OK, so I'm rarely in jeopardy, but I write woman-in-jeopardy novels—otherwise called "Modern Gothics"—and this is my blog. It will probably have lots of time between posts, but I'll try not to bore you. Welcome.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Beatriz Williams ARC Giveaway!

You'll be thinking all I do here is give stuff away, but I can't help this one. Sorry.

My friend Beatriz Williams, whose previous books Overseas and A Hundred Summers are both beautiful, has a brand new book coming out TODAY, and I have in my hot little hands something even better than a regular copy such as you'd find in a store: I have a more-rare-and-much-harder-to-come-by ARC (Advance Reading Copy), SIGNED by Beatriz herself!

(Full Disclosure: She actually sent it to me a couple of months ago so I could give it away, and being Me I set it here on my desk with Good Intentions, and promptly buried it in pages of the novel I'm now working on...)

Here's the official story synopsis for THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT:

Passion, redemption, and a battered suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale.

Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.

Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate d├ętente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.

As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.

More Full Disclosure: As I said above, Beatriz is my friend. We have trudged through a New York City blizzard together to sign books (though she, being Beatriz, looks Elegant even in blizzards, whilst I, being Me, look Bedraggled...)




We have been known to hang out in hotel lobby bars together at conferences.


She has even allowed me to talk her into entering Historical Costume Competitions whilst wearing my reproduction 18th century gown when I forgot to pack my stays so couldn't wear it myself (Beatriz, as you can plainly see, does NOT need stays).


But besides being my friend, she is also one amazing storyteller, and I think anyone who enjoys my books would enjoy Beatriz's also.


To enter for a chance to win this single advance reading copy I have on my desk here, just leave a comment  answering this question:

What member of YOUR family would you like to know more about?

I'll choose the winner at random from all the comments left here before midnight, May 31st.

62 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity! I am a huge fan of both you fantastic ladies and would love to add her signed book right next to the signed books of your's that I already have.

    I would like to know more about my Dad's Dad. He died when I was only 5 and, being a kid, I didn't know much about him. I have certain memories of him - he always gave us Hershey bars and quarters, but I don't a lot about his life here and his parents who came from Germany.

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  2. I wish I knew more about my mom's childhood and her adult life before I was born. She died very young, when I was still a teenager. I'm in my 50's now, and I wish I could go back in time and have some very different conversations with her.

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  3. Wow, I love discovering new (to me) authors and am excited to read her books. I'd love to go back in time and chat with my grandmother...I have so many questions to ask her and just to see her again would be lovely!

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  4. I would love to know more about BOTH my grandmothers. My Mom's mom "Nana" lead a very interesting life that I'd love to learn more about, especially her career in NYC. My father's mother's early childhood is a mystery to me, and I'd like to learn more about her family.

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  5. I'd like to know more about my grandfather, Carlo. He was an Italian immigrant in the early 1900's along with my grandmother and two children. For some reason, that no one in the family will talk about, he left and went back to Italy by himself and he never returned. My mother was 10 years old at the time and it was devastating for her. Truth be told, I didn't even know about this until I was 40 years old. So I'd really like to know more about Carlo.

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  6. I would love to know more about my maternal great great grandmother who was 1/2 cherokee indian. I have seen pictures of my great grandmother and have always wondered about her life and where she came from. I look forward to reading Beatriz book someday and of course am always waiting for your newest novel.

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  7. Hmm...had to think about that. But I wish I knew more about my grandmother. She died when I was 13. She came to America in the early 70s, divorced in the 60s when it was all but unheard of in a predominantly Catholic country, and had 10 kids. But that and her love of food, cigars and shopping are all I know about her.

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  8. I would love to know more about my Jasper relatives farming on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and what made my great, great grandfather decide to move to Cardiff.

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  9. I would love to know my about my maternal grandfather. He was such a quiet man, and I loved just being with him as a child. He died unexpectedly when I was 9, and my genealogy searches have brought up little information about him or his family. If I could only talk with him once more, as an adult! Deb

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  10. I would love to know more about my paternal grandmother. She went from Poland to the USA at the age of 17. What gumption! She moved back with 4 children in tow and lived in Poland for 13 years. She then came back to the USA. I would love to know about her life when she was back in Poland for those 13 years. I would like to know how she took care of her children, see where she lived, find out the real reason for her going back to Poland and I would love to know more about her family. So much unknown.

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  11. My great grandmother Nora Christian (Priddy).

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  12. I'd like to know more about my paternal grandfather. He died when my father was 17, so I never knew him. Through genealogical resources, I've uncovered basic facts about him, but I would love to know what he was really like. And I would like to know what his life was like before he met and married my grandmother at age 48! He was a bachelor up until then, but did he ever have any girlfriends? So many questions...

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  13. I would love to know more about my paternal Gt Grandfather who was a whisky merchant in Glasgow Scotland in the 19th century. It is his early life I would love to know more about.

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  14. I would like to know more about my Great - Grandpa Rosenberg. My Uncle Mike remembers him very well and Great - Grandpa was described to me as the sweetest and most patient man and he was also a fantastic music who was an optometrist by day and a wonderful musician by night who took his grandchildren to the nursing home with while he played for the residents! His parents were immigrants from Germany before the 2nd World War and they spoke Germany in their home and kept up the traditions for several generations, unfortunately, stopping that lifestyle with my Dad's generation. .. I would love to take some time and talk to him about his upbringing, his home life with his parents and also to learn about his parents and what it was like living in the States as Germans who lived out their heritage in a time when their way of life was despised by many.

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  16. I would love to know more about my grandfather who I never met.

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  17. I would like to know more about my maternal grandfather's ancestors from the 18th century.

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  18. Kathy SwearingenMay 27, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    I wish I knew more about my great-grandmother, Ella. It was always a treat to get to spend time with her. She loved to play games and be with our family. The best thing was when she would come and stay overnight with us. She always slept with me in my bed. She was a special lady. I miss her.

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  19. I had a great great grandma that supposedly died when her children were small. But I found evidence that she lived much longer. I would love to know what happened to her.

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  20. I have many answers to your question, but the relatives who capture my imagination most are my husband's great-great grandparents. They were from Lebanon and were forbidden from marrying because they were Catholic. So, they stole away in the night and came to America in steerage so they could marry. They settled in Boston, and the family matriarch lived long enough to meet my husband - her great-great grandson. No one knows the family's Lebanese name. The family's name now is an Americanization of an Americanization of the patriarch's first name.

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  21. I wish I knew more about my paternal grandfather. He died when I was young, and even though we lived close by and saw a lot of him, there are so many things I never knew about him! I just found out a few months ago that he was with the American troops that liberated Dachau. I understand why he never talked about it, but I still wish I knew more about that and so many other things. He was very special.

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  22. Caitlin MacDougallMay 27, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    I would love to know more about my paternal grandmother, she died before I was born and my father and grandfather never really talked about her. She was always an enigma to me. She was a nurse, was originally from rural Nova Scotia, and came to Quebec to work, where she fell in love with my grandfather and settled down.

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  23. I would love to know more about my maternal grandfather and what it was like for him and his family in the early 1900's. He passed away about 15 years ago and I heard more recent stories about him, but not about his childhood or early adult life

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  24. I would love to know about my great grandmothers on both sides - I know my dad's grandma was a hellraiser, and I know my mom's grandma went west in a covered wagon, but beyond that there's so little!

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  25. I would love to know more about my mother's ancestors. Both of her parents died when I was three so I never knew them to have meaningful conversations with either of them. Somewhere in my grandfather's ancestors is a full-blooded American Indian woman. I would love to know more about her .. what tribe she was from ... how she came to marry into the family, etc. My daughter who is 8 has decided she was an Indian Princess. Who knows?

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  26. I would have liked to know my maternal great grandmother. She emigrated to Canada back at the turn of the last century. What was it like to move half way across the world as a young girl, moving to a country where she didn't speak the language, meeting my great grandfather, marrying, raising 10 children. What stories she could tell about early pioneer settlement in western Canada!!!!

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  27. I would love to find out more information on my maternal great grandmother. Her name was Catherine and she came from Ireland in the late 1800's. I never knew her son my grandfather either but I do have pictures of him. I'd love to know her story. Where she came from in Ireland, what her family was like then, and why she came to America.

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  28. I would love to know more about my great aunt. She raised her 8 (surviving) younger siblings after the death of her mother, and remained single until her surprise marriage at the age of 65. After her death, my grandfather was contacted by her biological son, who not a single person knew of. She had him illegitimately gave him up for adoption without telling anyone, which makes me so sad. No one knows the circumstances surrounding his conception or her pregnancy, but one theory is that the father was her married and much older employer. I can't imagine what it must have been like to carry that secret all her life.

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  29. I wish I knew more about my great- great grandparents on my father's side. They're all from Great Britain, a place that just fascinates me. That's probably why I love your books so much!

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  30. I would love to know more about my paternal grandmother, Esther. She abandoned my father and his sister when he was 3, and no amount of searching can turn up any information except that she was a seamstress. (I've had this book on my to-read GoodReads list for ages - please pick me...) Thanks for the contest!

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  31. Jennifer HuelsebuschMay 27, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I would like to know more about my grandfather who passed away when my mom was 15. I love Beatriz's books! Jhuelsebusch@sbcglobal.net

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  32. Both my grandfathers passed before I was born, so I would like to know more about them.

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  33. I would like to know more about my grandpa, Eugene's, when he fought in WII. He died when I was in high school. I have always wanted to ask him more about the war but I think it would be hard for him to talk about because he was captured and held as a POW. He was granted the purple heart. I am very proud of what my grandpa did for our country. I really enjoy reading historical Christian fiction and would love to win this book. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  34. I would love to know about either of my grandpas...They both died when I was 1.
    Janet

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  35. I would love to know about my grandmother. Who, as a young woman used to fly planes, and carouse with the "wild" crowd in the 1930s. She is a fabulous woman and so inspiring to me. Thanks for the giveaway, your books and Beatriz's are truly wonderful. Now I'm going to go call my grandma :)

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  36. Good luck with your new book Beatriz Williams. I shall look for your name the next time I am in a bookstore!

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  37. I would like to know more about my maternal grandmother. She attended college in a time when most women didn't and married young. Had 4 children and her husband died while she was flat on her back with pneumonia. She couldn't attend his funeral and she loved him profoundly. It seems a sad story for a smart and successful woman.

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  38. Danielle GuilloryMay 27, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I would love to get to know my great grandmother. She was born and raised in post civil war New Orleans. In 1914 she became an R.N. after her first husband died of yellow fever. In 1917 she traveled to rural Louisiana to stay with a family to nurse one of their children who had diphtheria. The boy had an older brother (my great grandfather) and they fell in love. I think she must have been incredibly brave and adventurous to travel by train to take care of the sick. And life in the late 1880's and 1890's in New Orleans must have been fascinating.

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  39. Love your books- My great grandfather was very involved with politics and Tammany Hal.I would like to be able to meet him and ask him some questions about leaving Germany as a child and becoming a businessman here in the late 1800'ss.

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  40. I would love to know about my paternal grandfather, whom I never met, and about whom it seems many secrets are kept.

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  41. Ooh, I really enjoy her Juliana Gray books, and this one looks wonderful! I'd love to learn more about my Croatian great-grandma, who was brave enough to get on a boat and go to a new country where she didn't speak the language, to meet her husband there (a man she'd seen only once in several years before that).

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  42. I would like to know more about my paternal grandmother's mother, Nellie Moon, who was Scots Irish and a teacher at a time when that was something rebellious for a gal of her social standing. She married Ed Morrow and then had to raise three daughters by herself when her husband died of a bee sting. She taught her daughters to be tough and independent and compassionate and that education was the only way to truly improve their lives and the lives of their children. My grandmother Alta Gayle, her middle daughter, wasa a teacher and a farmer who had three of her four children on the kitchen table, cut their umbilical cord with a knife, wrapped the child up, put the child on her back and went back out to the fields to work. She also survived breast cancer by having her breast and half of her underarm removed back in the 40s, and she lived to be 80!

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  43. I would love to know more about my paternal great grandmother, who according to family lore, was an Italian Jew. I've just begun the process of trying to trace my genealogy, and am fascinated by the possibility that I might be part Jewish. Italians and Jews share such a rich and often similar gastronomic heritage and customs, and I look forward to broadening my horizons.

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  44. If I were as talented a writer as Susanna or Beatriz, and had access to all of the facts and history, I would be torn between discovering and writing about either my great-grandmother or my mother. My great-grandmother was a full-blooded American Indian who was torn between two brothers; she had a baby with one (my great-grandfather) and was shot and killed by the other, in a tragic love story that was the scandal of the day. My mother and father, who married during WWII at 17 and 19, settled initially in Germany toward the end of the war, then stayed to help with reconstruction near Dachau. My mother was a poster-child of Virginia Slims ("you've come a long way, baby") and shocked my southern-baptist family patriarchs with her blood-red lipstick, Rita-Hayworth copper hair, and long slim cigarette, when she would sit with the appalled men and discuss politics instead of helping the women with the cooking and babies. She and my father lived life instead of documenting it, and I would have loved to be a fly on the wall from the time he saw her (when he was 15 and fell out of the bed and burst his appendix stitches as he saw the mature-for-her-age 13-year old redhead walk by his house), up until she went back to school (after four kids) and got her nursing degree.

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  45. Bridget PhillipsMay 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    If I could choose any member of my family to learn more about it would be either of my grandfathers. One grew up in Italy, the other in Massachusetts.

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  46. In an old family bible, it says some of my relatives died of "neck injuries"--namely, they died from being hung as horse thieves. They lived in the times of the "wild west". I'd like to know more of their story.

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    1. Oops, I guess I should have written hanged! Need more caffeine. :)

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  47. I wish I knew more about my grandmother, who was born in 1901. She worked and went to nursing school after high school, when most other girls were marrying. She met my grandfather, had a whirlwind courtship & married him several weeks later. Then they ran a business together & she waited to have children. I wish I'd been able to spend more time with her & ask her many more questions.

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  48. I'd like to know more about my great-grandparents' lives in Russia before they emigrated to the US in the early 1900s.

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  49. I would like to know more about my biological father's life. He left my mom and me when I was a newborn and while I believe that it has all worked out for the best, I still wonder about what he went through when he left, why he cheated, and how he feels about it now. My mother remarried so I have been blessed with three families, but I suppose I would like to know more about my father's life so that I can better understand him and try to have a relationship with him.

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  50. I'd like to know more about my husband's great-grandfather. He was placed in a NYC orphanage, and we have no idea where he came from or who is family was.

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  51. I would like to know my GG Grandfather, Joel Prewett. His father was John Pruitt. Why was the spelling of the name changed? They were both born in America and in fact, my family has been here since 1700.

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  52. My grandmother. She died when my dad was young. All I know is she was a concert pianist and had mental health problems, which is eventually what she most likely died of, but nobody really knows.

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  53. My great great grandmother and great grandfather. She grew up in a small town and had a child out of wedlock. She left for a new life in Philadelphia with her son, but died of a burst appendix when he was only a few years old. He was then sent to live with various relatives until he reached adulthood.

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  54. I would like to know more about my grandmother who had the courage to get divorced back in the 30's and raised my father by herself. She was also a twin which I'd also like to hear about.

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  55. I would like to know more about my Great Aunt Mattie Belle who died as young woman in the 30's due to an illness that was never diagnosed, but Polio was suspected. My mother told me that Belle was conscious of her appearance and always had her makeup on. My mother's sister told me that I reminded her of Belle in looks.

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  56. I'd link to know more about my paternal grandfather, who died when I was 7

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  57. I'd like to know more about my paternal great-great grandmother, Ullissie. There's a family story that she was an unwed mother-to-be in the late 1800s and refused to name the father (although it seems that it came out later to be a son on a neighboring farm). The story is that her family disowned her for having a baby out of wedlock and refused to help her when it came time for her to deliver the baby. She was supposedly locked in a room to deliver alone. One of her brothers couldn't bear her screaming and went in and finally helped her. She never married and never had any other children. I've always wanted to know the real story....

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  58. I would like to know more about the family members that first immigrated to the US from Austria. Nobody in the family knows much about them, so naturally, being a history buff myself, want to know everything, from the reason why they immigrated to their careers before and after.
    Thank you for having the giveaway!! I also cannot wait until "A Desperate Fortune" comes out!!!

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  59. My great-grandmother,commonly known as Grammie Erskine, was referred to in family legend as Martha Muncie Octavia Newt Blagdon Bragdon Bragdon. Her story is facinating, and I wish I knew more of it.
    Barbara Beebe

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  60. I recently learned of a great-uncle who died a prisoner of war at Andersonville prison during the Civil War. I have a picture and a name, but I would love to know more.

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