How is everyone’s Tuesday going?  It’s rainy here (kinda gray and gloomy, but we need the rain very much–and it makes a good writing day!), and my dogs are curled up in their bed having a mid-morning nap as I type this.

PPKissYou probably know there was a big birthday yesterday–Pride and Prejudice turned 200!  I loved reading all the celebratory and educational articles out there (like this one “12 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About P&P”–I actually knew them all, as I’m sure you do too, but still fun to read!)  Then last night I curled up on the couch with a pot of tea and watched favorite parts from all 5 DVD versions I have, including the “No Life Without Wife” number from Bride and Prejudice, and re-read some favorite chapters.  Just one of the many wonderful evenings this book has given me in life…

Right now I am even working on a project that is inspired by the style of Austen, the first I have ever really tried!  Not that it’s written like an Austen novel–I am not dumb enough to attempt something like that.  More it’s a sort of Austen-esque story, two linked books centered around two sisters living in reduced circumstances in their crumbling family home in a small village, surrounded by local characters and trying to live a respectable life while being true to themselves.  It’s very character-driven, which is a challenge for me (I do like the big historical backgrounds and Bronte-esque drama!), but I am enjoying the experiment.  Look for the Bancroft sisters and their heroes this autumn.

I also got an email from a woman in the middle of reading my Countess of Scandal book.  She came across something she was unfamiliar with–“negus.”  She said she couldn’t find it in her dictionaries, and I told her it is a sort of warm, wine punch-type drink (which I first encountered in Jane Eyre many years ago, then it kept popping up in various 19th century novels).  It’s Wikipedia entry is here–it was invented by a Capt. Francis Negus in the early 18th century.  And now I really want a nice warm wine drink on this rainy day…  (Also, can I say how much I love it when people email me with history questions???  Warning though, I can give waaaay more info than you want if you do this.  I have research books and I want to use them!!)

ImproperDuchessCoverSpeaking of projects, I do not know how all of January has gotten away from me!  A blur of post-wedding/holidays/illness/deadlines, I think.  But it completely escaped my attention that I have a Harlequin Undone short story out this month!!!  An Improper Duchess is a spin-off of One Wicked Christmas and features one of my favorite heroines, Melisande Duchess of Gifford, who has enjoyed a wild life ever since she was blessedly widowed by her cranky old husband.  But what happens when she meets her match??  (You can read more about it here at eharlequin…or here at Amazon…)

To celebrate I am giving away a free download today!  Tell us what you did to celebrate P&P, how you spent your weekend, how you would make your own recipe of negus, what you’re reading…anything at all to be entered to win