Sunday, March 30, 2014

WHY KINGS CONFESS Signing at Garden District Book Shop

Thanks so much to everyone who turned out for the booksigning on Saturday. After a horrific stormy night that dumped ungodly amounts of rain on the city, the day itself managed to be pleasantly warm and sunny. We had a nice crowd, and I had a great time meeting everyone and talking about the books and Sebastian and Hero and Hendon and Kat and, well, just about everything.

This was our ninth Sebastian St. Cyr signing at Garden District Book Shop. We'll be doing another one next year for number ten, Who Buries the Dead, so hope to see you then! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Booksigning This Saturday!

I'll be doing a booksigning and talk this Saturday, March 29, from one to three at the Garden District Book Shop on Prytania Street in New Orleans. There'll be bread and cheese and wine, too, so if you're in the area, do stop in and say hi.

Yesterday's Kindle Daily Deal for What Angels Fear was an astonishing success: the book hit number 10 on the Kindle best seller list! We should know next week exactly how many sales that translates into, but I noticed a huge spike in visitors to my blog and website on Monday. Hopefully the promotion will have attracted lots of new readers to the series.

And, finally, he's a picture of Whiskies that I took when my daughter was visiting. She's his special person, so he was really glad to see her. And yes, he is on a diet. It's just not working....

Monday, March 24, 2014

Daily Deal

What Angels Fear is the top Kindle Daily Deal at Amazon today. Amazon actually came to my publishers and asked to do this special, which is pretty amazing. This is a one day only deal.

I have a confession to make: I have never actually bought an ebook. I do download a lot of out-of-print books that I use in my research, but I simply prefer to hold a real book in my hand. Steve has a couple of Kindles and since he's a voracious reader and loves hardcovers, I encourage him to get e-books in a forlorn effort to cut down on the stacks of books that accumulate around the house. We spent a chunk of this past weekend reorganizing and culling the books in his office because it was getting ridiculous; four big bags of books went to the library sale. My office is next.

What about you? Do you read ebooks? Do you find they've changed your buying pattern in any way?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Wondering what happens next? Here's a sneak peek at the first chapter of the tenth Sebastian St. Cyr mystery, Who Buries the Dead...  

Chapter 1 
Sunday, 21 March 1813
They called it Bloody Bridge.
It lay at the end of a dark, winding lane, far beyond the comforting flicker of the oil lamps of Sloane Square, beyond the last of the tumbledown cottages at the edge of a vast stretch of fields that showed only black in the moonless night. Narrow and hemmed in on both sides by high walls, the bridge was built of brick, worn and crumbling with age and slippery with moss where the elms edging the rivulet cast a deep, cold shade.
Cian O’Neal tried to avoid this place, even in daylight. It had been Molly’s idea to come here, for on the far side of the bridge lay a deserted barn with a warm, soft hayloft that beckoned to young lovers in need. But now as the wind tossed the elms along the creek and brought the distant, mournful howl of a dog, Cian felt the hard pulsing urgency that had driven him here begin to ebb.
“Maybe this ain’t such a good idea, Molly,” he said, his step lagging. “The barn, I mean.”
She swung to face him, dark eyes shiny in a plump, merry face. “What’s the matter, Cian?” She pressed her warm, yielding body against his, her voice husky. “You havin’ second thoughts?”
“No. It’s just…”
The wind gusted up stronger, banging a shutter somewhere in the night, and he jerked.
To his shame, he saw enlightenment dawn in her face, and she gave a trill of laughter. “You’re scared.”
“No I ain’t,” he said, even though they both knew it for a lie. He was a big lad, eighteen next month and strong and hale. But at the moment, he felt like a wee tike frightened by old Irish tales of the Dullahan.
She caught his hand in both of hers and backed down the lane ahead of him, pulling him toward the bridge. “Come on, then,” she said. “How ’bout if I cross first?”
It had rained earlier in the evening, a brief but heavy downpour that left the newly budding leaves of the trees dripping moisture and the lane slippery with mud. He felt an icy tickle at the base of his neck and tried to think about the sweet warmth of the hayloft and the way Molly’s soft, eager body would feel beneath his.
They were close enough to the bridge now that Cian could see it quite clearly, its single arch a deeper black against the roiling darkness of the sky. But something wasn’t quite right, and he felt his scalp prickle, his breath catch as the silhouette of a man’s head loomed before them.
“What is it?” Molly asked, the laughter draining from her face as she whirled around and Cian started to scream.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I've always loved St. Patrick's Day--even before I knew I have a smidgen of Irish in my family tree. New Orleans throws a great St. Patrick's Day parade, complete with flying beads--and cabbages and potatoes and carrots! All the makings for an Irish stew. (Yes, they really do throw cabbages off the floats, and believe me they hurt if they hit you in the head!)

There are also walking clubs of men in tuxes or kilts who hand out roses in exchange for a kiss. It's a fun day--in fact, I enjoy it more than most of the Carnival parades, largely because of the atmosphere.
These pictures are actually from a few years ago; we didn't go this past Saturday, as it was misty and cool and our elder daughter had just driven in for a long weekend from San Antonio. We decided to simply curl up with hot chocolate and spend the day talking. And talking and talking....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sebastian and Hero's London: Tower Hill

As readers of the Sebastian St. Cyr series know, Paul Gibson lives on Tower Hill. So what was Tower Hill? Well, here's a print (from a late eighteenth century drawing) of one of the old houses there:

Basically, Tower Hill was (and is) the area just to the north of the Tower of London. In Sebastian's time, it was still occupied by old, one and two story, mainly stone houses that had been there since the days when the Tower was the site of important executions. Very few people were actually beheaded inside the Tower itself; most died on a scaffold erected on Tower Hill.

To the east of Tower Hill lay St. Katherine's, where Gibson takes his eventful walk in Why Kings Confess, and which I plan to write about soon. Like St. Katherine's, Tower Hill was in the London Borough of the Tower Hamlets. And remember, in Sebastian's time, the Tower still had its moat. Here's a print from 1820:

Note to Ali, Veronica, and Suzanne: you all had the same question in the comments on the last post; I've answered it there. Life has been a bit hectic this past week, and tomorrow my daughter is driving in from San Antonio for a long weekend.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

It's Sebastian Day!

So, maybe to most people it's Mardi Gras or just plain Tuesday, but today is also the pub day for Why Kings Confess. (Thanks to my reader, Nana, for the "Sebastian Day" idea.)

I'm anxious to hear what you all think. Personally, I really like what happens with Gibson in this book, but I'm not saying any more than that....

Oh--and Happy Mardi Gras!

Monday, March 03, 2014


It's Carnival time here in New Orleans, which is a really, really bad time to have a book coming out.
The next installment in the Sebastian St. Cyr series, Why Kings Confess, hits the stores tomorrow ... except in New Orleans, where all the bookstores will be closed for Mardi Gras!

I originally had a booksigning scheduled at Garden District Book Shop for Saturday the 15th, then we realized, Oops, that's the day of the St. Patrick's Day Parade (which is a really, really great parade here, by the way--they also throw beads). So the signing has now been rescheduled for Saturday, 29 March. We couldn't do it the 22nd because that's the weekend of the Tennessee Williams Festival. Did I mention that March is a seriously bad month for my books to be released every year?

So, even though I won't see it, tomorrow is the day!