secret. All the clues are there, but for me to tell you would be forcing a reading on you that should be your own. I know what I meant, but you are free to read the story, read the clues, and come up with an answer of your own. This is the kind of question that makes a good book club discussion point.

Now, do people sometimes get the wrong end of the stick? Yes. If somebody tells me that Ethan was clearly abducted by aliens and suffering post-traumatic stress, I would say: huh. Really not what I was going for. I might go so far as to say that that person did not read very closely. But that’s as far as I’ll go.

Having said that, there’s an older post that does go into more detail, and you’ll find it here.

Finally, here’s my general explanation of things: authorial confessions.


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