The mass-market edition of The Flower Reader is being released today in the UK. Thrilling adventure, high romance, and exquisite flowers—it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day! If you’re in the UK, check Tesco or W.H. Smith’s, or order online.
Cressie says, “It’s delicious for reading in bed. If your ears are long enough (like mine), it’s perfect for ear-draping. I give it five cookies. No, six! Maybe seven? Please?”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Tomorrow (January 21st) is the Feast of St. Agnes, so today, well, today is the Eve of St. Agnes, and tonight is the night you can see (according to the old legends, anyway) the person you are going to marry.
Don’t forget I have a free short story called The Eve of Saint Agnes, set in the world of The Flower Reader, which originally ran in the Scottish magazine My Weekly. It’s a PDF file for downloading:
Enjoy, and may you see your heart’s desire in your dreams tonight.
Merry Christmas! Here is a short story set in the world of The Flower Reader, about a year and a half after the book’s timeline ends. A hint of what might turn up in a sequel? Who knows?
“The Eve of Saint Agnes” first appeared in My Weekly magazine, in their June 30, 2012, issue. My Weekly has kindly given me permission to offer a PDF of the original pages, including their beautiful artwork.
Click the thumbnail above to access the PDF, which can be downloaded or read online. If you don’t have Adobe Reader, you can download it here. It’s free, too.
I hope you all enjoy the story, and I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!
I added this photo to my Pinterest page on Rinette’s travels, but I just had to post it here too—it’s La Lettrice di Fiori in a bookshop in the airport in Rome! Rinette is keeping good company here.
Many thanks to Richard Lee of The Historical Novel Society for spotting the book and sending me the photo!
My violets are blooming their heads off right now. I think they love this south-facing window, which is immediately to my left as I sit here and type.
In The Flower Reader, white violets symbolize Mary Livingston, one of Mary Queen of Scots’ “Four Maries” and a good friend to my heroine Rinette Leslie:
Mary Livingston took my hands in hers. She had warm, strong hands. I felt a sense of white violets about her, simple and joyous, although with the deep purple of mourning in the center hinting at darkness to come.
Mary Livingston did have sorrow to come in her life. After Queen Mary was forced to abdicate (and fled to England, with disastrous results), she was accused of hiding away some of the queen’s jewels and fine clothing. Her husband was imprisoned and Mary Livingston herself was interrogated and threatened. Later a grant of land the queen had made to Mary and her husband John Sempill was nullified; John Sempill fought strenuously against this injustice and ended up imprisoned, tortured with the boot, and sentenced to death. A broken man, he was allowed to go home to die.
In the end, Queen Mary’s son James VI and I restored the disputed land to the widowed Mary Livingston. She last appears in the historical record in 1592, but the exact date of her death is unknown.
Last night I had a truly delightful Skype meeting with the Kenai Library Community Book Club, in Kenai, Alaska—they’d been reading The Flower Reader.
I always learn something when I sit in with readers. One of the book club members pointed out that Nico seems to get younger as the story progresses, and although it wasn’t conscious on my part, it’s true. As Nico slowly allows his true self to emerge from his facades, deceptions and masquerades, he does seem to get younger—we see the real Nico at last, like a peacock (of course a peacock, being Nico) chick emerging from its shell.
At one point, Cressie happily jumped up on my lap and joined in the conversation. She wanted to make sure everyone knew that she was the inspiration for Seilie’s freckled paws.
Many thanks for the invitation to the Kenai Library Community Book Club, and to Reilly Becker of the Library staff for making the arrangements!