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July 22, 2015

"Readers For Life" Literacy Autographing, RWA Conference
Book Signing Open to Public
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
New York Marriott Marquis, New York, NY

September 17, 2015

Guest Speaker, Upper St. Clair Fall Tea
Reservations Required
Upper St. Clair Library, Upper St. Clair, PA

HEA Blog

Madeline's posts "Romance Unlaced: The buzz about historical romance" on USA Today's Happy Ever After blog.


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Parlor Talk

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News from Madeline


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Archive for the ‘Life Happens’ Category

Signs of Spring

Monday, April 8th, 2019

I’m sure winters are not getting longer. It only feels that way when, after months of cold weather, I’m more than ready for some sun and warmth. Today I went on an errand and saw that, over the weekend, suddenly spring had begun to arrive. Daffodils were up. Forsythia was blooming. In my region those are the first flowering plants.
Then on the streets there were all these dustings where trees had dropped the coverings of their buds so they could send out leaves. And, the most obvious sign we are finally there, my pin oaks, that don’t drop their last fall leaves until new ones are coming in the spring, are now bare of old leaves (and I have some raking to do!)
No sun today, and we are still in the damp stage of spring, but man, I’m loving every minute of it. I think those yellow blooms are why I had a fantastic writing day today.

Gifts for Readers and Writers

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

So, is all your holiday shopping done? If not, and you have a writer or reader on your list, I have compiled some gift ideas here.

Of course there is always the old standby—the gift card to a bookstore. Or a hardcover book, or a short stack of paperbacks. If you want to enhance these gifts with a little something else in a basket, or go outside the box a bit, here are some other ideas:

  • Literary inspired covers for e-readers, smart phones and check books.
  • Wall chargers and battery chargers for phones and e-readers while traveling.
  • Earbuds to listen to audio books.
  • For tea drinkers, a really pretty teapot with some really nice teas. I like the “tea for one” pots that come with a cover that is a cup.
  • Apple TV (or similar) to stream movies based on books. I know this is a big splurge, but for some of you it may be the perfect gift for someone.
  • Fitness monitors that beep to let you know it’s time to get up and move. Good for writers.
  • Restaurant gift cards so you don’t have to interrupt reading and writing to cook!
  • xmas gifts moleskin journals etc Molekine journals— They aren’t fancy, but they have been favored by writers for decades. There are a wide variety of sizes and paper, including ones for artwork. Pens glide over this paper smoothly, and this brand has been celebrated down through the years. They are easily available online. Of course there are many other, fancier journals out there too, but Moleskine has this long tradition that it is cool to continue.
  • xmas gifts pilot varsity disposable fountain pens assorted colors $15Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens in assorted colors. I have these and love them. They are inexpensive and the colors are fun. Fountain pen writing is old-fashioned, but a pleasure.  You can usually find the set for around $15 at the big A, but some online vendors charge much more.
  • Reader-oriented jewelry. Go to Etsy for this. There are vendors there who make and sell earrings and bracelets and other jewelry with either quotes or images from Jane Austen and other classic authors. Others just sell book-oriented jewelry. On a recent visit I was attracted in particular by cute earrings composed of stacks of tiny books, and by a charm bracelet chock full of Jane Austen images and quotes. Search for Book Jewelry Handmade, Literary Charm Bracelets and other similar word combinations. If you know your classical author of choice, just plug in that name. Make sure the seller will mail at once so you can get it in time.
  • xmas gift jane austen jewelryStand up desk. These may take time to get used to, but getting out of that chair is good for writers! Pricey, but it may be just what your writer wants or needs.
  • Tablet easel or prop/stand for iPad or other tablet.  These allow for easy reading at a table or on a couch, or for easy viewing when following a recipe in the kitchen. There are many choices from pillow props to metal or wooden ones. Search on your preferred sites for Tablet Stand. Make sure you get the right size, or one that handles most tablets if you don’t know which one is owned. I just bought one for less than $20.
  • T- shirts that proclaim the love of books. These can be found at places like Signals and Acorn, and again at Etsy where you would search for Literary Clothing.
  • A big snuggle throw. Get one that is really soft, but avoid polyester or nylon that traps in heat and moisture. Aim for cotton, wool, or even acrylic.
  • ruanaA ruana, also for snuggling and reading, or for keeping warm, but not too warm, at the computer. Ruanas are sort of like shawls, but shaped more, and sort of like lightweight ponchos, but split up the middle. I write in my various ruanas all winter. See tips under snuggly throw for fabric content.
  • xmas gift folding table TablemateA chair/couch desk. Here is an inexpensive one that I know works, by Table-mate. It isn’t fancy, but it does the trick. There are others available in various designs and many price points. This one can be bought in Bed Bath and Beyond or Walmart, if they are in stock when you go, and also at various places online. This one is adjustable, and just the right size for a laptop or one of those tablet stands. Mine even has a little pull-out place to put a drink. If you start researching these, make sure that what you buy is not too hard to adjust. Also, if you want to use it at a sofa or easy chair, make sure the wheels or base will slide under the front of the chair (many will not—they are too high.)
  • xmas gifts table sideA reader’s side table. Narrow enough to fit any space, and sturdy enough to hold books and coffee cups, these are practical little tables for a reading nook. The one pictured is from Levenger, which also has other cool reader gifts.




Comment Here and Be Entered in a Giveaway for a Kindle Fire to Celebrate the Publication of The Accidental Duchess on June 3!!

Monday, May 26th, 2014

The winner of the Kindle Fire is Tammy S!! (chosen by blind number picker) I will be contacting her by email.

We had 374 entries! Thank you, everyone, for sharing your “accidents” as part of my celebration of the publication of The Accidental Duchess.




The title of The Accidental Duchess refers to a series of situations in the book that throw Lydia and the Duke of Penthurst together, much to Lydia’s dismay. She has a mission to complete and he keeps interfering, unaware of the trouble he is causing her. Finally he interferes at time she really needs help, but they both end up compromised. So Lydia finds herself a duchess essentially by accident. It is an accident that leads to something wonderful, however.

Life is full of accidents— those developments that are unplanned and unforeseen, that can have conclusions least expected.  Luck or chance play their roles in everyone’s life. Ideally the accidents are happy ones, and we look back on them fondly. Sometimes they are not fortunate, but as with Lydia’s marriage to Penthurst, they lead to good things in the end.

What about you? Have you experienced accidents that made a difference in your life? Share one here in a comment (or comment in some other way), and be entered into a random drawing for a Kindle Fire (apps for B & N and Kobo can be side-loaded, so it can serve all ereaders’ libraries.) Giveaway ends June 6.

This is to celebrate The Accidental Duchess, coming June 3. If you have not ordered your copy yet, but would like to,  links to online vendors can be found in the left margin of this page <—–

JUNE  7 UPDATE:  I have turned off the comments because the giveaway is over. Thank you, everyone, who participated! The stories about your accidents that led to good things were amazing. I read them all, and some of the experiences really touched me, or made me laugh, or left me so impressed with how life works its magic. Again, Thank YOU.

The winner will be drawn and posted later today.



October 1-4, 2020

Romancing the Gold Coast, Waltz Back In Time
The Mansion at Glen Cove, Glen Cove, NY. Please see for details.


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