Saturday Round Robin I-4

The contest is over! Thank you so much, everyone who commented… I’m delighted that there were many new visitors to the blog, all with such terrific comments about Deanna Raybourn’s wonderful new Dark Road to Darjeeling. The winner will be announced on Monday.

The cover of The Second Duchess is now up on Amazon. Yay! Hope the rest of the bookstore sites will follow soon.

And speaking of covers—here’s the gorgeous cover of the German edition, titled Die Zweite Herzogin and scheduled for next spring. The piece of fine art that Rowohlt used is actually a portrait of an Italian lady, said to be Barbara’s mother-in-law Renée of France, by a Flemish painter named Pieter de Kempeneer, also known as Pedro Campaña. I love her earrings and wish I had a pair just like them! I am very fortunate in both my covers, and have my fingers crossed that someday there will be more.

Portraits are surprising sometimes. I’ve been collecting portraits of the historical characters who will appear in The Silver Casket, and was truly amazed when I found this one. It’s of Andrew Leslie, the fifth Earl of Rothes, who is the head of my heroine Rinette’s branch of the Leslies. Now if I just started describing a sixteen-century gentleman like this—light brown hair cut very short on the sides of his head and apparently moussed into a sort of pouf on top, clean-shaven with only a thin Douglas-Fairbanks-y moustache—no one would believe me. Yet here is the portrait, leaping to life off the page. History is pretty amazing sometimes.

What I’m reading: A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick. I’m kind of struggling with it. Also The Passage by Justin Cronin, which I’ve also had my issues with. I’ve just been kind of stressed and cranky lately, although I’m much better now. More about that later. Heh. Next up, at last (because I’ve really been looking forward to it), The White Garden by Stephanie Barron.

Our little town is having our trick-or-treating tonight, so am looking forward to hordes of darling little trick-or-treaters. We live within walking distance of a very fine elementary school, and so our neighborhood teems with adorable tykes. The doggies always go crazy on trick-or-treat night, and may have to be shut in the laundry room to keep them from slipping out or jumping up to play and scaring the tiniest ghaisties and bogles.

Ran across this quote recently: “What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is the collection of books. –Thomas Carlyle.


  • Kathy G.

    Any left-over candy, Elizabeth? Hope there were no “tricks” in your neighborhood! 😉
    Am interested in your thoughts abt “The White Garden”, as the reviews I’ve read on Amazon were “all over the place” – from 1 * to 5 *s!
    Also,the Thos. Carlyle quote provoked some thoughts. I AGREE with him insofar as he recognizes that there’s MORE TO LIFE than what “might” be taught by ANY collection of professors, anywhere, any time — but, I also believe that it’s what we DARE TO DO after we’ve read and read and read. (And, what about our individual CHOICES in WHAT we read? Those surely influence “what we become”, as well.) So, in the end, perhaps Mr. Carlyle might have considered that “What we become” depends not only upon “the collection of books” we’ve read, or the professors who lecture to us, but, ultimately, in our individual CHOICES: in what(and whom)we believe and WHY we believe “this” over “that”; and, also, in what we DO and our motivation for those actions. That is why, IMHO, The Golden Rule stands as “la regola primaria” — the Primary Rule — in life!
    Thanks for “letting” me have my 2-cents’ worth!

    • elizabeth

      The left-over candy is going straight in the trash! Fortunately there wasn’t very much of it. Heh. No tricks–just swarms of very cute princesses and spacemen. The two-year-old twin Cookie Monsters (our across the street neighbors) got the biggest AWWWWs.

      So far am enjoying THE WHITE GARDEN, but I love all the horticultural stuff, and it’s perfect for me at the moment because I’m so deep in the floromancy that’s at the heart of my work-in-progress.

      Interesting comments on Mr. Carlyle. I think he was implying that our choices in what we read of our own accord shape us–but of course you’re right that our actions are also important, however much they may be guided and influenced by what we read. More food for thought, and thanks for commenting!