Deadline status for Duchess of Sin: Crawling, scrabbling, clawing towards The End! If I could just push my stubborn characters off a cliff, I would be set. Luckily, just when I am at my lowest, Alex Logan, my lovely Grand Central editor, sent me a few ego-boosting quotes for Countess of Scandal. And I’m bursting to share, aren’t you blog readers lucky? 🙂

“Laurel McKee’s prose is lyrical, her pacing is flawless, and her talent for evoking a rich, sweeping historical atmosphere is second to none” –USA Today bestseller Julianne MacLean

“Laurel McKee has few rivals when it comes to blending an intriguing historical background with an exquisitely romantic love story” –John Charles, Chicago Tribune

“My kind of story! A very well-done book and a wonderful first offering of a planned trilogy” –Mary Balogh

There are a few others, too, but my characters won’t listen to me when I beg them to cooperate anyway…

And in between working on this book, working on the day job, etc, I’ve been busy packing for a move. This is taking a while because I keep stopping clearing the bookshelves to sit on the floor and re-read old favorites I haven’t encountered in a while. (Speaking of old favorites, have you seen this article by Meg Cabot about the Betsy-Tacy books? I loved these books when I was a kid! They were my absolute favorites, along with Anne of Green Gables, the Noel Streatfield “Shoes” books, and The Secret Garden. The last book in the series, Betsy’s Wedding, was probably my fave of the series. There’s also this great article about Edith Wharton’s Paris. As you can probably see, I’m also wasting time not packing and not writing by messing around online).

Now most of my books are snugly tucked into 97 boxes and a few plastic tubs and stored in the garage. A few volumes, ones that are valuable or currently being used for research, are still on the shelves and they look quite forlorn without all their friends.

I also like to visit to Roger Ebert’s site to check out his movie reviews every week and read his excellent blog. One recent entry is a wonderful essay titled “Books do furnish a life.” And I’ve been reading a book called Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books. I’m enjoying it immensely, and am thinking maybe I should consider a move to Hay-on-Wye. I recently read another book by the author, Paul Collins, The Book of Will, about Shakespeare’s First Folio, and that’s how I found this earlier work. Once I read the cover copy, I wondered where it had been all my life.

“Paul Collins and his family abandoned the hills of San Francisco to move to the Welsh countryside–to move, in fact, to the little cobblestone village of Hay-on-Wye, the ‘Town of Books,’ boasting 1500 inhabitants and 40 bookstores.”

Books just seem to be popping up everywhere in my life this week! What have you been reading lately?